When most people think of caffeine, the thought of coffee and soda comes to mind. For the majority of people, the only reason to consume caffeinated beverages is to wake up and feel energized so they can get through the day. Some people drink caffeinated drinks just because they taste good. However, there is much more to caffeine than meets the eye! If you have ever taken any popular diet or fat burning pills/supplements and taken a look at the ingredients, you have probably noticed that caffeine is a staple ingredient. Along with that, you've probably also heard nutritional experts suggest that if you drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages you will lose weight. Well believe it or not, there is some actual truth to that. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that if you drink a daily cup of coffee you are magically going to lose weight, but caffeine is definitely a major benefactor when weight loss is the goal! Here's how:
1. By Boosting Your Metabolism: Consuming caffeine jumpstarts the process of lipolysis, which is when your body releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream. This happens when your body is breaking down your fat stores to convert it into energy. In other words, caffeine boosts your metabolism slightly and helps you burn fat.
2. By Boosting Your Energy: Don't mean to be repetitive here, but obviously if there's one thing that everyone knows about coffee and similar beverages and pills, it's that caffeine is a stimulant. It increases alertness and temporarily lessens drowsiness, which means that you can perform certain tasks for longer.
However, this isn't just limited to mental tasks. This includes physical tasks as well, such as running or lifting weights. This means a little shot of caffeine can give you the energy you need to give 100% during your workout. And giving 100% in the gym means you'll get the results you want more quickly.
Fitness Tip: If your goal is fat loss, what I would suggest you do is workout fasted. Upon waking up first thing in the morning, drink a cup or two of black coffee and/or green tea and go workout (whether it's just cardio or a weight training session). Since you have just woken up and your body is in a fasted state (no food in your stomach), your body will be forced to go after those fat stores for energy to get you through that workout. In addition, the black coffee and/or green tea will give you extra metabolism boost and energy which will help you burn even more calories.
You can get your caffeine from:
Energy drinks/Sodas (Not Recommended)
Shampoos and soaps (Yeah I am being serious)
BUT BE CAREFUL (THINGS NOT TO DO)
Obviously we have established that caffeine is a great benefactor in aiding fat loss, but not all caffeine sources are created equal.
1. DON'T GET CAFFEINE VIA SUGARY OR HIGH-CALORIE DRINKS: If you're getting your caffeine through a sugary energy drink, sodas or fancy high calorie coffees (like cappuccino), then you're doing more harm than good. It's better to stick with black coffee or green tea.
2. DON'T CONSUME TOO MUCH CAFFEINE: Too much caffeine is not good for your health. It can make your heart race, make you feel jittery (like a crack addict) and give you a whole lot of other symptoms like nausea. If you don't normally consume caffeine, start with small amounts to see how your body reacts. And even if you're used to it, be sure that you don't over do it.
3. DON'T CONSUME CAFFEINE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR HAVE HEART PROBLEMS: I know I'm gonna sound like one of those drug infomercials, but, if you're pregnant, have heart problems, or you have other vulnerabilities or illnesses, talk to your doctor first before taking caffeine.
4. DON'T GET ADDICTED TO CAFFEINE (LIKE A DRUG ADDICT): Just like meth, caffeine is a drug, more specifically a stimulant. As such, it beats up on certain systems in your body. And if you stop taking it after using it consistently, you'll quickly feel the withdrawal effects (such as headaches). So make sure to monitor how much you use to be sure you don't get addicted or develop a high tolerance.
So if you're already a coffee drinker or you otherwise consume caffeine regularly, the good news is that you don't have to stop. Since it seems to be more beneficial than harmful, and since it does give you a slight edge in the gym, you can keep enjoying your caffeine. But just like anything, be sure to do it in moderation so you don't become addicted.