One more cup of coffee

Like most people, we love coffee and think it makes the world a better place. But as fitness and wellbeing experts, we have to take a professional view too.

So do you want the good news? Coffee can have huge health and weight loss benefits! That’s because coffee is a very powerful antioxidant, and if you drink it before a training session it can massively increase your fat-burning potential.

This welcome truth does come with a big disclaimer, though: the other things that go with coffee – creams, milks, sugars and syrups – can turn it into a serious source of fat. With more than 200 calories in a cup, these souped-up versions are putting inches on waists everywhere.

And that’s not the only way coffee can cause a problem with your weight. Caffeine spikes the stress hormone cortisol, which becomes chronically elevated if high amounts are consumed.

Cortisol is good, earlier in the day. We need it to mobilize energy to go about our business, and it can break down fat when we exercise. But the higher your cortisol levels are later in the day, the more fat you’ll store around your belly.

Coffee is a big part of the culture down in the Algarve where Inspirit Retreat is based, and we often go to local cafés to enjoy it – but we’re careful to use it wisely.

We recommend you drink coffee earlier in the day (ideally before 1pm), keep it as low-calorie as you can (by avoiding all the extras), and use it before training to make the most of its fat-burning properties.

We also recommend you buy quality, organic coffee which hasn’t been exposed to pesticides. These can cause issues with excess oestrogen, among many others, which isn’t much good when it comes to weight loss. And properly good coffee tastes much better, too.