Does Coffee Burn More Fat During Exercise?

Does Coffee Burn More Fat During Exercise?
Participants consumed the equivalent of a tall brewed filter coffee 30 minutes before exercise.
Pavel3d/ Shutterstock 

Coffee, green tea and other caffeinated drinks are a popular way to start the morning. Not only does it give many people a much-needed boost, but caffeine can also help when it comes to fitness. Studies show it can help people exercise harder and for longer, and even perform better. And recently, a study conducted at the University of Granada reported that consuming caffeine half an hour before aerobic exercise can actually help people burn fat.

In the study, 15 men (aged around 32) ingested caffeine powder (about 3mg per kilogram of body mass – the equivalent of a tall brewed filter coffee) or a placebo 30 minutes before exercising. The participants then completed a total of four trials. They alternated between exercising at either 8am or 5pm on separate days. The study used a “triple-blind” experimental design – meaning that the participants, researchers and statistician did not know who had consumed caffeine or not during each trial.

To ensure the participants were exposed to the same conditions as each other, the researchers made sure it had been at least three hours since their last meal before the caffeine or placebo was ingested. No exercise had been performed for 24 hours before the trial. Each participant consumed the same diet the day of each trial.

During the trials, the participants cycled at increasingly higher intensities to determine peak fat oxidation (the process of breaking down fat to produce energy – “fat burning”). The researchers found that compared with the placebo group, consuming caffeine led to more fat being burned during exercise.

Fat burning after caffeine was up to 11% more in the morning, and 29% more in the afternoon. The greater fat burning in the afternoon could be explained by the higher concentration of adrenaline in our bodies which happens as a response to afternoon exercise. But before you get too excited, even with the higher afternoon rate of 0.4 grams of fat burned per minute, in order to lose 1kg of body fat, one would have to exercise for nearly 42 hours.

The study’s findings confirm what other research has previously shown. A recent meta-analysis of 19 studies concluded that a pre-exercise intake of caffeine may increase fat burning during aerobic exercise, especially after a fasting period of at least five hours. Research has also shown caffeine increased fat oxidation from 19g an hour with the placebo group, to 25g with caffeine while cycling at maximum fat burning capacity. These results are comparable to the amount of fat burned in the afternoon in the new study.

Caffeine and fat burning

Burning more fat after ingesting caffeine may be explained by the interaction between caffeine and our body’s fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat and can supply the body with energy.


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Caffeine interacts with our body’s fatty acids.Caffeine interacts with our body’s fatty acids. Prostock-studio/ Shutterstock

Caffeine promotes lipolysis (the process by which fats are broken down), due to a greater release of adrenaline. Lipolysis then causes fatty acids to be produced as a result. These fatty acids are then released into the blood and transported to muscle to be used as energy.

Caffeine’s fat-burning abilities are also related to increased energy expenditure. The compound adenosine under normal conditions, promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. However, caffeine and adenosine compete for the same receptors in the brain. So when caffeine is available, adenosine is less able to bind, causing greater stimulation of the central nervous system. During exercise this means more muscle fibres are being used during movement.

In addition, people feel exercise requires less effort after consuming caffeine. Having caffeine before exercise has also been shown to make exercise more enjoyable. These factors combined may subsequently make us work harder while exercising – which in turn may cause us to burn more fat during exercise.

Numerous studies have shown ingesting caffeine improves exercise performance, including endurance performance, short-term high-intensity performance and resistance exercise performance. Sports that require greater concentration and skill – such as team sports, tennis and golf – also benefit from caffeine ingestion.

But it’s important to note that the effects in this most recent study may have been increased due to this exercise being performed in a fasted state. When exercising without eating before, fat oxidation is naturally higher. Furthermore, the authors acknowledge that the present study used only a small cohort, and was only performed in active men who typically consumed only a small amount of caffeine. This study will need to be tested on a wider cohort that includes women, people who are less active, and those who regularly consume caffeine to see whether caffeine had a similar fat-burning effect.

However, studies have reported that men and women respond similarly to caffeine, and that the amount of caffeine people regularly consume doesn’t affect the performance benefits of caffeine.

The placebo effect – in which people expected to feel the effects of the caffeine – may also have affected the study’s results. For example, one study showed the placebo effect had similar outcomes for fat oxidation during exercise as actually receiving caffeine.

