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Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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In an attempt to lose extra weight, many individuals seek help from supplements as an easy and quick fix. Many of these supplements claim to produce dramatic results in a relatively shorter period without the need to diet or exercise, and one such example is Hydroxycut.

Belonging to the family of dietary supplements exclusively advertised for weight loss, Hydroxycut is available in different formulations, such as protein bars, mixes, gummies, chewable gummies, and powder. With ingredients like green coffee, spinach extract, caffeine, and fiber, the company manufacturing it claims its immaculate weight loss benefits for everyone who tries it.

However, research investigating Hydroxycut’s true weight loss potential is limited. Moreover, multiple complaints have recently surfaced confirming the association of Hydroxycut with multiple potentially deadly side effects. For someone interested in using this line of weight loss products to get in shape, it is crucial to familiarize themselves with these potential Hydroxycut side effects for their health and safety.

The initial composition of Hydroxycut contained multiple ingredients that potentially led to multiple health-related concerns, like liver and kidney damage. While the company recalled its products and relaunched them with a safer composition, the risk of these health concerns persists.

Some of the most common Hydroxycut side effects include:

Cardiac Side Effects

One of Hydroxycut’s most troublesome and particularly worrying side effects is a fast heart rate. Experts believed this side effect was a consequence of ephedra, an ingredient in the older composition. However, since the new Hydroxycut formula lacks this ingredient, caffeine is likely the culprit behind a racing heart. Some other potential side effects this supplement can exert on the heart include increased blood pressure, lowered blood pressure, and skipping beats. Numerous individuals who experienced these cardiac side effects reported relief as soon as they stopped taking Hydroxycut, further confirming the association.


Hydroxycut headache is a common and noticeable side effect of using this supplement. People especially sensitive to caffeine may experience headaches more often while using Hydroxycut hardcore. If you are experiencing this side effect consistently and it fail to go away, discontinue using Hydroxycut and seek immediate medical help.

Ischemic Colitis

Although rare, people have reported developing ischemic colitis due to using Hydroxycut as a part of their daily routine. Ischemic colitis is when the blood flow to a part of the large intestine drastically reduces due to blockage or narrowing of the arteries supplying it. Researchers have speculated caffeine as one of the possible causes of this side effect.

Caffeine Overdose

Different Hydroxycut products vary depending on the amount of caffeine they contain. While some may have no caffeine, others, like Hydroxycut Max Advanced for Women, may contain high 400 mg of caffeine, equivalent to drinking up to three cups of coffee. Since the daily limit for caffeine in most people is up to 300 mg, using certain Hydroxycut products may potentially trigger side effects similar to a caffeine overdose. These side effects include nervousness, irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath.


The high caffeine levels in Hydroxycut can also lead to rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the muscles in the body start breaking down. The byproducts released due to muscle breakdown can cause problems with the liver, metabolism, and blood circulation.


Seizures are another problem reported to the FDA by people taking Hydroxycut. Seizures refer to excessive jitteriness due to abnormal and sudden electrical activity in the brain, leading to brain damage and potential death due to airway blockage in the middle of an attack.


According to the information on the Hydroxycut product label, the supplement contains high levels of green coffee and caffeine. Both ingredients may induce restlessness and agitation in certain people, especially those who are sensitive to them or are not used to consuming them in significant amounts. The problem is likely to exacerbate for people who consume additional caffeine while taking Hydroxycut.

While some people may find this extra energy beneficial for weight loss during the daytime, it can become extremely problematic during the night. Restlessness due to Hydroxycut can even mess with the regular sleep cycles and induce nighttime wakefulness.

Liver Damage

As reported by the FDA, people consuming Hydroxycut, even as recommended, are at a high risk of injuring their liver. Some common signs of an underlying liver injury include elevated liver enzymes and jaundice, which means yellowing skin, urine, and whites of the eyes. Other symptoms of this supplement damaging the liver include excessive weakness, fatigue, unexplained itching, etc. Additionally, certain digestive symptoms, like nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored tools, vomiting, and loss of appetite, may also indicate deteriorating liver health.

