Weider Fat Burners
Weider Fat Burners claims to be a health boosting and metabolism enhancing supplement, but whether the dosages are high enough, and whether the associated side-effects are worth the risk, is unclear.
Below we have reviewed Weider Fat Burners against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.
Weider Fat Burners Pros
- Weider Fat Burner contains both caffeine and green tea extract, both of which have been subject to preliminary testing
- Does not appear to contain any extremely dangerous ingredients
- The company is well-established
- Results of clinical studies on the key ingredients are generally inconclusive
- The level of chromium present in the product has the potential to be dangerous; a serving of Weider Fat Burners contains well over the recommended daily intake of chromium
- Some indication that the company behind the product has been involved in legal battles regarding false advertising
Weider Fat Burners Review
Weider mention that diet and exercise are needed for the product to be effective, so they are not marketing the supplement as a miracle cure for weight loss issues. It’s also worth noting that Weider claim that for the best results, the ‘Fat Burners Weight Management Plan’ must be followed, which presumably is provided with the product; this plan has not been commented on by any reviewers, so it’s effectiveness cannot be reliably commented upon.
Claimed weight loss benefits
Weider do not provide much information about how Weider Fat Burners are supposed to work. The description given, that the product encourages good health and boosts energy to incite steady, rapid weight loss, suggests that Weider is marketing their product as a metabolism booster. They claim that the ‘naturally occurring compounds’ in the product can help aid fat metabolism – the breakdown of body fat into energy.
How Weider Fat Burners Works
Weider Fat Burners are composed of 4 primary active ingredients, though the contribution from each ingredient is not quantified by the company. The supposed metabolism boosting effects are said to be achieved through the caffeine, green tea extract, and potentially the Kola nut and cayenne pepper components. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, also acting on the muscles, hormonal glands and organs.
The product description describes the supplement as ‘nutritionally supporting your metabolism and feelings of well-being to help reach your weight loss goals’, and also point out that weight management can only be accomplished using a program featuring low caloric intake and daily exercise. In the FAQ section, they also mention that Fat Burners ‘use naturally occurring compounds with proven research to aid in fat metabolism’. Beyond this, no information is available.
Weider Fat Burners appear to be marketed as a metabolism booster and energiser therefore, which are both effects which can be beneficial in weight loss. Note that thermogenic literally means ‘producing heat’, the effect of the body’s metabolic reactions. Metabolism refers to all of the chemical reactions that occur in the body to keep it functioning correctly; these reactions use up energy from the body’s carbohydrate and fat stores, and thus increasing the rate of these reactions can cause the body to use up body fat faster, helping with weight loss.
There are no controlled studies of Weider Fat Burners published anywhere online and so it is necessary to look at the ingredients to determine the likelihood of their potential as metabolism boosters. Weider recommend taking 4 tablets daily, 2 in the morning and 2 at noon (or 4 at once); each serving, judging by the sum weight of the ingredients, contains 1.12 grams of active ingredients.
Chromium is a metallic element that is required in small doses by the body to aid in digesting glucose (the sugar present in most foods) and managing insulin sensitivity (the hormone which increases the uptake of glucose from the blood into the body, for example after a large meal). It has often been said that individuals with a chromium deficiency in their diet have benefited from chromium supplementation. Since it affects the body’s response to insulin, it is possible that a deficiency can cause weight gain since the body cannot manage its blood sugar levels properly, potentially leading to increased levels of hunger hormones.
Though chromium is essential for health, there is little evidence that increasing its intake will help with weight loss. For example, a study which took place over 3 months found that supplementation with chromium pincolinate daily made no difference to supplementation with a placebo; this was carried out in diabetics, for whom increased chromium levels should have the most obvious result.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is another active ingredient, and has been said to have effects, when taken in high enough doses, that could be beneficial to weight loss. Green tea has been suggested to help with weight loss through the ‘catechins’ present, which are natural antioxidants that supposedly help increase energy expenditure and boost fat oxidation- the breakdown of fat in the body to use for energy. A study from 1999 tested the effects of green tea extract on ten healthy men, measuring their metabolic rate and excretion of urea in the urine twenty-four hours after taking a combined caffeine and green tea extract. The study found that the green tea extract significantly increased energy expenditure with no negative side-effects, and that body-fat was the favoured energy source during this period. However, the study could have neglected the caffeine present, which is known to have significant weight loss effects-many of the effects of caffeine are attributed to green tea.
