Coffee is a cultural powerhouse, found and celebrated in a diverse number of countries and continents worldwide. From tiny stovetop coffee makers to large, industrial-sized units designed to serve a steady flow of customers, coffee has a litany of fans, partly due to its caffeine content, and partly due to the antioxidants found within coffee. New and improved versions of coffee have been popping up in recent years--think Bulletproof coffee blends and mushroom coffee--in order to harness and complement the caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and antioxidants found in coffee. Is enzyme coffee truly a coffee for weight loss, and a powerful component of a healthy diet?
For some, the answer may be a resounding yes.
What is enzyme coffee?
Enzyme coffee is a type of coffee that has been blended with enzymes designed to reduce weight or incur weight loss. While knowledge of enzymes is not new for anyone who has studied anatomy or those who work in the medical field, the properties and value of enzymes have recently become more frequently discussed and investigated by people of all backgrounds, and those who are in search of aids to develop a healthy diet. The health benefits of enzymes have been researched, but the inclusion of enzymes in coffee for weight loss has not yet been evaluated thoroughly enough to determine if the combination of coffee and enzymes is enough to induce significant changes to an individual's weight.
What is an enzyme?
Enzymes are proteins found in the body and in virtually every type of organic matter. These proteins are used as reactive agents, to speed up or slow down different chemical responses. Different types of enzymes trigger different reactions, depending on the chemical compositions and their roles in the body. Some enzymes, for instance, increase digestion by acting as acids to break down food and more. Some enzymes increase energy production by instigating synthesis.
Ultimately, enzymes are used to help break down fat and carbohydrates. In breaking down fat, enzymes can help the body effectively use and thereby reduce fat. When breaking down carbohydrates, enzymes help create energy--which can then be used to exercise and thus burn fat.
How is enzyme coffee made?
Like all other plants, coffee does have its own natural enzymes, without additional components. Most of the natural enzymes in coffee are actually destroyed when the naturally green coffee beans are roasted, making it unlikely that simple black coffee will impart enough of the enzymes needed to significantly contribute to weight loss, according to companies and brands who develop coffee for weight loss products. Producers who have developed enzyme-enriched coffee deliver coffee with a coenzyme that assists in the oxidative breakdown of fatty acids.
A proprietary blend of enzymes are added after the roasting process in order to ensure that excessive heat does not effectively destroy the added enzymes. The heat added to coffee is not substantial enough to destroy the additional enzymes, which is said to aid in weight loss efforts and increase energy levels. For some, the notion of adding enzymes to coffee simply means imparting the already-existing benefits found in green coffee beans.
What enzymes are present in enzyme coffee?
The most significant enzymes found in enzyme coffee include cellulase, amylase, and protease. These enzymes are selected because they are the enzymes in the body most frequently linked to boosts in metabolism and a more efficient ability to burn calories and prevent the formation of new fat cells. Coffee for weight loss may include other components or other enzymes, but these are the three that are usually linked to the more efficient use of fat cells.
As the name indicates, cellulase is an enzyme that targets cellulose. You may most clearly recognize cellulose as the green, tough substance found in the stalks and leaves of many plants. Although cellulose-rich plants are excellent sources of fiber, that fiber cannot be properly broken down and utilized without an adequate supply of cellulase in the body.
Amylase is an enzyme that assists in breaking down carbohydrates, and is delivered in the greatest amount through saliva and pancreas. Understandably, an inadequate amount of amylase can lead to complications; a balanced diet is one that includes a hefty amount of carbohydrates, often rich sources of dietary fiber and the most significant producer of sugar in the body. Amylase is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and to encourage weight loss, because it effectively breaks down the different chemical components found in carbohydrates in order to convert those carbohydrates to energy-giving sugars.
Finally, protease is the enzyme involved in breaking down protein. Like amylase, the loss of adequate protease is substantial, as it does not allow your body to effectively break down proteins. Abundant protein is required for brain health, to recover from regular exercise, and to maintain a sense of satiety, all of which can aid with weight loss and support maintaining a healthy weight.
Does coffee with enzymes help you lose weight?
