T Nation

Counterintuitive Stimulant Use?

I seem to be finding that I’m putting on some midsection fat with a strong correlation to my heaviest use of stimulants - caffeine, synephrine, ephedrine, etc.

I’m wondering if it’s cortisol related. Do any of you guys have similar experiences? Any ways to resolve this? I used to get “caffeine anxiety” but not anymore - possibly still effects present?

What’s your diet?


Outside of diet and exercise, if you’re using them everyday and a decent amount, chances are that cortisol would be causing it. You might want to lay off the stimulants for a while as you can mess up adrenergic receptors. Sounds as if you might have those effects a little already.

But also, it’d be nice to know diet and exercise habits.

Diet hasn’t been changing - fairly constant calories throughout the process, although possibly slight modifications in exercise outside of scheduled training - the initial burst of caffeine was studying for finals etc.

Diet is probably 2500-3000 Kcal daily, 30C/40P/30F. Probably around 200-250 total CHO daily, protein and fat fluctuating to make up the rest.

I read one of LL’s pieces earlier about caffeine, carbs, and cortisol that I’ve been thinking about- In the past, I found the same result and used caffeine almost exclusively on low-carb days. However, now that I’m taking it every day it’s often on higher carb days.

If you’re saying “probably” 2500-3000 kcal/daily, then I think it’s time to keep a food log.

You might be surprised at how much you’re really eating, which in turn could be your problem.

Keep a log of every single thing you eat for a few days or even a week or so, that way you can assess where you’re at.


Food intake has been constant, so calories are irrelevant. The one variable that seems to be changing is caffeine usage. I’m reasonably confident I’m not overeating, and I keep a food log.