Protein, Fiber, and Caffeine - The best fat loss supplements
People often ask what the best supplements are for fat loss. This is often hard to answer because it depends on their current body fat level, propensity to tolerate stimulants, and more so than any other factor their diet. This is why it's important to ask them about their diet first. And more often than not you can recommend they increase both their protein and fiber consumption and they will likely see improved results. Both protein and fiber have a significant amount of research showing their useful benefits during a hypocaloric diet. Still people want supplement recommendations. And more often than not, most are already using caffeine. I have previously posted about calcium and how it can be nearly as effective for fat loss as caffeine, but not everyone needs calcium (read here to find out more on Calcium).
So what's the next best supplement?
Simple answer is Yohimbine HCL. This is clearly nothing new or flashy. But it is still one of the most popular OTC choices for many pre-contest bodybuilders. This is because it's extremely effective when it comes to losing fat in those hard to lost places like your lower abs, glutes, and hams. We also know that it actually burns fat in hard training athletes. A 2006 European study confirmed, that elite athletes given Yohimbine HCL lost over 2% body fat in just 3 weeks (1). This was largely important because the research behind many supplements is done on obese, or near obese subjects. This study used hard training soccer players that were already below 10% body fat before using Yohimbine HCL.
Why isn't Yohimbine HCL popular?
One major problem with Yohimbine HCL is that it can have terrible side effects when used incorrectly. By incorrectly I mean not slowly tapering up the dose over time. Anxiety, nervousness, hypertension and a racing heart are the most commonly reported side effects (2). The last thing anyone wants to do is take 10mg's or more of Yohimbine HCL the first time they try it. Even 5mg's can be too much for some. You might also notice that most Yohimbine products on the market contain no more than 2.5mg's per capsule, which is a great idea to keep people from overdosing. If you use Yohimbine HCL, please start at only 1 capsule (or 2.5mg's) and slowly begin to taper up the dose over the period of a 7 to 10 days.
What is the most effective Yohombine HCL protocol?
There is no perfect protocol for any supplement, but Yohimbine HCL certainly has some specific qualities that are worth mentioning. First, and most importantly is that insulin from carbohydrate intake can blunt the Yohimbine HCL increases in lipolysis (3). In other words it's not worth much if you are consuming a high carbohydrate diet. Of course many do not when they are dieting so this helps. Still any increase insulin can negate the positive fat loss effects of Yohimbine HCL. So it's best taken when you will not have food in your stomach (especially carbohydrates). Of course don't forget that Yohimbine HCL is a stimulant, so do not take it before bed (remember sleep loss inhibits fat loss). It's also worth noting Yohimbine HCL reaches peak plasma levels approximately 2 hours after oral dosing. The following are examples of optimal times:
- Pre-fasted morning cardio
- Before weight training (assuming no intra workout carbohydrate intake)
- In between low carb meals
The second major issue with Yohimbine HCL is dose related. Most companies that sell it in 2.5mg capsules recommend 1-2 capsules per day, or at most 5mg's per day. This is a very conservative approach taken by these companies to avoid any negative side effects in users. Unfortunately it is far below the dose found to be effective in research. The most effective dose is .2mg's/kg. Or to determine the most effective dose enter your body weight in the calculator below.
*again it's important to tape up to the calculated daily dose.
The third issue with Yohimbine HCL is the lipolytic response is reduced after chronic use (but not completely abolished). This simply means it becomes less effective over time. Therefor it may be wise to cycle it similar to other popular fat loss drugs like clenbuterol. A 2-3 week on phase followed by a 1-2 off phase would be an effective approach. The off phase will also allow you to better asses your fat loss as Yohimbine HCL is associated with water retention. Users will report a rapid loss in body water in the first 2-4 days after discontinuing supplementation. Once they lose that water, people are usually very happy with their progress.
How to stack Yohimbine HCL
Yohimbine HCL stacking is really quite simple. Stack it with caffeine and a low(er) calorie diet that contains adequate amounts of protein and fiber. The four of these with the proper training and cardio schedule will melt fat off extremely fast.
There are definitely some effective fat loss supplements available on the market, so do not think this is a be all end all solution. But it is perhaps one of the most underrated options still out there. Many people will tell you that Yohimbine HCL can hurt you, but keep in mind the research that has shown it to be detrimental was utilizing doses far in excess of .2mg's/kg per day (the bodybuilder who went to the hospital used 5 grams in one sitting!). Used properly it is one of the most effective fat loss supplements.