Fat loss ingredients

A word of caution about caffeine and all the stimulants mentioned in this article: they aren’t intended for use by people with heart problems or hypertension.

A word of caution about caffeine and all the stimulants mentioned in this article: they aren’t intended for use by people with heart problems or hypertension. Some people also experience anxiety when they ingest stimulants. Some  medications may be affected by various stimulants. Definitely consult a doctor if there are any concerns.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but is seems like warmer weather and some sunshine is finally here! Though it’s a welcomed change after months of rainy gloom, the late onset of summer we  experience here in Portland also brings  something else for the physique conscious: a  frantic, last-minute attempt at losing whatever body fat gained during what felt like a six-month-long winter. Many will choose to incorporate new “fat-burning” supplements into their fitness  routines in the hopes that these pills or potions will speed progress. How effective are these supplements though? Are they safe?  These are the questions we’ll be examining here.

Rather than naming specific brands, I’ll be  focusing on the two most common ingredients that are found in almost all supplements of this nature. I will be focusing on supplements that claim to increase caloric expenditure through boosting the user’s metabolic rate, rather than supplements that claim to improve fat loss through other pathways (such as “carb blockers,” blood sugar regulators and so forth). Having said that, let’s meet our two big stars in the world of weight loss supplements.

Caffeine (may also be listed  as guarana or yerba mate)

Ah yes, the original gangsta of the stimulant world. People have been consuming caffeine for centuries in the form of coffee and tea, though in the 19th century scientists were able to isolate the alkaloid responsible for the “pick-me-up” effect in these drinks. Though people tend to perceive this isolated form as a “drug,” the truth is that there is nothing to fear. Those who can handle a cup or two of coffee aren’t going to be affected any differently by the pharmaceutical form of caffeine. As long as one doesn’t exceed their personal tolerance level (which is about 200 mg for most folks), the only concern is the crash that will follow a few hours after ingestion.

Is caffeine a “fat-burner” though? In some ways, yes. First of all, the energy boost allows the trainee to tackle their workouts with more vigor, which results in more calories expended. Additionally, ingesting caffeine increases the circulation of free fatty acids during exercise, literally increasing the amount of fat “burned” for energy.

Yohimbine (may also be listed as the herb Yohimbe)

Yohimbine is another ingredient that helps to stimulate lipolysis (the process of mobilizing fat from cells) and make greater amounts of free fatty acids available to be utilized as fuel during exercise. This stuff can also be helpful in higher dosages as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, but we won’t be concerning ourselves with that today (don’t worry, it shouldn’t cause any “surprises” in the gym at the amounts found in these supplements).

A very interesting property of Yohimbine is the way in which it “targets” alpha-adrenoreceptors. Without going all exercise geek here, these receptors are prominent in common “trouble areas,” such as the hip and thigh areas on female trainees. Basically, these receptors are “stubborn” when it comes to letting fat in these areas be mobilized and utilized. While ingesting Yohimbine prior to exercise won’t quite lead to spot-reduction, it may increase the rate at which one sees results in these areas (of course, one must also maintain a caloric deficit, but hopefully that is common knowledge among my readers by now).

The downside to Yohimbine is that it poses a greater threat to sensitive individuals than caffeine does, so be cautious with the dose and start low. Consuming too much can cause a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, anxiety, and other issues. Yohimbine should be avoided by anyone afflicted by liver problems.

So, should I buy these or not?

In the end, these types of supplements are only going to help burn maybe a couple hundred extra calories over the course of the day. Assuming one’s budget allows and they have no health concerns, then sure, these supplements can be a worthwhile purchase. However, most of them are also filled with a bunch of exotic junk to make them sound impressive, so I’d recommend purchasing the individual ingredients rather than some expensive formula. ?