Anybody who has ever followed a fad diet or read a celebrity interview in a glossy magazine will have been conditioned to believe that carbohydrates are the root of all evil.
It’s one of the great Catch-22 situations of any food lover;
refined carbs are frequently delicious and a convenient way to prepare a meal, but they also contribute to us piling on pounds.
One way around this unwelcome side effect is to introduce carb-blocking supplements into our lives, which are readily available online or in specialist stores.
Popping these pills is not a free ticket to munching on whatever you like, whenever you like – even the best carbohydrate blocker will only be able to account for a percentage of your total intake, and that’s a far from advisable lifestyle choice anyway.
However, if you are making some changes to your diet and you’re keen to take it one step at a time, carb-blocking supplements could become a valuable part of your daily routine.
Best Carb Blocker Comparison Table
Cambogia Garcinia Extract 1500mg
1000mg white kidney bean extract
445mg white kidney bean extract
100mg green tea extract
1500mg white kidney bean extract
Cambogia garcinia extract
Aloe vera extract
Apple cider vinegar powder
Why Do Carbs Make Us Gain Weight?
In a nutshell, most complex carbs, such as those contained in pasta, white rice and sugar-packed sweet treats, require the release of insulin from the liver to counter the glucose contained within.
When this happens, the body automatically begins to panic and assumes that it needs to store fat.
Hence not only are you failing to burn fat in the form of calories, but you’re actually adding more to your intake1.
How Do Carb Blockers Work?
Carb blockers are frequently marketed as miracle pills that mean you can eat as many simple carbohydrates as you like without your body ever realizing it.
Naturally, the truth is infinitely more complex than this, and anybody using such a supplement should be sure they fully understand how they work.
Carb Blocker = Amylase Inhibitor
The scientific term for a carbohydrate blocker is an amylase inhibitor.
Amylase is one of three key enzymes in the body that breaks down food and passes it into the digestive tract, and blocking this ensures that complex carbs are passed straight to the large intestine without being absorbed into the body.
The upshot of this is that, as far as your body is concerned, you have not ingested any calories or increased the level of sugar in your bloodstream.
This is sound in theory, but not always entirely accurate in practice - the human body is a hugely complex and smart piece of organic machinery, and it takes more than a simple pill to trick it completely.
Carb Blockers will help you lose weight BUT...
...only as part of a controlled, balanced diet – the average supplement will only successfully block around 7% of the sugars that you ingest through complex carbohydrates2.
Simple Carbs Won't Be Blocked By A Supplement
It should also be noted that simple carbohydrates, such as those found in fruit and processed meals, will not be impeded by a supplement.
Another impact of this type of supplement, however, is that they often reduce the appetite of those who use them3.
Never Ignore The Golden Rule
Even if you are using carb blocker supplements, however, you should never ignore the golden rule of a balanced diet.
Around half of your daily calorie allowance can come from complex carbohydrates such as whole grain rice or bread, but never neglect the importance of healthy fats, proteins and fibers at the same time.
Carb blockers are not an invitation to munch on pasta and donuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Who Should Take Them & Who Should Avoid Them?
Firstly, be aware that blockers that are available over the counter are very different to medications prescribed by healthcare professionals such as Precose or Glycet.
If you take any kind of existing medication, you should consult your doctor before beginning a course – especially if you live with Diabetes or any condition related to the kidneys or liver.
Otherwise, they are widely considered safe for use by anybody provided they come from a reputable source – supplements are not moderated by the FDA, so ensure that you are not purchasing anything dangerous.
You’ll find some recommended supplements at the bottom of this guide to set your mind at rest.
Are Carb Blocker Supplements the Only Option?
No – white kidney beans (which provided the basis of most carb blocker supplements), green tea, turmeric, stevia, apple cider vinegar, nuts and lentils all have varying levels of carb blocking properties.
They won’t all be as capable or fast acting as a supplement, but it is advisable to include these items as part of your diet alongside blockers to maximize the impact of your capsules of choice.
The use of a carb blocker is basically re-wiring your entire digestive system, so you may experience some mild discomfort at first such as stomach aches or cramps, gas and bloating.
These symptoms should pass before very long – if they persist, seek medical advice before continuing to use your supplements.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important that you purchase a reputable and established carb blocker if you decide to go down this route – there is nothing to gain and everything to lose by taking a gamble on a non-approved alternative that will have an impact on many of the body’s essential internal functions.
We have compiled five recommended brands that you can purchase with confidence, which you will find below – all of these items can be easily purchased online if you are unable to get to a health food store.
Almost all carb blocker supplements are sourced from white kidney beans unless otherwise stated, so vegetarians and vegans will not struggle to find a suitable product.
Top 5 Carb Blockers Reviewed
These Garcinia Cambogia extract capsules are entirely natural, containing 95% Hydroxycitric Acid.
Suitable for vegetarians, you would be advised to take one 1,500mg capsule three times per day, thirty minutes before eating – an empty stomach is essential for these products to work their magic.
