Home / News / Tempted By Enzyme Coffee? Why Black Coffee Is Better

Tempted By Enzyme Coffee? Why Black Coffee Is Better

May 13, 2023May 13, 2023

Coffee is a near-perfect beverage. It's rich, packed with antioxidants, and even provides a natural energy boost from its caffeine content. Still, that doesn't stop some people from trying to reinvent the wheel by adding ingredients to coffee to "boost" its already impressive health benefits.

Enzyme coffee is a wellness trend that's circulating on social media sites like TikTok. It's promoted as a quick fix for weight loss, but is this concoction effective or too good to be true?

In this article, we're talking about enzyme coffee, including what it is, if it offers any health benefits, and why it's not worth trying.

Multi-pronged approach to promote healthy weight & body composition*


First of all, it's important to know that the term "enzyme coffee" has no set definition. If you search the term on TikTok or Google, hundreds of results will pop up, including homemade recipes for enzyme coffee as well as links to companies selling enzyme coffee products.

There are dozens of sponsored content videos on social media sites like TikTok where people claim to have used enzyme coffee products like Juz Fit Enzyme Coffee (which has the sketchiest website ever, by the way) to drop significant weight, and fast! In addition to premade products, which contain coffee blended with so-called enzymes, there are a variety of enzyme coffee recipes that are gaining traction on social media sites due to promises that drinking this concoction will benefit health and help people drop weight.

Some people make enzyme coffee by squeezing lemon into instant coffee, while others add apple cider vinegar, lemon, and honey to their coffee to….enzyme-mize it?

Certain enzyme coffee products and recipes contain herbal ingredients like guarana and yerba mate as well as added nutrients like chromium1—a mineral that plays a role in the metabolism of carbs, proteins, and fats.

Individually, these ingredients might offer a few health benefits, but there's no evidence that adding them to coffee has any impact on body weight or overall health.

For example, some studies2 show that drinking apple cider vinegar may have a small impact on body weight when combined with a low-calorie diet. However, it's unlikely to have a significant impact on body weight if no dietary changes are made. Also, there's no reason to put it in your coffee of all places.

Studies also show that supplementing with high doses of chromium may have a small effect on weight loss3, but since enzyme coffee isn't standardized, it's unclear if the amount of chromium found in enzyme coffee products or homemade recipes would have any impact on body weight.

Enzyme coffee products are claimed to be "specially designed" for weight loss and are promoted as a way to lose body fat without having to make changes to your diet or exercise routine. Insert eye roll here.

Sound familiar? Yup, enzyme coffee is just one of thousands of products promoted as a fast and effective way to lose weight with zero evidence to back up those claims. And the weirdest part is the use of the word "enzyme."

Clearly, throwing the word enzyme before coffee is meant to make you think that this weird concoction is somehow special. But—spoiler alert—enzymes are proteins naturally found in all living things.

In your body, enzymes4 are necessary for a number of critical processes, including digestion. Enzymes work as catalysts, meaning they speed up reactions in cells. Fun fact: Enzymes accelerate the rates of the chemical reactions in your body by over a million-fold. Without enzymes, reactions that would take fractions of a second would take years! There are thousands of enzymes found in your body, each with specific roles. For example, digestive enzymes found in our digestive system help break down nutrients such as fats, proteins, and carbs for energy.

In addition to being found in your body, enzymes can be taken in supplement form and can be found in foods like fruits and vegetables. However, there's no evidence that taking enzymes orally or supplementing with enzymes helps boost weight loss in any way.

Also, while some enzyme coffee companies like JuzFit claim that their products are made using a "special procedure" that helps preserve the coffee beans' natural enzymes, it's unclear what enzymes they're referring to.

"Despite many unsubstantiated claims and a poor understanding of metabolism, JuzFit's website even states that 'there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that enzymes burn fat,'" dietitian Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D., CSSD, LDN, points out.

Coffee itself is a pretty impressive beverage. It's packed with antioxidant compounds, and drinking it regularly may help support the health of your liver5 and heart6 and may even help you live a longer life7.

Drinking coffee may also help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight when paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle. For example, studies show that people who regularly consume coffee 8tend to have slightly less body fat compared to those who don't.

"On its own, coffee is known to have bioactive compounds9 that impact enzymes involved in lipid use, including lipase, which is an actual enzyme that breaks down fat. But more evidence is needed to better understand its true effects on fat metabolism," Jones says.

Plus, drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee before meals could help you consume fewer calories. For example, a 2017 review published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that when people consumed caffeine 30 minutes to four hours before eating a meal, they consumed fewer calories10, which could help people maintain a lower body weight.

Coffee may impact energy use in other ways, too. "It can enhance exercise performance11, increasing both intensity and duration, which increases energy expenditure. Caffeine may also have mood-enhancing effects12, potentially reducing the desire to emotionally eat," Jones says.

