The exact nature of the relationship between weight loss and your morning coffee is an ongoing topic of debate. One thing we do know is that caffeine is a natural stimulant thought to be a metabolism-booster and appetite-suppressant. While there isn’t enough evidence to determine whether caffeine supports long term weight loss, here are three other facts to consider as you decide how, or whether, to integrate caffeine into your healthy weight management program:
CAFFEINE HAS THERMOGENIC PROPERTIES
In other words, it produces heat to generate energy, which means it can prompt your body to dial up its internal thermostat and burn more calories. Thermogenic supplements operate by this same logic—kicking up the heat to boost your metabolism. Some studies have shown that even just one to two cups of caffeinated coffee per day can help you burn extra calories and support overall healthy weight management. If you’re not a fan of coffee, you can also find caffeine in certain dietary supplements and weight management shakes.
CAFFEINE CAN GIVE YOUR WORKOUT A BOOST
Caffeine is a stimulant, and intake has been shown to increase energy expenditure and support a healthy metabolism. In addition, some research suggests that ingesting caffeine before exercising improves endurance, making it easier for you to work out harder and for longer. If you use pre-workout supplements, products that contain caffeine may provide a little lift that could potentially help you go that extra mile on the treadmill.
CAFFEINE SENSITIVITY VARIES
While the FDA cites 400 mg daily—the equivalent of about four to five cups of coffee—as a safe and normal amount of caffeine, your own response to it depends on your unique genetic makeup and metabolism. That means factors like age, physical activity, body mass and general health are all important considerations. For some, a cup of coffee provides energy and acts as an appetite-suppressant. For others, that same cup might make them dehydrated and anxious, and may even trigger cravings for unhealthy foods. The trick is to figure out how your body responds to caffeine and consume accordingly. When using caffeine-containing diet supplements, take note of the caffeine content on product labels and how your body reacts so you can figure out what dose (if any) works best for you.
If you have any health conditions, consult your doctor before incorporating caffeine into your weight management program. Like anything, too much isn’t good for you, and increasing your intake alone won’t magically drop pounds. Think of moderate doses as just one part of your healthy weight management plan.