Thermogenic foods speed up metabolism by increasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Examples of thermogenic foods are pepper, coffee, broccoli, green tea, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, mint and some fruits.
The effects of some phytochemicals have already demonstrated scientific evidence on lipid metabolism and oxidation. So it is necessary to understand what quantities are needed to perform these functions in our body.
A study carried out with nineteen healthy adult individuals, aged between eighteen and fifty years old and with body mass index (BMI) between 20 to 30 kg / m2, who were supplemented with 2.6 mg of capsaicin (mainly present in peppers) in the three main meals. The results showed that capsaicin has a thermogenic effect, leading to a negative energy balance of 20.5%, which is due to the increase in lipid oxidation, in addition to not promoting changes in blood pressure.
In another study carried out on pre-diabetic individuals who ingested cinnamon, it was found that there is a decrease in fasting blood glucose and body fat.
Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks in Portugal and in the world. The effects of caffeine on the body are to increase alertness and reduce the feeling of fatigue, which may increase the ability to perform certain tasks. The effect of caffeine on the body makes it possible to use the drink as a stimulant, but its excessive consumption can lead to insomnia, tachycardia, hyperactivity, among others. Individuals with gastritis or gastrointestinal ulcers should avoid drinking coffee, as drinking leads to increased gastric acid production, resulting in mucosal irritation.
At the cellular level, caffeine is a competitive antagonist of adenosine receptors and also acts directly at the level of receptors, in order to enhance the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, by decoupling ATPase activity in skeletal muscle. As a result of these two cellular mechanisms, caffeine causes an increase in lipolysis, a reduction in plasma potassium concentration during exercise, an increase in muscle contraction strength at low stimulation frequencies and an economy in muscle glycogen (Cantá et al., 2013).
According to Mirante et al. (2017) the amount of caffeine needed to cause thermogenic effect is 5 to 6 mg per kilogram of the athlete's weight.
There are studies that corroborate the thesis that drinking coffee before physical exercise has great benefits. This should not be taken alone, but combined with a pre-workout snack.
Before taking any thermogenic food, you should consult with a professional in the field, a nutritionist, and always complement your diet with physical exercise, in order to achieve a balance between loss of fat mass and maintenance / gain of mass slim.
Ana Rita Cativo