Is Coffee an Appetite Suppressant?

The going consensus behind coffee as an appetite stimulant or suppressant is muddled, at best. 

Some will claim it as an appetite suppressant, others consider it to be a stimulant. And others will shrug and sip away without a care in the world.

The reality, as is usually the case, falls somewhere in the middle. Hear us out. 

How Does Coffee Suppress Appetite?

Does coffee curb your appetite? Yes — or, at least, it can.

The chlorogenic acids in coffee are the same antioxidant dietary phenols found in apples, sunflowers, and pineapples—all foods that will also suppress the appetite. (Though some more than others, due to fiber content.)

However, the message-muddling around “Does coffee decrease your appetite?” happens when you add caffeine to the equation.

Caffeine, on its own, will suppress the appetite for a short period of time and ever-so-slightly boost metabolism, which is the rate your body burns calories for energy. Coffee contains plenty of caffeine (as much as 100 mg in an 8-ounce cup), and so this contributes to the appetite-suppressant effect. But it’s decaf coffee that actually features the punchiest appetite-suppressant qualities. 

Does Decaf Coffee Suppress Your Appetite? 

There’s good news for people who enjoy decaf, too. Yes, a cup of decaf coffee can help curb your hunger pangs and suppress your appetite. 

Decaffeinated coffee reduces hunger because it contains PYY (peptide tyrosine tyrosine), a protein and peptide released into blood cells in the lining of the small intestine and colon. In essence, it puts the brakes on the gut and provides a feeling of fullness. This gut hormone has been an increased focus for medical researchers who are increasingly interested in how a deeper understanding of the microbiome can aid the fight against obesity. Caffeine, it has been proven through a controlled study, has no effect on the secretion of PYY and is less effective in reducing hunger.

Studies eager to learn more about the coffee-appetite-suppressant effect have also demonstrated that sugar has no measurable effect on hunger; so, adding it to your drink will not contribute to making you feel less hungry. And these effects all assume consumption of coffee served black, unsweetened. 

In short: coffee, in moderation, can be an effective tool for weight loss, but should be one part of a larger plan. And those curious if decaf coffee does still suppress your appetite, it most certainly does — even more so. Who knew your favorite beverage could be such a handy dietary aid?