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Does Hydroxycut Work Without Ephedra?

author image Cynthia Vespia
Cynthia Vespia has been writing professionally since 1996, specializing in healthy living. Her work has appeared in publications such as "AFAA Magazine" and on Bodyuilding.com, among other publications. Vespia is a certified trainer with the National Council on Strength and Fitness. She holds an associate degree in journalism from the College of Southern Nevada.
Does Hydroxycut Work Without Ephedra?
Can you lose weight with Hydroxycut? Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Muscletech's Hydroxycut line of fat burners has arguably been one of America's top-selling weight loss supplements. The original Hydroxycut formula contained ephedra, which was banned from legal sale by the federal government in 2004 due to a link to heart attacks and strokes. Muscletech reformulated and marketed the line as"ephedra free" Hydroxycut, introducing new products such as Hydroxycut Hardcore, and Hydroxycut Max, a weight loss supplement for women.

In 2009 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, released an advisory that exposure to certain Hydroxycut products caused some consumers to experience life-threatening side effects. The manufacturers of Hydroxycut agreed to recall their products to err on the side of caution. A few months after the recall, Muscletech released newly formulated versions of the fat burner including Hydroxycut Hardcore X, the Hydroxycut Pro Series, and Hydroxycut Shape, which again was a formula for women.


Ephedra is one of the world's oldest forms of medicine. Also known as Ma huang, it was discovered by the Chinese more than 5,000 years ago. Ephedra has been widely researched for its fat burning properties. The thermogenic effect is due to the alkaloids in ephedra which have been shown to help to promote the loss of fat while sparing lean muscle tissue. After a lengthy debate, in 2007 the FDA stated that no dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids would be legal to sell in the United States.

Hydroxycut Hardcore X

Hydroxycut Hardcore X is a completely reformulated version of the original Hydroxycut Hardcore. The fat burning ingredients are a standard blend of caffeine and cayenne to speed metabolism. One of the new weight loss ingredients in Hydroxycut Hardcore X are MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides. MCTs are fatty acids that may have an influence on excess adipose tissue. Studies have found that MCTs help to reduce body fat and suppress fat accumulation through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation.

Hydroxycut Pro Series

The Hydroxycut Hardcore Pro Series is the newest Hydroxycut product. Hydroxycut Hardcore Pro Series has an all natural blend of ingredients including Alchemilla vulgaris extract, Olea europaea extract, Cuminum cyminum extract and Mentha longifolia extract. When combined, they create a powerful weight-loss complex. The Pro Series also includes caffeine-trimethylxanthine, which has been suggested to stimulate and increase energy.

Hydroxycut Shape

Hydroxycut Shape was designed for women. It is rich in essential nutrients and has an all natural blend of ingredients such as yerba mate, guarana, L-carnitine tartrate, wild olive extract, ma-chin extract, wild mint extract, gamma-oryzanol, and L-ornithine HCL. The introduction of Lady's mantle sets Shape apart from the other Hydroxycut products. Lady's mantle helps to eliminate or reduce menstrual cramps. The 200 mg of caffeine from Yerba mate, guarana and caffeine anhydrous have been included to increase fat burning properties.

Hydroxycut with Hoodia

Hydroxycut Hoodia was introduced to capitalize on the use of hoodia as an appetite suppressant. The proprietary blend uses approximately 804 mg of Hoodia Clinical CQ with a mixture of pure South African Hoodia Gordonii, green tea extract, Cissus quadrangularis, oat fiber powder, inulin, glucomannan, xanthan gum, white tea extract, and oolong tea extract. Users can experience reduction in food cravings without the stimulating side effects from other brands of Hydroxycut.

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