Does Coffee Fill You Up? (Interesting Facts)

A healthy breakfast containing fruits, bread, waffle and coffee.

Coffee is one of the purest forms of caffeine that is widely consumed and loved for its helpful health benefits and rich flavors.

Certain doses of caffeine release the body from fatigue and improve its endurance of the body. Adding to that, coffee can also promote losing weight by suppressing hunger.

Many studies have claimed that caffeine can boost your metabolism by up to 11% which can simultaneously help in burning fat. This sensation of feeling full after having coffee mainly stems from the fact that the caffeine content reduces the hormone responsible for increasing appetite, namely, ghrelin.

Short answer: Coffee technically doesn’t fill your stomach. The caffeine content drops the ghrelin level in your body that reduces the urge to eat for a brief period of time. As a result, you feel full for the time being and higher doses of the caffeine may also cause bloating.

If you’re wondering how your favorite drink can help reduce your appetite and whether it’s healthy or not, check the following section.

Is Coffee a Food or a Drink?

Coffee can be considered food and a drink.

From the standard definition of food, anything that contains nutrients helps in warding off diseases and sustain growth is considered as food. On the other hand, a drink is a fluid or liquid that can be gulped as nourishment.

Several health benefits from coffee serve as a nutritious and potent refreshment source.

Depending on the tolerance level of the body, coffee can be treated as an instant medium of energy boost that can be swallowed as both refreshment and nourishment.

Thus, coffee can be considered both a food and a drink in the broader sense.

Is Coffee a Functional Food?

Coffee is not considered to be a functional food as it may contain some nutrients that help your body, but still lacks the necessary features of what a functional food is.

There are a couple of criteria that the beverage doesn’t meet.

The coffee beverage is rich in bioactive compounds such as chlorogenic acids, quinic acid, cafestol, trigonelline, melanoidins, etc. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplements present in the coffee acts as the functional ingredient due to the presence of soluble dietary fiber and exhibits antioxidant activities.

It’s natural to make some distinction between foods and drinks that we usually consume and label them differently. But according to the definitions of food provided by the FDA and other food regulators, coffee can also be considered a food.

Food and beverages are not mutually exclusive as you may think. Anything that adds nutritional value to your diet can be treated as food.

Why Do I feel Full After Drinking Coffee?

cup of coffee next to a glass of water

Coffee necessarily doesn’t fill your stomach but since it’s a stimulant, it causes you to feel less hungry.

Caffeine can drop the ghrelin levels in the body that helps in suppressing hunger. However, it will sustain for a short period like 1-2 hours at best.

After that period, your ghrelin level may surge up causing you to eat more than necessary to satisfy the hunger by dropping ghrelin levels, this stimulant suppresses hunger.

Also, stimulants are natural appetite suppressants so coffee contributes to the sensation of feeling full immediately after drinking.

Is Coffee a Natural Appetite Suppressant?

Coffee is a natural appetite suppressant and the effect on hunger will vary among individuals. It helps in speeding up the metabolism of the body that helps in calorie burn and fat breakdown.

This study titled Caffeine reduces spontaneous energy intake in men but not in women showed that a dose of 300 milligrams of caffeine resulted in a 22% decrease in calorie intake in the case of men. However, no effect was found in the case of women.

Thus, caffeine will help in the fat-burning process depending on how well your body is reacting to boost the metabolism.

Usually, a higher dose of about 200 milligrams or more is required to promote weight loss. This high dosage may come with side effects such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat

But, the caffeine level in each coffee depends on what type of coffee you will be drinking. You may see the table below as your guide:

TypeServing SizeCaffeine per Serving
Decaf coffee (Instant)1 cup2-3 mg
Decaf coffee (brewed)1 cup 3-4 mg
Drip coffee 1 cup 65-120 mg
Brewed coffee1 cup95 mg
Cold-brew coffee1 cup100 mg
Nitro coffee (Nitro cold brew coffee)1 cup162.5 mg
Espresso1 shot 60-102.67 mg
Highly caffeinated coffee (e.g. Death Wish Coffee, Biohazard Coffee, etc.)1.5 cup702-928 mg

Moreover, the appetite suppressing effect of caffeine is short-lived. Once the caffeine content decreases in your bloodstream, your hunger level may spurge up leading to secrete more appetite hormones and a greater intake of calories.

