When I start with a new client, one of the first things they say when they have started some form of weight loss diet is that "I have cut out caffeine".
However, is there any evidence to support that your morning cup of joe is detrimental to your health and could harm your weight loss journey?
1. Coffee can enhance fat-burning
The main active compound in coffee that boosts fat burning is caffeine. Studies have shown that consumption of caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3-11%.
But more importantly from a weight loss point of view, the consumption of caffeine stimulates a process called lipolysis (fancy word for fat-burning). This means that a greater percentage of energy used during exercise comes from fat as caffeine stimulates the release of fat from the fat tissue in the body to be burned.
2. Coffee Can Improve Exercise Performance
Here is a fact that you may not know... Up until 2003, caffeine was actually on the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, due to the wide range of foods and beverages that contain caffeine, caffeine was later removed from the list.
Consumption of caffeine can significantly improve performance during exercise under 90 minutes. Specifically "Stop & Go" sports such as football, rugby, netball and High-Intensity Interval Training.
So from a weight loss point of view, if you are including exercise in your weight loss programme, caffeine can improve your performance on the treadmill, thus potentially enhancing weight loss.
The performance benefits of caffeine can still be seen 12 hours after the consumption of the beverage. Therefore, if you have a cup of coffee in the morning, you can still get the benefits of that morning beverage if you are exercising after work.
3. Coffee Can Keep You Hydrated
Despite common warnings that caffeine has a diuretic effect on the body (dehydrates you), when you are a habitual user, consuming 2+ cups of coffee per day, the dehydrating effect of coffee disappears.
Caffeine containing drinks, such as tea & coffee actually contain a significant amount of fluid, which can help benefit overall hydration throughout the day.
If you look at it, when you are drinking a cup of coffee, you are actually just drinking 300ml of water with a spoonful of coffee in it.
Keeping hydrated throughout the day can contribute to enhanced levels of concentration, decreased appetite and enhanced performance during physical activity.
The main reason why coffee could be detrimental to weight loss is that normally when coffee is consumed, it is consumed in combination with milk and sugar. Coffee itself does not contribute to weight gain and can actually enhance the weight loss process.
4. Coffee Contains Antioxidants
Coffee is actually the largest source of antioxidants in the western diet. Studies show that people in the western world actually receive more antioxidants than they do through the consumption of fruit and vegetables.
Antioxidants fight off molecules called free radicals which lead to inflammation in the body. High levels of inflammation can lead to redness and ageing of the skin, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and much more. For more information on antioxidants click here.
Do You Want To Know The Scientific Secret To Weight Loss?
If you fed up of feeling hungry and restricted on a diet and are looking for someone who specialises in weight loss in Solihull or the west midlands, click here to see how you can apply scientific evidence to your lifestyle to tap into your body fat stores and maximise fat burning.