I have heard that the caffeine in coffee can stop you breaking down fat? Is this true?

Graham Nugent, email

You may have misheard. Caffeine can actually help you break down fat as it increases the rate that fat is used as a fuel during exercise.

Caffeine is a very popular addition to diet supplements, but excessive use should not be encouraged as it can lead to high blood pressure and heart palpitations. Caffeine has been shown to improve your fat metabolism towards the end of long rides and in lab tests has been shown to improve endurance.

Caffeine is a stimulant; however, if you are already a habitual user then it will have less of an impact than if you only use caffeine occasionally. But if your objective is to lose body fat, there are better ways to do it than upping your intake of coffee.

Hannah Reynolds

CW Fitness editor and graduate in sports science