The increase in fat burning after consuming caffeine shown in this study may be relatively small. However, over time it could be important for weight maintenance or weight loss. But it’s important to state that weight loss will only occur when there is a negative energy balance. A negative energy balance means that you burn more calories than you take in.

About the AuthorThe Conversation

Neil Clarke, Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Science, Coventry University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Marie T. Russell's Daily Inspiration
 

INNERSELF VOICES

What Does Our Authority Rest Upon?
Transitioning from Authoritarian "Outer" Authority to Spiritual "Inner" Authority
by Pierre Pradervand
For thousands of years, ever since mankind started settling in cities, we evolved in rigid,…
The Birthing of A New World Which Is Struggling to be Born
The Birthing of A New World Which Is Struggling to be Born
by Ervin Laszlo
Talk of fundamental change in the world around us is often met with skepticism. Change in society,…
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
by Peter Ruppert
We all experience positive and negative self-talk on a regular basis. Whether you realize it or…
Horoscope Current Week: April 19 - 25, 2021
Horoscope Current Week: April 19 - 25, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
If You’ve Contracted COVID: Healing and Moving Forward
If You’ve Contracted COVID: Healing and Moving Forward
by Stacee L. Reicherzer PhD
If you’ve contracted COVID, you not only had health problems that may have been life-threatening,…
Awakening to the Dream of the Earth and Loving the World
Awakening to the Dream of the Earth and Loving the World
by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
The most important question is not how to survive biodiversity loss, climate disruption, ecological…
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career 
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career
by Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D.
Even if your tolerance of ambiguity is lower, there are proven ways to build this important…
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
by Mary J. Cronin, Ph.D.
One approach that addresses the challenges families face today comes down to a familiar but often…

MOST READ

Is Your Bedroom Sacred?
Is Your Bedroom Sacred? Honoring Your Personal Sanctuary
by Jon Robertson
The bedroom is home to our prayers and dreams, our solitude and sexuality. In this inner sanctum,…
Domestic Violence: Calls For Help Have Increased – But The Answers Haven't Gotten Any Easier
Domestic Violence: Calls For Help Have Increased – But The Answers Haven't Gotten Any Easier
by Tara N. Richards and Justin Nix, University of Nebraska Omaha
Experts expected the increase in domestic violence victims seeking help last year (2020). Victims…
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career 
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career
by Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D.
Even if your tolerance of ambiguity is lower, there are proven ways to build this important…
How to Meet the Ambitious Target of Conserving 30% of Earth by 2030
How to Meet the Ambitious Target of Conserving 30% of Earth by 2030
by Matthew Mitchell, University of British Columbia
Fifty-five nations, including Canada, the European Union, Japan and Mexico have pledged to meet the…
Baby Bees Love Carbs – Here's Why That Matters
Baby Bees Love Carbs – Here's Why That Matters
by James Gilbert, University of Hull and Elizabeth Duncan, University of Leeds
Wild bees are essential for sustaining the landscapes we love. A healthy community of wild…
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
by Peter Ruppert
We all experience positive and negative self-talk on a regular basis. Whether you realize it or…
COVID-19: Does Exercising Really Reduce The Risk?
COVID-19: Does Exercising Really Reduce The Risk?
by Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, University of Oxford
A new US study shows that people who are less physically active are more likely to be hospitalised…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
What Does Our Authority Rest Upon?
Transitioning from Authoritarian "Outer" Authority to Spiritual "Inner" Authority
by Pierre Pradervand
For thousands of years, ever since mankind started settling in cities, we evolved in rigid,…
At What Age Are People Usually Happiest? New Research Offers Surprising Clues
At What Age Are People Usually Happiest? New Research Offers Surprising Clues
by Clare Mehta, Emmanuel College
If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what would it be? Would you choose to be nine…
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
by Mary J. Cronin, Ph.D.
One approach that addresses the challenges families face today comes down to a familiar but often…
3 Ways Music Educators Can Help Students With Autism Develop Their Emotions
3 Ways Music Educators Can Help Students With Autism Develop Their Emotions
by Dawn R. Mitchell White, University of South Florida
Many children with autism struggle to find the words to express how they feel. But when it comes to…
Oscars 2021: COVID-19 Has Rekindled A 'Back to the Future' Love of Movies
Oscars 2021: COVID-19 Has Rekindled A 'Back to the Future' Love of Movies
by Kim Nelson, University of Windsor
Cinemas were not how people originally watched movies. There are signs that home viewing will be be…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.