Human metabolism is a relatively complicated mechanism of our biology. Our metabolisms allow us energy throughout the day, but it is also responsible for so much more. While our metabolic rates vary based on several factors, there is one detail that remains constant among thousands.
Virtually everyone on the planet drinks coffee, a beverage that has served as a staple of the modern breakfast for decades and remains beloved. However, the average coffee drinker might not realize that coffee is more than a caffeinated beverage you can use to wake up in the morning. Coffee has been linked to impressive metabolic benefits that help ensure our metabolisms are active.
The fact that such a popular drink has benefits for enhancing human metabolism further adds to its overall appeal. Additionally, coffee is a drink you can enjoy in multiple ways, so there is a type of coffee that suits everyone's tastes. The most well-known difference is between a standard cup of hot coffee or an iced coffee for those who prefer a cooler drink. However, the question is how these different coffee temperatures affect how it interacts with our metabolism. This article will focus on determining whether hot or iced coffee is better for our metabolisms.
How Does the Metabolism Work?
The word "metabolism" should be familiar to most people as you have likely heard of it at some point in your life. However, the inner workings of human metabolisms might be something of a mystery to those who are not well-versed in biology. There have been generalizations about how a person's metabolism is the cause of their current weight, but it is not as simple as your metabolism causing you to gain extra weight.
However, a fast metabolism can be very effective in helping you shed that weight if you know how to enhance its effects. That said, the first thing you must do is learn about how the metabolism functions before you can consider modifying it.
Contrary to what some believe, our metabolism is not a body part but a biological process that takes the food we consume and converts it into energy. The calories in our meals are oxidized to cause a release of energy that our bodies use to function. This energy is essential even when we sleep, as breathing is an activity our bodies need the energy to perform. Without the right amount of energy, we would be unable to perform the simplest tasks. Our metabolic rate is determined by certain factors, some of which are immutable. These factors include:
- Biological Sex: Biological males and biological females differ in how they generate fat versus muscle. While the former is more likely to have more muscle than fat, the latter is more likely to have more fat than muscle. As a result, biological males tend to burn more calories than biological females.
- Age: Another major factor in our metabolic rates is our age. The older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to put on muscle and the easier it is for them to put on fat. As a result, those of us at an advanced age tend to lose our ability to burn calories quickly.
Other factors such as height and weight play a part in our metabolic rate, but the above are the ones that we cannot change. However, our metabolisms are still open to influence through the things we eat and drink. Some foods and beverages have been known to enhance our metabolic rate. One of the beverages available to enhance our metabolism happens to be our morning cup of coffee. However, you might be more interested in how coffee can bolster our metabolic rate.
How Does Coffee Affect Our Metabolism?
Coffee is more than just a delicious and effective way to begin the day. It is packed with compounds that can enhance certain biological functions that are otherwise immutable. One of the benefits that coffee offers, other than making socialization first thing in the morning tolerable, is that it increases our resting metabolic rate (RMR). Our RMR determines how many calories we burn when resting, so increasing the RMR allows us to burn more than we normally would. However, the question is how coffee can increase our RMR at all.
The answer lies in the same substance that made coffee so popular in the first place. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that is the main marketing point for a cup of coffee. Caffeine is an antagonist to the neurotransmitter adenosine, which blocks electrical impulses to the heart and prevents radical changes in our metabolisms. By inhibiting adenosine, caffeine opens our metabolic rates to change while also firing off neurons and neurotransmitters like dopamine in our bodies. This is how caffeine enables us to remain active even when exhausted.
Caffeine's effects on the metabolism have been extensively studied and revealed an interesting fact. Caffeine consumption has been known to increase our RMR by anywhere between 3% and 11%, making it a powerful metabolic enhancer. Coffee's enhancements to the metabolism are so pronounced that it inspired Dr. Bob Arnot to publish The Coffee Lover's Diet, which promotes a diet focusing on drinking coffee.
The main effect of caffeine's metabolic enhancement is that it improves our body's ability to burn fat. However, the unfortunate drawback is that the effect is not as prevalent in those who are already overweight. A particular study of caffeine's effect on burning fat determined that the consumption of coffee enhanced fat burning by 29% in lean subjects and only by 10% in overweight subjects. However, caffeine remains a useful tool in improving how your body can burn fat.
With all of this in mind, it is important to remember that most of these studies involved the consumption of a normal cup of coffee. Specifically, a standard hot cup of coffee has been cited as a staple of the American breakfast for decades. However, it begs the question of where iced coffee fits in the metabolic enhancement game.
How Does Iced Coffee Affect Our Metabolism?
