Losing weight and burning fat are two of the most popular health goals on the planet. As such, there are many companies trying to capitalize on the trend by producing supplements that promise to torch all your fat away.
But which ones really work? Which ones are actually worth your money? It can be very difficult to tell as the supplement industry is not heavily regulated. So, it’s important to look to the scientific research.
Today, we’ll review the 20 best fat burners to use. Every item on the list is actually backed up by scientific research. From coffee and green tea to CLA, here are the top 20 fat burners currently on the market.
Oleuropein is a polyphenolic compound, closely related to olive oil. It comes from the leaves of the olive tree. In addition to being an antioxidant, it can also come in handy weight loss.
Perhaps best known for its benefits related to lowering blood pressure, oleuropein is also added to many different pre-workout products. It is commonly referred to as olive leaf extract, though this is not strictly accurate.
In fact, oleuropein is a part of olive leaf extract but it does not make up the entirety of it.
Octopamine is an organic chemical that is closely related to norepinephrine. It isn’t found within the human body in any large amounts, but it is commonly included in pre-workouts as a potential weight loss ingredient.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned its use for professional athletes as it is a very effective stimulant.
However, it remains popular in many pre-workout products and seems to be effective. It should be noted, that it does raise blood pressure significantly, especially if combined with other ingredients.
This potentially puts many people at risk. So if you are looking to use a product with octopamine in it, proceed with caution and speak with your doctor first.
Yohimbine is also commonly referred to as yohimbe and it is another commonly used fat burning supplement. Yohimbine works as an alpha-2 adrenergic antagonist and is also used for erectile dysfunction.
It has noticeable and immediate effects. Interestingly, it’s sometimes fraudulently listed as an ingredient in some pre-workout supplements. Be sure to get pure yohimbine — yohimbe is actually a different substance — if yohimbine is what you are looking to take.
It should be noted, however, that research on yohimbine is mixed. There are also some populations — like those on certain medications — who will want to avoid yohimbine use.
4. Exogenous Ketones
Dropping your body into a ketogenic state has a number of benefits when it comes to burning fat. That’s because cutting your carbohydrate consumption forces your body to dip its stored fat.
Taking exogenous ketones is one way to more easily get into ketosis. This is especially true if you have a hard time sticking to the keto diet.
Exogenous ketones are usually marketed as a way to eat whatever you want while still being able to stay in ketosis. It isn’t quite that easy, but they do offer a little boost when you’re struggling with the diet.
Research is still limited as to the potential benefits of taking extra ketones when you’re already in a ketogenic state, but the potential ability to burn fat is huge.
Glucomannan is another great fat burner. It’s a natural, water-soluble, dietary fiber and it works extremely well for weight loss.
However, it should be noted that you cannot rely only on glucomannan; you also need to watch your diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly if you want to lose weight.
That said, glucomannan appears to be especially beneficial when combined with other fat burners and weight loss supplements.
Forskolin is somewhat controversial, as there is not as much scientific research available about this supplement.
It is usually not taken on its own, but rather included in a supplement as one of many ingredients. Since forskolin is a natural plant compound and some studies have demonstrated significant effects on fat loss, it’s not believed to cause any adverse effects.
7. MCT Oil
MCT oil is one of the undisputed kings of fat burners and numerous studies have demonstrated positive results when it comes to weight loss. It works well with the keto diet.
MCT oil also aids in exercise endurance, as well as helping to improve cognitive function. If you are looking to lose weight, MCT can certainly be a helpful supplement.
8. Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia is actually a tropical fruit, but most may know it from its huge promotion as a ‘miracle’ weight loss supplement. However, this is only partially true.
Garcinia cambogia does not work miracles, but there is some evidence that it can come in handy for weight loss. The ingredient doing most of the work in garcinia cambogia — hydroxycitric acid (HCA) — comes from the fruit’s rind. It works to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which is an enzyme used by your body to make fat.
So, in essence, this supplement helps to stop fat from being made. Interestingly, it also may raise the level of the brain chemical serotonin — scientists think this may have a positive impact on appetite suppression.
Coffee is the most widely-consumed caffeine-containing beverage in the world and it works in a variety of ways to help you lose fat.
Not only does it have caffeine, but it also functions as an appetite suppressant and antioxidant. Coffee has also been shown to raise your metabolic rate, which can also be helpful when it comes to weight loss.
