Medical Side Effects of Hydroxycut (and How to Minimize Them)

Updated September 15, 2022
Woman takes weight loss supplements

Like many other weight loss supplements, Hydroxycut used to contain ephedra. During that time, serious heart-related side effects were reported. Since then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of ephedra, and the makers of Hydroxycut removed it from the formula, eliminating the most serious side effects. Still, some side effects are possible with any medicine, herb, or supplement, and Hydroxycut is no different.

It's important to evaluate facts about safety and side effects before adding any weight loss or dietary supplement to your routine. Supplements can interact with medications that you are on and may not be appropriate for everyone based on their health history. the facts to understand if you should add this weight loss supplement to your diet. For that reason, it is always smart to check with your healthcare provider before using this or any weight loss aid.

Potential Hydroxycut Side Effects

Hydroxycut is a thermogenic weight loss supplement that promises to raise the body's metabolism, resulting in faster fat burning and weight loss. According to the maker of the product, in conjunction with diet and exercise, Hydroxycut helps users lose weight faster than diet and exercise alone.

Different ingredients in supplements can cause side effects. So it is important to know which Hydroxycut product you are taking so that you can evaluate the ingredients and make sure that it is safe for you. Hydroxycut comes in different varieties and each can contain slightly different ingredients in varying amounts. As a result, each product might cause different side effects.

For example, Hydroxycut Hardcore is just one of the supplement brands. This pill contains caffeine anhydrous, L-theanine, green coffee extract, Yohimbe extract, L-tyrosine, L-methionine, and L-leucine. If you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, you should not take this product. Potential side effects of Hydroxycut Hardcore may include the following.


According to the nutrition information supplied by the manufacturer, Hydroxycut Hardcore contains caffeine and green coffee extract in the formula. The U.S. National Library of Medicine advises that caffeine is safe up to 400 mg. While Hydroxycut Hardcore only has 265mg of caffeine, this amount can cause restlessness in those that are sensitive to caffeine. The problem may be exacerbated if you consume additional caffeine while taking it.

While extra energy in the daytime hours can be beneficial and may help you burn more calories, restlessness at night can be problematic. Restlessness and difficulty sleeping can be attributed to caffeine. To avoid insomnia and nighttime wakefulness, do not take Hydroxycut in the evening and decrease your intake of other forms of caffeine.

Sleepless woman awake and covering face in the middle of the night

Anxiety and Nervousness

Hydroxycut is famous for getting you up and moving. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, green coffee is safe at levels up to 1,000 mg. Hydroxycut Hardcore has 200mg in the daily serving. However, green coffee is known to make anxiety worse, states the government source. Caffeine is also known to increase anxiety and jitteriness. Therefore, those with anxiety disorders may want to consult their healthcare practitioner before adding Hydroxycut Hardcore to their diet.

Cardiac Side Effects

A fast heart rate is one of the most bothersome and worrisome potential side effects of taking any supplement that includes stimulants, such as Hydroxycut Hardcore. Since ephedra has been removed from the product, if you experience these side effects they may be a result of increased caffeine. You should consult with your health practitioner if you experience heart-related side effects such as:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Skipping heartbeats

A 2017 case report of a 37-year-old patient suggested an association between Hydroxycut Hardcore and cardiac issues, symptoms of which resolved after the discontinuation of the supplement.


When taking supplements with caffeine, a headache can be a side effect. Therefore, those with caffeine sensitivities might experience a headache when taking Hydroxycut Hardcore. If headaches do not go away, check with a healthcare provider or stop taking the supplement.

Woman lying on couch feeling strong headache

Ischemic Colitis

A 2013 case study suggested a correlation between Hydroxycut usage and ischemic colitis development in one patient. Ischemic colitis is a diminished or loss of blood flow to the colon, which can cause pain and damage to the colon.

Liver Toxicity

A 2018 study has linked several Hydroxycut products, including Hydroxycut Hardcore, to 50 instances of acute liver injury. While in the past, this was linked to ephedra, it can also be linked to the extracts used in the newer blends. This effect typically resolves once the product is discontinued.

Other Side Effects

The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that several side effects are linked to both caffeine and green coffee at high doses. Other side effects may include:

  • Affected sugar processing (in those with diabetes)
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • High homocysteine levels
  • IBS worsening
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Worsening glaucoma
  • Worsening osteoporosis

Information on the Hydroxycut Recall

On May 1, 2009, the FDA issued a warning to consumers to stop taking all products sold under the Hydroxycut name. Fourteen products manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. were recalled after the warning was issued. The FDA received 23 reports of people experiencing liver failure or liver damage after taking Hydroxycut products.

Symptoms of liver problems include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes), vomiting, fatigue, stomach pain, and weakness. Anyone taking Hydroxycut and concerned about side effects or symptoms should consult a primary care provider immediately. Since then, however, Hydroxycut reconstructed its ingredient formula and re-released the supplement.

How to Avoid the Side Effects of Hydroxycut

To minimize the risk of caffeine-related side effects, limit caffeine consumption while taking Hydroxycut. To do this, switch to decaffeinated coffee or tea and choose water over soda, or skip the coffee, tea, and soda altogether. Another option is to take the caffeine-free version of the supplement. While you will lose some of the stimulant benefits, you'll also reduce the possibility of nervousness, anxiety, shakiness, rapid heartbeat, and insomnia.

Information about the safety of consuming Hydroxycut is lacking. If you are concerned about the health effects of Hydroxycut or medical interactions, speak to your healthcare provider to get personalized guidance.

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Medical Side Effects of Hydroxycut (and How to Minimize Them)