IN THIS BLOG POST …
- Caffeine consumption has been found to help people reduce fat primarily through the energy boost and jumpstarting the process of lipolysis.
- But gender differences may impact outcomes.
- We provide a potential explanation.
Men looking to lose fat may want to consider consuming caffeine. Women who drink caffeine should keep a closer eye on their nutrition to avoide becoming deficient in essential nutrients.
There have been many studies conducted on caffeine, and many of those studies have found that caffeine consumption aids weight loss, which may help to explain why caffeine is often a staple ingredient used in many diet pills and homemade fat-burning stacks.
How does caffeine help us lose weight?
Based on our current level of knowledge, consuming caffeine helps jumpstart the process of lipolysis. Lipolysis is when your body releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream and occurs when your body is breaking down your fat stores to convert into energy. This process is believed to boost your metabolic rate and help you burn more fat. One study reported fat burning increased as much as 29% in lean people and 10% in obese people. And other studies have found a 3-11% increase in the metabolic rate of the test subjects, with the larger doses of caffeine having greater metabolic effect.
Caffeine can also provide an energy boost to help you burn more calories. Many pre-workout stacks contain caffeine primarily for this reason. A couple of studies showed caffeine consumption improved exercise performance on average by 11-12%.
Caffeine may also help blunt you’re appetite which in turn helps you eat less. One study found that caffeine had an appetite reducing effect in men but not in women. Another study, however, found no impact on men.
Caffeine also contains chlorogenic acid which a study found may help slow the absorption of carbohydrates.
Are there any gender differences?
In a previous blog post we acknowledge the impact gender can play on outcomes. Unfortunately the majority of the research has been conducted on men, or has failed to control for gender. However when we look across the small number of studies that control for gender, a different picture begins to emerge…
One study that controlled for gender found caffeine improved exercise performance in men but had no impact on women. Another study found caffeine helped men lose more fat but it had no impact on women. The authors did not provide an explanation for their findings and acknowledged that more studies need to investigate gender differences.
Why might caffeine aid fat loss in men but not in women?
We believe that the answer may (at least in part) have to do with women requiring more nutrients per unit of calories. And caffeine has been found to deplete essential nutrients, such as B-Vitamins, iron and magnesium, which are important to convert food products into energy and provide energy to perform tasks. One study that looked at the long term effects of caffeine on weight, which adjusted for potential confounders and baseline and change in total energy intake and other nutrients and food, found that the impact diminished slightly for women than men. This study further found that the association was greater in women who had a BMI >25, who were less physically active, or who were current smokers.
As a result, caffeine may help men expend more calories and manage weight better than it does for women.
health iQ tip(s): Men looking to lose fat may want to consider consuming caffeine. Women who drink caffeine should keep a closer on their nutrition to avoid becoming deficient in essential nutrients.
Sources for this blog post include: