If you've ever taken a stim-heavy fat burner, you've probably felt the after-effects—jitters, irritability, racing heart, perhaps the inability to sleep, and the list goes on.
But you've likely also felt some benefits of a stim fat burner—increased alertness, more focus, better lifts. Its upsides are the reason people turn to them.
While fat burners work, the lengthy list of side effects that come with them can be enough to turn even the most desperate of people off; when you dig into them, you'll find that they tend to do more damage in the long-run than anything else.
As a result, many manufacturers are creating stim-free versions claimed to help you shed fat without the nasty effects and reliance.
If you're a bit skeptical of whether they actually work, we're going to shed some light on the ins and outs of stim-free fat burners and finally answer the begging question - are stim-free fat burners are actually worth the investment?
Why Are Stimulants So Effective For Fat Burning?
For most fat burners, caffeine is the primary ingredient, and there's a decent amount of research out there to support its efficacy.
In general, stimulants help enhance arousal and alertness, increase energy, elevate mood, and increase thermogenesis. Regarding boosting your workouts and enhancing fat burn, they help to 1, 2:
- Enhance cognitive function and focus
- Reduce mental and physical fatigue
- Increase blood pressure and heart rate = greater oxygen and nutrient delivery
- Enhance power and speed
- May boost fat oxidation and spare muscle glycogen
Like all other stimulants, caffeine does this by increasing sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, which in turn ramps up the secretion of catecholamines like cortisol and epinephrine.
Increasing levels of these hormones floating around the body stimulates thermogenesis and fat oxidation and decreases fat accumulation 2. And when these hormones are high, it also suppresses appetite to reduce caloric intake.
And while the benefits seem all well and good, what about the dark side of caffeine manufacturers don't advertise?
The Side Effects Of Stimulants
If you've ever taken stimulants close to bedtime, you know the most obvious effect—it interferes with your ability to sleep. But aside from affecting sleep patterns, caffeine has quite a long list of side effects associated with both short-term and chronic consumption. These include:
- Jitters and trembling
- Nervousness and restlessness
- Stomach irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heart palpitations
- Elevated blood pressure
- Stress hormone imbalances
- Mood swings
- Gastrointestinal problems
Those don't sound like things you want to be dealing with, do they?
The Other Stim Suspects In Fat Burners
Green Tea Extract
You'll often see GTE in weight loss supplements because it's rich in a biologically active polyphenol called epigallocatechin‐3‐gallate (EGCG), which stimulates fat oxidation by directly inhibiting catechol‐O‐methyltransferase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down norepinephrine 3; norepinephrine functions to maintain sympathetic nervous system activity to increase fatty acid mobilization and oxidation for fuel. But in high doses, GTE can be toxic to the liver 4, not to mention cause mild constipation, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and increased blood pressure.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee bean is also used as a fat-burning agent due to the presence of chlorogenic acid; a compound believed to have potent weight loss potential. But the reason coffee doesn't do the same job is that chlorogenic acid levels are reduced during roasting.
Several rodent studies suggest GCBE may have potential as an anti-obesity agent by inhibiting fat absorption and activating fat metabolism in the liver 5, or possibly mediating plasma adipokine levels and body fat distribution, and downregulating fatty acid and cholesterol production, while also increasing fatty acid beta-oxidation activity 6.
Why Choose A Stim-Free Fat Burner
Stim-free fat burners are pretty much like they sound—they contain zero stimulants. But contrary to what most people think, a stim-free fat burner can be just as effective, if not more, than its stimulant-containing counterpart—that is, if you find the right one.
And when you look at the side effects of stimulant-containing fat burners, it's pretty obvious why you may opt for a non-stim one. So, let's put all the myths of stim-free fat burners being ineffective aside and unpack the benefits of a good stim-free vegan fat burner.
Caffeine is one of the most popular choices for a thermogenic agent because it stimulates pathways that aid in fat loss. As a central nervous system stimulant, it sends out adrenaline bursts and mobilizes fatty acids from adipose and/or intramuscular stores for fuel 7.
