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What Non-Stimulant Supplements Would Be Best For Fat Loss?

Summer is here and we are all hoping to show our best set of abs ever. This question is for those who want to learn more about non-stimulant supplements because there are so many who react (rather uncomfortably) to the stimulant based ones.

By: Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: What Non-Stimulant Supplements Would Be Best For Fat Loss?

The Question:

Summer is here and we are all hoping to show our best set of abs ever. This question is for those who want to learn more about non-stimulant supplements because there are so many who react (rather uncomfortably) to the stimulant based ones.

What non-stimulant supplements are the most effective for overall fat loss during the summer?

How do you determine if you should be taking a non-stimulant supplement?

Why would you avoid supplements that contain stimulants?

Bonus Question: What IFBB Pro do you know that uses a non-stimulant fat loss supplement?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.
      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - bitterplacebo
What Non-Stimulant Supplements Would Be Best for Fat Loss?

Fat loss is a common concern among people, and while possible through pure determination and hard work, many are interested in shortcuts. Supplements offer exactly that to those with the means and desires to explore them.

Some may consider them a cheat, but the fact is that everyone's body is different in terms of how they store fat. It may be easy to reach ideal fat levels naturally for certain individuals, while difficult for others. It's in our interest to understand why this may be the case.

There are genetic components that influence a person's fat levels, some of which are predetermined. Environmental factors also exist and might include the types of foods that are available for consumption.

Another interesting fact is that the human brain actively will tweak a person's metabolic rate in an effort to maintain a constant body fat level. The brain does this by monitoring fat levels through leptin, a hormone that fat cells release.

Supplements can help people overcome some of these barriers and achieve fat reduction. Fat loss supplements include the following categories:

  • Stimulants: drugs that increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.[3] Common supplements include caffeine and ephedra.

  • Lipotropics: compounds that help break down body fat during metabolism.

  • Thermogenics: increase body temperature and therefore metabolism. These supplements lead to more fat burned and possibly a depressed appetite.[2] Many stimulants are also thermogenics, but by definition, thermogenics are not necessarily stimulants. This category should be explored with some caution because of this.

  • Appetite Suppressants: provide ways to trick the body into not feeling hungry. This will cause one to eat less and forcing fat to burn as an energy substitute.

  • Hormone Manipulation: some supplements offer means to help naturally regulate testosterone and estrogen hormones. This is important because high levels of estrogen may increase fat storage, while testosterone does the opposite and also promotes muscle gain.


Most Effective:
What non-stimulant supplements are the most effective for overall fat loss during the summer?

There are quite a lot of substances that have been shown to promote fat loss. The following is a list and description of specific substances, with my suggestions at the end. Many supplement products have a combination of these ingredients.

  • Tribulus Terrestris - Increases the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body. This then stimulates production of testosterone, allowing inhibited fat storage and promotion of muscle growth.

  • Mucuna Pruriens - Can increase production of human growth hormone, which will help in building lean mass and thus overall body fat percentage loss. It may also support testosterone levels.

  • Sesamin1 - a natural lignan that acts as an activator at certain receptors that create enzymes involved in the oxidation of fatty acids. Taking sesamin will increase the oxidation of fat as well as inhibit a lipogenic, or fat storing, enzyme.

  • Green Tea Extract1 - Decreases dietary fat absorption as well as increases hormones that suppress appetite. It also has been shown to decrease the activity of a glucose transporter in fat tissue, but increasing its activity in muscle. There is also a thermogenic component that reportedly increases metabolism by about 4%.

    Green tea does contain low levels of the mild stimulant, caffeine, but most extracts claim no increased heart rate or jittery side effects. There are green tea extract products available that are labeled caffeine free.

  • Cissus Quadrangularis1 - Helps block cortisol from breaking down muscle tissue. This may be important because dieting may cause higher levels of cortisol.

  • Bocopa Minnieri1 - Increases the concentration of a thyroid hormone, resulting in increased metabolism.

  • Forslean (Coleus Forshohlii)1 - Mimics effect of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), thus stimulating metabolic increase.

  • Chromium2 - May help stabilize blood sugar and insulin, a hormone that draws glucose into cells. A stable level of insulin leaves less chance that glucose will be drawn into fat. It's important to note that while stabilizing blood sugar, it has not been shown to enhance their usage.

  • L-Carnitine2 - An amino acid that helps liver and muscle retain glycogen, the stored form of glucose (sugar). Logic would tell us that it's better to have it in these short term storage areas than in fat, the body's long term storage. L-Carnitine also may help fat metabolism. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is superior in terms of bioavailability.3

  • Chitosan2- Inhibits fat absorption in the intestines. There are reports that 30-40% of dietary fat is absorbed with chitosan, and the rest is eliminated. This obviously helps reduce calorie consumption.

  • Probiotics/Bacteria - These aid in the healthy digestion of fats and vitamins. One example is lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurts. The body gets a lot of these only from foods, so supplements may help.

  • Choline - Essential for the process of breaking down fat for energy.4

  • Pyruvate - Increases cellular respiration, the amount of energy cells have available for use. It is known to start the Krebs cycle, an energy cycle that yields this ATP energy. Pyruvate may also help burn fat.

