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New Hydroxycut Formulas: Are they Safe?

Hydroxycut Logo

Hydroxycut is a line of weight loss supplements by a brand called MuscleTech. The best-selling supplement has gone through several recalls and reformulations and continues to be one of the most popular products despite its questionable history.

Weight loss supplements in Canada are in demand, and we want our customers to be informed about the products they use. So, let’s talk about Hydroxycut.

What is Hydroxycut?

woman in sports bra wrapping tape measure around stomach

As we mentioned, Hydroxycut is a popular weight loss supplement. In Canada, the supplements are for sale in big box stores, small grocery stores, health stores, and more. The ingredients in each version vary, but many contain caffeine and other herbal ingredients.

All are marketed to help you shed fat, lose weight, and give you energy.

In Canada at Supplement Superstore, we sell two Hydroxycut products:

  • Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite: this product aids in fat loss and gives you energy and focus.
  • Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen: this product aids in weight loss and also provides energy and focus, but with a brand-new formula.

Is Hydroxycut Safe?

We can’t talk about Hydroxycut without addressing the recalls that happened in 2004 and 2009.

2004 Recall

ephedra plant growing

Before the 2004 recall, many Hydroxycut variations contained a substance called ephedra. Ephedra is derived from a plant and has traditionally had various applications in the supplement industry.

Unfortunately, this ingredient was linked to seizures and was eventually banned. It’s worth noting that MuscleTech was not the only company to use this ingredient, and it appears that the dangerous side effects were largely due to the combination with high doses of caffeine.

2009 Recall

Upper half of body human anatomy model

Following the United State’s lead in May of 2009, Health Canada recommended that Canadian supplement users discontinue the use of these products, citing numerous reports of liver poisoning.

Most of the adverse effects were due to prior formulas, and in 2010 Hydroxycut came back with a brand-new formula. However, it’s worth noting that there are still some complaints to be found about the current formula if you do a simple web search.

The New Hydroxycut Formulas

There aren’t any studies on the safety or effectiveness of the new formulas, but we can look at each product’s active ingredients.

Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite Ingredients

Green Coffee Bean Extract

Page covered in green coffee beans

Green coffee beans are simply coffee beans that have yet to be roasted. Unroasted coffee beans have a higher content of chlorogenic acids than their roasted counterparts, and this acid is behind the weight loss effects attributed to green coffee.

Some studies show that this is a promising ingredient for weight loss products. The side effects are like that of caffeine—GI distress, increased heart rate, anxiety, etc.



Elite Fat Burner MuscleTech Weight Loss Supplement SuperstoreCaffeine is one of the most widely used substances worldwide, and it’s also one of the most popular ingredients across many different supplement categories, including pre-workouts and weight loss supplements.

Caffeine alone doesn’t help you slim down, but it is responsible for the increased energy and better athletic performance that can help you trim weight.

Side effects of caffeine are headaches, insomnia, GI troubles, anxiety, etc.

Coleus Extract

This ingredient comes from a plant belonging to the mint family. This extract contains a chemical known as forskolin. Forskolin has the potential to reduce body fat in overweight individuals, but more research is needed.

Side effects of this plant extract include diarrhea and loose stool.


"Inhale, Exhale" written on letter squares next to stones

You’ve likely heard of l-theanine if you’ve read about amino acids. This amino acid is associated with reduced stress and anxiety, which is beneficial for losing weight as cortisol is the enemy of belly fat. It also helps to increase mental focus, especially when paired with caffeine.

Side effects associated with this amino acid are nausea, upset stomach, and in some cases, irritability.


This is another plant derivative, this time from a climbing plant native to the Amazon. Guarana has various health benefits, including its rich antioxidant content, improved focus, reduced mental fatigue, and increased metabolism.

The side effects associated with guarana result from very high doses and include heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches, jitters, and in rare cases, seizures.

Black Pepper Extract

Wooden bowl of black pepper balls

This extract is from the same black peppers you typically find in the kitchen. It is commonly used in supplements and almost always included with curcumin. On its own, black pepper extract doesn’t do much inside the body. However, it includes piperine which helps the body absorb nutrients.

This ingredient is not associated with adverse side effects.


Cayenne pepper has long been known for its health benefits. The active ingredient is capsaicin, which is responsible for the spicy taste as well as the benefits. Including cayenne peppers in supplements is an easy way to reap the benefits for even those who do not like spicy foods.

Spoon full of Cayenne Pepper powder

The benefits include boosting the metabolism, reducing hunger, improving digestive health, and reducing pain perception.

Cayenne peppers are safe to consume, but too much can cause an upset stomach. They should also be used with caution by those who take medication for a blood pressure condition.

As you can see, the ingredients included in this Hydroxycut product are safe and effective.

Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen Ingredients

L-Ornithine Hydrochloride

Ornithine, as it’s also known, is an amino acid. Limited scientific research suggests that this amino acid is effective for improving athletic performance and aiding in weight loss.

High doses have been associated with nausea, cough, and muscle cramps.

Robusta Coffee Blend

Robusta coffee comes from coffee beans in Africa called Coffea canephora plants. Benefits of this coffee bean include increased energy, high antioxidant content, and a diuretic effect.

Side effects are the same as that of any other caffeine.

Caffeine Anhydrous

Next Gen Fat Burner MuscleTech Weight Loss Supplement Superstore

Derived from the seeds of coffee plants, caffeine anhydrous is caffeine that’s been harvested straight from the plant. The result is a highly concentrated powdered caffeine.

Side effects of this potent version of caffeine are the same as normal caffeine. However, it’s worth noting that regardless of where the caffeine is coming from, the safe recommendation is to stay below 400 mg of caffeine per day.


Choline is an essential nutrient that comes from our nutrition. It plays a role in neuron communication and cell health. Choline is also helpful to combat fatty liver and athletic performance.

High doses of choline can cause sweating, body odor, and GI problems.

Coleus Extract

See above.

Skullcap Extract

Skullcap plant growing in pot

As morbid as it sounds, skullcap is just a plant. Skullcap extract is used to support heart health and reduce inflammation.

There is not enough research available to determine whether skullcap extract has adverse side effects or not.

Huperzine A

This is another plant derivative, this time from Chinese club moss. This substance is used to support mental alertness and focus.

Huperzine A can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and more.

The bottom line is that regardless of Hydroxycut’s past, it remains one of the best-selling weight loss supplements in Canada. The Hydroxycut products we carry do not contain ingredients responsible for the recalls in 2004 and 2009. The new formulas contain only ingredients that are safe. Many of our customers rely on these products to help them tackle their weight loss journeys.

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