I drink instant coffee every single day, so I thought it was about time I put together a little post on the subject. Here are some different considerations to keep in mind about instant coffee…
This it number 1 in my books, why drink it if you don’t enjoy it?! My favourite brand is Kenco Millicano…I think this is actually nostalgic for me as I first drank this on holiday in Lossiemouth with my family and the dogs. I have such great memories of that trip so this could be the reason for the favouritism with this brand. I’ll happily accept other brands when prepared for me but I won’t be changing from this one in my home any time soon.
Do you have a favourite brand or are you more a whatever is already in the cupboard/on offer-kinda coffee drinker?
Instant coffee compared to fresh coffee is cheaper to buy, quicker to make and generally just easier! This is a key reason why I’ll opt for instant over fresh on a daily basis…just more convenient for me.
Do you ever think about the caffeine content of the instant coffee you’re choosing? It surprisingly doesn’t always tell you (and it doesn’t have to)! For your info, 1 tsp. of instant coffee will contain around 57mg of caffeine. There are rough guidelines out there recommending 400mg per day as your maximum caffeine consumption, which is around 7 cups…seems a lot but this is your recommended maximum caffeine intake for the day including all sources (not just coffee) e.g. teas, juice, chocolate, even medication contain caffeine. So watch out for this if you’re currently around 4 cups per day (some days that’s me, guilty!). It should also be noted that instant coffee is lower in caffeine than brewed coffee but the type of coffee beans and brewing methods do affect this so it’s difficult to do a straight comparison.
Health Risks and Benefits
There’s a lot of debate over the health side of things, both with fresh coffee and instant. It’s a bit of a minefield and I advise you to take all points here with a pinch of salt (because I didn’t exactly carry out the research now did I?) but here’s a bit of a summary from what I’ve gathered of the research that’s out there…
- Instant coffee can improve heart health. There is actually some evidence that reveals people who drink instant coffee have less of a chance of developing heart disease than those that don’t. Interesting!
- Instant coffee is high in acrylamide, a chemical compound that has been shown to cause cancer in animals (although it’s still relatively unknown the full extent of its dangers or the impact on human consumption). This is definitely a worrying point, but until there’s some defined guidance on this I’ll try to just put it out of my mind.
- Instant coffee is better than fresh brewed in terms of it’s affect on cholesterol. Instant coffee will have less cafestol (which can elevate cholesterol) so if you have high cholesterol already instant coffee will be a better choice for you than fresh brewed.
- Instant coffee can result in hallucinations. Apparently if you drink 7 cups or more of instant coffee a day you are at a high risk of suffering hallucinations. Oh dear!
- Instant coffee has lower antioxidant properties than fresh brewed coffee. Coffee is rich in antioxidant compounds however it should be noted that instant will have less of these…sad times.
How you take your coffee will also impact how healthy it is. Stay clear of full fat high calorie milks and refined sugar. Instead try skimmed milk, coconut milk or almond milk and a small amount of honey or agave for sweetness if needed. Also beware of coffee vending machines (a common occurrence in office workplaces) as it can be all too easy to hit ‘mocha extra sugar’…I recommend getting a ‘black’ coffee and then adding your own milk etc. as that way at least you know what’s in it!
my take on instant coffee is…drink it if you enjoy it. There’s no point in drinking it because you heard it might help weight loss or fuel your workouts. Yes those points might be true depending on the circumstances but in my opinion drinking coffee is something that should be relished and savoured, you should love the taste and like the coffee *feels*!
This post was on instant coffee, now that’s not to say I don’t enjoy a fresh brewed cup when I get one. I just choose not to every day (yes it’s a choice as there’s a Starbucks in my office building…yes I work for an American company of course!).