Instant Coffee: Is It Advisable?

The consumption of instant coffee has its pros and cons. However, whether it's healthy or not depends to a great extent on the additives we use. Find out more.
Instant Coffee: Is It Advisable?

Last update: 22 May, 2021

Instant coffee offers an important advantage over traditional coffee. The size of the particles saves a lot of time when it comes to its preparation. However, a negative point we can mention is that a certain quality of flavor is lost.

However, and in spite of the beliefs that this type of coffee can be harmful to health, there’s no scientific article that confirms this. It’s a healthy product that, like traditional coffee, offers antioxidants in its composition.

The regular consumption of this type of nutrients is related to some advantages for the organism, as shown in a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. However, if you love the flavor of coffee, we recommend you opt for its classic version in order not to miss out on any of its organoleptic properties.

The risks associated with coffee consumption

A woman sitting on the couch, drinking a cup of coffee.
The consumption of coffee with sugar carries health risks. For this reason, it’s better to drink it black or to enhance its flavor with a sweetener.

Although instant coffee, in the same way as classic coffee, is beneficial for your health, it does present a series of risks if we don’t take certain precautions. One of the worst habits when drinking coffee is to add too much sugar.

The best thing to do is to choose to enjoy its flavor in its natural state. However, if you don’t like its bitter taste, you can camouflage it by adding a small amount of plant-based milk or artificial sweetener. Plant-based milks, while they may contain a large amount of sugar in their composition, are healthier than ingesting refined sugar.

Something similar happens with artificial sweeteners. Although their long-term healthiness hasn’t been proven in scientific literature, they’re often a better option than white sugar, as long as they’re consumed in moderation.

Are there benefits to instant coffee?

The latest studies suggest that coffee doesn’t have a negative influence on the risk of cancer. Moreover, it may even have a protective role against oxidative stress. This could be due to the presence in coffee of polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that protect the body from many pathological processes.

As if this weren’t enough, scientific literature associates coffee consumption with a reduced risk of cardiovascular death.

Furthermore, it also appears to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease and stroke. Moreover, there are associations between coffee consumption and reduced risk of depression, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

In fact, drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day is associated with general health benefits. However, excessive consumption of this substance also carries certain risks, such as alterations in the nervous system.

However, it’s important to mention that certain doses of acrylamide are also present in coffee, with a toxic potential if you consume it in excess.

Traditional or instant coffee?

A scoop of coffee beans.
The type of coffee doesn’t matter. In all its formats, it has antioxidant properties.

It doesn’t matter what type of coffee we drink. The benefits that coffee brings to our health are independent of the variety that we consume. Therefore, even with decaffeinated coffee, we obtain a supply of antioxidants that bring protection against the risk of suffering certain diseases in the medium or long term.

We just need to be careful when it comes to the substances that we add to the coffee itself. The addition of alcohol, refined sugar, condensed milk, etc., notoriously worsens the quality of the product through the presence of toxic substances or substances that aren’t recommended for the sedentary population.

Instant coffee is recommendable

Instant coffee is a healthy product that can be included in a healthy and balanced diet. The only negative point with respect to classic coffee is the loss of organoleptic properties. For coffee lovers, the loss of bitterness or aroma can be an inconvenience when consuming this type of product.

However, it’s important to emphasize the benefits associated with the consumption of coffee in the medium and long term. Especially with regard to cardiovascular health, consuming at least two cups of coffee daily could have an important protective effect.

Therefore, you should choose the variety of coffee that best suits your taste according to its flavor and organoleptic characteristics, with the precaution of adding little or no sugar, alcohol, or other products that can cloud its quality and properties.

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  • Gorjanović S, Komes D, Laličić-Petronijević J, et al. Antioxidant efficiency of polyphenols from coffee and coffee substitutes-electrochemical versus spectrophotometric approach. J Food Sci Technol. 2017;54(8):2324–2331. doi:10.1007/s13197-017-2672-y
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