Ephedra Supplements

Twinlabs Ripped Fuel with Ephedra Review [Original Ingredients]

Original Ripped FuelThe original Ripped Fuel with Ephedra was marketed as a powerful fat burner and energy booster manufactured by Twinlabs.

It contained active ephedrine alkaloids and was said to produce an intense surge in mood, motivation and long-lasting energy. As a thermogenic supplement, it was designed to promote fat loss by raising the body’s metabolism.

However, Ripped Fuel with Ephedra was pulled from the market and is no longer available due to the high risk of side effects. A new ephedra-free version of the product called Ripped Fuel Extreme Fat Burner is now available.
Ever since the FDA banned ephedra alkaloids in 2004, dietary and nutritional manufacturers have had to rely on ephedra extract products with the alkaloids removed.

In this article, we will review the ingredients in the original Twinlabs Ripped Fuel Product, discuss how they worked, potential side effects and legal alternatives. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.


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Ripped Fuel with Ephedra Product Description

The “original” Ripped Fuel with Ephedra was marketed by Twin Labs, up until 2004 when ephedrine became an illegal ingredient in dietary supplements.

Ephedrine is a natural plant alkaloid that occurs in the ephedra sinica (ma huang) herb. It is a central nervous system stimulant many times more powerful than caffeine.

While this product is no longer available with real ephedra alkaloids, there is a newer version called Ripped Fuel Extreme Fat Burner sold by Twinlab. How do these products compare and what is the difference in their efficacy?

As with any product, comparisons come down to the label ingredients. The original Ripped Fuel with Ephedra was one of the more popular products on the market, promoted as providing long-lasting energy that could literally melt fat. This is applicable to one of its marketing points as a thermogenic or heat-producing product.

Heat production, or thermogenesis, is a natural process of the body, defining the action of converting stored energy in the body (calories – AKA sugar or fat) into heat. This plays a role in metabolism, or basal metabolic rate, energy production for needs of physical activity, and source of fuel for energy.

Your body burns a lot of energy to keep your core temperature at a steady rate. If you increased that temperature even a little bit, your body has to burn even more calories to make up the difference, which can have a benefit for weight loss.

Thermogenesis can increase metabolism, which in turn, can burn off more calories for fuel. Where those calories come from (fat or muscle tissue), depends on the individual’s body composition.

Most of the fat-burning properties of this product were attributed to the ephedrine found in ephedra extract. Now that this ingredient has been removed from all dietary supplements in the United States, how well does the newer formulation work?

A number of sellers claiming to provide the benefits of the original metabolic formula, Ripped Fuel with Ephedra, in new supplements like the Ripped Fuel Extreme Ephedra Free Fat Burner or the Ripped Power product sold by American Generic Laboratories (AGL).


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Ripped Fuel with Ephedra Ingredients

To determine the efficacy and the claims, made by any ephedra product manufacturer, or promises made for extreme weight loss, accelerated energy boosting potential, or other benefits, a careful glance at the ingredients label will help.

For example, the original TwinLabs Ripped Fuel with Ephedra product contained:

  • Ma Huang Extract
  • Guarana Extract
  • L-Carnitine
  • Chromium Picolinate

Note that Ma Huang is a Chinese name for Ephedra Sinica. It refers to a species of the ephedra plant considered to have the highest content of ephedrine alkaloids per dose.

Guarana extract is a natural source of caffeine, a compound which is often combined with Ephedra in an EC stack.

Some of the names in the ingredients of the Ripped Fuel with Ephedra product are more familiar than others, but it is recommended that consumers take the time to research all of the ingredients to gain an idea of not only what to expect with them, but potential results when taken together.

Chromium has the potential to influence metabolic functions, including the effects of the hormone insulin, responsible for maintaining adequate blood sugar or glucose levels in the body. Chromium polynicotinate is a combination of chromium and niacin, and aids the absorption of chromium.

L-carnitine can aid in metabolic processes such as the conversion of fat into energy. It’s naturally found in the body.

As you can see from this ingredients list, the original Twinlabs Ripped Fuel product relied significantly on the fat-burning and energy-boosting effects of ephedra diet pills to produce its purported benefits.


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Mechanism of Action

New variations of this product are sold as ephedra-free (which means they do not contain ephedra) or are sold as ephedra extracts without any ephedrine in them.

Ephedra extract (without the alkaloids) is commonly found in fat burning products throughout the United States and other countries around the world. Some countries still allow the ephedra extract, but not the ephedrine alkaloids in their dietary or nutritional products.

The original ephedra Ripped Fuel, meaning the product sold before 2004, would have contained the ephedra alkaloids, including ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were considered the most effective in regard to promoting weight loss, through stimulation of the central nervous system, and most specifically, the sympathetic nervous system.

