Can Coffee Actually Make You Fat?
A single espresso (with no milk or sugar) only contains around one calorie. But studies have suggested there’s more to coffee than calories. It’s the caffeine content itself that can cause problems.
Research has shown caffeine affects levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Directly raising them to similar levels as if you’d just experienced a stressful event, such as a tight deadline or being stuck in traffic. Back in Paleolithic times, in the face of danger the physiological ‘fight or flight’ stress response was crucial to the caveman’s self-preservation. Today, however, due to the demands of our busy lives, stress and thus cortisol is consistently pumped round the body.
If cortisol levels are too high then your body will instinctively want to store fat especially in the central regions. Contributing to weight gain around the tummy.
As well as an increase in fat around the tummy, a high caffeine intake can impede adrenal gland function. symptoms of adrenal burnout include weight gain, anxiety, PMS, headaches, chronic fatigue and emotional swings. An imbalance of hormones can suppress thyroid function, making it trickier to lose weight. As well as lowering your immune system. Symptoms of high cortisol include being tired but wired, anxiety, disrupted sleep, brain fog, sugar cravings, extra tummy fat, and irregular periods as well as a low sex drive. If any of these sound familiar then it could well worth be cutting back on your caffeine consumption. The likelihood is your body doesn’t need additional cortisol from coffee. And you should therefore be trying to reduce cortisol levels, not increase them.
However, it’s worth mentioning the benefits of coffee too. Studies have shown that it is high in antioxidants. And that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s than non-coffee drinkers. Similarly, it’s also suggested that coffee can boost metabolism by up to 11% and can increase exercise endurance by 12%.