SKALD Vs. Hydroxycut – Which Weight Loss Product Should You Pick?

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By Thomas Youngerman

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

skald vs. hydroxycut

Despite all the advertising, marketing, testimonials, and success stories, no overwhelming scientific evidence exists that any dietary supplement enables long-term significant weight loss. Even more egregious is the product claim of weight loss in the absence of lifestyle changes addressing diet and exercise. Perhaps for the clinically obese, prescription drugs may work for a short time without calorie restriction; however, it is likely they will regain the weight. In our opinion, a view shared by industry experts, the best you can hope for is that a quality supplement, combined with a healthy diet, calorie restriction, and exercise, can help you reach your fitness goals faster. 

This article compares the weight loss products from two natural product companies, one a behemoth in the industry, Iovate Health Sciences, now owned by Xiwang Foodstuffs in China, and Beldt Labs of Sherman Oaks, California. In a departure from our norm, we compare two products from Iovate under the Hydroxycut label versus SKALD from Beldt Labs. Our rationale will become clear as we look at one edgier, more aggressive offering from Iovate plus their Non-Stimulant product. We suggest which brand and which product might be more appropriate for your needs and objectives, focusing on efficacy and safety and substantiating our recommendations with a review of the ingredients, the science, and the history of the products. 

Ready to find out which is best for you? If so, let’s jump into this comparison of SKALD vs. Hydroxycut!

SKALD vs. Hydroxycut: The Products

Weight loss supplements come in various forms, such as pills, powders, tablets, capsules, gummies, and liquids. Some feature only one compound, while most are multiple-ingredient formulations addressing weight loss through different pathways. Some of the mechanisms employed include increasing metabolism, burning fat, blocking the absorption of carbohydrates, and appetite suppression. 

SKALD and Hydroxycut are both thermogenic diet aids that boost metabolism, burn fat, and suppress appetite. 

SKALD Oxydynamic Fat Scorcher, from Beldt Labs

SKALD is a thermogenic diet aid in capsule form with the added benefit of respiratory support. The company positions SKALD as the first trademarked product of its kind with a tagline, “Breath better. Burn Faster.” The product works by increasing your metabolism to burn more fat, suppressing your appetite, and supporting your mood and respiratory system. 


The SKALD proprietary blend contains Caffeine, N-Acetyl-Tyrosine, Green Tea Extract, and five other compounds. We know the 356 mg blend includes 110 mg of Caffeine; however, we cannot determine the dosage of the remaining ingredients. 

As noted in our opening, SKALD is manufactured in Sherman Oaks, California, in FDA-registered, GMP-compliant facilities.  The company originally designed its cutting-edge products for high-intensity athletes such as MMA fighters, CrossFit participants, bodybuilders, HIIT training, and other fitness enthusiasts. In its marketing materials, Beldt mentions partnering with GNC to make SKALD available in its stores. Other products marketed on the company’s website include:

  • A Performance Series including:
    • REBAAR a branched-chain amino acid
    • KEEN – Ketogenic diet support
    • PRIZM multivitamin
    • VAST – Nitric Oxide
    • VIVID – for cognition
  • A Bedrock Series including:
    • CLA 1000
    • VITAMIN D3
    • STAVE – appetite suppressant

How to Take SKALD

Like Hydroxycut, SKALD should be taken twice daily. The first serving is one capsule on an empty stomach before breakfast, followed by a second serving five-six hours later. Thus, a sixty-count bottle of SKALD is a thirty-day supply versus fifteen days in a bottle of Hydroxycut. 

skald how to use

And like we’ll see with Hydroxycut, Beldt recommends carefully assessing tolerance, only taking a second serving if the first is well tolerated. 

Hydroxycut, from Iovate

To be fair, Hydroxycut is more than a product; it’s a brand with multiple product offerings from the Original to Advanced, Hardcore, Non-Stimulant, and +Women. There is a Drink Mix, Gummies, and bundles such as the Starter Kit, On the Go, and Energy Bundle. Hydroxycut is one of several powerhouse brands from Iovate Health Sciences, Inc., including MuscleTech, Six Star, and Purely Inspired. Started in 1995, Iovate is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, and makes its products available to people in over 130 countries. 


First, we picked the most expensive item from the Hydroxycut website for our comparison, Hydroxycut Advanced (below the price of SKALD per bottle, but slightly higher per day). Advanced is a weight loss aid, a multi-ingredient dietary supplement in rapid-release liquid gel form. There are eight compounds in the 680 mg formula. Although a proprietary formula, Advanced identifies the dosage in four components, Caffeine, Robusta Coffee Extract, MCT Oil, and Yohimbe. The amount of the other four ingredients is not known. Based on the products’ advertising, Hydroxycut Advanced is targeted more toward athletes and bodybuilders, whereas Hydroxycut Original and Non-Stimulant are marketed for those interested in general weight loss. Every Hydroxycut iteration contains the C. Canephora Robusta Extract ingredient found in green coffee. 

