Introduction: In this podcast episode: The truth about salmon, fat burning thermogenics, L-theanine, aquajogging, knee pain and stress fractures, body fat percentage norms and much, much more.
Ben: Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and it’s been an exciting week. I’ve been posting a lot on Facebook, Twitter – new workouts, new meal plans that I’ve been incorporating in my own diet and also with some of the clients I’ve been working with. So make sure you check out the Facebook and the Twitter pages for Ben Greenfield Fitness, if you don’t already subscribe to those. It’s a great way to get some new ideas for recipes, meal plans, exercises and so on. So in this week’s podcast, I have some really interesting and kind of shocking news on the salmon industry. It was inspired by an article I read by an author of a book called Bottom Feeder and I’d like to share that information with you because it really did knock my socks off in terms of the types of things that are going on in fish farms that I was completely unaware of. We’re also going to look at a new research article or new research study that was done on the effects of thermogenic nutrition supplements. And this would be most of the fat loss supplements you see out there on the market. We’re going to talk about the results of that study and also a lot of what are the “fat burners” that are out there as well as some new research on L-theanine, which is a component that a lot of energy drink manufacturers are now including in their drinks.
Ben: The first question today is from Listener Chris.
Chris asks: I recently was diagnosed with a stress reaction in the lateral knee. I was told that I can still swim, but that I should stop biking by my doctor and give it 8 weeks to heal. Eight weeks to me feels like a lifetime. I tried aqua jogging today as I have had several friends do that as their legs have healed from injury. I found it to be mildly painful on my knee as I pulled my leg forward. When I am running in the water, as my left leg pushes down and back and my right leg pulls up and forward, I found that I had pain in the outside of my right knee. Specifically, when my quads are tight, pulling my shin and foot forward in the water. I wonder whether I should be strengthening my quads and my hip flexors. Similar to the pain I feel when biking and pulling up on the crank with my right leg. This could be due to poor form in the pool, but I thought you might have some advice regarding how I can reduce this pain. My doctor has said to avoid activities that cause my knee pain (i.e. biking and running) and, therefore, I had thought aqua jogging would be perfect, but was disappointed to feel the pain in the knee.
Ben answers: Chris, great question. Aquajogging has been shown in several studies to be able to maintain aerobic capacity and VO2 max for up to four weeks while you are rehabbing and cannot run or bicycle. There are certain elements that are form when you’re aquajogging that are important and I’ll tell you some of the tweaks you can make to your form but it could be that there are some other things going on that I’ll also look into. The first thing is that when you are aquajogging, most people make the mistake of aquajogging in deep water by running straight up and down. Basically straight up and down position where they’re upright in the water kind of driving their knees up towards their chest. What you actually want to do so that you’re not overusing your hip flexors and your quads and so that you’re causing to fire the actual muscles that are going to be working when you’re running is you want to lean forward just a little bit. You want to tilt the pelvis forward, lean forward and kick a little bit more behind you as you run. This will automatically reduce the amount of stress and the amount of force that’s required for your hip flexor when it has to work a little bit harder to pull the knee up to the chest when you’re in the upright position versus the slight forward leaning position. So make that adaptation. But I can’t guarantee that that is going to take away that pain in your knee. If you’re diagnosed with a stress reaction in the knee, it’s pretty uncommon but basically I’m assuming this is in the tibia. It’s basically a stress fracture in the knee. And if you have a stress fracture in the knee, it’s likely that that developed from some type of overuse that’s pretty common in endurance athletes or chronic repetitive motion athletes and there could be some soft tissue or bursal inflammation that has set in that at the same time has that stress fracture kind of in the same area. It’ll usually take about four to eight weeks for a stress fracture like that to get to the point where you can start running and biking again. And if you listen to the last week’s podcast, we talked about some nutrition supplements you can take to speed up healing of a stress fracture. But it’s possible when I talk about soft tissue inflammation that you could have something called bursitis. And bursitis is actually an inflammation of the fat pad that lies between the hip flexor tendon and the actual bone femur that runs up your thigh. And all a bursa is, is that’s kind of like a fatty membrane that’s filled with a fluid that lubricates your joints. And bursitis is just an inflammation of the bursa. So, what happens is that chronic rubbing of that bursa can cause the inflammation, cause swelling and then cause pain in the area. If you are incorporating as I’m already assuming simple inflammation control techniques like light stretching, icing, I’m not sure if you’re doing physical therapy, if you’re doing any type of ultrasound or even electrostim – all of that can help a little bit with controlling inflammation in that area. But essentially what has to happen with the bursitis is the rubbing that’s occurring at that joint needs to be controlled in order for that inflammation to actually subside. So it’s possible you may need to take a week or so of just treating the inflammation prior to beginning into the water jogging. It could be that just leading forward is going to take enough stress off the hip flexors and the quads to where that bursa isn’t getting inflamed or any soft tissue that might be inflamed in that area is not getting rubbed against the bone quite as much. The other thing that can help with bursitis and can help with soft tissue inflammation is a cortisone injection. That would be something to speak to your physician about. And that would be something for your physician to look into – is whether or not there’s actually additional soft tissue inflammation in that area that’s on top of the stress fracture that you have. So, it could be as simple as leaning forward. It could be as complex as actually taking a little bit more time off to control that inflammation. So I hope that answers your question, Chris. And then we also have another question from Listener Scott.
