Many supplements on the market today are designed to help people increase mass through muscle gain. But supplements can also work the opposite way, helping people to decrease mass through fat loss.
CLA is one of these supplements.
Short for Conjugated Linoleic Acid, CLA is a supplement that may help people to lose weight, specifically through fat loss.
In recent years, CLA has become popular amongst gym goers looking to get shredded because it supports weight loss without losing muscle mass.
As with any supplement, the time that you take CLA is crucial in order to get the most out of it.
Here, I’ve discussed when you should take CLA, including the best time, whether you can take it before/after workouts, and whether you should take it before sleep.
What Is CLA?
CLA is a kind of omega 6 fatty acid that’s found in meat and dairy products, particularly those coming from grass-fed animals. It has become popular as a supplement due to its potential benefits for weight loss, specifically fat loss.
Keep in mind that weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing.
Before explaining when the best time to take CLA is, it’s important to understand what CLA is.
CLA is a fatty acid that’s found in meat and dairy products. It’s classed as a polyunsaturated, omega 6 fatty acid making it a natural kind of trans fat that’s found in many health food products.
Some of the main sources of CLA are grass-fed cows and beef, as well as dairy products from them.
Although it’s possible to get CLA through food, supplements contain higher doses.
CLA has become popular as a supplement due to the potential benefits it has for fat loss. Though the evidence on the effectiveness of CLA for weight loss is mixed.
Some studies have found that CLA can help to cause significant fat loss in people, with some studies also suggesting that it can change body composition – boosting muscle mass whilst reducing fat.
See also – CLA vs L-Carnitine for fat loss
When Is The Best Time To Take CLA?
It’s best to take CLA with, or just after, food. This is because CLA can cause digestive side effects like nausea, so taking it with food or just after a meal can help to reduce these side effects. This way you can see results from taking CLA and reduce the potential downsides.
To expand on this slightly further, many supplements can cause digestive side effects. These side effects include stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Whether or not you experience these side effects depends on your individual tolerance. If you have a sensitive stomach for example you may be more likely to experience these digestive side effects.
Due to these potential side effects, it’s recommended that you take CLA with food – either during or after a meal.
Taking CLA with food means that your stomach is already full when taking the supplement, which may help to buffer against potential side effects.
So, it’s best to take CLA with food if you want to avoid these digestive side effects.
Best Time To Take CLA: Before Or After Workout?
CLA can be taken before or after a workout. It shouldn’t make a difference to the effectiveness of the supplement, or your workout, if it’s taken before or after.
However, as some people experience side effects when taking CLA it may be better to wait until after your workout to take it.
CLA should be effective whether you take it before or after a workout. As it’s not a pre-workout, CLA shouldn’t affect your workout performance either so there’s not necessarily any benefit associated with taking it beforehand.
Whether you take it before or after a workout then will depend on your routine. If you prefer to take supplements before your workout then this may be a good time to incorporate CLA.
However, if you usually take supplements afterwards then you could incorporate it then instead.
However, as I mentioned, taking CLA on an empty stomach can cause digestive side effects. So if you like to workout on an empty stomach then it’s better to take CLA after working out to reduce the risk of nausea and stomach cramps.
Is It Better To Take CLA in the Morning or at Night?
CLA supplements can be taken in the morning or at night time. It shouldn’t make a difference to the effectiveness of the supplement if it’s taken in the morning or at night.
That being said, if you prefer to take them with food they can be taken in the morning with breakfast.
Some supplements are best taken in the morning, whereas others are best taken at night time.
Some fat burners contain CLA and you may be advised to take these in the morning, because they work by boosting the metabolism. Taking them in the morning will give you a kick and get your metabolism working faster straight away.
This is where you’ll see people take other fat loss supplements like fat burners and ashwagandha in a fasted state to boost metabolism.
They may also contain caffeine which if taken later in the day can cause sleep disturbance.
However, if you’re just taking CLA alone (without added ingredients like caffeine) then it shouldn’t make a difference if you take it in the morning or at night.
**Though, as I’ve mentioned, CLA can cause digestive side effects and it’s recommended that you take it with food.
In this case, it may be easier to take it in the morning with breakfast or in the evening with your evening meal.
Ultimately, timing of supplements can be crucial for optimal results, especially when it comes to fat loss. Therefore, check out our following recommendations for fat loss supplement timing:
Finally, check out this video on CLA:
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