ErgoLean Amp 2 Review: Weightloss And Energy?
ErgoLean’s Amp 2 is a pretty popular weight loss supplement (squeaking into 19th position on BodyBuilding.com’s Top 50 list of fat burners at the time of this writing), and therefore, worth a good long look. According to the advertising I saw, Amp contains…
“… ingredients that are turning the dietary fat loss market on its head.”
And what about the claim that taking this product and its unique blend of ingredients…
“…results in tremendous energy boost and appetite suppression.”
Well, let’s find out by having a closer look at Amp 2 and its ingredient profile. A single 2-capsule serving contains 483 mg of the following ingredients…
- Caffeine Anhydrous: No surprise here; caffeine’s got a well established record as a thermogenic, and does help with weight loss (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97). It also cheaply and effectively addresses the most common complaint of dieters; lack of energy.
- Zingerone: A component of ginger, small animal studies performed on zingerone have been positive for weight loss (Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Aug;128(8):1195-201) albeit the dosage used (170 mg/kg) is too high to be transferred into humans (a 180 lbs. person would need to take about 14 grams a day).
- Raspberry Ketone: a phenolic compound derived from red raspberries, raspberry ketones have only really been shown effective in animal studies (you can view the details of the study here). You are not a mouse, and the results of animal studies do not necessarily translate over to humans.
An unpublished pilot study performed on Razberri-K (a patented form of raspberry ketones) demonstrated it enhanced post-exercise fat oxidation, although the results were apparently not large enough to be statistically significant.
- Fursultiamine: A derivative of Vitamin B1, the Amp 2 advertising states that this ingredient may
“…improve exercise performance and reduce muscle fatigue.“
I did find some evidence that high-dose thiamine supplementation (100 mg/day) does appear to reduce exercise reduced fatigue (Metab Brain Dis. 1996 Mar;11(1):95-106).
On the other hand, studies performed with large doses of Fursultiamine (1,000 mg/day) showed it to have no effect on exercise performance (see Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1997;75(6):520-4).
- Dimethylpentylamine or DMAA (Constituent Of Geranium Oil): DMAA is an adrenergic amine that acts as a CNS stimulant. It was originally patented by Eli Lilly as a nasal decongestant in 1944, but largely abandoned until re-introduced as a supplement ingredient (Geranamine™) by Proviant Technologies (the parent company of Ergopharm). Although there’s no current research on it, DMAA’s gotten mostly rave reviews from users for its effects on mood, focus and energy.
When the original AMP came out, it created a bit of a hubbub due to its DMAA content, even receiving some pretty negative publicity in the Washington Post.
- Green Coffee Bean Extract: This ingredient is likely standardized for something called “chlorogenic acid.” Although there is some animal data that indicates this compound has weight loss benefits (see BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:9), there is currently no human-based clinical data available.
- Evodiamine: a Chinese fruit that some claim burns fat by increasing the body’s production of heat, as well as reducing the body’s ability to store fat. Although a preliminary animal study shows promising results, to date there’s no evidence showing evodiamine works in people.
- Kaempferol: This ingredient, usually derived from grape seed, has shown anti-obesity activity in animal and in-vitro experiments, but human data is lacking.
- Coleus forskohlii extract (On BodyBuilding.com, the ingredients list includes forskohlii, but the product label does not): Usually standardized for forskolin, clinical data indicates that this ingredient provides modest benefits for fat loss.
As you can now see, Amp 2 doesn’t exactly contain ingredients that are “turning the fat loss market on its head.”
With the exception of caffeine, the fat burning value of the remainder of the ingredients is largely speculative, based almost entirely on animal-derived clinical data.
That’s not to say some of these ingredients might be proven helpful in humans in later studies, it’s just at this time, those studies don’t exist.
So as I say… their value is largely speculative.
Next, there’s the issue of dosage. ErgoLean’s AMP 2 contains 160 mg of caffeine per serving, which means there’s only 323 mg of ingredients left— to be divided between the remaining 8 ingredients. That’s not a lot, obviously, and pretty much guarantees that most ingredients are going to be present only as “label dressing” (i.e., they make the label look impressive, but are unlikely to be present in a dosage high enough to elicit any effect).
As an example, consider the coleus forskohlii included in this product. One study (Obesity Research (2005) 13, 1335–1343), demonstrated modest weight loss with this ingredient… when 250 mg of 10% forskolin extract was taken twice a day. In this formula, we don’t know how potent the extract is, but we do know there’s nowhere near the required 500 mg here.
At the same time, reviews of this product are largely positive, most praising Amp 2’s clean and “jitter-free” boost of energy, which could very well be attributed to its dimethylpentylamine content (DMAA does not need to be present in a huge dose in order to be effective. In fact, the DMAA / caffeine combo pretty much guarantees you’re going to “feel” this product, and low dosages or not, it might be smart to start off with a half-dose to assess your tolerance.)
Little is said about its fat burning characteristics, on the other hand.
The product label recommends anywhere from 1-4 caps per serving—and at 4 caps, this product becomes pretty potent (320 mg of caffeine alone), but expensive; a 120 capsule bottle retails for around $35 at BodyBuilding.com. You’ll go through that pretty quickly taking a 4-capsule dose a couple of times a day.