It’s considered to be the holy grail of fitness—losing unwanted fat while putting on clean lean muscle. The best CLA supplements can help you to achieve this.
This article will explain the impressive power of these products, detailing exactly what they are, how they work, and the best five CLA supplements available today.
First, here are the top CLA picks. Below, I’ll expand on the pros and cons of each one in detail.
The Five Best CLA Supplements
Here are what I consider to be the five best CLA supplements available.
1. NatureWise CLA 1250 by NatureWise
In my opinion, this is one of the best CLA supplements that money can buy. Derived from non-GMO and ethically run sources, it could be the ideal product for those who want the purest and least-modified ingredients possible.
Coming from a trusted manufacturer, you’re assured that the product has been independently tested for both potency and purity—thus providing peace of mind.
- Safflower seed oil 1250 mg (80 percent CLA-1000 mg)
- Fat 1250 mg.
- 3 grams of CLA per day serving.
- Independently tested.
- Contains no stimulants.
- Includes 180 capsules—sufficient for two months’ use.
- Not suitable for vegans.
2. Sheer Strength Extra Strength CLA 1500 for Women
I would suggest that this is one of the best CLA supplements for women who are struggling with weight loss. Specifically designed with the female body in mind, this product has pushed the daily intake up to 3.6 grams.
This could make it particularly appealing to women who cannot drop the excess pounds from their butt, tummy, and thighs.
- Safflower oil 1500 mg (80 percent CLA-1200 mg).
- Fat 1.5 g.
- Formulated specifically for the female body.
- Fat-busting power of 3.6 grams of CLA per day.
- Contains no GMO ingredients.
- Free of stimulants.
- Manufactured in the USA.
- No indication of safflower oil sources.
- Only 120 softgels—40 days’ supply.
3. Max Potency CLA by Sports Research
A good all-around CLA supplement that’s designed for both the male and female body.
As it pushes the dose above 3 grams per day (to 3.5 grams)—I believe this could be one of the best CLA supplements for those gym nuts looking to drop the excess weight while still wanting to put on pure and clean lean muscle.
Furthermore, it’s 95 percent CLA safflower oil is one of the most potent I’ve seen.
- Safflower oil 1250 mg (95 percent CLA-1187 mg).
- Fat 1.5 grams.
- An ideal supplement for those looking for the strongest concentration of CLA in a single softgel.
- Suitable for people on a kosher diet.
- 3.5 grams of active CLA per day.
- Stimulant free.
- Third-party tested for purity.
- 90-day money-back guarantee.
- 180 capsules (two months’ supply).
- No indication of CLA provenance.
- Some users found the capsules split in the mouth before swallowing.
4. CLA 2000 by Orphic Nutrition
With lower levels of CLA than some products (2340 mg per day), this product may be one of the best CLA supplements for those looking to build muscle and promote health benefits, while not boosting weight loss.
As the dose is less than the three grams required for pound-shedding, it may be appealing to bodybuilders during a bulking phase, i.e. men and women who require the excess calories that are stored in fat.
- Safflower oil 1000 mg (780 mg of CLA).
- Fat 1 g.
- Useful for people looking to build muscle but not lose weight.
- Provides 2.3 grams of CLA per day.
- GMO and gluten-free.
- Manufactured from ingredients grown in the USA.
- Contains only 60 capsules—sufficient for 20 days use.
- Not ideal for those looking to shed the pounds.
5. RSP Nutrition CLA
A slightly different take on CLA supplementation. This product is mainly designed as a pre-workout, with the inclusion of CLA to boost weight loss.
I feel this could be one of the best CLA supplements for athletes looking to enhance their training and workouts—by promoting muscle growth and boosting energy. However, the CLA dosage is low.
- Amino acids 5 g—in order to promote muscle growth.
- CLA, carnitine, green tea, and green coffee to shed pounds.
- Caffeine and theobromine to elevate energy levels.
- Useful as a pre-workout for people wanting to grow muscle and boost energy.
