The Ripper is a natural fat burner from Cobra Labs, which features a skull as their logo. A smiling Ronald McDonald it ain’t, but to be fair, when it comes to low body fat you can’t really argue with a skeleton.
The Ripper aims to be a fast acting fat burner that also provides energy and appetite control. Sounds perfect, but can Cobra Labs’ formula make as much of an impact as their brand?
Annoyingly The Ripper contains a proprietary blend. Several in fact. This is a marketing gimmick where no ingredients have an individual dose.
You only see names and an overall mix volume. We hate them, so we read this label with an expression that rivalled the guy on the front of the tub.
But proprietary blends don’t always equal a complete write off, so let’s give The Ripper a chance.
How Does It Work?
At a Glance
- Muscle Fuel Blend including Beta Alanine, Caffeine & Taurine
- Ripper Shred Matrix including Green Tea, Green Coffee Bean, Raspberry Ketone
We’ll get into these blends and see how well they really work after we look at the overall scores…
There are 3 proven performers in The Ripper, alongside a few more with potential. The problem is 2 of these 3 are here in tiny amounts. The caffeine looks well-judged but added to other stimulants, starts to get a bit much. Green tea and Green Coffee bean are just namechecked and given nothing like the volume to do their job. Beta-Alanine could be a helpful gym aid but some won’t enjoy its side effects. This burner wastes too much on fads like raspberry ketones.
The Ripper is pretty reasonably priced and widely available, meaning you can shop around, but given the patchiness of the ingredients it’s questionable whether you would want to. Ideally fat burners will strike a balance between value for money and quality, and much like the ingredients this is a balance The Ripper gets badly wrong.
While there are no reports of financial scams or product dangers, The Ripper could do better. Mainly with the tiny pointless amounts of some ingredients. A fraction of 106mg for green tea and green coffee bean isn’t going to get it done, so it’s almost like they’re in there to cash in on the names alone. This is a good example of what’s wrong with proprietary blends.
Customer reviews on retail sites are your only testimonals, which makes them very inconsistent in terms of quality. Opinion is similarly mixed. It’s mainly positive, but for every ten people who rate The Ripper there will one who saw little or no effect or even worse had an unpleasant reaction to the beta-alanine. So not exactly inspiring.
Cobra Labs don’t take their foot off the advertising gas for a second. Most fat burner websites have a section where they stop giving you the hard sell long enough to just answer some questions about the background of the company. Not our Cobra.They gear every option on the site towars selling their pre workout supplements called ‘The Curse’ and of course The Ripper. This makes it difficult to find some basic information. Cobra Labs is based in the U.S but couldn’t find exactly where they manufacture their products.
How Do I Take It?
The Ripper is a powder, which is not ideal in our opinion. Users must mix 5g of the stuff and drink it for one serving. Once you know your tolerance, Cobra Labs suggest you take a second serving 5 or 6 hours later.
2 servings is not ideal. In a perfect world you’d be looking at a supplement spaced out over 3 or 4 servings to keep any effects working steadily through the day and avoiding energy crashes.
We’re no fan of powder mixes to be honest. They can be a pain to prepare, especially if you’re on the move or you lose your serving spoon. Pre-dosed capsules are easier; there’s zero chance getting it wrong and you don’t have to worry about artificial flavouring.
When you opt for a natural fat burner, that’s what you want, all-natural and that’s not something The Ripper can claim.
The Ripper Side Effects?
Some users have report feeling jittery and restless, obviously as a result of the stimulants. A few have also said that the slight tingle The Ripper warns about is actually pretty uncomfortable.
You don’t have to worry about long term side effects however.
Where Can I Get It?
The Ripper is available from a wide variety of on and offline retailers for around the $30 (£20) mark, which buys you a month long supply.
The Ripper Ingredients – In Detail
This first lot of half of the formula makes up the Muscle Fuel Blend. There’s 3,055mg of this which is a good amount but how it’s split is anyone’s guess. Frustrating.
Beta-alanine is actually not a bad choice. It promotes the amino acid, Carnosine, which protects the working muscle from the damage and fatigue caused by lactic acid. As a result several studies have shown beta-alanine can improve endurance, giving you the opportunity to build muscle/burn fat the hard way.
Beta Alanine gives the tingling sensation The Ripper warns about Normally it’s no problem but there have been reports of rare cases where users get much more than a tingle.
Taurine is an amino acid often included in energy drinks, such as Red Bull. This suggests it provides a similar surge of energy to caffeine. In fact, some studies show taurine is an exercise recovery tool, cutting oxidative stress. A trial in 2013 found it helped the stamina of middle distance runners.
