At this point, we’ve covered a few of the different ephedra-based fat burners from Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. Each member of this product line goes after a different target market.
And if you want a maximum dose of Thermo-Z ephedra (which is now ephedrine-free), there’s HellFire EPH 150.
However, all of the above products contain DMAA, or 1,3 dimethylamylamine, a stimulant that has incredible focus-feeling effects… but also admittedly raises blood pressure and is a bit aggressive for some users.
HydroxySlim: Ephedra with moderate stimulants, but no DMAA
So at the other end, if you don’t want DMAA, but want to test out Hi-Tech’s Thermo-Z ephedra, you have two main options: Ripped Up (the lower-stimulant option), and HydroxySlim, which we discuss here today.
HydroxySlim is one of the in-between products, but it’s much closer to Ripped Up in terms of stim content than the products at the deep end of the pool mentioned above. Like Ripped Up, it does not contain DMAA, but has a bit heavier dosing of caffeine and mood-boosting PEA compounds, as well as the fat-burning bitter orange extract (synephrine).
As with Ripped Up, it’s also with a lower amount of ephedra in the Hi-Tech product line, at 20mg per dose. So this is a good place to “test the waters” for those who have moderate stimulant tolerances but still don’t want DMAA.
Let’s keep the excessive verbiage slim and get straight to the ingredient breakdown – but first, compare prices using PricePlow to find the best deal. If you need a better price, sign up for price alerts:
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The entire formula is a 1600mg prop blend for this one, so we only know the specific dosages of a few of the disclosed ingredients.
Ephedra Extract (20mg)
As with the rest of the Hi-Tech product line, this contains their Thermo-Z ma huang extract, the only extract that is licensed by the government of China (where the ma huang is harvested) and the only one we have third-party lab tests on and thus feel comfortable recommending.
As explained in our extensive post on this new-age ephedra extract, in order for ephedra to be sold legally in supplements, it must now be free of ephedrine alkaloids — so it’s really not going to be that stimulatory, but it still does have some beneficial compounds. With what’s left inside, it can be considered an advanced form of green tea extract
Along with Ripped Up, this is the lowest-dose product in the line. 20mg is pitched to those who just want to try a little ephedra, and with the rest of the ingredient lineup in HydroxySlim you’re getting what is a fairly standard stimulant blend. If you want noticeable stims with your ephedra, but not super-stims, this is the way to go.
Guarana Extract (200mg of caffeine)
The main purpose of guarana here is simply to provide the vast bulk of the blend’s 200mg of caffeine content per dose. By comparison, that’s about two cups of strong coffee — definitely something you’ll notice unless you have a very high caffeine tolerance.
Guarana is sometimes advertised as a metabolism elevator separate from the effect that its fairly high caffeine content provides. This hasn’t really been proven as of yet other than a handful of indicators in some rat studies, however.
Bitter Orange Extract (50mg of synephrine)
Long used as a safer ephedrine substitute, the job of synephrine is now to safely help fill in some of the gaps left by removing ephedrine from ephedra. Synephrine stimulates lipolysis by acting as a beta receptor agonist and also ramps up the resting metabolism.[2,3]
50mg is toward the high end of what’s considered “standard” dosing in other non-ephedra fat burning products… there’s products with higher doses out there, but that’s a pretty intense level that doesn’t suit the otherwise more modest stim profile we see here.
This is very likely the ingredient that’s doing the most “work” in making up for the lost ephedrine alkaloids now that ephedra is ephedrine-free.
Green Tea Extract
The catechins in green tea do all sorts of great things for you, but in dietary terms what we’re interested in is that EGCG (the primary catechin these extracts are usually standardized for) stimulates lipolysis and blocks carb digestion.[4,5]
Garcinia Cambogia (50% hydroxycitric acid)
Garcinia got dragged through the mud along with Dr. Oz at those Senate hearings a couple of years back. The issue with it was mostly that the studies he cited turned out to be paid for by garcinia manufacturers and used questionable methodology; but there’s actually quite a bit of rat study evidence (done properly by neutral third parties) that has shown garcinia can block the production of fatty acids, but the clinical trials thus far have been bought and paid for by manufacturers.[6,7]
We don’t hate garcinia here, we just want to see more human-based evidence for the somewhat miraculous claims that have been attached to it by everyone’s favorite daytime TV host.
In a blend that’s centered around ephedra and other stims, seeing halfway down the label isn’t really a big issue. It may just be a token throw-in that doesn’t really do anything, but it also doesn’t hurt anything either. That’s the truth with this ingredient.
