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Is Decaf Coffee, Tea Or Cocoa Actually Caffeine FREE?

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I was at breakfast with my girlfriend over the weekend and we got into a friendly argument over whether decaf coffee still had any caffeine in it or not. I figured why call it decaf if it wasn’t really decaffeinated because anytime something is ‘de-whatever’ (like a de-clawed cat) it’s removed right? A quick Google search on my phone revealed the answer:


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Turns out that there is still at most 2.5 percent of caffeine in a cup of decaf. So, if you drink 5-10 cups of decaf, you’ll have as much caffeine in your system as if you drank one or two cups of regular. Keep in mind that unlike soda where caffeine is actually ADDED to make you want it more, caffeine is already naturally present in coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa beans so removing a natural element completely is difficult. So, if you’re trying to cut down on anxiety or suffer from a medical condition like hypertension, switching to decaf won’t put you out of the drug’s reach completely.


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Furthermore, I started wondering if the same is true about non-alcoholic beer. Turns out that yes there’s still alcohol in there too, although you’ll have to down a 12-pack of O’Doul’s before you’ll get the normal 5% alcohol in one regular beer. Recovering alcoholics would do well to stay away from this alternative as any amount of alcohol can trigger a relapse.

Well, there you have it. I lost the bet and I’m lucky I don’t have to shave my head or go to work in a tutu or something like that. 😉

[University of Florida] []

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