Instant coffee: good or bad?

Instant coffee is very popular in many parts of the world.

It can even represent more than 50% of total coffee consumption in some countries.

Instant coffee is also faster, cheaper and easier to make than regular coffee.

As is well known so far, regular coffee consumption is related to many health benefits (1, 2, 3, 4).

But do these benefits also apply to instant coffee? This article explains everything you need to know about instant coffee and its effects on health.

What is instant coffee?

Instant coffee is a type of coffee made from dried coffee extract.

The extract is made by making ground coffee beans, similar to when making normal coffee, but more concentrated.

After the preparation, the water is removed from the extract to make dry fragments or dust, both dissolve when they are added to the water.

There are two main ways to make instant coffee:

  • Drying spray: The coffee extract is sprayed into hot air, which dries quickly the drops and turns them into fine powder or into small pieces.

  • Dry cold: The coffee extract is frozen and cut into small pieces, which are then dried at low temperature under vacuum conditions.

Both methods preserve the quality, aroma and taste of coffee.

The most common way to make instant coffee is to add a teaspoon of powder / granules to a cup of hot water.

The strength of coffee can be easily adjusted by adding more or less to your cup.

Bottom line: Instant coffee is made from prepared coffee that has eliminated water. To make instant coffee, simply add a teaspoon of powder to a cup of warm water.

Instant coffee contains antioxidants and nutrients

Coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the modern diet (5, 6, 7, 8).

It is believed that this high antioxidant content is responsible for many of the health benefits associated with coffee consumption (9).

Like regular coffee, instant coffee contains many powerful antioxidants (10, 11).

According to one study, instant coffee may contain even more of certain antioxidants than other types, because of the way it is processed (12).

In addition, a standard cup of instant coffee contains only 4 calories, and provides small amounts of potassium, magnesium, and niacin (vitamin B3) (13).

Bottom line: Instant coffee is full of powerful antioxidants. It may even contain more antioxidants than other types of coffee.

Instant coffee contains a little less caffeine

Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world and coffee is its main dietary source (14).

However, instant coffee usually contains a little less caffeine than regular coffee.

A cup of instant coffee may contain 30 to 90 mg of caffeine, while a regular cup of coffee contains 70 to 140 mg (11, 15, 16, 17).

Since people differ in their sensitivity to caffeine, instant coffee may be a better option for those who need to reduce caffeine (18).

Instant coffee is also available as decaffeinated, which contains even less caffeine.

Too much caffeine can cause anxiety, interrupted sleep, restlessness, upset stomach, tremors and an accelerated heart rate (19).

Bottom line: A cup of instant coffee usually contains 30 to 90 mg of caffeine, while regular coffee contains about 70 to 140 mg per cup.

Instant coffee contains more acrylamide

Acrylamide is a potentially harmful chemical that forms when coffee beans are toasted (20).

This chemical is also commonly found in a wide range of foods, smoke, household items and personal care products (21).

Interestingly, instant coffee can contain up to twice as much acrylamide as fresh roasted coffee (20, 22).

Overexposure to acrylamide can damage the nervous system and increase the risk of cancer (23, 24, 25).

However, the amount of acrylamide to which he is exposed through diet and coffee is much lower than doses that have been proven to be harmful (26, 27).

Therefore, drinking instant coffee should not cause concern regarding exposure to acrylamide.

Bottom line: Instant coffee contains up to twice as much acrylamide as regular coffee, but the amount is even lower than what is considered harmful.

Like regular coffee, instant coffee can have several health benefits

Drinking coffee has been linked to many health benefits.

Since instant coffee contains the same antioxidants and nutrients as regular coffee, it should have most of the same health effects.

Drinking instant coffee can:

  • Improve brain function: Caffeine can improve brain function (28).

  • Increase metabolism: Caffeine can increase metabolism and help burn more fat (29, 30, 31).

  • Reduce the risk of disease: Coffee can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (32, 33, 34).

  • Decrease the risk of diabetes: Coffee can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (35, 36, 37).

  • Improve liver health: Coffee and caffeine can reduce the risk of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer (38, 39, 40).

  • Improve mental health: Coffee can help reduce the risk of depression and suicide (41, 42).

  • Promote longevity: Drinking coffee can help you live longer (43, 44, 45).

However, it is important to bear in mind that many of these studies were observational in nature.

This type of studies can not prove that coffee Causes the reduction in the risk of disease, only that people who habitually drink coffee are least likely to get them.

If you're wondering how much coffee to drink, consume 3-5 cups of instant coffee Each day can be optimal. This amount is usually related to the greater risk reduction in the studies (19, 46).

Bottom line: Instant coffee offers most of the same health benefits as regular coffee, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease.

Should you drink instant coffee?

Instant coffee is fast, easy and does not require a coffee maker. It also has a very long shelf life and is cheaper than regular coffee.

Therefore, it can be very useful when you are traveling or traveling.

Instant coffee contains a little less caffeine and more acrylamide than regular coffee, but it contains most of the same antioxidants.

In general, instant coffee is a healthy, low-calorie beverage that is linked to the same health benefits as other types of coffee.

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