HydroxyCut Super Elite Review – US & International version

Last updated on October 22nd, 2018

HydroxyCut Super Elite

7

Effectiveness

7.5/10

Formula / Ingredients

7.5/10

Safety Rating

6.5/10

Customer Feedback

6.5/10

Value For Money

7.0/10

Pros

  • Proven Ingredients
  • Well formulated

Cons

  • US and International recipes quite different
  • Pricey
  • Yohimbine in US Formula can cause side effects

HydroxyCut Super Elite Review

Pay attention if you buy Hydroxycut Super Elite because you might not get the same recipe as the one your muscle magazine is advertising.

That’s because Muscletech put different formulas in their fat burners depending on the country they are selling it in, despite the products bearing the same name and looking virtually identical.

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As such, there is a US version of Hydroxycut Super Elite, and an international version. What’s interesting to me is the difference in effect between the international and US versions.

In my opinion, Hydroxycut has become a congested product line from Muscletech.

There are so many different types that it’s difficult to understand the reasoning behind the changes from one to another.

Couple that with the alternate ingredients for customers living outside the US and you have a bit of a nightmare trying to figure out which one to go for.

There’s usually an ingredient or two in the US versions that are not permitted in other countries, hence why the international versions omit them.

But sometimes you might be better off not using that ingredient anyway.

Let’s have a look at both versions of HydroxyCut Super Elite and see where we go from there.

HydroxyCut Super Elite – Standard USA Recipe

America’s take on sports supplements is a weird lesson in self contradiction.

The industry is largely uncontrolled, evidenced by the fact that supplement companies can write any amount of fictional hype about their product, and all they have to write is some boilerplate about checking with your doctor, not using it if you’re under 18 and the different medications that might not go too well with it.

Oh, yeah, and this old chestnut:

* these statements haven’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration…something something…consult a medical professional

Once in a while the FDA makes a fuss about an ingredient (like DMAA, ephedrine etc.) and forces the company to take it out of their products.

Said products do a few circuits of the commercial universe before that happens though.

A few companies were adding illegal performance enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids, in their products as recently as a decade ago.

Don’t get me wrong, the US supplement business isn’t as fast and loose as it used to be, but it’s still got a long leash. After all, you can’t watch all of the kids, all of the time.

With all that said, HydroxyCut Super Elite doesn’t push the envelope too much. I’m pleased to see they have put an open label on it as well. We know all the inclusion rates of the ingredients.

  • 200 mg – Caffeine Anhydrous
  • 8 mg – Yohimbe Extract (6%)
  • 5.3 mg – BioPerine
  • 1 mg – Satsuma Mandarin
  • 10 mcg – Huperzine-A
  • 200 mg – Green Coffee extract as C. Canephora robusta bean

Satsuma Mandarin extract is a source of beta-cyptoxanthin (BCX or b-CRX) a pre-cursor to Vitamin A and appears to have potential for antioxidant, anti-cancer and anabolic bone growth benefits.

Satsuma Mandarin extract is good for you

It’s not totally clear what, if anything, 1 mg of a source of beta-cryptoxanthin can do for you in terms of weight loss, but there are some preliminary signs from scientific studies.

One particularly interesting study on mice found that that beta-cryptoxanthin can repress body weight and adipocyte hypertrophy (aka, the growth of fat cells).

It’s possible to find supplements containing up to 250 mg of the stuff, but given that it’s a Vitamin A precursor, anything that confers more than 1 mg of Vitamin A is not recommended.

There’s some evidence that it can reduce insulin resistance in people with type-II diabetes and possibly reduce body fat storage by other means, but again, studies specifically investigating beta-cryptoxanthin in the context of fat loss in humans are hard to come by.

We need to know more about this ingredient, and some more extensive studies with people will help for sure.

Huperzine-A inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which itself breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Huperzine-A

Acetylcholine is vital for healthy cognitive function, and supplementation of Huperzine-A together with cholinergic ingredients can have a compound benefit.

Increased acetylcholine activity can improve mood, focus, and even muscle contraction force. It might help someone during periods of caloric restriction.

Note: Muscletech call the coupling of Huperzine-A and Satsuma Mandarin extract a “novel combination” of sensorial ingredients. I should say here that I can’t find much evidence of synergistic activity between the two, except to say that there could be a link between low serum carotenoid levels and cognitive decline, and the beta-cryptoxanthin in satsuma mandarin extract is of course a member of the carotenoid family.

Yohimbe is probably the key ingredient that defines this as the US-only blend. Yohimbe targets the type of fat cells which are in the greatest concentration around the waist, hips and thighs.

For that reason it is often thought of as a fat burner that can target specific areas of stubborn fat like the infamous love-handles.

The problem with yohimbe/yohimbine is that it can cause some equally specific negative side effects. It may induce anxiety, and even panic attacks, especially in people who are pre-disposed.

It’s a powerful stimulant and given that it’s present in combination with caffeine, it’s best to take it slow at first if you are new to Yohimbe, and avoid it altogether if you suffer from any form of anxiety disorder, or prone to panic attacks.

