Benefit of Caffeine in Fat Loss vs Rise in Cortisol?

Hi, coach do you think adding 200-400mgs caffeine from caffeine pills before my 3-4 per week 30 minutes morning fasted cardio which is fast walking/jogging will increase fat loss? I never drink coffee or take pre-workout and I don’t need energy to do the cardio just thinking of adding the caffeine anydrous for any potential help for the other consideration is that the caffeine does raise cortisol levels so if I add the pills should I take 200mgs 4 times per week at most ?I am kind of prone to anxiety some times when I am under stress,so my question is in your opinion does the potential aid of caffeine pills in fat loss is worth the cortisol levels raise? iam 2a but the scores are prety even and prefer to train as a2b,doing exclusively bodypart splits/hypertrophy work.

i should add that i am at the final 6 weeks of my cut,around 13-14 bf,still about 7 pounds to lose

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I think you are worried to much about mechanisms. Pay attention to yourself to make the decision. Caffeine can work for some people. It can help with energy to move and train. It can blunt hunger. So it can help with better outcomes.

The reason I say pay attention to you is because it affects everyone differently mentally and physically. Some people it makes jittery. Some people it can give anxiety. If it’s giving you anxiety, you shouldn’t be using it whether it’s helping with fat loss or not.

Even looking at specific cortisol levels in your own specific response is complicated. You seem to be thinking of cortisol as a “bad” hormone, but it isn’t. It can do negative things when out of wack, but it’s also one of the primary hormones that mobilizes fat tissue to be used for energy. You need it to burn fat. Less cortisol isn’t necessarily better.


Thank you very much friend for your detailed answer,cafeine does not make me anxious at all,but some times i need some clarificication/overthinking things!

IMO, your pics indicate it is time to put on some muscle.


please tell me how tall you are and how much you weigh. thanks

Yes I lost some muscle in the process, I plan on getting back to gain in October

1.75 height,72,5 kilos

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How much more muscle are you willing to lose to get 7 more pounds off?

Hopefully none,I have lost enough during the the last 5 year’s,I think it’s a combination of past injury,not having enough time to train, sleep and eat properly,also I’m getting older and ofcourse the quarantine the last 3 years,and the dieting process,all combined.i think I look better in person than in picture,iam kinda of embarrassed now by how I look in terms of muscular development.

Most everyone looks better in person (the mirror) than they do in a picture.
In the pics you look pretty lean. It is balancing act attempting to lose more fat from where you are now, IMO. If you are determined to attempt to lose more fat, I advise picking an exercise to measure your change in strength. If you are NOT getting weaker you are probably keeping your muscle. Any weakness is indicative of likely muscle mass loss.

You asked CT. He should respond fairly soon.

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Thank you Sir,i know you have been a competitive bodybuilder for many years and i have forgotten this old trick…its funny over the last years i have lost strength overall,i thought it was mainly from not being able to train at a proper gym due to covid but probably lost muscle as well as the abilty to recruit muscle fibers.Thank you again for your advice,i know i am capable to lose more fat, i always keep my protein moderate(1,25-1,75 per kilo)sodium and water high and manipulate my carb and fat intake according to the mirror mainly and the scale secondly.

I just want to mention that strength loss while dieting doesn’t always mean muscle loss.

  1. Some strength loss can be due to a decrease in passive joint stability. When you diet down you lose fat, water, glycogen, intramuscular fat. This can reduce the amount of “stuff” surrounding a joint; it reduces the pressure on the joint. That pressure creates stability and often reduces mobility. So when you lose that tissue the joint becomes less stable and more mobile. When the body senses that, it will not allow you to use as much of your strength potential, to protect you against injuries. This mostly affects the shoulder joint and especially pressing movements. A good way to know if this is happening is if your bench press and/or incline/overhead presses are getting weaker despite strength being maintained (or even increased) on single-joint exercises for triceps, shoulders and pectorals.

  2. If your training style changes from your “gaining” to your “cutting” phase, it is possible to lose the capacity to display a large amount of strength. For example, if you (a) increase your reps (b) reduce the amount of multi-joint movements in favor of more isolated work (c) decrease rest intervals, it is very possible to lose neurological efficiency and become “weaker” despite not losing muscle.

  3. Central fatigue is also something that will decrease strength. Central fatigue (which has nothing to do with feeling fatigued) is when the excitatory drive from the nervous system to the muscles get weaker. A weaker signal reduces the capacity to recruit the stronger fast-twitch fibers. Now, contrary to what most people think, volume has a greater impact on central fatigue than heavy work. With cardio/conditioning work having even more of an impact. So if you are doing a lot of cardio and conditioning (or at least more than when you are not trying to get lean) it could very well decrease strength performance without having lost muscle (although in the longer term, always training with central fatigue WILL lead to muscle loss).


