When used judiciously — and we emphasize the word ‘judiciously,’ meaning used in conjunction with a well-planned diet and workout routine — the best non-stim fat burners can potentially help in a fat loss journey (though it’s worth noting diet and activity levels will still be the largest contributors in any weight loss plan). Whether you’re preparing for your first bodybuilding show or just focused on burning fat for your own benefit, it may be worth looking at these supplements.
Many, if not most fat burner products contain stimulants, typically caffeine (although sometimes it’s yohimbine). Plenty of people are a little sensitive to these ingredients, or they just want to be able to take their pills at night time or any time they don’t want to get jacked up.
Best Non-Stim Fat Burners
- Best Non-Stim Fat Burner: Legion Phoenix
- Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Focus: Transparent Labs Fat Burner Stim-Free
- Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Appetite Suppression: LeanBean
- Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Maintaining Muscle: Burn Lab Pro
- Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Burning Glucose: Evlution Nutrition Lean Mode
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician before undertaking any new weight loss regimen.
Best Non-Stim Fat Burner
The best fat burners, in our opinion, impact fat loss in multiple ways: fat oxidation, appetite suppression, and increasing thermogenesis. Legion Phoenix came out on top because of its potent dosage and research-backed ingredients. Legion’s fat burner is very high in green tea extract, which has links to fat oxidation, and plenty of forskolin, which might help the body burn through energy reserves. (1)(2)
A really interesting draw is the synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin, all extracts from citrus fruits that appear to increase the metabolism and speed up fat burning when used together, according to research published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences. (3)
Legion's Phoenix comes with an extra absorbable form of synephrine and a high dosage of EGCG to promote its fat-burning properties. Each five-capsule serving provides 834 milligrams of Citrus Aurantium.
Who Should Buy Legion Phoenix
- Anyone who wants a variety of ingredients working in concert to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure.
- People interested in mood boosters: there’s 5-HTP here, which may help to boost serotonin and help with satiety.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Legion Phoenix
- Those who want a lot of appetite suppressants, although the 5-HTP here may be sufficient.
- Anecdotally, it might not be ideal for people with very sensitive stomachs.
Legion is known for its rigorous standards their innovative use of different compounds, and we haven’t seen anyone with as wide a variety of well-researched ingredients.
[Related: Could Baking Soda Be The Best Workout Supplement You’ve Never Tried?]
Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Focus
Transparent Labs has two different fat burners, one of which has stimulants. This non-stim fat burner is high in ingredients that could help with cognition. The stim-free version has seven ingredients with an unusual focus on, well, focus. There’s 5-HTP, which has links to appetite suppression but also mental wellbeing (this is all because it may help produce serotonin), and there’s also Rhodiola Rosea, a popular adaptogen used for focus and stress reduction. The cayenne pepper, coleus forskolin, and fucoxanthin could help to increase fat metabolism. (4)
This product uses science-backed doses of cayenne, 5-HTP, Coleus Forskolin, and more. Each two-capsule serving provides 750 milligrams of L-carnitine.
Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Fat Burner Stim-Free
- People who find restricting their calories negatively affects their mood may prefer this product.
- Anybody interested in the potential fat-burning effects of cayenne pepper, perhaps the most popular ingredient in these supplements.
- Athletes; acetyl l-carnitine may help with energy production during exercise. (5)
Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Fat Burner Stim-Free
- People who are convinced by the benefits of green tea extract won’t find any here.
The ingredients list is short but Transparent Labs focuses on ingredients with solid research and links to mood stability. If that’s your stumbling block, this may be the product for you.
[Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, And Health]
Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Appetite Suppression
LeanBean has a dozen ingredients, but it has a strong focus on what might be the most important aspect of weight loss: your appetite. This product has an emphasis on a Japanese root with some interesting links to reducing hunger.
Leanbean contains 12 ingredients. A big part of the appeal is glucomannan, a thickener made from the root of the konjac plant that research suggests can suppress appetite. (6) The ingredients list also has other fat burner stalwarts like cayenne pepper and green tea extract as well as black pepper extract, which a 2016 paper found may increase metabolism. (7)
Leanbean fat burner seems a little low in green coffee extract and raspberry ketones, but we were pretty impressed. It contains a small amount of natural caffeine — about 10 milligrams — which half the amount in a Tall decaf coffee from Starbucks.
This fat burner includes multiple ingredients to promote fullness and increase fat burning, such as Garcinia Cambogia, turmeric, and much more. Each six-capsule serving provides 3000 milligrams of Glucomannan.
Who Should Buy LeanBean
- People who have trouble with their appetite during weight loss; LeanBean has a strong emphasis on this aspect.
- Anybody who likes cayenne, garcinia Cambogia, turmeric, or green tea extract — these popular fat burner ingredients are well dosed in LeanBean.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Leanbean
- People with a sensitivity to caffeine. The amount found in LeanBean is less than 10 percent of a small cup of coffee, but it’s worth mentioning.
- Folks who like the green coffee and raspberry ketones here; it’s a little low on these ingredients.
LeanBean’s tiny amount of caffeine may disqualify it for some consumers but for the average person it’ll be barely noticeable, and it’s otherwise a terrific product.
[Related: Intermittent Fasting 101: A Guide To Benefits, Muscle Gain, And More]
Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Maintaining Muscle
Burn Lab Pro contains common fat-burning ingredients such as chili pepper extract and black pepper extract, both of which can increase the body’s temperature to help boost calorie-burn. Additionally, Burn Lab’s formula includes HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate), which is thought to be linked to muscle retention and potentially even growth.
