More and more people are turning to green coffee for weight loss. Especially those who are trying to lose weight naturally. You can find extracts from the beans in many supplements. It’s often combined with other natural weight loss compounds and is also used as a standalone ingredient.
However, despite the fact that green coffee has become a respected dietary aid, it’s also a controversial ingredient. Many people doubt it’s abilities and say it does not work.
So, is green coffee bean more about hype than ability?
In this article, I’m going to present the facts so that you can decide the answer for yourself.
What are Green Coffee Beans?
It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about normal roast coffee or green coffee, the name coffee “bean” is misleading.
The truth is there is no such thing as a coffee bean. Coffee actually comes from a fruit.
More specifically, coffee beans are actually the pit that’s found at the center of the cherry-like fruit of the coffee plant.
The two most popular species of coffee bean plant are Arabica and Robusta.
Once the flesh of the fruit is removed, the pits have a strong resemblance to beans so it’s not so surprising the name “coffee bean” has come into use.
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Brown Coffee Bean
Most fruits contain two pits, but some contain just one. However, in all cases the coffee beans are green. They only turn brown because coffee suppliers roast them to improve the flavor.
Green Coffee Beans Vs Roast Coffee Beans: What You Need to Know
In their natural state, green coffee beans are a good source of chlorogenic acid. It’s a polyphenol that occurs naturally in many plants including tomatoes, apples, pears, and strawberries.
Due to the fact that green coffee beans are a particularly potent source of chlorogenic acid, they are the main source of chlorogenic acid used in supplements and weight loss beverages.
Unfortunately, chlorogenic acid is thermally unstable. The roasting process purges it from the beans. That’s why green beans are a big noise in weight loss circles and normal coffee beans are not.
There’s another big difference between green coffee beans and normal (roast) coffee beans. It’s the caffeine content.
The roasting process that robs the beans of chlorogenic acid also intensifies the caffeine content.
20 mg of Caffeine
A normal cup of coffee, made with roast beans, can provide 100 mg of caffeine or more. A similar serving of a green coffee bean brew generally only contains around 20 mg of caffeine.
That’s not to say that caffeine is bad. It’s actually the most popular legal stimulant in the world. Many people “wake up” to a cup of coffee or power-up their day with a caffeinated energy drink.
Caffeine boosts cognitive ability, fights fatigue and provides invigoration. It’s also a proven fat burner.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2333832
However, partaking of too much caffeine too often is not good. Especially for caffeine sensitive individuals. Most of the weight loss benefits associated with green coffee is due to chlorogenic acid, not caffeine.
How Green Coffee Works (for Weight Loss)
Research shows the chlorogenic acid provided by green coffee beans is very easy for humans to absorb and metabolize.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19022950
As a Fat Burner
Although green coffee has an excellent reputation as a fat burner, there is a lack of viable scientific evidence to prove that it works. However, many green coffee users boast excellent results.
Green coffee became a popular fat burner in 2012. This was largely due to a TV show endorsement made by the American weight loss guru Dr. Oz.
Oz told his audience it’s “The green coffee bean that burns fat fast”. His statement was based on very credible-looking research data. Unfortunately, the study was flawed, though Oz had no way of knowing this at the time.
The study was published in the respected journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.
The data was later questioned and the researchers who were paid to write the study admitted they were unable to verify the figures.
Then federal regulators discovered important data, including weight measurements, seemed to have been altered. The resulting scandal marred green coffee’s reputation and also that of Dr Oz.
Oz responded to the controversy by conducting his own green coffee experiment. The first of its kind, his TV experiment involved 100 participants from the audience.
After two weeks, the placebo group lost one pound in weight. The green coffee group lost two pounds. Although the TV experiment was a success, many experts criticize it.
However, let’s not forget the fact that green coffee beans are a source of caffeine.
Caffeine is a proven fat burner. Many studies support this ability. So, even without the presence of chlorogenic acid, green coffee still has fat burning potential.
As for chlorogenic acid, it’s true value as a weight loss aid may lay in other areas.
