In this post I will talk about the ingredients of the top 5 fat burners on Amazon.com and talk about the reasons why we should and should not use. Scroll down to the bottom for my final verdict on fat burners!
3 types of fat burners:
Thermogenesis is the process of producing heat in the human body. A fat burner will often contain thermogenic compounds that can increase your body heat, which contributes to you losing fat.
Fat binding supplements will attack the fat directly. This gives your body an easier time excreting them out of your system since the fat doesn’t have time to settle.
This type mainly prevents you from gaining more weight since any new fat molecules will automatically bind to the fat burner and exit your body.
Some burners can suppress your appetite (not the healthiest way). They supposedly make it easier for your stick to a diet but it's mostly a very short term solution as your body will get used to them and falls into its old habits.
Unfortunately, there are certainly no magic to be expected but I am going to go through these fat burners and see if some of them can be healthy and effective.
When I was younger this product got banned form the stores because of a 19 year old died after taking the pill but I guess they are back the market now with a new formula! Let’s look at the list of ingredients. It’s actually not that bad!
Green bean coffee extract:
extracted from green unroasted coffee beans. The reason they use green coffee bean is because coffee loses some of its constituents such as chlorogenic acid, a polyphenol antioxidant that researchers speculate may promote weight loss by reducing the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut, and lowering insulin levels to improve metabolic function.
There has been a few studies done on weigh loss effects of green bean extract: there is a meta-analysis that includes the result of only randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled studies which researched on two group of people and given them green coffee bean and some got a placebo (fake pill) and they found out that the group who took the green coffee bean actually lost a insignificant amount of weight than the group with the fake pill. For the high dosage of caffeine they took, the result was pretty insignificant.
Caffeine effects every person differently but in general 200-300 mg per day is a healthy dosage for most people. Research has shown that usage of high dosages of caffeine for long periods of time can have some negative effect on women. Regular high intakes of caffeine throughout the day may interact with peripheral metabolic mechanisms in women increase the stress hormone which can result in weight gain.
Caffeine also increases insulin sensitivity and causes dehydration.
There was another study done on women who drank 250 mg of caffeine 3 times daily and before the exercise and they experienced higher than normal cortisol level after their first meal.
So one cup of coffee before your workout seems like the most ideal way to use caffeine! Everything in moderation.
You should also know that some nutritionists or doctors prescribe caffeine and ephedrine for people are are obese and struggle with fat loss. It seems to have an effect of suppressing the appetite and raising core body temperature while performing moderate exercises such as walking.
L-theanine is an amino acid derived from green tea. L-theanine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, at recommended doses it safely imparts a sense of calm and well-being, reduced mental stress and anxiety, and improves memory and cognitive function. It has very similar properties to caffeine but it feels a little cleaner!
When added to pre workouts, it is the ingredient that makes you happy and helps you become focused on your workouts as it it will lower your heart rate raised by caffeine in this supplement. For this reason green tea extract alone can also be somewhat a healthier pre workout pill! To get the same amount of of L-theanine from green tea, you'll have to drink about 20 cups of green tea.
They also include black pepper extracts a cayenne pepper which also help with boosting your metabolism!
The Animal Cut
Some of its main ingredients:
Caffeine anhydrous: This is just caffeine powder
Kola nuts: contains caffeine and boosts blood circulations
Yerba Seed: Has a lot of caffeine and improves mental focus. It’s a South American drink.
Raspberry Ketones: Extracted from blackberries, kiwis and cranberries. It has only been tested on rats not humans however, they resulted in an increased secretion of adiponectin, a hormone produced by fat cells that helps the body break down fat. In one study the rats that took raspberry ketones lost more fat and in another study they noticed that raspberry ketones actually stimulated the fat cells.
L-Tyrosine: Increases alertness. Fun fact: it is used in ADHD and ADD medications.
Olive leaf extract and Salvia Officinal: Both are plant-based extracts which have anti-inflammatory benefits. You might have heard of Salvia with hallucinogen properties. They are from the same family but aren’t the same thing!
Dandelion Tea Extract helps lose water weight, Jupiter berry fruit and celery seed. They all help with reducing inflammation and losing water weight. You can get dandelion tea bags to help you lose some water weight.
There is also DMAE which is naturally found in our bodies and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. And it helps the brain functions and enhances your mood. They actually use this compound in ADHD medicines as well.
