As the second most valuable commodity in the world after oil, it's no surprise here that there’s some brew-ha-ha surrounding coffee (even though it probably is amazing for you) . Carrying nicknames like jet fuel, black gold, and battery acid, coffee has been causing buzz in minds and bodies for centuries . But just what does it have to do with metabolism?
Don’t Mess With My Mo-Joe — Why It Matters
Photo by Kristine Lockwood
Beyond just causing the jitters, coffee can also speed up metabolism (how fast the body uses calories for energy)— some say up to 10 percent! It’s the caffeine that gives metabolism a boost by revving bodily functions. One cup of basic black, which has between 108 and 135 mg of caffeine, can speed heart rate, enhance alertness, and relax the air passages (speeding oxygen consumption)   .
But don’t rush off to the nearest coffee shop for an Orange-Mocha Frappachino just yet. A sugar-filled, flavored coffee can up calorie count and might actually slow down metabolism (thanks to the sugar)— seems a bit counterproductive. To keep the caffeine boost without the calories, try flavoring black coffee with cinnamon (it’s the cool thing to do, we promise).
A Boost from the Brew — The Answer/Debate
So just how does it work? As caffeine raises blood pressure and puts the central nervous system on high alert, the body burns calories to meet its energy needs, boosting metabolism. As caffeine enters the body, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly through the stomach and small intestine, allowing drinkers to feel the effects within 15 minutes of the first sip, and up to five hours . But just as caffeine’s effects on alertness fades, so do those on metabolism, peaking at around three hours after consumption.
Coffee does have a dark side, though— and not just in terms of roast. Drinking too much (more than three 8-ounce cups per day) can cause symptoms like insomnia, nervousness, irritability, upset stomach upset, and muscle tremors.
How do you take yours? An average Joe just doesn’t cut it anymore, so tell us what it takes to make a healthy, delicious cup of brew.
Yes, coffee can increase metabolism— just stick to plain black to reap the largest increase with fewer calories and sugar!