For the past few months, TikTok users have been touting the benefits of squeezing fresh lemon juice into black coffee to help burn fat.
Some claim to have lost weight. Others say they gained weight. And a few just gave the weight loss tip a hard pass after one taste. Coffee and lemon juice is not exactly the best flavor combo.
But is there any science to support this social media sensation to kickstart your weight loss?
Evidence for Lemon Juice and Weight Loss
Like many weight loss myths (yes, it’s a myth), there’s a kernel of truth in it. Scientific studies have looked at the weight loss potential of both coffee and lemons, though not the two together.
In animal studies for example, lemon compounds helped obese mice avoid weight gain and fat accumulation while on a high-fat diet. Unfortunately, there’s no research on whether it has the same effect in humans; the results of animal studies don’t always translate to people.
Evidence for Black Coffee and Weight Loss
There’s more evidence for coffee as a weight loss supplement. One study done at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that people who drank four cups of coffee daily reduced their body fat by about four-percent.
The researchers believe that the fat loss was caused by the caffeine in coffee increasing the study participants’ metabolism, causing them to burn more calories. Other studies on caffeine and weight loss have had similar results. Furthermore, experts at Mayo Clinic credit coffee for decreasing appetite as well.
So, What’s Our Verdict?
If you’re looking for a weight loss combo to try, you might be better off skipping the lemon juice and combining coffee with exercise.
A 2021 study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that drinking 3 mg/kg of caffeine (about the same as a strong coffee) 30 minutes before aerobic exercise can help boost the fat burning that occurs during exercise. “The results of our study showed that acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before performing an aerobic exercise test increased maximum fat oxidation during exercise regardless of the time of day,” says the study’s lead author.
ScienceDaily explains, “In summary, the findings of this study suggest that the combination of acute caffeine intake and aerobic exercise performed at moderate intensity in the afternoon provides the optimal scenario for people seeking to increase fat-burning during physical exercise.”
Black coffee is a Free Food on the Nutrisystem program, so feel free to enjoy it in moderation and possibly reap some benefits to your weight loss. Check out some of these creative recipes to add more coffee to your day! >
Please note that according to Medical News Today, excessive caffeine can lead to certain side effects, such as insomnia, rapid heart rate, headaches, jitters and anxiety. Be sure to speak to your doctor before adding coffee and other caffeinated beverages into your diet to ensure it’s safe for you. While coffee may provide some potential weight loss benefits, it is not a replacement for a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.