People often blame a “slow metabolism” for their weight gain or inability to shed excess pounds without really knowing what metabolism is. Believing claims about the effectiveness of metabolism-boosting supplements, they welcome the opportunity to address health concerns impeding their weight-loss efforts.
The popularity of metabolism boosters is steadily increasing. But are they as effective as the manufacturers say?
This article explains how metabolism works, whether metabolism booster supplements can enhance its function, and what ingredients do, in fact, show the greatest potential.
Metabolism is a complex process in which the body breaks down the food we eat into smaller molecules (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) which our cells then use as energy. A unit of this energy is called a calorie, and this energy is used by the cells to perform their functions. The faster our bodies transform food into energy and deliver it to cells, the faster we “burn calories.”
The time required for this process is called the metabolic rate. A basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories our cells need daily for essential bodily functions when we are at rest. In other words, we burn calories even when we are not moving.
BMR is unique to each person depending on their age, genetics, gender, body composition, and lifestyle habits. We can’t change our genes or slow down aging, but we can somewhat affect our BMR through healthier lifestyle choices, such as a balanced diet, exercise, and metabolism-boosting supplements.
Metabolism booster supplements are dietary supplements designed to speed up the metabolic rate and promote weight loss. They are often referred to as fat burners. They are usually in the form of pills, tablets, or powders added to food. Some booster supplements contain a blend of vitamins, minerals, and medicinal plants, and others contain only one ingredient.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate dietary supplements as closely as pharmaceutical products. The agency only monitors whether the claims on supplement labels are evidence-based and may test the product for safety, but not before it has been released for sale. Since supplements that say they burn fat and speed up metabolism don’t require FDA approval and contain ingredients that may interact with other medications, it is essential to consult a medical professional before starting a metabolism booster regimen.
Metabolism-boosting supplements contain ingredients that have been studied for their potential to reduce appetite, increase satiety, block the absorption of fat, or increase thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is the process of stimulating metabolic rate through increased production of heat in the body, resulting in increased calorie burn. So far, evidence shows fat burners may slightly enhance the metabolism and contribute to weight loss, but researchers emphasize the need for more research.
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Metabolism boosters are over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements, so anyone can purchase them. Doctors usually recommend them to overweight patients who need help adhering to the basic weight-loss principles – reduced calorie intake and increased physical activity. They don’t advise taking metabolism boosters without consulting a medical provider due to potential side effects.
Metabolism boosters claim to stimulate the metabolism and provide various health benefits, including:
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Fat burners contain ingredients that have yet to be comprehensively researched. Studies show they may cause adverse effects, such as:
Also, metabolism boosters may react with other medications, reducing their effectiveness or leading to other health concerns.
Below, you’ll find more information on the ingredients that are commonly included in metabolism boosters and their potential side effects.
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The FDA forbids the use of pharmaceutical ingredients in supplements. The best metabolism booster supplements contain natural substances that have been recognized for their capacity to regulate metabolism and stimulate weight loss. However, it is difficult to evaluate their effectiveness because there are few studies on single ingredients, and in combination with other substances, they often work differently.
The following ingredients are usually found in metabolism-boosting supplements.
Caffeine is found in herbs such as green and black teas, guarana, kola nut, and yerba mate. Short-term clinical trials show it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, increasing thermogenesis and fat breakdown. Data suggests it moderately increases the metabolic rate but is more effective when combined with other stimulants. Long-term use may cause caffeine tolerance, diminishing its effects.
Caffeine is generally safe at doses of up to 500 mg daily. However, some patients experience restlessness and sleep issues. It can also cause digestive issues, rapid heartbeat, and seizures at higher doses.
Green tea often appears in metabolism-boosting weight-loss products because it naturally contains a combination of caffeine and catechins. These two substances together are shown to aid in weight loss by increasing energy expenditure and decreasing fat absorption more effectively than when they are taken in isolation.
Green tea doesn’t cause any adverse effects, while green tea extracts may cause stomach pain, nausea, constipation, and increased blood pressure.
Capsaicin is found in spicy foods like chili peppers. Studies suggest it increases BMR, promotes satiety, reduces appetite, and improves insulin sensitivity. However, these metabolic improvements haven’t significantly affected weight in patients participating in short-duration studies (12 weeks), so more research is needed to determine its weight loss potential.
Capsaicin appears safe when taken at doses of up to 4 mg for 12 weeks. It can sometimes cause stomach pain, nausea, and bloating.
