James Dixon takes a look at this questionable supplement in our Burn Evolved review. Find out if it works better than it looks on first glance.
Losing weight can be a tricky thing. It’s hard to do, obviously. It’s also quite easy to lose muscle mass rather than fat. And, finally, you’re at your lowest when you most need a fair amount of willpower.
All told, it’s a challenge.
Any tool that can make it a little easier and a little more efficient is therefore incredibly welcome. This is where supplementation can come into play – the market is rich with supplements aimed at helping you out on your weight loss journey. Some of them are fantastic. Others… less so. There are some shockingly bad ones out there.
Burn Evolved, which we’ll be looking at today, looks like an odd one. At first glance, it looks like it will occupy a place towards the lower end of the quality spectrum. However, you never know until you try these things out – and so I did – and here I am to bring you the results in this Burn Evolved review.
Quick Verdict On Burn Evolved
Sculpt Nation make some big claims with Burn Evolved. They are largely false. Burn Evolved is meant to increase thermogenesis, increase brown adipose tissue (BAT) levels, and help to dislodge stubborn fat.
It will likely have a thermogenic reaction, though nothing like as good as a top-shelf, dedicated thermogenic fat burner (for this see PhenQ). It won’t do the latter. Few, if any, natural ingredients can have any effect on BAT levels. The idea that any supplement can help to dislodge stubborn fat is pure fantasy.
Sculpt Nation have no scientific evidence to back up any of these latter claims, and there is no way that they are unaware of this fact.
About Burn Evolved
Burn Evolved, by US-based supplement and sports nutrition company Sculpt Nation, is billed as a fat burner. It is formulated to speed up the rate at which you burn through excess body fat. It is the beneficiary of a lot of good press – plenty of reviews attest to its efficacy online and the company themselves are incredibly aggressive in their marketing practices.
I would caution wariness here, though. I wouldn’t quite call their business model a pyramid scheme, but it edges in that direction. Their independent distributors are heavily incentivized to shift as much product as possible. Sculpt Nation are purely results focussed – it could be argued they don’t care how their product sells, or really what it does, as long as it gets out there.
This results in a lot of biased feedback online, posted by a motivated network of distributors and their contacts.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a good look at the product itself. Manufacturer aside, it may be a good supplement, after all.
Sculpt Nation claim that their Burn Evolved formula is a rapid fat burner. The way they talk, it sounds like you take a dose and the fat literally melts away. This is the kind of hyperbole that gives legitimate weight loss aids and thermogenic (fat burning) supplements a bad name.
Fat won’t melt away.
What they actually mean is that it can elicit improved rates of thermogenesis whilst helping to mobilize stored fat.
How Burn Evolved Works
As we have seen, Sculpt Nation claim that Burn Evolved can help you to burn more fat.
Its formula includes plenty of ingredients they claim can aid your weight loss in three different ways. A lot of the weight loss benefit to be gained resolves around Burn Evolved’s alleged ability to boost your BAT (brown adipose tissue) levels.
BAT is highly metabolically active and stands in stark contrast to the white adipose tissue (WAT) that makes up the excess fat around your middle, for example.
BAT is mainly tasked with creating energy from fat reserves. In theory, the more you have, the more calories you use, the more fat you burn; the more you have in relation to WAT, the better off you’ll be.
This is a specious claim at best, as we’ll see shortly.
Secondly, Sculpt Nation claim that Burn Evolved can boost thermogenesis. This makes sense. By increasing your BAT volume, Burn Evolved may theoretically help you to burn more calories even at rest; it may help you to get through that excess WAT that is ruining your body composition.
If it could cause you to create more BAT, this would indeed work.
There are also some additional ingredients included in Burn Evolved’s formula aimed at directly eliciting greater rates of thermogenesis.
However, if you’re looking at optimizing your metabolism by boosting thermogenesis, there are far better products out there. For instance, I would always recommend something like PhenQ, which is scientifically proven to elicit greater rates of thermogenesis whilst also giving a range of additional weight loss benefits (see below for more information).
Finally, Burn Evolved can supposedly help you to mobilize stored fat more efficiently. Basically, it helps your body to burn through stored fat to use as energy, which it should do anyway in the presence of a good calorie deficit and thermogenic fat burner. They claim it can somehow help you to dislodge stubborn fat cells, enabling your body to use them as fuel.
