Roberts, M. D., Dalbo, V. J., Hassell, S. E., Stout, J. R., & Kerksick, C. M. Efficacy and safety of a popular thermogenic drink after 28 days of ingestion. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:19
Background: We have recently demonstrated that consuming a thermogenic drink (TD) acutely
increases energy expenditure and serum markers of lipolysis in healthy, college-aged individuals. The purpose of this study was to determine if consuming TD over 28 days affects its acute thermogenic and lipolytic effects as well as body composition and clinical chemistry safety markers.
Methods: Sixty healthy, males (mean ± SE; 23 ± 1 years, 177 ± 2 cm, 81.7 ± 2.1 kg, 22.8 ± 1.4%
body fat; n = 30) and females (23 ± 1 years, 166 ± 2 cm, 62.1 ± 1.8 kg, 28.3 ± 1.4% body fat; n =
30) reported to the laboratory on day 0 (T1) for determination of body composition, resting
energy expenditure (REE) as well as glycerol and free fatty acid (FFA) levels before and after
ingesting either 336 ml of TD or a non-caloric, non-caffeinated placebo (PLA) drink. Following day 0, participants supplemented daily with 336 ml·day-1 of either TD or PLA and repeated identical testing procedures on day 28 (T2). Day 28 area under the curve (AUC) values were calculated for REE, FFA, and glycerol. Day 28 acute data and prolonged AUC comparisons between groups were analyzed using ANOVAs with repeated measures.
Results: Percent body fat (p = 0.02) and fat mass (p = 0.01) decreased in the TD group compared to the PLA group after 28 days. Day 28 FFA AUC values (p = 0.048) were greater in the TD group compared to the PLA group. There was no significant difference in day 28 REE AUC values (p = 0.30) or glycerol AUC values (p = 0.21), although a significant increase in REE values in the PLA group may have confounded these findings. There were no differences between groups concerning blood and clinical safety markers.
Conclusion: Within-group elevations in FFA and REE values in the TD group were still evident
following a 28-day supplementation period which may contribute to the observed decrements in
%BF. Further, prolonged TD supplementation did not alter the assessed clinical safety markers.
Future studies should examine the synergistic and independent effects of the active ingredients in addition to effects of longer ingestion periods of TD ingestion with or without exercise at
promoting and sustaining changes in body composition.
When I read articles with results like this two things come to my mind. 1) "Awesome, you can actually lose weight and look better with out doing much work!" 2) "Crap, now my clients are going to see this and think that this is all they have to do!" Which in turn leads to less money for me and the economy is bad enough man.
What concerns me the most here is that just like the article referenced these findings should be carefully considered as the present study only spanned 28 days and did not invoke dietary or exercise intervention. So we have no way of knowing if the TD did the work or if their diets and exercise manipulated the body's metabolism in order to get the results. Of course there are arguments against this by comparing pre post RBC's triglycerides etc, etc, but in essence we still don't know the external factors.
Another thing is that the media centers so much attention around aesthetics of a person's body and society has bought into it so hard that no body wants to exercise to be "more healthy" they all exercise to get that "perfect body." With these results you are telling people that they can throw out exercising ans still lose fat mass! These implications could possibly cause a huge catastrophic morbididty rate to increase over the years because if you simply lose fat mass without exercising you may not see the physiological benefits that result from consistent exercise such as increaesed RBC's, stronger cardiovascular system (heart), increased bone mineral density, muscle hypertrophy, etc, etc. This means that your body's ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles, pump blood easily, and prevent osteoporosis has not been improved. So can someone tell me why we would not want to exercise? I have the answer, because it is easier just to take a magic pill (drink) and see results. Its sad that we have been brainwashed into caring more about how we look now instead of the longevity of our health down the road. I wish it were easier for people to understand but just because you don't see or feel anything happening does not mean that your body is not getting healthier!!
I appreciate this article though because maybe by combining the drink WITH exercise and proper nutrition we as exercise physiologists and strength coaches can continue to promote longevity while our clients/athletes still SEE results and therefore will still be doing our part in making the world and its inhabitants a healthier place to live.