In my previous two articles, you learned what supplements can make you the best bodybuilder ever. But what about these extra fat pounds that you got when you were trying to bulk up, (or during your summer vacations), and now you can not get rid of them? That's what we are going to discuss today.
One note first though: Before I write any ingredient that can help you lose the pounds that you want, remember always that at the same time you have to do some kind of cardio exercises in order to create bigger fat loss, since you must always burn more calories than the ones you eat in order to have good results. Treadmill, or stationary bicycle if you are in the gym, or for more "active" friends, swimming, or jogging seems another good solution. Also cardio training makes your metabolism run hotter and more efficiently. Cardio training burns more calories and allows you to eat more food while you are losing body fat.
Finally remember that the right nutrition always plays a vital role. You can not eat junk food all the time and then expect that the A or B fat burner that you just took can do all the work for you. You must have a "3 way plan" which means you should always have in the right balance, your nutrition, your exercising and your supplementation. So let's start.
1. Ephedrine/Caffeine/Aspirin (E/C/A stack)
For most people this is the "cutting edge" supplement for fat loss and for a good reason. Many clinical researches have shown that the combination of these 3 ingredients together can help you lose the most fat pounds possible. I will explain briefly what is the main action of each one of them and also their "herbal" forms, since most supplement companies today prefer to put them all together in that form, because it seems to be safer than the original version.
Ephedrine is the main active chemical component of the herb Ephedra. Ephedrine is a beta-adrenergic agonist, which means it tends to increase your heart rate and overall thermic (or heat-producing) character of almost all tissues in the body including muscle and fat tissue. That simply means it can help you burn more fat.
The "Ephedra sinica" form of this herb contains the thermogenic chemical "Ephedrine" at a concentration of about 6%-8%. (ie 250mg of Ma-Huang Extract contains 15-20mg Ephedrine). More info on ephedra.
Caffeine promotes fat metabolism and thus spares carbohydrate for use as energy later in a workout. Researches have known for years that caffeine has a positive effect on endurance and that the longer you exercise, the more profound that effect becomes. Also in one study they found that subjects squatted more weight when given caffeine before-hand.
Guarana is basically Caffeine in herbal form. Guarana extract contains around 10%-20% of Caffeine. That means that 1000mg of Guarana contain around 100-200mg of Caffeine. (Just read carefully the label to see how much quantity it contains and make the right estimation.) More info on caffeine.
Aspirin contains Acetylsalicylic acid. It has been proven that in conjuction with Ephedra Caffeine, your fat loss process can get even greater.
c+) White Willow Bark
This herb contains a substance called salicin. Fortunately, unlike aspirin which when consumed in large quantities can cause serious stomach problems, White Willow Bark contains certain nutrients which can not put your stomach in risk. White Willow Bark Extract contains about 10% of salicin.
Recommended dosages: First of all you should remember that the stacking of these three creates a powerful stimulant. That means if you are less than 18 years old or if you are taking a MAO inhibitor or any allergy, asthma, or cold medications containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine you should not use Ephedra. Also discontinue use if dizziness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, or nausea occurs. Also consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have high blood pressure, heart or thyroid desease, diabetes, difficulty urinating, prostate enlargement or glaucoma. And NEVER exceed the recommended dosages. Finally if you are a competitive athlete, do not take Ephedra, since it belongs in the "forbidden substances" of the IOC, and if they found you "positive" in some drug test you will stay for some months (or even years), out of your favourite sport.
So DO NOT take more than 60-80mg of Ephedrine every day, 600-800mg of Caffeine, and 300mg of Salicin. Remember also to take them three times per day, divided in three equal dosages. (Each one to be 20mg of Ephedrine, 200mg of Caffeine and 100mg of White Willow). And avoid taking your last dosage before you go to sleep, because it's never a good idea to take any kind of stimulant at that time. Try your last dose to be at least 4-5 hours (depending of how sensitive you are) before you sleep.
Finally, remember to always cycle Ephedrine since its the most important ingredient of the E/C/A stack. (So you should always cycle E/C/A). The best cycle is 6-8 weeks on, followed by 3-4 weeks off.
I think it is one of the safest fat burners, since it is not a stimulant. What it does is preserve or increase thyroid output, preserve or increase the metabolic rate, and provide much needed substrates for the production of neurotransmitters (epinephrine and norepinephrine) involved in weight loss and metabolic rate. And something very important is that Guggelsterone therapy has been shown effective in lowering "bad" cholesterol and helping to raise the "good" cholesterol.
