Weight loss supplements are one of the most popular and most reordered nutritional supplements you can buy on the market today. One of the main categories of ingredients in weight loss supplements are stimulants. You will find a variety of different stimulants and often more than one in almost every diet pills or fat burner. Why are stimulants so prevalent in weight loss supplements?
What are Stimulants?
Stimulants are an ingredient or compound that works with the neurotransmitters in the brain. Stimulants work to amplify and accelerate neurotransmitters giving the person an increase in energy and alertness. The greater stimulation works on the anatomic nervous system with potential increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breath.
Common Stimulant Weight Loss Ingredients
Caffeine is by far the most common stimulant ingredient found in weight loss supplements. Caffeine is rarely the sole ingredient though is often combined with other stimulants for greater energy potential. Caffeine can be found naturally in over 60 different plants with cocoa, tea, gurana, yerba mate, and kola nut some of the most common.
As most nutritional supplements are herbal and not pharmaceutical products the source of the caffeine is often listed on the nutritional label.
Caffeine works to increases adrenaline which is a hormone that can stimulate the release of fat cells into the blood stream to be used as energy. A recent study found that consuming a milligram of caffeine supported people in burning 0.1 calories per day. This can be converted to taking 150mg of caffeine to an extra 15 calories. Many of the strongest weight loss supplements contain 300mg of caffeine.
Green tea or green tea extract is another common weight loss ingredient with two active compounds to support weight loss. First, green tea is a natural source of caffeine with the benefits stated above and the second is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
The EGCG works to slow down the breakdown of adrenaline which allows for greater increases in stimulation. A research stud found that green tea supplements containing caffeine increased metabolic rate by 4% with greater fat burning effect of 16% over a 24-hour period.
Garcinia cambogia is an extract from a tropical fruit made famous from Dr. Oz. The active ingredient in garcinia cambogia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA can block the enzyme ATP citrate lyase which supports the body in storing less fat.
The research on garcinia cambogia has been mixed. One 12-week study did show a positive body fat reduction with participants taking garcinia cambogia supplements over the placebo group. Like many weight loss supplement ingredients, they are rarely taken alone and often part of proprietary blends of a variety of different types of ingredients.
Yohimbine is almost as common as caffeine in weight loss supplements. You find yohimbine from the bark of the yohimbe tree. Yohimbine and yohimbe are used interchangeably in many of the information about different diet pills.
Yohimbine has the ability to increase levels of not just adrenaline though noradrenaline and dopamine as well. This has the potential for greater fat burning and metabolic boosts.
Yohimbine seems to have the most benefit when combined with a good exercise program as one study looking at professional athletes found a 2% reduction in body fat over the placebo group in just three weeks.
Bitter Orange / Synephrine
Synephrine is the active ingredient and natural stimulant found in the citrus fruit bitter orange. Synephrine has become the go to weight loss ingredient for anything claiming to be ephedra free or stimulant free.
Synephrine has been found in many studies to have a positive relationship with weight loss and boosting metabolism. The key benefit of synephrine is many studies have found that the weight loss benefits come without increases in heart rate and blood pressure.
Safety and Side Effects
For most people the effects of stimulants are handled just fine. Like in all cases moderation is the key and following correct dosages on the different products is essential.
Some of the most common issues include nausea, headaches, and constipation. It isn’t recommended to take more than 400mg of caffeine in one dosage.