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Thermogenics - unneccessary?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Before going paleo, I used a supplement called "Oxy Elite" before I worked out - it helped to increase my energy level and overall motivation not to wanna quit half-way through. I discontinued using it since changing my diet and committing to 3-4 times/week muay thai, but these days I can find myself tiring quickly. Though being healthy should be enough, I was wondering about using the supplement again for that purpose only. Thoughts?

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on April 12, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Paleono - you're welcome. Spices are great for increasing metabolism; even when you eat hot food (like chili-based sauces), you feel increased circulation & temperature increase (red face...;-)). Good luck! If you crave the taste of coffee, roasted chicory root is a great substitute. I have it with raw cream in the morning with breakfast. Works for me!

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on April 12, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Kamal - thanks! A lot of this is beyond my level of knowledge, but are you talking about vasoconstrictive (increased Ca ions in smooth muscle cells) effects of caffeine? Reduced appetite (similarly to the fight-or-flight response, in which blood is redirected from the digestive system) is a side effect of vasoconstriction, which could explain weight loss. Actually, I personally have had great improvements in appetite since I quit coffee.

E15c5c2d17c4a5d723ce7bb4437062e6

(789)

on April 12, 2012
at 03:54 PM

Very true, I've found basically the same results when I've taken espresso shots before the workout LOL, so it makes sense!

E15c5c2d17c4a5d723ce7bb4437062e6

(789)

on April 12, 2012
at 03:53 PM

I agree, very detailed, thank you! I drink no more than one cup of coffee a day, and I have been meaning to wean it out, wondering if it's not necessarily helping me - though I work out 12-13 hours post-coffee. I will definitely try the spices, I hate to "depend" or at least make the supplement/coffee a part of my daily regimen, so that suggestion really intrigues me. Thank you!

E15c5c2d17c4a5d723ce7bb4437062e6

(789)

on April 12, 2012
at 03:49 PM

That makes sense, however I can complete the class, I just find that I can get through it "better" with the boost. Less rest time, and higher energy overall. I figured that more workouts would build my strength faster than less workouts?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2012
at 06:23 PM

You give consistently detailed answers. Very nice! From what I remember, caffeine's ergogenic properties are a notch below it's fat loss properties, especially when combined with ephedrine. But if you artificially turn off the adrenals using certain drugs, to isolate the calorie burn from EC/ECA without additional activity, very little occurs. The postulated mechanism of what little fat loss occurs even when sitting around, using caffeine, is based on increased intracellular calcium.

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on April 11, 2012
at 05:29 PM

I personally think 3-4 sessions of kick boxing that you cant physically complete without the help of supplemental chemicals is overdoing it. If you refuse to drop your workouts to twice a week then I guess youll need to either suck it up a little or pace yourself better. You want to build your fitness level gradually and leaving nothing in the tank is only setting you back.

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3 Answers

1
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on April 11, 2012
at 05:18 PM

Hi Paleono,

I personally am sceptical of such supplements as to their effectiveness in weight loss (since OxyElite markets itself as a weight loss supplement), but its principal ingredient is caffeine (100mg); it also contains Yohimbine (Indian snakeroot extract) which also acts as a stimulant.

I would generally not recommend depending on stimulants - even caffeine - to get you through your workouts. If you do not have energy and require a stimulant to exercise, perhaps there is a problem in your diet/lifestyle that you need to rectify, rather than masking it by using caffeine. Perhaps you are very low on carbs for your activity level; conversely, perhaps your body hasn't yet adapted to lower-carb eating (the 'low carb flu'); perhaps you are not getting enough sleep, or not getting quality sleep; you may be deficient in certain nutrients (folate, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A & C, & B vitamin deficiencies often cause underperformance;) in fact, caffeine inhibits both Iron & magnesium absorbtion. Many factors affect and influence your workout performance, and it will be hard to improve it sustainably if you're supplementing with a stimulant.

Another thing: do you drink coffee? There is a warning on the website saying that it is not recommended to drink any caffeine-containing beverages if you are taking the product. Too much caffeine really taxes your adrenals, and impaired adrenal function manifests itself specifically in tiredness, low body temperature, and underperformance.

