If you ask nearly 50 percent of Americans, they'll tell you that one of their goals is to shed excess body fat. The same is true of even more athletes and gym-goers.
Whether you want to lose fat in time for a bodybuilding competition, so you can make weight for an upcoming meet, or just so you can feel more confident in your skin, there are certain ingredients that can help you to achieve that goal. One of these ingredients is Yohimbe.
Never heard of Yohimbe? Not sure how it can help you burn body fat? Keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about using it for optimal fat loss results.
What is Yohimbe?
Yohimbe is a naturally occurring ingredient found in many pre-workout supplements. This ingredient comes from an evergreen tree (known as the Yohimbe tree) that grows in parts of central and western Africa.
Within Yohimbe is a substance called yohimbine, a bitter-tasting alkaloid. This alkaloid provides a variety of benefits for those looking to get energized before a workout and burn more body fat during and after.
Benefits of Yohimbe
There are lots of reasons why supplement makers include Yohimbe in their pre-workout products. Some specific benefits it has to offer include the following:
Improved Blood Circulation
Yohimbe influences the body's sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for helping you get into "fight or flight" mode.
When this happens, blood circulation improves and more blood, oxygen, and nutrients get delivered to your muscles. This can help to improve performance during your workout, and it can also help to improve your ability to recover after.
Because of the effect it has on your sympathetic nervous system, Yohimbe can also enhance workout performance by helping you to feel more energized. This increase in energy can help you to move more weight and push yourself farther before you feel fatigued.
Improved Fat Loss
Many people also tout Yohimbe for its fat loss-improving benefits.
When you take a supplement that contains Yohimbe on a regular basis, you may notice the number on the scale dropping a bit faster. You may also find that your body composition improves and you can see more muscle definition.
How Does Yohimbe Help with Fat Loss?
Yohimbe has a lot to offer. However, many people, especially those in the bodybuilding community, are particularly intrigued by Yohimbe's fat loss-boosting benefits.
The mechanism by which Yohimbe aids in fat loss is quite fascinating and researchers are still trying to learn more about it. Here's what we know so far, though:
Alpha-2 Receptor Antagonist
Yohimbe acts as an Alpha-2 receptor antagonist. What this means is that it blocks the Alpha-2 receptors, which are found in the body's fat cells. When these receptors are blocked, fat loss becomes easier.
To understand why this is the case, you first must understand the beta receptors.
When catecholamines, which are the hormones produced by your adrenal glands when the body is in a sympathetic state, bind to the beta receptors, fat cells mobilize and are ripe for fat burning. However, when catecholamines bind to alpha receptors, the cells will not mobilize and fat burning can't take place.
Since Yohimbe binds to alpha receptors, the body's catecholamines are better able to, instead, bind to the beta receptors, which allows for more efficient fat burning.
Increased Heart Rate
Yohimbe's effect on Alpha-2 receptors isn't the only reason why it can help with fat loss.
Yohimbe, especially when it's combined with other stimulating ingredients, can also increase one's heart rate. This, in turn, helps the body to burn more calories both at work and at rest.
As a result, you may lose more weight and more body fat when using a supplement that contains Yohimbe.
Many people notice that when they're supplementing with Yohimbe, their appetite is suppressed. This helps them to eat less and makes it easier for them to maintain a calorie deficit which, as we all know, is crucial to burning body fat and losing weight.
Yohimbe increases energy, too, and helps you push yourself for longer periods of time during workouts without feeling fatigued. When this happens, you can burn more calories and get more done while you're training, which will result in faster fat loss.
Increased Water Loss
Yohimbe supplementation can also be effective when you need to shed weight quickly. This is because it can help you to get rid of excess water weight. This, in turn, helps you to look leaner and more "stage-ready," making it a good option for bodybuilders or those who are getting ready for a photo shoot or other event.
Reduced Muscle Loss
Finally, Yohimbe can help to speed up the fat loss process, but it appears to do so without causing you to lose muscle mass. When you're dieting, it can be difficult to hang onto your muscle, which can result in a less-than-ideal physique and can also slow down your metabolism.
The Right Way to Use Yohimbe
Yohimbe definitely can be beneficial to those who are looking to lose weight and shed stubborn body fat. To experience these results, though, you need to make sure you're taking it in an optimal way. Here are some factors to consider when taking a supplement that contains Yohimbe (especially if you're hoping to see fat loss as a result):
Most research indicates that most people see benefits from Yohimbe when they consume around 0.2mg per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound person, for example, this would equal about 14mg.
Take Between Meals and Before a Workout
Yohimbe appears to be most effective when it's consumed while in a fasted state. It also yields the best results when it's paired with consistent exercise (which is why it's included in many pre-workout supplements).
Taking Yohimbe while fasted helps you to avoid elevated insulin levels, which have been shown to negate its fat-loss benefits.
Many people like to use a supplement that contains Yohimbe first thing in the morning or as part of a pre-workout ritual. If you workout in the afternoon or evening, you can still see benefits from taking a supplement that contains Yohimbe. You just need to make sure your pre-workout ritual doesn't involve food.
As with any supplement, when using Yohimbe for fat loss, it's best to start small.
If you're taking a pre-workout powder that contains it, for example, consider beginning with a half a scoop. That way, you can see how it affects you without having to worry about any side effects.
If you don't notice any benefits, remember, you can always add more to your pre-workout cocktail next time.
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