If you are a bodybuilder, a fitness fanatic, or you are simply working to shed some excess weight, then chances are that you have heard about thermogenics and the apparent ease in which they can assist you in achieving your weight loss goals. So how does taking thermogenic supplements help aid the process of weight loss?
What are thermogenics?
Thermogenics are supplements designed to assist your body in the process of metabolising fat cells, which means they help you get slimmer, quicker! They work by raising your core body temperature which in turn stimulates your metabolism.
Your metabolism is responsible for the many different chemical reactions within your body such as processing energy and synthesising other substances that are integral to maintaining a healthy body. It is your metabolism that determines the rate at which you work off, or store, fat cells. Simply put, if you are blessed with a fast metabolism you will notice that your body burns calories and fat cells at a fast rate, meaning you stay relatively slim and lean even though you eat what you like. If you have an average metabolism then you will find that if you make healthy food choices and exercise regularly you will find it relatively easy to stay a healthy weight. People who have sluggish or slow metabolisms tend to gain weight easily and struggle to shed it. Fortunately slow metabolisms are not as common as some might believe and many who feel their metabolisms are slow, might just need to reflect on their lifestyle habits and implement some changes to help speed it up.
Thermogenics work by accelerating the rate in which your body chews through fat cells by heating up the body, which in turn affects the rate at which your metabolism is functioning. Through the use of thermogenesis the body is stimulated into action, which means that all the normal healthy functions of the body speed up. Many thermogenic supplements also work to increase energy levels, suppress your appetite, regulate insulin levels as well as give you the extra drive you need to push harder and faster in your workouts.
Like any fitness based supplement, thermogenics are best used in conjunction with regular exercise and a healthy diet plan to help you achieve the most effective weight loss results. You cannot expect to see results if you take thermogenics, yet continue to eat fried foods and not exercise. However if you use them as instructed, whilst following a healthy diet and exercise plan, then you may be pleasantly surprised at how efficient you become at losing those extra pounds.
Who Should Avoid Them?
Unfortunately thermogenics are not appropriate for everyone, so it is important to read the labels and talk to your fitness professional about what might be appropriate for you. If you know yourself to be sensitive to stimulants such as caffeine, or if you are pregnant, have any health condition that pertains to your heart, or you suffer from anxiety or other stress related disorders, then it is unadvisable that you use thermogenics. Many people experience negative side effects from the commercial brands of thermogenics because they are highly stimulating. If you are concerned about whether thermogenics are appropriate for your situation, then consult your doctor before purchasing any.
Are There Side Effects?
There are many different types of thermogenics available on the market. Because many of the commercial grade thermogenics contain high levels of stimulants they can be dangerous for people who are pregnant, caffeine sensitive, suffer with nervous disorders or have heart conditions including high blood pressure. There are a wide range of ingredients included in many of the commercial grade thermogenics, including bitter orange (citrus aurantium), garcinia cambogia, pyruvate, and ephedra that have been documented as causing unpleasant side effects. Some of the milder side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Heart palpitations
Some of the sever side effects experienced by people with pre-existing health conditions, or who have misused a product, have included:
- Heart Attack
For those of you that are sensitive to the effects of thermogenics available from athlete stores, yet are still looking for that extra help needed in your weight loss plan, then don’t despair. There are many different natural options that still have thermogenic properties, yet that don’t put your body under so much stress. Keep in mind though that they still have thermogenic properties which mean that not all of these may be appropriate for you either, so make sure you check with your health professional.
Natural Thermogenic Products
- Guarana: Also known as ‘Brazilian Cocoa’, guarana has an active ingredient called guaranine that is chemically identical to caffeine
- Green Tea: Many of you may be surprised to learn that green tea is actually from the same plant as black tea. The only difference is that black tea has more contact with the sun and is slightly more processed, meaning that green tea retains more nutritional value. The active thermogenic property in it is caffeine.
- Hydroxycitric Acid: This is an extract taken from a fruit found in the Indian jungles, called Garcinia Cambogia. Similar to citric acid, this extract is said to help inhibit the process in which fat cells are stored, as well as working as an appetite suppressant by regulating the serotonin levels in the brain.
- Choline: From the B Group vitamins, choline contributes to weight loss by mixing blood and fat together, so that it can be carried through the body instead of being deposited on the arterial walls. It has many other health benefits including preventing gallstones, promoting liver health, and aiding in memory retention.
- Calcium: Often we think of calcium as essential for building strong bones, which is true, however calcium also involved in the activation of lipase. Lipase is the enzyme that works on breaking down fat ready for use in the body.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): Also knows as omega 3, 6 and 9, are healthy fats that actually work to initiate the metabolising for existing fat stores within the body and increase your metabolic rate.