Caffeine: Implications on Fat Loss

I’m sure many of you have heard that caffeine can be used as a supplement to increase fat loss. In this article I will examine if this is true or not. I will also go over how caffeine may or may not hep us lose fat. As per usual, I’ll provide you with evidence and you can make your own mind up.
Caffeine is found in various drinks and even some food. Caffeine is present in beverages or food. It may be there naturally, in the case of coffee and tea. It may also be added to beverages and food, such as energy drinks, some sweets and certain medications. Caffeine found naturally in drink is going to be different than caffeine found in say energy drink. Coffee will have polyphenols present, your favourite energy drink won’t have these polyphenols.
According to Acheson et al metabolic rate increases significantly (16%) in non-obese individuals taking 8mg caffeine/kg. A 75kg individual would need 600 mg of caffeine. A regular coffee can have anywhere between 95-200mg of caffeine per cup. So that’s anywhere from 4-6 cups of coffee! That’s a heck of a lot. For someone with a metabolic rate of 2000 calories, you’d get ~40 extra calories burned over that three hour time period. That’s something, but it sure as hell won’t turn you into a greek sculpture overnight.
In another trial in the same study, they found that 4mg/kg of caffeine increased metabolic rate and fat oxidation in normal weight folks. However no increase in fat oxidation was shown in obese individuals. The last trial in this study found an increase in the thermic effect of eating with the inclusion of caffeine vs. no caffeine.
This study resulted ina 2-3% increase in metabolism over 150 minutes. For the same individual with a metabolism around 2000, this results in a paltry 6.25 extra calories burned over that time period.
While perusing the internet, I came upon something that said that caffeine had appetite suppressing effects. As usual, I wanted to see what the research said about this. Maybe I suck at searching for research, but the only thing that even came close to backing the claims in that article was this study on the combination of caffeine and nicotine.
Since this is just not an option for anyone who doesn’t smoke I don’t feel that it can be used for the general person looking to lose weight. You can’t say caffeine alone causes a suppression in appetite because this study used it in conjunction with nicotine.
Another study examined how the consumption of caffeinated coffee vs. non-caffeinated coffee effected acute appetite. There was no effect on appetite beween either groups. it should be noted this study was done on healthy young males.
So there you have it. Caffeine can increase metabolism and fat oxidation (in normal weight individuals). However it’s a very small amount. Removing 40 calories of food from your diet is not an impossible task for most. However, for those looking for some kind of edge in fat loss (provided they have no blood pressure issues) caffeine may be able to help you slightly. I personally wouldn’t bother wasting money any crazy supplements. It’s not worth your money in my opinion!

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