For balance and as a less “edgy” product, we also include Hydroxycut Non-Stimulant in our comparison. The Non-Stimulant product is also a multi-ingredient weight loss supplement in capsule form, perhaps more appropriate for those looking for a diet aid without the potential jitters and anxiety of caffeine and Yohimbe. In addition to the Robusta Coffee Extract, Non-Stim contains vitamin D and numerous B vitamins, including a high dose of vitamin B12, Apple Cider, and three other ingredients. 

We delve into the ingredients and the science supporting their effectiveness in the formulation sections.

How to Take Hydroxycut Advanced

Iovate recommends one serving (two capsules) thirty to sixty minutes before your two largest meals of the day, with the caveat not to take it within five hours of bed due to the stimulant content. Note: Given this dosage, each bottle is only a fifteen-day supply. Caution is also given not to exceed two capsules in four hours or four capsules within twenty-four hours. Given the higher dosages of caffeine and Yohimbe, the company recommends you first test your tolerance and provides a guide as to how to do so. 

hydroxycut how to take

The company states that for optimal results, use for sixty days consecutively, combined with diet and exercise. This would require four bottles for sixty days. Experts recommend cycling off the product for at least one month after sixty days of use to allow your body to reset.

How to Take Hydroxycut Non-Stimulant

The recommendations and cautions for Non-Stim are the same as Advanced, sans the tolerance test – two capsules with water twice daily before your two main meals, and do not exceed two capsules in four hours or four capsules in twenty-four hours.

hydroxycut non stim hgow to take

Which Thermogenic Product is Better – It Depends

We began this review with a bias towards naming Hydroxycut as the clear winner – the product most likely to provide energy, fat burning, and motivation to help you meet your body composition objectives. After all, the product has existed for more than two decades, is sold in 130 countries, and is available everywhere online and in brick-and-mortar stores. 

However, during our research, we discovered information that we felt you should be aware of, such as FDA product recalls in 2004 (ephedra ban) and 2009 (hepatotoxicity – liver damage). The company has also faced controversy and class action lawsuits for unsubstantiated claims, their marketing, and potential side effects. Today’s Hydroxycut products are classified as safe, and most items have been rebranded, redesigned, and renamed.  

Back to our review/comparison – the current iteration of Advanced is the most aggressive of our three products, with 200 mg of caffeine, MCT Oils, Yohimbe, and 200 mg of Robusta Extract per serving. For those seeking the most potency and edgiest of the three products, Hydroxycut Advanced is probably the product for you – provided you enjoy the energy and stimulation and can tolerate 400 mg of caffeine and 60 mg of Yohimbe daily. Cautions – the FDA recommends a maximum caffeine intake of around 400 mg per day, and most sites suggest no more than 30-40 mg of Yohimbe. Both upper limits are easily exceeded given two servings of Advanced daily. Available virtually everywhere, Advanced is the most expensive of our comparison products at $1.79 per day.

SKALD also contains caffeine, although at a more modest 110 mg per serving, plus Green Tea catechins, Juniper Berry, and White Willow Bark for their thermogenic properties. Each ingredient is supported on the company website, with examples of clinical trials substantiating their effectiveness. With two compounds designed to support the lungs and L-Tyrosine for mood, SKALD should be effective for those in the target market.

More experienced athletes and those looking to be significantly leaner may prefer SKALD and its safer formulation with more natural ingredients. SKALD has a lower cost ($1.33/day) but is not as easily accessible, available only on the company website, a select few e-commerce sites, and at one retailer, GNC stores. 

Hydroxycut Non-Stimulant features the same Robusta Coffee Extract (C. Canephora Robusta) as other products in the line. However, this form of coffee is not roasted and has far less caffeine – Non-Stim is 99% caffeine-free. The website extensively quotes two sixty-day, double-blind scientific studies showing that C. Canephora Robusta users lost twice the weight of the placebo group. (Both groups also followed a low-calorie diet during the test). In a review of clinical trials on green coffee extract, the NCBI tends to agree there is a weight loss benefit; however, suggests more rigid tests are required. There is some data to support the use of Apple Cider Vinegar as a weight loss component as well. 

Non-Stimulant is our preferred option for those seeking a safer, more natural weight management approach – as the Quiz on the Hydroxycut site says, “someone looking for just a little help.” Like Advanced, the Non-Stim product is available everywhere, making it easy to access, and it is our lowest-cost product at only $1.33/day. 