The answer to this is not cut and dried. Although having a cup of coffee per day (or more) has been linked to weight loss, in addition to a healthy diet, there are not substantial scientific food science studies that have evaluated the effect of drinking enzyme coffee. Because there are no studies that focus specifically on enzyme-enhanced coffee, versus the effect of caffeine content, or the effect of coffee on energy levels, metabolic health, and even hormonal health, it is too early to determine whether or not drinking enzyme coffee actually contributes to losing weight and qualifies this product as a health supplement.
What are the other benefits of enzyme coffee?
While most enzyme coffee producers focus on weight loss, there are additional benefits of coffee itself that are not usually highlighted. These include increased metabolism, digestive improvements, and fat burning. All of these benefits have been linked to general coffee consumption, however, so it is not necessary to consume an enzyme-enhanced coffee in order to reap the benefits.
Benefits of regular coffee
Coffee has gotten a bad rap in years past, and continues to offer something of a controversial conversation among healthcare professionals and aficionados. Nevertheless, some studies have demonstrated the benefits of drinking coffee regularly (typically 2 cups per day). These include:
- Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder with differing levels of severity. For some, exercise and diet are enough to manage the condition. For others, intensive medication regimens are necessary, in addition to surgery, to correct weight concerns and reduce the likelihood of complications. Coffee has been linked to decreases in type 2 diabetes risk.
- Reducing the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. Increasing numbers of diagnoses have some people in search of an aid to brain health to reduce the likelihood of developing these conditions. Morning coffee may improve the odds of avoiding degenerative disorders such as these, through the precise mechanisms behind that risk reduction are not known.
- Improving sports and endurance performance. When it was first introduced in the west, coffee was seen as a possible boon for regular exercise. Upon discovering its diuretic effect, many athletes were quick to eschew the drink altogether. The aforementioned study found that the effects of coffee were actually positive regarding athletic performance, and could prove useful to anyone looking to implement a new exercise plan.
How much coffee should you drink per day for maximum benefits?
Now that we've explored the potential benefits of coffee, it is important to identify the "dosage" of coffee, or the best manner in which to drink it. Not all coffee intake is created equal, after all; studies evaluating coffee intake typically recommend two cups of filtered coffee per day, and many others suggest limiting coffee intake to black coffee, rather than the high-sugar coffee often sold at large chains and coffee shops, and drinking no more than five cups per day to reduce the likelihood of experiencing negative effects.
Benefits of coffee with green tea
While enzyme coffee (also called weight loss coffee) is enjoying a moment, there are ways to enjoy your morning coffee consumption with more concrete links to effective weight loss while supporting brain health and overall health just as thoroughly. Combining instant coffee and green tea allows you to reap the benefits of coffee mentioned above, in addition to the benefits of green tea, which include:
- Cancer prevention. In some studies, regular green tea intake was associated with a reduced risk of developing cancer.
- Cardiovascular health. Green tea has been linked to improvements in overall cardiovascular health, which performs the double duty of allowing your body to use and burn energy while maintaining consistent circulation, thereby improving your likelihood of maintaining a health weight.
- Weight and metabolic health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the value of green tea: it supports energy, increases energy and focus, and provides the body with much-needed components utilized in the breakdown of fatty acids and the prevention of storing fat cells. Studies have linked the consumption of tea with both preventing weight gain and stimulating weight loss.
Linking coffee and green tea brings together two true powerhouses for weight loss and overall health.
Enzyme Coffee? Or Green Tea & Coffee?
While enzyme coffee may be a hyped-up newcomer to the weight loss coffee scene, green tea coffee possesses tried-and-true benefits: reducing the risk of heart disease and improving general health and wellness, including brain health and metabolic health. By fusing green tea and coffee, you can forgo special enzymes said to lead to weight loss and instead go directly to the source of the components and enzymes responsible for improved bodily responses to incoming foods and energy. Consumption of coffee on its own is linked to a series of health benefits, including improved exercise performance and a decreased risk of numerous disorders and ailments. Because the beneficial effects of the healthy enzyme coffee have not been evaluated, it is best to adhere to coffee extracts and a green tea extract with demonstrated benefits on the human body.