Force Factor’s Ramp Up fat burner is not, as the product advertising claims…
“…a cutting edge thermogenic fat burner that has been scientifically formulated to boost energy levels and burn fat without affecting lean muscle mass.”
Of course, just because Ramp Up isn’t exactly a “fat burning revolution in a bottle”, doesn’t mean it offers no value at all. Whether the value it does offer is in accordance with its price (Ramp Up sells for $50 at GNC) is a matter of some dispute. Because when the rubber hits the road, what this product offers in the way of weight loss benefits is pretty rudimentary.
So let’s have a look. What’s in it?
1. Green tea extract (120 mg, standardized to 45% EGCG): When present in the correct dosage and standardized for the appropriate catechins, green tea does offer some benefit for dieters. When taken at the recommended 2 caps per serving dosage, Ramp Up contains some 108 mg EGCG and 200 mg of caffeine, which places it well in line with the dosages used in this positive study which states…
“The main finding of the study was the increase in 24 h energy expenditure with the EGCG-caffeine mixtures.”
What should be noted is that study participants received this mixture 3 times daily, while the Ramp Up literature recommends only two servings daily.
2. White willow bark (15% salicin): In the old days, white willow bark was used as the herbal form of aspirin in ECA (ephedra/caffeine/aspirin) fat burners, although there is little evidence it enhanced this stack in any way. In non-ephedra fat burners like this one, it offers no value, short of the anti-inflammatory effect inherent to it.
3. Caffeine (100 mg from guarana and caffeine anhydrous): Although caffeine has well established, albeit mild thermogenic effects (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97) in this formula it is the caffeine/green tea/EGCG combination that is important.
Keep in mind that at the recommended dose (2 caps), you’ll be getting 200 mg of caffeine, which is a fair bit—too much if you are sensitive to stimulants. So be sure to start at the lowest possible dose to assess your tolerance. And a full day’s dose will deliver 400 mg (the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee’s worth) and as much as 600 mg, if you opt for the three doses used in the aforementioned study.
4. Alpha-Ketoglutaric Acid (50mg): A key intermediate in the Krebs cycle, this ingredient is more often found in sports performance and body building supplements… at a much higher dosage than supplied here.
6. Proprietary Herbal Blend: This blend serves no useful purpose; its only job is to make the label appear more impressive. With a mere 80 mg to be divided up between 6 ingredients—cayenne, bladderwrack, yerba mate, meadowsweet, wintergreen, mustard—we can be certain none of these are present in a dose strong enough to elicit any effect.
And that, my friends, is Force Factor’s Ramp Up in a nutshell.
As you can see, there are only two ingredients in this formula that offer any real value to dieters; green tea and caffeine. The good news is that there is some published clinical data that indicates this combo works.
The problem here is that this product’s cost ($50 at GNC) is nowhere in line with either its benefits, or its ingredient profile. For instance, at a credible online retailer like BodyBuilding.com, you can buy…
- Allmax caffeine pills (100 200mg tabs) for $4.00
- Prima Force Lean Green (60 500mg caps): This green tea supplement is significantly more potent than the green tea included here, and it will cost you less than $11.
So for $15—less than a third of the cost of Ramp Up—you can create your own, more potent version of this product. I have to ask… is it really worth $35 extra for a handful of under-dosed (and mostly useless) ingredients and the convenience of having to carry around only a single bottle?
I wouldn’t think so. But that’s a call you’ll have to make.
|Summary of Force Factor Ramp Up|