Iced coffee might seem like a modern take on a classic cup of coffee; however, iced coffee is 182 years old. The first documented record of iced coffee was in Algeria in 1840, where the locals refer to this beverage as "the original iced coffee." Since then, other nations began putting their spin on iced coffee, with Italy creating granita al caffè in the 19th Century.
However, iced coffee's commercialization occurred in 1920 via a marketing campaign spearheaded by the Joint Coffee Trade Publicity Committee of the United States. Now, iced coffee is as common as water served in establishments like Starbucks and McDonald's.
However, the origin of iced coffee does not explain how it can enhance our metabolic rates. The answer is fairly simple. No matter where you are getting your iced coffee, it is still coffee and contains caffeine. Therefore, iced coffee still yields the same 3% to 11% increase to our RMR for which its hot counterpart is known. So, now you are probably wondering if there is a difference to speak of at all. The answer is "yes."
The key difference between iced and normal coffee is the temperature, which you likely guessed thanks to the name. However, many people do not know that the temperature of your drink changes how your metabolism responds. The shift is subtle, but drinking cold beverages offers a slight increase in how many calories we burn at rest. We discovered this thanks to research conducted by the University of Washington.
The University of Washington studied whether drinking cold water had better effects on weight loss than room temperature water. The results were positive only in the sense that there was a difference. The problem was that the change was so minimal that it would not make a difference if you did not adjust your lifestyle in other ways.
They discovered that cold water allowed the body to burn an additional eight calories at rest compared to room temperature water. So, ten glasses of cold water daily translated to an additional 80 calories lost.
Cold water, and by extension iced coffee, has this effect because the cold generally affects our metabolism. This is thanks to non-shivering thermogenesis, which burns fat to produce body heat. As a result, our metabolisms kick into overdrive to burn calories quicker to restore our body temperature to normal. However, the consumption of iced coffee will only change the calories burnt by a similarly small amount.
While drinking iced coffee does not yield a huge change in our metabolism compared to regular coffee, the fact that we burn an extra eight calories with cold drinks gives it an edge. Of course, ensuring that the iced coffee you drink does not have more calories than you can burn is important. However, it does seem like coffee is the perfect metabolic enhancer. We only wish that were true. There are a few issues with relying on coffee, iced or hot, to improve your metabolic rate and increase weight loss.
What Are the Issues With Coffee and Weight Loss?
Coffee impacts our body's ability to burn calories and fat; there is no doubt about that. However, the stimulant that makes coffee an effective tool for metabolic enhancement is also the greatest weakness to that goal. By its very nature, caffeine is an unnatural substance to the human body and is something we attempt to adapt to against our will. This means that, over time, our bodies slowly acclimate to caffeine consumption, and its power over us weakens as a result.
Unfortunately, using coffee at any temperature is only viable as a weight-loss tool in the short-term, with long-term use eventually causing it to lose its effects. Eventually, the only way coffee would be able to help you lose weight is by serving as an appetite suppressant, which is part of the origin of dessert coffee.
There is also the issue of caffeine's negative effects on cardiovascular health. Caffeine affects the electrical signals our bodies send to the heart. Too much caffeine could cause a heart attack or other cardiovascular health complications. This means that even if coffee were viable as a long-term metabolic enhancer, we would still need to use it conservatively to avoid jeopardizing other aspects of our health.
However, you can still use iced coffee and regular coffee to improve our metabolisms for short periods and help us drop a little extra weight. It comes down to moderation and finding a coffee designed to help with weight management while still providing enough caffeine to face the day.
Keep it All Natural!
When it comes down to it, coffee is an amazing beverage that allows us to face the day in several ways. Regarding metabolic enhancement, coffee is a valuable tool for short-term use. As for whether hot coffee or iced coffee is superior for this goal, iced coffee wins by a hair. While an extra eight calories burned is not much, it is still something that we should weigh against what hot coffee can offer. So long as the iced coffee you use to improve your metabolism is not overloaded with excess sugar or other additives, the enhanced calorie burning will not go unnoticed. The only major concern is finding an iced coffee free of these unnecessary ingredients.
Fortunately, this is something we at Bella All Natural can help you find. We sell a specialized Skinny Iced Coffee that has been optimized to help you lose weight. It comes with all of the caffeine of an iced coffee from Starbucks without the extra fluff. Adding a couple of scoops to some ice water will provide you with a tasty and guiltless glass of iced coffee that can get you started on your weight loss journey. We hope you will visit our website and try our product, but no matter what you do, remember to keep it All Natural!
Have you given our Skinny Iced Coffee a try yet? If so, what were your thoughts on it? Did you find it helpful in your weight loss journey? Be sure to leave all your thoughts and comments down below! We would absolutely love to hear what you all think about it!