Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry? 5 Proven Reasons In 2024

Have you ever experienced a surge of hunger after having a cup of coffee? I have indeed. Interestingly, it’s not uncommon for people to feel hungrier after drinking coffee, which can be quite bothersome. So, why does coffee induce hunger?

There are a few potential reasons why coffee can make us hungry. One is that coffee can stimulate the production of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for triggering hunger. Another possibility is that coffee can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, which can make you feel hungry. Additionally, some people may simply associate the taste of coffee with certain foods or snacks, which can lead to cravings and increased hunger.

Understanding the possible reasons regarding the question “Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry?” can help you make more informed choices about when and how much coffee you consume. By being aware of the potential effects of coffee on your appetite, you can better manage your hunger levels and avoid overeating. In the following sections, we’ll explore these potential reasons in more detail to help you better understand why coffee might be making you hungry.

How Coffee Influences Your Hunger

If you’ve ever been curious about why coffee can make you feel hungry, there are a couple of things that come into play.

Mike Roussell explains the effect of coffee and how it impacts hunger.

1. Coffee’s Effects on the Digestive System

Coffee can affect your digestive system, which can impact your appetite. Specifically, coffee can stimulate the production of stomach acid, which can make you feel hungrier. This is because stomach acid signals to your brain that you’re hungry, which can lead to an increase in appetite. Also, the increase in gastric acid can lead to discomfort and irritation in your stomach, which can cause feelings of hunger.

Additionally, coffee can increase the production of cortisol, a hormone that’s associated with stress. When cortisol levels are high, it can lead to an increase in appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. This is why some people may find that coffee makes them feel hungry even if they’ve recently eaten.

2. Coffee’s Influence on Your Blood Sugar Levels

When you drink coffee, it can affect your blood sugar levels, and this might make you feel hungry. Here’s how it works:

Caffeine can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, especially if you have diabetes or are insulin-resistant. This is because caffeine can interfere with the way your body uses insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, coffee can also cause your blood sugar levels to drop. This happens when the caffeine in coffee stimulates your body to release more insulin. Insulin helps your body absorb glucose from your bloodstream and use it for energy. But if you don’t have enough glucose in your bloodstream, your blood sugar levels can drop too low, making you feel hungry.

To avoid feeling hungry after drinking coffee, it’s important to be mindful of your caffeine intake and to eat a balanced meal before drinking coffee. This can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent fluctuations that can make you feel hungry.

One solution you could try would be decaffeinated coffee.

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3. Coffee’s Psychological Influence

When it comes to coffee and hunger, there is a psychological aspect that can’t be ignored. Here are some ways in which coffee can affect your appetite perception:

  • Stress and anxiety: If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you may experience an increase in appetite. And since caffeine is a stimulant, it can intensify these feelings. So if you’re already feeling anxious or stressed, coffee may make you feel even hungrier.
  • Conditioning: If you always have a snack with your coffee, your brain may start to associate the two. This means that even if you don’t need a snack, your brain may tell you that you do because you’re used to having one with your coffee and therefore the coffee intake makes you feel hungry.
  • Social cues: If you’re in a social situation where others are eating, you may be more likely to eat as well. And since coffee is often consumed in social situations, this could be a factor in why coffee makes you feel hungry.

The psychological aspect of coffee and hunger is complex. Stress, conditioning, mood, and social cues can all play a role in how hungry you feel after drinking coffee.

4. Coffee’s Influence on Energy Output and Calorie Burning

One way that caffeine influences energy output is by increasing metabolic rate. According to a study published in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, caffeine can increase resting metabolic rate by up to 11%. This means that the body burns more calories even when at rest, which can lead to increased calorie burning throughout the day.

Naturally, this can lead to the body needing a renewed supply of energy. And with that, another point arises as to how coffee can make you hungry. It should be noted, however, that this effect only becomes noticeable with a time delay.

Caffeine also stimulates thermogenesis, which is the process by which the body generates heat and burns calories. This effect is due to the activation of brown adipose tissue, which is a type of fat that generates heat when activated. Caffeine-induced thermogenesis can increase calorie burning by up to 10%, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

5. The Hunger Hormone: Ghrelin

Caffeine is a stimulant that can affect your appetite by stimulating the production of certain hormones. One of these hormones is ghrelin, which is responsible for stimulating hunger.

