It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new weight loss supplement clamoring for your attention.
You know, one that promises to shrink your belly fat, curb your appetite, or maybe even allow you to eat anything you damn well please and still lose weight.
It all sounds great at first, but by now, most of us realize the idea of a “weight loss pill” is, at bottom, bunk.
No amount of pills or powders alone can give us the lean bodies we want.
Does that mean we should write off weight loss supplements entirely, though?
Not so fast.
When you look at the scientific research, evidence suggests some weight loss supplements can actually move the needle and thus are worth considering.
You just have to know what to look for and how they affect your body, so you can use them properly.
And that brings us to yohimbine.
It’s often found in pre-workout supplements (because it’s a light stimulant) and fat burner supplements (because it purportedly accelerates weight loss), but what is it exactly?
Does it actually help with weight loss? What about dosing and side effects? Is it dangerous?
Well, this article is going to answer all those questions and more.
By the end, you’re going to know exactly what yohimbine can and can’t do and you can then decide if it’s worth your money.
(If you’d prefer to skip all of the scientific mumbo jumbo, though, and you just want to know if you should take yohimbine or a different supplement to reach your goals, no problem! Just take the Legion Supplement Finder Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know exactly what supplements are right for you. Click here to check it out.)
- What is Yohimbine?
- Why Do People Supplement with Yohimbine?
- What Are the Benefits of Yohimbine?
- What’s the Clinically Effective Dose of Yohimbine?
- What Type of Results Should I Expect from Yohimbine?
- Does Yohimbine Have Any Side Effects?
- The Best Yohimbine Supplements
- The Bottom Line on Yohimbine
Table of Contents
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What is Yohimbine?
Yohimbine is a naturally occurring substance called an alkaloid, which is a bitter-tasting compound that can cause various types of chemical reactions in the human body.
It’s found naturally in several types of plants native to central and western Africa, including the bark of the yohimbe tree.
There are two ways yohimbine can be included in a supplement:
- Yohimbe bark extract
This is a concentrated, powdered form of the bark of the yohimbe tree, which contains a small amount of yohimbine by weight.
- Yohimbine Hcl
This is the yohimbine molecule itself, which has been extracted from a natural source and combined with hydrochloric acid.
Regardless of the source, yohimbine affects the body by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, thus activating the body’s “fight or flight” response.
This causes chemicals called catecholamines to be released into your bloodstream, which can raise body temperature and blood pressure.
These chemicals (adrenaline and noradrenaline, mainly) can bind with fat cells via receptors known as adrenergic receptors (think a lock-and-key-like mechanism), and this can initiate fat burning (or not, which we’ll talk about soon).
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Why Do People Supplement with Yohimbine?
Yohimbe bark has been a popular treatment for erectile dysfunction for quite some time now with a spotty record of effectiveness.
Well, it’s now a rising star in the world of weight loss supplements, and its at burning effects appear to be much more reliable.
Specifically, research show that yohimbine can accelerate fat loss but how it does so is a little complicated.
It’s also often sold as a supplement to help you lose “stubborn fat” faster, which sounds like humbug, of course, but there’s actually scientific evidence to back this claim up.
(More on all this in a minute.)
The bottom line?
Most people supplement with yohimbine to lose weight faster, and it works.
How, exactly, and how well?
Keep reading to find out.
What Are the Benefits of Yohimbine?
Several studies have shown that yohimbine supplementation is a legitimate fat loss strategy.
Many people assume this is because it speeds up your basal metabolic rate and suppresses your appetite like caffeine or synephrine.
Well, yohimbine is a mild stimulant and can help suppress appetite, but there’s more to its fat-burning properties.
This is the complicated part I alluded to earlier, but I’ll break it down in simple terms.
We recall that fat cells have receptors for catecholamines and that the primary catecholamines involved here are adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Well, fat cells actually have two types of receptors for these chemicals:
- Alpha receptors
- Beta receptors
And these receptors operate very differently.
The physiology is quite complex, but what you need to know is when catecholamines bind to beta receptors, fat cells mobilize for burning.
When the chemicals bind to alpha receptors, however, the cells don’t mobilize.
That is, in terms of fat loss, beta receptors are the heroes and alpha receptors are the villains.
Furthermore, some adipose tissue (fat) in the body contains higher levels of alpha receptors than others, which makes it more resistant to mobilization than other fat deposits.
This is the “stubborn fat” that people complain about and helps explain why it’s so hard to lose those last few pounds in your lower abs (most guys) or hips and thighs (most girls).
This sneaky little molecule has a high affinity for alpha receptors, which means it binds to them more easily than beta receptors. Once yohimbine has bound with a fat cell, it “turns off” the alpha receptor, in a sense, which allows the catecholamines in your blood to bind to beta receptors instead.
In other words, yohimbine prevents your fat cells’ alpha receptors from preventing fat loss.
And as the fat deposits generally highest in alpha receptors are the “hard-to-lose” bits that we want to eliminate most, yohimbine helps you lose this fat in particular faster.
This is why it’s often sold as a way to help with “targeted fat loss,” which, in this case, is a fairly accurate statement.
It should also be noted that research shows that yohimbine reduces fat mass without affecting lean mass, which is important for optimizing body composition.
It may also improve exercise performance by staving off physical fatigue, which is a welcome effect given the fact that a calorie deficit can reduce workout performance.
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What’s the Clinically Effective Dose of Yohimbine?
The clinically effective dose of a supplement is the amount that has been proven beneficial in scientific studies.
