Can Supplements Increase Metabolism? Scientific Evidence

The metabolism is the process by which the body converts food and drinks into energy. An increased metabolism can help promote weight loss by burning more calories. Many people wonder if taking certain supplements can give their metabolism a boost. In this article, we analyze the scientific research on popular supplements that are claimed to increase metabolism – including green tea extract, caffeine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and more. 

What Does the Research Say About Metabolism-Boosting Supplements Generally?

There has been extensive research done on supplements that manufacturers claim can raise metabolism. However, the overall evidence is mixed. While some supplements show modest effects in clinical trials, the increases tend to be small or temporary. For longer-term weight loss, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise tend to give better and more sustainable results. More research is still needed on certain supplements like CLA before strong conclusions can be made.

Key Points on Metabolism Research:

– Effects tend to be modest even in successful studies (50-200 extra calories burned)

– Results are often temporary and diminish with prolonged use 

– Lifestyle changes more effective for long-term weight loss

– More research needed on some popular supplements (CLA, green coffee bean extract)

Green Tea Extract and EGCG

Green tea and green tea extract supplements are popular options purported to increase fat burning. The primary bioactive ingredient is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – a compound with antioxidant effects. Several research reviews show green tea can temporarily boost metabolism, but the effect is generally slight. One review found an average extra burn of about 3% calories over 24 hours. The effect also diminished in studies lasting over 12 weeks. While interesting for research, the small temporary effect may not be worthwhile for most people. 

Key Points on Green Tea:

– Quality evidence it can modestly increase calories burned

– Antioxidant content may provide other health benefits

– Effect on metabolism tends to be temporary

– Requires high doses for small extra calorie burn


Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks. As one of the most researched metabolism boosters, there is quality evidence that caffeine can increase resting metabolic rate and fat burning at doses of 200-600mg per day. However, as with green tea, the effect size tends to be modest. One research review found doses of 200-400mg per day to only increase calories burned by an average of 7-11%. While better than nothing, the small boost may not justify supplementation on its own. It’s also important to note there are some drawbacks of too much caffeine, including anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, and poor sleep in some people.

Key Points on Caffeine: 

– Solid evidence it can temporarily boost metabolism and fat burning

– Requires high daily doses of 200-600mg

– Effect size is a modest extra 7-11% calorie burn on average

– Too much caffeine has potential drawbacks for some people

Protein Supplements

Getting enough protein is important when trying to build muscle and lose fat. Some research shows higher protein diets can give metabolism a slight boost compared to lower protein diets. However, the effect comes from the increased protein percentage rather than any special ingredients. Complete proteins from food sources are preferred, but supplements can help those struggling to meet daily protein goals. When combined with strength training, protein supplements may help build the metabolically active muscle that promotes fat burning over the long term. Just don’t expect miracles from protein or amino acid supplements alone—they won’t create a huge surge in resting calorie burn.

Key Points on Protein:

– Higher protein diets can slightly increase metabolism

– Effect comes from increased percentage – not special supplements

– Protein supplements can assist with muscle building goals 

– Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat 

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

CLA is a popular supplement marketed for fat loss and bodybuilding. Early animal research was promising, showing CLA could reduce body fat and increase lean mass. However, human research results have been disappointing. Several meta-analyses show CLA has little to no effect on resting metabolism or fat burning in humans. Other studies show minimal impacts on body composition. The consensus is currently that CLA is not effective for metabolism or weight loss in humans. More research may uncover specialized contexts where it could be helpful, but consumers should temper expectations for this supplement. 

Key Points on CLA:

– Early animal research was promising, human research less so

– Multiple meta-analyses show no effect on metabolism/fat loss

– Minimal impact seen on body composition in trials

– Currently no good evidence it will boost calorie burning

Fasted Cardio and Fat Burners – Do Pre-Workout Supplements Work? 

Many serious exercisers take fat burning supplements, particularly for fasted cardio. These may combine caffeine, green tea extract, amino acids, and herbal extracts purported to boost metabolism. Research shows mixed results. Some blends can modestly increase calories burned during intense cardio. However, effects vary widely between products. Proprietary “fat burning” blends also tend to be understudied. Some show no measurable benefits at all. Additionally, the most powerful effects require fasted training first thing in the morning before eating. This regimen certainly isn’t for everyone. Overall the convenience may not justify the costs for most people. Whole foods, caffeine, and sustainable cardio regimens tend to give better fat loss results.

Key Points on Fat Burners:

– Some products can moderately raise exercise energy expenditure

– Quality evidence is mixed; many proprietary blends are understudied

– Requires very specific fasted cardio regimen for best effects

– For most people, food, caffeine and cardio give similar or better results  

Can PhenQ Supplements Increase Metabolism?

Wondering if PhenQ truly torches calories? This popular weight loss pill contains α-Lacys Reset, an ingredient clinically proven to fire up metabolism. By kickstarting thermogenesis, α-Lacys Reset enables your body to burn more calories all day. QPhen also contains caffeine, piperine, and capsimax powder – all metabolism-boosting ingredients. Together, these compounds spur fat burning and make it easier to cut calories without the usual sluggishness and hunger pangs. Users recommend PhenQ to ramp up energy expenditure and jumpstart your slim-down goals. Boost your body’s furnace and watch the pounds melt away! With metabolism-mastering PhenQ, achieving a fit, toned body may finally be within reach.


Some supplements show modest short-term effects on metabolism and fat burning. However, the increases tend to be small and often fade with prolonged use. For more significant or lasting impacts on body composition, sustainable diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes tend to work better than supplementation alone. Protein intake also matters for building and maintaining muscle mass. Before spending money on specialized supplements, focus first on the fundamentals of healthy eating, strength training, cardio exercise and managing stress levels.