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Cardalean Review (2023 Upd.) Best Alternative to Cardarine?

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: January 6, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

I always tell my readers and clients that there's no way around working hard at the gym and focusing on a proper diet to achieve sustainable weight loss.

But once you have those two things covered, there are ways to trigger fat-burning effects with natural supplements.

One product that readers were constantly asking me about is Cardalean. So, I got together with the Total Shape team, my dietitian, and a few clients to test and research this supplement over four weeks.

Here's what we found for this Cardalean review.

What Is Cardalean?

Someone kneeling down outside

Cardalean is a fat loss product created by supplement company Brutal Force aimed at making weight loss and cutting phases more effective.

It also claims to contain ingredients that support maintaining lean muscle mass.

It comes in capsule form, and according to the company, Cardalean targets fat cells in a more effective way to reduce your body fat percentage.

The name is a play on a medical drug called Cardarine GW501516, and the goal was to achieve similar results with natural ingredients that are not on a banned substance list.

It's used for treating arthritis and preventing painful muscle spasms [1].

Cardarine GW501516 is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) and a prescription-only drug often misused by athletes.

Cardalean is a relatively new supplement introduced in 2021, and so far, the company has not modified the formula.

Let's see if it lives up to the claims.

How Does Cardalean Work?

Cardalean works by triggering thermogenesis, increased energy output, and boosted vascularity.

After four weeks of testing, we gathered feedback from the team to see what kind of changes they experienced.

Overall Benefits

A person stretching at the gym

Fat Burning

Brutal Force claims that this is an extreme fat burner. I'll get to a breakdown of the ingredients shortly, but I can say here that it didn't cause particularly rapid fat loss. While I did record a body fat percentage, it wasn't significantly more than intense workouts would achieve.


The company also claims that Cardalean promotes extreme vascularity. And we did note a few ingredients like L-Arginine and L-Citrulline that have proven links to boosting nitric oxide levels [2].

That triggers faster blood flow to muscle cells that helps them swell up and gives you better pumps in more intense training sessions. And we did notice more defined muscles during workouts.

Energy Boosting

The other thing that the company highlights as a benefit is that Cardalean will improve your aerobic capacity. This is where we had some mixed results, and I think that this product could be improved with more ingredients that trigger the energy-producing capabilities of the body.

If that's an important factor for you, then you'd probably need a pre-workout supplement to stimulate your body to produce energy more efficiently for your workouts. Be careful, however, since you might be caffeine-sensitive and could end up with the jitters if you end up taking a supplement with high-levels of this ingredient.


Cardalean Supplements

Here are the main active ingredients.

Wild Yam Root Powder (1750 mg)

Brutal Force claims that wild yam extract can make burning fat more efficient. However, there is not enough scientific evidence for this, and one study, in particular, highlighted that it had no effect on body mass [3].

Ginseng (375 mg)

This is a good ingredient for weight loss and developing lean muscles. Studies have shown a direct link between ginseng and the amount of fat the body will store, and there is a link to testosterone production as well [4].

However, most studies use a stronger dose of ginseng than Cardalean provides.

L-Arginine (150 mg)

This is one of the more interesting amino acids as it has been linked to improved blood flow and the body's ability to process stored fat [5]. The dosage is also good, lining up with what many studies have used.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (75 mg)

There is evidence that L-carnitine can help with improved muscle function, and you can find it in many different pre-workouts [6]. However, those products typically include a significantly higher dose.

L-Citrulline (75 mg)

This is another good ingredient that influences blood vessels by boosting nitric oxide [7]. I did notice better pumps during training but keep in mind that a good pre-workout would have about ten times as much.

"Taking L-citrulline increases plasma levels of ornithine and arginine and improves the ammonia recycling process and nitric oxide metabolism. Consequently, it is used in areas where nitric oxide is relevant, namely athletic performance, vascular health, and erectile dysfunction." - Kamal Patel, Editor at

Puncture Vine Extract (37.5 mg)

You'll often see this in natural testosterone boosters, but some studies are now questioning the real effect it has [8]. It's also included in a small dosage that might not have a significant effect.

