When is the best time to take CLA?
By Caroline Lilley
Published Date: 01/10/2014
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally sourced fatty acid, often referred to as a ‘good’ fat. It is most commonly sourced from meat and dairy produce.
The benefits of CLA
CLA is related to the omega 6 fatty acid group, one of two types of essential fatty acids the body needs for vital human functions. These include boosting the immune system, regulating cholesterol and helping to keep joints supple to prevent conditions such as arthritis. But one of the main uses for omega 6, and therefore CLA supplements, is its benefit to the metabolic function. CLA reduces body fat by increasing basal metabolic rate, turning food into energy more effectively.
The dosage for CLA
Unfortunately our bodies do not produce CLA so it must be sourced from our diet, or through a supplement. The average diet provides around 100-300mg of CLA per day, providing you don’t follow a meat or dairy free diet. But in order for it to be fully effective, it is recommended your body has 3,000mg or 3g of CLA per day. Most CLA tablets are produced and sold in this dose.
When to take CLA
For the body to get maximum results from the properties of CLA, including body fat reduction, experts advise the supplement is taken three times a day either 30 minutes before eating or during a meal – ideally at breakfast, lunch and dinner times.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analysed a range of studies related to reducing fat mass and CLA. They found studies where participants took the CLA supplement produced a modest loss in body fat (i).
Although there is some evidence to suggest CLA is effective in the metabolism of fat, it cannot be achieved through supplementation alone. In order to see results you must follow a healthy diet plan that includes protein, fruit and vegetables. Exercising for a minimum 30 minutes a day is also important.
Before you begin taking CLA, consult your GP or health practitioner for advice.