What’s the first thing most people do when they wake up in the morning? They go for a cup of coffee. Whether they go to their local coffee shop, or they had to the coffee maker in their kitchen, coffee is one of the first things people grab when they wake up. Many people can’t seem to get through the day without a cup, but there is a lot of conflicting information out there about whether or not coffee can help you lose weight.
Some people claim that drinking coffee will absolutely halt your weight loss efforts, others claim that drinking coffee can help your weight loss. From my personal experience, I’ve had no problem losing weight while drinking coffee regularly. However, many people drink their coffee full of sugar, milk, and flavored syrup’s making it loaded with calories and fat.
As most people know, coffee’s main ingredient is caffeine. Caffeine can have a lot of effects on your body, here we will explore whether coffee, and its caffeine content, can help with weight loss, or hinder weight loss.
Coffee and Energy
One of the biggest reasons that people drink coffee every single day is for the energy boost what caffeine gives them. There is one problem. When you drink caffeine to get an initial pick me up, you can experience a crash later on as the caffeine wears off. Studies have shown that coffee increases blood pressure, heart rate and can cause a release of endorphins into your bloodstream. Pretty much anybody who’s had a coffee in order wake-up can tell you that it sure can help you get through the morning. There is a problem that comes from this up-and-down cycle…cravings.
Coffee and Cravings
Caffeine is well known as an appetite suppressant. If you’re feeling a craving, you can drink a cup of coffee in order to help hold the craving off until you get a snack. However, some people may experience more cravings when drinking coffee throughout the day because of the effect that the crash has on them. After the crash, some people will reach for a snack in order to gain back their energy. So, while you can use caffeine and coffee to hold a craving at bay, if you’re not careful it can actually cause more cravings and extra snacking during the day. It’s important to think this through if you’re trying to lose weight while still drinking coffee on a regular basis.
Coffee – The Dark Side
Coffee makes you edgy. Not only can caffeine content in coffee cause you to feel more nervous, and jittery, coffee can also interrupt the chemical adenosine. This chemical is responsible for helping you feel calm during the day. This can also contribute to more cravings for food or snacks.
Most of the foods that we ingest every day are heavily treated and sprayed with pesticides and antibacterial chemicals. There is a downside with coffee though. Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed of all agricultural food products available. There are very few restrictions in place concerning the chemicals used on produce in the regions that coffee is commonly grown. After all, the best coffee doesn’t come from the United States, United Kingdom, or any other heavily regulated country. It is most commonly from Third World countries with corrupt, and shady business practices. There is almost no way to avoid the chemicals we eat and drink each day, but there are several things we can do it our life to ingest less of them. One of those things is to avoid chemical filled coffees.
Changes in your insulin, and blood glucose levels, can be directly related to weight gain, or weight loss. Coffee, because of its caffeine content, can cause a spike in insulin levels directly after ingestion. This is because of coffee causes an adrenal response. This adrenal response is very similar to fight or flight response you experience in dangerous situations. When your body releases small amounts of adrenaline into your blood, after drinking coffee, your fat cells automatically react by releasing sugar into the bloodstream for your muscles to use as fuel. If you don’t exercise to burn this extra sugar off, your body will regulate it by releasing insulin. When this happens, your body can begin to store fat. This can definitely be a downside to drinking coffee while trying to lose weight.
One of the problems with coffee is that it comes with many friends. Many people are accustomed to drinking coffee along with a sweet snack or meal. Furthermore, most people drink their coffee full of sugar, fat, and flavored syrups which just adds to the empty calories they consume every day. Even the artificial sweeteners are harmful because of the enormous amount of chemicals they contain and their unknown, and sometimes well-known, effects on the body.
Coffee – The Light Creamy Side
Coffee can prolong your workout and can increase the amount of oxygen that flows through your muscles during exercise because of the effects it has on your blood vessels. As coffee flows into your bloodstream, the caffeine causes your blood vessel walls to relax slightly so that they can receive more oxygen during each workout session. Further, studies have shown that drinking coffee before exercises can increase lipolysis, fat burning, during a workout session. In fact, some studies have shown that fat burning can be increased by 107% during workout sessions following a caffeine dose of approximately 330 mg, or 2-3 normally brewed cups of coffee.
Some studies show that consuming the equivalent of 3 normally brewed cups of coffee, approximately 350 mg, can actually increase your resting metabolic rate. These studies suggested that coffee along with chromium and bitter orange, hydroxycitric acid, showed up to a 30% increase in resting metabolic rate in men ages 19-26 and 65-80.
Decreased risk of several diseases
Many studies have shown that drinking coffee regularly can decrease your risk of many types of cancer including ovarian and oral cancer. Long-term regular coffee consumption has also been shown to reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes. Some studies suggest that drinking coffee can help protect against liver injury, however other studies suggest that long-term coffee consumption can have the opposite effect.
While there certainly are some downsides to drinking coffee, especially if you drink it with sugar, syrup, or drink it regularly throughout the day, there have been many studies that suggest that it can actually aid in fat loss, some of them going so far as to suggest that it increases your resting metabolic rate. If you’re on the fence, your best bet is to have a cup of coffee just before you go workout, that way you can gain many of the benefits of drinking coffee without most of the downsides.
As with anything, there are upside and downside to drinking coffee, and it always comes down to moderation. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Choose for yourself. I know this coffee lover will still be enjoying it, and losing weight with it for a long time to come.