HellFire EPH 150 has been around for several years now, but was previously produced independently by Innovative Labs, a smaller manufacturer that didn’t have as much of a public profile.
It acquired a small but strong following, thanks to the whopping 150mg dose of ephedrine-free ephedra content — which is to this day the highest dose per serving of ephedra you can get in one serving in any product on the market!
The Background on HellFire
As of July 2015, Innovative Labs is now under the umbrella of supplement giant Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals.
Comparing a pre-acquisition HellFire label to this new Hi-Tech-made formula, it’s had some serious tweaking done to it — the lesser-known “Ephedran” ephedra extract has been swapped out for the same dose of Hi-Tech’s own standard and FDA-approved Thermo-Z formulation.
Prior to Thermo-Z, we weren’t 100% sure what was in the Ephedran extract, since it was never disclosed. With Thermo-Z now in the mix (a known quantity already used in Hi-Tech’s several other ephedra-based fat burners), this product is now worth taking a serious look at – and we have the lab tests to back it up!
Before we get into the details, check out the prices below and sign up for alerts with PricePlow, but note that the formula we’re writing about here is the 90 capsule size – this is the one we trust most!
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Let’s get right to the ingredient breakdown and see what’s under the hood.
HellFire EPH 150 Ingredients
It’s all about that number 150 – both the Thermo-Z ephedra and caffeine doses are at 150mg!
Thermo-Z Ephedra (150mg)
In our recent massive ephedra post, we took a very detailed look at Thermo-Z, which includes posting third-party lab test results so you know exactly what you’re getting with it, and that it’s safe.
To recap the highlights, it’s a ma huang extract that for sure provides you with the promised ephedra content and has been tested to ensure that it does not contain ephedrine alkaloids, since they’re now banned from supplements by the FDA.
Thermo-Z is standardized for several catechins, including epicatechin, which is the potent flavonol from cocoa that’s been studied quite extensively the past few years, and is a major cause for all of the headlines that declare dark chocolate to be healthy. On top of that are other healthy tannins and constituents known to improve the metabolic processes in the body.
The best way to think of Thermo-Z in today’s ephedra fat burners at this point is like an advanced form of green tea extract — similar, but in our opinions, better.
Hi-Tech sources their ephedra from China, which is the only FDA-certified one proven to be free of any dangerous ephedra alkaloids, and they presently have an exclusive contract with the Chinese government to use this specific extract. You will only find this extract from them, and it’s cause for some of the best fat burners on the market, including their flagship product, Lipodrene.
Hi-Tech currently has a few different products out that contain Thermo-Z (such as Lipodrene mentioned above). Most use just 25mg per dose, so the 150mg dose here is an absolutely massive increase.
Needless to say, HellFire EPH 150 is the product to use if you really want to test Thermo-Z ephedra.
Even so, you may still want to start light at one serving at a time, due to the other stimulants inside.
If you’re really interested in the gory details behind Thermo-Z, check out our post titled Ephedra Fat Burners in 2016: How are they Still Around?
Caffeine Anhydrous (150mg)
As with most fat burners, you’re still going to see everyone’s standby stimulant caffeine present in some form. Unsurprisingly given HellFire’s full name, we have 150mg caffeine per capsule here as well!
The dosing here (about a cup and half of coffee’s worth) would otherwise be considered more moderate in the more stim-intense fat burner realm, but since we’re pairing it with a heavy dose of ephedra along with an added cocktail of several other stims to follow, lighter is probably better in this case.
Although caffeine doesn’t do much as a fat burner on its own, it does jump-start metabolic processes and make for faster turnover. More is not always better, which is why 150mg is a great dose – not too much, but still not too weak.
One capsule is the way to go to start here, and eight or so hours later, you can do another capsule. You must really be experienced and know what you’re doing if you want to run two capsules at once – that’ll be 300mg caffeine!
Thermo-RX / Extend-RX Blend (235mg)
The new Thermo/Extend-RX Blend replaces the old StimMax blend from the Innovative Labs original version, but retains quite a few of its components.
Senegalia berlandieri (also known as acacia berlandieri) extract primarily provides a variety of different types of phenethylamine. Phenethylamine is primarily a mood enhancer, triggering a quick but potent burst of adrenaline and dopamine for that “get up and get going” pop right before you hit the weights or the cardio machines.
There is some indirect evidence for it stimulating lipolysis, simply because elevated noradrenaline levels are known to do so. The question here is dosing, and how much it will take throughout a day to get clinically proven results.
We know that 250mg of acacia extract has been shown to have a slightly greater effect on fat-loss than 30mg of ephedrine![5,6] So the reason this is here is to replace the ephedrine alkaloids that have been removed from the ephedra mentioned above (this is also discussed in extreme detail in that ephedra article linked above).
But that brings us to the question of dosing — Since this is the first ingredient complex in a 235mg proprietary blend, we know that we can’t achieve 250mg in one capsule – but over the course of a day with 1-2 capsules, we’ll most likely end up getting a result that’s comparable to the ephedrine-based supplements of old!
In addition, we’ve seen in other products (like Black Mamba) that this particular combination of PEA alkaloids seems to significantly improve mood and energy. Black Mamba also has an elevated ephedra dose, but nothing like the 150mg here, so HellFire remains the one to try for users interested in the Thermo-Z standard.
DMAA by any other name would be just as sweet … and here it’s referred to by its scientific name, methylhexanamine HCL. With Innovative Labs now under the Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals umbrella, they can now take advantage of Hi-Tech’s fight to keep DMAA in the supplement industry – a fight they’re taking to federal court, since it’s a natural constituent of geranium.
