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Are Fat Burners Effective?

Mar 28, 2008
Is it too good to be true that you can burn up to 500% more with fat burners? For legal issues, manufacturers are not permitted to make these bold claims on the bottles that they do work. However, companies can use other forms of strategic marketing to entice the consumer by luring vulnerable individuals with commercials, ads in newspapers and magazines. Before I actually discuss this topic I'll address what they are, how it functions through our system, is it safe, and does it really work?

The usage of fat burners induce thermogenesis. This is the process the body uses to burn fat by manipulating our metabolism. The derivative for thermo is heat and genesis is production. The most common ingredient on the market today is Ephedrine and referred as Ma Huang (an ancient Chinese herb). It has been around China for over 3000 years in preparation to help with colds, flu, asthma and allergies used as tea. Other common ingredients on the market are caffeine and aspirin. These 3 combined are known as the ECA stack and the ingredients are greater as one maximizing thermogenesis. Aspirin is salicin which is a component of white willow bark which led to discovery of aspirin. Guarana commonly found in northern Brazil is also known as caffeine. Researchers or others have said that caffeine boost the effects of ephedrine and aspirin. Thus, combining the ECA stack together are greater than each ingredient alone. Green tea is another ingredient found in fat burners. A common ingredient found in most fat burning supplements is L-tyrosine which is a nonessential amino acid. L-tyrosine is also the precursor of several neurotransmitters that include L-dopa, dpamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. In addition, Cordyceps, yohimbe along with the others I've mentioned possesses the ability to simulate specific fat receptors such as the hips and buttock area for women.

I'll now be discussing about our nervous system such as our autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS helps regulate blood pressure, hearts activity, movement and work in the stomach, intestine/salivary glands, secretion of insulin, and sexual functions. The ANS is subdivided into 2 components which are the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is a excitatory system which meditates the body response to activity, stress, danger which includes increased heart rate, constriction of arterioles in skin, digestive system, and inhibition of digestive functions. The PNS is an inhibitory system which has a decreased heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc. As we can tell our bodies are very complex involving our hormones and neurotransmitters. Imagine this is only a small percentage of what is being addressed on how our body functions. Consider our body similar to a car. I would like to think of my body like an Audi R8 (by the way, my favorite car!) which allows us to excel in every aspect such as acceleration, cornering, speed, etc. Then you sneak a peek to see what is under that hood, it is quite complicated and sophisticated appreciating what it takes for this car to perform.

Within the SNS has a chemical called catecholamines which checks the level in your blood. It is a hormone produced by the adrenal glads found at the top of the kidneys releasing blood during physical or emotional stress. This is the process when you are grasping for air doing 5-20 minutes of jogging depending on your physical conditioning. The fat burners work a few different ways: first thing, we understand fat burners assist the body to break down body fat which involves releasing it from fat cell. It then enters the bloodstream as fatty acids to be transported to the muscle cells where it is burned. Secondly, fat burners will tend to suppress our appetite. Last, weight loss is inhibiting the body from absorbing fat during digestion. Fat blockers do not work if that person isn't eating fat in her/his diet. They also wont prevent weight gain if a person is overeating protein or carbohydrates. Of course the negative side effects we may consider taking these fat burners are digestion, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, interference with other medications such as birth control pills, estrogen, decreased appetite, stress, teeth grinding, muscle fatigue, alarming incidents of death, and possible long term effects we aren't aware yet.

So it is apparent that fat burners are effective. Indeed the public is becoming more knowledgeable these days with products but why do more people only rely on fat burners to lose weight and discontinue their routine with exercising and eating right? Wouldn't it be more effective with a monitored diet and exercise program? In my opinion, this is where most people go wrong and individuals truly convince they have a slow metabolism so they will only use the fat burner and not exercise. My point is that if people do decide to use fat burners, it is only 1 portion of the equation of maximizing your results. Also, we should be careful of what we put into our system by researching and understanding the product. Sometimes we have to think of the short and long term effects of anything we do in life. So, next time you make a decision think of the long term consequences rather than the immediate benefits.
About the Author
Richard Chan is a Health and Fitness Life Coach, promoting good health internally and externally. For more information you can visit Richard Chan at http://www.flex-fitness.com regarding exercising, training or nutrition.
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