If this sounds a little fantastical, it’s because it most likely is. A supplement that could genuinely do what Burn Evolved claims would be very worthwhile. However, there is little to no scientific, clinical evidence showing that any of the ingredients in Burn Evolved work as Sculpt Nation claim.
Dietary supplements using natural ingredients can at best have a tiny effect on BAT levels. BAT levels will only generally be affected by prolonged exposure to extreme cold, or by certain pharmaceutical grade medications.
Sculpt Nation are, in essence, making what appear to be unsubstantiated claims. I would suggest everybody give them and all of their products a wide berth based on this alone. If they can fall back on untruths here, they can do it anywhere.
This is where everything falls apart. If you look at the ingredients making up a good fat burner (like those on our best male fat burners list), you will find a who’s who of well-known, well-studied, scientifically justified ingredients guaranteed to elicit at least some kind of result.
This isn’t the case with Burn Evolved, or, at least, not across the board. Some of their choices are very questionable, with very underwhelming scientific data (or, sometimes, none at all).
It starts off strong, however. You get a good dose of caffeine, a stimulant well-known for its ability to both give you a good energy spike and promote thermogenesis. It’s a winner. It stimulates the nervous system, improving clarity, alertness, and energy levels, whilst also causing your metabolism to rise and thus your body to burn more calories even at rest.
I’ve got every respect for any fat burners including caffeine.
Then there is yohimbine (or yohimbine hydrochloride), which pairs nicely with caffeine (though may be a little overwhelming for some users). It’s bark extract taken from the Pausinystalia Yohimbe, a tree native to parts of Africa. It shows up time and again in traditional African medicine, where it has been used for centuries.
Yohimbine is another worthy inclusion. It blocks noradrenaline action. Noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter whose inhibition can increase blood flow and adrenaline output. This will both give you more energy and a good, natural metabolism boost.
It can cause some side effects, however. These include high blood pressure, with which those looking to lose weight may already suffer, anxiety, and dizziness. As these are all side effects also associated with caffeine, we’re onto slightly dodgy territory here.
You also get a splash of apple cider vinegar, which may have fight fighting properties. However, you only get 300 mg with Burn Evolved, which is massively under-dosed.
Finally, on the good side of things, we have cayenne pepper. These chili peppers are a rich source of capsicum, one of the best thermogenic compounds going. Again, it’s a worthy inclusion. If it stopped here, I would be happy with Burn Evolved. I would think it was very light on ingredients, and thus staggeringly overpriced, but it would at least be scientifically coherent.
However, the next two ingredients are a little odd. Even if they weren’t, it would still be a very light formula. But they are, compounding the issue.
Firstly, we have epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It’s a catechin found abundantly in green tea. If they went for a full dose of green tea extract, this would be a great inclusion. Green tea gives you caffeine and is in itself a good thermogenic ingredient. It has been proven to elicit thermogenesis and boost fat burning.
However, EGCG has particularly bad bioavailability. Though it will be there in your stomach, it won’t absorb into your body. It basically amounts to an expensive ingredient for your urine, which is less than desirable.
Then there is Grains of Paradise, a native African plant which a few fat burners use in their formulas. It has potential in theory, but this theory is completely unjustified. There is little to no credible scientific evidence attesting to its efficacy.
Grains of Paradise have a long history in traditional forms of African medicine, where it is used to treat a range of different concerns. The main claim relevant to Burn Evolved is its ability to heighten rates of thermogenesis. There is only one study investigating this claim, and it was done on rats. Those rats developed liver toxicity, which makes me wonder why anyone would even think about including Grains of Paradise in their supplement.
This is it. There is nothing in there to suggest any effect on BAT levels. There is nothing there to suggest an ability to dislodge stubborn fatty cells. Nothing. The only ingredients we have are a couple of solid thermogenic options and a couple of really questionable inclusions.
Does Burn Evolved Work?
Well, it kind of works. You will likely experience some kind of benefit from the caffeine and cayenne pepper, if nothing else. There will be a good energy pop alongside a possible increased thermogenic effect.
However, I have coffee and cayenne pepper in my kitchen at home. I spent a few dollars on each – there is nothing special here. And the caffeine and cayenne pepper are dosed far too low to be worth taking in supplement form.