While we are quite fond of DMAA and the focus and appetite suppression it brings us, but it would really be helpful to have a better idea of the exact dosing here, as doses of 75mg and above can potentially elevate blood pressure when paired with the other potent stims present here. The good news is that Hi-Tech Pharma has never gone that high in their dosing, and we’d expect it to be less.
Black Tea Extract
The new label lists only black tea extract — green tea extract “seems” to be missing. This may initially seem surprising, as green tea extract optimized for EGCG content has become almost as standard as caffeine in a fat-burning product, due to solid evidence that it’s a lipolytic and carbohydrate absorber (as well as being rich in antioxidants).[1,2]
But if you take a close look at the Thermo-Z extract discussed in our ephedra post, you’ll note that many of those same catechins are present in it!
So now, by adding black tea extract, we get the best of both worlds!
Higenamine HCL is another noradrenaline stimulator, helping to increase lipolysis. But the effect of higenamine is actually magnified by the presence of caffeine!
Rauwolfia Serpentine Extract
Rauwolfia Serpentine extract is generally included in supplements for the rauwolscine content, which is perhaps better known in supplement marketing as alpha-yohimbine. Yohimbine is another focus/mood/energy enhancer.
While we don’t know the exact dose due to the prop blend, Hi-Tech has to date stuck to 1.5 to 3mg of active ingredient in other products, so we’re guessing that continues to be the case here.
You might recognize Evodiamine under its other name, Evodia Rutaecarpa. It works in a way similar to capsaicin’s thermogenic action, reducing cellular fat uptake, but it’s also a stimulant moderator, helping to even out the jitters while retaining the clear-headed focus.[3,4]
Peppermint… interesting play here!
Peppermint tea is sometimes passed around the weight loss blogosphere as a natural fat burner, but there’s unfortunately no human-based evidence to present that it does anything like stimulating lipolysis or thermogenesis.
The one thing it does do in this realm is to relax the stomach muscles and improve bile flow, which in turn improves fat breakdown, which in turn should provide you with better energy (though it will not actually stimulate stored fat into being released for use).
Peppermint is also great for irritability and headaches, so we’re definitely not complaining. And if it makes the capsule smell good… all the better!
Black Pepper Extract (98% Piperine)
Finally, piperine (black pepper extract) is simply a general purpose absorption improver that aids bioavailability of all the other ingredients by inhibiting enzymes that are antagonistic to them. You’ll see it quite a bit in supplement ingredient lists these days.
Through The Fire And The Flames
As we’ve mentioned (a couple of times now), this is NOT the ephedra product for complete beginners or the highly stim-sensitive. If you’ve never tried ephedra before you’ll want to look instead at some of the 25mg per dose formulations that Hi-Tech is offering that also contain Thermo-Z (the only ephedra extract we endorse at the moment). If you’ve been at this for some time and are ready for the stim rush, however, Hellfire EPH 150 lives up to its name.
One important point of note before you buy any, however. The changeover from Hi-Tech’s formulation only happened fairly recently, so there’s still a lot of unexpired original Innovative Lab products on shelves and in warehouses out there that contains the older Ephedran mix instead of the Thermo-Z. We urge you to stick with the Thermo-Z formulation (it’s available in the 90 Capsule serving size). So check the label and verify that Thermo-Z is leading the ingredient list, or at the very least that the store page you’re buying it from online makes absolutely clear that you’re getting the new formulation.
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- Boschmann, M, et. al; “The Effects of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Thermogenesis and Fat Oxidation in Obese Men: A Pilot Study”; Journal of the American College of Nutrition; August 2007; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17906192
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- Pearce, LV, et. al; “Evodiamine functions as an agonist for the vanilloid receptor TRPV1”; Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry; August 2004; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15305207
- Noh, K, et. al; “Effects of rutaecarpine on the metabolism and urinary excretion of caffeine in rats”; Archives of Pharmacal Research; January 2011; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21468923
- Jacobs, Patrick; “The Acute Metabolic, Hemodynamic, and Psychological Effects of Fastin-XR, A Commercial Product; 2012; Retrieved from https://www.hitechpharma.com/products/fastin_report.pdf
- Jacobs, Patrick; “The Acute Physiological Effects of Acacia Rigidula”; Presentation at the 2012 Arnold Sports Festival; March 2012; Retrieved from http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/ENR/TheAcutePhysiologicalEffectsofAcaciaRigidula.pdf(backed up at http://www.webcitation.org/6e8bE22ix)
- Cameron, OG, et. al; “Effects of yohimbine on cerebral blood flow, symptoms, and physiological functions in humans”; Psychosomatic Medicine; July-August 2000; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10949101
- Mauriege, P, et. al; “Human fat cell beta-adrenergic receptors: beta-agonist-dependent lipolytic responses and characterization of beta-adrenergic binding sites on human fat cell membranes with highly selective beta1-agonists”; The Journal of Lipid Research; May 1988; http://www.jlr.org/content/29/5/587.long
- Laurberg, P; “Forskolin stimulation of thyroid secretion of T4 and T3”; FEBS Letters; May 1984; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6327383
- Cappello, G, et. al; “Peppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial”; Digestive and Liver Disease; June 2007; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17420159
- Bloomer, RJ, et. al; “Effects of 1,3-dimethylamylamine and caffeine alone or in combination on heart rate and blood pressure in healthy men and women”; The Physician and Sportsmedicine; October 2011; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22030947
- Bai, G, et. al; “Identification of higenamine in Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata as a beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist”; Acta pharmacologica Sinica; October 2008; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18817623
- Han, HK; “The effects of black pepper on the intestinal absorption and hepatic metabolism of drugs”; Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology; June 2011; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21434835