So, as you can see, there is a trade-off between efficacy, safety, and cost based on your preferences and tolerance to stimulants. Regardless of which product you opt to use, understand that a healthy diet, calorie restriction, and exercise will be required for long-term weight loss, overall fitness, and your ideal body composition. 

Product Comparison Chart

Hydroxycut AdvancedHydroxycut Non-StimSKALD
FDA Registered YesYesYes
Trademarked IngredientsNoNoYes
# of Ingredients8118
Cost per Day$1.79$1.33$1.63
SourcingOnline & in StoresOnline & in StoresOnline & in GNC
Our Efficacy Rating*#1#3#2
Our Safety Rating*#3#1#2

* Our Efficacy and Safety Ratings are on a scale of 1 – 3, with 1 being the most effective or safest.

The Formulations

As previously mentioned, 200 mg of Robusta Coffee Extract (as C. canephora robusta) is a component in each Hydroxycut formulation. Promoted for its thermogenic effect to boost metabolism, energy, and as a diuretic. 

SKALD Ingredient Review

Each capsule of SKALD contains a 356 mg proprietary blend formulation of eight ingredients. Although we know the caffeine content (110 mg), the other dosages are not listed. We review the ingredients in the order listed on the Supplement Facts Panel, as it’s required that components in a blend are listed in descending order based on content.

Caffeine Anhydrous (110 mg) – Clinical trials support the idea that Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increases thermogenesis, and aids in fat oxidation. In SKALD, Caffeine is formulated to deliver a synergistic effect when combined with Juniper Berry Extract.

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – An amino acid popular in nootropic products to reduce stress, elevate mood, and enhance memory. Beldt suggests that Tyrosine may help avoid emotional eating. 

Catechin – Per an NCBI review, the catechins in Green Tea Extract increase your energy expenditure and fat oxidation and reduce fat absorption. 

Juniper Berry Extract (Juniperus Communis) – Wolfson contends that Juniper Berry provides benefits like the banned substance DMHA, boosting the metabolism and inhibiting fat accumulation.

White Willow Bark – Often referred to as nature’s aspirin. In the SKALD formulation, the willow bark is intended to increase muscle thermogenesis and blood flow.

Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus) – A medicinal plant used to support healthy lung function. 

Elecampane (Inula helenium) – A natural herb used to address the symptoms of lung-related illness. The SKALD formula includes Elecampane to help you breathe easier during exercise. 

BioPerine – a trademarked black pepper extract that improves the bioavailability and absorption of the other active compounds.

skald ingredients

Other Ingredients in Hydroxycut Advanced

Caffeine Anhydrous, 200 mg – Per the NCBI, caffeine boosts metabolism and aids in fat oxidation. It may enhance athletic performance as well. The 200 mg dose equates to about one cup of coffee.

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT Oil), 200 mg – promotes satiety, is a ready energy source, and has antimicrobial and antifungal properties among its many health benefits.

Yohimbe Extract, 30 mg – studies have found that taking Yohimbe could lead to weight loss and decreases in body fat. Also used to treat ED (erectile dysfunction). 

The dosages of the following are unknown.

Black Caraway – with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Black Caraway may benefit overall health. Results in weight loss studies are inconclusive.

Purslane Extract – nutrient-rich and high in dietary fiber; Purslane may promote satiety and reduce cravings.

Maitake Mushroom Extract – rich in prebiotic fiber, medicinal mushrooms may help improve weight management, provide energy, support immune function, and balance hormone levels.

Chicory Root – packed with the prebiotic fiber inulin, Chicory Root may help regulate appetite and reduce caloric intake.

hydroxycut advance ingredient

Other Ingredients in Hydroxycut Non-Stimulant

The Vitamin Blend in Non-Stimulant comprises D and five types of B vitamins, including 250% of the RDA of Vitamin B12. The blend is designed to aid in the metabolism of macronutrients. The B vitamins in supplements may also provide an energy boost if you are deficient.

Apple Cider Vinegar, 100 mg – Although not clinically supported, ACV in supplementation is thought to help control appetite and burn fat.

Plum – a nutritious and fiber-filled fruit plum may promote a feeling of fullness. 

Baobab Extract – another compound designed to make you feel full and consume fewer calories.

