For many, coffee is a regular part of the morning routine. But caffeine has evolved from simple cup of coffee or tea into the world of supplements, powders and energy drinks. What exactly does caffeine do? Well, caffeine is a stimulant that affects our central nervous system (and our brain). When consumed as a beverage, it is typically absorbed quickly, especially on an empty stomach, and increases alertness, usually within 15 minutes or so and can last anywhere from an hour and a half to 9 hours. For most individuals, a modest amount of caffeine (400 mg or less) isn’t bad for you. An 8oz cup of brewed coffee contains about 95mg, but some energy drinks or shots may contain 200-300mg of caffeine or more. Some individuals are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine and even small amounts can have significant effects on their central nervous system and may increase heart rate and stomach acid production causing problems.
What most people want to know is will that added caffeine help me burn more calories in or outside the gym? While caffeine does have a stimulant effect and increases alertness and energy levels, it has not been shown to have a significant effect on fat burning or increasing metabolism. However, caffeine does have an appetite suppressant effect, so it may reduce appetite and increase energy levels when calories are restricted and aid in the weight loss process. Since caffeine can increase heart rate, it can also increase feelings of jitteriness or anxiety, especially in those who are sensitive to caffeine. Additionally it is important to be aware that it is possible to build a tolerance to caffeine over time, especially if caffeine is consumed regularly. For more information on caffeine, and its effects on the body visit:
For more information on health and nutrition, contact your Beacon Health & Fitness Registered Dietitian:
Elkhart: Kate Glick, RD firstname.lastname@example.org
Granger / South Bend: Erica Weinandy, RD email@example.com