The Best Time to Drink Coffee For Weight loss

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Three cups of coffee on a wooden table, each with intricate latte art designs on the surface, including a heart and two variations of leaf patterns.

In my opinion as a nutritionist, the best time to drink coffee for weight loss is at least 30-60 minutes before your workout.

While coffee itself doesn’t directly help you lose weight, the caffeine content can make you feel more energized and alert, allowing you to push yourself harder during workouts.

And I hope you have some sort of exercise routine, as it’s a must if you want to lose weight and maintain it for life.

I’d like to go into more detail about the timing of drinking coffee and its impact on weight loss. If you’re interested, follow me, and we’ll explore this topic step by step.

Best Times to Drink Coffee For Weight Loss

Before a Workout

As mentioned in the introduction, drinking coffee makes you feel alert, awake, and energized.

Using this energy boost at the right time, such as during an exercise routine, can help you maximize your workout.

This improved performance can enhance your overall fitness, helping you burn more calories and ultimately aiding in weight loss.

Mid-to-Late Morning

While this doesn’t directly impact weight loss, some studies suggest that after a full night of sleep, your cortisol levels (stress hormone) are at their peak.

Drinking coffee immediately after waking up can decrease its energizing effect.

Therefore, it is recommended to wait a little before having your coffee to avoid increasing your cortisol levels further and to fully benefit from coffee’s energizing effect.

Before Meals

Some studies suggest that having coffee 30 minutes to four hours before a meal can decrease your appetite, which might contribute to weight loss.

Caffeine in coffee can block adenosine receptors in the brain.

Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and relaxation and helps regulate appetite.

When caffeine blocks these receptors, it can reduce feelings of hunger, thus potentially reducing your overall food intake.

Also Read: Does Meal Timing Matter For Weight Loss?

How Does Coffee Help with Weight Loss?

Decreases Appetite

Coffee can act as a natural appetite suppressant, helping you feel fuller for longer periods.

The caffeine in coffee affects the brain by stimulating the release of hormones such as peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which are known to reduce the feeling of hunger.

By suppressing your appetite, coffee can help you reduce your overall calorie intake, making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit necessary for weight loss.

Increases Metabolism

One of the significant benefits of coffee is its ability to boost your metabolism.

Caffeine is known to enhance metabolic rate by stimulating thermogenesis – the process by which your body generates heat and energy from digesting food.

This increase in metabolic rate means your body burns more calories even when at rest.

Studies have shown that caffeine can increase the resting metabolic rate by 3-11%, which can contribute significantly to weight loss over time.

Promotes Fat Burning

Coffee also plays a role in promoting fat burning. When you consume caffeine, it stimulates the central nervous system, which sends signals to fat cells to break down fat.

This process, known as lipolysis, is enhanced by the increase in adrenaline levels that caffeine triggers.

Adrenaline travels through the blood to the fat tissues, signaling them to break down fats and release them into the blood as free fatty acids.

These free fatty acids are then used by the body as a source of energy, particularly during physical activities.

By promoting fat breakdown and making it available as an energy source, coffee can help enhance fat burning, especially when combined with exercise.

Also Read: Can You Target Belly Fat?

Potential Downsides of Drinking Coffee for Weight Loss

Added Calories from Extras

Many people prefer their coffee with added flavors, sweeteners, or creamers, transforming a simple, low-calorie beverage into a high-calorie indulgence.

For instance, a plain cup of black coffee contains virtually no calories. However, adding two tablespoons of heavy cream and two teaspoons of sugar can introduce over 100 extra calories.

Specialty coffee drinks, such as lattes and frappuccinos, often contain even more calories due to added syrups, whipped cream, and flavored drizzles.

Regularly consuming these high-calorie coffee beverages can contribute significantly to your daily caloric intake, potentially leading to weight gain rather than loss.

Over-reliance on Caffeine

Caffeine, the primary active ingredient in coffee, is known for its stimulating effects, including increased metabolism and enhanced fat burning.

However, excessive caffeine consumption can lead to dependency and tolerance, where your body requires more caffeine to achieve the same effects.