Cardamom is a spice, high in antioxidants, with diuretic properties, that is thought to speed digestion, metabolism, and burn fat.

hydroxycut ingred non stim

SKALD vs. Hydroxycut: Benefits of the Brands

Each of our products features different components in their proprietary formulas, and each promises weight loss. Being thermogenic diet aids, their claims are similar and shared below:

BenefitHydroxycut AdvancedHydroxycut Non-StimSKALD
Sensory BoostX
Metabolism BoostXXX
Clean EnergyXXX
Fat Burning / Fat LossXXX
Appetite SuppressionXXx
Enhance Focus / MoodXXX
Jitter FreeX
Metabolize MacronutrientsX
Respiratory SupportX

To their credit, both companies emphasize the necessity of a healthy diet, a calorie deficit, and exercise to realize these benefits and to achieve your fitness and weight goals. 

SKLAD vs. Hydroxycut: Price/Value Comparison

The Hydroxycut brand is available online and in stores. Different products and sizes are featured in specialty stores like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe. SKALd is available directly from the official Beldt website. We quote the prices as indicated on the companies’ websites for comparison purposes. Note: to compute the “per day” cost, we assumed two bottles per month (divided by 30 days) as each bottle is a fifteen-day supply. 

SKALD Pricing

SKALD – Cost per Day $1.63

  • One-Time Purchase – $49.00
  • Three bottles – $41.65 each
  • Six bottles – $39.20 each
  • Subscription – Save 10%

Sixty-day money-back guarantee on products purchased on the Beldt website. 

skald website

Hydroxycut Pricing

Hydroxycut Advanced – Cost per Day $1.79

  • One-Time Purchase – $26.99
  • Subscription – Save 20% on your first and 15% on subsequent orders.

Hydroxycut Non-Stim – Cost per Day $1.33

  • One-Time Purchase – $19.99
  • Subscription – Save 20% on your first and 15% on subsequent orders.

The website speaks to a thirty-day Return Policy. To qualify for a return or refund, you must contact the company within sixty days of purchase. 

hydroxycut website

SKALD vs. Hydroxycut: Assessing the Products and Go-to-Market Strategies

SKALD is available online, at several other e-retailers, including Amazon and, and in GNC stores. This is limited distribution, and each retailer sells the same product and size, most at the same price of $49.99. is the outlier at significantly higher prices for the same 60-count bottle. It seems obvious the company attempts to sell its product primarily through its website.

Conversely, Iovate adheres to an omni-marketing philosophy making their products available virtually everywhere, including their website. Products featured at different retailers may have other names, such as Hardcore, Hardcore Elite, or Hardcore Super Elite, and different counts, some 60-counts, some 90 or 120-counts. Pricing fluctuates between retailers, a function of their different profit margin requirements, so purchasing at a drugstore may be more expensive.  

Regardless of the Hydroxycut product you choose, you will need to read the label carefully and pay attention to the number of capsules and the price point.

SKALD vs. Hydroxycut: Potential Side Effects When Using Thermogenics

Given the history of the Hydroxycut brand, we strongly recommend you consult with your medical professional before adding one of its products to your supplement regimen. People with preexisting conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease, irregular blood pressure levels, or mental health issues, should exercise extreme caution, particularly with products containing Yohimbe. In addition, children under 18 and pregnant women should not use Yohimbe. 

As a category, serious adverse events from thermogenic products are rare, except when using more than the recommended dosages. Less severe side effects include: 

  • Jitters and anxiety
  • Head and stomach aches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea

Some thermogenic products contain diuretics, and some people experience excessive sweating, so staying hydrated is essential.

In Conclusion: SKALD vs. Hydroxycut 

Within the category of diet aids and our subset of multi-ingredient products, there are trade-offs between edgier, more aggressive formulations and safety. Without a calorie deficit and regular exercise, no product will make you lose weight long-term. As you develop your weight loss and fitness goals, we suggest you consider these three things, diet, exercise, and product. 

  1. What is your targeted caloric intake versus energy expenditure? 
  2. How many calories will you burn through your exercise program?
  3. Do I need a supplement? If so, how potent of a diet aid will I need to achieve my objectives safely?

Finally, consider that successful body composition changes are typically about 60-70% attributable to diet, 20-30% to exercise, and 10% to the product. For many, that 10% attributable to a thermogenic diet aid may provide the added benefit of the energy and motivation required for adherence to your diet and compliance with your workout program. 

Still looking to learn a bit more about each option before making your final decision? If so, check out our complete SKALD review here and our complete Hydroxycut review here.

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Thomas Youngerman

Thomas Youngerman is an entrepreneur and author in the health and wellness space with extensive experience in the supplement industry. He has owned multiple sports nutrition stores and served as the Category Manager and Director of Business Development for a regional chain of nutrition stores. Thomas created a successful line of men’s healthy aging supplements that was distributed in GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Kroger, and later sold to a West Coast corporation. Thomas was previously a certified nutrition coach. He has a strong understanding of nutrition, supplement formulations, DSHEA, cGMP, and FDA regulations.