However, caffeine can also be problematic because it causes excessive release of catecholamines like adrenaline and cortisol, which slightly negates any of the hard work you're putting in at the gym and in the kitchen.
Long-term overstimulation of the nervous system and endocrine glands leaves you in chronic stress mode and increases the risk of weight gain and fat accumulation.
But for stim-free fat burners, they rely on other ingredients that burn fat instead of depending primarily on nervous system activation that burns your endocrine glands.
Burn Lab Pro is a mix of five potent ingredients designed to enhance overall performance and function, increase training intensity and results, maximize fat loss, and speed up recovery.
Forskolin (ForsLean): Derived from the root of the coleus forskohlii plant, forskolin is an effective fat burner because of its ability to act directly on adenylate cyclase, an enzyme that activates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) to promote the breakdown of stored fat. Essentially, forskolin stimulates the body's thermogenic response to increase basal metabolic rate (BMR) and increase mobilization and body fat utilization, helping you burn more fat and burn it more effectively 8.
Cayenne Pepper Extract (Capsimax): Capsaicin, the active constituent of cayenne pepper, is another potent thermogenic agent that stimulates fat burn while also suppressing appetite. Through activation of the sympathetic nervous system, capsaicin stimulates the release of catecholamines that promote increased energy and enhanced lipid metabolism 9. One study showed that participants taking capsaicinoids for 12 weeks experienced a 5.91% greater loss of fat mass than those taking a placebo 10. But there are more reasons to use capsaicin 9, 11:
- Improves metabolic and hormonal function
- Reduces insulin and leptin resistance (appetite control)
- Enhances energy expenditure
- Induces thermogenesis
- Boosts weight loss and increases lipolysis
HMB: Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, also known as HMB, is becoming more popular in natural fat-burning supplements because it is a byproduct of leucine metabolism that elicits profound effects on performance 12, 13. While it doesn't have as much of an impact on fat burning, it's a potent anti-catabolic agent that helps to decrease plasma markers of muscle damage, decrease protein degradation, reduce the inflammatory response, and attenuate muscle damage and resulting muscle soreness to get you back into the gym faster.
NutriGenesis GTF Chromium: Chromium plays a more 'behind the scenes' role in fat loss by regulating glucose and insulin function. Burn Lab Pro leverages the ability of chromium's insulin-enhancing activities to help regulate blood glucose levels and prevent fat storage. The form used in BLP, GTF Chromium, is the only form shown to enhance insulin sensitivity, which may be because of inhibition of tumor-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a cytokine that inhibits the sensitivity and action of insulin 14.
Bioperine Black Pepper Extract: Piperine, the active component of black pepper, is a surprisingly effective supplement for increasing energy expenditure and fat loss. It enhances the secretion of catecholamines, primarily epinephrine, which reduces fat production and accumulation, enhances metabolic performance, and elevates thermogenesis in resting muscle 15, 16. But black pepper also helps to enhance absorption of essential nutrients; increased absorption means better efficacy of every single ingredient in Burn Lab Pro to maximize your results.
Benefits Of A Stim-Free Fat Burner
So, why choose a stim-free fat burner?
1. More Stable Energy
No caffeine means no crash—it's one of the most significant benefits of a stim-free fat burner. Caffeine increases alertness and energy by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, but once the caffeine is metabolized, adenosine binds, and fatigue sets in.
Not to mention that short-term metabolic studies show that caffeine intake may acutely lower insulin sensitivity and increase blood glucose concentrations 17. When blood glucose eventually falls back down, your energy also goes down with it.
With a stim-free blend, energy is being produced in your body as opposed to being supplemented exogenously.
2. Equally Effective Results
Burn Lab Pro is specifically formulated to enhance overall athletic performance and maximize fat loss without relying on the effects of stimulants.
It Increases fat mobilization and burning; stimulates thermogenesis to rev metabolism and maximizes calorie burn; suppresses appetite, regulates blood sugar; boosts muscle strength, growth, and performance; and preserves lean muscle and accelerates recovery.
