Oh sure, caffeine wakes you up in the morning and gives you a reason to leave your cubicle for seven minutes periodically throughout the day, but did you know that it is used for weight loss and muscle gain too?
Fat burners often list caffeine as a key ingredient. Why? Caffeine is a stimulant, which increases the amount of calories burned each day by increasing your metabolic rate. It also helps keep your hunger in check (an obvious plus if you’re dieting.) Another benefit of caffeine for weight loss purposes is that it is a mild diuretic, which means you will lose a little bit of water weight. (We’ll discuss the downside in a minute.)
Caffeine is also becoming popular as part of a muscle mass stack. Why? Because caffeine helps push calcium ions into the muscle cells, allowing them to contract harder and faster. That’s why if you go shopping you will see protein shakes and powders with coffee and espresso. (I just thought people liked coffee flavor – who knew?)
The downside really depends upon the dosage and the timing of ingestion. Something like a teaspoon of chocolate syrup (cocoa has caffeine in it too) has about 4 mg. Anything with 200 mg or above can give you quite a kick. So I did my own refrigerator research. My husband’s favorite energy drink has 80 mg of caffeine. Now check out the fat burner I take during show prep:
456 mg! Holy caffeine, Batman, no wonder I’M AWAKE! I only take a fat burner during the final weeks of show prep. Can you imagine taking them constantly? Taken in excess you might become nervous, irritable and/or jittery. It takes about 6 hours to eliminate half of it out of your body, so if you take it too late in the afternoon you might be up longer than you wanted. Also, sometimes you feel that hard crash when the stimulant leaves your body.
So, like anything, enjoy your coffee (or caffeine enriched supplements) – just in moderation. (Unless you’re pregnant – then talk to your doctor.)
If you would like more information, check out these articles: Muscle & Fitness: Fat Burner Supplement Buyer’s Guide and Web MD Caffeine Myths & Facts.
Do you use any supplements with caffeine?
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