Other sources have claimed that green tea extract catechins are effective in boosting fat oxidation however; one study of Japanese men and women, taking place over 14 weeks, found that supplementation with green tea extract in large quantities (583 milligrams per day) compared to a ‘control’ group (96 milligrams per day), daily, caused almost every sign associated with weight loss-hip circumference, BMI and body weight- to be more significant in the green tea extract group. Unfortunately, Weider Fat Burners only contain 150 milligrams of GTE in a serving, and so the effects are likely to be limited.
Kola Nut and Caffeine
The most concentrated ingredient in Weider Fat Burner is Kola Nut Extract (Cola acuminata). The Kola Nut is native to rainforests in Africa, and the caffeine-containing fruit is used in beverages to create the flavour ‘cola’, hence the name. The fruit contains caffeine and catechin content, which as discussed above, are both thought to have fat oxidation-boosting and metabolism-boosting effects. The active component of Cola acuminata is the caffeine component, although since the term ‘extract’ is vague it is uncertain how much caffeine the Kola nut extract actually contains.
Caffeine has been said to improve endurance and mental awareness, improving workouts and making it easier to function on a diet, and to help suppress appetite. It supposedly does this through acting on multiple areas of the body, primarily the neurones connected to the muscles, and influencing the release of hormones related to hunger and digestion. It has a few associated health benefits like improved alertness and mood and even cancer risk reduction; but it also has negative effects on health in the long-term, like dependency and addiction, and in the short-term concentrated sources of caffeine can make it difficult to focus and cause ‘energy crashes’ when the effect wears off.
Cayenne pepper extract contains high levels of capsaicin, which is believed to increase the rate of metabolism and help suppress appetite, as well as increase fat oxidation. Capsaicin is an ‘alkaloid’ which is thought to increase adrenaline production; one of the effects of adrenaline is to increase the metabolic rate, to prepare the body for exercise. It has been suggested to increase rate of fat oxidation, especially after exercise; it can also purportedly inhibit fat-cell accumulation at supplement-level dosages. However, the dosages of cayenne pepper needed for these effects to occur are thought to be much higher than those present in Weider Fat Burner.
Cinnamon powder also has had a lot of media attention for its alleged ability to induce weight loss. Several sources state that cinnamon acts as an insulin mimicker; however, insubstantial evidence is currently available to support this claim, with few controlled studies available for examination; cinnamon must therefore be treated as an ineffective ingredient until further evidence is available.
Key Weider Fat Burners Ingredients
Caffeine purportedly acts in a similar fashion to the hormone adrenaline, causing the muscle cells to begin breaking down carbohydrate and fat to increase available energy levels, increasing blood supply to the brain to increase awareness and concentration, and increasing the rate of digestion, all of which are associated with ‘fight or flight’. Ingesting caffeine causes the consumer to feel more energised and awake, and possibly also to feel less hungry due to increased blood glucose levels.
Green tea has often been associated with weight loss, due to the presence of caffeine and green tea extract; this effect is supported by a 1999 study on ten men, where their excretion of urea (an indicator of fat digestion) and metabolic rate were measured several hours after drinking green tea. The results confirmed higher resting metabolic rates and increased fat oxidation compared to placebo.
For more information, we recommend you read our Green Tea Weight Loss article.
Kola nut is primarily a caffeine-containing fruit which also contains other stimulants which have similar effects. Few studies have quantified the effects of this fruit, but anecdotal evidence from the countries in which it is grown suggests it has the ability to decrease hunger (due to the caffeine content, most likely). The Kola nut caffeine is included in the 100 milligrams of caffeine; the effects of the Kola nut outside this are not well researched.
Cayenne pepper, comparatively, has had many studies performed on its effects, primarily on its active component capsaicin, another substance believed to boost metabolic rate. The research, discussed in the section below, has not all been positive and the studies that suggest it could be effective use much higher dosages than those present in Weider Fat Burners.
Weider do not provide any studies to support the effectiveness of their product. This means that clinical studies of the ingredients cannot be used as conclusive evidence; since the product contains ingredients in a combination which has yet to be tested, trials of the ingredients studied separately do not rule out the possibility of them producing a weight-loss beneficial effect when taken together. Consumers are always advised to be cautious of companies that make claims about their product without explaining how it works and the science behind it.
Chromium picolinate, has arguably too much conflicting evidence to confirm its effectiveness or otherwise.