- Garcinia Cambogia 1500mg
- 95mcg chromium
- Potassium 75mg
- Calcium 75mg
PROS – These are arguably the most popular on the market today, and a great many users extol their virtues as being hugely effective. They’re also completely natural and suitable for vegetarians.
CONS – All supplements carry a minor risk of side effects, and it appears that a very small percentage of users have experienced substantial gastric discomfort after using this product.
Available in quantities of 75 or 150, Irwin Naturals provide appetite suppressing capsules that offer three services in one jar, claiming to neutralize carbs, support the metabolism and enhance digestion.
Designed to tailor the effect to individuals that enjoy complex carb-heavy meals that revolve around pasta and bread; these supplements should be taken twice a day before a starchy meal or snack to obtain their full benefit.
- 1000mg white kidney bean extract
- 1050mg flax seed oil
- 125mcg chromium
- 100mg cinnamon
- 20mg protease
- 20mg lipase
- 6mg Bioperine complex (which helps improve absorbency)
PROS – The appetite suppressant nature of Irwin Naturals really works – a great number of customers have commented on how they no longer crave sugar snacks and finding it easier to moderate their diets and portion sizes.
CONS – These capsules contain gelatin, which may make them unsuitable for users with particular dietary requirements. This is just one of a list of ingredients the size of the Dead Sea Scrolls, so some may like their supplements a little more natural than Irwin Naturals can offer.
3. Sheer Block
A popular choice with weightlifters and gym bunnies, Sheer Block is a new addition to family but is building quite a reputation.
Entirely natural and derived from white kidney bean and green tea extracts, Sheer Block prides itself on its ability to speed up your metabolism, as well as acting as an appetite suppressant – all through taking just one pill a day.
- White kidney bean extract 445mg
- Green tea extract 100mg
PROS – The need to only take this supplement once a day is a huge plus for anybody with a busy lifestyle, and eradicates the need to take a jar of pills with you whenever eating out.
The use of natural ingredients also means that you will be able to breathe easily, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be polluting your body.
CONS – An increased metabolism can also lead to some serious energy crashes if you don’t stay on plan with your meals and snacks – Sheer Block is probably only suitable for users with an active and organized lifestyle.
VitalStyle’s Natural Smart Carb Blocker is derived from pure White Kidney Bean, which is a huge plus for anybody looking to take a natural supplement that is open about where it draws its nutrients.
This new brand on the block dubs its kidney bean extract a Phase 2 Starch Neutralizer, which may sound like something from a science fiction movie, but it means that these carb blockers work twice as hard to prevent calories sticking around once they have made their way into your body.
VitalStyle’s supplements provide 1,500mg each, and you should take three of them before your biggest meal of the day.
- White kidney bean 1500mg
PROS – All carb blockers work, but these really work – weaving the magic of pure kidney bean extract and this unique Phase 2 formula, VitalStyle’s supplements have resulted in countless consumers watching weight virtually fall off as part of a controlled regime. These blockers will also help regulate the sugars that you do consume, which will give you liver a break.
CONS – For 90 capsules that will only last a month, you’re looking at the more expensive end of the carb blocker market here. All magic comes with a price, it seems. They could smell a little better, too.
And now for something completely different. Orlistol BlockerDrops are, as you can probably imagine, come in liquid form as opposed to capsules – meaning that the impact of this product lasts up to three days longer than the competing carb blockers that we have discussed.
Made up of a number of different ingredients (including apple cider vinegar, the carb blocking properties of which we discussed earlier), Orlistol BlockerDrops are at their most effective when consumed directly beneath the tongue up to three times per day, allowing them to get to work immediately.
- Apple cider vinegar powder
- Cambogia garcinia extract
- Phaseolus vulgaris
- California buckthorn
- Aloe vera extract
PROS – Orlistol claim that this product will help you drop an extra lb for every two that you lose through diet and exercise or you can apply for a full refund – that’s quite the sales pitch.
The use of droplets is much more efficient than capsules, meaning that you won’t need to use this product 30 minutes before eating.
CONS – With a high asking price that offers just 60 droplets, you just know that you’ll be applying for that refund if you see no real difference in your weight. It’s also a little cumbersome and awkward to carry a small bottle of liquid around – capsules and pills are much more subtle.
Provided you have realistic expectations – that a carb blocker will aid and possibly speed up weight loss alongside regular exercise and a balanced diet as opposed to reversing the process of food consumption like some kind of magic pill – any one of these brands will enhance your life and are worthy of adding to your regime.
Used appropriately, they can be a great way of dropping a few extra pounds as you prepare for a wedding or summer holiday, or generally look to embrace a new, healthier lifestyle.
If nothing else, they may also provide the motivation to begin these lifestyle changes.
Just be sure to consult a healthcare professional before embarking on a journey with these supplements if you have an existing medical condition.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com