It doesn't matter if you're a bodybuilder trying to get shredded for an upcoming show or if you need to cut weight for a powerlifting meet. Regardless of your specific goals, can we all agree that trying to lose body fat is frustrating and downright hard?
Losing body fat isn't always easy, especially when you're deep in the throes of content prep or just have a lot on your plate in general. This is where fat-burning, energy-boosting ingredients like Yohimbe can come in handy.
Never heard of Yohimbe before? Not sure whether or not it's a safe tool to help you lose weight?
Explained below is everything you need to know about whether or not Yohimbe is safe for athletes to consume.
What is Yohimbe?
In case you're brand new to Yohimbe, let's quickly go over the basics and get you up to speed. Here are some key points you ought to understand about this ingredient:
- Yohimbe comes from an evergreen tree known as the Yohimbe tree, which is native to west and central parts of Africa
- It contains an active ingredient known as yohimbine, which is a bitter-tasting alkaloid
- Yohimbe is found in many supplements, especially fat-burning and pre-workout supplements
- It's included in these products as Yohimbe bark extract (a powdered and concentrated form of the bark from the Yohimbe tree) or as Yohimbine HCL (an isolated version of yohimbine that's extracted from the bark and combined with hydrochloric acid)
Yohimbe works by stimulating the central nervous system and triggering the release of catecholamines (specifically, epinephrine and norepinephrine).
When these catecholamines are released, the body goes into a sympathetic state, also known as "fight or flight" mode. In this state, your blood flow and heart rate increase as you prefer to take on the obstacle (real or perceived) that stands in your way.
Yohimbe Benefits for Athletes
There are lots of reasons why athletes use supplements that contain Yohimbe. The following are some of the specific benefits it has to offer:
- Faster weight loss
- Increased blood flow
- Expedited recovery
- Improved performance
- Improved mood and energy
- Increased alertness
Yohimbe's weight loss and fat burning benefits are particularly beneficial to athletes and those looking to shed excess body fat.
Yohimbe promotes weight loss by binding to the alpha-2 receptors, which are found in the body's fat cells. By binding to these receptors, Yohimbe prevents catecholamines from binding to them. Instead, the catecholamines that are released when your body is in a sympathetic state can bind to the beta receptors of the fat cells. This, in turn, allows for better fat mobilization, especially in stubborn areas like the abdomen, which tend to hold onto fat the longest.
Is Yohimbe Safe for Athletes?
The benefits of Yohimbe seem pretty great, don't they? To some, they might even seem too good to be true and cause them to question whether or not Yohimbe is actually safe for them to consume.
The short answer is that, yes, generally speaking, Yohimbe is a safe ingredient for athletes to utilize as part of their pre-workout supplement regimen. However, it does come with some potential risks that we need to address, including the following:
Changes in Blood Pressure
Yohimbe is known to have an effect on blood circulation throughout the body. It helps to increase blood flow, which can speed up the post-workout recovery process, give you more of a pump during and after your workout, and allow you to enjoy better performance while exercising. However, this change to your blood circulation could be less-than-ideal if you already have problems with blood pressure regulation.
In some cases, Yohimbe consumption can raise blood pressure to an unhealthy level, and it can lower blood pressure when it's consumed in very high doses. It also blocks the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications, so, if you're using this type of medication already, it's important to talk to your doctor about using a supplement that contains Yohimbe.
Nervous System Issues
Some people also experience nervous system issues when they consume Yohimbe in excess. It may trigger psychological problems like anxiety and feelings of panic in people who deal with anxiety disorders. It may also cause dizziness and nausea.
Liver and Kidney Issues
When taken in excess, Yohimbe may contribute to liver and kidney problems. It may exacerbate existing issues with these organs and could even cause kidney failure in some extreme cases.
Who Should Avoid Yohimbe?
Some people need to exercise caution when taking supplements that contain Yohimbe or consider avoiding them altogether. The following people fall into this category:
- Individuals with high or low blood pressure
- Individuals with liver or kidney disease
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Individuals who are taking antidepressants
If any of these apply to you, talk to your doctor before you decide to take a supplement made with Yohimbe. In some cases, such as when you're taking antidepressants, you may still be able to use Yohimbe as long as you're under a doctor's supervision.
An Important Caveat
At this point, you might be feeling a bit apprehensive about taking Yohimbe.
It's important to note, though, that most negative symptoms occur when a person is taking a higher-than-recommended dose of Yohimbe, or if they are already dealing with a condition for which it is contraindicated. These symptoms can also occur if an individual is taking Yohimbe that they purchased from an unreliable seller.
If that's not the case for you, then you likely don't have to worry about experiencing any side effects when you start supplementing with Yohimbe.
Tips for Safe Supplementation with Yohimbe
You can avoid a lot of the risks associated with Yohimbe as long as you exercise care when supplementing with it. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to dosing and using Yohimbe for fat loss or any of its other benefits for athletes:
Take the Right Dose
First, make sure you're taking a safe dose of Yohimbe. In general, most people see positive results (and no negative effects) when they take approximately 0.2mg of Yohimbe for every kg of bodyweight.
Ease into it
As with any new supplement, it's best to ease into using Yohimbe for fat loss or any of its other benefits.
Starting with a small dose will help you to see how it affects you and minimize your risk of experiencing any potential side effects. This is especially helpful to do if you're taking a supplement that combines Yohimbe with other ingredients like caffeine.
Get it from a Trusted Source
Remember, negative side effects from Yohimbe can be the result of taking a low-quality supplement from an untrustworthy seller.
At ProSupps, we work hard to ensure that all of our supplements are made with the highest quality ingredients. We pay careful attention to the sourcing of our ingredients and vet all of our products to provide our customers with safe and effective supplements.
When you're looking into using Yohimbe (or any other supplement for that matter), make sure you have total trust in the company from which you're purchasing it.
Use it the Right Way
To avoid negative side effects and to see the best results from your Yohimbe-containing supplement, pay attention to the way in which you consume it.
For example, Yohimbe is most effective when it's taken on an empty stomach. This is because insulin, which spikes when you eat food (especially carbohydrate-containing foods), blocks its effectiveness. So, if you take a Yohimbine-containing pre-workout after breakfast, you're not going to notice any fat-burning benefits.
Many athletes like to use a combination of Yohimbe and caffeine before their morning fasted cardio. You could also take it later in the day, but you should make sure you've had plenty of time to digest your food beforehand.
Consider Other Ingredients
Finally, don't forget to consider the other ingredients when you're using a supplement that contains Yohimbe.
Caffeine is another beneficial ingredient that has fat-burning benefits and can also increase your energy levels. Choline is helpful for maintaining muscle mass while shedding body fat, too, which is very important for bodybuilders and strength athletes to keep in mind.
Steer clear of supplements that contain sugar, too, as this will negate the effectiveness of Yohimbe (and add extra calories to your diet that aren't conducive when it comes to trying to lose body fat).
Try Yohimbe Risk-Free Today
It's normal to have concerns about the safety and efficacy of certain ingredients, especially ones you've never heard of before. A healthy amount of skepticism can save you from consuming something that has the potential to do you harm.
The good news, though, is that you don't have to worry about any unpleasant effects when you use ProSupps products that contain Yohimbe. Our Hyde® Xtreme pre-workout supplement contains a safe and effective dose of Yohimbe that will help you reach your fat loss goals faster but won't contribute to any negative reactions.
Give it a try today to start experiencing the fat-burning properties of Yohimbe and see why millions of athletes trust ProSupps for all their supplementation needs.