There is no way that a supplement priced as Burn Evolved is should only deliver a couple of usable but understrength ingredients.
Aside from the caffeine and cayenne pepper, and perhaps the yohimbine, everything else is kind of dead weight. It will not increase levels of BAT in your body. This is very close to being a medical impossibility even with the best ingredients, which these are not. It will also not dislodge fat. You aren’t struggling to lose weight because your body fat is somehow stuck in place.
There are plenty of ways you may be struggling to lose weight, but Burn Evolved won’t help you with any of them.
In the interest of fairness, I took a course of Burn Evolved. I have a high caffeine tolerance and drink plenty of coffee every day. I also like spicy food and regularly cook with chili. Therefore, it was all surplus to requirements. The calorie deficit I put in place alongside it worked and I lost a couple of pounds over a month, which is what I was aiming at. This had nothing to do with Burn Evolved – it was the same kind of result I would expect going without any kind of supplementation at all.
Evidence to support Burn Evolved
If you squint and look sideways, there is some evidence proving that Burn Evolved may be effective. However, it generally falls apart under scrutiny quite quickly.
For instance, EGCG has been shown to reduce abdominal fat in overweight participants taking 150 milligrams (mg) daily. However, Burn Evolved may have mislabelled their EGCG – it’s actually kind of unclear what they’re talking about here.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to be effective at fighting fat. However, it needs to be dosed at around 15,000 mg to be effective, which is fifty times the 300 mg you’ll get with Burn Evolved.
Caffeine and cayenne pepper both have a fair amount of statistically relevant data showing that they are good for burning extra calories. However, the caffeine is likely under-dosed, here – there is no data showing that the 100 mg you get with Burn Evolved has any effect. It’s about what you would expect in a single cup of coffee (which, I reiterate, I can make in my kitchen for a few cents).
Grains of Paradise’s inclusion rests on one small study that showed it may lead to around a 0.5% body fat reduction over a month. It was dosed at the same amount as you get in Burn Evolved. However, this is far, far from the weight of data you should expect to see justifying any supplement’s ingredients.
As I’ve already mentioned, there are much better supplements out there. I would push anyone to go with one of my personal favorite fat burners, PhenQ by Wolfson Berg, who are far more reputable than Sculpt Nation. It’s pretty much the best of the best.
PhenQ has some appetite suppressing properties. You will find your hunger pangs and cravings reduced a little when you’re on it. However, this is a minor part of what it does. It’s far more of a thermogenic fat burner – it will raise your body’s rate of thermogenesis, and thus its metabolism, chewing through around 50-100 calories more per day than you would otherwise burn.
This can make a big difference tagged onto a five calorie daily deficit.
It will also give you a good energy boost, far more so than Burn Evolved (and without having to rely on any blood pressure altering ingredients like yohimbine). In doing so, it will enable you to live an active lifestyle even as your body goes undersupplied with energy.
PhenQ can also inhibit new fat cell creation, though this is a little iffy. However, the ingredients included in PhenQ suggest that it can, if anything can.
This is PhenQ’s main achievement – everything included in its formula is scientifically coherent and justified. Everything it uses actually does what it is supposed to do. This shouldn’t be a big deal – it should be a matter of course. However, as we have seen, this is a luxury not always available.
To begin, PhenQ uses A-Lacy’s Reset, piperine extract, capsicum extract, l-carnitine fumarate, and caffeine anhydrous for thermogenesis. This should boost the amount of calories your body uses each day. They will also give you a good energy boost, keeping you alert and ready to go. These ingredients are all aided by niacin, chromium picolinate, calcium carbonate, and nopal, which all play important roles in reducing body fat, partly by suppressing your appetite.
It is everything that Burn Evolved wants to be.
I can see where Sculpt Nation were going when they formulated Burn Evolved. However, there are simply too many issues with the formula. Some ingredients are completely under-dosed. Others have no scientific justification at all – they simply shouldn’t be used in this context.
And two of their three main claims are outright not true. Burn Evolved may have a thermogenic effect. It will do nothing to your BAT levels and will not help to free up stubborn body fat for burning. These are clinically invalid claims touted by a company seemingly at peace with being fragrant with the truth to their customer base.
There are better supplements out there – many, many, much better supplements. They leave no room for the likes of Burn Evolved.