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  • Is Coffee Helpful Or Harmful For Weight Loss? Innermost Investigates

    15th January 2021

    15th January 2021

    By Shivraj Bassi

    It’s the reason you get up in the morning, it’s what you take a break for at work and it’s what you meet your friends to get at the weekend. Have you guessed what we’re talking about yet? It’s coffee, of course. 

    Probably the most tolerated addiction out there is a caffeine addiction. Around 50% of people enjoy a cup of joe every single day, from double espressos to blended iced lattes topped with a halo of whipped cream. We all know that the latter isn’t doing you any favours when it comes to losing weight, but what about the black stuff itself? 

    Most diets out there, from inflammation fighting diets to the Sirtfood diet to the military diet, don’t have an issue with allowing you to keep drinking coffee. As long as you’re not packing your early morning or mid afternoon Americano with tons of cream and sugar, you’re good to go. 

    However, scientists have yet to conclude whether coffee is harmful or helpful when it comes to losing weight. The research goes back and forth on whether sipping the caffeine-filled beverage helps you to shed pounds. As at Innermost we’re big fans of starting our days with a nice, hot cup of coffee, we decided to dig down and try to discover if coffee will help you on your weight loss journey once and for all. 

    Does drinking coffee help you lose weight?

    While there have been some studies that go some way to prove that drinking coffee can help with weight loss, there’s no enough evidence yet to categorically be sure. 

    One 2019 study examined the fact that caffeine may stimulate brown adipose tissue, which is the fat in your body which burns calories. It found that drinking a single cup of coffee increases your metabolic rate to the point of inducing activity in brown adipose tissue, which leads to fat burning and weight loss. 

    A study by Harvard public health researchers in 2020 discovered that people who drank four cups of coffee per day had a 4% decrease in body fat. Although they’re not certain, the researchers thought this is because coffee increases your metabolic rate, which can increase the number of calories your body burns. 

    In addition, caffeine has been proven to have a positive effect on exercise capacity and endurance, and in delaying the onset of fatigue. This means it allows you to exercise faster, for longer, and feel less tired. 

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association in the US has even started to ban caffeine at high doses, such is its positive effect on performance during exercise. A study found that 400mg of caffeine increased endurance in athletes, and during a test they were able to cover one to two miles more ground when running than the placebo group were. Another study showed that during a 1,500m run, people who drank regular coffee were 4.2 seconds faster than those who drank decaf. Thus while caffeinated coffee might not have been categorically proven to increase the body’s fat burning ability, it does seem to increase your ability to exercise in a positive way. 

    Does coffee stop you from losing weight?

    On the other side of the coin is caffeine’s more negative side effects (apart from the fact that if you have a daily coffee shop habit, you’re spending money every day that you could put towards your favourite exercise class or a new variety of protein powder - although we too know the feeling of that 10am oat milk latte craving). 

    Drinking coffee has been linked to craving more sugar. This means that if you enjoy a cappuccino in the morning, you could be more likely to reach for sugary snacks come the 4pm slump. A study published in 2017 showed that coffee could confuse people’s taste perception of sweetness. 

    In addition, it’s been thoroughly proven that consuming caffeine can lead to trouble sleeping. A 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine concluded that drinking the stuff even six hours before your head hits the pillow can disturb your sleep. As insufficient or poor sleep has been linked to weight gain many times, this is a worrying correlation. 

    As we said before, drinking coffee is a mixed bag when it comes to weight loss. Much depends on how much coffee you’re drinking, when you’re drinking it and the effect you’re looking for when it comes to weight loss and performance. There might not be any fully conclusive evidence to support drinking coffee or not when it comes to losing weight, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t drink it if you want to - just be sure not to rely on it when it comes to shedding those pounds. That’s ok, however, because we have plenty of resources to help you out with that on our Insight blog

    Whatever you decide, try not to exceed 400mg of coffee a day or it’s likely that you’ll feel jittery and have trouble sleeping at night. And remember that caffeine is also found in other foods, such as matcha green tea and chocolate. 

    If you’re looking to get some caffeine in your life, it can be found in The Energy Booster and The Tone Capsules, perfect for that extra boost to power you through your workout. 

