Cold brew coffee has gained popularity among coffee drinkers in recent years.
Instead of using hot water to draw out the flavor and caffeine of coffee beans, cold brew coffee relies on time by steeping them in cold water for 12–24 hours.
This method makes the drink less bitter than hot coffee.
Though most research on the health benefits of coffee uses hot brew, cold brew is thought to offer many similar effects.
Here are 5 impressive health benefits of cold brew coffee.
Boost your metabolism
Metabolism is the process by which your body uses food to create energy.
The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn at rest.
Just like hot coffee, cold brew coffee contains caffeine, which has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 11%.
Caffeine appears to boost metabolic rate by increasing how quickly your body burns fat.
In a study in 8 men, ingesting caffeine led to a 13% increase in calorie burning, as well as a 2-fold increase in fat burning — much greater effects than they experienced after taking a placebo or beta-blocker (medication for blood pressure and circulation).
Lower your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is a general term for several conditions that can affect your heart, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. It’s the number one cause of death worldwide.
Cold brew coffee contains compounds that may reduce your risk of heart disease, including caffeine, phenolic compounds, magnesium, trigonelline, quinides, and lignans. These increase insulin sensitivity, stabilize blood sugar, and lower blood pressure.
The drink also contains chlorogenic acids (CGAs) and diterpenes, which act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Drinking 3–5 cups of coffee (15–25 ounces or 450–750 ml) daily may lower your risk of heart disease by up to 15%, compared to people who don’t drink coffee.
That said, people with uncontrolled high blood pressure should avoid drinking caffeine regularly, as this may further elevate their levels.
Very easy to make
You can easily make cold brew coffee at home.
- First, purchase whole roasted coffee beans locally or online and coarsely grind them.
- Add 8 ounces (226 grams) of grounds to a large jar and gently stir in 2 cups (480 ml) of water.
- Cover the jar and let the coffee steep in the refrigerator for 12–24 hours.
- Place cheesecloth into a fine mesh strainer and pour the steeped coffee through it into another jar.
- Discard the solids that collect on the cheesecloth or save them for other creative uses. The liquid that remains is your cold brew coffee concentrate.
Cover the jar with an airtight lid and store your concentrate in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Help you live longer
Drinking cold brew coffee may reduce your overall risk of death, as well as dying from disease-specific causes.
A long-term study in 229,119 men and 173,141 women ages 50–71 found that the more coffee people drank, the lower their risk of death from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries, accidents, diabetes, and infections.
One reason for this association may be that coffee is high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that help prevent cell damage that can lead to chronic illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. These conditions can significantly reduce your lifespan.
Improve your state of mind
The caffeine in cold brew coffee may improve your state of mind.
Caffeine consumption has been shown to enhance mood, especially among sleep-deprived individuals.
A review of studies in over 370,000 people found that those who drank coffee had lower rates of depression. In fact, for every cup of coffee consumed per day, depression risk sank by 8%.
Some research even suggests that caffeine could be used as a nutritional supplement to boost mood and brain function in older adults.
In a study in 12 adults ages 63–74, taking 1.4 mg of caffeine per pound (3 mg per kg) of body weight improved mood by 17%. This amount of caffeine is equivalent to around two cups of coffee for the average-sized person.
Caffeine also improved their ability to react to an object moving toward them, indicating that it increases focus and attentiveness.
Cold brew coffee is an enjoyable alternative to hot coffee that you can easily make at home.
It offers many of the same health benefits but is less acidic and less bitter, which may make it more easily tolerated by sensitive individuals.
If you want to mix up your coffee routine, give cold brew coffee a try and see how it compares to your usual hot cup of joe.