Thermogenesis means increasing the metabolic rate by burning fat to produce body heat. There are thousands of supplements on the market today. You should understand that a higher dosage does not mean faster weight loss but an increase in side effects. If you use thermogenic products, you should combine them with a sensible balanced diet and moderate exercise for the best results.
Stimulants that increase thermogenesis
It speeds up the heart rate and increases the metabolic rate. It is safe unless abused, but it has powerful side effects, including cerebral hemorrhage, strokes, and heart irregularities.
- Caffeine affects thermogenesis. It is often combined with ephedrine as a supplement for losing weight. The thermogenic effect of the two is greater than either alone. Caffeine is safe unless taken in extremely high doses. A dose of 400 mg will significantly increase blood pressure, heart palpitations, anxiety, headache, restlessness, and dizziness.
- Capsaicin is found in red hot peppers. Human studies have shown that it causes an increase in thermogenesis. In one long-term study, capasin produced a sustained fat oxidation over time. Weight regain occurred when the dosage of capsaicin was cut in half.
- Green tea contains, among other ingredients, catechins. These stimulate thermogenesis and fat oxidation. Green tea extract also contains caffeine, which has been shown to stimulate thermogenesis. Human studies have showed that green tea has thermogenic properties beyond that of caffeine alone. Green tea has also been used to limit weight regain after weight loss.
A popular combination of supplement ingredients for weight loss is ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin (ECA). The ECA combination increases daily caloric expenditure by nearly 8%. There are various forms of each ingredient that can be put together in different amounts to produce the ECA compound.
- Ephedra is also known as the herb Ma Huang.
- Synephrine is found in the Citrus aurantium fruit plant.
- Caffeine can be found in such ingredients as Guarana, Mate and the Kola nut.
- Aspirin, which is also known as acetyl salicylic acid and other salicylates, can be found in White Willow bark.
Non-stimulants that accelerate thermogenesis for losing weight
There are products being marketed that you can take with thermogenic products to burn additional fat and lose weight. You should understand that some of these are produced naturally by your body and the results achieved by taking them as supplements will be minimal.
- Carnitine is produced by the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is essential for moving fat into the mitochondria of your body cells, where it is consumed. Dairy and red meat contain the greatest amounts of carnitine. Deficiencies are rare, even in vegetarians, because the body produces carnitine very easily.
- Choline is essential for fat metabolism. Without it fats and bile can become trapped in the liver, causing cirrhosis. The Linus Pauling Institute recommends 550 milligrams (mg)/day for adult men and 425 mg/day for adult women. A varied diet should provide enough choline for most people, but vegetarians who consume no milk or eggs may be at risk of inadequate choline intake. A choline supplement would help such people.
- Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) is found in a citrus fruit called garcinia cambogia. It inhibits the enzyme in the body responsible for converting carbohydrates into fat. HCA works best in a combination with a change in eating habits and exercise. HCA and chromium together suppress appetite.
An extract of the Dioscorea Villosa tuber (Wild Yam) increases core temperature and aids fat metabolism. No negative side effects were attributed to it.
A number of scientific journals have published articles on this question, including The International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, American Journal of Physiology have reported on the effectiveness of ephedrine, and green tea as thermogenics.
- BetterBodz.Com. (2000). Fat Loss through Thermogenesis. URL: http://www.betterbodz.com/library/thermogen.html.
- BodyandFitness.Com. (no date). Health Journal: L-Carnitine. URL: http://www.bodyandfitness.com/Information/Health/Research/carnitine.htm.
- Dickson, Wendy. (no date). Ephedrine: Secret of Weight Loss. Vanderbilt University Health Psychology Home Page. URL: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/Ephedrine_wtloss.htm.
- Diepvens , Kristel, et al. (2006). Obesity and Thermogenesis Related to the Consumption of Caffeine, Ephedrine, Capsaicin, And Green Tea. American Journal of Physiology. URL: http://ajpregu.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/292/1/R77.
- Drake, Victoria J. (2008) Choline. Linus Pauling Institute. URL: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/choline/.
- Jolis, Oliver. (no date). Ephedrine and its Effect on Weight Loss. Vanderbilt University Health Psychology Home Page. URL: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/ephedrine-final.htm.
- Whitford, Christina. (2007). Thermogensis. URL: http://www.bodyandfitness.com/Information/Weightloss/thermo.htm