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The supplement industry is extremely fickle.
Supplements are produced, marketed, and then discontinued at an absurdly rapid rate.
While this is often related to the highly competitive market that each individual supplement is fighting for, it can also occur in response to the rapidly changing supplement laws that can make popular, well liked supplements illegal for sale.
This is because the ingredients used within these supplements are often banned at an extremely rapid rate – typically due to their highly effective (and at times, dangerous) action as potent stimulants.
Despite what is an extremely rapid turnover in a rather volatile market, there are a few companies that consistently maintain an extremely positive reputation while bringing out new and improved formulas on a regular basis.
And one of those very few is Hydroxycut.
Hydroxycut is a company that have been in the supplement gamer for a very long time, with almost all the supplements falling under the category of fat burner.
Considering how poor this market in particular can be at times, makes Hydroxycuts consistent popularity all the more impressive.
And one of their newest products is Hydroxycut Black.
Hydroxycut Black is the one of the newest fat burning, thermogenic supplements available on the market – and the newest produced by Hydroxycut.
It is advertised as an ideal supplement to promote intense weight loss, while also boosting metabolism and increasing energy.
While these claims may sound a little too good to be true, the fact that hydroxycut has such a good reputation, and has been at the top of the market for such a long time, makes it a little more believable.
In fact, a study undertaken by Hydroxycut looking at the effects that one of the key ingredients found in Hydroxycut Black has on fat loss has shown some positive results. This study was undertaken on 50 participants, and lasted a duration of 8 weeks .
During those 8 weeks, 25 participants were placed on a low energy diet, while the other 25 were placed on a low energy diet WITH additional hydroxycut black supplementation.
The group that did not receive Hydroxycut Black lost a touch over 5lbs over the 8 week period.
The group receiving Hydroxycut Black lost a whopping 10lbs over the 8 week period.
Now, while these results may seem somewhat astounding, it is important to note that this study was funded by Hydroxycut AND was also quite poor in quality. Both of these factors may have introduced bias into the study, which could have influenced the results.
Despite that, this does suggest that Hydroxycut Black may have the capacity to promote fat loss, and as such requires further inspection.
To gain an understanding of how Hydroxycut Black may promote weight loss, we are going to take an in depth look at the key ingredients included within its formula.
This allows us to see not only how it interacts with the body, but also evaluate any potential side effects that may be associated with supplementation.
Caffeine Anhydrous is a form of caffeine that contains very little water (0.5%), by which it is more readily absorbed into the body. This makes it slightly more potent than regular caffeine, despite demonstrating the same effects.
Caffeine is an ingredient that appears frequently within weight loss supplements.
While it is well known for its action as a stimulant, it can also play an important role in the body’s ability to metabolise fat as a fuel source.
Once consumed, caffeine is absorbed through the digestive system into the blood and then liver, where it is broken down into active compounds and moved to the brain.
Once in the neural tissue, caffeine acts almost immediately to stimulate both the brain and the central nervous system.
This action immediately reduces any sensations of fatigue that we may be suffering, while simultaneously increasing our energy levels and feeling of alertness, while also improving mood.
Interestingly, the stimulation of the nervous system caused by caffeine has been demonstrated to act on the physical functioning of the body directly. This interaction has been demonstrated to increases metabolism by up to 11%, while also increasing the rate at which the body breaks down fat for energy by u to 13% .
These two factors cause an increase in energy expenditure, of which an improved amount is likely to come from fat.
It is important to note that Hydroxycut Black provides a whopping 200mg of caffeine per serve, which is the equivalent of 2 large coffees. As such, there would be some expected side effects, including jitteriness and a potential energy crash 1-2 hours after consumption.
Robusta Coffee Extract is another name for the green coffee bean, an ingredient that recently gained popularity as a weight loss supplement.
Green coffee beans are just regular coffee beans that are yet to be roasted, and contain an active compound known as Chlorogenic Acid (which is removed during the roasting process).
Chlorogenic acid is what is thought to promote the weight loss effects.
While relatively new on the supplement market, green coffee extract has shown some promising signs, causing reductions in fat mass when supplemented in adults .
