Can coffee help you lose weight?

Drinking coffee 30 minutes before exercising could increase fat burning. — Shutterstock pic via ETX Studio
Drinking coffee 30 minutes before exercising could increase fat burning. — Shutterstock pic via ETX Studio

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GRANADA, March 24 — Drinking a strong coffee 30 minutes before exercising could increase the burning of fat — which could be beneficial for losing weight. This is what a new study conducted by Spanish researchers reveals, who specify that the effects are even more marked if the exercise is done in the afternoon.

Scientists from the Department of Physiology at the University of Granada in Spain have studied the influence of caffeine on the oxidation or burning of fat during exercise. They followed 15 men aged an average of 32 years, who participated in an exercise test on four occasions at intervals of seven days; some ingested the equivalent of a strong coffee, others a placebo, at 8am and 5pm during these tests. It should be noted that the preconditions for each stress test were standardized to avoid biasing the results.

Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, their work suggests that consuming about 3 mg/kg of caffeine — that’s one strong coffee — 30 minutes before engaging in fitness activities could increase the rate of fat burning significantly.

“The results of our study showed that acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before performing an aerobic exercise test increased maximum fat oxidation during exercise regardless of the time of day,” explained Francisco José Amaro-Gahete, one of the study’s authors. And that’s not all, since the researchers point out that if the exercise is done in the afternoon, the effects of caffeine are even more beneficial than in the morning.

In short, if you are looking to accelerate fat burning during physical exercise, especially for weight loss, you can combine caffeine intake with moderate intensity exercise... preferably done in the second half of the day.

Other approaches to boost fat-burning have been widely publicized, but have no scientific basis. This is the case for exercising on an empty stomach. “The recommendation to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning to increase fat oxidation is commonplace. However, this recommendation may be lacking a scientific basis, as it is unknown whether this increase is due to exercising in the morning or due to going without food for a longer period of time,” outlines Francisco José Amaro-Gahete. — ETX Studio

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