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Antioxidants in Coffee – How healthy is it? 

More and more people choose to enjoy themselves with a nice cold brew every day. And they should. Several studies have shown the benefits of drinking coffee regularly. It can be a great contributor to the prevention of illnesses such as cancer and heart diseases. Cold brew has revealed further evidence of containing less acidity, which lowers the risk of things such as heartburn and stomach pains. Do yourself and your health a favor by sipping on a lovely cup of cold brew that will not only taste great but also give your general health some support. 


Antioxidants protect against cancer

Coffee contains, as many know, caffeine, which helps us gain more energy and allows us to sharpen our senses. It’s easier to wake up with the help of caffeine, and it can make us more alert during the day. This helps us with tasks and makes sure that we can get through our daily schedule full of energy. However, not everyone is as aware of the fact that coffee also contains a lot of antioxidants that are partly famous for having an anti-inflammatory effect that helps with things such as intestinal health. That’s something that science has pointed to for a long time, but recent studies show that the antioxidants in coffee can help with so much more. 


coffee in front of a wall


What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are a substance that prevents damage to the cells from what’s called reactive substances. These reactive substances are created when we breathe, and the oxygen moves around in our bodies. We all need these in small amounts, but when they gather in too large quantities, they may cause damage to the cells and tissues instead. It’s the antioxidants that take care of the excessive amounts in order to protect the body. Antioxidants can be found in several things, such as vitamins and food. Coffee, however, has a unique buildup of antioxidants, which can’t be found in many other food groups. That’s what makes it unique and a proper health boost. 


Coffee reduces the risk of cancer

Coffee has proven that it can provide a certain amount of protection against cancer. This includes cancers that can be found in the head, neck, colorectal, breast, and liver. This is thought to be specifically because of the antioxidants that can be found in the coffee. Together they create protection against all the reactive substances that later prevent the growth of cancer tumors. This has been conducted through more than a thousand studies and has been concluded by the American Cancer Society.


WHO changed their minds

The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously seen coffee as something dangerous and nothing more than an addictive substance. It was believed that coffee was the cause of cancer and that it was particularly dangerous when it came to cancer in the bladder. Recent research has changed their minds about this, as several trustworthy studies have shown the complete opposite. Instead of showing that coffee is the cause of cancer, it has instead shown that a regular intake of coffee prevented cancer to a certain degree. WHO has later rewritten their statements and claim today that coffee has the ability to prevent several types of cancers, most prominently in the colon and rectum


Iced coffee antioxidants against cancer?


Antioxidants against heart diseases 

It’s not only cancer that coffee is able to protect us from. It’s also been clear that coffee is able to protect the body against several types of heart diseases, such as stroke, heart failure, and coronary heart disease. While it’s not able to completely eliminate any dangers on its own, it has shown clear signs of being a significant part in preventing or lowering the risk of such illnesses. Particularly in those who already suffer and are on the verge of suffering from such problems. 


Studies show a lower risk of heart diseases 

It was concluded that by drinking a cup of coffee a day, one would reduce the risk of suffering from these problems by up to 8%. This result lasted up to drinking six cups of coffee a day. Drinking more wouldn’t have any additional effects. This research was presented by the American Heart Association. They are not the first ones to notice this connection. Several other studies have come to the same conclusion. One of them is a study from South Korea that found out that three to five cups of coffee a day could reduce signs of blocked arteries. The study involved over 25 000 participants, and it showed how those who drank very little or an excessive amount of coffee had calcium in their arteries. This was not the case for those who drank a moderate amount of coffee every day. That can conclude that a reasonable amount of coffee results in healthier arteries than drinking too much or drinking no coffee at all. 


Antioxidants polyphenols help the heart

In the findings by the American heart association, it was concluded that the reason coffee assisted in preventing heart disease was because of the caffeine content, anti-inflammatory effects, and the antioxidants. It’s specifically the antioxidant polyphenols that are the reason for these positive effects. Polyphenols have been seen as a big contributor to a healthy heart and arteries for a long time. Research suggests that those with a high intake of polyphenols have a reduced risk from cardiovascular events by 47%. It has also been concluded that those with a high intake of polyphenols generally have a lower Body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. Polyphenols can be found in several other foods, where its most famous source is in red wine and chocolate. It’s a plant based substance, which means that you’ll only find it in foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and some tea. But the combination of caffeine content, anti-inflammatory effects, and the antioxidants have all contributed to several studies for a more effective battle against heart diseases. That’s why coffee is seen as a proper powerhouse against cardiovascular events.

antioxidants in a glass of cold brew coffee


Antioxidants in cold brew

More and more of us choose to enjoy a nice cold brew instead of the ordinary hot coffee. Both the taste and the possibility of drinking something cold gives you a completely different experience. But is there more that separates them, other than the taste? Yes, according to research, there may be several things that separate these two from each other even though they come from the same ingredients. Even if both of them are based on coffee beans and water, the brewing process gives us two separate drinks when it comes to antioxidants and acidity. Both antioxidants and acidity are huge contributors when it comes to health and will affect the one who drinks it greatly in many different ways. The question is, which is the healthiest drink? 


