It is a common practice for people all over the world to drink coffee in the morning. However, one suggestion is to avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach, especially hot coffee. When we consume coffee first thing in the morning, our stomach is empty as we have not eaten anything for many hours. The acids present in coffee can stimulate the production of more acids in the digestive system, and this can give rise to acidity or heartburn. It is always advised to have breakfast before drinking coffee because a full stomach can slow down the assimilation of caffeine, which can prevent jitters and palpitations. Hence, it is better to wait for some time before taking in that hot, fresh, and flavorful cup of coffee to kick-start your day.
At first, they had a “normal night’s sleep” and then consumed a “sugary drink” first thing in the morning. (The sugary drink “mirrored what might typically be consumed for breakfast,” the study authors note.) In the second, participants experienced “a disrupted night’s sleep,” in which they were woken up for five minutes every hour during the night, and were then given the same drink. In the third, participants had a disrupted night in bed but were given “strong black coffee 30 minutes before consuming” the drink that represented breakfast.
In all three scenarios, the researchers monitored the participants’ blood glucose levels. Afterward, they found that a single night of terrible sleep, when compared to a good night’s sleep, didn’t necessarily impact the participants’ blood glucose levels and insulin response.
“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,” writes James Betts, Professor of Metabolic Physiology at the University of Bath and Chair of the Department for Health Research Ethics Committee. “We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we feel we still need it. Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all.”
He went on: “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.”
If you find yourself struggling to pull yourself out of bed, remember to reach for your coffee well after you’ve had your breakfast. And if you’re curious to know what some of the upsides to drinking coffee at the right time are, read on, because we’ve listed them below.
Yes, coffee will help power you through your workout. But so caffeine has the potential to alleviate muscle discomfort, feel free to enjoy a cup of Joe after your workout (and after refueling with a snack, of course).
Believe it or not, coffee could help reduce your risk of depression. “Coffee has been associated with a reduced risk of depression and suicide—but it’s unknown if that benefit is due to the coffee or the caffeine in it,” Debbie Petitpain, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Coffee is surprisingly rich in antioxidants: naturally-occurring plant compounds that have been shown to help protect against several chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer,” Kelli McGrane MS, RD, registered dietitian and Lose It! nutrition consultant, said to Eat This, Not That! “Coffee is particularly rich in an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which has been linked with helping to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels. Of course, other lifestyle factors are also important in reducing your chronic disease risk, including diet, exercise, and not smoking.”
Coffee could help reduce your risk of dementia as if you needed another reason to pour that post-breakfast cup of Joe. One study referenced by the National Library of Medicine found that “coffee drinking of 3-5 cups per day at midlife was associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD by about 65% at late-life.”
If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, coffee could be the key to your success. A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that drinking four cups of coffee a day could help reduce body fat. For more expert-backed nutrition advice.
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