Thermogenics have always been popular for weight loss. Ever since the dawn of supplementation and fat burners, people seeking weight loss have relied heavily on thermogenics hoping for a magic pill that’ll shed those extra pounds in no time. Thermogenics are substances that promote thermogenesis in the body. By definition, thermogenesis is the process by which body produces heat energy. This heat energy is used to maintain your core body temperature. Your metabolism comprises of several different calorie burning parameters – Calories lost during:
- Daily exercise
- Internal bodily processes E.g. Breathing, respiration, digestion
- Maintenance of lean muscle mass
- Thermogenesis – Conversion of calories to heat energy
Thermogenics work by increasing thermogenesis throughout the body. This way, you burn more calories by creating more heat energy. Thermogenics have the ability to increase our metabolism by 5 – 10%. Typical substances that are labelled as thermogenics include coffee, green tea, chocolate, Capsaicins, Guarana, MaHuang and white willow. The important thing to understand is that thermogenics may partially help you in losing weight but you can’t rely too much on them. Of course, taking a serving of green tea 2, 3 times a day will elevate your calorie burn and give your metabolism a little boost but you still need to do the hard work of exercise, training and fitness. As always, there are no shortcuts when it comes to weight loss. You didn’t gain the extra weight in a week so you won’t be able to shed it off in a week as well.
Thermogenics come in different size and shapes. Some are available in their natural form like Black chocolate, coffee, Oolang tea or green tea. There are commercially available supplements as well that contain caffeine, guarana and MaHuang. The problem with supplements is that they contain very high doses of such chemicals. I wouldn’t suggest these supplements as they can cause serious problems such as excessive sweating, irritability, hyper-activity and in some cases, even heart palpitations. A better option would be to utilize what nature has to offer us. A very good anti-toxin is green tea and it is also a credible thermogenic. A cup of green tea in the morning before your workout can kickstart your day with an increased calorie burn. Coffee is an alternative too. Thermogenics usually work best right before a workout. They are also known to curb appetite.
Another side effect of thermogenics that you should know is insomnia. Try to use thermogenics before 4 – 6pm in the evening. Preferable time is early in the morning. This way, the thermogenics won’t disrupt your sleeping cycle. If you’re really bent on using thermogenic supplements, my recommendation to you is to start with a small dose early in the morning and observe the effects on your body throughout the day. If there weren’t any effects, you may increase the dose slightly, the next day and continue to increase it on daily basis until you find your sweet spot. Also be sure to cycle these supplements for a limited duration. Cycling supplements means that for example, you use the supplement for 2 weeks and then stay off it for 1 week. Cycling is important in thermogenic supplementation otherwise your body counteracts the supplement and builds tolerance. This tolerance build-up in the body can decrease the effectiveness of the thermogenic supplement used for weight loss.