Many of us rely on our morning cup of coffee to get us going each day, but that caffeine fix might also be helping us stay in shape. We aren’t just talking about giving us the energy to squeeze in an extra workout, but actually burning fat, a new study reports.
The first thing to understand is that our bodies have two different types of fat: white and brown. White fat is what gets stored to keep us alive in survival mode — or build up and cause us to gain weight. Brown fat is what helps us burn that stored fat and balance blood sugar, bone health, and muscle mass. Unfortunately, we lose a lot of that brown fat as we grow up, which is one of the reasons it can be difficult to shed pounds when we get older. However, it isn’t completely gone, and this new research may have found a simple way to activate it more often.
According to the study published in Scientific Reports, “caffeine ingestion is indicative of an increase in BAT [brown fat] activity following a relatively low dose of caffeine from a single standard cup of coffee.” In other words, a regular cup o’joe signals our body to amp up the brown fat, which then burns off excess white fat. They came to this conclusion after observing the difference between participants who drank water versus those who had coffee.
It’s important to note that the study only included nine people, so more research is definitely needed to back up their results. Plus, other factors like adding cream and sugar could wipe out the potential benefit altogether. That said, we’re happy to know our coffee addiction just might be perking us up in more ways than we thought.
Before you start chugging multiple mugs a day, though, remember that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. You should also heed any warnings your doctor might have about your coffee consumption.
Otherwise, pour yourself another cup and enjoy!