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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
Weight Loss With Caffeine & Aspirin
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 2. 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.
- 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 2.
- 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.
Side Effects of Caffeine Pills
According to the National Institutes of Health, 250 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered moderate 2. 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.
- According to the National Institutes of Health, 250 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered moderate 2.
- Caffeine can also be slightly addictive; abrupt withdrawal from caffeine can cause headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea and vomiting.
Caffeine & Accutane
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 1. 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.
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- Centers for Disease Control: Losing Weight
- National Institutes of Health: Caffeine In the Diet
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- American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th edition. Washington DC; 2013.
- Turnbull D, Rodricks JV, Mariano GF, Chowdhury F. Caffeine and cardiovascular health. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017;89:165-185. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2017.07.025
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Caffeine. Updated October 23, 2018.
- Alsunni AA. Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2015;9(4):468-474.
- Lyngsø J, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Bay B, Ingerslev HJ, Hulman A, Kesmodel US. Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Clin Epidemiol. 2017;9:699-719. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S146496
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pure and Highly Concentrated Caffeine. Updated September 21, 2018.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Updated July 2018.
Amanda Hermes has been a freelance writer since 2009. She writes about children's health, green living and healthy eating for various websites. She has also been published on EdutainingKids.com, Parents Tips Blog and Weekly Woof Blog and she has worked as a ghostwriter for parenting articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas.