Ripped is PharmaFreak’s flagship fat-burner which contains both stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients, most of which are backed by at least preliminary evidence. Consistent with other PharmaFreak products, Ripped Freak lists certain ingredients using long, drawn out chemical names. Do not be confused by this. All the ingredients in the formula are pretty common in fat-burners these days…
METHYL EGCG (EGCG DERIVATIVE STACK)
Multiple studies have confirmed Green Tea Extract can influence fat-loss to a statistically significant degree. Although this effect was originally thought to be related to caffeine content, more recent research has pointed to a green tea catechin known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as the compound primarily responsible for these effects. EGCG is an antioxidant found in green tea, and is a member of the group of antioxidants known as catechins.
In addition to these antioxidant properties, EGCG has demonstrated the ability to induce fat–loss when combined with caffeine, more than just caffeine alone. EGCG works synergistically with caffeine in regards to its effect on noradrenaline. Caffeine boosts noradrenaline while EGCG inhibits catechol-o-methyl transferase (COMT), the enzyme responsible for the degredation of noradrenaline.
So, caffeine increases noradrenaline, while EGCG prevents its breakdown, the net effect of which is increased levels of noradrenaline (which induces the breakdown of fat). Although caffeine is generally used along-side EGCG to induce catecholamine release, EGCG should be theoretically synergistic with endogenously produced catcholamines (from exercise) as well as other fat burning compounds that release catecholamines. With regards to fat-burning, scientifically validated doses of EGCG range from 400-500mg daily.
Ripped Freak contains 400mg of EGCG, Caffeine, and Oleuropein combined, so we estimate it contains 100-200mg EGCG. If this is accurate, multiple doses must be consumed to achieve a scientifically validated dose.
Olive leaf extract contains two main bioactive compounds: Hydroxytyrosol and Oleuropein, both phenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In additions to these properties, a 2007 study from “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry” demonstrated increase noradrenaline and adrenaline levels in rats following injection of the extract, which was alleged to be primarily due to Oleuropein.
Similar findings were noted in a 2013 study published in “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry” in which rats fed a diet high in Oleuropein experienced significantly increased noradrenaline levels (measured by urine), though it’s worth mentioning that this was not accompanied by the usual decrease in weight.
In fact, Oleuropein may actually downregulate beta-adrenergic receptors, as evidenced in a 2012 study from “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”. So, while the weight-loss implications of Oleuropein remain unclear, it may enhance focus/perceived energy.
Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world, and is a well-established ergogenic aid. Caffeine consumption causes an increase in catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine), which induce lipolysis (breakdown of fats).
However, the weight loss effects of caffeine tend to fade with prolonged use, so caffeine is not very effective as a fat-burner in the long term. While caffeine’s weight loss potential is negligible, it increases focus and perceived energy in most people, which generally leads to more intense workouts (thus burning more fat), and may act as a mild appetite suppressant in some. Ripped Freak contains an undisclosed amount of Caffeine but we estimate between 100 and 200mg per serving.
SWEET RED PEPPER EXTRACT
Capsicum Annum is generally standardized for its active component, Capsaicin. A 1997 study, the subjects of which were rats, found that Capsaicin supplementation increased adrenaline-induced fatty acid utilization, which increased exercise (swimming) endurance. A 2007 study from the “Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology” noted an increase in fat oxidation (relative to placebo) during low intensity exercise in healthy adult males who consumed 150mg of capsaicin one hour before exercise.
However, PharmaFreak makes no mention of Capsaicin as the active component and instead focuses on a chemical relative of Capsaicin, Capsiate. Capsiate, similar to Capsaicin, has been shown to increase thermogenesis in both mice and humans. A 2001 found subjects who consumed CH-19 Sweet (derived from Red Pepper) has significantly higher core body temperatures and increased oxygen consumption (indicative of energy production) compared to the placebo group. Ultimately, both Capsaicin and Capsiate have definite weight-loss implications.
Raspberry Ketone, a molecular constituent of Raspberries, have become a popular weight-loss additive in dietary supplements. However, the evidence for raspberry ketone as a fat-burning ingredient is extremely limited and there is actually no direct evidence the ingredient is effective in oral, supplemental doses.
In vitro studies using very high concentrations have shown positive results, but human studies are non-existent. The only human study that exists grouped RK in with several other popular weight loss ingredients so the effects cannot be attributed to raspberry ketone. Even in rat studies, RK fail to show any significant fat-burning effects. The overall consensus of the scientific community is that raspberry ketone are nothing more than industry hype.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Despite the usual intentionally misleading label, Ripped Freak actually has a relatively straight-forward formula with only 5 main ingredients: EGCG, Oleuropein, Caffeine, Capsicum, and Raspberry Ketone. With the exception of Raspberry Ketone, all of these compounds have shown some degree of efficacy with regards to weight loss or, in the case of Oleuropein, pro-weight loss mechanisms.
Still not sure which fat-burner is right for you? Check out our Top 10 Fat-Burners List for some recomendations!