We might already be aware of how coffee can provide energy in the morning, but you might not be as familiar with cold brew coffee benefits. This chilled, energy boosting beverage can revolutionise your morning routine, but what exactly are the benefits of cold brew coffee?
OriGym’s complete exploration will examine the myriad cold brew coffee health benefits, as well as how you can easily implement it into your diet to make the most of those cold brew coffee advantages.
Whether you’re a regular coffee drinker looking to transform your morning schedule, or you’re curious about how you can include the cold brew coffee benefits in your diet, our guide will answer all your questions.
- What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
- The Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
- Cold Brew Coffee Nutritional Information
- How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Conclusions
But if you’re already familiar with the right foods, and want to apply that understanding in a real world scenario, then a career in nutrition could be your next step.
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What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
While we’re primarily looking at how cold brew coffee benefits us in a variety of ways, it’s important to first define what we mean by cold brew coffee so that we can immediately address any misconceptions.
This is especially important when it comes to coffee - it’s one of the most widely consumed beverages across the world, and whether it’s cold brew, iced, or black coffee, each has their own individual flavour profiles and unique benefits.
Cold brew coffee is simply ground coffee beans that are mixed with cold water, and then put in the fridge overnight, before straining and storing back in the fridge. You’re then able to mix it with as much water or milk to suit your personal taste preferences.
It’s often described as a much smoother way to drink coffee, as the overnight cold brew coffee steeping process means it takes on a deeper, more rich flavour profile, while still allowing all the caffeine (which is where the majority of the cold brew benefits come from) to seep through.
We’ll look at a more detailed breakdown of how to make the chilled beverage in a later section, meaning you’ll be able to fully reap the benefits of cold brew coffee.
The Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
#1 - Provides A Boost To Energy
Traditionally, we’ll have a cup of coffee at times when we need energy the most - in the morning before a difficult day ahead, during a particularly tough work day, or in preparation for something that will take a lot of our focus.
This energy comes primarily from the caffeine content of coffee, as caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine, which is what causes us to experience feelings of tiredness or fatigue, and instead allows our body to continue on with what we were doing.
By drinking a cup of cold brew coffee, we can provide ourselves with a boost of energy, and therefore have more capacity to complete what we need to that day. We’d suggest compounding this by taking vitamins that combat fatigue.
This is particularly true of these cold brew benefits, as, depending on how long you steep it for, the caffeine content is much more concentrated, and therefore provides us with a much greater boost to our overall energy levels.
This more bioavailable caffeine also ensures our bodies can more easily block the release of adenosine, and therefore we’re less likely to see any signs of fatigue.
#2 - Strengthens Your Metabolism & Burns Fat
Our metabolism forms the basis of how we process and gain essential nutrients from what we eat and drink. One of the main health benefits of cold brew coffee is that it can help to boost your metabolism.
The caffeine content in cold brew benefits us by having a significant positive effect on our metabolism, increasing its effectiveness, and helping our body to effectively process the foods we eat.
This is often why you’ll be offered a cup of coffee after a large meal - the caffeine content helps to speed up your metabolism, and therefore burn off some of the calories you’ve just consumed.
There’s also a wide variety of foods that can strengthen your metabolism - check out OriGym’s comprehensive exploration of metabolism boosting foods.
This increased metabolism helps to naturally augment our body’s fat burning process, and aids in weight loss, even without exercise. However, it’s vital to combine this with a well-balanced diet in order to see consistent results.
#3 - Improves Mental Health and Mood
As we’ve already discussed, the main active ingredient (and the source for many of the cold brew coffee benefits) in all types of coffee is caffeine. One of the primary health benefits of cold brew coffee and its high caffeine content is how it can positively affect your mental health and mood.
Cold brew coffee has a high caffeine content (on par with black coffee), and therefore provides our bodies with an excellent source of caffeine. It’s also much more bioavailable than other forms of caffeine (such as those found in natural energy drinks), which means it enters the bloodstream much more efficiently.
Caffeine has always been associated with a distinct improvement in mood, and recent studies have even established links between caffeine consumption and a lower risk of developing serious mental health concerns, such as depression.
This is arguably one of the more subtle yet no less important benefits of cold brew coffee - with the bioavailability of the caffeine found in cold brew coffee, our body is much more able to access this mood boosting effect.
#4 - Reduces Your Risk Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic illness, where the body struggles to process food properly, and produces too much blood sugar to the point where it can cause serious issues. One of the less documented cold brew coffee health benefits is that it can seriously reduce your risks of developing diabetes.
