Is Decaf Coffee a Diuretic? What You Need to Know!

In the mood for a decaffeinated treat? Take a look at our Dalgona Whipped Coffee recipe.

If you are one of those people who find yourself searching for the nearest restroom shortly after having a cup of coffee, don’t worry you are not alone! Caffeinated coffee has been touted as a natural diuretic for years which explains the trips to the bathroom after drinking.

But what about caffeinated coffee’s close cousin the decaffeinated coffee? Is decaf coffee also a diuretic? 

Today we dive into the methods and science behind decaf coffee to provide you with an answer to this popular question. Read on to learn more!

What is a Diuretic?

First let’s explore exactly what a diuretic is. Diuretics aid your body in eliminating salt and water by stimulating your kidneys to release sodium into your urine. Water is then taken from your blood to concentrate the sodium levels in your body. 

This process results in you having to urinate more frequently. Fun right? 

The good news is these trips to the restroom do have a positive effect on your body! This process results in a decreased amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels and in turn provides your body relief from excess water retention.

Is Decaf Coffee a Diuretic?

Decaf coffee is not a diuretic.
Studies indicate it takes about 360 mg of caffeine to behave as a diuretic.

This brings us to the question at hand. The short answer is no, decaffeinated coffee is not a diuretic. This is primarily due to the fact that it is the caffeine in coffee that has a diuretic effect on the body.

The caffeine found in coffee does have a mild diuretic effect on the body. Since decaf coffee removes most (but not all) caffeine in the coffee beans it also eliminates the diuretic effect of the coffee as well.

You may be wondering how such closely related drinks can be so different when it comes to its diuretic effect. Let’s explore a bit more about the science of caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee. 

Caffeinated vs Decaffeinated Coffee

Coffee decaffeination refers to the actual process of removing caffeine from the coffee bean. The decaffeination process typically takes place prior to using a coffee roaster to roast the coffee bean. 

It is important to note that decaf does not equal no caffeine. All coffee, even decaf, will have a small amount of caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine found in decaf coffee is so nominal it has little to no effect on the body.

Typically decaf coffee has less than 5 milligrams of caffeine per cup, which is a significantly lower amount when compared to the 100 plus milligrams of caffeine found in regular coffee.

In the market for good decaffeinated coffee? Check out our list of best decaf K-Cups for Keurig.

How is Decaf Coffee Made?

Making decaf coffee by stripping caffeine from the coffee bean.
The four primary methods below are used to remove caffeine from your coffee bean to create decaf coffee.

Direct Method  

Unroasted coffee beans are steamed, then rinsed with an organic solvent designed to extract the caffeine from the beans while leaving the remaining components of the coffee bean unaffected. This process is repeated anywhere from 8 to 12 times until the coffee bean meets the required standard of having 97% or greater of the caffeine content removed. 

Indirect Method

The different types of coffee beans can be soaked in hot water for several hours, then the caffeine is removed using a solvent. The soaking water is then recycled with a new batch of coffee beans. After several cycles, the caffeine is removed from the coffee bean. Because water is used in the first step of this process, this process is also known as water-processed. 

Carbon Dioxide Process

Coffee beans are steamed and then put into a high pressure machine that circulates a mixture of water and carbon dioxide. The caffeine dissolves into the carbon dioxide. This method is very expensive and is typically only used for commercial grade coffee beans processed in bulk.

Swiss Water Process

Coffee beans are soaked in hot water to dissolve the caffeine. The hot water is run through a charcoal filter that captures the caffeine. The result is a green coffee extract which is used to soak a new batch of coffee beans. This process is repeated until the majority of the caffeine content has been removed. This method is very similar to the Indirect method, except it does not utilize solvents. 

Benefits of Decaffeinated Coffee

Good news is decaf coffee has many of the same health benefits as a fully caffeinated cup! Coffee has several benefits including containing antioxidants that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease.

Additionally, those who are sensitive to acidic foods may find that drinking decaf coffee is easier on their stomach. For more information on acidity in coffee click here.

Decaffeinated Coffee Recipe

Dalgona whipped decaffeinated coffee recipe.
Dalgona whipped decaf coffee is an easy recipe that can be made hot or iced.

There are many delicious and easy decaf coffee recipes available! Today we share one of our favorite and easiest decaf coffee drinks:

Whipped Decaf Coffee

This light and airy drink is often referred to as Dalgona Whipped Coffee. It consists of a top layer made from instant coffee, water and sugar that is whipped together until it is perfectly fluffy. It is then spooned over milk, which can be enjoyed hot or iced. 

To make this delicious coffee drink you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 – 4 ounces of milk (can be non dairy)
  • 2 tablespoons decaffeinated instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Ice (if you want your drink cold)

Step # 1 – Whisk Away

Using a whisk or electric mixer, combine the Decaffeinated Instant Coffee, sugar and water until a frothy whipped topping is created. Whip until it is in stiff peaks similar to a meringue consistency.

Note: You can create the whip with a whisk but it will take quite a bit of whisking before the topping is fully whipped.  Cozy recommends you use a handheld electric mixer instead. If you don’t have a handheld mixer available, don’t give up on whipping the consistency needed will happen, you just need to give it a little muscle and time.

Step # 2 – Create Drink

For an iced drink complete the following steps – Fill a chilled glass with ice. I typically place the glass in the refrigerator before whisking so that it is cold and frosty when I am ready to use it.  Fill the cup with 3 – 4 ounces of milk or non-dairy milk of your choice. Some popular options are almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk. Add the whipped coffee topping to the milk. 

For a hot drink complete the following steps – Warm 4 ounces of milk or non-dairy option of choice on the stove or in the microwave. Fill mug with warmed milk and add whipped topping. 

Step # 3 – Enjoy this amazingly delicious, light and airy treat!

Cozy’s Conclusion

Many are fans of decaffeinated coffee due to its milder flavor and the fact that it doesn’t have the energizing effect of caffeinated coffee. 

Decaf is a good choice for those who prefer a more delicate, softer coffee taste or those who like to unwind with a cup before bedtime but don’t want to be kept awake by the effects of caffeine. 

Decaf coffee has a lot of similar benefits as caffeinated coffee, so you can enjoy knowing you are not missing out on any of the good stuff!

Wishing you happy decaf coffee drinking! Cheers!

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