Carb blockers are supplements that use natural ingredients to prevent the body from absorbing excess carbohydrates and turning them into fat. They can also reduce appetite and prevent overeating.
For these reasons carb blockers are some of the most popular weight loss supplements on the market today. They’re ideal for people who want to get the weight loss ball rolling, but don’t have the time or inclination to adhere to a strict diet.
There are dozens of carb blockers in circulation today, but not all of them are worthy of your hard-earned money. Our team of experts took a close look at the carb blocker landscape and determined that the following are the best carb blockers of 2020.
1. Absolute Nutrition CBlock
Absolute Nutrition CBlock is a carb blocker of extraordinary potency. Each CBlock capsule combines the proven carb blocking potential of white kidney bean extract with 200 mcg of chromium and 100 mcg of vanadium. Why is that important? Because both chromium and vanadium facilitate the activity of insulin, and insulin plays a fundamental role in turning food into energy.
The better it can do its job, the less sugar will wind up in your blood and the less fat will wind up around your waist. Absolute Nutrition has been producing high-quality supplements for more than a decade. All of their supplements are produced in a Good Manufacturing Practices facility in the US.
2. Arazo Nutrition White Kidney Bean Extract
Arazo Nutrition White Kidney Bean Extract goes all-in on the proven carb blocker white kidney bean. Each vegetable cellulose capsule contains an impressive 600 mg of pure white kidney bean extract. This carb blocker gets right to work heading off the processes that turn carbohydrates into unwanted fatty tissue.
With fewer carbs being metabolized by your system you will also avoid debilitating blood sugar spikes after you eat. White kidney bean is also known for its ability to produce a sense of satiety, which helps prevent overeating and snacking between meals. There is nothing fancy going on with this supplement. Arazo simply provides you with an ample dose of a proven carb blocking agent and leaves the rest up to you.
3. Natrol Carb Intercept
Natrol Carb Intercept makes much of their use of something called ‘Phase 2 Carb Controller’. Don’t be fooled by the marketing, though. Phase 2 is just a fancy name for the compound (phaseolamin) in white kidney bean extract that blocks carbohydrate absorption. It’s not some artificial compound that’s going to cause you harm.
It’s the same thing every white bean extract supplement relies on to block carbohydrate absorption. And it does an excellent job, which means less fat accumulating around your waist. Intercept also includes chromium, which helps bolster insulin activity, and sodium which is an important electrolyte. Natrol has been around since the 1980s and produces all their supplements in a GMP-certified facility in the US.
4. DrFormulas White Kidney Bean Extract Carb Blocker
Like Natrol Intercept, DrFormulas White Kidney Bean Extract Carb Blocker uses the proprietary ingredient Phase 2. And as is the case with Intercept, that Phase 2 white kidney bean extract powers DrFormulas carb blocking ability. Each DrFormulas Carb Blocker capsule contains an impressive 1000 mg of Phase 2, which makes it one of the most potent carb blockers on the market.
With that type of white kidney bean extract dose it is also one of the few carb blockers that enable you to lose weight while continuing to eat your regular diet. (Although, to be sure, you will see more impressive results if you cut back a bit on the carbs too.) DrFormulas Carb Blocker is produced in a GMP facility and each bottle provides 120 veggie cellulose capsules.
5. JuniperLife Empower Carb Blocker
JuniperLife Empower is one of the few effective carb blockers that eschew white kidney bean. Instead, the makers of Empower rely on the ability of gymnema sylvestre extract to block the absorption of sugar via the digestive tract.
The less sugar you absorb the more stable your blood glucose levels and the less fat that winds up accumulating throughout your body. Gymnema also has the proven ability to pull the plug on sugar cravings and to nullify the taste of sweets. Those capabilities can come in very handy to people trying to lose weight. Why more manufacturers don’t rely solely on gymnema sylvestre for their carb blockers is something of a mystery. But at least we have JuniperLife Empower.
