It’s been awhile since we’ve covered any fat burners of note, but we had to see what Metabolic Nutrition was up to after their wildly popular Synedrex was removed from the market (noting that the original Synedrex was cloned by Hi-Tech Pharma in Synadrene). The next step for the growing brand is from StimuKal.
Developed by Metabolic Nutrition, StimuKal is an “all-in-one” fat burner that helps curb cravings, increases thermogenesis, and provides long-lasting, jitter-free energy.
There’s no DMAA or AMP Citrate (again, to get back to the original version’s DMAA, see the Synadrene link above), but there are some very long-lasting stimulants that will help keep appetite down.
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StimuKal is a 100% proprietary blend, even the caffeine content is hidden (something we’re not overly fond of here). That being said, the profile ingredients does look promising, although it’s hard to know how well it’s dosed given that everything is shrouded in mystery…
Note: Doses listed below are based on 1 capsule
Proprietary Blend (730mg)
Leading the charge on this fat burning powerhouse is the backbone of all stimulant-based products, caffeine. You know, you love it, and there’s not much to say about it that you don’t already know. So we’ll keep it short and sweet.
Caffeine is great for energy, alertness, mild appetite suppression, and fat oxidation. We just wish we knew how much there in each capsule…
If there’s one “non-exotic” stim we’ve been loving lately, it’s TeaCrine® hands-down! TeaCrine™ is a patented extract that contains 98% concentrated theacrine. This xanthine-like molecule is structurally similar to caffeine and possesses many of the same benefits.
The big difference between the two is that theacrine doesn’t come with the tolerance build up like caffeine does. In other words, you won’t need to continually up the dose to feel the same effects, like you would with caffeine. Plus, theacrine also reduces oxidative stress in the body when used for at least seven consecutive days, and elevates dopamine levels in the brain, similar to caffeine.
Kinetiq® Citrus Aurantium (50% Extract)
Kinetiq® is a standardized 50% extract of Citrus Aurantium that is the evolution of the older Advantra Z bitter orange extract that was widely used in supplements for a number of years.
Kinetiq binds to Beta-3 adrenergic receptors without binding to alpha-1, alpha 2, beta-1, or beta-2 receptors, meaning it won’t increase heart rate or blood pressure, making it a non-stimulating ingredient. are not experienced at commonly used doses, thus demonstrating that Kinetiq does not act as a stimulant.
Kinetiq is comprised of p-synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin (all naturally occurring in Citrus Aurantium) and enhances the body’s utilization of carbohydrates by producing more energy in the form of ATP.
Perhaps most interesting is a new study which shows that Kinetiq significantly increased resting metabolic rate by 183kcal over placebo! If that’s not enough for you, another recent 2015 study showed that synephrine improves power, total reps completed, and volume load.
So not only is this new age synephrine a potent fat burner, but also a possible performance-enhancer too!
Coleus Forskohlii (20% Forskolin)
If you’re well-versed in the area of fat burners, you’re well acquainted with Forskolin. It’s prized for its ability to induce fat loss while simultaneously helping preserve, and even increase, muscle mass in dieters.[7,8,9]
Now, StimuKal uses one of the lower quality Forskolin extract, which may mean some rather unpleasant side effects, like GI distress, for some of you. Then again, we don’t really know how much is in here…so it may be a moot point after all.
Also known as Grains of Paradise, Paradoxine is the industry-leading patented extract of Aframomum Melegueta, and another proven stimulant-free fat burning ingredient. For this reason, it’s found its way into a number of popular fat burners on the market, like Myokem’s Pyroxamine and Thyrovate.
Clinical research documents that Paradoxine may significantly increase energy expenditure and accelerate the loss of brown adipose (fat) tissue.[10,11] Greater energy expenditure increases the amount of calories burned each day, resulting in greater weight loss and less visceral fat..
For even more info on this powerful thermogenic, check out our mega-post titled: Grains of Paradise: Fat Fighting Spice of the Goddesses.
Capsimax® is a patented, highly concentrated Cayenne Pepper Extract that exhibits characteristics of a powerful fat oxidizer. It shows up frequently in fat burners as it helps increase energy expenditure and oxidize fat.
When used in a capsule, as it is here, it eases digestion and prevents any occurrence of heartburn. No more worries of unpleasant GI distress! Capsimax is encapsulated to slow the digestion and prevent heartburn — so you’re able to enjoy the energy boosting, fat shredding benefits of chili peppers with no reservations!
Black Pepper Extract
Black pepper extracts are nothing new to dietary supplements. Frequently, they’re added to improve the bioavailability and absorption of all the other ingredients in supplements. But did you know that piperine (bioactive compound in black pepper) also enhances fat loss and lowers lipid levels?
Again, we don’t know the dose, but here again we have another non-stim ingredient that gives an additional boost in fat burning…something we can always appreciate!
