Is Instant Coffee Bad for You?

Is Instant Coffee Bad for You?

Is Instant Coffee Bad for You? If the best part of your morning is a hot cup of coffee, then waiting forever for it to brew is likely one of the worst parts of the day. That is why most people turn to a convenient and quick cup of instant coffee instead.

But is choosing instant coffee powder due to convenience doing more harm than good, or is it good after all? According to various nutrition experts, soluble coffee can fit into a healthy diet and contains a wide range of healthy nutrients.

Yet, some people can’t stop wondering about the consequences of instant coffee. So, this article highlights more about soluble coffee, including what it is, if it is good or bad for you, and how it compares to regular coffee.


What is Instant Coffee?

Soluble coffee is the particles that form when brewed coffee is dehydrated. In this process, ground coffee beans are brewed just like in regular coffee beans. Then water is removed from the extract to form concentrated dry crystals or powder. These dehydrated crystals are often reconstituted with boiling water to produce a hot cup of instant coffee.

With this, making soluble coffee becomes easy, quick, and perfect when you do not have a coffee maker. Often, such coffee has a longer shelf-life making it handy when you are camping, traveling, or busy and on the go.

So, how can you make instant coffee? Below are the common methods used in making soluble coffee:

  • Spray drying: Here, the coffee extract is sprayed into hot air in the form of tiny droplets. The heat dries them and simultaneously turns them into small pieces or a fine powder.
  • Freeze-drying involves freezing the ground coffee extract and cutting it into smaller fragments, usually dried under low temperatures.

Both of these methods effectively maintain the quality, flavor, and that refreshing aroma of the coffee.

What Makes Instant Coffee Instant?

Being able to add water to the soluble coffee granules, stir, and have your coffee in less than 20 seconds is pretty amazing. What makes it possible to prepare it so easily and quickly?

Instant coffee is prepared from concentrated coffee that is dried to make tiny pellets. After adding some hot water to the extract, you mix the concentrated coffee to get regular strength coffee. That means that regular brewed coffee and soluble coffee are fundamentally the same.

How to Choose the Best Instant Coffee?

To get the best instant coffee, you need to be ready to invest time and money. It would be best to determine how bold you would want your coffee to be and whether you are open to flavoring in the beverage to help you limit the options. Besides, pay attention to the products’ origin and the coffee beans used as they can significantly impact quality.

Instant coffee has varying degrees and boldness. Therefore, make sure to consider your flavor preferences. If you try multiple products and are unsuccessful in finding your ideal taste, you should consider buying soluble coffee somewhere else.

The products within your area might reflect regional or local preferences. You might be able to find coffee with a different range of flavors in another region. You should check the packages to find out where the products were made.

If you want the best soluble coffee, look for products from regions with robust coffee cultures. You should also be ready to spend some more bucks if you want the best product.

What are the Possible Health Benefits of Instant Coffee?

People often look down on freeze-dried coffee for being “fake coffee,” and most coffee fans never give it a second thought. Moreover, some people peddle rumors on online platforms and coffee shops that instant coffee is not good. They also add that instant coffee lacks the health benefits that regular coffee offers.

Nevertheless, we can dispel that misconception and affirm that although freeze-dried coffee is slightly different from regular coffee, it provides a wide range of health benefits. Unsurprisingly, instant coffee also shares similar health benefits with regular coffee. Some of the perks of instant coffee include:

It Contains Antioxidants

Instant coffee is full of antioxidants and plant nutrients. These elements have an array of health benefits and provide the ultimate protection against some types of cancer. Better still, soluble coffee might even contain higher amounts of various antioxidants than the other types of coffee. This is because the manufacturing process often retains most of the antioxidants in coffee. Not only that, some antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenols are more concentrate in instant coffee.

It is linked to Lower Rates of Disease.

Various researchers have affirmed that freeze-dried coffee contributes to lower rates of disease. Its aroma alone stimulates the central nervous system. Instant coffee is also linked to lower levels of liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

It lowers the risk of cirrhosis and fibrosis and slows the progression of liver disease in most patients. It also increases alertness and improves the overall sense of wellbeing, mood, and concentration. Long-term instant coffee consumption is associated with the prevention of cognitive decline and reduced risk of stroke.

Brain and Metabolism Benefits

Besides being rich in antioxidants, soluble coffee is also good for the human brain and boosting metabolism. Drinking soluble coffee speeds up your metabolism and leads to fat loss. Coffee is also known to increase cognitive function and improve concentration. It also impacts mental health and is linked to decreased risk of depression and suicide.

Instant Coffee Has Less Caffeine

Instant coffee is the ideal choice for people who want to minimize the amount of caffeine. The caffeine content in this coffee is less than that of ground coffee. One cup of soluble coffee has at least 30-80mg of caffeine, whereas regular coffee contains 70-140 mg. Soluble coffee has lesser caffeine because of the processing it undergoes, during which more of the caffeine is lost.

