Espresso & Weight Loss

Cup of Espresso
Drinking espresso may reduce your hunger. (Image: Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Drinking espresso may help you to lose weight by increasing your energy level and temporarily reducing your hunger. These effects come from the caffeine content of espresso, a strong black coffee made by forcing stream through ground coffee beans. Espresso is also a low-calorie beverage, as long you're not adding sugar or cream to the espresso, and contributes roughly 3 calories per ounce.

Increased Energy Level

Most successful weight-loss plans include both a restriction in calorie intake and an increase in physical activity. This combination produces a calorie deficit resulting in weight loss. According to article published in the journal "Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series" in July 2013, consuming caffeine in moderate doses stimulates the central nervous system and improves exercise performance. Exercising longer or at higher intensity produces a greater calorie burn per workout, resulting in more weight loss. So a shot of caffeine-containing espresso before your workout may provide weight-loss benefits.

Reduction in Hunger

Drinking espresso may also reduce your appetite, allowing you to consume fewer calories. According to a study published in the journal "Obesity" in June 2013, a moderate daily coffee consumption in overweight and obese individuals reduced calorie intake at the next meal and reduced total daily calorie intake. The results were produced when people consumed 3 to 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day from coffee. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 fluid ounce of espresso has roughly 64 milligrams of caffeine.

Thermogenic Effect of Caffeine

Consuming caffeine from espresso may also slightly increase thermogenesis in your body. This is an increase in your body's heat production, which may cause a slight increase in calorie burn. According to an article published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," consumption of 100 milligrams of caffeine resulted in an energy expenditure of about 80 to 150 calories per day. Although this is a small number of calories, it can add up over time. Burning an extra 80 calories per day adds up to weight loss of about 8 pounds per year.

Beware of Side Effects

Although drinking a moderate amount of espresso daily may have a few weight-loss benefits, it also may produce side effects. High caffeine intake can lead to a rapid heart beat, anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea and restlessness. Over time, ingesting high levels of caffeine can cause a decrease in bone density by interfering with your body's ability to absorb calcium. If you consume espresso in place of water, milk or other non-caffeinated beverages, you may also become dehydrated. If you're currently experiencing side effects from drinking a lot of espresso, slowly reduce your intake to avoid withdrawal side effects, such as headaches.

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