Mmm, what's that smell in my house at 6 in the morning? None other than my trusty Keurig brewing up something good! A cafe mocha, to be exact. Coffee has been around since the 13th century, maybe even before that, and has been a staple to each person's daily routine for as long as we could remember. What's there not to love? Coffee is packed with antioxidants, increases energy levels, lowers health risks, improves mood and cognitive functioning, and it also helps you burn fat. Wait a minute. Burn fat? What? How? If you look on the labels of most thermogenics, caffeine is usually listed on there in significant amounts. Caffeine is actually one of the few natural substances that has been proven to aid in fat burning. So, how does it help you burn fat? Well, it stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat. Epinephrine travels through the blood, to the fat tissues and send signals to break down fats and release them into the blood.This is how caffeine helps to mobilize fat from the fat tissues, making it available for use as free fatty acids in the blood. Caffeine also increases your metabolic rate by 3%-11%, some studies have revealed. In the short term, caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, but after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working. Other than caffeine, coffee contains Theobromine and Theophylline which also have a stimulating affect. It also contains Chlorogenic Acid– one of the biologically active compounds in coffee, may help slow absorption of carbohydrates. However, there are some downsides to making coffee a staple in your daily diet. If you are going to drink coffee while trying to tone up or lose weight, beware of adding in any sugars, syrups, or creamers that will only add to your waistline. Adding a natural sweetener such as Stevia or honey is a better alternative. Instead of creamer, try almond milk or coconut milk instead. Another potential downside to caffeine is that if you drink too much, it may increase your stress levels leading you to overeat. Also, coffee has been linked to insomnia, which might also lead you to consume more calories than you are aware of. Always keep track with how much you are consuming! But whether you are a coffee lover or not, there's no denying the benefits it has on the human body. Your best bet? Have a cup of black coffee and reap the benefits-in moderation!