Scott asks: I read in a fitness blog that it is difficult for men to maintain less than 9% body fat if they are eating at their maintenance caloric level. I’m wondering what you have discovered while working with various people tying to get into shape or maintaining the shape they are in. The blog also stated men need to weigh a certain amount prior to starting a fat loss routine. For example, a 5′ 8″ male needs to weigh 160lbs, a 5′ 9 male needs to weigh 165lbs – what is your opinion of this?
Ben answers: When I read this question, I’m a little bit puzzled because you say that it is difficult for men to maintain less than 9% body fat if they’re eating at their maintenance caloric level. When you say maintenance caloric level, I’m assuming what you’re referring to is the number of calories that you need to maintain calorie balance. So, calories in equals calories out. The natural body fat percentage for males differ but there are literally thousands of males on the planet walking around with less than 9% body fat and they’re not at caloric deficits necessarily. Bodybuilders are one example of people who are actually eating and putting on muscle and burning fat at the same time and dropping to as low as 2 or 3% body fat. So, it’s not impossible. But yeah it would be difficult. It’s not like it’s something that biologically cannot happen because there’s a sport where people are doing it 24/7. Now, the blog also stated that men need to weigh a certain amount prior to starting a fat loss routine. No. Men can start a fat loss routine at any time. No matter what weight they’re at. If a man is underweight, it may be a little bit dangerous for them to be trying to achieve fat loss through large caloric deficits, because if you already don’t weigh very much, you could actually do damage to your organs, do damage to your body by cutting off nutrients when your body doesn’t have that much adipose tissue or that much storage fat to mobilize. In that case, if you’re an underweight male and you wanted to lose fat, you’d probably be better off attempting to actually add lean muscle fibers to boost your metabolism a little bit, do some weight lifting, eat some protein — some good, lean, muscle building protein – make sure that you maintain a good steady diet of vegetable and plant based fats like avocadoes and almonds and nuts. Give your body what it needs calorically and then if you’re achieving a high metabolism and hormonal response to an exercise routine, you should be able to drop your body fat percentage without just focusing on a heavy caloric deficit through exercise. Now when we’re looking at body fat percentage, there is the concept lower is not necessarily better. So for example, the average guy has about 12% of storage body fat. The average girl has about 15% of storage body fat. And that’s just subcutaneous fat that’s deposited just underneath the skin. Usually that percentage of body fat is at least – it’s not the bare minimum, but it’s the amount of body fat that you really need for ideal amounts of insulation and padding. Now if you’re going after aesthetics, you may be willing to sacrifice a little bit of insulation, maybe shiver a little bit more than your friends with lower body fat percentage or maybe experience a little more damage if someone were to punch you in the arm. But 12% is about the norm for males as far as the body fat right underneath the skin and then 15% for females. Now there’s also what’s called essential fat. And the essential fat is a lot more important because the essential fat is what’s required for your body to function normally and for it to produce hormones, for the joints to have the amount of lubrication that they need – for the body to have the good cholesterol that it needs. For women you’re looking at about 12% ok? And there are some women, and I’ve met some women who function just fine. They’re completely regular. And they’re at 8%, 9%. That happens. But it’s pretty rare. That’s more genetics than anything else when a woman has a body fat percentage that low and is still able to function. For men it’s a lot lower. For men, essential body fat is about 3%. So a guy can get as low as 3 before he really starts to stray to very dangerous territory from a health standpoint. Try not to drop below those numbers if you’re a woman or a man. So the difference is you can drop low when it comes to storage fat but as far as your essential body fat, you want to be able to maintain a certain number. And there are ideal body fat percentage charts that are out there that show the average body fat percentage for athletes or the average body fat percentage of the population. I’m looking at an interesting one right now. Females up to age 30 – average body fat percentage is 14 to 21%. Thirty to 50 years old is 15% to 23% and then over 50 years old is 16 to 25%. And then for males