Do you love coffee? Do you think it might be making you fat? You're not alone. Coffee is one of the most popular drinks globally, and while it has many benefits, you might be worried about it contributing to weight gain. In this blog post, we'll look at whether coffee can make you fat and what you can do to enjoy your favorite drink without worrying about your waistline.
Hint: It might actually help you lose weight.
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine is the compound that makes us love coffee. It wakes you up in the morning and gives you the energy you need to go through your day.
To better understand how caffeine works, you will need to know what makes you tired and sleepy. As your day goes by, you will feel more tired and sleepier. The reason for that is a compound called adenosine that your brain produces.
The best way to lower the built-up adenosine the best you can do is to get some sleep. With our busier than ever lives, sleeping is not always an option, so that's when you might want to get some coffee. The caffeine in it tells your brain that something exciting is happening and brings it to release hormones like adrenaline that prepare your body to react to danger.
The caffeine directly tackles adenosine and gives you an energy boost that makes it easier to get through your day. How much caffeine there is in coffee depends on multiple factors: the coffee beans you're using, the water to coffee ratio, and the brewing method. How much caffeine you can tolerate depends entirely on your body. For most people, one or two cups of coffee per day are enough and will mainly affect them positively.
Some negative effects might occur when your caffeine intake is higher than your body needs. As caffeine tells your brain that something exciting or dangerous nearby can lead to a higher heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, it can lead to anxiety and insomnia. If you feel any of these, you should stop consuming coffee and consult a doctor if they persist.
Does Caffeine Make You Fat?
Caffeine itself is not going to make you fat. Instead, as it raises the adrenaline, it will speed up your metabolism, making you burn more calories. As you will feel more energized and your body will be on high alert, your body will need to find extra calories. And some calories stay in the body's natural energy storage in the form of fats. So to get that extra energy, it will start slowly burning them to keep that state of high alert.
As a result, caffeine won't make you fat but just the opposite. It will help you burn more calories, making you slimmer in the long run. Coffee isn't only made of caffeine, though. There are more compounds, and if you like adding sugar and cream to it, it can actually make you fat. We will talk about that further in this article.
How Much Caffeine Is There in Coffee?
The amount of caffeine in coffee is not constant and depends on various factors. Among them are:
- The Roast: the degree to which coffee is roasted before you brew it can significantly affect its caffeine intake. Even though it's a bit counterintuitive, lighter roasts have a higher level of caffeine than darker ones. Nevertheless, the latter has a more intense flavor.
- Type of Coffee Beans: There are many types of coffee out there, but you can generally divide them into African and South American. While the African sorts have a sweeter and more subtle taste, the South American ones are stronger and have a higher level of caffeine.
- The Type of Coffee: This is one factor that affects the amount of caffeine in your coffee the most. Some ways of brewing coffee have less caffeine than others. A fantastic example here is espresso versus drip coffee. The former is brewed with pressurized steam, leading to better coffee extraction.
- Serving Size: Probably one you've figured out yourself, as the more coffee there is in your cup, the more caffeine you will consume. So espresso and Moka pot coffee are usually served in smaller cups with a higher caffeine level. On the other hand, Drip coffee is served in a bigger cup as there's less caffeine in it.
Here are the main types of coffee that you might be drinking with the amount of caffeine each one contains:
You can make brewed (or regular) coffee by pouring hot water over ground coffee, usually in a filter. The fact that it's effortless to make and the good amount of caffeine per cup is why many Americans and Europeans prefer this type of coffee. One cup (8 oz) has about 70-140 mg of caffeine or 95 mg.
You make espresso by forcing hot water or steam through finely-ground coffee. If you go by caffeine per volume, espresso has the highest amount. For that reason, though, the servings are significantly smaller, with one cup averaging at 1-1,75 oz. There's around 63 mg of caffeine in a single serving, and a double shot has 125 mg.
Instant coffee is among the types of coffee with less caffeine. Generally, there are two ways to make it, freeze-dried and spray-dried. The freeze-dried types of instant coffee contain a slightly higher amount of caffeine, but it's still pretty low. Both types of instant coffee have 30-90 mg of caffeine per cup.
Even though the name might suggest otherwise, decaf coffee actually has some caffeine. This curiosity results from not being able to get rid of all the caffeine in the grounds. Nevertheless, what's left is just a fraction of all the other options and is just 0-7 mg, averaging at 3 mg. However, some types might have even higher amounts of caffeine, depending on the coffee, decaffeination method, and amount of coffee per serving.
Does It Improve Your Health?
Coffee can affect your health positively. Some studies suggest that it can improve your memory and energy levels and even reduce the risk of stroke and type 2 diabetes. You need to be careful when drinking coffee, though, as it can negatively affect your health, too, causing anxiety, insomnia, or high blood pressure. Read our article and how often you should drink espresso to know more.
So Does Coffee Actually Help Weight Loss?
Coffee can be good for your health and even help you with weight loss, but it's not just that. Coffee can only boost your metabolism to speed up weight loss, but that won't happen just by drinking coffee. You will also need to put in the hours at the gym or in the park, working out to get rid of that extra weight.
If you're not careful with how much sugar you're putting in your brew, it might even cause weight gain.
Milk, Sugar and Cream Have a lot of Calories
Coffee is a delicious drink, but many people are not too fond of the strong taste and look for ways to get that extra energy with a smoother taste. Most of you will probably add milk, sugar, or cream to your drinks to make them sweeter. While we also enjoy the sweeter taste, this is not that good for your health.
These condiments have high-calorie levels, meaning they might lead to weight gain. To avoid that, you will need to lower your calorie intake through food or find a way to burn more calories.
Can Coffee Make You Gain Weight?
Black coffee won't make you gain weight. Even if you have more cups than is recommended (you SHOULDN'T do that under any circumstance), it will never gain you weight. What can lead to weight gain, though, is what you add to your coffee. As we already mentioned above, cream, milk, and sugar, among others, have high-calorie levels and can make you gain weight.
Final Thoughts on Coffee, Weight Gain, and Weight Loss
Coffee is a delicious drink that will not make you fat by itself. It all depends on the amount of sugar in coffee that can make it unhealthy or cause weight gain. Coffee can actually help weight loss because it has a lot of caffeine which boosts metabolism. Moreover, coffee drinkers also tend to be more active than non-coffee drinkers because of the increased energy levels.A great way to make delicious coffee without any sugar or milk is in a Moka pot anc you can easily buy a high-quality Moka pot like the ones you can find in our store to ensure you get the best taste.