by Fitness expert Christine Lydon
If you belong to a gym or occasionally flip through health magazines chances are you're familiar with a product known as Hydroxycut, by MuscleTech Research and Development, a leading sports supplement company based in Mississauga, Ontario. Among athletes, Hydroxycut is arguably the most popular "fat-burner" on the market today. If you've been tempted to try it, you are probably wondering if the stuff really works. Read on.
Hydroxycut is an herbal supplement most accurately classified as a thermogenic. By subtly raising your metabolic rate, Hydroxycut and other thermogenics are designed to speed fat-burning and provide additional energy during times of increased activity and/or decreased calorie intake. A secondary effect of many thermogenic compounds is that they also act as appetite suppressants.
The most effective thermogenics, including Hydroxycut, contain a synergistic blend of ma huang extract (an herbal form of ephedrine), white willow bark (a natural source of salicilic acid), and either guarana extract or kola nut (a natural source of caffeine). When these three compounds are combined, the total is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, the desired effects tend to be more than additive.
Hydroxycut also contains therapeutic doses of garcinia cambogia, L-carnitine, and chromium picolinate, which have been scientifically demonstrated to prevent fat absorption, increase fat-burning, stabilize blood sugar levels, and help eliminate sugar cravings.
In order to stay lean for photo shoots, I take thermogenics on an intermittent basis. Over the years, I've probably tried every "fat-burner" on the market. However, because I suffer from anxiety, I am very careful about the products I continue to implement. I've found that most thermogenics do indeed increase my energy levels. In addition to making me undeniably more alert, many of these products also decrease my sugar cravings and help me to control my appetite. However, in my experience, the thermogenic blends that were the most effective appetite suppressants were also those that rendered me jittery and irritable. Hydroxycut was a notable exception. Two capsules were enough to curb my appetite for hours, and I did not perceive any appreciable increase in my tension level.
If you have been diagnosed with any chronic medical condition and/or illness for which you are monitored by a health care professional and/or require prescription medication, especially hypertension, peptic ulcer disease, and anxiety disorders, consult your physician before administering Hydroxycut. Moreover, to prevent adrenal burnout, many sources recommend cycling thermogenics; i.e. skip them on the weekends or take at least a week off for every two to three weeks on.