Whether you want to tone up for bikini season, or you are a hard-core gym junkie wanting to get shredded, fat burner supplements may help you kick-start your goals.
Both mean and women find fat burning supplements to be helpful tools for optimizing a fitness routine.
Particularly for those who may struggle with slow metabolisms or low energy levels, fat burning supplements may provide enough of a boost to help you turn a corner.
Key Point: In this article, we explore the science behind the best fat burning supplements, how they work, and what you need to know before using them.
What Fat Burners Do
Typically the key functions of a fat burner supplement are to:
- Decrease appetite
- Speed up metabolism (thermogenesis)
- Promote fat loss
- Stimulate energy
Ingredients in Fat Burning Supplements
The ingredients in each fat burner vary from product to product.
However, there are some recurring staples we see in many fat burner supplements. Let’s look at some of the effective fat burning ingredients backed by solid science.
Caffeine as a Fat Burner
In most cases, fat burning supplements include caffeine, which is effective at increasing energy, stamina, and focus.
As a natural source of caffeine, many will drink coffee or take green tea extract.
The potential downside to caffeine is that it may cause unwanted side effects like jitters and anxiety.
Yohimbine as a Fat Burner
Yohimbine is extracted from the bark of an African tree.
While it is commonly used as an aphrodisiac, there’s good research that shows it may promote better metabolic functioning. In other words, it may help your body to burn fat through encouraging a higher metabolic rate.
Protein Powder as a Fat Burning Supplement
Surprisingly, studies show that a high protein diet leads to the body burning fat more efficiently.
Individuals with higher muscle mass show a higher metabolic rate. Think of the body’s muscles as little engines that burn fuel. With this in mind, it makes since that having higher muscle mass would burn more calories.
Another common ingredient is garcinia, which is an herb that may help promote appetite suppression.
Since overeating can sabotage any number of hours you spend in the gym, reducing food intake is often a necessity for fat burning to take place.
Fat Burners for Men vs. Women
When it comes to fat burners for men versus women, men’s supplements often focus on boosting testosterone.
Both men and women produce testosterone naturally, however this hormone is higher in men than in women.
Takeaway: Testosterone stimulates muscle mass, and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Because of their muscle-promoting properties, testosterone-boosting ingredients are included in fat burners.
Fat Burner Trends
The keto diet has sparked an influx of fat burners that support this high fat, low carb diet.
The fat burners geared to complement this diet include natural ketones — which are said to give your brain extra fuel — and carb-blocking ingredients.
Another trend in fat burners is apple cider vinegar. Health nuts take a tablespoon per day to help with digestion, decrease excess appetite, and promote fat loss.
The upside is that in capsule form, you can’t taste the acidity of this ingredient. Recent studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can help to burn belly fat.
To learn more about when to take apple cider vinegar and how much to take, check out this helpful video from fitness guru, Lacey Baier:
What to Expect when Using a Fat Burner Supplement
If you have not used a fat burner supplement before, there are a few things to know before you try them. First, analyze what you need. To do this, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have low energy?
- An excessive appetite?
- Are you over-stressed?
- Do you feel like you have a slow metabolism?
Each fat burner contains different herbs and ingredients that target each of these factors.
For instance, if your primary concern is an excessive appetite, your fat burner should contain a natural appetite suppressant, like the herb garcinia. If you lack energy, coffeeberry and green tea could be the ingredients that are best for you.
Also, keep in mind there are potential side effects of fat burners.
For example, some people experience digestive upset or jitters. To avoid unnecessary side effects, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you particularly sensitive to caffeine? If so, you may want a fat burner will a minimal amount of coffee berry and caffeine.
- Do you have heartburn? Apple cider vinegar could upset your stomach. Always be cautious when trying a new fat burner and start with a low dose to see how your body responds.
Lastly, don’t expect fat burners to do all the work!
Takeaway: Changing your diet and exercising are going to make all the difference in whether you lose weight and get in shape. Although fat burners may expedite the process and help you through plateaus, you must put in the hard work, too.
Fat burners are intended to help you lose weight through suppressing excessive appetite, increasing energy, and targeting fat loss.
We ranked several of the best fat burners for men and best fat burners for women based on their ingredients and how well they perform these specific actions.
Below is the criteria we used to rank the best fat burners:
- Appetite-suppressant: Do the ingredients help decrease appetite?
