Any coffee drinker anywhere around the world would tell you that coffee is a natural stimulant. It wakes you up in the morning and gives you that burst of energy that is needed to take on the rest of the day. Not to mention, it has a great aroma and taste. The reason behind the stimulating quality of coffee is the fact that it contains caffeine, and caffeine just happens to be the most common psychoactive substance in consumption in the world today. Caffeine is also a substance that is commonly found in commercially sold supplements for burning fat.
Over time, coffee has been regarded as a fat burner and a metabolic enhancer by many fitness gurus and diet specialists around the world. With further investigation, there could actually be a correlation between the natural supply of caffeine in coffee and weight loss. We already know that coffee can increase one's level of energy output and even improve one's performance in sports. Caffeine also happens to be one of the very few substances that can cause the mobilization of fat from fat tissues and also cause a boost in metabolism. The main question here is if coffee can really lead to weight loss. This is the avenue that we are here to explore.
The Stimulating Effect of Coffee
Coffee beans contain certain naturally occurring stimulants, and these stimulants end up in the brew. The main stimulant substances contained in coffee that can have an effect on the metabolism are:
Caffeine: This is very obvious as it is the primary stimulating substance found in coffee. Studies have shown that the consumption of caffeine causes it to bind to adenosine receptors leading to an increase in activities involving the locomotion. This basically means that it causes brain neurons to be more active.
Theobromine and Theophylline: These 2 substances are stimulants that are popularly found in cocoa but do exist in lesser quantities in coffee, and they both fall into the same category as caffeine. When ingested, Theophylline is metabolized into Theobromine, and this Theobromine has been known to help with the improved sensitivity of insulin.
Chlorogenic Acid (CGA): This is a biologically active compound that is found in coffee. This compound has been found to help to reduce the absorption of carbs in the body. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that this substance helps to delay the process of sugar absorption in the intestine.
After looking at all of these substances and the basic things that they do in the body, we would focus more on caffeine, and it is higher in content, and its effects have been more thoroughly studied.
We already know the effect that caffeine has on adenosine, causing neurons to fire, and releasing the feel-good neurotransmitters. This reaction is what is responsible for the wake-up and energized feeling that coffee gives. Basically, coffee goes against the natural tired sense of the body leading to a burst of energy.
Mobilization of Fat from the Fat Tissues
Caffeine has been known to have an increasing effect on the blood levels of the epinephrine hormone or, as it is popularly known, adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that signals the breakdown and release of fat from the fat tissues in the body. Basically, caffeine sends stimulating signals to the nervous system causing the release of adrenaline and in turn, signaling the breakdown of fat into the bloodstream.
This release of fat into the bloodstream alone cannot make you lose weight the fat in the blood has to be burned, and this can be done by either consuming less food and allowing the body synthesize the already broken down fat into energy, or by simply exercising more to burn off the already broken down fat.
Increasing the Rate of Metabolism
The rate of metabolism is simply the rate at which the body burns calories while it is at rest. The higher your rate of metabolism, the more calories you burn, and the easier you lose weight while the lower your rate of metabolism, the fewer calories you burn, and the harder you lose weight. Studies have shown that caffeine can increase the rate of metabolism by a range of 3 – 11% depending on the amount of consumption. This increase in the rate of metabolism is known to be caused by the increase in the burning of fat in the body.
With all of these effects that caffeine is known to have on the body, it does make a compelling case as a great supplement for weight loss. The caveat, however, is that the effects of fat mobilization and the increase in the rate of metabolism that is has been shown, unfortunately, do not work on people who are obese. Rather, they work on those who are slimmer. For this reason, it is not advised that coffee be used as a stimulant to start the weight loss process but rather as a supplement during the weight loss process.
Another caveat happens to be the long term effects of using coffee as a weight loss supplement. When used in the short term, coffee triggers all of the effects shown above, and this helps in weight loss; however, it has been noticed that when used in the long term, many people tend to develop a certain level of tolerance and immunity to the effects of coffee of the body and in essence, it stops working in this way. Basically, the prolonged use of coffee for weight loss would result in a level of body tolerance to coffee, which would stop the coffee from stimulating the burning of more calories in the body.
This is not a total loss as studies have also shown that in the long run, even if the prolonged use of coffee would lead to tolerance of coffee in the body, it would also still help the body to curb its appetite, which would lead to less consumption of food. This means that even though the body no longer burns excess calories as a result of coffee consumption, it can still be used to curb excess eating, which would also aid in weight loss.
Coffee is an excellent energizing stimulant, and as we can see from the above statements, also a supplement to weight loss. This can be inspiring news for coffee drinkers; however, certain things need to be checked. For starters, these studies are based on a more than average dose of daily coffee consumption; it does not apply for those who simply consume one cup of coffee a day. Another thing is, to try to stall the weakening effect of prolonged use of coffee, it may be advisable to create a cycle of use. You could consider taking it for a couple of weeks and then staying off it for another couple of weeks. This is in a bid to make sure that the body does not develop a tolerance to the effects of coffee.
While coffee is not a super fat blasting miracle weight loss therapy drug, it is beneficial as a supplement to aid weight loss. Plus, coffee has several other health benefits asides weight loss that can be enjoyed.