Best Thermogenic Fat Burners
This round-up takes a look at the best thermogenic fat burners and gives you the full low-down on how they work and if they are worth your investment. Our PT James Dixon explains all…
If you want to achieve body composition, lowering body fat reserves whilst retaining or even building muscle mass, you will need a couple of things. Obviously, good genetics helps, though this needn’t make or break any of your plans or goal making. Rather, you will need a well-conceived diet and a solid, organised training plan.
Without these two essentials – good diet and training – you won’t succeed. It doesn’t matter what else you do. Get them both right and you will flourish, edging closer and closer to achieving your goals.
However, there is room here for some minutiae, some subtlety. Once you’ve got your training and diet in order, there are other places you can go to maximise your training efficiency. Supplementation plays a key role here.
If you’re looking to lose body fat and potentially unlock more energy reserves, thermogenic fat burners represent a great form of supplementation.
There is a lot of snake oil on the market – ‘diet pills’ that do nothing but waste money and shatter your hope. There are, however, some of the best thermogenic fat burners out there that really do work. They will only ever be the icing on the cake, of course. They won’t undo a bad plan. But they will make a good plan more efficient and help you to trim body fat.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourites below.
What is Thermogenesis and how it effects fat burning?
Thermogenic fat burners work by eliciting and ramping up a biological process called ‘thermogenesis’.
The word itself comes from the Greek word thermos, meaning heat, and the word genesis, meaning creation or beginning. This tells us all we need to know about the basics – thermogenesis is the creation of heat.
There is more to it than this, of course.
All metabolic processes that take place in animals produce heat. They do so as a reflection of thermodynamic inefficiency. We are all thermogenic creatures, therefore. However, thermogenesis specifically refers both to an adaptive process of heat generation – basically, where heat is the metabolism’s main product – and to the production of heat in response to nutrient intake. In fact there are three processes that count as thermogenesis:
- Exercise-associated thermogenesis (EAT)
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), energy expended for everything that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise
- Diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT)
The supplements in this article, the ones useful for body recomposition, rely on number 3, DIT. They all increase the body’s metabolic rate, causing it to burn fat reserves more efficiently, but do so as a result of diet – in this case a thermogenic fat burning supplement.
Our Top Thermogenic Fat Burners
Let’s take a look at the best thermogenic fat burners that I found on the market that adhere to these qualities mentioned above.
PhenQ uses some fairly standard weight loss ingredients, making it a fantastic place to start. It is a prime example of a well-made, scientifically backed product that makes no outlandish claims. Though they call it the ultimate, all-in-one weight loss pill, they keep things surprisingly grounded and blend a fantastic list of high-quality compounds into their formula.
The main formula revolves around a blend of capsicum, piperine (black pepper), caffeine and niacin (vitamin B3), all of which have been proven to offer thermogenic and dietary benefits. In fact, some data has suggested that piperine may even have the ability to stop the formation of new fat cells (though this is far from assured at the moment).
You will see caffeine a lot on this list. It is a stimulant, allowing you to remain alert even as you go into a caloric deficit – which can often mean a drop in energy as lethargy takes hold. It reduces fatigue and improves focus, which is vital in a weight loss diet where willpower might be key. And, of course, it elicits a thermogenic effect whilst improving athletic ability.
PhenQ also contains chromium picolinate, an essential natural mineral found in meat, vegetables and whole grains. It helps to curb your sugar and carb cravings by stabilising blood sugar levels. Chromium helps the cells take in as much sugar as possible, meaning far fewer insulin spikes and hunger pangs.
PhenQ features nopal, another fairly regular ingredient in thermogenic fat burners. It is very high in fibre. This will both keep you regular even as you cut down the amount you are eating, and will also lead to greater feelings of satiation, causing you to eat less more naturally. It will also flush fluids into your bloodstream, meaning that you will lose any bloating causing you to retain weight.
The caffeine in PhenQ might cause energy levels to peak then dip again. This is where L-Carnitine comes into it. L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in foods such as red meat, nuts and green vegetables. It enables your body to use fat as energy. This means that you will have a steadier source of energy for when the caffeine buzz dries up, and that you will be using up more fat reserves in the process.
It’s a standard, well-made, very clever formula that all thermogenic fat burners would do well to watch and I have no hesitation in recommending it as my no.1 choice that is suitable for both men and women.back to menu ↑
Instant Knockout Cut
Now we have another product I like a lot – if for no other reason than it comes in a transparent bottle shaped like a fist. Instant Knockout Cut has been going since 2014, in which time they have received and passed a lot of scientific scrutiny. Their 2.0 Cut Above Formula, newly developed, seeks to improve on the original.
It is obviously marketed in quite a hardcore way – they want their clientele to all be shredded bodybuilders. This needn’t be the case. Anybody looking to lose fat on a decent diet with a good amount of physical exercise in their lives can benefit from it.
The formula is made from high quality natural ingredients. It includes vitamins D3, B6, and B12, all of which are pretty common in these kinds of products. Vitamin D can lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance. It has also been linked to lower body fat levels, hence its place in Cut.
B vitamins are always useful in metabolising food, helping you to turn it into energy. B6 can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels, keeping you alert, happy, and hitting that addictive spot for which food can often be used. B12 on the other hand is known for increasing energy, concentration, mental clarity, and for boosting your mood. Data has also linked it with lower weight levels.
Cut also uses caffeine and l-theanine for improved energy levels and heightened fat burning potential. This is furthered by green tea extract, which is known for its fat oxidation and energy expenditure properties. You also get plenty of polyphenols called catechins, which helps to break down stored energy and has been linked to lower levels of abdominal weight (belly fat!)
Cayenne pepper is also a regular candidate in thermogenic fat burners. Spice is always nice, after all, and Cut uses it to great effect. It is thermogenic, known for, and proven to, boost your metabolic rate. This is due to its main ingredient, capsaicin, which has been shown in studies to enhance fat oxidation and increase energy expenditure.
Cut also uses piperine (black pepper extract), another metabolic booster that also aids digestion, and glucomannan, a highly fibres root extract from the konjac plant that will work similarly to nopal.
Again, nothing ground breaking, here – just a list of trustworthy ingredients proven to work well in any weight loss diet.back to menu ↑
PrimeShred (Male Fat Burner)
Next up, we have PrimeShred. It’s apparently a ‘male fat burner’, though, as we will see, it’s good for most people. In fact, it is like most of the other items on this list – it’s a pretty hard working fat burner made from top ingredients, that will help you burn fat fast and effectively no matter your gender. As long as you pair it with a decent diet and active lifestyle, it will work for you (though, as with many supplements that include caffeine, it’s not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women).
There are no fillers in PrimeShred. Nor are there any secret ingredients or patented compounds. They are very open about what goes into their supplement. Each capsule is completely veggie friendly and comes packed with plenty of ingredients you would usually expect of a good thermogenic fat burner.
This includes an array of B vitamins – B3, B6, and B12 – alongside green tea, cayenne pepper, l-tyrosine, black pepper (BioPerine®) and green coffee.
Green coffee beans are just unroasted beans. The roasting process generally rids them of compounds like chlorogenic acid, which burn away. Keeping things raw preserves the bean’s chlorogenic acid. This is handy in a weight loss scenario, as chlorogenic acid is thought to reduce the amount of fat and glucose absorbed by your gut through digestion. Including it in your diet may help to lower insulin levels whilst boosting your metabolic rate. It is also thermogenic in its own right as it contains plenty of caffeine.
Simply take three pills per day, get some time in at the gym, and make sure you have an appropriate caloric deficit in your diet and you should see results in no time – no matter who you are!back to menu ↑
TrimTone (For women)
Here we have another arbitrarily gendered, yet incredibly good, thermogenic fat burner. This time, it’s in the form of TrimTone (apparently just for women). Don’t be fooled – it is full of fantastic ingredients that work incredibly well together, so that anybody looking to boost thermogenesis will benefit from taking it regularly.
