BSN Ripped Edge: An Evidence-Based Review

Ripped Edge is a fat-burner by BSN which belongs to the Finish First line along with Rebuild Edge and Pumped Edge which promises to “push passed lean” and get you ripped!

BSN Ripped Edge



Despite the flashy marketing, the claims made by BSN about Ripped Edge are pretty basic.  BSN promises:

  • Fat Burning
  • Intense Energy
  • Mental Focus

So basically we’re looking at a fat-burner that’s supposed to do what fat-burners are supposed to do…but does it?  Let’s take a look at the ingreidents, shall we?

Ripped Edge Ingredients

At first glance, there’s nothing special about Ripped Edge.  It contais virtually the same ingredients as just about every other fat-burner, so it’s about what we’d expect from BSN (not the most cutting edge brand these days).  Let’s just dive right in…


Carnitine is an amino acid with antioxidant properties, giving it a wide array of potential benefits and intregral roles throughout the body.  Specifically, Carnitine is involved in the transport of Fatty Acids (from store fat) to the Mitochondria of muscle cells where they are burned for energy.

Due to this important role in the fat-burning process, Carnitine has been dubbed a fat-burning supplement.

Unfortunately, while the mechanism exists by which Carnitine supplementation could potentially burn fat, it has failed to have any influence on body weight when studies in humans subjects.

It’s one of those supplements that sounds great on paper but just doesn’t hold much practical value in the real world.

BSN uses a particular form of Carintine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which may be more bioavailable and easily absorbed, but not anymore effective for fat-loss.  Besides, with only 250mg per serrving, Ripped Edge is EXTREMELY under-dosed.


Caffeine generally forms the basis for stimulant-based fat-burners because consumption triggers the realease of the neurotransmitters known as Catecholamines.

This group of chemical messengers includes Dopamine and Noradrenaline which are responsible for that feeling of alertness and focus that you get when you’ve had just the right dose of Caffeine.

These same neurotransmitters (Dopamine and Noradrenaline) also function as potent lipolytic agents, meaning they directly trigger the breakdown of fat to be burned.  Combined with exercise, Caffeine can absolutely help you burn additional fat, making it a worthwhile addition to the BSN Ripped Edge formula.

225mg is enough to make the average person feel noticeable more alert and focused and will likely have some favorable impact on the amount of fat you burn.

Green Tea Extract

Green Tea Extract is generally standardized for the catechin, EGCG. which functions as a Catechol-O-Methyltransferase inhibtor, meaning it blocks the enzyme that breaks down Catecholamines.

Recall from above that Catecholamines are the class of chemicals, including Dopamine and Noradrenaline, which directly stimulate Lipolysis (fat-breakdown).

By inhibiting Catechol-O-Methyltransferase, EGCG prevents the breakdown of these neurotransmitters, thus allowing them to break down more fat.

Unfortunately, BSN doesn’t list the amount of EGCG in the Green Tea Extract and considering there’s only 125mg in each serving, it would appear as though BSN is cutting some corners here.

Bitter Orange Extract (Advantra Z)

Bitter Orange Exract is generally standardized for Synephrine, though BSN doens’t disclose how much.  Considering there’s only 65mg of Bitter Orange Extract per serving of Ripped Edge, we’d guess there’s only about 10-20mg of Synephrine, a solid dose but not necessarily what you would call “clinical”.

Synephrine is a highly effective lipolytic agent with a well-established safety profile.  It functions as a beta-receptor agonist (like Ephedrine) and has been shown to increase the Metabolic Rates of human subjects with no side efffects.


Citicoline is one of the most bioavailable Choline sources available as a supplement.

In fact, it’s the only form which has been shown to improve aspects of cognitive function (specifically ability to pay attention) in healthy individuals, as opposed to most “nootropics” which tend to only be effective in instances of cognitive decline or illness.

We discuss Citicoline in-depth in this aticle:

3 Supplements That May Actually Make You Smarter

But as for the focus aspect of the Ripped Edge formula, it certainly helps.  The only real issue is a matter of dosing.  50mg/serving isn’t exactly a “clinical dose”.  You’ll need more like 250mg.