CLA (or conjugated linoleic acid, if you want to get technical) has been a staple in the health and fitness world for decades. It’s commonly included in nearly every fat burning and weight loss supplement out there.
Its main mechanism of action seems to be appetite suppression, and while it may not deliver incredible results on its own, when it’s included with other fat burners, the synergistic effects seem to be quite good.
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L-carnitine is another fat burner that has been around for over a decade. In addition to being a nootropic substance, it’s also been shown to promote fat loss in some studies.
While research is mixed when it comes to the effectiveness of l-carnitine on weight loss, the evidence is more clear when it comes to its cognitive-enhancing effects, which helps to explain why it is commonly included in many pre-workout supplements.
12. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee bean extract (GCBE) has been included in weight loss supplements for many years. It does appear to have an impact on lowering obesity rates, but it is not a miracle cure.
Some research has found that GCBE may help to lower body fat accumulation and regulates lipid metabolism. It can be taken on its own but is most effective when stacked with other weight loss ingredients.
Probiotics have been around the health and fitness world for over a decade, but only recently have they become well-known. In addition to weight loss, they can also have positive effects on mental health (via gut microbiota and serotonin level increases) and digestion.
Taking a probiotic is really a year-round endeavor, but it becomes especially critical after a round of antibiotic supplementation. Make sure you choose a well-made probiotic, with a very high count of CFUs.
14. Panax Ginseng
Panax ginseng has been around the health and fitness world for decades. In fact, it’s actually been used as an herbal remedy in Asia for centuries.
It has many reported benefits including aiding in cognition, endurance, and of course, fat loss. Like a B12 shot, you can quickly tell once you have taken panax ginseng and it is commonly added to a wide variety of health-related products.
15. Green Tea
Green tea may be the only warm beverage that is better for fat loss than coffee. That’s because green tea has a whole host of other bioactive compounds besides caffeine that can benefit your health.
This includes EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), as well as l-theanine — both of which provide important antioxidant effects. On top of that, l-theanine also plays a critical role in keeping you calm and focused.
Green tea itself is a little different than the extract — green tea extract generally has much higher concentrations of EGCG, which can become toxic if you take too much.
Capsaicin is another frequently used weight loss ingredient. It works by increasing energy expenditure, as well as enhancing fat oxidation.
If you are not familiar, capsaicin is extracted from cayenne pepper, and the thermogenic effects of something spicy, are fairly obvious. Research remains mixed on just how effective capsaicin is for fat loss, but there don’t appear to be any adverse effects associated with it.
17. Synephrine (Bitter Orange Extract)
Synephrine is another great fat burner. It has adrenergic effects and is commonly added to many different pre-workout products.
It is frequently combined with caffeine and seems to have stimulant-like effects, though it is not technically a stimulant. The thermogenic effects of synephrine are not well-studied, but it does appear to be effective when it comes to fat loss.
18. Green Tea Leaf Extract
As opposed to green tea itself, green tea leaf extract (GTLE) has its own unique properties. In addition to promoting fat loss, GTLE may also help to improve liver functioning. However, it can become toxic to your liver at extremely high dosages.
One of the best benefits associated with GTLE is the regulation of weight-loss related hormones. These hormones help to increase your body’s temperature, which means you end up burning more calories.
Tyrosine is an amino acid, which amongst other things, has mood-enhancing effects. It is made from another amino acid (phenylalanine) but it is most commonly taken in supplement form.
Since tyrosine helps to promote your body’s production of dopamine, it is most closely associated with improvements in depression and mood.
But there is also some evidence that tyrosine may help to increase your adrenaline and noradrenaline levels as well, which may in turn, aid in fat loss.
The most famous of all stimulants, caffeine is quite an interesting substance. It works by binding to adenosine receptors, which help to promote feelings of calmness, relaxation and tiredness. Since caffeine blocks these receptors from working, we feel more alert, energetic, and aggressive.
However, caffeine can quickly become addictive. While, it’s a less serious addiction than hard drugs, over 90% of Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis.
It is seen in nearly every pre-workout product, as well as colas, energy drinks, coffee, teas, and even gum. It has links to weight loss, and it certainly never hurts to add a little bit of caffeine, to your pre-workout stack.