Coffee – Coffee Drinking & Weight Loss – Friend or Foe?
Can you drink coffee when on the P90X program?Oct 6th, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Nutrition & Weight Loss, P90X FAQ
I recently saw someone on Facebook ‘dis’ coffee as though it was the devil’s brew. Now maybe it was because I happened to be sipping on a steaming mug of joe or just because I felt that a fair and balanced opinion was the right thing to do but I took her on.
This person’s point was that coffee was bad because it raised cortisol and cortisol would cause you to store fat. Now the first thing that bothered me was that the ‘facts’ were incorrect. Let’s deal by reviewing what cortisol is. Cortisol is a necessary stress hormone designed to help you cope with danger by releasing amino acids from the muscles, glucose from the liver, and fatty acids into the blood stream to produce a tremendous amount of energy. By the way, releasing fatty acids into your blood stream means you are burning fat, not storing it!
The issue is when cortisol is manufactured or elevated due to stimulants (coffee) or, more importantly is cronically elevated as is the case with high stress lifestyles. Elevated stress hormones puts the body in a catabolic state where there is ongoing tissue destruction, muscle loss, bone loss, and immune system depression. Obviously this is not good. If your endocrine system (pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands) are not functioning well, the glucose that can be released into your blood stream will elevate your blood sugar levels enough to cause your body to produce insulin which is likely to cause fat storage to increase. It is theoretically possible with too much cortisol to have your muscles robbed to store fat!
Moreover, there seems to be some causal evidence to suggest that elevated cortisol levels may lead you with a desire to eat sweats.
So we need cortisol but we don’t want too much of it or suffer from chronically elevated levels of it. If you have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to consider keeping any coffee drinking to a minimum. But if you are well balanced, the stimulative effects of coffee have been shown to produce many positive effects including increased alertness and the ability to burn more fat during exercise.
And, just to put this in perspective, exercise produces cortisol but we don’t say that exercise is bad for you! I do warn my clients about excessive exercise (more is not better) but we need exercise to build muscle and stay lean.
So if you enjoy a cup of coffee during the day, continue. Work on the other causes of stress in your life and you’ll be fine.Google+