5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Drinking Hot Coffee Vs. Iced Coffee

by Kristine Fellizar
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When you're deciding between getting a cup of hot coffee or a cold brew, you may base your decision on your mood or what the weather is like outside. While temperature is an obvious difference between the two, it isn't the only thing. According to experts, there are some surprising differences in the health benefits of drinking hot coffee and iced coffee.

The benefits of drinking coffee, regardless of temperature, are numerous. When consumed in moderation coffee can help to reduce depression, lower your risk for getting diabetes, improve your workouts, and give your brain a good boost. A 2018 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that drinking coffee can also help you live longer.

If you have a preference for iced coffees or cold brews, Dr. Maheinthan Yogeswaran, a general practitioner with Medicspot, tells Bustle, there are benefits to drinking it over hot coffee. For instance, iced coffee is known to be less acidic. "This is calmer on your digestive system so you’re less likely to have an upset stomach after drinking your cup of joe cold," Dr. Yogeswaran says. Less acidity is also better for maintaining healthy teeth.

"Although cold-brewed coffee became a rising star in the health field over the last few years, hot coffee still has some significant advantages," Karin Adoni, certified nutritionist and health coach, tells Bustle. So here are some surprising health benefits of drinking hot coffee versus drinking iced coffee, according to experts.


Hot Coffee Has More Antioxidants

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In a 2018 study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University found "chemical differences" between hot and cold brew coffees. Hot coffee was found to have higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew, which makes it slightly more healthy. This is important because antioxidants are responsible for the health benefits you get from coffee. According to Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD from DisturbMeNot, the benefits of antioxidants in coffee include a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and premature death.


Cold Brews Generally Have Less Caffeine

The amount of caffeine in your coffee can vary based on where you're getting your coffee from. "Generally speaking, cold brew contains less caffeine which is a benefit for those who really crave a second cup of coffee but feel a little shaky," Jordan Karcher, coffee expert and founder of Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., tells Bustle. Cold brews typically contain around 40mg of caffeine per 100g, while hot coffee contains roughly 60mg per 100g of coffee. Benefits of consuming less caffeine include getting better sleep, more balanced hormones in women, and lower blood pressure.


Hot Coffee Can Put You In A More Pleasant And Generous Mood

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"A cup of hot coffee in the morning may actually put you in a more positive mindset," Adoni says. In fact, a 2009 study published in the journal Science found that experiencing physical warmth, like holding a cup of hot coffee, can increase feelings of interpersonal warmth. In a series of studies, researchers split participants in two groups. One group was told to briefly hold a cup of hot coffee, while the other held iced coffee. Participants who held a cup of hot coffee were more likely to see others as being generous, caring, and warm. They were also more likely to choose a gift for their friend over themselves.


Iced Coffee Can Help To Prevent A Heart Attack

Coffee can be very beneficial to your health because it's a good source of antioxidants, which helps to protect you from many diseases. But iced coffee is especially helpful in protecting you against heart attacks. As Dr. Yogeswaran says, "Iced coffee is surprisingly helpful as it contains compounds such as caffeine, magnesium, trigonelline and phenolic compounds that can work by both stabilizing your blood pressure, increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering blood pressure." A 2017 University of Colorado study found that drinking coffee every week — no matter what temperature — can help to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack by 7%.


A Whiff Of Hot Coffee In The Morning Can Wake You Up And Make You Feel Less Stressed

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Sometimes you don't even need to drink coffee in order to receive its benefits. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the aroma of coffee can alter the activity of certain genes in the brain. In a study of sleep deprived lab rats, researchers found different gene expressions between rats that were able to sniff the coffee and those that didn't. As it was found, just one whiff of hot coffee was enough to reduce the effects of sleep deprivation like stress and tiredness. More research needs to be done to make any conclusions on the effects of coffee aroma on humans.

In general, coffee in moderation can be good for you so it doesn't really matter which type of coffee you choose to drink. Both hot coffee and iced coffee have their share of health benefits. These are just a few notable differences to be aware of.