This formula includes HMB, an ingredient shown to help retain and build muscle mass. It does not contain any caffeine and has a variety of ingredients linked to muscle retention and fat loss.
Who Should Take Burn Lab Pro
- Bodybuilders focused primarily on muscle gain and/or retention during a cut.
- Vegans; this product is vegan-friendly.
- Athletes who need their fat burners to be tested for banned substances.
Who Shouldn’t Take Burn Lab Pro
- People who prefer caffeine in their fat burners.
This product doesn’t have any caffeine, and so it may not give the jolt of energy needed to athletes who train first thing in the morning. Beyond that, this is an excellent pick for those with the aim of maintaining hard-earned muscle mass — note that it’s not guaranteed, but we think it is the best bet on the market.
[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]
Best Non-Stim Fat Burner for Burning Glucose
Some fat burners focus on increasing fat metabolism, others on promoting energy production, but Lean Mode is known for contributing to fat loss from a variety of different angles.
Lean Mode highlights multiple “modes of action” for promoting weight loss: the green tea and green coffee extract might elevate resting metabolism, the chlorogenic acid might burn stored body fat, the acetyl l-carnitine might help with energy metabolism and with transporting fatty acids. This makes for a pretty well-rounded fat burner that has a solid following in the bodybuilding community.
For the price, you probably won't find a better fat burner. It contains CLA, a fatty acid that can promote fat loss, and is gluten-free.
Who Should Buy Evlution Nutrition Lean Mode
- Those who like the idea of taking green tea and green coffee to help burn stored body fat.
- Athletes, as there’s a good dose of acetyl l-carnitine for energy production.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Evlution Nutrition Lean Mode
- Those who want a precise dosage of the EGCG in the green tea extract, as it’s not mentioned.
- Vegans, as it comes in gelatin capsules.
Lean Mode is widely reported to help with energy levels in big calorie deficits without containing stimulants, a rare feat that helps to elevate the product.
[Related: The Lifter’s Guide To Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does For Strength]
How We Decided Our Picks
When assessing the usefulness of a fat burner supplement, we looked at several factors. Sure, it has green tea extract, but is that enough? Here’s what you should think about.
Perhaps the most popular ingredient in “fat burners” as this means it helps to burn fat, or more specifically, it helps to increase the amount of energy you burn from stored fat as compared to stored carbs. Popular examples include green tea extract and l-carnitine.
Increasing Metabolic Rate
Increasing metabolic rate can be described as whether or not a product burns more calories. A popular example is cayenne peppers, which some research has found to burn an extra 50 or so calories, depending on the dosage. Other examples include hordenine and synephrine, found in Legion’s Phoenix.
There are a few ways appetite suppression works. A popular one is with ingredients that expand in the stomach, like glucomannan (found in LeanBean) and psyllium husk. A more popular method is 5-HTP, which may help with serotonin production, which appears to help with satiety and cravings.
Scores of fat burners hide their ingredients behind proprietary blends so that the customer doesn’t know the exact amount of each. It helps them to keep their formula from being stolen by competitors, sure, but it also means that you don’t know how effective the product is.
What To Consider Before Buying
These products are prone to exaggeration on the part of the manufacturers and wishful thinking on the part of consumers. Make sure you’re mindful of these points.
Know Your Calories
Way too many people think adding a fat burner, with no other changes to their diet, will produce a six-pack. Fat burners might help to burn some extra calories, but if you don’t know how many calories you’re burning then it’s kind of a moot point. Find out your ideal calories with a macro calculator — then adding a fat burner might give you some support.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s generally understood that a pound of fat loss per week is very fast, and you can maybe get to two pounds if you’re quite overweight or obese. Anyone who says they lost 20 pounds in a month is exaggerating — you need to be patient.
A lot of the ingredients linked to fat oxidation produce their best results with a solid exercise routine: they’re meant to increase the amount of fat burned during exercise. In addition, exercise helps to burn more calories and improve body composition. Taking a fat burner without a workout routine may produce suboptimal results.
Speak to a Physician
This is absolutely key. You should never make any changes to your diet or exercise regimen without first speaking to a doctor, and this is especially the case with easily misunderstood supplements like fat burners.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when choosing the best non-stim fat burner, even when you’re trying to uncomplicate the ingredients list by removing caffeine. The right product totally depends on your own preferences, but we’ve found many like those that operate on multiple fronts: appetite, fat oxidation, and increased thermogenesis. Whatever your preference, there’s likely an option for you on this list.
- Godard MP, et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.
- Greenway FL, et al. Regional fat loss from the thigh in obese women after adrenergic modulation. Clin Ther. 1987;9(6):663-9.
- Stohs SJ, et al. Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes. Int J Med Sci. 2011 Apr 28;8(4):295-301.
- Woo, M et al. Anti-obese property of fucoxanthin is partly mediated by altering lipid-regulating enzymes and uncoupling proteins of visceral adipose tissue in mice. Mol Nutr Food Res . 2009 Dec;53(12):1603-11.
- Stephens, FB et al. New insights concerning the role of carnitine in the regulation of fuel metabolism in skeletal muscle. J Physiol . 2007 Jun 1;581(Pt 2):431-44.
- Walsh DE, et al. Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study. Int J Obes. 1984;8(4):289-93.
- Nogara L, et al. Piperine’s mitigation of obesity and diabetes can be explained by its up-regulation of the metabolic rate of resting muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Nov 15;113(46):13009-13014.