- Lipolysis: Does the product increase fat burning?
- Energy: Are there ingredients to help increase energy?
- Sex-specific: Is the product geared toward males, females, or both? What about the product makes it specific to either sex?
- Side effects: Do any of the ingredients cause side effects like jitters or anxiety?
- Ingredient quality: Do the products contain high-quality vitamins and herbs? Are the dosages of the herbs and nutrients too high or too low?
- Price: Is the product affordable, and is the price in line with the product quality?
- Reviews: What kind of experience have consumers had with the product?
Now that you know how we created this ranking, let’s dive in!
The Best Fat Burner Supplements
Vintage Burn Fat Burner
With over 8,300 reviews on Amazon, this fat burner is a hit and our best fat burner for men! Although Amazon lists this product as a fat burner for men and women, the burly-looking man on the bottle seems to point toward men. It contains chrysin, which is said to block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, thereby increasing testosterone levels.
However, there is no reliable evidence regarding how effective this ingredient is in raising testosterone. Likely, chrysin is not powerful enough to disrupt hormone balance in women. It also contains Coleus forskohlii, which may help boost testosterone and fat loss as well.
Vintage Burn claims its formula will help you burn fat and preserve muscle mass. At $49.99, be prepared to shell out a bit more cash, but keep in mind that you get a 60-day supply, not a 30-day supply like other products. The good news is that this product is third-party tested, so you know that what is on the label matches what’s in the bottle. Although the majority of reviews boast excellent weight loss results, a few reviews on Amazon mention digestive upset.
Vintage Burn contains several herbs to increase metabolism and energy such as garcinia, green tea extract, green coffee bean extract as well as added caffeine. For those of you who get the jitters from caffeine, this product may not be for you. It also includes raspberry ketones, which may increase metabolic rate and fat burning by influencing the hormone adiponectin, which is involved in fat break-down.
- Third-party tested
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- No artificial substances
- Caffeine may cause jitters
- May cause digestive upset
Rockstar Skinny Gal Weight Loss Pills For Women
Our best fat burner for women is the Rockstar Skinny Gal Weight Loss Pills. They are jam-packed with herbs to help women lose weight by increasing energy, decreasing appetite, promoting thermogenesis (increased metabolism), reducing inflammation, and elevating mood. This supplement is well-rounded, covering all the bases of why women may struggle to lose weight.
However, one reason why some women hold on to weight may have to do with hormone imbalances, which this product does not address. This fat burner is made by women, for women, but when we looked closely at the label, there are no ingredients specific to women.
One ingredient of particular interest is Rhodiola. This herb supports energy and blood sugar balance in addition to an elevated mood and overall well-being. Rockstar also includes caffeine for energy, Garcinia and African mango for appetite suppression, turmeric for inflammation, and conjugated linolenic acid for fat loss. With over 5,000 reviews and an average four-star rating on Amazon, women love Rockstar Skinny Gal.
In terms of price, Rockstar is exceptionally affordable at only $29.95 for a two-month supply. Rockstar also offers a full refund within 60 days of purchase if you are not happy with it. The vegetable capsule makes this product suitable for vegetarians.
- Herb saturated for energy
- Suitable for vegetarians
- Designed by women
- No women-specific ingredients
- Caffeine may cause jitters
MAV Nutrition Women’s Weight Loss Pills
We love this product’s price and well-rounded formula. It’s our best fat burner with no added caffeine. This product contains green tea to boost energy and aid in thermogenesis, as well as garcinia to suppress excess appetite, and white kidney bean to block carb absorption. With almost 400 reviews and close to a five-star rating on Amazon, it looks like women love the results of this product. However, we don’t see anything specific to women in this formula.
Some of the potential side effects are digestive upset, including gas and bloating. When you use carb blockers, like Kidney Bean extract, these side effects come with the territory. Carb blockers work by blocking the enzyme needed to break down carbs in the intestines. The result? Fuel for bacteria to metabolize, which causes excess gas. Also, apple cider vinegar can cause nausea and stomach aches in some people.
The upside is that this product does not contain coffee or caffeine extracts, aside from the small amount found in the green tea. If you tend to get the jitters from caffeine, this is the right choice. For those who would like the extra energy boost from caffeine, they may not get it with MAV. The MAV Nutrition Women is very reasonably priced at $19.94 for a 30-day supply.
