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Coffee & Health

Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry?

One of the things that have made coffee look mysterious is its different benefits. I know you would say if it is beneficial, then it shouldn’t be vague, but let’s get serious here. Coffee is good for alertness and focus, but one of its side effects is lack of concentration and anxiety.

coffee making you hungry.

And to be honest, coffee is not to be blamed, and it is but a messenger to caffeine which is the most abundant constituent in coffee and a slave to us, it’s master who can decide, oh, it’s 5 am, let me make coffee and the coffee can’t reject the proposition.

These are important because as you grow to like coffee, the scale is tipped, and the master changes. Now you’re someone who can’t seem to do anything without a cup of coffee, your body builds tolerance against it, which limits the effect of caffeine in your body, but instead of you taking a rest, you are already addicted.

You start taking more coffee than usual, and then boom! The side effects start coming in, and this is coffee’s defence – it didn’t force you to do anything.

Coffee has been credited with many benefits, from helping your body function at a higher level and preventing you from developing terminal illnesses. The benefits and negatives of coffee have been due to some of its constituents, like caffeine, a chemical substance.

I was hoping you could look at it as a simple, mild, and harmless drug because, like drugs, it can inhibit and affect some changes in the normal functioning of our body system.

The different things we feel in our body like pain, happiness, hunger, appetite. Etc. is controlled by some complex activities and systems in our body and which coffee can affect when we consume it. Not just coffee alone, but any other thing that we eat or drink.

Different studies have found out the various effects that coffee has on our body which is what revealed that coffee is good for focus and alertness and that it could also help prevent terminal diseases. Some other research revealed the effects it has on hunger and appetite as well.

Many weight-loss experts recommend drinking coffee rich in caffeine because it helps control appetite by reducing the hormone that makes you feel hungry. But new research revealed that decaf coffee is a better way to go if you want to lose weight. Decaf coffee is a type of coffee that has a minimal amount of caffeine.


Why Do People Drink Coffee?

Coffee is the most consumed beverage globally, and the only liquid that comes close is tea. Why is it this popular among people all over the world? And why do they drink it so much it is mostly consumed?

In the introduction, I mentioned that research has revealed that coffee helps boost concentration and alertness, which is the primary reason many people drink coffee. Some of the essential benefits of coffee and why people drink it include

  • It helps to boost energy levels that, after taking it, your energy levels surge interestingly.
  • It improves concentration and boosts focus; this is the most popular reason because coffee is mainly consumed in workspaces and early in the morning. These are places and times when you need to boost your focus and concentration.
  • It has a great smell: coffee has a great smell before and after being brewed, and some people love it because of this.
  • Great taste: forget the notion that coffee is bitter; it only happens when you leave brewed coffee for a long time. But what I’m talking about is sweetened coffee. It tastes much better than any beverage, and people love it for this as well.
  • It can help you lose weight: this is the latest coffee essential, and it is something that fitness experts are milking right now.


Is Drinking Coffee Healthy?

We’ve just addressed the benefits of coffee and why many people drink it, so, apparently coffee is essential, and I know you’d agree with me. But is coffee healthy?

Many people have asked this question, and many people are still going to ask because of the attention weight-loss experts, media, and doctors have brought to coffee and caffeine.

People are gradually becoming curious about the health effects of coffee. So, is coffee healthy? It depends on several things such as

  • Caffeine sensitivity: as individuals, we all undergo the same body functions, but the truth is that we differ in many ways; we have allergies, sensitivities, and a lot of this that makes us different from the person sitting next to us on the bus. Caffeine sensitivity is the way that a person reacts to caffeine in their system. Some people would start feeling the side effects of caffeine after taking just two cups of coffee, while some people would drink up to 4 cups and still not feel a thing. Coffee can be unhealthy for someone who has high sensitivity towards caffeine, and on the other hand, it won’t be harmful to someone who is not so sensitive.
  • Genetic makeup: this is another way we are different from others. We all have different genetic makeups, and it is also manifested in how we metabolize caffeine. Some people genetically metabolize caffeine faster than others, i.e. their body breaks down, absorbs, and uses up caffeine faster than other people. Naturally, caffeine could still be in the body for almost 6 hours, but in people that metabolize caffeine faster, the time is reduced.

The other things it depends on are the type of coffee you’re drinking, the additives, and the time you’re drinking the coffee.


What are Other Things in Coffee apart from Caffeine?

Coffee is gotten from a Coffee plant, and it has the highest deposit of naturally occurring caffeine. Caffeine can also be found naturally in some food substances, but coffee is the most significant source of caffeine.

Caffeine is a chemical substance that acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system and metabolic system. Like most things that we consume – food, drinks, and pills – little is good, too much is bad and harmful.

Caffeine is known to boost performance in anything you’re doing because of how prevents you from feeling fatigued by blocking the hormone responsible for this and delaying its effect until the effect of caffeine wears off.

