What are Thermogenics?

A thermogenic supplement is a dietary product aimed at increasing resting metabolic rate and promoting fat loss. Due to its intended action, this type of supplement is also known as “fat burner”. Some thermogenic supplements provide other ingredients commonly used to support appetite control and diuretic activity.

Thermogenics often contain a combination of ingredients popularly used in weight loss plans, including natural extracts with long histories of use in traditional medicines around the world. The most popular ingredients are by far caffeine and green tea extract, but there are others commonly found in these formulas, such as L-carnitine, capsaicin, conjugated linoleic acid, and green coffee, guarana, garcinia cambogia, and bitter orange extracts.

Studies have evaluated the potential benefits of thermogenic supplements’ common ingredients in terms of:

  • Increasing resting energy expenditure
  • Promoting fat oxidation


Stohs S. J. et al. A Review of Natural Stimulant and Non-stimulant Thermogenic Agents. Phytotherapy Research. 2016;30: 732-740. doi:10.1002/ptr.5583

Steensels S. et al. Fatty acid activation in thermogenic adipose tissue. BBA - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. 2019;79-90. doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2018.05.008

Outlaw J. et al. Effects of ingestion of a commercially available thermogenic dietary supplement on resting energy expenditure, mood state and cardiovascular measures. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013;10(1):25. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-25

Hursel R. et al. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews. 2011;12(7). doi:10.1111/j.1467-789x.2011.00862.x

Hoffman J. et al. Thermogenic effect of an acute ingestion of a weight loss supplement. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2008;5(Suppl 1). doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-s1-p7

Dulloo AG. et al. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999;70(6):1040-1045. doi:10.1093/ajcn/70.6.1040

Dulloo AG. et al. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1989;49(1):44-50. doi:10.1093/ajcn/49.1.44.

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