Avoid Hydroxycut, Drink Coffee Instead

On May 1, 2009, the FDA has issued a warning on the Hydroxycut supplement line. From the FDA website: Warning on Hydroxycut:

FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA.

Since ephedra was removed as ingredient in fat loss pills, I kind of thought this supplement would disappear. Although it was one powerful stimulant, ephedra when combined with caffeine and a baby aspirin was a powerful thermogenic supplement. Too powerful for me.

Why people still bought an ephedra-free Hydroxycut amazed me. I guess dieters will always want a quick fix to their weight problems. After ephedra was removed from Hydroxycut, The Healthy Skeptic went through each ingredient in the supplement to see if still had any benefit and came to this conclusion.

Hydroxycut is a supplement that combines ingredients with dubious pedigrees with ingredients that may prove to be beneficial in some regard other than weight loss, topped off with stimulants.

Espresso at Neptune Coffee
Espresso at Neptune Coffee

As a coffee drinker, I always shake my head in disgust at these so called fat burning stimulants. Coffee is a tasty, zero calorie beverage that gives one the energy to go for a run or lift weights. Why is this? According to Dr. Jonny Bowden:

The slight increase in blood sugar from caffeinated coffee is a boon for athletes…who need that blood sugar to fuel their muscles.

For years I’ve slightly increased my coffee intake on mornings before I go to the gym. About 15 minutes before heading to the gym, I’ll have a bonus espresso. It kicks in about the time my warm up sets are completed. And if I’m too unmotivated to go to the gym, then I deny myself that espresso. Guess what? I rarely miss a workout.


The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why – by Dr. Jonny Bowden

The Healthy Skeptic: Hydroxycut – Weight Loss Supplement or Myth? – by Sal Marinello

Warning on Hydroxycut – FDA website

ECA Stack – Ephedra, Caffeine, Aspirin (Wikipedia)

Michael Allen Smith

Michael Allen Smith fell in love with coffee while attending college. Shortly after graduating college, he found himself in the Tampa Bay area far away from the good coffee he had at The Ohio State University. That is when he starting home roasting coffee. Less than a year later in April 1999, he launched the coffee website INeedCoffee.com. INeedCoffee.com has been going strong ever since with hundreds of articles and tutorials submitted by over one hundred contributors.

In 2007, Michael moved to America's coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited close to three hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland,Vancouver and San Francisco and met many of the top roasters and baristas in the country. Since 2009, Michael has been the Organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a Meetup group of over 800 coffee enthusiasts. Besides the social aspect of the group, the Coffee Club of Seattle partners with local coffee professionals for educational events such as coffee cuppings, brewing demonstrations and roasting tours.

Unrelated to coffee, Michael has a personal blog at CriticalMAS.com which covers several topics including fitness, cooking and economics.