Research disagrees if we can lose weight with coffee

Lose Weight With Coffee? Maybe Not, New Research Says.

Summary: Lose weight with coffee? Probably not. While coffee is a healthy drink, and research suggests it helps ward off type 2 diabetes in habitual drinkers, new studies suggest that coffee probably won’t help in weight loss. [This article first appeared on the website LongevityFacts. Author: Brady Hartman. ]

People love to wake up each morning to the smell of hot coffee brewing. Coffee and the caffeine it contains are a great way to kick-start the day. About half of American adults drink coffee every day, drinking about 3 cups on average.

The beverage is consumed all over the world. Coffee originated in northeast Africa and spread throughout the Middle East in the 15th century from where it went on to Europe

Knowing that many people drink coffee in the hope that it will aid their weight-loss efforts, scores of scientists have studied the beverage and its health effects.   While some research suggests that you can lose weight with coffee, experts differ greatly on whether the beverage is a dieter’s friend or foe.

Studies say that coffee aids weight loss.
Challenging the research studies that say coffee aids weight loss. Photo: Ryan-McGuire

Coffee Is A Dieter’s Freind

Some studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3% to 11%. Other studies show that caffeine can increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese people and 29% in lean individuals, with the effects diminishing in long-term coffee drinkers.

An early study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) explored the health benefits of coffee, especially the caffeine it contains. The authors said that because caffeine raises the metabolic rate, coffee can be an aid in weight loss. The researchers also found that the calorie-burning effect of a meal was significantly greater after drinking coffee. The authors of the AJCN study concluded that coffee increases metabolic rates as well as the body’s ability to break down large food particles into smaller ones, known as fat oxidation, in people of normal weight. Because of the AJCN report and others like it, metabolism-boosting caffeine has since become a key ingredient of almost every commercial fat burning product.

Coffee Eases Workout Pain

According to researchers at the University of Georgia, drinking a cup coffee before you start working out curtails muscle pain while exercising. With less pain during your workout, you tend to exercise longer and more frequently, increasing the calories your body burns. The results of another study, this one conducted by Robert Moti, a professor at the University of Illinois-Champaign, agrees. Dr. Moti’s research points to caffeine’s effect “on a nerve signal processing system in the brain and spinal cord linked to pain.”

coffee doesnt aid weight loss
Some research says coffee doesn’t aid weight loss. Photo: Ryan McGuire

Coffee Is A Dieter’s Foe

Several new studies have come to light challenging the claims that we can lose weight with coffee.

The first study comes from researchers at the University of Chicago who found a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. The researchers found that because coffee is a stimulant, drinking too much of it may keep you awake at night. The scientists found that not getting enough REM sleep lowers a body’s basal metabolic rate and decreases nocturnal growth hormone secretion. Other studies show that coffee can also increase your body’s leptin and worsen insulin resistance. All of these factors will interfere with your attempts to control your weight, especially if you try to lose weight with coffee.

Another study, published by researchers at the University of Western Australia’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology also calls into question coffee’s effectiveness for weight loss. The University of WA researchers found that drinking too much of the popular brew may worsen metabolic syndrome. Researchers published their results in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Specifically, the Australian researchers focused on a compound found in coffee, known as Chlorogenic Acid (CGA). Lead author on the study, Professor Kevin Croft of the University of WA, repeated what science already knows about coffee, stating

“Studies have shown that coffee consumption lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” adding “This also included research on decaffeinated coffee, which suggested that the health benefits are from a compound in coffee apart from caffeine.”

Professor Croft explained that because caffeine wasn’t responsible, the team decided to study the effects of Chlorogenic Acids (CGAs), phytonutrients well known for their health benefits, including increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing blood pressure and body fat accumulation.

Co-author of the study, Professor Vance Matthews, challenged the health benefits of CGAs, adding

“this study proved the opposite in dosages equivalent to five or six cups of coffee per day.”

The researchers found that the equivalent dose of Chlorogenic Acids fed to obese laboratory mice affected the utilization of fat in the liver and caused abnormal retention of fat within the cells. The CGA-consuming mice also tended to have increased glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

Assistant Professor Vance Matthews stated that it was still okay for people to drink moderate amounts of coffee, adding

“It seems that the health effects are dose-dependent. A moderate intake of coffee, up to three to four cups a day still seems to decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”


“Everybody knows about the effects of caffeine, but when we’re considering our lifestyle choices it’s important to remember that compounds such as CGA can have an effect on our health if they’re not consumed in moderation.”

The researchers also found that CGA when used at higher doses, the phytonutrient CGA doesn’t prevent weight gain in obese laboratory mice fed a high-fat diet. Professor Croft added

“People might be wasting their money if they’re buying expensive products like green coffee.”

Bottom Line

Several studies show that the caffeine in coffee can increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, however, these are contradicted by other studies. The verdict is still out over whether coffee is an effective weight loss product. Professor Vance Matthews is among the many researchers who state that “A moderate intake of coffee, up to three to four cups a day still seems to decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”

Recent research about the health benefits of coffee is mounting up. You can read more about the health benefits of coffee in a related report.

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Diagnosis, Advice, and Treatment:  This article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.  The information provided in this report should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Consult a licensed physician for the diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911, or the equivalent emergency hotline number, for all medical emergencies. As well, consult a licensed physician before changing your diet, supplement or exercise programs.  Photos, External Links & Endorsements: This article is not intended to endorse companies, organizations or products. Links to external websites, depiction/mention of company names or brands, are intended only for illustration and do not constitute endorsements.

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