Fat burners are one of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism and burn extra pounds. If you choose the right ones, that is.
You’ll find some of the most popular and highly-reviewed fat burners for men on this list, as well as a few underrated but super effective products.
For women, see our fat burners for women here.
Part 1 ranks this year’s 13 best fat burners for men in order, and part 2 will go over how they work and answer some FAQs.
Zantrex-3 is a dietary supplement that promotes rapid weight loss and boosts energy.
It’s branded as an alternative to ephedra, which was a highly effective fat burner until it was banned by the FDA in 2004 for its side effects, which included cardiovascular complications and multiple deaths. (1) Ephedra was the first dietary supplement to ever be banned.
Zantrex-3 achieves similar results by harnessing the power of a number of high-caffeine ingredients. Yerba Mate, Guarana, trimethylxanthine, green tea leaf, black tea leaf, and cacao are just some of the ingredients in Zantrex-3 that contain caffeine.
Yerba Mate is a herbal tea that has exploded in popularity because it combines the energy-boost of coffee with the health benefits of tea. It’s full of antioxidants and nutrients, and animal studies have proven that Yerba Mate reduces appetite and boosts metabolism. (2) (3) Other studies have shown that it even reduces the number of fat cells in your body. (4)
Green and black tea have also been shown to assist with weight loss. Guarana is popular with athletes, and a 2002 study found that combining guarana and yerba mate resulted in significant improvements in weight loss. (5)
While Zantrex-3 is ephedra free and relies on safer stimulants and sources of caffeine, there is still some risk of jitters, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
12. Performix SST
Performix SST is produced by popular supplement company GNC.
This supplement focuses on boosting energy, improving mental focus, and advancing the metabolism through the process of thermogenesis. It triggers thermogenesis through a 4-phase Terra time release technology.
You’ll notice the capsule looks a little different. It has multiple layers of PH resistant shells that dissolve one at a time, releasing different ingredients at different points during digestion.
Phase one occurs a soon as you take the capsule. The first shell dissolves and the ingredients release spark thermogenesis, which is the process by which your body burns extra calories to create heat. Studies have shown that ingesting thermogenic compounds helped people burn 16% more fat than a placebo. (6)
After that, phases one, two, and three are triggered every couple hours as another shell dissolves. These ingredients work to sustain the thermogenic state and, finally, transition you back to a regular state so you don’t experience a crash.
Contrave is a prescription-only weight loss medication that targets two neurochemical processes, your hunger center and your rewards center, to reduce cravings.
While it’s not proven that Contrave actually functions this way neurologically, it is FDA-approved, and clinical studies show that the medication can help people lose 2-4x more weight than diet and exercise alone would.
You can only be prescribed this drug if you are obese and have a BMI of at least 30 or have a BMI of at least 27 and at least one weight-related health condition.
Contrave is a combination drug that contains both naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone is used to treat addiction, while bupropion is used to treat depression. Together, the makers of Contrave believe they can eliminate food cravings from your brain.
There are numerous similarities between sugar and junk food cravings and drug addiction, including the fact that both increase dopamine in the brain, both can lead to a tolerance that requires you to consume more to get the same reward, and brain images have shown that junk food lights up the same areas of the brain as addictive drugs. (7) (8) (9)
Contrave’s approach of targetting the brain rather than the body is innovative and, so far, effective. However, if you’re not facing serious health issues due to weight, over-the-counter fat burners are a better option.
The only active ingredient in Lipozene is glucomannan. While Lipozene was hugely popular when it first hit the market back in 2003, a number of fat burners now contain glucomannan.
Glucomannan comes from the roots of a special yam variety, and it’s widely used for its ability to suppress hunger. This fiber can absorb large amounts of water, so when you consume it, it sits in your gut enlarging itself into a thick gel-like substance. This weighs down your stomach and makes you feel full longer.
