In the quest to keep the pilot light that is our metabolism burning at all times, there's no sweeter sound than finding out that something we're already doing is helping to keep it aflame. Case in point: drinking coffee. 83% of adults sip java daily, and lucky for this (large chunk) of the population, reaching for a cup first thing in the morning is actually fueling the flame a lot more than we knew.
"Your daily cup of coffee can help boost your metabolic rate by stimulating thermogenesis, helping you burn more fat," nutritionist Sarah Flowers tells The Express. She continues, "Coffee also contains chlorogenic acid, which helps to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, as well as stimulate the hormone epinephrine, which helps to break down fat." Chlorogenic acid also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and suppresses our hunger hormone, ghrelin.
Studies back these claims, finding that drinking coffee significantly increased the metabolic rate of participants during the three hours after caffeine ingestion as well as significantly increased fat oxidation during the last hour of the test. These findings occurred only in participants who were of average weight, though—obese participants only saw an increase in metabolic rate, not fat oxidation.
But before you preorder a few ventis on Starbucks' app, there are a few things to know first: Flowers warns that drinking several cups of coffee will actually decrease these effects and you could eventually become intolerant. Because of this, she suggests sticking to just one or two cups per day. Additionally, a latte, cappuccino, or any drink with loads of sugar and fat won't elicit these positive effects—stick to a regular cup of dark roast coffee (more antioxidants) with unsweetened almond milk or oat milk.
If caffeine isn't your thing, you haven't been ruled out: Decaf coffee still contains that magic chlorogenic acid.
And if all of this didn't motivate you to continue your daily brew already (or pick up the habit), coffee also helps decrease mortality rates, helps you power through a workout, and has a bevy of antioxidants to fight against inflammatory diseases.