Hydroxycut refers to a brand name that produces a number of products that have become popular for their purported ability to help the user lose weight. So yes, this is a diet/weight loss pill and you can get it without a prescription.
In this review, we will go over a few of the more popular Hydroxycut products that you should know about.
Their website offers all of their products as well as a number of other services including an app, a newsletter and even recipes that highlight healthier eating.
We are also told that over the last 20 years, there have been over 100 million bottles of Hydroxycut sold in the United States.
History of the Hydroxycut
Hydroxycut was originally developed by and manufactured by Muscle Tech Research and Development in 2002. Lovate purchased the company in 2003-2004. Lovate declared bankruptcy in 2005. Lovate continues to use Muscle Tech as a brand to market Hydroxycut.
In 2009, Lovate recalled Hydroxycut after the FDA received reports of liver problems, seizures and a muscle-damaging condition called rhabdomyolysis (which can lead to renal failure). The ingredient that caused these problems were removed from the products. The ingredient that was causing these health problems and deaths, was ephedra.
Ephedra is an herbal supplement that comes from a plant and it is called “Ephedra Sinica.” The Chinese herb constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure, which can cause heart attacks, strokes or sudden death. It was recalled due to over 16,000 reports of adverse health effects and 155 deaths from products containing ephedra.
Hydroxycut Ingredients – What to Look for?
There is a key active ingredient in most of the Hydroxycut products. This ingredient is essentially the cornerstone of the entire company as it is said to help drastically aid in the weight loss efforts of people who have used it.
Take a look at the details of this ingredient:
- C. Canephora Robusta – C canophera robusta or coffee canophera robusta is a species of coffee and comes from Central America and portions of sub-Saharan Africa. The crux of this ingredient is the chlorogenic acid that it contains. As we read in this Winchester Hospital report, chlorogenic acid may have a beneficial effect on hypertension and blood pressure. It is possible that chlorogenic acid may also have an effect on metabolism which could result in faster weight loss results.
Chlorogenic acid is found naturally in many foods, such as apples, pears, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, coffee, and tea.
How Does It Work – The Science Behind Hydroxycut
Some studies have shown some slight benefit for weight loss that C. Canephora Robusta can have. It has been well-documented that coffee and coffee extracts and derivatives do have an effect on metabolism and that it may help to spur the fat-burning process.
In addition, products containing coffee extract have been shown to increase energy which can be a benefit to the dieter when they are exercising.
Caffeine can increase one’s energy expenditure by 5% after consuming 100 mg (1 cup of coffee). Most adults can handle up to 400 mg of caffeine per day (4 cups of coffee), but everyone is different. More than 400 mg of caffeine a day can cause negative side effects, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and digestive issues.
Still, the evidence is somewhat weak. High-quality studies have shown that C Canephora Robusta resulted in only a slightly higher rate of weight loss over groups that were given a placebo.
The research article posted on the Hydroxycut website reveals that those who took Svetol (a green coffee extract) lost 10.95 pounds in 60 days while on a low-calorie diet, while those receiving the placebo lost 3.7 pounds with only a low-calorie diet.
Although those who took the Svetol lost more weight than the placebo group, they may have experienced the negative side effects of the dietary supplement. The negative side effects may not be worth the extra weight an individual may lose from taking these dietary supplements.
Furthermore, weight loss supplements, like Hydroxycut may only work short-term, if they even work at all. The research study on the Hydroxycut website included the first 60 days of treatment but does not show how Hydroxycut works in the long-term.
Hydroxycut supplements may work great initially for some individuals, but weight loss could be comparable to a low-calorie diet after the 60 days has elapsed. Ultimately, the best way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle by having a lower calorie diet and exercising. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to long-term success.
Hydroxycut Pros & Cons
- Some of the Hydroxycut products (such as the Pro Clinical variety) contain beneficial vitamins like D and B.
