Kava is a type of instant coffee manufactured by Eagle brand. The product is “acid neutralized,” making it more suitable than regular drip coffee for people who suffer from acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn and other digestive troubles. The Eagle company claims that a cup of Kava has at least 50 percent less acid than a cup of traditional coffee.
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Instead of removing the acid naturally present in coffee beans, Kava neutralizes the acid by adding potassium to its product. The company likens the process to “adding antacid” to the coffee and recommends consulting a physician prior to consuming the beverage if you have any conditions that might be negatively affected by supplementing your diet with potassium.
According to the USDA, a 6-oz. cup of regular instant coffee has about 4 calories and half a gram of carbohydrates. Kava adds that each cup of its coffee made with one teaspoon of mix has between 80 and 125 mg caffeine. Adding cream and sugar to the coffee will change the totals; a tablespoon of cream has 20 calories, 1.5 g fat, 1 g carbohydrate and half a gram of protein, and a single sugar packet has 15 calories and 4 g sugar.
Kava coffee is a granulated, instant product and does not need to be steeped or prepared with a machine. Instead, you just add the granules to hot water and stir to make each cup of coffee. Kava states that its product contains Ecuadorian coffee beans and adds that the product is not made with the kava herb or kava kava root, which have been linked to some negative health effects, including liver problems and hypertension, as reported in J.K. Aronson’s book “Meyler’s Side Effects of Herbal Medicines.”
Drip coffee and French press coffee are alternatives to Kava instant coffee, which may be short on flavor or caffeine to some coffee aficionados. Using more than the recommended serving of a teaspoon will increase the caffeine content, and mixing up the coffee with hot milk or cream instead of water will make the flavor richer but will also add calories and fat.
Although Kava instant coffee is a nearly calorie-free beverage, it has almost no nutritional value and doesn’t fit into any of the main food groups that MyPyramid recommends for a healthy diet’s foundation. Thus, from a nutritional standpoint, it’s best to focus on daily servings of vegetables, whole grains, nonfat dairy, lean proteins and fruits and to enjoy coffee as an occasional supplement. If you have any health conditions that may be aggravated by consuming caffeine, speak with your doctor before having Kava coffee.