Even if you're new to fitness, there's a good chance you're familiar with, or have at least heard the term "thermogenic" before. But, if you're reading this, you more than likely want to find out exactly what a thermogenic is.
Or maybe, you are familiar with thermognenics, but want to know if they are something that can help you reach your fitness goals. All of these are great questions which I will address in this article.
Because if you're looking to truly maximize your results, reach your fitness goals, and maintain them long-term ... thermogenics can be a great tool that you can utilize. So let's get into it!
When it comes to supplements for weight loss, what first comes to your mind? Not vitamins ... not fish oil ... not protein powder ... but "fat burners." That's exactly what thermogenics are ... a type of fat burning supplement!
The word thermogenic actually comes from the main function of these products: to increase the production of heat in your body through a process called thermogenesis.
They are literally designed to help your body burn more calories by boosting metabolic function. If you know anything about weight loss ... you know that it's all about the calories you consume vs the calories you burn. If you eat LESS calories than you burn ... you'll lose weight. If you eat MORE calories than you burn ... you'll gain weight.
So, really, what a thermogenic is aimed at helping you do is burning more calories throughout the day so you can be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. However, most thermogenics don't just stop at that...
Other than helping your body burn more calories at rest, and depending on the product, most thermogenics can help with much more:
• Controlling appetite
• Curbing cravings
• Providing long-lasting energy and focus
• Optimizing certain hormones
So, depending on the thermogenic, it can help address quite a few issues that can be keeping you from reaching your goals. For the most part though, thermogenics are focused on helping you create a calorie deficit to lose weight. Take appetite control for example ... If you eat less, you're consuming less calories, right? This is just another way thermogenics can help you stay in a calorie deficit.
Like I listed above, most thermogenics will even include some caffeine and nootropics that can help keep you energized and focused throughout the day. You're probably laughing and thinking to yourself, "How does having energy have anything to do with weight loss?"
You'd be surprised! For one, the energy alone can be very beneficial. If you've lost weight in the past, or are trying to lose weight now, I'm sure you know just how hard and tiring it can be. Thermogenics are a great way to get a little extra energy and motivation to stay consistent with your workouts and nutrition!
More interestingly, caffeine itself is known for its thermogenic effects . You heard that right, caffeine, especially from green tea, has been shown to increase energy expenditure (calorie burning).
So depending on the thermogenic, there may be more to it than meets the eye.
When it comes to actually using a thermogenic, it's very simple. Most thermogenics come in a capsulated form, and require you to take a serving 1-2 times a day.
All you have to do in order to get the benefits of a thermogenic is take it consistently in conjunction with a solid nutrition and exercise plan. Most thermogenics suggest that you should eat something with it ... and trust me, you should.
Not because it's unsafe to take it without food or anything like that, but because you may feel funny if you don't! Remember, thermogenics have caffeine, and if you've ever had caffeine on an empty stomach ... you probably understand why I recommend eating now.
Plus, a lot of thermogenics have different vitamins and minerals which require water and fat to break them down and absorb them properly. Therefore, it's a good idea to have a thermogenic with food just to make sure you're getting the full effects. The only thing you really need to be conscious of when taking a thermogenic is being careful about consuming other caffeine sources alongside taking the thermogenic.
If you're a coffee drinker, you like energy drinks, or you even take pre-workouts ... you'll want to cut them out as you begin taking a thermogenic. At the very least, cut them out in the short term. When you introduce a thermogenic without getting rid of your other caffeine sources, you could feel jittery.
Consider the first few days to be a tolerance assessment period. If you're comfortable having your cup of coffee on top of a thermogenic and don't get jittery ... by all means, go for it. Just be careful!
When taken properly along with a good nutrition and exercise program, most people do just fine with thermogenic supplements. However, that's not to say they don't have their own risks and potential side effects.
Some common side effects can be:
• Increased heart rate
• Heart palpitations
• Jitters and shakiness
• Increased restlessness and irritability
• Headaches and dizziness
• Upset stomach
• Elevated blood pressure
• Trouble sleeping
• Increased stress
Now, don't let this scare you! Most of the common side effects can actually be tied to the caffeine in the product, or making the mistake of having other sources of caffeine while taking a thermogenic. As long as you follow the recommendations I made above, you should be in the clear. But, everyone is different, so I can't guarantee that for you.
Just know the only way you are likely to have any issues is if you take it on an empty stomach or with additional caffeine sources.
Are you having trouble sleeping? Make sure you aren’t taking them too close to when you go to sleep. If you find your heart rate is significantly increased, take a look at your caffeine intake throughout the day. You may find you’re taking in more than you thought.
If you already have troubles with high blood pressure, you may want to just avoid caffeinated thermogenics altogether. The good news is, there are caffeine-free thermogenics available! Just like any other supplement you're looking to add to your regimen ... make sure to consult with your physician, especially if you're somebody with a chronic illness or who takes prescription medications. When in doubt ... ask your doctor.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering: "Should I be taking a thermogenic?" The truth is, it's up to you. Thermogenics are not going to make or break your results. What you're doing in the gym during your workouts, and outside of the gym through your nutrition is what matters most.
I'm not saying thermogenics aren't worth it ... but there is definitely a time and place for them. You also need to consider what your goals are. If you're trying to gain muscle and strength, I don't recommend that you take a thermogenic. That's because in order to gain weight, you have to eat more calories than you're burning.
As you just learned, thermogenics are designed to help you burn more calories. So really, thermogenics are counterproductive for anybody looking to put on new muscle and weight. If your main goal is weight loss ... that's when you can consider adding a thermogenic to your supplement regimen.
That way, as you're trying to keep your calories lower to lose weight, a thermogenic can help you burn even more calories and keep your appetite at bay. I personally take the 1-Db Goddess (1-Db Overdrive for the men) anytime I'm looking to shed a few pounds!
At 1st Phorm, we offer incredible options when it comes to weight loss and fat burning supplements. Our 1-Db Goddess Fastpack and 1-Db Overdrive Fastpack fat burner supplements can make a great addition and play an important role in fat loss when taken properly along with diet and exercise!
We'd also love to help you reach your fitness goals. Whether you want to build muscle, burn fat, or just be healthier overall ... we have you covered. Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com and one of our NASM Certified Personal Trainers & Certified Nutrition Coaches will be happy to help out.
 Clark KS, Coleman C, Shelton R, Heemstra LA, Novak CM. Caffeine enhances activity thermogenesis and energy expenditure in rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2019 May;46(5):475-482. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.13065. Epub 2019 Feb 14. PMID: 30620415; PMCID: PMC6467726.
 Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, Girardier L, Mensi N, Fathi M, Chantre P, Vandermander J. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/70.6.1040. PMID: 10584049.