There’s a lot of supplements out there that claim to help ‘burn’ fat, some even claim their formula can simply melt the fat away. However, there’s only one true way to lose fat, and that’s to have a well-calculated calorie-restricted diet along with the right training plan.
But with all that said, there are supplements I use on a regular basis that do assist in weight management. Such as acetyl-l-carnitine, which increases the release of fats stored on your body to be used as an energy source.
And yes, there’s forskolin – which you’ll discover in this article can help you lose fat while at the same time, retain lean muscle. This is all down to the way that forskolin stimulates chemical reactions which increase your basal metabolic rate and fat release for energy.
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Benefits of Forskolin For Fat Loss
Some of the main benefits you’ll find when using forskolin are:
- Less hunger and tiredness – Forskolin helps to control hunger and appetite leading to successful fat loss and better weight management.
- Increased lipid release for energy – Forskolin releases fats to be used as an energy source, which assists in accelerated fat loss when combined with dieting and exercise.
- Higher levels of testosterone – In one study, forskolin has shown to increase testosterone in obese men – whilst increasing fat loss and muscle retention.
How Forskolin Works For Fat Loss?
For example; Forskolin is a diterpene that acts directly on adenylate cyclase. This is an enzyme that triggers Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP) in the cells. It’s the job of cAMP to promote the breakdown of stored fats in cells to be used as energy.
Furthermore, cAMP also regulates the body’s thermogenic response of the foods you eat. What this means is that using forskolin can increase your basal metabolic rate while at the same time, using fat stores as energy.
In the words of one study, “It may also release fatty acids from adipose tissue, which results in increased thermogenesis, loss of body fat, and theoretically increased lean body mass.” (I)
Obese Men – Body Composition Changes Using Forskolin
After 12 weeks of supplementation at 250 mg forskolin twice daily, the 15 subjects using forskolin noticed huge changes in a reduction of fat mass. Furthermore, their overall body composition changed along with a hormonal increase – more specifically testosterone.
The study highlighted that forskolin did in fact; “elicit favourable changes in body composition by significantly decreasing body fat percentage (BF%) and fat mass (FM) as determined by DXA compared with the placebo group.” (II)
Furthermore, bone mass also increased, along with total serum free testosterone levels which significantly increased compared to the placebo group. The total increase in free testosterone was 16.77 +/- 33.77% additional.
This information is important as ‘free’ testosterone is what creates the most beneficial changes in muscle strength and size – as opposed to bound testosterone.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that forskolin does increase testosterone, reduce fat mass, and increase basal metabolic rate in overweight men during this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Overweight Women – Body Composition Changes Using Forskolin
In another study, forskolin showed to helped women maintain weight loss by controlling appetite and other elements which help to regulate weight.
This is positive news, as when large amounts of weight is lost, it can often be difficult to maintain the new weight. Forskolin shows to help maintain fat loss thanks to the way it controls hunger and appetite.
In one study, 23 females were split into two groups (a placebo and forskolin group). Their body composition using a DEXA scan was assessed, along with blood samples.
The women using 250 mg of forskolin extract twice daily for a total of twelve weeks saw significant reductions in fatigue, hunger, and fullness after eating – but no major changes in body composition. This points to forskolin’s benefits as an appetite control supplement. (I)
How Much Forskolin To Use For Fat Loss?
As we can see from both of these studies, using 250 mg twice daily showed positive results. Firstly, the male participants who lost fat mass and saw positive changes in testosterone and body composition.
And the female group, who didn’t notice significant changes in fat loss – but did, on the other hand, notice less fatigue and hunger with an improved sensation of fullness after eating.
Furthermore, as forskolin is a natural substance derived from plants, it poses no adverse side effects.
Combining forskolin with other supplements can increase fat loss even further. Such as acetyl-l-carnitine, which helps to release fats as an energy source. And b-vitamins, which increase the metabolism of foods to be converted into usable energy.
Sport Nutrition Expert Recommendation?
For a way to help your body utilize fats as an energy source, you may want to look into forskolin. The alkaloids (contained in high amounts in forskolin) are beneficial for maintaining healthy metabolic states in humans and in other animals.
Therefore, by using the studied amount at 250 mg twice daily (or as you require) you’ll soon assist your body in better fat loss and fat-adaptation during exercise.
Furthermore, you’ll also see positive changes in body composition and overall weight management. This is thanks to the way it controls hunger and energy levels.
This information is also important when dieting as energy levels might fall when in a calorie deficit – that’s where forskolin can help. And as I’ve already mentioned, adding b-vitamins and acetyl-l-carnitine to the mix could help you lose fat even more efficiently.
(I) Henderson, Shonteh, et al. “Effects of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation on Body Composition and Hematological Profiles in Mildly Overweight Women.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central, 9 Dec. 2005. (source)
(II) Godard, Michael P, et al. “Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men.” Obesity Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2005. (source)