This incredible fiber is shown to delay the emptying of your stomach, reduce the absorption of fat, and even feeds some good bacteria in your gut that’s been shown to protect you from fat gain. (10) (11) (12)
In one study, participants were assigned the same 1,200 calorie diet, but one group took a glucomannan supplement and one didn’t. The group who took the glucomannan supplement lost an average of 3.7 pounds more in just 5 weeks. (13)
9. Vintage Burn
Vintage Burn is another thermogenic fat burner that works by pushing your body to burn calories, converting stored fat to energy and helping you lose weight. Essentially, it boosts your metabolism.
The active ingredients in Vintage Burn include green tea leaf, green coffee bean, raspberry ketones, olive leaf, caffeine, bacopa leaf, garcinia cambogia, chrysin, and forskolin.
Many of these ingredients contain caffeine, which burns additional fat and is proven to increase your metabolic rate by 3-11%. (14)
Forskolin is a chemical compound found in a plant found in Nepal that’s been used to treat high blood pressure for centuries. Recently, studies have shown that the plant can also help your body burn significantly more fat. (15)
Garcinia cambogia, a fruit which contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), is another popular fat burner with dozens of clinical trials to back it up. Some studies have shown that participants lose as much as 9 more pounds while taking garcinia cambogia over a period of 2-12 weeks. (16)
Phentermine is a stimulant that is very similar to amphetamine. It’s sold within generic drugs as well as the brand-name drug Adipex-P.
Because of common misuse and the potential side effects, Phentermine is a prescription-only drug. It’s prescribed almost exclusively to treat obesity, so it’s not recommended for people who only want to lose a few pounds. It should never be used for more than 12 weeks.
It’s believed that phentermine works by releasing chemicals in your brain that block hunger and cravings, including norepinephrine and dopamine. Studies have not been conclusive.
Phentermine comes with a long list of side effects, ranging from heart palpitations, nausea, and insomnia to rare cases of hypertension and cardiac valvular disease. (17)
Despite the side effects, Adipex-P is an option for people facing serious medical risks due to obesity to jump start their weight loss.
Phen375’s weight loss formula is well-researched and aims to increase your metabolism while cutting cravings. Their product also comes with diet plans and home exercise videos.
The active ingredients in Phen375 are L-carnitine, forskohlii, caffeine, citrus aurantium, chromium, and cayenne pepper, all of which are thought to contribute to weight loss.
Forskohlii is a plant containing the chemical forskolin, which is being used in a lot of new fat burners for its ability to help your body break down and metabolize calories quickly. (18) Caffeine is a popular, time-tested fat burning ingredient, although some people prefer to avoid fat burners containing caffeine as they experience jitters and restlessness.
L-carnitine hasn’t shown up on the ingredient list for many of these fat burners, but there is some evidence to show that it aids in weight loss. It’s an amino acid that helps move fatty acids into your cells to be burned for more energy.
This means it’s not only great for weight loss, but also for boosting orkout performance. L-carnitine supplements are often taken in conjunction with exercise, as it relieves muscle soreness and speeds up recovery. (19)
HydroxyElite was created by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals as an extreme diet aid. Labeled as an “intense stimulant,” HydroxyElite boosts your energy and metabolism.
It was formulated to fill the shoes of Oxyelite Pro, a highly effective fat burner that discontinued years ago due to advisories from the FDA. They warned consumers that the supplement contained a drug that belongs to the class of SSRIs, which are prescription drugs used to treat severe depression and anxiety that can have serious side effects. (20)
HydroxyElite got rid of that ingredient and introduced a supplement they claim is equally effective, containing a propriety blend of herbs as well as garcinia cambogia and 100mg of caffeine.
The recommended maximum daily intake of caffeine is 400mg, so you can take up to 4 capsules of HydroxyElite per day. However, you shouldn’t consume coffee if you’re going to take that many.
Many people lamented the FDA’s banning of ephedra in weight loss products back in 2003, as supplements containing ephedra were often the most effective.
However, some fat burners have started to re-incorporate ephedra extract in small doses. Lipodrene contains 25 mg of ephedra extract per serving.
