I love having a cup of coffee in the morning. And that’s mostly because I love caffeine. I will take caffeine in any form it comes, including green tea, kombucha and even dark chocolate. I’m a caffeine junky.

But the fact is, caffeine is bad for you. Oh, wait, no it isn’t, I just read an updated study that it is good for you. So wait, why is there so much darn confusion around caffeine’s health benefits (or lack of)?

If you read “the good,” you find that caffeine is good for people who have asthma. You find that long-term use of caffeine can help prevent Parkinson’s. Caffeine can even help headache sufferers (you find caffeine in popular headache medicines). You find that caffeine can make you overly chatty at the 10 AM meeting with investors who don’t care about the new organic throw pillows your dog keeps ruining.

If you read “the bad,” you find that caffeine causes anxiety (no one wants to end up like Jesse Spano). Caffeine can also cause battles with mild to severe insomnia. Caffeine’s dehydrating effects can lead to a loss of energy and even bad skin. And the ultimate case that’s commonly made? Drinking coffee is a lost opportunity for drinking water.

My God, this is super scary and stressful. What gives?

What’s Real? | Caffeine Fat Loss Benefits

Caffeine is mostly good for people. If you are a pregnant woman or a person who has experienced heart issues, then the game changes. If you are someone who can’t moderate your intake based on what’s comfortable then caffeine might be bad for you. The fact is, everyone metabolizes caffeine at a different rate than others. Some people feel great on more caffeine while others feel great on less caffeine. Also, timing is everything when it comes to drinking that Starbucks concoction. If you drink an Americano at 8 PM, you just might have trouble winding down for sleepy time!

A Mayo Clinic study shows caffeine to have more benefits than risks. And most of the risks seem related to overconsumption.

Will Caffeine Burn Away My Fat Belly? | Caffeine Fat Loss Benefits

This is one of the most popular questions we get here at HealthToday.com. Well, that and “can watching hours of Netflix burn calories and lead to clearer skin?” I always hate being the one to have to field the latter.

Caffeine is often found in fat burner ingredients, which is one of the big reasons it is often the center of fat burning curiosity. To resolve any potential confusions, “watching Netflix” is often NOT found in any fat burner ingredients.

When you take in caffeine, your body begins a process known as lipolysis. Wait, what the heck is “lipolysis?” While this may sound like a name given to the experience alien abduction victims describe, in reality, it is a process by which the body releases what’s known as “free fatty acids” into your body’s bloodstream. This means that caffeine, with all scientific certainty, boosts your metabolism which helps burn your fat. Pretty exciting, eh?

When you drink caffeine, a pretty obvious effect is that it gives you an energy lift. This, in fact, is the most popular reasoning why ordinary people drink coffee in the morning. In an article in Tufts Journal, Professor of Nutrition at Friedman School and Director of Energy Metabolism Laboratory Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging discusses the variety of scientific reasons that caffeine is linked to increased physical energy. One of her points is that caffeine reduces the amount of “exertion” you have to use to complete a physical task. That’s huge, my friends.

All of the aforementioned points deeply suggest, if not prove, that caffeine will help you burn fat. So that’s awesome, right?

So When Is Caffeine Not Awesome? | Caffeine Fat Loss Benefits

  • You drink caffeine drinks, such as coffees and teas, which are loaded with sugars. The biggest complaints I hear about coffee is that if taken “black,” it taste bad, so people need to use sugar to sweeten it. Sugar is carbs. Sugar is added calories. Adding both carbs and calories to your caffeine dampens caffeine benefits.
  • You drink too darn much. Too much of a good thing is, well, a bad thing. Learn your tolerance levels. If three cups of coffee make you feel racey, try two. Find your sweet spot. If you can’t sleep at night, stop drinking caffeine earlier in the day. Use common sense. In the end, caffeine is a drug that should be respected.
  • If you are pregnant or have a history of heart issues, you should definitely have a conversation with your Doctor.
  • Be aware that caffeine is addictive. Quitting may cause withdrawals such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, irritability and more.

In the end, caffeine is not needed for weight loss. Sure, caffeine can help, but you don’t have to have it to lose weight. Weight loss means you burn more calories than you store. That’s the science. That’s the end game. But caffeine can serve as a good friend in the process. Just know the facts and use it wisely and you should be fine.