Many of us have experienced that dreaded and inevitable weight loss plateau.

You’ve been smashing the diet plan and consistently hitting the gym, putting in 100% effort. But those stubborn areas, such as the hips and belly, are tricky to burn off, requiring a lot of extra patience and determination.

This is often when people turn to a supplement to help them work that extra 10% to achieve their goal.

However, the problem with this is the minefield that is the weight loss supplement industry. Which supplements work? Is it all a waste of money? What is the best supplement to take?

Unfortunately, no supplement exists which can help us successfully burn body fat without a solid nutrition and exercise plan. Supplements exist only to help give you that extra nudge and to optimize the strategies you’ve already got in place.

Having said this, knowledge is also key to knowing what works and what not to waste your money on.

In this article, we'll discuss synephrine (otherwise known as bitter orange), if it helps weight loss, and any other alternatives that may work better.

What is Synephrine?

Synephrine, commonly referred to as ‘bitter orange’, is a molecule that works similarly to ephedrine but is less potent. Synephrine is sold as a fat burner or weight loss supplement and is a popular ingredient in such products.

Bitter orange is a tree mostly found in Asia. The peel, flower, leaf, and fruit are used to make medicines, oils, and flavouring agents. Synephrine is the active ingredient of bitter orange, which is thought to possess benefits for weight loss, athletic performance, digestion, and many other conditions.

Bitter orange (synephrine) is considered a banned substance by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), though is still tolerated among other anti-doping organisations such as WADA.

However, ephedra, which works similarly to synephrine, is banned by the FDA due to the potential serious effects on the heart.

So, how does synephrine work for weight loss?

Does Synephrine Work for Weight Loss?

Synephrine is similar to ephedrine in mechanism, meaning that synephrine may be able to induce fat loss by increasing our fat burning (for fuel), and increasing heat expenditure, thus essentially boosting our metabolism and burning more calories.

However, this claim isn’t without speculation or side effects!

The current research on synephrine is poor, with few robust studies conducted on synephrine alone, and many other studies conducted alongside other weight loss supplements.

The research currently available on the effects of weight when consuming synephrine and other weight loss ingredients is very mixed, with some studies suggesting slight improvements in weight, and others having no effect at all.1

So, it appears there isn’t much evidence to support the claim of synephrine being effective for weight loss. However, there is evidence to show its potential side effects.

Synephrine Side Effects

Bitter orange has been shown to be likely safe when consumed in small amounts found in food, such as marmalades and liqueurs.

Though, it’s been deemed possibly unsafe when consumed in larger amounts, such as a medicine.

The possible side effects noted include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Migraines
  • Headaches

So, when it comes to synephrine for weight loss, it seems like the juice isn’t worth the squeeze! We recommend saving your pennies and opting for a supplement that is proven to be effective for fat loss.

First, here are some of our top tips on tackling a fat loss plateau!

Weight Loss 101: How to Overcome a Plateau

It’s important to establish the fundamental concept of body weight regulation - energy balance (calories in vs calories out).

To put it very simply:

When you take in more energy than you burn, you gain weight.
When you take in less energy than you burn, you lose weight.

Thus, to lose fat we must work on reducing our food consumption in line with increasing our physical movement to burn more calories.

There are many strategies we can implement to help this process, such as:

  • Increasing your intake of protein, fruit, and vegetables to keep you fuller for longer
  • Reducing your intake of highly processed foods to help keep the calories under control
  • Following an effective and enjoyable exercise regime - something you can consistently stick to
  • Increasing your overall daily activity to burn more calories

Though, as mentioned, sometimes it’s inevitable that we will hit that plateau which is when we need to rethink these strategies. Some of our top tips include:

  • Take a short diet break to allow your body and hormones to return to baseline
  • Address your sleep and stress - these factors can have a big impact on fat loss so keep them in check
  • Increase your physical activity through training or daily movement
  • Track and journal your food intake to identify any potential dietary downfalls
  • Re-calculate your calories to cater better for a lighter body (if you’ve lost weight)

While these are effective factors to address in any fat loss diet, supplementation is also a necessary factor to consider.

As synephrine is proven to be ineffective at the time of writing, what would make a better alternative?

Let’s explore!

Burn Lab Pro: A More Effective Alternative

Burn Lab Pro is the cleanest, most effective fat burner on the market right now. Combining 5 key ingredients:

  1. Cayenne pepper extract (capsaicin)
  2. Coleus Forskohlii
  3. HMB
  4. Forslean
  5. GTF Chromium

These 5 ingredients each work in different ways to burn fat, from suppressing appetite and increasing thermogenesis, to boosting performance and optimizing recovery.

Burn Lab Pro supports over 15 key bio-functions that boost fat loss, improve exercise performance, and increase muscle recovery.

These mechanisms would help boost your fat loss progress, while retaining valuable lean muscle gains, and maintaining exercise performance.

Key Take-Home

While there is a rise in popularity of fat burners, there is also a rise in the misinformation on them, further fuelling the confusion around fat loss in general!

Not many fat burners are truly effective, particularly when it’s combined with a poor diet and lifestyle.

Synephrine does not appear to be on the short list of effective fat burners, however, Burn Lab Pro is proven to be the best, most effective alternative.


  1. Patel. K. Synephrine. 2019.