By Alex Eriksson
Almost everyone who works out, either for performance, getting physically fit, or weight loss, gets to a point when they just stop losing fat.
To break through this fat loss plateau, some turn to using fat burner supplements. This is an advisable course of action for one’s fat loss goals, if you make sure to use the right one for you.
Since most fat burning supplements available in the market today contain stimulants, you are more likely to take a product that contains these chemicals. Depending on the stimulant used, the product could be effective for short term or for long term fat loss. But, either way, fat burners with stimulants could have harmful repercussions for your long term health.
This is why it is better for some people to choose non-stimulant fat burners. They may seem to take effect slower, but there are also less risks involved.
What Makes Stimulants A Bad Idea?
So, if you’re looking for fat burner supplements but are usually sensitive to stimulants, it is best that you avoid all stimulant-based ones because of the following:
Stimulants cause your body to produce catecholamines that raise your heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism. This raised metabolism helps your body to burn through your fat stores for energy. However, the increased heart rate and blood pressure are not seen as positive aspects.
Due to genetic mutations present in some people, catecholamines are not always broken down quickly by the body. This can lead to a heightened negative response to any ingested stimulant substances, manifesting as side-effects such as palpitations, nausea, anxiety, hallucinations, and even panic attacks.
Stimulants create their fat burning effect by prompting your body to produce more adrenaline, the catecholamine that induces our “fight or flight” response. This heightens your body’s metabolism along with the previously mentioned increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Chronic stimulant exposure to your cardiovascular system to these effects raises your risk for cardiac arrest or stroke.
Aside from an increased metabolism, adrenaline also increases your mental alertness. Normally, this is not harmful and would even help you to get yourself out of a crisis. But, if you are chronically stimulating your brain it can affect your biochemistry to a negative degree.
This can make you more likely to experience anxiety and panic attacks even for a period after you have stopped taken the supplements. In the long term, this increases risks for depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses.
Decreased Efficacy in the Long-term
Your body can develop tolerance to the effects of stimulants in just four days. With your tolerance developed, any fat-burning effect you’re hoping to achieve won’t happen. Unless you increase your dosage, this leaves you with a product that does not have any effect to show.
If you do increase your dosage, you will be accelerating the development and increasing the risk for occurrence of the negative health risks previously discussed.
The Best Risk Free Fat Burners
Carnitine stimulates your body to use the energy found in your fat stores as energy. Carnitine does this by breaking down the fat you have into its simpler form, fatty acids. Being in this form, fatty acids can be easily used by the mitochondria (your energy producing factories) as fuel.
Although Carnitine can be naturally found in dairy and beef, the amount needed to create a fat-burning effect far exceeds the amount you can get from the food you normally eat. A Carnitine supplement is a practical solution to getting the necessary amounts and having it in a way that can be easily consumed.
Moreover, if you take your Carnitine supplement before working out, you increase its fat burning effect since you use up more energy during exercise. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is the most bioavailable form currently on the market.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Confirmed to have numerous fat-burning effects, CLA is a fatty acid that can be found in grass-fed animals like beef and mutton, and in smallar amounts in portobello and almond mushrooms. Conjugated Linoleic Acid burns your fat by raising your basal or resting metabolic rate, which makes your body more efficient in turning food into energy. This keeps your body from storing more energy into your fat cells and promopts your body’s to use of stored fat for energy.
However, a study has shown that the benefits of CLA can be improved by taking the right type of CLA. A mixture of CLA c9,t11 and CLA t10,c12 have resulted in a body fat loss of 7 percent more than those who have only taken CLA c9,t11. A good alternative source of CLA on the market is powdered coffee creamers that include grass-fed butter, which is a great source of CLA.
When your body is depleted of glucose and carbohydrates, it enters a state of ketosis, wherein it metabolizes fat for energy. In this state, you are using your fat stores for energy to keep your bodily functions going. To put it simply, you are burning body fat without having to be in a calorie deficit.
Unfortunately, if you are used to a diet high in carbohydrates, entering a state of ketosis can be quite hard and could be detrimental to your athletic performance as it can take many weeks for the body to adapt.
An easier solution is taking exogenous ketones, they send a message to your brain that ketosis is achieved. This prompts your brain to release hormones to suppress your appetite and induce fulness, and to primarily use body fat for energy. In this state, your body won’t crave carbohydrates as it has another energy source readily available which is ketones.
Just don’t forget that this does not excuse you from eating a lot of carbohydrates. In fact, taking exogenous ketones supplement while on a low carb diet or fasting intermittently can improve its fat loss benefits.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in peanuts, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and raw beef liver. One of its functions in your body is to keep your liver free from any form of fat build up – cholesterol and triglycerides. With your liver clean, it can be more efficient in metabolizing fat for energy.
Because of Choline’s natural fat burning effect, it is often used by athletes that require to stay at a certain weight class for competitions (such as boxing and taekwondo). These athletes have been studied while under choline supplementation and results have confirmed its effect on fat metabolism and body mass reduction.
Sesamin is a compound found in sesame seeds, oats, and flax. Sesamin improves your body’s fat metabolism by promoting liver enzyme activity. Which improves fat metabolism and your body can then easily use the fat in your blood stream and fat cells for energy. This decreases the chances of your body storing body fat for later use.
Aside from its fat burning benefits, it can suppress the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular type diseases.
Non-stimulant fat burners utilize our body’s natural processes and responses. There are no long-term negative effects on your mental or cardiovascular health. Unlike stimulant-based fat burners, where you are artificially raising your metabolism so that your body will use up more calories.
By taking non-stimulant fat burners, you can achieve the benefits of stimulant fat burners without sacrificing your health. In this way, you are not only taking care of the aesthetic and athletic aspects of your body but, also, your overall health and wellbeing.
Alex Eriksson is the founder of Anabolic Health, a men’s health blog dedicated to providing honest and research backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals. Check out his guide on The Ultimate Guide to Manly Cooking or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
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