Tuesday, July 7, 2009
was my radio station telling the truth?
This morning on my way to work (at crack-o-dawn o'clock), my radio station told me that drinking coffee in the morning roughly half an hour before breakfast can suppress my appetite by 30% all day. I thought to myself, "wow! That's incredible! I wonder what silly disreputable source gave out that information?" So, while procrastinating (and waiting for screens to load), I've been trying to find scientific evidence to prove or disprove my radio station. I was unable to locate a study that produced the data my station reported, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Anyway, here's what I did find (and if you have access, I suggest you read this article-it's kinda awesome).
In a test studying the effects of caffeine and stress on eating habits of rats, there was no major difference in weight between the control groups and experimental groups. However, eating habits were altered in food preference. The rats exposed to caffeine were less interested in salty or sweet foods than the control groups. So, you could extrapolate that if you are a salty or sweet snacker, the addition of coffee (and this is without the sugar and milk and creamer and extra shots of crap) could decrease your cravings. If you can then manage to find a healthy(er) snack option to provide mastication relief, weight loss might be observed. I suggest gum. Or carrots. Or celery. It's also important to remember that the test subjects were rats-it's not a guarantee that these results would be reproduced in humans.
So, was my radio station lying to me? Not necessarily. The verdict is still out on this one. The caffeine content in coffee may help suppress your appetite during the day. It may cause an increase in productivity (or ADD/ADHD-not exactly helpful); it may cause you to increase exercise/intensity (haven't tested that one out yet). But if you're receiving a caffeine fix from "improved" coffee beverages (think milk, sugar, Starbucks, etc.), you may be ingesting more calories than you would if you ate traditionally. In any case, I don't think a cup (or seven) will kill you. yet.