The 6 Best CLA Supplements of 2020

We may receive commissions if you end up purchasing through links on our site (at no additional cost to you). The revenue helps fund all the free content on the site. Find out more

CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a natural trans-fat and has become a trending topic of interest amongst fitness enthusiasts and those who are in search of safe and natural weight loss supplements.

Healthy food sources like meat and dairy products are rich in CLA. As it is not an essential amino acid, it is not produced in our body and has to be taken in the form of supplements to enjoy its benefits.

CLA can decrease body fats by enhancing metabolism. It knocks down the action of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme responsible for fat storage (1).

It encourages the body fat breakdown and is instrumental in the destruction of adipose cells (2).

CLA supplements are available commercially in different forms like softgels and powders. This article gives you a list of the top CLA supplements that you can purchase from the best CLA brands.

Our Best Picks:

  1. The Best CLA Safflower Oil Supplement: VitaPost CLA2000
  2. The Best CLA Softgels: BulkSupplements.com Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
  3. The Best Affordable CLA supplement: NOW Foods CLA
  4. The Best Over-all CLA Supplement: Essential Elements Maximum Strength CLA
  5. The Best Sugar-free CLA Supplement: Sundown Naturals Maximum Strength CLA
  6. The Best Gluten-free CLA Supplement: eVitamins CLA

1. Best CLA Safflower Oil Supplement: VitaPost CLA2000

Safflower oil is an essential ingredient of CLA supplements and is invariably present in most of them.

The oil is a natural source of CLA though the quantity present is minimal. Thus, safflower oil is further processed and chemically altered to produce a concentrated form of CLA.

About VitaPost CLA2000

VitaPost CLA2000 is one of the best CLA products that utilize the purest form of CLA from safflower oil.

The manufacturing process involves the usage of high quality domestic and imported ingredients. It is carried out within an FDA listed facility in the USA, and high standards of purity are maintained through strict adherence to GMP guidelines. It is being shipped to over 23 countries across the globe.

Though VitaPost CLA 2000 can be purchased without a prescription, it will be ideal to have the supplements under the guidance of your healthcare professional. A balanced diet and exercise program should be followed along with supplementation.

The recommended dose is one serving (2 softgels) per day with food.

What it Contains:

A VitaPost CLA 2000 pack contains 60 softgels that can support your dieting goals and fitness routine for a month.

Each serving contains:

  • CLA from Safflower oil- 2000mg
  • Fat- 20mg
  • Calories- 20

The softgels are less than an inch, a size apt for comfortable swallowing. It is advised not to chew the capsule or split it into half as it encloses the supplement in a liquid form.

Owing to its taste, mixing of CLA 2000 capsules in any beverage or food is not recommended.

Do not consume CLA 2000 in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding. If there are any pre-existing medical ailments, remember to consult your physician before commencing with the supplementation.

The Pros:

  • 80% CLA present
  • Free of common allergens
  • Great for diet planning as one serving is equivalent to 20 calories
  • Lesser incidence of bloating
  • Comparatively inexpensive

Summary: VitaPost CLA 2000 is one of the most potent CLA supplements derived from safflower oil, provides 80% CLA in every serving, and comes in easy-to-swallow softgels.

2. Best CLA Softgels: BulkSupplements Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Bulk Supplements CLA softgels can be vouched for their purity as there are no fillers added and the ingredients are quite basic.

It helps in building up lean muscle mass and can increase exercise endurance. For those who have an ideal weight, can use these softgels to maintain a healthy weight and boost their immunity.

About BulkSupplements CLA

Bulk Supplements is one of the most popular and trusted brands of supplements that has manufactured over 500 kinds of health supplements. Most of the consumers are brand advocates of Bulk Supplements.

The manufacturing unit is located in Nevada, USA, and consists of  FDA-registered facilities. The raw materials for the health supplements are sourced from only select top-notch manufacturers that are verified by the FDA.

Before being converted into the final product, the raw materials are lab-tested and passed through stringent verification processes to ensure that the product quality remains superior.

The in-house laboratory performs tests on every batch of softgels like FTIR purity test, Titration potency test, microbiology contamination test, and UV-Vis potency test to ensure that you receive products of the highest quality.

What it Contains:

Extracted from safflower oil, Bulk Supplements CLA softgels are sugar-free and do not contain additives like soy, yeast, or gluten. A single serving comprises 2 capsules, and a total of 300 softgels are packed in one unit.

One serving contains:

  • CLA – 1589mg
  • Total fat – 2gm
  • Vitamin E – 4 IU (13% of daily value)

Apart from providing the best value, CLA softgels are very cost-effective and can be considered for long-term supplementation.

One serving can be taken two or three times a day or as recommended by your healthcare provider. If your aim is to enhance endurance, you can consume it around half an hour before commencing your workout. As the cost per softgel is low, an increase in dose for increased effectiveness may not pinch the customer in terms of budget.

The Pros:

  • Best value at the best price
  • Natural and simple ingredients
  • No fillers
  • Easily swallowable softgels with guaranteed purity

Summary: Bulk Supplements CLA are pure and clear softgels produced by a well-reputed brand that aims at providing a top-quality product at an affordable range.

