Weight loss is one of the biggest difficulties for athletes, bodybuilders and anyone wanting to improve their overall health. While diet and regular exercise are the foundation for any effective weight loss regimen, supplements can provide a significant leg up to those who want to shed the extra pounds.
While fat burning supplements come in a variety forms, some of the most popular are thermogenic fat burners. Let’s take a closer look at what they are and how they work.
Understanding Your Metabolism
Before we go into thermogenics, you should understand your own metabolism. Metabolism refers to the process of converting the things you consume into usable energy. While the process is complex, it generally involves breaking down foods and drinks into their component parts and then burning them to create a unit of heat energy known as the calorie. These calories get combined with oxygen to release the energy you need to power your body.
Metabolism happens even when you are at rest. You need that energy for breathing, walking, circulating blood, maintaining your cells and performing all the other hidden functions that you are unconsciously performing while reading this right now. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories that your body needs to do all of these basic functions. This is determined by a wide range of factors, including:
- Your gender
- Your age
- Body composition and size
What are Thermogenic Fat Burners?
Along with your basal metabolic rate, thermogenesis is one of the factors that plays into how many calories you burn. Thermogenesis is also your body’s natural process of creating heat. Diet-induced thermogenesis describes the process of processing food, from digestion to absorption to storage, all of which requires calories. This processing releases heat as a byproduct. Thermogenesis is estimated to account for about 100 to 800 calories burned every day.
Studies show that thermogenesis (and your overall metabolism) is also affected by your physical activity. When you exercise, your body produces more heat, increasing your core temperature.
Thermogenic fat burners are supplements designed to increase the amount of heat your body produces so that it uses body fat as its main source of energy. Along with increasing your metabolism, these supplements reportedly suppress your appetite, allowing you to eat less throughout the day to further encourage weight loss.
Common and Effective Thermogenic Ingredients
There are a wide range of ingredients that may potentially increase your body temperature and induce thermogenic effects. Caffeine tends to be the most prevalent thermogenic ingredient. Caffeine is a naturally occurring compound found most commonly in coffee, though it’s also a component in cacao, kola nuts and green, black and white teas. While it is best known for waking you up and giving you a boost in energy, caffeine has also been shown to increase thermogenesis and lipolysis, the process of breaking down fats. Be aware, however, that too much caffeine has its drawbacks, including sleep issues, digestive problems and inevitable crashes.
Theacrine, which is marketed as TeaCrine®, is a compound similar to caffeine, enough that it shares the same molecular structure. It can provide the same thermogenic effects and support weight loss, but it does away with many of caffeine’s drawbacks. Unlike caffeine, TeaCrine® does not cause jittery energy or irritability. It instead creates a smooth flow of energy that prevents crashing, habituation and rapid tolerance. Theacrine can also be used in conjunction with caffeine, allowing for complementary effects.
Grains of paradise, scientifically known as Aframomum meleguetta, is an herb that belongs in the same family as ginger. The seeds from this herb are used as a pungent spice in cuisine, but it also offers some surprising health benefits. Traditionally, grains of paradise has been used as an aid for digestive and intestinal health issues, but recent studies suggest that the spice may actually prove effective as a thermogenic ingredient.
Capsaicin is one of the primary components in hot peppers, responsible for giving them their characteristic spiciness. That burning sensation may also contribute to thermogenesis. Studies show that capsaicin may trigger your body to produce heat through stimulation of certain neurons.
Evodiamine is one of the active ingredients in the plant Evodia rutaecarpa. This plant bears berries known as the fruits of evodia. In traditional Chinese medicine, these berries were actually eaten to increase body warmth while also reducing gastrointestinal distress and relieving pain. Studies suggest that evodiamine may act as a thermogenic element, increasing your heat production while also reducing your perception of cold.
Are Thermogenic Fat Burners Right for You?
Understand that thermogenic supplements are not miracle pills. While they can help you lose some weight, thermogenics still require you to put in the work with a regular exercise regiment and a diet plan that includes all your necessary vitamins and nutrients.
If you do decide to include a thermogenic fat burner into your regimen, take account of your tolerance and cycle your usage. Start with the minimum dosage to see how sensitive you might be to the ingredients. Taking too many can have negative effects, including high blood pressure. It is also not uncommon for some bodybuilders to develop a tolerance to thermogenic ingredients over time, in which case you should cycle your usage. It’s common to take the supplement for three weeks and then go off of them for one week. Others cycle two weeks on and two weeks off.
While you are taking thermogenic supplements, remember to drink more water than you are normally used to. Most thermogenics are known to have a mild diuretic effect, meaning they cause you to lose more water. While daily needs differ from person to person, the average bodybuilder should aim for one to two gallons of water a day.
Many thermogenic ingredients, particularly caffeine, increase your mental awareness and energy, which may prevent you from getting proper sleep. As fun as going out all night might seem, it’s not the best idea for your health. Your body needs its time to recover and repair your muscles. The average person requires up to 8 hours of sleep, but bodybuilders will probably require more.
If you want to give thermogenics a try, consider Pyroxamine™ from MYOKEM™. Pyroxamine™ uses a unique formula of natural ingredients to create a high performance thermogenic agent to accelerate fat loss and suppress appetite while providing a clean, smooth flow of energy.
That said, thermogenics are not for everyone, and you may find just as much success with a diet plan that takes into account your calorie needs and macronutrients. Not everyone loses weight the same way, so listen to your body and feel free to try something else.