There are also phytochemicals in coffee, and they are known as chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acids are a group of biologically active phenols found in food substances and act as antioxidants. Chlorogenic acid can be found in different food substances such as apples, strawberries, artichokes, pineapples, sunflowers, blueberries, and pears.

Additional research has been conducted to determine their effects on the body, but there has been no concrete conclusion, so hold that thought about getting more coffee bean extracts. However, manufacturers of dietary supplements and obesity researchers have talked about how it could help you lose weight by reducing your hunger levels.


Secrets of Controlling Appetite and How to unlock them

Please don’t get too carried away, and they aren’t secrets. It’s just that some of these things are hidden from the mainstream. Like I said somewhere above, some complex activities control the functions and everything we feel in our bodies.

In terms of appetite, hunger, and satiety – being satisfied from eating or drinking water – they are controlled by a series of hormones in the body. Some hormones would help you feel hungry, while others alert you when you are already satisfied. We’d be looking at some of the hormones that control your appetite – leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.


Ghrelin and Leptin

Ghrelin is a hormone of the gastrointestinal tract. I.e. it’s secreted in the stomach and its principal function is to increase the amount of food you are taking in, and it does this by stimulating your appetite. Some people have called ghrelin the hunger hormone because you will begin to feel hungry when it stimulates your appetite.

Leptin, however, is the opposite of ghrelin. Its principal function is to reduce the amount of food you are eating or taking in. Its other function is increasing the way your body expends – uses – its energy. Unlike ghrelin, it is synthesized or secreted in the fat cells and not in the stomach.


Peptide YY

This is the third hormone, and it is secreted by cells of the intestinal mucosa – the inner lining of the intestine – of both the large intestine and the ileum. It’s similar to leptin as they both decrease food intake and appetite.

It is suspected that it acts on the neurons in the hypothalamus and helps people feel satisfied or filled from what they have eaten. Some other scientists suspect that it could also be decreasing food intake and appetite by delaying gastric emptying, i.e. increasing the time food takes in the stomach before entering the small intestine.

The research was carried out to know the effect that coffee has on the appetite; maybe it makes you feel hungry or reduces hunger. We examined 3 of the hormones that control appetite, so this research is to determine the effect of coffee on this hormone and how it translates to your appetite.

Does it increase the secretion of ghrelin and reduce leptin and peptide YY so that appetite can be increased, or does it reduce ghrelin and increase leptin and peptide YY production to reduce appetite and hunger.

To do this, the scientist formulated two hypotheses which are:

  1. All products with caffeine – caffeine pills, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated coffee – would decrease ghrelin or hunger by increasing Peptide YY and leptin, which cause satiety.
  2. These hormones would kick in and take effect 60 minutes after a subject has endured the test beverage and 2 hours after consuming or ingesting glucose.



A placebo-controlled method was used for the research. A placebo-controlled method in this term means that a subject group would be getting beverages high in caffeine, another group would bring decaffeinated beverages, and the last subject group would be given beverages with no caffeine.

In other words, the placebo-controlled method means giving a subject group the active material being tested for and the other group inert materials.

For this research, it was randomized, a four-way crossover was used, and four drinks were used

  • A placebo – drink without caffeine
  • Caffeinated coffee
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • A solution of water and caffeine

They made use of 11 subjects who took all four drinks during the period of the study, so it took a while, and something that also separated it from other research is that subjects didn’t know what drink they were taking, and this made it easy for the researchers to study and record efficiently.

The researchers didn’t have to worry about how each person would react to the different drinks because they could see it, and since every subject took all the drinks, they could say, “Subject X drinking Test A gave this result.”


Subjects’ Actions

The subjects had to go for testing four times during the study because four drinks were to be tried for in the subject. The duration between each visit to the lab is always between 1 to 2 weeks, which means the study could have gone on for almost eight weeks – two months – tops.

The only precaution given to all the subjects who didn’t know what was inside their drinking was to stay away from exercise or alcohol for a 48-hour window before their testing.

The subjects were also subjected to light breakfasts on the testing day, which is always scheduled for the afternoon; they were also prevented from taking any other thing apart from the breakfast, snacks, and lunch. The subjects must have been quite hungry when the testing started because they couldn’t eat anything else except breakfast.

The testing followed a strict procedure which is the same one for the four different visits the subjects had:

  1. Every subject was weighed and mandated to fill questionnaires about their intake regarding alcohol, caffeine, and the food they have eaten. Other parts of the questionnaire include a component to enquire about the side effect they noticed since their last visit, a piece about stress, exercise, and illness.
  2. The subjects were put in chairs to rest. Their blood was taken for samples every time they went for a test, but the first sample was taken as the opening sample.
  3. The subjects were given 30 minutes to rest.
  4. A random drink was selected among the different test drinks, and the subjects were given 10 minutes to finish it.
  5. Their blood sample was retaken.
  6. The subjects were given 60 minutes to rest again before they are given 10 ounces of flavoured water with up 75 g of glucose to drink.
  7. The subjects after these were asked to rate their hunger levels up to 6 times, during which their blood sample was being taken. After a draw, they ask them to evaluate their hunger levels; this happened six times, plus the other two times their blood sample was taken, making it eight times they had a catheter in their veins drawing blood. They evaluated their hunger levels by looking at a Visual Analog Scale (VAS).

