Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a ban on stimulants in dietary supplements in 2004, companies such as Twinlab, makers of the weight-loss and muscle building supplement Ripped Fuel, used stimulants such as ephedra to increase the body's metabolism as a means to burn fat more efficiently. Companies have since been forced to become creative in altering the ingredients of their products to make them safer. Below is a list of the original ingredients of Ripped Fuel by Twinlab, and while the newer formulations are considered safer, please discuss the use of any dietary supplements with your health care professional.
Ma Huang Extract
Ma Huang is a shrub native to China but now found in various places around the world. In its medicinal form it is a source of ephedra, a central nervous and sympathetic system stimulant. Ma huang, also known as ephedra, causes an increased heart rate and raised blood pressure, which both require energy production. This energy is supplied through increased metabolism and, therefore, burns calories, according to MayoClinic.com.
Guarana is a vine found in the Amazon Basin that contains caffeine. Similar to ephedra, caffeine acts as stimulant that increases the utilization of fats and carbohydrates, to provide the body with energy required to maintain the elevation in heart rate and blood pressure. Guarana extract, according to Drugs.com, has not been tested by the FDA for its safety and effectiveness.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid made within the body and obtained through diet and supplements. It increases the transport of fatty acids into the cells to be broken down into energy, the National Institutes of Health states. The presence of L-Carnitine focuses the metabolism away from using sugar stores and instead burns fat.
Chromium is a mineral that increases the effectiveness of insulin's transport of sugar into the cells. It is promoted as a fat-burning, muscle building supplement; however, these claims have proven inaccurate by many studies, including one by EM Balk in the August 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.