Hydroxycut Shape is the “professional strength weight loss formula” for women. According to the advertising I viewed…
“Fast weight loss is important to professionals who make their living looking good in front of the camera, on the stage or on the set – being in shape is their livelihood. That’s why there is Professional Strength Hydroxycut Shape – the professional solution for weight loss with key ingredients clinically proven in 8- and 12- week studies. Use as part of your healthy, active lifestyle including your nutrition and exercise program.”
After reading this, I imagine you’re wondering…
Are Vegas showgirls, Broadway actors and dancers and Hollywood starlets using “Shape” to stay in shape? And have the key ingredients actually been “clinically proven” as the good folks at Iovate / Muscle Tech insist they have?
To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the ingredient profile, and especially the “W8 Lean™ Complex”, a blend of four ingredients advertised as being proven in two clinical trials.
Incidentally, this exact same foursome of ingredients is labeled as the “HydroxyPro” complex in the Hydroxycut Hardcore Pro series fat burner.
So what’s in Hydroxycut Shape for Women?
In addition to a peppering of calcium, Vitamin C, folic acid and iron, two capsules contain an under-whelming 383 mg of ingredients, divided up between the following…
L-Carnitine Tartrate: Carnitine has been a common ingredient in weight loss supplements almost since the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
And that’s despite the fact that clinical evidence validating its effects is contradictory, even when consumed in multi-gram doses. Quite simply, the carnitine in this formula is present only as label dressing—it’s present at a dose much too low to offer any effect.
Almost every stimulant-based fat burner on the planet contains it for this, and a couple of other good reasons—its cheap, and it effectively addresses the fatigue so many people feel contributes to their inability to execute and maintain an exercise program.
According to the product labeling, this product contains 200 mg of caffeine per serving, which means you’ll be consuming a whopping 600 mg per day when you’re up to the full 6 caps per day.
That means that this is not a product for those of you who are sensitive to stimulants, or who have an underlying health issue like heart disease, high blood pressure and so on. It also means you’ll definitely “feel” this product—the caffeine in this product will definitely provide you with a “boost” of energy, if that’s what you want.
W8 Lean™ Complex: Ah, here’s that blend of 4 ingredients responsible for the “amazing” weight loss effects of this product. They are Alchemilla vulgaris extract, Olea europaea extract, Cuminum cyminum extract, and Mentha longifolia extract.
And are they “clinically proven” as claimed?
Sort of. While the folks at Muscle Tech / Iovate aren’t revealing the study they are referencing for us to verify, there has been a study published on this quartet of ingredients that we can check out.
According to the advertising, participants lost an average of 20.94 over a 12 week period; not particularly impressive when you consider that equates to 1.75 lbs. of weight loss per week (well within the realms of what you can accomplish on your own with proper diet and exercise), and participants were restricted to a calorie reduced diet.
The devil, however, is in the details.
In this case, the details make it difficult to allot a ton of credence to the study results. For example…
1. The participants in the study did not have their caloric intake restricted or monitored. Instead, they were asked only to restrict their meals to three per day. Since the calorie value of meals can vary dramatically depending on your food choices, this essentially places each individual into his/her own unique study group—as no two participants will consume exactly the same amount of calories.
Think about it: if you know participants are still over-consuming calories in a significant amount, yet losing weight, that makes these ingredients significantly more valuable. If participants are under-consuming calories, that undermines the study results, does it not? Fact is, if you don’t know how many calories your audience is consuming, it’s impossible to accurately attribute any success or failure to a series of ingredients.
2. This study was not placebo controlled. In other words, the folks in the study group taking the product knew that they were, while the folks in the control group received nothing.
This is a big deal.
Folks taking the product may have seen it as a license to eat more (or perhaps less). The folks in the control group had very little incentive to stick to the straight and narrow.
As we both know, the placebo effect is very real, which is why any good study puts both the study group and the control group on a pill, with neither of them knowing who is getting the real thing.
I can’t see any reason why this wasn’t done in this case… unless you want to tip the scales towards a favorable outcome, that is.
In other words, all this study does is indicate the need for a properly controlled and monitored one to further confirm or dispel the claims that this quartet of ingredients actually “works”. Perhaps the studies referenced by Muscle Tech used better methodology (if they exist at all), but since we can’t examine it, we’ll never know, right?
Gamma-oryzanol: A group of constituents derived from rice oil bran. Normally, it is included in supplements to lower cholesterol or raise testosterone and / or hGH (human growth hormone) levels. Clinical evidence supporting its use however, is extremely scarce.
L-ornithine HCl: An amino acid, also used to boost hGH levels and athletic performance. However, clinical data does not bear out ornithine’s hGH-boosting effects (see Int J Sport Nutr. 1993 Sep;3(3):290-7).
And that, my friends, is the Hydroxycut Shape for Women formula in all its “glory”.
What’s the bottom line?
The core of this product is the combination of its caffeine content and the quartet of “clinically proven” ingredients, which as you now know, are clinically proven by a study that has some serious issues with its methodologies.
And, even if these results stood up to real scrutiny, it’s not like the results were revolutionary; 1.75 lbs. a week is on par with what you can accomplish with proper diet and exercise.
So should you try Hydroxycut Shape for Women?
Well, if you’ve enjoyed previous Muscle Tech / Iovate offerings (like Hydroxycut Max, for instance) you’ll probably enjoy this product simply for its caffeine content. But caffeine is cheap (you can buy an entire bottle of 200 mg tabs for around $5) and that on its own hardly justifies the cost of a purchase.
And in our opinion, Muscle Tech hasn’t proven the “quartet” of special ingredients provides any more than the mildest weight loss benefits (if any at all), and therefore we’d argue they don’t deserve your money. Of course, we can’t prove a negative, and it’s possible we’re wrong… but we highly doubt it.
And if you happen to be a Vegas showgirl, Broadway actor or dancer or a Hollywood starlet… sorry, there`s no magic pill here.
Why don’t you tell us what you think? Have you used the new Hydroxycut Shape offering? What did you think…