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Bulletin: Coffee Might be Killing You

That headline probably caught your attention.

That’s because the average consumer drinks 2-3 cups of coffee per day. And it’s safe to assume that you’re probably one of them.

I already discussed how coffee affects the body, but recently I came across an interesting study that made me think twice about how much coffee I consume and when I consume it.

Here’s the scoop.

We’re all aware of the fast-food addiction that has plagued Northern America in the past few decades.

But what happens when you devour that greasy meal?

Without getting into the disastrous effects fast food has on your body, it’s important to understand one thing: ingesting greasy meals spikes the sugar levels in your body. And fluctuations of blood-sugar levels is never a good thing.

Now a new study by researchers at the University of Guelph has discovered something interesting.

If you’re in the habit of having a coffee after a greasy meal, which is very likely now that places like McDonalds are selling coffee with their meals, you’re asking for DOUBLE the trouble.

Researchers doing the study have discovered that blood sugar levels actually DOUBLE when you consume a caffeinated coffee after a high-fat meal.

“The results tell us that saturated fat interferes with the body’s ability to clear sugars from the blood, and when combined with caffeinated coffee, the impact can be even worse.” says┬áMarie-Soleil Beaudoin, one of the PhD students conducting the study.

“Having sugar remain in our blood for long periods is unhealthy because it can take a toll on our body’s organs.”

The problem is that these effects can last in our bodies for hours. So that greasy, high-fat meal with a coffee combo that you had for lunch will have a strong impact on how your body responds to the food you consume later in the day, causing irregular fluctuations of blood-sugar levels.

“Drinking decaffeinated coffee instead of caffeinated plus limiting the intake of saturated fatty acids found in red meat, processed foods and fast food meals is crucial because this study has shown that the effects of these foods can be severe and long lasting.”

Do you drink coffee with your meals? Do you think you can do without it? Share in the comments below!

Raymond-ZenMyFitness - April 4, 2011

Interesting I have to look into it more .. I love coffee but strange I always though carbs and proteins spike insulin .. the body doesn’t need insulin to deal with fats , fats are slow absorbing ( low GI) so in that insulin is hardly needed? Thats why post recovery drinks and meals usually avoid any fats.
..Anyhow I’ll check on that.
Raymond

    Srdjan Popovic - April 4, 2011

    It’s very interesting indeed. Quite a new study so it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt. But important to consider when you’re downing multiple cups of joe throughout the day regardless.

Kelly-Fitness Overhaul - April 4, 2011

If you like coffee, drink it.
There will be another study around the bend that tells us that drinking coffee is okay! The scientific world is a huge contradiction of so called facts that prove one thing only to prove the exact opposite in a few weeks! It’s kind of mind numbing for me.
-Kelly

    Srdjan Popovic - April 5, 2011

    I somewhat agree with you, Kelly. But would you say the same thing about eating processed foods? How about smoking? If you like cigarettes, smoke them…

    I think it’s a good idea to at least be aware of the effects certain foods and substances have on our bodies. There’s no doubt that there’s always contradicting studies coming out and yes it can become mind numbing.

    But, in my opinion, I think it’s better to be aware than to be ignorant.

    At the end of the day, you need to take everything you read with a grain of salt.

    I appreciate the comment Kelly!

Rusty - Fitness Black Book - April 5, 2011

You know what is funny. I love coffee, but always feel better when I drink it on an empty stomach. I never like the way it feels when I drink it with a meal. I think you are on to something here.

Great find!

-Rusty

    Srdjan Popovic - April 6, 2011

    That’s really interesting. I always drink my coffee on an empty stomach. Maybe I’ll try it with food a few times to see if I actually feel the difference. Would be an interesting test…

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - April 5, 2011

Srdjan,

Uh oh… I just recently started drinking coffee… the new department I’m in at work offers free coffee, so I couldn’t resist. Good thing is I don’t drink it everyday and when I do, I usually only have one cup on an empty stomach – not with a meal. I’ve actually found that it curbs my hunger slightly and I’ve even been using it as a meal replacement in the mornings sometimes which sounds crazy, but it’s been helping me reduce my calorie intake, so no complaints so far! I definitely don’t want to get addicted though. I have some friends who can’t function without it and I don’t want to get to that point.

