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Top 7 Best Fat Burning Supplements

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Fat burners are an extremely popular category in today’s supplement marketplace. Hundreds of product choices bombard us, with something newer and more powerful appearing on a seemingly monthly basis. Our culture is one of instant gratification and has created an expectational standard of quick, definitive results. Fat burners fall into this realm, often promising rapid changes without the necessity of further behavioral or lifestyle modifications. It’s easy to become convinced by clever marketing that adding these “magic bullets” to your fitness routine will help you fast-track the physical transformation that you crave, particularly if you’ve hit a plateau. The question is, are they all they are touted to be? This article is designed to examine fat burners as a whole, and provide honest information about five solid options to help you make a wise choice should you decide to try one.

Choosing a fat burner can be both confusing and frustrating if you’re not sure what to look for, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the ingredients. British nutritionist Anita Bean offers six sound pieces of advice for performing your due diligence1:

1. Choose reputable manufacturers that have available scientific evidence to back their claims.
2. Look for companies that have gone through voluntary product certification. Informed Sport and NSF Certified for Sport both offer this   service. Certification will be listed on the label and shows that the product has undergone independent testing for banned substances.
3. Choose products that are pharmaceutical grade.
4. Stick with products that list every ingredient and quantity of each on the label; avoid those with proprietary blend listed on the label, as there is no way of exactly knowing what’s in them.
5. Certified products still pose a risk for a positive drug test.
6. Contamination is less likely with certified supplements.

Two Important factors to consider are:

7. Make sure the product ingredient list contains no compounds, complexes, matrixes, multiple unnamed element blends, formulas, or other components listed as a percentage or in milligrams of the total product without specifying particular ingredient quantities.
8. Avoid buying products on-line that don’t have a complete ingredient list available.
When you’re ready to start reviewing product labels, keep in mind that some products contain ingredients that have scientific studies demonstrating a small degree of effectiveness, such as:

  • Caffeine: Has been shown to increase metabolic rate, which causes a thermogenic effect that leads to enhanced fat-burning capability. Clinical research shows caffeine has less than 20% effect on fat metabolism2.
  • Green Tea: Alone has relatively small effects on fat metabolism; works best when combined with caffeine, and can sustain energy expenditure and increase fat oxidation3.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Human studies show a weak positive effect on the signaling receptor PPAR, which is involved in fat metabolism. May promote modest fat loss in dosages around 3 grams per day when used long-term4.
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract: Cholinergic Acid is the active ingredient and influences fat metabolism, but the mechanism of action is not clearly understood. Research demonstrates that Green Coffee Bean Extract may slightly reduce body weight5.
  • Naringenin: These are bioflavonoids found in grapefruit; they help the liver break down fat and increase insulin sensitivity6.
  • Cayenne: The active element, capsaicin, increases thermogenesis, which contributes to reducing body fat7.
  • Cinnamon: Contains flavonoids called Type A procyanidins, which transport glucose. It improves fat metabolism by managing insulin levels8.
  • Theobromine: Has no fat-burning capability; increases insulin sensitivity and improves blood glucose. Users should limit intake of isolated theobromine to 45 grams per day9.
  • Piperine: This element as no specific fat-burning capabilities but does aid in supplement metabolism.
These items have shown potential, but lack documented concrete evidence:

  • Forskolin: There is only one published study; intake of 250mg of 10% extract twice daily for two weeks yielded an 11.23% body fat decrease10.
  • L-Carnitine: Not enough clinical research data exist to support the theory of increased fat oxidation2.
  • Taurine: Not enough data clinical research is available to evaluate its fat burning effects; there has only been one study to date11.
  • Pyruvate: A meta-analysis of six studies showed an average weight loss of .72kg per individual12.
  • Fucoxanthin: This element is found in edible brown seaweed; only one human study to date has been published2.
  • Garcinia Cambogia: Results in human studies to date have been unreliable; this ingredient may have limited potential, with a possibility of up to 2kg weight loss over three months13,14.
  • Chromium: may support blood sugar stabilization, but there is not enough evidence supporting its fat-burning capability2.
  • Raspberry Ketones: Very few human studies have been done, and have yielded conflicting results. Test tube and animal studies demonstrate the need for very high amounts of the element to produce any discernable fat-burning benefits15.
The following ingredients have insufficient data to show clear effectiveness4,16:

  • White Willow Bark
  • Dandelion
  • Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Hordenine
  • Tetradecyl Thioacetic Acid
  • Inositol
These elements have documented safety concerns4,16:

  • Yohimbe
  • Blue Skullcap
  • Ma Huang
  • Synepherine
  • Guarana
  • DHEA
  • 2,4 Dinitrophenol
  • DMAA – This has been taken off the market
  • Ephedra, Joint-pine, Jointfir, Mormon-tea or Brigham Tea, and Sea Grape are all banned by the FDA
Unfortunately, there are very few human studies proving the effectiveness of many ingredients contained in fat burners. It’s also important to understand that unlike prescription and over the counter medications, there is no mandatory regulatory oversite of supplements to ensure safety and quality control. Keep in mind that any healthy nutrient, even water, ingested in excessive quantities beyond our daily physiologic need can become toxic and produce serious side effects. You will notice that this list is comprised of products with no artificial elements, no ingredients linked to a safety risk, and none lacking in studies showing at least a potential efficacy. So, finally, here are the top five supplements that may be the most beneficial and least harmful:

