Daily Dose of Coach #171: Fat Burners

You may have heard the term "fat burning supplement" or even used some of these products. Many years ago, some of these products like Ripped Fuel and Hydroxycut included powerful stimulants like ephedra. Ephedra was eventually banned in supplements in 2004. These days, you'll find substances like caffeine, green tea or green tea extract, Taurine, Yohimbe, Guarna Extract, or any other ingredients that fire up the "fight or flight" system.

That is, in fact what these supplements do. They enlist these fight or flight hormones which release fatty acids in our body for energy. I get the question all the time, "do fat burners work?" The answer, like with many supplements is, "If you use them correctly."

I don't recommend supplements with have "fat burning effects." But if you decide to take them, here's what you need to understand. These supplements don't work unless you are taking them with exercise. Many people think they can take fat burners and their fat will just be released and disappear. The supplement will kick up the fight or flight system hormones and fatty acids will be released, but without muscle activity, this released energy will have no where to go. Instead of being used, the fatty acids find their way back to the same old fat storage areas they were before.

It's also a myth that these supplements create energy for you. They don't. They actually just borrow it. When this energy is done being borrowed, you'll be left with less energy than you had before.

If you are going to use a fat burner like caffeine, make sure you take it before or with exercise. This way you'll give those released fatty acids a place to give energy to your working muscles.