Do Fat burners actually burn fat?
Supplements and General Health • • 1 minute to read • By Praveen Budhrani, INFS Faculty
Author: Praveen Budhrani
What is a Fat Burner?
Fat burners are the dietary supplements sold with the intent to promote improved fat loss and rate of fat loss. Some of the compounds are naturally fat-burning like caffeine and yohimbine. however, most supplements that are sold in the market today are either insufficiently researched, not very effective, and may likely be harmful in some cases.
Due to the limited intervention by the Food and Drug Authorities (FDA), there is very limited control over the variety and quantum of ingredients that supplement companies may put into their products.
Generally, fat burners are a combination of various individual compounds and people generally don't look at the quality and quantity very consciously since fat burners contain stimulants, they may be problematic for people with certain pre-existing disorders like hypertension, insomnia, cardiac issues, or even when there exists an allergy of some kind.
Ingredients of Fat burners?
Let us understand three of the popular ingredients that are used in fat burners and their relationship with the actual fat loss process.
- Caffeine : It is the most popular ingredient for fat loss. There are a bunch of studies that show the benefits of its consumption on fat loss and reduction of BMI, the quantum of fat loss may go up to 3 to 11% ( Dulloo, A.G.,, et al 1989), (Koot, P., et al, 1995)
- Green tea extract: It is known to work alongside caffeine to enhance metabolic rate and thermogenesis. (Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., et al, 2010). Green tea also has a very effective antioxidant called catechin. ****
- Yohimbine: It is an extract from a tree called Pausinytalia yohimbine. Yohimbine is known to block the receptors to which adrenaline binds because of which the adrenaline stays longer in the body and that helps us create a longer fat-burning environment. In a study on 20 soccer players, it was found that yohimbine helped those players reduce their body fat by close to 2 percent (Ostojic, S.M., et al,2006). While it might not look substantial, however, considering those are already-fit athletes, this is a very good number. ****
Losing fat/weight is a function of creating a negative energy balance (net caloric deficit), which can be done by following a structured diet and training routine and there is no necessity to consume the fat burners separately or rather any supplement if you are able to meet your nutrient requirements efficiently and conveniently. Having said that, one must assess the cost, risk, and rewards when it comes to using fat burners, they do carry some risk and most likely will only be beneficial in case of people with already low body fat and looking to lose further fat from their body, maybe someone like a bodybuilder in their peak week.
- Dulloo, A.G., Geissler, C.A., Horton, T., Collins, A. and Miller, D.S., 1989. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 49 (1), pp.44-50.
- Koot, P. and Deurenberg, P., 1995. Comparison of changes in energy expenditure and body temperatures after caffeine consumption. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 39 (3), pp.135-142.
- Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., 2010. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiology & Behavior, 100 (1), pp.42-46.
- Ostojic, S.M., 2006. Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Research in Sports Medicine, 14 (4), pp.289-299.
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