How Coffee Aids Your Metabolism

Coffee isn’t just low-calorie–it can actually help you lose weight faster!

One thing that fans of healthy eating love about coffee is it’s low calorie count. In fact, black coffee without added cream or sugar has next to zero calories. As long as you’re not getting your coffee fix through frappes or creamy lattes, you have very little to account for in your daily meal-tracking. It’s a choice that you can feel good about, but maybe it can make you feel even better than you originally thought. What you may not know is there may be more weight-control benefits to coffee in addition to its modest impact on your diet.

Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and even some cancers often have something in common: a precursor called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome has only been named as a medical condition since 1998 and it is not in itself a disease technically. Instead, it’s a series of risk factors that often show up as precursors to other diseases. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome include a large waistline (over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women), low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and high fasting glucose levels.

People with the risk factors for metabolic syndrome have double the risk of cardiovascular diseases than people who don’t and five times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also can often become insulin resistant, meaning that their bodies don’t respond correctly to the hormone insulin, which is supposed to help the liver turn food into fuel. This disruption of the metabolism is a core to many of the problems that comprise metabolic syndrome, and can also lead to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Maintaining a healthy weight is one way to keep metabolic syndrome (and all of the diseases it can lead to) at bay. And while the lower caloric intake that comes along with drinking black coffee definitely helps, coffee also has components that directly help aid in metabolic processes. There is even evidence that drinking coffee can speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight.

Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systemic inflammation,” Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Multiple studies verify an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome. A 2015 meta-analysis conducted at Qingdao University Medical College in China sifted through 11 published reports with a total of 13 studies and over 150,000 participants, finding an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and metabolic syndrome in both cross-sectional (one that observes populations at a particular moment in time) and cohort studies (more controlled, planned-out studies). It appeared that how much coffee a subject drank played a major role in how low their risk of metabolic syndrome was as well, as the group that consumed the most coffee had the lowest rates of metabolic syndrome and obesity.

You may ask why this effect takes place. First, let’s consider the effects of caffeine, which many athletes use caffeine as a performance-enhancer. A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism said that athletes who used caffeine pre-workout burned 15% more calories for the ensuing three hours than others who used a placebo. But other scientists have used controlled scientific tests to determine which metabolism-boosting properties were thanks to caffeine and which were the results of other components that are present in coffee–specifically chlorogenic acids (CGAs).

A 2015 Italian meta-analyses determined that most of coffee’s effects on metabolism had nothing to do with caffeine, saying instead that, “Chlorogenic acids have demonstrated direct anti-hypertensive action through beneficial effect on endothelial function, and significant improvement in glucose and insulin metabolism.” This means that the CGAs in coffee produce healthy blood pressure levels because they have an anti-inflammatory effect on the tiny cells that make up the walls of our blood vessels. Plus they improve how quickly and efficiently the body turns food into fuel. Some estimate it to be 3–11% improvement in metabolic rate for regular coffee drinkers.

To further determine which health effects were from caffeine and which were from CGAs, a 2016 Spanish study tracked urinary metabolomes. After a period of time where they “washed out” all caffeine and other substances from their systems, two groups of participants between age 25–44 were assigned either a daily coffee beverage or a daily beverage that only contained the same amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee and none of the other characteristic compounds. The study determined that a metabolite called trigonelline was a unique indicator to coffee and could be used for future studies as a way to determine what effects were from caffeine and which were not.

As you work day by day to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight, you can rest easy that a coffee habit can be helpful when done correctly. Purity Coffee still tastes incredible without calorie-packed cream and sugar, and it has the maximum level of CGAs that will help stimulate insulin sensitivity. Let Purity be your tool to support a healthy weight and a metabolic system that works exactly as it should.

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