Saturday, February 21, 2009

Will Caffeine Help Me Lose Fat? New Research

Here is a great review about an age old question.

Does caffeine help you burn more fat?

The use of burning more fat for fuel is referred to as the "Randle effect" The more technical definition is the inhibition of the oxidation of glucose by an excess of fatty acids.


The theory goes that caffeine should increase the LIBERATION of fat (e.g pulling those pesky fats out of their comfy home in the fat cell). In order to BURN fat, you first most get it into the blood stream.

However, I am not convinced that liberation of fat is the limiting step, I think BURNING fat is more limiting.

How does this help me loose my muffin top?
In short, I am not convinced that caffeine by itself is all that helpful to deflate your spare tire and shrink your muffin top. My recommendation is find a local fitness professuional (hey, I know a good one in White Bear Lake MN, shameless I know) to get you on the right track. Some Precision Nutrition, Z Health and Kettlebells make a killer combination!

If you are serious, drop me a line!
Mike T Nelson

Does caffeine alter muscle carbohydrate and fat metabolism during exercise?

Graham TE, Battram DS, Dela F, El-Sohemy A, Thong FS. Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G2W1, Canada.

Caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist, has been studied for decades as a putative ergogenic aid. In the past 2 decades, the information has overwhelmingly demonstrated that it indeed is a powerful ergogenic aid, and frequently theories have been proposed that this is due to alterations in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. While caffeine certainly mobilizes fatty acids from adipose tissue, rarely have measures of the respiratory exchange ratio indicated an increase in fat oxidation. However, this is a difficult measure to perform accurately during exercise, and small changes could be physiologically important.

The few studies examining human muscle metabolism directly have also supported the fact that there is no change in fat or carbohydrate metabolism, but these usually have had a small sample size. We combined the data from muscle biopsy analyses of several similar studies to generate a sample size of 16-44, depending on the measure.

We examined muscle glycogen, citrate, acetyl-CoA, glucose-6-phosphate, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in resting samples and in those obtained after 10-15 min of exercise at 70%-85% maximal oxygen consumption. Exercise decreased (p < style="font-weight: bold;">

Conclusion: There is very little evidence to support the hypothesis that caffeine has ergogenic effects as a result of enhanced fat oxidation. Individuals may however, respond differently to the effects of caffeine, and there is growing evidence that this could be explained by common genetic variations.