Many people have the popular misconception that caffeine will help them lose weight. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Drinking caffeinated beverages or taking pills containing caffeine ultimately stimulates increased appetite for sweets and fatty foods. Caffeine triggers a roller coaster ride of elevated blood sugar and stress hormones that thwart people’s efforts to stick to their dieting regime.
Athlete Eugene Wells discovered that his coffee habit was giving him a “caffeine belly” despite his tall, naturally thin frame and his work-out regime. In his book, The Decaf Diet, Wells explains how caffeine makes you overeat and reduces your muscle mass while it slows your metabolism so you burn less calories while you are at rest. He’s backed up his research with hundreds of scientific studies while he also proved caffeine’s effect on his own body via thorough experimentation.
Here are some of the top effects of caffeine in the body that contribute to gaining weight:
Caffeine Increases Stress
Caffeine from coffee drinking aggravates stress, including physical, mental, and emotional stress, which can affect your mood and your health. Caffeine intake elevates the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine ( also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine. (Robertson et al, 1978) (Lane et al, 1990) (Kerr, 1993) (Lane et al, 2002)
If you are trying to lose weight, it is a good idea to avoid coffee and other sources of caffeine in order to reduce potential stress. Caffeine increases the reactivity of the body to the stress of everyday life and increased levels of stress negatively affect weight loss. (Lane et al, 2002)
Caffeine Stimulates Appetite
Although caffeine is included as an ingredient in many weight-loss aids, it actually stimulates appetite, and organizations including the Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic, 2003) discourage the use of caffeine as a weight-loss aid. Initially, caffeine may decrease appetite through its central nervous system response. However subsequently, higher levels of cortisol caused by caffeine consumption stimulate appetite. (Takeda et al, 2004) (Epel et al, 2001)
Caffeine triggers hypoglycemia through the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal glands, causing an immediate and sustained constriction of blood vessels, decreased circulation to the brain and a heightened feeling of low blood sugar. (Kerr et al, 1993)
The body’s reaction to hypoglycemia results in food cravings and increased appetite. People often crave higher fat foods resulting in increased caloric intake, further interfering with the body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight (Strachen et al, 2004) (Dewan et al, 2004)
Increased Stress Leads to Overeating
A chronic state of increased stress is associated with a markedly increased tendency to overeat. Anxiety caused by caffeine stimulating the central nervous system increases the tendency of people to overeat or binge-eat and abuse laxatives and diet pills. (Krahn et al, 1991) (Livermore, 1991)
Coffee drinking increases physiological measurements of stress, and although this effect is greater with increased caffeine levels, decaffeinated coffee may also influence stress as factors other than caffeine in coffee are associated with stress. (Quinlan et al, 2000)
Numerous studies have shown that the elevation of stress hormones lead to fat cravings and increased appetite. (Castonquay, 1991) (Takeda et al, 2004)
Chronically elevated blood cortisol levels that are caused by frequent stress or regular caffeine or coffee intake lead to an increased buildup of fat in the abdominal area; this type of weight gain further stimulates the release of additional stress hormones. (Dallman et al, 2004)
A well documented relationship exists between chronically elevated levels of stress hormones and deposition of excess fat in the abdomen leading to obesity as well as increased caloric intake, particularly increased ingestion of fats and sugars (Bjorntorp, 2001)
Caffeine Interferes with Calming Neurotransmitters
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter naturally produced in the brain and nervous system as well as the heart. It plays an important role in mood and stress management and influences a person’s sense of well-being.
Caffeine has been found to interfere with the binding of GABA to GABA receptors, preventing it from performing its calming function (Roca et al, 1988) GABA’s role in stress management is compromised in the presence of caffeine, and increased physiological and psychological stress lead to overeating as well as difficulties losing weight.
Drinking Teeccino Can Help You Lose Weight
Teeccino is recommended by well known doctors and health educators in a number of popular weight loss diets for several reasons:
- People can achieve balanced blood sugar, lower their stress and and stabilize their hormone levels if they avoid caffeine and sugar. Kicking the caffeine habit with Teeccino helps them avoid triggering appetite cravings.
- A natural energy boost is important during dieting when energy may flag while the body recalibrates itself away from sugar and caffeine. Teeccino provides a lift from nutrients, not stimulants, that keeps energy steady and stable as opposed to caffeinated energy spikes followed by crashes.
- A full-bodied hot beverage that is low in calories and yet has a natural sweetness helps satisfy the urge for a dessert. Many people on a diet drink a mug of Teeccino as their “treat” for a snack or after a meal. A mug of Teeccino provides a full feeling that keeps dieters from wanting to eat more.
