Super HD is a fat burner containing a number of the ingredients we have seen associated with this effect all over the supplement market. It claims to increase energy whilst boosting fat metabolism – whether or not it actually does this, these are appealing effects and its no surprise that it has had some corporate success. Customer reviews on the product are mixed and we will look at what some customers have said about the product, as well as how the science checks out.
After our recent review of Cellucor’s popular “C4” pre-workout, we have high expectations and high standards for Super HD. This product is a “fat-burner” (something that we are very sceptical of) and contains a number of popular products – in this article we’re going to look at what it does, what it doesn’t do and how it relates to supplementary and dietary alternatives. With Cellucor’s recent success in our reviews, we’re extra critical because we have seen how well their products can be formulated and marketed: we will see if they can continue this trend with Super HD.
The main ingredient in the “nootropic blend” of the product is caffeine anhydrous. This is the same kind of caffeine that you can find in a wide variety of products from coffee to energy drinks, pre-workout supplements and various dietary aids. There are 2 reasons for this popularity: Firstly, caffeine is easily and cheaply acquired and, secondly, it works. Caffeine is a common ingredient in dietary products because it has been shown to improve metabolic activity, blocks fatigue signalling and may improve power and performance in athletic activities [1, 2].
The second ingredient in this blend is a form of L-Tyrosine. As with caffeine, there is significant research to support the value of this ingredient. Whilst it is not effective in the reduction of body fat either directly or indirectly (like caffeine), it is associated with increased cognitive ability, stress-resilience (along with the benefits of this such as blood pressure regulation) and general performance in complex, stressful situations . This compound is a great addition in order to offset the negative effects of caloric restriction and fatigued exercise – though it is important to avoid excessive consumption as this can have negative effects on the digestive system (if you follow the serving suggestions, this won’t be an issue).
The final compound in the trio making up the nootropic blend is Huperzine-A. This is a controversial compound that, according to initial research, has neurological health benefits. Huperzine inhibits an enzyme that damages ACh (Acetylcholine) – an essential chemical in the learning and cognition processes. By preserving ACh, Huperzine protects against degenerative brain diseases , improves brain function , reduces perceived fatigue and improves productivity.
However, when meta-analytics are applied to Huperzine A, the effects may have been exaggerated by poor experimental design or difficulties in measurement . It is important to be cautious when discussing the miraculous effects of drugs that have recently been appreciated, but the meta-analysis supports the benefits of Huperzine, meaning that it is still a great active ingredient when combined with caffeine and L-Tyrosine. As with Tyrosine, however, there is no reason to suppose that this will actively “burn” fat, but it will offset the negative effects of dieting and improve performance.
Overall, there seem to be some really significant benefits to the nootropic blend, but these are mostly in off-setting the effects of diet: they do not cause serious fat-burning (except caffeine), but allow it to occur without significant dips in performance and focus. Some caution should be taken when dosing these chemicals, but Super HD appers to be a good dietary aid for its mental health benefits. It is still yet to be determined whether it is an effective fat burner but, if not, we’d love to see it marketed as something else – these effects are considerable and benefit pretty much everyone.
One of our favourite things about reviewing supplements is the exaggerated, hyper-masculine names that are given to a large number of supplements. Whilst we are generally impressed with the effects of Super HD’s nootropics, we can’t help but feel like the number of intense, high-octane buzzwords is bordering on excessive here! The main ingredients in this blend are: Cranberry extract, Green tea extract, Bitter orange peel, Amla extract and red pepper extract. So, despite the over-blown adjectives and adverbs, we’ve concluded that Super HD’s thermos-sculpting blend is a blend of fruit, herb and pepper extracts. This might not seem as impressive, but the important question is “does it work?”.
The active ingredient amongst all of these fruit and veg extracts is capsaicin – the compound in red chili peppers that is associated with “heat” (spice). This compound has been shown to improve the oxidation of fat (the “fat-burning” bit), with a single clinical trial demonstrating modest effects. The important word here is ‘modest’: the study suggested that it may contribute to increasing weight loss during exercise (but not while resting) at a rate of 0.05g per minute . This study focused entirely on aerobic exercise, with the final result being that red pepper extract can increase fat metabolism by 3g per hour.