I’d personally suggest taking at best 1-2 cups of coffee a day to get the best benefits. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, 4 cups a day is probably enough. Try to go for healthier diets and exercises if you’re opting for losing weight.

Does Coffee Suppress Appetite?

The caffeine in coffee suppresses appetite for a brief period of time. It may not be an effective way to suppress your appetite since the reduction in eating won’t continue throughout the day.

A study involving 50 healthy individuals showed that when a small amount of caffeine was added to their juice, they reduced their food intake by at least 10 percent.

Though caffeine is frequently added to dietary supplements to aid in losing weight, the reduction in the calorie intake is somewhat met throughout the day from other food sources.

The downside to the beverage is that it contains caffeine which is a psychoactive drug, able to accelerate the heartbeat and trigger possible side effects such as headache, anxiety, and nausea.

Coffee may not be an effective appetite suppressor.

Some studies may speculate that caffeine produces brain chemicals that may suppress appetite and help the consumer in maintaining lower body mass index. However, experts have reinforced the importance of healthy eating habits to fill the nutrition checklist for the body without relying on unhealthy doses of caffeine.

Does Coffee Make You Lose Weight?

Coffee can help you in promoting weight loss in short term. However, large doses of caffeine are needed to boost your metabolism in losing weight and high doses of caffeine come with adverse side effects.

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system by increasing blood levels of epinephrine (commonly known as adrenaline) and helps in the breakdown of body fat. Then epinephrine travels through the blood to the fat tissues and initiates the breakdown.

Caffeine may aid in weight loss in short term.

Moreover, coffee alone can’t slim you down. It may work as an appetite suppressor for a short period of time. Most people tend to add creamers, sugar, or milk to the drink which potentially increases your binging on the sugary drink.

You need to burn calories more than your intake to lose weight and coffee can just help you in reducing the food intake for a short period of time.

Long-term consumption of coffee may not promote weight loss since your body gradually builds a tolerance to the caffeine content. Even if coffee doesn’t make you expend more calories in the long term, still it helps in suppressing the appetite for the time being.

Is Coffee with Milk Good for Weight Loss?

Adding milk in coffee
Adding milk to coffee enhances the taste only.

Only simple black coffee can serve you in promoting weight loss. Adding milk won’t add any beneficial content to it.

Many of us tend to add sugar content, creamer, or milk to the coffee to make it more appetizing. Remember that when you are trying to lose weight, you should focus on curbing the extra calories.

Lab analysis shows that there exist 4-5% of fat in cow’s milk which is the complex combination of various

Milk is rich in calories so it’s better to leave it out of the drink. It only enhances the color and flavor of the coffee. Even if you want to add, lower the quantity and drink a lot of water instead.

I’ll suggest intaking black coffee instead since it will help in assisting weight loss as the calorie intake ranges to as low as 2-3 calories per cup.

Does Coffee Cause Bloating?

No matter which variety of coffee you’re choosing, it’ll coffee will cause bloating temporarily, no matter which variety of coffee you’re choosing.

The underlying reason behind this might be interesting to hear.

While drinking coffee, the body produces the hormone cortisol that is also produced when you’re worried or stressed. The body can’t differentiate between the two situations created by caffeine and danger. as a result, the blood sugar level spikes and later on turned into fat, contributing heavily to the stomach’s bloating.

A study from 2016 published in The Journal of Nurse Practitioners showed that coffee is one of the most triggering foods that contributed to bloating and IBS symptoms.

People with digestive issues are more receptive to such activity since their digestive tract is excited easily. Moreover, adding milk or cream to the drink may increase the chance of bloat. 

