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Fitness & Health

13th Oct 2020

Experts have discovered the best time to drink coffee for weight loss

Drinking strong coffee after a bad night's sleep could hinder your health and weight loss goals. Instead, scientists advise drinking it after eating

Alex Roberts

Drinking strong coffee after a bad night’s sleep could hinder your health

If weight loss is your goal then this is particularly important.

Whether you’ve been working late, suffering with insomnia or have had your sleep interrupted by the sound of a crying baby, sinking a hot cup of Joe when you first wake up might feel like the natural choice.

But scientists have warned against this for health reasons relating to obesity and weight loss. Instead, experts believe coffee should be avoided until after you’ve eaten breakfast.

After a poor night’s sleep, scientists at the University of Bath advise against drinking strong black coffee before breakfast. Why? It causes your blood sugar levels to rise in response to the food you eat by around 50%.

Over time, this can lead to a problem known as ‘insulin resistance’. This is when your body doesn’t know how to use the sugar and energy from carbs. In the worst case scenario, insulin resistance can lead to conditions such as type 2 diabetes.

Photo: iStock

So – when should you drink coffee for weight loss?

Scientists say it’s simple: have it after breakfast instead of before. Caffeine before a workout is also hugely effective, too.

It reduces your rate of perceived exertion. In other words, how hard you perceive your workout to be. This means you’ll be able to train harder and for longer.

Burn more calories than you’re taking in through food and, hey presto, weight loss is on the cards.

Professor James Betts from the University of Bath says: “We know that nearly half of us will wake in the morning and, before doing anything else, drink coffee – intuitively the more tired we feel, the stronger the coffee.

“This study is important and has far-reaching health implications as up until now we have had limited knowledge about what this is doing to our bodies, in particular for our metabolic and blood sugar control.

“Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee especially after a night of disrupted sleep. We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we feel we still feel the need it. Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all.”