Many athletes face difficulties when trying to lose weight after bulking for several months, which is completely natural.

The reason behind this involves the body’s adaptation to new metabolic and nutritional patterns that make it challenging for you to lose weight. For instance, individuals who work out intensely tend to consume a large number of calories to meet their daily requirements.

However, the cutting phase requires a change of strategy to jump start lipolysis (fat breakdown) and target the adipose tissues in different body areas.

While people might run to cardiovascular training and calorie-restricted diets, the results yielded from these strategies might not be substantial.

One of the less commonly discussed methods to accelerate this process is by taking weight cutting supplements that were proven by reputable scientific sources to be effective.

Sadly, the internet is a nest for misinformation and false claims about products with zero benefits or scientific backup.

For this reason, we decided to write this comprehensive guide about the best cutting supplements in the market to help you choose which product suits your specific needs.

The Best Cutting Supplements

Whey Protein

What is it?

Whey protein is a product of milk that’s extracted during cheese making. This protein is loaded in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that possess potent anabolic properties.

One of the amino acids found in whey protein is leucine, which has been a topic of research in several clinical studies.

This compound showed impressive results on the post-exertional lean muscle growth and recovery.

During a 2009 study, researchers compared the overall benefits of whey, soy, and casein protein to determine which one yields the most impactful results.

Interestingly, whey protein turned out to be superior relative to other shred supplements when it comes to:

  • Muscle growth (31% more lean muscle)
  • Tissue repair
  • Recovery

Furthermore, studies spanning all over the world have repeatedly confirmed the incredible benefits of whey protein, especially for gym-goers.

Keep in mind that whey protein is extracted from milk, so it may lead to some issues in patients with lactose intolerance. However, this effect is largely negligible if you are getting the isolated form since the filtration process removes any residual carbohydrates or fats.

How does it work?

The underlying mechanisms behind whey protein’s effects include:

  • Increased total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) by 80-100 calories.
  • Reduced caloric intake by up to 400 calories due to its satiety-inducing properties.

In a classic study, scientists found that modifying your diet to include 25% protein cuts cravings by 60%.

Moreover, research showed that replacing your source of calories with whey protein can lead to 8 pounds of fat loss.

Fat burners

Fat burner supplements

What is it?

Fat burners are a set of lean supplements that boost your body’s natural lipolysis to accelerate the process of losing weight. Fat burners considered one of the best cutting supplements.

There is a variety of fat burners out there, with naturally occurring forms as well as synthetic ones. Note that not all fat burners are effective since many types are completely useless, and in some cases, dangerous.

Nevertheless, some ingredients found in fat burners have been scientifically proven to be effective, which is why we included the best shredding supplements on our list.

How does it work?

As we mentioned above, fat burners are a group of supplements that claim to boost lipolysis, which makes these products extremely diverse and difficult to objectively evaluate.

For this reason, when trying to choose a fat burner, make sure to look at the list of the ingredients used to see if one of the following compounds is present:

Caffeine

Caffeine offers several health benefits if consumed rationally in the right doses. This compound is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which makes it a healthy choice for all of us.

Moreover, studies proved that caffeine boosts the basal metabolic rate (BMR) to accelerate the process of fat loss.

In other words, caffeine triggers the enzymes that mediate lipolytic reactions to make you lose weight seamlessly.

If you’ve never heard of BMR, here is a quick definition:

Basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is a virtual parameter used by nutritionists and fitness experts to estimate the number of calories the body needs during the day.

This number is subject to numerous factors, including age, gender, body type, diet, exercise, and genetics.

The approximate number given by researchers is an 11% increase in BMR.

Moreover, a 2009 review found that caffeine promotes weight loss, lipolysis, and body mass index (BMI) regulation.

Green tea

Most people associate green tea with weight loss due to generations of word of mouth talking about this substance’s magical abilities to melt fat.

These claims intrigued scientists to look into their reality over a dozen clinical studies and laboratory experiments. The results showed that green tea contains compounds known as catechins, which significantly boost lipolysis during physical activity relative to individuals who do not consume tea.

Moreover, tea proved itself to be a potent neutralizer of pro-inflammatory cytokines responsible for the dysregulation of metabolism in favor of lipogenesis (fat synthesis) and proteolysis (protein breakdown).

Consequently, the BMR increases to augment your total energy expenditure during the day.

In one study, researchers found that green tea exerts a direct influence on BMR to boost lipolysis, and eventually, weight loss.

Protein powder

As you know by now, protein is one of the best toning supplements that boost fat loss and metabolism. This substance can also suppress your appetite by inhibiting the secretion of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin.

In one study, researchers divided participants into two groups, where the first group ate a high-protein diet while giving the second group less protein.

The results showed that the first group had a significantly higher weight loss and muscle mass relative to other participants.

In the other sections of this article, we covered the best protein for cutting.

Soluble fiber

You have probably heard people talking about the benefits of eating fiber-rich foods, but have you ever wondered about how this might help you lose those extra pounds?

While fiber offers a myriad of health benefits that impact most organ systems, the majority of its action is seen in the digestive tract.