In the Twinlabs Ripped Fuel supplement, Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine also function as nonselective alpha and beta receptor agonists or triggers, which can influence things like blood pressure, the ability of the heart muscle to contract, or narrowing or widening of certain blood vessels.

The sympathetic nervous system is often also called the autonomic system because it oversees and regulates functions in the body over which we cannot consciously control. These activities can include but are not limited to:

  • Heart rate
  • Respiratory rate
  • Digestion
  • Metabolism

The ephedrine component was used for many years in bronchodilator asthma products as well as allergy-suppressing products for its ability to dilate or widen nasal passages and the airways in the lungs.

When coupled with appropriate diet and exercise, ephedra products like the Ripped Fuel diet pills may certainly aid in weight loss and increased energy, but scientific results are lacking in this area. This dearth of studies is due to the way ephedra and ephedra products are often used today.

The caffeine ingredient provides stimulative effects, and can enhance the overall effect of the ephedra in various milligrams strengths found in the product.

Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium) contains as a component p-Synephrine, an alkaloid that is found in a number of drugs and products today. P-Synephrine also acts as a stimulant and can provide bursts of energy, especially for athletes or bodybuilders desiring to maximize their workout efforts.

One study examining the effects of approximately 100 mg of p-Synephrine combined with 100 mg of caffeine for three days did determine focalized muscle endurance in resistance exercises, but under carefully controlled parameters. [1]

However, calorie intake was carefully directed so that each of the individuals consumed the same number of kcals, body mass, and body weight. No adverse side effects were noted.

The bottom line when it comes to ephedra products, with other ingredients, may provide different results as well as potential side effects.

Ripped Fuel with Ephedra Reviews

The original Ripped Fuel with Ephedra garnered many positive reviews from users. The original product was described as producing powerful benefits for energy, weight loss, motivation, mood, appetite suppression and more.

However, there were also many side effect reports and descriptions of users who felt it made them too jittery, restless or anxious. In some cases, chest pain, high blood pressure and more serious adverse effects can occur.

Today, Ripped Fuel Extreme Fat Burner, manufactured by Twinlabs, also gets decent reviews. This replacement supplement has a 4-star rating on iHerb.com with people claiming that they lost up to 10 pounds of fat with one bottle.

As with any dietary supplement, opinions will vary greatly depending on usage and individual factors. Some claim that the product works best as an energy enhancer for anywhere between one and three hours, sometimes more.

Others claimed it didn’t help with appetite suppression or fat loss at all. At the other end of the spectrum are those that found it worked okay for weight loss, moderate appetite suppressing capabilities, and not much in regard to a jolt in regard to energy.

For this reason, and because of individual factors such as age, overall health, and body composition differ, some will just have to try it for themselves to see how it works.

Note that there are other products that it is easy to confuse with the original Ripped Fuel supplement.

It can be difficult to differentiate among products because of the term “ripped” on the label; common in many products, including Ripped Fuel Extended Release Fat Burning Formula, Ripped Fuel 5x, Ripped Power Fat Burner diet pills, Ripped Fuel with ephedra and Ripped Freak.

Make sure you know which product you are looking at reviews for before purchasing.

Recommendations for Use/Dosage

Recommendations for use in regard to the original Twin Labs Ripped Fuel with ephedra product were to take one to two capsules two to three times daily. The capsules were also recommended to be taken with food and water.

The small print on the product label mentions that 200 mg caffeine and 20 mg ephedra extract are found in each serving portion. Do the math. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine stimulation than others, and combined with the ephedra, this combination may provide even more of a stimulative effect.

It was recommended that beginners start with one capsule daily to see how the body responds to it. Gradually increase based on need, to the two or three times daily.

The label also offers a warning (in red font) that their product is not to be used by anyone under 18 years of age. Pregnant as well as nursing women should avoid the product.

Some ephedra products also limit use to two to three weeks, followed by a two week break before continuing again.

Where Can You Buy Ripped Fuel with Ephedra?

A number of Ripped Fuel products are available on the market today, but you won’t find them as containing real ephedrine alkaloids.

You may find products with similar name, such as Twin Lab’s Ripped Fuel Extreme Fat Burner on a store shelf, but by taking a closer look at the label, you will find that it is ephedra-free.

There are fat loss supplements like Ripped Power that contain ephedra extract, but you won’t typically find them on store shelves. Also note that these products provide ephedra extract without any of the active ephedrine alkaloids.

Online sources are the best bet when it comes to ephedra product options, pricing, and sellers.

Can you find Ripped Fuel with ephedra on places like Amazon on eBay? No, this product has now been banned and discontinued under FDA regulations.

The other brands of Ripped Fuel products sold by Twinlabs at GNC, Amazon or eBay do not contain any ephedra extract in them.