Hydroxycut Super Elite – USA Product – Takeaway Points

I have little doubt that it will have some fat burning effect. Yohimbe and caffeine in combination should see to that.

Just to repeat my earlier warning about Yohimbe though: it is one of those ingredients that you should definitely consider the potential negative impact of. If you currently have high stress levels, and anxiety order, panic attacks – or suspect you might be a candidate for any one of these – don’t take yohimbe.

As to what sort of results you are going to get, well that depends almost entirely on you. If you follow a calorie controlled diet and do 4 hours + exercise a week, Hydroxycut Super Elite is going to be a useful tool for additional fat loss.

If, however, you lead a sedentary lifestyle and eat maintenance calories or a calorie surplus, a fat burner is not going to make much of a difference. Supplements should never be the first port of call on a weight loss voyage.

The three capsule serving size allows you to ease into the ingredients. Take a single pill the first day and see how you go. For maximum effect you will definitely want to increase up to the full daily serving but increasing in this manner will help you become accustomed to Yohimbe and Caffeine in combination.

Now I’ll take a look at the “international” version of the product.

HydroxyCut Super Elite – Non-US or International Recipe

In a couple of ways, this formula makes more sense to me. Straight away you’ll see they have added a dedicated cholinergic compound in the form of Choline Bitartrate.

That’s basically an acetylcholine booster, while the Huperzine-A – which has made it into the international version – compliments this by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the anti-neurotransmitter.

There’s also some quality adaptogens in the mix, namely Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea.

The formula is more robust in general, and I’m pleased to see some Olive Leaf Extract and Skullcap included.

In fact, I’d say it’s heavily leaning towards the cognitive/sensorial side of the fence rather than the emphasis being on high-stim thermogenesis.

One thing is certain, this could be a different recipe. Check it out:

  • 270 mg – Caffeine Anhydrous
  • 250 mg – Choline Bitartrate
  • 200 mg – Green Coffee extract
  • 75 mg – Skullcap extract
  • 62.5 mg – Ashwagandha extract (Sensoril ®)
  • 50 mg – Rhodiola Rosea
  • 25 mg – Olive extract
  • 5.3 mg – Black Pepper
  • 100mcg – Huperzia Serrata extract (for Huperzine-A)
Note the lack of Yohimbe and Satsuma Mandarin here, and the addition of Choline bitartrate, Skullcap, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea and Olive extract.

The word “nootropic” comes to mind here because those first 4 additional ingredients make up a pretty good nootropic supplement.

I prefer the KSM-66 extract of Ashwagandha, and the 62.5 mg that’s in the Hydroxycut is a low dose regardless of the fact it’s the more concentrated, patented Sensoril ® extract.

So, fat loss as a result of improved cognitive function – how does that work?

Well, now we’re into the subject of appetite suppression and also the role stress plays on body fat storage or body fat loss.

Stress has a huge impact on your body composition. Stress associated with caloric restriction, i.e. being hungry, the physical stress of exercise, the stresses of life in general – they can all accumulate to exert negative effects on body composition.

Appetite suppression is arguably one of the most effective routes to weight loss. It’s a simplistic way to look at it but the removal of calories from your daily intake is the most sure fire way of creatine a calorie deficit.

It’s more efficient than burning fat you’ve already stored.

Research shows that emotional well-being, mood and mental energy have a positive effect on our ability to suppress our desire for comfort food and succeed in weight loss goals.

“Emotional eating” is a powerful and extremely detrimental behaviour pattern that only worsens if left untreated.

That’s where cognitive/nootropic/“sensorial” ingredients come into their own.

HydroxyCut Super Elite – International Product – Takeaway Points

Well, it’s a different product to the American version if we’re being honest. The international formula is based on ingredients that improve cognitive function and have been shown to improve body composition via that pathway.

It doesn’t include the comprehensive Vitamin B inclusions that the US version does, but in other ways I feel it’s a more impressive blend of ingredients.

Traditionally, fat burners have focused on central nervous system stimulation, i.e. burn fat through increased metabolism.

Personally, I welcome the shift towards a blend of those and quality adaptogens and cholinergics that boost mood and mental function.

Wrapping Up HydroxyCut Super Elite

MuscleTech and HydroxyCut have made two products here, selling them to different populations under the same name.

I don’t have much of a problem with that. If nothing else it prevents the messages on social media of “why can’t I get xxx product in the UK?”. Rather than go in to an in-depth explanation on the legal status of different compounds in different countries, the company does it this way.

Given the option of the two formulas, I’d take the US version for about 8 weeks before switching to the International recipe for another. Alas, that isn’t possible for most of you, so you have to take what you’re given.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. From different angles of attack, as it were, either of them will help your fat loss drive, as long as your diet and activity are on point.

All of that, of course, provided you want to spend the coin on it. But that’s your call.

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About Ross T. 72 Articles

Ross T., CPD Certified in sports nutrition, BEng
I've probably forgotten more about training, nutrition and supplements than most people ever learn. Why? Because I've never stopped learning. These are dynamic fields of expertise that are constantly evolving, and qualifications mean nothing if you don't consistently update your knowledge base. You can also read more About Me.

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