Does Bitter Orange Help to Lose Fat, Show Abs?

choc orange shake

How many fat burning or cutting supplements have you tried in the hopes of shedding weight faster? Thermogenic supplements are the most popular way to give your metabolism a little kick so you can reach your goals of weight loss or cutting faster. Not all thermogenic supplements that you buy are created the same. One of the most widely used thermogenic ingredients is called Bitter Orange Extract. Does this ingredient do much to help you burn fat or is it just a waste of money? Let’s take a look at the science behind Bitter Orange Extract to see if it’s worth the buy to help your abs shine through.

What is Bitter Orange Extract?

Commonly known as Synephrine, Bitter Orange Extract has been used in weight loss and thermogenic supplements for over a decade. This extract has been compared to a less effective ephedrine. Although it is also considered a stimulant, it is primarily used as a means to support weight loss or body fat reduction.

Benefits of Using Bitter Orange Extract

Although it’s found in many thermogenic, weight loss, and shredding supplements, does Bitter Orange Extract have what it takes to let those ab muscles break through? Here’s what the science says:

Calorie Burning

  • Bitter Orange Extract has been shown in several studies to promote a higher level of caloric expenditure. Weight loss and fat burning is all about burning more calories than you consume. The first way to ensure you do this is through calorie control, next is exercise, last is supplementation.
  • Bitter Orange Extract may be able to help you achieve your goals by boosting your body’s metabolic response. In one study, subjects burned an extra 65 calories within a 75-minute period. It may not seem like much but those calories add up quickly, especially when combined with a good diet and exercise.

Overall Weight Loss

  • Several studies have demonstrated that the use of Bitter Orange Extract during a healthy diet and well-planned training program may help to increase the amount of total weight lost. One study showed that Bitter Orange Extract boosted energy expenditure and resulted in a modest weight loss when compared with the control group.

What Does This Mean for Your Abs?

If you want your abs to pop, you need to both train the muscle AND promote fat loss from around your midsection. This is how you get that beach ready body to show off. Bitter Orange Extract may be a powerful ally in stripping off layers of body fat so that your abdominals can step into the spotlight.

Possible Side Effects of Bitter Orange Extract

As with any supplement, there may be potential side effects. When it comes to Bitter Orange Extract, if you have had issues in the past with blood pressure or heart health, see a doctor before beginning to use it. Abuse of Bitter Orange Extract may result in the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea

When combined with a variety of other stimulants like caffeine, these side effects are possible:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

These side effects can be avoided by using common sense and not over dosing on the supplement.

How to Take Bitter Orange Extract?

While there is no known optimal dose for Bitter Orange Extract, many supplements contains 20 mg servings. One study confirmed that 50 mg a day was safe and tolerated well by most. Start out with 20 mg as this seems to be the unofficial industry standard.


Bitter Orange Extract has been shown to promote an increased level of calorie burning, which may promote fat burning. This has the potential of being extremely helpful when your goal is to burn fat from around your midsection to reveal that six-pack. Bitter Orange Extract is definitely worth a try.


  1. Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Keith SC, Keith PL, Miller H, Kaats GR. Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes. Int J Med Sci. 2011 Apr 28;8(4):295-301.
  1. Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Shara M. A review of the human clinical studies involving Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) extract and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine. Int J Med Sci. 2012;9(7):527-38. Epub 2012 Aug 29.
  1. Kaats GR, Miller H, Preuss HG, Stohs SJ. A 60-day double-blind, placebo-controlled safety study involving Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) extract. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 May;55:358-62. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.01.013. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.

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