Many people would love to find a quick fix for weight loss in the form of a pill that melts the fat right off the body. Caffeine pills are cheap and easy to come by; unfortunately, though, they won’t help you lose much weight. Regular use of caffeine pills also carries serious side effects and risks.
Moderate Your Expectations
Although caffeine might slightly boost weight loss or prevent weight gain, it's not by a significant amount. Taking caffeine pills along with a diet and exercise program might help a bit, but you should also consider the risks of excessive caffeine consumption and dependence. Caffeine pills alone probably won’t help you to lose weight at all.
Caffeine’s Effect on Weight Loss
Caffeine, whether it comes from a pill or a cup of coffee, can work as an appetite suppressant, according to the National Institutes of Health, but there’s no evidence to prove that long-term consumption helps weight loss. Caffeine might stimulate thermogenesis, which is one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it causes significant weight loss. Another reason that caffeine has been connected to weight loss for years is because it acts as a diuretic, increasing the amount of urine you excrete. Water loss can temporarily decrease your body weight, but not in the long term. Because it boosts your energy, caffeine can help improve exercise performance and endurance.
Side Effects of Caffeine Pills
According to the National Institutes of Health, 250 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered moderate. Taking more than this can lead to accelerated heart rate, excessive urination, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, anxiety, depression, tremors and insomnia. Many report feeling uneasy or jittery while taking caffeine pills. Caffeine can also be slightly addictive; abrupt withdrawal from caffeine can cause headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea and vomiting.
Instead of using caffeine pills or other supplements, the Centers for Disease Control recommends making lifestyle changes in daily eating and exercising habits, including exercising more and eating less. Everyone wants to lose weight quickly, but, according to the CDC, people who lose weight gradually and steadily -- about 1 or 2 pounds a week -- are more successful at keeping the weight off.
If you are pregnant or have heart disease or peptic ulcers, the NIH recommendeds that you limit or avoid caffeine. Many drugs will interact with caffeine, so check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medications along with caffeine pills.