News Cup of Coffee

Published on March 28th, 2013 | by Nicole Corvin

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How does coffee affect your appetite?

Caffeine is the world’s most consumed stimulant drug. Whether it is to improve athletic ability, to stay alert longer or to lose weight, most people prefer to drink their caffeine in the form of coffee beverages. The second most popular choice is taking caffeine pills.

A lot of people believe adamantly that coffee suppresses their appetite and thus drink it to help them lose weight, yet until recently there have been no hard scientific facts backing up that theory.

A recent study used four different drinks: caffeine diluted in water, decaffeinated coffee, simple coffee and a placebo, to test people’s different reactions to them. The test included asking the subjects at different times before and after drink consumption about their level of hunger and satiety. Also three hormones thought to control appetite where measured in 8 blood samples taken before and after consumption of the drink.

The three hormones measured where leptin and PYY, which are two appetite-suppressing or “anorexic” hormones, and ghrelin and appetite-inducing hormone. The subjects had to visit the lab four times, during each of which they were given one of the four drinks. At the end of the study each subject should have drunk all of the four types of drinks once. They had nothing to eat after consuming a prescribed light breakfast and had to visit the lab in the afternoon. The tests were “blind” so the subjects did not know what they were consuming.

The results of the study were rather mind-blowing, since the subjects chose decaffeinated coffee to have been the drink that suppressed their appetite the most! Also the hormone tests showed that PYY was the highest when the subjects drank decaffeinated coffee, while leptin and ghrelin levels were not affected by the drinks.

Precision Nutrition | Research Review: How does coffee affect your appetite?

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