- Hydroxycut also comes in non-stimulant varieties, but they still have a significant amount of coffee extract
- You can get Hydroxycut as pills or drink mixes
- Hydroxycut may be irritating for those with caffeine sensitivities
- Hydroxycut may result in only moderate weight loss and only work short-term
- The capsules contain rice flour (those with rice allergies should avoid using this product)
Hydroxycut Products – How to Use Them?
Since there are a wide variety of Hydroxycut products, we will go over the instructions for a few of their more popular products:
- Pro Clinical Hydroxycut – In the first 3 days, take just one capsule twice a day. After that, you can move up to 2 capsules 2 times a day.
- Each capsule contains 100 mg of caffeine. On the first day, one would consume 200 mg of caffeine and after that would be consuming 400 mg of caffeine per day. This amount of caffeine may cause negative side effects, especially if someone is not used to this amount of caffeine.
- The other ingredients in the supplement are vitamin D, Vitamins B6, B12, B1, B2, plum extract, baobab extract and cardamom seed
- Baobab extract: a fruit extract with citrus-like flavor; reduces starch digestion and glycemic response; may help curve cravings and promote feelings of fullness.
- Cardamom seed: a spice made from several plants, may lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
- 3 gummies provide 200 mg of caffeine, if taken twice a day, the total caffeine intake would be 400 mg
- The gummies also have many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, D, E, K and B vitamins along with iodine, zinc, selenium and sodium
- 2 capsules provide 200 mg of caffeine anhydrous (a dried form of caffeine) and 200 mg of Robusta Coffee Extract (contains 45% chlorogenic acid)
- Two capsules two times a day would provide 400 mg of caffeine anhydrous and 400 mg of Robusta coffee extract
- The product label does not indicate how many milligrams of caffeine the product has from the extract and the dried form, but it appears to be high in caffeine
*Note: Negative Side effects of too much caffeine
- It has been shown to raise blood pressure temporarily (it might be a good idea to check your individual response)
- Rapid heart rate in some people
- Digestive issues (worsens stomach acid reflex, nausea, vomiting)
- Muscle breakdown leading to rhabdomyolysis (a very serious, but rare condition; can result in renal failure)
- Hydroxycut Black - $30.99 (60 capsules)
- Pro Clinical Hydroxycut - $20.99 (60 capsules)
- Hydroxycut Gummies - $20.99 (90 gummies)
Please note that all these prices are as listed on the official Hydroxycut website but are available through third-party retailers.
The amount of caffeine in hydroxycut products might lead to some negative side effects (listed above), especially with the dosage recommended by hydroxycut. If you do take hydroxycut for weight loss, it may be a better choice to take a smaller dosage to decrease your intake of caffeine.
The side effects that have been reported in relation to Hydroxycut all have to do with the caffeine content. First of all, you have a caffeine sensitivity you should probably not take the Hydroxycut products. Reports indicate side-effects such as anxiety, headache, sleeplessness and sharp chest pains.
Caffeine - Interactions with medications
- Ephedrine: this is in decongestants and it may increase your blood pressure and risk for heart attack and stroke when taken in combination with caffeine
- Theophylline (theo-24, Elixophyllin and others): this medication is used to open up the airways and it may increase the adverse effects of caffeine
- Echinacea: This herb is sometimes used to prevent colds or other infections, but it may increase caffeine's unpleasant effects when taken in combination with caffeine
Note: if you take any medications and want to take hydroxycut, please consult your medical doctor. Other medications may cause negative side effects when taken with caffeine.
As stated earlier, you may want to avoid this product if you are particularly sensitive to caffeine. Furthermore, Hydroxycut may cause some complications if you have cardiovascular or circulatory conditions.
Please speak to you doctor if you desire to take hydroxycut supplements for weight loss.
When you buy any Hydroxycut product form their official website you will be able to take advantage of a return policy that allows the buyer to return the product if it has been unopened and unused within a 30 day timeframe of the day they made their original purchase.
- Burn XT – This product is an appetite suppressant and energy booster that comes in capsule form, retails for about $2.49 and features L-carnitine and green tea extract.
