From trendy diets to waist wraps to bariatric surgery, people are trying everything to rid their bodies of unwanted fat deposits.
Nevertheless, the goal will vary from person to person with those who are new to fitness more likely aiming to simply reduce their overall body fat. On the other hand, veterans may want to lose an extra one or two percent to conquer that shredded look.
Either way, we all want the same thing – a physique that gets attention. Lucky for you, supplement research and technology has advanced to the point where a simple capsule, taken daily, can support a healthy reduction in body fat. Let’s take a look at the top supplement ingredients that have been proven through research studies and clinical trials to help shed body fat.
1. L- Carnitine
Perfect for pre-workout, post-workout, and everything in between, L-carnitine is something of a wonder supplement. Booming in popularity in the 80s, L-carnitine is still around as one of the most trusted fat-burning ingredients on the market. L-carnitine plays a critical role in the transportation of fat into the mitochondria. Why is this so necessary? When fat is delivered to the mitochondria, it is then used, or burned as energy. While this happens generally at rest, if you are exercising, the effects of the fat-burning properties of L-carnitine skyrocket.
L-Carnitine has a number of other benefits as well including supporting the post-workout recovery process. It also can increase levels of testosterone and human growth hormone, which is a powerful fat burner itself.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Being hailed as a great way to fight depression, increase memory, improve cognitive health, and battle cancer. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are now being revealed as an excellent way to burn fat. Several studies have shown that the volunteers taking omega-3’s in conjunction with exercise showed the greatest improvement in body composition and reduction in body fat. This happens in a couple ways: omega-3s increase insulin sensitivity, which has a direct correlation to fat loss. They also support protein synthesis and an anabolic environment within the body, whilst having a direct impact on fat loss.
One of the most abundant non-essential amino acids in the body, glutamine has quite the errands list. It boosts your immune system, helps to heal your gut, and plays a large role in the post-workout recovery process via protein synthesis. Aside from providing you with greater levels of endurance, increased lean muscle tissue, and enhanced strength, glutamine can also assist in burning fat. It does so in two ways: one is through increasing the amount of human growth hormone, a well-known fat incinerator; hence, why it is so popular with bodybuilders looking to get cut for competition.
The other way, which is the focus of a number of studies, involves increasing the efficiency and thereby the energy expenditure of insulin, resulting in a higher rate of fat oxidation.
4. Green Tea
Ancient civilizations were on to something when they first introduced green tea. Even now in the modern age, green tea still is a popular beverage particularly among asian cultures at home. Since not everyone has the time to masterfully brew a delicious cup of this antioxidant-loaded beverage, the supplement industry has taken the extract and made it readily available for you.
There are plenty of studies to confirm the fat-burning effects of green tea as well as a number of celebrity doctor endorsements. Green tea and green tea extract work by increasing your resting metabolic rate, triggering an increase in fat oxidation. When taken pre-workout, green tea extract can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance during your workout.
Yohimbe is an African herb that contains the compound yohimbine, which is present in the bark of the tree. Yohimbine became widely popular for its use in the bedroom, which wasn’t a surprise since it had been used as a natural libido booster for centuries. As it turns out, research discovered that the wonders of yohimbine extend far past the bedroom.
Once ingested, yohimbine actually blocks receptors that lead to fat storage. It also increases lipolysis, or the breakdown of body fat. Studies have shown that when taken as a part of a healthy diet and exercise routine, yohimbine can support the reduction of body fat.
Alpha-lipoic acid, otherwise known as ALA has become quite popular in the supplement industry as an efficient fat burner. One heck of an antioxidant, ALA has the important duty of transporting ingested glucose into the muscle cells, providing your muscles with the fuel they need in order to perform and grow.
Once the glucose has been used up, ALA targets stored fat as a primary energy source. Much like glutamine, ALA grabs hold of the stored fat and throws it into the fire for the greater purpose of supplying you with energy for your workout and hectic life schedule. Studies show that when ALA is incorporated into a proper weight loss program, it promotes a higher level of fat burning.
A supplement industry staple, caffeine has become a necessity for the average person. Used primarily to get up and get going, many people do not pay mind to the fat burning potential that caffeine can offer them. Caffeine burns fat in two ways: First, it has been shown to increase your metabolic rate. An increase in metabolism equals an increase in energy expenditure.
The second way it burns fat is similar to yohimbine: caffeine attaches itself to fat cells, ensuring that they are used as an energy source. Plenty of studies have been performed on caffeine, some linking it to improved memory and others on its benefits for sports performance. No matter your reason for taking it, you can rest assured, it’ll do you some good.
All in All
There are plenty of hype supplements on the market that are more useful as a brightly colored paperweight than as a part of your supplement program. When it comes to effectively giving yourself the upper hand with fat burning, nothing beats solid facts. Whether you choose some or all of the supplements listed above, when you make them a part of your daily diet and exercise routine, you are sure to see dramatic results.
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1. Iwashita, S. “Glutamine supplementation increases postprandial energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.” 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16517950. Web.
2. Koh, EH. “Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects.” 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21187189. Web.
3. Kraemer, WJ. “The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery.” 2003. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12930169. Web.
4. Ostojic, SM. “Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players.” 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214405. Web.
5. Piattoly, Travis. “L-Glutamine Supplementation: Effects on Recovery from Exercise” 2005. http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-06162005-142747/unrestricted/Piattoly_thesis.pdf. Web.
6. Smith, GI. “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Augment the Muscle Protein Anabolic Response to Hyperaminoacidemia-Hyperinsulinemia in Healthy Young and Middle Aged Men and Women.” 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21501117. Web.
7. Venables, MC. “Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.” 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326618. Web.
8. Westerterp-Plantenga, MS. “Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation.” 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16076989. Web. [/toggle] [/toggles]