How much decaf coffee is too much? (+5 side-effects)

In this article, we will answer the question “How much decaf coffee is too much?”, and what are the side effects of decaf coffee?

How much decaf coffee is too much?

To reap the benefits of decaf coffee, limit your consumption to 1-2 cups of decaf per day. Excessive use of decaf can lead to various health problems discussed in the article below.

What is decaf coffee and how is it made?

Decaf or decaffeinated coffee has 97% of its caffeine removed. This can be done by washing the coffee beans with different solvents to extract caffeine. The solvent is then discarded. The Swiss Water Process uses carbon dioxide and charcoal filters to remove caffeine. 

How much caffeine is in decaf coffee?

Approximately 0–7 mg of caffeine is present in every 6 ounces (180 mL) cup of decaf. However, this caffeine content for decaf varies with the brand and can go up to 15mg. Approximately  30–50 mg caffeine is present in every  8 oz cup of green or black tea.

While regular coffee has 70–140 mg of caffeine, which varies with the coffee type, preparation method, and cup size.

Health benefit of decaf coffee

Rich in antioxidants and nutrients 

Decaf coffee contains the same antioxidants as regular coffee except some of them are lost(about 15%) in the decaffeination process. 

The anti-oxidants common to both types of coffee include hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols. Antioxidants prevent the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.

On average, a single cup of brewed decaf coffee contains 2.4% of the RDI of magnesium, 4.8% of potassium, and 2.5% of niacin, or vitamin B.

Prevent diseases

Each daily cup of decaf or regular coffee reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes by 7%. Decaf coffee has also been linked with reduced liver enzyme levels which serve a protective effect on the liver. Other than that, decaf coffee reduces the risk of premature death and death from heart diseases including stroke.

Decaf coffee also reduces the risk of neurogenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The reason behind this may be caffeine but chlorogenic acid has also been ascribed these health effects.

Unlike regular coffee, decaf coffee reduces the symptoms f heartburn and acid reflux. Consuming two or more cups of decaf coffee per day has been found to reduce the risk of rectal cancer by 48%.

Regular coffee has several advantages over decaf

Regular coffee has caffeine which is known for its stimulant effects. It makes you alert and reduces fatigue. Some of the major advantages of regular coffee over decaf are given below.

  • Uplifts mood, improves reaction time, memory, and cognitive functions
  • Increases the rate of metabolism speeds up fat burning
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Reduces the risk of mild depression and suicidal thoughts in women
  • Reduces risk of liver cirrhosis or end-stage liver damage 

Other FAQs about Coffee which you may be interested in.

How to open a coffee bag?

How to drink hot coffee?

Side-effects of decaf coffee

Tooth decay 

Decaf coffee not only stains your teeth but also deteriorates the enamel of your teeth due to its acidic nature. As a result, your teeth will become sensitive and susceptible to cavities.

Frequent trips to the bathroom

Like regular coffee, decaf coffee stimulates the release of gastrin hormone in the blood which makes your stomach release acid. 

This acid is helpful in digesting food for better absorption. But It also increases gut motility which makes you pee too often. Besides frequent release of stomach acid in large amounts can lead to diarrhea and ulcers over time.

It might be harder to lose weight

Decaf coffee does not have enough caffeine to speed up your metabolism and fat-burning process. Therefore, you might not achieve the same weight loss goals by drinking decaf as compared to regular coffee. 

Besides It you drink your decaf with lots of added sugar, cream and lots of milk, you won’t lose weight.

Your cholesterol may suffer

A 2005 study showed that drinking 3-6 cups of decaf coffee per day resulted in an increase in blood LDL. besides It also increased the levels of specific blood fat which is linked with metabolic syndrome

The effect can be avoided by drinking only a single cup of decaf per day. However, you must be extra careful If you already suffer from high cholesterol.

You may develop an iron deficiency 

Certain polyphenolic compounds, specifically chlorogenic acid, present in both regular and decaf coffee, inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron from the gut. 

This results in brittle nails, changes in taste, hair loss, and ultimately anemia. It is recommended to not consume iron-containing foods and coffee at the same time to avoid malabsorption of iron.


In this article, we answered the question “How much decaf coffee is too much?”, and what are the side effects of decaf coffee?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.