- Ingredients: acetyl L-carnitine, green tea leaf extract, caffeine anhydrous, capsimax cayenne pepper extract, Bioperine black pepper fruit extract, leucine. Hypromellose capsule
- Acetyl l-carnitine: The liver and kidneys make carnitine and it is in most of our cells, but acetyl L-carnitine is a supplement that people use to treat different medical conditions. Taking Acetyl-L-carnitine supplements may result in negative side effects, such as nausea, headaches, diarrhea, insomnia and higher blood pressure
- The product contains 270 mg of the dried form of caffeine, so caffeine-sensitive individuals may want to avoid using this product
- This product is not inspected by a third party, which means you cannot trust that the ingredients on the label are the same as what is in the container
- The cayenne, black pepper and caffeine may cause acid reflux
- This product is intended to be used with a healthy diet and exercise plan
- Ingredients: potassium, calcium, chromium, garcinia cambogia extract complex, hydroxycitric acid
- This product is third party tested, which means you can trust that the product is what it says it is
- Garcinia cambogia has been studied, but there aren’t reliable studies on its effectiveness for weight loss
- The product is made in an FDA approved facility
- This product is intended to be used with a healthy diet and exercise plan
- Side effects include headaches and digestive issues
- Hydroxycitric acid is used for weight loss and for athletic performance, but research is unclear whether it is effective for weight loss; long-term safety of hydroxycitric acid is unknown
- Ingredients: vitamin B6, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), L-theanine, 5-HTP, melatonin, Bioperine black pepper extract, L-leucine, Hypromellose capsule
- This product is not inspected by a third party, so it is difficult to know if the ingredients on the label coincide with the actual product
- The black pepper extract may cause acid reflux in some individuals
- Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the brain. Melatonin levels increase at night and help us fall asleep. The melatonin in supplements is a synthetic form that is not regulated by the FDA. The listed dose may not be accurate, and this may result in taking too much melatonin.
- EGCG: It is found naturally in green tea, fruits, and nuts. It acts as an antioxidant. It may reduce inflammation and prevent disease.
- L-theanine: Is an amino acid in mushrooms, green and black tea; it may promote relaxation
- L-Leucine: it is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA). BCAA’s stimulate muscle synthesis and may reduce muscle breakdown
Hydroxycut Customer Reviews and Results
Hydroxycut products have garnered generally favorable reviews. Some users praise Hydroxycut for its ability to help them lose weight and increase their energy levels. Still, other reviewers reported no increase in energy, no weight loss and side-effects that made taking Hydroxycut not worth the risk.
Keep in mind though that the positive reviews vastly outweigh the negative ones.
The Bottom Line on Hydroxycut
What we like most about Hydroxycut the product may be able to help you lose weight and give you energy, but you may experience negative side effects from the caffeine content. It is simply not worth it to endure these side effects just for a few more pounds of weight loss.
Keep in mind though that most Hydroxycut products contain caffeine and can result in some over-stimulation. We also don’t like the mixed clinical views on C. Canophera Robusta.
The bottom line here is that a lower calorie diet along with adequate physical activity will give you long-term success with losing weight, while weight loss supplements may only work for a short time.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Hydroxycut?
That all being said, it is also important to note that not everyone will react the same to the Hydroxycut products. It is entirely possible that you may be one of the limited minority that gets no benefit from using Hydroxycut.
Most of it will depend on how committed you are to diet and exercise, but some of it will depend largely on your body structure and chemistry.
10. Hydroxycut website.
11. Said, O. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 2010.
12. FDA: "Questions and Answers: Hydroxycut;" "Warning on Hydroxycut Products;" and "Beware of Fraudulent Weight-Loss 'Dietary Supplements.'"
13. Antaki Center for Herbal Medicine.
14. Phytotherapie, November 2006.
15. John Doherty, director of regulatory affairs, Iovate Health Sciences International.
16. Vinson, J. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 2012.
17. Watanabe, T. Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, July 2006.