Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry? Here’s What’s Happening!

The Best Answer:

The main reason for feeling hungry after or during daily coffee drinking is the caffeine properties. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain and blocking these receptors reduces a person’s ability to taste sweet food, therefore making us crave more of that food. That’s why so many of us enjoy eating something sweet with our coffee. That being said, coffee also has the ability to help us lose weight. It all depends on your metabolism, your coffee drinking habits and your dietary habits.

Studies show that hunger and appetite are controlled by a complex system, in which food and drink also play a major role. Many people link their appetite and feelings of hunger with coffee. The drink provides a lot of energy and perks you up, at the same time it helps to curb your appetite. 

But with so much information out there it can be tricky to understand what’s accurate and what’s not, this is why today I’ll explore the link between coffee and hunger in depth and hopefully answer all your questions. Curious? Read on!

Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry?

Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry?

Coffee isn’t just problematic because of its caffeine content. The roasting substances, which lead to heartburn and other intolerance reactions in many people, are not the only disadvantage that coffee has in store because coffee also has an appetizing effect. 

Of course, many people drink coffee without having to eat something with it. However, just as many people get really hungry when they drink coffee – especially for something sweet. Because coffee makes you want sugar and sugar is known to be anything but healthy.

Do you feel the same sometimes? You when you get a coffee to go from the coffee shop, but also a donut with it? On the one hand, this can be a habit, on the other hand, researchers have now shown that coffee awakens the appetite for something sugary. 

And not only that. Caffeine seems to numb the sense of taste for sweets. Sweet things suddenly don’t taste that sweet anymore. So you have to eat more and more sweets, more and more sugar, in order to finally satisfy your cravings for sweets.

Coffee, The Everyday Stimulant

Coffee is undoubtedly one of the most popular drinks in the world. For example, 57% of Germans alone drink coffee several times a day. In Switzerland it is almost 61%. Drinking coffee is often no longer a self-determined activity. Because if you stop, the typical caffeine withdrawal headache follows. So you prefer to keep drinking coffee, not because you want to, but because you have to.

Coffee is therefore a drug, a legal stimulant, the ubiquity of which means that there are now hardly any people in industrialized nations who would be responsive and resilient, let alone productive, without their morning coffee.

How Healthy Is Coffee? 

This cannot be generalized – everyone and their circumstances are different. Not everyone metabolizes brown beans the same way.

Coffee changes neurotransmitters and hormones (especially cortisol and insulin). For this reason, there are people who are made “more awake” by coffee and others who are made “more tired” by coffee.

This can also depend on the amount consumed, the time of day, age and physical condition, etc.

Sugar Addiction Follows Caffeine Addiction

sugar addiction

If you also belong to those people who always need something sweet with coffee, then you are not only a victim of caffeine addiction but also a sugar addiction. For some people this can be completely unproblematic and have no consequences, but others exacerbate existing illnesses or even get sick as a result.

Because sugar not only inspires your caries bacteria and your dentist but also leads to reactions in the body, which in turn opens the door to chronic diseases. It begins with blood sugar fluctuations, which trigger further cravings for carbohydrates, promote obesity, damages the intestinal flora, thereby weakening the immune system and promoting chronic inflammatory processes in the long term. 

Chronic inflammatory processes in turn – as we have long known – are the loyal companions of every chronic illness, whether it is diabetes, rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, dementia, cancer, or heart attack.

Coffee numbs the flavour sensors

Nutritionist Dr. Robin Dando from Cornell University in Ithaca / New York employed 107 volunteers for the study mentioned at the beginning, who were divided into two groups. One group received a cup of strong coffee (it contained 200 mg of caffeine), the other group received decaffeinated coffee, which was so pepped up in taste that it could not be distinguished from coffee containing caffeine. Both groups drank the coffee with sugar.

However, the caffeine group found their coffee less sweet than the decaf group did. If the test subjects were given a sugar solution to drink, the caffeine group also rated it as less sweet than the caffeine-free group.

Caffeine blocks the body’s own protective mechanisms

Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain, which is what causes the caffeine’s stimulant effects. Normally – without the presence of caffeine – the messenger substance adenosine would bind to these receptors. Adenosine is a substance that protects the brain or the nerve cells in the brain from overexertion.

As soon as adenosine binds to the receptors on the nerve cells, this is the signal for the corresponding nerve cell that it can work a little less. Coffee containing caffeine negates this relaxing and protective effect. He makes you wake up, even though you might need rest right now.

Coffee wakes you up – with or without caffeine

A second finding was that not only caffeinated coffee wakes you up, but apparently also decaffeinated coffee. Both groups were even equally agile and active after drinking their coffee – regardless of whether they drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.

The act of drinking coffee alone increases wakefulness, which is attributed to the good old placebo effect. You know that you wake up when you drink something that tastes like coffee. So, even if you just drink something that tastes like caffeinated coffee, but isn’t caffeinated coffee, you wake up.

Results of the study

After a group of volunteers had coffee, the effects were recorded for the next three hours. The following conclusions could be drawn:

  • Decaffeinated coffee could curb your appetite more than caffeinated coffee. There was a reduction in leptin and ghrelin and an increase in peptide YY.
  • A larger amount of Peptide YY means less hunger. The volunteers said they did not feel an appetite in the three hours after the coffee. However, the peptide values ​​already decreased after one and a half hours.
  • It is also interesting that the reduced hunger and the increased peptide values ​​persisted until the ingestion of glucose. This shows that some components of coffee have no effect on digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

caffeine addiction

Does caffeine induce hunger?

Caffeine makes you feel like you need to eat but it also can make you feel fatigued and necessary to sleep more to compensate. Research has shown that caffeine can not only induce feelings of hunger for sweet-savory foods but also leads to changes in the brain’s ability to perceive them.

However, though caffeine can affect our perception of taste, it is not necessarily a direct cause of sugar cravings.

How does coffee help you lose weight?

Coffee is the drink of choice for many people who want to lose weight. The coffee bean has caffeine that manages to reduce feelings of hunger and stimulate thermogenesis which in turn helps you lose weight.

Coffee contains a substance called chlorogenic acid (CGA) that can help reduce feelings of hunger, which can help with losing weight. Coffee also contains caffeine, which stimulates thermogenesis, helping your body burn more calories while sitting or sleeping.

What is the best time to drink coffee for weight loss?

Coffee has been a popular beverage for many years, but recent studies show that coffee may also be very good for your health. Coffee drinkers on average live longer than their non-coffee drinking counterparts. The best time to drink coffee for weight loss is first thing in the morning. This is because it boosts both concentration and energy levels and aids weight loss.

Why do I crave something sweet with coffee?

Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, blocking these receptors reduces a person’s ability to taste sweet foods. For some people, this can cause a craving for sweet food – and given how many of us consume coffee as part of our morning routines, it’s no wonder that we end up craving certain things at certain times.

Last Thoughts

So is coffee good or not? It should be noted that coffee contains many antioxidants that are healthy for the body – but not for everyone and not in excess. If you only drink coffee to lose weight, you’d better switch to other means.

We recommend decaffeinated coffee and other filling foods such as an apple, a muesli bar, a banana, or even a tomato. Don’t forget that different lifestyle habits can lead to hunger.

For example, an insufficient breakfast without fruit or cereals, many snacks without fixed meal times, boredom or nervousness, hormonal or endocrine changes (pregnancy, period, thyroid problems), etc. Especially with an unhealthy diet, the stomach craves more food.

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