He café It is one of the most consumed drinks on the entire planet, including our country, since 46.5 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in Spanish homes, according to data from the Spanish Coffee Association. Although people usually drink it because they like its taste or for its stimulating properties, moderate consumption also has health benefits, and new research is now concrete that could help control weight and clarifies how it should be taken to obtain this extra advantage.
The results of the research have been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and show that drinking coffee can help lose small amounts of weightbut as long as you avoid sweetening it, since adding sweeteners is associated with a certain weight gain.
The researchers’ objective, as they explain in the magazine, was to study “the associations between changes in coffee consumption, caffeine intake and weight changes considering the addition of sugar, milk or other non-dairy beverages.” To do this, they analyzed data collected in three large health studies: The Nurses’ Health Study (1986-2010) which included 48,891 people, the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2015) with 83,464 participants, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1991-2014) with 22,863.
They selected those participants who met certain requirements, for example, that at the beginning of the study they had not been diagnosed with pathologies such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes and that their data was complete. Finally, they studied just over 155,000 people.
Coffee alone or with milk…, but without sugar
Participants answered questionnaires at the beginning of the study and every four years, allowing the researchers to estimate the frequency of coffee consumption –decaffeinated or not–, as well as the products that were added (milk, sugar, vegetable milks or sweeteners). In addition, they took into account other variables, such as the intake of certain foods or alcohol, their physical activity and various medical conditions.
They found in this way that drinking a cup of coffee a day, regardless of its caffeine content, was associated with the loss of 0.12 kilos every four years. However, the fact of add a single tablespoon of sugar each day already led to an increase of 0.09 kilos every four years. These associations were stronger in those participants who had a higher body mass index at younger ages. The use of milk or vegetable milks or ‘whiteners’ was not associated with significant weight gains in any case.
“Drinking a cup of coffee a day, regardless of its caffeine content, was associated with losing 0.12 kilos every four years”
Another interesting finding was that caffeine also influenced weight and that when people increased their intake by 100 milligrams (the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee), weight gain decreased by 0.08 kilograms.
Based on the findings of the work, the authors highlighted: “an increase in the intake of decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee without sugar was inversely associated with weight gain. The addition of sugar to coffee counteracted the benefits of coffee for possible weight control. On the other hand, adding milk or coffee whitener was not associated with greater weight gain.” And they conclude that their results “may be particularly relevant as an effective weight control strategy among overweight and obese people, since the observed weight gain associated with the addition of sugar was greater in these participants.” Furthermore, they note, “The findings raise questions about a potentially even more detrimental impact on weight of commercial coffee drinks with higher amounts of added sugar.”