May 12th, 2003


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09:23 am - kids don't try this at home...
for various and sundry reasons, I happened to be at Walmart yesterday. While shopping for other stuff, I happened upon a display for Hyrdroxycut™. Ok, so I'm not exactly hugely overweight or anything, but I'm about 5-10 lbs. outside of my target weight window(165-175) right now, so I figured what the hell? Honestly, I'm not terribly worried about losing 5 pounds, and figure I could probably do it rather easily anyway, by just eating really well and working out a lot for a couple of weeks, On the other hand, lately I have seen tons of commercials on TV for various fat burners and energy boosters and the like, and I have just gotten really curious. And what better way to satisfy curiousity than by performing experiments on over the counter drugs on your own body?

Ok, so maybe its stupid to perform such experiments on your own body, but really, I used to drink tons, I used to smoke, I used to recreationally abuse nyquil. How bad can one more total legal foreign substance in my body possibly be?

Ok, so according to the label, New Advanced Hydroxycut is a fat loss support formula that "supports weight loss*, Increases Energy*, Boosts Metabolism* and is Ephedra Free." the *s mean that "these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration." Which is to say that the only thing the product really claims about itself is that its Ephedra free. Now this is interesting. As far as I can tell through a bit a web research the reason OTC fat burners work is that ephedrine when combined with caffeine and aspirin supposedly dramatically increases fat loss. On the other hand ephedrine has potentially harmful side effects, so the new version of Hydroxycut leaves it out. This is kind of curious because I would think that to the extent that it works at all, ephedrine and caffeine would all be necessary, but they seem to stay in business and its a competative market place (Stacker 2 , Metabolife and others) So there are a bunch of other random herbs in it, but nothing that seems especially harmful. If nothing else it appears to be pretty high in calcium and I don't get enough of that in my diet anyway (since I pretty much can't eat dairy products).

The warnings basically tell you not to take it if you are pregnant (I'm not), or diabetic (no again) or if you have pretty much any other disease (they mention everything from irregular heart beat to a cold). This I'm assuming is pretty much meaningless. Its not FDA regulated, so they're pretty much just saying "if you happen to die for whatever reason, not our fault." I accept those risks and keep reading. Don't take if you are on any other medication. Don't take if you drink caffeiene (I don't) or take aspirin. Ok, I do take aspirin or any other blood thinner when my arthritis is acting up, but seeing as how this has it built in, I figure I won't need to and even if my arthritis does act up, I just won't. Drink at least 10-12 glasses a water a day while taking (I do anyway) and excercise regularly (again, something I plan to do anyway, though I have been skimping a bit of late, hence the extra few pounds I'm carrying). Don't take with alcohol or any other herbal medication. Discontinue use if you start having difficulty swallowing, experiencing chest pains, begin vomitting or having trouble breathing. Ok, duly noted.

Details day 0: There are 58 pills in a bottle, and at 3 pills a dose, 3 doses a day, that should last me a little over 6 days. So I took the first dose yesterday 30 min. before I ate (as instructed). No immediately obvious effects. Supposedly there is an appetite suppressant. I ate one helping of dinner. But I dunno if I would have wanted to eat more than that or not anyway (like I said, I had decided that I wanted to lose 5-10 lbs anyway, so I would probably have only eaten one serving anyway). So was it the pills or my mental fortitude? Who knows? I suppose it does bear worth mentioning that I did not feel the need to snack last night. But again, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. So nothing has been proven yet.

Went to bed around midnight and woke up around 4am unable to get back to sleep. I suppose this would worry most people (seeing as how it has a bunch of caffeine in it, sleeplessness is apparently one fo the side effects), but I frequently go through phases of months where I can't sleep most than 4 hours a night at the most. Even when I'm not in one of those phases, I generally sleep about 6-6.5 hours maximum. So again, no biggee.