up to age 30 – 9 to 15% is average. Thirty to 50 years old, 11 to 17% is average. And then at 50 plus years old, it’s 12 to 19%. And in sports it kind of spans the gamut. Looks like the fattest athletes are for females, basketball players and shot putters. And for males, the fattest athletes are football players and shot putters again. Obviously those are a couple of sports where having a little bit more mass can actually be helpful. Now it looks like the leanest sports – no surprise here – for males, cycling, gymnastics and triathlon. For females – again – gymnastics is a very low percentage. Triathlon is a very low percentage, and female sprinters interestingly also have fairly low percentage of body fat. Another one that tends to be real low for both groups – males and females – is racquetball players. That’s interesting. So apparently if you want to burn fat, take up the sport of racquetball. So those are this week’s Listener Q and A’s. Great questions and remember just shoot me an email or give me a call on the toll free line if you have a question for the show.
Ben: Several special topics this week. I’ve got a couple of really great interviews coming up in future episodes. We’re going to be focusing a lot this month on essential oils and minerals. There’s quite a bit of hubbub in the nutrition and health industry right now on really common deficiencies and concerns that have been observed in the general population and some of the things that people who are on the cutting edge in terms of alternative medicine and health are doing to control those. So I’ve got some great doctors coming on the show in the next few weeks. But this week I am going to focus on a couple of interesting topics that have sprung up this month in various magazines and articles and the first is really the topic of this podcast – one of the main topics of this podcast – and that is the truth about salmon. And I’m holding in my hands an article by a gentleman named Taras Grescoe wrote an article called Bottomfeeder that I’ll link to in the Shownotes to this podcast. And I’m in contact with his publicity agency right now trying to get him on the show because he did an expose of the salmon industry that was just amazing. And he went into a lot of detail about the open net salmon pens in the fish farms where farmed salmon are raised before they end up on your plate and some of the things that are going on in those farms. We’ve talked a lot about soy on this show and the fact that soy is very high in Omega 6 fatty acids and that it can compete for estrogen receptors especially in females and it’s high in phytic acids which can limit the amount of absorption of many minerals and vitamins in the diet. One of the main things that farmed fish are fed are salmon fishmeal made from soy. As a matter of fact, your taxpayer dollars subsidize the soy industry actually making this cheap ingredient available for salmon fishmeal. And what the soy does is it adds a lot of Omega 6 fatty acids into the feed of a wild salmon. Now, a high Omega 6 ratio when compared to something like Omega 3s is one of the problems in the western diet to start with. And it’s been – high Omega 5 consumption has been linked to tons of chronic diseases and health problems like heart disease, depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity or lower metabolism can result from a higher Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio just because the Omega 3s are actually helpful for metabolism whereas the Omega 6s can create a condition that actually slows it down, makes you less sensitive to insulin. Well they’re feeding all this soy to salmon and the farmed salmon end up being higher – the meat ends up being higher in the Omega 6 fatty acids because of this soy feed that they’re fed. Now the salmon are also going to need about 4 lbs of wild caught fish to grow 1 lb of actual salmon, and the reason for this is that the fish farms actually attract juvenile or baby wild salmon. These are eaten by the farmed salmon. So essentially salmon are being fed soy fishmeal, which is high in the Omega 6s and then they’re also eating the natural wild salmon. And so it’s depleting the natural population also contributing to high levels of inflammatory compounds in the meat of the fish that you’re going to eat. Now, the problem is that – and you’ll notice this in the picture on the podcast – sea lice tend to be a big problem in these fish farms where all the fish are kept in close proximity and typical baby salmon – it would be the equivalent of having an adult raccoon attached to your abdomen. The presence of sea lice – just one sea louse on one of these baby salmon. So the salmon are constantly affected by these sea lice and so what they have to do with this soy feed that they’re giving to the salmon is they have to spike it with pesticide to kill the