Instant coffee is a fast way to get your caffeine fix in the morning, but is instant coffee bad for you? Other than being more bitter on average than regular coffee, instant coffee has not actually shown any health risks that regular coffee does not already have. You could theoretically be concerned about coffee as a whole (especially if you suffer from a few specific ailments) but instant doesn’t seem to be any worse for you.
Coffee itself carries several potential risks. If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems, particularly ulcers or colitis, the acidity of coffee could make you feel sick, so you’ll want to avoid it. You also want to figure out how you respond to caffeine. Caffeinated coffee has been known to cause jitters in some people, sleeplessness in others, and in some rare cases it has even caused narcolepsy. Caffeine is also something that should be avoided if you are pregnant, or at least you should limit yourself to a cup of coffee a day. Excessive caffeine has been proven to cause problems for unborn babies.Now, the bitterness of instant coffee may cause you to put more sugar into the coffee than you normally do, and that has some health issues associated with it. Large quantities of sugar can cause long term effects like diabetes, and it also has those dreaded empty calories. Coffee has virtually no calories so long as its black – once you start putting cream and sugar into it all bets are off. Since instant coffee practically requires sweeteners, you can make the case that instant coffee can lead to increased quantities of those.
But plain black instant coffee is no worse than regular coffee. And since this is a very pro-coffee website, I can’t let such a depressing list get in the way of the very real benefits that coffee offers too. Coffee is extremely high in antioxidants, and it seems to prevent the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s in long term drinkers (though this hasn’t absolutely been proven quite yet). Caffeine strengthens the effects of painkillers (which is why most over the counter painkillers has caffeine in it) and so a cup of coffee can help you feel better. It also seems to improve the health of the liver, reducing the risk of cirrhosis and perhaps even liver cancer. Again, these effects have not been completely proven – doctors have noticed that people who drink coffee have healthier livers, but it’s not definitively proven that the coffee is helping the liver – but why not join the ranks?
Drink your instant coffee and cheer your good health, but go as easy on the cream and sugar as you can.