You're supposed to take the pills 30-60 min. before each meal (and 3 meals a day), so I took them and drank a glass of water right before I drove to work this morning. Very heavy traffic (at 6am) meant it actually took me about an hour to get here (instead of my usual 20-30 min.). Got here and had a blueberry muffin for breakfast from the vending machine. As beststephi has pointed out to me, muffins aren't exactly the healthiest things I could be eating for breakfast, but oh well. Worth noting, typically I eat two of them in the morning. Today I only felt like having one, and that was like 2 hours ago. So like ummm, appetite successfully suppressed or something.

I'm also quite full of energy. This is not surprising, since the label on the bottle says that taking 3 pills has roughly the equivalent caffeine of two cups of coffee and seeing as how I pretty much totally gave up caffeine entirely over a year and a half ago, I am like totally wired. So like ummm, increaed energy successful or something (lets hope I don't completely crash before 11'oclock when I'm due to take the next dose).

Other things I've noticed. Well, for one thing, I have a small caffeine headache. I feel like I used to after I accidentally drank too much coffee. I don't think this is a big deal, its just that I have no tolerance for caffeine anymore and I pretty much dropped 2 cups in 5 seconds. That was over 3 hours ago, and so now I have the wearing off headache that I remember so well. I'm guessing that will get better when I take the next dose, and after a couple days I'll be a total addict again. *sigh*.

I seem to not be as easily able to absorb water as I used to be able to. When I gave up caffeine I began drinking about 12 glasses of water a day. At first, this obviously made me have to use the bathroom a lot, but then I got very used to it after a bout a week. Now I feel like I have to go a bunch, and yet I can't stop driking it because after I go I feel dehydrated. Well, not really dehyrdrated like I was going to pass our or anything, but dehyrdrated like I'm thirsty (American's don't drink enough water). So anyway, I drink more and then I have to go again later. Ah well, I don't think anything bad is going to happen to me from drinking too much water. I expect this is the "boosted metabolism" trying to flush my system faster. That or my body rebelling against more caffeine in the past 16 hours than it generally has in a month.

Oh, I weighed in at 182.5 lbs yesterday and 16.5% bodyfat according to my wacky
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a [...] tanita</a>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

for various and sundry reasons, I happened to be at <a href="http://www.walmart.com/" target="_blank">Walmart</a> yesterday. While shopping for other stuff, I happened upon a display for <a href="http://www.hydroxycut.com/" target="_blank">Hyrdroxycut&#153</a>. Ok, so I'm not exactly hugely overweight or anything, but I'm about 5-10 lbs. outside of my target weight window(165-175) right now, so I figured what the hell? Honestly, I'm not terribly worried about losing 5 pounds, and figure I could probably do it rather easily anyway, by just eating really well and working out a lot for a couple of weeks, On the other hand, lately I have seen tons of commercials on TV for various fat burners and energy boosters and the like, and I have just gotten really curious. And what better way to satisfy curiousity than by performing experiments on over the counter drugs on your own body?

<lj-cut text="The gory details">Ok, so maybe its stupid to perform such experiments on your own body, but really, I used to drink tons, I used to smoke, I used to recreationally abuse nyquil. How bad can one more total legal foreign substance in my body possibly be?

Ok, so according to the label, <i>New Advanced</i> Hydroxycut is a fat loss support formula that "supports weight loss*, Increases Energy*, Boosts Metabolism* and is Ephedra Free." the *s mean that "these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration." Which is to say that the only thing the product really claims about itself is that its Ephedra free. Now this is interesting. As far as I can tell through a bit a web research the reason OTC fat burners work is that ephedrine when combined with caffeine and aspirin supposedly dramatically increases fat loss. On the other hand ephedrine has potentially harmful side effects, so the new version of Hydroxycut leaves it out. This is kind of curious because I would think that to the extent that it works at all, ephedrine and caffeine would all be necessary, but they seem to stay in business and its a competative market place (Stacker 2 , Metabolife and others) So there are a bunch of other random herbs in it, but nothing that seems especially harmful. If nothing else it appears to be pretty high in calcium and I don't get enough of that in my diet anyway (since I pretty much can't eat dairy products).