This dependency can cause several issues:

  • Increased Stress: High caffeine intake can elevate stress hormones like cortisol, which is linked to increased fat storage, especially around the abdomen.

  • Tolerance: Over time, your body becomes accustomed to the caffeine, diminishing its fat-burning effects and requiring higher doses to maintain the same metabolic boost.

  • Withdrawal: Reducing or stopping caffeine intake can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, and fatigue, which can hinder your motivation and energy levels needed for physical activity and weight loss.

Sleep Disruption

Caffeine can remain in your system for several hours, with a half-life of about 5 to 6 hours.

Consuming coffee later in the day can interfere with your sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Poor sleep quality and insufficient rest can have several negative impacts on weight loss:

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Lack of sleep affects the balance of hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, increasing appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods.

  • Metabolic Slowdown: Sleep deprivation can slow down your metabolism, reducing the number of calories you burn at rest.

  • Increased Fat Storage: Poor sleep is associated with increased cortisol levels, which can lead to greater fat storage, particularly in the abdominal area.

  • Reduced Energy and Motivation: Inadequate sleep can leave you feeling tired and less motivated to engage in physical activity, which is crucial for weight loss.

Also Read: Best Sleeping Positions For Weight Loss

Tips for Drinking Coffee on a Weight Loss Diet

Watch Your Portions

It’s easy to underestimate the number of calories in your coffee, especially when adding extras like cream, sugar, or flavored syrups.

To avoid unwanted calorie intake, measure your portions carefully and consider switching to black coffee or using minimal additions.

A cup of black coffee has virtually no calories, making it an excellent choice for those on a weight loss journey.

Don’t Drink Late in the Evening

Caffeine has a half-life of about 5-6 hours, meaning it can stay in your system for quite a while after consumption.

Drinking coffee late in the evening can interfere with your sleep cycle, leading to poorer sleep quality.

Poor sleep can negatively impact weight loss by increasing hunger hormones like ghrelin and decreasing the hormone leptin, which signals fullness.

To avoid these issues, it’s best to have your last cup of coffee in the early afternoon, allowing ample time for the caffeine to leave your system before bedtime.

Opt for Zero-Sugar Sweeteners

If you have a sweet tooth but are watching your calorie intake, zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit are excellent alternatives to sugar.

These natural sweeteners do not add calories to your coffee and can help you manage your weight more effectively.

For example, replacing two teaspoons of sugar (about 32 calories) with a zero-calorie sweetener can save you over 200 calories a week if you drink coffee daily.

However, be mindful of your body’s response to these sweeteners, as some people may experience digestive discomfort or changes in taste preferences over time.

Watch Your Caffeine Intake

While coffee can be a useful tool in a weight loss diet due to its metabolism-boosting properties, consuming too much caffeine can lead to adverse effects.

High caffeine intake can cause symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, and sleep disturbances, all of which can counteract your weight loss efforts.

The FDA recommends a maximum of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, roughly equivalent to four 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee.

Monitor your caffeine consumption and pay attention to how your body reacts.

If you find yourself feeling jittery or having trouble sleeping, it might be beneficial to reduce your intake or switch to decaffeinated options in the afternoon and evening.

Also Read: Is Iced Coffee Good For Weight Loss?


To sum it up, the best time to drink coffee for weight loss is before you exercise in the morning or before a meal. This can help you work out better and eat less.

Just remember not to add too much sugar or cream, and don’t drink it too late, so it doesn’t keep you up at night. Coffee can be a helpful part of losing weight if you use it right.


Is coffee on an empty stomach good for weight loss?

It might help with weight loss by potentially decreasing your appetite, but it can also cause digestive issues and increase stress levels for some people

Can I drink coffee at night for weight loss?

Not a good idea for weight loss because it can keep you awake. Good sleep is important for managing weight.

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

Drink it black or with a low-calorie sweetener. Avoid high-calorie creamers and sugar.

Does coffee in the morning burn fat?

Yes, it can help you burn fat by making your body use more energy and breaking down fat for fuel.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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