According to the latest research, regular caffeine intake (especially through a more bioavailable source like cold brew coffee) has been irrefutably linked to a much lower risk of developing diabetes, even if you have a family history.
Many would argue that this is one of the more significant cold brew coffee benefits, as it can seriously reduce your chances of developing a serious, often life-changing condition such as diabetes.
Our suggestion would be to include one or two cups of cold brew coffee per day, as part of a balanced diet that includes foods high in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Not only will this ensure you see the cold brew coffee health benefits we’ve examined, but you’ll also feel more energised in everyday life.
#5 - Boosts Antioxidant Levels
Antioxidants are crucial elements that we primarily receive from our foods, and that play a vital role in ensuring our bodies stay healthy, and free from serious issues including cancer.
They perform the integral function of turning dangerous “free radicals” (harmful molecules produced naturally by the body) into cells that the body is then able to use.
Coffee in any form (but particularly in more readily bioavailable forms such as cold brew coffee) benefits us by providing a huge dose of antioxidants. In fact, it’s one of very few beverages that are among the best antioxidant foods.
This extra hit of antioxidants is arguably one of the most understated cold brew coffee health benefits - it allows you to protect your body while still consuming something that tastes delicious.
Not to mention that this is just one of the myriad cold brew coffee advantages, so you’ll not only be getting this increase in antioxidants, you’ll also be receiving all the other benefits we’ve discussed!
#6 - Eases Coffee-Related Stomach Issues
If you’re a frequent (or infrequent) coffee drinker, you might have noticed that it can cause stomach or abdominal cramps, especially if you drink it quickly. This is caused by the high levels of acidity we find in hot cups of coffee.
We find these levels of acidity in many beverages, but one of the main cold coffee benefits is that the brewing process can remove a lot of the acidic qualities from hotter coffee drinks, and therefore can reduce the chances of developing a stomach ache after drinking.
The smoother consistency and taste of cold brew also benefits us by reducing the risk of abdominal cramps, in that it’s a much more palatable beverage, and is therefore less likely to make sensitive stomachs hurt.
Cold brew coffee is also much less likely to lead to uncomfortable sensations like acid reflux, which can induce nausea, or worsen any stomach cramps you might be feeling. It’s ideal paired with foods that speed up metabolism, especially as these can often have a range of positive effects on the digestive system.
#7 - Increases Mental Capacity
Sometimes, with the stresses of daily life, our brains can be overwhelmed. Whether it’s worries about work, money, or life in general, we can often find ourselves struggling with our capacity to think clearly.
That’s where the next entry on our list of cold brew coffee health benefits can really go a long way to improving how clearly we think, especially when under stress.
The caffeine we receive from our cup of cold brew coffee is already incredibly helpful, but it can also help to increase our brain power, meaning we’re more easily able to accomplish tasks, and think clearly when we need to.
Caffeine provides us with a huge boost to our mental clarity and thinking capacity, and studies have found that it can even improve the speeds at which we complete tasks that are part of our routine.
While this may seem like one of the smaller cold brew coffee benefits, it can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life, and ensure you complete tasks as efficiently as possible.
#8 - Convenient To Prepare
A morning cup of coffee can be a hassle, especially if you’re in a rush. Kettles take time to boil, and machines can be even slower. One of the more understated benefits of cold brew coffee is its convenience as part of your morning rituals.
Cold brew coffee is prepared in advance (we’ll be looking at exactly how to prepare the perfect batch later in this article), meaning it’s readily available in the fridge to get you started.
For many coffee drinkers, it can be difficult to squeeze in a cup on a busy morning, and they therefore end up losing out on some of the overnight cold brew coffee advantages we've looked at. However, with this level of convenience, it’s much easier to enjoy those cold brew coffee health benefits.
It can also mean that your caffeine source is much more portable - you don’t need to purchase an expensive flask, or worry about your coffee going cold on your morning commute.
Not to mention that it provides an ideal source of energy for your workouts without the need for pre-workout supplements.
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#9 - Minimises Your Risk Of Developing Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating condition that we most often associate with tremors (or shakes) and a loss of motor control, especially in the hands. Perhaps one of the most important cold brew coffee benefits is its ability to minimise your risk of developing this condition.
