How Caffeine Could Be Affecting Your Fitness/Weight Loss Goals

How Caffeine Could Be Affecting Your Fitness/Weight Loss Goals

How Caffeine Could Be Affecting Your Fitness/Weight Loss Goals: a question many of us avoid until it's too late and you're feeling some kind of negative effect. 

Coffee lover, energy drink lover, pre-workout lover; there’s a reason why we love them so much. Caffeine is addictive. I can tell you personally that caffeine enters and goes from my life at months at a time. And, to be honest, caffeine is one of those things in our diet that is very very hard to eliminate completely as traces are naturally found in so many of our foods, such as cocoa.

I certainly think there is a role for caffeine in our diets: it’s just finding that fine line where it is beneficial to your goals and not hindering them.

At the end of the day, caffeine is a drug. By definition a drug is a:
“substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.”

It affects many neurotransmitters and hormones (such as cortisol and insulin). The results and mixed effects also depend on the type of coffee, the amount you drink, when you drink it, your overall biological makeup, and so on.



It tastes delicious.

Hard to argue. There is some sort of caffeine source out there on the market that is to your palate. Now, we’re in the age of mainstream customisability, I.e. leaders Starbucks, it’s very hard to invent a drink that you will become addicted to.


Coffee boosts your physical performance.

If your goals are for sports purposes, looking towards the sky team of the GB cycling who were famed for their double espresso in the morning, do have some good logic behind it. Studies have shown that having a black coffee an hour before a workout can improve your performance by 11-12%. This is because caffeine increases adrenaline levels in your blood, which is the hormone that helps prepare you for physical exertion. Furthermore, caffeine is an effective ergogenic — something that improves athletic performance — it spares muscle glycogen and delays fatigue. Beware and something to keep a note of. If you continue to have too much caffeine in your diet and not allowing your body to rest, you can be putting yourself at rise of adrenal fatigue.

Coffee may help you lose weight & burn fat.

Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing your craving for sugary treats and snacks. Our hunger and appetite are controlled by complex systems within our bodies, which can be profoundly affected by what we eat and drink — including coffee.

Coffee also contains phytochemical compounds called chlorogenic acids, an important group of biologically active and antioxidant dietary phenols. Chlorogenic acids are also found in apples, pears, artichokes, strawberries, pineapple, sunflower and blueberries. Chlorogenic acids have recently caught the attention of obesity researchers and dietary supplement manufacturers alike, as they can help decrease hunger.

Finally, Coffee helps you burn fat by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing of lipolysis from increasing activated sweat gland density (ASGD) and free fatty acids (FFA).


Coffee helps you focus, stay alert and brightens your mood!

Moderate caffeine intake, 1-6 cups a day, helps you focus and improves your mental alertness. Note this may not be the best thing for your bodies’ health. However, because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood.

Coffee protects your body.

If your drink coffee for your caffeine source, it is an excellent source of dietary antioxidants, powerful substances that help protect your body from free radicals, unstable molecules that damage healthy cells. Studies have shown that coffee drinker’s overall risk of premature death is 25% lower than of those who don’t drink coffee.

Furthermore, studies have shown that coffee may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer in men by 20 %, and endometrial cancer in women by 25 %, lower risk of stroke and decreases risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25 %. There’s evidence that coffee causes activity in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.




Coffee poo’s are real | IBS & Acidic Content

“It sounds like caffeine is the culprit not coffee. So I’ll have decaf more often.”It’s commonly understood that coffee is a trigger for IBS. Even in modest amounts, coffee produces a laxative effect within minutes after drinking. Decaffeinated coffee is found to contain higher amounts of acid than regular coffee and stimulates acid production in the body. Excessive acid damages the intestines, resulting in absorption, immunity, and overall health issues.


Weight Retention

As mentioned, coffee is well known for being a suppressant and whilst many would argue otherwise and for good reason. Adrenaline stimulation releases and emits stored blood sugar. Insulin is then released and blood sugar drops below normal. As a consequence, you’ll be hungrier than before in no time. Caffeine is very much a suppressant for a short period of time. A simple tool to get to your next meal without killing any one (figuratively speaking). Bare this in mind if you are diabetic and need to keep your insulin and blood sugars balanced.

However, if this method is adopted on a frequent basis, it may lead to excess insulin which is known for; promoting the storage of fat and weight gain, retaining sodium in the body thereby holding extra water and cause high blood pressure as well as increasing the amount of inflammatory compounds in your blood! Inflammation is a killer and especially dangerous in increasing symptoms for those with celiac disease and other autoimmune conditions.

Here are the symptoms of insulin resistant and need to watch your blood sugars.

Continuous coffee and caffeine consumption places the body into a chronic state of stress or emergency.