  • 7-Keto - Increases metabolic rate by means of manipulating the thyroid gland.

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid - A fatty acid that may play a role in the energy expenditure, oxidation of fat, and fat storage. A study in animals found a lean mass increase even with less food intake.

  • Guggulsterones - Comes from a tree and stimulates the thyroid gland, leading to more fat being burned and less stored.

  • 5-HTP - A precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in appetite among other things, like sleep. May have unwanted effects since neurotransmitters play a role in many bodily functions.

  • Phase 2 (Phaseolamin) - Derived from white kidney beans. It neutralizes an enzyme involved in starch digestion. This will basically reduce the available calories from consumed starches.

Suggestions:

    There are most likely many more supplemental substances out there that are not listed here. I encourage the reader to research more on their own to find the supplements best suited to their needs. Some helpful advice when searching would be to look for products with many ingredients from the four categories listed above:

    1. Lipotropics - Help digestion. Can include vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
    2. Thermogenics - Increase metabolism, often by stimulating the thyroid gland. Be careful as some may also be stimulants.
    3. Hormonal Regulators - Prevent fat storage and promote lean mass.
    4. Appetite Suppressant - Keeps food consumption down without the pains of hunger. The use of these will make "calorie blockers" unnecessary since overall consumption is lower anyway. Suppressants may also be better for psychological reasons like not having to stress out or worry that a "calorie blocking" pill is doing its job correctly.

Recommendations:

Universal
  • Universal Animal Pak Multivitamin - Contains many lipotropics mentioned above and will also fill nutritional gaps created during dieting.

  • Universal Animal Stak 2 - Helps with testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol regulation. It also has some vasodilation effects for better blood flow.

  • Hoodia Gordonii - Assists with suppressing appetite through natural means. It sounded promising, however, I have no experience with any appetite suppressants.

  • Green Tea Extract - Increases metabolism because it is a mild thermogenic. It is a pretty well known and researched substance and can be obtained caffeine-free.

    • Warning: For many supplements, there is a recommended daily amount. Exceeding this for certain substances may be dangerous. Be sure to check this value, and use supplements safely according to guidelines. Good tables for reference:

      www.nal.usda.gov
      www.1stholistic.com

      Also if you have any medical conditions, check with a doctor before supplementing with anything. Also if taking any medications, check with a doctor, sometimes absorption of medication is influenced by supplements. Check with a doctor anyway if ever in doubt.


Determining:
How do you determine if you should be taking a non-stimulant supplement?

In general stimulants may want to be avoided by people for whom the following conditions apply:

  • Is pregnant or nursing
  • Has high blood pressure
  • Has heart disease
  • Has diabetes
  • Has a mental or behavioral disorder
  • Is taking any medications

Besides the physical effects of stimulants, it holds some influence of a person's mental wellness. People's tolerance of stimulants vary widely. If a particular person is extremely sensitive to them, they may not feel pleasant while supplementing with stimulants. Everyone's brain chemistry is different. Those with mental or behavioral disorders may make their condition worse with the use of stimulants, and would be advised to consult a doctor before use of any supplement.


Avoiding Stimulants:
Why would you avoid supplements that contain stimulants?

Even for individuals without any of the conditions mentioned in the previous section, stimulants are known to have many effects on anyone's body and behavior. Going back to the definition, we can see where some of these effects come from.

Stimulants are substances that activate the "fight or flight" response, or the sympathetic nervous system. This is a function meant to help our bodies deal with an acute stress, such as running away from a hungry lion, so it makes sense that many long-term bodily functions are inhibited while this system is active.

During stress, immune, sex, growth, and digestive functions are all slowed or shut down because more energy needs to be diverted to functions like muscle contraction to help get away from that lion. Using stimulants regularly can inflict a chronic stress on the body, inhibiting the mentioned body systems and can increase risk for ulcers, irritable bowl syndrome, as well as many other diseases and afflictions.

Another issue is that the adrenal gland is being told to release adrenaline during the "fight or flight" response. This constant stimulation of the gland can lead to adrenal fatigue. The results of this symptom can be a lowered metabolism, overtraining, or difficulty with further fat loss. Also concerned with the adrenal gland are some of the steroid hormones, which we know are important for strength, stamina, and lean muscle mass.

Other negative effects of stimulants:

  • Can alter sleep patterns
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Addiction: some stimulants, like caffeine, are addictive and stopping consumption can be difficult and can lead to withdrawal symptoms and depression.

RELATED POLL
Would The Possibility Of Addiction Keep You From Trying A Stimulant?

Yes.
No.
It Depends On What The Benefits Were.
Not Sure.

  • Death: Stimulants will effect the cardiovascular system and body temperature. Combined with exercise additional strain is placed on the body, which may not be capable of enduring it. In extreme cases or with overdose, stimulants may cause death.


Bonus:
What IFBB Pro do you know that uses a non-stimulant fat loss supplement?

It is definitely reasonable to turn to professional bodybuilders for advice. They have both the experience and the results as back up. So we might want to look at the kinds of non-stimulant fat loss supplements that these guys are using.

