Fat Burners and Alcohol: Do They Mix?

Fat burner drugs are available either over the counter or in the form of a prescription drug consumed beneath medical supervision, with both types of fat burners being used for the purposes of aiding in an individual’s weight loss.

Like all clinically significant substances, however, the compounds found in fat burner drugs are capable of interacting with other substances intaken by the individual, one among which is famous for interacting with medications – that of alcohol.

Naturally, the majority of compounds found in fat burners will either interact negatively with alcohol due to their unique pharmacokinetics or because of an inhibitory characteristic of either substance, resulting in one canceling the other out.

What are Fat Burners?

Fat burners are a subsection of supplements and drugs that generally increase an individual’s caloric energy expenditure by a variety of methods depending on what particular compounds are present in the mixture, the most common of which is thermogenesis.

example fat burner
Example of a fat burner

Generally, fat burners make use of both stimulant compounds and vasodilating herbal extracts that have the net effect of acting directly on the central nervous system, circulatory system and digestive system so as to increase the individual’s net calorie usage over the course of the day, or to increase their capacity to burn calories through exercise.

Certain brands of fat burners even claim to alter an individual’s ability to absorb certain types of macronutrients, supposedly allowing them to eat the same types of food during a weight loss regimen while still maintaining a net energy deficit.

Another characteristic benefit of fat burner usage is the reduction in an individual’s appetite, with such an effect varying in a case by case basis due to the difference between hunger perception and hormone function between different people.

Are Fat Burners the Same as Weight Loss Drugs?

In the majority of cases and in casual nomenclature, there is no difference between the term fat burners and that of weight loss drugs.

However, the term fat burner does not quite apply to certain types of regulated and prescription only medications prescribed by licensed medical professionals for the purposes of regulating a chronically ill patient’s body fat, the majority of which take the form of amphetamine salts or compounds of a similar drug class.

As such, for the purposes of clarity, the contents of this article are meant to refer to the sort of fat burner products that one can purchase at any sports supplement or herbal store without the need for a prescription.

Why do People Take Fat Burners?

Most fitness inclined individuals find themselves taking fat burning supplements so as to speed up the admittedly rather unpleasant process of reducing their body fat percentage, usually in combination with a calorically restrictive diet and an adequate amount of exercise.

The side effects of using fat burners, if any are present, are usually offset by the proper health management and fitness of those who take it, with only a rare few taking enough or being in a position wherein the side effects of fat burners may be harmful to the individual themselves.

Strangely, though, the sort of individuals whom choose to take fat burners so as to improve their capacity to lose weight are also the sort to intake a higher volume of alcohol than their less athletic counterparts, at the least according to one study performed by researchers of the Cooper Institute of Dallas, Texas.

With such a correlation of behavior found between two seemingly opposing characteristics, it is of vital importance that individuals planning to consume alcohol or fat burners understand the risks involved in doing both simultaneously.

Can You Consume Fat Burners and Alcohol Together?

Generally, it is a bad idea to mix fat burners with ethanol alcohol consumption, all the more so in a simultaneous manner wherein their effects may cancel out each other or worsen the risk of any potential side effects occurring.

In the majority of fat burner supplements, central nervous system focused stimulants are a mainstay, both for their appetite suppressing nature as well as the minor increase in caloric energy expenditure that these particular compounds have, compounds that act on biochemical pathways in direct opposition to alcohol itself.

As such, the potential adverse effects from consuming alcohol while under the influence of fat burners, or fat burners while under the influence of alcohol, can be rather unpleasant or even harmful to one’s health in the long term.

What Ingredients Cause Fat Burners to be Incompatible with Alcohol?

Generally, central nervous system acting stimulant compounds such as caffeine or certain amphetamine derivatives will have a counteracting effect to the otherwise central nervous system depressing effects of alcohol.

This can result in such side effects like nausea, dizziness, impaired motor control, a higher risk of injury as the individual fails to realize the extent of their inebriation, and even circulatory system strain.

Such a combination is especially deadly in individuals with impaired or at risk cardiovascular organs, as the combination of both a depressant and a stimulant can result in rapidly increased heart rate and blood pressure, potentially exacerbating any conditions present in the drinker.

Other compounds found in fat burners such as supposed blood sugar altering drugs that either impair the absorption of carbohydrates or alter the manner in which the body processes them can also have a counteracting effect with alcohol, though in a far more dangerous manner due to the nature of hypoglycemia.

Most fat burning supplements make use of a variety of herbal extracts that may or may not have clinically significant effects and interactions with alcohol, and as such it is important for an individual to first consult with a licensed medical professional prior to starting a new brand of fat burners.

What Happens When Fat Burners are Taken With Alcohol?

Unless the individual possesses certain health conditions or takes other medications that interact with alcohol or fat burners, it is unlikely that the interaction between fat burner’s active constituents and alcohol will be of a lethal nature.

That is not to say that taking fat burners and alcohol at the same time will not result in potentially dangerous and unpleasant side effects, however, and it is best to generally avoid doing so entirely.

Though fat burners tend to differ in terms of their active ingredients and the concentration of said ingredients, the majority generally make use of such compounds like caffeine, an intestinal absorption drug called orlistat, dandelion extract, green tea extract as well as conjugated linoleic acid.

These compounds native to most brands of fat burners can all exacerbate the various side effects one would only experience in moderation while consuming alcohol, especially in regards to one’s blood pressure, heart rate and sense of malaise.

How Long After Stopping Fat Burners can You Drink Alcohol?

Considering the fact that fat burners generally utilize different ingredients in differing concentration strengths, it is rather hard to predict how long the average fat burner will remain chemically active in an individual’s body, and as such it is best to err on the safe side in regards to alcohol consumption.

This may be done by simply waiting two to three days after the last dose of a fat burning supplement so as to ensure that the body has entirely eliminated any trace of it via ordinary cellular metabolic processes.

How Long After Drinking Alcohol Can You Take Fat Burners?

The average individual without hepatic impairment can process approximately one international standard alcoholic drink per hour, that is to say approximately 350 ml of a 5% beer, 43ml of a high proof alcohol like vodka or tequila, and approximately 140ml of a wine at 12% alcohol by volume percentage strength.

As such, depending on the volume and percentage of whatever alcohol type the individual has consumed, it is important for them to calculate the length of time in which their body will still be processing alcohol, and to avoid taking fat burners accordingly.


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