The 3 Best Thermogenics of 2017: How You Can Boost Metabolism with Fat Burners
With so thermogenic supplements in the market, it can be difficult to find out what these new additions to the shelf are, what they do, and, most importantly, do they work and are they safe?
So, we put together a comprehensive guide on thermogenic supplements and ‘fat burners’ along with a roundup of the best thermogenics for you to help with dropping some weight and improving your physique.
Thermogenic Supplements: What are they?
Thermogenic supplements, sometimes known as fat burners, are, in theory, nutritional mixes that cause in increase in body temperature, hence the name “thermo” (meaning heat) and “genic” (meaning creating).
Many supplement manufacturers attempt this through ingredients that are meant to raise body heat directly and allow a greater amount of energy to be expended in a day, without the requirement of more activity.
However, in practice, a lot of these thermogenics usually work by including ingredients that help increase activity, more through boosting subconscious movement like fidgeting which is known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). They can also be effective through reducing hunger, and subsequent food intake.
So, while the claims of thermogenics may be a little misleading right off the bat, it’s important to note that they may still be useful for those looking to lose some unwanted weight, and finding one with the right ingredients is key to assembling a high-quality supplement stack that will help you reach your goals.
Below, we lay out a number of ingredients that you should watch out for before looking at some of the best choices that are currently out there for fat burning supplements.
Best Thermogenics At A Glance
|The Best Option||The Value Option||The Budget Option|
The Grenade Black Ops supplement uses variety with a foundation of effective ingredients to take the top spot!
This supplement offers good value for money. But you may want to avoid it if you’re an athlete.
This is an effective yet simple supplement that is ideal for those on a tight budget, or for tested athletes looking to drop weight.
What Ingredients (And How Much of Them) Makes A Good Thermogenic?
As mentioned above, finding a good thermogenic supplement can sometimes be as easy as looking at the label, as most top quality choices will usually have a common thread of core ingredients that help give the mix it’s fat burning effect.
Below, these ingredients, ranked by importance, are described, along with how they work and any drawbacks that they may contain.
Ingredient #1: Caffeine
One of the most common ingredients seen in thermogenics is also one seen in many pre-workout formulas.
This inclusion is for good reason too, as caffeine is one of the few ingredients that has been consistently shown in research to help decrease hunger and improve activity in both exercise and in fidgeting and recreational moving.
So, if you’re looking for an effective thermogenic supplement, then the first ingredient that it needs to make the cut is an adequate dose (~100 milligrams or more per serving) of this stimulant.
However, it should be noted that, just like in pre-workouts, your body will eventually become accustomed to the dose of caffeine you’re taking, meaning you will needed to cycle it’s use or increase the dose.
Also, taking too much caffeine at once can lead to side effects like sleeplessness, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure and anxiety.
Ingredient #2: Yohimbine
After the caffeine question is answered, this is the next ingredient to look out for. Taken from the bark of the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree, yohimbe has been shown to decrease fat in both obese and lean individuals.
The mechanisms behind this effect lie in the ability of yohimbine to increase adrenaline production in the body, which also increases NEAT, decreases hunger and has a positive effect on mood and focus.
Another effect of yohimbine worth quickly considering is that it acts as an aphrodisiac, with studies showing increased arousal and sexual function.
So, if looking for another thermogenic ingredients, keep an eye out for yohimbine, with the dose of 20 milligrams per day being a good guide for its use in fat loss.
The side effects present with yohimbine closely mimic that of caffeine and it should be noted that many sources of yohimbine can have inaccurate information about the dosage it provides. It may also be difficult to find on most commercial supplements and may have to be purchased separately.
Ingredient #3: Green Tea
This thermogenic acts in mostly the same way as caffeine in reducing hunger and boosting activity. But, unlike the other ingredients on this list, green tea may have a few unique properties that could explain its inclusion in most fat burners.
Some studies have shown that green tea help reduce fat and increase fat burning during activity. It has also been shown to decrease levels of bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol, which can have a positive effect on heart health.
Green tea may also stop the absorption of some carbohydrates, which could in turn, prevent excessive calorie intake and fat accumulation.
These benefits seem to stem from substances within green tea known as catechins, which are antioxidants found in tea herbs that have been studied for a variety of health benefits. It also has a significant amount of caffeine in it, the actions of which are explained above.
Also, because green tea acts as a stimulant in the body similar to caffeine this also means the potential side effects are also more or less the same if doses are too high. The body can also adapt to green tea intake in a similar fashion as to caffeine intake, so cycling its use is recommended.
