Does Caffeine Burn Fat?
Does caffeine help you lose weight and burn fat?
Caffeine, it seems to be in everything these days. What does it actually do, and can it help not only have energy but also to lose weight?
It stimulates the nervous system and has been shown to modestly increase daily energy expenditure, decrease energy intake, reduce perceived-effort-level of exercise, and improve feelings of energy and alertness (Acheson et al., 2004; Harpaz, Tamir, Weinstein, & Weinstein, 2017). Losing fat is a constant battle between energy in (calories consumed) vs energy out (calories burned). A single 100-milligram dose of caffeine increased resting metabolism by 3 to 4% for 2.5 hours in lean and formerly obese participants (Dulloo et al., 1989).
Caffeine appears to work synergistically with exercise to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation and potentially decrease acute energy intake. Active healthy adults consumed a moderate dose of caffeine (3 milligrams/kilograms) 90 minutes before an hour of moderate-intensity exercise and 30 minutes post-exercise, which resulted in significantly higher energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Fewer calories were consumed 2 hours later compared to a meal consumed after an exercise bout without caffeine ingestion (Schubert et al., 2014).
Caffeine appears to be a viable weight-loss tool, especially when paired with other natural occurring supplements. Fat-burner supplements often include other ingredients, including green tea, capsaicin, bitter orange, and raspberry ketones. Green tea extracts, primarily EGCG, in combination with caffeine have been shown to increase metabolism and fat oxidation and to modestly boost weight loss and reduce waist circumference (Bérubé-Parent, Pelletier, Doré, & Tremblay, 2005; Dulloo et al., 2011; Hursel et al., 2011; Phung et al., 2010). Caffeine consumed from coffee and other drinks have shown adverse effects on people losing fat. This can be contributed to the sugars and the other calories that are being consumed along with the caffeine.
A systematic review of 13 randomized, controlled trials analyzing the effect of caffeine on weight loss determined a dose-response of caffeine on reductions in fat mass, weight, and body-mass index, suggesting caffeine’s viability to aid in promoting weight and fat loss (Tabrizi et al., 2018). Overall, the research shows that caffeine in moderate doses increases energy expenditure at rest and exercise and may decrease energy intake and, therefore, appears to serve as a safe thermogenic weight-control aid among healthy adults.
In conclusion, yes caffeine can aid significantly in the fat loss battle, especially when paired with other nutrients. However, nothing will magically help you lose fat unless you are controlling what is going into your body. No supplement will work unless you do!