Thursday, April 14, 2011

Magic Pills

Ohhhhhh, so I am almost embarrassed to share it, but you know, the fitness journey blog is supposed to be all about self-disclosure and stuff.  So here it goes.
In January I stopped into GNC for protein powder for the breakfast smoothies I like to make sometimes.
  • ¼ cup raw oatmeal, blended powder fine
  • ¼ cup vanilla lowfat, organic yogurt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • Frozen berries—about a half cup-ish (Sometimes a banana & some ice instead.)
  • 1 scoop GNC Pro Performance® AMP Amplified Wheybolic powder
I find that this is super satisfying and it takes me almost all morning to drink the whole thing, so it appeals to my grazing tendencies.  I make it at night and store it in the fridge in a thermos and it is still nice and thick the next morning.
But I avoid my confession. Back to GNC.  So, they gave me a free sample of “OxyElite Pro”  a thermogenic--a fat burner, metabolism booster, magic pill.
I was skeptical.  And sort of intrigued.  Does anyone out there remember the good old days of Metabolife before they removed the ephedra from the product? That stuff was my crack in high school. 
I researched a lot.  Most people who reviewed it online fell into two camps.  1) The loved it, it changed their life. Some claimed it worked as appetite control.  2) They hated it, either because it didn’t work, or the side effects were too significant.  Individuals who reported side effects complained of heart palpitations, limited attention span, thirst and irritability.  Both pro-OxyElite and anti-OxyElite mentioned excessive sweating during workouts. 
I looked around a bit on thermogenics in general.  The science about why they worked seemed a little weak to me.  Plus this is the label on the bottle: “OxyELITE Pro is Pharmacist-formulated & must be used with extreme caution, only by healthy adults capable of handling its true power. It is mandatory that users get clearance from their physician before use.”  Seriously, are you selling me a diet pill, or an NRA membership?  Other resources said absolutely, under no condition should anyone take a thermogenic, because they don’t work, they mix with meds, they do bad things to the body---there are all kinds of haters out there.  Educated ones.

So Alice is not a princess, but I couldn't resist!  Her image
belongs to Disney.

So, did this stop me?  Of course not.  Mostly I was attracted to the amount of caffeine in each pill.  Like coffee, Jetson’s style.  I started with one of the beautiful purple pills before my workout.  I didn’t notice any negative side effects.  But was I sweating harder?  Yes.  No, that was in my head.  Well yes, I was!  Maybe?

The free sample bottle eventually ran dry.  So I invested in a big one—and increased my dosage to two each morning before my workout.  That’s like four cups of futuristic coffee in my belly by 5:15 AM. 

Image from GNC website. 
Purple is my favorite color, and these little capsules are pretty!

I cannot say I have every felt a negative side effect.  I also can’t say one way or the other if it has had any effect on my weight loss.  I can tell you that the bottle went dry on Monday.  And all week long, I have been a walking zombie.  It takes me longer to feel pumped up at the gym, I am sluggish in the locker room and I want a morning nap—desperately.  So, I think I can definitely attest that the caffeine was making a difference.

These types of things are not especially safe.  I don’t recommend them without doing your own research.  You should probably consult a physician.  Read the labels (the one on OxyElite is actually quite extensive once you get beyond reading about its “true power”) and investigate ingredients.  And we all have to remember, there is no magic pills.  Taking these things may be counter to my healthy, fitness focused goals and lifestyle, I don't know.  I feel like I am cheating--but coffee--without the work of coffee--I love it.  What do you think?  You can tell me the truth.

I am looking forward to a GNC run in the very near future.  Because although they aren’t magic fat melters—they are the coffee of the future!  Charming calls them my OXYcontin pills. 

GNC (or the OxyElite people) did not request this review and have not compensated me in any way to talk about their product.  All opinions expressed in this blog are my own.  CBC or a supplement manufacturer want to send me product or coupons, I would be happy to share my honest thoughts about how a particular item for me, and would disclose such perks to readers.   I can be contacted at


Anonymous said...

I am not sure princess if these are a good idea...I appreciate your honesty, however while alice might dabble in imbibing in unknown substances, I am pretty sure princesses would frown upon this. Just make sure you check with a physician and get their take on it?

Princess J said...

You speak the truth. And kudo points for the use of the word imbibing. I love it when a good word gets dusted off from the back of my brain.