- Blocks carb absorption
- Reasonably priced
- Suitable for vegetarians
- Possible digestive upset
- No women-specific ingredients
SkinnyHack – Thermogenic Fat Burner for Women
SkinnyHack claims to include ingredients that help with fat loss, appetite suppression, and boosting metabolism, all without causing any side effects like jitters.
This claim may be slightly inflated as the supplement includes caffeine anhydrous, which is known to cause jittery symptoms in specific dosages in certain individuals. Other ingredients that they use in their supplement include green tea extract, green coffee bean extract, L-carnitine, and Garcinia Cambogia.
However, unlike many of the other products we reviewed, SkinnyHack notes that their product is third-party tested, meaning an independent lab evaluates the amount of active ingredients in the product as compared to what’s on the label. All of its ingredients are also gluten-free and non-GMO.
Price-wise, SkinnyHack is average at $25 for 60 capsules. With over 200 or so reviews many individuals are raving about the weight loss they have achieved using this supplement. The average rating on Amazon is over 4.5 stars, so it seems like people who have purchased this product love it so far.
- Third-party tested
- Vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free
- 5% net proceeds go to charity
- Only a two week supply
- Cellulose as a filler
- Slightly more expensive
Burn-XT Thermogenic Fat Burner
With over 10,000 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon, Burn-XT is a crowd favorite. However, some of the negative reviews note side effects such as anxiety, jitters, profuse sweating, and nausea. This formula may not be for everyone, and at $29.99 for 30 days, it’s a bit higher than average.
There are a couple of ingredients that make this formula unique. First is the L-carnitine, which is an amino acid involved in breaking down fat and using it for energy.
It is naturally found in animal products like meat, so vegetarians may particularly benefit from this ingredient. Another interesting ingredient is cayenne pepper. This spicy seasoning is said to increase metabolism and fat burning by increasing body temperature. The downside is it may cause stomach upset.
This formula also contains green tea and a large amount of caffeine which can help with energy and stamina. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may find the dosages a little too high in this fat burner.
This product does not indicate whether it is for men, women, or both, but since there are no testosterone-boosting ingredients, anyone can use it.
- Unique formulation
- Many positive reviews
- Spices to increase metabolism
- Higher than the average price
- Nothing specific to men
- Caffeine may cause jitters
KOR – Thermogenic Fat Burner Pills for Men
KOR is made in an FDA-approved facility and offers a money back guarantee. This product is marketed toward men, however we don’t see any ingredients that aren’t commonly used in women’s products. KOR boasts using the highest quality ingredients, but does not third-party test their product. Priced at $19.95 for a 30-day supply, it is definitely affordable.
The main ingredients in this fat burner are garcinia — which is said to be an appetite suppressant — and green tea, which is a standard in most fat burners to enhance energy and thermogenesis.
What makes this product unique is synephrine, which is derived from bitter orange. Research supports the notion that this extract aids in appetite suppression and thermogenesis. It also contains B6 (pyridoxine HCl) and B12 (cyanocobalamin) which support metabolism. However, they are not in their most bioavailable forms.
Like Modern Man V3, KOR uses not just caffeine, but other components of the coffee berry, such as theobromine and theacrine for sustained energy. The slightly higher caffeine content may cause nervousness or jitters in some people.
Without more reviews, it is hard to know for sure what people think of this product. However, there are no reviews on Amazon to really gauge the response of the customers who use this product daily.
- Money back guarantee
- Supports thermogenesis
- No third-party testing
- Low-quality B vitamin forms
- No ingredients specific to men
Goliath By Dr. Emil – Shredfuel
The formulator of this product, Dr. Emil, makes it stand out from other fat burners. Dr. Emil is a medical doctor and bodybuilder who also coaches people on nutrition and exercise.
Judging by his picture on the bottle, he looks like he walks the walk of bodybuilding. The image of the male bodybuilder on the bottle screams “for men,” however nothing about the formula itself is specific to males.
This formula is third-party tested and manufactured in an FDA-approved facility.
Unlike other products for men that include testosterone-boosting ingredients, Dr. Emil’s fat burner focuses more on appetite suppression, fat burning, and increasing energy.
The main products in this formula are green tea, which is said to help with energy and thermogenesis; caffeine and coffee, which are both stimulating; raspberry ketones for fat burning; and garcinia for appetite suppression. All in all, it is a basic formula, with ingredients we have seen in the majority of other fat burners.