In this case, it tells you how much yohimbine you need to take in order to lose fat faster.
Well, studies suggest that a dose of approximately 0.2mg/kg bodyweight is sufficient to help with weight loss.
It also seems to be particularly effective when combined with exercise, which makes sense given the fact that exercise greatly elevates catecholamine levels.
There’s a catch, though.
Elevated insulin levels completely negate its weight loss effects.
That means that if you want to reap its fat loss benefits, you want to use it when you’re in a fasted state.
What Type of Results Should I Expect from Yohimbine?
If you’re excited about yohimbine at this point, I understand.
There aren’t many natural supplements that are scientifically proven to help you lose fat faster.
That said, it’s not a miracle pill.
Remember that supplements don’t build great physiques. Dedication to proper training and nutrition does.
That said, here’s what you can expect from yohimbine supplementation:
- A slight increase in energy.
- A slight decrease in appetite.
- A slight increase in resting metabolic rate and fat loss, and of stubborn fat in particular.
If that doesn’t sound all that sexy to you, I understand. I’m just calling it like it is.
That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t supplement with yohimbine. It just means it’s smart to pair yohimbine with other supplements to really move the needle.
You see, by themselves, most natural supplements can be underwhelming. But take the right ones together, and you’re likely to notice their cumulative effects.
For example, if you pair yohimbine with fasted exercise and other supplements scientifically proven to aid in fat loss like caffeine and synephrine, the effects can be quite pronounced.
And that’s enough to matter if you also consistently train hard and eat right.
Does Yohimbine Have Any Side Effects?
As with any supplement, an Internet search for “yohimbine” serves up some cautionary tales.
The reality, though, is it’s not as dangerous as some “authorities” would have you believe.
The main side effect talked about is an increase in anxiety, and there is some research to back this up.
When taken in higher doses, yohimbine may contribute to anxiety or impulsivity. Thus, yohimbine is not recommended for people with anxiety or panic disorders.
Because it has been shown to increase blood pressure at high dosages, yohimbine is also contraindicated for people with heart conditions.
For the rest of us, though, research shows that moderate doses of yohimbine are generally well tolerated.
I’ve spoken with many hundreds of people that have used yohimbine to aid with fat loss and the worst they’ve reported is feeling slightly jittery and/or nauseous.
And in most cases, they were able to overcome it by simply reducing the dosage and gradually scaling up.
The Best Yohimbine Supplements
You now know why yohimbine is commonly found in pre-workout and fat-burner supplements.
No amount of weight loss pills and powders is going to make you lean.
You can’t simply pop a few pills every day and wait for the blubber to melt away.
But here’s the good news:
If you use diet and exercise as the primary drivers of weight loss, then certain supplements can accelerate the process.
Based on my experience with my own body and having worked with thousands of people, I feel comfortable saying that an effective fat loss supplementation regimen can increase fat loss by about 30 to 50% with little to no side effects.
That is, if you can lose 1 pound of fat per week without supplements (and you can), you can lose 1.3 to 1.5 pounds of fat per week with the right ones.
Another big benefit of taking the right fat loss supplements is they are particularly effective for reducing stubborn fat, which is usually belly fat for us guys and hip and thigh fat for girls.
And as you know, yohimbine is one of those supplements (synephrine is, too).
That’s why my pre-workout fat burner FORGE contains a clinically effective dosage of yohimbine along with two other ingredients:
- β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
This is a substance produced by the body when it metabolizes the amino acid leucine.
This is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.
These ingredients were chosen for two very specific reasons.
You’ll recall that for yohimbine to be maximally effective, it must be taken before fasted exercise.
This speeds up fat loss but also significantly increases muscle breakdown rates.
And this is undesirable because if you damage and break down too many muscle cells in your workouts, your body won’t be able to keep up with repair.
Another downside to fasted exercise is lackluster workouts.
Many people find they have less energy and focus when training in a fasted state and thus aren’t able maintain the level of physical and mental intensity they’re used to.
So, as you can see, fasted training is a double-edged sword. It’s good for losing fat faster, but it’s not so good for maintaining muscle and enjoying your workouts.
Well, HMB is an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent, which means it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown.
In this way, the HMB in FORGE lets you reap all the fat loss benefits of training fasted without any of the problems relating to muscle loss.
And we’ve included CDP-choline because research shows that it improves attentional focus.
This is a welcome effect for most people because they find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training.
And what you WON’T find in FORGE is just as important:
There are no artificial sweeteners, food dyes, or flavors, and no unnecessary fillers or junk ingredients.
The bottom line is if you want to use fasted exercise to lose stubborn fat, and not muscle, faster…without having to sacrifice the quality of your workouts…then you want to try FORGE today.
Oh, and if you aren’t sure if Forge is right for you or if another supplement might be a better fit for your budget, circumstances, and goals, then take the Legion Supplement Finder Quiz! In less than a minute, it’ll tell you exactly what supplements are right for you. Click here to check it out.
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The Bottom Line on Yohimbine
Yohimbine is one of the few fat loss supplements that are proven to accelerate fat burning.
Studies show it can speed up your metabolism, improve your workout performance, and help you lose stubborn fat faster.
And it’s even more effective when combined with exercise and other supplements like caffeine and synephrine.
It’s not going to transform your physique or get you absolutely shredded, of course, but it will help you get the body you really want faster.
What’s your take on supplementing with yohimbine? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
+ Scientific References
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