Ohhhh … caffeine the more desired elixir of my mornings! Caffeine is one of the most studied substances on the planet. There are thousands of scientific studies about the benefits of coffee, tea, chocolate, and supplements, yet it seems there’s still no consensus on the health benefits of caffeine. The research about the connection between caffeine and weight loss isn’t definitive. However, caffeine is still commonly used in medications and dietary supplements to help people lose weight. While caffeine may slightly boost weight loss or prevent weight gain, there just isn’t significant evidence that caffeine alone results in any permanent or substantial results.
What Are the Theories About Caffeine and Weight Loss?
If there’s no definitive evidence on the effects of caffeine on weight loss, what are the ways that scientists and nutritionists think the chemical affects body weight?
- Appetite Suppression– When you drink or consume caffeine, it temporarily reduces feelings of hunger and your craving for food.
- Caloric Burn- Even if you’re not actively exercising, caffeine uses energy. It stimulates a process called thermogenesis, which your body uses to generate heat and energy when it digests.
Many of the issues with the studies trying to show a correlation between caffeine and weight loss were related to small sample size or lack of human clinical research. Some studies use coffee as the testing agent, and even decaffeinated coffee has a modest effect on weight loss.
Long-Term Tolerance to Caffeine
Even in studies that show that caffeine provides a boost to metabolic rate and increases fat burning potential, people become tolerant over time. Just as you need more coffee to feel awake in the morning over time, your body gets used to caffeine, and it no longer helps reduce your appetite. While some studies do show that caffeine can boost your metabolism, its long-term effects are a wash because of tolerance. If you normally drink coffee, tea, or energy drinks, caffeine may have little to no effect on your weight loss efforts.