When you drink coffee, it can increase levels of ghrelin, which can make you feel hungrier than you would otherwise. It is often called the “hunger hormone” because it stimulates appetite and promotes food intake

Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and signals the brain to increase hunger levels. When ghrelin levels rise, you may feel more hungry and have a stronger desire to eat.

Coffee’s Influence on Ghrelin

Research suggests that coffee may affect ghrelin levels in the body. One study found that drinking coffee increased ghrelin levels in healthy individuals, which could explain why some people feel more hungry after drinking coffee.

However, other studies have found conflicting results. One study found that decaffeinated coffee did not increase ghrelin levels, while another study found that caffeine intake did not affect ghrelin levels.

It is important to note that individual responses to coffee may vary. Some people may experience an increase in hunger after drinking coffee, while others may not notice any effect on their appetite.

Overall, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between coffee and ghrelin. If you find that coffee makes you more hungry, you may want to try drinking it with a meal or snack to help control your appetite.

Healthy Coffee Consumption

If you’re a coffee lover, you might be wondering how to enjoy your favorite drink without feeling excessively hungry afterwards. Here are a few tips for healthy coffee consumption that can help you avoid hunger pangs.

Coffee and a croissant on a white table next to a resting hand
IG: maria_rubtsovas

Balancing Coffee Intake

Firstly, it’s important to balance your coffee intake. While coffee can be a great pick-me-up, drinking too much of it can lead to negative side effects such as restlessness, insomnia, and rapid heart rate.

💡Protip

Try Decaffeinated Coffee

excessive caffeine intake can increase urination and therefore lead to dehydration, which can make you feel hungrier. In this case, you can also consider drinking decaffeinated coffee since its reduced caffeine content influences the urge to urinate less.

According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate coffee consumption is defined as 3 to 4 cups per day, which is equivalent to around 400 milligrams of caffeine. However, the actual amount of caffeine that you can tolerate depends on various factors such as age, weight, and overall health. Therefore, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your coffee intake accordingly to prevent side effects like dizziness.

Pairing Coffee with Nutritious Snacks

To avoid experiencing a significant increase in hunger after drinking coffee, you can pair your coffee with nutritious snacks. Instead of reaching for sugary or processed snacks, try to choose options that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients can help you feel fuller for longer periods and prevent blood sugar crashes.

Here are a few examples of nutritious snacks that you can pair with your coffee:

  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Hard-boiled eggs with avocado
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Nuts and seeds

By pairing your coffee with these healthy snacks, you can satisfy your hunger without consuming excessive calories or sugar. Moreover, these snacks can also provide you with essential nutrients that your body needs to function properly.


FAQ – Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry?

Why don’t I feel hungry after drinking coffee?

Caffeine can increase hunger in some people, but the effect is not significant for everyone. Some studies suggest that caffeine can increase hunger by stimulating the release of the hormone ghrelin, while others show that caffeine can suppress appetite by increasing the level of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone that signals fullness.

Should I drink coffee hungry?

It is generally safe to drink coffee when you are hungry. However, keep in mind that coffee can have mixed effects on hunger and appetite, and the effects can vary from person to person. Some people may find that coffee suppresses their appetite, while others may experience an increase in hunger after consuming coffee.

Does coffee burn calories?

Coffee can boost metabolism and increase fat burning, which can lead to a temporary increase in calorie burning. However, the effects are usually modest and may not have a significant impact on weight loss or calorie balance. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to achieve long-term weight loss goals.

Does caffeine crash make you hungry?

Caffeine crashes, which can occur when the effects of caffeine wear off, can cause symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, and hunger. Some people may experience an increase in hunger, while others may not notice a significant change in appetite. It is important to listen to your body and eat when you feel hungry, regardless of the effects of caffeine.

Is coffee an appetite stimulant?

Yes, coffee can act as an appetite stimulant due to its impact on hormones and neurotransmitters, potentially increasing hunger and influencing eating patterns.


If you’ve experienced the effects of coffee on your appetite, feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on the question “Why Does Coffee Make Me Hungry?” in the comments below. Your insights and tips may be helpful to others navigating the world of coffee and hunger.

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Wadim Urbanowitsch

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