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BPI B4 Reviews

Said to be the “single most dominant CNS stimulant/fat burning agent available anywhere,” B4 is among BPI Sports’ most popular fat burners.

B4 is part of BPI’s diamond series available at GNC.com. This supplement was supposedly based on college students’ needs to “stay up all night.” It offers increased energy levels and mental focus as well as improvements in mood, “lockdown intensity,” and fat burning.

Advertisements claim B4 is the “ultimate extra strength, super powerful fat burner that’s unlike anything before.”

But is it really?

Are the Ingredients Effective?

It’s difficult to tell what’s really in B4, as many of the ingredient lists contradict each other.

According to BPISports.com, each serving contains 680 mg of fat burning ingredients and 30 mg niacin.

GNC.com, which provides an image of the ingredient label, however, shows the formula contains 3500 mg per serving with 1 mg thiamin, and no yohimbe in the formula.

In either case, here’s a quick breakdown of the ingredients:

Niacin. Niacin is an essential B vitamin that plays a key role in carbohydrate, sugar, and fat breakdown. Too much niacin dilates the blood vessels, resulting in a “niacin flush.” Users may experience tingling, burning, or reddening of the skin.

Caffeine. Caffeine is a popular stimulant that increases energy levels and induces fat oxidation. According to GNC.com, B4 contains the caffeine equivalent of 3 cups of coffee. Depending on your sensitivity to caffeine, this may result in headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia.

Dendrobium. This unique orchid is touted as an effective replacement for geranium extract (DMAA). It is said to contain phenylethylamine, an amphetamine-like chemical which boosts mood and increases energy levels.

However, many experts believe dendrobium products may be spiked with amphetamines, as it might not contain phenylethylamine naturally. [1]

Canavalia gladiata. Sword bean is naturally rich in polyphenols and antioxidants which eliminate free radicals and protect against oxidative stress.

Animal studies suggest it increases epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin production, making it a potential treatment for Parkinson’s. However, further research is needed to determine if this effect is the same for humans. [2]

Psoralea Coryfolia. Some studies suggest this herb inhibits epinephrine and norepinephrine reuptake. [3] By working in conjunction with canavallia gladiata, psoralea may increase the time epinephrine and norepinephrine stay in circulation. In turn, this increases energy levels and caloric expenditure.

This is primarily conjecture, however. Psoralea studies were conducted on mice, not humans, and additional research is needed to confirm any potential effects on weight loss.

Sophora Japonica. Not a lot of information is available on sophora japonica’s weight loss potential. According to manufacturers, this unique ingredient contains quercetin, a powerful antioxidant.

In a 2002 study, quercetin supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in dietary cholesterol absorption, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease. [4]

Like so many other B4 ingredients, however, additional human trials need to be conducted.

Red Wine Concentrate. Red wine contains antioxidants, such as resveratrol, which eliminate toxins and boost immunity.

Mayo Clinic experts explain red wine “may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.” [5]

Yohimbe. Yohimbe is a popular aphrodisiac and energy booster. It improves blood flow and circulation, and it is said to block alpha-2 receptors to trigger fat release.

However, studies suggest yohimbine, a yohimbe extract, has no effect on exercise performance, body mass, or muscle mass. [6] Furthermore, many experts link yohimbe to severe cases of seizures, hallucinations, heart attack, and stroke.

Thiamine. Thiamine is another B vitamin essential to carbohydrate breakdown and energy production. Although it doesn’t have a direct impact on weight loss, studies suggest it may have a positive effect on metabolic disorders. [7]

If you happen to know which ingredient label is accurate, please feel free to leave a comment below so everyone has the most up-to-date information.

Should You Be Worried About Side Effects?

From headaches to vomiting to anxiety and mood swings, B4 comes with a long list of potential side effects.

Unfortunately B4 is listed as a proprietary blend, making it impossible to tell how severe these side effects may be.

Manufacturers make the explicit warning that B4 contains the caffeine equivalent to 3 cups of coffee. This may result in “nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and occasionally rapid heartbeat.”

3 cups of coffee is about 300 mg caffeine (more or less). Assuming the BPI Sports label is accurate, then there’s an additional 380 mg of potentially stimulating ingredients unaccounted for, many of which are not tested for safety.

This is particularly worrisome, as yohimbine’s therapeutic index is quite low. The difference between an effective fat burner and a dangerous ingredient is separated by a few milligrams. 15-30 mg is a typical dose, while 100 mg may be considered dangerous.

Furthermore, stimulants such as caffeine interact negatively with medication. Antibiotics and birth control inhibit caffeine breakdown and elimination, significantly increasing side effect risk.
Consequently, consumers are advised to exercise caution before using B4. Should you experience severe dizziness, headaches, rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.

Recommended Use

The instructions on GNC.com’s ingredient label make me question its accuracy, despite the convincing BPI logo and barcode on the image.

According to the label, “Take one (1) serving (1 scoop) approximately 15-30 minutes prior to training, blended into 8-10 ounces of cold water or beverage.”

Last I checked, BPI B4 is a dietary capsule, not a powder, so taking 1 scoop and blending it with water is not reasonable.

Fortunately, BPISports.net offers these instructions instead: “Take one (1) serving (1 capsule) 20-30 minutes before training, or as directed by a qualified healthcare practitioner. On non-training days, take one (1) service (1 capsule) for continued support of fat burning capacity.”

Where to Buy B4

BPI B4 is available from multiple distributors and sellers, so feel free to pick a site that best suits you:

• BPISPorts.net: $49.95
• GNC.com: $31.99
• SupplementWareHouse.com: $26.95
• VitaGlo.com: $25.63
• LuckyVitamin.com:$33.99

Guarantee and Return Information

BPI Sports only offers refunds on unopened products in their original packaging.

GNC.com, however, offers a 30 day satisfaction guarantee on all their products. If you are not satisfied with your results, contact customer service at 1-877-GNC-4700 to receive a full refund. Friendly, prompt customer support agents will provide step-by-step instructions on making a return.

The guarantee covers used and partially used products returned within 30 days, though it does not cover additional charges such as shipping and handling or gift wrapping.

More About BPI Sports

BPI Sports is among the more popular diet pill manufacturers and sellers. The company has amassed a domestic retailer base in excess of 20,000 stores.

Yet despite its size, I’m not impressed with their products.

Many BPI products push the boundaries between safety and effectiveness, often putting customer health on the line in order to promote results.

Furthermore, their return policy doesn’t inspire confidence in their products, and makes me question whether they stand behind their “hard edged sports nutrition line.”

Be Careful with BPI B4

Whether it contains 3500 mg or just 680 mg, B4 may be too strong for most dieters to handle. It depends heavily on harsh stimulants to increase caloric expenditure. While this may promote weight loss, it significantly increases side effect risk.

Consequently, I do not feel comfortable recommending BPI B4 to users.


[1] Dendrobium.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1263-DENDROBIUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=1263&activeIngredientName=DENDROBIUM

[2] 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

[3] 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

[4] 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

[5] “Red wine and resveratrol: good for your heart?” Mayo Clinic. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089

[6] “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

[7] “Thiamine (Vitamin B1).” Mayo Clinic. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-b1/NS_patient-thiamin/DSECTION=evidence

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