sea lice. And as a matter of fact, farmed fish contain up to about 10 times more organic pollutants than wild fish. So the pollutants that they found in these salmon range from anything like the Agent Orange which is that infamous herbicide that for decades was found to be one of the most toxic dioxins known to men. They get polychlorinated by phenyl showing up in this fish meat which is essentially the substitutes in paints, and of course no surprise here, pesticides. So all of these toxins that are showing up or ending up in the fish actually cause the flesh of farmed salmon to be kind of a grayish or yellowish color. So what they have to do is actually add artificial colorings. What they do is they feed the salmon different pellets and then the fish farms can actually get hold of – it’s basically like a color chart – kind of like the paper strips you use to select paint colors at a hardware store and farmers get to choose from pale salmon pink – that’s called color number 20 all the way to a bright orange red which is color number 34 and they feed the fish special dye that allows the meats to actually appear to be that appetizing pink healthy or red color that you get to see at the grocery store when you go to buy it, to cover up the fact that it’s actually grey, almost like a dying flesh type of color. Now the uneaten soy pellets, the pesticides and the feces from these fish that are filled with the inflammatory compounds – all this tends to settle on the ocean floor down below the fish farms because the farms are basically in the ocean and they’re just basically these big cages out in the ocean. And so the entire ocean floor ecosystem underneath each of these farms makes it entirely uninhabitable for all the natural life like the small shrimp or the smaller fish or the wild salmon that would normally be in that area. So it kills off the ecosystem around the actual fish farm. Now this article isn’t just one big expose about the fish industry that doesn’t actually provide solutions. For example, the author talks about this place called Swift Aquaculture which is a sustainable agriculture fish farm up in British Columbia. And they basically – they have a nutritionist on staff and the actual fish is fed an organic sustainable feed and the fish waste is actually used to fertilize wasabi, water cress and garlic fields and these fish are growing up to about 2 lbs. They have none of the pesticides, the herbicides, none of the Omega 6 fatty acids that a lot of these other fish are getting in the regular fish farms. And this is just a small fish farm and all they do is they simply change up the feed that they give to the fish and then they ensure that the waste from the fish is actually developed into something useful. And then the other nice thing that the author does is he gives an example of five of the best fish to consume as an alternative to salmon. Now one, surprisingly, is sardines. Sardines tend to be pretty low in contaminants. They’re pretty high in Omega 3s and it doesn’t matter whether they’re canned or whether they’re barbecued. Sardines are a great source for your Omega 3 fatty acids. Trout is another good source. Trout tends to be a lot better in terms of how it’s raised. It’s usually raised in inland ponds and the environmental impact is pretty low. If you’re into lox with your salmon – smoked trout is a good substitute for lox. Mackerel is another good fish. And it tends to be a little bit better if you get something called Spanish mackerel which is better than the stuff that you get from the Gulf of Mexico, which is a little bit higher in mercury. So look for Spanish mackerel. Arctic char is a good alternative to salmon as well as is something called Skip Jack tuna. Now if you can get your salmon from a local farmer, not a local farmer but a local fisher who brings fresh fish to your grocery store or in our case in Spokane we have a guy called the fresh fish guy who actually has a big trailer full of fish that just got caught off the coast and he brings them straight in and sells them. If you can get access to something like this to get your fish or your salmon then I highly recommend it. If you’re the person who right now is thinking that you’re eating healthy and you’re just going to the local meat case of your grocery store and pointing at the salmon that’s lying there in the case and it’s just a regular farmed salmon, you’re probably getting dyed flesh that’s full of Omega 6 fatty acids that’s inflammatory, full of pesticides, herbicides and is killing off the other components around it in the ocean floor. So, that’s the truth about salmon. Make some healthy, make some intelligent and make some good choices when you are consuming fish. And the name of the book that the author wrote is called Bottomfeeder. I’m going to put a link to that in the Shownotes to this podcast.
