Your Hottest Supps for Summer
Wirtten by Tim Rigby

Summer sizzles, and so should your bod.  But here in Canada, summers are short, leaving you only a brief few months to show off a lean, sculpted physique.  It’s therefore in your best interest to use every weapon at your disposal to carve detailed definition in your muscles through training, sound nutrition, and using the right supplements consistently.

Here’s a look at some of the most potent supplement ingredients for summer to add to your fat loss arsenal and turn some heads on the beach:

ACETYL-L-CARNITINE (ALC)

When the amino acids methionine and lysine are synthesized, the biochemical product realized is carnitine.  If you’re familiar with amino acids, you’ll know they predominantly have the prefix “L-” which means “levo” (Latin for “left”); this refers to the molecular position of the biologically active form.  Carnitine unto itself is responsible for the regular breakdown and incineration of fatty acids for energy.  This is in contrast with caffeine, which technically only releases fat from your cells – if you don’t burn off this fat, it’ll remain.  The Acetyl- form has been scrutinized at length and has been demonstrated to create a derivative that’s even more powerful than l-carnitine itself.

What does all this science mean?  Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is one of the best fat-burning ingredients on the market.  Consumers frequently report that taking a dose of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams half an hour before a cardio workout has anecdotally produced episodes of superhuman endurance and a wicked adrenaline rush.  Say you’re on the stationary bike, for example – after riding for about half an hour, when ALC really kicks in, you’ll feel a great rush that leads you to feeling like you could pedal forever.

Effective Dosing:  The most effective dose is 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams, taken 30-45 minutes before exercise.  You can consume up to 3,000 milligrams daily, with two or three dosages split at least 6 hours apart.

CAFFEINE

Skipping all the scientific mumbo-jumbo this time, we’ll just advise you that the widespread acclaim for the effectiveness of caffeine as a fat loss summer supplement is very valid.  And it’s not difficult to observe that just about every single fat loss supplement available contains caffeine as one of its main ingredients; you may also see a variation known as “caffeine anhydrous”, which means water has been drawn out of it, leaving it more concentrated and therefore more potent.

Caffeine helps to stimulate your metabolism, which is the key to fat loss (and weight loss).  When consumed 30-40 minutes prior to a workout, you will experience a heightened energy level to intensify and extend your cardio workouts; resistance training also benefits from caffeine since you’ll likely be able either to lift heavier weights or keep repping for more sets.  So for your summer fat-torching intentions, make sure to include caffeine.

Effective Dosing:  You can take caffeine up to three times a day at doses of 100-200 milligrams each.  Spread each dosage out evenly.  Avoid consuming caffeine within three hours of bed.

SYNEPHRINE

Anyone over the age of 35 may recall that several fat-burning supplements back in the day included citrus aurantium, which as the name suggests is extracted from oranges.  Synephrine happens to be a compound derived from citrus aurantium; it’s been shown to stimulate beta-adrenergic receptors, resulting in lipolysis (fat burning).  Structurally, synephrine is considered similar in composition to the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine.  This suggests synephrine is a turn-on for your brain, and it will influence your workout positively through greater calorie expenditure.

Generally, synephrine is most effective pre-workout and it’s not usually suggested to consume it periodically throughout the day like caffeine.  But when you find a fat loss supplement product containing synephrine, you’ll know you’re in business when it comes to torching fat (and you should anticipate incredibly energized workouts).

Effective Dosing:  The recommended dose per serving is approximately 0.2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.  For example, a 90-kilogram individual (200 pounds) would consume about 18-20 milligrams per serving.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Not only is green tea a healthy drink with powerful antioxidants, but its extract is very common in fat-burning products due to its ability to raise calorie expenditure.  While you might find the taste a little bland in beverage form, you’re not likely to notice any discernible taste from within a slate of other ingredients (green tea is also widely sold in capsules unto itself).

The influence of green tea extract on your metabolism is produced by the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and epinephrine.  Your ultimate concern here is the resulting energy boost that allows you to torch fat.

Effective Dosing:  Green tea’s main component is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and dosing is measured by this.  Standard daily doses for the purpose of metabolic stimulation range from 150 to 250 milligrams of EGCG.

CAPSAICIN

Cayenne pepper is a popular and powerful spice that gives a ton of zing to the flavour of many foods.  This pepper is loaded with capsaicin, a compound which has a profound effect on raising metabolism and therefore helping you to burn fat.  But before you head to the supermarket and load up with cayenne peppers to gobble down (which would likely irritate your stomach and wreak havoc with your intestines), rest easy that there is another way.  Capsaicin is often combined with other ingredients in powerful fat-burning blends, and sometimes you’ll find it as a standalone ingredient. 

Many people anecdotally report the sensation of endorphins kicking in while they’re in mid-workout after consuming capsaicin – a likely consequence of neurotransmitter activity.  Whatever gets your motor running into overdrive will clearly assist with your fat loss efforts.

Effective Dosing:  Take 2 to 3 milligrams of capsaicin per serving up to a maximum of three times a day.  A serving half an hour before training is a good strategy; avoiding capsaicin within three hours of bedtime is also recommended.

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