You have likely heard of fat burners. These are supplements that claim to melt fat off your body so you can pack on lean muscle. The first thing to bear in mind is that fat burners are supplements. Fat burners are not magic pills that make fat vanish, replaced with rippling abs.
As part of a serious exercise plan, fat burners are a great supplement to your workout. Some fat burners work by burning fat at the cellular level. Others work by enhancing your metabolism.
There are some fat burners that claim to increase your energy expenditure, and this burns up fat. In any case, fat burners do work.
It is important to get real facts about fat burners. Like most things, you can find a lot of misinformation and plenty of false claims. Legitimate information on fat burners will help you avoid wasting your money or worse—causing harm to yourself.
There are so many products on the market that claim to be fat burners and many legitimate fat burners each of which works in different ways. This guide will give you the facts you need to make informed choices about fat burners. How to utilize fat burners in your workout, and what type of fat burners are likely to work best for you.
What Are Fat Burners?
We need to distinguish fat burners form other products like detoxes that claim to cut your appetite (or completely eliminate it). Fat burners actually cause your body to metabolize fats. This means they are a part of a workout program and frequently a part of a diet program.
That said, fat burners allow you to eat. Fat burners work to oxidize fat as you eat properly and exercise. While different brands will carry varying concentrations of fat burning ingredients, some of the top fat burning chemicals include:
Plain old caffeine is one of the best fat burning supplements around, and it is plentiful. Beyond simply having a couple of cups of good strong coffee, many fat burner supplements contain caffeine to boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. Studies show that caffeine substantially increases your metabolism.
Green tea extract
This is found in many common fat burner supplements. Green tea contains hefty amounts of caffeine. It also contains a chemical called polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCD) that burns fat. Research has shown that EGCG burns fat so efficiently that it can also help combat obesity and fatty liver disease. When green tea extract and caffeine are taken together they produce a metabolic process called thermogenesis that burns through fat and calories.
A high protein diet naturally burns fat and calories. When you use protein powder you supplement this natural process. Protein boosts your metabolism and simultaneously curbs your appetite. Since the protein is readily available for muscle protein synthesis, you gain lean muscle as you burn fat. Protein reduces the production of a hormone called ghrelin that is instrumental in signaling hunger. This means a protein powder supplement reduces physiological hunger mechanisms.
Soluble fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract and reduces your hunger. It also suppresses the production of hunger hormones. More importantly, studies have demonstrated the soluble fiber helps burn fat as it curbs your appetite.
These are just a few of the common natural fat burners. While you can get these things from natural sources, many reputable fat burner supplements contain these natural ingredients among other things.
What Do Fat Burners Do?
The active ingredients in fat burners generally perform two functions. They either reduce your appetite or they actively metabolize fats in your body. Most do both.
We naturally break down fats as a source of energy as part of normal physiological functions.
The problem for many of us is that fats have exceeded our body’s capacity to use them. We need a way to burn the excess fat. Caffeine, for example, increases metabolism and this causes a higher demand for fuel for our bodies. As a result, our bodies burn excess fats.
Other components of fat burners cause thermogenic reactions in the body that actively consume fats. When these are combined with a metabolic boost like you get from caffeine, you get an extremely effective fat burning supplement.
You should be advised that fat burners cannot counter a poor diet that consists of too many fats and carbs. Fat burners are designed to work within a complete program that consists of a balanced diet and exercise.
What Types of Fat Burners are There?
Fat burners come in several types. Besides the simple natural fat burners listed above, there are a few categories to look for:
Thermogenic Fat Burners
Our bodies are always working and as a result, we are always burning calories. The process that functions to burn calories at a bassline level is called thermogenesis. Thermogenic fat burners boost this metabolic process and effectively heat up our bodies. These include caffeine and green tea extract. Theacrine is another chemical used in thermogenic fat burners. It has a chemical structure that is similar to caffeine but works much more efficiently.
Stimulant-free Fat Burners
Some people cannot tolerate caffeine and other stimulants. In place of these, there are fat burners that work without these stimulants. One of the main stimulant-free fat burners is fucoxanthin, a chemical found in seaweed and other marine plants. This is chemically similar to vitamin A and beta carotene both of which will inhibit the production of fat cells.
These do exactly what they sound like. Rather than relying on dangerous chemicals, many fat burners that contain appetite suppressant use natural ingredients like saffron extract and grapefruit essential oil. These are natural appetite suppressants.
Do Fat Burners Work?
The short answer to this is yes. Fat burners work. There are some catches to this, however. Fat burners are not like old fashioned “diet pills” that were really nothing more than high doses of caffeine and appetite suppressants. Fat burners are meant to supplement a regimen of exercise and a balanced diet.