This fat burner is moderately priced, at $26.95 for 30 days’ worth of product. There are relatively few reviews — just over 300 on Amazon — but for the most part, they are positive with an average 4.5 stars. Some of the negative reviews note nausea and stomachaches.
The fact that this product is third-party tested and formulated by a medical doctor inspires confidence in the product quality.
- Third-party tested
- FDA-approved facility
- Formulated by a medical doctor
- Nothing specific to men
- Digestive upset
- Caffeine may cause jitters
Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Pills for Women
At $16.95 for a 30-day supply, this Apple Cider Vinegar Fat Burner by Zeal Naturals is a steal! The main ingredient in this product is apple cider vinegar, which is said to help weight loss, appetite suppression, and energy. It is combined with garcinia, Cambogia, green coffee bean, and green tea, which also increase energy, support thermogenesis, and suppress appetite.
Green tea is a double hitter, as it can help with thermogenesis and energy. This product has a four-star average rating on Amazon. Reviewers love how it helps them lose weight by decreasing appetite and giving ample energy.
The downsides of this product are the number of capsules needed and some of the potential side effects. The dose is three capsules per day, which is more than the one to two per day with other products we reviewed.
In terms of side effects, if you suffer from heartburn, you may want to skip this product. Apple cider vinegar can raise stomach acid and exacerbate preexisting heartburn. Also, some reviewers report stomachaches and nausea after using this product.
From what we can tell, there isn’t anything about this formula that screams “women only.” The ingredients are intended to support a faster metabolism and decreased appetite, which makes sense for both men and women. Amazon labels this product as being for women, but the product label itself does not specify. This could be just for marketing reasons.
- Very affordable
- Supports appetite suppression
- High dose at three capsules
- Not for those with heartburn
- May cause nausea
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FAQs about Fat Burning Supplements
Now let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about getting the most out of your fat burning supplement.
Just click on the question in blue for a drop-down answer!
Are fat burners safe?
Fat burners are not regulated by the FDA, which means that the type of ingredients used and their amounts can vary greatly.
There have been instances of people having adverse side effects from taking fat burners such as high blood pressure, palpitations, anxiety, and digestive upset. It is crucial to purchase high-quality supplements from a reputable source.
Look for supplements that are third-party tested, which means an independent lab ensures that what is on the label matches what is in the bottle. This way, you know you aren’t buying a product with harmful contaminants or higher doses than expected.
Fat burners contain many different types of herbal and vitamin ingredients. While some ingredients are completely fine for some people, others may be more sensitive to them.
Only take fat burners as directed, and always speak with your doctor before trying one. Also, if you have a preexisting condition, fat burner supplements may not be safe for you. Your doctor will be able to help you decide what is right for you as an individual.
Do fat burners work?
There is mixed evidence on whether fat burners are really effective. Since the FDA does not regulate fat burners, manufacturers do not need to prove their products work before selling them to the public.
There have been research studies on some of the common ingredients contained in fat burners, such as caffeine, green tea, garcinia, and L-carnitine.
There is stronger evidence for caffeine, green tea, and L-carnitine in regards to their efficacy in helping increase metabolism and reduce fat mass. In short, we need more research studies on some of the other common ingredients to be sure.
The important take-home message is that fat burner supplements will not do all the work for you. If you eat junk food, drink soda, and be a couch potato while you take fat burners, it is unlikely that you will see any notable changes in your body composition.
Exercise and a healthy diet are the foundation of losing weight and keeping it off. Fat burners, in a sense, are the icing on the cake. They can be a helpful addition to a well-designed workout and nutrition plan.
When should I take my fat burner supplement?
There are two possible times you could take a fat burner supplement. The first is in the morning to give you a boost of energy and start up your metabolic rate for the day.
You tend to have the lowest energy in the morning, and the energy boosters in most fat burners can help you feel revved up for the day.
The second time you could take a fat burner supplement is about 30 minutes before your workout. If you want to go your hardest in the gym, the energy boosters in fat burner supplements can help give you that added kick to get the most of your time working out.
The only time it would not be optimal to take your fat burner supplement is near bedtime. Most fat burners contain caffeine, which is a potent stimulant that interrupts sleep. For some people, taking a caffeine-containing supplement after 3:00 PM can disrupt sleep.
Everyone is different, so play around with the timing of your fat burner supplement dose to find what time works best for you.