What are fat burners and do they work?
Fat burners, sometimes called thermogenics, are a class of supplements that claim to help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism, blocking carbs and fats, metabolising fat more quickly, and/or reducing your appetite
Fat burner supplements will usually contain a combination of ingredients that are designed to have a synergistic effect, and will more often than not contain at least one stimulant.
While there's evidence that fat burners can boost your metabolism and curb your appetite, thereby indirectly contributing to your weight-loss goals, there's no direct evidence that they will directly help you burn fat.
What are some common fat-burning supplements?
Fat burners run the gamut from stimulants that boost metabolism to herbal extracts that act as appetite suppressants. Here are some of the most common fat burners on the market today. And don’t forget to check out VORA Good Shape Protein, which contains a few safe fat burners including green tea and the amino acid l-carnitine.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to boost your metabolism, reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. It also contains catechins and EGCG, which both increase thermogenesis in the body.
The caffeine content in green tea extract is thought to help weight loss by boosting metabolism and increasing energy expenditure.
Yohimbe is a tropical tree that grows in Africa and Asia. It's been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac, but it also contains compounds that are thought to boost energy levels and improve sexual performance. It also stimulates the production of dopamine, which is a hormone that helps regulate movement and emotion. Yohimbe has been shown to boost athletic performance by increasing oxygen consumption, but it has not been proven to be effective for weight loss.
Yohimbe also increases your heart rate and blood pressure, so it's not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or people with heart conditions or high blood pressure.
Caffeine is a stimulant that's found in many foods and drinks, including coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. It speeds up your heart rate and blood flow, which can temporarily increase energy levels. Caffeine may also suppress appetite by affecting the hormones responsible for hunger signals. In addition to being found in food products, caffeine is available as an ingredient in some weight-loss supplements.
Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit that's been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It's most commonly known as a weight-loss supplement and is marketed as an appetite suppressant. The substance found in garcinia cambogia that may help with weight loss is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA blocks an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body needs to make fat from carbohydrates.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that's found in meat, fish and other animal products but also can be consumed through supplements. It helps your body produce energy by transporting fatty acids into cells where they're broken down to use as fuel.
Forskolin is a plant-based compound that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It's also an ingredient in some weight-loss supplements and a popular ingredient in natural skin care products. Preliminary research suggests forskolin may help with weight loss by promoting the breakdown of fat cells.
Glucomannan is a plant-based fiber that can help you feel full. It's also used to treat constipation and may improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Preliminary research shows that glucomannan may be able to reduce appetite.
Keto fat burners
Keto is all the rage in nutrition circles, and it's not hard to work out why. The ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, has been shown to help with weight loss, improve brain function and reduce inflammation.
But you don't need to follow the diet to take advantage of the energy-boosting benefits of ketones, the metabolites that are produced when the body burns fat. You can take ketone supplements, which are available at most health food stores and online.
Do fat burners work?
The short answer is yes, but not in the way you may have imagined. Fat burners don't actually burn fat directly. You still need to watch your calorie intake and exercise regularly if you want to lose weight. But fat burners can give you an extra boost when you need it, depending on the specific compounds you take.
For example, a supplement containing caffeine can give you an added boost of energy that allows you to push yourself a little harder in the gym, while an appetite suppressant can help you feel full longer so you don't overeat.
This is probably a good time to warn you that fat burners aren't a magic pill. They don't work for everyone and some may even cause side effects like jitters or nausea if you take too much. So it's important to talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss program, including taking fat burners.
Fat burners pre-workout or post-workout: when is the best time to take fat burners?
The best time to take a fat burner is first thing in the morning. This is when your metabolism is at its lowest, so taking a fat burner at this time will help to kickstart your metabolism into gear.
Having a VORA Good Shape Protein shake for breakfast is a great way to get your morning protein fix. Good Shape Protein contains some gentle fat burners like l-carnitine, green tea extract and Siberian ginseng.
Another good time to take a fat burner is before a workout, as this can boost your energy levels and help you to train harder.
Just avoid fat burners before bed, especially if they contain caffeine, as this can disrupt your sleep.
The bottom line is that fat burners shouldn't be used as a shortcut. They're not meant to make up for poor diet and exercise habits, so don't expect them to work miracles. However, used correctly, they can definitely help you achieve your weight loss goals—just make sure to set realistic expectations along the way.