Ephedra was banned in the first place because it is an amphetamine-like substance believed to be responsible for multiple deaths, including the death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Belcher. (24)
Studies have shown that ephedra, especially when combined with caffeine (Lipodrene contains 100 mg of caffeine), significantly improves the results of short-term weight loss. (25)
Other ingredients in Lipodrene’s proprietary blend include synephrine HCI (bitter orange), theobromine, and green tea extract. All of these ingredients work together to jump start the process of lipolysis in your body, which is the breaking down of fat, while blocking lipogenesis, which is the storing of fat.
Overall, it’s effective at promoting weight loss, but it can have adverse side effects if you’re sensitive to caffeine and stimulants.
By targeting your body from five different angles, PhenQ claims to be one of the most effective weight loss supplements on the market. PhenQ aims to burn fat, stop fat production, suppress appetite, boost energy, and improve mood.
In addition to calcium carbonate, caffeine, chromium, a-lacys reset, and nopal (cactus), PhenQ also contains a secret ingredient that they claim is clinically proven to promote weight loss.
A-lacys reset is responsible for a lot of the fat burning power that PhenQ has. It’s a patented formula that blends alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and cysteine. Cysteine is an essential amino acid shown to boost the antioxidant glutathione, which assists in weight management. (26) Meanwhile, ALA is shown to boost metabolism and energy while reducing inflammation. (27)
PhenQ has managed to come up with a unique proprietary blend in an over-saturated market, and it works.
3. Cellucore Super HD
Cellucor SuperHD is designed to target fat burning in a more holistic way by not only suppressing appetite and increasing metabolism, but also improving focus, motivation, and energy.
The supplement contains powerful nootropics, which are cognitive enhancers also known as “smart drugs.” They’re primarily used to enhance memory and focus, but studies also show that they can improve motivation as well. This is useful for workout performance, but the kicker is this: one reported side effect of some nootropics is also weight loss. (28)
Other key ingredients include green tea, amla fruit extract (also known as Indian gooseberry), and toothed clubmoss.
Amla is one of the oldest edible fruits native to India, and it has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. They’re packed full of important nutrients, minerals, and amino acids that are key in flushing toxins from your body. This detox is said to boost metabolism, enhance protein synthesis, and increase energy. (29)
Toothed clubmoss has long been used in Chinese medicine, and has gained popularity in the Western world as a a nootropic. However, it’s also starting to catch on in the fitness world for its powerfulfat burning properties.
While the ingredients in Cellucor SuperHD are time-tested, they’ve yet to go through rigorous research in the Western world. However, if you’re into all natural supplements with Eastern wisdom to back them up, SuperHD is a great options.
If you’ve heard of one fat burner, it’s probably Hydroxycut. It markets itself as America’s #1 weight loss supplement brand, and they’re probably right in terms of brand recognition.
Hydroxycut has been around since 2002, but it’s changed form several times due to changes in leadership as well as a recall in 2009. The recall was actually voluntary on the part of Hydroxycut and was done in response to a statement issued by the FDA claiming rare cases of liver damage might be connected with consumption of the diet pill Hydroxycut. (30)
After 2009, Hydroxycut put a reformulated fat burner on the market, and the FDA confirmed that the only similarity between this new formulation and the old one was caffeine. (31) Side effects were minimized, but what about fat burning power?
As of 2013, Hydroxycut contains caffeine, lady’s mantle, wild olive, cumin, wild mint, and, in certain products that contain additional caffeine, green coffee bean extract.
One study shows some powerful weight loss results when lady’s mantle, wild olive, and wild mint are combined. This herbal formula reduced weight gain in chickens by 20% and significantly boosted the metabolism in rats. (34)
1. Instant Knockout
Instant Knockout was originally created to give pro boxers and MMA fighters an edge at shedding fat as quickly as possible. After producing incredible results, the company decided to make the supplement available to the general public.
They use a unique formula of 10 natural fat burners, 3 of which are core to the supplement: green tea extract, cayenne pepper, and glucomannan. These are pretty much the end all be all trifecta of natural fat burners.
