The holy grail to any supplement company is finding a fat loss ingredient that actually works. This actually happened years ago when ephedra was commonly used in fat loss supplements. Even though the fat loss was not,t what I feel, “healthy” or “safe”, regardless people that used it lost weight. And once other people found out it “worked” sales of ephedra-containing supplements skyrocketed. Literally, it became a billion dollar industry. After a couple of years, a bunch of people ran into health problems consuming ephedra, some died, and ephedra was banned by the FDA for use in dietary supplements.
Supplement companies selling ephedra now had to scramble to find a replacement ingredient for their fat loss supplements. Enter caffeine. You see when people took ephedra they started to shake like you just drank 10 cups of coffee. This was due to the powerful amphetamine-like effect ephedra had. Caffeine does the same thing, but just not as dramatic as ephedra, but caffeine taken in a hefty dose, like 100mg, 200mg, and even 400mg, it will give you the jitters, especially if you’re not a coffee drinker like me. However using caffeine as a replacement to ephedra in to aid in fat loss is not something that you should be doing, nor should the supplement companies that put it in their fat loss supplements. Why?
I have spoken about this numerous times before, and every time I do someone always DEFENDS caffeine and tells me how it is great and blah blah blah. I get it, it is hard to believe caffeine is bad for you since so many supplement companies use it in their weight loss supplements and so many use it in their pre-workout supplements, how could caffeine be bad for one’s health? How could coffee be bad for you? How could this idiot from the Proteinfactory be right? What does he know? Well, get used to it…there is a reason why so many supplement companies would like to see me disappear like a fart in the wind.
Caffeine, when consumed, stimulates the release of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is bad. And yes, I have seen the studies and some experts saying that cortisol ain’t that bad. But overall if your cortisol levels are high, day after day, and month after month, you’re going to wind up 6 feet under…stress kills my friend, if you don’t know that by now you should start looking into it.
Caffeine, when consumed, stimulates the release of cortisol in the body.
From Precision Nutrition website.
Studies in humans have shown that caffeine increases cortisol and epinephrine at rest, and that levels of cortisol after caffeine consumption are similar to those experienced during an acute stress. Drinking coffee, in other words, re-creates stress conditions for the body.
I just started to read a book called “The Obesity Code”
Chapter 8 in this gives you the lowdown about cortisol. Here are some excerpts from the book that I think you should know. and I quote….
- Not coincidentally, both insulin and cortisol play a key role in carbohydrate metabolism. Prolonged cortisol stimulation will raise glucose levels, and subsequently, insulin. This increase plays a substantial role in the resulting weight gain.
Here why a lot of supplement users like it pre-workout, however, it does more harm than good, but it explains why people think their pre workout is “working”.
And I quote from the book.
- Once released, cortisol substantially enhances glucose availability which provides energy for muscles—very necessary in helping us to run and avoid being eaten. Proteins are broken down and converted to glucose
Very important statement above for those that like to consume amino acids mixed with caffeine in their pre-workouts. In layman’s terms what this is saying above is that instead of the protein and amino acids being used for the muscle to recover, it is instead getting used for energy because of your increased cortisol level in your body.
Cortisol raises insulin and elevated levels of insulin make you fat.
Caffeine keeps you wake and deprives you of sleep. So before you take pre-workout around bedtime think twice. Quote from the book.
Sleep deprivation is a potent psychological stressor and thus stimulates cortisol. This, in turn, results in both high insulin levels and insulin resistance. A single night of sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels by more than 100 percent! By the next evening, cortisol is still 37 percent to 45 percent higher .
In conclusion, I made my case time and time again about the use of caffeine in supplements and how you should not use. The worst, I tell you the WORST is using it pre workout. And I laugh my ass off when I see a preworkout with caffeine, aminos, and creatine…garbage, complete garbage.
In addition, caffeine is addicting, I make a point to show my children the LINE of people in the morning at the Starbucks drive-through waiting to get their coffee. Literally 20 cars deep, nothing but a waste and I remind them do NOT start drinking coffee. If you’re tired in the morning…get put yourself to bed EARLIER and if not, deal with it.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.