Is Cold Brew Bad for You? Here Are 9 Health Benefits is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Is cold brew bad for you? That’s a question that many people are asking these days. And the answer is…well, it depends. There are pros and cons to drinking cold brew coffee.

On the one hand, some people say that it has less acidity than regular coffee, so it’s easier on your stomach. Cold-brew also tends to have a higher caffeine content than hot brewed coffee, which can be good or bad depending on your preferences.

What is cold brewing?

Before we discuss is cold brew bad for you, let us first define what cold brew coffee is. Cold-brew coffee is not iced coffee. Those are two very different things.

Cold brew coffee uses cold water instead of hot water to extract the flavor and caffeine from coffee beans. In this process, coffee beans are steeped in cold water for 12-24 hours. This makes the coffee less bitter than hot coffee.

Is cold brew bad for you?

While there is no definite answer to this question, we will discuss some of the benefits of cold brew coffee to help you make an informed choice.

9 incredible benefits of cold brew coffee

Although most research on the health benefits associated with coffee is done using hot brew, it is believed that cold brew can offer similar benefits.

Here are 9 amazing health benefits of cold-brewed coffee.

1. May help speed up metabolism

Metabolism refers to the process of how your body breaks down food to create energy.

Your metabolic rate is a measure of how many calories you burn at rest.

Cold brew coffee has caffeine just like hot coffee. It has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 11%.

Caffeine may increase metabolic rate by increasing the body’s ability to burn fat more quickly.

In one study of 8 adult men, caffeine intake led to a 13% increase of calorie burning and a 2-fold increase in fat burning. These effects were much greater than those experienced with a placebo or beta-blocker (medication for hypertension). 

2. May help uplift your mood

Cold brew coffee can help improve your mood.

Caffeine intake has been shown to improve mood, particularly among those who are sleep-deprived.

A review of studies of 370,000 adults found that people who drank coffee had lower levels of depression. The depression risk fell by 8% for every cup of coffee consumed in a day.

Research suggests that caffeine could be used to improve brain function and boost mood in the elderly.

A study of 12 adults aged 63-74 found that taking 1.4mg of caffeine per pound (3mg per kg) of body weight improved their mood by 17%. This caffeine intake is equivalent to about two cups of coffee for an average-sized person.

Caffeine also increased their ability to react when an object moves toward them. This indicates that it increases focus and attentiveness.

3. May help improve heart health

Heart disease can refer to a variety of conditions that can affect your heart, including stroke, heart attack, and coronary artery disease. It is the leading cause of death in the world.

Cold-brewed coffee contains compounds that can lower your risk of developing heart disease. These include caffeine, phenolic compounds, magnesium, trigonelline, and quinides, as well as lignans. These compounds increase insulin sensitivity, stabilize blood glucose, and lower blood pressure.

Coffee also contains diterpenes and chlorogenic acids (CGAs) which act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Consuming 3-5 cups of coffee daily (15-25 ounces or 450-750ml) may lower your risk of developing heart disease by up to 15% compared to non-coffee drinkers.

People with high blood pressure should not drink caffeine as it can cause further elevation.

 4. May help lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where blood sugar levels are elevated. It can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

Drinking around 4 cups of cold-brewed coffee per day may lower your chance of developing this disease.

These benefits could be due to the powerful antioxidants found in coffee, called chlorogenic acids.

Cold-brewed coffee may also regulate gut proteins, which are hormones that control and slow down digestion to help keep your sugar level stable.

A study of over 36,900 adults aged 45-74 showed that those who drank 4 cups of coffee per day had a 30% lower chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who did not drink coffee.

A review of three large studies involving more than 1,000,000 people revealed that those who increased their coffee intake for 4 years had an 11% lower chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. This was in contrast to the 17% higher risk for those who consumed less than 1 cup of coffee per day.

 5. May help improve brain function

Cold-brew coffee can not only improve your mood and alertness, but it may also help your brain in other ways.

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and can affect brain function.

