Thermogenic formulas are constantly changing and improving. Check out these next-generation fat-burning ingredients.
Trying to find a thermogenic that is perfect for you is similar to nailing Jell-O to a tree. What works for your gym partner may be too harsh for you, or you just may not respond to it. There are so many different ingredients, and each individual has their own biochemical tolerance levels and receptor sensitivity, so finding the right thermogenic ingredient for you is a system of trial and error. Here’s a rundown of some of the latest and most promising ingredients to look for that can help you feel the burn and get shredded. You may not have even heard of some of these, but one could be the fat-burning substance that jibes the best with your own system.
It should be noted that most of these supplements are not used by itself for supplementation, but rather are combined in a blend that contains one or more ingredient along with caffeine. Our previous issue already examined caffeine and its ability to increase your metabolism; however, when several additional ingredients are added, it is possible that unpleasant side effects—rapid heart rate, anxiety, irritability—can arise if overused. Make sure you always follow the manufacturer’s label regarding use to prevent any unwanted reactions. If you can find the formula that agrees with you, then a good thermogenic product can help you achieve that lean and shredded look you’ve always wanted.
Believe it or not, theobromine is found in cocoa and, to a lesser degree, chocolate. In fact, the darker the chocolate, the higher the theobromine content, which is one of the reasons why dark chocolate enjoys a reputation as a health food. One ounce of milk chocolate has about 60 milligrams of theobromine, while one ounce of dark chocolate has about 200 milligrams. It has similar effects to that of caffeine in that it increases your metabolism, but to a lesser extent. However, it’s more widely known as a diuretic and used to treat high blood pressure. It’s even been shown to mitigate the symptoms of asthma.
Theobromine research has provided modest yet positive results regarding its use as a fat burner. In fact, it’s been shown to significantly reduce body fat when combined with regular exercise. Additionally, theobromine has also resulted in improved blood lipid profiles. This is done by theobromine attaching to certain receptors that activate pathways leading to lipolysis (fat breakdown). Although it boosts the metabolism to a lesser extent than caffeine, it does stimulate the heart to a greater degree. It’s possible to feel like your heart is racing while supplementing with it.
Currently it is recommended that users consume approximately no more than 1,000 milligrams of theobromine each day. You should probably start out with a smaller dose, just as you would with any other thermogenic, and work your way up to larger doses; although, don’t consume over 500 milligrams in a single dose. You can purchase it in a pure form or in a supplement.
6-Paradol/Grains of Paradise
Grains of paradise is a botanical from West Africa that derives from the ginger family. It has recently been receiving attention because a few celebrity chefs use it in place of traditional black pepper to flavor certain foods. From it, the principle ingredient that is extracted is called 6-paradol. Although research is still emerging, it is believed that 6-paradol increases thermogenesis.
A recent study determined that daily ingestion increased whole-body energy expenditure and decreased visceral fat through activation of brown adipose tissue. Brown adipose tissue is thought to be metabolically active and is particularly active under cold stress. Upon activation, it increases your metabolism to increase heat production.
Research has shown that approximately 30 to 40 milligrams per day resulted in an increase in energy expenditure. Because it’s a spice, you can use it on your food in place of pepper, and you can take it in several popular supplements, as more companies are incorporating it into their thermogenic formulas.
Rauwolscine is an extract from a specific type of shrub. It’s very similar to yohimbine in that is works as an antagonist to certain receptors. Essentially it blocks the specific receptors, which results in the release of nitric oxide and nor-epinephrine. (Because of this, it can increase blood pressure and heart rate, and is thus classified as a central nervous system stimulant.) These receptors are located on fat cells, and when rauwolscine attaches to these receptors, it causes the release of stored fat.
Very few studies have investigated the effects of rauwolscine by itself; however, several studies have shown that ingestion of it as part of a supplement blend results in reduced bodyweight and body-fat percentage. It’s uncertain whether rauwolscine was the main cause of the weight loss because it was used in conjunction with other ingredients; however, a supplement that contains only yohimbine and rauwolscine reportedly results in fat loss and appetite suppression. More studies are needed to determine its effectiveness, but reports from users are promising.
Determining an effective dose of rauwolscine has been difficult for researchers. Because it is very similar in structure to yohimbine, recommendations on dosage are similar to that of yohimbine. Experts recommend that you ingest no more than 0.2 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight, although less may be used to obtain the desired effect.
capsaicin is an active chemical in chili peppers. It produces a burning sensation with any tissues it contacts. If you’ve ever peeled a green chili without gloves on and then rubbed your eyes, you know what I’m talking about. But even more, capsaicin is one of the more widely researched ingredients to be used in dietary supplements for weight loss. The mechanism of action is unclear, but it appears that it may increase metabolism by activating brown adipose tissue.
Recent research has shown that ingestion of 135 milligrams of capsaicin per day increased fat oxidation compared to a placebo. Further, a review of 20 different studies determined that capsaicin resulted in increased energy expenditure, increased lipid oxidation, and reduced appetite. They also found that regular ingestion resulted in reduced belly fat.
Since capsaicin is considered an irritant, it is possible that too much ingested at a time can cause some unwanted side effects. Experts recommend you ingest no more than 500 milligrams in a single dose, but most products that contain capsaicin keep the dosage relatively low and spread throughout the day. Capsaicin can be bought as a cayenne pepper extract, which limits a single dose to 500 milligrams.
By Jenevieve Roper PHD, CSCS