Is Caffeine An Essential Fat Burner?
How Caffeine Can Help Fat Burning
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that works with the brain and central nervous system; it gives you a temporary energy boost, prevents tiredness symptoms and helps you to stay alert.
How Does It Work?
Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, which helps the brain to relax and makes you feel tired. This stimulates nerve cells to release adrenaline, increasing heart rate; blood pressure and blood flow to your muscles. At the same time, your liver releases glucose, which is crucial for energy. Caffeine also increases levels of dopamine, the ‘feel good’ chemical messenger.
A cup of strong coffee takes only 20 minutes to hit your blood stream, and an hour to be in full throttle.
Where Can I Find Caffeine?
Caffeine can be found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao pods (chocolate too!) and kola nuts, and over 60 plant species. You’ll also find them in drinks (like coke, green tea and of course coffee), medication and foods like chocolate, ice cream and even breakfast cereals. Roughly 80% of people around the world consume caffeine in one form or another everyday, whether it’s in food and drink, in a painkiller (to enhance the effects of it) or in certain medication (helps with drowsiness!)
What Are The Beneficial Effects Of Caffeine?
Caffeine can reduce the risk of several types of cancer, a stroke, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, kidney stones, and even post-workout muscle pain. A survey from Greece also revealed that Greek boiled coffee could help with heart health. It detoxes the liver, increases stamina during exercise and when combined with carbohydrates, it replenishes muscle glycogen concentrations a lot quicker after exercise.
What Are The Side Effects Of Caffeine?
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, so it can effect heart rate, respiration and even cause sleepless nights. As a mild diuretic, it helps your kidneys to get rid of water and salt within your body through your urine. However, this can lead to dehydration, and cause your blood pressure to become very low because of a decrease in blood volume.
It decreases blood flow to your skin and organs and because of the dopamine release (that feel good feeling) it can be addictive. Over time, continued consumptions will lead to developing a tolerance, and become sensitized to adenosine. Withdrawal symptoms can cause headaches, constipation, irritability and the inability to concentrate.
Too much caffeine can also cause nervousness, excitement, increased trips to the loo, insomnia, a flushed complexion, cold hands/feet, stomach complaints and even hallucinations.
What’s The Recommended Daily Dosage?
Experts recommend that you should only consume up to 400mg of caffeine a day. That’s the equivalent of four cups of strong coffee.
How Can Caffeine Help Me To Burn Fat?
Caffeine can temporarily boost your metabolism and increasing fat breakdown, but over time, the body becomes tolerant to these effects and it stops working.
A more effective alternative to a cup of coffee would be green tea, which usually contains caffeine. The combination of green tea and caffeine stimulates the breakdown of stored fat and carbohydrate, leading to more effective weight loss – this is why most of the better fat burning supplements combine the two.