IFBB Pros & Some Of Their Supplements:

  • Derik Farnsworth: takes multivitamins to make sure he gets every needed vitamin.


  • Click Image To Enlarge.
    Derik Farnsworth.

  • Mark Francois: recommends multivitamin minerals to supply all the correct nutrients for our body to function efficiently.

  • Rich Gaspari: has a line of supplements, one of which manipulates hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

    • Top Selling Gaspari Products Here.

  • Lee Priest: states that he supplements his diet with vitamins.


  • Click Image To Enlarge.
    Lee Priest.

  • Eddie Robinson: advocate of a whole, organic, and living foods diet, focusing on digestive enzymes and helpful bacteria.

  • Gunter Schlierkamp: uses vitamins and minerals to supplement diet, ensuring he receives all the nutrients necessary. Also supplements chromium, citrimax, L-carnitine, and green tea extract for fat burning, with other supplements for increasing testosterone.

  • Frank Zane: promotes vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzyme supplements.

  • It's sometimes difficult to find out the supplements that bodybuilders use because they do not mention it up front. It may be that some feel guilty and do not want others to think they "cheated." Others are definitely comfortable and confident in their experiences and like to inform others about what diets, exercises, and supplement usage worked for them.

    I would think that a majority of professionals would openly answer personal supplementation questions, confirming that their only secret lies in their strong effort and dedication.

    References:

    1. www.blknutrition.com
    2. www.bodyandfitness.com
    3. en.wikipedia.org
    4. www.brainmac.demon.co.uk
    5. www.adrenalfatigue.org


2nd Place - Aussie LTD
What Non-Stimulant Supplements Would Be Best For Fat-Loss?

Summer is here and we are all hoping to show our best set of abs ever. This question is for those who want to learn more about non-stimulant supplements because there are so many who react (rather uncomfortably) to the stimulant based ones.

In this article I will provide a long list of non-stimulant supplements to aid with fat-loss, and discuss which people should avoid stimulants and why. Please read on.


Most Effective:
What non-stimulant supplements are the most effective for overall fat loss during the summer?

There are a lot of good choices. Before making a decision, it's most important to determine what your individual needs are. These can include finding a way to suppress your appetite and avoid cravings, increasing the effectiveness of your thyroid, which plays a major role in fat metabolism, or those who just want an overall metabolic boost.

There are supplements available to target each; these are thermogenics, thyroid boosters and appetite suppressants. Alternatively, there are complete formula's that will ensure you have every ground covered.

Generally those who are advanced trainers and are looking to cut up either for summer or competition may want to try a thermogenic or a complete formula, whereas those with longer term weight loss may also want to add in an appetite suppressant and a thyroid booster.

Here are my personal favorite supplements, all of which are non-stimulant and will target your individual goals.

Xyience Xtreme Carb/Fat Blocker:

Xyience

    This supplement falls into a category not described above; it is a carbohydrate and fat metabolism blocker. In other words, it acts on the body to reduce the absorption of both carbohydrates and fat. It does this by blocking the enzymes responsible for their digestion, and therefore will help reduce fat storage by blocking off the effects of high-calorie foods.

    This product is a good choice; it is a non-stimulant variety, contains two of the more famous blockers; white kidney bean and chitosan, as well as glucose regulators, which will help with appetite as well.

    This product is useful for anyone who is looking to block off additional calories from their diets, and should be taken in a large dose before meals with a moderate-high carbohydrate and fat intake.

NOW Mega-Hoodia:

NOW

    Mega-Hoodia is a traditional herb used to suppress appetite. It does this by sending signals to the brain to tell it that you are full. As it result, it will not only keep you satisfied, but will help overcome binge eating that are common among those who try and diet.

    This tablet is better suited as an aid for those who are newer to dieting, and can be stacked along with a good quality thermogenic for best results.

NOW Thyroid Energy:

NOW

    If you want effective fat loss, you can't ignore your thyroid. It is one of the most influential factors towards how the body decides to utilize fats, and is usually one of the hidden reasons why a lot of people find it so hard to loose weight.

    NOW thyroid booster is a natural supplement that will boost thyroid with a combination of herbs and vitamins. I would take it alongside a thermogenic, especially for those who find it really hard to loose weight.

MAN Vaporize:

MAN

    This product not only has its effects on rapid fat loss, but also contains a very healthy blend of unsaturated fats that will also boost heart, brain and energy levels.

    The main ingredient in Vaporise is the highly talked about extract from sesame seed oil, sesamin. Sesamin has a major role influencing how the body uses fats by activating a specific receptor in the human body called PPARalpha.

    This product also contains an equal amount of flaxseed oil, which has very similar fat-fighting properties as sesamin. With added omega 6 and omega 9, it is a good overall fatty acid complex with the correct proportions for effective fat loss.

    This product can be used by anyone looking to loose weight, while also receiving all of the other health benefits that come along with consuming fatty-acids.

Universal Supercuts:

universal

    This is a great complete formula that will target all areas of fat loss. It ensures fat metabolism, regulating glucose and suppressing appetite are all covered, and therefore can be effective for anyone wanting to loose weight.

