What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a type of natural stimulant which occurs naturally in many different common plants.  Among those plants are several that have made their way into our regular everyday lives, such as those used to make coffee, tea and chocolate.  That said, this ingredient is also commonplace in many sodas – such as soda – and the guarana used in energy drinks and energy shots.

How Is Caffeine Used For Weight Loss?

That said, caffeine is also an ingredient in several types of dietary supplement.  There are many reasons for a manufacturer to want to add caffeine to their formulas.  This ingredient often finds its way into supplements designed for mental alertness, headache prevention, physical athletic performance support and weight loss promotion.  That last type of supplement typically includes it as it is believed that the substance can boost alertness and energy levels, but that it may also increase the metabolic rate and will even suppress the appetite in many users.

Some of the effects of caffeine are so powerful that it has become one of the most popular athletic stimulant ingredients in over the counter supplements.  Still, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does permit quite a large amount of consumption of this ingredient, to the point that exceeding the allowable amount would require a striking level of intake.  It would take approximately 8 cups of coffee’s worth of this stimulant to go beyond the NCAA’s limits.

The effects of this stimulant function by having an effect on the central nervous system, which is made up of both the brain and the nerves throughout the body.  This results in the stimulation of the heart, muscles, and the parts of the body that lead to controlling blood pressure.

Many people think of this ingredient and while it can produce this effect in some people, most people can’t count on this response if they were looking for a water pill.  The reason is that if it is used by people who already consume it on a regular basis – such as regular coffee or tea drinkers – their bodies will typically have already build up a tolerance to that effect.  Moreover, even for people who don’t usually consume it, the effect is temporary when they start to use it, as their bodies will build up a tolerance to it sooner or later.  That said, this is beneficial because it means that people who are using it to lose weight or to help with athletics or bodybuilding won’t risk dehydration during a

Caffeine Research and Studies

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Food Science determined that this ingredient can be safely used every day and that it can contribute to the results achieved from healthy eating and exercising.  That study also determined that this ingredient can be used for metabolic syndrome risk reduction.

A 1994 clinical study published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity showed that the right amount of daily caffeine helped obesity patients to decrease their body fat with greater efficiency than the study’s placebo group. The researchers credited the results to an increased metabolic rate linked with the use of caffeine.

*  Heckman MA, Weil J, Gonzalez de Mejia E. Journal of Food Science.  “Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) in foods: a comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters”.  2010 Apr;75(3):R77-87.

**  Yoshida T, Sakane N, Umekawa T, Kondo M. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. “Relationship between basal metabolic rate, thermogenic response to caffeine, and body weight loss following combined low calorie and exercise treatment in obese women”. [1994, 18(5):345-350];jsessionid=sW4cu3KeAHFe2vCui3nt.4

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