Coffee is delicious, flavoursome and for many people the highlight of their day – but could it also be helping you stay in shape?
A recent study has claimed the effects coffee has on the body benefit those looking to slim down, with health expert Bob Arnot referring to it as a “weight loss wonder”.
That’s quite a claim, but is there any truth to it? Dr Arnot claims coffee not only increases the metabolism and helps you burn more calories, but can protect the body against the effects of eating fatty foods. It almost sounds too good to be true, but according to Dr Arnot there’s a logical link between the delicious beverage and our weight.
In an article for the Daily Mail, published in July this year, he wrote: “It amazes me that for decades we overlooked coffee — the world’s most popular beverage after water — as a weight-loss wonder.”
Explaining that coffee makes us burn more calories, even when we’re being inactive, he claimed: “Caffeine increases the body’s metabolic rate, so it burns more calories even when you’re idle. Depending on the amount of caffeine in your coffee, drinking one to three cups may increase your metabolism so that you burn an extra 75 to 100 calories a day.”
That’s good news for those of us who like to have multiple coffees in a day. He also claimed that when you drink coffee can have an effect, saying that the end of meal is helpful when it comes to your body absorbing fat.
“Coffee at the end of a big fatty meal decreases the amount of fat that’s absorbed and decreases the amount of sugar that’s absorbed,” he said.
“If you give somebody a high-fat meal, their vascular function deteriorates, which over time can be a great risk. With a very high-phenol coffee, we blunted that response and actually improved vascular function.”
The Key, Dr Arnot claims, are Phenols, which increase energy expenditure and decrease the production of new fat. Coffee is rich in Phenols, but it varies depending on the coffee region. Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil and Colombia produce coffees rich in the chemical compound while he also advises to stick to lighter roasts.
It doesn’t mean you can view your daily cappuccino as a workout though as Dr Arnot points out that sugar-laden drinks add on the calories. If you’re looking to reap the benefits coffee can have, he recommends avoiding pre-ground beans and instead buying whole beans to grind when needed. He also advised cutting the calories by switching to black coffee when you can and flavouring with fruits like cherries.