Instant coffee is a product made by brewing roasted and ground coffee beans, after which the resultant liquid is spray-dried or freeze-dried. This is done to remove the moisture and yield coffee granules that are easily soluble in hot water. While undoubtedly cheaper than other caffeinated beverages like Arabica coffee, it may be best to avoid instant coffee due to health considerations.
Read further and discover more about the negative effects of instant coffee and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of hydration to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Instant Coffee Risks:
Instant coffee contains caffeine, currently the most widely consumed legitimate stimulant drug. Caffeine is not necessarily dangerous and in fact it renders a handful of health benefits. However, since instant coffee has considerably less caffeine than its freshly brewed counterpart, it’s easy to end up consuming more caffeine than is recommended, which can subsequently result in irritability, palpitations, and insomnia. Excessive intake of the stimulant drug, which means drinking seven or more cups of coffee a day, has been found to bring about hallucinations as well. Moreover, individuals with performance social anxiety disorder and panic disorder appear to be especially prone to caffeine’s anxiety-inducing effect.
Instant coffee consumption directly affects iron absorption as well. As it turns out, instant coffee taken during or an hour after a meal results in significantly decreased amount of iron absorbed by the intestines. This iron absorption-inhibiting mechanism is even more pronounced when the strength of instant coffee is increased. However, this does not happen when the drink is taken an hour prior to a meal.
Coffee consumption, regardless of whether the drink is of the instant variety or brewed from roasted ground beans, is advised against pregnant women as well. Coffee consumption, as it turns out, is associated with prolonged pregnancy. Moreover, caffeine during pregnancy, even with intake well below the recommended maximum of 200 mg per day, has been consistently associated with children with low birth weight and born small for the supposed gestational age.
The manner by which instant coffee is processed results in the product having acrylamide as well. Acrylamide is a chemical compound used by wastewater treatment facilities as well as papermaking and ore processing industries as a water-soluble thickener. Acrylamide forms in food when the latter is subjected to temperatures higher than 248 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) during processing. Occupational exposure is associated with neurotoxicity, while dietary acrylamide has consistently shown to be carcinogenic in animal studies.
In humans, however, several epidemiological studies which utilized food frequency questionnaires have failed to establish a link between dietary acrylamide and cancer development. However, a Dutch study published in 2008 using biomarkers instead of food frequency questionnaires found positive association. After adjusting for smoking, which incidentally also results in exposure to the toxin, presence of acrylamide in the blood has shown to increase risk for ovarian and endometrial cancers in postmenopausal women.
Aside from acrylamide, instant coffee contains oxalates as well. Oxalates are organic acids found in plants, animals and humans. Individuals with the rare condition hyperoxaluria, which is characterized by excessive oxalates in the urine, are restricted from eating oxalate-containing foods and drinks like instant coffee.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of blended coffee and why you should avoid it to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of drinks to avoid as well as consume regularly and moderately on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:
- Non-Caffeinated Teas
- Coconut Milk
- Raw, Grass-Fed Cow or Goat’s Milk
- Sports Drinks
- Smoothies (With Natural Ingredients)
- Arabica Coffee Regular and Decaf
- Caffeinated Tea (includes Green Tea)
- Anti-Oxidant Drinks or Powders
- Rice Milk
- Almond Milk
- Red Wine
- Energy Drinks
- Flavored Waters
- Soy Milk
- Regular Cow’s Milk
- Instant Coffee
- Blended Coffee
- Mixed Drinks
- Hard Alcohol
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of instant coffee, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of instant coffee.