Are Fat Burners Safe?
Like any drug, a fat burner is a composition of some beneficial chemicals used for fat burning and improving body-appearance.
But how safe are they?
Do they have any side-effects on your body when taken in excess quantities?
What are the short-term side-effects, while what’s more in the long-term?
To make the best out of the fat burner, you must know the possible side-effects imparted by the different ingredients present in the supplement.
Let’s have a look!
What Are the Side-Effects of Consuming a Fat Burner?
As you know, fat burner supplements are a combination of several beneficial chemicals, and they have their safe usage limits and proper intake guidelines. When anything goes beyond the limits, those supplements create adverse effects on your body. (1) (2)
So, the thumb-rule of taking any supplement is—getting it in the right dosage. When you take them in wrong timings or over-consume for long, you start to notice side-effects. The side-effects can be various. (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
Those can be:
- Restlessness and difficulty in sleeping (9)
- the increased energy level at odd times
- Irregular, racing heartbeats (10) (11)
- Uncontrollable heavy sweating
- Anxiety and aggressive behavior (12)
- Toxicity of liver by overconsumption (13) (14) (15) (16)
I have shared some of the common side-effects below which can appear both in men and women.
Effects on Psychological Health
Caffeine is widely used in fat burners. It is a stimulant that has a direct effect on the neurons in your brain. When consumed for a long duration, your body becomes dependent on Caffeine and creates an addiction. (17)
Caffeine-addiction is a common issue found in heavy consumers of Coffee.
Fat burners containing other stimulating chemicals such as yohimbine also have a similar effect in the long-term. (18)
If you take a caffeine-containing fat burner too late in the night, you become hyperactive, and the urge for sleep will fade away. You will feel unstable and irritated.
Stopping the fat burner will lead to mood swings, headaches, anxiety, and stress. This may deter your mental health and affect your emotions.
Effects on Metabolism Rate:
Your body is an intelligent machine. When you trick it with some supplements that alter its regular working mechanism, the body starts to adapt. It may lead to metabolic syndromes when used in abnormal quantities. (21)
This side-effect is mostly found with appetite suppressant fat burners.
Overuse of appetite suppressants for a prolonged time forces you to eat less. The rest of the energy is compensated by the fat burner.
The appetite suppressing ingredients helps you consume fewer calories than before. While it may look good in short-term extended periods, making it harmful for your regular food intake habits.
If you decide to stop the fat burner after using it for a long time, your metabolism rate takes a lot of time to recover. So, choose them wisely.
Effects on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Fat burners, especially the thermogenic ones, contain many ingredients that work by increasing the body temperature. The increased temperature puts pressure on your heart muscles, following which blood pressure is elevated to abnormal levels.
Also, some studies show that fat burners can sometimes interfere with your heart health when consumed without the supervision of a certified medical professional. (24)
High blood pressure is dangerous to your heart health and is detrimental to the blood circulation system.
Effects on Liver
Studies show that long-term use of a fat burner is associated with liver toxicity and failure. (25)
Further, in 2014 over a hundred cases of hepatitis (26) and liver infection appeared due to the consumption of one particular fat burner. Later, that fat burner was removed from the market.
Liver toxicity is one of the common side-effects of taking a fat burner. (27)
Effects on Gastrointestinal System
- stomach upset
- a bloated-belly
Always make sure that you are not allergic to the ingredients of a fat burner that you are going to use.
If you have any previously known disorders such as lactose-intolerance and gluten-sensitivity, it is a must to double-check the product labels.
Interactions with Medications
Ingredients such as Glucomannan in fat burners interfere with oral prescription drugs and reduce their absorption into your body. (32) Also, as Glucomannan is known for having a blood-glucose-lowering potential, further, it increases the blood-glucose-lowering activity of diabetes medications. (33)
In a study, Garcinia cambogia was reported to cause serotonin toxicity in an individual taking
two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs. (34)
How to Minimize the Side-Effects of a Fat-Burner?
Examine the product labels to gather information about the ingredients and recommended dosage.
Never take a fat burner when you are on an empty stomach.
Monitor any rashes, pain, discomfort, or other abnormal symptoms that were not familiar to you before the supplementation.
When taking a fat burner with a large number of active ingredients, always consult with a medical professional to check any drug-supplement reactions. Alternatively, you can use Internet resources from reputed research organizations to educate yourself on the safe consumption limits. (35) (36) (37)
When taking a caffeine-rich supplement, never get it too late at night. Also, consider cutting down other caffeine-rich foods and beverages from your diet.
Stay hydrated by drinking enough fluids. Excessive sweating and thirst are the signs of dehydration—be wary of them!
Never combine two fat burners regardless of the health benefits they boast about. Always take opinions from a medical practitioner.
Learn when to take what type of fat burner and in what amounts.
Fat burners are an easy addition to your diet and workout program to accelerate fat burning. Also, they are hugely helpful at giving results in record time.
However, you need to understand the possible complications and side-effects of taking a fat burner.
Always read the labels, dose recommendations. If you have any preexisting medical conditions, never forget to discuss with your physician about any possible interactions from supplementation.