Dr Tamara Hunter on Caffeine and Weight Loss

Tamara HunterChannel 9

The latest research out of a Chinese University indicates that caffeine could play a large role in weight loss. A study was conducted on obese mice who were given a shot of caffeine over a 2 week period. During that time the mice showed a decrease in appetite and an increase in exercise.

However, according to Dr Tamara Hunter, the study did have flaws. Stating that “There is a lot of unanswered questions about caffeine, particularly in this study. Although other studies have looked at weight loss and caffeine, I think there are too many unanswered questions before we can reach for that espresso just yet.”

The mice were dosed with 60 milligrammes of caffeine per kilogramme of body weight per day, this is the equivalent of around 30 cups of caffeine per day to one human body. Dr Hunter states “That amount would most definitely be toxic to the human body. In fact, it would probably be a potential heart stopper. We know that caffeine is really good for building up metabolism and getting that energy burning. Therefore, theoretically, it makes sense from a weight loss perspective. It also is a pro-oxidant, so as that metabolic impact increases so does the oxidated stress on the human body, and that we know has health implications. But not only that, if you are going to have 30 cups of coffee a day and you like it with milk and sugar, then it is probably going to make you gain weight.”

While there are positive health impacts of caffeine intake, which include the ability to “improve our energy, our wakefulness, our focus, our short term memory and also our cognitive performance, therefore it is not unreasonable to kick start your day with a shot of coffee. We know that it also can help in pain relief – particularly migraine related pain”, according to Dr Hunter it is still not the answer for weight loss.

What is the answer then? Will the average intake of caffeine help with any weight loss ambitions? Is it about having more refined coffee like an espresso shot? According to Dr Hunter “An espresso shot is around about 63 milligrammes of caffeine. In fact, every cup of coffee is different as it depends on how long you percolate it for, how you roast the bean and how big the cup of coffee is. I don’t think a couple of cups of coffee a day is really going to be a great weight loss strategy.”

When it comes to weight loss Dr Hunter says to “keep it simple, go back to basics. Regular cardiovascular exercise, eating a diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables and not too much of the highly processed fats and sugars. Even reduce the total volume of intake and if you are still having trouble, for a consistent period of time of reaching a healthy weight, then go and see a health care professional, they can design a program for you.