3. Best Affordable CLA supplement: NOW Foods CLA

If you are looking for a good bang for your buck, NOW Foods CLA may be the right option for you. You can easily boost your metabolism and enjoy promising results by incorporating these softgels in your daily routine.

About NOW Foods CLA

With the mission of providing value in products so that the consumers can lead a healthy life, NOW has been a groundbreaker in the natural products industry since 1968.

Headquartered in Bloomingdale, Illinois, NOW has production and distribution facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The company functions in complete compliance with the more recent regulation of the FDA called Current Good Manufacturing Practices or cGMP. 

NOW is among those very few brands that have the instrumentation, technical expertise, and facilities to validate the absence of adulterants in the ingredients through meticulous screening.

As the ingredients used by NOW carry non-GMO certification and the products are GMP verified, one can rest assured about the top-notch quality of supplements.

What it Contains:

One serving comprises of 3 softgels and has:

  • CLA – 2400mg
  • Total Fat – 3gm
  • Calories – 25

The softgel capsule is prepared from bovine gelatin (BSE-free), water, and glycerine. NOW Foods CLA softgels are dairy-free and do not contain yeast, corn, gluten, soy, or fish.

According to the manufacturer’s directions, one serving needs to be consumed once or twice a day, preferably one hour before meals. Having 3 softgels to complete one serving can be a matter of concern for some of the customers, though most of them have reviewed the product with a five-star rating due to positive results.

The Pros:

  • Kosher and Halal certified
  • Free of allergens
  • No after taste
  • Preservatives free

Summary: NOW Foods CLA, an affordable CLA supplement, has produced definite outcomes in individuals who have combined it with a good exercise routine and mindful eating.

4. Best Over-all CLA Supplement: Essential Elements Maximum Strength CLA

Whether it is the matter of keeping your weight off or increasing your metabolism you can rely on Essential Elements Maximum Strength CLA prepared from the most premium safflower oil that provides a high  80%  concentration of CLA.

About Essential Elements Maximum Strength CLA

Essential Elements, a US-based brand, primarily focuses on the manufacture of wellness and dietary supplements with affordable, yet premium quality natural ingredients. 

Not only do they prepare the products that are completely compliant with the GMP regulations, but they also offer a board of qualified medical advisors for genuine guidance to the customers. 

Third-party testing is carried out for every batch of softgels so that the quality and consistency of the softgels remain uncompromised. Moreover, customers have rated their customer service to be one amongst the best in the industry.

The confidence in the safety, potency, and efficacy of their products is clearly reflected by the unique 365-day money-back guarantee they offer on the entire range of their products. This could be another valid reason for high customer satisfaction. 

What it Contains:

3 softgels add up to make one serving. With every container, you receive 30 servings, and each serving provides you with:

  • CLA – 2400mg
  • Total Fat – 3gm
  • Calories – 30

As there are no binders, fillers, or artificial colors inside the product, the product’s effectiveness and quality are very high. Customers have experienced an improvement in skin conditions like dermatitis when used along with other oils like evening primrose oil. 

The Pros:

  • 100% all-natural formulation
  • No fillers, carrageenan, or modified ingredients
  • An impressive 365 days money-back guarantee
  • Highly effective at a competitive price

Summary: Essential Elements Maximum Strength CLA can be considered as the best over-all CLA supplement as it is made out of natural products with no possibly-harmful additives.

5. Best Sugar-free CLA Supplement: Sundown Naturals Maximum Strength CLA

For those of you who are experiencing a stall in their weight loss journey, Sundown Naturals Maximum Strength CLA can give you the much-needed kickstart.

About Sundown Naturals Maximum Strength CLA

Sundown, a well-established company and a strong advocate of clean nutrition, has been producing premium quality vitamins and supplements for over the past 4 decades.

With the manufacturing facilities located in the USA, Sundown is operated by highly-qualified researchers, committed nutritionists, and accomplished associates.

One of their ways of guaranteeing product safety and quality is undergoing independent audits by UL- Registrar LLC, a leading provider of quality assurance inspections.

With the help of their clean nutrition formula used for every product, they ensure to abstain from the use of genetically modified organisms and the ingredients are completely free from gluten, artificial flavor or sweetener, and starch.

What it Contains:

One serving consists of 2 softgels and one unit has 45 servings. The contents of each serving are:

  • CLA – 2,340 mg – 2,520 mg
  • Total Fat – 3gm
  • Calories – 30

It has been directed on the pack to take one serving (two softgels) once or twice daily along with meals. Individuals above the age of 18 years are only supposed to have it. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider before having the supplements. 

The Pros:

  • No dairy/lactose
  • Free of sugar or artificial sweetener
  • Promotes heart health
  • Supports a healthy body composition

Summary: Sundown Naturals Maximum Strength CLA can help you burn fat naturally. Being sugar-free and containing top-notch quality natural products, this CLA supplement is worth every penny you spend.

