Grains of Paradise is a supplement that’s been gaining popularity in the bodybuilding world, but what exactly is it, and is it worth taking?
If you’re a bodybuilder or you’re thinking about becoming one, you’re definitely asking these same questions, which is ultimately what has brought you here.
That said, we believe we have the answers you’re looking for!
So, sit back, relax, and take a good look at our complete guide to Grains of Paradise for bodybuilding.
What is Grains of Paradise?
Grains of Paradise, Alligator pepper or Aframomum melegueta, is a spice native to West Africa. It belongs to the same family as ginger, and as such, it has been used for centuries for its various medicinal properties.
Lately, it has taken the bodybuilding world by storm.
Historically speaking, Grains of Paradise has been used for digestive health – most notably in treating stomachaches and diarrhea. More recently, people have been boasting about this herb’s ability to increase metabolism and lead to accelerated fat loss.
Is Grains of Paradise a Stimulant?
There isn’t enough information on the Grain of Paradise at the moment, which is why most can’t agree on how to answer this question.
In a traditional sense, no, Grains of Paradise is not a stimulant because it won’t affect the central nervous system at any profound level.
At the same time, one of the main compounds of GoP is 6-paradol, a phenolic ketone, which is understood to have some mild stimulatory effects.
All in all, until there’s further research on this spice, no one should be able to give you a definitive answer to this question.
What Are the Benefits of Grains of Paradise for Bodybuilding?
There are more than a few benefits attributed to Grains of Paradise when it comes to bodybuilding.
The most notable ones are:
- Enhanced fat loss
- Improved energy levels
- Increased testosterone production
Let’s break them down.
Enhanced fat loss
As far as fat loss is concerned, it is safe to say that Grains of Paradise is promising.
From what we know so far, Grains of Paradise may help provide a boost to your metabolism by increasing the thermogenesis of brown adipose tissue (BAT). 
However, one thing worth noting is that in most cases, this increase in brown fat oxidation occurs only in those with high BAT activity, so it definitely won’t work for everyone. 
Also, one of the most-cited studies (the first one we’ve referenced) confirming the effects of GoP has a pretty big “flaw”.
Namely, GoP was not the only factor at play there. It was coupled with cold exposure therapy, so it’s quite possible that the observed effects were mainly the results of cold exposure rather than this spice.
Improved energy levels
Some of the compounds found in GoP, such as the aforementioned 6-paradol, have been linked with stimulatory properties, which could result in a small energy boost.
However, there is pretty much no scientific data confirming any of this, so the only evidence we have is just anecdotal reports.
While we can’t say for certain whether or not you’ll experience an energy boost from the Alligator pepper, what we can say is that a placebo is arguably the most effective drug there is, which could very well be the main “culprit” behind these reports.
Increased testosterone production
Natural testosterone boosters are all the rage right now, and just like the overwhelming majority of them, there is a very good chance Grains of Paradise has no effect on your testosterone levels.
While there are apparently some studies on rats that show immense results (approx. 300% increase in 8 days) – we couldn’t find them.
Also, there aren’t any studies performed on humans, so we really don’t have any idea whether this works or not.
However, considering that most natural testosterone boosters are just outright ineffective, it’s safe to assume this one is, too.
When Should You Take Grains of Paradise for Bodybuilding?
Based on what we know, you should take Grains of Paradise when you’re cutting.
If we entertain the idea that Alligator pepper is actually very effective in stimulating brown fat oxidation, it would make sense for a professional bodybuilder to use it during a cutting phase – which is what some of them actually do.
Now, to what extent (if any) GoP will help you lose additional fat is impossible to know. But at the same time, if you’re at the top of your game – every little bit of help counts.
Considering it is incredibly difficult to decrease or even maintain single-digit body fat levels, leveraging supplements such as this one, in theory, makes sense. So, you might as well give it a try.
What is the Best Time of Day to Take Grains of Paradise for Bodybuilding?
The best time of day to take Grains of Paradise for bodybuilding would be in the morning and before a workout session.
Now, that isn’t a schedule you must adhere to.
That’s only an assumption based on some evidence from several studies which have administered GoP through two daily doses – one in the morning and one later in the day before physical activity.
Also, it is generally thought that fat burners, such as this one, are best taken before a cardio or resistance training session so you can work out while your body is in the most efficient metabolic state.
In reality, it probably doesn’t matter when you take it.
Optimal Dosage of Grains of Paradise for Bodybuilding
There isn’t an optimal dose of Grains of Paradise for bodybuilding. RDA is also not defined.
That said, some studies have observed some of the effects of Alligator pepper at just 10 mg daily, so that may be a solid starting point if you want to experiment.
On the other hand, based on what most manufacturers recommend, an optimal dose for a bodybuilder appears to be anywhere from 25 to 50 mg – usually split into equal doses.
Does Grains of Paradise Have Any Side Effects?
Grains of Paradise is generally considered safe and doesn’t have any side effects if taken in moderation.
However, as is the case with every supplement, some unwanted effects may arise, and in this case, they’re usually stomach-related.
Some people have reported cramps or overall stomach discomfort.
One thing worth noting is that extremely high doses of GoP appear to be slightly toxic, so caution is definitely advised. 
Is Grains of Paradise Worth Taking for Bodybuilding?
Whether or not Grains of Paradise is worth taking for bodybuilding largely depends on what you’re trying to achieve, but more often than not, it is not worth it.
Unless you’re at the top of your game, which the vast majority of us are not, it’s hard to make a case for this supplement.
While promising, we still don’t know if or how effective Grains of Paradise is. So, if you’re looking to lose a lot of weight or you’re about to start a cutting phase – it’s probably better if you do it without GoP.
The one scenario where taking a shot on something unproven makes sense is if you’re at your near absolute best and you’re looking to push the bar a bit further.
In that case, using anything remotely useful can prove to be beneficial because you only need to improve a tiny, tiny bit.
Our Overall Rating of Grains of Paradise: 3/5
Considering Grains of Paradise is usually marketed as a fat-loss supplement – we have to give it a 3 out of 5.
In the sea of worthless products, this one does stand out.
And while we still need a lot more information on it, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, which is enough for us to rate it right down the middle.
So, that was the complete guide to Grains of Paradise for bodybuilding.
All in all, this is an exciting and promising product.
It’s natural, it’s very safe, and if coupled with the right practices and situations – it might just perform as advertised.
Does Grains of Paradise Burn Fat?
Grains of Paradise may help burn fat by increasing thermogenesis and boosting metabolism, which can lead to higher energy expenditure (calorie burn) and potentially aid in fat loss.
Can You Build Muscle While Taking Fat Burners?
Yes, you can absolutely build muscle while taking fat burners such as this one. As long as you maintain a consistent and effective workout regime, prioritize hypertrophy, and eat enough protein to support muscle growth and recovery – you should be able to pack on some muscle even while on fat burners.
Is Grains of Paradise Illegal?
Grains of Paradise is a legal supplement you can buy and use. It won’t disqualify you from any competition, nor will it get you in trouble with the law.
There was an obscure and outdated law in Florida banning this herb from being used in alcoholic beverages, but after a failed lawsuit against Bacardi in 2021, a bill was passed that removed Grains of Paradise from the state’s adulterated liquor statute.