Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. About 54 percent of American adults drink coffee every day. The average coffee drinker will drink about 3.1 cups of coffee daily. While some people enjoy the taste and comfort of a warm cup of joe, many drink coffee for the much needed pep of caffeine to get through the day.
In the past 10 years, caffeine has become a popular addition to weight loss and diet supplements, reportedly increasing your metabolism and offering effective fat burning results. Here’s a look at caffeine and how you might use it as a fat burner.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in over 60 plants all over the globe, though its most common sources are coffee beans, cacao, kola nuts, and tea leaves. As a stimulant, caffeine makes you alert and prevents sleepiness and fatigue.
Even those who don’t drink coffee still manage to get their caffeine fix from tea, soda and energy drinks. According to a report from the Food and Drug Administration, the average person consumes about 300 milligrams of caffeine every day. Teens and young adults consume about 100 milligrams of caffeine per day.
How Caffeine Works on the Brain
Caffeine’s main effects happen in your central nervous system. It acts by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine, which is responsible for relaxing the brain and making you feel tired. Adenosine builds up throughout the day, eventually encouraging you to fall asleep at night.
Caffeine attaches to the receptor in your brain normally reserved for adenosine without actually activating those receptors. This effectively blocks adenosine, reducing any feelings of tiredness and keeping you awake in the process. Caffeine has also been shown to increase dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which are involved in regulating your mood.
How Caffeine Burns Fat
Caffeine can help you burn fat and shed pounds in two ways. First, caffeine can boost your metabolism. Taking caffeine in any form has been shown to boost the process of lipolysis, the process wherein your body breaks down fat stores, releasing fatty acids into your blood stream to generate energy. Studies also suggest that caffeine has a thermogenic effect. Thermogenic supplements are designed to increase your core temperature, boosting the amount of calories you burn.
Caffeine also gives you a characteristic burst of energy, allowing you to stay alert and perform tasks for longer. That applies to more than just mental tasks. Caffeine can give you an extra boost in your workout, whether you’re running laps or lifting weights. More energy means harder workouts for better physical results.
Caffeine has also been shown to boost mental focus and concentration. In the gym or on the court, that can keep your mind from wandering, allowing you to invest your full attention on lifting weights and getting in reps, which allows for more intense, more productive workouts.
How Much Caffeine Should You Take?
The answer to this obviously depends on the person. Some people are sensitive to small amounts of caffeine, while others need several cups of coffee just to feel even a slight effect.
If you don’t normally drink coffee or tea, you may want to start small with about 100 milligrams of caffeine. For comparison, an 8-ounce cup of coffee has anywhere from 80 to 125 milligrams of caffeine depending on the brand and roasting. From there, you can increase your caffeine intake to about 200 milligrams. If you’re still not feeling any effects, increase the dose by about 50 milligrams. If you reach a point where high doses of caffeine, such as 300mg+ are not providing an effect, we recommend discontinuing the use of stimulants for a 1-2 week break to allow your adrenals to get an adequate rest.
The Drawbacks of Caffeine
As effective as caffeine can be for increasing your natural metabolic rate, boosting your energy, and allowing for greater focus, it comes with some drawbacks that could potentially cause problems, if abused, much like any other supplement. One of the main problems is caffeine tolerance. Eventually, if you take caffeine regularly, your body will grow tolerant to it, to the point where it won’t have an effect on you. This may force you to take more caffeine to compensate.
More certainly is not better, especially when it comes to caffeine. Too much caffeine can cause jitters, heart palpitations, restlessness, and increased blood pressure. Caffeine can also cause digestive issues, including nausea, heartburn, and other gastrointestinal troubles. Excess caffeine can also interrupt your natural sleep cycle, keeping you from sleeping properly at night, which invariably keeps you and your muscles from recovering after workouts.
As the caffeine leaves your system, it may also cause a characteristic crash, comprising a sudden drop in energy and mood. You may find yourself more irritable and experience headaches.
Extended caffeine use can also lead to withdrawals. When you miss your normally scheduled dose of caffeine, you may find yourself more lethargic, depressed, and unfocused. For some people, caffeine withdrawals manifest as muscle aches, stiffness, and cramping.
Managing Your Caffeine for Fat Burning
Caffeine is not for everyone, and you can still lose weight without it. However, if you would like to add it to your diet to potentially lose weight, try to start small. Generally, 100 milligrams should be enough to give you the fat burning results you need. If you are already a coffee drinker, you should consider weaning yourself off of caffeine before you start back up to eliminate your existing tolerance to it.
Above all, if you do decide to use a stimulant fat burner, be careful about drinking coffee with it. Many athletes and weightlifters will take caffeinated fat burners and drink coffee regularly with the assumption that combining the two means faster results. In reality, you may end up burning out sooner and have a harder time recovering from workouts, leading to worse results.
You may also consider using Pyroxamine™, a high-performance thermogenic agent from MYOKEM™. Pyroxamine™ contains just 100mg of caffeine per capsule, allowing you to get the benefits without the drawbacks. Where Pyroxamine really stands out is its entire cognitive enhancing blend. Combined with a variety of other ingredients designed to help you lose weight while suppressing your appetite, improving your focus, and giving you a clean, smooth flow of energy. The formula includes TeaCrine™, a compound similar to caffeine that can help to balance out some of its negative effects while bringing out its benefits.