As a bodybuilder as well as a consumer in today’s marketplace, I do my best avoid fad diets and hype over “fat loss” or “weight loss” supplements. As a Sales Associate at GNC, I have broadened my knowledge of different nutrition supplements which rake in billions of dollars for companies such as MuscleTech, Nugenixs, etc. It is incredible how many customers walk into GNC with absolutely no product background of what they intend to put in their bodies as well as spend hundreds of dollars on.
Recently, many of my friends in the fitness community, as well as an old coach of mine, encouraged me to experiment with the use of topical gels that claim to accelerate fat loss. Some of these friends have even suggested that I give cosmetic procedures such as CoolSculpting a try. According to Dr. Amy Witt and other advocates of this type of procedure, CoolSculpting uses patented fat-freezing technology (cryolipolysis) to selectively target and rupture fat cells that are usually unresponsive to diet and exercise. This is definitely something I would consider in the future. I have also seen an argument for coolsculpting vs sculpsure which is also another treatment to remove fat. I think it’s pretty great that there are now so many different treatments to help get the body you desire! As for the topical gels though, personally, I was intrigued. Curiosity killed the cat and I decided to take the investigating into my own hands.
Two of the main products that sparked my interest were Sweet Sweat and Vasoburn. Although the two gels do not claim to reap the same results, I figured it would be interesting to review both products since competitors and fit gurus use them often.
Sweat Sweat, created by Sports Research, is deemed a “workout enhancer” that claims to “improve circulation, energy, and sweating during exercise”. The gel is also known to “accelerate warm-up and recovery time, targets ‘slow to respond’ problem and injured areas, fights muscle fatigue and painful injuries, and has a clean fragrance that leaves you smelling fresh during and after your workout”. While the ingredient list boasts all-natural ingredients such as vitamin E and different organic oils, Sweet Sweat is simply a fancy Vaseline. While heat is trapped between the oil and the skin, this effect could cause the sweat to accumulate on the skin; however, it does not necessary mean that fat burn is occurring at the gel applied area. Remember, fat burning cannot be targeted. I do own the product and I use it when I workout but after researching the product, I do not plan to restock. Although I did notice excessive sweating at the applied areas (stomach and shoulders), I was wearing a waist trainer which does lock in heat regardless. If I am in dire need, I will simply apply vitamin E, coconut oil and Vaseline to my trouble areas that need a little extra love.
Vasoburn, created by Matt Porter Approved Supplements, is a topical gel that claims to “support the appearance of tighter, firmer, and thinner skin texture for an overall leaner appearance”. Unlike Sweet Sweat, Vasoburn dries immediately and smells like cinnamon. One major ingredient found in Vasoburn is Yohimbine, which is clinically proven to dilate blood vessels which can assist in fat burn. Another major ingredient is Dimethyl Isosobide which has the capability to disperse fat across the skin membrane. When combined with antioxidants and water-soluble ingredients, Dimethyl Isosobide positively contributes to the use of Vasoburn’s combined ingredients. Other ingredients such as Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract is known to enhance collagen production and Raspberry Ketone is a well-known fat burning compound. When I used Vasoburn, I applied it to my glutes, my hamstrings, stomach and my shoulders/arms. I applied a neoprene wrap around my waist and when I finished up with cardio, my skin had a flushed appearance and stung for a bit. After two weeks of using the product, I noticed my skin was firmer, tighter and water retention had slightly subsided. Overall, I would highly recommend Vasoburn to competitors for bodybuilding prep and even those who have a special occasion coming up.
At the end of the day, you will ultimately make the call if you choose to invest in topical “fat burning” gels or not. Just remember, these companies are selling product to make money. The only thing that can truly transform your body is yourself through diet and exercise. Go out and invest in yourself, rather than through arbitrary supplement companies. Everything you already need is inside.