    All ingredients are natural, and like MAN vaporize, it holds many other health properties other than being a potent fat burner. It contains a blend of L-carnitine, fatty-acids, lecithin and herbs that ensure you aren't missing out of anything.

    This is very similar to Prolab's Cuts 2 - so Prolab is another good option.


Other Important Supplements

The above were all direct fat-burners in some sense. All are very effective at loosing fat, but there are other areas to consider as well. These include energy, endurance, your protein as well vitamin and mineral needs, which all have their own roles in ensuring effective weight loss.

Here are some other supplements that will assist you in burning those excess pounds:

Multivitamin: Pure Essence Life Essence:

Multi

    A multivitamin is the first ground you need covered when loosing weight. Almost every vitamin has a role in how the body utilizes the nutrients you consume, and therefore in some way or another will affect how your body handles calories.

    Pure Essence is a good choice for a multivitamin. It is very high potency, meaning you aren't left with really small doses of vitamins.

    It also has a good balance of the forgotten super-foods, such as wheat grass, green tea, grape seed and spirulina and around 30 others. Together these contain health properties not found in foods alone. They are also the most potent antioxidants around, meaning they will help fend off the negative affects of free radicals from exercise.

BCAA: Optimum BCAA:

BCAA

    These are a very reasonably priced BCAA supplement that contains the amino acids in the desired 2:1:1 ratio. BCAA's will ensure healthy recovery from workouts, and get you back in the gym quicker.

    They keep the body anabolic, and are therefore can be very beneficial before, during and after training. Searching for as many ways at keeping the body anabolic during cutting is vital, and by taking a BCAA, you definitely have one big ground covered.

B-Vitamins: NOW High Potency B-100 Caps:

NOW

    B-vitamins are vital for fat loss as they have a role in how the body decides to use carbohydrates. Without enough b-vitamins, instead of utilizing the energy for workouts, it's likely to get stored as body fat.

    B-vitamins, combined in the right proportions, will give you a big boost in energy, and help you get through tough cutting workouts. Overall, NOW is a good product as its trustworthy brand, while the quantity per serve is high at a reasonable price.

Whey: Optimum 100% Natural Whey Protein:

ON

    Protein is the most vital of all three macro-nutrients during a cutting phase due to its anabolic properties. Additionally, those with longer-term weight loss goals will also benefit from upping their protein intake due to it's appetite suppressing affect.

    Protein not only lowers the rate of carbohydrate absorption, thereby stabilizing insulin levels, but also contains amino acids such l-carnitine and l-methionine that have roles in fat-burning and energy production.

    Optimum Natural whey is a great choice as it's been ultra and micro filtered, a process that removes all impurities from whey. It's also low in carbohydrates too.

Flaxseed Oil:

    Flaxseed oil contains a massive dose of the vital ingredient ALA. ALA has a role in fat metabolism and oxidization, and with 8 grams per serve, flaxseed oil gives you more than enough to get the job done.

    Additionally, flaxseed oil helps reduce the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed during meals, and therefore has a role in stabilizing insulin levels. One of the main reasons diets fail is because insulin levels are all over the place, so taking control of them is a major step towards weight loss success.

    1 tablespoon per day is enough to get the job done, either blended into a shake, eaten with low-fat yoghurt or added to salads. Avoid cooking linseed oil!

Conclusion:

    Overall, the above supplements will all be very effective tools for helping you loose weight during the summer. I would recommend using all of the non-fat burning supplements such as whey, a multivitamin, flaxseed, BCAA's and B-vitamins, along with additional fat-burners that suit your personal needs.

    I personally take a dose of 2 tablets of Universal Super Cuts 2 times per day stacked with Man Vaporize. I use this because it works, it's healthy and affordable. It's around $11 a container of Supercuts, and Man Vaporize is cheap as well.

    I also use a carb/fat blocker, such as Xyience. These can be taken 15 minutes before any moderate-high fat and carb meals. Although many people may think this dose above is too high, I think potency is important.

    For those who aren't looking to refine on a physique already developed, but rather are just starting out with their weight loss goals, I would recommend including an appetite suppressant such as Mega Hoodia along with the above tablets.

    This is because already established trainers usually have appetite under control, whereas controlling food intake is more of an issue with someone who has had longer-term weight loss.

    But even if you take the biggest mega dose of the highest stimulant supplements around, you're not going to loose weight overnight. So relax, and never give in and you'll get what you from your supplements.

    Considering they are all natural, and are actually multi-purpose tablets other than just fat-burners, rest assured there will be little side effects other than enhanced fat-burning.


Determining:
How do you determine if you should be taking a non-stimulant supplement?

Taking supplements is very similar to working out. There are many styles of working out, or different types of supplements, and success is a matter of trying each out and seeing which you react to the best, or discontinuing those which don't work. Therefore, how people will react to stimulant supplement is highly individual. Most will find that there is no problem, or "reactions," whereas others find they are the more sensitive type.

Are there any subgroups who should avoid non-stimulants? Yes, it's important that pregnant women avoid anything stimulating for the safety of their growing fetus, as well as the elderly who are at higher risk for experiencing any side-effects. Stimulant supplements should also be avoided by anyone with a heart condition, as they increase heart rate, as well as anyone who is being treated for high blood pressure, thyroid or psychiatric disease.

