Introduction: what is it?
Bskinny global’s “diet drops” is a dietary supplement which claims to promote weight loss and the burning of fat even without the need for exercise. Whilst it is true that weight loss can occur without any exercise, it strikes us as unusual that a company would say this about their product: discouraging exercise doesn’t seem to be a responsible statement for a dietary supplement company.
The company itself seems to be lacking in credibility: a quick google search brings up their twitter account and “official website”, though this is simply a wordpress template with no actual information, products, clinical evidence or use guidelines. In addition to this, the only reputable sources for purchasing the product are amazon and eBay – online marketplaces with a historical tendency to provide a platform to supplements and other items which are not held to high standards and, through which, there are very limited customer protections. We advise strong caution when it comes to buying dietary supplements online without any information or recourse.
This product is a concentrated liquid, meant to be ingested orally using a pipette. This is an unusual delivery system, but does not affect the efficacy of the product. The liquid contains a variety of ingredients, primarily amino acids, flavourings and herbal extracts – not to mention pure alcohol! In this article, we will take a look at the ingredients involved in this product and their efficacy for weight loss.
Does it work?
The active ingredients in Bskinny’s diet drops are fairly unimpressive. The vast majority are simple amino acid complexes that are available in a variety of supplements and foodstuffs. The main ingredient that is listed is Beta-alanine, followed by GABA, Hoodia, Chromium, Green tea extract, Coleus Forskholii, Maca extract, Grape extract and a variety of flavour-providing compounds. Whilst some of these have scientific support for their effects, there seems to be very little clinical evidence to support their effectiveness as a weight loss solution.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid found in some foods (such as eggs), and closely related to alanine, which is found even more widely among food sources. Of all the ingredients listed, this has the greatest scientific support and has some genuine benefits to health and athletic performance. Consuming beta-alanine has been shown to improve performance in endurance exercise, improving both aerobic capacity and muscular endurance . There are no noted fat burning effects, however: the only way that Beta-alanine can improve our weight loss is through the improved work capacity for aerobic exercise – something that Bskinny explicitly states that you don’t need to do. If we are not exercising, there are almost no benefits to supplementing this compound, and weight loss will not improve.
GABA: Gamma-AminoButyric Acid
GABA is technically an amino acid, although its status as a gamma amino acid and the effects that it has on the body makes it very different from many amino acids that we might consume in foods such as Leucine or Beta-alanine. Unlike other amino acids, GABA is not used to form long-chain proteins – this means that consumption is linked to its own specific functions. GABA regulates neurotransmission, primarily to reduce arousal, induce recovery processes after exercise and regulates muscle tone [2, 3]. Contrary to common belief (and various other internet reviews), muscle tone does not refer to the development of muscle mass, but the relaxation or excitation of muscles during rest.
As with Beta-alanine, there are clearly some benefits to consuming a sufficient amount of GABA sources, but these do not seem to include any improved fat loss effects. As with B-alanine, the only possible benefits are associated with improved exercise performance, recovery and psychological benefits such as improved autonomic processes.
Chromium is an essential mineral, the problem here is that there is no benefit to supplementary doses of chromium: deficiency can reduce the metabolism of glucose and insulin sensitivity, but consumption beyond the necessary requirements have not shown any positive effects. In fact, there is a wide base of research that suggests that there are no, or at least inconsistent, effects on fat mass when we increase chromium intake . This is yet another ingredient that doesn’t actually contribute to the reduction of body fat, especially in the absence of a caloric surplus or exercise.
Green tea extract
Green tea extract is a very trendy ingredient in dietary weight-loss supplements and has been marketed in a wide variety of these products. Green tea catechins are responsible for the possible improvements in weight loss, but they are rarely contained in a sufficient quantity to have much measurable effect: EGCG contributes to increased fat burning, but the quantity found in supplements such as Bskinny’s diet drops are insufficient to affect serious change  – we have previously calculated that supplemental doses tend to burn an approximate 24g of fat. This is not a significant weight change and will not be effective if we are not already in a calorie surplus. Whilst there is a sense in which green tea extract is a “fat burner”, the amount of fat that it burns is almost negligible.
Additionally, it is important to establish that the effects of green tea extract is not much greater than the consumption of actual green tea. An average cup of green tea contains sufficient catechins to oxidate 5.7g of body fat  – it seems to us that there is as much evidence here for drinking more tea than there is for consuming diet drops. Additionally, green tea doesn’t contain the wide variety of artificial sweeteners that diet drops do, and tastes far better!
