Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that stimulates the central nervous system, temporarily increasing alertness. It is the most widely consumed legal psychoactive agent (a substance that affects brain functioning) in the nation. Caffeine is found in the beans, fruit or leaves of over 60 plants and therefore, some of the following listed: guarana berries, mat, chocolate or cocoa, Camilla sinensis (the leaves of this plant are used to make tea) or kola nut. Some of these plant-based sources of caffeine include other stimulants as well including theophylline and theobromine. Caffeine Burns Fat If you're concerned about reducing your body fat percentage, caffeine can be your ally.
Whether you're at rest or at play, caffeine will increase the level of free fatty acids in your blood, thereby facilitating the use of fat as fuel. More than 20 years ago researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Indiana reported that test subjects exhibited up to a 100 percent increase in plasma free fatty acids after taking in 330 milligrams of caffeine. Research has also shown that caffeine increases the rate of fat oxidation, or use, during aerobic activities. In one study fat oxidation was 50 percent greater in participants who took five milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight.
The fat-mobilizing nature of caffeine not only augments your ability to burn fat, but it also improves your total aerobic capacity. During aerobic activities your body burns an abundant store of fat and a limited store of glycogen, or sugar. Once the glycogen in the active muscles has been used up, performance is greatly reduced. By taking in caffeine, you can increase the level of free fatty acids in your blood, which facilitates what's known as a glycogen-sparing effect. Your body uses more fat as fuel, and the rate of glycogen depletion decreases, which delays the onset of fatigue and allows you to exercise longer.