Should I take fat burning supplements?

How do they work?

You’re walking down the aisle in the supermarket and come across the supplement section. You can buy anything from Vitamin C, Fish Oil Tablets, Herbal Tablets and the list really does get quite long but do they all actually work like they say they do? Whilst we can’t tell you about every single supplement, in this chapter we will however discuss Fat Burning Supplements and let you know if, why and how these are designed to work.

Like we discussed in the chapter “Mealtime”, our bodies are quite sophisticated and can sense when they’re required to complete certain duties and this is where Fat Burning Supplements come into it.

Hormones such as Epinephrine and Norepinephrine stimulate lipid mobilisation and when these hormone levels go up, they sends the body signals to release fatty acids into the bloodstream for energy.

When these levels are higher, they stimulate an increased fat burn which is the exact basis for most Fat Burning Supplements. With this being the case you’d assume that they’re effective right? Well it’s not that easy. On releasing these hormones, we’re required to exercise, without exercise the new energy source is no longer required and thus will simply recycle back into fat storage. The feeling of fatigue will be far greater than it was before you took the supplement and now you’ve got nothing to show for it.

The caffeine found in coffee is a mild stimulant and something that most people drink and if you were to have a cuppa just before a training session you’ll be burning those fatty acids and using them as an energy source! Coffee contains caffeine, theobromine, theophylline and chlorogenic acid which assist in influencing your metabolism.


Coffee is also one of the leading ingredients in fat burning supplements as it is a unique substance that helps mobilise fats from your fat tissues and increase your metabolism simultaneously. Studies have also shown that coffee can help improve exercise performance by 10%! Pretty neat.

If however you’re an athlete, you’ll notice that most stimulants are banned in competition so be aware of what you’re taking and double check on the list of ASADA prohibited substances just to be sure.


In conclusion, fat burning supplements can work, but only if they're used correctly and with care. Paired with exercise and good nutrition they can be a handy weapon to achieve your body goal.


Justin Beard Pn1

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