As part of the Total Lean® System, GNC Total Lean CLA is one of the four “Support Lean Muscle” options, which includes in toto: GNC Total Lean CLA, GNC Total Lean CLA PM, GNC Total Lean CLA Powder, and (the final boss) GNC Total Lean Advanced Premium CLA 3-6-9. Or at least those are the CLA options for lean muscle support.
So, relative to the other CLA options, GNC Total Lean CLA is the most simple and straightforward. And thus it makes sense to start with this one: If GNC Total Lean CLA works, then they all likely work. But does CLA work for lean muscle gains? And, more importantly, does this work?
Let’s read the GNC Total Lean CLA review to find out.
About GNC Total Lean CLA
Manufactured and sold by GNC, Total Lean CLA encompasses only one part of the Total Lean® System — “Scientifically Designed For Every Weight Loss Goal.” Fortunately, this CLA supplement isn’t locked into the system. And so you’re able to purchase it separately. Formula notes:
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid: While it doesn’t rank high on our Best 5 Fat Burners list, CLA does work for fat burning, potentially assisting with body composition as well.
- General Nutrition Centers: Did you know that’s what GNC stands for? Well, now you know. And now you also know: Total Lean CLA is sold at GNC (and Amazon).
- And that’s it: What else is there to say about this supplement? GNC Total Lean CLA supplies straight up CLA, making it an easy single-ingredient stack option.
GNC Total Lean CLA Supplement Facts
|Serving Size: Two Softgel Capsules
Servings Per Container: 45
|Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|Calories from Fat||25|
|Total Fat||2.5 g (4% DV)|
|CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)||2000 mg|
|(from Safflower Oil)|
As a dietary supplement, take two softgel capsules twice daily.
GNC Total Lean CLA targets fat-to-muscle metabolism with one ingredient: Conjugated Linoleic Acid.
Essentially, everything you need to know about this supplement is in its name: CLA. However, perhaps you also want to know if this is the CLA supplement you want to take over others? And to answer that, we’ll need to answer: Is this high quality CLA? Did GNC supply a high enough dosage?
Does the research actually back this ingredient up for muscle building and fat burning?
Let’s check it out.
GNC Total Lean CLA Review: Conjugated Linoleic Acid
On our BIG List of Fat Burners, Conjugated Linoleic Acid just barely misses the top five list. However, this isn’t because it’s a bad fat burner. Instead, we’ve ranked it under “Other Top Fat Burners That Work” for its well-researched effects on thermogenic fat loss. Here are the full fat burning bio-pathways associated with this fatty acid:
- Inhibits leptin, which triggers hunger
- Boosts resting metabolic rate
- Assists with blood sugar balance
CLA’s reputation, as indicated by GNC, revolves around its potential improvement on body composition. Which basically translates to: a better, leaner fat to muscle ratio. Particularly when consumed with exercise, CLA seems to assist with the body’s muscle building, fat shredding pathways.
On its own, however, (i.e., without exercise) CLA supplements are a waste of your dolla.
GNC Total Lean CLA is a prime CLA supplement option of exceptional quality (safflower oil) and quantity (2,000 mg per serving; twice daily) — although, it’s not GNC’s best CLA option. Within the Total Lean System, that title likely belongs to GNC Total Lean™ Advanced Premium CLA 3-6-9, which stacks various CLA forms with various healthy fatty acid ingredients.
Having said that, GNC Total Lean CLA works as an effective base level CLA supplement worth stacking with other fat burners and muscle building PWO stacks. A lesser supplement would have supplies less CLA, filling that cap space with unnecessary fillers and additives. But GNC Total Lean CLA keeps its caps clean with only two “Other Ingredients”: Gelatin and Glycerin.
Is GNC Total Lean CLA an effective fat burner on its own?
That’s hard to say.
Odds are if you’re considering CLA, you’re already taking other health supplements for muscle gains and weight loss. Our recommendation: Only take GNC Total Lean CLA if you’d like to knock out the belly fat IN ADDITION TO the supplement stack you’re already taking.
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 Benefits
Despite carrying only one ingredient, GNC Total Lean CLA makes essentially three health benefit claims:
- Helps maintain lean muscle mass.
- Enhances your diet and supports your metabolism.
- Supports healthy body composition.
Fair enough. While evidence is somewhat conflicted on CLA, there are more positive studies and reports backing this ingredient up than there are negative. Thus, we’ll grant GNC these rather modest and reasonable health claims. CLA enhances lean muscle mass via diet and metabolism support.
There ya go. There’s the benefit to supplementing GNC Total Lean CLA.
Who Takes It?
Lean Muscle Builders. You have big, bulking bodybuilders. And you have lean, mean bodybuilders. GNC Total Lean CLA targets the latter category, assisting with muscle gains as well as fat loss. In other words, don’t stack this supplement with a “meat and potatoes” bodybuilding regimen.
Any Side Effects?
No. Frankly, we’d be very surprised to hear of any significant side effect risk with GNC Total Lean CLA. And if any issues arise, it’d likely be due to poor manufacturing rather than issues with CLA. At the least, the customer reviews on this product are overwhelmingly positive.
GNC Total Lean CLA Review Summary
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Guess what? It works for fat loss and muscle gains!
- Decent Quality. Not GNC’s best but a standout option in the 2018 fat burner market.
- Decent Quantity. 2,000 mg per serving, twice daily, should get the job done.
- Only CLA. As a standalone supplement, CLA doesn’t hold that much stock.
- Price. You can find standalone CLA options at a cheaper price than this.
Pricing and Where to Buy
- 1 Bottle (90 softgels): $29.99
- 2 Bottles (180 softgels): $44.99
- Available online and in retail stores
You can buy GNC Total Lean CLA at (you guessed it) GNC, as well as Amazon. However, GNC has a Buy One, Get One 50% Off deal advertised on their website’s GNC Total Lean CLA listing. And purchasing orders of $49 or more gets you free shipping. What a deal, yo!
Final Word on GNC Total Lean CLA
GNC Total Lean CLA is what it is: Conjugated Linoleic Acid. Nothing more, nothing less. And so, if you’re considering adding CLA to fat burning stack, here it is with no bells, whistles, or strange gimmicks attached. Granted, ~$30 is on the high end for just CLA. But it is a decent fat burning / muscle building ingredient with a strong reputation for improving body composition. Which, if you ask us, is definitely worth adding to your supplement stack.