Caffeine and weight loss. Can I keep drinking my coffee?


Even though sound evidence has not been found to date, many people prefer caffeine usage as a method of boosting weight loss. Caffeine is found in many beverages, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and colas; in products containing cocoa or chocolate; and in a variety of medications and dietary supplements, including supplements aimed at weight loss.

Definitive research is not present to prove it, but there are some theories about how caffeine might affect weight.  The very first one says that caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time thus, acting as an appetite suppressant, however, the long-term consumption effects with this respect still remain unknown. Secondly, it is said that caffeine works like a calorie burner, by stimulating thermo genesis; this is a way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food but this may not be enough to support weight loss.

A trials based study was carried out to determine the effects of caffeine consumption on the metabolic rate in normal weight versus obese individuals. It was concluded that there was a significant increase in the metabolic rate 3 hours after caffeine consumption.

Other than this, Caffeine acts as a stimulant by activating the central nervous system. It can combat tiredness and improve concentration and focus. A study carried out at the University of Michigan states that the stimulating effects of caffeine can start as early as 15 minutes after consumption and last up to 6 hours.

Caffeine is also associated with increased physical energy as it gives a quick boost.  A lot of people work in industries or organizations where the job requires for them to stay physically active and vigilant. Caffeine use is widespread such nature of occupations.

The general opinion regarding caffeinated drinks is that these are socially acceptable and do not carry any negative effects. But of course, there can be negative consequences from caffeine consumption, particularly if ingested in high doses.

It was stated by the Mayo clinic, consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat and even muscle tremors.

Caffeine use is particularly discouraged in pregnant women as it may lead to the risk of low birth weight in babies and high doses may even result in increased risk of early death. Also, pediatricians recommend that children and adolescents should avoid caffeine consumption altogether, particularly since it is unknown as to how caffeine intake impacts the developing brain. High caffeine intake may also produce negative side effects in pregnant women and individuals with heart conditions or anxiety disorders.

However, the effects of caffeine can vary in each individual, which may explain why there are mixed messages surrounding whether caffeine is good or bad for us. For example, individuals with anxiety disorders are more susceptible to the anxiogenic effects of the compound.

Caffeine can also metabolize at different rates among individuals for various reasons. For example, cigarette smokers metabolize caffeine twice as fast as non-smokers.

Thus, some people may have difficulty sleeping or experience tremors or stress with relatively low caffeine intakes and it is useful to be aware of these symptoms and reduce caffeine intake if these occur.

Moderation is the way to go with respect to everything in life and this holds true for caffeine consumption as well. When taken in moderation, caffeine will not cause any harmful effects, so healthy adults should not be overly concerned. On the other hand, children and adolescents should replace caffeine with other healthier and suitable options.