Supplements don’t work unless you do. That means sticking to your calorie-controlled diet and exercise plan. But the right combination of fit-for-purpose supplements can help you reach your goals.
Fat burners work in different ways, which means you can often combine products to amplify the fat-loss effect. So combine and conquer those fat-loss goals with this fat-loss supplement stack.
READ MORE: A beginner’s guide to fat-loss supplements
Light the fire
Thermogenic fat burners generally contain stimulants. Common ingredients include caffeine, synephrine, citrus aurantium extract, green tea extract and yerba mate, along with licensed ingredients such as TeaCrine® and Sinetrol® Xpur, among others.
These substances help to rev up your metabolism and raise your body temperature to help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are inactive. These supplements can also reduce your appetite.
The fat loss experienced when supplementing with a stimulant-based fat burner results directly from its heat-producing (thermogenic) action on the body, hence the name.
The effect of the active ingredients increases your daily energy expenditure, especially when you train for extended periods or at higher intensities. If your diet is on point, most of that energy should come from stored body fat.
Advantages of stimulant-based fat burners:
- Accelerates fat loss
- Increases energy
- Boosts your metabolism
- Decreases appetite
- Increases alertness
READ MORE: Supplements to help you lose weight faster
Stoke the fire
And this is where an intelligently-formulated fat-loss aid like L-carnitine can help. L-carnitine is a naturally-occurring amino acid that can boost the efficiency with which your body metabolises stored fat.
It does so by transporting circulating fat into muscle cells, where it is used to fuel muscle contractions. L-carnitine ostensibly supports the fat-burning process by mobilising free fatty acids from fat cells.
And because fat is a denser energy source than carbs, more efficient fat metabolism has the power to increase energy and stamina and enhance endurance, which can have performance benefits.
Benefits of L-carnitine:
- Increases energy levels.
- Improves endurance.
- May modestly reduce fatigue.
- May boost fat oxidation.
But because these products work via different pathways, it is important to take them at the right time in the day to maximise their effect. While these are general guidelines, it is vital to always use fat-loss supplements as directed on the packaging.
Common guidelines suggest taking a stimulant-based fat-loss supplement at the following times:
- First thing in the morning to provide energy throughout the day.
- Before exercise to amplify the fat-burning effect, ideally before midday.
- Before periods when cravings usually strike, like mid-afternoon. However, anyone who is sensitive to stimulants should avoid taking thermogenic products after midday.
The ideal time to take L-carnitine, unless otherwise stated on the packaging, is before a training session to support the thermogenic supplement and optimise fat metabolism.
READ MORE: What makes a good fat burner?
Cycling your approach
Limit your thermogenic fat burner use to 6-8 week cycles. This approach gives your nervous and endocrine systems time to recover and reset.
And never exceed the product’s recommended daily dosage.
Individuals with cardiovascular problems, pregnant women and children should avoid fat burners that contain stimulants. Always consult your doctor before using a thermogenic fat burner, and read the label and follow the instructions before taking your first dose. Keep in mind that various products available today that different ingredients and formulations.