Mark Wahlberg holding cup of coffee on beige and blue background

Mark Wahlberg Says Coffee Helps Him Fast. Here’s the Science.

While research is mixed, there’s an overall consensus that it does. And there's one type of coffee that appears to work best.

Add coffee to Mark Wahlberg’s infamous and intensive fitness regimen

The Transformers actor practices intermittent fasting, skipping food for 18 hours per day. Wahlberg started intermittent fasting thanks to friend Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, who’s a fan of the technique. And while Wahlberg used to never drink coffee, he tells WSJ, he’s taken up sipping espresso, which helps to power him through the long fast. 

“[Coffee has] been a new thing since I’ve been fasting,” Wahlberg says. “I don’t have to do as much cardio, I don’t have to spend as much time in the gym and I feel like I’m getting better results. I’m trying to share that information with everybody because I’m really seeing the benefits and pretty quickly.”

Can Coffee Work to Suppress Appetite? 

Mark Wahlberg eating breakfast

The science here is mixed, but overall, yes, coffee is an appetite suppressant. Interestingly, some research points to decaffeinated coffee being more effective than regular joe, meaning Wahlberg may need to ditch his espresso for maximum impact.  

A 2017 review in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that caffeine ingested half an hour to four hours before a meal “may suppress acute energy intake,” but the effect was “minimal” when consuming the stimulant three to four and a half hours before the meal. 

So if you’re trying to curb ravenous eating, it’s better to ingest closer to when you’re actually sitting down to break your fast. Evidence for coffee’s influence on “gastric emptying, appetite hormones, and appetite perceptions” was ambiguous, however, in the review.


Coffee Affects Everyone Differently

Mark Wahlberg doing bicep curl in f-45 gym

No shocker there, right? Drinking coffee as part of an overall intermittent fasting routine makes sense, to a degree, because coffee’s exact effects are not always predictable in any one individual. 

“People metabolize coffee at different—and genetically determined—rates,” nutritionist Jennifer Koslo, PhD, writes in Precision Nutrition. “And coffee affects many neurotransmitters and hormones (such as cortisol and insulin).”

Plus, everything is dependent on the type of coffee you’re drinking, the amount, when you drink it, your biological makeup, and more.

The 18:6 intermittent fasting Wahlberg has adopted is a popular approach to the technique, which is backed by science suggesting it helps torch excess body fat.

In Marky Mark’s case, you might be able to go easier on the treadmill if you only eat during that six-hour slot. Adding a moderate amount of coffee may help, and almost certainly won’t hurt. 

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