I get asked a lot about caffeine and weight loss. Many people want to know if drinking caffeine is good for losing weight. After years of research, and combining it with my personal experience, I want to tell you that the whole ‘coffee is good for weight loss’ idea is just a myth that needs to be put to rest once and for all.
Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive stimulant.
Caffeine’s chemical name is 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine.
It can be extracted from over 60 plants, the popular ones being a coffee bean, tea leaf, kola nut, and cocoa bean.
It stimulates the brain and nervous system and has properties similar to addictive substances.
European and North American statistics report that 90% of adults consume caffeine on a daily basis, with an average intake of 227 mg.
Caffeine is an active ingredient of tea and coffee and is also used as an additive in soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, bottled water, chewing gum, and dietary supplements.
It exists as a hidden ingredient in most preparations, disguised under names like green coffee extract, Caffeasp, cola seeds, natural cola flavor, tea extract, coffee extract, Ilex paraguariensis, Ilex guayusa, Yaupon etc.
The fact that it is included in so many weight loss supplements, caffeine definitely must be having some anti-obesity properties.
In fact, it can perpetuate weight loss in the following ways:
Enhancing exercise performance
Caffeine and Weight Loss
A lot of research has been conducted on caffeine and coffee and their role in weight loss. The results are positive but they come with a number of side effects which occur as a result of a high dose. Caffeine is still a part of most weight loss supplements.
1. Caffeine boosts metabolism
Caffeine ingestion raises metabolism which is observed by increased body temperature and this rise in metabolism is reported to last for 3 hours in healthy individuals.
Higher the dose higher is the rise in metabolism.
LeBlanc and his fellow researchers show that caffeine ingestion increases the resting metabolic rate significantly in exercise-trained individuals.
One study reported a 13% increase in energy expenditure and a 24% increase in fat oxidation upon caffeine ingestion.
Researchers at the University of London reported a 3-4% increase in the metabolism of obese and lean individuals with a single dose of 100mg. higher doses brought about a 8-11% increase.
Oddly caffeine increases metabolic rate and fat oxidation in normal weight individuals while in the obese it increases metabolism without a significant increase in fat oxidation.
2. Caffeine helps in losing weight and maintaining it
Japanese researchers assessed the effect of caffeine intake on metabolism and body weight in lean and obese subjects. The subjects were asked to follow a low calorie diet and exercise regimen.
Metabolic rate changed in a similar manner in lean and obese subjects. 2 months of treatment caused a significant decrease in body weight and body fat in obese individuals.
Calorie shifting diet is a type of low calorie diet where you consume a different amount of calories each day in order to stimulate the metabolism.
3. It enhances the benefits of exercise
Exercise of moderate and high intensity raises your metabolism and this lasts for quite some time.
Researchers prove that caffeine intake increases post exercise energy expenditure.
Caffeine and repeated bouts of low intensity exercise increases fat oxidation.
Caffeine is a popular stimulant and ergogenic aid. As a source of energy, caffeine stimulates break down of fats instead of glycogen stores in muscle tissue.
4. It influences appetite
A research study investigated the effect of different amounts of coffee on dietary intake in normal weight and overweight individuals.
Breakfast with coffee containing 3 or 6 mg of caffeine was provided and 3 hours later an unrestricted meal was provided.
High caffeine content sufficiently reduced energy intake.
Researchers concluded that a moderate coffee amount can reduce energy intake more than low or no coffee intake in overweight/obese individuals.
5. It improves metabolic health in animals
Cell culture studies show that caffeine treatment dose dependently decreases the development of stem cells into mature fat cells by 20-50%.
It also decreased the expression of fat related genes.
Caffeine improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity occurring as a result of a high fat diet in animals. It prevents body fat gain by activating catecholamines or our fight or flight hormones which mobilize fat from our tissues.
6. It stimulates brown fat activity
We have two types of fat tissue in our body: brown fat and white fat. White fat mainly stores fat while brown fat helps to burn fat.
Caffeine activates fat burning in brown fat tissue and this is noted with a rise in temperature of the tissue.
7. Habitual caffeine consumers have a lower body weight
A prospective study was conducted to assess the long term effect of caffeine intake on body weight.
This was conducted over the period of 1986 to 1988 and caffeine intake was assessed repeatedly over 2-4 year.
Over the time span, coffee intake reduced or increased in the consumers.
Average weight gain was lower in participants who increased caffeine intake than those who reduced caffeine intake.
In men, this effect was more pronounced in the younger population while in women the association between weight and caffeine intake was dependent on BMI, physical activity and smoking habits.
Researchers at Maastricht University studied the effect on green tea-caffeine mixture on weight maintenance in habitual caffeine consumers.
The subjects were given low calorie diet after which in the weight maintenance period they were given a green tea-caffeine mixture.
How Does Caffeine Work For Weight Loss?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring compound that is common in coffee, teas, cocoa, chocolate, soft drinks and other products that we consume daily. Caffeine has a very specific effect on the body when ingested it causes stimulation by acting on the central nervous system. It will make you more alert. If taken in excess it can increase your heart rate, your temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar and many other bodily functions.
As a fat burner, caffeine acts in several ways:
The first is that because it stimulates the central nervous system it sends a message to fat cells, telling them to break down and dissolve. Although you may not achieve significant weight loss research has shown that there is some.
It also increases the production of epinephrine. This is the hormone that sends messages to fat cells and instructs them to break down. The more epinephrine your body produces the more weight you are likely to lose.
It increases the metabolic rate by about 10% which helps to burn fat even when you are resting.
