Now that it's starting to get chillier outside, especially in the early mornings, most people I know are making the transition from cold brew coffee to a hot cup of the morning pick-me-up. If you're a vehement supporter on one side or the other, then you might be less likely to switch your caffeine kick of choice with the seasons. But according to new research, the health benefits of hot versus cold brew coffee can be pretty different from one another, and if you're a diehard cold brew person regardless of the season, I hate to break it to you, but a warm mug of the stuff might be the better way to go — at least in terms of your health.
According to ScienceDaily, researchers from Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University published a new study in the journal Scientific Reports that examined some of the differences between hot coffee and cold brew. While it may seem like temperature is the only factor that the two drinks don't have in common, this new study suggests that's simply not the case.
You may have heard that cold brew is better for you because it's less acidic than the regular stuff, which means it could potentially be better for your teeth or gentler on your stomach — but that's not what this new study showed. Tests of the pH levels of both types of coffee, as per ScienceDaily, found that all of the samples only ranged from 4.85 to 5.13 on the pH scale, which means there's really not a significant difference between the two types of coffee in terms of acidity.
What's more, the researchers in this study also found that the health benefits of drinking coffee can vary depending on the beverage's temperature. "Coffee has a lot of antioxidants, if you drink it in moderation, research shows it can be pretty good for you," study author Megan Fuller, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry at Thomas Jefferson University, said in a statement, as per ScienceDaily. "We found the hot brew has more antioxidant capacity."
So those are the findings of just one study about coffee — here's where things get even more interesting, IMO: Compared to the effects of cold brew, hot coffee may actually put you in a more positive mindset in the morning. A study published in Science, the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, tested how participants viewed other people when holding a warm mug of coffee versus a cup of the cold stuff. In one trial, participants holding hot coffee judged a stranger they had just been introduced to as having a more generous, caring personality, whereas those holding a cup of iced coffee didn't see the stranger quite as favorably. In another trial that was part of the same study, participants who were holding a hot therapeutic pad were more likely to choose a gift for a friend than one for themselves, compared to people holding a cold therapeutic pad.
The point here is this: Your mind tends to mimic the attributes of whatever you're experiencing physically. So if you're holding something warm, you tend to judge others as being emotionally warm.
But if you're obsessed with drinking cold brew or iced coffee, even in the middle of January, there's no reason why you have to deny yourself one of your favorite treats. Coffee in general boasts tons of health benefits, regardless of its temperature — as long as you feel good about the brew you're sippin' on in the morning, that's all that really matters.