A pilot study conducted in 2010 saw 80 healthy, overweight adults be split into either a placebo group, or a group taking 1000 micrograms of chromium picolinate, for 24 weeks. All subjects were given nutritional education at the 12 week point (so that for the first twelve weeks, subjects were presumed to be eating as they usually would). The researchers measured weight, height, blood pressure, body fat percentage and urine composition to determine which group had achieved more weight loss. It was determined by the researchers that both the chromium and the placebo groups had similar mean body mass index at the beginning of the trial, and at the 12 week point, there was no real difference. At the end of the trial, no significant changes were observed. Whilst the variation in the diet of the subjects adds an element of uncertainty to the results, the negative outcome suggests that they are valid; a positive result would have required more careful scrutiny of the other variables involved.
However, another study carried out on pigs fed a high fat diet found that chromium supplementation could reduce the weight gain (as fat) experienced by these pigs. Over a 56 day period, thirty-two crossbred pigs were given one of four treatments; a low fat diet, high fat diet, or high fat diet with either 1000 or 2000 parts per billion (in their food) of chromium in their diet a day. The study found that supplementation with chromium reduced the body fat accumulation of the pigs, and that the higher chromium supplementation produced directly more significant results. Unfortunately since this study was performed on pigs, the results cannot be directly transferred to humans.
Twenty-four overweight adults were enrolled in a 6 month course, double-blinded to avoid the placebo effect, and given either a placebo or a 1000 microgram chromium supplement daily; the regularity of their bingeing and their psychology during this period were recorded. The results concluded that chromium supplementation significantly reduced blood glucose levels, and the regularity of binge-eating also decreased. Depression was also reduced in the supplementation group.
The above evidence shows that it has not yet been concluded whether chromium supplementation is effective or not, and it may be that chromium can be useful for treating specific causes of obesity rather than directly altering body mass. A review article summarises that the current research available on chromium supplementation is not reliable or current enough to be used to form a well-informed opinion. The authors reviewed trials from multiple sources and eventually evaluated nine controlled trials with a total of 622 participants. The conclusion was that though some studies showed signs that chromium was effective, the results were of doubtful significance; similarly the adverse effects witnessed were too uncommon to judge the safety of chromium. All in all, this ingredient needs further research.
Caffeine has been studied for its weight-loss potential. One of the most notable studies, released in 2006, monitored the caffeine intake of healthy men and women from 1986-1998 and compared it to their weight change over this time. The results showed a lower mean weight gain amongst those with (slightly) higher caffeine intake than those without, although the caffeine intake of all participants will have varied over the course of the study, and the individuals did not experience the same factors like diet and lifestyle. Other studies have given similar result however, with reportedly ‘no adverse affects’.
One study by Warren et al. also showed that caffeine was found to have a small benefit to muscular endurance and strength, showing an average of 75 increase in knee extensor strength and a very small increase in endurance over 27 cases. An increase in endurance and strength can help increase the number of calories burnt during exercise and aid in weight loss, as well as helping complete a daily routine whilst fatigued from dieting.
Another study from 2002 by Boozer et al, where 167 people took part in a 6 month trial taking either a placebo or a herbal caffeine supplement, found that the herbal treatment produced twice as much weight loss on average as the placebo, along with decreased cholesterol levels, with no significant adverse effects. Despite this, some studies have suggested that the benefits of caffeine are limited, and that caffeine can actually have negative health effects.
A study from 2014 on the effects of drinking black tea saw 111 men and women, regular tea drinkers, drink 3 cups of either non-caffeinated or caffeinated black tea per day, for 6 month; their body weight, waist and hip circumferences, were measured at the end of the trial. The researchers concluded that although drinking caffeinated drinks can help with weight loss for the first 3 months, there were no significant results observed beyond this point.
Also, in addition to the studies confirming caffeine’s detrimental nervous system and psychological effects, a recent study has revealed that caffeine can affect gut bacteria to increase insulin resistance, one of the causes of type 2 diabetes. The study saw male rats consuming either a high-fat diet or usual chow, and water or caffeinated coffee, for 10 weeks. The coffee-drinking rats were observed to lose weight and generally become leaner, but also to lose sensitivity to insulin; augmented levels of gut bacteria were also observed, with those normally associated with high-fat diets depleted but other bacteria more common.