Those who are susceptible to anxiety and depression may also want to side-step stimulants. This is because they can increase anxiety in some people, as well as cause interactions with anti-depressant medication. For the same reason, those on blood pressure or heart medication should do the same.

Although there are a lot of sub-groups who should avoid stimulants, most people will find they don't cause any harmful affects. Overall, it's a highly individual thing.

If you are the type who does react, be assured that there are plenty of non-stimulant varieties around which provide the same, or even better results, such as those I've mentioned in this article.

Ingredients To Keep An Eye On:

    These are probably the most common ingredients that cause reactions, and are all common in thermogenic products.

    Keep an eye on these, and if you do experience any discomfort on a product including one of these ingredients, discontinue its use. Of the above, ephedrine is probably the most talked about substance. It's is found in most fat-burners, and some energy products. Some may find they have similar reactions to synephrine too.

Other Stimulants:

    Here are others that people may find cause a reaction, but are overall healthier ingredients.

    • Green Tea - found in many thermogenics
    • Cocamine - extract from cocoa
    • Guarana - energizing herb

    Although these contain compounds that can speed up the system, they all contain many hidden health properties, and shouldn't be ignored unless you have to.


Avoiding Stimulants:
Why would you avoid supplements that contain stimulants?

Some of the people who take them report side-effects. The most common you hear about is the inability to relax, or feelings of restlessness. The reason for this is because stimulants can increase certain receptors in the brain such as dopamine that encourage the body to stay alert and active.

As a result, some people may find it harder to sleep, usually those who take their supplements later on at night. Some people also report feeling dizzy, or getting headaches. This may be a result of the caffeine, which is OK in moderation, but too much can cause bad affects. Others have reported feeling nausea as well.

Generally all stimulants speed up your system, and increase how fast is everything is working. Therefore most of the side-effects are a result of this. Overall, non-stimulant supplements are generally healthier choices. They usually don't encourage the system to go into overdrive like a stimulant would, and are therefore a more balanced option.


Bonus:
What IFBB Pro do you know that uses a non-stimulant fat loss supplement?

I have no idea what particular supplements IFBB pro's use, but I wouldn't be surprised if, to a degree, they are using some of the stuff we use.

Although IFBB pro's take a cocktail of other unhealthy substances, they still use your basic, and very natural substances such as CLA, sesamin and fatty acids. These will all increase your response to weight loss, regardless of what level your physique is at.

Then there are other non-stimulant supplements such as BCAA's and a multivitamin that everyone uses, and plenty of other individual vitamin and mineral supplement. I remember reading an old article on Frank Zane, and his supplement schedule was full of mega-doses of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, B-vitamins and C, which all have roles in muscle growth/repair and fat loss.

Regardless if their intention in using them is for health reasons like us, there is probably an IFBB pro out there right now using the same supplement you've tried.

In conclusion, there are many non-stimulant supplements available for fat loss. If you target your fat loss from the right angle, or angles, supplementing will help tremendously in your journey towards that shapely summer physique. Good luck with your weight loss goals!


3rd Place - stonecoldtruth

Summer is here and we are all hoping to show our best set of abs ever. This question is for those who want to learn more about non-stimulant supplements because there are so many who react (rather uncomfortably) to the stimulant based ones.


Most Effective:
What non-stimulant supplements are the most effective for overall fat loss during the summer?

With the myriad of products on the market today, it is easy to be confused about which products are going to help you reach your goals, and which are going to help you reach bankruptcy. Below are the 7 most EFFECTIVE non-stimulant fat loss supplements, in no particular order.

1. Multivitamin:

    A daily multivitamin is truly ESSENTIAL when trying to lose weight. Vitamin deficiency can lead to metabolic slowdowns, which is the last thing we want while trying to lose fat, as well as many other negative effects of vitamin deficiencies. The best time to take your multivitamin is immediately upon waking.

2. L - Carnitine:

    This non-essential amino acid transfers fatty acids into the mitochondria where it can be used for cellular energy production. This transfer provides energy by actually BURNING fat. Research, while not conclusive, also suggests a potential effect on fat metabolism. The best time to take L-Carnitine is before meals on an empty stomach, but not close to bedtime. Our Canadian customers cannot import this supplement due to Customs regulations.

3. EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids):

    While the word Fatty might jump out at you make sure you note the word before it, Essential. Typically we associate the word Fat with 'being fat' and the epidemic of obesity. While certain fats, like hydrogenated and saturated, lead to many health problems, there are other fats which can help you to be healthier and to lose weight.

    These EFA's can be found in natural sources, such as fish and various oils, but the right ratio of EFA intake has many compounded benefits. The main benefits, as they relate to fat loss, are: Increased Oxygen Utilization, Energy Production and Stabilization of insulin/blood sugar levels.

    EFA supplements come in both capsule and pill form. The decision as to which you wish to supplement with is entirely up to you, however it should be noted that there is a strong taste to EFA oils. So it really comes down to whether you want to choke down some oil or take quite a few pills. There is not a 'best time' to take your EFA supplement, however many people take their oil/pills at morning, afternoon, and at night.

