Coffee for morning hunger pangs. An examination of coffee and caffeine on appetite, gastric emptying, and energy intake

Appetite. 2014 Dec;83:317-326. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.09.006. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and has a number of potential health benefits. Coffee may influence energy expenditure and energy intake, which in turn may affect body weight. However, the influence of coffee and its constituents - particularly caffeine - on appetite remains largely unexplored. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of coffee consumption (with and without caffeine) on appetite sensations, energy intake, gastric emptying, and plasma glucose between breakfast and lunch meals. In a double-blind, randomised crossover design. Participants (n = 12, 9 women; Mean ± SD age and BMI: 26.3 ± 6.3 y and 22.7 ± 2.2 kg•m⁻²) completed 4 trials: placebo (PLA), decaffeinated coffee (DECAF), caffeine (CAF), and caffeine with decaffeinated coffee (COF). Participants were given a standardised breakfast labelled with ¹³C-octanoic acid and 225 mL of treatment beverage and a capsule containing either caffeine or placebo. Two hours later, another 225 mL of the treatment beverage and capsule was administered. Four and a half hours after breakfast, participants were given access to an ad libitum meal for determination of energy intake. Between meals, participants provided exhaled breath samples for determination of gastric emptying; venous blood and appetite sensations. Energy intake was not significantly different between the trials (Means ± SD, p> 0.05; Placebo: 2118 ± 663 kJ; Decaf: 2128 ± 739 kJ; Caffeine: 2287 ± 649 kJ; Coffee: 2016 ± 750 kJ); Other than main effects of time (p <0.05), no significant differences were detected for appetite sensations or plasma glucose between treatments (p > 0.05). Gastric emptying was not significantly different across trials (p > 0.05). No significant effects of decaffeinated coffee, caffeine or their combination were detected. However, the consumption of caffeine and/or coffee for regulation of energy balance over longer periods of time warrant further investigation.

Keywords: Appetite; Caffeine; Coffee; Energy intake; Gastric emptying.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite Depressants / therapeutic use
  • Appetite Regulation*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breakfast*
  • Breath Tests
  • Caffeine / therapeutic use
  • Caprylates / metabolism
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Coffee*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / metabolism
  • Hyperphagia / prevention & control*
  • Lunch
  • Male
  • Queensland
  • Snacks*
  • Young Adult


  • Appetite Depressants
  • Caprylates
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • octanoic acid