Drinking caffeinated coffee also slightly increases your resting metabolic rate or the calories you burn while at rest. Because of caffeine's impact on your appetite and metabolic rate, it has a small impact on body weight regulation.

That said, there's no evidence that enzyme coffee is any more effective for promoting weight loss than regular coffee. Also, it's important to note that even though coffee may have a small impact on body weight, it won't help you lose weight on its own. Following a well-rounded, nutritious diet and staying active are what's most important when it comes to your body weight.

Aside from making you gag, drinking homemade enzyme coffee made with black coffee and lemon juice probably won't have any negative impact on your health.

However, products advertised as enzyme coffee on sites like TikTok can contain ingredients that aren't safe for everyone. For example, some premade enzyme coffee products contain ingredients like guarana and yerba mate, which are high in caffeine.

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and consuming too much caffeine from drinks like coffee can cause symptoms13 like anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and even serious symptoms like irregular heartbeat. If you're purchasing a premade enzyme coffee product, it's important to read the ingredient label to see exactly how much caffeine the drink contains.

It's recommended to stay below 400 mg of caffeine13 per day, per the FDA14, which equates to about four cups of coffee. Consuming more than that can increase the risk of side effects like anxiety, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, and digestive symptoms like diarrhea in some people.

Also, in general, it's best to avoid purchasing products that seem too good to be true. There is no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss, and any product that's advertised to help you drop body fat without the need to make any changes to your diet or lifestyle should be considered a gigantic red flag and a waste of your hard-earned money.

Jones agrees. "It's important to note that weight loss is a complicated process, so no one should be relying on a single beverage, food, or supplement as the catalyst for changes in body mass. For many individuals, they may see this trend and believe they should replace a meal with enzyme coffee, leading them to be overly hungry and binge later in the day," she says.

OK, so now that you know that enzyme coffee is a waste of your time, the good news is that coffee can be included as part of a healthy diet, whether you're trying to lose weight or simply want to support your overall health. Here are a few ways that you can use coffee to support a healthy body weight:

Coffee additives like flavored creamers are often high in calories and added sugar. Drinking black coffee or coffee sweetened with a blood-sugar-friendly sugar alternative is a smart choice when you're trying to lose weight.

Collagen is a type of protein that can help support satiety, improve certain aspects of skin health, and promote joint health. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient15, so adding some collagen to your coffee could help keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal or snack.

Studies show that drinking coffee before working out16 may help improve exercise performance. Working out consistently can help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

Coffee isn't meant to be used as a meal replacement. Sure, some people drink coffee while they're intermittent fasting, but, in general, it's not a good idea to use coffee or coffee drinks as a meal replacement. Skipping meals and drinking coffee instead can cause you to overeat17 later in the day, which can lead to weight gain over time.

Coffee can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, but it's certainly not a magic bullet when it comes to losing weight or maintaining a healthy body weight.

The term has no set definition, but most "enzyme coffees" are coffee combined with lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey, or some combination of these ingredients. People typically drink it in the hopes of losing weight. While it's completely understandable to want a quick and simple method to drop body fat, the reality is that healthy weight loss takes time and consistency. Instead of focusing on one specific food or drink that's promoted as an effective weight loss tool, like enzyme coffee, consider taking a look at your diet and lifestyle as a whole and making evidence-based changes to support a healthy body weight.

Enzyme coffee is basically coffee with added ingredients or coffee that's supposedly brewed in a special way that preserves enzymes naturally found in coffee. Homemade enzyme coffee enthusiasts claim that adding ingredients like lemon and apple cider vinegar to coffee gives the drink additional health benefits and makes it effective for encouraging weight loss. But, so far, there's zero evidence to back up these supposed benefits.

Enzyme coffee is a trendy beverage that's promoted as an effective weight loss tool. It's usually made by mixing coffee with lemon juice, though there are a variety of enzyme coffee recipes and enzyme coffee products that contain different ingredients.

Even though regular coffee offers some major health benefits, there's no evidence that enzyme coffee is effective for weight loss or that it has any positive effects on health.

Unless you like the taste of lemon juice in your coffee (no judgment), then it's best to skip the enzyme coffee trend. Instead, try sipping black coffee alongside a healthy meal or using these helpful tips to elevate your coffee routine.

Multi-pronged approach to promote healthy weight & body composition*



Multi-pronged approach to promote healthy weight & body composition*

Jillian Kubala, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian based in Westhampton, NY. She holds a master's degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science.

In addition to her private practice where she uses a unique and personalized approach to help her clients achieve optimal wellness, she works as a freelance writer and editor and has written hundreds of articles on nutrition and wellness for top digital health publishers.

Jillian and her husband have a backyard farm where they grow their own food and keep chickens. She runs a small cut flower business specializing in organically grown dahlias.