Coach you are totally right, we have to consider those facts as well as far as strengh loss,thank you for your time.Can you please answer my original question, in your opinion does the potential aid of caffeine pills in fat loss is worth the cortisol levels raise?

probably describes me pretty well!

Generally, if you can help it it is best to limit caffeine consumption before about 9am. This is because caffeine stimulates the production of cortisol. Regularly having caffeine in the morning can lead to a blunting of the natural circadian rhythm where cortisol rises in the morning to get you out of bed (a good thing!). Therefore if you are regularly consuming a bolus of caffeine you may start to blunt this natural production leading to sleep inertia and an inefficient sleeping pattern developing that is likely to have more of an impact on your body composition and adiposity than the benefit you will get from the caffeine improving your workout.

Also looking at your moderate protein intake you may be better off increasing it to up to 1.6 to 2.2g/kg whilst keeping total calories the same as you are training regularly. Higher protein intake during caloric deficit helps preserve lean muscle mass, and has a higher thermic effect of feeding (helping increase your deficit) whilst providing higher satiety which will make your diet more sustainable by increasing compliance.

Thank you for your detailed Post!I only plan to use it IF I decide to do it for the last month of my cut. As for sleep I take 5mg melatonin and even if I skip it I sleep well at night.I always struggled to meet my protein needs and I heavily rely on Protein powder,so I eat 3meals and 3 shakes with fruit or almonds,which I know is not optimal!But I never had the appetite,the money or really enjoyed the taste so I ate a lot of carbs which have protein sparing ability. in the last year or so I increased my protein intake because I work at a hotel and we have some free meals and ofcourse I decreased calories from fat and carbs,so probably I now eating my protein close to your recommendation, not every day though,still love my carbs and feta cheese too much for my own good. Again thank you for your help as you wrote earlier probably any extra fat loss doesn’t justify the risks of caffeine but I have it sitting on my closet that and a synephrine bottle that I got as a gift for my latest supplement maybe I start slow and see how it goes or throw it out, depends how things go.

Στις Δευ, 22 Αυγ 2022, 22:45 ο χρήστης more_than_a_meathead via Forums - T Nation <> έγραψε:

Some good high protein snacks to help you get to that 2.2g/kg bw for you: Large eggs are 7.5g of protein for about 80 calories for a single egg. 200g Greek Yoghurt is about 18g protein for 190kcal and 150g Skyr is 17g protein for about 100cal. Those are all cheap, easy and available snacks (maybe add a handful of almonds for some more protein and health fat and you are golden). As a general rule to cut weight first get rid of the transfat and then start cutting the immediate sugary carbs before thinking of lowering health fats and proteins. 3 protein shakes a day is likely excessive and means you aren’t eating enough complete foods. Think of protein shakes as supplemental to a diet, not a substitute.

Regarding sleep use melatonin sparingly, it’s effective dose range in studies is vast (from 0.3mg to 12 mg in adults) and it is thought that continuous exogenous hormone supplementation can cause suppression of your natural melatonin production reducing the quality of your sleep. Use sparingly in short courses. Calmomile tea also has an evidence base as a mild anxiolytic that helps reduce the time it takes to sleep. supplementation with one of those cheap supplements containing a Zinc, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin d has been shown to have neural calming effects and improve sleep.

The best thing you can probably do for body recomp via fat loss is add in multiple short walks to your schedule throughout the day as low-intensity steady state cardio is easier to recover from with the minimum effect on your lean muscles. It is worth remembering when reducing your calorie intake your body often subconsciously compensates by reducing your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) to compensate. Getting out there with multiple short walks keeps your NEAT high and therefore keeps you burning fat continuously. Simple little additions like always taking the stairs instead of elevators, parking a block away etc can really help. Althought to be honest you are already fairly lean, Is there a specific reason you want to lose much more weight? I have nothing against people achieving those goals but It is generally quite hard to live a normal happy life at body fats well below 10% (and you look happy on the beach there with that little girl I assume is your daughter. Very low BF can makes it more difficult to workout out at higher intensities. So just wondering what are your motivations?

Goodluck and I hope some of this is useful

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Hey friend, funny you mention all those things I already do most of them! Melatonin use is something I need to be careful about, nothing is without drawback…I can’t thank you enough for your help to a stranger,as for motives I want to be the leanest I have been in years before I transition to a maintenance and then a gain phase,in order to reduce inflammation and maximize insulin sensitivity before I start adding calories.i need to try skyr,my daughter is my princess ofcourse I will implement some of your tips, and I will keep you updated, thanks again.i do this for a long time (the bodybuilding journey)On my own, it’s nice to engage from time to time!

Στις Τρί, 23 Αυγ 2022, 23:14 ο χρήστης more_than_a_meathead via Forums - T Nation <> έγραψε: