Thermogenics – What is it?
Just the word “thermogenics” probably gives you some idea what the concept might be all about beneath the surface. If you think it sounds like it has something to do with temperature, then you would be right. The term thermogenics refers to a class of weight loss supplement that stimulates and accelerates the body’s natural fat burning processes, creating heat in the process of doing so.
Thermogenic compounds, like the ones on the market today, typically work by stimulating the central nervous system. A few examples of known thermogenic substances that can be found in many dietary thermogenic supplements include ginger, caffeine, capsicum, and bitter orange. Up until it was declared too dangerous to be legal and allowed anymore, ephedra was also a very popular thermogenic because of the dramatic results it could sometimes deliver.
One of the most common thermogenic combinations in the bodybuilding world is known as the ECA stack and is a combination of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. (ECA is in fact an anagram of these three substances.) When used in tandem, and in the recommended ratios to each other, these three components can produce powerful thermogenic results. Some bodybuilders even combine it with the previously mentioned cold exposure method to produce an even more powerful effect.
However, as with any medication, thermogenic supplements should be used and managed with care and caution. They are not for prolonged use (typically it is not recommended that they be used for longer than 8 weeks) as such use can lead not only to a loss in effectiveness of the product itself, but to the possibility of physical or psychological addiction. Most experts recommend that if after 8 weeks you still don’t see the result you’re after, you should take some time off from use and then continue at a later date.
In addition to dietary supplements, there are also a number of foods out there that can help you to burn or eliminate fat. Foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, are known to help the body process fatty tissue by diluting it, making it more difficult to absorb in the process. You may also have heard that spicy foods like chili peppers can help give your metabolism a boost and aid in digestion as well. Other foods known to help break down fats and help prevent them from depositing include soy, garlic, and fruits that contain pectin (for example apples).
To further aid in fat loss and prevent weight gain, it’s important to note that some types of foods actually cause your body to burn more calories just by digesting them. For instance, fats and carbs are extremely easy for your body to digest, so it doesn’t burn much energy in the process. Protein, on the other hand, requires your body to burn much more energy to process it, helping to keep your metabolism higher. There are even foods in existence called catabolic foods that are actually thought to burn more calories to digest than you actually get from the food itself. The best known of these include celery and grapefruit.