Caffeine is one of the most used supplements in the United States. Caffeine and weight loss is what we will be discussing in this article, but first we need all the details on how it works, why it works, and is it worth taking. The FDA has determined that drinking four to five cups of coffee a day (about 400 mg), is a safe consumption for normal adults. Pregnant women, people with heart disease, and the elderly should avoid caffeine. Let’s look into the usage and benefits of caffeine used as an adjunct to weight loss. First we should talk about just how caffeine works in our bodies.
How Does Caffeine Work-What Are We Doing To Our Bodies?
The main action of caffeine is acting as a central nerve system stimulant, which it does by blocking a naturally sedating brain chemical called adenosine. Caffeine is sort of tricking your body into alertness by blocking this chemical. It also starts or boosts the action of lypolysis, the process in which our body breaks down fats and releases fatty acids into the bloodstream. A short way of saying this is that caffeine increases our metabolism, in turn, we burn more fat to use for energy instead of using the stored energy (glycogen) in our muscles, and we burn more calories. Caffeine also triggers the release of a hormone called epinephrine, which in turn causes the release of adrenaline. The release of these two chemicals, also known as “fight or flight” chemicals, the body naturally breaks down more fat cells to use for energy (in case we need to run!), instead of the limited stores of glycogen stored in our muscles. The suppressive effects of caffeine may have an effect on appetite as well, adding to the weight loss benefits.
Sources Of Caffeine-Some Good, Some Bad
There are not many sources of caffeine that are actually recommended for weight loss. Black coffee, there goes your double shot tall latte) and caffeine pills are the two most commonly used sources. Natural sources, besides the black coffee, are matcha and yerba matte. The thing you want to know is just how much caffeine are you getting? One cup of coffee can be from fifty to four hundred mg. The caffeine pills give you a standard dosage, so perhaps they may be best to start with. It is recommended that you start with just one hundred mg to see how you do and if you are going to have any of the side effects that come with taking caffeine.
Some bad sources are those full of sugar, whipped cream covered, mocha/latte concoctions half America is addicted to.
Especially if you want to lose weight-their full of unneeded calories and sugar. Energy drinks are not on my list of safe caffeine sources either as some of them have five times the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Many emergency room visits have been attributed to the use of energy drinks (over use).
Caffeine Side Effects
Caffeine does have side effects. It doesn’t work the same for everyone, in fact it can vary widely from person to person. Caffeine is know as a psychoactive drug, as having a significant to profound effect on mental processes. Because of this, it can have some negative side effects such as:
- Disrupted sleep
- Irregular heartbeat
Caffeine can also cause the release of acid in our stomachs, this will increase acidity, which might cause upset stomach or heartburn. You want to avoid this because if you have increased acidity, cortisol may be released, and cortisol works directly against weight loss because after cortisol, insulin is released.
Different studies have come to varying results on just how much the metabolism is increased with the use of caffeine, but the range is anywhere from 3% to 29%. Caffeine works more on lean people and also on younger people. Another side effect can be the onset of tolerance, which of course puts the brakes on any weight loss goals.
One problem with taking caffeine is that with continual use, you can develop a tolerance to it. Workout enthusiasts use caffeine before their workouts and sometimes have problems with tolerance. They simply start cycling two weeks on and then two weeks off. This seems to work for most users.
Caffeine And Disease-Other Benefits Besides Weight Loss
Many studies have shown that caffeine has measurable positive effects on certain diseases. Some of these are;
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver Cirrhosis
- Liver Cancer
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
In Alzheimer’s disease, caffeine significantly reduces the amount of beta-amyloid plaque, thought to be the main cause of the disease. It also helps with the inevitable memory impairment found in Alzheimer’s patients. In Parkinson’s disease, patients gradually lose their nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Caffeine protects those nerve cells.
Even though headache is one of the possible side effects with taking caffeine, it can also help with headache as it narrows the capillaries which widen with the onset of the headache. It can therefore be used as a mild pain reducer.
Just one more item before I finish up here. If you do decide to use caffeine as part of your weight loss plan, be aware that after using it consistently and then stopping, you will go through a withdrawal. This consists of headaches and a general moodiness or irritability.
I personally think that caffeine has its place as a temporary adjunct to weight loss for some people, but it is not for everyone. I think it is totally possible to lose weight using just diet (not dieting) and exercise. Most women who are trying to lose weight need to get their bodies into a healthy state before they can lose the weight. There are many reasons why women fail at diets and weight loss, most have to do with an unhealthy body and/or a disease status.
I hope to cover many of these problems here at www.ahealthyweightloss.com so I can help as many people as possible to lose the stubborn weight they have failed to get rid of in their past attempts.
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