In the quest to achieve an ideal physique, supplements have become a powerful weapon.
Whether you want to build muscle or burn fat, it can often be a struggle to narrow down which supplement you are after. But when it comes to weight loss and body fat reduction, one category of supplements has seen a dramatic increase in popularity – thermogenic supplements.
These fat loss boosters have become hot-button topics in the realm of fat burning and with good reason – they work. Several studies, including one in the International Journey of Obesity, show that thermogenic supplements can assist in the weight loss process by supporting a reduction in total body fat.
However, there is one problem with this topic, and that is understanding which fat loss supplement will provide you the most bang for your buck. When you look at the back of a supplement label, there are countless ingredients listed with some used as fillers, while others are actually helping you achieve your goal.
To be frank, it can be a daunting experience choosing the optimal one for your body, especially if you are new to the fitness realm. For this reason, I will be reviewing some of the top most common, effective, and proven thermogenic ingredients that will help you build a new body. (All of which are completely legal!)
What is a Thermogenic?
Before we delve into the most common and effective thermogenic ingredients, it will be important to break down what a thermogenic actually is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a thermogenic is “relating to, caused by, or inducing the production of heat.” To take it a step further, when applied to the category of supplements or drugs, a thermogenic creates heat through metabolic stimulation.
Now, let’s apply this to your body and metabolic rate. When you take a true thermogenic supplement, the stimulant or combination of stimulants in that little capsule or powder produces an increase in your metabolic rate. This metabolic increase may help your body oxidize which burns body fat while supplying you with a rush of energy. As a result, you may even experience that tingling or flushed feeling. The fat burning benefits of thermogenic supplements is why they are referred to as “fat burners.”
Possible Side Effects
You take a pill, and you burn fat. Sounds great, right? The problem comes in the form of unpleasant side effects that are more common than you think. Harmless side effects experienced by most people include that flushing feeling I mentioned earlier and a jittery feeling you may notice in your hands. Some side effects are not as harmless. Depending on your tolerance level, previous medical history, and current medications, you may experience one of the following:
- Sudden increase in blood pressure/heart rate
- Stomach issues
- Addiction to the supplement
Those with previous heart and blood pressure problems may experience:
- Heart attack
Things to Consider
Yes, that is quite a list of potential trouble to run into when you place a simple pill in your mouth; however, there are a few things to take into consideration when it comes to thermogenics. The most obvious is that if you already have previous complications with your heart or blood pressure. Then there is no reason you would take such a supplement because chances are, your doctor has already told you so.
Like any product, food, or supplement, there will always be a list of potential side effects. Obviously, if you are allergic to one of the ingredients, you would certainly not take it. What’s more, if you’re not allergic, play it by the rules. This means that you do NOT take more than the label recommends. Many times, the reason you will see a supplement in the news for negative reasons is because someone has abused the product. The idea that more is better can you get into a lot of trouble especially when it comes to thermogenic supplements.
Put simply; use common sense. Stick to what is recommended. If you are uncertain of how you’ll react, take half the recommended dose and slowly work up to a full dosage.
5 Effective Thermogenic Ingredients
The following thermogenic ingredients are the most common AND cost-effective elements that you will find on the market. I’ll review what the thermogenic is and how it works. Keep in mind that each of the five ingredients listed below are well worth the money you would pay for them. If you can find several of the following ingredients in one supplement, that is a sign of a terrific thermogenic product.
1. Cayenne Pepper Fruit Extract
This is a key component for chili peppers, but when taken as a supplement, Cayenne does much more than add flavor. That’s right; this chemical has manifested itself in being quite supportive to weight loss. Cayenne Pepper contains Capsaicin, which supports your body as it converts stored body fat to energy. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition has proven this ingredient to be extremely effective at fat oxidation, improving blood cholesterol levels, and aiding digestion.
2. Irvingia Gabonensis
More commonly known as African Mango, this thermogenic ingredient has been getting a lot of attention across the supplement industry. A study in Lipids in Health and Disease showed significant results with using African Mango as a daily dietary supplement. Through fat oxidation and metabolic enhancement, this powerful thermogenic has been shown to suppress appetite, reduce body fat, and improve total blood cholesterol levels.
An African herb, Yohimbine was a known libido-booster long before fitness enthusiasts discovered its potential for fat loss. Yohimbine works by blocking the receptors that encourage fat storage while it promotes the utilisation of stored body fat. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed the power of Yohimbine as subjects taking the supplement showed a distinctive difference in fat burning potential when compared to the placebo group.
4. Green Coffee Bean
You’ve seen this little bean after it’s been roasted and thrown into your cup of morning coffee. Taken in supplement form, the Green Coffee Bean has shown serious potential, and not just because a celebrity doctor said so. Several trials have reported that there was a dramatic improvement in fat oxidation and weight loss with those supplementing with Green Coffee Bean when compared with those who weren’t.
Saving the most obvious for last, Caffeine is one of the most used thermogenic ingredients on the planet! A known metabolic booster, Caffeine is a fat cell hunter as it latches on to fat cells and ensures they are used as a primary fuel source, sparing muscle proteins. A randomized placebo-controlled study in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice involving 76 overweight and moderately obese subjects showed that Caffeine, taken on a regular basis, supported the weight loss process via fat oxidation.
Putting it All Together
There you have it, five ingredients that are renowned for burning fat, broken down so you have a better idea of what to look for when you buying thermogenics. But if there is one thing I would like you to remember it’s that like all other supplements, these fat boosters do not provide any miracles. Yes, they definitely do help you lose fat, but without the incorporation of a healthy diet and regular exercise, you will not lose fat. Plain and simple.
Photo Credit: Max Ellis