Core Nutritionals Core Hard Review

Core Hard, as the name implies, is a multi-mechanism hardening agent which combines some effective but under-utilized ingredients…

Core Nutritionals Core Hard



5-etioallocholen-3b 7b 17b-triol, also known as androstenetriol, is a metabolite of DHEA which Core Nutritionals alleges has the ability to block Cortisol. A 1997 study, published in “Psychoneuroendocrinology”, noted anti-glucocorticoid (the parent group of Cortisol) activity in vivo (mice) following androstenetriol administration. Currently no human studies exist so it’s tough to gauge the efficacy of an oral dose in humans.

Core Hard contains 75mg of androstenetriol, though given the lack of human research, the efficacy of such a dose is pretty difficult to interpret.


Ashwagandha is a popular Ayurvedic herb with a relatively wide variety of health implications, ranging from cognitive support to anti-cancer effects. However, in the context of Core Hard, Core Nutritionals is primarily concerned with the ability of Ashwagandha to reduce Cortisol as well as preliminary research which indicates it may encourage optimal Testosterone levels.

250-500mg Ashwagandha extract was shown, in a 2008 study, to reduce cortisol in chronically stressed human subjects by roughly 15% over a 60 day period. These results were replicated in a 2012 study from the “Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine” in which 300mg (5% Withanolides) reduced Cortisol by roughly 27%.

A 2010 study, published in Fertility and Sterility”, found that Ashwagandha (5g basic root powder) was able to restore Testosterone levels in infertile men, though subjects did not experience spikes beyond the normal range. These findings were replicated in a 2011 study in which it was also noted that the effects were more apparent in stressed men (Ashwagandha is a known adaptogen).

Overall, Ashwagandha is actually quite effective as a Cortisol reduction agent and potentially helpful for encouraging optimal Testosterone levels. Core Hard contains a highly effective 600mg (5% Withanolides) dose, definitely capable of reducing Cortisol pretty significantly.


N-Coumaroyldopamine is a compound found in several species of plant, but most commonly extracted from Cocao. A 2005 study, published in “The FASEB Journal”, found that N-Coumaroyldopamine was able to increase cAMP via beta-adrenoceptor agonsim, in vitro. Although these findings should be viewed as strictly preliminary, they do suggest that N-coumaroyldopamine has the potential to be used as a fat-burner in humans, sharing the same mechanism of action as such compounds as Synephrine. Core Hard contains 40mg of N-Coumaroyldopamine, a pretty significant dose compared to most N-Coumaroyldopamine-containing supplements, although the lack of human studies makes it difficult to predict the efficacy of such a dose with any real precision.


Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a byproduct created during the digestion of Indole-3-Carbinol, a compound found in vegetables like Broccoli.

A 2011 pilot study found that, when given to human subjects at a dose of 300mg daily for 14 days, DIM produced anti-estrogenic effects. Under different circumstances however, DIM has shown the opposite, meaning it actually has the capacity to increase Estrogen. So, rather than labeling DIM as pro-estrogen or anti-estrogen, it should be considered an estrogen modulator (meaning it has the ability to alter levels of estrogen one way or another).

It’s important to understand that the term “Estrogen” is actually an umbrella term that includes several Estrogenic compounds which induce varying degrees of Estrogenic activity. DIM appears to increase the level of 2-hydroxyestrogens (“weak Estrogen”), relative to the other types, 16a-hydroxyestrogens and 4-hydroxyestrogens (“strong Estrogens”), the result of which is less of an “estrogen-like” effect, even though total Estrogen (good and bad) may technically be staying the same.

Core Hard contains a pretty substantial 200mg dose of DIM per serving, certainly enough to encourage the conversion of “bad estrogen” to “good estrogen”, ultimately reducing “estrogen-like” effects.


Theanine is a non-dietary amino acid found almost exclusively in Green Tea, and is the compound primarily responsible for the relaxation benefits of the tea, despite the presence of Caffeine. Theanine, by itself, is primarily used to induce a state of “calm relaxation” and to combat the negative side effects of stimulants (jitters and what not).

A 2012 study from “Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology”, noted a reduction in biomarkers of stress in rats given an oral dose of Theanine and subjected to an acute stressor. These findings were replicated in a later (2013) study in which Theanine administration was also able to prevent stress-induced memory impairment (in rats).

A 2003 study, published in the “Korean Journal of Nutrition”, found that Theanine supplementation was able to induce alpha brain wave release, resulting in a state of alert relaxation.

A 2007 study, published in “Biological Psychology”, investigating the effects of Theanine on physiological measures of stress noted that 200mg prevented heart rate increase and perception of stress in healthy humans subjected to an acute mental stressor.

A 2011 study from the “Jouranl of Functional Foods” found that Theanine supplementation reduces various physiological indications of anxiety and improved reaction time in high anxiety individuals.

Ultimately, while the weight-loss potential of Theanine by itself is virtually non-existent, it is quite effective for reducing stress and countering the negative side effects often associated with stimulant compounds (perhaps N-Coumaroyldopamine). Core Hard contains a highly effective 300mg dose of Theanine, much more than most Theanine-containing products.


Rather than using a traditional title like “Estrogen-blocker” or “Fat-burner”, Core Nutritionals positions Core Hard as a “Hardening Agent” because the formula is designed to reduce fat mass and encourage lean mass through multiple mechanisms of action. Though some of the ingredients in Core Hard have been studied more extensively than others, all have at least encouraging preliminary support for their proposed benefits.


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