Sip your way to smart and skinny– right from your coffee cup. So is the claim of It Works Skinny Brew, said to be the fat burning coffee that caffinates all day. A coffee with metabolism-boosting ingredients that also fires up your brain too. Sounds like a neat trick. So does it really work? What are the ingredients in this coffee that makes it so special? More than that – is it proven to work? Is Skinny Brew safe and does it have any side effects? This review will help you sort the pros and cons and figure out if Skinny Brew really works of it it's just expensive coffee.
1. What Is Skinny Brew?
As the name suggests it's a fat-burning coffee, that the manufacturer (It Works) claims will:
- Actively burn body fat through enhanced thermogenesis
- Boost metabolism and energize the body to help manage weight
- Improve focus and concentration
And it has more than twice the caffeine as regular coffee.
Based on the ingredients (see below) Skinny Brew coffee is trying to accomplish two main things:
- weight loss/weight management
- help you feel better (less depression/anxiety)
2. Is it A Food or a Supplement?
Coffee is considered a food. Skinny Brew is a dietary supplement. We know this because this fat-burning coffee contains a Supplement Facts Label. The coffee you buy at the supermarket has a Nutrition Facts label. Only dietary supplements contain Supplement Facts labels. While the FDA does regulate supplements, it does not approve or test them to see if they really work.
Here is a promotional video the company has posted.
3. Skinny Brew Research
The best way to know if Skinny Brew really works is to test it in a clinical study. Unfortunately, no studies can be located. It does not appear the company has supported research to test the supplement actually does what it's claimed to do. Another way to see if it works is to look at Skinny Brew testimonials. While the supplement does have its share of before and after pictures and good results, unless you personally know the individual, how do you know you can trust it?
A third way to figure out how effective it is is to look at the ingredients and see what weight loss research they have. Let's look at that next.
4. Skinny Brew Ingredients
Each packet (6 grams) of Skinny Brew has the following ingredients
|Amount Per Serving||Percent Daily Value|
|Total carbs||2g||less than 1% DV|
|Chromium picolinate||1000 mcg||2857% DV|
|Skinny Blend||5,277 g||No daily value|
|1 Coffee powder|
|3 Green tea (45% EGCG)|
|4 Green coffee bean extract|
|5. Guarana seed extract|
|6. Yerba mate leaf extract|
|Nootropic Brain Blend||50 mg||No daily value|
|1. L theanine|
|2. Alpha GPC|
|3. Griffonia simplicifolia seed extract|
|4. Bacopa monnieri seed extract|
|5. Rhodiola Rosea root extract|
Note: The skinny blend amount is 5,277 grams. That's the same as 5277 mg.
The coffee also contains guar gum, natural flavors, and silica.
The Skinny Blend Ingredients
5. What Is Inulin?
Inulin (chicory root extract) is the 2nd ingredient listed in the Skinny Blend. Inulin is a soluble fiber. Fiber can help with weight loss. Inulin may also help improve the microbiome too. But, how much fiber does Skinny Brew have? The amount of fiber in the coffee is not listed. But since it's #2 ingredient listed, it may make up a good portion of the 5277 mg (5.2 grams) of the proprietary Skinny Blend.
It's possible inulin may help people lose weight.
Researchers in the UK observed that inulin promoted more weight loss than placebo after 18 weeks of use. The amount of inulin used was 30 grams a day (3000 mg or 1 oz). In another study, inulin was shown to reduce appetite. In this study 40, college students were given 16 grams of inulin for 1 week.
6. Why Chromium Picolinate?
Chromium is the first ingredient listed on the Supplement Facts label. Skinny Brew provides 1000 micrograms of this mineral -quite a lot. Each packet provides 2867% of your daily value for this mineral. Chromium has long been rumored to promote weight loss despite many studies showing it does not work. But in this skinny coffee, chromium picolinate is used not for weight loss but rather to reduce appetite.
So does chromium reduce appetite? Maybe yes.
In one investigation researchers observed that 1000 micrograms of chromium picolinate curbed appetites and fat intake more than a placebo when it was given to women for 8 weeks. This is the same dosage as contained in Skinny Brew.
While this is encouraging, the people taking chromium did not lose more weight.
In another study, researchers noted chromium picolinate (1000 micrograms) might help binge eating but the results were not significant. This may be due to the small number of people in the study.
Chromium can help reduce blood sugar levels. As such, it's popular with those who have diabetes and prediabetes.
7. Does Green Coffee Work?
The supplement contains green coffee derived from coffea robusta. The active ingredient in green coffee is usually said to be chlorogenic acid. Green coffee also contains caffeine. So does it work? Mouse studies suggest yes but what about human clinical trials?