Supplement Form

Someone eating on the floor

Cardalean comes in small veggie capsules that you should take at the same time every day.

The recommendation is to take it about 20 minutes before a meal, and because there's no caffeine, you could take it later in the day.

During our testing, we took it first thing in the morning, at least 20 minutes before breakfast, to allow the body to absorb the ingredients.

I personally like taking capsules as it's easier to bring them with you if you want to take them while you're on the go.

It's used for treating arthritis and preventing painful muscle spasms [1].

Cardalean is a relatively new supplement introduced in 2021, and so far, the company has not modified the formula.

Let's see if it lives up to the claims.

  • Caffeine-free formula means you can take the capsules later in the day
  • Positive trial results for muscle pumps during training
  • Comes in small enough capsules that are easy to swallow
  • We noticed a few online reviews mentioning that they got muscle cramps

Does It Have Downsides?

The first thing I have to point out is that I saw a few users comment online that they got cramps during the day while taking Cardalean. This seems to be isolated, but one of our clients also reported this.

The other thing that I highlighted above in the ingredients section is that Cardalean doesn't have a particularly strong formula.

While some ingredients have proven benefits, the dosage is too low to make a major difference. That's probably why we weren't able to lose fat as effectively as we expected.

How Does It Compare To Other Products

Two men running outside

One important thing we do with all our product reviews is to compare them to the most effective bodybuilding supplements that we have tested out.

And when it comes to supplements that help to burn fat, there are three that have seen great results.

First of all, the product we've had the best results with is PhenQ. It has a simple formula that directly targets fat reserves, including caffeine and capsicum powder [9].

I rely on this for all my cutting phases to help preserve muscle mass.

Our female clients and readers tend to favor LeanBean.

The company designed the formula specifically for the average woman to target stubborn fat. It's also got good ingredients like chromium to help with hunger cravings [10].

That's one thing we really missed with Cardalean.

And then there's Instant Knockout that a lot of our bodybuilder clients like taking during bulking and cutting phases. It has strong caffeine and L-theanine doses that have given us significantly better performance at the gym and much better control over fat storage.

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Where Can You Buy Cardalean?

A person using a laptop

You can occasionally buy Cardalean on Amazon, but the official place to buy it is on the Brute Force website. One thing I would say is that buying from resellers at Amazon can be a bit risky.

There are too many counterfeit products out there that, at best, will do nothing.

But they could also cause side effects that are not common with the real product, so I always suggest avoiding them.

If you decide you want to give this product a try, then I would suggest buying it on the official website.

But keep in mind that, as described above, it's not as effective as other products that we have tested.


Does Cardalean Make You Jittery?

No, Cardalean doesn't make you jittery. This product has a stimulant-free formula that doesn't contain caffeine or taurine. That means you can take it later in the day without having to worry about it messing up your sleep and recovery time.

Can You Use Cardalean Long-Term?

Yes, you can use Cardalean long-term. The ingredients are classed as generally safe to take, and if you don't have a reaction to the supplement, then taking it for months should be fine.

Just be aware that some people have reported joint discomfort and cramps.

Should You Invest In Cardalean?

Based on the feedback and test results from clients and our team and the research from my dietitian, I would not recommend buying Cardalean. Our testing results showed a limited effect on fat loss and preserving lean mass, and we have had far better results with other supplement products.

If you want to make your diet and exercise efforts bring you to your weight goals faster, then I would suggest you try PhenQ.

It has a scientifically-proven formula, and I have had great results controlling fat storage during a muscle growth phase. I have also not heard of any side effects since I first started recommending it to clients a few years ago.

Order your first supply today and see how much of a difference it can make.

Our #1 Recommendation


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Overall Score 5.0
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  • Blocks body fat production to stop weight gain
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