Antioxidants in hot brew coffee vs cold brew

There have been several studies conducted about the differences between hot coffee and cold brew. One of them was done by researchers Niny Z Rao and Megan Fuller, who writes for PubMed Central, a website that works as America’s national library for medicine. The chemical content in coffee and cold brew were deeply analyzed in these studies in order to find out which is the healthiest option. Both of the drinks were prepared in the same way in order to get a steady reading. This means that while you typically use 16 coffee beans to make a glass of cold brew and 6 beans when making a cup of coffee (according to this study), the same number of beans were used when preparing both drinks for this experiment. 

The result of this study was that the ordinary hot coffee contained more antioxidants than cold brew does. The reason for this hasn’t been confirmed as there’s no clear indication of the logic behind it. The only theory is that hot water can create more bioactive compositions. This result, however, must be taken with a grain of salt. Because the same amount of beans was used, there’s no indication that a proper cup of cold brew doesn’t have the same amount of antioxidants as hot coffee. The fact remains that cold brew normally has at least three times the number of beans coffee does. That points to the fact that a normal cold brew could have a higher number of antioxidants than the study suggests.



Acidity in coffee vs. cold brew

All sorts of coffee contain acidity at different levels. Everything depends on what type of coffee beans were used, and if it is a lighter or darker roast. All of these things contribute to what pH level the coffee will have. There have been several studies about the acidity of coffee and how it has caused heartburn and stomach pain. The risk of suffering from heartburn and stomach pains will decrease the lower levels of acidity there is in your coffee. 

In a study by Niny Z Rao and Megan Fuller, it was concluded that cold brew doesn’t have the same amounts of acidity as ordinary coffee. Why this is the case can’t be said with certainty, but the current theory is that it’s because of the heat and the production method. In the heat, a lot of substances are created, such as acidity. In the cold brew, you don’t have that problem. In combination with the long process of making cold brew, even more of those substances disappear. In the study’s conclusion, it’s stated that cold brew has the same pH levels as ordinary coffee, but that it has significantly lower levels of acidity. Therefore, cold brew will probably cause less pain and is highly recommended to drink by those who are particularly sensitive in their tummy. 



Coffee has, in many studies under a long time proven to be a positive contributor to health. This is in areas such as intestinal health, cancer prevention, and it lowers the risk of heart diseases. The reason for all of these things is the combination of the coffee’s unique anti-inflammatory effects, caffeine, and, most importantly, its antioxidants. Many reliable experts, including the World Health Organization, stand by the fact that coffee provides health benefits. 

When it comes to cold brew, it may even have more to offer the health-conscious. While one study showed that there are less antioxidants in cold brew compared to coffee, it’s not completely determined. Because they used the same amount of coffee beans in both drinks, it misconstrued reality greatly. Because proper cold brew is prepared with three times the amount of coffee beans, it may have even more or the same amount of antioxidants as a hot coffee. Nonetheless, even though it could potentially contain less antioxidants than hot coffee, it still contains the same sort of antioxidants. It has also been discovered that cold brew contains less acidity than regular coffee. That means that cold brew probably will cause less heartburn and stomach pain. 

Cold brew is, therefore, a healthy option as it has all of the benefits that hot coffee has with its anti-inflammatory effects, caffeine, and antioxidants. But it also has the added benefit of containing less acidity. Because of this, cold brew is perfect for drinking for those who are health conscious. It will give you all of the benefits with none of the negatives. This results in a very healthy, and most importantly, delicious drink to enjoy. 


Thank you for reading. Feel free to share this article with any coffee interested friend you have, or on social media. You can use the buttons to the left (or at the bottom if you read this on your phone) to share. Thank you!

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Written by Anton

If you like what you read, go to the blog for more posts by Anton and other authors. 

“I am one of the persons behind DripBeans, which we started because we were tired of coffee being boring or snobby. Coffee should be fun and exciting. If you are like me you love cold brew and want to be a part of a great community where we share recipes, thought and happiness. That is what DripBeans is trying to do!”

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