Ingredient #4: Fucoxanthin
This seaweed extract is a surprising, but deserved, addition to the list. The final place on this list is due to it’s slow-acting nature, as you will need to take 5 milligrams of the extract for anywhere from five right up to sixteen weeks before significant fat-burning takes place.
This ingredient does hold a number of significant benefits though. Firstly, it is the only ingredient listed which is not a stimulant, meaning the effects may not wear off as quick and it holds none of the side effects mentioned above.
Secondly, it affects fat loss by directly changing fat cells and their communication with the body, making this the most ‘direct’ thermogenic on the list. It may also help reduce cholesterol and other dangerous fats in the body.
It is worth noting, however, that there is still very little research on this extract and more studies will be needed to fully understand its use and long-term effectiveness.
Ingredient #4: Artificial Sweeteners
While not a thermogenic ingredient per se, artificial sweeteners, particularly those like aspartame, help decrease hunger and can be very useful in helping to burn fat.
While the main reason behind this is usually through a lower calorie intake, there is some evidence that taking in artificial sweeteners may help improve activity, and may be especially useful when dieting to improve mood.
There is also no significant side effects to artificial sweetener use, so swapping sugar for some aspartame may help in shedding some more fat.
Supplement Round-Up: What Thermogenics Bring the Heat?
Now that we’ve run through some key ingredients to look out for, or add to, a top notch thermogenic supplement, we can look at some of the best pre-made mixes that are currently available. Below, we look at a number of thermogenics to find out what’s the best option for you, even if you’re shopping on a budget.
The Best Option
A Complex Formula with Some Strong Benefits
What puts this formula at the top of the list is the inclusion of both a slow and fast releasing caffeine formula, which will help curb hunger and increase activity, meaning it can also be used as an effective pre-workout mix.
Alongside this, it also includes green tea, which has been shown in some studies to help fat burning and reduce hunger. It also has some pepper extract, which may also help reduce your hunger and shed some fat.
|What We Liked
1. Slow release caffeine
2. Green tea extract
3. Pepper extract
|What We Didn’t Like
1. Some useless ingredients
2. High cost per serving
Overall, the Grenade Black Ops supplement takes a “throw the kitchen sink at it” approach and while this means there is a lot of unnecessary additions to the formula, there is a lot of useful ingredients that can help you lose weight and drop fat.
The Value Option
A No-Frills, Effective Thermogenic Supplement
Unlike the Grenade formula, HUB’s mix takes a more efficient approach of using the bare minimum of effective ingredients. It includes the usual mix of caffeine, green tea and also adds bitter oranges, which has been shown to be an effective stimulant and thus can decrease hunger and boost activity.
However, the inclusion of bitter orange also means that this supplement is off the table for many athletes who are drug tested, as the metabolite of this ingredient, octopine, is a banned substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list.
|What We Liked
1. Effective formula
|What We Didn’t Like
1. Includes banned substance
If you’re an athlete on a budget, the below option may be better for you. But, if you’re a recreational lifter or gym-goer, then this thermogenic offers good value for money. It’s simple, no-frills formula means you know what you’re getting and that what you’re getting works.
The Budget Option
A Big Bang For Your Buck
This thermogenic supplement has the fewest amount of ingredients out of all the three options, and yet can still offer an effective means of helping you lose weight and keep hunger down.
As mentioned above, the Pro Athlete, is also a friendly option for those who are subject to drug tests, with no banned substances present in its ingredient list. It’s effective ingredients includes caffeine, green tea extract and it contains some l-carnitine, which has a small amount of research showing that it may help decrease fat.
|What We Liked
1. Simple formula
|What We Didn’t Like
1. May be inadequate for more experienced supplement buyers.
With an effective stack of simple ingredients and little else, the Pro Athlete supplement is the clear choice for those on a tight budget, or for athletes looking to drop weight. It includes no surprises and should deliver on what it promises, but may require higher dosage after a while.
Processing all of the above information might seem a bit overwhelming, but all the mentioned points breakdown into a very simple pattern.
Firstly, thermogenics work by decreasing hunger and increasing non-exercise activity levels, like fidgeting or walking, not by increasing body temperature directly as some may claim.
These key effects are nearly always caused by a number of central ingredients coupled with a few accessory ingredients, such as green tea, pepper or l-carnitine. These ingredients can thus be bought or consumed alone or added to your thermogenic if you need to save some money.
If you’re looking for a pre-mixed formula, then the three options laid out above will all help you eat less and move more and thus help you drop weight.
However, to ensure as much weight lost comes from fat as possible, a high-quality resistance training program should be carried out and a good high protein diet should be maintained.
So, in closing, we leave a summary of DO’s and DON’T’s when using thermogenic supplements: