Do Weight Loss Supplements really work?
Several runners who struggle with excess weight often ask us this question. Supplements intended for this purpose have increased tremendously over the years. Since these are substances of vegetable origin, many athletes think they are synonymous of health, forgetting that unpleasant side effects can, however, occur. But the question is another: are they really effective in achieving the goal? We report an excerpt from an article written by our expert nutritionist Dr. Biorci who answers the question.
Vegetable supplements usually never have significant side effects but it is essential to understand whether these supplements – advertised for improving carbohydrate metabolism, increasing lipolysis and energy expenditure, reducing hunger – are effective. And in this the recent review of a study on the efficacy and safety of dietary supplements aimed at weight loss helps to clarify (Abstract)
Twenty-one supplements were included in the study. No high-quality evidence of efficacy has emerged for any. Eight had moderate evidence to support their efficacy, and thirteen had evidence considered to be of poor quality.
Let’s try to get more into the matter.
No even moderate evidence has correlated supplementation and energy expenditure. Only a low correlation for capsaicin, curcumin and L-Carnitine.
On appetite regulation, instead, moderate evidence for: green tea, white beans, whey protein, coffee, caffeine and chlorogenic acids. Low evidence for: ginseng, chitosan, β-glucans, psyllium, glucomannan, guar gum, agar, inulin, caralluma, spirulina, bitter orange, guarana.
With regard to fat metabolism, only moderate feedback for diacylglycerol. For the rest, low evidence for the other substances analysed: pyruvate, licorice, Garcinia Gambogia, resveratrol, conjugated linoleic acid, aloe vera, flax seeds, grapefruit.
And again, on carbohydrate metabolism, moderate evidence only for chromium, low for mangosteen and lipoic acid.
In short, at the end of the game the balance describes a team with 62% of low quality players, 13% of moderate and 0% of high quality.
Net therefore, training and balanced nutrition remain winners.
Otherwise called sweat and moderation.
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Digital Strategic Marketing Director – certified Innovation Manager – in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.