The following post is adapted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News
Summer’s hottest drink is also a healthy way to beat the heat.
Cold brew coffee — made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or longer — is just as healthy as regular coffee, according to Frank Hu, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a recent Health.com article.
The health benefits associated with coffee drinking — decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, and dying prematurely — are the same for both cold brew coffee and regular coffee, says Dr. Hu, who has studied coffee extensively.
And while coffee has the same salubrious nutritional profile at any temperature, cold brew may have an advantage over regular coffee, adds Dr. Hu. Because it’s less acidic than regular, many people may find it tastier and tend to add less cream, milk, and/or sugar.
Cold brew can contain higher levels of caffeine, since it’s often brewed as a concentrate with a steeper ratio of coffee to water. This is seen most often with ready-to-drink (RTD) packaged beverage. You can add water or milk to dilute your drink, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
Also, people tend to buy iced drinks in larger quantities and drink them faster — especially as temperatures soar. That combination means caffeine’s effect could hit harder with cold coffee.
But more caffeine isn’t necessarily bad, says Dr. Hu. It actually delivers health benefits independent of coffee’s antioxidants and other nutrients.
“Some of the benefits of coffee seem to be linked to the caffeine content, like the positive effects on cognitive function and the decreased risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s,” he says. (In fact, one study showed that drinking 4-5 cups of coffee daily cut risk of Parkinson’s disease nearly in half.)
Is Cold Brew as Healthy as Regular Coffee? (Health.com)
Drink Up: Heath Benefits of Coffee Are Numerous (Harvard Chan School news)
Coffee: The Good News (Harvard Chan School news)
Nervous About Caffeine? Don’t Be (NCA The First Pull)
Coffee & Me (The National Coffee Association)
Read the original post on Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News
Please note that the National Coffee Association did not fund or contribute to this research. The information above is is for educational purposes, and should not be taken as medical advice.
Compiled by Kyra Auffermann, NCA