Do you want to lose more weight, faster? (We know that's a yes.) Well, what if we told you it's as easy as exercising and taking a supplement—that you could burn up to 42g of body fat an hour? You'd probably say this sounds like a bull$%*& marketing ploy designed to steal all your money. You're wrong (partially), according to research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
You are right about most weight loss supplements being exaggerated and largely falsified. Spanish researchers are taking a hit at popular weight loss diets and pills, saying it's not possible to lose more than a kilogram of fat (2.2 pounds) per month—period.
“The weight changes we experience when we start exercising are not based on fat loss, but mainly on fluid loss," lead researcher Juan Del Coso said in a press release. "This is why the majority of ‘miracle’ diets and slimming programmes produce a ‘rebound’ effect due to the recovery of the lost fluid."
Real weight change comes from burning (oxidizing) body fat through exercise and diet. You can realistically lose 200–300g (.44-.66lbs) per week and a little over 1kg (2.2lb) per month. Obviously that's not as exciting or grabby as losing 10 pounds in 10 days—but, hey, it's backed by science.
“That said, the rate of loss could increase with p-synephrine, but always combining the substance with exercise,” Del Coso explains. That obscure term—p-synephrine—is a chemical compound and possibly your ticket to melting body fat. Del Coso and his team analyzed the effect consuming p-synephrine has on whittling body fat. Here's what they found and everything you need to know about how the supplement works and how to use it to aid your weight loss.
Note: Before taking any new supplement or medication, talk with your doctor first.
What is p-synephrine?
The compound p-synephrine is an alkaloid, which just means it's an organic compound that can be found in nature (though it's in low concentrations) and has nitrogen as a base (morphine, caffeine, and nicotine are all alkaloids), according to the researchers. You see it a lot in dietary supplements for weight loss or management and sports performance.
What happened in the study?
In the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, researchers gave 18 participants 3mg of p-synephrine per kg of body mass to see the supplement's influence on metabolism and its ability to burn body fat during rest and exercise.
Half the subjects consumed p-synephrine and half took a placebo. Then, all got to work on a stationary bike.
Researchers examined how many calories participants burned as well as their blood pressure (to see how much their blood vessels contract) before and an hour after physical activity. They found no effect on energy expenditure, heart rate, or blood pressure.
The p-synephrine consumption pre-exercise increased the rate at which participants' burned fat for fuel and reduced carbohydrate oxidation, meaning how much energy their body used from food. This was seen at both low and moderate intensity, the researchers explain.
Actually, p-synephrine increased participants' maximum capacity to burn fat; so, you can kill yourself on the bike, but the rate at which you're burning fat is going to stay the same. All in all, the researchers found p-synephrine supplements can increase how much fat you burn by 7g per hour of exercise—ultimately letting you burn up to 42g of fat per hour.
Note: The authors recognize this is a small study and there needs to be further research to determine the effects of long-term use of p-synephrine.
How does it work in your system?
The chemicals in p-synephrine affect your nervous system by activating β3 adrenergic receptors, which play a role in lipolysis and thermogenesis in brown fat—meaning these receptors can make your body burn fat for energy (this is why it's a popular ingredient in weight loss products.) There's more:
“The advantage of p-synephrine is its reduced activation of β1 y β2 receptors and consequent weak influence in raising arterial tension and heart rate, which mean the substance has fewer side effects than other adrenaline stimulators,” Del Coso adds. In short: It won't raise your blood pressure.
Are there things I can eat to get it?
The alkaloid is found in lots of citrus fruits—like oranges, mandarins, and grapefruits, the researchers say. The amount, however varies based on variety, origin, and type (juice, whole fruit, etc.)
Where you can get the supplement?
Most products use a blend of bitter orange extract and p-synephrine, in addition to other ingredients (this is known as a supplement stack). You can purchase Solaray Bitter Orange Extract supplements, which have 120mg of bitter orange peel extract and 7.2mg/6% synephrine.