Inspired living

Coffee does not suppress appetite

Paper cup of coffee and coffee beans on wooden table


If you love coffee and thought that caffeine can suppress your appetite and help you lose weight, then think again. Previous claims such as these have resulted in caffeine being added to dietary supplements to suppress your food intake. Previous research has also speculated that caffeine speeds up metabolism and affects chemicals in the brain that help suppress appetite. Epidemiological evidence also suggests that regular caffeine consumers have a lower body mass index (BMI) than non-consumers.

The researchers did not find any differences in reported appetite associated with the different caffeine doses.

To test whether caffeine can, in fact, be linked to a suppressed appetite and if results vary according to BMI, researchers from SUNY University at Buffalo conducted a double-blind, randomised, crossover study that involved 50 healthy adults ageed 18 to 50 years.

The participants visited the laboratory weekly for a month. For every visit, the participants were asked to drink juice with either added caffeine (equivalent to the consumption of four ounces or 1 mg/kg), or eight ounces (3 mg/kg) of coffee, or no coffee as a placebo dose. After 30 minutes the participants were asked to eat as much as they wanted of a hearty breakfast buffet. The participants also recorded everything they ate throughout each study day, linked to an online survey, to record their intake and appetite at each interval. The researchers sent them hourly email reminders to document this data in the survey.

The findings of the study showed that after drinking the juice with 1 kg/mg of caffeine, participants consumed about 70 fewer calories (approximately 10 per cent) than they did after drinking juice with 3 mg/kg or no added caffeine. On reviewing the participants’ intake for the rest of each study day, the researchers also found that this small decrease in food intake did not persist. In fact, the participants compensated for the reduced intake at breakfast later in the day. The researchers did not find any differences in reported appetite associated with the different caffeine doses. Individual BMI also did not have any effect on food intake or appetite at all three caffeine levels.

The study suggests that caffeine is not a good appetite suppressant and cannot be effective in weight loss. In fact, good eating habits and exercise will support weight loss and a healthy body. However, you don’t have to give up coffee if you love a cup every morning. After all, coffee has other benefits, just not for weight loss.

Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!