I paused before I hit the “publish” button on this one, because my conclusion was a bit of a shocker. We created an in-depth review, examining Hydroxycut side effects, ingredients, clinical studies and level of customer service. Additionally, we took a close look at hundreds of customer comments from around the web. Then, we summarized the facts and details to give you the information you need.
What is Hydroxycut?
To begin with, Hydroxycut offers about a dozen different supplements for women and men. Hydroxycut products contain higher levels of caffeine, in addition to ingredients such as l-theanine, cayenne pepper and yohimbe extract. This one is taken once or twice daily. It’s claimed to boost metabolism, increase energy levels and assist with weight-loss. The bottle is simple to take on the go.
Hydroxycut is a Canadian company that is owned by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. It first began back in 2002 and these diet products are sold in common stores such as Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, GNC and Walgreens. There are some natural ingredients used in Hydroxycut supplements and it’s nice to see that some customer testimonials are posted on the official website, but read on…
People are desperate to find something to help them lose weight, I know I am, but is this really worth it?
Questionable Ingredients – “Should We Worry?”
The first issue we came in contact with in regards to Hydroxycut ingredients was potential side effects. According to our Research Editor, “Hydroxycut was actually pulled from the market back in 2009 due to serious reactions, but the formula has since changed.”
One customer complained, “This product made me sick to my stomach. I felt tired. As soon as I stopped taking this I felt back to normal.”
Another stated, “Made me feel sick, I didn’t see any results after taking the whole bottle. I will not use again.”
We wanted to see a more well-rounded picture, so we looked for a few positives that didn’t agree with customers who experienced adverse reactions. One dieter said, “No side effects. Pleased with this product.”
We found a user that claimed, “The scale has gone down a little since starting the pills and I haven’t experienced any side effects.”
Yet another said, “I’ve had ZERO effects like that with [Hydroxycut].”
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Lawsuits – “Uh-Oh”
There was a class action lawsuit filed against Iovate Health Sciences Inc. that involved Hydroxycut supplements sold between the years of 2008 and 2014. According to the suit, numerous products made false claims regarding weight-loss. According to a firm working with the case, the whole thing was started “by a plaintiff who says he relied on allegedly false and misleading statements on labeling and in advertisements regarding the effectiveness of Hydroxycut products.”
Despite settling with the plaintiffs, “Iovate denies any wrongdoing or liability arising out of any of the facts or conduct alleged in the Action.”
Our research has revealed that if a particular aspect of a weight-loss supplement is a serious concern (harmful side effects, lawsuits) the probability of long-term success is quite minimal. If you have to worry about Hydroxycut side effects and it fails to yield real weight-loss results for a lot of people, this could be very problematic.
The Science – “Claims Legitimized?”
While Hydroxycut emphasizes the effectiveness of their diet products on the company website, if you look closely, there is no actual clinical research that proves it works as claimed. If you check out the ingredient list you will find some that have been tested and proven, like caffeine. But, that’s not to say this one is better than another that offers a similar formula. We at DietSpotlight need to see documented evidence. If the science isn’t there, we see a red flag.
Also: read our Leptigen Weight-Loss Kit review »
The Bottom Line – Does Hydroxycut Work?
Alright, why don’t we clear away the dust to reveal exactly what this one is about? We certainly appreciate that Hydroxycut has been around for more than a decade. However, we don’t feel comfortable giving this one a thumbs up because these diet pills lack the support of clinical research. Furthermore, there are dozens of customer complaints posted online regarding side effects and poor results. The class action lawsuit against this company is also very concerning.
If you’re really interested in shedding more pounds, then we suggest trying out a diet supplement that is backed by real scientific research and does not cause side effects. The company should not be involved in any lawsuits or FDA infractions.
Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. This weight-loss formula offers a unique combination of four ingredients, which have been proven in published scientific research to boost metabolism and speed up fat loss. Furthermore, we can’t locate any negative discussions of harmful side effects and the dieter comments we found online show people are seeing amazing results.
