I am going to start by apologising. I have lured you in under false pretenses. BUT stick with me, this is important and could help you save money...
You probably already know this, but…
There is NO magic pill for weight loss
In fact, there is NOT one single supplement that is 1) healthy/safe, 2) legal, and 3) supported by research as having the ability to increase fat loss. Green Tea and Caffeine show some glimmer of optimism at helping eliminate fat and I will get to that at the bottom of this post.
I have been as guilty as any when it comes to succumbing to marketing. When I was younger I got drawn in by a fat burning pill. I paid nearly £50 for about 30 pills. I got an amazing buzz and looked like I had jumped out of a swimming pool by the time I was finished with my morning workouts after taking one. However, as you may have guessed, it didn’t give me the results it promised.
99.9% of us want to improve our physique and that’s understandable when there is so much emphasis within the media to obtain the perfect body. If there was a magic fat loss pill it would be sold out and the person that discovered it would be the richest person on the planet. Who wouldn’t pay £50-200 for a pill that magically changes your body without all the hardwork, sweat, and tears? I sure as hell would.
So here is the truth about the various supplements touted as ‘fat burners’:
L-Carnitine – May improve insulin sensitivity BUT NO evidence to show that it increases fat loss.
Glutamine – Touted as a muscle builder. You guessed it, no evidence to support that it increases muscle mass and or helps with weight/fat loss. However, vegans, vegeterians (due to it being derived from meat sources) and people suffering with immune system diseases may benefit from supplementing.
Taurine – No research to support that it increases fat metabolism or helps reduce fat.
Linoleic Acid (CLA) – No research to support that it increases fat metabolism or helps reduce fat.
Raspberry Ketone – It does work as a fat burner… IN RATS! Reseach has found that it is not possible to induce fat burning effects in humans using raspberry ketone.
The list goes on.
There is one supplement that I found to be truly effective at burning fat…
Yohimbine – BUT I am certainly not recommending this. It only works when you are fasting. Eating negates its effects. It can cause extreme anxiety. In fact if you are bi-polar you should not even think about taking it. Dosage amounts on packaging are never found to be accurate and high dosage can create cardiovascular health issues. Those with cardiovascular complications and or weight related conditions should not take it.
The only other products that could possibly support fat oxidation are caffeine and green tea.
Caffeine – Caffeine can support fat metabolism BUT research shows that it does NOT increase fat loss. However, 3-6mg/kg of body weight is found to enhance performance (endurance AND prolonged high intensity performance). Doses larger than those suggested above do not produce any benefits.
I am 80kg so a dose of 240mg-480mg would be sufficient. However, there are approximately 95mg in a cup of coffee. I would therefore need a minimum of 2 and a half cups to meet minimum dosage requirements. Alternatively I could use tablets/capsules. In fact research suggests that tablet supplementation has more of an impact. The issue here, is that this may negatively impact sleep, which is going to hamper any positive benefits.
These positive benefits can also be negated if caffeine is taken habitually as the body becomes tolerant. The suggested doses of caffeine should be applied twice a week OR prior to competition/performance after a minimum period of 4 days without caffeine use. Habitual caffeine intake even diminishes the positive impact of green tea on fat metabolism.
Green Tea – There are so many health benefits to taking green tea. If I liked the taste I would drink it just for these reasons. AND I have found some research that suggests that green tea can help increase fat oxidation BUT only when caffeine intake is not regular.
- Save your money – Not one fat burning supplement actually works.
- Caffeine and green tea MAY support fat metabolism BUT caffeine intake must not be regular.
- Caffeine can improve performance.
The best way to shed excess fat is no secret. We all know it, but unfortunately it requires a lot of hard work, discipline, and dedication.
Let me know if there are any supplements I have missed. Or if in fact you have had any success using any. If you have found this post helpful or think a friend would benefit get sharing and tagging.