Winter is a time when we all look to the local coffee shop for some much needed energy and a quick ‘pick-me-up’. It is also a meeting place and an opportunity to catch up with family or friends and be able to sit, relax and talk. But is coffee considered positive or negative when it comes to weight loss?
Over the years we have heard the reports telling us to stay away from caffeine, because it is classified as a drug. Yet there has not been one single study or test that has proven coffee or caffeine has a connection to any heart condition or other medical problem. Drinking 2 cups of coffee per day could possibly cause a rapid heart beat in a small percentage of people and could temporarily raise their body temperature.
A few of you regularly drink a cup of coffee prior to your workout to help reduce body fat. The caffeine in the coffee helps boost endurance by prolonging fatigue and therefore helps to burn greater amounts of stored body fat. However, this will only apply if the coffee is consumed on an empty stomach.
Where people get it wrong is that they eat a meal prior to a workout which is often high in carbohydrate. By adopting this principle they are negating the effects of the workout and the benefits of the caffeine ’hit’. This results in no movement at all in their scale weight and/or body fat percentage. By simply avoiding the meal and consuming the coffee on an empty stomach they dramatically increase the total fat being burnt during exercise.
Other benefits of caffeine include:
- Improvements to long term memory
- Stimulates bowel movements
- Being a natural diuretic
It is vitally important that plenty of water is consumed when drinking caffeine to flush out the associated toxins.
The only proven negative effect of caffeine has been found in unfiltered coffee beans. Unfiltered beans have compounds that could possibly raise blood cholesterol by as much as 20 points. Be sure to stay away from coffee that is made in a French press. Whilst many claim the flavour is better, it is clearly not healthy and should be avoided. Drink only filtered coffee!!
A couple of other interesting facts include:
- 1 shot of expresso has less caffeine than a regular coffee
- 1 cup of tea can often have just as much, if not more caffeine than regular coffee
- 1 cup of coffee can enhance your alertness and concentration levels
So go ahead and enjoy your coffee. Moderation is the key and if weight loss is your desired goal keep this information at the forefront of your mind.