Also, the company behind Leptigen is so confident in the ingredients they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, not your everyday bonus.
Previous Hydroxycut Review (Updated October 15, 2014):
What You Should Know
Hydroxycut is a "weight loss formula" that comes in a capsule form. Hydroxycut products, like Hydroxycut SX-7
are claimed to curb the user's hunger, while increasing metabolism and cutting calories. Hydroxycut aims to boost energy levels and maintain the dieter's blood sugar. Similar products that claim to boost energy levels are Metabolife Ultra
. As with many diet plans, supplements and programs, the user is supposed to maintain a healthy diet and fitness regimen while taking Hydroxycut to lose excess body fat. Some examples of Diet programs are Military Diet
and Ketosis Diet
, which when programs are combined with these type of fat burning products they could increase the success of the diet medication. Their official site
gives insight on how it works. The user should ideally drop up to three times more weight than he/she would have with proper eating and exercise alone.
Hydroxycut is claimed to be the "number one selling" weight loss drug in the USA, and is also marketed in 70 other countries across the globe. The official Hydroxycut website offers a four-step research program that can be downloaded to reveal the research that was done with Hydroxycut in the past. This diet product is endorsed by doctors like Jon Marshall and Nick Evans, who've both used the product themselves. All ingredients found in Hydroxycut are said to be listed on the product container, and were also made in North America. The official website states that numerous celebrities, models, athletes and others take advantage of Hydroxycut.
List of Ingredients
A few key ingredients listed in Hydroxycut are green tea (creates heat by burning calories and incorporates EGCG and caffeine), Garcinia Cambogia (an Indian herb that normalizes blood sugar) and Gymnema Sylvestre (herb from the Southern India rainforests that aims to promote normal blood sugar). Another product with similar claims of being fat loss supplement is Phenadrine
No full list of all ingredients is given. See Hydroxycut Ingredients
for more information.
Hydroxycut is essentially a diet capsule that endeavors to assist with the weight loss process by boosting metabolism, burning calories, increasing energy levels, maintaining blood sugar and curbing hunger cravings. The primary active components found in Hydroxycut are Gymnema Sylvestre, Garcinia Cambogia and green tea extract. (View more info on their wikipedia page
). Some fat burning products similar to Hydroxycut are Lipo 6
. The key ingredients in Hydroxycut aim to normalize blood sugar and create heat to burn calories. It's meant to be taken orally with eight ounces of water one hour prior to eating. A one-month supply costs $49.95 and contains 60 caplets.
See Our Featured
- Hydroxycut can be easily purchased in most drugstores and superstores.
- The Hydroxycut website offers ample information concerning the product.
- Hydroxycut can be taken easily since it comes in caplet form.
- There are less expensive alternatives to Hydroxycut.
- Some users may have a negative reactions to certain ingredients in Hydroxycut, similar to products like GNC Total Lean Burn 60. (see Is Hydroxycut Safe?)
- Hydroxycut is claimed to be effective only with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. (see Does Hydroxycut Work?)
- Some users of Hydroxycut may experience weight gain as opposed to weight loss.(see Hydroxycut Side Effects)
Needless to say, there are a vast number of options at your disposal these days when it comes to diet medications and weight loss programs. While Hydroxycut is by no means the most difficult to acquire, it doesn't necessarily stand out as the be-all end-all to weight loss. Their FDA warning
is, however, uninspiring. If you'd prefer a diet plan that involves the simplicity of a pill taken two to three times daily, Hydroxycut may be an option to consider. However, it's imperative to keep in mind that there are countless other supplements, medications and plans to consider, many of which can be attained without a prescription. If you are committed to living a healthy lifestyle in order to facilitate weight loss, you owe it to yourself to explore the range of supplement pills available today.
Hydroxycut Questions & Answers:
We compiled hundreds of user comments about Hydroxycut into this helpful FAQ.
