“Fat Burning” Supplements Are Mostly Just Caffeine

Jun 17, 2022

How Fat Burning Supplements work

Caffeine is the most popular supplement in the world and it’s incredibly effective. It boosts aerobic and strength performance.

But how does it burn fat?!?

100-200mg of caffeine (~2 cups of coffee) can increase heart rate by around 10 BPM. Further, the half-life (how long it takes to clear half the caffeine out of your body) is around 3-4 hours.

Calorie burn is directly proportional to oxygen consumption and heart rate. This means to burn more calories your heart rate needs to be higher. 
A heart rate elevated by 10 beats per minute for 4 hours (varies from person to person) but may burn up to an extra 50-80 calories

There are a few other ingredients in Fat Burning supplements (B-Phenylethylamine, L carnitine, thermogenic blends, etc) and while some may have a minor effect, caffeine is by far the main ingredient.

So, do fat burning supplements “work”? 

Well yes, a little bit. In a sense that they can help you burn an extra handful of calories a day, which can add up, but don’t expect a lot. 

It would take at least 2 months to see 1 pound of fat loss from the pill alone. Most results that people see are from the other changes they are making while they happen to be taking the fat loss pill. 

Also, caffeine pills are like 5¢ at the grocery store FYI. If your goal is fat or weight loss, consider other life changes such as exercise and nutrition habits first because these will last and lifetime and they won't cost you anything. 

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