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For half of the Indian junta, a cup of coffee is inspiration, stimulus, motivation, all rolled into one and for the rest half, “ek pyaali chai” elicits the same emotions. No matter how aggressively foreign companies market their colas and fizzy drinks, we Indians still will hold tea/coffee in the first place as our favorite beverages. Both coffee and tea act as stimulants, flushing you with a boost of energy as and when needed. As we have mentioned earlier too, both coffee and tea when brewed black can boost metabolism and do not hamper weight loss. And you already know that adding milk, sugar, creamer, and having it with snacks and treats subtracts away all the associated benefits. We definitely know how not to have tea and coffee while on a weight loss diet, but then what’s the correct to sip your favorite beverage? We will tell you the timings to get the most out of tea/coffee:
1. Have the first cup between 9:30 to 11:30 am: A majority of us walk automatically towards the kitchen to make hot cup of coffee or chai, but experts say you should actually start your day with a warm glass of water and not coffee or tea. Every morning, your cortisol levels naturally rise and peak about 30 minutes after waking up. The stress hormone cortisol is at its highest between 8 to 9 am, so having coffee around 9:30 to 11:30 am so as to not increase the cortisol level (caffeine does manage to trigger cortisol secretion). So, you do not want to add to cortisol level. It makes complete sense when experts say not to have coffee/tea first thing in the morning – dehydration and increases acidity, acid reflux, heartburn. The aroma from a hot brewing cup of coffee is enough to wake you up. Also, since coffee and tea can cause dehydration, do not have it first thing in the morning, replenish the water content, wait a little and then sip on your favorite beverage.
2. Another time window to have coffee would be around 4 to 5:30 pm because 5:30 to 6:30 pm, the cortisol level has been found to be high.
3. Just before workout – fuels your workout, have it 30 minutes before workout. Gives energy to get maximum out of workouts. Improves muscle strength, helps fight fatigue. Energy boost.
4. Have coffee at least 5 to 6 hours before bedtime. If you go to sleep at 11 pm, have the last cup by 6 pm.
5. Do not drink tea along with meals because it may hamper with protein absorption. It’s better to have it one hour before or after the meal.
6. It has also been found that having coffee with the meal or after the meal can hamper with iron absorption. Wait until one hour before reaching for a cup of coffee.
Could Coffee Help you Lose Weight?
The caffeine content in coffee acts as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, and is also known for its metabolism boosting and fat-burning properties. Caffeine also has thermogenic properties which means it torches up extra calories in the body. Unknown to many, coffee is rich in antioxidants and minerals like potassium and magnesium as well. Coffee is also a popular pre-workout and post-workout beverage and helps to ease cramps and muscle pains. With so many benefits attached to coffee, it does make sense to grab a cup of coffee right now, but wait, having coffee the wrong way can cancel out all these benefits associated, and that’s why it’s important to have it the right way to get the maximum out of this most popular beverage world over. Also read: “How Not To Drink Coffee While Dieting.”
Could Tea Help with Weight Loss?
Tea leaves are rich in catechins, a type of flavonoids that fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress on the body. Catechins also boost metabolism and help burn more calories in the body. The different types of teas – white, black, green come from the same leaves, obtained through different types of processing. All these varieties of tea have catechins, flavonoids, and caffeine in different percentages, and a combination of catechins and caffeine has been found to boost metabolism and help burn a few extra calories.
As we have always maintained, the best way to have have a cup of coffee or tea is to have it black or plain (in case of green tea, white tea, oolong tea, etc), without milk, sugar, cream or artificial sweeteners because they can turn these low-calorie drinks to high calorie ones and cancel out all the benefits. Do not add artificial sweeteners either because they have been found to alter gut microbiome (a healthy gut can accelerate your weight loss journey). Limit coffee/tea intake to just two or three cups in a day, more would lead to dehydration. So, yes, all you coffeeholics, we would like to tell you that there’s something called as ‘too much coffee” and please don’t hate us for revealing this truth. :p
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