The interesting effect of red pepper extract is not its effectiveness in burning fat which is clearly very small. Rather, the effect on high blood-lipid concentration is what caught our attention: red pepper extract has a slightly more significant effect on the reduction of blood-borne fats (cholesterols and triglycerides) during exercise. This can reduce the risk of a number of serious health complications (mostly associated with high blood pressure) such as stroke, atherosclerosis, heart attack and coronary heart disease. It is increasingly obvious to us that this product has been mis-marketed, given that all of the effects are associated with focus and occur primarily during exercise!
The remaining ingredients (fruit/veg extracts and B vitamin complex) are also useful to a limited degree – our main reason for valuing them is health and wellness, however, and not fat-burning in particular. B vitamins are associated with energy transfer and enzymatic health, meaning that Super HD may do you a lot of good if you’re already deficient but otherwise will have very little benefit in this regard. Additionally, there are obvious anti-oxidant effects associated with the various extracts included in the thermos-sculpting blend: this will mean reduced inflammation, risk of chronic disease and the potential for better metabolic function. However, the overall effects of these ingredients seem to be minimal and aim more at health than fat loss – we think this is probably a good thing, but they do not add much to the stated aims of the product.
Our problem with fat burners s that they generally work on some faulty principles about how we ought to approach dieting. The general principle that we use here is that a supplement only ever has one of two goals: (1) to replace proper diet, or (2) to improve a proper diet. Supplements that replace diets are improper because diet is the basis for weight loss and recovery. However, it seems that Super HD is not a particularly effective addition to diet for the purpose of weight loss. The effects of Super HD on dietary fat loss have been very limited – the effects that it does have are attributable to caffeine (for which there are countless market alternatives), not related to fat loss or effective only during exercise. Overall, this seems to suggest that there is not much additional benefit over and above proper diet: the greatest improvements we can speak of are a mild metabolic improvement due to caffeine and 3g per hour of aerobic exercise. These don’t enthuse us too much – especially when it costs around $40 for a month’s supply.
We like Cellucor’s products in general: their approach is generally simplistic and includes proven ingredients – with additional anti-oxidant and B vitamins. We can’t be as enthusiastic about Super HD as we have been about C4, nor as much as we’d like to be. The product seems to be great for a number of reasons but, among these effects, fat burning effects are modest and we’d probably say this is around the 3rd or 4th active effect (after cognitive performance, improve workout performance and possibly even general health). If this product was marketed as a pre-workout it may be more effective, but as it stands the way that it is marketed is our main problem with the product.
The question “should I take Super HD?” is more complicated – we’re inclined to say that many people should take this, but we’d argue that it is a better accompaniment to a pre-workout (perhaps even a pre-workout replacement) than a dietary supplement in its own right. We recommend Super HD if you’ve the money and want to improve general performance – making this a bittersweet review. We give it a 4/5 overall, because the effects are scientifically evinced and are actually really beneficial.
 Doherty et al (2004): ‘Caffeine lowers perceptual response and increases power output during high-intensity cycling’. Journal of sports sciences, pp.637-643
 Yoshida et al (1994): ‘relationship between basal metabolic rate, thermogenic response to caffeine, and body weight loss following combined low calorie and exercise treatment in obese women’. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders, 18(5), pp.345-350
 Banderet and Lieberman (1989): ‘Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans’. Brain research bulletin, 22(4), pp.759-762
 Shin and Moritani (2007): ‘Alterations of autonomic nervous activity and energy metabolism by capsaicin ingestion during aerobic exercise in men’. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology, 53(2), pp.124-132
Emily has spent the last 8 years comparing, reviewing and analyzing ingredients in the supplements industry. She has worked extensively with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to separate fact from fiction and help people achieve their fitness goals. In her free time she works and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and 2 children.
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