Whether you’re new to the fitness world or not, you’ve probably heard of fat burners before.
People have a preconceived notion that by popping a few pills, your fat is just going to drop off like that...
...Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is that even the best fat burners can't work that kind of magic.
Instead, fat burners are designed with ingredients that help to boost metabolic rate and help you shed fat.
Just remember, a supplement can’t outwork lack of physical activity and a poor diet.
If you’re not familiar with fat burners, here’s what you need to know...
Simply put, fat burners are supplements that are claimed to:
- increase fat metabolism
- impair fat absorption
- enhance weight loss
- increase lipolysis (fat breakdown) during exercise
- or cause long term metabolic adaptations that enhance fat metabolism 1.
These supplements contain a number of different ingredients, each with their own mechanism of action that’s involved in fat breakdown.
When combined, all of these components pack quite the punch on fat calls.
The most commonly used ingredients in fat burners
Different brands will, of course, use different proprietary fat burner blends. But we'll take you through some of the most common additions you’ll see.
Take a look:
Caffeine is a thermogenic.
It’s one of the most well-known stimulants around and is easily absorbed with plasma concentrations peaking about 30-90 minutes after ingestion and effects lasting anywhere from 4-6 hours.
It increases sympathetic nervous system activity, which increases release of adrenaline and released fatty acids from adipose and/or intramuscular stores.
As such, it appears to enhance the availability of fatty acids for oxidation 1. Thus, caffeine may help to mobilize fat stores for energy and spare muscle glycogen.
Performance Lab Caffeine+:
Next-Gen Caffeine Supplement
Performance Lab Caffeine+ is an advanced caffeine pill that can be stacked with non-stimulant fat burners perfectly.
Keeping the user in complete control of their caffeine intake.
L-carnitine is produced endogenously in the body, and is also found in high concentrations in red meat.
Carnitine plays an indirect role in fat metabolism by acting as a carrier molecule to transport long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) into the mitochondria to be burned for fuel.
The belief is that oral ingestion of carnitine increases muscle carnitine, and as muscle carnitine increases, fat oxidation does, too.
However, most studies show that exogenous carnitine supplementation isn’t all it is hyped up to be
Chromium is a trace element that plays an important role in regulating and enhancing the metabolic action of insulin, as well as supporting the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat 4. Insulin resistance leads to fat storage and weight gain.
Green tea extracts
Green tea is rich in specific compounds called catechin polyphenols, the most abundant and biologically active of which is called epigallocatechin‐3‐gallate (EGCG).
It is believed that catechins, specifically EGCG, help to stimulate fat oxidation through direct inhibition of catechol‐O‐methyltransferase, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of norepinephrine 5.
A subsequent increase in SNS stimulation leads to elevated concentrations of catecholamines, which may fatty acid mobilization and oxidation 1.
Combined with the caffeine naturally present in green tea, it has the potential to increase fat metabolism during rest and activity.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
CLA is one of the major fatty acids found in red meats that has been popularized for its ability to act as an anti-obesity agent by decreasing food intake, decreasing lipogenesis (fat production), and increasing energy expenditure, lipolysis (fat breakdown), and fat oxidation 1.
However, many of the studies conducted on CLA and weight loss are done on animals and may not be directly applicable to humans.
Cayenne pepper (capsaicin)
One of the most widely recognized uses of capsaicin in fat burners is for its ability to boost metabolism by turning up the heat your body, thus increasing the number of calories burned.
But it also appears to enhance fat oxidation by stimulating increased release of adrenalin 6, 7.
This is why cayenne pepper extract is included in Burn Lab Pro.
But when it comes to other fat burners on the market, the usual ones that are loaded with caffeine to put you in a thermogenic state can also be stuck in circulation for hours on end.
And not everyone wants to be loaded with caffeine OR still be buzzing 12 hours after taking them...
How long do fat burners really stay in your system?
The effect of fat burners is totally dependent on what is used in them.
If you have a blend that’s loaded with stimulants, the effect is obviously going to be longer lasting than a stimulant-free one.
But remember, longer-lasting doesn’t equate to more effective.
The half-life of caffeine in a healthy individual is about 5 hours, which in simpler terms refers to the amount of time it takes for the amount of caffeine to reduce by half. However, depending on the individual, the elimination half-life may be anywhere from 1.5 to 9.5 hours 8.
If you’re taking a fat burner that’s loaded with caffeine, chances are you’re still going to be feeling the effects (or at least that of caffeine) several hours after ingesting it.
Also remember that more is not necessarily better in the case of fat burners.
Taking more than the recommended dosage will not equate to more fat loss. There’s a fine line between being effective and not, so don’t go overboard.
Burn Lab Pro
Lucky for you, Burn Lab Pro is one of the few fat burners out there that doesn’t have an ounce of caffeine in it.
So, if you find yourself getting jittery after a shot of espresso or a cup of black tea, no need to worry!
It’s the perfect blend of 6 ingredients to promote fat breakdown and mobilization, boost calorie burn during exercise, and help you lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.
And best of all, it’s stimulant-free. So it's not going to stay in your system longer than you want it to...
...meaning you'll be able to sleep at night just fine.
- HMB (B-hydroxy B-methylbutyrate)
- Cayenne pepper extract
- Black pepper extract
- AE Jeukendrup, R Randell. Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obesity Reviews. 2011 Oct; 12(10): 841-851.
- C Barnett, DL Costill, MD Vukovich, KJ Cole, BH Goodpaster, SW Trappe, WJ Fink. Effect of L-carnitine supplementation on muscle and blood carnitine content and lactate accumulation during high-intensity sprint cycling. Int J Sport Nutr. 1994 Sep; 4(3): 280-8.
- MD Vukovich, DL Costill, WJ Fink. Carnitine supplementation: effect on muscle carnitine and glycogen content during exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994 Sep; 26(9): 1122-9.
- A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance. Diabetes Educ. 2004; 2 -14.
- RT Borchardt, JA Huber. Catechol O-methyltransferase. 5. Structure-activity relationships for inhibition by flavonoids. J Med Chem. 1975 Jan; 18(1): 120-122.
- J Zheng, S Zheng, Q Feng, Q Zhang, X Xiao. Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications. Biosci Rep. 2017 May 11; 37(3).
- S Snitker, Y Fujishima, H Shen, S Ott, X Pi-Sunyer, Y Furuhata, H Sato, M Takahashi. Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan; 89(1): 45-50.
- Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research. Caffeine for the Sustainment of Mental Task Performance: Formulations for Military Operations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 2, Pharmacology of Caffeine. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK223808/