Hyper Shred is a fat-burner by BSN which is mostly dependent on the stimulants present in the formula, but also contains some non-stimulant “support” ingredients which may improve the over-all efficacy. Unfortunately, BSN has chosen to conceal levels of key ingredients within a proprietary blend…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Caffeine has long been established an “ergogenic aid” meaning it has the ability to increase exercise capacity. A popular belief, up until recently, was that caffeine’s ergogenic properties were due to its ability to affect fat oxidation (burn fat). However, recent studies have shown that caffeine has no substantial effect on fat oxidation. However, caffeine is still included in almost every thermogenic product on the market today. Why? Well, while there is no evidence to support caffeine’s alleged ability to burn fat (in fact there is strong evidence to the contrary), caffeine is a stimulant and like most stimulants, it can act as an appetite suppressant. For this reason, it makes sense to add it to a thermogenic formula, because at the very least it may keep the consumer from eating too much.
Advantra Z is a trademarked form of Bitter Orange Extract, which contains the compound Synephrine. Syneprhine gained popularity in the supplement community after the FDA banned Ephedra, due to its similar chemical properties. While Synephrine has been touted as a replacement for ephedra, it is important to understand that it is much less potent (which is why it is not banned also). However, that’s not to say it is completely useless. Synephrine acts as a CNS stimulant, as well as an appetite suppressant to some degree. While Synephrine itself has been around for almost 100 years, studies regarding its fat burning abilities are scarce and those that have been conducted generally combine synephrine with other stimulants such as caffeine. For that reason, it is difficult to examine the efficacy of the supplement for weight loss alone. At the very least Synephrine may offer increased energy levels and a slight decrease in appetite.
Capsicum is a group of plants that include the pepper family. The active ingredient, Capsaicin, in one study possessed thermogenic qualities but without raising the heart rate of the subjects. Capsaicin has been shown to increase fat oxidation during exercise in mice as well as healthy adult males. These findings make capsaicin of interest to those looking to decrease fat without the use of stimulants.
BioPerine is a trademarked name for black pepper extract. In several studies, black pepper extract, when combined with other supplements, has increased the absorption of those supplements (as measured by plasma levels). The active ingredient responsible for this increased bioavilability is known as peperine. While we can’t say with any certainty that peperine enhances the bioavailablity of ALL other compounds, it does have a well-established track record when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (including BCAAs).
Bacopa monniera has been used for centuries in Indian medicine for its alleged mind-enhancement properties. Indeed, Bacopa has shown to possess some nootropic properties in various studies. However, there is little to no evidence connecting this extract with weight loss. It would be nice if the company had some sort of literature discussing why they decided to put Bacopa in the formula, but the fact that they don’t leads us to believe that the benefit is marginal. When supplement companies have a real winner on their hands, they will do everything they can to let you know.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid that has shown promise in applications regarding appetite suppression. The mechanism of action is due to the amino acid’s ability to trigger the secretion of cholecystokinin, which is a hormone that essentially tells the body that the stomach is full. However, one particular study compared supplemental doses of L-phenylalanine, D-phenylalanine, and a placebo and found that, while L- phenylalanine caused the secretion of cholecystokinin, D-phenylalanine did not. The form found in the Hyper Shred Formula is DL-phenylalanine, which is a 50/50 combination of both forms of phenylalanine. We have to wonder why the company didn’t simply use the L-form, which has been shown to be effective. Which form of a certain ingredient to use is a problem that supplement companies are always up against, and due to the overwhelming amount of literature circulating, it is often just easiest to use a “put them all in just to be safe” approach. However, in this case, that approach comes at the cost of effectiveness.
Niacin is another name for Vitamin B3. We can’t stress enough how disappointing it is to see vitamins used in proprietary blends, especially B Vitamins which are extremely pervasive in the average western diet. Yes, B Vitamins are important for energy metabolism, skin health, digestive health, and plenty of other things. However, this is no miracle ingredient and if you eat a relatively healthy diet or take a multi-vitamin, you have plenty of Niacin.
Huperzine A is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it blocks the compound that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine controls skeletal muscles and is largely responsible for the mind-muscle connection. In addition to controlling the muscles, acetylcholine is also involved in learning, memory, decision making, and various other mental activities. So, while the evidence for Huperzine A as an effective nootropic is more than sufficient, its inclusion in a weight loss supplement is less direct. Most likely, the inclusion of Huperzine in the Hyper Shred formula is based on the assumption that users may also be on a carb (glucose) restricted diet which may negatively impact brain function. While studies testing the effects of Huperzine on subjects consuming a low-carb diet are non-existent, Huperzine may certainly help concentration. Still, we cannot reccomend starving your brain of the glucose it needs to function in order to lose weight.
