What is the Connection Between Caffeine and Weight Loss?

B. Koch

Many individuals who wish to lose weight look for specific foods or supplements they should either consume or avoid to help achieve their goals. Caffeine is one common substance used by those looking to lose weight. Yet, there is conflicting evidence regarding whether or not there is a connection between caffeine and weight loss. While some evidence shows that caffeine consumption aids in weight loss by helping to burn excess calories, other studies show that caffeine increases appetite and therefore causes extra calories to be consumed.

Energy drinks usually have high amounts of caffeine and may cause more harm than good in trying to lose weight.
Energy drinks usually have high amounts of caffeine and may cause more harm than good in trying to lose weight.

Many consider caffeine as a great way to achieve weight loss naturally because it is believed to increase calorie burning. Since caffeine helps to give users a pick-me-up and energized feeling, they are more active during the day therefore burn more calories. Caffeine is also thought to stimulate thermogenesis, a method the body uses to generate heat and energy, and through this burns calories.

Sodas typically contain caffeine.
Sodas typically contain caffeine.

Perhaps the most effective way caffeine can burn calories is though enhancing exercise performance. Studies show that consuming caffeine before exercising can help athletes perform longer before becoming exhausted. Studies also indicate that these individuals burned more fat in the same amount of time as those athletes who did not consume caffeine before working out.

Beverages like sweat tea, which may contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine, should be drank in moderation.
Beverages like sweat tea, which may contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine, should be drank in moderation.

There is also a connection between caffeine and weight loss because caffeine is a diuretic, which means it causes the body to excrete urine. Therefore consuming caffeine causes individuals to lose water weight. Although effective, the results of losing water weight are temporary.

Caffeine is a diuretic and also increases energy levels, which may aid in weight loss.
Caffeine is a diuretic and also increases energy levels, which may aid in weight loss.

Before beginning to consume extra caffeine, it should be noted that there are many side effects associated caffeine. Caffeine is likely to cause nervousness and jitteriness, and is even known to cause panic attacks in individuals prone to such reactions. As mentioned, caffeine is a diuretic, which means although it may cause loss in water weight, it can also cause dehydration. Caffeine may also cause dizziness, nausea, and irritability. It is also important to remember that caffeine is addictive.

Drinking water is a better option than caffeinated beverages for weight loss.
Drinking water is a better option than caffeinated beverages for weight loss.

Others believe that there is no connection between caffeine and weight loss, and that caffeine is actually more likely to cause weight gain. One side effect of caffeine is that is raises a stress hormone called cortisol in the body. High levels of cortisol trigger the body’s natural instinct to increase energy stores, thus increasing the individual’s desire to consume sugary foods. Caffeine can also cause heightened feelings of psychological stress, which can increase the desire for comfort eating.

Caffeine slightly speeds up metabolism.
Caffeine slightly speeds up metabolism.

The results of studies regarding the connection between caffeine and weight loss are mixed. Before beginning a regimen of caffeine to help in weight loss, or cutting out all caffeine from one’s diet, a doctor should be consulted to help decide the best course of action. While caffeine may assist in weight loss, the best way to lose weight generally is though eating a healthy, balanced diet and practicing regular exercise.

The best way to lose weight generally is though eating a healthy, balanced diet and practicing regular exercise.
The best way to lose weight generally is though eating a healthy, balanced diet and practicing regular exercise.

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