Stay slim all year long with these surprising belly-busters.
Muscle & Fitness Editors for Men’s Fitness 1 / 11
We all know one of the biggest reasons guys make their daily trek to the gym: Burning off (and keeping off) the little layer of fat that hides your hard-earned gains. But if you want to really make sure those few pounds of fat are gone for good, consider some help from supplements.
Supplements work through a number of mechanisms to help your body burn more fat. To maximize their effectiveness, combine ingredients that work in tandem to enhance both fat release and elimination. Here, we break down the most popular fat-burning ingredients by their mode of action. Find out here which ingredients to look for in a commercial fat burner, or build your own synergistic stack.
When you think of this popular stimulant, you'll likely think of the buzz you get and how it ramps up calorie burning. While caffeine does torch calories, its main benefit is that it binds to the receptors on your fat cells.
This is particularly effective when caffeine is taken before workouts, as several studies have confirmed. Take 200–400 milligrams of caffeine between meals two to three times per day; take one dosage 30–60 minutes prior to training-day workouts.
Yohimbine is extracted from the bark of the yohimbe tree in Central and West Africa. In addition to boosting libido, yohimbine aids fat loss by increasing the amount of fat that gets released from your fat cells, much like caffeine does. A dose of yohimbe contains 5-20 milligrams; take this two to three times per day. One dosage should be consumed 30-60 minutes prior to training-day workouts.
Green tea extract is a real no-brainer. It aids fat loss by boosting the number of calories you burn each day. The active ingredients in green tea that are responsible for the fat-burning effect are catechins, particularly one known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Take about 500–1,000 milligrams of green tea extract (standardized as EGCG) two to three times per day. Take one of those dosages 30–60 minutes prior to training-day workouts.
This is one of the active ingredients in the bitter orange plant (Citrus aurantium). Synephrine works by boosting the metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn). Take about 5–20 milligrams of synephrine two to three times per day, having one of those doses 30–60 minutes prior to workouts.
Commonly found in chili peppers, this natural plant chemical increases the amount of calories your body burns, thanks to its ability to raise epinephrine levels. A study from the University of Oklahoma found that subjects who took a supplement that contained both capsaicin and caffeine burned more calories both during exercise and afterward.
Look for capsaicin or cayenne pepper supplements that list Scoville Heat Units (SHU), and take about 40,000–80,000 units. Take the supp 30 minutes before meals two to three times per day. One of those doses should be taken 30–60 minutes prior to workouts.
This is the scientific name for olive leaf extract, and one of its most important ingredients is a chemical known as oleuropian. Oleuropian is not only a powerful immune-boosting antioxidant, but also proven to boost norepinephrine levels—raising the amount of calories and fat burned. Take about 500 -1,000 milligrams of olive leaf extract two to three times per day with meals.
This amino acid-like molecule is a critical component of the complex transportation system that brings fat into your cells' mitochondria, where it gets burned up and transformed into energy. Several studies confirm that supplementing with carnitine increases the amount of fat burned by the body. Take 1-3 grams of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, L-carnitine L-tartrate, or acetyl-L-carnitine, two to three times per day with meals, allotting one dose for your pre-workout meal and another for your post-workout meal.
CLA is a naturally occuring group of healthy fats, specifically omega-6 fats. Numerous research studies confirm that CLA enhances fat loss while simultaneously boosting muscle growth and strength. Take 1-3 grams of CLA with breakfast, lunch, and your last meal or shake at night.
This difficult-to-pronounce chemical gives brown seaweed its brownish, olive-green color. When taken as a supplement, this carotenoid turns on genes that increase the number of calories burned. It also turns off genes that increase fat-cell growth. Research in humans and animals shows that this increase in calorie burn and subsequent inhibition of fat-cell growth leads to significant fat loss over time. Take about 200 milligrams two to three times a day.
This source of essential omega-3 fats provides both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats have been found to turn on genes that increase fat burning while turning off genes that decrease fat storage. Take 2-3 grams two to three times per day with meals.