The warnings basically tell you not to take it if you are pregnant (I'm not), or diabetic (no again) or if you have pretty much any other disease (they mention everything from irregular heart beat to a cold). This I'm assuming is pretty much meaningless. Its not FDA regulated, so they're pretty much just saying "if you happen to die for whatever reason, not our fault." I accept those risks and keep reading. Don't take if you are on any other medication. Don't take if you drink caffeiene (I don't) or take aspirin. Ok, I do take aspirin or any other blood thinner when my arthritis is acting up, but seeing as how this has it built in, I figure I won't need to and even if my arthritis does act up, I just won't. Drink at least 10-12 glasses a water a day while taking (I do anyway) and excercise regularly (again, something I plan to do anyway, though I have been skimping a bit of late, hence the extra few pounds I'm carrying). Don't take with alcohol or any other herbal medication. Discontinue use if you start having difficulty swallowing, experiencing chest pains, begin vomitting or having trouble breathing. Ok, duly noted.

Details day 0: There are 58 pills in a bottle, and at 3 pills a dose, 3 doses a day, that should last me a little over 6 days. So I took the first dose yesterday 30 min. before I ate (as instructed). No immediately obvious effects. Supposedly there is an appetite suppressant. I ate one helping of dinner. But I dunno if I would have wanted to eat more than that or not anyway (like I said, I had decided that I wanted to lose 5-10 lbs anyway, so I would probably have only eaten one serving anyway). So was it the pills or my mental fortitude? Who knows? I suppose it does bear worth mentioning that I did not feel the need to snack last night. But again, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. So nothing has been proven yet.

Went to bed around midnight and woke up around 4am unable to get back to sleep. I suppose this would worry most people (seeing as how it has a bunch of caffeine in it, sleeplessness is apparently one fo the side effects), but I frequently go through phases of months where I can't sleep most than 4 hours a night at the most. Even when I'm not in one of those phases, I generally sleep about 6-6.5 hours maximum. So again, no biggee.

You're supposed to take the pills 30-60 min. before each meal (and 3 meals a day), so I took them and drank a glass of water right before I drove to work this morning. Very heavy traffic (at 6am) meant it actually took me about an hour to get here (instead of my usual 20-30 min.). Got here and had a blueberry muffin for breakfast from the vending machine. As <lj user="beststephi"> has pointed out to me, muffins aren't exactly the healthiest things I could be eating for breakfast, but oh well. Worth noting, typically I eat two of them in the morning. Today I only felt like having one, and that was like 2 hours ago. So like ummm, appetite successfully suppressed or something.

I'm also quite full of energy. This is not surprising, since the label on the bottle says that taking 3 pills has roughly the equivalent caffeine of two cups of coffee and seeing as how I pretty much totally gave up caffeine entirely over a year and a half ago, I am like totally wired. So like ummm, increaed energy successful or something (lets hope I don't completely crash before 11'oclock when I'm due to take the next dose).

Other things I've noticed. Well, for one thing, I have a small caffeine headache. I feel like I used to after I accidentally drank too much coffee. I don't think this is a big deal, its just that I have no tolerance for caffeine anymore and I pretty much dropped 2 cups in 5 seconds. That was over 3 hours ago, and so now I have the wearing off headache that I remember so well. I'm guessing that will get better when I take the next dose, and after a couple days I'll be a total addict again. <i>*sigh*</i>.

I seem to not be as easily able to absorb water as I used to be able to. When I gave up caffeine I began drinking about 12 glasses of water a day. At first, this obviously made me have to use the bathroom a lot, but then I got very used to it after a bout a week. Now I feel like I have to go a bunch, and yet I can't stop driking it because after I go I feel dehydrated. Well, not really dehyrdrated like I was going to pass our or anything, but dehyrdrated like I'm thirsty (American's don't drink enough water). So anyway, I drink more and then I have to go again later. Ah well, I don't think anything bad is going to happen to me from drinking too much water. I expect this is the "boosted metabolism" trying to flush my system faster. That or my body rebelling against more caffeine in the past 16 hours than it generally has in a month.