Pyridoxine, AKA Vitamin B6, is a part of the B Vitamin group and is necessary for things like protein metabolism and the production of red blood cells. However, Just as with Niacin, you most likely already recieve plenty.
Ribaflavin is Vitamin B2. It is necessary for skin health, energy metabolism, vision, etc. Similar to the rest of the B Vitamins, it is very common in most western diets.
Thiamin, also known as Vitamin B1, is also found in a large variety of foods. Its necessary for energy metabolism and nerve function. Taking extra Thiamin will not give you excess energy in the gym, unless you are deficient (which is extremely unlikely).
Vitamin B12, needed for energy metabolism, and nerve function…same story as the other B Vitamins. Unless you are deficient, it is an unnecessary ingredient to say the least.
Colosolic Acid is generally used to lower glucose and act as a sort of substitute/compliment for insulin. While this ingredient may help regulate blood-glucose, on its own its far from a miracle weight loss supplement.
Chromium works together with insulin to regulate blood-glucose. You are definitely more likely to be deficient in chromium than the B-Vitamins we discussed above, but the typical western diet contains enough chromium to do its job. Extra chromium will not greatly effect blood-glucose. Therefore, we see little-to-no benefit from the addition of this ingredient.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The short answer is: Not very well. Caffeine and Synephrine have the potential for weight loss but only in that they are mild appetite suppressants and may cause you to go a little harder in the gym if taken pre-workout. While the formula contains some ingredients that have been linked to weight loss, we have to keep in mind that the whole proprietary blend is only 460 mg, so how much of these ingredients are you really even getting?
NEED A SECOND OPINION?
[expand title=”REFERENCES” tag=”h5″]
- Graham, Terry E., Danielle S. Battram, Flemming Dela, Ahmed El-Sohemy, and Farah S.L. Thong. “Does Caffeine Alter Muscle Carbohydrate and Fat Metabolism during Exercise?” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 33.6 (2008): 1311-318. Print.
- Graham, Terry E., Jorn W. Helge, David A. MacLean, Bente Kiens, and Erik A. Richter. “Caffeine Ingestion Does Not Alter Carbohydrate or Fat Metabolism in Human Skeletal Muscle during Exercise.” The Journal of Physiology 529.3 (2000): 837-47. Print.
- Haller, C., N. Benowitz, and P. Jacobiii. “Hemodynamic Effects of Ephedra-free Weight-loss Supplements in Humans.” The American Journal of Medicine 118.9 (2005): 998-1003. Print.
- Whiting, S., E. Derbyshire, and BK Tiwari. “Capsaicinoids and Capsinoids. A Potential Role for Weight Management? A Systematic Review of the Evidence.” Manchester Food Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University, Hollings Faculty, Old Hall Lane, Manchester M14 6HR, UK (n.d.): n. pag. Print.
- Joo, Jeong In, Dong Hyun Kim, Jung-Won Choi, and Jong Won Yun. “Proteomic Analysis for Antiobesity Potential of Capsaicin on White Adipose Tissue in Rats Fed with a High Fat Diet.” Journal of Proteome Research 9.6 (2010): 2977-987. Print.
- Lejeune, Manuela P. G. M., Eva M. R. Kovacs, and Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga. “Effect of Capsaicin on Substrate Oxidation and Weight Maintenance after Modest Body-weight Loss in Human Subjects.” British Journal of Nutrition 90.03 (2003): 651. Print.
- “Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial“National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
- Ballinger, A.B., and M.L. Clark. “L-Phenylalanine Releases Cholecystokinin (CCK) and Is Associated with Reduced Food Intake in Humans: Evidence for a Physiological Role of CCK in Control of Eating.” Metabolism 43.6 (1994): 735-38.
- “Phenylalanine” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013 “Vitamins and Their Functions and Sources.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
- “Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
- Liu, Jia-Sen, Yuan-Long Zhu, Chao-Mei Yu, You-Zuo Zhou, Yan-Yi Han, Feng-Wu Wu, and Bao-Feng Qi. “The Structures of Huperzine A and B, Two New Alkaloids Exhibiting Marked Anticholinesterase Activity.” Canadian Journal of Chemistry64.4 (1986): 837-39.
- “Minerals and Their Functions and Sources.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.