Does caffeine increase weight loss?
Nu-Train comments: The findings regarding caffeine and weight loss seem to change daily. While nothing is conclusive, a recent study shed some light on caffeine intake and long term weight change in both men and women.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, followed 18,416 men and 39,740 women from 1986 to 1998. Caffeine intake was initially assessed in 1986 and then reassessed every two to four years. Weight for each participant was recorded at baseline and then again in 1998.
The study did find a lower mean weight gain in
participants who increased, rather than decreased, their caffeine
consumption. However, due to the nature of the study, it is impossible
to assume that higher caffeine consumption actually causes weight loss
as many other factors may have been involved; rather caffeine is simply
associated with weight loss. Moreover, in men, the association between
caffeine intake and weight was mostly present in younger participants.
In women, the association was stronger in those who had a higher body
mass index (>=25), who were less physically active, or who were
current smokers. In sum, this study does lay the groundwork for future
research, but for now there is no reason to run out and load up on
In addition to this study, past studies have led researchers to the following conclusions:
* Caffeine may act as an appetite suppressant. However, while studies have shown that some people eat less after consuming caffeine, this effect is brief — not long enough to lead to significant weight loss.
* Caffeine may increase your body's ability to burn calories. Caffeine is thought to stimulate thermogenesis — one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food. However, caffeine's role in thermogenesis probably isn't enough to result in significant weight loss.
* Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which means it causes an increase in the amount of urine you excrete. This water loss may temporarily decrease your body weight.
In conclusion, it's important to keep in mind that caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep, and cause nervousness and irritability. Also, many caffeinated beverages are high in calories, which can contribute to unwanted weight gain. The best advice, as always, is to stay active and eat a balanced diet.