Weight loss works on the premise of calorie deficit, which requires you to consume fewer calories than you burn. You can achieve this state by modifying either nutrition, exercise, or a combination of the two. Stimulants are often seen as a way to assist with weight loss. One such stimulant is coffee, which is a popular drink globally and is enjoyed by countless people around the world.
Coffee is highly prized as a beverage for its ability to perk us up, mainly due to the caffeine it contains. An average cup of coffee provides 80mg–175mg of caffeine, depending on the type of brew and the mode of preparation. Beyond its stimulating effects, coffee has several well known health benefits. But does black coffee affect weight loss? Let us explore some of the benefits of drinking black coffee and how it can help with weight loss.
Benefits of drinking black coffee
Coffee has several properties owing to the caffeine present in it. Here are some of the benefits of drinking black coffee:
- Works as a great pre-workout beverage, as it helps improve performance
- Contains anti-oxidants, which may help improve heart health and aid in weight loss
- It is a diuretic, which means that it causes you to lose more fluid in the form of urine. This may result in temporary weight loss
- May help in lowering appetite
- Lowers fatigue
- Increases metabolism
- Improves alertness
How does black coffee help with weight loss?
Black coffee may be a better choice than other coffee beverages that are replete with excess calories from sugary syrups, milk and/or cream. But should one rely on black coffee for weight loss?
The caffeine component of coffee may have an important role in weight loss, which leads to desirable changes in body composition. A study carried out in Singapore recently showed that 24 weeks of consuming 4 cups of instant, caffeinated, regular coffee per day decreased fat mass by 3.7% on average when compared with a placebo group. This is however a modest decrease, given the amount of time it took to lose this amount of fat.
To put the findings in perspective, an 80 kg individual would lose just over 3 kg in body weight after 24 weeks of consuming 4 cups of coffee daily, which isn’t a particularly notable amount. An individual can get better results from reducing energy intake and engaging in an exercise program to modify body composition. However, that isn’t to say that coffee consumption can’t contribute to the overall strategy of losing body weight, ideally fat mass.
How much coffee per day is safe?
A safe amount of caffeine consumption per day for adults is capped at 400mg. There is conflicting evidence as to how much caffeine intake can induce weight loss. Certain studies have shown that a caffeine intake of up to 400mg can induce weight loss while other studies have pointed out that more than this amount is to be consumed in order to lose weight.
Here is a perspective of how much caffeine is present in common types of black coffee:
- One cup (237ml) of an americano contains 75mg of caffeine
- An espresso shot (44ml) contains 150mg of caffeine
Side effects of drinking coffee
Although coffee has a broad range of health benefits for chronic disease and can potentially be consumed in support of weight loss, there are a few populations that should be careful with the amount of coffee that they consume.
- Certain people may experience anxiety, insomnia, and/or feel jittery due to high consumption of coffee
- People with difficulty in regulating their blood pressure might also benefit from reducing their caffeine intake
You can opt for decaffeinated coffee as a useful alternative if you are sensitive to caffeine intake. The key takeaway message here is that black coffee, either caffeinated or decaffeinated, could be the best choice. This is because the extra cream, milk, sugar, and flavored syrups added to other preparations can negate any beneficial health effects obtained from drinking this simple brew.