Green Tea Extract
This ingredient has had mixed results, with some researchers claiming that the caffeine content in green tea is responsible for its weight loss effects, and that the extract itself is ineffective. A study published in 2009 by Belza et al saw twelve normal weight men be given green tea, caffeine, tyrosine or a placebo several times a week and have their metabolic rate measured over next four hours. Green tea extract saw no real difference compared to the placebo, but caffeine, present in small quantities in GTE, gave a 6% increase in metabolic rate. The researchers admit the number of men used was probably too small to give conclusive evidence.
A 2007 study by Nagao et al suggested ingestion of GTE high in ‘catechins’ (organic compounds), over a long period of time leads to a reduction in body-fat and cholesterol. The trial recruited men and women for a twelve week trial in which subjects ingested green tea daily, with varying amounts of catechins, with all members maintaining usual lifestyles. The results found that the green tea extract high in catechins caused greater weight loss, but that weight loss was observed in both groups. It is worth observing, though, that the subjects actually took green tea, not green tea extract; it may have been the caffeine in the tea that was causing the weight loss.
Outside of altering metabolism, green tea has been suggested to aid weight loss through reducing the absorption of fat in foods (lipids). In 2007, Koo et al carried out tests in vitro on the effects of GTE, particularly its catechins, on the digestion of lipids in the intestines. The results suggested that GTE catechins were effective in lowering the lipid-absorption rate of the guts by interfering with enzymes associated with digestion.
This is the final ingredient in Weider Fat Burners with a significant number of studies on its effectiveness. There is mixed opinion on the effects of cayenne powder on weight loss. One study by Ahuja et al in 2006 saw thirty-six middle-aged subjects taking either a chilli-based or normal diet over a four week period; the metabolic rates of all subjects was measured up to two hours after eating. The study found that insulin levels (the hormone that governs absorption of sugar from the blood) were lower in individuals on the chilli-diet after eating; this suggests that cayenne powder could reduce absorption of sugars, which could help reduce fat formation in the body.
Another study in 2003 saw ninety-one moderately overweight individuals consume placebo or capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne powder, over a 3 month period; the results showed that capsaicin caused greater fat oxidation and weight loss than the placebo over this period. However, a study in 2009 carried out on the effects of adding capsaicin, to the lunches of adults over a long period of time showed no significant increase in metabolic rate or body fat percentage compared to a normal lunch.
Weider Fat Burners Side Effects
Weider don’t mention any side-effects, though they do warn that pre-adolescent children, lactating women or people with pre-existing disease conditions should not take Weider Fat Burners. However, the studies of the ingredients show that two, caffeine and chromium picolinate, are potentially dangerous in high dosages.
Chromium picolinate was observed in a study to cause renal issues when taken in dosages of 1200-1400 micrograms per day, or 1.2-1.4 milligrams per day, for 4 to 5 months; Weider Fat Burners contain 200 micrograms per serving, which is far higher than the required daily intake and could potentially lead to similar issues.
However, a secondary study, this time on rats, demonstrated no adverse side-effects when the rats ate up to 1000 micrograms of chromium per day for two months; all vitals were judged to be normal and no blood or organ damage was perceived. This demonstrates that there is no definitive answer as to whether chromium is dangerous or not when taken as a supplement; another group of rats did experience minor liver damage however, under similar conditions (but with 100 milligrams per kilogram of food instead). More studies have to be carried out, but at 150 milligrams per serving of Weider Fat Burner, it contains enough chromium to potentially be harmful.
Caffeine, similarly, has been shown to be harmful when taken in the long run, with psychological issues like addiction and depression caused by caffeine withdrawal. However, it is thought that caffeine is safe in moderation. Providing users do not use the product for more than 3 months at a time and do not massively exceed the recommended dosage, there should be few issues.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant which increases heart-rate and increases the activity of ‘wake-up’ neurons, increasing the rate of blood flow and creating feelings of restlessness/need for activity. The headaches created by caffeine can occur after immediate, concentrated use or due to withdrawal from long-term use; they are likely due to hyperactivity of neurons, or feelings of stress due to dependency from long-term use, respectively. Common symptoms of an overdose of caffeine include bowel issues, dizziness, fast heartbeat, hyper glycaemia, and vomiting.
How to Use
Weider recommend taking four tablets a day; two in the morning before breakfast, and two tablets half an hour after lunch, alternatively, taking all four tablets at once with a meal is also an option. Looking at the ingredients of Weider Fat Burners, taking four tablets at once is likely safe, as assuming that Weider have taken into account the caffeine present in the green tea extract, the amount of caffeine present is similar to that in one or two cups of coffee.
