TwinLab’s Ripped Fuel has gone through many different formula changes over the last few years.
Originally, Ripped Fuel contained a variation of the standard ephedrine stack. This was the version I experimented with and quite enjoyed. Since then, Ripped Fuel has had to evolve according to the changing U.S. laws regulating the use of ephedra.
Ripped Fuel Extreme is, not surprisingly, an ephedra-free product. Let’s have a closer look at the formula. What’s in it?…
1. Green tea (reviewed in full here): a great addition to any fat burner worth its salt, a full dose of Ripped Fuel contains 315 mg of green tea extract… a decent dose.
2. Cocoa seed extract: standardized for theobromine, caffeine, tyramine and phenylethylamine. Caffeine, of course, is a well known and common enough thermogenic compound. It’s effects are well documented, and it may be even more potent when combined with green tea (Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7): 1195-204), as it is here.
The other elements of the cocoa seed extract included here may have the ability to elevate the metabolism and perhaps even increase satiety (fullness). That has yet to be conclusively demonstrated in any study. They undoubtedly have an effect on mood and general well-being. Phenylethylamine, for instance, is the chemical responsible for that “chocolate high” some people experience when eating… uh… chocolate.
Structurally, phenylethylamine is very similar to amphetamine, and some individuals consuming large amounts of it may even exhibit similar effects. In this compilation therefore, the biggest value these chocolate derivatives have may not be fat burning per se, but their effect on mood… something that often takes hit during extended periods of dieting.
3. Caffeine: Already mentioned above, Ripped Fuel Extreme contains a further 220 mg of caffeine from caffeine anhydrous, plus natural sources green tea leaf extract and cocoa seed extract.
Note: This product contains a lot of caffeine… the equivalent of nearly 3 cups of strong coffee. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, this may not be the ideal product for you!
4. L-Carnitine: because of l-carnitine’s role in escorting fatty acids to the cell’s mitochondria (think of the mitochondria as the cell’s furnace) where they can be burned as fuel, many have postulated that supplementing with carnitine should aid in weight loss. However, studies to date have been largely unequivocal (they were also performed with much higher dosages than the miniscule amount included in this compilation). For more on l-carnitine, please click here!
5. Cayenne Fruit Extract: aids in digestion, and in much larger doses, may provide a small boost to the metabolism.
6. Calcium: It is true that both adults and children who have a low calcium intake are more likely to have a higher body mass index, find it easier to gain weight, and be overweight than those with a high calcium intake (Am Coll Nutr 2002;21:152S-5S). It’s also true that increasing calcium consumption seems to be effective for weight loss for those individuals following a low calorie diet.
However, studies have found that increasing calcium consumption (to 1,000 mg/day) from dairy products (especially yogurt) is the most effective — supplements may not prove to be nearly as helpful (Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:907S-12S). So it’s unknown how much benefit the small amount of calcium in Ripped Fuel will really provide for weight loss.
7. Chromium polynicotinate: reviewed in full here, chromium is a powerful insulin regulator, and is therefore great value to dieters, especially those accustomed to a high-carb diet. A valuable addition to any fat burner.
8. Proprietary herbal extract: flavans and flavanoids standardized from baical skullcap root and black catechu bark.
The flavonoid constituents of Baical skullcap root have many characteristics — exhibiting anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, antiviral and antibacterial properties. However, it is most likely included in this formula for its effect on mood — it can have a tranquilizing or sedating effect.
Black catechu bark is high in tannins. In some animal studies, tannins have been shown to “lower digestibility” of both carbs and proteins by interacting with cellulase enzymes. Black catechu bark is an interesting addition to this compilation.
Ripped Fuel Extreme has decent fat burning elements in its compilation (green tea and caffeine), as well as a couple of unique ingredients which may positively effect mood (the proprietary herbal blend and cocoa extract). TwinLab has always made decent products, and as long as you make the appropriate changes to your diet and lifestyle, you may find this product helpful in the “battle of the bulge.”
|Summary of Ripped Fuel Extreme|