If you’re wondering what CLA is, it stands for conjugated linoleic acid. Health stores all over the nation have been selling CLA as supplements to aid in fat loss. As with most other weight loss pills and supplements, it has received its fair share of hype and ‘testimonials’ to convince potential buyers that it is effective.
So is it as effective as the manufacturers claim?
Studies have been conducted on rats, mice and recently humans too. The studies have shown that CLA indeed does promote fat loss but the participants also were on a sensible diet and exercise program. Ah hah! Isn’t that always the case!
CLA is a supplement and just like the word suggests, it is meant to supplement a proper training regimen and healthy diet. Without these 2 fundamentals in place, no supplement or pill or anything will work to make you lose weight.
Most of the typical fat burners on the market contain stimulants to make your body lose weight. Recently, one of these stimulants, ephedrine is being clamped down on by many stated because of its negative side effects which can be potentially fatal.
Most fat burners which contain stimulants will produce side effects such as jitters, trembles, heart palpitations, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. None of these are good for you. Fortunately, CLA has no stimulants, so it does not cause any negative side effects.
Now let’s look at studies conducted to determine the efficacy of CLA
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the first study. It was discovered that when the participants were supplemented with 3.2 g/d of CLA (the recommended dose for weight loss benefits) they burned more fat while they slept. This is excellent. To make things better, the fat the subjects burned was stored body fat and not the fat they had consumed the day before.
The CLA also promoted improved protein retention. This is good news because it prevents muscle from breaking down easily. During weight loss programs, it is common to lose some muscle along with the fat. That is why it is crucial to include resistance training with the cardio so that we can retain every bit of muscle that we can. So, by consuming CLA supplements, it might give us an added advantage to holding on to our precious muscle.
So far, there have been no documented cases of adverse reactions from people who have consumed CLA. That is a good sign. This would be a supplement worth investing in to accelerate your fat loss and help you reach your desired weight.
A word of caution. Do not overdo it. It is very common for people to not stick with the recommended doses and take more than the prescribed amount. They naively assume that by increasing the dose, the speed up the process. This is a huge mistake. Stick with the recommended dose which will probably be around 3.2 g/d.
Lastly, make sure you maintain your training regimen and eat wisely while aiming for a daily calorie deficit of 500 cal/day. If you do this right, the CLA will be very beneficial.