TrimTone markets itself as an incredibly convenient pill – perfect for those mums running around between the gym, the grocery store and all their domestic duties. I would argue that it’s also perfect for anyone with a full-time job, or who is in any other, perhaps less cliched situation.
I take their point. It is a convenient pill. You only need one capsule, once per day, at whatever time you want. Though their stereotyping of the modern woman is way off, their product isn’t.
The formula leans on caffeine, green tea, green coffee, and glucomannan – a solid offering. This will both speed up your metabolism and give you a greater feeling of satiation as all that fibre kicks in.
TrimTone also uses Grains of Paradise. This really very beautifully named herb arguably deserves its moniker – it really is quite special. It’s a herb from the ginger family proven to help metabolise brown adipose tissue (BAT). BAT is used to keep your body warm through energy burning – it is pretty much tailor made for thermogenesis. When activated, it burns up nicely, breaking down energy and ridding you of fat.
BAT activation may also have a stabilising effect on blood sugar, helping to keep cravings at bay and normalise energy levels.
It’s very easy and convenient, and well made with a great recipe. Just don’t fall for the hype or the cliches – the health and fitness industry doesn’t need these to be further reinforced.back to menu ↑
BrutalForce make natural alternatives to SARMs and steroids. It’s all legal, all safe, all perfectly natural and above board, whilst giving you the same advantages of the heavy, unpleasant chemicals with which non-natural bodybuilders typically inject themselves. Their CCUT formula is designed specifically to mimic the effects of the popular weight loss SARM clenbuterol.
As such, it is perfect for those in a caloric deficit looking to cut their fat levels whilst retaining as much muscle as possible.
What makes it work, though? Is it as effective as clenbuterol?
It has several ingredients that seem to provide the answers, alongside a resounding ‘yes!’
For example, it uses garcinia, which blocks fat creation and suppresses appetite, guarana, a potent mix of caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, and antioxidants proven to boost your metabolism. It uses bitter orange which can increase blood pressure in order to speed up fat burning (handle with care, especially if you have a history of high blood pressure).
Finally, it uses Griffonia simplicifolia, a type of plant found in western parts of Africa.
Griffonia seeds are a stalwart of traditional alternative medicine. They contain a chemical called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which is helpful in treating common issues such as depression, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia, all of which can be common on a weight loss diet. It is also often used to speed up weight loss, with proven results.
CCUT is an innovative way to gain the benefits of a SARM without putting yourself at risk.back to menu ↑
However, kudos aside, it needs to actually work as a decent thermogenic fat burner if we are to take it at all seriously.
Luckily, it does. Of course it does – it wouldn’t make this list, otherwise, would it?
In fact, Burn by Hunter Evolve, as it’s more properly called, uses six high-grade fat burning ingredients in perfect doses to perfect your fat loss. It is clinically dosed across a weighty 180 capsules per bottle to give you the best results possible.
It’s not for the undedicated. It takes some work. Hunter Evolve expect you to take it consistently through the day at regular intervals. However, they make up for this by giving us some of the best quality natural, fat burning ingredients from around the world that money can buy. It’s all free from artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, GMO, gluten, and soy. They also keep Burn caffeine free and low stimulant, for those who don’t want a pick-me-up, or those who are intolerant.
They base much of their efficacy around glucomannan from the root of the konjac plant, keeping you feeling fuller whilst helping to stabilise blood sugar levels. They also use white kidney beans, a proven carbohydrate blocker, and cayenne pepper, to make sure that your weight loss is being hit from all sides.
Though it is low stimulant, Burn uses green matcha tea, rich in metabolism boosting catechins.
Finally, Burn has l-theanine and vitamin D.
All in all, it’s a very potent formula, perfect for those looking for a caffeine free supplement.back to menu ↑
But what does it do?