Regular caffeine consumption, and especially the caffeine found in more readily bioavailable sources such as cold brew coffee, has been irrefutably linked to a much lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
A recent study discovered that a moderate intake of caffeine (no more than 3 - 4 cups per day) reduced the risk of developing Parkinson’s by a significant margin, and offered protection against the disease even in those with a family history of the condition.
The benefits of cold brew coffee can often seem small, but as Parkinson’s is a progressive and chronic disease, this particular cold brew coffee benefit is arguably one of the biggest reasons to keep on top of your caffeine intake.
Looking after your body is hugely important, and combining these cold brew coffee benefits with the right meals is a fantastic way to ensure you stay fit and healthy.
#10 - Helps With Weight Loss
While we’ve already explored how one of the main cold brew coffee health benefits is that it aids in burning fat, it’s important to recognise that that isn’t the only way cold brew benefits us on our weight loss journey.
Caffeine performs many functions in the body when we ingest it - it boosts our energy levels, stops us from feeling tired or fatigued, and has many benefits for our health and overall wellbeing. It even forms the base for many products we take for granted, from face creams to running gels.
One of the main overnight cold brew coffee benefits is that its caffeine content can function as an appetite suppressant, meaning we’re less likely to feel hungry, or snack throughout the day.
Many of us will consume coffee with our breakfast, and whether that’s a slice of toast or a healthy cereal bar, one of the less emphasised cold brew coffee benefits is that it can help you to stay fuller for longer, and keep you from eating until your meal times.
#11 - More Palatable Flavour Profile
The last of our cold brew coffee benefits is more of a simple one, but it’s no less important, especially if you’re looking for a new way to get your caffeine fix without the distinctive flavour and aroma of hot coffee.
As we’re likely already aware, coffee is quite a bitter drink, and one that can be polarising, especially as it’s the most consumed beverage across the world.
When we brew a pot of overnight cold brew coffee, the beverage steeps in the fridge for a period of over 12 hours. During this time, a lot of the acidity is removed naturally from the coffee, which results in a much smoother flavour, and one that could be argued to be much more palatable.
It’s also much more suitable for those who have gut or gastrointestinal issues (such as irritable bowel syndrome, or a sensitive stomach), as it’s much less likely to cause problems like acid reflux, or aggravate any pre-existing problems with your digestive system.
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Cold Brew Coffee Nutritional Information
Now that we’ve fully explored the key cold brew coffee benefits, it’s vital that we examine the nutritional information so you can include it as part of your meal plan. We’d suggest jotting it down in a diary or journal - check out our complete guide to the best dedicated fitness journals to keep you motivated.
Below we’ve outlined the key nutritional statistics you can expect from an average cup of overnight cold brew coffee:
- Calories: 15 calories
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Protein: 1g
- Sodium: 10mg
- Potassium: 433mg
- Caffeine: 155mg
Now, there are a couple of things to note with these statistics in order to get the most out of your cold brew coffee benefits, and still ensure you stay healthy.
Firstly, we would strongly recommend only having 2 - 3 cups of cold brewed coffee per day. The recommended daily intake (RDI) for caffeine is 400mg, and, given that a single cup of cold brew contains as much as 155mg, it’s important to limit the amount you drink to avoid going over the RDI.
Secondly, given cold brew coffee’s low calorie content, it’s an ideal option for those looking to still have coffee when on a strict diet, plus it’ll also provide a substantial boost of energy for workouts.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee
Now that we’ve had an in-depth look at all of the cold brew coffee health benefits, as well as its key nutritional information, it’s now time to explore how to make a cup of cold brew coffee.
While not a complicated recipe, it’s crucial that you follow the steps we’ll go through in order to reap the benefits of cold brew coffee fully. It’s also vital to be aware that this needs to be made in advance to allow the coffee to fully steep, and take on the full flavour profile we associate with cold brew coffee.
First, you’ll need your coffee of choice. We’d recommend using pre-ground coffee, but if you’re a coffee connoisseur, you can grind your own (but this is more time-consuming, and can be expensive). You’ll need 50g of this.
Place this in a large jug with 400ml of cold water, and put the jug in the fridge for at least 12 hours (although we’d suggest at least 24 hours, as this is in line with many other cold brew coffee recipes). If you’re in a rush, the caffeine starts to be extracted after around 8 hours, but you’ll miss out on the smooth flavour by removing it so soon.
Once you’ve left it the desired amount of time, take it from the fridge, and pour the whole mixture through a funnel lined coffee filter paper. This will strain out any residual coffee, leaving a smooth brown liquid. This can then be kept in the fridge for around 2 - 3 days, meaning you’ve got fresh coffee on the mornings where you’re in a rush.
