Is your morning coffee making you fat?
I don’t know about you, but I need a good cuppa joe first thing in the morning to feel alive.
After all, I can drink decaf the rest of the day (if absolutely necessary), but that first cup…I never miss it. Like, ever.
Most of us enjoy that morning cup (or pot haha), gulping up to 4 cups daily. We don’t even really give it a second thought. We use it for energy, for comfort and some of us even use it as a pre-workout.
But is the coffee bean doin’ us wrong? Is it hindering all our efforts with exercising 4-6 times a week and eating clean, mostly unprocessed foods? Is your morning coffee making you fat?
While it’s true that pure caffeine (aka anhydrous caffeine) can raise our metabolism up to 6%, improve our cognitive function (bye bye brain fog) and also slightly inhibit insulin resistance, not all coffee is healthy.
What’s worse is when caffeine is abused, it can damage your metabolism and hormonal balance. Yikes.
Here’s what caffeine does once it hits our bloodstream:
- stimulates our central nervous system, which throws off your endocrine system making it think it’s being threatened
- once that happens your body kicks into “flight or fight” mode even though you may only be checking your Instagram feed
Your adrenals push out norepinephrine and epinephrine and these two stress hormones create a cascade of fattening actions like:
- the liver releases blood sugar for quick energy
- your pancreas pumps out insulin to cover the release of that excess blood sugar
- blood sugar drops thanks to the insulin’s response
Phew. And that’s not all!
- blood vessels constrict, making that dang blood sugar think it’s dropping even more
- then you overcompensate by hitting the vending machine or donut-drive-thru.
Ever notice how you crave sumthin’ sweet between your first and second cuppa joe? Yup, your body is reacting to the sudden feeling of blood sugar shortage. Oops.
Here’s some more bad news (as if the aforementioned wasn’t enough already, riiight??):
The acid in your daily dose of caffeine actually elevates your cortisol hormone for up to, get this, FOURTEEN HOURS! Just as a reminder, cortisol is the hormone responsible for excess belly fat.
Excess stress=excess cortisol=excess belly fat.
Ok back to more bad news. And figuring out the age-old question, is your morning coffee making you fat?
If you are also a fan of those super sweet, super caffeinated energy drinks and sip on just one of those a day along with your daily coffee consumption, well now you’re turning your stress reactions on over and over again all day long.
Also, your short-term energy burns out, so you grab another Cafe Latte, repeat the entire cycle over again, and bippity-boop, Bob’s your Uncle and now you’re an addict.
Here’s the 411 on caffeine abuse:
— it overstimulates and eventually wears your adrenals down, it slows oxygen flow to your brain, it suppresses your immune system and the excess cortisol increases your appetite and stores excess fat right on your belly. Add continual insulin spikes to this and now you’ve also created insulin resistance.
Lastly, caffeine is a diuretic which means it is sucking precious water from your body. When you are dehydrated, your blood volume goes down, which reduces the amount of oxygen that can get to your muscles, which in turn makes them less effective at burning fat.
But is your morning coffee making you fat?
Well there are two things you can do to ensure your morning coffee is not making you fat:
Make the switch to green tea. You’ll get the energy boost you look for from coffee, but green tea promotes fat oxidation, even at rest, and has been shown to prevent obesity and also improves your insulin sensitivity!
Bonus points for green tea = it has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
The other thing you can do if green tea just ain’t your thing (I’m not a fan of the taste myself) is to drink no more than 2 cups of organic coffee daily.
Regular, conventional coffee is one of the most heavily chemically sprayed crop in the world. It’s literally doused in pesticides, man-made fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. No wonder some take-out coffee doesn’t always taste that good!
Non-organic coffee is also full of mold spores. Hmmmm, no I think I’ll pass on the side of mold spores with my morning Joe (I drink this brand almost exclusively).
Also, ensure those 2 cups are tossed back before noon, 2 pm at the very latest. Even if you don’t think caffeine affects your sleep, it does.
As mentioned above it can take anywhere from four to fourteen hours for it to leave your system, depending on how your body works. Every individual processes caffeine a little differently.
So, is your morning coffee making you fat?
The long and the short of it, no you don’t have to give up your morning coffee. Just stick to 1-2 cups a day max and choose organic coffee over non-organic coffee.
For me that means saying bye-bye to my daily McCafe jaunt around 3pm, but I’ve got some lofty weight loss goals ahead of me for the next 3 months and I don’t want something as little as coffee slowing or completely ruining my progress.
Besides, I can always switch to organic Swiss Water decaf…riiiiight? 😉
Make the decision to cut back on your caffeine consumption slowly, and switch to organic coffee asap. Your waistline (and belly fat) will thank you.