Thermogenics – What are they and how do they work? Examples, side effects and contraindications

Thermogenics are a type of molecule capable of modifying thermogenesis—the body’s mechanism for regulating temperature.

In sports stores, thermogenic are promoted as fat burners, a type of supplement capable of eliminating body fat. Are these effects actual?

This article describes examples of thermogenic, what they are for, and their side effects and contraindications.

Thermogenics: What are they?

Thermogenics are a type of molecule capable of increasing body temperature.

Thermogenics are not able to eliminate body fat directly. However, one of its effects is greater fat burning due to increased physical activity.

Thermogenics increase the activity of the nervous system. And therefore, also influence the hormonal balance.

Examples of thermogenic

Thermogenics can be divided into two types: synthetic and natural.

Examples of synthetic thermogenic (5):

  • Ephedrine
  • Metilhexanamina (DMAA)
  • Phenylpropanolamine (FPA)
  • P-sinfonia
  • Capsiasin and capsate

Examples of natural thermogenic:

  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Caffeine
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Lycopene
  • Zeaxanthin

In the first examples, you can find them only under laboratory conditions. The latter can be found in some foods.

In terms of shedding body fat, the effectiveness of caffeine and natural thermogenic is relatively low compared to synthetics. However, its side effects are many minors.

In the case of synthetic thermogenic, their consumption is strictly controlled or prohibited in most countries. This is due to its possible uses as a narcotic.

How does thermogenic work?

Thermogenics increase the activity of the central nervous system. These substances are capable of increasing the daily activity of a person.

In other words, thermogenic work is due to the indirect increase in basal metabolic rate.

The effects of thermogenic on fat oxidation have been proven by science. Studies confirm that one of the effects of taking these supplements is to speed up the metabolism of fats in the body. (4.6)

However, too many of these compounds can wreak havoc on a person’s behavior and mental health.

Thermogenics – side effects and contraindications

The side effects, contraindications, and consequences of consuming thermogenic have been proven in the short term. The most common are sleep disorders, headaches, and tachycardia. In addition, taking thermogenic in excess can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. (1)

The most common side effects of thermogenic are:

  • Increased heart rate and pressure
  • Restlessness, aggressiveness, mood swings
  • Sleep disorders
  • Headache
  • Predisposition to anxiety
  • Tingling hands
  • Excessive sweating

The contraindications of thermogenic are:

  • Chronic heart disease
  • Take blood pressure medicine.
  • Being under psychological treatments
  • Diabetics
  • People with hormonal disorders
  • Menopausal women
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

Do thermogenic increase concentration?

Their concentration and alertness rates increased significantly in a study where a group of people was supplemented with thermogenic. Just as an increase in heart rate was observed after 20 – 70 minutes. (4)

It is not new that when drinking coffee, yerba mate, or guarana, we feel a rush of energy and are more concentrated.

After the cessation of its use, the bad news had notorious side effects.

What is thermogenesis?

Thermogenesis is converting calories from nutrients into essential heat for maintaining balance in the body.

Thermoregulation is essential to maintain a stable metabolism and weight control. (5)

Most overweight and obese people have problems regulating thermogenesis.

Natural thermogenic

One of the best-known natural thermogenics is caffeine. Although this compound is believed to be entirely safe for health, current studies confirm that its use in excess can be dangerous. (5)

The yerba mate, guarana, and green tea products are considered high in natural thermogenic.

Studies claim that some effects of natural thermogenic are reducing the sensation of appetite, increased heart rate, respiratory capacity ( VO2 max ), and increased athletic performance for short periods. (5.6)

Yohimbine is not a natural thermogenic

Yohimbine is a natural supplement that is promoted to eliminate body fat. However, its effects as a thermogenic have not been proven by research.

In a study (2) where 20 members of high-performance soccer teams were supplemented with yohimbine, No significant results were found for endurance, strength, or increase in body temperature.


  • Thermogenics are a type of molecule capable of increasing body temperature and central nervous system activity.
  • Thermogenics work by increasing a person’s physical activity.
  • Synthetic thermogenics are generally prohibited in most countries. The most common examples are ephedrine and p-synephrine.
  • The most common example of a natural thermogenic is caffeine. Although moderate consumption is considered safe, an excess can lead to side effects.
  • The most common side effects of thermogenics are sleep disturbances, rapid heart rate, and excessive sweating.
  • The contraindications of thermogenic are people who take medications for blood pressure or have problems in the cardiovascular system, taking psychotropic drugs, pregnant women, and people with diabetes.



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