We’d suggest diluting your coffee with water (usually double the amount of water to coffee) in order to maximise your cold brew coffee benefits. You can also serve with ice to create a deliciously smooth, summer-ready drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Side Effects Of Cold Brew Coffee?
While there’s a vast array of cold brew coffee benefits, it’s also important to acknowledge and understand the risks that can come with drinking the chilled beverage.
#1 - Can Disrupt Sleeping Patterns
As we’ve already discussed, the main active ingredient in all kinds of coffee (but more so in bioavailable forms of coffee like cold brew) is caffeine.
While it can provide a significant boost to our energy levels, as well as our brain function, it can provide us with too much energy, especially when we consume more than the daily recommended amount of caffeine.
One of the main side effects of drinking too much cold brew coffee is that it can have a serious impact on your sleeping pattern, especially if you drink it in the late afternoon or evening.
Caffeine’s boost of energy is incredibly beneficial when consumed at the right time, but it can be equally problematic to have it shortly before bed.
Of course, this problem is easily remedied - we’d strongly advise not drinking cold brew coffee (or any kind of coffee) prior to bedtime, especially as this has a much more bioavailable dosage of caffeine.
If you are still struggling to sleep, though, then perhaps a mindful activity could be helpful - explore more in OriGym’s comprehensive guide to the benefits of meditation.
#2 - Can Create Feelings Of Stress And Anxiety
As we’ve already established, caffeine provides our body with a huge boost of energy, one that can allow us to complete our day-to-day tasks quicker and more efficiently. However, too much caffeine can cause excess stress and anxiety.
The science behind this is that caffeine (particularly in large quantities) will trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes a spike in our overall anxiety and stress levels.
As with our previous cold brew coffee side effects, this one is quite easy to avoid - we simply need to monitor our caffeine intake, and ensure that we don’t exceed the recommended daily intake of 400mg of caffeine (roughly equivalent to 2 - 3 cups of cold brew coffee).
How Much Cold Brew Coffee Should I Drink?
Sadly, this is a question that doesn’t have a singular answer, especially as everyone’s caffeine consumption habits are different. However, we’ll aim to provide you with some general guidelines so you can make the most of the cold brew coffee benefits we’ve just explored.
We would strongly advise not exceeding 2 - 3 cups of cold brew coffee per day. This is because each cup can contain up to 155mg of caffeine, and the recommended maximum amount of caffeine per day is 400mg.
If your energy levels are still starting to dip, we’d suggest augmenting your diet with some of the best foods for energy.
We’d also recommend avoiding cold brew coffee in the late afternoon or evening, especially as this can seriously impact how you sleep, and how restful your sleep is.
Before You Go!
Whether you started this article wondering whether cold brew coffee was right for you, or you were curious about the wide range of cold brew coffee benefits, we’ve aimed to provide you with everything you need to know about the chilled beverage.
Cold brew coffee benefits us in multiple different ways, and understanding how you can implement it into your diet opens you up to multiple possibilities when it comes to getting your caffeine kick.
But if you’re already clued-up on all things caffeine, and are seeking to take that expertise to a new audience, then a career in nutrition may be your next step.
OriGym’s unparalleled sports nutrition courses provide everything you’ll need to start a career in nutrition, with 7-days-a-week support, a wealth of educational resources, bespoke online learning platform, and tailored advice on writing specific nutritional plans for your future clients.
Check out our comprehensive prospectus here, and learn more about exactly what we offer, and how it could be perfect for you.
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Download your FREE Food Diary
Used by Fitness Professionals
- Wang L, Shen X, Wu Y, Zhang D. Coffee and caffeine consumption and depression: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2016;50(3):228-242. doi:10.1177/0004867415603131
- Agardh, E.E., Carlsson, S., Ahlbom, A., Efendic, S., Grill, V., Hammar, N., Hilding, A. and Östenson, C.-G. (2004), Coffee consumption, type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in Swedish men and women. Journal of Internal Medicine, 255: 645-652.
- Bättig, K., Buzzi, R., Martin, J.R. et al. The effects of caffeine on physiological functions and mental performance. Experientia 40, 1218–1223 (1984).
- Ascherio, A., Zhang, S.M., Hernán, M.A., Kawachi, I., Colditz, G.A., Speizer, F.E. and Willett, W.C. (2001), Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson's disease in men and women. Ann Neurol., 50: 56-63.