L-carnitine is a chemical made of the amino acids lysine and methionine. It helps convert fat to cell energy, reduce fat accumulation, and improve muscle mass. Studies show that doses of up to 2000 mg daily for one year are safe and may reduce body weight. Patients sometimes experience abdominal problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and unpleasant body odor.
L-carnitine is naturally found in meat, dairy, and some plants, but patients who want to regulate their metabolism and induce weight loss require higher concentrations. That is why L-carnitine is more effective in specially formulated weight-loss products, such as Vibrant Skinny Spray – a natural blend of vitamins, amino acids, and other fat-burning ingredients.
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Chromium is another essential nutrient for energy metabolism. Poor chromium absorption and inadequate diet result in a high chromium deficiency rate in the U.S. A deficit of this essential element possibly leads to insulin resistance and fat accumulation. Some doctors prescribe chromium supplementation to overweight patients to help regulate metabolic processes, glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and weight gain.
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Limited studies show CLA supplementation may help increase metabolic rate by increasing fat breakdown and destroying fat cells in adipose tissue, with results varying between individuals. The results of studies on CLA have been mixed, so the scientific consensus is that CLA contributes modestly to fat composition and body weight.
CLA is generally well tolerated in doses of up to 6 g daily for one year. Some patients report abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound in plants, belonging to the group of polyphenols. Its concentration in plants is small, so people use supplements to enhance resveratrol’s antioxidant effects and potentially reduce weight. Limited studies suggest it helps increase muscle mass and reduce fat and body weight.
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Ginger is a well-known culinary ingredient that adds zest to foods. Research has found that the root enhances the thermic effects of food, accelerates fat burning, and decreases appetite. Ginger may help improve metabolic conditions and manage weight, but more studies are needed to confirm these effects.
Ginger capsules in doses of up to 3 g daily for three months are generally safe, with mild adverse effects reported. Unwelcome side effects of ginger consumption include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and heartburn.
B vitamins play an important role in energy metabolism, helping to break down food, converting stored fat into energy, and regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. B vitamin deficiencies disrupt metabolic processes, leading to various health conditions.
Our bodies don’t produce B complex vitamins, so we need to ingest them through food and supplements to ensure optimal levels. Patients can also receive vitamin B IV therapy – the quickest and most effective way to restore depleted nutrients.
Note: Vitamin B12 injections are gaining popularity as an effective aid in weight management. Evidence shows they improve metabolic processes, providing more energy for exercise and supporting the mechanisms that promote weight loss.
Many fat-burning supplements contain soluble fiber, helping patients increase satiety and control their appetite. The most common fiber supplements include beta-glucans, guar gum, and glucomannan.
Glucomannan is especially popular due to its ability to absorb large amounts of water (up to 50 times its weight), preventing unnecessary food intake. Patients tolerate it well, with only minor reported side effects, such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal discomfort. Glucomannan tablets are linked to a higher likelihood of adverse effects; powder and capsules seem safer.
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Raspberry ketones are compounds found in red raspberries that are claimed to inhibit fat accumulation and reduce appetite. Existing research is either on mice or only based on supplements containing various other ingredients, so the effectiveness and safety of raspberry ketones in humans aren’t yet scientifically corroborated. However, the compound is marketed and widely used for weight management.
Choline is an essential amino acid that plays a role in lipid metabolism and liver function. Adult men and women don’t consume sufficient amounts, resulting in a disbalance in their gut microbiota. Choline supplementation can help improve metabolic processes, lower body fat, and increase lean muscle. It is often used in weight-loss products in combination with the amino acids inositol and methionine (together known as MIC).
Note: L-carnitine, B vitamins, and choline are some of the most widely researched and beneficial metabolism boosters. They are common ingredients in IV therapy, stimulating fat breakdown, increasing energy expenditure, and promoting weight loss. Learn how IV therapy for weight loss works to determine if it can help you.
Metabolism boosters have become popular aids in weight management. They consist of natural ingredients that have been recognized for their potential to accelerate fat burning and lower appetite. Most studies indicate that a balanced diet and regular exercise are prerequisites for a healthy metabolism, and supplements can help restore its balance.
Contact our experienced, friendly medical team at Vibrant Vitality Clinic to help you introduce an adequate metabolism-boosting product into your supplement regimen.
If you're looking to lose weight and metabolism boosters don't work for you right now, discover alternative ways to increase metabolism for weight loss.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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