There are other compounds that are used to improve brain functions such as cocoa powder, bacopacides and huperzine A which is used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
There are some more plant extracts that help lowering cortisol and stress which will help you having a better workout.
In addition, there are some ingredients that are supposed to help you burn fat but there hasn’t been a lot of research done on them to prove if they are effective and what their long term effects are such as apple pectin, cha de Bugre and cinnamon.
This one is my personal favorite. It contains of 6000 mg of citrulline and over 1200 of l arginine which work hand in hand.
L arginine is a semi essential amino acid which becomes essential during the time of stress or intense workout and Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid which means body can synthesize it by itself. l- arginine can be synthesized from citrulline and They both play roles in increasing blood flow, lowering blood pressure but there hasn’t been real scientific evidence that proves they actually improve athletic abilities.
helps with fatigue and muscle recovery.
Creatine: Consists of 3 amino acids and 95% of it is stored in our skeletal muscles. It is transported through the blood and used by parts of the body that have high energy demands, such as skeletal muscle and the brain. It is naturally found in red meat and fish. Is provides energy during high intensity training which is when our bodies become deficient in creatine.
It works better with fast twitch muscles like back and shoulders not legs
Betaine: can be found in including spinach, beets, and whole grains. Research shown that it increased power in healthy athletic group of people but it didn’t effect people who were overweight.
Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid important in several of the body's metabolic processes, is thought to have antioxidant properties Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish, dairy products and human milk.
C4 includes a long list of vitamin C and B which are both water soluble and are responsible. These vitamins can form coenzymes! Which basically means they can help break down macronutrients in your blood and give you ATP or energy. The good thing is that we don’t have to be too worried about consuming a lot of these vitamins because they will exit our body when we pee!
This one might sound a little intense but the ingredients are not much different than what we have already discussed. The ingredient's list is actually pretty short!
In addition to what we have already discussed, it includes Pantothenic Acid which is also a B vitamin.
There is Chromium which is supposed to induce weight loss but again there was a double blind placebo research done in the navy and it found that there was Chromium was ineffective.
The Nitric Oxide Supplement
There is citrulline and L-Arginine which we have already discussed above.
Glutathione: glutathione is a strong antioxidant that body can make in the liver. They actually use it for weight control purposes to help with insulin sensitivity. Unfortunately, this compound has been linked to a lot of health issues and can cause bloating and rash and is illegal in Canada. I would stay away from this one if I were you.
The Final Verdict:
Most fat burners’ main ingredient is caffeine, and some are not regulated and may contain ingredients that are not healthy.
I generally recommend pre workouts only when you are doing a crazy sweaty workout because they include ingredients such as carnitine so if you become deficient in it when you ae exercising really hard so the pre workout would help other than that, a cup of coffee would do without having to ingest processed and chemicals to your body.
Why I don't regularly use pre-workouts:
1. heart rate
Fat burners also increase your heart rate which might get you really excited about your workout, but you might be so stimulated that you can’t really focus on your workout. You might become distracted or won’t be able to breathe properly through out your exercise.
Remember your fat cells need oxygen to burn and if you can’t breathe properly, you won’t be burning any fat.
I also find that pre workout lose their effects after a while when you take them on a regular basis. Remember pre workouts are stimulants kind of like alcohol. Your body gets used to the and loses its effect and if you consume more, you will get intoxicated and in this case, you might actually develop some kidney issues in future.
3. Increase Power not Strength
It makes you think you are powerful and stronger and you might attempt preforming exercises your muscles are not ready for and you might end up hurting yourself or spend more time to recover,
4. Not Natural
At the end of the day, even though these ingredients sound like they are coming from teas and plants or they are already amino acids available in our bodies, they are made in a lab and are stimulates. I believe if we follow a right diet and exercise regularly, we don’t really need it. In fact, I never used any pre workouts for my lost serious fat loss phase. I use them when I need motivation to get me through some of my more intense workouts.
Which ones do I recommend?
I wouldn’t really count on it for weight loss but more as a pre workout.
In order to lose weight, out goal These pre workouts or fat burners are mostly based on caffeine and cause thermogenesis which means your body temperature goes up. That’s something you can do best with a little it of coffee and exercising. Remember they don’t do magic an you can only achieve your goals by following the right diet and exercise.