I generally would advise dropping caffeine alltogether, be it pills or coffee; it taxes your adrenals, raises stress hormones and inhibits nutrient absorbtion. If you quit, you may be tired at the beginning, but eventually your energy levels will improve. If cold turkey isn't doing it for you, or if you would prefer to simply reduce your caffeine intake rather than quit altogether, you could, perhaps, sticking to a cup a day, and drinking your cup (which, similarly, contains about 100mg of caffeine, based on a 7-oz serving) before your workout, and see how that affects you.

I am not trying to demonize coffee, really, the effects often vary among people. I personally have seen great results in terms of sleep, energy and stress by quitting caffeine (and, mind you, I didn't drink gallons of coffee before. Just a cup or two a day).

The weight-loss claims of the product do seem supported by some evidence (Japanese Thistle has been shown to improve weight loss, especially in synergy with caffeine: http://www.ergo-log.com/cirsiumoligophyllum.html;) it also contains some other plant extracts with antioxidant properties (Bauhinia flower), so other than the caffeine, I'd say it is relatively harmless and a possible thing to try if you're after weightloss, though, as I said, I'm sceptical of 'magic bullets' like this, and you seem to be concerned more with energy & output.

Another thing you can try is other thermogenic substances, especially spice extracts; chilli pepper extract (capsaicin), cinnamon, ginger are all thermogenic, and also high in antioxidant properties. Perhaps you could try these in the morning (you can also add spices to your cooking) and see how you do.

Bottom line: I'd stay away from stimulants, or at least reduce them to a minimum.

All the best of health to you,

Lots of love

Milla

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on April 12, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Kamal - thanks! A lot of this is beyond my level of knowledge, but are you talking about vasoconstrictive (increased Ca ions in smooth muscle cells) effects of caffeine? Reduced appetite (similarly to the fight-or-flight response, in which blood is redirected from the digestive system) is a side effect of vasoconstriction, which could explain weight loss. Actually, I personally have had great improvements in appetite since I quit coffee.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 11, 2012
at 06:23 PM

You give consistently detailed answers. Very nice! From what I remember, caffeine's ergogenic properties are a notch below it's fat loss properties, especially when combined with ephedrine. But if you artificially turn off the adrenals using certain drugs, to isolate the calorie burn from EC/ECA without additional activity, very little occurs. The postulated mechanism of what little fat loss occurs even when sitting around, using caffeine, is based on increased intracellular calcium.

E15c5c2d17c4a5d723ce7bb4437062e6

(789)

on April 12, 2012
at 03:53 PM

I agree, very detailed, thank you! I drink no more than one cup of coffee a day, and I have been meaning to wean it out, wondering if it's not necessarily helping me - though I work out 12-13 hours post-coffee. I will definitely try the spices, I hate to "depend" or at least make the supplement/coffee a part of my daily regimen, so that suggestion really intrigues me. Thank you!

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on April 12, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Paleono - you're welcome. Spices are great for increasing metabolism; even when you eat hot food (like chili-based sauces), you feel increased circulation & temperature increase (red face...;-)). Good luck! If you crave the taste of coffee, roasted chicory root is a great substitute. I have it with raw cream in the morning with breakfast. Works for me!

0
3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 11, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Hi Paleono, you will probably notice that the OxyElite Pro tabs have a high caffeine content in them. If you are looking for that energy throughout the workout I suggest just have a double shot espresso for the same effect really. Hope that helps :) And I agree, I need that extra boost to get through a workout, especially considering I am on VLC, and I consider coffee paleo, no?

E15c5c2d17c4a5d723ce7bb4437062e6

(789)

on April 12, 2012
at 03:54 PM

Very true, I've found basically the same results when I've taken espresso shots before the workout LOL, so it makes sense!

0
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 03, 2012
at 05:09 PM

I doubt "Oxy Elite" contains stuff you want to be putting in your body. A few years ago I used to use No-Xplode which is likely similar and I did like the perk, but wouldn't even consider ingesting that stuff now.

Have you tracked your daily food intake to make sure you have enough calories? Are you getting enough sleep on nights before you workout?

I usually have a coffee before/during a workout if I'm feeling slow that day.

Also, make sure you are hydrated.

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