Coffee, the drink so many of us wake up to, even having seconds and thirds every day! But, could coffee be leading to weight gain?
Before you dump out that mug, read on to get all the details!
There’s research surrounding coffee and weight gain, as well as weight loss, and we actually found that it can do both! But HOW? You see, coffee has different effects on different people. Similar to anything we consume, people metabolize coffee differently.
Did you know that depending on the person, coffee can take anywhere from 2.3 hours to 9.9 hours to metabolize half the caffeine consumed?
Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University in England looked into the relationship between how many cups of coffee are consumed daily and total body fat and trunk fat. The results found that women in all age brackets who drink 3 to 4 cups of java a day had lower total body fat than those who consume less.
It has to do with the bioactive compounds in the coffee aside from caffeine that regulate weight, and it might help control weight. We know this might sound confusing because we’re supposed to be talking about how coffee makes us fat.
While drinking coffee might boost the metabolism, adding sugar and cream can decrease our appetite. Sounds good, right? Wrong. Some people end up overeating because they tend to eat until their stomach is stretched to feel full. This is why it’s a good idea to try and eat something before you have coffee. Too many cups of coffee, back-to-back, will leave you feeling full, but then your body will crave the vital nutrients from the food we eat, so it’s not really a win-win situation.
Caffeine and hunger activate the stress axis and raise the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for increasing our appetite. Coffee and caffeine can increase stress. Higher stress levels lead to higher abdominal fat. There is evidence that more body fat leads to a more elevated cortisol output, and thus creates a vicious cycle.
Coffee might effectively increase our metabolism; however, it may still encourage weight gain. The train rides both ways.
Are you sleeping enough?
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it works by blocking the effects of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical in our brain that makes us sleepy. We often hear about happy chemicals like dopamine, but we rarely hear anything about adenosine. That jolt of energy from the coffee is excellent, but it leads to disrupted sleep patterns when we consume it later in the day.
What do you put IN your coffee?
Many of us enjoy a sweet cup. Caffeine can alter our perceived sense of sweetness, resulting in the craving for sugary, sweet foods. When we add too much sugar into our daily diet, it will eventually lead to weight gain. Using sugar and then topping it off with flavored creamers leads to slow weight gain. BUT! There’s a way to counteract sugar cravings. Try having your cup of coffee with food that provides a source of protein and healthy fats.
Nuts often pair well with coffee, or you can have an egg or two for breakfast with your morning brew. Healthy fat and protein both promote a feeling of fullness, which can reduce sugar cravings.
If you’re one of the lucky ones whose metabolism increases when they drink coffee, that’s fantastic. But if you’re a mere mortal like us, you might want to make a few changes in the way you drink your coffee.
Add less sugar or drink fewer cups. You could also increase the amount of physical activity throughout the day to help burn off those pesky calories from your Grande coffee from Starbucks.
We love coffee just as much as the next person! But we to be mindful of our mind and body, so we don’t overdo it. Limiting your coffee intake to four cups a day is a good level to stay. Anymore could lead to weight gain and a heap of other issues. Enjoy your coffee, but be aware of any potential side effects to still have the best of both worlds.