Over-the-counter weight loss products often contain caffeine due to its potential to accelerate weight loss and metabolism. However, there is some doubt that caffeine can have an impact on weight loss. It might depend on the source of the caffeine and how long you have been consuming it.
Caffeine for Weight Loss
Adding caffeine to your diet will not bring about a substantial amount of weight loss. You still have to eat less and exercise more for this to happen. Still, caffeine can increase your body’s metabolism and help you eat less at meal time. The problem is that you might become more sensitive to caffeine’s effects. When this happens, you will not get the same benefits according to the American Journal of Physiology.
Caffeine from Coffee Sources
It might be helpful to drink a moderate amount of coffee every day. Moderate amounts are about two or three cups a day. According to a study published in 2013, it is believed that a compound found in the coffee called chlorogenic acid may help block the absorption of all fat in your diet.
It also seems that it raises the levels of hormones that are related to weight gain and obesity. If you increase your consumption of coffee to five cups, though, it could have the reverse effect. Agricultural and Food Chemistry journal released another study that same year and it found that high doses of chlorogenic acid fed to mice eating high-fat diets were not protected.
They experienced increased insulin resistance which means there could be an increase in the fat which is stored in the human body. This is believed to be true of the high caffeine doses in green coffee bean supplement products.
Caffeine from Tea Sources
According to the American Journal of Physiology, it might be good to get caffeine from green tea. It has something called catechins. These antioxidants might work with the caffeine to provide greater weight loss than either of the ingredients separately. The increased weight loss may be minimal, however.
Another review published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea with caffeine did increase weight loss over the course of a study period. The weight loss was about three pounds more than with caffeine alone and it was about one pound more than drinking a beverage that had no caffeine. This was a control beverage used in the particular study.
Caffeine from Sweetened Beverages
In general, sweetened beverages are more likely to increase weight than help to decrease it. The addition of caffeine does not offset these effects. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sweetened beverages needed to have at least 10 percent more sugar to eliminate the obvious taste of caffeine. The added calories from the sweetener are more likely to lead to weight gain.
Do not think that switching to diet drinks will solve the problem. Another study published in Obesity Journal found that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages are likely to be heavier than those who drink regularly sweetened beverages.
The Potential Side Effects of Caffeine
It is true that caffeine does not agree with everyone. This is especially true when taken in large quantities. Some people get acid reflux from drinking caffeine. It can also interfere with some medications. It can also increase cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels.
Other side effects from caffeine can include a rapid heartbeat, frequent urination, anxiety, nausea, depression and difficulty sleeping. If it is suddenly discontinued, it can cause withdrawal headaches, nausea and irritability, and even fatigue.