Now before I talk about thermogenic supplements and fat burning supplements, I want to tell you real quick about energy drinks because I just had come across my desk this article from the LA Times. It was going into detail about all these different energy drink manufacturers are now looking into putting something called L-Theanine into their energy drinks. And the whole idea behind this is that L-Theanine is a component that can actually cross your blood-brain barrier and cause a release of dopamine and serotonin. It’s essentially a feel good chemical. It’s not a chemical, it’s all natural. But it’s a feel good compound that helps you to have a little more focus energy and a little bit more mental health. Now the whole idea is that you combine this with things like vitamin B12 or taurine or caffeine or some of the other components that could be found in an energy drink and you get energy but you also feel fantastic. And just now, this article in the LA Times came out. Well L-Theanine is great. But I’ve been using it for years. There’s a couple of companies that have been way ahead of the game in terms of the L-Theanine and the nice part is that they’re not mixing it with a bunch of artificial sweeteners or sugar or preservatives. The stuff that I take is called Delta-E. I’ll put a link to it in the Shownotes to this podcast. But it’s just a powder and you mix it with water. You can also just apply it sublingually. Put it right underneath your tongue. But it’s L-Theanine. It’s the equivalent of about a quarter cup of coffee in terms of the caffeine. So it doesn’t really stimulate your sympathetic nervous system too high. You don’t really get jittery. It’s got a little bit of taurine and a lot of vitamin B12 in it. I would highly recommend that. I will put a link to the article of the recent story in the LA Times but especially if you struggle with just feeling good, feeling happy especially in the afternoon when the energy levels tend to drop a little bit – this stuff actually helps quite a bit. So let’s go ahead and move on to a review of the recent research article The Acute Effects of a Thermogenic Nutritional Supplement on Energy Expenditure and Cardiovascular Function at Rest During Low Intensity Exercise and During Recovery from Exercise.
This was a study that appeared in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. What it did was it took a group of 28 people and it had them take a thermogenic fat burning supplement. And I’ll tell you about the ingredients in that fat burning supplement but they took it and then they rested for about an hour. They rested for about an hour. Then they had an hour of recovery, and during each of these different time spans the researchers measured these people’s heart rate, their blood pressure, how many calories they were burning and how much oxygen they were consuming and oxygen consumption is a way that you can measure the amount of carbohydrate and fat that is being burned. Well what they found was that for the people who took the thermogenic supplement, their energy expenditure and their oxygen consumption was greater for the people who took the supplement than the people who did not take the supplement – the placebo group. So they were burning more calories and consuming more oxygen. And then during exercise, their oxygen consumption — what’s called their minute ventilation – was higher. Meaning their ventilatory equivalent – how much gas they’re moving in and out of their body during exercise was much greater. And then what they found was that in the post supplementation period as well as right after the exercise, the blood pressure was a little bit higher and the respiratory exchange ratio was a little bit higher. Finally after exercise for the supplement group, the blood pressure and the heart rate was just a little bit higher. And so what it comes down to is that the thermogenic nutrition supplement that these people took prior to exercise increased the number of calories that they burned both during exercise and during rest. It increased their blood pressure both during exercise and at rest. And it had a pretty minimal effect on heart rate although heart rate was actually slightly lower during exercise and believe it or not, that’s something that caffeine can do. It can lower your heart rate just a little bit during exercise. Now, the interesting part of this study was I was looking at the actual supplement that they used and they didn’t name the make of the supplement but they used a supplement that had something called bioparin and niacin in it and both of these are found to be a little bit lower in people who are overweight. And so that’s the rationale behind putting them in this thermogenic aid. They put capsaicin into it. That’s a component of red pepper and it is a hot pepper that I talk about in my book 100 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism that has been shown to bump up the metabolic rate just a little bit. And then there was also something called – what was the last thing they put into it? I’m holding the research study in my hand right now. Oh caffeine, of course. Caffeine, capsaicin, bioparin and niacin. And these are the components that are going to appear in a lot of different thermogenic supplements and especially when it comes to the caffeine, that tends to be pretty high. It looks like what they were using was about 200 mgs of caffeine. That’s fairly