Ephedra Free Hydroxycut Review: Does Ephedra Free Hydroxycut Work?
It’s not surprising that Hydroxycut is one the best selling fat burners on the market. Muscle Tech, the company that manufactures Hydroxycut, has spent big dollars advertising this product far and wide (are you as tired of 8-page ads masquerading as unbiased supplement commentary as I am?).
If you’ve picked up a magazine anytime in the last few years, chances are you’ve run into an ad for Hydroxycut. As such, it’s really not surprising it’s one of the best recognized names among fat burners.
Originally, the Hydroxycut formula was effective, if not uninspiring. It contained the ephedra stack (derived from herbal sources — ma huang, guarana, and white willow bark), plus a large amount of hydroxycitric acid and a sprinkling of chromium and l-carnitine.
Today, however, with the increasing backlash against ephedra based products, hydroxycut’s high profile has become a liability. In short, it has made Muscle Tech vulnerable to the same sort of frivolous law suits that are currently plaguing Cytodyne, makers of the now discontinued Xenadrine Rfa-1.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that the newest formulation can only generously be described as “tepid” –especially when compared to the origianl ephedra-based version. What’s in it?…
i. Hydroxagen Plus: Muscle Tech’s label for their blend of garcinia cambogia extract (the active ingredient is the carb-blocker of dubious effectiveness, hydroxycitrate acid or HCA), gymnema sylvestre, plus a few other ingredients. (Gymnema sylvestre is an interesting plant. It is used to treat diabetes, and there is some preliminary evidence that it is useful this regard (J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:281-94. J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:295-300). It also inhibits the ability to taste sweet or bitter.)
ii. Hydroxy Tea: Muscle Tech’s label for their blend of green tea leaf extract, caffeine, white and oolong teas. This blend provides 200 mg of caffeine, about the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee. Green tea extract is a promising weight loss supplement — early studies indicate it helps elevate metabolism. It’s also a powerful glucose moderator and antioxidant. When combined with caffeine, as it is here, it is even better for weight loss (Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7): 1195-204). Preliminary studies of oolong tea (reviewed in full here) also indicate it may be a promising weight loss ingredient.
iii. Calcium, chromium and potassium: New research seems to indicate calcium may be helpful in weight loss. Chromium helps regulate insulin function and balance blood sugar levels.
Hydroxagen accounts for a large percentage of the new hydroxycut formula, meaning this product would be more accurately described as a “carb blocker” and “glucose moderator” than an actual “fat burner”. While there are thermogenic ingredients in this formula (green tea, oolong tea, and caffeine), they play second-fiddle to Hydroxagen.
So is the new formula worth purchasing? Well, the main issue I have with this formula is that the value of hydroxycitric acid as a carb blocker is somewhat ambiguous. Early studies with animals indicated a carb blocking effect, but since then follow up studies were inconclusive (you can read the full review of hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, here!).
If you’re interested in experimenting with the fat burning powers of green and oolong teas, you may wish to give hydroxycut a try. I’d warn against expecting miracles though — this product will provide very little in the way of results, especially if you have not made the appropriate revisions to your diet and lifestyle.