Caffeine is not only a psychoactive substance, but also a common fat burning ingredient. But how far can caffeine get us in the goal of losing weight? Caffeine does increase metabolism, thereby helping one to not put on more weight. Let us see how it all really works in the long run.
Coffee and the human body
Coffee is not just a comfort drink that we enjoy in the cold, or the energizer that we use to stay up at night. Coffee contains several ingredients that directly affect our biology. For example:
- Caffeine– The commonest substance in coffee stimulates our nervous system. It makes us more aware and energetic when consumed in the right amount.
- Theobromine– Along with theophylline, this substance aids caffeine to stimulate the nervous system to stay active.
- Chlorogenic acid– This one is a biologically active substance that regulates crab absorption in the body.
How caffeine works
Caffeine blocks Adenosine, which acts like an inhibitor to the nervous system, thereby, charging the nervous system to release neurotransmitters including dopamine and norepinephrine. The hormone adrenaline is also triggered by caffeine, thereby giving us the rush that is required to stay awake and get things done.
When stimulated, the nervous system immediately sends signals to the fat cells to break down. The adrenaline travels throughout the body and prompts the fat cells to break down to produce energy. This is how the fat is converted to fatty acids that are active in the blood, and ready for use. This is how we get some extra energy after a few minutes of drinking coffee.
Coffee and metabolic rate
Caffeine has been found to increase the resting metabolic rate by 3-10 percent when consumed in regular amounts. The very fat breakdown process prompts the high metabolism because the body is tricked into believing that some immediate heavy duty is to be done. Hence, the body starts producing a lot of energy, storing less of it than usual, to provide the strength required to perform the task it assumes we have at hand.
However, this is not how things work for every body type. Coffee does not do the same thing for people who would need it more, that is, for the obese. In lean people, the fat burning rate can go as high as 28 percent. But for obese people, it hardly ever crosses the 10 percent mark.
The effect also depends on age. People younger than 35 tend to respond more to caffeine, than older adults.
Everything comes with a catch and if we know half the truth, we better know the whole. The catch here is, caffeine cannot be a good solution to keep your weight in check for the long run. The effects tend to wear off as the body gets more used to the triggers and stop responding to it.
Also, caffeine consumption decreases appetite, which is not a very healthy way to lose weight. Hence, resorting to caffeine as the only weight loss procedure is no good. Shortcuts can only take you so far.