6. KRK Fat and Carb Blocker
KRK Fat and Carb Burner uses a combination of white kidney bean extract (referred to here as ‘phaseolus vulgaris’) chromium and forskolin to block carbohydrate absorption, facilitate insulin activity and prevent food cravings. It is marketed as a support supplement for keto dieters, and it may indeed be helpful to those on that carb-restrictive diet.
But even if you are still eating your regular carb-intensive diet KRK Fat and Carb Burner can help ensure all the excess carbs you’re eating don’t wind up around your waist. A bottle of KRK Fat and Carb Blocker will cost a bit more than some other carb blockers, but you get more too: a full 180 capsules as opposed to 90 or 120 you get with the competition.
7. Xtrategy Carb Blocker
There is no doubt that this Xtrategy Carb Blocker is effective. It is one of the few carb blockers to combine white kidney bean extract with gymnema sylvestre, which produces impressive carb blocking results. Xtrategy also throws in 125 mcg of chromium to facilitate insulin sensitivity. That helps the body deal with the carbs that are absorbed.
It’s a solid approach that yields real results. The reason Xtrategy Carb Blocker did not wind up higher on our list is because they invoke the ‘proprietary blend’ label that allows them to legally conceal how much of what ingredient is in their supplement. Since we’re big fans of disclosure when it comes to supplements, we can’t in good conscience, rank Xtrategy any higher.
8. Irwin Naturals Maximum Strength 3-in-1 Carb Blocker
Irwin Naturals Maximum Strength 3-in-1 Carb Blocker takes a multipronged approach to keeping fat at bay. That approach places the proven carb blocker white kidney bean at the center of the formulation and surrounds it with complementary compounds. Chromium is one of those. It enables insulin to do a more effective job dealing with blood glucose. But Irwin Naturals doesn’t stop there.
They also include the digestive enzymes lipase and protease. These take up residence in the intestines and break down carbs that emerge from the stomach unscathed. Breaking down those undigested carbs releases the beneficial fatty acids they contain, which itself provides myriad health benefits.
9. Nature’s Craft White Kidney Bean
We’ve seen several different carb blocker formulations so far, but Nature’s Craft White Kidney Bean marks a return to simplicity. Each serving contains 1200 mg of white kidney bean extract and nothing else. Nature’s Craft doesn’t need to try and prop up its supplement with secondary ingredients. Instead, the company selects the most effective carb blocker around and gives you the biggest dose available.
The thinking being that if 1200 mg of white kidney bean extract doesn’t block the absorption of carbs, nothing will. If you like your supplements simple and potent, Nature’s Craft White Kidney Bean is likely to be right up your alley.
10. Code Age Keto Carb Blocker
The last of our best carb blockers comes from Code Age. Their Keto Carb Blocker is marketed toward the low carb keto crowd but will probably serve non-keto dieters even better. After all, if you are adhering to the keto diet you certainly don’t need a carb blocker.
The Code Age formulation mixes white kidney bean with cinnamon and green tea leaf extract. Cinnamon is known to facilitate insulin activity and green tea leaf contains caffeine. Not a lot, mind you. But enough to boost metabolic activity a bit and help burn off some of those excess carbs before they become love handles. Code Age Keto Carb Blocker contains no allergens or GMOs and is manufactured in the US in a GMP-certified facility.
What Are Carb Blockers?
Carb blockers are a type of supplement that interferes with the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body’s default fuel source. They are hard-wired into our system. Unfortunately, most people consume more carbs than they need. When that happens, the body metabolizes the excess carbs into fat and stores it away for later use. The problem is, that ‘later use’ almost never happens and the fat just collects, and collects, and collects.
Carb blockers prevent some carbs from being digested and dramatically slows the digestion of others. The result is that you feel full while eating less food. And you don’t get hungry again as quickly. So just like that carb blockers help you fulfill two of the most important aspects of any diet: eating less and avoiding between meal snacks.
Can Carb Blockers Really Help With Weight Loss?