4. Sesamin:

    Sesamin is arguably the non-stimulant supplement that is getting the most attention right now, and rightly so. Sesamin, found in the husk of sesame seeds, not only helps us to burn fat, but also helps us to avoid storing fat during our moments of weakness.

    These things happen because Sesamin acts as a PPAR (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activator Receptor) Activator. PPAR's have major effects on fat metabolism, fat storage, and the maintaining of insulin sensitivity. In addition to these already major benefits, Sesamin also has potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Sesamin's benefits can be compounded by stacking it with EFA's and CLA. The best time to take Sesamin is with higher fat meals. (10g+ of fat)

5. CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid):

    CLA is a free fatty acid that is found naturally in most meat and dairy products. While most of us do get some CLA through dietary intake, it is not enough to unlock the CLA benefits. Research has shown that supplementing with CLA can help to reduce body fat while increasing muscle mass.

    Possibly the best benefit to those looking for a 'beach body' is that CLA has been shown to have a great effect on reducing fat deposition around the abdomen area, so 6-pack here we come! There are many other suggested benefits to CLA, and with more research we may find out even more about this supplement. The best time to take your CLA is alongside your Sesamin/CLA supplementation or with meals.

6. EAA (Essential Amino Acids):

    Here are 8 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine. These EAA's are responsible for ALL of the body's digestive enzymes. In addition, EAA's have effects on recovery and endurance.

    While there is no 'clear' connection to fat loss with EAA's, the increase to recovery time alone makes it a worthwhile purchase. More direct benefits include the decrease of muscle breakdown and cortisol levels, which can have an effect on fat storage. In addition to EAA's, there are BCAA's (branched chained amino acids) products available.

    BCAA's are composed of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are all also provided in a EAA product. However, these 3 are especially important since they are metabolized in the muscle rather than the liver, and once digested these can be used for energy. EAA/BCAA's should be taken before and after workouts, and even possibly during.

7. Glutamine:

    Glutamine is another of the Amino Acids found commonly in meat and dairy products. It is utilized both in the digestive and immune system. Glutamine increases protein metabolism and lowers muscle breakdown. This is another supplement where the benefits tie to fat loss falls back on the way it ties into your diet and training.

    Glutamine helps the body to make better use of the protein you provide it, while defending against the loss of muscle. Even though we are aiming to lose fat, we don't want to lose muscle.

Other Products:

    The above seven products are not the be-all-end-all of the non-stimulant supplements, but they are the most effective. With the HUGE amount of products available sometimes more is not better. Because of this, many good products were not included in the above seven. Other products not covered here that may also provide added benefit are:

    • Chitosan - A shellfish fiber said to bind to dietary fat to stop its absorption.

    • Green Tea Extract - One of the most common thermogenic products on the market. It is available in both caffeine and caffeine-free versions.

    • Soy Protein Isolate - While soy protein is typically looked down upon, it does contain tons of phytochemicals to help support the production of thyroid hormones.

    • Forskolin - Causes cAMP levels to rise as well as an increase in production and release of thyroid hormones.


Determining:
How do you determine if you should be taking a non-stimulant supplement?

It is also strongly recommended that anyone who has suffered from a drug or alcohol addiction problem in the past to avoid stimulant containing supplements.

If none of the above conditions exist, then you should simply 'listen to your body.' Many people have adverse reactions to stimulants, and really the only way to know if you will is to try them. One of the most common stimulants is caffeine, and you may already know how your body reacts to caffeine.

For example, my wife does not drink any caffeine containing products due to a feeling of nervousness, so she avoids any stimulants. Again, in the end listening to your body is the best answer. However, if you are one to err on the side of caution, our 7 recommended non-stimulant supplements will get the job done just as well as any stimulants.


Avoiding Stimulants:
Why would you avoid supplements that contain stimulants?

Stimulants are known to have negative effects, and possible long term effects that we don't fully understand yet. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to avoid stimulants:

  • Rise in Aggression
  • Sense of Nervousness/Paranoia
  • Nauseousness
  • Rise in Body Temperature / Excess Sweating
  • Rapid Heartbeat/ Heart Palpitations
  • Headaches / Dizziness
  • Addiction

Finally, a word of caution and clarification, if taken properly stimulants can be an effective way to lose fat. However, the problem with stimulants starts when proper dosing is ignored and excess is taken. Taking ANY medication in excess is dangerous.


Bonus:
What IFBB Pro do you know that uses a non-stimulant fat loss supplement?

Almost all are strong advocates of both a daily multivitamin and glutamine into their supplementation schedules. However, to give some specifics:

When dealing with IFBB Pros you often run into 'contract conflicts' which require them to list the supplements they take in regards to their sponsored companies. However, regardless of sponsorships, many pros know and recommend the above recommended products because of the benefits they provide.

