Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thermogenics - the latest fad leading athletes off track

"Put simply a thermogenic is any product that increases thermogenesis (heat production) in the human body. Heat is a by product of metabolism so when more heat is being produced this means that more calories are being used. This is in isolation from activity. Obviously this has had big implications for the fitness industry because if you are using more calories for no greater input of activity the result should be greater fat loss. Added to this is the fact that most thermogenic compounds are very stimulatory giving greater energy and decreased rates of perceived exertion and also have nutrient partitioning effects (greater utilization of fat over other fuels). The impact thermos have had on the industry is profound at it’s easy to see why.

Picture: Once on the slippery slope of substance abuse, where does it end?

There has always been a running battle between the supplement formulators and regulatory bodies and it seems that there are always compounds being banned only for others to take their place."

(The author goes on to list and explain the various substances that are banned and those that are still legal and how they work - Gary)

"For performance benefits I would suggest sticking with caffeine as a stimulant but be careful to not exceed allowable levels if you are subject to drug testing. Neurotransmitter formulas may prove VERY effective and would provide focus and decreased RPE without a stimulatory action and I theorise that in conjunction with certain adaptogenic compounds and caffeine with tyrosine would kick ass (watch this space ;) ! )

If you are needing to lose bodyfat……sort your diet out! Once you have sorted that out with the help of a good consultant you could look at one of the synephrine and caffeine, green tea formulas to speed things up. Also drink tea frequently, I really can’t see a down side to drinking tea, it’s thermogenic, increases insulin sensitivity and is a potent antioxidant! Only use dedicated thermogenic formulas for a set defined goal, don’t just take them in the hope that without changing anything else you’ll develop a lean physique…it just ain’t gonna happen!"
For the full article by Cliff Harvey, go here.
Gary Moller comments:
Articles like these by supposed conditioning experts leave me with feelings of deep dismay for the future of sport - and weight loss!

Performance that is derived from a stimulatory substance - be it green tea extract or ephidrine, is a really dumb conditioning strategy. The same goes for using the same "thermogenic" substances for weight loss.

Encouraging the use of substances that artificially stimulate the senses and the metabolism to either increase physical performance or to burn fat go completely against the spirit of natural health and fair sport. Even if small amounts are considered safe to use, we all know that there are plenty of young and desperate people out there who will take many, many times more than that if they think it will give them an advantage. The abuse of "soft" drugs often leads on to harder substances. In sport, using stimulants may progress to the dangerous abuse of anabolic steriods. View my Power Point Presentation about Drug Cheats in Sport here.

Athletes who seek an artificial edge (cheating) by using chemicals might win spectacularly for a while; but they quickly disappear off the scenes. While clean athletes last longer career-wide they suffer financially and they miss out on their rightful share of the Gold medals and the Records.

I do not know of any chemical stimulants that do not quickly addict the user chemically and psychologically. When these substances are pumped into the body, the body responds by reducing its own production of the equivalent chemicals. This is the basis of addiction and once a person is in its grasp, wrestling free is much easier said than done. The downside of addiction to stimulants is inconsistent performances, poor decision-making, bad temper, bouts of fatigue and depression and the need to take more and more for the same effect. Oh - and I almost forgot: Weight gain! Please read my article about caffeine addiction here.

Conditioning experts who encourage such dubious practices do not impress me at all. They give my profession a bad name.
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