Top 7 Best Fat Burning Supplements

1. Instant Knockout

Manufacturer: Roar Ambition Ltd.
  • Vitamin B6 5mg
  • Vitamin B12 10mcg
  • Zinc 10mg
  • GTF Chromium 100mcg
  • Green Tea Extract 500mg
  • Green Coffee Extract 100mg
  • Cayenne Powder 100mg
  • Glucomannan 1800mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous 300mg
  • Black Pepper Extract 10mg
  • Quality control is regulated in both UK and US manufacturing facilities.
  • Product contains no banned or synthetic substances
  • Claims to boost metabolism, increase energy, and reduce hunger
  • Contains natural stimulants, and should be used with caution by people with caffeine sensitivity; side effects reported by users
  • Product is pricey, at $59.00 for a one month supply, and is sold only through the manufacturer’s website
  • Lack of on-line clinical data demonstrating substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Independent and user reviews report mixed fat-loss results
  • Zinc may have properties that act as a catalyst for fat metabolism, but it’s fat-burning properties are unknown.

2. Burner TEK

Manufacturer: TEK Naturals
  • Niacin 20mg
  • Vitamin B6 10mg
  • Vitamin B12 500mcg
  • Chromium 100mcg
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract 500mg
  • Glucomannan 500mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous 300mg
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract 100mg
  • Garcinia Fruit Extract 150mg
  • L-Carnitine 145mg
  • Cayenne Pepper Fruit Powder 100mg
  • Turmeric Root Powder 100mg
  • Produced by an FDA registered facility
  • States that it is safe for men and women
  • Claims to suppress appetite, burn stored fat, and block fat storage
  • Mid-range price ($59.00 per month with a 10% off coupon)
  • Positive independent reviews
  • Contains natural stimulants, and should be used with caution by people with caffeine sensitivity; side effects reported by users
  • Lack of on-line clinical data demonstrating substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Garcinia Cambogia has not shown proven results
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, but no known fat-burning effects
  • Can only purchase product on Amazon and manufacturer’s website
  • Very few user reviews

3.       Finaflex ALC+CLA

Manufacturer: Finaflex (Redefine Nutrition)


  • Safflower Oil Powder 1920 milligrams
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL 800mg


  • Claims to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass
  • low-range price ($26.26 – 35.99 per two-month supply)
  • Contains all natural ingredients
  • Product is stimulant-free


  • Very few user reviews
  • Lack of online clinical data demonstrating substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product

4. CLA Core

Manufacturer: Muscle Pharm
  • CLA Core Blend (Conjugated Linoleic Acids, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil) 1000mg
  • Very inexpensive ($17.99 for 90 soft gels, $27.99 for 180 soft gels)
  • Claims to increase metabolic rate, decrease body fat
  • Contains no stimulants
  • Produced in facilities that have NSF Sport for GMP certification
  • Available for purchase on multiple sites
  • No indicated daily dosage on label
  • CLA blend does not break down and list amounts of each component
  • Lack of on-line clinical data demonstrating substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Produced in a location that uses allergic ingredients such as peanuts, shellfish, soybeans, and milk
  • Fat-burning properties of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Avocado Oil are unknown\
  • GI and skin eruption side effects have been reported
  • Independent and user reviews are mixed
  • Parent company was involved in a lawsuit in 2014 over a separate product

5. Lean Mode

Manufacturer: Evolution Nutrition
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid Powder 1000mg
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine 100mg
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract 200mg
  • Garcinia Cambogia Extract 200mg
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract 100mg
  • Does not have stimulants
  • Claims to support fat burning, appetite control, energy, mood, and metabolism
  • Available for purchase on multiple sites
  • Reasonably priced at $22.99 for 30 day supply
  • User reviews are mainly favorable
  • Lack of on-line clinical data demonstrating substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Produced in a location that uses allergic ingredients: milk
  • Independent reviews are mixed
  • GI side effects have been reported

6. Quadralean

Manufacturer: RSP Nutrition
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid 500mg
  • Garcinia Cambogia 500mg
  • Raspberry Ketones 250mg
  • Quadralean TM Carnitine Blend (Acetyl-Carnitine, Propionyl-Carnitine, Carnitine Titrate) 500mg
  • Claims to support lean mass, fat loss, appetite control, and metabolism
  • Moderately priced at $28.99 for a 25-day supply
  • Available for purchase on multiple sites
  • Product is stimulant-free
  • Lack of on-line clinical data proving substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Both independent and user reviews are mixed
  • Some users report GI issues and elevated heart rate
  • Daily dosage is six capsules per day
  • More clinical research is necessary to prove that raspberry ketones have a clear fat-burning effect

