Effects of Caffeine on the Body While Dieting
Diet Plan That Involves Caffeine?
While the world is still looking for that one magical pill that will be take away all of our unwanted fat cells, the rest of us are working hard at controlling what we eat and making good efforts to get all of our steps in while also keeping a look out for any tricks or supplements that might aid in the process of getting fit.
Caffeine has become sort of a buzz word when it come to the world of weight loss. And why not? It’s easy to consume, cheap to buy and is all-natural. But how effective is caffeine in regards to weight loss? And if it is effective, how much of a good thing is too much?
What is Caffeine Exactly?
While caffeine is completely natural and is found in nature, it is not a requirement for the human body to function. You’ll never hear of a person whose caffeine levels are low and will need to supplement. Still, caffeine is the most popular and legal stimulant in the world. The most popular form to ingest caffeine is through drinking coffee which, according to FreeDieting.com, is the second most widely-traded commodity in the world. The first is petroleum.
The alkaloid compound known as caffeine has no odor but it has a bitter taste to it. It can be found in over 60 different leave, seeds, fruits and plants including coffee, tea, cacao, kola nuts, yerba matè, guarana and yaupon holly.
How Does Caffeine Effect the Body?
Caffeine works relatively quickly. It can be absorbed by the body through one’s mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine in as little as 15 minutes. And while it doesn’t build up in one’s system, it does stick around for a while.
Caffeine intake has been shown to increase one’s heart rate, relax the air passages making breathing easier and the muscles tend to contract more easily as well. Caffeine delaying fatigue and serves as a diuretic. Some of the effects can be considered positive or negative depending on the person and how much caffeine they have consumed. A person may experience the sensation of cold hands, muscles tensing up, feelings of excitement, an increased heartbeat, extra-alertness and sinuses clearing up. These effects will affects a person who rarely consumes caffeine in a greater degree.
How Can Caffeine Help with Weight Loss?
Like any “magic pill” it turns out that one can’t just drink a diet cola and think that they will become super skinny. As much as it is painful to hear it, it’s true. In order to see improvement in one’s weight loss and fitness, one has to be willing to put in the work by eating healthy and getting exercise on a regular basis. But caffeine help? It’s depends on who you ask.
“Caffeine alone won’t help you slim down. It may slightly boost weight-loss efforts or help prevent weight gain, but there’s no solid evidence that caffeine consumption leads to noticeable weight loss,” says Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. who doesn’t rule out taking caffeine altogether. “Although research about the connection between caffeine and weight isn’t definitive, there are a few theories about how caffeine might affect weight.”
According to Zeratsky, caffeine may be good for suppressing one’s appetite reducing the feelings of hunger for a period of time. Caffeine can also increase one’s energy level stimulating thermogenesis which heats up the body from digesting one’s food. Caffeine might also increase one’s metabolism too, albeit it slightly.
While there have been studies in the past that gave simulariglowing reviews of the use of caffeine, Zeratsky says that some of those studies were flawed as they were done on animals instead of humans. Just because one substance will effect an animal in a positive or negative way doesn’t mean that the result will be the same for humans.
“Be cautious about using caffeine products to help with weight loss,” she says. “When used in moderation (400 milligrams or less) by healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe. But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems.”
What are the Positives to Consuming Caffeine?
While Zeratsky might come across as a “Debbie Downer” on the positive effects of consuming caffeine to aid in one’s weight loss goals. Jessica Bruso is a little more positive. Bruso is a writer for LiveStrong.com who says that people who drink two or three cups of coffee each day might find that the practice is helpful in one’s attempt to lose weight. She mentions a 2013 study that was published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine where coffee helped to limit how much fat was absorbed into one’s body. The credit for this goes to chlorogenic acid which is found naturally in coffee.
Bruso says that chlorogenic acid can help improve the levels of hormones that can fight off obesity, however, consuming too much caffeine could actually have the wrong effect citing a similar study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that was published that same year. The study suggests that taking in too much caffeine could increase one’s insulin resistance and the amount of fat that is stored in one’s body.
Coffee, Tea, or Soda?
It appears that drinking green tea might be the best solution for getting a good dose of caffeine. According to the American Journal of Physiology Review, it has been shown that green tea can slightly improve weight loss. Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that can aid caffeine to do some of its best work. Still, the results are fairly modest. In a 2009 study given by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea with caffeine increased weight loss over the course of the study period by about three pound. This is actually triple the results of one using caffeine all by itself.
Why it should not surprise anyone that consuming caffeine sodas that have been sweetened with sugar won’t really help with one’s weight loss, some may be surprised that those who consumed sugar-free versions of these same sodas might also not see the weight loss results that they are looking for either.
“Don’t think that switching to diet beverages will solve this problem,” says Bruso. “Another study [from Obesity] found that those who drink artificially sweetened beverages were more likely to be overweight than those who don’t drink these beverages.”
What are the Downsides to Caffeine?
If a person can tolerate caffeine, and most people can, there is really no downside to consuming it within reason. The problem tends to come from when people stop taking caffeine. When someone starts to wean off of caffeine, their body becomes oversensitive to adenosine, a chemical in the brain that is connected to the process of sleep. One’s blood pressure will drop sharply which then can lead to a nasty headache that can stick around for days. Some people have complained of being fatigued, of suffering muscle pain, being irritable, having trouble working and feeling nervous or restless. For some rare instances, some people have suffered with nausea and vomiting. The best way to combat all of these symptoms is to wean off caffeine very gradually.
So What is the Bottom Line?
While there really isn’t anything wrong with consuming coffee, tea or even sodas to a moderate degree, the best way to reduce one’s waist size is by burning off more calories than one takes in. Simple as that.
Livestrong.com – https://www.livestrong.com/article/277857-green-tea-coffee-weight-loss/ and https://www.livestrong.com/article/281770-is-caffeine-bad-for-weight-loss/
The Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/caffeine/faq-20058459
Freedieting.com – https://www.freedieting.com/caffeine-effects-human-body#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20requirement%20of%20caffeine%20in%20the,and%20allows%20some%20muscles%20to%20contract%20more%20easily%29.