In one study, conducted in Norway, researchers tested a green coffee supplement called Svetol. For 3 months 30 healthy (not overweight) women drank 5 cups of Slender Coffee which contained the Svetol green coffee ingredient. Those drinking the green coffee lost about 12 pounds. Those drinking regular coffee lost about 3.5 pounds. Women were also said to have lost body fat too.
In a review of 3 previous studies, researchers concluded green coffee might help people lose about 5 pounds but also cautioned the research studies had problems with how they were conducted. In another review, looking at 13 previous investigations, researchers noted green coffee was effective for weight loss in those who had a body mass index over 25. This includes those considered to be overweight.
Overall I don't think there's enough proof for green coffee supplements. Several studies have noted green coffee can lower blood sugar levels.
8. Does Yerba Mate Work?
Yerba mate (Ilex Paraguariensis) may be in some coffee and teas at your local supermarket. Does it work?
In one study from Korea, researchers tested yerba mate (3000 mg) vs. placebo in 25 people for 3 months. While belly fat loss did not differ, those taking yerba mate lost more body fat than those people taking a placebo pill. As for weight loss, those taking yerba mate capsules lost about 1 pound. Those taking the placebo grained about 3 pounds.
Another study also noted fat loss when 1200 mg of yerba mate superior to a placebo when it was given to 60 women for 6 weeks. In this study, those taking yerba mate lost about 0.3% of body fat and about 1 pound after 6 weeks of use. That's not much.
Both studies likely used more yerba mate than is in Skinny Brew. While studies like these are interesting, they also highlight that if yerba mate is effective, the weight loss results may be modest. Long term use of yerba mate may carry significant side effects. See the side effects section below.
9. How Much Caffeine In Skinny Brew?
Each packet of Skinny Brew has 225 mg of caffeine. The sources of caffeine are:
- Coffee powder: 75 mg of caffeine
- Green coffee (Coffea robusta): 150 mg of caffeine
The supplement also contains green tea and guarana which both also contain caffeine. However, the manufacture does not list the caffeine content of either ingredient. As such it may be assumed green tea and guarana are decaffeinated.
Skinny Brew Nootropic Brain Blend
Nootropics are compounds that are supposed to improve brain function, memory, and focus. Caffeine is an example of a nootropic. The Brain Blend has 5 ingredients that all add up to 50 mg. Here's a summary of those ingredients.
10. What Does Theanine Do?
Theanine is an amino acid. It's the first ingredient listed in the Brain Blend so it makes up most of the 50 mg proprietary blend. Theanine is found in teas and mushrooms. For comparison, a cup of black tea has about 25 mg of theanine while a cup of green tea has about 8mg. Theanine is thought to provide a relaxing /calming effect in the brain. It raises anti-stress compounds like GABA and increases alpha waves which help calm us.
11. What is Alpha GPC?
Alpha GPC also called Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, is a type of choline. Choline helps us make acetylcholine, an important neurochemical in the brain which plays a role in memory and learning. Alpha GPC is a proprietary form of choline made by Chemi Nutra located in Austin Texas. The A-GPC ingredient is made at the parent company, Chemi S.p.A located in Italy. Many supplements contain alpha GPC.
To see if Alpha GPC helped mood, cognitive ability, and agility, researchers gave 20 people 200 mg with or without caffeine. These researchers saw no beneficial effect of Alpha GPC or caffeine.
In an exercise study, researchers gave 13 college-age males 600 mg of alpha GPC for 6 days. Alpha GPC appeared to improve strength compared to when the men took a placebo.
In another exercise study, researchers gave 48 men either 250 or 500 mg of Alpha GPC. Those taking 250 mg performed better on speed and muscle power. Interestingly, TSH levels were lower in those taking the 500 mg dose.
12. What Is Griffonia Simplicifolia?
Griffonia simplicifolia is an African plant that naturally contains 5-HTP (5 hydroxytryptophan). The 5-HTP molecule raises serotonin levels in the brain. Some studies have noted 5-HTP may help depression. In one study 5-HTP reduced food intake after people took it for 2 weeks. See the side effects section below.
13. Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa monnieri also known as Brahmi is an ayurvedic herb that grows in areas like Sri Lanka, India, China, and Australia. It is popular for its reputation to improve memory. Some research supports this too.
In one investigation, researchers gave 81 healthy people bacopa (300 mg) or a placebo for 3 months. The bacopa supplement improved memory and retention significantly better than the placebo.
In this study, researchers tested bacopa vs. placebo in 60 medical students for 6 weeks. The bacopa dosage used was 300 mg a day. Results showed the medical students performed significantly better on memory tests.
In a review of 6 previous investigations, it was concluded bacopa may be effective for memory enhancement when used at dosages of 300-450 mg although they also noted the research on this herb is in its infancy.
