If you are one of those looking to lose weight, then you have probably come across articles claiming that coffee can do wonders for weight loss. In fact, there are “slimming coffee” out in the market now! Isn’t it interesting how this awesome drink that a lot of people have been consuming daily for so many years is actually doing more than just keeping us awake and alert? It also makes us lose weight! Do you want to know how caffeine does it?
As we all know, caffeine is the main ingredient in beverages we take to have more energy and be mentally alert. It is the most commonly-used stimulant and is actually mixed in drinks, medication, and food. So, how does caffeine make you feel energized? It is more of a two-step process.
Our brain contains molecules called adenosine, which helps our body feel tired and sleepy. When we take in caffeine, it blocks the adenosine from doing its job. Because our brain does not get the “message” from the adenosine, it releases two stimulants: dopamine and glutamine which increases our alertness level and makes you feel energized.
When we think of having more energy, we often turn to sugar which, as everyone knows, can lead to added calories. Caffeine intake has become a more acceptable alternative because it “gives” you more energy by burning stored fats. How? Caffeine makes you more awake which consequently makes you move. Depending on what you are doing, your body is now forced to create the energy you need to do your task. If it’s just sitting in front of the computer, your body will burn energy slowly. If it’s moving around like walking or doing exercise, your body will burn energy faster.
While drinking coffee is the most popular choice of caffeine-intake, medical experts advise against drinking too much caffeine. About 400 mg of caffeine is the suggested acceptable daily level because high amounts of caffeine can cause health problems like anxiety, elevated blood pressure, or insomnia. If you are like me and cannot remove drinking coffee from your daily routine, then be mindful of a couple of things.
Acidity – The acid in coffee can give you heartburn or a stomachache. You can opt for a cup of light-roast or try the latest variety of low-acid coffee which has a pH level of 5.74. Another reason why you should consider coffee’s acid content is your teeth enamel. Acid strips away your enamel, making it thinner and thinner, which can lead to dental issues that you might regret. Low-acid coffee can give you the same robust taste of coffee, but with lesser risk of the health issues. If you are not comfortable with low-acid coffee, then you can also try cold brews! Because the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for half to a whole day, some of the natural acidity is removed, making it safer than your usual hot cup of Joe.
Timing – A recent study discovered that drinking coffee at the opportune times can actually increase your level of alertness. Coffee intake between 10am to noon and 2pm to 5pm is the best time. However, since everyone’s sleep and hormone cycles are different, experts suggest drinking coffee two to three hours after waking up to take advantage of the dip in our body’s cortisol levels.