A Multipurpose Drink to Expedite Fat Oxidation You Already Have at Home
We bet 99% chance you’ve probably heard of and experienced caffeine before at some point in your life, this stimulant is found in your daily cups of tea or coffee. Caffeine is also in chocolate, soda, and energy drinks.
Caffeinated beverages are ubiquitous and popular because they are effective, the result is immediate, and so it remains one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The stimulant, or chemical, can also be found in various flavor additives such as guarana or nuts like the kola nuts. There are also a few weight loss supplements in the market with caffeine as the top ingredients, one of them was the craze about weight-loss teas a few years back. It is also one of the go-to sources and supplements for lots of ‘’gymers’’ and athletes due to its aid in energy, mental alertness, and muscle endurance. Caffeine also helps to temporarily reduce signs of fatigue and soreness.
Caffeine to speed up fat oxidation when consumed pre-exercise
If you’re a caffeine fanatic, you are in for quite a treat. What caffeine also does is that it can speed up the fat oxidation process aka fat burning during your workout. A meta-analysis of 19 studies, published in 2020 under the journal of Nutrients, came to a finding that consuming a source of caffeine before a workout may effectively increase fat utilization and oxidation during ‘’aerobic exercise of submaximal intensity performed after a fasting period’’. The recorded amount to be efficient is 3.0 mg/kg. Total participants were 199 individuals at all fitness levels; endurance athletes, recreational exercise practitioners, sedentary and untrained individuals. The average age was 24.9 years old. The meta-analysis found one interesting point, the authors also saw that the effect was much apparent in untrained or sedentary individuals as compared to those who are regularly active or athletes. It goes to show the effect of caffeine in fat burning varies in everyone, at all fitness levels, different choices of physical activities, also the tolerance of caffeine should also be taken into consideration because caffeine consumption might not be suitable for all.
Further, there was research studying the effects of another caffeine source; Matcha. This powerful green powder is made from grinding green tea leaves, it’s another alternative to coffee. Matcha contains flavonoid catechin and caffeine. Catechin includes catechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin epigallate, gallocatechin, and gallocatechin gallate. The one that stands out the most among the catechin crowd is EGCG, a compound known for its positive impact on physical and internal health, namely its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. EGCG also aids weight loss, skin improvement, and can help to prevent some chronic diseases. Similarly, this study found that Matcha is great at promoting fat oxidation. A total of 13 female participants, with an average age of 27.8 years consumed 3 × 1 g of premium grade Matcha powder with water at meal times one day before testing and 1g of that same Matcha 2 hours before arrival and arrived following an overnight fast. Participants then went on a brisk walk, with intensity between 3-6 METs. Rates of body fat and carbohydrates oxidation were calculated. Drinking 4 cups of Matcha in 24 hours did work to enhance fat oxidation. Authors observed significant oxidation of fat during the 30 minutes of said brisk walk.
Ample health benefits of caffeine
Besides being an excellent ‘’beverage’’ of fat utilization. Caffeine also carries with it many other scientifically-proven benefits. The nature of it being a stimulant to the central nervous system, caffeine can make users much more alert, awake, energetic, and focused. It can be considered to be quite an effective instant mood booster slash enhancer. In addition, drinking caffeine was linked to reducing the risks of depression. There are a few explanations for this, some of them are from its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.
Drinking coffee or tea has also been popular for its BMI, body-fat reduction, and weight managing halo. Though, just drinking it alone without any other efforts of exercising or adjusting diet won’t cut it. There was multiple research done to explore the relationship between caffeine consumption and an increased metabolic rate, the results were supportive of the hypothesis. Though, as with most research there are limitations so analysis is suggested. It’s also a great option for a low-cal drink. Caffeine supports brain health and surprisingly heart health as well, with lower risks of hypertension, dementia, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
A short guide on safe caffeine consumption:
- Up to 400mg of caffeine a day is a safe amount for most healthy adults. To put that into perspective, 400mg is equivalent to 4 cups of brewed coffee, 5 shots of espresso, 5 cans of energy drink, or 10 cans of cola.
- Combine coffee with milk or nut milk, without adding anything else to balance out the absorption and prevent a fast crash.
- The darker the roast, the lesser the caffeine and vice versa
- Decaf coffee doesn’t mean it is 100% caffeine-free
A final note to keep in mind is that the caffeine mentioned here aren’t the fancy dessert drinks that can be found at most cafes or restaurants. The type of caffeine mentioned here does not include added creamers, sugar, other sources of sweeteners, whipped cream, or any extra toppings. It’s best to stick with the recommended amount of caffeine to prevent deep addiction, overdose, or caffeine dependence. A few symptoms that show when you consume more than you can tolerate are jitters, an upset stomach. You have trouble sleeping, and you get anxious while your heart rate goes up fast.
Do not take caffeine overdose lightly as it can cause detrimental health effects if taken in excess.