For many people, a low-carbohydrate diet is the key to losing weight. However, it is often not easy to completely do without the satiating nutrients. Not only because they are found in many foods, but also because they are an important source of energy. So how nice would it be if we could just fill our bellies with pasta, pizza and gummy bears without gaining weight? Carbohydrate blockers promise just that – at least in part. We explain what is behind it.
Carbohydrate blockers, often called carb blockers, are a dietary supplement that is currently becoming increasingly popular. As the name suggests, the capsules, tablets or powder are supposed to block carbohydrates so that they are excreted undigested.
Most products mainly contain white kidney bean extract or extracts from other bean types, but boxhorn clover or brown algae are also welcome ingredients. In addition, other minerals such as zinc are often mixed in to ensure improved general health at the same time.
There are now carb blockers in almost every drugstore like dm or Rossmann, but also online in many fitness shops or even at Amazon. Here you can get, for example, 100 capsules for 12.99 euros *:
If you have not dealt with a low-carb diet or a ketogenic diet until now, you will probably be wondering why you want to block carbohydrates at all. After all, all carbohydrates are by no means bad. Our brains need them to supply energy. They also keep you full for a long time and have fewer calories per gram than fats – carbohydrates are 4.1 calories per gram and fats are 9.3. But excess carbohydrates are also converted into fat reserves, which in turn increases us. In addition, simple sugars, which are also carbohydrates, ensure that the blood sugar level rises sharply at first and then drops rapidly again. This ensures cravings.
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Carbohydrate blockers are said to have two functions. On the one hand, they should keep the blood sugar level constant and thus protect against food cravings. On the other hand, they should ensure that the carbohydrates ingested are not metabolized and thus excreted undigested. This is mainly due to the protein phaseolamine contained in beans. This is said to inhibit the activity of the body's own enzyme alpha-amylase. Alpha-amylase breaks down starch into sugar. If this process is inhibited, some of the starch should be excreted undigested. And since it is also sugar that causes insulin levels to skyrocket, this process is also prevented.
Carbohydrate blockers sound like the diet wonder weapon we've always longed for. Become weak in the low-carb diet without a guilty conscience and eat a portion of spaghetti or simply stop counting calories: All of this should be possible thanks to the dietary supplement.
However, it is not quite that simple. After all, the effects of the carbohydrate blockers only relate to starch, i.e. multiple sugar. Sweetening simple sugars no longer have to be broken down by alpha amalysis and are therefore still metabolized as normal. Your favorite candy bar still has the same number of calories despite carb blockers.
In addition, there are not yet too many studies on this topic. The amalysis-inhibiting effect of Phasealomin could be proven in the laboratory, to measure the alpha-amaly activity in the body, however, is more difficult. However, there is, among other things, a study from 2000 in which subjects who took carbohydrate blockers lost more weight than the control group who received a placebo. However, the samples were only very small – in each group there were only 20 people.
Online evaluations and reports from various users on the Internet show that they assess the impact differently. Some report losing weight faster with carbohydrate blockers, but others found no effect. The preparations are mostly viewed rather critically by fitness experts, since the study situation is not particularly meaningful.
If you are actually overweight and therefore want to lose a few pounds, you should better stay away from crash diets and alleged miracle drugs. Instead, we advise you to switch to a healthy and balanced diet and to ensure sufficient exercise in everyday life. So you lose weight slower, but healthier and long-term.