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Does Caffeine Help You Lose Weight? Learn From Experts

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 9, 2022

As a fitness coach, I spend countless hours at the gym and hear endless chatter about the most effective and fastest route to weight loss.

Many of my fellow gym-goers and I chat about natural ways to speed up weight loss, and I noticed a common belief that caffeine is one of the things that does the trick.

So, I set out to prove (or disprove) that theory, so I consulted a registered dietitian and read as much research data as I could find to answer this question.

So grab a cup of joe and read on.

Quick Summary

  • Research suggests that drinking coffee might be a good way to aid fat burning and increase weight loss by increasing your metabolism.
  • A higher metabolic rate makes losing weight easier, and you can eat more calories without accumulating fat.
  • You are not limited to coffee, as caffeinated beverages like green tea and energy drinks are excellent sources of this stimulant as well.

Can Caffeine Boost Metabolism?

A mug of coffee close up image

Yes, caffeine can boost metabolism because it stimulates the nervous system and directly signals the fat cells to burn fatty acids for energy.

Caffeine also increases thermogenesis, signaling your body to burn more calories to produce heath [1].

Metabolism is the rate at which your body expends energy.

By increasing a person’s metabolic rate, the individual can expend more energy, ultimately making weight management easier.

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Boosting metabolism can also lead to more energy, better sleep, improved circulation, and elevated mood.

The benefit is actually multi-fold because burning more energy can activate weight loss, which then can then set a cascade of other health benefits like lower blood pressure, cholesterol, increased mobility, and even prevention of type 2 diabetes.

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Can We Use Caffeine as Pre-workout?

Yes, we can use caffeine as a pre-workout, as consuming 3-9mg/kg of body weight proved capable of improving athletic performance in long-term endurance and intense short-term exercise in the elite and recreational subjects alike [3].

Caffeine is the main stimulant found in coffee and, as such, has an ergogenic effect (enhances exercise performance) and boosts alertness in high-intensity exercise, benefits sustained- endurance exercise like time trials, and improves aerobic exercise ability and tolerance [4].

I drank a morning cup of coffee (or two) as a pre-workout on gym days for my research, as I was actually in the middle of my cutting phase.

I noticed a considerable boost in focus and stamina, leading to more intense workouts and eventually a slightly higher rate of fat loss.

Later on, I bumped up my caffeine intake throughout the day with additional coffee or two to reap the full benefits of antioxidants, and other nutrients, including vitamin B2, vitamin B3, magnesium, and potassium.

RelatedCaffeine Pills Vs Pre-Workout

Does Consuming It Before Exercise Help Burn Fat?

Pouring coffee on mug

Yes, consuming caffeine before exercise can help burn fat by boosting metabolism and promoting thermogenesis, as mentioned before.

A study published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition shows that caffeine or strong coffee consumed 30 minutes before exercise was a major contributor to fat oxidation (burning) during exercise [5].

A review of 21 published meta-analyses confirmed even further that caffeine ingestion before exercise enhanced performance and fat-burning in both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, though more prominent in aerobic [6]

My trial period of drinking coffee before hitting the gym underscores the conclusive evidence of countless research and reviews.

Adding caffeine pills to my pre-workout routine helped me get more out of my workouts, and it actually cut my cutting phase noticeably.

“Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, travels through your blood to the fat tissues, signaling them to break down fats and release them into your blood.” -Kris Gunnars, BSc.

Effects on Appetite and Cravings

Caffeine may have appetite-suppressing effects because it reduces the hormone ghrelin, which increases hunger or feelings of hunger [7].

More research showed that caffeine intake over four weeks increased the hormone serotonin, which curbs appetite [8].

Both of these effects, working in tandem, will go a long way to support your weight loss as you will be less likely to eat all the calories you have burned off.

The benefits of caffeine as an appetite suppressant are straightforward, especially when working in a caloric deficit to lose weight. Simply put, eat less, burn more, and experience weight loss.

FAQs

Which Is the Best Coffee for Weight Loss?

Black caffeinated coffee is best for weight loss because it does not have any fat or added sugars that contribute to weight gain.

A cup of black coffee contains minimal calories, usually around five. Specialty coffee drinks, half and half, milk, flavoring substances, and sugar can quickly increase the calories per cup.

How Much Caffeine Will Help You Lose Weight?

To lose weight, consume 350-400 mg of caffeine per day, which is equal to approximately four cups of coffee.

Caffeine boosts metabolism and helps burn body fat and calories, especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine.

You should keep in mind that for most people ingesting more caffeine than this daily might lead to jitters and other unwanted side effects.

Is Caffeine Good after a Workout?

Yes, caffeine is good after a workout, especially when combined with carbs and protein.

When you drink coffee, it can increase blood glucose and blood insulin levels and enhance the transfer of glucose to the muscles, aiding recovery and repair.

Can You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals With Caffeine?

I drank coffee as a pre-workout for my research before hitting the gym and going for a run, and I did notice a bump in my usual fat loss rate during cutting phases.

There is no doubt that coffee helps in several areas of exercise.

Still, as a runner, I prefer to use an all-natural fat burner supplement because most have caffeine for the metabolic, energy, and focus boosts we’ve discussed here, plus a few substances to jumpstart and keep your workouts going.

Combine a fat burner with a healthy diet and exercise, like running, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you lose fat and start seeing solid results.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6467726/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2912010/
  3. https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/5/s1/article-pS84.xml
  4. https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/jared-bunch-rhythm-of-life/caffeine-your-heart-and-exercise/
  5. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-020-00400-6
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30926628/
  7. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/your-hunger-hormones
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996914003378?via%3Dihub

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