The important thing to note is that although you may see some weight loss in the initial months of caffeine consumption, you will eventually develop a tolerance for it and your body will not react. Some people counter this by increasing the amount of caffeine they consume but this can be dangerous to health.
Other Health Benefits of Caffeine:
Other than just keeping you alert and in good shape caffeine has additional benefits including:
Research at Johns Hopkins and also in Japan has showed that caffeine has a significant effect on memory.
When combined with carbohydrates it is a great way to boost glycogen levels after exercising.
It can be used as an enema to detoxify the liver.
There have been some studies that show that caffeine supplements can induce hair growth for those who are balding.
Taking caffeine right after exercise can reduce muscle pain by as much as 50%.
It can protect you from a range of diseases including Alzheimers, eye cataracts, cancer and more.
It has been shown that men who take caffeine on a regular basis has higher levels of semen and it is also of better quality. In addition to that, they lower the risk of erectile dysfunction as they age.
If you are a woman who suffers from the irritating condition called tinnitus you should try taking caffeine on a regular basis it has been shown to reduce the ringing.
Reduce your chances of kidney stones by taking coffee on a regular basis.
Why Caffeine is good for Weight Loss?
It is just in recent times that caffeine has gained considerable popularity as an agent that would help with weight loss. People are both amused and intrigued as to how caffeine can aid with fat burning. In this post, we will delve into details about how caffeine fits into the weight loss picture. Caffeine commonly found in tea, coffee, and also added as a compound in energy drinks, is now being added to fat burning and appetite suppressant supplements. Caffeine is also considered a thermogenic compound which means that it signals body to burn more calories and fat, sounds awesome, right? Read on further for more details on how to add caffeine to your diet so as to burn fat and lose weight effectively.
How Caffeine Affects Weight Loss?
Caffeine can increase metabolic rate and help your body burn more calories. It also acts as an appetite suppressant which means you would feel less hunger pangs through the day. It is also a thermogenic compound which helps calories that you ingest to get burned out as heat and therefore less amount of calories are left behind to be stored as fat. To put these into points, caffeine does all these for weight loss:
1. Acts as an appetite suppressant – drinking coffee that has a good amount of caffeine can actually keep you from getting hungry too soon.
2. stimulates your brain cells and you get more alert and active during physical activity.
3. Boosts metabolism – your body will burn more calories instead of storing them as fat.
4. Caffeine helps reduce the feeling of “perceived exertion” which is a feeling “that you are working” and prevents you from enjoying the workout.
5. Helps fat burning during workout: Caffeine helps to burn fat during exercise.
6. Thermo genic agent, tells body to burn more calories and fat.
7. Elevates mood and increases focus, that’s what you need, right?
8. Reduces post-workout muscle pains and cramps.
9. gives you energy for exercise and strenuous workout at the gym.
Side Effects of Caffeine
As good as caffeine sounds for you to get back into shape, it also has considerable side effects if you overdose on caffeine, yes, we said “overdose!” Keep your coffee and tea intake to minimum because anything in excess can have an adverse effect, same goes for caffeine.
1. Excessive caffeine can interfere with your sleep pattern. It is often seen that caffeine can prevent you from going into deep sleep for up to 8 hours.
2. Excessive amount of caffeine in your body can cause dehydration and eventually slow down metabolism.
3. Can spike insulin in people who are pre-diabetic or diabetic and that’s because caffeine can lower insulin sensitivity which means the cells do not absorb as much as sugar from the blood as they should.
4. Lots of caffeine can actually raise stress hormones like epinephrine which also slows down body from processing sugar and reduces insulin generation.
How Much Caffeine Intake per Day is Okay?
According to studies, up to 400 mg of caffeine is safe for adults. However, in people with diabetes, it can spike insulin up to 8%.
Some amazing ways to add caffeine to burn fat
1. Make bullet-proof coffee – If you are a coffee lover, there’s no way you have missed hearing about it. To make bulletproof coffee, make your regular coffee with warm water and coffee powder (without chicory content). Add 1 tsp. of coconut and blend everything into a frothy coffee. Pour it out into your favorite mug and enjoy.
2. Green tea two cups in a day.
3. Bite on a small size of dark chocolate.
4. Take one shot of espresso coffee.
5. Sip on a cup of black tea without sugar.
Natural Food Items Rich in Caffeine
Dark Chocolate coated coffee Beans: This rich and flavorful coffee beans coated with dark chocolate have 336 caffeine per oz.
Coffee – Rise up and smell the coffee because in one cup of coffee (without chicory), you can get 95 of caffeine.
Green Tea – Green tea should be on top of your grocery list because it has amazing antioxidant benefits and also 28 mg of caffeine per 235 ml.
Black Tea – Skip the milk and sugar and you get up to 28 mg of caffeine in 235 ml cup fo black tea.
Dark Chocolate – too good to believe, right? Yum, yum – To get your kick of caffeine, just bite on a bit of dark chocolate can give you 28 mg of caffeine.
Strong espresso coffee – Can have up to 100 mg of caffeine per cup.
Stay Away from these Caffeine-containing food items:
Appetite Suppressant Pills and Powder: Absolutely stay away from appetite suppressants pills in which caffeine is added. Not only are such pills obnoxiously expensive, they contain a lot of added preservatives and compounds.
Energy Drinks: These drinks contain added caffeine because loads of sugar is also added in such drinks which could completely spike up your insulin and eventually weight.
Colas and Sodas: They may contain caffeine but if there’s anything more in quantity in there, it’s sugar and empty calories, don’t even think about them.