Asian man holding a grass of iced coffee

Why Drinking Iced Coffee Year Round Is Great for Your Health

Caffeine fiends are quick to switch to iced coffee and cold brew as soon as the weather warms up — but as winter looms large, the chilled beverage suffers a significant dip in popularity. That said, there are certainly loyal iced coffee drinkers who prefer a cold brew year round — and they might just be onto something.

“Aside from the refreshing and thirst quenching capabilities of iced coffee, a lot of people drink it for that sweet caffeine kick that helps them function properly and instantly be in a better mood in the morning or at work,” explains Dan McCormick, Senior Content Strategist at Perfect Brew. “Some love iced coffee so much that they even refer to it as a small everyday miracle — but the truth is that there’s a perfectly scientific explanation for it.”

Interested in finding out more about how and why drinking iced coffee all year might be beneficial to your health and wellbeing? We spoke to a handful of nutritionists and coffee professionals to get their insights on why taking your coffee chilled might come with a lot more benefits than you realize.

The Caffeine Kicks in Faster

According to McCormick, caffeine in iced coffee or cold brew actually enters the bloodstream, gets to the brain, and heightens brain activity faster, causing it to release hormones that power up the nervous system, improve your mood, and your focus. “While it may not necessarily make us stronger or smarter, it definitely helps us perform better!” he says.

It Might Help Foster Longer-Lasting Erections

Coffee contains antioxidants that can help protect your heart, brain, reproductive, and immune health — so, if you’re only drinking iced coffee during the warmer summer months, you may want to incorporate it into your cold-weather months, too.

Specifically, the antioxidants in coffee can help promote better blood flow, leading to longer-lasting erections and improved sexual health, says Heather Hanks, Nutritionist with USA Rx. “Just be sure to avoid adding sugar to your coffee as many iced drinks contain sweeteners, cow’s milk, and other unhealthy additives that could have the reverse effect.”

It’s Better for Your Dental Health

“Cold brew coffee is lower in acidity, regardless of which roast you use,” explains Heather Calatrello, Founder of Coffee Saves. “Studies have shown that cold brew is roughly 67% lower in acidity so it wins huge points there. For this reason alone, drinking cold brew year-round is definitely beneficial for your teeth.”

It Affords You a Little Extra Time in Bed

Cold brew coffee is super easy to make at home and you can even prepare a week’s worth ahead of time, says Calarello. This affords you a few extra minutes in the morning, meaning you can sleep in 10-15 minutes longer each day. So really, cold brew coffee allows you to get more sleep and that’s a huge benefit.

It Helps to Stabilize Blood Pressure

“Iced coffee is more refreshing and contains less caffeine than hot coffee,” says Jamie Hickey, Certified Barista and Founder of Coffee Semantics. “That’s why iced coffee is a better option for those feeling sluggish and sluggish after drinking a cup of strong coffee. Iced coffee works to cool your body’s temperature, which can help stabilize blood pressure.”

It Might Help Reduce Anxiety

Does coffee usually give you just as much anxiety as it does energy? You might benefit from switching to a cold brew instead. “Iced coffee lowers the caffeine content of coffee, which reduces the jitters that some people who are sensitive to caffeine experience,” explains Hickey.

It Could Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

“A literature review study encompassing over a million people has found that those who increased their coffee intake over 4 years saw a reduction of Type 2 diabetes by over 11%,” explained Nick H. Founder of Your Coffee & Tea Essentials. Furthermore, those who opted to reduce their coffee intake by one cup saw an increase of 17% of Type 2 diabetes — so if you tend to stop drinking iced coffee at the end of the season this is your cue to keep it up.

It Might Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

Based on this study that focuses on caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, drinking three to five cups of coffee per day on a regular basis could result in a 65% lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. “This is because coffee contains henylindanes, nonharman and harman compounds which help keep your brain healthy and prevent old-age related brain diseases,” explains Nick.

It’ll Help You Go Even Harder at the Gym

Increased energy, especially during the winter, is beneficial for performance motivation to exercise, says Taylor Fazio, Registered Dietician and Wellness Advisor at The Lanby. The caffeine that iced coffee provides may decrease the rate of perceived exertion and improve exercise performance.

It Assists With Memory Function

According to Fazio, coffee intake has also been studied in the regard of cognitive function. It has been shown to improve choice reaction times and may have a beneficial impact on long term memory storage.

It’s Probably Going to Help Your Stomach Issues

As per The Effect of Time, Roasting Temperature, and Grind Size on Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid Concentrations in Cold Brew Coffee, cold brew coffee is less acidic than hot coffee. Further, it has been found that cold brew coffee may contain more polysaccharides. These compounds help boost your digestive system immunity.

It Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

When prepared as cold brew coffee, phenolic compounds, trigonelline and other compounds can help increase insulin sensitivity, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. According to a recent study on coffee consumption and heart disease, habitual consumption of 3-5 cups of coffee per day is associated with a 15% reduction in the overall risk of heart issues compared to those who don’t drink any coffee.

You Can Enjoy More Caffeine in One Cup

“You can drink a much stronger iced coffee than you can a regular coffee,” explains Kieran MacRae, Coffee Expert at Above Average Coffee. “The ice helps dilute the bitterness and reduce the intensity of the flavor without removing any of the caffeine.” So, in this case, it’s possible to have an extra shot of espresso without it having as much of an impact on the flavor as it would in a hot coffee.

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