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CLA And Carnitine: A “Fat Burner” Combination

Published: October 2021 | Updated: November 2021

If you eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and exercise daily, but still struggle with unwanted belly fat and excess weight, you are not alone. Luckily, there are powerful weight management supplements to incorporate into your wellness routine to help support your goals. Two of them, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and L-carnitine, are fat burners that not only work independently, but when combined, they may accelerate your weight management goals.

NOTE: It is important to speak with your doctor before incorporating one or both of these supplements into your wellness routines as they may interact with other medications you are taking.

What are fat burners?

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You've more than likely seen advertisements for overpromised "quick-fix" fat burners. These products may contain ingredients that aren't proven to work—or even chemicals that could be harmful.

However, there are effective supplements, formulated based on clinical studies, which are considered "fat burners" because indeed, they help increase energy expenditure, fight absorption of fat, and increase fat burning during exercise. All of these qualities make fat burner supplements a good choice if you're trying to manage your weight or promote a healthy body composition.

Do CLA supplements work?

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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid that your body needs for optimal health, but does not naturally produce. Normally, CLA is obtained from beef or dairy products. If you're more of an herbivore than a carnivore (or at least a pescatarian!), a CLA supplement might be a good addition to your weight management supplement routine. CLA has been hailed as an effective, stimulant-free way to boost your fat metabolism—without giving up lean muscle mass.

Multiple human studies have shown that CLA helps support weight management by increasing the breakdown of fat and using that fat for energy. CLA "browns" white adipose tissue, meaning it turns it into a more healthy, brown adipose tissue. This may help boost your metabolism and help support maintaining a healthy weight.

How to take a CLA supplement

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Getting small amounts of CLA from meat or dairy products is beneficial for weight management. However, you may not be consuming enough or have dietary restrictions that do not allow for meat and dairy, so it is important to supplement with CLA.

Take your CLA dietary supplement with meals and in conjunction with a healthy, Mediterranean-based diet and regular exercise in order to help promote healthy body composition and encourage the breakdown of fats.

Be mindful about the dosage on the bottle and do not consume more than what is recommended, since large doses may cause side effects.

What is L-carnitine?

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L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally found in your body and formed in your liver and kidneys. This amino acid plays an essential role in transporting fats to the mitochondria, which then convert it into cellular energy. About 98% of your body's L-carnitine is stored in your muscles, while a small fraction can be found in your liver and blood.

However, your natural levels of L-carnitine in your muscles decline as you age, so, especially for those who have weight management goals, carnitine supplements are a good idea, since they help support lean body mass and may also enhance exercise performance.

Does L-carnitine burn belly fat?

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Carnitine helps burn belly fat by facilitating the transportation of fatty acids into the mitochondria in your muscles. By transporting fatty acids into your muscle's mitochondria at a faster rate, carnitine helps the body burn them for fuel.

Carnitine helps speed up the process of fat burning for energy, meaning it helps keep your muscles fueled during your workout. So not only does carnitine indirectly help you burn fat, but doing so has positive impacts on the body's ability to exercise.

In fact, studies in older adults showed L-carnitine helped increase muscle mass while decreasing body weight and fat mass and supporting recovery after exercise.

Can you take CLA and L-carnitine together?

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Your body thrives on a variety of nutrients to achieve and maintain optimal wellness. Although most people are looking for one supplement to meet all their weight management needs, the reality is that multiple nutrients can help you get to your goals more easily. When properly combined, CLA and carnitine can act as a one-two punch to jumpstart your healthy weight goals and burn stubborn body fat.

Are there other supplements for weight management?

Saffron on a wooden spoon

When it comes to weight management supplements, the buck doesn't stop at CLA and L-carnitine. In fact, there are a number of weight management supplements. Some other top picks include:

White kidney bean extract

– More than just a legume, white kidney bean extract may help slow the digestion of carbs from your foods.

Saffron

– An excellent option for caffeine-free appetite management support, saffron can help you maintain a healthy weight by making you less inclined to stress-eat.

AMPK activator

– This formula is great way to support your better body goals and jumpstart your AMPK levels to convert abdominal fat into energy.

References

By: Andrew Davis, Health & Wellness Writer

Andrew Davis is a graduate of Pace University NYC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has more than a decade's worth of experience in content and social media in the health and wellness space. An avid traveler, Andrew also has volunteered as an English teacher and humanitarian in countries throughout Asia.

Scientifically Reviewed By: Michael A. Smith, MD