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Does Hydroxycut Have Side Effects? (Should You Be Worried)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: August 9, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

If you want to stir up a heated discussion at a dinner party full of dietitians, nutritionists, and personal trainers, then you just have to ask questions about Hydroxycut.

Of all the weight loss supplements that have come out over the past 20 years, Hydroxycut products are by far the most controversial.

It mainly comes down to the fact that Hydroxycut supplements certainly did seem to work well for weight loss. But that benefit came at quite a price with the original formula.

Since then, the makers have changed the formula to avoid liver failure risks that got it pulled off the market. Yet, there are still some risks to be aware of.

Quick Summary

  • Some of the side effects of Hydroxycut are liver damage, abdominal pain, muscle damage, and restricted blood flow to the brain.
  • All Hydroxycut products work through the combination of green coffee bean extract, or certain herbal extracts triggering fat burning.
  • The only proven way of reducing the side effects of Hydroxycut is by lowering the dosage.

What Are The Known Side Effects?

man experiencing body pain

Over time, Hydroxycut products have changed a lot, and Iovate Health Sciences Inc. has reformulated it twice since the original version.

This came down to the fact that there were some serious health problems, and the Food and Drug Administration kind of forced the company to withdraw that product version.

Now, a lot of people say that because of the new formula, there is no longer a risk like a potential liver injury.

But, when you dig a bit deeper and get some professional medical advice, you’ll find there are still some risks associated with Hydroxycut products.

Here’s what we found.

1 - Liver Damage - Some research has shown that a few people have had a significant reaction that caused liver failure after using Hydroxycut Hardcore [1]. People also reported jaundice and brown urine in several cases.

“According to the FDA, people taking Hydroxycut at its recommended doses run the risk of liver injury. Signs of liver injury include jaundice and elevated liver enzymes.”

- Mary Kelly, Writer at

2 - Muscle Damage - There were also some rare incidences of muscle deterioration [2]. That’s not something you want to happen in a bodybuilding cutting phase.

3 - Restricted Blood Flow To The Brain - There were also some isolated reports of brain arteries narrowing temporarily.

4 - Abdominal Pain - While this wouldn’t be uncommon with some fat-burning supplements, it seemed like there were more reports of inflammatory bowel disease [3].

Those are not things you want dietary supplements to be associated with. And weight loss should never come at the expense of your health, especially for major organs.

How Does Hydroxycut Work?

coffee green beans in a bowl and a lot of green herbal leaves

The Hydroxycut products work by combining certain herbal extracts with green coffee bean extract to trigger fat burning in the body.

According to the company, it is achieved by delivering adenosine to trigger sleepiness and caffeine to block adenosine receptors.

I know it all sounds complicated, but this then increases the levels of phosphodiesterase, which triggers the breakdown of fat reserves.

But the caffeine dose in Hydroxycut Hardcore and Hydroxycut Max should also directly trigger thermogenesis, a natural metabolic process that burns off extra calories.

In theory, that should mean that taking Hydroxycut products would result in weight loss, and there were plenty of positive reports from Hydroxycut users about increased fat loss.

But many of those are the same people who also reported adverse events like liver problems and other symptoms listed above.

While it came down to high doses in quite a few cases, liver damage is not something that you should risk when you’re trying to lose weight.

When considering weight loss benefits, Hydroxycut Hardcore has been recognized for its potential in aiding weight reduction. By stimulating fat burning and promoting thermogenesis, this product may contribute to increased calorie burn.

However, it is essential to exercise caution and prioritize your well-being. Some individuals have reported experiencing adverse effects, such as liver problems and other symptoms.

To ensure your safety, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any weight loss supplement into your routine.


Hydroxycut products we've reviewed:

Are There Ways To Limit The Negative Effects?

woman thinking while holding a pill

This is a question we saw asked in quite a few Facebook groups. It seems like there are still quite a few Hydroxycut Max users who had good weight results and are looking for ways to limit the adverse events.

Unfortunately, our dietitian and nutritionist were not aware of ways to limit the problems with Hydroxycut products.

The only thing that might help is significantly lowering the dose, but that would also impact the effectiveness.

The real solution would be to look at some other dietary supplements that achieve the same results without causing liver injury.


Is Hydroxycut Bad for Your Kidneys?

Yes, Hydroxycut might be bad for your kidneys. The FDA has reported several adverse reactions, including kidney problems and liver injury. If you have any such underlying health conditions, then this should not be a product to consider.

What Does Hydroxycut Do to Your Heart?

Hydroxycut may cause irregular heartbeat due to the high dose of caffeine. While there weren’t any reports of heart attacks, this is something to keep in mind if you have an underlying heart health condition.

Avoid Taking Risks From Taking Hydroxycut Products

The main reason people are taking these products is to deal with health problems from being overweight.

There is no way you should be risking other health issues, especially when the FDA has been involved due to several reports of serious problems.

And jeopardizing your health is too high of a price for any weight loss product, especially nowadays with plenty of great products on the market that are actually worth your trust and money.


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