The ingredients outside of the caffeine content are not known to be dangerous in all but very large dosages – with the exception of chromium, which has been associated with problems. However, it is likely advantageous for consumers to take Weider Fat Burner in a shorter period of time than over a long period. This is because, as described above, long-term chromium supplementation has been linked to health issues, so limiting the supplementation time is a safer option; and also because caffeine’s effectiveness has recently been argued to decrease past 3 months, so long-term use may prove ineffective for weight loss as the body adjusts.
Who Makes It?
Weider is an American company based in Pheonix, Arizona, which was established in 1936. They sell products in over 120 countries and produce a range of supplements focused on muscle building, fat loss and general health. The founder, Joe Weider, was a Canadian bodybuilder and the co-founder of the International Federation of Bodybuilders, the highest level of competitive bodybuilding in the world. Joe Weider also founded Schiff Nutrition, another company recently purchased and renamed Schiff Vitamins.
Joe Weider subsequently founded the fitness publication ‘Muscle and Fitness’, under the name ‘Your Physique’; from there, their publication empire grew to include titles like ‘Men’s Fitness’, ‘Flex’ and ‘Senior Golfer’, and the Weider brand was named ‘publisher of the year’ in 1983 by the Periodical and Book association. This success suggests that the company’s nutritional and fitness products are also largely well received; this appears to be the case, with Amazon.com customer reviews usually giving products a 4 star rating or above, for both exercise equipment and diet supplements. Customers usually report a pleasant taste, quick results and few side-effects; however, many of these reviews look suspiciously similar to company descriptions and could well have been created by Weider employees.
However Joe Weider has been the subject of multiple legal scandals concerning false advertising, although most of these scandals occurred between 1980 and 2000. A 1972 case saw Weider change his marketing strategy when investigators proved that the claimed effects of ‘Weider Formula No. 7’ were not physically possible. More relevant to Weider Fat Burner, a 2000 case saw Weider lose a court case with the Federal Trade Commission regarding the claims made about their diet supplements. The two products ‘Phencal’ and ‘PhenCal 106’ were claimed to have ‘proven weight loss and prevention of weight regain benefits’, but the company eventually withdrew these claims, being unable to provide evidence that this was the case.
The company provide an address, customer services number and email address; they have a LinkedIn page and are active on Facebook and Twitter. They also include a series of short answers to questions regarding their product in the FAQ sections and have a blog where nutrition information is regularly updated. Beyond this however, Weider do not appear to provide much information regarding their company (no press releases, details of new activity or links to studies supporting effectiveness of their products).
Where to Buy Weider Fat Burners
Weider offer their fat burner in 120 or 300 capsule tubs, for £7.09 and £16.17 respectively. A 300 tablet supply would last 100 days. Weider do not appear to ship outside the USA and so UK customers will have to look elsewhere. Weider has positive reviews for most of its products; customers rarely report failed deliveries or damaged products and so it is likely that ordering from Weider is safe.
Comparitively, Bodybuilding.com offers a 300 tablet supply for £16.33. Bodybuilding.com’s store is an extension of the Bodybuilding.com franchise, and offers a very wide range of exercise equipment and supplementation. They maintain a customer services department with an email address, phone number, an international shipping service (unlike Weider) with varying payment methods.
Does Weider Fat Burners Meet our Approved Criteria
Money-back-guarantee: No. The website does not detail any money-back-guarantee scheme.
One-off payment: Yes, it is a one-off payment.
Manufacturing Standard: There is no mention of manufacturing standards.
Accompanying Diet Plan: There does not appear to be a diet plan.
Ingredients and quantities disclosed: Yes, this information is provided.
Company contact details readily available: Yes, full contact details are available.
Weider Fat Burners does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as there is no money-back-guarantee or diet plan, and some information is lacking from the official website, including manufacturing standards.
The ingredients in Weider Fat Burners have been shown in some preliminary clinical trials to have the potential to be effective, and the manufacturer is well-known. However, the supplement may not be suitable for everybody due to its caffeine content, and the company has been involved in a selection of legal battles regarding false advertising. Weider Fat Burners have not been proven to aid weight loss and may cause side effects. They are available from several online retailers, some of which offer international delivery.Google+
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