Health

Decaf

If you think you’ve kicked a caffeine habit because you drink decaf, think again.

This supposedly non-octane drink can contain enough caffeine to boost your mood, wake you up, help you concentrate — and make you cranky without it. As the caffeine-sensitive know, few decaf brews are 100% caffeine-free.  Three 8-ounce servings (about two mugs full) can contain as much as 21 milligrams (mg). Granted, real coffee has more than 10 times that much. But the caffeine in decaf is still enough to get you hooked.

Caffeine is neither all good nor all bad. You may want to avoid it if you have abnormal heart beats, migraines, caffeine-triggered stomach upset, or sleeping problems. On the up side, caffeinated coffee cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and liver cancer. But remember, if you decide to cut out coffee, whether it’s decaf . . . or the high-test stuff, it may make you sleepy, nauseous, irritable, and headachy for a few days.

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