Drink coffee with or without milk? Study gives clear answer

Deepak Gupta February 2, 2022
Updated 2022/02/02 at 6:26 AM

Some drink Coffee with milk and others prefer without milk. But in fact, one of the two variants is better for you and your body. Researchers at the University of Graz, Austria, were able to answer this question in a study some time ago: it is better not to eat cow’s milk. Because this inhibits a positive effect of the hot drink. However, there are also good things about it: Some milk alternatives even increase the positive effect.

Content: That’s why coffee without milk

Did you know already?
There are more than 60 types of coffee in the world. The most popular variety is Arabica, which accounts for as much as 70 to 75 percent of global coffee production. The Robusta variety is commonly used for instant coffee because of its flavor and accounts for approximately 20 to 30 percent of global coffee production (Source: Jacobs Professional)

Coffee without milk is better: but why?

Whether coffee with milk or without – for many people the drink stands for enjoyment. But coffee can also be healthy. As early as 2014, scientists from Graz showed in a study that its positive effect is due, among other things, to a specific process called autophagy. Prof. Dr. Frank Madeo explains:

“It’s a kind of self-digestion program that cleans and detoxifies the cells. This cellular waste disposal is primarily triggered during controlled fasting,” explains Prof. Dr. Frank Madeo.

Prof. Dr. Frank Madeo

In autophagy, “the body identifies old and defective cellular components and marks them for destruction” (according to MentalFoodChain). This happens, for example, during fasting, when the body does not have enough energy to maintain broken down cell parts. Coffee can also trigger autophagy. The prerequisite for this: You drink coffee without milk. According to the study from Graz, animal proteins can inhibit the autophagy processes.

“Within one to four hours after consumption, the cellular autophagy of all examined organs – liver, skeletal muscles and heart – was strongly boosted in the model organisms.”

Prof. Dr. Frank Madeo

Both decaffeinated and traditional versions of the drink are equally effective.

Important information about autophagy
Japanese cell researcher Yoshinori Ohsumi was honored for his discovery of autophagy mechanisms. In 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. The Nobel Committee’s citation said the researcher’s work “dramatically changed the understanding of this vital process” (via aerzteblatt). The process of autophagy plays a role in cancer and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

These alternatives favor positive effect

In order to maintain the positive effect of coffee, the researchers recommend drinking the coffee “preferably black or with plant-based milk such as almond or coconut milk”. So if you want to support the autophagy process, it is advisable to avoid cow’s milk in your coffee.

There are now numerous alternatives:

  • soy drink
  • almond drink
  • rice drink
  • oat drink
  • lupine drink
  • pea drink
  • coconut drink
  • nut drink

Biophysicist Thomas Finkenstädt explained to RP Online in 2016 that some cow’s milk alternatives the important process of even encourage autophobia:

“Plant protein, especially in soy and wheat, strongly stimulates autophagy. This is because these foods are high in spermidine. A polyamine that stimulates autophagy.”

Thomas Finkenstaedt

by the way: You can also find spermidine in these foods.

So much coffee is drunk in Germany
Coffee is the most popular hot drink in Germany. According to According to Statista, per capita consumption of coffee was around 164 liters per year.

5 more facts about coffee

Apart from the fact that coffee can stimulate the autophagy effect in your body, there are also other interesting facts about the hot drink (according to eatsmarter):

  1. Coffee increases general performance and concentration.
  2. The drink tastes best fresh, because after a while it changes taste and becomes rancid.
  3. Coffee does not remove water from the body, but only has a diuretic effect. The reason: caffeine briefly stimulates kidney function. Nevertheless, the drink is not suitable as a thirst quencher. Water is good for this.
  4. According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, coffee can improve mood. Two to three cups a day could reduce the risk of developing depression by 15 percent.
  5. But not everything about coffee is positive. It can be harmful to the environment, as forests often have to make way for new plantations. In addition, the pesticides used damage the biosphere. It is therefore advisable to buy fair trade organic coffee.

More exciting information

It doesn’t matter whether you want to continue drinking your coffee with milk or coffee without milk – one thing you should definitely keep in mind: Drink a glass of water before you have your first coffee in the morning. Also note that you should drink a maximum of four cups of coffee a day.

When it comes to the effects of coffee on the body, researchers have recently discovered even more positive effects. And these three coffee apps could make your coffee enjoyment even more fun. By the way: Experts also recommend drinking tea without milk. Here, too, animal proteins inhibit the positive effect of the warm drink.

Sources: University of Graz, MentalFoodChain, Jacobs Professional, Statista, aerzteblatt, RP Online, eatsmarter, own research

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