Yohimbine is another common fat burning ingredient. It acts as an alpha-2-adrenergic blocking agent that increases noradrenaline release. Research shows Yohimbine is extremely effective at liberating stored “stubborn” fat and suppressing hunger cravings, while also increasing lipolysis and energy expenditure.[16,17,18,19]
Similar to forskolin, yohimbe extracts vary wildly in quality. We’re not sure of the extract quality though as Metabolic Nutrition has neglected to indicate it on the label.
Huperzine A 1%
Lastly, we have the lone nootropic in StimuKal, the potent Huperzine A, a.k.a. Toothed Club Moss. During dieting periods, low calories can often lead to “brain fog” and difficulty focusing. Huperzine counters that by indirectly boosting acetylcholine levels.
See, huperzine is an incredibly effective inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that degrades acetylcholine, “the learning neurotransmitter.” Huperzine basically extends the “life” of acetylcholine — as opposed to other choline-containing compounds like Alpha GPC which directly increase levels of acetylcholine.
Huperzine also acts as a neuroprotectant, as it protects the brain against glutamine, a.k.a. “the neuron death molecule” and may generate new brain cells (making it neurogenerative).
Metabolic Nutrition recommends starting with a single capsule to assess tolerance and gauge dosing from there. Do not use more than two capsules daily and do not take StimuKal in the evening.
Can it replace Synedrex?
The jury is out, but it’s going to be tough to replace DMAA (which was in the original version) or AMP Citrate (which was in the second version). It ultimately comes down to how high the Theacrine dose is – we’re noticing great things with higher doses – but since this is a proprietary blend, we don’t fully know.
Those who are instead looking for a more similar replacement to the original can check out Synadrene by Hi-Tech Pharma, but StimuKal does look like it’ll be a good fat burner regardless of what happened to Synedrex.
On the surface, StimuKal has all the makings of a quality weight loss supplements. The list of ingredients support all aspects that make a solid fat burner — appetite suppression, energy, thermogenesis, focus, and increased metabolic rate. Where the “rubber meets the road” is in the dosing of each ingredient, and that’s where we honestly have no clue here.
Sure, some of the ingredients may be dosed adequately, but there’s no way to know unless Metabolic Nutrition ditches the proprietary blend and opens up the label. One of these days, prop blends will be a thing of the past….we hope…
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- Cauli, O;Subchronic caffeine exposure induces sensitization to caffeine and cross-sensitization to amphetamine ipsilateral turning behavior independent from dopamine release.; Department of Toxicology and Centre of Excellence for Neurobiology of Dependence, University of Cagliari; 2008
- Li WX, et al.; “Theacrine, a purine alkaloid obtained from Camellia assamica var. kucha, attenuates restraint stress-provoked liver damage in mice.“; J Agric Food Chem.; 2013
- Feduccia A, et al.; “Locomotor activation by theacrine, a purine alkaloid structurally similar to caffeine: involvement of adenosine and dopamine receptors.”; Pharmacol Biochem Behav; 2012
- Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Shara M. A Review of the Receptor-Binding Properties of p-Synephrine as Related to Its Pharmacological Effects. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2011;2011:482973. doi:10.1155/2011/482973. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166186/
- Ratamess NA, Bush JA, Kang J, et al. The effects of supplementation with P-Synephrine alone and in combination with caffeine on resistance exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2015;12:35. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0096-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573476/
- Janssens, P, et. al; “Acute Effects of Capsaicin on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Negative Energy Balance“; July 2013
- Shah SS, Shah GB, Singh SD, et al. Effect of piperine in the regulation of obesity-induced dyslipidemia in high-fat diet rats. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2011;43(3):296-299. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.81516. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3113382/
- Szemeredi K, et al; Simultaneous measurement of plasma and brain extracellular fluid concentrations of catechols after yohimbine administration in rats . Brain Res. (1991)
- Mizuki Y, et al; Differential effects of noradrenergic drugs on anxiety and arousal in healthy volunteers with high and low anxiety . Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. (1996)
- Galitzky J, et al; Alpha 2-antagonist compounds and lipid mobilization: evidence for a lipid mobilizing effect of oral yohimbine in healthy male volunteers . Eur J Clin Invest. (1988)
- Callahan MF, Beales M, Oltmans GA; Yohimbine and rauwolscine reduce food intake of genetically obese (obob) and lean mice . Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (1984)
- Waluga M, et al; Cardiovascular effects of ephedrine, caffeine and yohimbine measured by thoracic electrical bioimpedance in obese women . Clin Physiol. (1998)
- McDaniel MA., et al.; Nutrition; “Brain-specific” nutrients: a memory cure?”; November-December 2003; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14624946
- Zhao, Q; “Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine”; State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 2002; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12445575
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