The fine line is that the bloating is temporary. Stick to two cups of coffee at maximum and don’t forget to drink lots of water between the beverage.

Can You Replace a Meal with a cup of Coffee?

You can’t replace your meal with a cup of coffee. Coffee isn’t a functional food and having it as your meal won’t provide your body with proper nourishment.

Though coffee can suppress your appetite for a definite period, it doesn’t work well as a meal replacement.

Caffeine stimulates thermogenesis that can reduce your urge to eat for some period. However, since it’s not an ideal functional food, only a cup of coffee can’t provide you with the whole nourishment your body might be seeking.

From this alone, it is not advisable to only have a cup of coffee for a meal. It is a companion for a meal, not a replacement for the meal entirely.

To promote health, your body needs a solid and healthy meal containing varieties of nutrients.

Coffee may offer you certain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from its regular consumption but it won’t help you in getting the balanced nutrition needed for the proper functioning of the body. When it comes to the type of nutrition that your body needs, coffee offers little benefits if not accompanied by other nutritious options.

Does Coffee Make You Poop?

Since coffee is a laxative it surely can make you poop. If you’re interested, you can read this article I wrote about how coffee can make us poop.

The laxative effects however won’t exhibit the same outcome in the case of all people.

The endurance of a body may differ depending on the tolerance. However, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can increase the urgency to poop. Coffee helps in the production of a hormone called gastrin that accelerates the function of the colon and contributes to the laxative effect.

This is because coffee stimulates gastrin and gastrin stimulates digestion, making a pathway for an easier defecation process for the body.

This laxative effect of the coffee is concerning for people with Irritable Bowel syndrome or GERD as they are more receptive and the gastrointestinal functions may be disrupted.

This video will help you in understanding the laxative effect of caffeine.

Can You Drink Coffee On An Empty Stomach?

You can drink coffee on an empty stomach but it isn’t advised. As coffee is acidic, the release of hydrochloric acid in your digestive system may create gastritis and lead to the difficult digestion of proteins. This may lead to inflammation in the stomach gut and bowel.

Although drinking coffee may be beneficial to your health, experts suggest not to consume it immediately after waking up.

A healthy balanced breakfast is essential for your body to prevent the insulin spike in the morning and maintain a good metabolism throughout the day. This is why experts suggest having coffee as a complimentary to your meals.

Having coffee on empty stomach will also increase the level of cortisol rapidly that may take a longer time to get back to normal. You will make your body deprived of necessary nutrients if you’re choosing coffee to fill up your stomach.

What Drink Is Best To Supress Appetite?

The best drink to suppress your appetite is water. Honestly speaking, nothing beats plain water as a thirst and hunger cue.

There might be scientific speculations regarding coffee being a natural appetite suppressant but you can’t consume it like plain water. Caffeine has side effects of its own and the more you depend on it, the more your body will crave for it.

For the best absorption of nutrients and sustain fluid flow, drink lots of water. I’m not policing you with the notion of not consuming coffee. Just limit your intake to a healthy amount.

Also, drink coffee with a fiber-enriched breakfast in the morning to get a healthy metabolism throughout the day.

In Conclusion

Coffee reduces the ghrelin level in your body that makes you feel full after having it. This effect is temporary.

Many people might be choosing coffee believing that it would have a significant effect on losing weight.

You need to check out your caffeine intake if you want to lose weight. Drinking in moderation is the key. Moderate intake between 50-100 milligrams of caffeine is generally safe.

Some people may tolerate even beyond 200 milligrams. But it isn’t necessarily ideal for your body’s building block and biological clock.

Filling up your stomach with coffee every one hour or two will surely reduce your hunger level. But you’re depriving your body of the essential nutrients that are potentially absent in coffee.

This is why, have coffee with a balanced diet, preferably in breakfast since your body’s cortisol level is at a peak during mid to late mornings. You will get the best energy boost throughout the day without any altering side effects.

For weight loss, try to add healthier diet choices like potassium enriched food and fibers to get the best result. You can drink black coffee for this

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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