Does caffeine speed up the metabolism and help with weight loss?
There are few topics that get more attention, with wildly varying opinions, than the benefits of weight loss and the detrimental effects of caffeine. Obviously, there is no argument about the importance of reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight, but is it possible that caffeine is not as bad as we have been led to believe?
It has been suggested by some studies that caffeine boosts energy and is depleted during physical exertion, possibly the reason for increased calorie burning by those who have consumed caffeine. With the addition of catchins, a type of phenolic compound that is found in green tea, the process of fat oxidation is significantly increased.
This all sounds promising, but, as is often the case, there is a flip side to caffeine, which is currently our most popular drug here in the U.S., as well as the least regulated one. Caffeine is a natural component of 60 different species of plants, the most familiar being coffee, tea and cocoa. While caffeine has been added to soft drinks for a very long time, first the natural kind and now the synthetic, it has only been a little over 20 years since energy drinks and supplements, loaded with high levels of caffeine started flooding the market.
Caffeine has been credited with an increased sense of well-being, energy, happiness and alertness. It can enhance feelings of sociability. We rely on it to help us stay awake when driving at night. It wakes us up in the morning and helps us face the challenges of our work day. There are those who believe caffeine may reduce the risk of developing conditions like gall stones and even Parkinson’s disease. The military has explored the benefits of using caffeine as a supplement for service members in locations and situations where they may not get sufficient sleep but still need to be as alert as possible.
On that flip side, however, caffeine may be an FDA approved pharmacological substance, but it is also a highly addictive drug. Anyone who uses it regularly is familiar with the withdrawal effects; severe headache, extreme fatigue, mental fuzziness and drowsiness. What most people are not aware of, though, is that it only takes about a week of daily consumption of caffeine to be at this level of addiction. It may help some stay awake when needed, but for many others it actually interferes with a normal, healthy sleep cycle. Caffeine can also contribute to the worsening of urinary incontinence.
Caffeine and Metabolism: Effective Partners or Not?
As with many things, the verdict on caffeine is not a unanimous one. Used in moderation and with a little common sense, it probably isn’t as harmful as many like to say. The fact that it is so easily addictive does make the moderation part problematic. There is some evidence of the weight loss benefits of appetite suppression and the increased calorie-burning potential of thermogenesis, which is the process your body uses to extract heat and energy from food digestion. That said, while caffeine may supply a slight boost to weight loss, there is presently no evidence that it is more than temporary.
The Southern California Center for Anti-Aging focuses on the practice of advanced, preventive and regenerative medicine. We strongly believe correcting imbalances and deficiencies in nutrition, along with improving fitness and balancing and restoring hormones with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, can help with creating the foundation for a healthier and happier life. We use a wide range of advanced testing and analysis, including food allergy testing, to ensure the best results for our clients.
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