What are the side effects of Hydroxycut?
Some potential side effects of Hydroxycut include increased heart rate, diarrhea, nausea, anxiety and jitteriness, according to some customer reviews.
What is in Hydroxycut?
Hydroxycut ingredients are caffeine, yohimbe, cayenne pepper,  l-theanine, robusta coffee, papaya, blackberry, saffron, maqui, amla, hydrolyzed collagen and silicon dioxide. Others may be included as there are a variety of products available from the company.
What is the active ingredient in Hydroxycut?
The active ingredient in Hydroxycut depends on the product and includes: robusta coffee bean extract, papaya, maqui, blackberry, amla extract and saffron extract (which has been shown to have anti-depressant effects in research). 
Does Hydroxycut work?
There’s no scientific research linking Hydroxycut to weight-loss. There are studies proving ingredients in the formula are effective, like caffeine, but not specific to the products.
How much does a bottle of Hydroxycut cost?
A bottle of Hydroxycut cost varies from $14.20 to $99.99.
How do you take Hydroxycut?
On the first three days on Hydroxycut, you will take one capsule twice per day and on day four and beyond, you will take two pills twice daily, 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. The company recommends not exceeding two caplets in a four hour period, no more than four within 24 hours and not within five hours of sleep. These are the general instructions. The product label will offer detailed suggestions for each supplement.
Can I take Hydroxycut if I have a health condition?
Women who are pregnant or nursing, people using prescription medications, anyone with health conditions of any kind or those under 18 years of age should contact a healthcare provider prior to using weight-loss supplements of any kind, including Hydroxycut.
What do users like about Hydroxycut?
Some users like the affordability of Hydroxycut and that the small pills are convenient.
What do users NOT like about Hydroxycut?
Some consumers have trouble with side effects and others find it difficult to find Hydroxycut products in their area.
Who makes Hydroxycut?
Iovate Health Sciences International makes Hydroxycut.
How do I contact the Hydroxycut customer service department?
You can contact the Hydroxycut customer service department visiting the official website, by calling 1-888-334-4448 or sending an email to email@example.com. You can also send correspondence to Iovate Health Sciences International 381 North Service Rd. West Oakville, ON L6M 0H4.
Can I contact Hydroxycut through social media?
Yes, you can contact Hydroxycut through Facebook and Twitter.
Has Hydroxycut been recalled?
Yes, Hydroxycut was recalled in 2009 because of potential and reported side effects.
Do I need to exercise on Hydroxycut?
You don’t need to exercise on Hydroxycut, but the company suggests adding a fitness routine for best results.
Can I increase the serving of Hydroxycut to see faster results?
You shouldn’t increase the servings of Hydroxycut because of the amount of stimulants in the formula.
How much caffeine is in a serving of Hydroxycut?
Each serving contains 200 to 270mg of caffeine.
Can I use Hydroxycut with other caffeine-based supplements?
The company recommends not using Hydroxycut with other caffeine-based supplements because of amount in each serving, of some products.
Is there a guarantee?
There’s no guarantee from Hydroxycut, but each retailer has different return policies.
Hydroxycut User Tips:
Hydroxycut has been around for quite a few years. Formulas have changed and results have varied. One thing is constant, however. Users always have tips to help dieters get the most out of their experience.