The FDA has reported that Hydroxycut is capable of causing liver damage so severe that the victims required liver transplants to save their lives. While many of these patients have survived and recovered after withdrawing this supplement, one death has been reported due to liver damage secondary to Hydroxycut use. Experts are yet to figure out the exact ingredient perpetuating this side effect.

Apart from the side effects mentioned above, Hydroxycut contains specific ingredients that can easily cross-react with other prescription and non-prescription medications to perpetuate a health risk. One such ingredient that carries the most risk is caffeine. The potential cross-interactions between caffeine and other medications are quite complex, so experts highly suggest consulting with a doctor if someone is already on any prescription medication and wishes to use Hydroxycut.

Inside the body, a liver enzyme called CYP1A2 breaks down caffeine from Hydroxycut and induces its energizing effects. The more caffeine it breaks down, the more a person can burn fat and feel energized. If a person taking Hydroxycut simultaneously takes another medication that enhances the activity of CYP1A2, the levels of caffeine in the blood can shoot, potentially triggering an overdose. Some of these drugs include:

  • Antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and pefloxacin
  • Antifungal drugs,such as terbinafine and fluconazole
  • Antidepressants,such as fluvoxamine and paroxetine
  • Antipsychotics, such as clozapine and olanzapine
  • Drugs to manage irregular heart rates, such as mexiletine and verapamil
  • Bronchodilators, such as theophylline and furafylline
  • Drugs for skin conditions, such as methoxsalen and methoxy psoralen
  • Muscle relaxants, like idrocilamide
  • Drugs for heartburn, like cimetidine
  • Birth control pills, like estradiol and ethinylestradiol

Even though caffeine possesses a certain degree of antibacterial effects, it can lower the benefits of certain antibiotics, such as benzylpenicillin, tetracyclines, and chloramphenicol, while enhancing the effects of others, like gentamicin, ceftizoxime, etc. At the same time, caffeine in Hydroxycut can also decrease the elimination of the following drugs to enhance their effects on the body negatively:

  • Aspirin
  • Lithium
  • Clozapine
  • Theophylline
  • Riluzole
  • Tylenol
  • Blood thinners
  • Stimulants like cocaine and ephedrine

Most of the above-mentioned drugs, such as blood thinners and lithium, can potentially prove toxic if combined with something that leads to their overdose, such as caffeine. Moreover, alcohol and caffeine compete for the same adenosine receptors in the brain, which may successfully reduce some unwanted effects of both compounds. However, the combination may also increase the risk of addiction. Similarly, combining Hydroxycut with smoking also bears potential side effects as the high caffeine element in this weight loss product can combine with nicotine from cigarettes significantly increase the risk of heart disease.

Avoiding Hydroxycut Side Effects

Experts are still determining whether or not it is possible to keep consuming Hydroxycut products while minimizing the side effects associated with it. However, since caffeine is responsible for inducing most of the adverse effects of this product, one tip is limiting caffeine consumption as long as a person consumes Hydroxycut. For example, they may switch to decaffeinated tea or coffee, prefer water over soda, or avoid drinking caffeinated beverages altogether. Doing so may also reduce the milder side effects of caffeine, such as anxiety, nervousness, shakiness, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat.

However, it is important to bear in mind that the data regarding the safety of the daily and prolonged use of Hydroxycut needs to be improved. If you are particularly concerned about encountering Hydroxycut Hardcore side effects, speak to a healthcare provider to seek personalized guidance.

Despite the fact that the new Hydroxycut formula offers several strength-building and weight-loss benefits, the evidence supporting its use needs to be more convincing. All in all, the new formulation still carries a few risks, and its benefits are harder to pinpoint, especially due to a lack of information about the supplement’s exact formulation and quantities. The main ingredient responsible for most of Hydroxycut’s claimed benefits is caffeine which undoubtedly plays a role in weight loss but does not come without any unwanted side effects. Moreover, the dose of caffeine per serving of this product is equivalent to up to three cups of coffee, making Hydroxycut inappropriate for use by those who are highly sensitive to this ingredient, suffer from anxiety, or are known to have heart issues.

When it comes to weight loss, the best way to go forward is a well-rounded workout plan combined with a healthy diet. While supplements do seem to provide a certain degree of benefit to some people, experts always advise picking one with well-researched ingredients with good safety levels.



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