Does Coffee Cause Cellulite? The Connection Between Caffeine and a Lumpy Backside

21 Dec

Recently, an undercover CI source brought up the connection between caffeine and cellulite in her Cellulite Story. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker so this is an angle I didn’t focus on in my previous research. But now that I’ve been looking into it, there does seem to be a viable connection.

Here are several ways that cellulite is thought to be affected by caffeine intake*:

  1. Caffeine can contribute to weight gain by increasing the stress hormone cortisol and insulin levels.
  2. It impedes the circulation of nutrients to the skin.
  3. As a diuretic, caffeine contributes to water retention.
  4. It can lead to sleeplessnes, anxiety, tension, and PMS.
  5. It depletes the body of important nutrients like calcium and the B vitamins.

Another factor to consider is what you’re consuming with your coffee.

As Malcolm Gladwell explains in his awesome TED speech, when you ask an American what kind of coffee they like, they always say “a rich dark roast.”  But in taste tests, they consistently prefer coffee that is weak and milky. Most people don’t want to admit they like weak, milky coffee.

Most of the popular creamers are packed with partially hydrogenated soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup (you remember how soy affects the body, right?). You might even be able to blame your big ‘ol coffee mug for your lack of resistance to all those sweets your coworkers are bringing into the office this time of year.  As caffeine increases insulin levels, your body will crave sweets to keep your insulin elevated.

This isn’t to say that coffee is completely forbidden on an anti-cellulite diet, but experts do recommend limiting your intake to a cup or two a day. Our investigative CI source noticed a dramatic increase in her cellulite approximately six months after taking up a daily coffee habit.

What about you?  Has anyone else noticed a connection between caffeine and cellulite?

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!

Comments

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Rosy says:
12/21/2009

Oh my I hope not, Caffeine is my weekness! Well that and bread!

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Sorry, Rosy. I hope I didn't ruin your Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve… Happy holidays!

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Anonymous says:
1/8/2010

3. As a diuretic, caffeine contributes to water retention.
???
Diuretics actually help the body get rid of excess water through urine!

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Your comment leads to an excellent question! I've often wondered why coffee is supposed to reduce cellulite when applied topically but aggravates it when ingested daily. This is what I've found.

While occasional use of a mild diuretic might be helpful in getting the body to excrete excess water through the urine, it is not effective as a long term treatment (and as we know, most coffee drinkers are in it for the looooooong haul). When you repeatedly take a diuretic, the body eventually responds to the continual dehydration by learning to retain more fluid than usual. This is why people with eating disorders (who abuse diuretics, laxatives, etc) are at an increased risk of edema. Once use of the diuretic is discontinued, the body continues to retain excess fluids until it learns that adequate fluids will be regularly available.  This usually takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks. You can read more about the effects of diuretics on edema at the following link:  Edema (Water Retention) from Diagnose-Me.com

I'd love to know your thoughts on this line of reasoning. Do you think it makes sense that a daily diuretic could lead to fluid retention? Thanks for your challenging comment!

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Dianne says:
4/18/2011

Can I drink Decaf and not worry about cellulite? Does the creamer contribute to the cellulite too? If I’m able to drink Decaf I think I might be able to ween myself off of the real coffee lol.

Reply

Great questions, Dianne. With decaf, the caffeine obviously won’t be a problem for cellulite. Creamers with sugar, syrup, artificial flavorings, and hydrogenated oils are very bad for cellulite (worse than the caffeine, I would argue). However, some creamers are actually GOOD for cellulite –for example, heavy raw cream from cows that graze on pasture. Another good example is coconut milk. Also, if you are trying to improve your cellulite situation, make sure not to add sugar or any artificial sweeteners. Stevia is a good option. Good luck kicking the habit. You can do it!

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trueself says:
7/10/2012

Caffeine and cellulite connection. I just made it, a couple weeks ago, by pure accident. Cellulite has plagued me for several year to the point of being my number one beauty concern, to the point of being depressed about it. I never wore shorts much above my knees because it was that noticable. I out of healthy diet reasons, decided to take a week off of caffeine. I would deny myself my decaf latte or my usual ritual green iced tea. A second week followed, I could find no coffee house on vacation (crazy I know right?) by the end of this second caffeine free week my cellulite was at least 70% or more reduced (this was big!). I knew that was the only difference. I made a point to test my theory….I got back from vacation and made my usual iced tea run and without question HUGE difference in my cellulite…back to worse within two days! URG. Well guess whos now caffeine free? Now back to better looking thighs and butt. I can live without it. Its not just coffee its tea too for me. So worth it. Now I just need to tighten things up a bit and i will be in shorter shorts before the month is out. :D p.s. i still eat a bit of chocolate.

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This is a great but of intel, trueself. Thanks for sharing your observations with us! I noticed that my cellulite is worse if my body is retaining fluids. Could that be what is going on with the coffee, too? Perhaps it is causing your body to retain water and it exaggerates the cellulite? Does that sound like a possibility?

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trueself says:
7/22/2012

Melissa, that is a great theory. I can only guess what the reason is. Since caffeine is a natural diuretic I almost think that its dehydrating me vs retaining fluid since I do tend to loose more fluid when i drink the stuff but not so much afterwards. Despite my efforts to keep my fluid intake above average, its obviously still an imbalance somewhere. I now notice it with chocolate too (contains caffeine). I’m not crazy, not given chocolate up totally haha. I was also wondering if it has some sort of inflammation factor to it as well. I’m not addicted to it and have found a ton of herbal caffeine free teas so…its all well worth it for me. YAY to less dimples :D

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Interesting. I’ve read conflicting info on caffeine and water retention. One thing that stuck with me is that repeated use of diuretics ends up causing water retention because the body learns to over compensate for the lack of fluids. You would probably be able to tell though by how your legs feel after drinking it. I’m curious now about the possible inflammation factor too.

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Annalise says:
7/17/2012

I’m nineteen and over the past 2 years I’ve made coffee a part of my daily routine! I wouldn’t exactly call myself “addicted” because the most I ever drink is about 2 cups (but most days just one) and it’s not like I daydream about the stuff all lol! I just prefer to have that extra kick in the mornings ;D so it’s not so bad if you drink it in moderation right? Cuz I love wearing shorts! No cellulite for me please! O_O

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trueself says:
7/17/2012

Annalise…just my opinion, but i’m sure that everyone is different. I personally just seem to be sensitive to caffeine…others may not have issues with it.

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Yep, everyone is different. I have a friend who has drank coffee every day since birth practically and she doesn’t have cellulite!

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