“The more X, V and Z in your product title, the more science-y and effective it is!” This product is as much of a fad as the recent review we posted on Elite test 360 – with an equally hardcore name and equally nonsense ingredients. The ingredients in this product have been debunked time and time again as either ineffective, almost ineffective and/or unbelievably unimpressive compared to market and dietary alternatives. We try to be fair to all supplements but when you’ve reviewed as many as we have, and been so intimately involved in the supplement industry, the active ingredients in a supplement tip you off to which ones are effective and which are simply trying to make a quick buck.
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The 4 main ingredients in this product are Garcinia cambogia, green tea extract, orange extract and caffeine. 2 of these are almost entirely useless (orange extract and garcinia cambogia) whereas the other 2 are easily replaced with much cheaper market alternatives, generally in the form of hot drinks (caffeine and green tea extract). This article will primarily discuss the limited benefits of these ingredients and show you why you’re probably better off avoiding this product.
What is it?
As we mentioned above, Fat burn X is a fat loss supplement that relies on a combination of 4 herbal or fruit extracts: green tea extract, caffeine, garcinia cambogia and orange extract. These are very common in the supplement industry, though their effectiveness is limited. However, garcinia cambogia has been lauded as the “holy grail” of weight loss by other reviews on this product, which is interesting considering that one of our previous reviews was spent debunking every beneficial claim about this product. There are additional ingredients such as grapefruit extract, but these are not the “active” ingredients and we won’t pay them as much attention as the “exciting new formula”.
Does it work?
We’re going to address this product and its active ingredients individually so you can know which ones work, which one’s don’t and what sort of opportunity cost they might have.
We’re going to get this one straight out of the way because we’re sick of talking about it and, if you follow our reviews, you’re probably sick of reading about it! Garcinia cambogia has been included in a large number of weight loss supplements for the past few decades and it has been lauded as “the holy grail of weight loss” by some, less reputable and less-scientific review sites. This is utter nonsense – we have spent whole articles discussing this but the fact is that garcinia cambogia has almost no benefits for weight loss, with the only evidence suggesting it has any effect being the result of rodent studies . Human studies do not confirm these effects and it seems that, unless you’re an adult rat, you’re not going to burn fat at any advanced rate due to this product.
Orange extract is usually synephrine, a low-level stimulant that is less effective than caffeine and has some very minor benefits. We appreciate the inclusion of this product but not for the fat loss effects – as these are not comparable to more powerful stimulants such as ephedrine of caffeine. Our favourite benefits are those associated with circulation and digestion, which may be beneficial but are not linked to fat loss in a significant way. Studies suggesting that fat loss occurs tend to have conflicts of interest and show no significant metabolic improvements in the long-term .
There are also concerns that the use of synephrine is competitive with the use of caffeine – in the sense that the use of synephrine is likely to be less effective in these areas than simply consuming an equivalent amount of caffeine. Considering that both of these are included in fat burn x, we are sceptical about the usefulness of synephrine.
Caffeine is one of the few supplements that we will endorse for most people – this is also one of the most commonly sold and consumed drugs in the world and to suggest that its usefulness is restricted to the use of dietary supplements is silly. Caffeine improves basal metabolic rate, improve digestive regularity, circulation (this is good within reason but can be a problem with excessive consumption), focus, alertness and sports performance through rate of force generation and maximal force output . These are not trivial improvements: the ascendancy of caffeine in the supplement and sport industries is built on the widespread understanding of the benefits that caffeine can bring to the sportsman and the businessman alike.
However, the problem with caffeine is that it is not exclusive to fat burn X. Rather, it is one of the most widely-available drugs on the planet and can be found at incredibly low retail price in pure form – such as tablets – in various energy drinks/supplements and in the humble cup of coffee. This suggests to us that buying fat burn X cannot be justified through the caffeine content alone, when there are many – and cheaper – market alternatives.
Green tea extract
The main benefit of green tea extract is the high concentration of green tea catechins. These are compounds that have powerful antioxidant effects and can contribute to the respiration of brown fat tissues (the ones that burn more easily) , as well as the improved oxidation of fat in general. The most effective of these is EGCG and it can be found in many supplements across the marketplace.
There are a number of problems with green tea extract supplementation, though it is a theoretically-sound ingredient for fat loss. Firstly, the concentration of EGCG must be standardised at at least 50% for us to care: this is market standard and any lower than this is a serious problem. Furthermore, the effectiveness of EGCG is muted by the digestion of the compound, where it is commonly destroyed. The introduction of liposomal EGCG has been game-changing for this purpose, but has left simple green tea extracts such as fat burn X in the past. This means that when they suggest that their product is new and exciting, it is more a marketing ploy than in-line with the developments in nutritional science and chemistry.
As it stands, the effects of un-complexed EGCG from green tea extract is that it does not have much effect on fat loss. Whilst there is some effect, it is necessary to consume around 50mg of EGCG in order to burn around 5g of fat in the body. This is a small quantity compared to the human body’s ability to naturally metabolise fat as much as a kilogram per week or two, and doesn’t provide much reason to add fat burn X to the diet.
Practicalities: value and market alternatives
Market alternatives and value are where fat burn X really flops: the previous section discussing the effectiveness of the product is important when we look at its value. How much the product is worth depends on the value added to the customer’s experience and health, which seems to be very little. If we were given fat burn X for free, for example, we might use it. However, at the list price of around $30-40, we can’t recommend purchasing or using this product. The main benefits associated with its consumption are likely the result of green tea extract’s EGCG and caffeine.
Caffeine is found in coffee, which is delicious and cheap and widely available, as well as having a good metabolisation arc – this means that it is less likely to have “ups” and “downs” compared to supplements. Additionally, for those who want the quick bursts of caffeine-induced hyperfocus, regular caffeine pills can be purchased extremely cheaply.
EGCG is also widely available in a much more delicious and accessible form: matcha powder. Matcha tea has something of a cult following among millennial hipsters, but it is not without good reason. Matcha contains a much higher concentration of EGCG per cup than regular green tea. This is a great way to combat the poor digestive availability of regular EGCG. Alternatively, we are likely to see the advent of liposomal EGCG in the next decade or so – we aren’t suggesting that you wait that long (and some products are already on the market), but it is clear to us that the use of standard green tea leaf extract is soon going to be eclipsed by more effective and worthwhile technologies.
We can’t stand to see poor-quality supplements being sold at ridiculous prices to individuals who are genuinely working hard to reduce their weight and improve their health. This is one of our biggest criticisms of the supplement industry and fat burn X continues to perpetuate this attitude. The ingredients are fad-ish and easily replaced or removed without any negative effects – the use of synephrine and caffeine is both short-sighted and increases the stimulant load without much benefit.
Fat burn X strikes us as yet another hyperbole-fuelled “fat loss” pill. These are 10 a penny in the supplement industry and there is nothing to recommend this product above and beyond the market alternatives. As such, we’re not willing to rate this product any higher than 1.5 out of 5: it is an over-priced supplement and nothing more or less. As ever with such supplements, the best we can say is that it probably isn’t hugely deterious to health!
Editor's Tip: Readers who bought Fat Burn X also bought Phentaslim
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John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry!