Note: It has to do with the caffeine.
Experts talk about the importance of hydration for health and weight loss. And they also talk a lot about cutting calories in things like your daily coffee. Now, new research shows that a cup of coffee might stimulate “brown fat” — and it could be another breakthrough for weight-loss research.
What is brown fat?
Scientists from the University of Nottingham tested nine healthy male and female subjects to see if caffeine stimulated “brown fat”. These fat cells differ from white or normal body fat cells because the body uses this fat to generate heat, according to Jaime Harper, MD, an obesity physician who did not participate in this study. Meanwhile, normal body fat cells store energy, says Dr. harpers And according to Jamie Kane, MD, director of the Northwell Health Center for Weight Management, people also call this tissue “baby fat.” Because it generates heat, it also burns calories, unlike other types of fat, which could contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance and further weight gain, says Dr. Kane, who also did not participate in this study. (Find out if coffee causes inflammation.)
What did the researchers find out?
Researchers involved in the study tested whether the caffeine in coffee stimulates these brown fat cells in humans. So the team determined each volunteer’s brown fat reserves and how much heat they produce using thermal imaging cameras. They scanned participants before and after drinking a cup of coffee with about 65mg of caffeine or plain water to see the effect.
The results show that drinking a single cup of coffee can stimulate brown fat, which would increase the body’s metabolic rate — meaning those fat cells are working hard with the help of coffee, burning more calories. We already know these 7 things happen to your body when you drink coffee every day, but this research is a good place to start looking at how what we eat and drink affects bodily functions and energy expenditure, says Dr . harpers
However, the study did not show that the patients lost weight from drinking caffeine. “Although brown fat has a promising future in weight loss, the adult human has so little brown fat that it has not been proven to play a role in overall body metabolism,” says Dr. harpers according to dr Kane also has some other limitations of the study. They only used a small sample size of patients, all of whom were of normal weight.
What does that mean for the future?
The next step for the researchers is to figure out how to get the body to produce more brown fat and boost metabolism. According to Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, MD, a health expert not involved in the study, the researchers hope the body stimulates more brown fat so it could potentially help with weight loss. Until further investigation is done, keep drinking your regular cup of joe for the flavor or the caffeine — and be aware of how much caffeine is actually in your cup of coffee. Just make sure you’re not offsetting any potential or other health benefits of coffee with added sugar or fat, says Dr. Kane.