Oh, I weighed in at 182.5 lbs yesterday and 16.5% bodyfat according to my wacky <a href="http://www.tanita.com/" target="_blank"Tanita</a> electronic scale. Blah, blah, I know my bodyfat and weight fluctuate in a random direction by a pound or so any given day (and at random points throughout the day), but as I've only committed to trying this whole thing for the 6 days that I have enough pills for I need some kind of metric if only to pretend that there is some semblance of scientific method here. I very much expect that i'll be +/-3 lbs from 182.5 and +/- 3% BF from 16.5 by the time my pills run out. On the other hand, if I weigh in at 152 ot 212 on Saturday, that's kind of going to say something isn't it? </lj-cut>

Follow your dreams, you can reach your goals. I'm living proof. Beefcake! <b>BEEFCAKE!</b>.


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(10 comments | Leave a comment)

 
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Comments:


[User Picture]From: jeremiahblatz Date: May 12th, 2003 - 07:28 am (Link)
The reason that you have to pee so much is that caffiene is a dieuretic(sp?). It's not your boosted metabolism, it's just dehydrating you. That diet pill shit is tuned to the average American, you should so just take 2 pills per dose.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 12th, 2003 - 08:12 am (Link)
Oh, of course. I realize that. That's what I meant by the whole "oh look, I can't absorb water" bit. I mean, certainly I could lower the dosage. Or I could stop taking it altogether, but I'm attempting to see what happens if I just hardcore follow the instructions for one week. Honestly, I expect that in a day or two my body will adapt to the extra caffeine intake and it won't be so bad (of course then I'll be all fucked up when I try to get off of it next week). Either that, or I won't adjust to it, and I'll be pretty dehydrated by Saturday. But I figure, given my regular water intake vs. the average American, 1 week of caffeine dehydration can't cause me that much irreperable harm.
[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: May 12th, 2003 - 10:00 am (Link)
You are so banned from criticizing Steph about drinking soda instead of water while you're taking freaking caffeine pills.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 12th, 2003 - 10:04 am (Link)
acknowledged.... I actually don't like them at all... I hate how it makes me feel (wired). One of the reasons I'm doing this however is to see what the effect is. Like I said, I wouldn't be surprised if I gain 3 pounds.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 12th, 2003 - 10:11 am (Link)
PS: as an aside when I decided to try this yesterday, Steph had made noises of giving up diet soda for two weeks to see what effect that had on her.... so maybe its all a conservation of caffeine drinkers in the world kinda thing.
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: May 12th, 2003 - 11:02 am (Link)

You're also banned from the tennis ladder for using performance-enhancing supplements.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 12th, 2003 - 11:13 am (Link)
really... I'm not convinced its performance enhancing... the second dose for the day, which I took around 11:30 seems to have had much less of a pick me up boost and a lot more of just keeping me from crashing from being on caffeine overload. And now that its been almost 3 hours, that's even starting to wear off and I have that caffeine withdrawl headache thing going on. I'm unlikely to take the final does til like 6 or 6:30, depending on when I decide to eat dinner. So I'm going to be so hurting, I expect. I'm quite certain this would hurt my tennis game. I'm sure I'd be much better off playing all hopped up on gatorade, like you.
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: May 12th, 2003 - 12:42 pm (Link)
I'd probably play better if I was properly hydrated before playing instead of drinking gatorade while playing to prevent myself from dying from heatstroke.

And the last time we played, drinking half a liter of water right before heading to the court instead of like half an hour earlier was probably a bad idea.
From: sumnerhayes Date: May 12th, 2003 - 02:07 pm (Link)

Re: my version

So there are a bunch of other random herbs in it, but nothing that seems especially harmful.


Ma huang? That's ephedra, which turns quickly to ephedrine in the body.

Sumner
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 12th, 2003 - 02:39 pm (Link)

Re: my version

I know... it doesn't have that. It apparently used to, but that's one of the things about the "new and improved" formula. It lacks ephedra.
 

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