What are CLA supplements and why should I take them? That is a pretty common question these days as CLA supplements have grown in popularity. We will answer that as well as looking at which supplements are considered the top options on the market.
Behind the Name
CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid. Generally speaking it is a newer supplement to the marketplace. As with most new supplements there are rumors associated with it. Rather than talk about the possibilities, let’s go into what we know first.
CLA is an essential fatty acid. Now what is the difference between essential fatty acids versus non-essential? Basically the essential fatty acids found in things like CLA supplements are useful for body functions like regulating oxygen use, make lubricants for joints, help transport cholesterol, keeps the heart regular and a lot more. Also essential fatty acids cannot be produced within the body and must come from foods or supplements.
The non-essential fatty acids, on the other hand, tend to be found in things like nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, which are in a lot of prepared foods. You need these as well, but ideally in balance with your essential fatty acids. Most people, especially in the U.S., have a tendency to get more non-essential instead of essential which can make it harder to burn fat.
Of course there are also saturated and trans fats which are both things you do not need. They simply add fat to your body and clog your arteries. Now, when you have your essential fatty acids in your body, it uses them first as needed. Then the bad fats can be burned for energy rather than collecting on your hips, thighs, glutes and waist. When you don’t have enough essential fatty acids the body tends to store more fat trying to get what it needs from them rather than burning them. But, it can’t really utilize them properly.
Top CLA Supplements
A good CLA product will be free of stimulants and derived from a natural source like Omega-6 fatty acids or Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Optimum Nutrition CLA – You can’t go wrong with an Optimum Nutrition product. Their CLA product is designed to help with protein and fat metabolism to positively affect body composition.
- MusclePharm CLA – MusclePharms Core CLA supplement uses a blend of conjugated linoleic acids, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil for its product.
- TwinLab CLA Fuel – The TwinLab product uses Vitamin E and CLA from Safflower Oil Concentrate.
The bottom line for all of these products is that they will help balance out the essential and non-essential fatty acids in your body. This change can help with metabolism, increasing lean muscle mass and fat loss. Basically is makes your food intake more efficient and useful. That is why just about everyone should probably be using a CLA supplement, if they want a leaner body.