Below you will find common supplements used for fat
Now that ephedra is banned, caffeine and caffeine-containing
substances are by far the most popular ingredients used in
energy and fat-burning supplements. Caffeine is found in the
leaves, seeds, or fruits of at least five dozen plants, and common
food sources of caffeine include soda, coffee, and chocolate.
Most people are familiar with caffeine and what it does to the
body, including stimulating the central nervous system, raising
the heart rate, and increasing alertness. Although research has
demonstrated that caffeine is a thermogenic which increases fat
oxidation, caffeine taken by itself is unlikely to produce any
significant amount of real world fat loss. Caffeine is more
commonly used as an additive agent in thermogenic stacks, as
with ephedrine in the ephedrine-caffeine (EC) combination.
If you decide to use the caffeine in coffee as a natural
thermogenic, please use organic coffee if possible! Coffee is one
of the most pesticided and herbicided products in the world,
followed by cotton.
Guarana or kola nut is really just another name for caffeine.
Guarana is also known to treat diarrhea, decrease fatigue, curb
the appetite, and help with arthritis pain. Guarana also helps to
reduce hangovers from alcohol abuse and headaches during
Aspirin is often added to the ephedrine-caffeine stack
(collectively known as the ECA stack). Aspirin is a blood thinner,
which amplifies the effect of the thermogenics ephedrine and
caffeine. Aspirin is often listed as white willow bark extract,
from which it is derived. Ephedra and caffeine work
independently of aspirin, and excessive use of aspirin can be
harsh on the stomach lining.
The amino acid L-carnitine is used (and required) to release
energy from fat. Research shows that individuals who
supplement with L-carnitine while engaging in an exercise
regimen are less likely to experience muscle soreness.
You may see labels that list ‘acetyl’- L-carnitine. This version of
L-carnitine does basically the same thing as regular L-carnitine:
metabolize food into energy.
Although L-carnitine is often marketed as a fat burner and
included in many fat-burning supplements, the research is
conflicting and inconclusive. Real world results have not
matched the advertising hype. Furthermore, the dosages used
in many product formulations may be insufficient to elicit any
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is often included in fat-burning
supplements to process amino acids, the building blocks of
protein. B6 plays an important role in regulating cognition and
mood, and also acts as a natural diuretic. However, it doesn’t
work without all the other B-complex vitamins.
Chromium picolinate is an essential trace mineral that helps the
body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Chromium has been
shown to increase HDL (high-density lipids-good cholesterol),
while lowering LDL (low-density lipids-bad cholesterol).
However, it is chromium poly-nicotinate (niacin bound) that
actually stimulates the fat-burning process. If I were to advise a
client to take this supplement, I would choose chromium polynicotinate
Ephedrine is a drug used to treat asthma as a bronchodilator
(for example, in inhalers). Ephedrine opens air passages, which
helps asthmatics to breathe better. Ephedrine is a strong central
nervous system stimulant that speeds up the heart rate and
increases the metabolism, and it has been proven in clinical
studies to burn calories and assist with weight loss, especially
when combined with caffeine or aspirin in the proper dosages
Ephedra’s effects are similar to those of caffeine, but more
potent. (See ‘Caffeine’ on page 122 for more information).
Ephedra or Ma Huang is the natural, herbal form of ephedrine,
from which pure ephedrine is extracted. Because ephedrine is a
strong central nervous system stimulant and has many potential
side effects and contraindications, it should be taken with care
and supervision, or not at all.
Despite the fact that ephedrine has been banned because the
Food and Drug Administration deemed it unsafe, most
ephedrine-related deaths or medical complications were the
result of sheer stupidity. For example, someone thought that
because the pills were so tiny (25 milligrams) that he had to take
a lot of them, which he did, and overdosed. Some clinically
hypertensive persons took the product despite label warnings
and suffered the consequences.
Although ephedrine/ephedra products are banned in the
United States, they are still readily available, but they are not
labeled as fat burners; they are listed as bronchodilators, and
the ephedrine in them is combined with other ingredients such
as guaifenesin (an expectorant). If you choose to use any
stimulant-based fat burner, especially one that contains
ephedrine, please use it with caution and moderation. It may be
best to take them for two or three weeks at a time followed by a
two-week lay off. During the two-week lay off, drink large
amounts of water to clear your system.
Some weight loss formulas may also contain citrus extract
(hydroxy citric acid [HCA]), which is a chemical derived from
fruits. You may find it listed under a different name (such as
Citrin or Citrimax), but the ‘citri’ prefix is what you’re
looking for. Citrus extract is reputed to help curb the appetite
and decrease the formation of body fat. However, human
research is somewhat limited and inconclusive.
Many weight loss supplements contain herbal diuretics.
Diuretics help rid your body of excess water weight. Natural
herbal diuretics include uva ursi leaves, dandelion, buchu
leaves, goldenseal root or extract, and juniper berries, to name
a few. If you have issues with water retention or you are
preparing for a competition which has weight classes, these
products may be useful to you. I train professional boxers and I
have found these products to work well to temporarily reduce
water weight. It’s important, however, to distinguish between fat
loss and water weight loss. Water loss can be regained quickly.
Herbal laxatives are used to loosen the bowels and ease
constipation that results from insufficient dietary fiber or a lack
of proper fluids. Herbal laxatives come in many different forms,
usually pills or tea. You can find them in many health food
stores. Most herbal laxatives are a combination of digestive
enzymes and herbs. One of the most commonly used herb is
Using herbal laxatives is one of the easiest ways to “crash” lose
body weight, but also one of the most dangerous. Furthermore,
the weight lost is not body fat. What people fail to realize is that
by taking laxatives, they are jeopardizing their health only to
lose scale weight, which will return quickly. Potential risks
include electrolyte imbalance, weakness, dehydration, irregular
heartbeat, heart attack, and even death.
Most herbal remedies and natural supplements have not been
tested by nationally recognized, credible organizations, which is
why many companies put exaggerated claims on their bottle
Don’t bother using laxatives”herbal or synthetic”to lose
weight. You’re not losing body fat, and you could be harming
your body and jeopardizing your health.
Another supplement that can be beneficial in an abdominal
reducing regimen is protein. You can use protein powders as a
meal replacement to keep yourself on track with meal frequency
and protein quantity and quality. It has also been proven that a
good carb meal is synergistic with protein to keep your
metabolism higher than if you ate one or the other by itself.
There are many brands of protein powders available from your
local health food store or from online supplement stores, but I
personally use only organic and pesticide-free brands available
from Defense Nutrition at http://budurl.com/72gj
This is just a small example of what you can find in “Firm and Flatten
Your Abs” abdominal workout manual
hese are more questions are answered in detail by getting a copy
of Firm and Flatten Your Abs at http://www.flattenyourabs.net
Also visit my blog at
Firm and Flatten Your Abs
About The Author
David is the author of Firm And Flatten Your Abs an online best seller
which teaches you how to lose body fat and develop ‘six pack abs’ while
improving strength, function and athletic power at the same time. You
can contact David or learn more about his programs at