Caffeine Could Reduce Body Fat and Cut Diabetes Risk Scientists Say.A new study has found that a high blood caffeine level could reduce body fat and cut diabetes risk. However, it’s not a cure and more clinical trials are needed to prove whether calorie-free caffeinated drinks can prevent these conditions, researchers write in the BMJ Medicine journal.
Caffeine, which is a chemical called methylxanthine, can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy supplements. It increases your alertness, improves memory and helps you feel less tired.
Boosts fat burning
Caffeine boosts fat burning by boosting adrenaline levels in the body. This increases fat oxidation and also increases the availability of free fatty acids for fuel in the blood, which can improve exercise performance.
It also suppresses the appetite by decreasing ghrelin levels and increasing leptin levels in the brain. This helps make people feel fuller for longer, and can help them stick to a calorie-controlled diet.
However, the effect of caffeine on fat oxidation tends to fade with daily use. This means that you can only maximize the benefits if you moderate your intake and don’t drink it all day.
Taking caffeine before exercise increases the rate of fat-burning if you work out on an empty stomach, researchers found in a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. This effect is stronger in the afternoon than in the morning.
While caffeine has been touted as a fat burner, researchers are also exploring the potential it has to suppress appetite. It has been found to raise the body’s metabolism, which makes people feel less hungry for a short time.
However, it’s not a magical weight loss cure. A large number of factors affect our appetites, including hormones and nutrient levels in the foods we eat.
Another key factor in satiety is the amount of physical activity we do. If we’re not physically active enough, our hunger and desire to snack will increase.
To find out whether coffee is an effective appetite suppressant, researchers at Griffith University in Australia asked volunteers to drink a standard breakfast and 200 ml of juice with one of three different amounts of caffeine: 3 mg/kg, 6 mg/kg or no added caffeine. They compared the participants’ energy intake and appetite after each trial.
Lowers risk of diabetes
Scientists have found that caffeine may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The condition is an umbrella term for diseases in which your body cannot properly use the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
Insulin works to prevent blood glucose from rising too high after meals and helps your body convert carbs into energy. When you drink coffee, caffeine lowers your insulin sensitivity, which means that your cells don’t absorb as much glucose from the bloodstream.
This can cause your blood glucose to rise higher than normal after meals, which could lead to too-high levels over time and diabetes complications like heart disease.
One 2004 study showed that people who drank at least 1 liter of coffee a day for four weeks had higher fasting insulin levels than those who abstained from caffeine. But this “tolerance” effect takes a long time to develop.
It’s not a miracle pill
Caffeine could reduce body fat and cut diabetes risk scientists say, but it should not be used as a miracle pill. It’s better to rely on diet and exercise to lose weight and then include caffeine in your program as an add-on after you’ve achieved your goal.
It’s also not a good idea to drink too much coffee, because it can exacerbate diabetes symptoms such as frequent urination and fatigue. And it can also increase your blood sugar levels, which can interfere with medications that are prescribed to control your diabetes.
There’s also a lot of conflicting information about how caffeine affects your metabolism. Some studies show that caffeine increases insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, while others suggest it can raise blood sugar levels and lead to type 2 diabetes.