Fat Burning Supplements

I get asked about fat burning supps all the time, and I have a combo I recommend to clients that is simple and very affordable consisting of Acetyl L-Carnitine, Green Tea, Yohimbine HCL, and Caffeine. I like this combo due to the ability to adjust each ingredient accordingly. There are some great all in one products out there, I just like getting ingredients separate and how this one is adjustable to the situation. This is a great supp combo to have on hand year round to help with fat loss or keeping body fat down. Some quick points on how it works and dosages: Acetyl L-Carnitine works by pulling fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cell to be used as energy (increased fat loss), Green Tea (make sure it’s standardized EGCG) and Caffeine both work by speeding up metabolic rate supporting fat loss or staying lean. Caffeine also helps with strength and focus, and Acetyl L-Carnitine supplies the brain with energy due to it’s ability to pass the blood brain barrier unlike the regular L-Carnitine version. Yohimbine HCL works by helping to open the A2 receptors for fat burning, those stubborn fat areas that receive very little blood flow. Insulin blocks Yoh’s ability to do it’s job, so if you are on a moderate to higher carb diet there is no need to take it, but if you are on a plan and having pro/fat meals it would be good to take it there while dieting due to circulating insulin levels being lower.

The best ways I have found over the years to take this combo is twice a day in the following amounts to start- 500 mg Acetyl L-Carnitine/2-400 mg Green Tea/100-200 mg Caffiene/2.5 grams or 1 cap Yohimbine HCL twice a day first thing in the morning to help boost metab and again later in the day after a workout when EPOC is elevated and fat burning is at it’s highest after training. (Note- when taking it late in the evening drop the caffeine so you arent up all night or like most take it pre-workout, some may need to drop the green tea as well if you train really close to bed). The period each day when fat burning is the highest is always going to be the hours after you workout (EPOC) when your body is striving to return hormone levels to normal, repair, and a whole host of other processes the body is going through- a lot of those processes are fueled by fat, so taking a fat burning supp is a great idea here especially the Acetyl L-Carnitine.

Article provided by John Gorman @teamgorman Diet Coach. http://www.team-gorman.net/

Curcumin for Muscle Growth

Here is a great article by TNation.com

Here’s what you need to know…

  1. Curcumin displays anti-catabolic effects.
  2. Curcumin can optimize the effects of insulin.
  3. Curcumin has been shown to reduce estrogen levels, which could lead to increased Testosterone levels.

Anti-Catabolic Potential of Curcumin

Curcumin is widely known as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, but new scientific evidence shows that it may also be anti-catabolic, insulin sensitizing, and even androgenic.

Studies have shown that curcumin supplementation inhibits protein degradation after injury and in cases of cachexia (general wasting usually associated with chronic illnesses), suggesting that curcumin does indeed display anti-catabolic effects.

Additionally, curcumin supplementation following eccentric exercise led to reduced post-exercise inflammation and markers of muscle damage while also improving exercise recovery. It’s even been shown to reduce muscle atrophy in the presence of deloading.

While no research has examined the effects of curcumin in muscle hypertrophy with weightlifting humans, research has indicated it’s entirely plausible that the yellow-colored phenol may have an anti-catabolic effect. This means that curcumin supplementation may be beneficial in adding lean mass and recovering from exercise.

Conclusion:  Curcumin supplementation appears to exert anti-catabolic effects, thus it may be an effective supplement in promoting muscle growth and recovery.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Curcumin

While some inflammation is necessary to heal, too much is bad news and can put you out of the training game for days, weeks, or even months. The literature is quite clear that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the major inflammatory pathway (Tnf-α and nF-kB). While the majority of the research is based upon medical applications, the research still applies to resistance training.

Curcumin is interesting in that it appears it can prevent the onset of inflammation and reduce current inflammation due to curcumin’s ability to mimic aspirin as a COX2 inhibitor. Perhaps the biggest benefit of curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties lies in its ability to reduce joint inflammation and arthritis. Research has shown that supplements containing curcumin reduce the severity of joint pain in individuals with osteoarthritis and even in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

While the evidence doesn’t uniformly show a reduction in measurable markers of joint inflammation, individuals with joint pain that supplement with curcumin notice a marked reduction in symptoms.

Conclusion:  Curcumin supplementation appears to exert anti-inflammatory effects and is efficacious in reducing symptoms of joint pain, thus enhancing your training.

Push Press

Anti-Oxidant Properties of Curcumin

Perhaps the original use for curcumin was as a potent anti-oxidant. Of course, supplementing with anti-oxidants is a tricky business as there’s still some debate as to whether supplemental anti-oxidants may actually reduce the training effect. While oxidation of muscle tissue can play a large part in muscle catabolism, exercise induced oxidation may serve as a hermetic stressor that signals muscle growth.

Still, preventing excess oxidation can help aid recovery and muscle growth, and there’s ample evidence in both humans and animals that curcumin is an effective anti-oxidant that may help prevent an excessively oxidative environment.

Conclusion: Curcumin supplementation is an effective exogenous anti-oxidant.

Insulin-Sensitizing Properties of Curcumin

Insulin signaling in the muscle cells results in muscle protein synthesis. Anecdotally and scientifically, optimizing insulin signaling post-workout with proper carbohydrate and protein ingestion results in greater muscle growth.

Of course, like any hormone, the signaling of insulin is regulated and the anabolic signal isn’t infinite, but curcumin may actually help you squeeze a little more anabolic action out of insulin. It’s believed that curcumin prevents the negative feedback mechanism that reduces insulin signaling, suggesting that curcumin may be beneficial in increasing the anabolic signaling effects of insulin by increasing insulin sensitization.

Conclusion:  Curcumin supplementation may increase insulin sensitivity, suggesting it may help increase insulin’s anabolic action in skeletal muscle.

Possible Testosterone-Raising Properties of Curcumin

Testosterone is the king in the world of anabolic hormones. It drives muscle protein synthesis, increases lean mass, and promotes overall health and well-being. While curcumin has been touted to increase Testosterone levels, the research is lacking.

Currently, we do know that curcumin has a protective effect on testicular function, especially in the case of excess alcohol consumption. Also, high intakes of curcumin have been reported to inhibit the conversion of Testosterone to the more active androgen, DHT, but the likelihood of this being true in humans is low given that the research involved extremely high doses. There is some plausible evidence, though, that low doses of curcumin may reduce estrogen levels, which would have the effect of raising Testosterone levels.

Regardless, the jury is still out on the exact effect of curcumin on Testosterone in humans.

Conclusion: Curcumin supplementation appears to protect testicular function.

Dosage and Safety

A recent meta-analysis of six human trials found curcumin to be completely safe and even supraphysiological doses of curcumin showed no toxicity. The LD50 (lethal dose) has been found to be >2000mg/kg in mice, which if accurate and extrapolated to humans puts the LD50 for a 175-pound male at around 160,000 mg. Given that the standard dose for curcumin is between 80-750mg, it’s safe to say that curcumin supplementation is safe in prescribed doses.

Conclusion: Curcumin supplementation is safe in the recommended doses and side effects appear to be negligible or non-existent.


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