How many calories is cup O noodles?

Nissin Cup Noodles are a popular instant ramen noodle soup product. With its convenient single-serve packaging and variety of flavor options, Cup Noodles make for a quick, easy, and portable meal or snack. But many health-conscious consumers wonder just how many calories are packed into those little styrofoam cups.

The Basics of Cup Noodles Nutrition

The classic Cup Noodles contain noodles (wheat flour, palm oil, salt, etc.), freeze-dried toppings and seasonings, and a small packet of dried vegetables. To prepare them, you simply add boiling water to rehydrate the noodles and ingredients. The noodles soften into a savory soup loaded with umami flavor.

But how do these instant noodles stack up nutritionally? Here’s a quick overview of the basic nutritional profile of a standard 1 cup serving of Nissin Cup Noodles:

  • Calories: 188
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 875mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 4g

As you can see, a single serving of instant ramen noodles contains 188 calories, which is fairly low for a lunch or light dinner. However, the sodium content is quite high at 875mg (over a third of the daily recommended value).

Calorie and Nutrition Variations Between Cup Noodle Flavors

Keep in mind that the nutrition facts above are for Nissin’s classic Cup Noodles in the Chicken flavor. Different Cup Noodles varieties and flavors will have slightly different nutritional profiles.

For example, here’s a nutrition comparison of a few popular Cup Noodle flavors:

Flavor Calories Total Fat Sodium
Chicken 188 7g 875mg
Beef 188 7g 1020mg
Shrimp 180 7g 915mg
Oriental 200 8g 930mg

As you can see, the calorie count remains similar at around 180-200 calories per cup. However, sodium content varies more significantly, ranging from 875-1020mg depending on the flavor.

Calories in Cup Noodle Big Cups

Nissin also produces larger “Big Cup” versions of their instant noodles, which contain 2.5 servings per container. Since these Big Cups contain more than double the amount of noodles, their nutrition facts are also doubled:

  • Calories per Big Cup: 440
  • Total Fat: 16g
  • Sodium: 2020mg

So while the Classic Cup Noodles have 188 calories per serving, the Big Cups contain 440 calories per container.

Other Factors Impacting Cup Noodles Calories

There are a few other factors that can alter the calories and nutrition in your Cup Noodles:

Water vs. Broth

Nissin recommends using 1 cup of water to prepare their Cup Noodles. But many people prefer using vegetable or chicken broth instead for added flavor. Broths typically contain around 45-60 calories per cup, so this would increase the overall calorie count of your Cup Noodles.

Cooking Time

Leaving your Cup Noodles to cook for longer can allow more water to be absorbed into the noodles, increasing their calorie density slightly.

Added Ingredients

It’s very popular to customize instant ramen with extra ingredients like a cracked egg, vegetables, meat, etc. These additions would raise the calories, protein, vitamins, etc. of your customized noodle soup.

Drained vs. Broth

Many people drain off some or all of the broth before eating their Cup Noodles to reduce sodium and concentrate the noodle flavor. This may slightly increase the relative calories and carbs since you are consuming less watery broth.

Does Microwaving Impact the Calories?

Instead of preparing Cup Noodles with hot water, you can also microwave them with water for 3 minutes. But does microwaving change the calorie content at all?

Microwaving itself does not alter the calories or nutrition of Cup Noodles. However, microwaved noodles may end up absorbing more water, which could slightly dilute the calories across a higher water volume. The difference would be negligible though.

Comparing Cup Noodle Calories to Other Instant Ramen

How does the calorie count of Nissin Cup Noodles compare to other popular instant ramen brands?

Here is a calorie comparison of 1 cup servings of various instant ramen products:

Instant Ramen Calories
Nissin Cup Noodles (Chicken) 188
Maruchan Instant Lunch (Chicken) 190
Sapporo Ichiban (Original) 200
Top Ramen (Chicken) 280

Most major brands of instant ramen contain around 180-200 calories per prepared cup. So Nissin Cup Noodles fall right in line with the average calorie content.

How Cup Noodles Calories Fit Into a Healthy Diet

Like most processed and convenience foods, instant ramen noodles are higher in sodium and lower in nutrients compared to homemade dishes. But Cup Noodles can still fit into a balanced diet in moderation.

Here are some tips for enjoying Cup Noodles as part of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Aim for no more than 1-2 servings per week.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and flush out excess sodium.
  • Increase nutrients by adding veggies, egg, etc.
  • Choose lower-sodium varieties when possible.
  • Read labels and compare brands to find healthier options.
  • Balance out the sodium and carbs with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains throughout your day.

As an occasional convenient meal or snack, a single serving of Cup Noodles can fit into most healthy eating patterns. Just be mindful of portions and sodium, and balance it out with more wholesome foods and good hydration habits.

Healthier Alternatives to Cup Noodles

If you are looking for some healthier and lower-calorie alternatives to instant Cup Noodles, here are some options to consider:

  • Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth-based soup
  • Bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit, nuts and milk
  • Yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, granola and fresh fruit
  • Veggie stir-fry over brown rice
  • Tuna salad stuffed in a pita pocket
  • Leftover chili or turkey chili
  • Baked sweet potato topped with black beans, salsa and avocado

Emphasizing whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can provide more nutritional value than processed instant noodles. But for those days when you’re in a rush and need something quick, Cup Noodles in moderation can still be part of an overall balanced diet.


Nissin Cup Noodles provide a quick, convenient and tasty meal or snack option. The classic Chicken Cup Noodles contain 188 calories per 1 cup serving. However, sodium content is quite high at 875mg. Calories and sodium can vary between different Cup Noodle flavors and varieties.

Enjoying the occasional Cup Noodles is fine, but aim for no more than 1-2 servings per week as part of a healthy diet. Balance out the sodium and carbs with plenty of nourishing whole foods. Add extra vegetables or protein to your Cup Noodles to increase nutrients. When possible, look for lower-sodium varieties or alternative convenient meals using whole food ingredients.

As with any processed food, moderation and balance are key for incorporating Cup Noodles into an overall healthy lifestyle.

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