Hey guys. It seems like there have been a few spam reviews of Complex5 so I thought I’d give a fair, unbiased review.
I have used this product twice. The first time was about a year ago and I just finished up another container. I took it because I wanted a break from stimulant-filled pre-workouts. I used 1-2 scoops before workouts (cardio or weights) and sometimes 1 scoop when I woke up for bit of a pick-me-up (not a coffee drinker). The only other supplement that I used at the same time (well, aside from protein powder and a multivitamin) was creatine.
The ingredient list is pretty short: Micronized Bicarbonate, N-Acetyl-Tyrosine, Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Red Ginseng. I’m surprised they don’t have any BCAAs in it because this is a staple in pre-workouts (with or without stimulants)--then again, Rivalus doesn’t really have any “all-in-one” products.
I didn’t get much in the way of physical exhilaration or strength gains--I did notice a bit more strength when I combined it with some BCAAs (Xtend). My buddy (who has never taken a pre-workout) said he felt a lot of energy and some tingles in his muscles from 2 scoops--so maybe this would be a good “introductory” pre-workout supplement.
I will give props to this product in providing solid endurance. Sure, I may not be able to lift as much weight with this product as I can when I use other pre-workout supplements, but it does allow me to get a full workout (weights + cardio) over a pretty long time. In fact, during my first cycle with this product, I was playing hockey for 2 hours once or twice per week--I definitely noticed that I had more energy near the end of the game when I took Complex5 compared to when I didn’t (this is probably why athletes seem to really like it).
Upon taking it, I noticed a small boost, psychologically. It’s definitely better than taking nothing but it doesn’t stand up to other pre-workouts I’ve had.
Take this rating with a grain of salt because to me, this product isn’t meant to be a bodybuilder’s pre-workout supplement so a pump category may not be very relevant. Don’t expect that blood-straight-to-the-muscle pump that bodybuilders love. My buddy who’d never taken a pre-workout before this said that he noticed his muscles felt fuller when he took it, but I personally did not experience anything too drastic in this regard.
-OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS (7/10)
For my needs--needing a bit of a boost in energy and endurance for cardio workouts or mild-moderately intense workouts--I believe it’s pretty solid. (If I were basing my overall rating on effectiveness for intense weight-lifting workouts, though, I’d give it a 5/10--decent and better than nothing but not great.)
3. MIXABILITY & TASTE (10/10)
This is the highlight of Complex5. A few shakes and it’s perfectly dissolved. And the Fruit Punch flavor tastes GREAT! This and MusclePharm’s Raspberry Lemonade Assault are far and away my two favorite pre-workouts, taste-wise.
4. SIDE EFFECTS
None. Didn’t notice any bloating, crash, jitters, etc. (which makes sense when you look at the ingredient list).
5. VALUE 8/10
At first glance, it seems a bit expensive. Up here in Canada, it’s about $60 for a container, which is pretty standard for pre-workouts. However, with 120 servings, it can last for a few months depending on how often you use it.
6. COMPARED TO OTHER PRODUCTS
This is probably the best stimulant-free pre-workout supplements that I have taken (e.g., stimulant-free Xpand or BCAAs). I’d be interested to see if there is another one that is more “bodybuilder-oriented” (i.e., has BCAAs and other amino acids, vitamins, etc.) for the next time that I want to use a stimulant-free supplement before an intense, heavy-lifting day. Like I said, I do like taking Complex5 for a cardio session or light workout, though--it’s my favorite pre-workout product for these types of workouts.
Compared to other bodybuilding pre-workouts that I have tried though (Assault, NO-Xplode, Neurocore, Black Powder, Jack3D, Craze, SuperPump, etc.), it doesn’t stack up. But, to be fair, I’m thinking this product was created for average exercisers or athletes who want a bit of an energy/endurance boost rather than people looking for big gains in their muscle and/or strength. If you’re hoping for these latter types of improvements, I’d definitely recommend something else (my favorite is MusclePharm’s Assault).
7. OVERALL 7/10
It all depends on what you're looking for out of this product. If you are (a) looking for a pre-workout supplement that doesn’t have stimulants, (b) an average exerciser or athlete looking for a bit of a boost in your workouts, or (c) new to pre-workouts, then this could be a good product for you--especially if you combine it with some BCAAs. However, if you are an experienced lifter or bodybuilder who is used to other bodybuilding pre-workouts and loves something that provides a big energy boost, lots of focus, and a good pump, I wouldn’t recommend it. On that note, this product is clearly made for athletes or “average Joes” not bodybuilders--just look at their celebrity endorsers.
Personally, I like to have it on hand for my cardio sessions or less intense workouts so I will likely buy it again.