How to Choose the Best Fat Burner

How to Choose the Best Fat Burner

How to Choose the Best Weight Loss Supplements

With probably the most confusing ingredients lists, and the most aggressive advertising, the weight loss supplements category is by far the toughest to navigate for a beginner looking to choose the right supplement for them. It's clear that everyone wants to lose weight, burn fat, tone up and get ripped, but the reality is, unfortunately, that it takes a lot of hard work and determination, and there is no supplement that's going to do that for you. Nonetheless, supplement companies advertise their products like they each are the holy grail of weight loss.

If you are looking for the best weight loss supplements then you need a discerning eye to skip past the advertising and read the nutritional facts printed on the label. This is where the smart athletes look for the information, and, with our help, where you should look to find if the fat burner you are holding is right for you.

Here are the most common and most effective thermogenic ingredients, and the amounts that you should be getting from your fat burner:

  • Caffeine (usually written as caffeine anhydrous) - It's included in pretty much every weight loss pill there is, not only for the stimulant and energy effects it provides, but also because it is proven by research to help you burn fat and stimulate metabolism. A rough estimate of content is that 100mg of caffeine = 1 cup of coffee, so use that as a guide when choosing your fat burner. Just be careful not to overdose - anything over about 600mg/day (including your intake from other supplements, foods and drinks) might result in nasty side effects such as dehydration, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, increased blood pressure and worse.
  • Green Tea Extract (Camellia Sinensis) - Probably the second-most used ingredient, green tea extract is a highly effective weight loss supplement. It works by reducing the size of fat cells and increasing norepinephrine - the body's main fat-burning hormone. You will want approximately 200-300mg of standardised polyphenols (the active extract of green tea) per day, so keep in mind the polyphenol percentage when choosing your supplement.
  • Guarana (Paullinia cupana) - A popular ingredient in energy drinks due to its natural caffeine content, guarana has a number of benefits for anyone looking to burn body fat. Not only does it increase energy levels, in enhances mental focus and prolongs physical performance - perfect for longer workouts when dieting. 500-1500mg/day is a generally acceptable dose of guarana.
  • Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis) - Native to South America, the yerba tree provides similar benefits to the guarana plant, and its' leaves are used to make a beverage much like tea leaves are. Studies have shown significant benefits in cholesterol levels through use of yerba mate as a supplement, and with a natural caffeine content, it is believed to enhance metabolism and reduce fat absorption. Like guarana, look for 500-1500mg in your daily intake.
  • Synephrine (Oxedrine or Citrus Aurantium or Bitter Orange) - As one of the most popular ingredients used in fat burners after ephedra was outlawed, synephrine plays a similar role to ephedra as a stimulant, and is believed to increase fat loss ability, stimulate metabolism, reduce hunger and increase body heat. One of its' main side effects is that it constricts blood vessels, so it will work against nitric oxide supplements, and should be used separately. 4-20mg of synephrine is a valid daily dose.

Aside from these main ingredients, there are hundreds of others that are included in thermogenic supplements around the world. Ingredients such as l-carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and 7-keto are others that are beneficial to weight loss also, and any combination of these ingredients will certainly stimulate your metabolism.

Be careful when choosing your fat burner - often supplement companies load them with caffeine and sprinkle a few effective ingredients such as green tea or guarana just so they appear on the label. The most common issue with thermogenics is that the ingredients aren't included at doses high enough to actually work. Check the label for the ingredient dosages and compare them to what a valid daily dose should be. Of course, always follow the directions on the label!

There you have a rundown of what makes a good weight loss supplement. The combination of just a few of these key ingredients should result in some significant improvement to your training intensity, metabolic rate, and your physique. Make sure you combine them with a sensible eating and training program for some great results!

Stay tuned for more articles in this series, including how to select a protein powder, pre workout, weight gainer, fat burner and amino acid supplement!

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