Phenethylamines (or PEAs) are extracted from acacia rigidula in a combination that enhances the production of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. This gives you an excellent mood and energy boost.
You’ll see these as a primary ingredient in many of Hi-Tech’s ephedra products, but here they are dosed a little farther down the label as usual, so the effects should not be as intense. Typically, these, in combination with DMAA, are what are used to replace the ephedrine alkaloids from pre-2006 ephedra.
In the case of HydroxySlim, you get the ephedra + synephrine + acacia blend in a slightly less “aggressive” state – but still enough to pop and get work done.
Theobromine is a bit of a stimulant in its own right, but what it’s mostly here for is to synergize with caffeine to produce an enhanced effect that lasts longer than your standard cup of coffee.
Yohimbe functions both as a fat storage inhibitor and an appetite suppressant. The main question here is the quality of the extract and where it came from. All we know from the prop label is that it’s a bark extract, which is too vague to discern anything from when it’s just that one word! Yohimbe can have extremely varying effects depending on the source and potency of the extract, so without any further information we’re not sure this is contributing anything to the product.
Typically, with Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals products, the yohimbe is extracted so that you get about 1.5mg or so of yohimbine HCl (the active ingredient) – this is enough to work, but not so much to cause anxiousness, unless you’re extremely yohimbe sensitive.
Salicin Complex (30mg Salicin)
The salicin here comes from purple & white willow bark extract, both of which have been found in a number of studies to have a range of potential positive health benefits. Evidence as to its weight loss benefits have tended to be tied to its specific combination with ephedrine, however.
Of course, the ephedrine is gone from these current ephedra extracts, so we’re not sure if this old research continues to stand up until these new extracts are specifically tested with it. As with the yohimbe content, since we’re lacking too much information.
Chromium picolinate is the standardized form used for chromium supplementation. It’s an insulin regulator and is sometimes prescribed to diabetics in large doses, but weight loss effects in otherwise healthy individuals hasn’t really been demonstrated as of yet.
So basically, HydroxySlim is the product for you if you want to experiment with the lower doses of ephedra, and don’t want DMAA, but do want a fairly high dose of caffeine along with some synephrine. It’s kind of like a “regular fat burner” but with ephedra, which is exactly what many users want to try.
The down-label stuff like salicin and chromium could potentially be a dusting, but we know enough about the “main event” ingredients to know that this is a viable ephedra-based fat burner if it fits your personal stim profile.
It’s worth a shot for those of you who are extra conservative but know you like caffeine.
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- Lima, WP, et. al; “Lipid metabolism in trained rats: effect of guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) supplementation”; Clinical Nutrition; December 2005; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16182414
- Haaz, S, et. al; “Citrus aurantium and synephrine alkaloids in the treatment of overweight and obesity: an update”; Obesity Reviews; February 2006; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16436104
- Stohs, SJ, et. al; “Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes”; International Journal of Medical Sciences; April 2011; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21537493
- Gutierrez-Salmean, G, et. al; “Acute effects of an oral supplement of (−)-epicatechin on postprandial fat and carbohydrate metabolism in normal and overweight subjects”; HHS; March 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3947792/
- Wang, Y, et. al; “Sugar compositions, α-glucosidase inhibitory and amylase inhibitory activities of polysaccharides from leaves and flowers of Camellia sinensis obtained by different extraction methods”; International Journal of Biological Macromolecules; November 2010; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20678520
- Shara, M, et. al; “Dose- and time-dependent effects of a novel (-)-hydroxycitric acid extract on body weight, hepatic and testicular lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation and histopathological data over a period of 90 days”; Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry; December 2003; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14674714
- Heymsfield, SB, et. al; “Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial”; JAMA; November 1998; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9820262
- Knight, B, et. al; “The effect of glucose, insulin and noradrenaline on lipolysis and on the concentrations of adenosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate and adenosine 5′-triphosphate in adipose tissue”; Biochemistry Journal; January 1973; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1177561/
- Baggott, M, et. al; “Psychopharmacology of theobromine in healthy volunteers”; Psychopharmacology; February 2013; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3672386/
- Ostojic, SM; “Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players”; Research in Sports Medicine; October-December 2006; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214405
- Powers, ME; “Ephedra and Its Application to Sport Performance: Another Concern for the Athletic Trainer?”; Journal of Athletic Training; October-December 2001; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155439/
- Abdollahi, M, et. al; “Effect of chromium on glucose and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes; a meta-analysis review of randomized trials”; Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences; 2013; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23683609