Pro’s and Con’s of Instant Coffee


The most common debate among coffee-holics are commonly around instant coffee and brewed coffee. Let’s talk about instant coffee:

Pro 1. It’s normally cheaper than ground or bean coffee, and it’s quicker and easier to prepare
Manufacturers use hot water to make a coffee extract from ground roasted coffee beans. Spraying the extract into hot air in a tall tank causes it to dry rapidly.
The other common method (Spray drying or air drying) involves freeze-drying coffee extract to make instant coffee power. In the freeze-drying process, cutting the coffee crystals results in granules. Instant coffee has a very long shelf life when compared to roasted or ground coffee, and comes in caffeinated and decaffeinated versions.

Pro 2. Instant Coffee Has Less Detrimental Effects on Cholesterol
Lesser cafestol in coffee is a substance that can elevate cholesterol. Both instant coffee and filtered coffee prepared in an automatic coffeemaker contain very small amounts of cafestol. If you already have high cholesterol or a family history of heart disease, instant coffee is a better choice than French-press or Turkish coffee.

Pro 3. Instant Coffee Improves Your Heart Health
Some scientific evidence exists to show that people who drink instant coffee have a lesser chance of developing heart disease than those that do not. A 2008 study published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” followed 129,000 people over 20 years and determined that those who drank four or more cups a day were significantly less likely to die from heart disease.

Pro 4. Instant Coffee May Well Have Decreased Negative Effects On Heart Disease Compared To Brewed or Filtered
Instant coffee may have a different effect on heart health than non-instant coffee. According to a 1993 study published in the “Journal of Epidemiology,” which surveyed 10,000 men and women and compared the rates of heart disease to those who drank five or more cups of instant coffee per day. Those who drank five or more cups of coffee had lower heart disease rates than those who did not. This study contradicted earlier studies that found an elevated risk of heart disease for coffee drinkers, but those studies centered on people who drank filtered or boiled coffee.

Con 1. Hallucinations with Instant Coffee
A preliminary study by a Durham University team in 2009 showed that people who drink seven cups or more of instant coffee a day are at a high risk of suffering hallucinations. This could be because caffeine increases the production of cortisone, a stress hormone.

Con 2. Toxic Compounds Are Much Much Higher In Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is high in acrylamide, a chemical compound that has been shown to cause cancer in animals. According to the Food and Drug Administration, acrylamide can also cause nerve damage. Acrylamide happens naturally in certain foods during high-temperature heating. Because the presence of acrylamide in food wasn’t discovered until 2002, scientists still don’t know the full extent of its dangers. The amount of acrylamide is measured in ppb, or parts-per-billion. Certain brands and types of instant coffee have very high amounts, compared with ground coffee. Nescafe Classic Instant Coffee has 471 ppb according to the FDA. In comparison, Classic Roast brewed coffee has only 13 ppb.

Con 3. Lower Antioxidant Properties
Coffee is rich in antioxidant compounds, which help protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radical damage has been implicated in a variety of chronic diseases and conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and aging. According to W.W. Huber and W. Parzefall at the Medical University of Vienna, coffee contains the compound methylpyridinium, which has anti-cancer properties and isn’t found in any other food source. Methylpyridinium isn’t found in the raw coffee beans but is formed during the roasting process from trigonelline. Which instant coffee has lesser.

Con 4. Caffeine Content lower in Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is lower in caffeine than brewed coffee. Instant coffee contains an average of 93 mg of caffeine in a prepared 8 oz. serving, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The range of caffeine content in a 8 oz. cup of instant coffee is 27 to 173 mg. An 8 oz serving of regular brewed coffee contains an average of 133 mg of caffeine, with a range of 102 to 200 mg of caffeine. The type of coffee beans and brewing methods however did affect the caffeine content in coffee.

Personally I loves brewed coffee because I like coffee made by barista, a dedicated cup of coffee just for me. 🙂


7 Negative Effects of Coffee


Coffee is world’s favorite drug with us starting most days with a caffeine jolt to get going. Some people enjoy their coffee and apparently have no health issues with drinking it. There are however some potential negative effects of coffee, particularly at certain times and when it becomes so addictive that you find it difficult to go a day without it.

1. Coffee and Hydrochloric Acid
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach is definitely a nono, stimulates hydrochloric acid production. This can be a problem because hydrochloric acid should only be produced to digest meals. If your body has to make hydrochloric acid more often in response to regular cups of coffee, it may have difficulty producing enough to deal with a large meal.

Protein digestion in particular is affected by a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and protein based foods can pass into the small intestine before being properly broken down. Undigested protein is associated in a variety of health problems, from bloating and gas to irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, colon cancer or other health issues.

2. Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Many of the compounds in coffee like caffeine and the various acids found in coffee beans can irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine.

Ulcers are believed to be caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. However, the acidic effect coffee has on the stomach may contribute to providing the weakened stomach lining necessary for Helicobacter pylori to take hold initially.

Drinking coffee can also irritate the lining of the small intestine, potentially leading to abdominal spasms, cramps and elimination problems, often alternating between constipation and diarrhea (IBS).

3. Heartburn Problems
Acid reflux and heartburn can be caused by coffee due to the way it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This small muscle should remain tightly closed once you’ve eaten to prevent the contents of your stomach from coming back into the esophagus and burning its delicate lining with hydrochloric acid.

This happens when you drink decaffeinated coffee, soft drinks and high caffeine ‘energy drinks’ too.

4. Coffee as a Laxative
Drinking coffee can stimulate peristalsis, the process in the digestive tract that makes us head for the bathroom. Some people use it deliberately as a laxative.

But by stimulating peristalsis, coffee also appears to promote increased gastric emptying, whereby the stomach’s contents are quickly passed into the small intestines, often before the digesting food has been properly broken down. In this partially digested state, it makes it much more difficult for nutrients to be absorbed from your food. It also increases the chances of irritation and inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.

This also happens when you drink decaffeinated coffee too.

5. Mineral Absorption, Your Kidneys and Coffee
Heavy coffee drinkers may have difficulty getting enough minerals in their diet, even if they eat mineral rich foods or take supplements. This is due to the way coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach and particularly your kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals.

6. Acrylamide in Coffee
Acrylamide is a potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance that forms when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. The darker the roast, the higher the levels of acrylamide are likely to be. In fact, coffee has been shown to be one of the major sources of this dangerous chemical in American diets.

7. Coffee, Stress and Tension
Drinking lots of coffee will promote the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These chemicals increase your body’s heart rate, blood pressure and tension levels.

Turning on the stress hormones with a cup of coffee when you’re eating also interferes with the digestive process. Your body will divert its resources to being ready for a potential threat and digestion suffers as a result.

Caffeine in coffee is known to interfere with GABA metabolism. Gamma-aminobutyric acid  is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and stress levels.

Conclusion: After many years of coffee intake, I noticed that I’m having frequent stomach problem (IBS?). Even i cut down on my coffee, it’s not improving. Perhaps i should take a more fresher and high-quality coffee, which perhaps could helps.