Alykhan

    Srdjan Popovic - April 6, 2011

    I’m sorry to say but we all start out saying that we don’t want to ‘get to that point’. Coffee is an interesting substance. It’s like a drug. It improves your focus and really kick-starts your day. You’ll soon start to feel the difference when you don’t have one…it’ll feel like something is missing.

    If you want to avoid the addiction, take some random weeks off where you completely avoid coffee. Don’t make it a habit and you should be ok!

    It’s going to be tough with free coffee at your disposal, but I’m sure you’ll be ok:)

Chris - ZTF - April 7, 2011

Luckily I stopped drinking coffee a few years back. The stuff has a serious ability to mess with my blood sugar levels – not a good thing. I find the one time I can handle a coffee though would be after a very large meal which seems to take the punch out of the caffeine hit, yet allows the caffeine to stimulate metabolism and digestion.

Funnily enough though I always start the day with a black tea and it doesn’t have the same effect as coffee, giving a much calmer clean energy. Must be some of the other compounds in the coffee which de-regulate the blood sugar.

    Srdjan Popovic - April 8, 2011

    That’s a very interesting comment, Chris. It really shows how coffee can have different effects on different people. I’m working on making the same changes – switching up my morning coffee for a tea. I’m looking for that ‘calmer clean energy’ you’re talking about.

    As for other compounds in coffee that may be de-regulating blood sugar, I’m gonna take a look into it and get back to you!

    Thanks for the comment!

Michael @ The Underwear Body - April 10, 2011

I drink coffee, but pretty much only before workouts on an empty stomach so it will make me into a “rocket man” for my workouts. I wouldn’t have it with a meal just because of the taste is so strong, but it is powerful stuff so introducing it to your body in the wrong conditions (high calorie, high fat) does sound like the path to trouble.

I think people feel they need a post meal coffee because of the insulin surge they get from eating a large, sugar laced meal in the first place. Its a slippery slope.

Michael

    Srdjan Popovic - April 10, 2011

    I know a few people who like to have a strong coffee before a workout – definitely an energy boost to get you going.

    It’s surprising that people don’t really see coffee as powerful stuff. It’s so common in our society today that it’s almost like water. We drink it at all times without considering the effects it may have on our bodies.

    Interesting points Michael, thanks for sharing!

Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips - April 10, 2011

Never been a coffee drinker fortunately so this doesn’t directly affect me. Pretty crazy study though. It should at least make people think twice about having that evening cup of coffee right after a greasy meal.

    bloomtofit - April 10, 2011

    Thanks for the comment Dave. Some people find it easy to get through the day without even thinking about coffee. Unfortunately, the majority of us aren’t like that – especially with free coffee at work:).

    I just hope to open people’s eyes to the effects certain substances like coffee can have on the body.

Kelly-Fitness Overhaul - April 12, 2011

As a response to our above comments:

I think it is good to know the truth about coffee and other foods, drinks, etc. I just mean that there are always studies that contradict what someone else discovered as the truth. As for cigarettes, I don’t think anyone should smoke, but that’s just my opinion. I guess it is all a personal choice and we all have to decide what we feel is right for us.
For now, I think I will stick with my coffee, I enjoy it too much!

-Kelly

    Srdjan Popovic - April 12, 2011

    You’re absolutely right, Kelly. At the end of the day it really comes down to personal choice and it’s up to us to make the ‘right’ decisions. I like coffee and I will continue to drink it but at least I feel somewhat informed of the effects it can have on my body depending on when I consume it.

Nathan - May 4, 2011

Definitely a shocker.

Agree with Rusty though, I prefer coffee on an empty stomach for sure.

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