The classic Americano is a perfectly tasty drink, but it has nothing on cold brew. So what makes this simple recipe so great? It’s the reason coffee snobs swear by it: cold brew is better because of how long you let it steep (12-24 hours), and the process used to extract its liquid from beans (more on that here). But it’s not just the taste, there are some surprising health benefits:
1. Higher Concentration of Caffeine
Due to the longer brewing process, cold brew coffee contains more caffeine than a normal cup of regular coffee. A normal cup of drip coffee has a coffee to water ratio of 1 to 20 versus cold brew’s which is 1 to 60. For example, a 16 ounce cup of Starbucks cold brew coffee has about 200 mg of caffeine. Caffeine is a compound that can sharpen your mental faculties and keep you more awake. Caffeine is also proven to help with weight loss as well. While everyone’s caffeine tolerance is different and caffeine can be dangerous at extreme levels, the amount of caffeine in cold brew is just the right amount for most coffee drinkers.
2. It’s Full of Antioxidants
If you didn’t know, antioxidants are incredibly beneficial for your health because they are compounds that can inhibit or halt cell damage. And, luckily for us coffee drinkers - cold brew is full of antioxidants. Some of the major healthy antioxidants found in cold brew include caffeine, chlorogenic acid, cafestol and melanoidins - which are all known for their impressive anti-inflammatory properties. If you need a good dose of antioxidants for the day, simply grab yourself a nice, refreshing cold brew.
3. Can Reduce the Risk of Disease
In addition to it’s anti-inflammatory benefits, cold brew has the ability to reduce the risk of several diseases. Research shows that with increased coffee and cold brew consumption, you can reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease as well as type-2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzhimer’s disease. For heart disease, studies show that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee per day may lower your risk of heart disease by up to 15%. Yet, if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, you should avoid coffee as it may worsen your condition. For type-2 diabetes, drinking 4-6 cups of cold brew a day may reduce your risk of developing the disease. Cold brew coffee may also keep your blood sugar stable by regulating your gut peptides which are hormones that control and slow your digestion. One study shows that people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee per day had a 65% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Compounds found in coffee such as phenylindanes, harman and norharman compounds are shown to help reduce the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
4. May Increase Life Expectancy
Consuming cold brew isn’t going to make you live forever, but it may reduce your overall risk of death and increase your life expectancy. We mentioned earlier that cold brew is loaded with antioxidants. Due to this, drinking cold brew has shown to lower an individual's risk of death from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries, accidents, diabetes and infections. Powerful antioxidants that aid in this increased longevity and are found in cold brew include caffeoylquinic acid.
5. Can Help You Lose Weight
Due to its high caffeine content, drinking cold brew may in fact help you drop those extra pounds. If you drink a cup of cold brew after your workout, you’ll effectively increase your post energy expenditure which will allow you to continue to burn calories even after you’re done exercising.
6. Improve Cognitive Function
Another benefit of drinking cold brew is that it can make you smarter. Ok, not really how it works, but grabbing a cup of cold brew can increase the flow of blood to our brains. This is due to the high caffeine content. More blood to the brain equals better cognitive function. So, if you need that extra boost of brain power at work - grab a cold brew!
7. Better For Sensitive Stomachs
Coffee is notoriously a pain point for people with sensitive stomachs. If you’re prone to acid reflux, then coffee may not be the beverage of choice for you. Yet, because of the different brewing methods - cold brew can actually be a great alternative for those with sensitivities. Cold brew tends to be smoother and also contain less acid. Therefore, if you have acid reflux, your body may be able to handle cold brew better. Additionally, cold brew contains crude polysaccharides. These molecules are known for their ability to help with your digestive system. And, therefore may decrease the side effects often caused by the acidity of regular coffee.
8. Potential Anti-Aging Effects
Did you know that drinking cold brew can make you look younger? It’s those crazy and powerful antioxidants, Antioxidants, as we previously mentioned, protect your cells from damage. They can also protect your skin from chemicals, damaging UV rays and other environmental factors. So, skip the anti-aging creams and take a sip of cold brew instead.
9. Can Improve Your Mood
Need a little mood boost? Cold brew can help with that. The powerful chemicals in caffeine not only help you stay awake and ready to go, they can also put you in a good mood.Better brain function and lifting your mood - if that’s not an argument for more cold brew in your life, then we’re not sure what is.
10. Boost To Your Metabolism
The final benefit of drinking cold brew is the boost it gives to your metabolism. Metabolism is the process in which your body uses the food you eat to create energy. The caffeine in cold brew helps to increase your metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn in a resting state. Studies show that caffeine can increase this rate by up to 11%. In short, the amount of caffeine content in cold brew allows you to increase the calories you burn while resting and makes it easier for you to lose or maintain your weight.As you can see, there are several powerful benefits that come from drinking cold brew. Not only is it a refreshing beverage, but it can also help you live longer, look younger, stay alert and boost your mood. Ready to drink some cold brew?