The Real Reason You Shouldn't Drink Instant Coffee

Instant coffee can be a lifesaver. Whether you are burning the midnight oil studying for your college finals and the nearest Starbucks is closed, or you are in need of an early morning caffeine buzz and forgot to go grocery shopping, instant coffee doesn't require a coffee maker, and is an easy way to whip up a quick cup of java without investing a whole lot of time in the process. 

In a world with a coffee shop on every corner, it might surprise you to learn instant coffee is the most popular beverage around the world. Between 2000 and 2014, a market research firm found the sales of instant coffee almost tripled as the world spent close to $31 billion in 2013 on the freeze dried version of coffee (via MSN)

Instant coffee's downsides

Instant coffee is made to have a long shelf life, so yup, maybe that canister in your mom's pantry is still good. But is it good for you? While instant coffee offers many of the health benefits that regular coffee does, such as boosting your metabolism, increasing longevity, and decreasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, there are also a couple of downsides to drinking it.

One of the obvious drawbacks is that instant coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee, and though that's not necessarily bad for your health, it could have unintended consequences for coffee lovers who need their daily fix, leading to more cups and more caffeine than they realize. Additionally, because instant coffee is so convenient and easy to make, there is the potential of drinking more cups than you would if you had to make a more labor intensive pour-over. Both are important to consider because if you have any type of sensitivity to caffeine, this could lead to sleep disruption, and upset stomach (via Healthline). 

Instant coffee has much more acrylamide than regular coffee

Instant coffee also contains about two times more acrylamide — a chemical that is formed when coffee beans are roasted  — than regular coffee, and may increase your risk of cancer, and be harmful to the nervous system. Still, it's worth noting some experts say the amount in your instant coffee is considered safe and should not deter you from drinking it (via Medical Daily).

As far as flavor goes, though, that's a whole different story. Coffee lovers have long maligned the taste of instant compared to the real deal, but hey, that's just going to affect your taste buds, not your health,