According to surveys by the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans drink coffee every day.
While nearly everyone recognizes the effect that caffeinated coffee has on wakefulness, alertness, and energy levels, it should also be noted that this beloved beverage also has some potential benefits for your overall health.
Drinking coffee is associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Coffee also appears to protect against some neurodegenerative conditions and even certain types of cancer.
Coffee Stimulates Fat Burning
The main active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system and causes an increase in alertness. It does this by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
If the energy burst from coffee feels like an adrenaline rush, it’s because caffeine also elevates your epinephrine (another name for adrenaline) levels.
Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a hormone that signals your body to break down fatty tissues and release them into your bloodstream to be used as fuel.
So when you drink a cup of caffeinated coffee, you trigger a process known as lipolysis – the technical term for fat burning.
Coffee May Help You Eat Less
Another potential benefit of coffee is that it may help control your appetite.
Consuming caffeine before a meal can reduce how much you eat at that meal, which means you’ll take in fewer calories and potentially lose weight.
Coffee is not a good substitute for a nutritious meal, and it should not be used as a meal replacement, but it may help you eat a little less if you’re trying to cut back on calories.
When you drink coffee regularly, you’ll build up a tolerance to the caffeine, meaning you’ll need to drink more and get fewer and fewer effects. You won’t feel as stimulated, and you won’t burn as much fat from it.
Overconsumption of caffeine can also lead to anxiety, stress, headaches, and indigestion, which could interfere with your ability to stick to a healthy diet.
It can also cause insomnia and diminished sleep quality, leading to increased hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods, increased risk for chronic illness, and decreased quality of life.
It’s also important to note that the fat-burning effect of caffeine is relatively small and will not magically melt away your excess weight.
You need to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle for sustainable weight loss. Focus on making sustainable changes to your relationship with food rather than quick-fix solutions.
Coffee can be a helpful tool in your weight loss journey, but it’s not a miracle cure. Drink it in moderation and enjoy it as part of a healthy, balanced diet.