Most changes in fat and muscle mass occur overnight. Fortunately, this means that one of the most effective pathways to a leaner, ripped body is also incredibly easy: Get more sleep.
Unfortunately, humankind is stubborn. And, apparently, even in adulthood, we don’t like to be told when to go to bed. Which is partially why sleep aids have become big business — and even bigger business in 2018 as health supplements have begun concocting PM versions of their formulas.
For GNC Total Lean, that PM version is GNC Total Lean CLA PM, a quality CLA supplement with powerful sleep and recovery enhancing blends.
As our other GNC Total Lean CLA reviews have shown, GNC’s CLA is the real deal. But how are they doing in the PM department? Let’s read the GNC Total Lean CLA PM review to find out.
About GNC Total Lean CLA PM
As part of GNC’s Total Lean® System, GNC Total Lean CLA PM provides the same fat burning benefits of its Total Lean CLA brethren, except with additional sleep enhancement advantages. However, are all these ingredients necessary for better sleep? Formula notes:
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid: The featured ingredient in this stack has a strong reputation for fat-to-muscle gains and improved body composition benefits.
- Rest and Relaxation Complex:
- Restore and Recovery Complex:
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Supplement Facts
|Serving Size: Four Softgels|
Servings Per Container: 30
|Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|Calories from Fat||40|
|Total Fat||4.5 g (7% DV)|
|Biotin||30 mcg (10% DV)|
|Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)||3.4 g|
|(from Safflower Oil)|
|Rest and Relaxation Complex||300 mg|
|Valerien Root Extract||100 mg|
|Lemon Balm Leaves Extract||50 mg|
|Hops Flower Extract||50 mg|
|Passion Flower Herb Powder||50 mg|
|Restore and Recover Complex||79.95 mg|
|alpha-Lipoic Acid||10 mg|
|Silica (as Silicon Dioxide)||4 mg|
|Horsetail Rush Stems Extract||3 mg|
|(as Hydrolyzed Protein Chelate)|
Gelatin, Glycerin, Caramel Color.
As a dietary supplement, take four softgels at bedtime.
GNC Total Lean CLA PM targets nighttime metabolism for enhanced overnight fat loss, muscle gains, and recovery.
GNC Total Lean CLA PM has the CLA for the fat burns and the various herbal extracts and compounds for the sleep and recovery. To make room for all of this bio-activity, GNC packs these ingredients into a hefty four softgel caps serving size, meant to be taken prior to bedtime.
But, really, CLA and Melatonin would’ve worked just fine, right? Are all of these ingredients necessary? We’ll need to review them ingredient-by-ingredient to get a better look.
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Review: Ingredients
As the featured ingredient in this stack, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) takes up a significant portion of this formula, clocking in at 3400 mg. That’s an impressive dosage accomplished by GNC Total Lean CLA PM’s hefty 4 softgels serving size.
The claims for this fat burning fatty acid center around its “body composition” benefits; it’s potential to reduce fat while increasing muscle mass. As such, CLA is particularly popular among lean muscle bodybuilders.
However, GNC Total Lean CLA PM isn’t just a CLA supplement. So, let’s get on with the rest of the formula.
Rest and Relaxation Complex
Just as the complex’s title indicates, these herbal extracts and compounds are intended for Rest and Relaxation — a little R&R, baby. And, for the most part, GNC is spot on here: All ingredients are backed by a positive reputation for enhancing sleep, as well as reducing anxiety. In fact, one of the ingredients — L-theanine — tops our BIG List of Nootropics for its well-researched calming effects on sleep and anxiety.
The remaining ingredients — Valerian, Lemon Balm, Hops, and Passionflower — also have solid reputations as sleep enhancers. However, with regards to the highest dosed ingredient in this blend, the results are somewhat iffy: Some observations find Valerian having inhibitory effects on sleep.
Even so, we’d rather take these natural sleep enhancers over the go-to melatonin supplements, as the latter often has side effect risks.
Restore and Recover Complex
Not too sure about this blend. For a moment, we thought we were reading the “Other Ingredients” rather than a legitimate extension of GNC Total Lean CLA PM’s formula. Gelatin? Silicon Dioxide? These are additives. The Alpha Lipoic Acid may supply significant free radical reduction, whereas Horsetail works as a diuretic… which, again, has little to do with restoration or recovery.
Altogether, this complex comes out of nowhere, adding very little value to the formula.
