Can You Get Addicted to Decaf Coffee?

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Decaf coffee is the first choice of many coffee drinkers to limit their coffee intake. It is not unknown that decaf coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee. But, can you get addicted to decaf coffee?

Unfortunately, decaf coffee can still keep your caffeine dependency awake.

This post will share what you need to know as a decaf drinker. Additionally, we have included some quick guides on how to break the addiction.

Let’s go through the article.

Difference Between Decaf and Regular Coffee

The decaffeination process is mostly different from regular coffee bean roasting. Coffee ground processors around the world usually follow four decaffeination techniques. They are the indirect-solvent, direct-solvent, Swiss water, and CO2 process.

During the decaffeination process, coffee beans lose a lot of caffeine ingredients.

Unlike regular coffee, decaf coffee contains a very low amount of caffeine.

For example, 8 ounces of decaf coffee only carries 7mg of caffeine. On the other hand, the same amount of regular ground coffee carries 70mg to 140mg of caffeine.

Most coffee brands claim that decaf coffee is 97% caffeine-free. But, it feels and tastes almost similar to regular coffee despite having low caffeine ingredients.

However, decaf ground coffee is not entirely caffeine-free.

What Is the Purpose of Decaf Coffee?

The recommended caffeine intake for a healthy adult is 400 milligrams every day. But, people with extreme coffee cravings often cross the boundary. As a result, they consume more caffeine unintentionally.

Too much caffeine may lead to several health complications, including addiction, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, etc.

The purpose of decaf coffee is to satisfy your coffee craving and limit caffeine intake.

So, decaf coffee can be an instant solution to enjoying coffee, while avoiding caffeine’s side effects.

Is Decaf Coffee Addictive?

In a word, the answer to this question is yes. However, it needs a detailed explanation before considering decaf as addictive.

Caffeine itself is not addictive. But, it can create unimaginable dependency. Heavy coffee drinkers may not perform their daily activities without caffeine. They must drink strong coffee to activate their brain functions properly.

Since decaf coffee carries a small amount of caffeine, it will also create such dependency. So, if you keep drinking decaf coffee for a long time, you will be addicted to it for sure.

How Much Decaf Coffee Can Cause Addiction?

A common misconception goes that you can drink decaf coffee as much as you want. This wrong idea grows since decaf is well-known to have very low caffeine. But, we have already clarified that decaf coffee is also addictive.

Therefore, you must be careful about consuming decaf coffee as well. Studies have found that 100mg of caffeine per day can make you physically dependent.

Consuming this much caffeine regularly will lead to experiencing headaches, stiffness, muscle pain, and a depressed mood without it.

So, if you plan to replace your regular coffee with decaf to overcome caffeine sensitivity, make sure you are not taking more caffeine than this amount in a day.

How Long Does Caffeine Withdrawal Last?

Caffeine withdrawal is very common among people who regularly consume caffeinated drinks like coffee. If someone who is used to caffeine suddenly gives it up, they will experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

Caffeine withdrawal may occur within 12 to 24 hours of stopping caffeine intake. It may last from 2 to 9 days.

So, if you ever experience any physical discomfort after giving up coffee, there is nothing to worry about because caffeine withdrawal is very common and transient.

Signs of Caffeine Withdrawal

You will notice some signs within a short time after you stop drinking coffee since you are accustomed to caffeine. It can happen in the case of any kind of coffee, including decaf.

Signs of Caffeine Withdrawal

Below, we are mentioning some common signs of caffeine withdrawal:

Headache: Quitting caffeine intake increases blood flow to your brain. A quick change like this may lead to a painful headache.

Fatigue: Caffeine is great for improving energy. But, you will notice the opposite when limiting caffeine intake.

Lack of Attention: Substances like caffeine raise the level of adrenaline that works as a brain booster. But, if you suddenly stop drinking coffee, you will suffer from a lack of attention.

Depression and Irritability: Caffeine is an incredible mood booster. It keeps you refreshed and happy. If you cut coffee drinking habits somehow, it will temporarily make you depressed and irritated.

Tremors: Tremors: People who have serious dependency may experience tremors in the absence of caffeine.

Nausea, muscle pain, and anxiety are also very common signs of caffeine withdrawal.

How to Break a Caffeine Addiction

Caffeine dependency is not normal for the human body. So, you need to break the addiction at any cost. Otherwise, you will fall in trouble when coffee is not available around you.

Don’t you know how to start? Try our quick tips to break caffeine addiction:

  • Start slowly by reducing your daily caffeine intake. For example, use small cups for drinking coffee.
  • Stay away from other unhealthy caffeine sources like energy drinks and soda.
  • Replace your regular coffee with decaf coffee. Green tea is a much better alternative.
  • Avoid any caffeinated drinks in the afternoon.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Get a good habit of deep sleep. To overcome fatigue, practice powernap instead of drinking coffee.
  • Try cardio exercises regularly to produce endorphins that fight against depression.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables for overall health benefits.
  • Finally, be patient and stay positive.

Should I Quit Drinking Decaf?

There is no need to cut decaf coffee entirely from your diet. Experts say consuming regular or decaf coffee moderately is alright.

Drinking decaf coffee is not recommended only; rather, it is healthy. You just have to be careful about too much caffeine consumption.

Final Words

So, Can you get addicted to decaf coffee? Yes, you can. But, still coffee is a safe and healthy drink for us. The problem is too much consumption, which leads to physical dependency on coffee. Even drinking excessive decaf coffee can make you addicted to it.

But, you can easily break the addiction. There is no alternative except limiting caffeine intake to get rid of this addiction. Moreover, a healthy lifestyle is crucial to overcoming caffeine dependency.


I currently reside at Millburn, NJ, United States. I'm a skilled barista and roaster known for my passion for coffee and dedication to creating the perfect cup. I have a strong following of loyal customers who appreciate my expertise and friendly demeanor. In my free time, I enjoy trying new coffee recipes and experimenting with different brewing techniques.

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