Yes, carb blockers can help with weight loss. That is particularly true if you are someone who consumes a lot of complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and potatoes. Carb blockers don’t require any big changes to your life, daily routine, or even your diet in some cases.
That said, if you want to ensure the weight they help you lose will stay off it behooves you to develop some healthy habits while taking this type of supplement. For instance, even though you may not feel compelled to cut back on carbs, it’s probably a good idea. It will help the carb blocker work more effectively and it will leave you with some healthier eating habits going forward.
Same with exercise. Carb blockers are convenient and often effective, but long term weight loss and exercise go hand in hand. So if you decide to go the carb blocker route, think about putting in a little extra effort in order to give yourself the best chance of locking in your new, slimmer profile.
What are the Benefits of Carb Blockers?
Carb blockers prevent overeating – At the end of the day if a person is overweight it comes down to the fact that they’re overeating. Why they might be eating more than they need to is another topic altogether. But no weight loss can occur until something is done about the overeating. This is where carb blockers come in. They can make you feel full after eating less food. And, because they slow digestion, you feel full longer and are not tempted to snack.
Carb blockers ensure you don’t feel deprived – When it comes to weight loss an awful lot of the battle is fought between a person’s ears (1). If a person is always hungry it can gnaw at their spirit and they may wind up feeling deprived. That’s when thoughts like “I didn’t go on a diet to be miserable!” creep in. Once that happens abandoning the diet is usually not far behind. Because carb blockers make you feel full and slow digestion you do not feel hungry and deprived and won’t have to fight that mental battle.
Carb blockers allow you more food choices – No matter what type of diet you are on the key to success is consuming fewer calories than you burn. The most effective way to reduce caloric intake is to slash your intake of carbs. You know, all those things you like to eat, such as pasta, potatoes, pizza, and sweets. Denying yourself your favorite foods is sure to lead to the aforementioned feelings of deprivation. Fortunately, with carb blockers, you can continue eating some of them without worrying.
Carb blockers provide resistance starches – One of the reasons carb blockers are so successful is that many of them contain resistance starches (2). Resistance starches are carbs that pass into the intestine largely undigested. There they are fermented and transformed into short-chain fatty acids which have a multitude of benefits. Resistance starches also tend to act as fiber, which helps encourage regularity.
Carb blockers help keep blood sugar levels under control – Many overweight individuals (and some people of average weight) are beset by rollercoaster blood glucose levels. Every time they eat their blood sugar spikes. This is not a phenomenon that’s exclusive to diabetics either (3). Many non-diabetics experience these spikes. Because carb blockers slow down digestion and prevent some carbs from being metabolized at all, they can put an end to blood sugar spikes.
Carb blockers make losing weight easy – Some diets seem like they require a PhD in nutrition to understand. Carb blockers, on the other hand, are delightfully simple. You take them as directed, they slow down digestion and limit carbohydrate metabolism, you lose weight. That’s pretty much it. They do not require you to make any major lifestyle changes or engage in rigorous exercise. (Though, just for the record, you really should exercise (4) if you want to keep the weight off.)
Who Should Use Carb Blockers?
People who have had trouble losing weight – Carb blockers are not a magic weight loss solution, but they can and do make it easier for many people to lose a few pounds or maintain their current, healthy weight. If your weight loss efforts have been undermined by complicated diets or feelings of deprivation, carb blockers can provide a simpler, less punitive way to get the weight loss ball rolling.
People who want to stay physically fit – Unwanted weight gain often undermines people’s efforts to stay in shape. They hit the gym two or three times a week but still can’t seem to make any progress with those love handles. Carb blockers can help. They can prevent snacking and overeating that are often the cause of stubborn fat deposits. As a result, you’ll start to see real progress from your workout efforts.
Anyone who eats a high carb diet – Carbs are what our bodies use to power themselves. But too much of anything is not a good thing. And eating more carbs than you burn is guaranteed to lead to weight gain (5). If you are fond of pasta dishes, potatoes, and other high carb foods a carb blocker can prevent those excess carbs you ingest from taking up permanent residence around your waist.
