A big cup of coffee is undeniably one of the simple pleasures of every morning, and while black coffee has been known to provide numerous health benefits to the body for both energy and metabolic purposes, there are certain mistakes which can negate the good it does. Loading up your cup of joe with sugar and creamers might be one obvious mistake, but there’s another habit which may have just as significant implications on your overall health when followed consistently. In order to create the most well-rounded morning routine to kickstart your day, there’s one habit experts say you should kick when it comes to drinking coffee.
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Coffee On An Empty Stomach
Drinking a cup of black coffee alongside a balanced breakfast may be one of the healthiest routines to follow in the morning, but drinking your cup on an empty stomach in lieu of a meal has the potential to quickly throw your body into a tailspin, impacting your wellness in a number of ways. “When we first wake up, we are in a depleted state due to not having had anything to eat or drink for a long period of time. If we then consume coffee, it speeds up the metabolism and our body requires a fuel source in order to support that boost,” explains Jenny Branco, RN, BSN, IHP.
While it may sound like a good thing to spike your metabolism without food in your stomach in order to burn fat, this can actually be potentially dangerous to your nervous system, triggering a spike of energy which may be overwhelming without food to counterbalance. “Without proper fuel, the body goes into fight or flight mode and activates the sympathetic nervous system. The endocrine system, responsible for our hormones, then initiates a survival mechanism spiking cortisol, causing blood sugar imbalances and taking a toll on metabolism health long term,” Branco explains.
In layman’s terms, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can cause those dreaded jitters, making it hard to focus on the day ahead and even sometimes leading to nausea with nothing else in the stomach to absorb the acidity of the coffee. Additionally, it can wreak havoc on your metabolism in the future, reducing its effectiveness with time.
We often turn to coffee as an external source of energy, and while it may seem like drinking it on an empty stomach would merely amplify those effects, it can actually make you feel worse, even slowing the body’s ability to lose weight. “Drinking coffee in a depleted and undernourished state only further heightens our internal stress levels and signals to our body to hold onto fat, rather than burn it,” notes Branco.
In order to effectively lose fat you must make sure to properly nourish your body with balanced meals to act as fuel, but without this, your body may think it’s in a state of starvation and become more resilient to weight loss. This can be the case even when cutting down on calories and drinking coffee as your breakfast. Not to mention, skipping meals is never a long term or even remotely healthy solution to weight loss.
In order to maximize the benefits of your morning cup of coffee, make sure to pair it with a balanced breakfast complete with protein, healthy carbs and a source of fats in order to fuel your body and offset the energy boost of caffeine. This will allow for the metabolic increase that coffee provides to become more effective, sparking further fat burn in the body for healthy and sustainable weight loss.