high. The energy drink that I use has about 40 mgs of caffeine in it. So that’s a pretty big hit of caffeine, but essentially what caffeine can do is it can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. It can increase the blood pressure a little bit. It can decrease your heart rate just a little bit while you are exercising. But the whole idea is that if you combine it with stuff like this capsaicin or the niacin, technically you would have to use a little less caffeine in something that you were taking to increase the metabolism. Since large doses of caffeine could cause anxiety, irritability, nausea, headache, dizziness, so you’d want to be careful with anything that’s going to stimulate your central nervous system or what’s called your sympathetic – your fight or flight nervous system – to the extent it’s going to give you a lot of that jitteriness. So that’s the idea that thermogenic aids will take something like caffeine, but then they’ll put other things in it like the capsaicin or the niacin to actually allow them to use a little less caffeine. The whole reason I was interested in this study was because the FDA just a couple of weeks ago completely banned – they didn’t ban, but they issued a severe warning against hydroxy cut which is one of the most popular thermogenic fat burning supplements that’s out there on the market. So, the research study did show that the fat burning supplement worked but I would still be very cautious with something like this, with the ingredients that are in this because 200 mgs of caffeine is not child’s play. That’s easily a couple of cups of coffee. It’s not the best thing for your nervous system, it’s not the best thing for your adrenal glands and your kidneys to be doing that to yourself as a way to burn fat. Just think about basically drinking four or five cups of coffee during the day just to lose weight. I am always looking for ways to help people lose weight but help them lose weight and be healthy. Now the capsaicin, I’m definitely a fan of that. I actually keep red pepper in my kitchen cabinet and I put it in all sorts of things. My wife will get mad sometimes because she’ll cook a great big healthy meal and I’ll grab the hot pepper and completely mask the flavor of whatever she’s cooked with capsaicin and hot pepper. I think it tastes fantastic but it’s also a great way to keep your metabolism elevated. I want to talk to you a little bit about some of the things that are out there on the market. Some of the most popular fat burners that are out there on the market. Ok. And just so you kind of know what’s available and what could work, what couldn’t, what could be healthy for you, what might not – you’ve got the hydroxy cut and that’s probably the most popular. It’s made by a company called Muscle Tech and it’s got just a mega dose of green tea extract in it and green tea extract is found in a lot of different fat burners. Some have a lot, some have a little. But hydroxy cut has quite a bit. And hydroxy cut also has a lot of caffeine in it because of that. They put something in hydroxy cut and this is typical of a lot of thermogenic fat burning aids that helps to control your appetite by increasing serotonin levels in your brain and it’s called cisysquadrangularus. And that along with a mega dose of green tea are two of the primary active ingredients in the hydroxy cut. There’s another one – I just love this name – it’s called Ripped Freak by a company called Pharma Freak. And the primary ingredient in that – or not the primary ingredient but one of the interesting ingredients is a sweet red pepper extract which we just talked about and so that’s a little bit interesting. I’m not sure what all the other ingredients in Ripped Freak actually are but the main driving component of that one is kind of like a capsaicin extract. There’s another one called Meltdown. And Meltdown was just funded by – a clinical study was just done by Meltdown and it was funded interestingly by the company that made it. But these studies’ results – they claim that Meltdown enhanced the resting energy expenditure and fat oxidation for several hours after it was taken. And that’s made by a company called VPX Sport, called Meltdown. There’s another one called Sub Q by a company called Fusion Bodybuilding. It’s interesting that a lot of these are bodybuilding companies and they use interestingly something called a raspberry ketone and it’s a raspberry extract that can enhance fat burning by increasing the mobilization of fatty acids or the activation of one of your fat burning enzymes called lipase. And it also includes as do a lot of these green tea extract. There’s one called Sinerate by a company called Strive. And again they’ve got a green tea extract and interestingly something called Advantra-Z and that’s basically a bitter orange extract. It is one of the oldest and most proven fat burning supplements out there and it’s also one that really hasn’t shown to be unhealthy at all but it causes a significant increase in metabolic rate and clinical research studies have looked into it. And it can be effective in inducing weight loss and reducing body fat even when you’re not dieting or exercising. The nice part about it is it doesn’t increase heart rate. It doesn’t increase blood pressure at all. So this is the first time that we’ve really come across anything that’s going to actually help you burn fat without causing that huge