If you want to find supplements that still provide ephedrine-free ephedra, you’ll come up with numerous options as well as sellers including but not limited to:

  • Ephedra Outlet
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Live Lean Today
  • Ephedra Store

Carefully look at the products and compare to others also found on sports nutritional store websites, body building supplement websites, as well as sellers who focus specifically on ephedra products.

Prices as well as product amount differs between sellers, so comparison-shopping is recommended to get the best deals.

Be aware that if you find Ripped Fuel fat burner products in stores such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens, they are going to be marketed as ephedra-free. If you see someone selling a product they claim to be the original, it is likely a counterfeiter.

Ephedra Legal Status

The now famous ephedrine ban of 2004 meant that all dietary supplements containing any source of ephedra with ephedrine alkaloids had to be removed from the market.

What is illegal is the ephedrine content in dietary supplements. Ephedra extract per se is not illegal and can be used so long as it comes from a source of this plant that does not include any ephedrine content.

The FDA ban document is called the “Guidance for Industry: Final Rule Declaring Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids Adulterated Because They Present an Unreasonable Risk; Small Entity Compliance Guide” that is found on the FDA website. [2]

For those looking for more specifics, turn to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic act (21 U.S.C. 342 9(f)(1)(A); the ruling can be found under section 402(f)(1)(8). [3]

So, ephedra without the alkaloids is legal in the United States. The alkaloids, primarily ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, continue to be banned for use in supplements (although they are FDA approved for use in medications).

Safety Issues

As with any supplemental product including the safer alternatives to the original Twinlabs Ripped Fuel product, safety issues should always be considered. This is especially true of products that have an influence on the central nervous system.

Even without the ephedra alkaloids, today’s fat burning and weight loss products contain ingredients that are designed to stimulate the nervous system, which in turn can have a stimulative effect on other body systems, especially the cardiovascular.

One of the reasons why ephedra garnered such negative attention was because of the massive number of reports of serious adverse health events associated with the pharmacokinetic effects that ephedra, as well as the ephedrine alkaloids, had on the body.

Among the reports received by governmental agencies, submitted by physicians, were heart attacks, strokes, brain bleeds, seizures, and other serious events. [3]

Of course, not everyone will experience such serious side effects. However, they can occur, even among healthy and young individuals. They are at higher risk of occurring in people with pre-existing medical issues.

Some reports have determined that the weight loss effects of ephedra products is minimal; roughly two pounds more than a person not taking it, in addition to diet and exercise. [4] While some stimulative effects have been noted, actual benefits for physical performance enhancement are also lacking.

Among the most common side effects of today’s supplements containing ephedra, including Ripped Fuel with ephedra, include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • “The jitters” or trembling in the hands and an overall feeling of nervous stimulation through the body
  • Increased sense of anxiety or nervousness
  • Increased heart rate (faster than normal heart rate/tachycardia)
  • Irregular heart rate (irregular heart rate/arrhythmia)

In most cases, these stimulative effect of today’s versions of ephedra products are due to the added ingredients such as that of Bitter Orange and often excessively high milligrams of caffeine.

Bottom line? Carefully read ingredients and observe the milligram/microgram strength of those ingredients. Take the time to look up those ingredients and see how they behave or affect certain body functions.

A number of herbal weight loss and dietary supplements are on the market today. While most consider herbal ingredients harmless, they can interfere with other drugs including prescription strength, non-prescription, other herbal ingredients, and vitamin and mineral supplements. Use stimulant diet pills with caution.

The new formulation of Twinlabs Ripped Fuel may prove effective for some, but not for others. It all depends on individual factors including age, weight, and body composition as well as diet and exercise.

Ripped Power Alternative

Many companies have launched products intended to capture the market of former Twinlabs Ripped Fuel with Ephedra customers who now want to use something more powerful for fat loss.

An alternative to the product sold as Ripped Power is now available from American Generic Laboratories (AGL). But this product does not contain any ephedrine extract.

It is from this product that the ingredients listed ingredients below come from

  • 910 mg Guarana seed extract (this has been standardized to produce approximately 100 mg caffeine)
  • 200 mcg chromium (from chromium polynicotinate)
  • 100 mg L-Carnitine (from l-carnitine and l-tartrate)
  • 20 mg Ephedra extract (doesn’t mention species)
  • the 325 mg proprietary blend that contains four components: Acacia rigidula leaf extract, theobroma cocoa extract from seeds, phenylethylamine HCl, and Quebracho extract (bark3)

We don’t have any comparative research studies to example to see how ephedra extract without ephedrine compares to the original with ephedrine. The idea with products like this is to replace the banned alkaloids with other stimulants.

While many of these products may be effective for boosting energy, there is also a risk of side effects like those seen with overuse of ephedrine. Be cautious when looking for alternatives to Twinlab’s Original Ripped Fuel with Ephedra as the same adverse effects could be possible with excess dosages of any stimulants.


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