At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Thermogenic supplements are dietary supplements that stimulate the thyroid or central nervous system in order to increase metabolism, suppress the user’s appetite, and burn fat. To choose the best thermogenic supplement, first decide whether you would prefer to take a stimulant or non-stimulant. Next, review the supplement’s ingredients list to ensure that the formula contains metabolism-boosting ingredients. It is also important to carefully read the product’s instructions and consult your physician if you suffer from any health condition that might compromise the safety of the supplement.
There are two main types of thermogenic supplements: stimulant and non-stimulant supplements. In addition to increasing the metabolism, stimulants also provide users with additional energy and sometimes suppress appetite. Many people enjoy the extra energy, as it can make it easier to exercise or carry out daily activities. Other people find that stimulating thermogenic supplements leave them feeling jittery or nauseous. These substances can also be dangerous if taken in excessive amounts.
In the past, many thermogenic supplements contained ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. While some products still contain these ingredients, ephedrine is currently banned as a weight loss supplement in many different countries. More commonly used stimulants include caffeine, yohimbe, norepinephrine, synephrine, pyruvate and theobromine. If you want a stimulating supplement, look for these ingredients when choosing a product.
If you do not like stimulants, it is possible to purchase non-stimulating thermogenic supplements. Instead of stimulating the user’s central nervous system, these supplements work by increasing fat metabolism or inhibiting fat absorption. While these supplements might not produce noticeable effects, some people find them effective for thermogenic fat loss.
While choosing a non-stimulating supplement, look for supplements that contain amino acids like carnitine, arginine and glycine, which are believed to aid in the breakdown of fat. Healthy fats, such as coconut and fish oil, are also believed to inhibit the absorption of fat and help the body break down existing fat deposits. Other substances like capsaicin and green tea are also commonly included in fat burning supplements. While these substances might not produce a drastic weight loss on their own, they might be effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Before choosing a thermogenic supplement, it is important to carefully read the product’s instructions. When used in excess, stimulants can cause heart palpitations, high blood pressure and other health problems. If you have an existing heart condition or another medical problem that might react negatively to certain thermogenic supplements, consult your physician. Your physician can help you choose a safe supplement or design a weight loss plan that will help you reach your goals.