Instant Coffee Benefits: Is Instant Coffee Good or Bad for You?
Many of the convenience foods we like are bad for us. And we’ve all become used to that sad fact. So when it comes to the instant version of your favourite drink, you’re probably expecting to hear the same. (Spoiler alert – it’s good news!)
We explore the benefits and risks of instant coffee and how it compares to your regular brewed coffee.
Benefits of Instant Coffee: Is instant coffee good for you?
The good news for those of you that like the dried stuff is that instant coffee is simply pre-prepared coffee. This means that instant coffee has all of the health benefits that we associate with our daily cup of joe.
Instant coffee health benefits
As long as you consume it in moderation, instant coffee has plenty of benefits. This counts for both your short-term and long-term well-being.
You’re probably well aware of how coffee helps you on a daily basis. Most people drink coffee for the boost it provides. On the physical side of things, you’ll find your energy and performance are enhanced, and you’ll burn fat faster.
Your daily cup of instant coffee will make you feel more alert, as well as improving brain function.
But it’s the long-term benefits that make coffee so good for you. Studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, and diabetes, as well as lower levels of depression (1). Despite the heavy processing involved with making instant coffee, it contains essential nutrients including vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B3, manganese, and potassium. Not bad for a simple cup of coffee, right?
Does instant coffee have antioxidants?
Java enthusiasts have long justified their consumption with the fact that coffee contains plenty of antioxidants
Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.
The manufacturing process retains most of the antioxidants in coffee. Not only that, some particular antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids, become more concentrated (2). It’s believed that antioxidants are responsible for many of coffee’s health benefits, including preventing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Instant coffee health risks
Is instant coffee bad for you? Well, there are health risks with drinking any coffee, one of them being the caffeine’s effect on your body. While the caffeine levels are lower when talking instant coffee vs. ground coffee, it’s not necessarily a good thing.
Studies have shown that people tend to drink more instant coffee to get the kick they would get from the fresh stuff (3). Some people are susceptible to caffeine and may experience tremors, anxiety, and an upset stomach.
This is one area in which instant coffee deviates from fresh coffee beans – the level of a compound known as acrylamide. Acrylamide is found in many foods, including potato chips and coffee; it is created during the roasting process. Instant coffee contains DOUBLE THE AMOUNT as regular coffee beans. Excessive amounts are shown to cause nerve damage and, in some cases, lead to cancer (4).
Beware of additives
All of the pros and cons above listed refer to plain instant coffee without milk or sugar. If you opt for anything flavoured, you’ll be dealing with additives that may have health risks, or at the very least extra calories. These include sugar, powdered milk, artificial flavouring, and even palm oil.
In a nutshell, instant coffee has many of the same risks and benefits as regular coffee. But the key to getting the good without the bad is moderation.
Stick to 3-4 cups per day, and you’ll be ok.
No, instant coffee is coffee that has already been brewed, then dried to form soluble granules. Ground coffee is simply roasted coffee beans that have been put through a grinder.
Dalgona coffee is a foamy drink made by whipping together instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. Dalgona is a hit among instant-coffee drinkers, especially those who like sweet and milky coffee drinks. But, if you love Dalgona, you’ll also love Cafe con leche. You can learn how to make it here.
Instant coffee will last around 20 years, even after opening. If kept in the freezer, it can be stored indefinitely (5). This shouldn’t scare you. It’s the way this coffee is processed that makes it last this long.
- Gunnars, K. (2018, September 20). 13 health benefits of Coffee, based on science. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee
- Klausner, A., MS. (2013, December 02). Instant coffee benefits. Retrieved from https://www.healthcentral.com/category/food-and-nutrition
- Hart, K. (2020, June 18). The real reason you shouldn’t drink instant coffee. Retrieved from https://www.mashed.com/218519/the-real-reason-you-shouldnt-drink-instant-coffee/
- West, H., RD. (2020, June 30). Acrylamide in Coffee: Should You Be Concerned? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/acrylamide-in-coffee
- Coffee – how long does coffee last? Shelf Life, Storage, expiration date. (2015, April 21). Retrieved from https://www.eatbydate.com/drinks/coffee-tea-shelf-life/coffee-shelf-life-expiration-date/