Guarana contains caffeine and is similar to stimulants Theobromine and Theophylline. Often sold as a kind of slow release caffeine, though recent research has shown no difference in absorption rate.
Guarana is the proverbial double edged sword; it bolsters the metabolism, but it also piles on the stimulants and starts to tip the sensible 200mg of caffeine towards possible unpleasant side effects.
Now we’re in worse than useless territory. Raspberry ketone is popular with many brands based almost entirely on attention it got from the Dr Oz show. But any positive results rats had needed massive doses. Upscaling for humans would mean a 150lb person taking 4-5g daily. Way more than any burner can offer. A total waste.
Caffeine is actually given an individual dose on the label (see folks, you can manage it when you want to) and it’s one of the Ripper’s rare high points. This natural stimulant is great for speeding your metabolism way up, helping you shift fat quicker. It also provides a welcome energy surge, which you’ll need on a low calorie diet.
200g is a well-judged dose as it’s enough to keep these benefits going steadily without risking any crashes of fatigue associated with higher amounts.
Now we come to the Ripper Shred Matrix, which incredibly is just 106mg! There’s no way any of these choices will be strong enough.
This a more easily absorbed version of the naturally produced amino acid, L-Carnatine. In trials it has shown it can burn fat, but only really in more elderly subjects. This is possibly due to a carnitine deficiency.
One of the best natural fat burners. It’s packed with antioxidants and the catechins it contains trigger an increase in norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is your natural fat burning hormone, which heats the body up then cools it down, which takes energy and uses extra calories. It’s called thermogenesis and it’s a great way to burn fat having to do anything. In the right dose of course, which we can’t see here.
Green Coffee Bean
Another chance missed here. Green coffee bean is fantastic source of chlorogenic acid, which breaks down glucose in the liver before the body gets a chance to burn it as energy. Needing a replacement, your system starts burning your stores of excess fat. Or at least it would do if wasn’t just an unknown share of a small 106mg blend.
Cinnamon Bark Extract
Cinnamon extract is has shown in a few human studies it can lower blood sugars and while it won’t promote weight loss in the average user, if you have a higher insulin resistance it might help to regulate blood glucose, sustaining energy. Again, if given a chance with a decent amount.
Olive Leaf Extract
A few rat studies show olive leaf stimulates norepinephrine and epinephrine, but research is far from conclusive.
Where olive leaf has a bit more clinical clout is in a positive effect on blood pressure. Good thing too in burners that are stimulant heavy. Again though, with olive leaf scrabbling for a share of 106mg and 200mg of caffeine alone, it’s hardly a fair fight.
Apart from in many cases, decent dosages, there is no appetite control here at all. When those hunger pangs hit it really will just be you and your will power. It’s a shame really, there are plenty of safe, natural ways to tame a growling stomach
The Ripper seems to be having an identity crisis. Most of Cobra Labs range is a pre-workout product and it’s almost like this wants to be one too. The emphasis is definitely on stimulants.
The really serious fat burning ingredients are seriously light and there’s no help with appetite. Add to that the possibility of unpleasant side effects and no matter how cheap this supplement is sold, there will always be better options out there.
Studies Quoted in the Review
- Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Biomedical, Life and Health Sciences Research Centre, School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, UK.(2012)
- Balshaw TG, Bampouras TM, Barry TJ, Sparks SA. The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners. Health and Exercise Sciences Research Group, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, UK (2013)
- Bempong DK, Houghton PJ. Dissolution and absorption of caffeine from guarana. Chelsea Department of Pharmacy, King’s College London, UK. (1992)
- Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, Okuda H.Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone Department of Medical Biochemistry, Ehime University School of Medicine, Shigenobu-cho, Onsen-gun, Ehime, Japan (2005)
- Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. (1980)
- Pistone G, Marino A, Leotta C, Dell’Arte S, Finocchiaro G, Malaguarnera M Levocarnitine administration in elderly subjects with rapid muscle fatigue: effect on body composition, lipid profile and fatigue.. Department of Senescence, Urological and Neurological Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.(2002)
- Villani RG, Gannon J, Self M, Rich PA. L-Carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women. Department of Human Biology and Movement Science, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria Australia (2000)
- Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Dulloo AG, Tremblay A, Tappy L, Rumpler W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS..The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands (2011)
- Thom E The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people.ETC Research and Development, Oslo, Norway (2007)
- Davis PA, Yokoyama W Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis.Department of Nutrition, University of California-Davis, Davis, California, USA (2011)
- Susalit E, Agus N, Effendi I, Tjandrawinata RR, Nofiarny D, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Verbruggen M Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: comparison with Captopril.Nephrology & Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia (2011)