References:

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jrod14.htm
  2. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/multi.html
  3. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/now/lcarnitine.html
  4. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/johnstack2.htm
  5. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jossup2.htm
  6. http://www.teenbodybuilding.com/derek38.htm
  7. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cla.html
  8. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/amino.html
  9. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/glutamine.html
  10. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kkinter.htm
  11. http://www.jaycutler.com
  12. http://www.artatwood.com/
  13. http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/fors.html


3rd Place - b0dybu1ld3r
Non-Stimulant Supplements for Fat-loss

Summer is here and we are all hoping to show our best set of abs ever. This question is for those who want to learn more about non-stimulant supplements because there are so many who react (rather uncomfortably) to the stimulant based ones.

Non-stimulant supplements are a rather wise decision for many people. Putting your health at risk is not worth it for those that are sensitive to stimulants. Luckily, there are many effective non-stimulant supplements that will be quite an aid for those looking to lose fat, along with a proper diet and exercise program.


Most Effective:
What non-stimulant supplements are the most effective for overall fat loss during the summer?

Non-stimulant Fat-loss:

    These are the basic non-stimulant fat-loss products. They all have various health benefits, and are all known to have an impact on fat loss.

    Sesamin:

    sesamin

      This is extracted from sesame oil. Sesamin has been known to reduce cravings, and fat storage as well by stimulating PPAR receptors. Sesamin is known to reduce body fat levels, but is mostly useful for preventing fat gain. Supports liver and kidney health.

      While being quite useful during a bulking phase, sesamin is also great for a cutting phase. It is wise to take sesamin during large meals, as it will help prevent the fat from being stored. It is also a potent antioxidant, so it has plenty of uses!

      A good sesamin product would be: Sesamin

    CLA:

    max

      This supplement is quite helpful, as many years ago people consumed much more of it. It is found in cheese, meats, and milk. Nowadays, due to the highly processed cheese and meats, less CLA is found in natural foods.

      This supplement is a great addition to sesamin. It works synergistically with the sesamin. It does this by decreasing fat uptake. The sesamin will then oxidize that fat. CLA is also useful for its health benefits. CLA is believed to impact body composition by regulating lipid metabolism.

      It is good to take this with large meals, just as sesamin. This is because it is supposed to help prevent the fats from being stored.

      A good CLA product would be: Max CLA

    ALA:

    ALA

      Alpha Lipoic Acid has a very positive effect on blood sugar levels. It has been known to decrease appetite while increasing the body's metabolism. Creatine uptake will be slightly enhanced with ALA consumption. ALA is also a potent antioxidant.

      During both cutting and bulking ALA is quite helpful. It is a good "damage-control" supplement, as it will help to normalize blood-sugar levels after a big meal. It can be stacked with both CLA and sesamin for great results!

      A good ALA product would be: R-ALA 200

    Cider Vinegar

    cider

      Supporting healthy stomach acidity, cider vinegar is very useful for those who would like to minimize fat-gain during high-carb meals. You simply consume cider vinegar along with your high-carb meals, and it should slow the absorption of the carbs, therefore helping to minimize fat gain.

      A good Cider Vinegar product would be: Cider Vinegar

    L-Carnitine:

    L-Carnitine

      Carnitine boosts energy by burning the body's triglycerides for fuel. Carnitine allows the body to burn more fat and save more glycogen. Promotes fatty acid utilization within the heart muscle.

      A good L-Carnitine product would be: L-Carnitine

    Chromium:

    chromium

      This has been shown to help increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. Helps insulin make blood sugar available to our cells. Insulin is basically made more effective by chromium. Most people do not consume enough chromium in their diets. Another large benefit to taking chromium is said to be its appetite suppression.

      Chromium Picolinate is the best choice, as it is more easily absorbed by the body than the other forms.

      A good Chromium product would be: Chromium

    Hoodia:

      An effective appetite reducing supplement, hoodia sends messages to the brain that the body is already full. This makes it quite an effective supplement for decreasing calories.

      Recommended product: Hoodia 500

    Inositol:

      Part of the vitamin-B complex. Important for proper fat metabolism, inositol also aids in the removal of fat from the liver.

      Recommended product: Inositol Powder

    White Kidney Bean:

      Helpful for digesting food, this is supposed to allow some of the starches that you consume to pass through your body without being absorbed.

      Recommended product: XCFB

    Chitosan:

      Is supposed to bind fat in the digestive tract. Chitosan is said to be able to trap up to seven times its weight in fat.

      Recommended product: Chitosan

Muscle-Maintenance:

    These products are great alongside the non-stimulant fat-loss products. They are known to help spare muscle on a reduced calorie diet.

    BCAA:

    BCAA

      While being a great supplement for maintaining muscle and strength during cutting, BCAA's are also useful for fat-loss. They are known to reduce muscle breakdown and enhance recovery.

      A good BCAA product would be: Xtend

    Micellar Casein:

    Micellar Casein

      This type of protein is quite effective at battling muscle loss (catabolism). It is designed to slowly release over a seven-hour period. This is great before bed, as well as anytime you know that you will not be able to get in a decent meal. Whey protein just doesn't cut it much of the time during a cutting cycle, due to its fast absorption. That's where the micellar casein comes in.