bump to your central nervous system. The reason I think that’s interesting is because the one that I use – the fat burning supplement that I use with most of my clients is one called ThermaFactor and one of the main ingredients in that is the Advantra-Z. So this new company called Strive is also using it. There’s another one called Shred by a company named Muscle Farm and it uses alphalipoic acid, chromium and something called gimnema Silvestre. And chromium is – it helps to balance your blood sugar levels. It gives you a little more insulin sensitivity and it looks like this Shred is based around that insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control because it’s basically using a lot of popular what are called insulin moderators and insulin is just that hormone that you want to be careful with when you’re consuming a lot of sugar. The body can tend to be a little insulin insensitive and an insulin modulator can basically help to give insulin a little bit of a backup so your body doesn’t have to make quite so much. There’s another thermogenic burner called Methyl Rip Hardcore by a company called NX Labs. And I haven’t seen a lot in terms of the ingredients that are in this but they just have a ton – a ton of what are called complexes – six different complexes in six different capsules that you take and I’m not really familiar with most of the ingredients that are in this so I would be a little bit cautious with the stuff called Methyl Rip Hardcore. Another one called Rapid Cuts by a company named All Max Nutrition has an ingredient derived from something called an ashuaganda extract and this has actually been shown to help fight fatigue and improve mental clarity. So I think that’s interesting. They’re putting something similar to something I talked about a little earlier in this podcast – some of that L-Theanine into their fat burner, into their thermogenic aid. Another one called Dikana by a company called ThermaLife has a ginger extract, a forscolin extract and an acid isomer. I’m not too familiar with the acid isomer that they’re using. It’s called diaotothyroacidic acid. But the forscolin I am familiar with because there’s a supplement that I use with some of the clients that I work with who tend to have a little less ability to build muscle, higher amounts of fat or who have a little bit lower thyroid and it basically causes activation of something called cyclic AMP and that helps your lean muscle tissue to produce a contraction. So that actually is an interesting way to go around thermogenic fat burning, is simply by saying ok we’re going to replace droplets of fat with lean muscle fibers. So that forscolin extract is another good one that I like to use. Pyrogen by a company called ADS and that’s got a lot of different fat burning supplements in it but the interesting thing about that is they use something called a dual phase micro bead technology because they say that can sustain delivery and release the active ingredients in its formula. Haven’t really seen much research on that dual phase micro bead Technology so I can’t say that that would actually necessarily be the end all for fat burning. And then the last one is there’s one called Wipeout by a company named Champion Nutrition. And they use a soy phospholipids and they use a green tea extract and then they use something called an oleoilphosphatatol ethanolamine. And that is what they derive from that soy extract. So, that is a pretty powerful appetite suppressant. It’s not really something that’s going to increase your metabolism too much. I’m always careful with soy extracts. Again, earlier I talked about that higher Omega 6 fatty acid profile. And they also use a green tea extract in that one so some of the things that we see across the board in a lot of these thermogenic fat burning aids is a combination of something that suppresses the appetite along with a combination of something that bumps up the metabolism. Some of them have a higher amount of caffeine or central nervous stimulants and some of them do not. Ultimately the decision, if you’re going to take something like this, it comes down to you and what you feel your body can tolerate. My personal recommendation as a nutritionist is to be careful with anything that has the higher amounts of caffeine, that has real real high mega doses of a green tea extract or contains compounds that there’s really been no research that are done on. That’ll usually be some type of complex with multiple ingredients that a lot of even us as nutritionists have never heard of. So, the ones that I use are called ThermoFactor and Lean Factor. I’ll put a link to those in the Shownotes. But there are a lot of other fat burning supplements out there and as that research study showed us in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, yeah they actually do work. They actually do increase the metabolism and cause increased fat burning, increased calorie burning but the question is whether or not they’re actually healthy for you. Some are, some are not and I only recommend with the clients that I work with those that cause fat burning but also support healthy body function. So that’s the lowdown on thermogenic supplements. That’s the truth about salmon. That’s the news about L-Theanine and that’s the coverage for this week from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
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