Fat burners are rapidly growing in popularity across the male and female sectors – and from the good people at MusclePharm comes Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Cuts.
Iron Cuts looks to help you lose weight on three fronts. It aims to increase thermogenesis and fat metabolising and support healthy estrogen balance and cortisol levels, while it contains a muscle hardening and sculpting agent with the ultimate aim of delivering a ‘harder, dryer, leaner look’.
It certainly sounds good – and has the fairly substantial might of MusclePharm and Arnie behind it. Given Schwarzenegger has never previously allowed his name to be used by a sports nutrition company, he is clearly impressed.
There is a lot packed into each three-capsule serving, although there are three proprietary blends included which makes it difficult to know whether the doses you receive are of any use.
Studies have linked obesity to vitamin D deficiency, while lower amounts of the essential nutrient can lead to the body producing less leptin, a hormone which inhibits the feeling of hunger.
Increased vitamin D levels also help prevent your body from storing fat instead of burning it.
A trace mineral that is found in the likes of broccoli, grape juice and red wine, it helps the body regulate glucose levels in the blood. There have also been studies showing chromium can help with weight loss.
Thermogenic & Fat Metabolizer (L-Carnitine Tartrate, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Caffeine Anhydrous, Panax Ginseng Root Powder, N-Acetyl-L-tyrosine, Thermodiamine, Vinpocetine, Inositol)
Green tea and caffeine are among the main ingredients for the best fat burners, although the amino acid N-Acetyl-L-tyrosine is more commonly found in pre-workouts supplements as it increases mood and mental alertness.
Inositol has shown to aid weight loss – although a lot of the studies have been around women with polycystic ovary syndrome – while Thermodiamine (a trademarked product) works similarly to the capsaicin that is found in chili peppers.
Vinpocetine is a man-made chemical that is used in cognitive therapy and stroke recovery.
Muscle Building Maximizer (Maca 4:1 Root Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, AminoShield, Eriobotrya Japonica Leaf Extract, Pentacyclic Triterpenoids, Fenugreek Seed Extract, Saponins, Boron Citrate, Pumpkin Seed Extract)
Some ingredients, boron and fenugreek, have proven benefits as testosterone boosters, while alpha lipoic acid helps promote lean muscle mass and the use of fats, carbohydrates and protein as energy.
Estrogen & Cortisol Metabolizer (Grape Seed Extract, Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf Extract, Diindolylmethane, Cinnamon Bark powder, Banaba Leaf Extract 1% Corosolic Acid, Chromium Picolinate)
Among these, diindolylmethane stands out as it works by inhibiting the enzyme aromatase which converts testosterone into estrogen, while it also turns the harmful forms of estrogen into less damaging forms.
Chromium picolinate works by reducing cortisol, which can slow the metabolism.
This might have the backing of Arnie, but the proprietary blends really put us off Iron Cuts.
There are some useful ingredients in there – caffeine, green tea and vitamin D, for example – however the amounts remain unclear. Also, there is debate over how effective some of the lesser ingredients are, with some mixed research.
It is not all bad, as some people are really pleased with the results they have got while taking Iron Cuts so it does seem if it is very much down to the individual user.
To find out which supplements we have rated as our top fat burners, check out our top-three guide.