A recent study found that coffee can help protect your brain against age-related diseases.

Neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are caused by brain cell death. Both diseases can lead to dementia, which is a decline of mental health that makes daily tasks more difficult.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by significant memory impairment and Parkinson’s causes stiffness and physical tremors.

One observational study showed that people who drank 3-5 coffees per day in their mid-life had a 65% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia in old age.

Another observational study found that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Men who consume more than 4 cups of coffee per day are five times less likely to develop this condition.

It seems that many compounds in coffee, including phenylindanes, harman and nonharman compounds, offer protection against Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Decaffeinated coffee does not appear to have the same protective benefits.

6. Cold brew is easier on your stomach than hot coffee

Coffee is an acidic beverage that can stimulate acid reflux that’s why many people avoid it.

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid flows back into your esophagus frequently, causing gut irritation.

Other ailments such as heartburn and indigestion can also be attributed to acidity in coffee.

The pH scale is used to measure how acidic a solution is. It ranges from 0-14, with 7 being neutral. Lower numbers are more acidic and higher numbers are more alkaline.

Hot coffee and cold brew generally have similar acidity levels at around 5-6 on a pH scale. However, this can vary depending upon individual brews.

Some studies have found cold brew to be less acidic so it does not irritate your stomach as much as hot coffee does.

The crude polysaccharides in cold brews are another reason it may be less irritating than hot espresso.

These carbohydrates or chains containing sugar molecules increase the immunity of your digestive system. This can reduce stomach irritation and the unpleasant effects of acidity coffee have on your stomach.

7. May help prolong your life expectancy

Drinking cold brew coffee can reduce your risk of dying from certain diseases.

A long-term study of 229,119 men and 173,141 women aged 50-71 showed that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, accidents, and infections.

This could be due to the high antioxidant content of coffee.

Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from damage that can lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, or cancer. These conditions can significantly shorten your life.

Coffee contains powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, hydroxycinnamates and chlorogenic acid.

Although studies have shown that hot coffee has more antioxidants than cold brew, there are some powerful antioxidants in cold brew such as caffeoylquinic acid (CQA).

8. Cold brew has similar caffeine content as hot coffee

Cold brew coffee is made from a concentrated form of coffee that can be diluted with water in a ratio of 1 to 1.

The concentrate is extremely strong by itself. It contains about 200mg of caffeine per cup, undiluted.

However, diluting the concentrate reduces the caffeine content of the final product, making it more like regular coffee.

Although caffeine consumption can vary depending upon the brewing method used, the difference between hot and cold coffee is minimal.

A cup of hot coffee has approximately 95mg of caffeine while a typical cold brew has 100mg.

9. Cold brew is very easy to make

It is possible to make cold brew coffee right at the comfort of your home. Just follow these easy steps.

  1. Buy whole roasted coffee beans and grind them coarsely.
  2. Pour 8 ounces (226g) of coffee grounds into a large container.
  3. Gently stir in 2 cups (480ml) of water.
  4. Cover the jar and let it sit in the refrigerator for 12-24 hrs.
  5. Lay a piece of cheesecloth on a fine mesh strainer and pour the steeped coffee into another jar.
  6. Throw away the solid residue that you collected in the cheesecloth.

You now have a cold brew coffee concentrate.

Cover the container with an airtight lid and store your cold brew concentrate in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

How to prepare a cup of cold brew at home

  1. Take out your cold brew concentrate from the fridge and pour 1/2 cup (120ml) into a mug or glass.
  2. Add 1/2 cup (120ml) of cold water.
  3. Add cream or ice cubes if desired.


So is cold brew bad for you? Cold-brew coffee can be a great alternative to hot coffee and is easy to make at home. It has the same health benefits as hot coffee but is less acidic and less bitter. This makes cold brews easier to tolerate by coffee drinkers who have sensitive stomachs.

Try cold brew coffee to change up your coffee routine. And always drink in moderation – too much caffeine consumption can be harmful to your body.

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