If you are looking for a quick diet aide to help you lose a few pounds to fit into that special dress next weekend, then drinking coffee can actually help. Although highly increased levels of caffeine are not recommended for long periods of time, using it as a diet aid can help you shed excess water weight and add a significant boost to your metabolism. Caffeine is already a common ingredient in most diet pills and energy drinks but taking it in its natural sources such as coffee and tea can also add antioxidant benefits.
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine is a stimulant to the nervous system and can cause a thermogenic response. It causes an increase in metabolism and increases your heart rate which allows you to burn calories faster regardless of what you are doing. Meaning, whether you are working out or sitting down, you will burn more calories than if you were working out or sitting down without caffeine. It is also a natural diuretic which helps removes fluid from your body. This is why coffee drinkers make frequent trips to the restroom. It is quickly absorbed by your body and can last for about 6 hours on average.
If you’ve ever spoken with a coffee drinker both before and after their morning cup of coffee, you would see that caffeine also improves:
- Energy levels
- Sociability levels
Is This Ingredient Appropriate for All Weight Loss Diets?
If you are on an extremely low-carb diet – not a typical low-carb diet, but one that involves extreme low carbohydrate intake, typically considered to be either a keto diet or a fad diet – taking in caffeine is discouraged as it does contain some carbohydrates and affects your blood sugar. On packages it appears that coffee is carb-free, but it does in fact contain carbohydrates.
When the FDA evaluates food labels ingredients and nutrients are often rounded down. So, a 6 oz. cup of coffee that has .8 carbs would appear on the nutrition label as having 0 carbs because the numbers are rounded. Thus, each 12 oz. cup of coffee actually contains over 1.5 carbs. Caffeine intake can also affect your blood sugar levels. It can slow insulin secretion which in turn can raise blood sugar levels and cause sugar cravings. These sugar cravings can obviously inhibit weight gain when acted upon.
That said, if you are already taking in a certain amount of carbs, you may be fine, but extremely low levels, such as to achieve ketosis, could mean that caffeine may not be your best option.
Benefits of Caffeine Before Exercise
Consuming caffeine before exercise can help you burn more calories faster by increasing levels of serotonin and boosting your metabolism. An increase in serotonin can help motivate you mentally by putting you in a good mood. It can also help you sustain longer workout sessions. Caffeine will also assist you physically, by taking in caffeine about 30 minutes before you work out it can help your muscles last longer and provide you with increased energy. This is why it is commonly found in a number of weight loss pills including, FENFAST 375, Dexatrim Max (50mg), Hydroxycut (250 mg), Xenadrine (200mg), Stacker 2 (200mg) and others!