7. Tri Adalean

Manufacturer: Covaxil Laboratories


  • Niacin 25mg
  • Triadalean Proprietary Blend (945mg) containing:
  • Citrus extract
  • Caffeine
  • Guarana Extract
  • a-Phenylethylamine, Phenylethane -2-amine (from Chlorella algae powder)
  • B-Phenylethylamine, a-Methylbenzyl amine (from  Shali seed powder)
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA), 1-Phenylethylamine (from Klamath Blue Green Algae Powder
  • Theobromine (from Coca seed extract)


  • Claims to increase metabolism, promote fat oxidation, and burn calories
  • Low-range price ($29.99 per month)
  • Contains all natural ingredients
  • May improve energy levels


  • The main ingredient is a proprietary blend containing natural stimulants, and should be used with caution by people with caffeine sensitivity; side effects reported by users
  • Lack of on-line clinical data demonstrating substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Guarana has documented safety concerns
  • Mediocre independent and customer reviews
The Top 7 have been chosen, but two others deserve recognition which didn’t make the cut because one includes an ingredient from the “Safety Concern” list, and the other is primarily composed of a proprietary blend. Thus, both are being granted “honorable mention” status. Here they are:


Manufacturer: Green Bracket LLC
  • Meratrim (a branded proprietary blend of sphaeindicus (a flower extract) and garcinia mangostana (mangosteen fruit)) 400mg
  • Chromate (a branded form of chromium poly nicotinate) 100mcg
  • Green Tea Extract 200mg
  • Caffeine 75mg
  • Claims to normalize metabolism and control blood sugar, and tout’s thermogenic properties
  • Is the only supplement of the seven rated that has two published peer-reviewed clinical research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of its main ingredient Meratrim, but they are not FDA approved.
  • The product’s site promotes it as an adjunct to following a healthy diet and exercise routine
  • Is the most expensive of the seven, at $109.95 for a 30 day supply
  • Contains a natural stimulant; people sensitive to caffeine should avoid this product; GI side effects have been reported
  • Ingredients include two proprietary blends
  • Can be purchased exclusively from the product website
  • Very few independent reviews which are mixed; user reviews other than the testimonials on the company website are mostly negative
  • Lots of issues with customer service
Manufacturer: Optimum Nutra Inc.
  • Green Tea 375mg
  • Caffeine 270mg
  • L-Theanine 225mg
  • L-Carnitine 200mg
  • L-Tyrosine 200mg
  • Panax Ginseng 120mg
  • Guarana Seed 100mg
  • Magnesium 80MG
  • Cayenne Pepper 50mg
  • Niacin 20mg
  • Zinc 15mg
  • Black Pepper Extract 6mg
  • Vitamin B6 1.8mg
  • Vitamin B2 1.7mg
  • Vitamin B1 1.3mg
  • Vitamin B12 10mcg
  • Claims to burn fat and calories, boost energy, health, and mental clarity
  • Claims to be scientifically backed and manufactured at a certified facility
  • Includes links to published research on some of the ingredients in the References section
  • Can buy at the official website, Amazon, Walmart, and GNC
  • Lack of on-line clinical data showing substantial fat-burning effects of any of the product’s ingredients; No links to published clinical research for product
  • Independent reviews are mixed; very few user reviews available
  • Not recommended for vegetarians
  • Contains natural stimulants; people sensitive to caffeine should avoid this product; GI side effects have been reported
  • Product is pricey, at $59 for a 30-day supply, but can get a discount on purchase of multiple bottles
  • Could be an imitation of Phen375, another fat loss product
  • No customer support network available
  • Contains Guarana, an ingredient with a safety concern due to its high levels of caffeine
Now that you have information in hand to help you evaluate fat-burning supplements, along with a few potential choices that may work for you, there are a few other factors that you will want to consider carefully:

  • Supplements are designed to help with reaching your health and fitness goals and are not intended to be a replacement for a well-designed exercise and nutrition plan. A diet high in protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats that are all unprocessed, coupled with a regular fitness routine that incorporates consistent strength, aerobic, and flexibility training will produce most, if not all the results you desire. If you fall a bit short, a fat-burner might help you get the rest of the way.
  • Each of us is different genetically, and our responses to certain stimuli can vary dramatically. A training routine, nutrition plan, or supplement that works great for someone else may not be the most effective for you. Engaging in some trial and error may be necessary for you to find out what works the best.
  • Avoid using the fitness models and bodybuilders on the product websites as your measuring stick. They don’t necessarily use the products advertised and may have gained their physique through a combination of good genes, a consistently healthy diet, and the right kinds of exercise for their body type.
  • Even though descriptions on product sites may “explain” the science and mechanism of action of individual ingredients, there is little if any published clinical research to back up the claims made regarding the entire compound for the current products on the market.
  • Supplements can have side-effects, even if they are not discussed on the product’s label or website. Be safe, and stop using the item if you start experiencing anything unusual.
  • If you’re taking a prescription medication and/or have a medical condition, you should consult with your physician before starting on a fat-burning supplement regimen.
The bottom line is that taking a fat burner is a personal choice; you don’t ever “need” to use them. Examine your eating and exercise patterns first; is there anything that you can tighten up? If so, implement those changes and track your results for 2-4 months. If not, then choosing a fat burning supplement may be your next step to achieve the fitness goals you’re pursuing.


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