“When I first began this regimen I was over anxious and skipped the “trial period” where you only take one pill and build up to the suggested serving size, so I started taking the full amount immediately and experienced some restlessness and my heart fluttering like I was anxious. I backed off and this went away.” Kenneth
“You HAVE to follow the directions. Make sure to drink a FULL glass of water when you take it. A glass of water usually makes you full in the first place so keep that in mind even if you don’t use the product.” Brittany
“Be careful of the dosage! I’m 5 ft tall and I took the 2 pills in the morning and I felt a little sick. But when I drink a lot of water the nausea went away.” Ruby
“I keep reading about these people that “feel faint or nauseous. If they make you feel like that only take one right before you eat or right after you eat or right before you go to the gym.” Kayla
“What can be said is this product does contain caffeine and I have found that I can alter the energy level I get by taking the dose with meal (smoother energy) or I take it on an empty stomach when I really need an extra boost.” Christopher
“It’s not a miracle pill, but changing your lifestyle with it will make it’s benefits out weight any cons.” Nicole
“I did have some side effects like headache and jitters i cut my dosage by one pill less and felt better and never took the pills after 3pm cause the energy would last hours and couldnt sleep.” Christina
“I’ve had one small headache which completely went away after drinking a glass of water so I guess its important to stay very hydrated on this stuff.” Tam
“Side effects can be eliminated or lessened by drinking plenty of water and eating a substantial meal 30-60 minutes after taking the pills, as directed.” Taylor
“If you do decide to get this, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy meal about an hour after taking it.” Nessie
Hydroxycut Side Effects:
These days, supplements play an increasingly important role in everyday life. Just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean they go hand in hand with your experience being side effect-free. There’s always a possibility of an adverse reactions with any formula, so as Hydroxycut side effects are typically rare, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t occur with certain individuals.
Showing signs of weariness or concern. Nervousness is the fear of an impending negative situation, or a sensation of anxiety, panic, or dread.
What causes nervousness?
Nervousness can be brought on by obsessive thinking, stressful environments, or caffeine consumption. It may be a genetic chemical imbalance or triggered by certain medications.
Dizziness is the sensation of feeling faint, woozy, or unsteady. Typically categorized as vertigo, it’s the feeling that your surroundings are in motion when in a stationary position.
What causes dizziness?
Dizziness can be triggered by a common cold or more serious conditions such as inner ear infection. In some cases, dizziness is caused by stress or anxiety, poor eating habits, and lack of sleep. You may also experience dizziness as a direct result of vertigo. The imbalance of inner ear fluids make your surroundings appear to spin uncontrollably.
The shakes occur when muscles in your body tremble out of your control. They can range from mild to severe, typically affecting the arms, legs, and hands.
What causes the shakes?
There are a number of possible causes for the shakes, including caffeine, low blood sugar, or stress. There can be also psychological factors such as anxiety. Neurological disorders or certain medications can cause limbs to involuntarily shake and tremble.
When your heart reaches 100 beats per minute (BPM) or more it’s considered tachycardia. Once your heart reaches these elevated levels, it’s difficult to pump oxygen-rich blood to your body. 
What causes rapid heartbeat?
Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) is caused by a disturbance of electrical impulses which control the pumping action of your heart.  These can be brought on by a number of factors including, excessive exercise, poor eating habits, high blood pressure, or smoking.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small, shallow ulcers that form in the mouth and lips.
What causes canker sores?
Canker sores can be triggered by any number of factors including stress, viral infection, hormonal fluctuations, or mineral deficiencies. Food sensitivity to chocolate, some fruits and nuts, coffee, or even toothpastes can cause a canker sore.
Hydroxycut side effects are uncommon, but there have been a few cases where individuals were negatively affected. There have been few reports of canker sores, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and more. In an effort to shield yourself from any future issues, you may want to speak with a physician before taking any supplements, specifically if you are under the age of 18, currently taking prescription medications, have a medical condition, or are pregnant or nursing.
Hydroxycut is a fat burner from a company that’s been in the business for quite a while. It contains a stimulant in high enough quantities to cause some side effects, but only in rare cases.