      A great micellar casein product: Micellar Matrix

Overall Health / Recovery:

    Multivitamin:

    adam

      This will help to fill nutritional gaps in your diet. Often during cutting, proper nutrient intake is lacking. A multivitamin is basically a "must-have" during these times. Taking two a day, spread out by about 8-12 hours would be optimal. If you are deficient in just one of these essential vitamins, your gains and health in general may be severely undercut.

      A good multivitamin product would be: ADAM

    Whey Protein:

    Whey

    While cutting, much of the time it is hard to consume enough protein. Whey protein is a very high-quality source of protein. Preferably, it should be consumed post-workout. However, do not rely too heavily on whey protein while cutting. It is not anti-catabolic as casein is, therefore it should not make up more than 1-2 meals per day.

    A good whey protein product would be: 100% Whey Power

    Fish Oil:

    Fish

      Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fish oil is known to simultaneously increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. Fish oil is lacking is most peoples diets, and is known to be one of the most beneficial supplements around.

      A good Fish oil product would be: Fish Oil


Determining:
How do you determine if you should be taking a non-stimulant supplement?

If you have taken stimulants before and felt generally "uncomfortable," then I recommend that you avoid them from now on. However, for those who have not tried them before, and are wondering whether or not they would be a safe way to lose fat or increase energy, here are some of the conditions that would not bode well with stimulants:

  1. High Blood Pressure / Heart Disease
  2. Angina
  3. Thyroid Disease
  4. Diabetes
  5. Taking Medications
  6. Depression


Avoiding Stimulants:
Why would you avoid supplements that contain stimulants?

Stimulants may affect many people adversely. Here are some of the possible effects:

High Blood Pressure:

    Since stimulants may increase blood pressure or pulse rate. Some people are known to add a blood pressure medication in order to control this issue. Make sure to ask your doctor before even considering this.

Tics:

    Stimulants are believed to make tics worse. However, usually only high doses of certain stimulants will cause this. It is also possible, although quite rare, to develop tics while taking them.

Depression:

    This is more common with "long acting" stimulants.

Irritability:

    If irritability is an issue for those taking stimulants, the dose should be reduced.

Reduced Appetite:

    Stimulants may sharply reduce one's appetite. Many of them must also be taken with meals, to avoid stomach upset. However, a late evening snack may help with this.

Headache:

    Those with chronic headache issues may find that they are increased while on stimulants. The doses must be cut back if this occurs, or even ceased altogether.

Difficulty Sleeping:

    This one is basically a given. When your energy is increased, there is a good chance that you will have problems falling asleep. This may cause one to avoid stimulants altogether, although it can be avoided by simply not taking any stimulants near the time that you go to bed.

If you already have any of the listed symptoms, it is recommended that you avoid stimulants, as it will most likely exacerbate the problem.

Remember to check with your doctor if you plan on ever trying stimulants.


Bonus:
What IFBB Pro do you know that uses a non-stimulant fat loss supplement?

Ronnie Coleman has taken multivitamins, chromium, and glutamine. He has also said that at one point he was taking up to 4000 mg Vitamin C per day! He obviously understands the importance of "the basics."

Quincy Taylor has been known to use sesamin, ALA, and CLA all as part of his supplement plan. Quincy Taylor used 3 caps sesamin/day, 1 cap ALA 2 times/day, and 4 caps CLA 3 times/day all during his contest-prep plan. The results speak for themselves.

Thanks!
- b0dybu1ld3r

Bibliography

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/lobliner1.htm
  2. www.ast-ss.com
  3. www.blknutrition.com
  4. www.bodybuildingforyou.com
  5. www.vanderbilt.edu
  6. www.pricespower.com
  7. www.energyfirst.com


Review Of Other Articles
Or "Why Wasn't Mine Picked?"


themurder2005

Pro's

  • Generally followed outline and included some good info.

Con's

  • Spelling and grammar errors "murdered" this piece.
  • Comments: The ability to focus on a topic and a feel for the tone of an instructional article are displayed. Help with proofreading may help. Read all the good writing you can, this will make your own work stronger as your individual style matures.


TinyMan

Pro's

  • Informative and generally well written.

Con's

  • Light on content.
  • Comments: Generally good work. Subjectively, the tone of this work could be termed as a little dry. Objectively, more content is needed for an article.


Trix44

Pro's

  • On topic.

Con's

  • Too short on content to gauge a style.
  • Comments: Reading articles published on Bodybuilding.com may give this writer a better feel for content.


anja star

Pro's

  • Well footnoted.

Con's

  • Writer did not conform to outline. Some garden variety structure problems in paragraph structure.
  • Comments: One of the nice things about writing for Topic of The Week is that your outline is done for you. Judging criteria includes how well one applied the outline to the work. Answer the questions in the order they are written. Each separate point or idea should have its own paragraph. Introduce the idea, support it, and conclude by re-enforcing it.


Master175

Pro's

  • Some good technical illustrations.

Con's

  • Some basic grammar errors. Did not strictly follow outline.
  • Comments: No mysteries here. Reading work out loud, and getting help with proof reading will help. Read the archives and note with profit how the winners laid out their work relative to the questions.


What Non-Stimulant Supplements Would Be Best For Fat Loss?
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