On Caffeine and Weight Loss
Coffee is very controversial when it comes to weight loss. Some say that it can be of benefit to dieters, while others say that it can be detrimental to weight loss. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Hollywood’s most famous twins, are said to have attributed their high metabolisms to drinking up to four Starbucks drinks a day. So what’s the bottom line?
Caffeine, which reportedly speeds up metabolism, is the most-active ingredient in many diet pills.
Caffeine breaks down fat, freeing fatty acids which are immediately burned. Conversion of fat to energy is about 30 percent more efficient when caffeine is consumed prior to exercise. Which brings up another caffeine caveat: The break-down, and the burning, occur only when you’re in action! Caffeine also decreases your perception of pain during exercise. This might explain why fitness competitors routinely down a cup of java right before exercise!
Caffeine also improves mental alertness and reduces your perception of fatigue. While the fat is being burned, the glycogen, glucose, and amino acids (blood sugars) are being reserved, so blood sugar levels remain higher for longer. Low blood sugar = hunger; high glucose staves starving. This is why coffee is popular among students and think-tankers. The brain functions exclusively on glucose, and it is said that higher blood sugar levels facilitate thinking.
The coffee research found that consumption of ground caffeinated coffee appeared to have an independent relationship with weight loss. The findings implied that the caffeine present in coffee may help people to decrease body weight. But no studies show any indication that weight loss from large amounts of caffeine is permanent or significant. There is also no documented evidence that increasing caffeine intake by itself can have any effect on weight loss. According to the scientists, older and younger men show a similar thermogenic response to caffeine ingestion, whereas older men show a smaller increase in fatty acid availability after a caffeine challenge. Caffeine intake in this study was assessed repeatedly every 2-4 years. The researchers found a lower mean weight gain in participants who increased their consumption of caffeine than in those who decreased their caffeine consumption. Scientist, David Costill, found that consuming 2 cups of coffee about 1 hour before a run can boost your endurance-possibly by encouraging your body to burn more fat and less glycogen for fuel.Continued on the next page