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Why Your Morning Coffee is Making You FAT

Posted by Joel Marion

If you’ve been following my advice of including a good portion of your daily carbohydrate intake at breakfast, you might want to skip your morning coffee, unless it’s decaf, that is.


Well, the recommendation to consume ample carbohydrates at breakfast is due to the fact that glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity are at their peak in the morning – basically, your body is primed to “deal” with carbohydrates quite well during the first few hours of the day, and that ability continues to wane as the day goes on.

So where does coffee come in?

Well, quite a few studies have shown that caffeine intake acutely decreases glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, sabbotaging your generally “good” ability to process carbohydrates in the morning.

Here’s just one of many studies:

Caffeinated coffee consumption impairs blood glucose homeostasis in response to high and low glycemic index meals in healthy men.
Moisey LL, Kacker S, Bickerton AC, Robinson LE, Graham TE. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1254-61.

Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

DESIGN: Ten healthy men underwent 4 trials in a randomized order. They ingested caffeinated (5 mg/kg) coffee (CC) or the same volume of decaffeinated coffee (DC) followed by either a high or low glycemic index (GI) cereal (providing 75 g of carbohydrate) mixed meal tolerance test.

CONCLUSION: The ingestion of caffeinated coffee with either a high or low GI meal significantly impairs acute blood glucose management and insulin sensitivity compared with ingestion of decaffeinated coffee.

In the end, decreased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance = more insulin, less fat burning, and more fat storage; three things you DON’T want if you’re looking to shed those unwanted pounds.

Suggestions:  If you’re going to consume coffee or caffeine in general, it’s best consumed at times in which you are not consuming substantial carbohydrate.  This means ditching caffeinated coffee with breakfast in favor of decaf, and also avoiding energy drinks and other caffeine boosters during workouts in which a carbohydrate recovery beverage is being consumed.

Speaking of workout nutrition, my buddy Jayson Hunter just wrote a killer report about what you should NEVER eat after a workout – and you can download it for free here:

What to NEVER eat after a workout <——- Free Download

Question/Comment?  Drop it below!

Talk to you in the comments section!



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64 comments - add yours
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Hey Joel –

Not sure I understand this part:

“In the end, decreased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance = more insulin, less fat burning, and more fat storage”

In order to shuttle the carbs into the muscle, insulin is very important, so more insulin should be better.

Also, no one is going to gain FAT if they’re doing this while under a caloric deficit of any type, right?

For instant, if you’re in the “depletion zone”, then all those calories are getting stored either in your liver or muscles, so it fat storage is strictly dependent upon whether or not the person has their “reserve tank” full or not, right?

Please clarify.

And thanks for the post!

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It doesn’t say if the coffee contained sugar or not. If it did, then of course it is going to affect glucose tolerance.

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Once again information contradicting the advice of other so-called experts. I guess it all comes down to what you personally believe applies to your current situation. The net effect of introducing an AM no-coffee-drink-zone will probably be negligible anyway, so my morning coffee stays on the menu. Ínteresting info nevertheless, but the headline, that morning coffee makes you fat is not in line with the facts presented.

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Yes, caffiene is an insulin trigger, but below is a possible solution for those of you who don’t want to give up your morning cup of coffee or tea. It’s an article I found.

Get Your Caffeine Fix Without Affecting Your Diet

Most people need a cup of coffee (or three) in the morning to kick-start their day. I know I certainly need mine! Remember, however, that caffeine (tragically!) is an Insulin Trigger. As if that weren’t bad enough, the chemicals used to create most decaffeinated coffees — which include methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, and formaldehyde — can be toxic to your system. It seems like a total lose-lose situation! So how can you enjoy a good cup of joe in the morning? Here’s the trick to getting a great cup of coffee without hurting your body or causing unwanted weight gain:

•Stick with organic coffee beans. As with most produce, coffee beans are often grown with a sizable dose of pesticides. If you can swing it financially, select organically grown coffee to avoid those toxins.
•Enjoy your coffee solo. Because caffeine triggers insulin, drinking your coffee with food could give your body something to store as fat, and giving those fat-storing hormones too much to do is the last thing you want when you’re trying to get a Sexy Forever body. Drink your coffee an hour before you eat, so the insulin levels have time to drop back down before you enjoy your breakfast. Feel free to squeeze in a workout in between. I use that extra charge to fuel my morning exercise. No excuses!
•Decaf-lovers — look for Swiss Water process. The patented Swiss Water process uses nothing but water to remove 99.9 percent of the caffeine from the beans; this allows you to enjoy the coffee without worrying about the caffeine affecting your insulin levels — or the toxins associated with the decaffeination process. Even decaffeinated coffees that are “naturally decaffeinated” use naturally occurring chemicals to decaffeinate, so they’re still not a good choice.
Fact is, insulin issues aside, coffee is a wonderful source of antioxidants! I enjoy it black, but feel free to enjoy it with a small splash of nonfat milk and a little all-natural sweetener. See? I wasn’t kidding when I said this eating plan wasn’t about deprivation! For many people, giving up their morning cup would be a total deal breaker. With Sexy Forever, you can lose weight, look radiant, eat delicious food, and still get your caffeinated jolt in the morning. What’s not to love about that?

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I’m glad then that with intermittent fasting I can drink all the caffeine I need in the morning without any worries.

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There are going to be a lot of grumpy skinny people now.

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what about green tea? I usually drink 1 quart a day, when is the best time to drink it?

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G’day Joel,
Thanks for those articles; quite interesting. It may explain something that happens to me regularly; I have brekkie between 0600 and 0630 with 2 cups of black percolated coffee, a really good organic muesli, with some normal milk, and usually a slice of multigrain bread with a protein type food topping. Then at about 0830 -0900 I get a hypo glyceamic feeling, which I counteract with some dried apricots. I have been a coffee drinker since I was 10 (I am 60 now) So may be it is time to give the coffee away with breakfast have it earlier or try some herbal tea :)

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So I just drink coffee with a little half and half and sometimes turbinado sugar. Period. Within a couple hours I usually eat protein such as organic bacon and eggs, no wheat or other carbs at all.

Over the course of the day I consume fruits and vegetables and a bit more protein. Sometimes a bit of lite ranch dressing if I have a salad.

So when should I drink coffee? I find it helps greatly with allergies and asthma which I have more problems with in the morning. I can’t eat in the morning at all because my stomach is usually queasy until 1 or 2 in the afternoon from allergies. I find the half and half in the coffee balances my blood sugar nicely.

So is this routine going to make me gain weight? I mean so far… after 20 years it hasn’t yet… (In fact the only time I ever gained weight in my life was from hormones due to pregnancy).

Thank you!

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@ Joel Marion:

Right back at him Joel, Nice

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Don’t have a coffee with breakfast problem, but I hope I remember this when I get my next coffee & cake craving

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There are 3 things I have to do every morning in order to function. 1. Read “The Word” (just a few verses), 2. Drink a 5-hour energy shot and 3. Make my fruit/protein smoothie. If I don’t do those, i’m in a fog. I don’t drink any caffeine the rest of the day.

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