All of this in a 100% stim-free formula designed to naturally enhance energy and get you're the results you're looking for.
3. Better Performance
HMB, GTF Chromium, and ForsLean forskolin combine to enhance fuel substrates for hard-working muscles. Together, they buffer muscles during exertion and stimulate growth factors, anabolic hormones, and muscle protein synthesis (MPS) after training to help muscles recover better and faster.
All of this contributes to increased lean muscle mass and training performance by boosting rates of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and stimulating the generation of new mitochondria (cell powerhouses).
Long story short, stim-free fat burns are effective. Period. They use better ingredients to naturally stimulate the body's fat-burning abilities without leaving your hormones all over the map.
So, next time you require a good fat burner, do yourself a favor and opt for the stim-free blend.
We promise you'll get the results you want. And if you're in need of a bit of a kick, don't hesitate to combine it with Performance Lab Stim—a controlled dose of caffeine to give you that slight edge in your next workout.
- JL Temple, C Bernard, SE Lipshultz, JD Czachor, JA Westphal, MA Mestre. The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review. Front Psychiatry. 2017;8:80. Published 2017 May 26.
- A Belza, E Frandsen, J Kondrup. Body fat loss is achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by combining bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007;31(1):121-130.
- RT Borchardt, JA Huber. Catechol O-methyltransferase. 5. Structure-activity relationships for inhibition by flavonoids. J Med Chem. 1975 Jan; 18(1): 120-122.
- LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012-. Green Tea. [Updated 2020 Nov 20]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547925/
- H Shimoda, E Seki, M Aitani. Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006;6:9. Published 2006 Mar 17.
- AS Cho, SM Jeon, MJ Kim, et al. Chlorogenic acid exhibits anti-obesity property and improves lipid metabolism in high-fat diet-induced-obese mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010;48(3):937-943.
- AE Jeukendrup, R Randell. Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obesity Reviews. 2011 Oct; 12(10): 841-851.
- S Henderson, B Magu, C Rasmussen, et al. Effects of coleus forskohlii supplementation on body composition and hematological profiles in mildly overweight women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005; 2(2): 54-62.
- MP Lejeune, EM Kovacs, MS Westerterp-Plantenga. Effect of capsaicin on substrate oxidation and weight maintenance after modest body-weight loss in human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2003 Sep; 90(3): 651-59.
- J Rogers, SL Urbina, LW Taylor, et al. Capsaicinoids supplementation decreases percent body fat and fat mass: adjustment using covariates in a post hoc analysis. BMC Obes. 2018;5:22.
- M Yoshioka, S St-Pierre, V Drapeau, I Dionne, E Doucet, M Suzuki, A Tremblay. Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. Br J Nutr. 1999 Aug; 82(2): 115-23.
- GJ Wilson, JM Wilson, AH Manninen. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: A review. Nutr Metab. 2008 Jan; 5(1).
- LB Panton, JA Rathmacher, S Baier, S Nissen. Nutritional supplementation of the leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (hmb) during resistance training. Nutrition. 2000 Sep;16(9): 734-9.
- MF McCarty. The therapeutic potential of glucose tolerance factor. Med Hypotheses. 1980 Nov; 6(11): 1177-89.
- T Kawada, S Sakabe, T Watanabe, M Yamamoto, K Iwai. Some pungent principles of spices cause the adrenal medulla to secrete catecholamine in anesthetized rats. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1988 Jun; 188(2): 229-33.
- L Nogara, N Naber, E Pate, M Canton, C Reggiani, R Cooke. Piperine's mitigation of obesity and diabetes can be explained by its up-regulation of the metabolic rate of resting muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(46): 13009-13014.
- RM van Dam, WJ Pasman, P Verhoef. Effects of coffee consumption on fasting blood glucose and insulin concentrations: randomized controlled trials in healthy volunteers. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(12):2990-2992.