Is Too Much Coffee Making You Fat?

woman drinking coffee

I love coffee and need it as much as the next person, but one new study indicates drinking coffee in excess could make you fat.  And by excess I mean five cups a day.

This study, originally published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, comes in opposition to previous research about the effects of caffeine, which showed that moderate use might actually help with weight loss and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the Western Australian Institute of Medical Research and the University of Western Australia School of Medicine and Pharmacology have released a study, however, that indicates too much coffee can produce the opposite effect.

Here’s how the science works: polyphenols or chlorogenic acid (CGA) are found in coffee. In moderation, these CGAs were previously thought to encourage weight loss and prevent the contraction of type 2 diabetes. However, too many CGAs reverse the benefits provided by moderate consumption.

The CGAs were previously known for their health benefits, increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing blood pressure and body fat accumulation, study co-author Kevin Croft, a professor at the University of Western Australia, said. “However, this study proved the opposite in dosages equivalent to five or six cups of coffee per day.

Although the study found both positive and negative effects of CGA, it was conducted on mice. So while the research is valid, the effects on humans have not yet been proven.

Either way, you probably shouldn’t be drinking that much coffee in the first place. If you need that much caffeine intake to make it through the day, your whole lifestyle probably needs a change. I need about three cups a day max, and that’s if I had been drinking last night. Six cups of coffee probably means you were out to 4 a.m. drinking, or you didn’t sleep at all. Substitute more sleep for less coffee, and you probably won’t suffer these newly-discovered problems.