Caffeine and Weight Loss

coffee

Caffeine has become very popular in our culture. It it most widely consumed through coffee and energy drinks/ supplements. Most will primarily use it for energy but many will not realize that there can be weight losing properties that come with consuming caffeine.

Claims

Caffeine can aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite, and calorie burning. Caffeine can reduce the feelings of hunger and the craving to eat for a period of time. Caffeine increases your heart rate and energy use at rest. It stimulates thermogenesis which is one of the ways your body generates heat and energy from digested food.

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Proven Results

Supplements or beverages containing caffeine are always paired with something else. Although it is not the only supplement, supplements and beverages containing it has proven to aid in weight loss. It is also proven Caffeine can increase alertness and energy levels. It makes you feel more awake and less tired. It is a relatively safe dietary supplement. It is typically safe to consume daily but the Mayo Clinic states that consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine in one day may lead to some side affects such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, increased heart rate, and muscle tremors.

Who Should Use It?

Everyone is able to use it. If you are not caffeine sensitive and consume a moderate amount, you should be able to get the benefits. Any age and gender can benefit from caffeine. Although high amounts of caffeine is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. Athletes can benefit from caffeine before a workout as it raises energy levels which can lead to a better workout.

Recommended Dosages

The Mayo Clinic states that 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is a safe amount for a healthy adult. This is about 4 cups of coffee, 10 cans of soda, or 2 energy drinks. It is still not recommend for children or anyone with a heart condition. Dosages are the same for males and females.

Timing

There is no specific timing when taking caffeine. If you want to take caffeine before a workout, there has been some studies shown taking caffeine about 45 minutes before the actual workout can yield positive results in energy levels. Caffeine can be taken any time of the day to help increase energy levels but it is not recommended before sleeping as it can lead to insomnia.

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Side Effects

If you are caffeine sensitive or take more than the recommended amount it can lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, increased heart rate, and muscle tremors. There have even been some reports of caffeine reducing bone mass. This is due to some cases of caffeine preventing the body from absorbing calcium. When caffeine is in your system, calcium is more readily excreted.

Caffeine was not prohibited in the Olympics a while ago but has been legalized for competition in recent years.Caffeine is not banned at any level of competition.

Sources

https://www.nature.com/articles/0802999

https://www.nature.com/articles/0803283

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/4/682.full

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678

https://www.healthline.com/health/caffeine-effects-on-body

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