OK, on to the review…
Hydroxycut is MuscleTech’s version of the highly popular but somewhat controversial ephedrine fat-burning stack. Similar to Cytodyne’s Xenadrine, Hydroxycut’s primary ingredients include the big three — ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin — the foundation of any effective fat-burning supplement. But ephedrine is a controversial supplement, and may present serious health ramifications for some individuals. (Ephedrine is now a banned substance in many countries, including the U.S. For information on how to obtain your ephedrine legally, check out my review of “The Black Market Report On Ephedrine.”
Having said that, let’s take a closer look at this product…
MuscleTech Hydroxycut Ingredients: Muscletech’s U.S. product contains 6 main ingredients…
i. Hydroxagen — which supplies 1000 mg of Hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Early trials with animals indicated HCA was effective in preventing excess carbohydrates from being converted to fat. More recent research indicates this compound has no positive fat loss benefits for humans. To read my article on HCA, click here!
ii. 334 mg MaHuang Extract — standardized for ephedrine, usually at a potency of between 6-8%. As I mentioned earlier, ephedrine works, but it can be potentially hazardous to those with pre-existing medical issues that prevent them for being candidates for ephedra use (those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, etc.).
iii. 910 mg Guarana Extract — standardized for caffeine. Another potent, stimulant based fatburner, caffeine becomes even more powerful when used in combination with ephedrine and aspirin.
iv. 100 mg Willow Bark Extract — standardized for salicin. When used in conjunction with ephedrine and caffeine, these 3 compounds perform in a synergistic fashion — the effectiveness of the whole is greater than that of the individual parts. Known as the ECA stack, these 3 ingredients are found in most popular fat burners, and have been a staple for body builders in their “cutting phases” for years.
v. 100 mg L-Carnitine — this amino acid is thought to help the mobilization of fat within the cell, so it can be burned more effectively. So far, clinical data validating this theory is in very short supply (click here to read the complete L-Carnitine review). And at this dosage, the carnitine present in this formula provides little more than “label dressing.”
vi. 300 mcg Chromium Picolinate — critical for keeping blood sugar levels stable. Helps improve the efficiency of the hormone insulin. A nice addition to this stack.(Canadian visitors take note: due to the difference in laws governing supplements, your formulation will vary drastically — ephedrine is completely eliminated in the newest version.
With the exception of the Hydroxagen, MuscleTech’s formula covers all the bases — it is a good, no-brainer formulation that works hard, and gets the job done. As such, it is a product worth experimenting with, provided you can tolerate ephedrine based products.
Hydroxycut is one of my favorite ephedra-based products for the simple reason that it delivers a full dosage in 3 capsules. For that reason it’s the ideal ephedrine-based product to experiment with (since you can access your tolerance by starting nice and easy with 1/3 of the recommended dosage). Nonetheless, the formula is getting a little “long in the tooth”. I’d like to see MuscleTech revamp this formula slightly, and replace the HCA and the L-Carnitine with more effective, proven ingredients.