Caffeine is a key ingredient in weight loss supplements and energy drinks, all promising to keep you revved up and help you burn more fat. You may also have heard too much caffeine can be harmful to your health. Caffeinated products can be used as part of your daily supplement regimen, but it's important to understand how caffeine works so you know how it might affect you.
Here's everything you need to know about caffeine to safely incorporate this popular stimulant into your weight loss regimen and avoid an adverse reaction a la Jessie Spano on "Saved by the Bell."
What Caffeine Is
Caffeine is a chemical compound found in plants like coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts and cocoa beans. Also known as a methylxanthine or trimethylxanthine, caffeine has been used for centuries for various medicinal purposes. At its most basic definition, caffeine is a stimulant that interacts with the central nervous system, triggering certain responses in the brain. Consuming caffeine can make you feel more alert, energized and better able to focus. You may begin to feel the effects of caffeine within 15 minutes of consumption and they can last up to six hours.
In addition to weight loss supplements and energy drinks, caffeine is also commonly added to medications like aspirin or acetaminophen to increase effectiveness.
Caffeine and Weight Loss
When it comes to dieting and shedding extra pounds, caffeine is a popular choice. Because of its role as a stimulant, caffeine helps to speed up your metabolism and raise your core body temperature. As a result, your body uses up stored fat for energy. Caffeine can temporarily suppress your appetite, keeping you feeling full, and act as a diuretic, helping you lose excess water accumulated in the body. The added adrenaline caffeine helps your body release can also help you train harder when taken before exercise.
While these effects have been shown to occur within the body as a result of consuming caffeine, there isn't much concrete evidence to show how much weight you can lose on caffeine alone or how quickly. Therefore, caffeine is considered a weight loss enhancer instead of a weight loss supplement.
Taking Caffeine Properly to Lose Weight
Wondering if you can just drink coffee? Plain, black coffee can have the same effect -- it's one of the best sources of caffeine available -- but don't count on that double-whip, whole milk, vanilla latte to help you take off the pounds.
Pure caffeine supplements are available for those looking for extra caffeine. These products, on average, contain as much caffeine as one cup of coffee per serving, about 160 mg, and go up from there. However, safety is important when adding a caffeine supplement. These products are not recommended for use by children because they can raise the heart rate and cause symptoms like dehydration (if used as a diuretic), nervousness, irritability and trouble sleeping, especially if taken beyond the recommended dosage.
If you're currently on medication for a medical condition or are normally sensitive to caffeinated products and beverages, speak with your doctor before using a caffeine supplement. Always follow dosing instructions and consult your physician if you experience any of the symptoms listed above.
Have you had success using caffeine for weight loss? Tell us about your favorite products.
Products you may like:
Hi-Tech Supplements Caffeine Power Why you may like this product? Each tablet contains 200 mg of
caffeine, about the equivalent
of one and a half cups of
coffee. This dosage is just
the right amount to help you
feel energized to get through
your day while speeding up
PrimaForce Caffeine Why you may like this product? This supplement provides you
with 200 mg per tablet of pure
caffeine without binders or
fillers. Caffeine not only
wakes you up, but it can help
you train harder and burn more
fat for increased weight loss.
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