For starters, HourGlass Fit claims to use a 2 in 1 approach to weight loss. It is made from nutrients and ingredients to help you burn fat and reduce hunger. As you’ll have seen from the other offerings on this list, that’s nothing too novel – as soon as you pair a metabolic booster, such as cayenne pepper, for instance, with something like glucomannan, this is exactly what you are doing.
And this is kind of what they do, though with no synthetic additives, no hidden blends, and no side effects pretty much guaranteed.
HourGlass Fit uses glucomannan alongside capsimax, B2, B6, B12, 5-HTP, zinc and chromium. They also use their special Bioperine® recipe, which I’ll go into below.
Zinc and chromium are great additions.
Zinc will boost your immune system. Though this isn’t helpful in weight loss in and of itself, those undergoing a strict, calorie restricted diet alongside an effective fitness program will often find their immune systems depleted. It’s hard to be happy and healthy, let alone to lose weight, if you’re laid up in bed with a cold every five minutes.
Chromium is a great appetite and craving suppressant, especially cravings for simple carbohydrates like white flour and sugar. It’s hard to go without these at the best of times. On a calorie restricted diet, it’s both harder and far more important to do so.
Capsimax uses OmniBead™ developments to extract and deliver just the bioactive capsaicinoids from cayenne peppers, giving you a very pure form without any of the heat it usually brings.
Bioperine® is essential to HourGlass Fit’s success. It is basically a highly bioavailable form of piperine. There’s nothing too ground breaking here, but we have seen that piperine is a very potent ingredient, and making it highly bioavailable simply improves efficacy and efficiency.
Again, we have a quite gendered, quite stereotyped style of branding. Don’t let it put you off. No matter your gender, or where you are in life, you will benefit from using HourGlass Fit as part of any decent weight loss program.
How to Choose a Good Thermogenic Fat Burner
All fat burners will claim to increase weight loss and fat oxidation. However, there is a large gulf between what products claim and what they can do. As above, there is a lot of snake oil on the market – unscrupulous companies selling poorly scientifically supported compounds claiming to be the miracle cure that all dieters would love to have.
You will obviously want to avoid these, especially as there are actually some really good products out there that really will help you to burn fat more efficiently.
The key is to look at the ingredients, especially the active ones. I’ve done this below, breaking down each supplement and showing the active ingredients that will make them useful to your dietary journey. You can choose between fat burners that are essentially just one active ingredient or go for more complex ones that cover more bases. Most of the items on the list below have several active ingredients, making them more potent and bringing about some good chemical synergy.
If you can, look for products that have clinically proven results based on data from third parties. These third parties should have no financial stake in the company, or any other conflict of interest – if somebody with nothing to gain green-lights a product, you’re onto a winner.
Expectation management will also be key in choosing a thermogenic fat burning supplement.
A good thermogenic fat burn will increase thermogenesis in your body and allow your body to use more fat as fuel, especially around exercise. Don’t expect it to chew through thousands of calories per day, allowing you to eat what you want, do nothing and become or remain lean. The product you choose shouldn’t claim to work miracles. It should simply contain a good list of ingredients to optimise the fat loss process.
Are there side effects to using thermogenic fat burners?
There generally won’t be any side effects to thermogenic fat burners unless you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients. For instance, it is common for people to be sensitive to ingredients such as cayenne pepper and caffeine.
Some people may find some unpleasant side effects to fat burners in general, however. Common effects can include nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, headaches, and a slight increase in blood pressure.
Is there a recommended dosage for fat burners?
Each product will have a recommended dose – always be sure to check the label. Make sure that it aligns with your own body mass, dietary needs, and health concerns. If in doubt, check with your medical provider before taking fat burners.
How do I get the most out of my thermogenic fat burner?
As above, thermogenic fat burners will do little in and of themselves. They are the icing, not the cake. Without a healthy, appropriate diet and an active lifestyle, they will be wasted. With these things in place, they will represent a jump in efficiency as you work towards your goals. To make the most of them, therefore, make sure that your diet and exercise plans are in order.
Also, remember to be kind to yourself as you reach for your goals. Aim at gradual improvements and overall health, not drastic weight loss or any other form of negativity.