BPI B4 Review
Developed by BPI Sports, B4 is a “high-end immediate gratification based pre-workout and diet pill.”
Advertisements would have you believe this extreme fat burner increases norepinephrine and dopamine release for enhanced weight loss results, increased energy levels, and improved mood and focus.
James Grage, BPI Sports Vice President says, “This is the most exclusive high-end sports performance and weight loss product available anywhere. Every component of this formula was carefully developed utilizing the absolute highest standards and the most cutting-edge non-commercialized ingredients available anywhere in the world.”
As much as I’d like to believe Mr. Grage, I can’t help be a little skeptical. Is B4 as effective as advertised, and if so, is it safe?
What’s Under the Lid?
To BPI Sports’ credit, I do agree with the ingredients being “non-commercialized.” With the exception of caffeine and yohimbe, many B4 ingredients are virtually unknown in the weight loss world.
But just because B4 offers unique ingredients doesn’t guarantee its effectiveness. Here’s a quick breakdown of what these ingredients can really do. . .
Thiamine. Thiamine, or vitamin B1, is essential for the proper use of carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and proteins. According to Mayo Clinic experts, thiamine may be an effective treatment for metabolic disorders such as hyperalaninemia. But, there is insufficient evidence linking thiamine to weight loss. 
Niacin. Also known as vitamin B3, niacin is required for the proper use of fats and sugars as well as cell maintenance. It is commonly used to lower triglyceride levels and protect the heart.
Although niacin is involved in over 60 different metabolic processes related to energy production, it does not have a direct impact on weight loss. Consequently, there are no clinical studies validating its effects.
Dendrobium Nobile. Many diet pill manufacturers are claiming dendrobium nobile is an adequate substitute for geranium extract (DMAA). Supposedly this herb significantly increases energy levels and boosts mood due to alkaloids and constituents such as phenylethylamine.
However, many experts disagree. Many believe dendrobium based products are spiked with amphetamines, because phenylethylamine does not occur naturally in some dendrobium plants. Currently there is not enough information to know if dendrobium is either safe or effective for weight loss.
Caffeine Anhydrous. Caffeine is among the most popular weight loss ingredients in the industry. It interacts with the central nervous system to temporarily increase energy output and physical performance.
According to experts, caffeine creates a more favorable intracellular ionic environment in active muscle, facilitating force production by each motor unit. What does this mean for you?
“[caffeine] could permit the athlete to train at greater power output and/or to train longer.”
Canavalia Gladiata. Not a lot of clinical information is available on the sword bean. Canavalia gladita contains chemicals which improve dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin levels. It might even protect against Parkinson’s disease. However, human research still needs to be conducted. 
Psoralea Corylifolia. Studies suggest psoralea corylifolia extract acts as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor.  Supposedly it creates a psychostimulant and appetite suppressant effect. Then again, the study was conducted on mice, not humans. Additional human research is needed.
Sophora Japonica. The Japanese pagoda contains quercetin, which eliminates free radicals and protects against oxidative stress. Currently there is no clinical research connecting sophora japonica with weight loss. Nevertheless, there are some preliminary studies suggesting quercetin may lower cholesterol levels. 
Like so many other ingredients in B4, more research is needed to confirm this effect.
Red Wine Concentrate. Red wine contains resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that eliminates free radicals and reduces signs of aging. Studies suggest resveratrol lowers blood pressure and mimics the metabolic effects of exercise. But, many experts agree, resveratrol falls short when it comes to promoting weight loss. 
Yohimbe. Yohimbe is a natural aphrodisiac commonly used to increase energy levels and performance. It contains the compound yohimbine, which may promote weight loss and inhibit weight gain.
However, studies show yohimbine has no significant impact on body mass, muscle mass, or performance in professional athletes. 
Furthermore, yohimbine is linked to negative side effects such as seizures, heart attack, and stroke.
Potential Side Effects
With 3500 mg of stimulants and unstudied ingredients in every serving, B4 looks like a heart attack waiting to happen.
It looks especially worrisome when you read this caffeine warning on the label:
“The recommended serving of this product contains approximately as much caffeine as three cups of coffee. Do not consume caffeine, or combine with synephrine, including but not limited to coffee, tea, soda and other dietary supplements or medications containing phenylephrine or caffeine. Too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and occasionally rapid heartbeat. Discontinue use if you experience dizziness, severe headache, rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath.”