Researchers found that the regular consumption of fiber-rich foods leads to lower cholesterol levels by preventing the recycling of this compound, as well as the natural cleansing of the digestive tract to optimize the quality of the microbiota.

These actions will boost BMR to burn more calories during the day.

Another way that fiber triggers the weight-losing machinery is by reducing inflammation in the body, which has been shown to be a cornerstone of obesity and several other pathologies.

Additionally, the microorganisms found in the gut flora will become more efficient at breaking down metabolic waste, which improves digestion and promotes weight loss.

Yohimbine

Originally collected from the Pausinystalia Yohimbe tree, yohimbine has considerable lipolytic properties.

The primary mechanism of action of this substance involves the blockade of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors found in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues. Consequently, higher levels of adrenaline (i.e., epinephrine) will be circulating in the blood.

Adrenaline will keep binding to other receptors (e.g., alpha-1, beta-1,2), producing excess energy and contributing to weight loss.

In one study, 20 professional athletes took yohimbine regularly, which led to a 2.2% fat loss.

If you are thinking: “2.2% is not a lot”, you’d be quite wrong.

You see, in the field of high-performing athletes, even the slightest decrease in body fat composition could make the difference between winning a gold medal at the Olympics and having a mediocre career.

Creatine

Man using creating supplement

What is it?

Creatine is a naturally-occurring substance that’s typically found in the muscles to promote energy production and muscular contraction.

Many gym-goers and professional athletes take creatine supplements on a regular basis to enhance their performance and increase their lean muscle mass.

Creatine interferes with several biochemical reactions to accelerate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary form of energy that our cells use.

How does it work?

Generally speaking, when you take creatine supplements, the internal storage of phosphocreatine (the main form stored in muscles) will increase, which permits for faster and more efficient production of ATP.

As a result, you will feel more strength in your muscles, allowing you to reach optimal performance.

Aside from energy production, creatine helps performance by boosting the capacity of the workload, which is crucial to lifting more weight and/or increasing training duration.

Creatine also signals the endocrine glands to secrete anabolic hormones (e.g., growth factors, IGF-1) that promote muscle repair and hypertrophy.

The final mechanism involves the slowdown of proteolysis (protein degradation) and the reduction of myostatin concentrations.

If you’re not familiar with myostatin, it is a protein that inhibits intracellular cascades that promote muscle hypertrophy.

BCAAs

BCAAS cutting supplement

What is it?

Branched-chain amino acids are mainly comprised of:

  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine

These amino acids all have a chain that branches off to one side, which gives them the chemical properties to be grouped together.

BCAAs are essential amino acids, meaning that they cannot get produced intrinsically by the body, leaving dietary intake as a unique intake source.

How does it work?

Several observational studies found that taking 15 grams of BCAAs daily offers a 30% risk reduction of gaining weight and losing muscle mass.

The underlying mechanism behind BCAAs’ actions is still a topic of debate, but researchers believe the amino acids induce satiety, suppress the production of hunger hormones, and accelerate metabolism.

L-Carnitine

What is it?

L-carnitine is a dietary supplement that plays an important role in the production of energy via the optimization of energy production.

While the body can synthesize L-carnitine using certain amino acids (e.g., lysine, methionine), the quantities produced are too small to serve any important physiological role.

A crucial tip to boost your body’s natural production of L-carnitine is by consuming vitamin C-rich foods.

L-carnitine offers a myriad of health benefits, especially when consumed in adequate amounts, including weight loss, muscle cutting, and more.

How does it work?

The main action exerted by L-carnitine involves boosting the function of the mitochondria to optimize the process of energy expenditure.

By transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, L-carnitine is one of the best supplements for cutting.

Despite the logical connection between L-carnitine supplementation for weight loss, researchers found conflicting results.

In one review, researchers analyzed the results of 9 studies that included obese individuals who took L-carnitine supplements.

At the end of the review, the results showed that participants who took the supplement lost an average of 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) more than control groups.

Nevertheless, further research is warranted before coming up with any conclusions.

L-Arginine/Nitric Oxide Booster

What is it?

L-arginine is an amino acid that serves several structural and physiological roles. This compound is considered a semi-essential amino acid, which means that it’s uniquely essential during certain situations, such as infancy, pregnancy, trauma, and illness.

L-arginine is primordial for the production of nitric oxide (NO), which is a molecule that regulates blood flow, mitochondrial function, and intercellular signaling cascades.

L-arginine and other nitric oxide boosters are often used to stimulate weight loss and cutting in gym gurus and athletes.

How does it work?

Professional athletes tend to take L-arginine supplements to optimize their performance since they increase NO concentrations in the blood. That leads to improved perfusion to the muscles.

In a 2017 randomized study, 57 soccer players took 2 grams of L-arginine for 45 days and found that it significantly optimized their physical performance.

This amino acid also improves energy production in the cell, which boosts weight loss and cutting.

Takeaway message

Cutting is an important phase in your fitness journey, which is why you need the best cutting supplements to lose weight while maintaining your lean muscle mass.

The products listed above were chosen based on unbiased, randomized clinical studies and research papers to avoid any misinformation.

Hopefully, this article will guide you when trying to choose the right supplement, but if you still have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.