- Prebiotic inulin, a soluble fiber that naturally extracts from chicory root during brewing, feeds the beneficial microflora in your gut contributing to good digestive heath. Inulin has been shown to help keep blood sugar levels stable along with its many other beneficial effects on the microbiome, the community of microorganisms that scientific studies show influence our mood, eating habits, and health.
Our mission at Teeccino is to support people who want to achieve optimal health. Carrying excess weight not only hastens early mortality, but being overweight is associated with many chronic diseases, including: diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and increased incidence of cancer. (NIH, 2003)
If your goal is to lose weight, we invite you to read the scientific research below and consider kicking the caffeine habit with Teeccino.
Reference (by alphabetical order)
NIH Publication No. 03-4158. Copyright July 2003
Bjorntorp, P. 2001. Do stress reactions cause abdominal obesity and comorbidities? Obesity Reviews. 2(2):73-86.
Castonguay, T.W. 1991. Glucocorticoids as modulators in the control of feeding. Brain Research Bulletin. 27(3-4):423-8.
Dallman, M.F., la Fleur, S.E., Pecoraro, N.C., Gomez, F., Houshyar, H., Akana, S.F. 2004. Minireview: glucocorticoids–food intake, abdominal obesity, and wealthy nations in 2004. Endocrinology. 145(6): 2633-8.
Dewan, S., Gillett, A., Mugarza, J.A., Dovey, T.M., Halford, J.C. and Wilding, J.P. 2004. Effects of insulin-induced hypoglycaemia on energy intake and food choice at a subsequent test meal. Diabetes/metabolism research and reviews. 20(5):405-10.
Epel, E., Lapidus, R., McEwen, B. and Brownell, K. 2001. Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 26(1):37-49.
Kerr, D., Sherwin, R.S., Pavalkis, F., Fayad, P.B., Sikorski, L., Rife, F., Tamborlane, W.V. and During, M.J. 1993. Effect of caffeine on the recognition of and responses to hypoglycemia in humans. Annals of Internal Medicine. 119(8):799-804.
Krahn, D.D., Hasse, S., Ray, A., Gosnell, B. and Drewnowski, A. 1991. Caffeine consumption in patients with eating disorders. Hospital and Community Psychiatry. 42(3)313-5.
Lane, J.D. 1994. Neuroendrocine Responses to Caffeine in the Work Environment. Psychosomatic Medicine. 546:267-70.
Lane, J.D., Adcock, R.A., Williams, R.B. and C.M. Kuhn. 1990. Caffeine effects on cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses to acute psychosocial stress and their relationship to level of habitual caffeine consumption. Psychosomatic Medicine. 52(3):320-36.
Lane, J.D., Pieper, C.F., Phillips-Bute, B.G., Bryant, J.E. and Kuhn, C.M. 2002. Caffeine affects cardiovascular and neuroendocrine activation at work and home. Psychosomatic Medicine. 64(4):595-603.
Livermore, B. 1991. Caffeine Boosts Eating Disorders. Health. June: 16.
Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research. May 27, 2003.
Quinlan, P.T., Lane, J., Moore, K.L., Aspen, J., Rycroft, J.A. and O’Brien, D.C. 2000. The acute physiological and mood effects of tea and coffee: the role of caffeine level. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 66(1):19-28.
Robertson, D., Frolich, J.C., Carr, R.K., Watson, J.T., Hollifield, J.W., Shand, D.G. and J.A. Oates. 1978. Effects of caffeine on plasma renin activity, catecholamines and blood pressure. New England Journal of Medicine. 298(4):181-6.
Roca, D.J., Schiller, G.D. and Farb, D.H. 1988. Chronic Caffeine or Theophylline Exposure Reduces Gamma-aminobutyric Acid/Benzodiazepine Receptor Site Interactions. Molecular Pharmacology, May;33(5):481-85.
Strachan, M.W., Ewing, F.M., Frier, B.M., Harper, A. and Deary, I.J. 2004. Food cravings during acute hypoglycaemia in adults with Type 1 diabetes. Physiology and Behavior. 80(5):675-82.
Takeda, E., Terao, J., Nakaya, Y., Miyamoto, K., Baba, Y., Chuman, H., Kaji, R., Ohmori, T. and Rokutan, K. 2004. Stress control and human nutrition. Journal of Medical Investigation. 51(3-4): 139-45.
A number of diets such as The Fat Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman, The Rosedale Dietby Ron Rosedale, M.D., and The Perricone Prescription by Nicholas Perricone, M.D. advise their followers to quit caffeine as a part of their weight loss program.