“I took them only one day and felt sick, and I felt like my heart was beating fast.” Salena
“Nervous. This is really a very, very bad side effect, at the time you should feel happy that you’re achieving your target, you feel so angry and frustrated. That is really bad. headache and dizziness.” Renia
“First pill I took and I experienced tremors in my hands, extremely thirsty and dizzy. Losing weight isn’t worth the scary side effects.” Anya
“I started yesterday taking the recommended dosage I took 3 yesterday and today started to feel very weak. Soon after I began vomiting.” Sarah
“This evening I’ve had almost every severe side effect diarrhea, twitching, vomitting, abdomen pain, blacking out, you name it.” Ashley
“I tried this for 2 days and usually I am very resilient to side effects of medications. My first day consisted of light headedness, crankiness, dizziness, etc.” Kasey
“I got THE WORST side effects similar to the side effects from overdosing on caffeine. I got dizzy, almost fainted, nauseous, shaky, and numb.” Jillian
“I am experiencing what seems like extreme nausea and some dizziness. It was around day 5 I experienced nausea so I stopped taking.” Kennya
“By the time I got up to taking 2 caplets three times a day, I started getting canker sores, headaches and body aches.” Michelle
“It made me sick to my stomach, gave me the worst headaches my brain felt extremely tired while using this. I felt very anxious and tired.” Angie
“It made me feel sick to my stomach, have a horrible headache, and feel especially irritable and on edge.” Jen
Hydroxycut is one of the more popular names in the weight-loss industry. The original (Pro-Clinical) formula contains quite the caffeine punch, but it's not the strongest stimulant in the line.
Hydroxycut Ingredients and Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 2 Rapid Release Caplets
Serving Per Container: 30
|Amount per Serving
|Weight-Loss Plus Matrix
|- Robusta Coffee Extract
|- Papaya Fruit
|- Blackberry Fruit
|- Saffron Extract
|- Caffeine Anhydrous
|- Maqui Berry
|- Amla Extract
We dug deep into the Hydroxycut ingredients to give you the details you need.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. It’s also included in a number of weight-loss supplements, and is available in pill form without other ingredients.
What is it Supposed to Do?
According to WebMD, caffeine is most often used to improve mental alertness, but has other uses, as well. In the case of weight-loss supplements, it can be used in very high doses to replace illegal stimulants.
According to Medline Plus, caffeine “can make you more alert and give you a boost of energy.” 
Cayenne pepper is a red pepper, or a chili pepper. It is commonly used in cuisine to add heat and flavor to dishes.
What is it Supposed to Do?
According to WebMD, cayenne pepper “may help burn calories and curb appetite, especially in people who aren’t used to eating it.”
According to a study published in Physiology & Behavior, “The appetite responses were different between those who liked red pepper and those who did not, suggesting that when the stimulus is unfamiliar it has a greater effect.” Study results indicate that once a person becomes used to spicy food, the effect wears off, but further study is needed to determine when the effect stops working. The study showed those who ate a half a teaspoon of the pepper either before or mixed with their meal burned 10 more calories over a four hour period than those who did not, so the results are small.
Yombimbe is a tree native to Nigeria, Cameroon, and the Congo. Its bark is used for medicinal purposes. The tree may be endangered as a result of overharvesting.
What is it Supposed to Do?
According to the University of Michigan, it is supposed to help weight-loss by boosting metabolism, suppressing the appetite, and increasing fat burning through stimulation of the nervous system.
Research on yohimbe and weight-loss is limited. However, a systematic review of multiple supplements published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that yohimbe, along with various other supplements marketed to dieters don’t have convincing data to support them. “None of the reviewed dietary supplements can be recommended for over-the-counter use.”  Other supplements included in this review were garcinia cambogia, yerba mate, pyruvate, and glucomannan.
L-Theanine, also known as theanine, is an amino acid [a building block of protein] found in green tea. Its chemical structure is similar to glutamate, a naturally occurring amino acid that helps the body transmit nerve impulses to the brain.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Theanine had been used for treating “anxiety, high blood pressure, for preventing Alzhimer’s disease, and for making cancer drugs more effective.” That’s not to say science supports these claims.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, theanine may be effective for treating some metabolic disorders (genetic in nature). There’s no strong connection to weight-loss or athletic performance.