- Supplied in powder form—may suit those who don’t like swallowing pills.
- Exact CLA dosage is hidden in a 1.5-gram proprietary blend of three ingredients.
- Stimulants may promote side effects, such as headaches and the “jitters”.
- CLA is included as a secondary ingredient—it’s not the focus of this formula.
Informational guide to CLA Supplements
What Is CLA?
First, some quick science.
Specifically, CLA is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid—a trans-fat.
But, don’t let that put you off.
Trans-fats found in processed foods have recently been given a bad name for their ability to pile on the pounds and cause cardiovascular disease.
However, CLA is different—it’s natural and good for you.
Why Take a CLA Supplement?
You’re probably thinking—I eat plenty of meat, surely that’s sufficient for my CLA needs!
The truth is, to obtain the full benefits of CLA, you need to supplement. This is because:
- The average intake of CLA in the USA is 150-200 mg per day, which is less than the three grams required for maximum weight loss results.
- Obtaining these three grams of CLA is difficult through food intake alone.
- Intensive and industrialized farming has reduced the CLA volume in food—meat from grass-fed cows has 500 percent more CLA than those fed on processed feed—here’s a video explaining the difference.
So, to obtain the optimum benefits, you need to supplement. But, what are the advantages of boosting your CLA levels?
Health Benefits of Taking CLA
Taking the best CLA supplements has some impressive effects on your wellbeing, including:
- Weight loss—CLA is able to inhibit fat storage, boost the breaking down of existing fat, elevate fat-burning, and stave off hunger.
- Boosting the anabolic (muscle-gaining) hormone testosterone.
- Building lean muscle.
- Reducing the chance of developing diabetes.
- Preventing heart disease.
Yet, for the fitness freak, it’s the ability of this fatty acid to promote weight loss and build muscle at the same time that makes it the most attractive.
However, don’t assume that the more you consume, the more pounds you will drop and the bigger muscles you will form—it’s important not to overdose.
Side Effects of CLA
Studies have shown that, for weight loss, a dose of 3 grams of CLA per day is required—and this is what you should look for in the best CLA supplements.
While it has also been noted that consuming 6 grams per day is still safe—it’s not recommended and this dose shouldn’t be exceeded.
Too much CLA can bring unwanted side effects, including:
How to Take CLA
The best CLA supplements will have clear instructions on the label regarding consumption—so as a first course of action, always follow those as they’re specific to the actual product.
However, generally speaking, CLA supplements are provided in capsule form, which—depending on their individual dosage—are taken two to three times a day to achieve a daily intake of about three grams.
It’s recommended that they’re consumed with meals, to promote digestion and absorption.
What to Look for in the Best CLA Supplements
Here are a few points to consider when selecting your CLA supplement.
To obtain the maximum benefits from CLA, look for one that delivers 3 grams per day—remember that’s 3 grams of CLA, not the total dosage of the capsule, which could include other ingredients.
Many supplements will indicate that their product contains a minimum of 80 percent CLA, but will not give you an exact number of the important ingredient—a little bit of math may be required.
Provenance of the CLA
The best CLA supplements are sourced from safflower oil.
Wherever possible, select a product that has obtained this oil from organic and GMO-free sources.
Value for Money
It’s insufficient to compare the overall price of the supplements. You need to consider the cost per serving—mainly the price of 3 grams of that product.
For me, the best CLA supplement is NatureWise CLA 1250.
Firstly, this is a supplement which has been tested for purity and has also been ethically sourced—ensuring that you know exactly what you’re consuming. Also, the 3 grams of CLA per day dose is ideal for weight loss and health benefits—there’s no added filler or unproven ingredients.
Finally, the two months’ supply ensures that you will not be re-ordering this supplement on a frequent basis, which can be an issue with some of the other products on the market.
Without being specifically angled at men, women, bodybuilders or athletes, it’s the ideal all-around CLA supplement for people wanting to both look and feel great.