Despite the positive association observed, it is hard to identify as to whether these reductions in fat are related to the Chlorogenic Acid found in green coffee beans, or the caffeine content.
As Green coffee beans are coffee beans (obviously), they do contain a relatively high level of caffeine, which as we know, has the capacity to promote weight loss.
It is important to note that a number of these studies were designed and run by companies selling green coffee extract as a supplement.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is an acid found within the mitochondria of human cells.
It has been suggested to play an important role in energy metabolism, while also showing antioxidant like effects within the body. These effects have shown to reduce free radical formation and inflammation.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is often found in meats and some vegetables, and as such is regularly obtained through our diet.
The supplementation of Alpha Lipoic Acid has been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of diabetes while also causing minor reductions in resting levels of blood sugar .
This impact of Alpha Lipoic Acid on resting blood glucose levels has been suggested to lead to minor reductions in body weight in obese and overweight individuals, which indicates its potential as a weight loss supplement.
It is important to note that this research is preliminary, and more thorough scientific evidence is needed before it can be recommended entirely.
Yohimbe extract is an extract (funny that…) that comes from the Yohimbe tree.
While originally used almost exclusively to treat erectile dysfunction, Yohimbe extract has recently gained popularity as a potential weight loss supplement.
The supplementation of Yohimbe extract has shown to promote an increase in the mobilization of fat for use for energy. This increased rate fat mobilisation has been shown to lead to increased fat loss over time .
Interestingly, Yohimbe extract is said to promote fat metabolism via a different pathway to caffeine, making perfect when stacked together.
Hydroxycut Black is arguably worth the hype associated.
Within its ingredients it contains a number of scientifically supported compounds that are known to promote weight loss through a number of different mechanisms.
Two of these compounds, caffeine and Yohimbe extract, are known to increase the rate at which fatty acids are removed from the fat stores of the body and shuttled into the blood, where they are then readily available to be used for energy.
This is combined with an increase in metabolic rate, which causes an increase in the amount of energy we use at rest.
These two factors alone are likely to promote weight loss over time, but despite that, there is in fact one additional benefit.
The inclusion of Alpha Lipoic Acid reduces the amount of glucose in the blood, further increasing the amount of fat we will use for energy.
This greatly improves the amount of fat loss we are likely to experience.
It is important to note that despite these apparent positives, there is an extremely high amount of caffeine in this supplement.
As such, it would be highly likely to experience a vast number of side effects during supplementation, including jitteriness, headaches, stomach cramps, and rapid fatigue after consumption.
These side effects may be compounded by the introduction of Yohimbe into the supplements formula.
So, in conclusion.
While there is no doubt that this supplement has the capacity to improve weight loss, and would be a great addition to a good dietary intervention and a solid exercise regime, it may come at a cost.
If you find that this supplement does cause some nasty side effects with you personally, I would suggest ceasing supplementation immediately.
If you do not however, then this could be the missing link to your weight loss goal!
1. Dellalibera, O., B. Lemaire, and S. Lafay. “Svetol, green coffee extract, induces weight loss and increases the lean to fat mass ratio in volunteers with overweight problem.” Phytotherapie 4.4 (2006): 194-197. Viewed at: http://www.hydroxycut.com/wp-content/uploads/Dellalibera2006.pdf
2. Acheson, Kevin J., et al. “Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 33.5 (1980): 989-997. Viewed at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/33/5/989.abstract
3. Onakpoya, Igho, Rohini Terry, and Edzard Ernst. “The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials.” Gastroenterology research and practice 2011 (2010). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943088/
4. Grover, Gary J., et al. “Effects of the thyroid hormone receptor agonist GC-1 on metabolic rate and cholesterol in rats and primates: selective actions relative to 3, 5, 3′-triiodo-L-thyronine.” Endocrinology 145.4 (2004): 1656-1661. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14701670
5. Ostojic, Sergej M. “Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players.” Research in Sports Medicine 14.4 (2006): 289-299. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214405
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! You can contact him via the "About Us" page.