6. Best Gluten-free CLA Supplement: eVitamins CLA

Nowadays, a large percentage of people can’t tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat and barley. Having a gluten-free formulation not only meets their needs but also ensures it in a healthy and efficient way.

About eVitamins CLA

eVitamins is a company based in Utica, Michigan, USA, and has been in the health and wellness industry since 1999.

The company claims to have an inventory turnover rate of more than 18 times a year, one of the highest in the industry. Hence, eVitamin products are on the shelves just for twenty days which means that freshness is surely guaranteed.

Not only does this company manufacture and supply indigenously produced nutritional supplements but also have collaborated with over 720 different brands and ships more than 28,000 products worldwide. 

eVitamins takes pride in running a GMP-certified facility that ascertains the premium quality and purity of the supplements.

What it Contains:

A pack of eVitamins CLA will provide you 30 servings wherein one serving is equivalent to 3 softgels. The contents of each serving are:

  • CLA – 2,400 mg
  • Total Fat – 3gm
  • Calories – 27

Aside from gelatin, water, and glycerin, these softgels have an interesting natural caramel color. The manufacturer recommends having one serving per day clubbed with a diet with low calories and a workout routine.

Being third-party tested and non-GMO, this is free from gluten, milk, egg, and fish.

The Pros:

  • No allergens
  • No jittery side effects
  • Promotes heart health
  • Supports a healthy body composition

Summary: eVitamins CLA softgels are caramel-colored capsules that are gluten-free and can help you realize the edge you are looking for.

The Dosage Instructions for CLA Supplements

To experience the maximum benefits from CLA supplements you should take them in the right dose at the right hour of the day.

The best way of doing that would be sticking to the manufacturer’s guidelines which are specific for each product. It is necessary to consult your healthcare provider or gym trainer before you start with the supplementation course.

Clinical studies have indicated that an average dose ranging from 3 to 6 grams each day is safe and has brought positive results (3). While the minimum dose to undergo weight loss is 3000mg per day, care should be taken never to exceed the dose above 6000mg/day.

CLA supplements on an empty stomach may make you nauseous, so have a serving with your meal. Moreover, the supplements put a check on the fat absorption when consumed along with any meal.

For those who wish to enhance their exercise performance can consume CLA supplements at least 2 hours before hitting the gym or have them conveniently after the workout.

Summary: Ideally, the daily dose of CLA supplements should fall in between a range of 3grams to 6 grams and should be consumed with meals preferably.

The Side Effects Using CLA Supplements

As CLA is a natural food product, the side effects are minimal and it is quite safe when consumed within the prescribed dosage (4). A few symptoms have been discussed in studies and clinical trials like:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Fatigue

These mild gastrointestinal side effects could be better understood if we realize that any fatty acid (CLA being one), can cause minor stomach problems when consumed in large doses. Moderation is the key. In the pursuit of quick positive results, you may be tempted to overdose and that’s when the adverse effects kick in.

Summary: CLA supplements are safe in general but may cause minor stomach issues such as nausea and diarrhea when consumed in excessive amounts. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the Benefits of CLA Supplements?

CLA supplements can boost your metabolism so that you can get rid of your fats with ease (5). Other significant benefits of CLA supplements are:

  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Improvement in bone mineralization
  • Increase in glycogen resynthesis 
  • Decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Increase in lean muscle mass 
  • Feeling full for a longer duration

Are There any Contraindications for CLA Supplements?

Though they are safe for use, CLA supplements should be avoided in individuals below 18 years of age and in some specific cases like:

  • Pregnancy or lactation- There is not enough evidence to support the safety of these supplements on mother or fetus/baby.
  • Individuals with diabetes- CLA supplements may cause a hike in blood glucose levels by inducing higher insulin resistance.
  • Those who are on other medicines- There is always a risk of drug interactions like CLA supplements that can cause an increase in blood-thinning effect in those who are already on blood thinners.

Should I take CLA Before or After Workout?

It is up to you to decide whether you would like to have CLA as a pre-workout or post-workout supplement.

For instance, CLA supplements may lead to acidity when taken just before your exercise routine. It is advisable to club your supplements with your meal or keep a gap of a minimum of two hours in between your supplement intake and the workout.

Should you take CLA Before bed?

According to one hypothesis, CLA interferes with the chemical pathways through which fat cells produce and store fat (6). On the basis of this hypothesis, it is beneficial to maintain high levels of CLA in the blood during the day rather than before going to bed.

There are no studies that specifically mention the efficacy of CLA supplements when taken before bed. Hence, you can take them whenever you find it convenient.

The Final Note

Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA can help you shed those extra pounds that just aren’t ready to budge in spite of your constant efforts through a weight loss program or an exercise routine.

CLA decreases body fats by helping them burn off easily and does not allow the fats to be deposited in the body. They can help those who wish to maintain their healthy body composition.

Dairy products and grass-fed beef are rich sources of CLA that are naturally available. CLA supplements, on the other hand, help you attain the recommended daily target which you are not able to reach through dietary sources alone.

Be informed about the ingredients, brand, and customer reviews before picking up a product for yourself as one can never rule the chances for individual variations. 

Sharing is caring!