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Are Fat Burners Natty? (Explained For Beginners)

Many gym goers take fat burners to help get shredded.

But can you take fat burners in natural bodybuilding competitions, and are they classed as natty?

Here is the answer to whether fat burners are natty:

Fat burners are natty since they’re allowed to be taken in natural bodybuilding competitions. But a small subset of bodybuilders believe that to be natty, you can’t take any supplements.

Bodybuilder who uses steroids

In this post, we will define what natty means, whether fat burners are steroids, whether fat burners are banned, and much more.

What Does Natty Mean?

‘Natty’ is a slang term used by bodybuilders to describe something/someone as natural.

But depending on which bodybuilder you speak to, natty can mean different things.

Some people think that no supplements are considered natty.

But to me, this makes no sense.


Well, many supplements like amino acids and caffeine are natural found in food and drink.

So you can’t really call something unnatty if it’s part of what humans consume on a daily basis.

On the other hand, most people agree that to be natty, you don’t take any banned PEDs (Performance-Enhancing Drugs).

I.e., your physique is achieved solely by diet, resistance training and supplements that are approved by the world anti-doping agency.

Are Fat Burners Steroids?

When discussing steroids in the weightlifting community, people are usually referring to anabolic steroids, like Deca, Dianabol and Anadrol.

These are synthetic versions of male testosterone, which help increase size and strength.

Whereas fat burners are supplements which include natural ingredients like green tea extract and L-Carnosine.

So no – fat burners aren’t steroids.

Are Fat Burners A Drug?

Well, it depends on how you define the word drug.

According to

A drug is a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.

So by their definition, you could argue that fat burners are a drug since they enhance physical well-being.

Whereas define a drug as:

A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behaviour and often addiction.

By this definition, fat burners aren’t a drug as it doesn’t affect the central nervous system.

Are Fat Burners A Banned Substance?

Fat burners aren’t banned by the 3 large sport’s governing bodies – the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), or the NCAA.

4 Examples of Unnatty Bodybuilding Substances

Ok Robb… So if fat burners are considered natty, then what isn’t?

I’m glad you asked!

Here are 3 substances that are most certainly not natty.

Hormone Precursors

The WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) has banned hormone precursors like DHEA, which converts into testosterone in the body.

Growth Hormones

Growth hormones include Insulin, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor-1).

These are also banned by the WNBF.

Anabolic Steroids

There are many different varieties of anabolic steroids, including:

They are all banned from natural bodybuilding competitions as they help spike your T levels.

Interestingly, Testosterone itself is banned in most forms.

(It’s often sold as gels, cream and patches.)


SARMs are substances which mimic the effects of anabolic steroids.

You are not natty if you take SARMs as they’re currently banned by WADA and USADA.

6 Other Natty Supplements


Creatine is awesome for skinny guys as it can help you put on a lot of weight quite rapidly.

Taking creatine is natty as it’s a natural compound that’s found in everyday food like red meat.

Pre Workout

Pre workout is often used to give people that extra kick before an intense gym session.

(Some people even use pre workout to wake up!)

Pre workout is considered natty as it can be taken in natural bodybuilding competitions.

Mass Gainer

Many people use mass gainer to bulk up.

Mass gainer doesn’t have steroids and you are considered natural if you take it.


BCAAs are the 3 essential amino acids – leucine, valine, and isoleucine.

You are natty if you take BCAAs as they’re not banned by the large governing bodies.

Whey Protein

Probably the most popular bodybuilding supplement out there is whey protein.

Whey protein is considered natty as it’s a natural product that’s derived from cheese production.

Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone boosters have a bit of a shady reputation.

That being said, you are natty if you take testosterone boosters as they’re made from herbal compounds, like ashwagandha and tongkat ali.


Wrapping up, most people would class fat burners as natty.

They’re a nutritional supplement that includes natural ingredients and aren’t an anabolic steroid.

Well, that’s all for today folks!

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this article.

I really hope I’ve answered your query as clearly as possible, but if you have any additional questions regarding fat burner use, I’ll get back to you in the comments below.

Speak soon.