Does caffeine enhance weight loss and performance?

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Caffeine is a stimulant and can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, caffeine pills, sports supplements, gums, energy drinks, and more. Coffee is the most widely consumed caffeinated beverage in the world. Most people use caffeine as a performance aid, a tool to increase their focus, and also as an appetite suppressant. Caffeine metabolizes primarily in the liver and is absorbed quickly, therefore having an effect on reducing fatigue, improving endurance, and increasing energy and focus.

Some studies suggest that caffeine can aid in weight loss; however, the effect can vary greatly between individuals. For example, some individuals can see improved metabolism; however, regular caffeine consumption could decrease benefits. Most athletes use caffeine for its ergogenic effect; they stop consuming caffeinated products and drinks so that when they need them for competition day they can maximize the performance effect of caffeine. The same goes for weight loss purposes, as benefits can diminish over time.

The potential of caffeine’s weight loss effects can be attributed to several factors. Through the thermogenesis effect, caffeine can increase the body’s production of heat which results in higher caloric expenditure and can potentially lead to weight loss. Through lipolysis, caffeine can enhance the mobilization of free fatty acids and thus promote fat oxidation and utilization as an energy source. And through appetite regulation, caffeine can contribute to appetite suppression, which leads to a reduction in food intake and subsequent weight loss. However, most studies are not conclusive, and the long-term effectiveness of caffeine for weight loss is still unclear.

The body is also able to develop a tolerance to caffeine, which may reduce its weight loss benefits over time. Additionally, excessive caffeine intake can lead to negative side effects including increased heart rate, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Caffeine can also have a laxative effect in some individuals, and caffeinated beverages can increase the risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially if consumed on an empty stomach. Caffeine can also inhibit the absorption of some vitamins, including iron, calcium, and B vitamins.

Earl Grey tea (one cup) contains about 30-40 mg of caffeine, while espresso contains 125-150 mg of caffeine. However, energy drinks and pre-workout supplements can contain 300-400 mg of caffeine per serving.

Studies also show that caffeine may increase energy but not metabolism. Some people with specific variants of the gene type CYP1A2 are slow metabolizers of caffeine, which means that the clearance of caffeine is slow (AC or CC genotype) while others can metabolize caffeine more quickly (AA genotype) and will see more benefits than the slow metabolizers. For example I am a slow metabolizer, which means that if I consume more than 150-200 mg of caffeine per day the effects can become negative.

There are other substances that may enhance weight loss when taken in conjunction with caffeine. Green tea extract contains the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which may enhance thermogenesis and fat oxidation when combined with caffeine. Capsaicin, which is responsible for the strong taste in chili peppers, has been shown to increase thermogenesis and energy expenditure when combined with caffeine. And L-carnitine, an amino acid involved in fatty acid transportation into cells for energy production, has been shown to enhance fat oxidation and weight loss when taken alongside caffeine.

So caffeine may contribute to weight loss through various mechanisms, including thermogenesis, lipolysis, and appetite regulation, however its long-term effectiveness remains uncertain due to factors such as tolerance development and potential side effects. There is strong evidence to show that the combination of caffeine with certain other substances may enhance weight loss, but further research is necessary to establish the most effective dosages, combinations, and long-term implications of which substances and combinations would be ideal for weight management.

Of course, caffeine and other substances are only one tool in the toolbox so regardless of how much of an effect it might have you still need to approach weight loss with healthy eating habits and being physically active so that you can sustain your new weight and not rely on any other supplements. 

References: 

The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30335479/

Coffee, CYP1A2 Genotype, and Risk of Myocardial Infarction. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/202502

Metabolic effects of caffeine in humans: lipid oxidation or futile cycling? https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/84/4/682/4633022

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competition history

Ayda competes regularly in fitness competitions and is currently preparing for the 2023 North American championships.

NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
NPC North American Championships, 2022
CPA Toronto, 2021

You’ve probably heard so many people say “I love what I do”, BUT in my case I can truly say it from my heart. I’ve competed in sports all my life, but it wasn’t so long ago that I really understood that actually I can only ever compete with myself.

“You are perfect, until compare yourself with someone else”

I started contest prep in 2011, and since then I didn’t stop competing. In some competitions I got first place, in some it went not so well, but every competition that I prepared for taught me something more about myself and helped me take the correct direction, which I believe has shaped my work and my life in such a positive way.

When I competed in my first bikini competition I had just moved from my home country Turkey to Canada, and was getting used to the Canadian lifestyle — and, of course, the language too, which was the hardest part for me. I always wanted to do a fitness or bikini competition, but when I was still in Turkey the work and cultural differences made it so hard to do.

So I was in Vancouver BC, working at Steve Nash Fitness Club, and one of my co-workers, who was a competitor herself, asked me “why you are not competing?” I started asking myself and questioning if I could do it? I’d never done anything like it before… Maybe you’re asking yourself the same questions right now! Of course I told myself “absolutely, I can’’. And my competition journey began!

Each show that I competed in gave me more knowledge about my body, and how I can improve. Of course, it’s not easy to correctly identify what’s missing with training and nutrition, and this learning process and all of the experiences pushed me to learn more… I’ve been a personal trainer since 1993, but I wanted more and began my nutrition studies. I finished my Comprehensive Nutrition and Sports Nutrition degrees.

And yes, I am still competing! You can see a list of all of the competitions that I’ve competed in further down this page. And right now, AGAIN, I am getting ready for my next show…!

I’ll warn you right now, it wasn’t easy at all. The easiest part was the training, which was already part of my daily life. But posing, dieting, supplementation, getting a bikini, finding a trainer… This was much tougher, not the mention the cost for the registration, jewelry, tanning, hair and make-up, they cost a lot too. 

But I wouldn’t let anything stop me, and right after my first show — WBFF in May, 2011 — I immediately started looking for the next show to compete in. I was hooked!

I am so happy to be able to help other competitors who are willing to work and improve their mind and health at the same time. My goal is to create healthy and happy bikini competitors, who want to challenge themselves and put in the work that needs to be done to reach their goals. There is really no easy way to get there… But there is a smart way.

I look forward to working together and sharing my knowledge with YOU to get you in the best shape of your LIFE!!!!! 

AYDA HAS COMPETED IN

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