Green tea might be the most tested and trusted fat burner out there due to a unique combination of caffeine and fat burning antioxidants. A number of studies have shown that taking green tea supplements can increase fat burning during exercise by 17% or more, and those fat burning benefits often extend into resting periods with prolonged consumption. (35)
Cayenne pepper is a proven hunger suppressant that puts your body into thermogenesis, a process by which you start burning additional calories. Essentially, it boosts your metabolism. One study showed participants who consumed capsaicin, the main chemical in cayenne, during breakfast burned 51% more calories. (36)
Finally, glucomannan is arguably the most effective appetite suppressant. This fiber absorbs crazy amounts of water, so it turns into a brick in your stomach that weighs you down and keeps you full all day.
Instant Knockout’s formula for success is simple, but it’s proven.
Part 2: Why should you use fat burners for men? What are their benefits and side effects?
While diet and exercise are the key to weight loss, sometimes they aren’t enough.
Whether you’re not losing weight fast enough, you’ve hit a plateau, or you’re struggling to manage weight as you age, fat burners can give your body the boost it needs to reach your goals. What are all the benefits of fat burners for men?
What about their side effects? Can fat burners for men present health risks?
Benefits of fat burners for men
The most obvious benefit that fat burners for men provide is an additional edge when it comes to burning fat and losing weight.
Fat burners are particularly helpful for men as they age. There’s a reason beer bellies are associated with men — they tend to be way more at risk for gaining belly fat than women once they hit around 25 or 30 years old.
This problem is compounded as they continue to age because their testosterone levels decrease. Lower testosterone levels are associated with weight gain and, in some cases, enlarged breast tissue in older men. (37)
At that point, diet and exercise are often not enough to cut it, and adding in a fat burner for men can greatly improve results.
Men are also at risk for high cholesterol, which can lead to a number of health complications. Many of the ingredients in natural fat burners also reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar and cholesterol. (38)
Finally, the caffeine and stimulants found in fat burners for men can also greatly improve exercise performance.
Side effects of fat burners for women
Fat burners do come with some unwanted side effects. Most of these are a result of high caffeine intake or other powerful stimulants that are found in many fat burners for men.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, it’s important to choose a fat burner that doesn’t use stimulants. Green tea extract is a powerful metabolism booster that doesn’t have the negative side effects that other stimulants do.
In rare cases, a few fat burners have been linked to other health risks such as liver problems and increased blood pressure. (39) These fat burners for men are often recalled and taken off the market by the FDA until they can develop a formula that doesn’t produce severe side effects.
Different fat burners recommend different dosage levels. Some only need to be taken once a day, while many others are taken 2 or 3 times a day.It’s important to read the consumption instructions and follow them closely.
Some fat burners for men, partiuclarly those that require a prescription, are not meant to be taken for an indefinite period of time. Usually, the dosage will recommend consumption for only about 10-12 weeks in order to jump start weight loss efforts in men suffering from obesity.
Fat burners for men FAQ
Do fat burners really work? They can. The key is to have a proper diet and exercise routine in place. Fat burners can aid in weight loss, but they don’t cause weight loss by themselves.
Is there a pill to lose belly fat? Most fat burners for men do a good job of targetting belly fat. For men who are obese, there are prescription fat burners that also target belly fat.
Is Hydroxycut the most effective? Hydroxycut is certainly one of the most popular fat burners and has been for over a decade. It’s popular because it’s highly effective. That being said, there are newer fat burners on the market, like Instant Knockout, using innovative formulas that may prove to be even more effective.
What is a natural fat burners? Most of the fat burners for men listed in this article utilize ingredients that are considered natural fat burners. These include green tea, chromium, glucomannan, and other herbs and fruits.
Can I take a fat burner before workout? The instructions provided on your fat burner should explain when and when not to take it. Many recommend taking one right before a workout to enhance performance.
Can you take a fat burner on an empty stomach? Again, it’s important to read the instructions on the fat burner you have, as each one is different. However, most will recommend taking one in the morning on an empty stomach to increase results. This allows the ingredients in the fat burner to be absorbed into the body faster.
Fat burners for men are a great addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, and many produce impressive results when it comes to shedding extra pounds, eating less, and feeling more awake and energized.
However, not all fat burners for men are the same. Each product contains different ingredients, and some are more effective than others.
Ultimately, choosing a fat burner for men that’s right for you is all about doing your research and testing out products to find what’s most effective for your body.
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