Do Ab Supplements Really Work? (Benefits, Side Effects, And More)

ab supplements

Building and maintaining a great physique does take time and a lot of patience. Ab supplements are popular as a method to build great abs. However, ab supplements may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Here is a guide on ab supplements, how they work if they are beneficial, and the risks involved in taking them.

What Are Ab Supplements? 

Ab supplements help you build your abs and tone your body. They work in several ways, such as decreasing appetite, increasing the body’s metabolism, and burning fat to produce energy.

These supplements are popular among many men who dream of having six-packs. However, following a healthy diet is vital to stay fit and active.

Do Ab Supplements Work?

Ab supplements help burn excess fat from your body, especially the belly. In addition, they contain ingredients that can help build abs and tone your body when taken in small doses.

However, you must be mindful of the ingredients list and their quantities in the ab supplements you use. Excessive use of certain ingredients could cause side effects in your body.

Ingredients Found In Ab Supplements

Different ab supplements may contain various ingredients, including and excluding the ones below. Therefore, you need to consider what is included in your supplement and how it can impact your health.

Let’s look at a few common ingredients found in ab supplements.

  • Safflower Oil

Safflower oil contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids.  

Studies show that CLA has a weight loss effect in animals like mice. However, studies are not sufficient to prove its efficacy in humans.

Side effects of CLA include diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue.

Omega 3

Omega 3, or fish oil, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is said to be highly beneficial for the brain, eyes, and overall health.

However, it is not proven to significantly affect the building or toning of body muscles. However, Regular consumption of fish oil can pose side effects including heartburn, nosebleeds, and loose stool.

Another great read: 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Sports Supplements to Speed Up Your Exercise Results

Borage Oil

Borage oil also has anti-inflammatory effects and helps treat depression, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, hair loss, and acne.

It is also known to have a minor effect on weight loss in obese people due to the Gamma Linolate (GLA) that it contains.

When taken regularly, borage oil can have side effects such as bloating, headache, indigestion, vomiting, and nausea.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex has many health benefits, including increased energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. It also helps prevent infections and reduce tiredness and fatigue.

An overdose of vitamin B complex can cause side effects including dizziness, itching, stomach cramps, vomiting, and rashes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also known to promote good health with its anti-oxidative properties. In addition, it is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps fight free radicals to protect body cells from various ailments. 

Vitamin E-based supplements help strengthen immunity and improve insulin sensitivity, which helps control your appetite.

Side effects of high doses of vitamin E include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, headache, and blurred vision.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil contains protein, fiber, and several fatty acids. It helps normalize digestive system functions, prevent diarrhea and constipation, improve heart health and brain function, reduce inflammation, and balance estrogen levels in the body. 

Flaxseed oil helps lose body fat by curbing hunger, supporting weight loss, and improving digestion and appetite.

When taken in large doses, flaxseed oil can cause side effects such as diarrhea, loose stools,and allergic reactions.

Sesame Seed Oil

Sesame seed oil is a rich source of protein and fiber with low sodium levels. Therefore, it helps reduce the appetite, promoting fat burning and weight loss.

Regular consumption of sesame seed oil can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, hair loss, and diarrhea in some people.


Choline has many health benefits that can improve the functionality of systems in the body. For example, it increases the body’s metabolism, improves cell structure, synthesizes DNA, transports cholesterol away from the liver, and supports the healthy functioning of the nervous system.

Choline overdose can cause side effects including dizziness and hypotension.


Konjac is known by names including konjaku, elephant’s yam, devil’s tongue, and voodoo lily. The konjac plant is popular in producing high-fiber dietary supplements for weight loss.

Konjac helps control emotional eating, constipation, bloating, and high cholesterol levels. However, regular consumption of Konjac can cause side effects like diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps, and bloating.

Another great read: What you Need to Know before Taking a Supplement

Types Of Ab Supplements

There are several variations of ab supplements, each having its own properties. First, let’s look at the popular ab supplement options available.

Protein Powder

Protein powder facilitates weight loss by curbing appetite and increasing the body’s metabolism. 

It curbs appetite by increasing the levels of hormones such as CCK and PYY, which are fullness hormones. 

Protein powder also helps preserve muscle mass in the body. Protein supplements should be included as part of a meal or as a snack.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in compounds that promote fat burning, including caffeine. These compounds work in a way that helps the body burn fat by producing heat. 

Studies show that combining green tea and caffeine helped individuals burn 16% more fat than a placebo. 


Caffeine helps the body burn more fat and also increases its metabolism. Coffee, cocoa beans, and green tea all contain traces of caffeine. 

However, caffeine should be taken in moderation, as too much caffeine can be harmful. The daily recommended caffeine limit is 400 mg.


Yohimbine is a substance found in the bark of a tree native to Central and Western Africa. It shows fat-burning effects due to the blocking of ‘alpha-2 adrenergic’ receptors.

These receptors can prolong the effect of adrenaline, thus promoting fat breakdown. However, yohimbine can interact with certain medications for depression and blood pressure. If you’re on such medication, you need to avoid taking yohimbine.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber also helps curb appetite by increasing the levels of hormones like CCK and PYY, which are fullness hormones. 

It also makes the process of delivering nutrients to the guts slow, which allows the body to take more time to absorb nutrients.

Meal Replacement Shake

Meal replacement shakes are convenient and easy to carry along with you. They are packed with nutrients that you can consume without feeling guilty because of the lower number of calories they contain.

These shakes will help You stick to your diet and not crave or binge on high-calorie foods.

Benefits Of Ab Supplements

Here are the health benefits you gain by taking ab supplements.

  • Suppresses hunger which leads to less calorie consumption.
  • Increases metabolism.
  • Reduces the amount of fat your digestive system absorbs.

Side Effects Of Ab Supplements

Excessive consumption of ab supplements could cause side effects, including the following.

  • Digestive side effects include cramping, diarrhea, and nausea.
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation

How To Use Ab Supplements

Supplements provide many health benefits only when taken in the required doses, which is in moderation. Excess consumption of any of the above supplements or ingredients could cause negative effects on your health.

Supplements should not replace your entire diet. Instead, take it as part of your meal or as a snack between meals.

You can replace one meal, such as breakfast, with meal replacement shakes, which provide most of the essential nutrients your body needs.


Ab supplements do work in building abs and toning your body. In addition, they help burn fat and maintain a healthy weight. However, you must stick to the recommended doses to avoid side effects.

When taken appropriately, ab supplements can let you have the body you dream of.


How Long Does It Take For Ab Supplements To Show Results?

Ab supplements can take anywhere from 3 months up to 2 years to show results, depending on each individual and their body composition.

Is It Alright To Take Vitamin B Complex Everyday?

It is alright to take vitamin B complex everyday as long as you stick to the daily recommended vitamin B complex dosage, which varies based on each individual’s age, gender, and health conditions. 

An overdose of vitamin B complex can cause side effects including vomiting, high blood sugar and even liver damage.

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