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Coffee and Muscle Growth

Study suggests coffee can help to increase muscle growth.

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed morning beverages in the world. Most people can’t start off their day without a a cup of coffee. A decade ago, doctors would warn people that too much coffee could cause heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other diseases, but new research proves otherwise. Coffee contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Contrary to what was preached by the medical profession, a recent meta-analysis reported that coffee intake is inversely associated with the incidence of chronic diseases including late-life cognitive decline, Parkinson’s disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Good news for coffee lovers: a recent study found that coffee can increase muscle growth! Before you start brewing your pot of coffee in hopes of adding more size – the study was done in mice, but its interesting none the less.

This study was conducted based on a previous Korean cross-sectional study consisting of 2,578 individuals comparing coffee drinkers to non-coffee drinkers, and found that coffee consumption was inversely associated with sarcopenia in older Korean women. This means the more coffee the women drank, the more muscle they had! Previous studies have also shown that coffee accelerates the regeneration of injured skeletal muscle in aged mice, and increases satellite cell activation in skeletal muscle and increased muscle mass. Again, these studies were all done in mice, but it is showing that coffee elicits some cool biochemical effects on muscle.

To investigate the effect of coffee on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, mice were provided to standard diet or a normal diet supplemented with different doses of 0.3 percent coffee or 1 percent coffee. In human terms, for an adult male weighing 60kg, this is roughly equivalent to one cup of coffee and three cups of coffee. At the end of the study, dietary coffee supplementation increased muscle function and skeletal muscle hypertrophy in mice. These effects were attributable to a decrease in myostatin and increase in IGF expression. Talk about great news for coffee lovers! The study found that your standard cup of coffee may reduce myostatin. This is enough for anyone who wants to increase muscle mass to continue drinking coffee.

Young Jin Jang,a Hyo Jeong Son,a Ji-Sun Kim,ab Chang Hwa Jung,ac Jiyun Ahn,ac Jinyoung Hurac and Tae Youl Ha*ac . Coffee consumption promotes skeletal muscle hypertrophy and myoblast differentiation. Journal of Food and Function.

S. Oh, H. K. Shin, J. W. Lee and D. C. Lee, Association between Coffee Consumption and Sarcopenia in Older Adults: A Cross Sectional Analysis of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2011, Korean Journal of Family Practice, 2016, 6, 598-603.

J. Kim and Y. S. Park, Light coffee consumption is protective against sarcopenia, but frequent coffee consumption is associated with obesity in Korean adults, Nutrition Research 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.04.004.

Y. Guo, K. Niu, T. Okazaki, H. Wu, T. Yoshikawa, T. Ohrui, K. Furukawa, M. Ichinose, K. Yanai, H. Arai, G. Huang and R. Nagatomi, Coffee treatment prevents the progression of sarcopenia in aged mice in vivo and in vitro, Exp Gerontol, 2014, 50, 1-8.


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