The word thermogenic means tending to produce heat and the term is commonly applied to drugs which increase heat through metabolic stimulation. Thermogenics are also commonly referred to as Fat-Burners or E/C/A Stacks (The letters stand for Ephedrine, Caffeine, and Aspirin). These substances are designed to help promote lipolysis in the body (the breaking down of body fat to be used as energy). They also stimulate the body's Central Nervous System, which is why you may feel mentally alert or the "jitters" after taking this kind of supplement.
The key to fat loss success doesn't just revolve around which fat-burner you choose to use. Genetics, diet and training are in every way just as important when it comes to banishing fat. Everybody generally falls under 3 categories of body types, and most are a mixture of 2 types. Now, it’s very important that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of your body type and plan your fat loss campaign accordingly.
The three body types:
Ectomorphs are characterized by their long, thin body structures. They are commonly known as hard-gainers because of their difficulty in adding significant amounts of muscle mass.
Mesomorphs are blessed with wide shoulders and narrow waists. They add muscle mass easily and their bodies have that nice V-Taper.
Endomorphs are identified by their big bones, wide waists and hips. They also have short arms and legs. Most of the top powerlifters in the world are Endomorphs.
Thermogenics are great for giving you that adrenaline surge in the gym. You may not feel that pumped, but fat-burners are great for increasing your mental focus and intensity, and may even increase your lifting capacity. However, what goes up must come down. The greater your output and intensity in the gym, the greater your post-workout fatigue and recovery time.
If you plan on using thermogenics while training, be sure to assess your recovery levels and get plenty of post-workout rest. NEVER forgo a good night's sleep. Caffeine and Ephedrine increase your mental alertness and may allow you to stay awake longer but that doesn’t mean you should. If you’re going to use a fat burner, I recommend taking it before lunchtime so that it’s less likely to interfere with your sleep!
Also, Remember - most fat-burners have a mild diuretic effect on the body. (i.e. your body tends to lose water) You should strive to increase your water intake in order to compensate (unless you're preparing for a show). Water plays an important role in transporting nutrients to muscles and shuttling waste out of the body.
For those of you new to Fat-Burners, remember to start with the minimum dosage in order to assess your body's sensitivity. Because thermogenics are such potent compounds, excessive use may bring negative effects...including the jitters, headaches, and upset stomachs. Thermogenics also increase the heart rate. So don't take them if you already have high blood pressure.
As always, consult a physician before beginning any new supplementing regiment!
Stay safe and stay on point!
Check out my segment on The BOLO Podcast, where I talk about thermogenics!