The Truth About Caffeine and Weight Loss
Caffeine is probably one of the most widely used supplements in the world. The majority of hot beverages, whether it’s tea or coffee as well as in soft drinks. There has been a lot of promotion about caffeine and its effect on weight loss, but is this the case?
Everyone knows about caffeine’s beneficial effect on energy level. Either late at night when you begin to yawn but have hours of work ahead or to kickstart your day. Everyone consumes caffeine in varying amounts. A single cup of coffee on average contains about 130mg of caffeine.
The majority of us get out caffeine in the form of coffee, a single-cup on average contains about 130mg of caffeine.
Caffeine’s Effect on the Body
So what does caffeine do to the body when it comes to exercising?
Caffeine is well known for its brain stimulant effect, giving you more energy, feeling less tired and better focus. However, caffiene also has an ergogenic, performance enhancing effect.
When you take caffeine during or pre-workout it stimulates the release of hormones in your body. The most notable hormone released is adrenaline, which is well known for its performance boosting effects. However, with increased levels of adrenaline in the blood stream, more stored fat in the form of adipose tissue is broken down into fatty acids. Breaking down fat stores into fatty acids allows your body to use them as an energy, sparing glycogen.
This process allows your fat stores to be used as an energy source as well as sparing energy in the form of glycogen.
Caffeine’s Effect on Exercise
So with caffeine’s effect on the body, what does this mean during exercise? By sparing glycogen and using fat as an energy source, the body can perform for a greater duration before fatigue.
Long Duration Exercise
This is great news for people who train for extended periods such as runners and cyclists. Studies have also shown that by consuming high doses of caffeine (300mg +) approximately 1 hour prior to endurance training resulted in athletes being able to go up to 20% further when compared with no caffeine consumption. [See here]
Short Duration Exercise
In regards to short, high-intensity exercises such as weightlifting or sprints there has been little scientific proof to show any increase in performance for the average Joe. However, a study performed with top performing athletes, the results were different, caffeine did improve their performance, especially ones who didn’t normally consume it.
Should You use Caffeine for Exercise
So should you consume caffeine to improve your performance? As discussed above caffeine is best used to improve your performance during long duration exercise. So if you are performing an exercise for a long duration with low-to-moderate intensity the caffeine is for you.
So if you are performing an exercise for a long duration with low-to-moderate intensity the caffeine is for you. However, if you are trying to build muscle or improve short-term high-intensity performance through resistance training then it most likely won’t drastically improve performance.
Another point to note is that although we all drink a lot of caffeine, excessive caffeine consumption (500mg +) has some nasty side effects. These side effects include: Increased urination, Caffeine dependence, increased blood pressure and heart palpitations.
- Taking caffeine prior to a workout will give you an energy boost.
- When you are performing endurance training it will allow you to push yourself harder and further burning more calories.
- Caffeine also promotes usage of fat stores as energy.
- Can act as a placebo allowing you to push harder and burn more calories
- Caffeine is beneficial to weight loss
Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive – Elbert Hubbard
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