Are There Side Effects?
Carb blockers are not ‘medicine’ per se, they are a combination of natural ingredients known to undermine the absorption of carbohydrates. As such, they are generally considered to be safe and effective for most people, which is why they don’t require a prescription.
However, blocking carbohydrate absorption is bound to have several knock-on effects that could create issues for some folks. For instance, because carbs are metabolized into glucose, and carb blockers interfere with the absorption of carbohydrates, they can affect blood sugar levels. This may complicate the treatment of diabetes.
Also, carb blockers often send undigested carbs into the large intestine where they wind up fermenting. Even though beneficial fatty acids are often the result of this fermentation, the process itself may complicate treatment for people with digestive disorders. So, if you are being treated for IBS (6), for instance, you should discuss things with your doctor before taking a carb blocker.
Finally, out of an abundance of caution, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consider avoiding carb blockers. This is simply because there have not been any studies looking into the possible negative consequences of using carb blockers while pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are the Best Natural Carb Blockers?
As we mentioned briefly above, carb blockers are not medicine. They are natural ingredients with a proven track record of being able to block the absorption of carbohydrates. Some types of food are better at doing this than others. The best natural carb blockers are:
White kidney bean – Without a doubt the best known carb blocker is the humble white kidney bean. White kidney bean extract prevents an enzyme called alpha-amylase (7) from breaking down carb molecules into sugar. As a result, your body absorbs fewer calories, and you are not subjected to blood sugar spikes every time you eat. White kidney bean extract is the most popular ingredient in OTC carb blockers.
Garcinia cambogia – Garcinia cambogia sounds like the name of some exotic, far off country, but it’s actually the name of a tree (and the fruit it bears) that is native to Indonesia. Both the tree and the fruit are sometimes referred to as ‘malabar tamarind’. The fruit of the garcinia tree contains a substance called hydroxycitric acid, commonly referred to in weight loss literature as HCA (8). HCA can create a sense of satiety, which leads to reduced appetite. HCA also interferes with fatty acid biosynthesis (9). That leads to fewer carbs being metabolized into fat stores that wind up around your waist.
Gymnema sylvestre – Gymnema sylvestre is a woody vine native to the Near and Far East. Like white kidney bean the extract of gymnema sylvestre has the ability to block absorption of carbohydrates. Gymnema sylvestre also has the ability to block sugar cravings (10) and nullify the taste of sweets.
Are Carb Blockers the Holy Grail of Weight Loss?
You will often find breathless marketing campaigns proclaiming carb blockers as the be-all, end-all of the weight loss world. The reality, however, is a bit more down to earth. Yes, carb blockers can make it easier for some folks to lose weight. Sometimes quite a bit of weight. And it is true that carb blockers do not have to be part of a complete overhaul of your eating habits or lifestyle.
That said, carb blockers will work better for some people than for others. And, most importantly, if you do not undertake some diet and lifestyle changes while taking carb blockers, old habits are almost sure to cause you to regain any lost weight once you stop taking them. No one is saying you have to change everything. But, getting in the habit of eating fewer high-carb meals and exercising once in a while will go a long way toward ensuring any weight you lose stays off.
The Bottom Line
Carb blockers are a safe, convenient way to start down the road to weight loss and better overall health. They allow people to lose weight or maintain their current healthy weight without having to make wholesale changes to their diet or lifestyle. If you have had difficulty sticking to various weight loss programs, or you just want to drop a few pounds so you look and feel better, carb blockers can help.
Carb blockers do not contain any controlled substances, do not require a prescription, and do not produce any odious side effects in otherwise healthy people. What they do is prevent your body from absorbing all the carbohydrates you eat and in this way, prevent those excess carbs from becoming fat tissue.
We vetted all the carb blockers on the above list and found them to be the safest and most effective on the market. Use the information here to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.