Labrada’s Xhilar8 Thermotropic Fat Burner Review
I’ve been a fan of Labrada weight loss products since the original ephedra-based Charge came on the market some years back (it was my all time favorite ephedra product!). So I was excited to check out Labrada’s newest weight loss offering, “Xhilar8“.
Xhilar8 is described as a “thermotropic” fat burner, which is basically a combination of a “thermogenic” (i.e., a fat burner) and a “nootropic” (i.e., a product that enhances mental focus and acuity, mood and clarity). According to Labrada, this formula…
“… helps combat stress and promote a feeling of well being, while releasing fat to be burned immediately for energy.”
What’s in it? Well, a single, daily, 3-capsule dosage contains…
- Iodine (125 mcg, from kelp):Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to make the various thyroid hormones necessary for optimal performance. Low or sluggish thyroid performance can lead to low energy levels or overweight.Of course, iodine supplementation is only helpful if you actually have low levels of thyroid hormone. If you are not iodine deficient, kelp may possibly induce hyperthyroidism. According to the Natural Database, “prolonged, high intake of dietary iodine is associated with goiter and increased risk of thyroid cancer.
… plus a proprietary 2072 mg blend of the following…
- L-Tyrosine: an amino acid precursor of several important neurotransmitters — l-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine — which are important contributors to mood, cognitive performance, as well as combating stress. There is plenty of clinical evidence showing l-tyrosine plays such a role, although most studies I have reviewed used much higher doses than is included in this formula (see Aviat Space Environ Med 1995;66:313-9 Brain Res Bull. 1994;33(3):319-23, Brain Res Bull. 1999 Jan 15;48(2):203-9, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Nov;64(3):495-500).
- L-Taurine: An amino acid that plays a number of important physiological roles, including neurotransmission and / or neuromodulation. High dose experiments with rats and mice have shown that taurine can influence mood/behavior by acting as an “anxiolytic”—meaning that it reduces anxiety. Clinical trials in humans for controlling manic symptoms in subjects with bipolar disorder are currently being conducted, but there is little data available yet. At this point, it’s not known if taurine has nootropic activity in humans at the doses commonly seen in energy drinks or other stimulant supplements (1–3 g).
- Rhodiola Rosea: An adaptogenic herb used in Russian folk medicine. Positive effects on physical/emotional have been documented in several animal studies and small human clinical trials. Effective dosage is somewhere between 340 – 680 mg/day. Although we can’t determine exactly how much rhodiola is in Xhilar8, it is certainly possible it contains a potent dose.
- 200 mg Caffeine (anhydrous): On its own, caffeine is a decent thermogenic with demonstrated benefits for weight loss (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97), although some data indicates it offers greater benefits to lean individuals that those who are overweight (see Am J Physiol. 1995 Oct;269(4 Pt 1):E671-8). The combination of caffeine and green tea present in this formula is a good one, and encourages even greater weight loss (see Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204).
- Thiamine disulfide diisobutyrate: 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).
- Green tea: One of the few “bright lights” for weight loss, green tea has several demonstrated effects beneficial for weight loss. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure how much green tea is included in this formula, or for what percentage of vital catechins it is standardized. I would venture to guess it is not an optimal dosage, simply because it is listed behind both caffeine and thiamine on the label (ingredients are listed in order of dosage, from highest to lowest). That said, it remains possible this formula contains enough green tea to provide benefits… especially since it is combined with caffeine.
- Kola nut powder: Animal studies have shown kola nut has fat burning properties, but for humans, the main benefit kola nut offers is as a diuretic and a source of caffeine (kola nut can contain between 2-4% caffeine).
- Guarana seed: Included in fat burners for its caffeine content. Probably only a minimal amount included in this formula, providing no major benefits.
- Cayenne pepper: Although the label doesn’t indicate it, cayenne is probably included here because of its capsaicin content — it’s the chemical that gives chile peppers their “heat.” The theory is that capsaicin “revs” up your metabolism by creating heat, thus burning off extra calories. However, this study (Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):R77-85. Epub 2006 Jul 13) says it best…
“Capsaicin has been shown to be effective, yet when it is used clinically it requires a strong compliance to a certain dosage, that has not been shown to be feasible yet.”
In other words, in order for capsaicin to have an effect on your metabolism, it has to be taken in doses much too high to make it practical.
- Glutamic acid: An amino acid and an abundant excitatory neurotransmitter. It also plays a role in celular metabolism. Difficult to assess what value it adds to this formula when the dose is not revealed. Likely here only as “label dressing.”
As you can see, some of the critical ingredients—like tyrosine and taurine—are very definitely under-dosed. Other critical ingredients—like green tea and the novel form of thiamine—may be under-dosed, but it’s really impossible to know for sure with this proprietary formula.
The remainder of the formula—kola, guarana, cayenne and glutamic acid—probably don’t add much other than a little extra hit of caffeine to this formula at the dose they are included in.
Bottom line on Xhilar8?
Labrada claims this is a product that enhances mental clarity and focus and combines that with powerful fat burning.
I would argue that the mental clarity element of this formula “trumps” the fat burning element; the majority of ingredients present at useful doses have this as a focus.
It’s really only the caffeine and the green tea that provide the “fat burning” element of this formula, and it’s impossible to asses the potency of the green tea here, and therefore its value to the formula.
That said, I did have the opportunity to experiment with the Xhilar8 product. Given that my comments are anecdotal, I really enjoyed it; it gave me a nice smooth boost without any jitters. I found myself relaxed and focused and I did not experience a “crash.” I took it with breakfast with a glass of water as recommended and found my mornings to be focused and free of distraction.
In other words, I really liked this product. I’m not convinced fat burning is its “forte”, but it’s awesome for focus and concentration. If this is what you are looking for in a product, I certainly would not hesitate to recommend giving it a try.