The Visual Analog Scale VAS is a popular tool among researchers, and hunger is not the first and only thing they use it to measure. They also use it to measure fatigue, anxiety, mood, and pain, basically anything that has to deal with the psyche. It is very valid and allows people to evaluate things on a range and most times from 1 to 100.


Subjects’ Hunger and Satiety Rating

The VAS is the measure taken by the researcher to make sure they are getting meaningful and accurate results from the test on the subjects.

In evaluating the hunger levels of the issue, the researchers asked them simply how hungry they feel. The range starting from 0, which means “I don’t feel hungry at all”, and 100 meaning “I’ve never felt this hungry.”

For their satiety level, 0 meant that the subject’s stomach is empty, while 100 means that they couldn’t dare take more food.


What the Researchers’ did with the Blood Samples 

Remember that the subjects had their blood drawn eight times during one lab visit. The researchers continued testing with the blood samples of the issue gotten during different times during the test. The different time if you remember, was after 30 minutes and an hour. Etc.

This is to know what happens in the blood as the time contents of the drinks increases. They also tested the blood for the three hormones responsible for hunger and satiety – ghrelin, leptin, and peptide YY. A peptide is a group of amino acids that are linked by a chemical bond.


As a reminder:

Ghrelin is secreted in the stomach, and it causes an increase in hunger and appetite.

Leptin is found mainly in the fat tissues, and it causes a reduction in hunger and appetite.

Peptide YY found mainly found in the ileum and reduces hunger and appetite as well.


How were the Beverages Prepared?

The researchers tried many things and then came up with something that worked for them because they wanted to use a placebo-control method that involves a placebo and four other drinks. And apparently, they tried to get an estimated amount of caffeine which is ideal per body weight. They discovered that the ideal caffeine per weight is 6 mg, and this is how their preparation went:

  1. Caffeinated Coffee: the researchers used 40 g of coffee ground to achieve a 6 mg/kg body weight of caffeine. They used high-performance liquid chromatography to measure the coffee, and they found it to be at 0.73 mg/ml or 0.73 mg per millilitre of coffee.
  2. Decaffeinated Coffee: the researchers used 57 mg of coffee ground to yield the same strength as the caffeinated coffee.
  3. A mixture of Water and Caffeine: they made use of a coffee maker, but instead of using coffee grounds, they used caffeine powder to get the 6 mg/kg body weight of caffeine.



We are going to talk about need the hypothesis they formulated before.

Recall that the hypothesis is

  1. All products with caffeine – caffeine pills, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated coffee – would decrease ghrelin or hunger by increasing Peptide YY and leptin, which cause satiety.
  2. These hormones would kick in and take effect 60 minutes after a subject has endured the test beverage and 2 hours after consuming or ingesting glucose.

When reported on a graph of time against beverage effect, decaffeinated coffee showed low hunger levels after 180 minutes.

Satiety levels after 180 minutes don’t show any changes with caffeinated coffee, but the levels increased with decaffeinated coffee.

Peptide YY after 90 and 180 minutes has the same effects as satiety levels with decaffeinated coffee. The stories of peptides increased when it was decaffeinated coffee was taken.

Leptin and Ghrelin, after 180 minutes, didn’t show any significant change in response to the beverages.


What this means…

What the results mean is that, contrary to the popular opinion that highly caffeinated coffee has a significant effect in suppressing hunger, it was decaffeinated coffee that significantly reduces hunger and appetite in the body. This study showed that the levels of hunger after the consumption of decaffeinated coffee are deficient compared to that of the other beverages used.

Like we discussed above that peptide YY reduces hunger and appetite and boosts satiety, same with leptin. It then means the higher the amount of Peptide YY in the body, the less hunger you feel. The thing about this is that it has brought a new light into the effects of caffeine in the body, something that has not been missing but has not been extensive.

This research revealed that glucose ingestion leads to a reduction in hunger levels and an increase in the peptide YY in the body.

Finally, coffee is filled with different chemicals that have other effects on the body, most of which are beneficial to the body. It is also important to note that we are all different as individuals and would respond differently to the effects of coffee.

However, as a final note (I’d love to chip this in), if you want to use coffee and caffeine as a means of suppressing hunger, you might want to examine this study critically to determine how you would shift or adjust what you are drinking. You can run this test on yourself to see how it goes, and then you can decide to change your routine or switch things up.

And that’s it. Let us know what you think and some other effects of caffeine that you feel in your body. Do let us know.