How Much Caffeine Per Day For Weight Loss?
There’s a relevance factor associating caffeine to losing weight. Yes, caffeine helps you lose weight. Caffeine is one of the most commonly consumed psychoactive drugs in the world. Just like any other drug, there are risks and benefits. From a cup of coffee to a pot of green tea. Here, let’s try to delve how much caffeine per day for weight loss and what it does in your body, and why it works for weight loss?
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is stimulant used by millions of people worldwide on a daily basis to keep alert and improve concentration. It can alter mood and is a mild diuretic. In the US, more than 90% of adults consume caffeine regularly.
The low to moderate doses of caffeine are considered safe and provide a great number of health benefits, though excessive intake impose more risks. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined 400mg of caffeine which is about 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day as safe consumption level. Though safe enough but these safe levels can cause:
- Increased heart rates
What are the side effects of caffeine and weight gain?
Caffeine helps increase the release of acid in your stomach that sometimes cause heartburn or an upset stomach. If you want to lose weight, excess acidity should be avoided as it preceded cortisol release, the hormone that increases insulin release, impairs fat loss and even weight gains.
As mentioned, caffeine is diuretic, meaning it causes your body to purge water thereby losing electrolytes like potassium and sodium. But caffeinated drinks do not cause dehydration but caffeine pills can and incur vitamin deficiencies when not consumed with enough water.
Too much caffeine consumption should be minimized. More than 500-600mg a day can result to negative side effects like:
Caffeine also temporarily blocks adenosine, a natural brain sedative. That’s why you feel more awake for longer. Yes, caffeine affects your sleep too. It is largely determine by genetics with those who fall between extreme sensitivity and near-total tolerance.
If you are a healthy adult, you need around 8 undisturbed hours of sleep a night. But if you consume caffeine, it interferes with both your sleep and wake cycles. Through lost sleep, heavy caffeine consumption leads to weight gain and fat retention increasing cortisol in the system resulting in sleep deprivation. Due to sleeplessness, there’s a decrease in impulse control like dietary discretion. So, you have to consume it with caution.
How much caffeine per day for weight loss and fat loss?
Technically, caffeine is absorbed into your blood and body tissues, reaching peak level of concentration between 15-120 minutes after consumption. Once it stimulates your nervous system, it also triggers the release of hormone epinephrine, which ignites the release of adrenaline. After making way into your body, there’s an increased demand to break down your fats cells for use as energy.
Because it disturbs your system in a controlled way, you can observed increased fat loss. To make use of this stimulated nervous system is for exercise. It has shown that caffeine increases overall athletic performance by 11-12% for the average user.
What about your metabolism?
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories you burn while not doing anything or just resting. If you have a higher RMR it means you are less inclined to gain and keep weight. Studies found that caffeine increases the metabolic rate between 3-11%, with larger doses having a more obvious effect. This is due to the fact that caffeine increases your body temperature via thermogenesis and boosts your system for a short time. And the increase in metabolism were shown to signal an increase the burning of fat.
Though caffeine won’t affect everyone’s metabolism the same. A study found the increase in fat-burning rise as high as 29% but only in lean people. Obese participants had an increase effect of 10%. Caffeine users develop a tolerance and this reduces effects upon burning fat and increasing metabolism. But if you want to resist the buildup of tolerance, cycling caffeine intake in bi-weekly intervals may seem effective. You just have to take two weeks on and two weeks off for habitual users.
It was also seen that the cruel effect of caffeine has upon appetite may reduce the desire to eat. Though this claim is unsupported but the fact remains that tolerance will refute any actions within your body.
On the other hand, green tea is also a source of caffeine. It is the ideal way to consume caffeine because it brings additional health benefits.
In a dietary perspective, green tea has a variety of antioxidant polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins. These chemicals help reduce the formation of degrading free radicals, while protecting your cells from damage. Free radicals are known for reducing the appearance of aging and blocking a host of viruses and other inflammatory diseases.
A cup of green tea contains around 40mg of caffeine. Green teas contains the amino acid L-theanine, which increases the GABA neurotransmitter activity, reducing anxiety while increasing dopamine production and soothing alpha waves in the brain. Studies confirm a synergistic effect between caffeine and L-theanine that both work to combine brain function.
