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People will look for any supplement or food source that helps them lose weight. Caffeine is amongst the most popular ‘fat-burning’ supplements on the market, but does it actually work?
Can we lose weight by taking caffeine – either as a supplement or by drinking coffee?
It’s a very interesting question as you often get two polarizing opinions; some say it works incredibly well, and others say it’s just a myth.
Funnily enough, the truth falls somewhere between these two opinions. The science behind caffeine means it could help us lose weight, but there are still loads of myths and misconceptions out there.
Let’s look at some key talking points to see what caffeine and weight loss have to do with one another.
Caffeine and fat burning
Caffeine is a key ingredient in every single fat-loss supplement on the market. This is because it is technically seen as a fat burner.
When caffeine is released into your body, it triggers a series of reactions that mobilizes fat tissues and gets them to start breaking down. So, in a way, it helps you burn more fat in your body, which could help you lose weight.
Interestingly, it’s thought that this increase in fat burning can also increase your metabolic rate. For those that don’t know, this refers to how many calories your body burns while at rest.
The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn by doing nothing. A huge portion of your daily calorie expenditure comes from what you do at rest or the activities of daily living. A very small percentage actually comes from exercising!
Therefore, you can technically say that caffeine does help you burn fat. However, things aren’t as simple as they seem.
You won’t lose weight from caffeine alone
You’ve read the previous point, and it’s got you really excited. Wow, caffeine is the key to losing body fat! So, you head online, order some coffee, and get ready to lose weight.
Unfortunately, you’re going about things in the wrong way. While the benefits of caffeine are scientifically proven, it will not necessarily help you lose weight.
How does this make sense? You just said that it literally helps you burn fat and increase your metabolism?! Don’t worry, I haven’t lied to you, just let me explain things in more detail. The only way you lose body fat is by burning more calories than you consume.
So, one person could burn 2,600 calories a day without drinking any coffee or ingesting any caffeine. They consume 2,100 calories, meaning they’ve burned more than they consumed. This leads to a deficit, which triggers fat loss.
On the other hand, you could drink four cups of coffee a day and burn 2,600 calories, but if you consumed 2,700 calories, you’d still put on weight. Like every other fat-loss supplement or hack, caffeine is only effective if you still enter a calorie deficit!
Using caffeine for energy
We all know that caffeine provides us with an extra burst of energy. As such, it’s often good to drink a cup of coffee before working out. This can give you a big energy boost, potentially pushing you further in your workout.
With this newfound energy, you are capable of possibly burning more calories because you can work out for longer or at a more intense level.
This is one of the safest and most popular ways of using caffeine in your exercise program. Instead of taking supplements, you have a cup of coffee as a pre-workout drink. Thus, you have the potential to push yourself that little bit further.
Caffeine is a diuretic
Lastly, let’s talk about one of the side-effects of caffeine; it makes you go to the toilet. You will pee a lot more if you drink coffee throughout the day, and high levels of caffeine will leave you in the toilet for other reasons as well.
It sounds disgusting, but all weight loss pills contain caffeine for this reason; it makes you lose body fluids, which helps you lose weight.
However, it won’t affect your body fat, so it’s basically pointless to even think about doing this – not to mention incredibly unsafe.
Overall, you shouldn’t view caffeine as this magic thing that will make you lose loads of body fat. Don’t buy any crazy supplements as they are often unsafe. Instead, the safest way to ingest caffeine is with a cup of coffee before working out.
This way you trigger the benefits and can potentially burn more calories while working out. Be sure to increase your water intake after drinking coffee! You can lose lots of fluids by peeing more frequently, so top them back up with some water.