As spring comes upon us, our attention often turns to achieving new health goals. Whether yours is getting into skinny jeans, fending off allergies, fighting a change-of-weather cold or breaking a post-winter gym plateau–read on. Here are some cutting-edge dietary supplements I recommend having at your disposal. Though some of these are quite trendy, they’re well worth the hype.
Green coffee bean extract: Chances are you’ve heard the buzz on this supplement. If you haven’t, it certainly deserves your attention now. The surprising skinny on green coffee bean extract is that it can produce a fast and substantial decrease in body weight.
In one recent study, 16 overweight or obese individuals took a low dose green coffee bean extract, a high dose coffee bean extract or a placebo 30 minutes before a meal, without changing their exercise or nutrition habits (even their daily caloric intake of 2400 calories–not a low calorie diet by any means–was maintained). Participants lost an average of 17 pounds during the 22 week study period! This included an average 10.5% decrease in overall body weight and a 16% decrease in body fat.
Other studies have shown that the “chlorogenic acids” from green coffee bean extracts may be helpful for supporting healthy blood pressure levels. Even if the number on your scale doesn’t lower, at least your blood pressure could.
L-carnitine: L-carnitine is required by our body to release energy from fat; it does this by helping fatty acids pass across cell membranes to the mitochondria, where they can be burned. It’s a great energy booster to take before cardio workouts or strength training. And as an added bonus, it may also improve recovery time.
In addition, one study found 1000 milligrams of L-carnitine taken three times daily over 12 weeks significantly lowered fasting blood sugar in middle-aged adults with type 2 diabetes. This directly links to beating belly fat, since blood sugar imbalance always leads to more insulin secretion – a leading factor in our battle against the scale.
For the ultimate fat-burning duo I recommend pairing two to four capsules (or one teaspoon) of extra strength fish oil with 500 to 1000 milligrams of L-carnitine daily.
Curcumin: Getting off the couch and into your spring sporting regimen may have you feeling a little creeky and out of shape. If so, curcumin (also known as turmeric) could be your best bet. According to researchers, this herb is helpful in treating painful inflammatory conditions including tendonitis and arthritis. Introducing curcumin essentially blocks the inflammatory process – without the side effects of standard NSAIDs and pain medications like Advil and Alieve.
These beneficial effects and protection against degenerative properties appear linked to curcumin’s strong signalling molecules, called interleukins. These small, cell-signalling compounds can activate a series of inflammatory genes.