Recommended dosages: Daily recommendations for Guggul are typically based on the amount of Guggulsterones in the extract. A common intake of guggulsterones is 25mg three times per day. (Most extracts contain 5-10% Guggulsterones). And you don't have to cycle it but remember that Guggul should be used with caution by persons with liver disease and in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and diarrhea. More info on guggul.
Before the E/C/A stack appeared, it was one of the best fat burners. But until now, many people use it because it is not a strong stimulant like the previous. Even though it might increase slighty your heart rate, it is considered as one of the safest fat burners. L-Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids Lysine and Methionine. It is needed to release energy from fat. Also its mean action is to transfer fatty acids across cell membranes to the mitochondria where it can be used as energy. Also many researches have shown that it plays an important role in fat metabolism and the reduction of blood fats (triglycerides), which can create problems with our health in large amounts.
Recommended dosage: L-Carnitine works, (especially the liquid form), when you consume 4-5gr per day (Prefferably before your weight or cardio training). It is not one of the supplements that should be cycled, but I would recommend it in order for your body not to get used it, to again have a 6-8 week cycle, followed by 3-4 weeks off. More info on l-carnitine.
This herb appears to decrease fat synthesis in the body as well as increase fatty acid mobilization from fat stores in women (especially in the hips). Also further studies have been shown that Yohimbe can help prevent arteries from becoming clogged. It has also been used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and finally it appears that it can help in male impotence.
Recommended dosage: A typical safe daily amount of Yohimbine from any product is 15-30 mg. Yohimbine is found as a natural component of Yohimbe bark. It is this chemical extract which is the active component of Yohimbe powder. More info on yohimbe.
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Chromium, in a form called Chromium Picolinate, has been studied for its potential role in altering body composition. Preliminary research in animals and humans suggested that chromium picolinate increases fat loss and lean muscle tissue gain. Also in the human body, Chromium is needed for proper function of insulin. The strongest anabolic hormone, and in contrast, too little Chromium and you get an odd type of diabetes that insulin can not control.
Recommended dosage: Maybe it's not a stimulant but since it's a trace mineral you should always be careful not to exceed 100-200mcg per day. Because extreme amounts can led you to suffer from liver and kidney damage. You don't need to cycle it, but remember again you must not take huge amounts of it in order to get more benefits.
6. Hydroxycitric Acid (or Garcinia cambogia, HCA)
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a fruit extract with a chemical composition similar to citric acid (the primary acid in citrus fruits). Preliminary research, based on laboratory experiments and animal research, suggests that HCA may be a useful weight loss aid. HCA has been demonstrated in the laboratory (but not yet in trials with people) to reduce the conversion of carbohydrates into stored fat by inhibiting certain enzyme processes. Also it is one of the "pretty safe" diet supplements.
Recommended dosage: 500mg taken before your meals 3 times a day (in a total of 1500mg per day).
7. Soy Protein
Last but not least for today, I have included Soy Protein for fat loss, and I will explain why. Soy Protein supplementation can help boost thyroid-hormone levels and maybe help maintain them during calorie restricted diets, since when you start dieting, your body always tries to keep your fat by lowering thyroid hormone levels, making it even more difficult to lose fat. I think that lsolated Soy Protein is the best since it contains large amounts of phytochemicals which can help support natural production of your thyroid hormones.
Recommended dosage: Add 40-50 grams of soy protein per day with your meal replacement powder, when you are dieting.
This was my fourth article that was devoted especially to people that want to lose some unecessary pounds. You just read seven of the best fat burners available today on the supplement market. I repeat again that if you are not a perfectly healthy individual, consult your doctor before you take any of them. Also, remember never to stack any kind of fat burners, because you might experience greater health risks. The only combination you can use, is the first one that l wrote (E/C/A). Also one more combination can be done only with Guggul or Soy Protein anyone of the above. Also never exceed the recommended dosages l wrote.
Finally, don't forget that you should never lower your fat consumption on food too much. ln contrast EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) are more than valuable in your diet in order to lose pounds more effectively. (Read my previous article to learn more about EFA's).
In my next week's article you will learn how you can make the perfect "bulking phase" and to pack on good quality pounds, either if you are a hard gainer or not. Stay tuned.