For Providing Glucose Control
Research shows chlorogenic acid reduces glucose absorption.
For the purposes of one 12-week study, the researchers selected 30 overweight people. Half got normal instant coffee. The rest were given instant coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid.
The normal coffee drinkers lost 1.7 kg. However, the participants who got chlorogenic acid in their coffee lost 5.4 kg. That’s a big difference.
It’s also worth noting this was an additional investigation that followed one where chlorogenic acid was effective for healthy individuals.
The research shows the weight loss was due to chlorogenic acid’s ability to reduce glucose absorption.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/147323000703500620
Glucose Control: What It Means In Real Terms
Chlorogenic acid’s ability to reduce glucose absorption offers value in two ways.
First of all, it may help dieters avoid carbs and sugar cravings.
Such cravings are not true hunger urges. Hunger happens when the stomach is empty and perceives a need for food. Carb and sugar cravings generally occur just after eating, when the stomach is already full. There is no need for more food.
These cravings result from a chain of events that begin when blood glucose levels become too high. This can happen after a meal. Especially if the meal is too large or contains high-calorie food options.
Obviously, if you are serious about losing weight, it’s best to avoid overly large portions and high-calorie foods. However, blood glucose levels will always rise to some degree after eating.
Blood Glucose Becomes too High
When blood glucose becomes too high (spikes), the pancreas gland responds by pumping out extra insulin. This brings blood glucose down. Unfortunately, blood glucose levels may become lower than they were before eating.
This blood glucose “crash” causes cravings for carbs and sugar. Why? Because the body knows carbs and sugar can bring blood glucose levels back up more quickly than other food options.
Apart from helping to prevent the aforementioned scenario, chlorogenic acid’s ability to regulate blood glucose and insulin levels can aid weight loss in another way.
What it’s really doing is acting as a carb blocker. In so doing, it helps lower the daily calorie intake. Each gram of carbohydrate the body receives provides four calories. If it’s not absorbed it provides none.
Green Coffee and Fat Loss
Despite the controversy about how the results happen, green coffee has all the right credentials for fat loss.
It contains caffeine and science shows caffeine is a fat burner that works. Granted, the amount provided is low but, presuming an adequate inclusion rate, it should still be enough to offer benefit.
Caffeine is not the main player here though. That’s regardless of whether or not it falls into the “fat burner” category.
Fat burners are ingredients that cause the body to burn extra calories. They achieve this by speeding up the metabolism or via thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is a process that causes the body to lose energy in the form of heat. Ingredients that increase this effect are known as thermogenic fat burners.
Many natural fat burning ingredients boost the metabolism and increase thermogenesis as well. Caffeine is an ingredient that has both abilities.
Chlorogenic Acid and Fat Burning
When used alongside a low-calorie diet, fat burners help you to lose more weight than you could by using dietary changes alone. The important thing to remember is they do so by increasing calorie burn.
There are doubts about chlorogenic acid’s ability to function as a fat burner in humans, but it’s possible future research may provide the necessary proof.
Although chlorogenic acid may not be a fat “burner” per se, that does not mean it cannot help you to burn fat. It absolutely can, but it does so by working at the other end of the scale. Instead of increasing calorie burn, it decreases calorie intake.
By blocking glucose absorption in the way that it does, chlorogenic acid helps support the energy shortage that forces the body to start burning fat.
Additional Green Coffee Health Benefits
Most of the attention green coffee bean extract gets is in relation to its value as a natural weight loss aid. However, this fruit-based compound that masquerades as a nut also has value in other areas.
Due to its ability to control glucose, chlorogenic acid may have the potential to help diabetics manage their condition.
Research involving animals and humans suggest doses of 140-720 mg per day can help lower high blood pressure.
Using Green coffee for weight loss is also a good source of antioxidants.
This alone is not a major claim to fame because the same can be said for most plant derivatives.
However, it’s still an important consideration because antioxidants purge the body of toxins that can harm the health.