Hoodia (also known as Hoodia gordonii)
Hoodia is included in diet drops for the sake of suppressing appetite: by reducing the desire to consume extra foods, it might be possible to reduce calorie intake without excessive willpower and thereby burn extra fat through calorie balance. The problem with hoodia, however, is that clinical evidence says that it does not reduce appetite and that it is actually a toxic compound that can increase blood pressure, liver damage and accelerate the heart rate . Clearly, this is not only an ineffective ingredient but a dangerous one and it further strengthens the case against Bskinny’s diet drops.
The only promising ingredient, coleus forskohlii is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal remedy and has been used in recent times as a fat burning supplement. Unlike the other ingredients included in Bskinny’s diet drops, this actually has some promising research to support relevant claims. It has been shown to reduce fat mass, improve symptoms of asthma, bone density and reduce fatigue . There are only early research findings on this ingredient but it seems to have potential and it provides some hope for diet drops which would otherwise have no ingredients with significant, scientifically-verified effects.
The practical stuff: value and alternatives
Diet drops are not cheap. At $45, they are not good value – the reason that they are poor value is the relative values of the positive effects compared to the simple dollar cost. A product that costs only $1 is poor value if it has negative effects and no positive effects. This is essentially the problem with diet drops: whilst $45 may be cheap compared to some other dietary supplements, it does not offer comparable effects to other supplements at similar or lower costs. The question is simply ‘how much would you pay for an ineffective supplement that might cause liver damage?’ – based on this, it seems hard to understand how Bskinny’s product could ever be good value.
Alternatives to this product are also numerous. The effective ingredients are B-alanine (which can be found in eggs or as a powdered pure-form supplement), EGCG (found in green tea, which is also delicious and contains a number of other nutrients) and Forskoli (which is sold as a herbal supplement by itself). Clearly, there are sufficient alternatives for the consumption of these ingredients without subjecting ourselves to the higher-costs and health risks associated with the oral consumption of hoodia.
Overall, we really dislike Bskinny’s entire approach to selling supplements. The diet drops are not only ineffective but evidence supports their negative effect: whilst there may be some small positive effects associated with forskoli and green tea extract, these are easily outweighed by the genuine toxicity of hoodia. The inclusion of an ingredient that actively harms the cardiovascular system’s health and liver is enough to make us incredibly cautious about its use in any population.
If we’re looking for a weight loss supplement, there seems to be no reason to turn to diet drops – their effectiveness cannot be established, whereas they are difficult to acquire, have no customer protections, can cause genuine health problems and are vastly inferior to market alternatives. We cannot, in good conscience, award this product a score higher than 0/5 given that it can actively harm consumers – the exact thing that we aim to achieve by publishing these reviews! Steer clear of this product, drink your green tea and supplement other beneficial ingredients if their effects appeal to you.
 Villani et al (2000): ‘L-carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women’. International journal of sports nutrition and exercise metabolism, 10(2), pp.199-207
 Zhao et al (2011): ‘Determination and composition of y-aminobutyric acid (GABA) content in pu-erh and other types of Chinese tea’. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 59(8), pp.3641-3648
 Watanabe et al (2002): ‘GABA and GABA receptors in the central nervous system and other organs’. International review of cytology, 213, pp.1-47
 Walker et al (1998): ‘Chromium picolinate effects on body composition and muscular performance in wrestlers’. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 30(12), pp.1730-1737
 Hursel et al (2011): ‘The effects of catechins rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis’. Obesity reviews, 12(7), pp.573-581
 Blom et al (2011): ‘Effects of 15-d repeated consumption of hoodia gordonii purified extract on safety, ad libitum energy intake, and body weight in healthy, overweight women: a randomized clinical trial’. American journal of clinical nutrition, 94(5), pp.1171-1181
 Godard et al (2005): ‘Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men’. Obesity reviews, 13(8), pp.1335-1343
John has been a fitness enthusiast for over 10 years, starting out while struggling with obesity as a teenager. Over the years he has advised numerous clients on how to transform their physiques and their lives. As a writer on Nutrition Inspector he aims to help others achieve real results by staying clear of the common hype and false claims in the supplement industry!