Advantages & Disadvantages of Hydroxycut

Hydroxycut is a weight loss supplement manufactured by MuscleTech, a sports nutrition company that sells protein, creatine and other supplements marketed toward bodybuilders. Hydroxycut can be beneficial, as it offers several ingredients that may help you increase your daily calorie expenditure, but potential side effects do exist. Hydroxycut is intended to be used with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan, and you should consult a doctor prior to using this or any other supplements.

No Calorie Content

Hydroxycut does not contain any calories, which makes it advantageous for weight loss. Calories provide your body with energy, so reducing your calorie intake is required for weight loss. In the absence of adequate energy, your body will burn stored energy in your body to fuel your activities, which results in weight loss. You need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb. of fat. Although meal-replacement supplements and protein powders may help you lose weight, they contain calories, so Hydroxycut may be preferable.

Leucine Content

Hydroxycut contains leucine, an amino acid that can be beneficial for supporting muscle growth and repair. In addition, leucine may be helpful in weight management. A study published in the June 2007 issue of the journal "Diabetes" found that supplementation of leucine could promote reduced levels of body fat and weight.

Lack of Full Ingredient Disclosure

One of the main ingredients in Hydroxycut is caffeine, which may support weight loss because it can suppress your appetite, and according to research from the October 2010 issue of "Nutrition," can increase your daily calorie expenditure 2. However, Hydroxycut's label does not reveal how much caffeine is in the supplement, only that it is part of a 680 mg ingredient blend. This can be problematic, as too much caffeine can cause nausea, dizziness, high blood pressure and a number of other side effects 3.

Oleic Acid Content

One of the ingredients in Hydroxycut is oleic acid, a type of fatty acid found in olive oil, a food rich in unsaturated fat that is purported to aid in heart health. However, research from the May 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine" indicates that oleic acid may cause alveolar edema, or excess water in the small cavities in the lungs called alveoli, which may damage your lungs and compromise your respiratory health 4.