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The Dangers Of Weight Loss Stimulants

Oct 24, 2007
Stimulants increase the activity of the central nervous system, causing increased alertness and awareness. While many stimulants such as a cup of coffee or a caffeine containing energy drink are used as a harmless pick-me-up, there is a growing trend of people using stimulants as a weight loss aid.

Caffeine is the most widely accessible drug in the world. Research has shown that it can result in a slight loss in weight. There is no evidence however, that suggests a permanent, and significant loss in weight. Of course the barrage of fad diets would never reveal this. Instead, they promote caffeine as a rapid weight loss side kick, but no clinical studies have ever supported this theory.

What the research has found is that:

* Caffeine has a diuretic effect. A diuretic works by increasing the elimination of water from blood via urine and this may temporarily cause a decrease in weight. Normally, water leaves the blood stream and enters the kidneys to be turned into urine but very little of the water is actually excreted. The majority of it is reabsorbed into the blood, keeping our blood pressure stable. When using a diuretic (for purposes other than serious medical conditions), we unnecessarily decrease the amount of water in our blood, therefore lowering blood volume. A low blood volume in turn results in a low blood pressure. When there is a significantly low amount of pressure on the blood in our arteries, the blood cannot reach all the organs to supply much needed nutrients.

* Caffeine can suppress your appetite. While this could potentially allow you to lose a minimal amount of weight, it is by no means a healthy option. Your appetite is a mechanism by which your body communicates when it is in need of important nutrients. There is no doubt that when you're trying to lose weight you need to watch your food intake, but there is no point of depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to get you through your day to day activities. Instead, carry a bag of mixed nuts and eat these between meals if you feel hungry. You'll feel full quickly but you also provide your body with a quick energy boost. The aim should not be to artificially suppress the appetite, but to curb it through natural means to reduce the likelihood of binges.

Guarana is another stimulant that has become infamous for its weight loss effects. It is mostly found in energy drinks and herbal weight loss pills. It also contains caffeine and therefore has many of the side effects that caffeine has. The caffeine in many of these types of products is disguised under the name of 'guaranine,' making many people believe it's some miracle ingredient. Guarana also contains theophylline, a compound that can also be found in most caffeine beverages. It causes jitters, restlessness, insomnia, anxiety and hyperactivity.

Green tea is another caffeine containing beverage that has gained popularity among dieters. Clinical studies to date have been inconclusive, much more research is required to understand the true effects of green tea on weight loss. Some research, however, has found possible links to the devastating chronic disease, multiple sclerosis. Green tea also contains tannin, a substance has been linked to esophageal cancer.

Many studies show that bitter orange may be effective for weight loss, but research shows that its side effects outweigh any benefits. Its active components include octopamine and synephrine. These chemicals are known to cause arrhythmias (irregular heart beats what are likely to cause clots which can lead to a heart attack or stroke), high blood pressure, drug metabolism disturbance (this increases the amount of drugs in your system, which could have adverse effects).

Yerba Mate is another stimulant touted for its weight reducing, and concentration enhancing properties. Many do not know that Yerba Mate may be a risk factor for cancer of the head and neck. It is suggested that this because it contains 7-14% tannins which are a cancer causing agent.

Ephedra took the supplement industry by storm, but because of the increasing number of reported deaths, it was subsequently banned by the FDA. It is a powerful thermogenic agent. Its main active constituents include ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The thermogenic effect stimulates your central nervous system and raises your body temperature and heart rate. This in turn causes metabolism to increase, therefore burning more calories. Several side effects recorded include tremors, increase in heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia, dizziness, muscle fatigue, headaches, anxiousness and irritability. Even seizures have been reported.

There is an easier way to enhance thermogenesis. Protein requires more energy to aid its digestion than either fat or carbohydrates. Eating small amounts of protein at regular intervals throughout the day will greatly speed up your metabolism, especially in conjunction with resistance exercise. Protein consumption also promotes the production of dopamine and nor-epinephrine, chemicals that promote a feeling of well being as well as curbing appetite. Simple carbohydrates such as those found in white bread, white rice, soft drinks and candy should be avoided as they cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels and insulin production which can increase one's appetite and contribute to weight gain. These carbohydrates should be substituted with high fiber carbohydrates like vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

In conjunction with a sensible, calorie controlled diet, there are supplements that can offer assistance in achieving weight loss goals. One such supplement is Slimvia. Slimvia is not a stimulant. It is an all natural blend of various vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other natural ingredients specifically formulated to control appetite, assist fat burning and energy production. The only way to lose weight is to expend more calories than you consume, and portion control can be an integral part of achieving success in this objective. Slimvia is an invaluable asset in this regard as it reduces the desire to overeat. It stabilizes blood sugar levels throughout the day, thereby reducing cravings for sweet foods. Slimvia is by no means a "miracle pill", but can undoubtedly make losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle a much less daunting proposition.
About the Author
Slimvia Natural Weight Loss Team http://www.slimvia.com
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