As a CLA supplement, GNC Total Lean CLA PM gets the job done: It provides quality CLA at a sizable dosage in clean, junk-free, softgel capsules. And as a sleep aid, GNC Total Lean CLA PM gets the job done: It supplies clinically and anecdotally backed natural sleep enhancers for quick, deep Zzz’s.
So, essentially, GNC Total Lean CLA PM delivers on all of its promises, right?
Yes, it does. And it delivers them well.
Yet… GNC Total Lean CLA PM does stop there, stacking another ingredient complex into the mix that …well, doesn’t help the formula at all. If anything, it detracts from the overall formula design as it siphons precious softgel space from the more effective fat burners.
Take note: If restoration and recovery are what you’re after, don’t go for the Restore and Recover Complex here. Find yourself a premium protein or post-workout supplement and take that instead.
Side note: Having said that, GNC Total Lean CLA PM’s boosts on sleep inherently help with restoration and recovery by helping you get better sleep. So, technically, this supplement delivers on that promise as well. Even though it does so in a semi-unintended way.
The Total Lean® System
The Total Lean System that’s “Scientifically Designed For Every Weight Loss Goal” works as a three-part supplement stack operation. Those three parts being:
- Start with a Clinically Proven Foundation – Includes GNC Total Lean Lean Shake 25 and the Burn & Define Vitapak® Program.
- Customize to Your Needs – Choose additional supplements categorized by goal; e.g., Manage Your Appetite, Snack Smarter, Support Lean Muscle, etc., etc.
- Achieve Your Goals – Essentially a vague allusion to more GNC supplements and articles on health management and weight loss goals.
Does the “Scientifically Designed” claim hold weight here? We doubt it. Or at least we have ready of any clinical human trials focusing on this particular system. Yet, the ingredients chosen for these ingredients have generally been researched and demonstrated to work. So, that’s purdy good, right?
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Benefits
The Amazon listing for GNC Total Lean CLA PM touts the following health benefits:
- Promotes restful and restorative sleep
- Shown to improve body composition
- Helps lean muscle tone
These benefit claims are justified, with exception to the phrase “Shown to…” Until GNC Total Lean CLA PM’s entire formula has been subjected to clinical testing, phrases such as “shown to” are invalid. Having said that, CLA has a strong reputation for improving body composition, so this benefit is still to be expected.
Who Takes It?
Insomniac Bodybuilders. The cutting male and female bodybuilders looking to slim some belly fat while gaining some muscle mass may be attracted to this supplement. Particularly the athletes who have a hard time getting their asses to sleep at night.
Any Side Effects?
Some reviewers docked points on this supplement for having negative customer reviews. We haven’t seen any — or at least read any significant amount that would indicate of a serious side effect risk here. Frankly, we’re not expecting any side effects with GNC Total Lean CLA PM’s generally safe and natural formula. Needles to say, don’t consume this product during the daytime, before operating heavy machinery, etc., etc.
And just to be on the safe side, here’s the warning attached to the label:
For adult use only. Do not use this product if you are pregnant or lactating. If you are taking medication or have a medical condition, consult a physician before using this product. Discontinue use two weeks prior to surgery. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
GNC Total Lean CLA PM Review Summary
- Quality CLA. Some CLA supplements suck. GNC Total Lean supplies the good stuff.
- Herbal Extracts. Melatonin works but has side effects. These ingredients work minus the headache and morning grog.
- Non Proprietary. GNC Total Lean errs on the side of transparency, keeping all of its ingredient dosages open for review.
- Restore and Recover. Not too sure what GNC is going for with their second complex.
- Dosages. Aside from CLA, the remaining ingredient dosages are a little questionable.
- Needs to be Stacked. As a hybrid standalone, GNC Total Lean CLA PM can only do so much and requires additional supplements for peak fat burns.
Pricing and Where to Buy
- 1 Bottle (1 month; 120 softgels): $44.99
- Available online and in retail stores
You can buy GNC Total Lean CLA PM as a standalone supplement via GNC or Amazon. Or you can buy the supplement as part of the Total Lean® System, under the “Support Lean Muscle” category.
Final Word on GNC Total Lean CLA PM
As a CLA supplement, GNC Total Lean CLA PM works. And as a sleep aid, the supplement works. Altogether, GNC accomplishes its hybrid fat burner design well; a feat not handled very well by inferior (or shady) supplement manufacturers. Granted, GNC Total Lean CLA PM won’t solve all of your body goals. In fact, this works best as a side stack option. So, be sure to have a fiery Plan A before diving into these softgels.