If you’re already working out, you want to make the most of it, right? A new study shows that snacking on citrus before exercising could help you boost fat burn.
It’s actually a compound named p-synephrine, found in low concentrations in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, that may heighten your workouts’ effectiveness in blasting fat. The alkaloid is found in heavier doses in bitter orange extract, but ample research hasn’t determined whether it’s safe for regular consumption.
This news stems from a recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in which 18 people took a supplement prior to exercising on a stationary bike. Half of the participants took a p-synephrine dose while the other half took a placebo pill one hour before cycling. After the workout, participants' heart rate, blood pressure and energy expenditure (which can be used to estimate calories burned) were measured.
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The researchers found that the supplement did not effect these average measurements, but they did find that the fat oxidation levels increased and the carbohydrate oxidation decreased in the p-synephrine test group. Simply put, this group burned more fat rather than carbs! The data suggested the supplement could increase fat oxidation during low- or moderate-intensity workouts by 7 grams per hour.
A researcher in the study says the realistic aim for weight loss should be one kilo (about 2.2 pounds) per month, referring to a kilo of fat, not body weight. “It’s less attention-catching than miracle diet slogans, but scientifically speaking, effective change would be at that rate,” he said. “That said, the rate of loss could increase with p-synephrine, but always combining the substance with exercise.”
Further tests will be conducted to learn more about the connection between the compound and fat burn, but you might want to grab some oranges from the grocery in the meantime!