Studies suggest that coffee does have an effect on metabolism, at least in the short-term. But, a new study by Northwestern University suggests it may have even more of an effect than previously thought. If you’re a coffee drinker, this new evidence might interest you.
It is generally known that coffee can increase metabolism. The hot drink is an appetite suppressant, and caffeine itself is used in many fat-burning or weight loss supplements across the world. This new evidence goes as far to suggest that heavy coffee consumption (4-8 cups a day), can affect more than 100 metabolites in the body. This means that coffee directly affects substances produced during, or as a result of metabolism.
The main surprise for researchers is that coffee affected metabolites relating to the endocannabinoid system. This is the same system that is effected by marijuana, but rather than increasing hunger, and stimulating the appetite, the effect of caffeine on the body is the exact opposite.
Affecting everything from sleep, to appetite and pain to memory, the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, helps regulate the body and promote homeostasis across all major body systems.
This new study links caffeine and its effect on metabolism to the endocannabinoid system, which may potentially be why coffee is so good at aiding weight control. Caffeine affects the ECS and inhibits hunger, meaning that the metabolites are altered, and therefore metabolism is increased.
Caffeine alone is said to help increase the metabolic rate from 3-11%. The larger the dose of caffeine, the larger the effect. However, the effects of caffeine on the metabolism are less pronounced on those who are overweight. Essentially, coffee can only help you keep off weight if you are already slim. So, don’t drink coffee thinking it’ll help you lose weight on it’s own.
The metabolism boosting, fat-burning properties of coffee are only beneficial when paired with a balanced diet. Those who are slim can expect caffeine to help increase fat-burning by around 29%. Those who are ‘obese’ who can expect to see a 10% increase.
Over time, unfortunately, people do become more tolerant to the effects of caffeine. That means that even if you drink more coffee, you may not see the metabolism-boosting effects. Though it’s effect on the metabolism may dwindle over time, the appetite-suppressing nature could still help you keep off the pounds.
Overall, although caffeine can help boost your metabolism in the short-term, the long-term effects are still up for debate. The benefits of caffeine are diminished when the user is a long-term coffee drinker. If you’re going to rely on caffeine to boost your metabolism or help you lose weight, it’s not going to do much in the long-term.