It has been observed that 4-5 cups of coffee a day has been correlated with a longer lifespan. People who stays constantly alert all day notice a 12-16% variable increase in lifespan from coffee consumption. In addition, coffee is full of antioxidants like green tea.
If you are looking for something to boost weight loss efforts, there are many healthy resources of caffeine that could give better results. A caffeine dependence will diminish the metabolic and fat loss potential for caffeine.
How much caffeine per day for weight loss?
Be sure to keep total consumption below 500mg per day and apart from bedtime. Sleep loss will cause weight gain, insomnia and restlessness. Choose your natural sources of caffeine like green tea and coffee which will provide additional benefits aside from those contained by the caffeine.
How much is too much?
Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks. Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content in beverages varies widely, especially among energy drinks.
Caffeine in powder or liquid form can provide toxic levels of caffeine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cautioned. Just one teaspoon of powdered caffeine is equivalent to about 28 cups of coffee. Such high levels of caffeine can cause serious health problems and possibly death.
Although caffeine use may be safe for adults, it’s not a good idea for children. Adolescents and young adults need to be cautioned about excessive caffeine intake and mixing caffeine with alcohol and other drugs.
Women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant and those who are breast-feeding should talk with their doctors about limiting caffeine use to less than 200 mg daily.
Even among adults, heavy caffeine use can cause unpleasant side effects. And caffeine may not be a good choice for people who are highly sensitive to its effects or who take certain medications.
Read on to see if you may need to curb your caffeine routine.
You drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day
You may want to cut back if you’re drinking more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (or the equivalent) and you have side effects such as:
- Frequent urination or inability to control urination
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
Even a little makes you jittery
Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than are others. If you’re susceptible to the effects of caffeine, even small amounts may prompt unwanted effects, such as restlessness and sleep problems.
How you react to caffeine may be determined in part by how much caffeine you’re used to drinking. People who don’t regularly drink caffeine tend to be more sensitive to its effects.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Caffeine, even in the afternoon, can interfere with your sleep. Even small amounts of sleep loss can add up and disturb your daytime alertness and performance.
Using caffeine to mask sleep deprivation can create an unwelcome cycle. For example, you may drink caffeinated beverages because you have trouble staying awake during the day. But the caffeine keeps you from falling asleep at night, shortening the length of time you sleep.
You’re taking medications or supplements
Some medications and herbal supplements may interact with caffeine. Examples include:
- Ephedrine. Mixing caffeine with this medication — which is used in decongestants — might increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or seizure.
- Theophylline. This medication, used to open up bronchial airways, tends to have some caffeine-like effects. So taking it with caffeine might increase the adverse effects of caffeine, such as nausea and heart palpitations.
- Echinacea. This herbal supplement, which is sometimes used to prevent colds or other infections, may increase the concentration of caffeine in your blood and may increase caffeine’s unpleasant effects.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether caffeine might affect your medications.
Curbing your caffeine habit
Whether it’s for one of the reasons above or because you want to trim your spending on coffee drinks, cutting back on caffeine can be challenging. An abrupt decrease in caffeine may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty focusing on tasks. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually mild and get better after a few days.
To change your caffeine habit, try these tips:
- Keep tabs. Start paying attention to how much caffeine you’re getting from foods and beverages, including energy drinks. Read the labels carefully. But remember that your estimate may be a little low because some foods or drinks that contain caffeine don’t list it.
- Cut back gradually. For example, drink one fewer can of soda or drink a smaller cup of coffee each day. Or avoid drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day. This will help your body get used to the lower levels of caffeine and lessen potential withdrawal effects.
- Go decaf. Most decaffeinated beverages look and taste much the same as their caffeinated counterparts.
- Shorten the brew time or go herbal. When making tea, brew it for less time. This cuts down on its caffeine content. Or choose herbal teas that don’t have caffeine.
- Check the bottle. Some over-the-counter pain relievers contain caffeine. Look for caffeine-free pain relievers instead.