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TheRockies.Life Staff

Albertans Are Sippin’ Our Way to Second Place and Loosing Weight at the Same Time

A new study suggests that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may reduce long-term weight gain

Many Albertans can’t function without their morning coffee. 

Full disclosure: We can’t either. In fact, we wrote this story under the influence of caffeine!

A study of 1,000 Canadians found that people in Alberta spend over $36.00 monthly on coffee. That’s the third most spent on coffee in Canada, just behind Ontario and British Columbia.

Because, as Albertans, we are constantly striving to be #1, we should point out that maybe the other provinces spend more simply because they have HST, and we don’t. 

No HST or PST, another advantage of drinking coffee in Alberta – eh?

Photo of the outside of a coffee shop in Edmonton
Coffee Bureau in Edmonton is ranked as one of the top coffee shops in Canada. Erika G. | Yelp

The survey found that people in Alberta drink just under two cups of coffee daily. 

That ties us in second place with Newfoundland, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan for the most coffee consumed daily.

But again, we should point out that our coffee cups are the size of oil drums. 

Our second-place finish isn’t surprising, considering the many coffee roasters that call Alberta home. 

Alberta has almost 500 coffee shops, including big-name brands like Starbucks. But we aren’t known for our venti vanilla bean mochas or cotton candy frappuccinos. Our local coffee roasters are what set us apart from other provinces. 

Coffee Beaned lists at least 84 different roasteries in Alberta! These roasters rank as some of the best in the country.

If abundant choices aren’t enough to convince you to check out your local coffee shop, a new study links increased coffee consumption to less weight gain per year.

Sippin’ to Stay Slim

The study looks into the claim that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee reduce long-term weight gain.

Is this true? The researchers concluded that people who drank an extra cup of coffee daily gained a quarter pound less weight than expected over four years. The results were pooled from three studies, with almost 300,000 participants involved. 

But what difference does a quarter pound make? 

As we age, we put on a small amount of weight yearly. Coffee might not help you lose weight, but it can help you keep these extra pounds off. 

Before you start drinking an extra cup of coffee daily, it’s important to note that this study isn’t perfect. For starters, the results show an association, not causation.

Causation refers to one thing directly causing another. For example, drinking a bottle of tequila causes a hangover the next day.

An association is about two things moving together but not necessarily being directly related. For example, ice cream sales and violent crime rates are closely associated but not causally linked. Instead, hot temperatures, a third variable, affect both variables separately.

Photo of three packages of coffee beans from three different Calgary coffee roasters.
Three of the top-ranked coffee roasters in Calgary are Rosso, Monogram and Phil and Sebastian. Sarah Freia |

In this case, coffee is linked with less weight gain, but the study does not prove it is the cause of less weight gain. 

Maybe coffee drinkers are more ‘jacked up’ and simply move around more, causing more calories to be burned and, hence, less weight gain. The study has not eliminated these other connected variables.

The study also assumed a standard amount of caffeine per cup. In reality, participants were drinking coffees with very different amounts of caffeine.

The association between coffee and weight change may not be life-changing, but coffee can be used in other ways to manage your weight. 

Caffeine is a natural stimulant, a no-brainer, but definitely a brain-booster! But a cup of coffee can also suppress your appetite, making you eat less. 

Studies show that caffeine speeds up your metabolism, meaning you will burn more calories at rest and during activity. 

Of course, like anything, caffeine is best used in moderation. According to Web MD, excess caffeine use can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, nausea, increased heart rate, and other side effects.

Sure, coffee isn’t the holy grail of weight loss, but it can be a helpful tool to help manage your weight. 

But even if you’re not watching your beltline, visit your local coffee shop to support our province’s talented roasters. 

At the very least, you’ll get a great cup of coffee and support local businesses. Just lay off the pies while you drink your cuppa!

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