If your goal is to shed weight, there are a few things you can do to boost your body’s calorie-burning power. First, lower your caloric intake to a level below maintenance, and then gradually raise your energy output. Over time, with consistent effort, your body will respond and you’ll see the number on the scale will start to drop. But, with the addition of a few key supplements, you can help boost your body’s ability to burn fat. While there are no magic tools to make fat loss an easy process, supplements might help give your body that extra push it needs. These four top our list for their ability to increase your metabolism, improve your energy, and power you through strong workouts.
This compound is somewhat of a hybrid between an amino acid and a vitamin, but is commonly referred to as an amino acid. It’s created in the liver and kidneys, but is primarily stored in muscle cells and helps the body transport fat to the mitochondria of cells. Once there, they can be used as fuel, especially during intense exercise. If the body is lacking in carnitine, the ability to oxidize fat is hindered.
How to get it:
Red meat is one of the best sources of carnitine, delivering up to 100mg per 2.5 oz. serving. Other proteins such as chicken, pork, and seafood contain carnitine, but in much lower doses. When supplementing, a dose of 2 – 3g is recommended and can be reached either through liquid or capsules like KAGED MUSCLE
Red meat is one of the best sources of carnitine, delivering up to 100mg per 2.5 oz. serving. Other proteins such as chicken, pork, and seafood contain carnitine, but in much lower doses. When supplementing, a dose of 2 – 3g is recommended and can be reached either through liquid or capsules like KAGED MUSCLE L-Carnitine. Research has found that results may be enhanced if taken with carbohydrates as the insulin spike helps carnitine enter the cell.
Carnitine has also been found to assist with recovery, reducing muscle soreness by improving the efficiency of androgen receptors and protein synthesis.
When weight loss is your goal, you’ll want to get the most out of each and every workout session. Stimulants such as caffeine and green tea impact your central nervous system, sending signals to your body to rev up energy in response to the chemical change. When you’re trying to shed weight, this is beneficial in two ways. First, it boosts your energy during a workout. Second, it ramps up your metabolic efficiency for fat burning.
During a cutting phase, your calories decrease, which translates into less energy overall. Over time, this can impact your training sessions, one area you need high energy levels in order to keep intensity up. A boost of energy pre-workout can help make for more effective workouts. Secondly, boosting metabolism will speed up the rate you burn calories all day long—even while at rest. In one study, participants who supplemented with 270mg of EGCG were found to burn an additional 80 calories per day. While this may seem small at first glance, it all adds up when paired with the other factors of your nutrition and training plans.
How to get it:
Your basic cup of coffee will provide you with around 200mg of caffeine, but if you need to add a few packs of sugar to your drink, the effects may be counterproductive for weight loss. Caffeine supplements are an easy (sugar-free) option and are a more controlled dose so you know what you’re getting every time. Look for those dosed between 200 – 250mg per tab. If you’re using a supplement with green tea extract, those with at least 30 – 50% EGCG are the best option, as it is the most effective catechin with the best impact on metabolism.
If you’re an avid coffee-drinker, the stimulant effects of caffeine will likely be minimal, as your body has already adapted to caffeine. Also, be mindful of prolonged, high use of caffeine as it can be taxing on your adrenal glands.
This fat-burning compound is a subset of yohimbe that is derived from the bark of an evergreen tree. It has been found to block receptors that inhibit fat loss, essentially improving your body’s ability to burn fat. It also provides stimulant effects such as increased heart rate and vasodilation. When these two effects are paired together, your workout will feel elevated and your muscles will be pumped from the added rush of nutrients—always a bonus when you’re dieting and carbs are low.
How to get it:
For fat burning, 0.2mg per kilogram of bodyweight is the suggested dose. (That’s about 0.44mg per pound of bodyweight.) Exercise caution when dosing for a higher bodyweight, as the impact on the cardiovascular system may be too strong. It’s also advised to start at a lower dose due to the fact that many supplements containing yohimbine either don’t list the quantity, or the dose could potentially differ from what is listed on the label.
Yohimbine has been found to amplify symptoms of anxiety, particularly in those who are already prone to anxiety.
As you continue to diet down, you’ll want to choose protein options that are low in fat and easily digested. A high quality whey protein supplement is good to have on hand as a quick post-workout meal, or a convenient grab-and-go item when you’re in a rush. On its own, it’s a great source of protein, or it can be combined with other macronutrients, such as carbs or fats, for a more complete meal. Fueling your body with protein helps keep you feeling full (and not reaching for snacks), enhance your body’s protein synthesis (which burns calories), and provides the body with the essential amino acids it needs for optimal performance.
How to get it:
When shopping for a protein powder, the wide selection can be overwhelming. Look for an isolate, as its protein content is high while being low in fat, carbs and lactose. Check the nutrition facts table to ensure each scoop contains 25 – 30g of protein, less than 5g of carbs, and minimal to no fat. Be aware that highly flavored options may include artificial sweeteners, which can irritate some people’s digestive systems.
Don’t let protein powders replace too many of meals on a regular basis (even though it may seem like the perfect answer to those who don’t like to cook). Eating nutritious, well-balanced meals throughout the day is the best way to provide your body with a variety of nutrients and plenty of energy.
While there is no magic pill that can replace consistent effort, a few supplements can help enhance the hard work you’re putting in. From providing a boost of energy for intense training sessions, to increasing your metabolic efficiency, they can help support your body and give it a small dose of help along the way as you progress towards your goal of leaning down.