When Coffee Makes You Gain Weight (or Have High Blood Pressure)


First, I have a confession to make.

I don’t like coffee.

Never liked it.

When I was little and my mom would prep her morning coffee on week-ends, I’d hide in my room so I could escape the smell (seriously).

Last time I had a cup of coffee was to make an experiment (yes, I’m a nutrition geek and I make experiments on myself) about 2 years ago.

It was a “resounding success”: I wasn’t able to sleep for 36 hours straight!

Proof of the terrible power of caffeine!

So I often hear women say they love their morning coffee because it gets them started and gives them energy.

Do you know why coffee feels energizing?

This is the whole topic of this blog post (the first one of my summer series, hence the #1 on the picture above).

This is because caffeine stimulates the production of adrenaline.

Adrenaline is our short-term stress hormone. It’s designed to get us out of danger, fast. It prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response.

It’s like having a tiger running after you, thinking you’d make a perfectly healthy lunch.

More caffeine means more adrenaline, which in turn means:

  • increase in blood sugar, to provide more energy (to run faster);
  • higher blood pressure and higher pulse rate, to provide more oxygen to muscles (to run faster);
  • the immune function stops firing;
  • blood is diverted away from digestion;
  • reproductive functions are down (unsafe moment to reproduce).

For your body, this is an unsafe situation.

“Anne, do you really mean my little cup of coffee does all this to my body? You must be kidding, right?”

Your little cup, maybe not. For some people it will be perfectly ok and others will have issues after just 2 small cups.

But what if it’s 2 mugs a day, or 3, or 4?

Insuline is released, and insulin is the fat-storage hormone; it will store unused glucose in the muscles and as body fat. Over time, coffee can therefore make you gain weight.

Your blood pressure increases; which can lead to hypertension over time. And the reason for that hypertension would not be stress, it would simply be too much coffee.

Your immune system is down because in this context, fighting infections is not a priority. So, you can get sick more easily.

Now big caveat.

I said coffee CAN make us gain weight. It means that this will not happen for everyone.

It basically depends on the quantity of caffeine you ingest, and on your nervous system being balanced.

Make your own assessment:

  • does coffee suppress your appetite and so you grab a coffee instead of eating?
  • does it make your heart race? Or give you shakes?
  • does it make you gain weight?
  • does it prevent you from sleeping at night?
  • does it cause hypertension?
  • does it make you anxious? (adrenaline can increase anxiety and anxious feelings)

You know yourself better than anyone else.

Get real, do the assessment, and if you think reducing coffee might benefit you, start tomorrow!


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