When you’re planning for a cut after a bulking cycle, you’re probably looking for any edge that you can find to shed fat a little bit more effectively. Fat burning supplements can sometimes be the right choice for people who are looking to maintain their muscle mass while liquidating the excess fat that occludes your hard-earned gains.
In this article, we’ll check out the factors involved in effective fat burning and then round up a few of the best fat burning supplements on the market today.
- Contains L-Carnitine
- Contains chromium
- Contains green tea and coffee extracts for caffeination
- Vegan friendly
- Money back guarantee
- Contains extraneous components which don’t burn fat
- Money back guarantee only lasts 14 days
- Flashy marketing
- Tonnes of caffeine
- Contains a few essential nutrients
- Contains bitter orange extract, which may increase your metabolic rate
- Mostly caffeine and analogues, meaning that it will make some users jumpy
- No real proven fat burners other than the caffeine and analogues
- May suppress appetite too much for some users or increase appetite too much for some users
- Tonnes of caffeine
- Grapefruit seed extract increases effectiveness of caffeine
- Great value
- Once per day administration
- Will be heavily stimulating
- Can’t be taken in conjunction with any medications
- Probably not healthy to take long term due to grapefruit seed extract enzyme inhibition
- Very cheap
- Likely provides fat burning per research
- No stimulants or thermogenicity
- Can combine with other fat burners
- Don’t have to take right before workout
- No stimulants or mental boost
- May cause gastrointestinal issues depending on the dose
- CLA isn’t well researched
- Contains EGCG, which may lower cholesterol over time
- Provides energy before and during a workout
- Mental stimulation via caffeine
- Contains chromium, which may be helpful to workout
- Lots of caffeine
- May cause burning diarrhoea
- May cause nausea
- EGCG may have yet undiscovered undesirable effects
What Should You Look For In A Fat Burner?
Fat burning supplements are complicated and tend to operate via different mechanisms. This fact makes picking the correct fat burning supplement very difficult, as knowledge about how one fat burner could fit into your routine doesn’t carry over to others.
Furthermore, like testosterone boosters, not all fat burners are effective whatsoever, and some are dangerous. Before you pick a fat burner, you need to understand how a fat burner increases your metabolic rate, whether the fat burner is safe or not, and if the fat burner can find a role in your routine or whether it’ll be counterproductive.
Most of all, you need to know how your fat burner works. Knowledge is power, and fat burning is no exception to the axiom—many a bodybuilder has bought heavily into a fat burner or muscle builder only to find that they’ve spent their money on snake oil when they could have used a method with proven effectiveness.
Fat Burning Mechanism
The most important part of a fat burning supplement is its fat burning mechanism. Some fat burning supplements or chemicals, like Fucoxanthin, increase fat burning in only fat cells by causing them to generate more heat.
Supplements that roughly follow this strategy are beneficial for their targeted action, but often lack robust clinical studies supporting their effectiveness. A great example of poorly scientifically supported fat burning that still makes its way into other roundups of fat burners is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Others, like forskolin, may only have a mechanism of action which works in very specific bodily conditions, such as obesity. It’s important to learn as much as you can about how each fat burner works and whether it’ll be able to work for you at all.
Is It A Stimulant?
Other fat burners are stimulants, which increase the metabolic rate of your entire body. Common stimulants include caffeine, pseudoephedrine, and prescription or illegal medications. These chemicals are the most effective and most supported fat burners, but they don’t selectively burn just fat.
If your body runs out of floating calories or easily accessible calories from breaking down fat, your muscles will be on the chopping block.
Stimulants also increase heart rate, perspiration, and anxiety, so they’re not for everyone. Long term stimulant use isn’t healthy, but you can probably get away with using a stimulant during a cut.
The FDA keeps tabs on which fat burners are safe and which are dangerous, but you must keep up with their findings if you want to stay safe. Supplements like DMAA might still be on the market, but you’ll be doing a disservice to yourself by using them.
Before adding a fat burner to your routine, do your diligence and make sure that you’re not going to be poisoning yourself or hurting your organs by taking it for short periods of time.
Does The Fat Burner Work With Your Other Fat Burning Methods?
When you’re evaluating fat burners, you need to make sure that the contexts in which the fat burner is proven to work are the same as the context that you’ll be using it in. For example, a somewhat common supplement, tetradecylthioacetic acid, was proven to increase metabolic rate in a small study of male type 2 diabetes patients.
If you don’t fit the bill of male type 2 diabetes patient using the supplement in the way detailed in the study’s methods section, your results may vary or be absent. Scientific findings are very narrow, and in the biomedical field they often don’t carry over from one context to another.
Let’s take this concept a step further, though. Let’s say that your fat burning strategy involves daily supplementation with caffeine, some whey protein, a thermogenic supplement like fucoxanthin, a careful diet, and one potential additional supplement.
It’s entirely possible that there are some websites which will claim that a fat burning supplement works by impairing some enzyme which your body might use to segregate excess energy into fat. If you were to use this hypothetical method, however, it’d work in direct opposition to your fucoxanthin supplement, which would become inhibited by an opposite mechanism of action.
Make sure that the science the fat burners that you choose to use all points towards the same end goal using methods which won’t get in each other’s way. Finally, make sure that you follow general weight loss and fat burning best practices.
Conclusion: Which Fat Burner Do You Recommend I Buy?
Picking a fat burner is a bit like roulette. Everyone’s body is different, and so not everyone will respond to the same fat burning supplement. Once you factor in the unreliability of the science behind many of the fat burning supplements, you may have to try a few of the best before finding the right one.
Each of the supplements which we’ve reviewed has at least a plausible shot at providing you with fat burning, and none should be blatantly harmful to your health. Keep experimenting, and remember to be critical about whatever supplements you try and whichever results you see.