9 Impressive Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee (Plus How to Make It)
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 9 impressive health benefits of cold brew coffee.
1. May 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.
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) (3).
The caffeine in cold brew coffee can increase how many calories you burn at rest. This may make it easier to lose or maintain weight.
2. May Lift Your Mood
The caffeine in cold brew coffee may improve your state of mind.
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% (5).
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 (6, 7).
Caffeine also improved their ability to react to an object moving toward them, indicating that it increases focus and attentiveness (6).
Drinking cold brew coffee may boost your mood, reduce your risk of depression, and improve brain function.
3. May 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 (8).
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 (9, 10).
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 (9).
Evidence to suggest that drinking more than 3–5 cups per day increases heart disease risk is lacking, though this effect has not been studied in people who consume more than 600 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of about 6 cups of coffee (9, 10, 13).
Regularly drinking cold brew coffee may improve your heart health. However, caffeine should be limited or avoided if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
4. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which your blood sugar levels are too high. If left untreated, it can lead to many serious health complications.
Cold brew coffee may reduce your risk of developing this disease. In fact, drinking at least 4–6 cups of coffee per day is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (14).
These benefits may be largely due to chlorogenic acids, which are powerful antioxidants in coffee (11).
One study in over 36,900 people ages 45–74 found that those who drank at least 4 cups of coffee per day had a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than individuals who didn't drink coffee daily (16).
A review of 3 large studies in more than 1 million people found that those who increased their coffee intake over 4 years had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to a 17% higher risk in those who reduced their coffee intake by more than 1 cup per day (17).
Regularly drinking cold brew coffee may help keep your blood sugar stable and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. May Reduce Your Risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease
In addition to increasing your attentiveness and mood, cold brew coffee may benefit your brain in other ways.
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may affect how your brain functions.
One recent study observed that drinking coffee can protect your brain from age-related diseases (18).
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are neurodegenerative conditions, which means they are caused by brain cell death that occurs over time. Both illnesses can result in dementia, a decline in mental health that makes daily activities difficult.
Alzheimer's disease is marked by significant memory impairment, while Parkinson's often causes physical tremors and stiffness (19).
One observational study found that people who drank 3–5 cups of coffee per day during mid-life had a 65% lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's in old age (20).
Another observational study noted that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease. In fact, men who drink more than four cups of coffee per day are five times less likely to develop this condition (21, 22).
Cold brew coffee contains compounds called phenylindanes, as well as lower amounts of nonharman and harman compounds. These can help protect your brain from age-related diseases.
6. May Be Easier On Your Stomach Than Hot Coffee
Many people avoid coffee because it's an acidic beverage that may stimulate acid reflux.
Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach acid frequently flows from your stomach back into your esophagus, causing irritation (26).
The acidity of coffee also tends to be blamed for other ailments, such as indigestion and heartburn.
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a solution is from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, lower numbers more acidic, and higher numbers more alkaline.
Cold brew and hot coffee generally have similar acidity levels, around 5–6 on the pH scale, though this can vary depending on individual brews.
Another reason why this beverage may be less irritating than hot coffee is its content of crude polysaccharides.
These carbohydrates, or chains of sugar molecules, boost the immunity of your digestive system. This may decrease gut irritation and the bothersome effects of coffee's acidity on your stomach (29).
Cold brew coffee is only slightly less acidic than hot coffee but contains compounds that may protect your stomach from this acidity. As such, it may cause fewer unpleasant digestive and acid reflux symptoms than hot coffee.
7. May Help You Live Longer
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 (31).
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.
Though cold brew coffee contains fewer total antioxidants than hot coffee, it's full of compounds that have high antioxidant activity. Antioxidants help prevent diseases that can reduce your lifespan.
8. Similar Caffeine Content to Hot Coffee
Cold brew coffee is made as a concentrate that's meant to be diluted with water, usually in a 1:1 ratio.
The concentrate is incredibly strong on its own. In fact, undiluted, it provides about 200 mg of caffeine per cup.
However, diluting the concentrate — as is customary — reduces the caffeine content of the final product, bringing it closer to that of regular coffee.
The average cup of hot coffee contains around 95 mg of caffeine, compared to about 100 mg for a typical cold brew.
Cold brew and hot coffee contain similar amounts of caffeine. However, if you drank cold brew coffee concentrate without diluting it, it would provide about twice the caffeine.
9. Very Easy to Make
You can easily make cold brew coffee at home.
