Caffeine for Weight Loss: How to Make it Work for You

One of the most powerful natural weight loss supplements available is caffeine.  This wonder drug has been used for thousands of years for its stimulating properties.  A dose of caffeine will give you a quick boost of energy, increase your focus, and increase your circulation.  For weight loss, caffeine is a powerful supplement because it increases metabolism, helps you exercise more efficiently, and suppresses appetite. Even though caffeine is such a strong weight loss supplement, it obviously isn’t a miracle cure for obesity.  If it was, the millions of people who consume caffeinated beverages daily wouldn’t be overweight.   When used in excess, caffeine can even be harmful to your body and hinder your weight loss goals.  So how do you make the most of this powerful natural weight loss supplement without risking your health? 

Determining How Much Caffeine You Need

In general, experts agree that a healthy person can handle about 300mg of caffeine daily before it starts creating negative effects on the health.  300mg of caffeine is about 18 ounces of brewed coffee, 3-4 espressos, 10 cups of green tea, 6 Red Bull drinks, 120 ounces of Coca-Cola, or 3 cups of semisweet chocolate. While 3o0mg may the limit, it does not mean that lower levels are without side effects.

If you are already consuming upwards of 300mg of caffeine daily, a caffeine weight loss supplement may not be the best idea for you.  Your body is already at or above the amount which most experts agree is healthy.  By adding a caffeine weight loss supplement to your routine, you could increase your risk of serious harm – like high blood pressure or palpitations – or get on the fast track to a severe caffeine addiction.  You could stop drinking your caffeinated beverage of choice while taking the supplement but this would just negate most of the benefits from the supplement.

On the other hand, if you do not consume much or any caffeine daily, you should really be cautious when starting a weight loss supplement with caffeine.  By suddenly giving your body a big dose of caffeine, you may find yourself with side effects like diarrhea and the jitters.  Instead, start slowly by taking 50-100mg worth of caffeine in the supplement and then increasing the dosage by no more than 50mg every couple days.

Avoid Sugary Sources of Caffeine

Weight loss supplements can be expensive and many of them are just glorified versions of caffeine.  So, many people try to save on the costs of weight loss pills by just upping the amount of caffeine they consume daily.  This is one option but you should make sure that you are getting the caffeine from low-sugar sources.  If you drink caffeine in colas or a sweetened latte, you are going to get a blast of calories which will negate any weight loss benefits of caffeine.  Further, the sugar from the drinks can make you feel really jittery, causes spikes in blood sugar levels, and makes your energy levels come to a quick and sudden drop.  It is best to opt for caffeine from sources like black coffee or unsweetened teas.

Caffeine Supplements MUST Be Cycled

If you take caffeine weight loss supplements regularly, your body will develop a tolerance to the effects and also build up a dependency.  In order to keep caffeine supplements effective and avoid terrible withdrawal effects, you will need to cycle your supplement on/off.

There is a lot of differing information about what the best way to cycle a caffeine supplement is.  Some supplements will suggest that their products be used for 4 weeks and then you stop using them for at least 3 weeks.  Others suggest much shorter periods of on/off periods whereas the majority of products don’t give any advice at all.  As a general rule of thumb, you should stop taking a caffeine weight loss supplement when it stops being as effective in boosting your energy and suppressing appetite.

Gradual Stop Taking Caffeine Supplements

Suddenly stopping caffeine use can cause a very unpleasant shock to your body.  People will usually have significant headaches and fatigue when stopping caffeine suddenly. To avoid withdrawal effects, you may want to gradually reduce your dosage of the caffeine weight loss supplement. As a rule of thumb, you can decrease the dosage by about 50mg of caffeine every couple of days until you are at 0mg.

Plan Your Supplements with Your Meals

Caffeine weight loss supplements can quickly boost metabolism and will also suppress appetite.  To get the most out of these stimulating weight loss supplements, make sure you are planning them around your meals.  Ideally, you should take your dosage of the supplement a couple hours before eating your largest meal of the day.  This way, you can fight off hunger and the appetite suppressing benefits will still be effect when you sit down to eat.

Exercise is a Must with Caffeine Weight Loss Supplements

Exercise is always crucial for weight loss.  However, it is especially important when taking stimulating weight loss supplements like caffeine.  Part of the way that caffeine helps weight loss is by acting on your brain and stimulating the “fight-or-flight” response in your body.  This response is our body’s natural way of dealing with danger and gives us the energy and focus to run away or fight for our lives.  If you don’t do anything physical while the fight-or-flight response is triggered, you could end up with dangerously high blood pressure and other harmful side effects.  Exercise the natural way to combat these potentially hazardous effects.

Don’t Let Caffeine Interfere with Your Sleep

You should never take a caffeine weight loss supplement within several hours of going to bed,  as caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep.  Lack of sleep isn’t just bad for your rest levels.  When you are fatigued, your body doesn’t function as well and your metabolic rate will fall.  If you want to lose weight efficiently, get plenty of rest.  If the caffeine supplement is causing insomnia, reduce your dosage or take it earlier in the day.


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Westerterp-Plantenga, Margriet S, Manuela PGM Lejeune, and Eva MR Kovacs. “Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Relation to Habitual Caffeine Intake and Green Tea Supplementation.” Obesity Research 13 (2005): 1195-1204. Web.


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