So it is safe to say that taking soluble coffee eliminates the risk of anxiety, restlessness, stomach aches, and more. The coffee also contains enough caffeine to provide neuroprotective effects that fight degenerative mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Impacts on the Environment

When it comes to the environment, instant coffee plays a significant part in maintaining a healthy environment. We often think that when something is processed, it gets more harmful to the environment. Nonetheless, soluble coffee has a much lower ratio of packaging to the number of coffees brewed. The processed coffee grounds are disposed of correctly by large-scale factories, meaning instant coffee is a greener option compared to regular ground coffee.

Downsides of Instant Coffee

Although instant coffee is made from real coffee, its production is more labor-intensive. This is what ends up robbing the drink of its deeper flavors. Whole beans have to be roasted, ground and brewed just like the regular coffee before removing the water.

At the end of it, this leaves only the dehydrated coffee crystals behind. To make it coffee once more, you have to add hot water. Let’s be realistic; that is not tasty as making freshly ground coffee.

However, soluble coffee is not just an inferior-tasting variety, but it is also a less healthy kind. After reading the following downside, you can decide whether soluble coffee is good or bad for you. The downsides include:

Instant Coffee Beans Are Not So Good

Many individuals who require a daily caffeine intake will reach for soluble coffee because it is easier and quicker to make at home. In another highlight, various studies have shown that instant coffee is more affordable because the manufacturers utilize the most cost-effective coffee beans available. These are the beans often rejected by more discerning coffee sellers.

Furthermore, these coffee beans may be unethically sourced from farms and regions with less stringent laws to protect laborers. Also, the beans used in the production of instant coffee are air roasted over a shorter period before being roasted to what most coffee lovers would consider a dark enough profile. This one-size-fits-all process results in a lower quality coffee with a flat taste profile.

Many chemicals are also involved in the processing of soluble coffee. It is created in a way that it can be enjoyed in the shortest time. It also consumes multiple chemicals, which, when exposed, can be very scary. Besides, many preservatives are often used for coffee blends making soluble coffee last longer.

Instant Coffee Contains More Acrylamide

Instant coffee contains almost two times as much of the chemical acrylamide compared to fresh coffee. Acrylamide is also present in cigarette smoke. In instant coffee, it is formed when the coffee beans are subjected to high temperatures when being roasted.

It is a hazardous chemical for the body because overexposure to higher amounts can damage the central nervous system and increase cancer risk. Although the quantities contained in soluble coffee are lower than the levels considered to be dangerous, routinely drinking it means you are exposing yourself to more chemicals, which is dangerous.

Instant Coffee Causes Hallucinations

Preliminary studies show that individuals who drink at least seven cups of instant coffee in a day are at higher risks of suffering hallucinations. This is often because the caffeine content increases the production of cortisone, which is a stress hormone.

Excess Intake Might Cause Problems in Iron Absorption

One common effect on the body of consuming instant coffee is iron deficiency anemia. If you routinely take instant coffee before, during, or after all meals, your body is likely to absorb less iron. The stronger you make your soluble coffee; the lesser iron you absorb. The only time your body can absorb iron properly is when you drink soluble coffee one or more hours before your mealtimes.

How Much Instant Coffee Should You Take?

Instant coffee contains lesser caffeine than brewed coffee. However, the amount of caffeine you can handle from freeze-dried coffee every day depends on how your body reacts to it. Some people have more jitters and anxiety the more they drink, while some react to the smallest amounts of coffee. The caffeine in soluble coffee, however less, can also have the same stimulant effect if you drink enough.

What you should worry about is exposure to acrylamide. If you get too much in your body, you might be at increased risk for nervous system damage and many types of cancer. Drinking instant coffee in small and moderate amounts can help reduce the number of chemicals that get into your system.

If you want the greatest benefits from freeze-dried coffee, experts suggest you drink at least three to five cups daily. Sticking to this helps minimize the risk of cancer and neurotoxicity. It also reduces caffeine exposure to those who are sensitive.

Conclusion

The bottom line is soluble coffee is similar to regular coffee when it comes to how they react to our health. For instance, caffeine has multiple positive impacts on brain health and provides instantaneous boosts to cognitive function, focus, and mood.

Freeze-dried coffee contains adequate caffeine to give you nearly identical benefits as regular coffee. This means if you are a routine drinker, you are not missing out on the health impacts. For the busiest individuals who like to hike and backpack, soluble coffee habits give similar benefits to regular coffee. Yet still, you can only realize this when you consume reasonable amounts of instant coffee.

Beyond the few downsides, it is sufficing to say freeze-dried coffee is just good. It gives you an option to make a great cup of coffee at home when freshly brewed coffee is not available. Not only that, but it also provides that taste profile to give you that aha-moment.

Instant coffee is also easy and quick to make. You do not have to bother preparing a piece of messy equipment, grinding the coffee beans, or selecting a brewing method in pursuit of having a great cup of coffee. That being said, instant coffee always saves you time during busy mornings or when running late for work.