Coffee and the affect it can have on weight loss.
Myth and legend has it that coffee was first discovered by a North African goat herder around 850 AD. The tale is that the herder observed his goats eating the red berries from a broad-leaved shrub. He then noticed that they were restless and highly active after, he supposedly brought the berries to his local medicine man, he declared them to be evil and threw the beans in the fire. The smell was so pleasant that the whole village gathered around to see what was causing such wonderful aroma, and the medicine man pulled the coffee bean ash out of the fire and brewed the first cup of coffee. There is no legitimate historical evidence to back it up, but it is an enchanting legend none the less.
Almost everyone is drinking it – Modern America seems to run off coffee, but this coffee obsession isn’t unique to the US, coffee is actually the 2nd post popular drink worldwide behind water. Coffee is also the most widely used psychoactive agent in the world. Even elite athletes are going crazy for caffeine, 74% of elite athletes consume it prior to competition (1).
The main benefits of drinking coffee include improved weight loss, focus, mood, increased alertness, decrease pain, improved strength and athletic performance. Epidemiological studies have also shown that there is a relationship between coffee a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, suicide and all-cause mortality.
- Weight Loss – Caﬀeine consumption increases metabolic rate, energy expenditure, lipid oxidation, and thermogenic activities. It can also aid in weight loss and reducing the overall risk for developing metabolic syndrome. Consumption of 300 mg caﬀeine per day has been found to increase energy expenditure by approximately 79 kcal per day (2). That’s just under 30,000 kcal per year and the equivalent of about 8lbs of fat per year, over the course of 5 years that’s 40 lbs.
- Improved focus/memory – It isn’t clear by which mechanisms coffee improves the ability to recall information, but coffee consumption has been shown to improve subject’s ability to retain information, it is unclear whether this is due to an increase in focus or an improvement in memory (3).
- Improved mood –Studies have shown that doses of 200 to 250 mg of caffeine elevate mood (4).
- Increased alertness – Recent research showed that 250 mg of caffeine improved daytime alertness for at least 3 h in moderately sleepy subjects. Other studies indicate that caffeine can have significant effects on mood and performance, even at relatively low doses (4).
- Decreased pain – One research study observed that caffeine ingestion had a large effect on reducing leg-muscle pain during high-intensity exercise (5).
- Improved athletic performance – Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of caffeine’s ability to improve endurance-based performance. Significant enhancements in cycling, swimming and rowing have been reported following caffeine ingestion (1).
- Type 2 diabetes – There is a relationship between regular coﬀee intake and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (2).
- Parkinson’s – There is a relationship between regular coﬀee intake and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (2).
- Cancer – There are numerous epidemiological studies relating coﬀee consumption to the risk of cancer, and there is currently substantial evidence suggesting that coﬀee may be associated with lower risk of some cancers (2).
- Suicide – These results from three large cohorts support an association between caffeine consumption and lower risk of suicide (6).
- All-cause mortality – The present meta-analysis of cohort studies indicated that light to moderate coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes (7).
The main concerns with coffee consumption include disturbances is sleep quality, dehydration, inhibited calcium absorption, and increased LDL cholesterol, heart disease, caffeine dependence, and withdrawal symptoms (headache). Many of the negative effects associated with coffee consumption can be avoided.
- Sleep Disturbance – Caffeine has a 5-hour half-life meaning that if you drink 2 cups of coffee containing 400mg of caffeine at 5pm, when 10pm rolls around you likely have 200mg of caffeine still flowing though your bloodstream. Avoiding coffee after a certain time, say 2pm, may help alleviate the negative effects that it can have on sleep.
- Heart disease – The diterpenes found in coffee, not processed though a paper filter, appear to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, use a paper filter to avoid this negative health outcome (8).
- Dehydration – In 1928 researchers observed an increase in urinary output when coffee was consumed, what they didn’t realize at the time that drinking any liquid will cause an increase in urinary output and this is not an accurate measure of hydration. Years later researchers looked deeper into this idea and found that caffeine does not have a dehydrating effect when compared to the control group (participants who received a placebo and did not consume any caffeine). The scientists also found that a higher dose of caffeine was no more likely to dehydrate a person than smaller doses were (9).
- Inhibited calcium absorption – Caffeine also can promote Ca2+ release but concentrations required to elicit these effects are one hundred times higher and unlikely to be reached by normal dietary use of caffeine (2). The effect that caffeine has on calcium absorption is negligible and not significant.
- Increased LDL cholesterol – The diterpenes, cafestol and kahweol, are the oils responsible for increasing LDL cholesterol, filtering through a paper filter removes the majority of the diterpenes, brewing coffee using a French press and Keurig doesn’t remove diterpenes, switching to a brewing method that utilizes a paper filter is a simple solution to this problem.
French press coffee contains relatively high levels of cafestol and kahweol (6–12 mg/cup), while filtered coffee contains low levels of cafestol and kahweol (0.2–0.6 mg/cup) (8).
A meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials examining the effect of coffee consumption on serum cholesterol concentrations found that the consumption coffee not filtered with a paper filter increased serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations. While the consumption of filtered coffee resulted in very little increase in serum cholesterol. Coffee that is not filtered through a paper filter could pose a higher health risk than filtered coffee (8).
Caffeine dependence and Caffeine withdrawal headaches – Overtime the same amount of caffeine that use to pep you up may not have the same effect, many people seem to develop a dependency on caffeine over time as well as headaches when caffeine consumption stops or is drastically reduced.
Overall coffee is a tool that can be used properly or abused. It’s always better to try and get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and rely on those variables to give you energy. However, when life happens, you are short on sleep, and you need some quick energy, coffee can be a short-term solution.
The Better U Today program does allow you to consume coffee and we will educate on the proper the way to use this fuel for your weight loss goals. #betterUtoday