What is more, some of these fat burners, particularly the type that contains stimulants, may make you feel fatigued after a workout. The boost of energy you get from taking a fat burner that contains stimulants can often lead to a post-workout crash. If you have ever had too much coffee, you know what this feels like.
Fat burners are not all that different than a sugar rush that fills you with energy but leaves you feeling spent. Just use fat burners carefully, listen to your body, and use caution until you know how you will react to a fat burner supplement.
Take fat burners sensibly and combine them with a healthy lifestyle, and yes, they do work.
Are Fat Burners Safe?
For the most part, fat burners are safe. People have experienced anxiety, headaches, and nausea while using fat burners. Most of these symptoms are associated with things like caffeine and the chemical makeup of green tea extract. These are not serious health issues, but you may want to experiment by using caution as you begin using fat burners.
There are reports of rare cases of liver problems associated with some fat burners. One study showed that the use of fat burners that contain multiple natural extracts did lead to liver toxicity.
Fat Burner Side Effects
As described above, there can be side effects from taking fat burners. The most common side effects are anxiety and over-stimulation from caffeine.
Green tea extract can cause anxiety and nausea. In rare cases, people may experience diarrhea.
Some people have experienced abdominal pain and constipation from fat burner supplements. This would be a sign that you need to use a different type of fat burner.
Some people may experience increased heart rate and high blood pressure while taking fat burner supplements. If you experience this, you need to stop taking them immediately. These side effects are not common, but they are serious when they occur.
These side effects can be managed by paying attention to the ingredients in the fat burners you are using. If you find that you do not tolerate stimulants well, you will need to switch to a non-stimulant fat burner.
There are numerous variations of fat burners. If you do not tolerate one type, you can simply switch to another. If you find that you experience side effects from fat burners in general, you should cease taking them altogether. There are rare cases of serious complications from fat burner supplements.
What Is In The Best Fat Burners?
The best products on the market all tend to rely on the same six ingredients. There are variations from one to the next, but you will find these components in the most effective fat burners.
- Caffeine: stimulant and appetite suppressant.
- Green tea extract: Stimulant and appetite suppressant.
- L-Theanine: Lowers cortisol levels which reduces stress. It also reduces appetite.
- L-Tyrosine: Accelerates thermogenesis.
- Forskolin: This is primarily for men since it promotes the production of testosterone. This promotes lean muscle mass.
- 5-HTP: Reduces appetite and lowers stress levels associated with over-eating.
There are many more ingredients in fat burners, far too many to list. Most rely on some variation of the things listed above and include things like protein powder and other natural supplements.
How Do I Know If My Fat Burner Is Working?
Fat burners take time to produce results. They are not magic pills that whisk away fat. Give yourself 2-3 weeks of taking fat burners to start looking for results.
If you are sticking to a balanced diet and an exercise program along with fat burner supplements, you should start to see significant weight loss and the addition of lean muscle within the first 4-6 weeks. If you find that you are not seeing the results you are after, try using a different fat burner supplement. Not all work for everyone.
Fat Burner FAQS
What are Fat Burners?
Fat burners are supplements that contain components known to help accelerate metabolism and burn fats in the body.
What is in Fat Burners?
Most reputable fat burners contain a mix of natural ingredients like caffeine, green tea extract, and protein powder.
How do Fat Burners Work?
Fat burners work by increasing the natural metabolic processes that burn fat in the body. This process is called thermogenesis. They are also combined with natural appetite suppressants to increase the effect of reducing fat.
Are Fat Burners Safe?
Yes, fat burners are generally safe. As with any supplement, you need to be aware of the chemical components and how you may react to them. If you are sensitive to stimulants, for instance, you will need to use a non-stimulant fat burner supplement.
Do Fat Burners Work?
Yes, fat burners have been clinically proven to reduce fat and help with building lean muscle.
Wrapping things up
Most of us have at least heard about fat burners. If you are at all in tune with gym culture or weight loss discussions, you have almost certainly heard about, and wondered about fat burners.
As with most anything else, there is plenty of buzz about fat burners, but not as much real information. Fat burners do work, and they are safe. What we detail in this guide are the facts about fat burners that will help you make some informed decisions about including fat burner supplements as part of your diet and exercise regimen.
One thing to always bear in mind is those fat burners are supplements. They are not diet pills or weight loss pills. Fat burners only work if you take them as part of routine exercise and a balanced diet.
Since fat burners work with your natural biological functions and processes, they take a natural path toward burning fat and building lean muscle. A combination of appetite suppression and boosts to your body’s natural system of metabolizing fat work to help you shed pounds and get the lean muscular body you are after.