The short answer is no. While some bodybuilders or athletes use ephedrine, caffeine, and green tea to try losing fat faster, they don’t work for everyone and may even have damaging side effects. The use of all these products can play a role in:
- Reducing your body’s fat stores
- Increase hormones production
- Make you feel more energized
- Increase awareness
The bad news is, ephedrine can cause (from most to least likely) hypertension, cardiac palpitations, stroke, and seizures. These can give you permanent problems or possibly kill you*. The only “fat burner” we recommend is green tea. It contains caffeine but not as much as coffee and has a mild but long stimulating effect. We suggest you avoid ephedrine and caffeine caps.
If you’re trying to lose fat, we recommend drinking 2 cups of green tea per day. Besides potentially helping with fat lost, you’ll benefit from its antioxidants. It’s the only one that is actually healthy and risk-free.
Add “green tea” to your shopping list. If you don’t like it hot, try this iced tea recipe:
Fill a container with 4 cups of tap, filtered or bottled water. Add 6 bags (6 teaspoons) of tea, cover, refrigerate for 8 hours and remove bags or strain. Serve over ice with lemon, lime or mint for taste.
Adding sugar (extra calories) will cancel out the tea’s fat-burning effect: avoid it. If you can’t live without the sugary taste, Stevia (the artificial sweetener) is probably the way to go.
*Haller CA, Benowitz NL. Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:18331838.
Is water essential?
Your body is mostly water. In fact, 55% to 60% of an adult’s body is composed of water:
- Blood (80-85% water)
- Muscle (70-75% water)
- Bone (20-25% water)
- Fat cells (8-10% water)
Water is also essential to health: if you stopped consuming water in any form today, you’d die in about 5 days. Greater than 15% dehydration is considered fatal. There is also some scientific evidence that consuming lots of water is beneficial to health*, although all scientists do not agree. Our aim here is not to review the scientific literature, so we’ll move straight to the conclusions: consuming plenty of water seems to be salutary, whereas drinking “too much” isn’t a concern.
With these studies in mind, we recommend you drink 1.5 liters of water (6 cups) of water each day. In addition, if you engage in cardiovascular exercise, drink 500 ml (2 cups) half an hour before your workout and another 1 litre (4 cups) after you finish.
*German scientist F. Manz reviewed the evidence in “Hydration and disease”, published in 2007 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, and reports that mild dehydration may be one of the factors causing oligohydramnios, prolonged labor, cystic fibrosis, hypertonic dehydration, and renal toxicity of xenobiotica. It also “plays a critical role” in the development of pulmonary disorders like exercise asthma and cystic fibrosis. As well, staying well hydrated would be beneficial to urolithiasis, urinary tract infection, constipation, hypertension, venous thromboembolism, fatal coronary heart disease, stroke, dental disease, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis, gallstone disease, mitral valve prolapse, and glaucoma.