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Ask the Guru

Lyle McDonald BSc.
Lyle is a researcher and coach who has worked with bodybuilders, powerlifters and other athletes on all aspects of their training, diet, and supplementation.
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Caffeine And Fat Loss

Q. How do caffeine-based fat burners trigger fat loss?

A. Caffeine is, of course, a stimulant. When you take it in, the body releases two hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine (also called adrenaline and noradrenaline, respectively), from the adrenal gland and the nerve terminals. Pretty much all of the tissues in your body have special receptors, known as adrenoreceptors, to which the hormones bind in order to effect fat loss. Studies reveal that taking large doses of caffeine can increase metabolic rate, blunt appetite and increase fat mobilization from fat cells. Interestingly, the fat-burning effects are more pronounced in leaner individuals, probably because their fat cells are more sensitive to the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline. As people get leaner, however, their bodies lose the output of those hormones, along with a drop in thyroid, which is a big part of the drop in metabolic rate that occurs. Finding ways to enhance adrenaline and noradrenaline output—and thyroid, if possible—is a key to keeping your metabolic rate from crashing when you’re on a diet. By itself, however, caffeine doesn’t have massive effects. Most people develop a tolerance to it, so the metabolic effects diminish. Where it really shines is as a metabolic booster, making other compounds, such as ephedrine and green tea, work better. Any good fat-loss supplement should contain caffeine to potentiate the other compounds’ effects.

To read more by Lyle, click here. To visit his personal website see www.bodyrecomposition.com

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