Caffeine is the most widespread stimulant on earth and in Finland alone an average of 1,310 cups of coffee are consumed per year – that’s around 10 kilograms of coffee. Germans get almost 7 kilograms of coffee a year. Many love the taste of a hot cup of coffee, Caffeine wakes you up and helps with concentration. According to the latest studies, caffeine can also support you in your diet by increasing your metabolism, suppressing appetite and fat loss. Sounds like a great fat burner? But is that also true? We’ll explain to you in more detail whether caffeine tablets and caffeine in general are an effective weight loss aid.
What is Caffeine anyway?
Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system. It is used daily by millions of people around the world to increase alertness, relieve fatigue and improve concentration. It has mood-altering (psychotropic) properties and is a mild diuretic.
Low to moderate doses of caffeine are generally safe and offer a variety of health benefits, but excessive intake can pose a significant health risk. The FDA has established 400 mg of caffeine – about 4-5 cups of coffee per day – as a safe level of consumption.
Does Caffeine Burn More Calories?
The two most important findings and answers right at the beginning:
- Caffeine can increase your daily calorie burn by 50 to 200 calories
- The effect is more pronounced in slimmer people
Caffeine consumption has been linked to an increase in the amount of calories burned, a process known as thermogenesis. By drinking coffee or taking caffeine (in the form of caffeine tablets, caffeine powder or a Fatburners creates a higher calorie requirement than if you had not consumed caffeine.
A study in the American Journal of Physiology looked at the coffee-related increase in thermogenesis and distinguished between skinny and obese women among participants. The study showed that caffeine increased fat burning in lean people by up to 7%, while the increase in obese people was around 5%. Other research has come to similar conclusions, with the estimated increased calorie burn being between 3-11% or in the range of 60-200 calories, depending on your weight and resting metabolism.
Does Caffeine Burn Fat?
The results of various studies show:
- Caffeine is linked to temporary increases in fat oxidation
This point is specifically about lipolysis and fat oxidation in the body. In general, the body either burns carbohydrates (glucose) or fat (fatty acid) for energy. Caffeine can now play a decisive role in increasing the amount of fat you burn. By taking caffeine tablets or drinking coffee you stimulate the central nervous system, which sends signals to the adipose tissue and thus stimulates fat loss.
If you want to know more about what is happening here: Caffeine is absorbed in the blood and body tissue and reaches peak concentrations between 15 – 120 minutes after consumption. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and instructs the brain to break down fat cells. Caffeine also triggers the release of a hormone Ephedrine, which causes the release of adrenaline. After these “fight-or-flight” hormones find their way into the body, there is an increased need to break down fat cells for use as energy.
Because caffeine stimulates the system in a controlled way, users see increased fat loss. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this stimulated nervous system and get active. It has been shown that caffeine increases overall athletic performance by 11-12% for an average user. If you get going with a cup of coffee, caffeine tablets or a Fat Burner that contains caffeine before training, you can effectively melt fat deposits.
The exact increase in fat oxidation caused by caffeine fluctuates in different studies and again depends heavily on your weight. However, an increase in fat loss of 10-30% is quite possible.
Does Caffeine Suppress Appetite?
This point has been controversial so far, an appetite inhibition by caffeine cannot be clearly confirmed or denied.
Although caffeine as a powerful Appetite Suppressant has caused a stir, the evidence is pretty mixed. Some studies found a decrease in snacking among coffee drinkers, but other studies found no real effect on appetite. So it seems to be very individual whether drinking coffee or taking caffeine tablets prevents you from grabbing snacks and sweets and generally suppresses your appetite or not.
Disadvantages of Caffeine - the Habituation Effect
Aside from all of the listed benefits, there is one aspect of caffeine that is unfortunately not that positive:
- Over time, tolerance to the effects of caffeine can develop
In the short term, caffeine can boost your metabolism and help burn fat, but after a while people become very tolerant of caffeine. It is difficult to say whether the fat-burning effects stop completely or whether they decrease at the same time as the stimulating effects. Daily consumption of coffee over a long period of time leads to habituation effects and the adrenaline rush slowly subsides.
For those who want to oppose the development of a tolerance, the cyclical intake of caffeine at two-week intervals can prove to be effective. Two weeks of intake followed by two weeks off can be a challenge for habitual users and coffee lovers, but can counteract the habituation effect and burn a few extra calories here and there.
Additional Benefits: Caffeine Increases Athletic Performance
Simply drinking coffee or taking caffeine powder or caffeine tablets is not enough to lose weight. A diet always includes exercise! How practical that caffeine can also help here – because caffeine gives you the power and motivation you need to do sports and also give you top performance to provide.
Even in low doses (around 1 – 2 cups of coffee), caffeine improves mood, cognitive function and alertness both during and after Exercise with very few side effects. So if you feel sluggish while exercising, caffeine can help.
Caffeine is particularly beneficial for 3 main categories of sports and movements:
Several studies have shown promising results from adding caffeine to endurance training. In one study, a small group of cyclists had significantly faster performance times when given caffeine than when given decaf coffee. Another study found that each dose of caffeine – whether low, medium, or high – increased endurance times by roughly the same amount.
Strength and Power
Caffeine also improves strength. In one study, caffeine significantly increased the maximum strength of muscle contraction in a group of strength athletes. In another case, it increased upper body strength in women trained for resistance.
High Intensity Efforts
In addition, Caffeine improves the muscular energy status during intensive training. In some people, muscle glycogen is also spared.
Conclusion - Lose Weight Successfully with Caffeine
Anyone who can use some support with their diet should definitely try caffeine and look forward to demonstrable results. The stimulating properties of caffeine make it a great addition to your exercise routine, whether short or long term. A very likely habituation effect can decrease the metabolic and fat loss potential of caffeine, but if you can pause your intake over and over and increase it cyclically, there is a chance you will get smaller changes.