Dymatize Viper Review: All Day Energy Plus Fat Burning?
Viper is the “hardcore” fat burner brought to us by Dymatize Nutrition, a company that’s built its reputation manufacturing no-nonsense body building supplements like protein powders, weight gainers and branched chain amino acids among others.
Dymatize claims Viper offers both a rapid release and extended release formula, allowing users to experience an immediate “surge” of energy, followed by a sustained, steady release of energy that lasts most of the day.
So… what’s in Dymatize’s Viper?
In addition to a hearty dose of Vitamin B12, each capsule boasts a 707 mg proprietary blend of…
1. Dyma-CocoXan™: This is Dymatize’s own invention; it’s a cocoa extract that contains xanthine, theobromine and added synephrine. In other words, it contains…
a) Caffeine: a well known and common thermogenic, there is some evidence it offers mild weight loss benefits (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97) in addition to an energy boost.
b) Synephrine: Another stimulant, this one derived from the citrus aurantium fruit. Originally it was thought synephrine offered weight loss benefits on par with the now outlawed ephedra, although clinical evidence has now demonstrated that is not the case. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest synephrine has mild appetite suppressing characteristics, although this has not yet been demonstrated in any peer-reviewed studies.
c) Theobromine: Another “caffeine-like” stimulant, although not nearly as potent. No clinical studies verify theobromine’s effects on weight loss.
2. Guarana Extract (99% Xanthine Guaranine): Although some believe this is a phytochemical unique to guarana, it is actually very similar to caffeine in chemical structure.
There’s little doubt that it plays the role of a stimulant in this formula, and offers benefits probably close to or on par with regular caffeine.
3. Phenyalanine: An amino acid similar in structure to many “feel good” brain chemicals, phenyalanine can be converted into tyrosine or phenylethylamine, another mood-elevating compound that is commonly found in chocolate.
4. The B-In-B Matrix: contains a whopping 13 ingredients. Because the entire Viper formula contains a mere 707mg of ingredients, and because this matrix appears fourth on the label (ingredients are listed in order of prominence) most of these ingredients in this “matrix” are present as “label dressing” only (i.e., it makes the label appear impressive, but is not present in a dose strong enough to elicit any effect).
- Zingiber: Ginger contains gingerols, which are chemically related to capsaicin. It does demonstrate some mild thermogenic and metabolism-boosting characteristics.Some small animal studies performed on zingerone (a component of ginger) have been positive for weight loss (Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Aug;128(8):1195-201) albeit the dosage used (170 mg/kg) is too high to be transferred into humans (a 180 lbs. person would need to take about 14 grams a day).Ginger also seems to accelerate gastric emptying… the opposite of the sort of thing dieters want (Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 May;20(5):436-40). Unfortunately, the aforementioned study was conducted with 1200 mg – 500 mg more ingredient than that present in the entire Viper formula.
- Cayenne: Cayenne (capsicum) is often used to improve digestion. Topically as a cream, it can be used to treat arthritis. However, it may improve the efficiency of the circulatory system, as well as elevating the internal body temperature, and increasing fat burning ability through thermogenisis.There is a small body of evidence that indicates that cayenne consumption can indeed elevate the metabolism (Br J Nutr 1999;82:115–23, Br J Nutr 1998;80:503–10).Unfortunately, it’s only at much higher doses (one study used 10 grams consumed along with meals!) that any effect is realized.
- Yohimbe HCL: The standardized extract of the bark of the African Yohimbe tree is yohimbine (this ingredient appears to be improperly labeled; it should be yohimbine HCL). This compound is often used as a natural aphrodisiac. It is also sold as a drug (in the U.S., a popular brand is Yohimex containing 5.4 milligram of yohimbine hydrochloride per tablet) and is used to treat impotency, dilate the pupil of the eye, and stimulate fat loss (studies indicating weight loss are promising but not revolutionary — see Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6). Because only a few milligrams of yohimbine are necessary to elicit an effect, it is quite possible this ingredient is included in an effective dose.Because it can cause unpredictable effects on blood pressure, Yohimbe should be approached with caution.
- Bioperine™: A standardized black pepper extract, usually included to improve the bioavailability of certain ingredients.
- Maximowizia Chinensis Extract: Normally labeled as “Schisandra chinensis“, a powerful adaptogen.
- Phaseolus vulgaris Extract: Commonly used as a carb blocker, data showing white kidney bean’s effectiveness for weight loss is contradictory. Regardless, even positive studies used almost 500 mg of extract, which means that it’s only present in Viper as label dressing.
- R-Alpha Lipoic Acid: Biologically active form of alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant and blood sugar moderator.
- 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan: Often used as an alternative treatment for depression. At high doses (900 mg/day) it has been shown to help improve appetite control and weight loss.
- Guggul Extract (Commiphora Mukul 2.5% Guggulsterones): From our glossary…”Guggulsterone – either in the form of standardized guggul extracts or “E & Z” guggulsterones – are often added to fat loss supplements, although the evidence suggests guggul isn’t a weight loss miracle.”
- Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract: An adaptogenic herb used in Russian folk medicine, there is some evidence rhodiola has positive effects on physical/emotional stress—at a dosage of 340 or 680 mg/day over a 6-week period.
- Tyrosine Ethyl Ester: A precursor to several neurotransmitters and the thyroid hormone thyroxine, tyrosine is often added to weight loss products to enhance focus and possibly fat burning, although clinical data validating the latter is in short supply.
- Propionyl-Carnitine Ethyl Ester: Carnitine has long been used in fat burners, despite the fact that clinical data is inconsistent. This form of carnitine appears to exhibit superior antioxidant and heart protecting characteristics.
- DymaMine3™ (Thiamine Disulfide / Thiamine Trisulfide): Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, plays an important role in energy metabolism, and is thought to play a role in appetite suppression. This novel, potent version of thiamine is being touted as a potent enhancer of physical and mental energy—especially when combined with caffeine (as it is in this formula).
So there you are… the complete Viper formula, ingredient by ingredient.
Because of its proprietary blend, it’s difficult to assess the true value of this formula.
Most ingredients in the 13-ingredient strong “B In B matrix”, for example, are unlikely to be present in doses anywhere near what’s been proven effective.
In my opinion, Viper would be a better product if three-quarters of the ingredients in this matrix were dropped, and the more promising were included at useful dosages.
Other ingredients likely to be present in useful dosages (caffeine, synephrine, yohimbine, etc) are relatively ordinary, mainstay ingredients.
To be fair, the fat burning element of this product is incredibly understated in the product advertising I viewed.
If it’s some added energy you’re looking for, however, I have no doubt that Viper will deliver. The combination of caffeine, guarana, theobromine, synephrine and yohimbine HCL makes that pretty much a no-brainer. Depending how effectively the extended release formula works, Viper may offer a nice, all-day energy boost with no “crash.”
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