It seems like a smart health move, but women who drink hefty amounts (four cups or more) of decaf coffee daily are twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, suggests research from the University of Alabama. While the exact reason remains unknown, experts suspect the chemicals used to decaffeinate coffee may cause arthritis-inducing inflammation in joint’s connective tissue.
Smarter Strategy: Check the label of your decaf coffee to make sure a safe, water-based process was used to extract the caffeine. Experts suggest looking for phrases like "Swiss water process," "sparkling water process" or "chemical free." These brews are created by soaking out the caffeine using water, instead of using a harsher chemical solvent, like methylene chloride. You should also consider sipping two cups of black or green tea daily. University of Alabama research reveals tea lovers have a 61 percent lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis--thanks to this brew’s rich supply of joint-strengthening antioxidants.