Around 75% of adults drink coffee on a regular basis. In addition to its taste, the main reason for choosing this drink is its stimulating effect. Coffee affects the nervous system by reducing fatigue and energising. This effect is often used by physically active people - coffee is often treated as a functional pre-workout drink. Unfortunately, with its regular drinking, the effect is usually clearly weakening. It is worth considering what to do to strengthen it again and to once again feel the kick coffee consumption offers.
Functional properties of coffee
Coffee contains countless substances of which a part has a complex impact on the functioning of your body. The main appreciable, positive effects of its consumption are: psychomotor agitation and feeling of pleasure associated with the presence of compounds which give coffee its unique taste and aroma. In addition, the coffee further increases thermogenesis, making the rate of metabolism rocket up, and it also contains antioxidants to reduce the activity of free radicals. These are the main but not the only characteristics of this drink (coffee also affects the functioning of the circulatory system, digestive system, water-electrolyte balance, and many others).
Sugar and the effect of stimulation
Desirable consequences resulting from coffee consumption can be either levelled down or enhanced. For example, if you are to improve your concentration, an addition of a little sugar to your coffee may be a good idea, similarly if you use coffee as a pre-workout that increases the desire for workout and boost your exercise capacity. But if you want to emphasize the slimming properties of coffee, the addition of sucrose is a rather poor idea.
Sugar and fat burning
The presence of sugar may stimulate insulin secretion and reduce fat burning. In addition, the carbohydrates will provide competitive "fuel" for fatty acids. Of course you can argue saying that one or two teaspoonfulls of sugar will not change much when it comes to breaking up energy. It should be inderstood, however, that in the case of for example cardio training average energy expenditure is in the range of 5 to 7 kcal per minute. Two teaspoons of coffee sweetened with sugar is about 32 - 40 kcal (one teaspoon 4-5 g). So sugar evidently stands in the way of weight loss.
Coffee to your meal or on an empty stomach?
You should also know that food may slow down the absorption of caffeine and modify its operation. For instance: a lot of people experience drowsiness when they have their coffee just after a carbohydrate meal. This effect is unclear, but is likely to occur due to the fact that after a carbohydrate meal you often get a feeling of happiness associated with increased availability of tryptophan (which forms serotonin) to the nervous tissue. There is some limited evidence that caffeine may increase the accumulation of tryptophan in the brain. No matter what the mechanism of this association, with this matter in mind, and taking into account the fact that food slows down the absorption of caffeine, you should enjoy your coffee separately from any meal if you want to experience its stimulating effect. Nevertheless, you should be aware that coffee drunk on an empty stomach may be less friendly to mucosa of your gastrointestinal tract.
Coffee with milk?
Coffee contains a high number of compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that belong to polyphenols. Several studies has shown that milk proteins can interact with these substances by reducing their absorption. Although these were not tests performed on coffee itself, but you can translate the results on your favourite black brew and think again before you go for any dairy additives. It should also be noted that some of the polyphenols may help slimming. Reduction of their potential is not a good idea.
An interesting addition to coffee, however, are hot and intense spices such as chilli, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Substances found in them act to potentiate thermogenic and fat burningeffects, and also possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiaggregative effects. And according to some latest scientific data, they includ anti-cancer properties as well. So using these spices with your coffee can bring about plenty of health benefits and offer weight loss help.