Just the word “thermogenic” probably gives you some idea of what the concept might be all about beneath the surface. If you think it sounds like it has something to do with temperature, then you would be right. The term thermogenic refers to a class of weight loss supplement that stimulates and accelerates the body’s natural fat-burning processes, creating heat in the process of doing so.
Like the ones on the market today, thermogenic compounds typically work by stimulating the central nervous system. A few examples of known thermogenic substances found in many dietary supplements include ginger, caffeine, capsicum, and bitter orange. Up until it was declared too dangerous to be legal and allowed anymore, ephedra was also a very popular thermogenic because of the dramatic results it could sometimes deliver.
One of the most common thermogenic combinations in the bodybuilding world is the ECA stack and is a combination of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. (ECA is, in fact, an anagram of these three substances.) When used in tandem and the recommended ratios, these three components can produce powerful thermogenic results. Some bodybuilders combine it with the previously mentioned cold exposure method to create an even more powerful effect.
However, as with any medication, thermogenic supplements should be used and managed with care and caution. They are not for prolonged use (typically, it is not recommended that they be used for longer than eight weeks). Such use can lead not only to the ineffectiveness of the product itself but to the possibility of physical or psychological addiction. Most experts recommend that if you still don’t see the result you’re looking for after eight weeks, you should take some time off from use and then continue at a later date.
In addition to dietary supplements, there are also many foods out there that can help you burn or eliminate fat. Foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, help the body process fatty tissue by diluting it, making it more difficult to absorb in the process. You may also have heard that spicy foods like chili peppers and Cinnamon can help give your metabolism a boost and aid in digestion as well. Other foods are known to help break down fats and prevent them from depositing, including soy, garlic, and fruits containing pectin (for example, apples).
To further aid in fat loss and prevent weight gain, it’s important to note that some types of foods cause your body to burn more calories just by digesting them. For instance, fats and carbs are extremely easy for your body to digest, so it doesn’t burn much energy in the process. Protein, on the other hand, requires your body to burn much more energy to process it, helping to keep your metabolism higher. There are foods in existence called catabolic foods that are thought to burn more calories to digest than you get from the food. The best known of these include celery and grapefruit.