14. What Does Rhodiola Rosea Do?
Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden root and Artic root is an adaptogen plant that grows in China and North America. As many as 140 different compounds of Rhodiola Rosea have been isolated. These days Rhodiola Rosea extracts are mostly used in supplements to battle depression and anxiety. Some research hints it may work similarly to depression medications called MAO inhibitors although its exact way of working is not understood.
In one study, Rhodiola rosacea extract was shown to be effective at helping mild to moderate depression. This study used 340 and 680 mg a day for 6 weeks. This investigation used a standardized extract called SHR-5. Several studies have also involved the SHR-5 Rhodiola Rosea extract.
In another investigation, Rhodiola Rosea (SHR-5) was compared to an SSRI anti-depression medication. While Rhodiola reduced depression, it was less effective than the drug. On the plus side, Rhodiola had fewer side effects than the SSRI medication. This study used 340 mg to 1060 mg per day. The 1060 mg dose is far more than most studies use. No reason why this high dosage was given.
Other research finds Rhodiola reduces cortisol levels in people with stress-related fatigue while at the same time improving the ability to concentrate. This study used 576 mg a day for 1 month and also used the SHR-5 Rhodiola extract.
Best Type of Rhodiola Rosea?
There are many brands of Rhodiola on Amazon and at your local vitamin store. It is quite possible all quality-made brands will have similar beneficial effects. If you are looking for the SHR-5 Rhodiola extract, it may or may not be available in the US. It is made by the Swedish Herbal Institute and can be found in a supplement called Arctic Root.
15. Who Makes Skinny Brew?
The company is called It Works also known as It Works Global. The company was started in 2011 and was probably best known as the originators of “that crazy wrap thing” which promoted temporary shrinkage of the midsection. The company has since expanded and now offers a wide array of dietary supplements.
The It Works company is located at 908 Riverside Dr, Palmetto, FL 34221-5035. The address corresponds to a large white building featuring the company name. This is good. It means the It Works company has an actual physical place of business.
The Better Business Bureau gives the It Works company a rating of C+ and 2 out of 5-star rating. See the BBB file for more information.
16. How Much Does It Cost
Here are prices listed on the company website (ItWorks.com):
- 15 servings: $49
- 30 servings $79
- 60 servings: $112
The cost is less if you sign up for automatic shipments.
If you pay full price and drink one cup a day for a month, you are paying $79/ month. That comes to $948 per year.
Like all It Works supplements, the fat burning coffee is sold via distributors. They may be able to offer it to you for less.
Here it is on Amazon. It may cost less there.
17. Skinny Brew Side Effects
Online reviews of side effects that have been reported include:
- rapid heart rate
- chest tightness
- elevated blood pressure
- As with any coffee, it may make you poop too
Some of these effects may be related to the 225 mg of caffeine in Skinny Brew.
To minimize side effects, general things to consider when trying new dietary supplement include:
- start with less than recommended for the first week
- the coffee has 225 mg of caffeine. Avoid near bedtime
- ask your doctor first if you take any medications
- if pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor first
- not recommended for children
Ingredient Side Effect Cautions
Here is a shortlist of potential effects based on the ingredients. This list is not complete:
- chromium may interact with diabetes medications like metformin or insulin or supplements like cinnamon
- Griffonia simplicifolia may raise serotonin levels too and interact with antidepressant medications
- Long term use of hot beverages containing yerba mate is associated with cancer. Mouth cancer, throat cancer, and lung cancer have been associated with long term use of yerba mate beverages.
- Rhodiola may interact with depression medications
18. Skinny Brew Pro and Con
Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the supplement. These are my opinions. Yours may be different
|Easy to purchase||Expensive|
|The company has been in business for a long time||No research on Skinny Brew itself|
|Ingredients have evidence||No evidence it helps weight loss|
|Online testimonials||Proprietary blends|
|Easy to use||Some ingredients are present in lower amounts than used in clinical studies|
|Lots of caffeine|
19. What Do I Suggest
If you want to make your own Skinny Brew and save money, I suggest you drink your regular coffee and add these to your daily routine:
Inulin (same fiber Skinny Brew has). You can add it to your coffee, juice, or any other liquid.
If you're looking for the nootropic effects – less anxiety/depression, then consider:
20. Does Skinny Brew Work?
From a weight-loss perspective, Skinny Brew coffee looks mostly like a caffeine and fiber supplement. Yes, fiber. Inulin (a soluble fiber) is the second ingredient listed in the skinny proprietary blend. Inulin has some weight loss evidence. While it's possible the company is on to something and all the ingredients work together synergistically to produce a superior effect, it will take human clinical trials to know for sure. If you're not convinced and want to try it for yourself,