    Other Insights

    Coffee with milk
    There are plenty of reasons that people choose to switch to a vegan milk, ranging from the milk alternatives health benefits, their reduced environmental impact, and even their taste. But when it comes to choosing the best non-dairy milk for you, the healthiest milk alternative, or even the best non-dairy milk for coffee, it can become a bit challenging to choose between the many, many milk alternatives on the market. We’re here to break it down. We’re talking taste, sustainability and more. It’s the battle of the non-dairy milk alternatives, if you will. But first, as always, let’s get the basics out the way. What are non-dairy milks? Non-dairy milks are a group of plant-based milks such as oat, cashew and coconut milk, that are made without the need for dairy milk from cows. This means that not only are their environmental impact much lower, but that they are great for those that want to follow a vegan lifestyle and remove animal by-products from their diet. They’ve also got some pretty sweet health benefits, too. What are the benefits of non-dairy milks? Of course, the health benefits of non-dairy milks vary from milk to milk, but broadly, some of the great benefits of dairy milk alternatives include: Great sources of calcium Cholesterol free Easier to digest A delicious taste Fewer calories Due to the increasing popularity of dairy milk alternatives, too, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to brands, milk types and even flavours. For this reason, here at Innermost we recommend that if you try one dairy milk alternative and don’t like it – maybe you don’t like the taste or texture, just try another one! You’re sure to find one that you love. It can be pretty overwhelming when selecting the best milk alternative, though. So let’s take a look together… What is the most sustainable milk alternative? It’s a fact that in general, plant-based milks are more sustainable. Their production uses less land, less water and their production leads to far fewer levels of greenhouse gases than dairy milk counterparts. The two most sustainable milk alternatives are soy milk, who’s production requires the least amount of water, and almost milk, who’s production leads to the least carbon dioxide. So, if you’re looking to make the swap to a dairy-free milk in the hope of making a sustainable dietary choice, soy or almond are the milks for you. What is the best non-dairy milk for protein shakes? When it comes to choosing the best non-dairy milk for protein shakes, you’re looking for a delicious taste and a creamy texture. Both of which are provided by almond milk. Almond milk has a similar, creamy consistency to cows milk which is ideal for creating thick and satisfying protein shakes, and the vitamin content of this milk packs a punch, too. Almond milk contains Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E, which is a great addition to your protein shake, for sure. For those that love a caffeine boost, almond milk is often considered the best non-dairy milk for coffee, too! If you’re looking for a great tasting dairy milk alternative to add to your shakes, though, we really recommend coconut milk. Sweet and delicious, coconut milk is a firm cult favourite for protein shakes, especially with our pineapple flavoured product The Energy Booster… did someone say Pina Colada? What is the healthiest milk alternative? If you’re thinking of making the switch from dairy milk to plant milk, it’s probably fair to say that one of the biggest motivators behind this choice is the health benefits. Maybe you’re lactose intolerant and fed up of the milk-induced bloating, or perhaps you’re just conscious of the high fat content that dairy milk can bring… Whilst these are worthy concerns, when deciding on the healthiest milk alternative, it’s important to consider the sugar content of your brand of choice. That’s what you should be looking for. Soy milk is one of the most popular dairy milk alternatives, and it’s not hard to see why. As one of the healthiest on the market, soy milk contains just as much protein as cows’ milk, and as long as the milks don’t contain any added sugars and are unsweetened, soy milk is definitely the healthiest pick. Summary There are a few really key points to consider when making the switch to a dairy milk alternative. Firstly, non-dairy doesn’t mean non-delicious. Many people opt for a dairy milk alternative for the taste and difference that these milks can bring to smoothies and protein shakes as a result, for example. Secondly, switching to non-dairy milks is a great choice for the environment. The dairy industry has a hugely detrimental affect on the environment, and so switching to one of these delicious alternatives is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. By the way… why not make the change this World Vegan Day? Whether you opt for oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, or any other of the worthy plant-based milk alternatives, let us know what you think! Head on over to @liveinnermost. We’d love to hear from you. Read more
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