I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.
While 3 cups of coffee might not sound like a lot to some, keep in mind that the warning was based on the caffeine content – not the additional stimulants found in the formula.
When you include the amphetamine-like effects of dendrobium and the seizure-inducing compounds of yohimbe, your side effect risk is greatly increased.
Andryde614 at GNC.com adds, “These are nothing but caffeine pills, sure it’ll keep you up for an all night studying session, but sleep helps you burn fat.. don’t buy this.. wast of $ and Time.”
How to Get the Best Results
B4 usage instructions are confusing at best.
According to the manufacturers, you should take 1 capsule 20-30 minutes before training.
However, the label provided by GNC.com recommends: “take 1 serving (1 scoop) approximately 15-30 minutes prior to training,” and it lists 2 capsules per serving with 28 servings in a 1 month supply.
1 scoop? I’m pretty sure B4 is a diet pill, not a powder.
I’ll have to side with the manufacturers on this one. It’s better to take 1 pill 20-30 minutes before training and see how your body adjusts.
If you want to order from the manufacturers, you can buy B4 for $49.95 per bottle. However, if you want to save money, BPI B4 can be purchased from the following websites as well:
• GNC.com: $31.99
• SupplementWareHouse.com: $26.95
• VitaGlo.com: $25.63
Are The Manufacturers Trustworthy?
BPI Sports is among the top nutrition supplement manufacturers in the US. The company retails in over 20,000 stores and has multiple distributor partnerships both domestic and abroad.
Manufacturers boast, “In the coming year, we will be busting down your doors, your shelves, and your gyms with the most hard-edged sports nutrition line that will continue to redefine the way you train, the way you look, and the way you feel.”
As nice as this is, however, I would be more impressed if BPI offered safer, more reliable supplements rather than its current “hard-edged” line. Many of its products toe safety lines to promote results.
Additionally, I’d prefer a satisfaction guarantee over a 30 day guarantee. Although the return policy accepts products within 30 days, it only covers unopened, unused products.
Many consumers would like to try the product to assess its full effect, and not everyone responds to the same ingredients in the same way. If a product doesn’t work, they’re stuck with a pricey paperweight.
While the manufacturers are reliable enough to issue a refund on unopened products, I would much rather order a diet pill from a company that stands by their formula 100% with their guarantee.
Pick It or Pitch It?
B4 is definitely a powerful energy booster, but I’m not sure it’s the best solution for losing weight. The ingredients are unproven and the concentrations are unknown. Additionally, the risk of side effects is extremely high.
Although it may help you lose weight when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, I think there are safer, more reliable supplements available for a more affordable price.
 “Thiamine (Vitamin B1).” Mayo Clinic. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-b1/NS_patient-thiamin/DSECTION=evidence
 Graham TE. “Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance, and performance.” Sports Medicine. 2001;31(11):785-807. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11583104
 Banoth, Ramya Kubur; Thaakur, Santh Rani. “Anti-Parkinsonian effect of various extract of Canavalia gladiata seeds in mice.” Journal of Pharmacy Research. Nov 2011. Vol. 4. Issue 11. P 4050. Available from: http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/74292661/anti-parkinsonian-effect-various-extract-canavalia-gladiata-seeds-mice
 Zhao G, Li S, Qin GW, Fei J, Guo LH. “Inhibitive effects of Fructus Psoraleae extract on dopamine transporter and noradrenaline transporter.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jul 25;112(3):498-506. Epub 2007 Apr 25. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17555897
 Bok SH, Park SY, Park YB, Lee MK, Jeon SM, Jeong TS, Choi MS. “Quercetin dihydrate and gallate supplements lower plasma and hepatic lipids and change activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes in high cholesterol-fed rats.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2002 May;72(3):161-9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12098884
 Moisse, Katie. “Red Wine Ingredient Resveratrol Mimics Diet, Exercise in obese Men.” ABC News. Nov. 1, 2011. Available from: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/w_DietAndFitnessNews/red-wine-ingredient-resveratrol-mimics-calorie-restriction-obese/story?id=14852698
 “Resveratrol Falls Short in Health Benefits, Study Shows.” Science Daily. Oct 25, 2012. Available from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025122425.htm
 “Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players.” Res Sports Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;14(4):289-99. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214405