The perked attention after drinking coffee is the body’s response to the unnecessary secretion of stress hormones. The energy felt after drinking coffee is actually your body battling the stimulated fight or flight response.

Studies have shown that constant stress impairs the immune system to respond to normal hormonal ques. The excessive amount of stress hormones deters communication within the immune system posing for additional complications with auto-immunity conditions. Once in this state of emergency the body seeks out reserves and depletes vitamins and minerals the immune system rely on. With celiac disease, inadequate absorption of vital nutrients and immune deficiency already pose as threats absent of caffeine consumption. Not to mention, B-vitamins are also depleted which aids in utilizing food for energy, thus exasperating symptoms of fatigue.


Coffee can cause insomnia and restlessness.

Again, it's the caffeine working here. Your recommended maximum amount of caffeine is 400 milligrams, roughly the amount that you’ll get from 4 cups of coffee. If you’re caffeine-sensitive, be careful with coffee. You are probably already aware what amount and what kind of coffee suits, or doesn't suit you. The amount of caffeine that is safe for human consumption is actually written in our DNA.


Don’t drink more than one cup a day if you’re pregnant.

Studies on coffee's effect on a fetus have been controversial, but one thing is sure: if you drink coffee when pregnant, caffeine will also reach the fetus, and your baby is highly sensitive to caffeine.

So, if you’re a heavyweight coffee drinker and can’t stop drinking it while pregnant, at least reduce your coffee intake to one cup a day.



According to MedlinePlus, drinking too much coffee can cause dehydration, headaches and dizziness and can make you jittery and shaky.

In addition, excess coffee consumption can make your heart beat faster or result in abnormal heart rhythms. It may also affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.


What are your options?


If you love your decaf coffee, I option I tend to have in the cupboard (organic, fairtrade heaven), then this article may be worth taking a look at:

However, even Authority Nutrition conclude that decaf coffee beans are washed in solvents to remove 97% of the caffeine content prior to roasting. Aside from the caffeine, the nutritional value of decaf coffee should be almost identical to that of regular coffee.

In my opinion, ok for the occasionally one every so often when you have ran out of the better alternatives or just ain’t feeling them. We all have those days.


The Delicious Alternatives Matcha Green Tea/ Green Tea

It includes high levels of antioxidants, which lowered the rate of heart disease and cancer in Asia, according to a research study done at the Yale University School of Medicine. The study found that 1.2 liters of green tea consumed daily by Asians provided a high amount of polyphenols and antioxidants that improved cardiovascular health and reduced both cholesterol levels and plaque buildup in arteries. Furthermore, green tea is known to boost your immune system and aid in weight loss as well as improve your sports performance by 25% if drunk before exercising.



Sleep, sleeeep, sleeeeeeep…..zzzzzzzZZZZZZZ. We all know that we get enough sleep, we are more alert and productive throughout the day. Yes, with work and life commitments, we can’t just lie in if we’ve had a terrible night’s sleep or went to bed and still feel groggy; therefore, we automatically reach for that cup of java. This could be the worse thing you could for your weight loss and fitness goals. You will never get it perfect but never underestimate the power of habits. Having a relaxed, bedtime routine is a great way to train your body to go to sleep at the same time and getting sufficient sleep aka. Around 8 hours.



Exercise. Easier than you think to reap tons of benefits. 15 - 30 minutes first thing in the morning ha been proven to boosts levels of serotonin, the body's natural happy hormone. Taking another walk just before lunch can also help boost your metabolism as well as getting the heart pumping, boosts circulation and generally keeps us more awake and active.



Yes, you saw it right. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, researchers say that daily consumption of dark chocolate may lower the risk of stroke and heart attack over a ten-year period.

Chocolates can drive up energy just as much as coffee; they not only aid the digestive system but also help brain function and growth. A healthy alternative to coffee would be hot chocolate - who doesn't love that?



Kick the caffeine addiction and stock up on energy-packed food throughout your day. For starters, eggs are a healthy source of protein and can be a coffee replacement in the morning. Real food such as nuts, meat, fruit and veg which will satisfy your appetite, increase your concentration and provide the energy you require to get through the day. Learn more about the relation between your appetite and hunger from Pn.

Discover More:



Author: Charleh Dickinson

Founder & MD of Designed2Eat
Food Marketing Management Graduate at Sheffield Hallam University

Digital Marketing Manager & Food Photographer for KUB Ltd 

Read more on the BBC:
Watch more via SHU:





Disclaimer: Please note that we are not a professionally qualified Doctor, Dietician or Nutritionist. The information on our blogs are based only on my own experiences and the research we have found in academia.
If you are interested in changing your diet we would highly recommend doing so under the care of a qualified Health Professional. We firmly believe that there is a no diet that suits everybody. You have to go out there and discover it for yourself and enjoy the journey along the way.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published