Botan-X Matrix

The Botan-X Matrix consists of Theacrine (TeaCrine), Sceletium Tortuosum (Zembrin), two ingredients which have been shown to improve cognitive function, perceieved energy, and mood.

Although these ingredients are relatively new to the supplement industry, they are quickly making their way into mainstream products such as Ripped Edge.

Ultimately, they may help contribute to the cognitive aspect of the formula and provide something in the way of energy as well.  These ingredients help separate Ripped Edge from the majority of other fat-burners which tend to lack the “nootropic” component.

Rep Pepper Extract

Red Pepper Extract is generally stanardized for Capsaicin, the compound in Red Pepper that makes it so spicy.  This unique molecule has been studies fairly extensively over the years and research  reveals that it can incraese Thermogenesis (heat production) reliably, although to varying degrees.

Ripped Edge contains 30mg of Capsimax, a patent extract.

Grapefruit Bioflavonoid Complex

Graepfruit contains various bioactives such as Naringine and Hesperidin which may induce fat-loss on their own, but also enhance the efficacy of Synephrine and other similar substances.

Unfortunately, as BSN has been known to do, they don’t list the precise breakdown of bioactives.  So, we have no idea how effective this particular Grapefruit Extract is in this case.

Toothed Clubmoss (Huperzine A)

Toothed Clubmoos is standardized for Huperzine A, a potent Acetylcholinsterase inhibitor.  Put simply, it blocks the enzyme which breaks down Acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter most closely associated with memory, learning, and muscle contraction.

Although it hasn’t been studied in the area of performance enhancement, it is no doubt an effective Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, meaning the mechanism exists by which it may enhance performance and cognitive function.

Yohimbe Extract

Yohimbe extract is generally standardized for Yohimbine, the active component which functions as an alpha-receptor antagonist, meaning it allows the body to burn more fat during exercise than would otherwise be possible.

Rauwolscine is actaully much more reliable and less prone to side effects than Yohimbe Extract, but that’s about what we’d expect from BSN.

Yohimbine Extract carries the risk of not actually containing a known quantity of Yohimbine.  Research has confirmed that Yohimbe Extract supplements are all over the board when it comes to Yohimbine content, so we ordinarily wouldn’t recommend using them.

Just another examply of BSN cutting corners with Ripped Edge.

Black Pepper Extract

Black Pepper Extract contains, among other things, Piperine.  Piperine is an absorption enhancer which works by slowing intestinal transit and altering the activity of certain enzymes in the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients.

It doesn’t have any fat-burning potential on it’s own, but makes sense in the context of Ripped Edge because it may help the overall efficacy of the formula (which desperately needs help).

Ripped Edge Ingredient Takeaway

Most of the ingredients in Ripped Edge are either under-dosed or don’t work.  The only ingredients that may actaully do anything are Caffeine, Yohimbe, and Advantra Z.  Other than those ingredients, the formula is pretty week.

It certainly won’t deliever on the cognitive aspect as much as BSN is making it out sound like it will.  It’s just an average fat-burner in a category of a million other average fat-burners.

Is Ripped Edge Safe?

Yes, Ripped Edge is pretty safe.  Although we don’t know the levels of certain actives, BSN tends to under-dose ingredients, not over-dose them.  So, safety wise, there’s nothing to really worry about.  What you should be worried about is whether it works or not, not whether it’s safe!

BSN VS. Optimum

What alot of people don’t realize is that BSN and Optimum Nutrition, two brands which couldn’t be further separated in the minds of most “in the know” supplement enthusiasts–because one makes terrible products and the other makes trustworthy, high quality products–but it’s true…

Glanbia owns both BSN and Optimum, and it would appear that the acquisition of both of these brands was quite strategic BECAUSE they’re so different.

BSN pumps out under-dosed nonsense which carries a very high margin while Optimum consistently pumps out well-dosed, high quality products which carry low margins.  No matter what, Glanbia wins!  It’s genius…

The Bottom Line

BSN Ripped Edge is nothing special.  It contains the same basic ingredients as many other fat-burner, but at considerably low doses.  For this reason, we’d have to recommend passing on this one.  Don’t fall for the hype…

Check out our Best Fat-Burners List for some recommendations of research-backed, clinically dosed fat-burners that actually work. exists to educate the supplement community and seperate the science from the hype.

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