Antioxidants Provide Protection
Antioxidants also provide protection against early aging by protecting against oxidative stress.
Some experts believe green coffee may reduce inflammation as well. This is an area that requires further study, but it’s still an interesting consideration.
Due to the presence of caffeine, green coffee has the potential to boost energy levels.
Many people trying to lose weight have to contend with diet-related fatigue, so this is a desirable feature for a natural weight loss aid.
Caffeine also helps clear the mind and improve mental focus. Again, this can only be seen as a desirable thing.
Additionally, green coffee may help control cholesterol. Unfortunately, all the studies to date involve rats.
However, bearing in mind the problems high cholesterol presents and the problems many people have with statins, this is certainly an area worthy of further study.
The amount of chlorogenic acid in green coffee products can vary considerably. Some products contain a lot, others contain so little its presence is only a token gesture. This can be especially bad with supplements that contain extracts from the beans.
This is a situation that comes about for a variety of reasons.
Some manufacturers fail to do the necessary research and simply guess the amount.
Others are so interested in making maximum profits they scrimp on the inclusion rate to save money. In reality, the coffee is probably only there to make such supplements look better than they are. The ingredient has a lot of respect in weight loss circles so it’s presence is a definite selling point.
At this time experts are unable to agree on the optimum dose. Studies suggest doses of 200-400 mg are effective, but increasing the dose to 800-3000 mg appears to offer better results.
Inclusion rates may also vary due to potency issues. Some extracts are standardized to offer a greater potency of chlorogenic acid than normal extracts do.
However, if you stick to quality green coffee beverages you should be fine. Just rememebr to make sure the green coffee is not diluted with normal coffee or other ingredients.
Green Coffee for Weight Loss -Health Considerations
Green coffee is generally well tolerated by most people. It does not have a reputation for causing side effects.
As with any other natural ingredient, allergic reactions cannot be entirely ruled out. However, in a world where coffee is such a popular beverage anyone who has such a problem will likely be aware of it before considering using the green version.
Although the amount of caffeine provided by green coffee beans is much lower than standard coffee, it may not be a good option for caffeine-sensitive individuals.
Pregnant or nursing mothers should not be considering undergoing any form of weight management protocol without the prior approval of a doctor. The same holds true for anyone who has any existing health problems or concerns.
How to Get the Best Results with Green Coffee
Let’s make it blatantly clear, green coffee is not a miracle weight loss aid. Nothing is. It doesn’t matter how good an ingredient is, be it natural or otherwise, good results require a low-calorie diet.
Health permitting, a commitment to regular exercise will help speed results. Exercise also benefits the body in other ways. It improves muscle tone, is good for the heart and supports overall good health.
Green coffee is best seen as a product that can oil the wheels of your weight loss success. The best thing to do is eat sensibly, get plenty of exercise, and drink a few cups of green coffee per day.
Green coffee is a natural ingredient that comes from the fruit of a plant.
It provides antioxidants that can support good health. The beverage also contains low doses of caffeine, but chlorogenic acid is the main active compound.
Green coffee shows potential value for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It may also offer other benefits, including anti-inflammatory abilities, but the drink gets the most attention as a weight loss aid.
It has proven abilities in this regard because research shows it reduces glucose absorption sufficiently to increase weight loss.
At the moment there is insufficient credible evidence to show it can boost metabolism or increase thermogenesis.
These abilities cannot be entirely ruled out because research shows it encourages fat loss. There is no way of knowing all the processes that may be involved.
The fat loss is the important thing, not the methodology behind it.
Science shows the body absorbs chlorogenic acid easily and the ingredient has no reputation for side effects.
No. Some are taken from Robusta plants and others come from Arabica coffee plants.
This is unlikely because the caffeine content is so low. However, for anyone who is unusually sensitive to caffeine, such a reaction may be a possibility.
Research shows that it does, but the way it provides fat loss may not be the same as some people expect. Many people consider it to be a fat burner. Most of the fat loss is likely to be due to the extract’s ability to reduce glucose absorption.