How to Use Caffeine for Effective Weight Loss
Caffeine helps you lose weight, there’s no doubt
about it. This is a relevant factor when we consider that caffeine is the most
commonly consumed psychoactive drug in the world.
As with any drug, there are risks and rewards
associated with consumption. And the effects can be short-lived. From a cup of
coffee (or many) to a pot of green tea, this post is going to delve into how to
get the greatest health benefits from your caffeine. We’ll look at how to
achieve weight and fat loss with caffeine while avoiding the detrimental side
By the time you’re done the reading, you’ll be an
expert on how this stimulant affects the human system. What caffeine does in
the body, why it works for weight loss and how to consume it responsibly.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant.
It’s used by millions of people worldwide on a
daily basis to increase wakefulness, alleviate fatigue and improve
concentration. It has mood-altering (psychotropic) attributes and is a mild
In the US, more than 90% of adults use caffeine
The people have spoken: low to moderate doses of
caffeine are considered to be generally safe and provide a great number of
health benefits, though excessive intake is a considerable health risk
(especially in those with anxiety or heart disorders).
The FDA has determined 400 milligrams of caffeine
– about 4-5 cups of coffee a day – to be a safe consumption level. Still, safe
levels of caffeine consumption can result in:
*Uneven heart rate
Side Effects of Caffeine and Weight Gain
Caffeine increases the release of acid in your
stomach, sometimes causing heartburn or an upset stomach. For those looking to
lose weight, excess acidity is to be avoided, as acidity precedes cortisol
release. The hormone cortisol causes the body to increase insulin release,
impairs fat loss and generally predicts weight gains.
As a diuretic, caffeine will cause the body to
purge water and thereby lose electrolytes like potassium and sodium.
Caffeinated beverages do not typically cause dehydration, but caffeine pills
can cause dehydration and incur vitamin deficiencies when not consumed with
Heavy caffeine consumption should be avoided.
More than 500-600 mg a day can lead to negative side effects:
Caffeine temporarily blocks a chemical called
adenosine, a natural brain sedative, from being released. Thereby, you feel
more awake for longer. So, what is the best energy drink for you, it is from help
The effects of caffeine on sleep are largely
determined by genetics, with most people falling somewhere between extreme
sensitivity and near-total tolerance.
Healthy adults need around 8 undisturbed hours of
sleep a night. Caffeine can interfere with both sleep and wake cycles, and
sleep loss is cumulative. Through lost sleep, a heavy caffeine habit can lead
to weight gain and fat retention resulting from cortisol increases in the
system following sleep deprivation. Days after sleeplessness also show
decreased impulse control, ie dietary discretion.
Consume with care.
How does Caffeine Work with Fat Loss?
Caffeine is absorbed into the blood and body
tissues, reaching peak levels of concentration between 15-120 minutes after
As it stimulates the nervous system, caffeine
tells the brain to break down fat cells. Caffeine also triggers the release of
a hormone called epinephrine, which prompts the release of adrenaline. After
these “fight or flight” chemicals make their way into the body, there’s
increased demand to break down fat cells for use as energy.
Because it agitates the system in a controlled
way, users see increased fat loss. A perfect time to make use of this
stimulated nervous system is for exercise. Caffeine has been shown to increase
overall athletic performance by 11-12% for the average user. Combing the
revved-up feeling of a cup of coffee or green tea before a workout can really
hammer away those fat deposits.
Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number
of calories you burn while sedentary. A higher RMR means you’re less inclined
to gain and keep weight.
Studies have shown caffeine to increase the
metabolic rate between 3-11%, with larger doses (within reason) having a more
This is theoretically due to the fact that
caffeine increases your body temperature via thermogenesis and kicks your
system into overdrive for a short time. What’s more, increases in metabolism
were shown to signal an increase in the burning of fat as well.
Caffeine won’t affect everyone’s metabolism the
same. One study saw the increase in the fat-burning rise as high as 29% – but
only in lean people. Obese participants only saw an increased effect of 10%.
The effects were also felt more strongly by young participants.
Caffeine Tolerance and Weight Loss
Though it does boost metabolism in the short
term, caffeine users develop a tolerance to the drug. This depletes the effects
it has upon fat burning and increasing metabolism.
For that intent upon resisting the buildup of
tolerance, cycling caffeine intake in bi-weekly intervals may prove effective.
Taking two weeks on and two weeks off can be a challenge for habituated users
but may net a few extra calories here and there.
It is also theorized that the suppressive effects
caffeine has upon appetite may reduce the desire to eat. While these claims are
unsupported, the fact remains that tolerance will negate any such actions
within the body.
Caffeine from Green Tea
Green tea is the ideal way to consume caffeine
because it brings with it a host of additional health benefits.
From a dietary perspective, green tea contains a
variety of antioxidant polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins. These
chemicals serve to reduce the formation of degrading free radicals while
protecting cells from damage. Free radicals are famous for reducing the
appearance of aging and blocking a host of viruses and other inflammatory
diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.
One cup of green tea contains around 40 mg of
caffeine and is notorious for not causing the jittery effects of a cup of
Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine,
which increases the GABA neurotransmitter activity, effectively reducing
anxiety while increasing the production of dopamine and soothing alpha waves in
Studies confirm a synergistic effect between
caffeine and L-theanine as well, as both together work to combine brain
Caffeine itself has been shown to increase brain
function, mood, reaction time, and memory. Combine these aspects with green
tea’s many benefits for a super-drink.
Caffeine from Coffee
An 8 oz. cup of coffee contains between 50-135 mg
of caffeine. The variability of caffeine in coffee can make it difficult to
calculate total daily intake levels, especially if you love your cup o’ joe.
The rule is: the lighter the roast, the more
Roasting coffee burns away caffeine, imparting
that dark look and toasted flavor to the beans. For example, breakfast blends
will have more caffeine than French Roast. A grande cup from Starbucks can
contain well over 300 mg.
Studies show that while caffeine has short-lived
effects upon fat loss and weight loss, coffee has measurably positive effects
when it comes to preventing a wide variety of diseases:
*Type 2 diabetes
Interestingly enough, 4-5 cups of coffee a day
has been correlated with a longer lifespan. Whether from the metabolic or fat
loss processes or not, people who stay constantly alert all-day see a 12-16%
variable increase in lifespan from coffee consumption. Another factor is that
coffee is full of antioxidants, much like green tea.
Other Forms of Caffeine
Not many other forms of caffeine (besides matcha
and yerba matte) can be recommended for fat and weight loss because they come
with high doses of sugar and carbohydrates. Popular caffeine sources such as
chocolate, energy drinks, sodas, and caffeine pills are not healthful like tea
While chocolate has been shown to have some
positive benefits to health, sodas and energy drinks carry too much sugar and
carbohydrates to be included in a healthy lifestyle.
Prevents weight gain
Caffeine is a famous ingredient in over the
counter for burning supplements. It can rise energy usage and better metabolic
rate, which helps stop weight gain.
In a study of 10 lean and 10 obese women, both
groups generated more body heat, spend more power, and had increased fat
oxidation after coffee ingestion. Their rise in energy usage was little-lived
matched to fat breakdown. 300 mg caffeine can trigger some amazing weight loss
as long as the individual uses the Help energy drink as a pre-workout to boost
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