1. First, purchase whole roasted coffee beans locally or online and coarsely grind them.
2. Add 8 ounces (226 grams) of grounds to a large jar and gently stir in 2 cups (480 ml) of water.
3. Cover the jar and let the coffee steep in the refrigerator for 12–24 hours.
4. Place cheesecloth into a fine mesh strainer and pour the steeped coffee through it into another jar.
5. 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.
6. Cover the jar with an airtight lid and store your concentrate in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
When you're ready to drink it, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) of cold water to 1/2 cup (120 ml) of cold brew coffee concentrate. Pour this over ice and add cream if desired.
Though it takes significantly longer to prepare than hot coffee, cold brew coffee is very easy to make at home. Mix coarsely ground coffee beans with cold water, let steep for 12–24 hours, strain, and then dilute the concentrate with water at a 1:1 ratio.
The Bottom Line
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.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.
- Hot Weather and COVID-19: Added Threats of Reopening States in ... ›
- 50 Million Americans Are Currently Living Under Some Type of Heat ... ›
- Second Major Heat Wave This Summer Smashes Records Across ... ›
By Joni Sweet
If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Interviews With Contact Tracers<p>Contact tracing is a public health strategy that involves identifying everyone who may have been in contact with a person who has the coronavirus. Contact tracers collect information and provide guidance to help contain the transmission of disease.</p><p>It's been used during outbreaks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Ebola, measles, and now the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.</p><p>It starts when the local department of health gets a report of a confirmed case of the coronavirus in its community and gives that person a call. The contact tracer usually provides information on how to isolate and when to get treatment, then tries to figure out who else the person may have exposed.</p><p>"We ask who they've been in contact with in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset, or 2 days before the date of their positive test if they don't have symptoms," said <a href="https://case.edu/medicine/healthintegration/people/heidi-gullett" target="_blank">Dr. Heidi Gullett</a>, associate director of the Center for Community Health Integration at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and medical director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in Ohio.</p>
“You’ve Been Exposed”<p>After the case interview, contact tracers will get to work calling the folks who may have been exposed to the coronavirus by the person who tested positive.</p><p>"We give them recommendations about quarantining or isolating, getting tested, and what to do if they become sick. If they're not already sick, we still want them to self-quarantine so that they don't spread the disease to anyone else if they were to become sick," said Labus.</p><p>Generally, the contact tracer won't ask for additional contacts unless they happen to call someone who is sick or has a confirmed case of the virus. They will help ensure the contact has the resources they need to isolate themselves, if necessary. The contact tracer may continue to stay in touch with that person over the next 14 days.</p><p>"We follow the percentage of people that were contacts, then converted into being actual cases of the virus. It's an important marker to help us understand what kind of transmission happens in our community and how to control the virus," said Gullett.</p>
Why You Should Participate (and What Happens If You Don’t)<p>A <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30457-6/fulltext" target="_blank">Lancet study</a> from June 16, which looked at data from more than 40,000 people, found that COVID-19 transmission could be reduced by 64 percent through isolating those who have the coronavirus, quarantining their household, and contacting the people they may have exposed.</p><p>The combination strategy was significantly more effective than mass random testing or just isolating the sick person and members of their household.</p><p>However, contact tracing is only as effective as people's willingness to participate, and a small number of people who've contracted the coronavirus or were potentially exposed are reluctant to talk.</p><p>"Contact tracers have all been hung up on, cussed at, yelled at," said Gullet.</p><p>The hesitation to talk to contact tracers often stems from concerns over privacy — a serious issue in healthcare.</p>
- Anti-Racism Protests Are Not Driving Coronavirus Spikes, Data ... ›
- Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers ... ›
NASA scientists say that warmer than average surface sea temperatures in the North Atlantic raise the concern for a more active hurricane season, as well as for wildfires in the Amazon thousands of miles away, according to Newsweek.
By Andrea Germanos
Oxfam International warned Thursday that up to 12,000 people could die each day by the end of the year as a result of hunger linked to the coronavirus pandemic—a daily death toll surpassing the daily mortality rate from Covid-19 itself.
- These 6 Men Have as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population ... ›
- Climate Change Forces 20 Million People to Flee Each Year, Oxfam ... ›
By Jun N. Aguirre
An oil spill on July 3 threatens a mangrove forest on the Philippine island of Guimaras, an area only just recovering from the country's largest spill in 2006.
- 15,000 Gallon Oil Spill Threatens River and Drinking Water in Native ... ›
- Mysterious Oil Spill on Massachusetts' Charles River Spurs Major ... ›
- Disastrous Russian Oil Spill Reaches Pristine Arctic Lake - EcoWatch ›
- Scientist Behind Florida's Coronavirus Database Says She Was ... ›
- Younger People Now Driving Spikes in New Coronavirus Cases ... ›
By James Shulmeister
Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.
