“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.” – Lewis Black

Coffee is one of the most, if not the most, popular drink in the world. It also happens to contain the most patronized psychoactive substance in the whole world: caffeine. It is one of the very few substances that have been established to help increase metabolism and burn fat.

How does the caffeine in coffee help burn fat? It does so by stimulating our nervous system that practically commands the fat cells to, as most DJ rappers in the 80’s and 90’s used to say, break it (fats) down. Another way caffeine helps burn fat is by increasing the level of the hormone Epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline), which also commands fats to break down into our blood for use as free fatty acids.

Caffeine also helps us burn fat by increasing our resting metabolic rate or RMR. The higher our RMR, the more calories we burn and consequently, fat. Caffeine also aids in improving athletic performance, which can lead to more calories burned and consequently, fat.

Lastly, caffeine has also been shown to help suppress our appetite by affecting our neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine, all of which send our brains hunger signals. Low serotonin levels, for example, intensify our cravings forcarbohydrate-rich foods and by increasing its level, caffeine helps reduce or eliminate these very strong cravings.


Coffee’s fat burning abilities can work better synergistically with a properly timed exercise session. Working out or doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and coffee – this is advisable only to those who have no acidity issues like me – helps accelerate fat loss in 2 ways. First, by working out on an empty stomach, your body is forced to tap fat stores (a.k.a. body fat) for energy. Second, caffeine in coffee helps jack up your heart rate, performance and even metabolism during your exercise session, helping you perform better (i.e.,

lift heavier, run longer or faster) than if you hadn’t taken coffee.

Just be careful to not overdo it by exercising at the same intensity as you normally do when you’ve already eaten. Remember, you haven’t eaten anything during the evening, which means you’ll naturally be performing at a lesser intensity. Don’t worry, the intensity is only relevant in terms of amount of calories you burn and when exercising on an empty stomach, you’ll be able to burn fat.


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