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One Major Effect Coffee Has on Your Metabolism, Expert Says

"The stimulating effect is definitely there," one dietitian says. (It even works while you're at rest!)

With summer and swimsuit season rolling in, you might be in search of some easy ways to make your everyday diet choices help you feel your best. Well, here's some sunny news: According to a dietitian at a weight loss clinic in one of Florida's hottest beach cities, your metabolism ramps up as soon as you take your first sip of coffee, which can set you up to eat healthier, burn more calories, and even lose weight.

Keep reading to find out how coffee helps you burn fat, even when you're not moving. And for more, make sure to check out Making This One Change to Your Diet Could "Reprogram" Your Metabolism, New Study Says.

"The stimulating effect is definitely there."

cup of coffee

Donald Mankie is a registered dietitian at the Sarasota Memorial Bariatric and Metabolism Center who just spoke to Sarasota Magazine to answer the burning question about whether coffee fuels metabolism. Mankie told the local outlet: "The stimulating effect is definitely there." (In fact, this has been demonstrated in a number of great studies.)

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To start, a pre-workout coffee gives you a lift.

coffee workout

Mankie said that in the simplest sense, coffee helps your metabolism because its caffeine gives you more energy. He noted that "caffeine can reduce the perception of fatigue" during exercise, which might simply give you that extra "oomph" to power through your workout to maximize your output.

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Coffee also helps you burn fat while at rest.

Senior woman using a digital tablet and having coffee on the sofa at home.

According to Mankie, coffee can also keep your metabolism raised even when you're not hard at work, thanks to "thermogenesis," which is the body's process for producing heat.

As Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic, has said, caffeine amps up the amount of energy your body uses even when you're inactive… and this translates to the burning of a greater number of calories than baseline rest levels. (Read more about thermogenesis, and another drink that drives it, here.)

Coffee can also raise your endorphins.

Middle women relaxing in the living room.

Anyone who's ever hit pause on their exercise routine, whether for illness or any reason, might know how amazing it feels to complete that first workout after a break. Part of that is from the endorphins—mood-boosting chemicals—that the body produces during exercise.

Mankie said that similarly, coffee increases endorphin production, which can "produce an increased feeling of wellness and excitability," as well as "improve concentration, energy levels, and mood."

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Whatever gets you moving is a good move for metabolism.


These days, there are a lot of cool ways people are maxing out their coffee routine to make it work for their nutrition and well-being goals—like this creative coffee/protein shake combo.

For more healthy eating and weight loss news, keep reading:

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy
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