If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to email@example.com
What was the climate and sea level like at times in Earth’s history when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was at 400ppm?<p>The last time global carbon dioxide levels were consistently at or above 400 parts per million (ppm) was around <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14145" target="_blank">four million years ago</a> during a geological period known as the <a href="http://www.geologypage.com/2014/05/pliocene-epoch.html" target="_blank">Pliocene Era</a> (between 5.3 million and 2.6 million years ago). The world was about 3℃ warmer and sea levels were higher than today.</p><p>We know how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere contained in the past by studying ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. As compacted snow gradually changes to ice, it traps air in bubbles that contain <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology/article/enclosure-of-air-during-metamorphosis-of-dry-firn-to-ice/09D9C60A8DA412D16645E6E6ABC1892F" target="_blank">samples of the atmosphere at the time</a>. We can sample ice cores to reconstruct past concentrations of carbon dioxide, but this record only takes us back about a million years.</p><p>Beyond a million years, we don't have any direct measurements of the composition of ancient atmospheres, but we can use several methods to estimate past levels of carbon dioxide. One method uses the relationship between plant pores, known as stomata, that regulate gas exchange in and out of the plant. The density of these stomata is <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/095968369200200109" target="_blank">related to atmospheric carbon dioxide</a>, and fossil plants are a good indicator of concentrations in the past.</p><p>Another technique is to examine sediment cores from the ocean floor. The sediments build up year after year as the bodies and shells of dead plankton and other organisms rain down on the seafloor. We can use isotopes (chemically identical atoms that differ only in atomic weight) of boron taken from the shells of the dead plankton to reconstruct changes in the acidity of seawater. From this we can work out the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean.</p><p>The data from four-million-year-old sediments suggest that <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2010PA002055" target="_blank">carbon dioxide was at 400ppm back then</a>.</p>
Sea Levels and Changes in Antarctica<p>During colder periods in Earth's history, ice caps and glaciers grow and sea levels drop. In the recent geological past, during the most recent ice age about 20,000 years ago, sea levels were at least <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/292/5517/679.abstract" target="_blank">120 meters lower</a> than they are today.</p><p><span></span>Sea-level changes are calculated from changes in isotopes of oxygen in the shells of marine organisms. For the Pliocene Era, <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2004PA001071" target="_blank">research</a> shows the sea-level change between cooler and warmer periods was around 30-40 meters and sea level was higher than today. Also during the Pliocene, we know the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07867" target="_blank">significantly smaller</a> and global average temperatures were about 3℃ warmer than today. Summer temperatures in high northern latitudes were up to 14℃ warmer.</p><p>This may seem like a lot but modern observations show strong <a href="https://journals.ametsoc.org/jcli/article/23/14/3888/32547" target="_blank">polar amplification</a> of warming: a 1℃ increase at the equator may raise temperatures at the poles by 6-7℃. It is one of the reasons why Arctic sea ice is disappearing.</p>
Impacts in New Zealand and Australia<p>In the Australian region, there was no Great Barrier Reef, but there may have been <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02537376.pdf" target="_blank">smaller reefs along the northeast coast of Australia</a>. For New Zealand, the partial melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is probably the most critical point.</p><p>One of the key features of New Zealand's current climate is that Antarctica is cut off from global circulation during the winter because of the big <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3402/tellusa.v54i5.12161" target="_blank">temperature contrast</a> between Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. When it comes back into circulation in springtime, New Zealand gets strong storms. Stormier winters and significantly warmer summers were likely in the mid-Pliocene because of a weaker polar vortex and a warmer Antarctica.</p><p>It will take more than a few years or decades of carbon dioxide concentrations at 400ppm to trigger a significant shrinking of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. But recent studies show that <a href="http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521027/" target="_blank">West Antarctica is already melting</a>.</p><p>Sea-level rise from a partial melting of West Antarctica could easily exceed a meter or more by 2100. In fact, if the whole of the West Antarctic melted it could <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.695.7239&rep=rep1&type=pdf" target="_blank">raise sea levels by about 3.5 meters</a>. Even smaller increases raise the risk of <a href="https://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/preparing-new-zealand-for-rising-seas-certainty-and-uncertainty" target="_blank">flooding in low-lying cities</a> including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.</p>
- Scientists Sound the Alarm: CO2 Levels Race Past Point of No Return ›
- Global Carbon Levels Surpass 400 ppm for First Time Ever for Entire ... ›
- Carbon Dioxide Levels Set to Pass 400 ppm and Remain Above ... ›