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PRODUCT RATING
4.7
(Out of 10, after 3 reviews)
3

Ranks #24 (better than 0%)
In: Amino Acids > Recovery


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ABOUT
Herculin MRF-4 is a Recovery Product manufactured by EBN Sports. It is an amino acid based product that is designed to assist in workout recovery.
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Amino Acids > Recovery
REVIEWS (3)



Overall
Overall
5.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.0
Value
Value
2.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to EBN Sports for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 30, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Recovery
  • Bad Taste
  • Too Expensive
  • Under Dosed For Creatine

Introduction

37 years old and I lift 5 days a week. When I saw MRF-4 come across the TROOPer program I was intrigued by the product and had to give it a try. I am always on the look out for new products that can aid in recovery and I figured a product with BCAA and Creatine in it could be a good deal. I typically do not mess with all in one recovery drinks. Before we begin I want to say THANK YOU to EBN Sports for their participation here and the TROOPer program for the opportunity to try these products out. In return, I give you my unbiased honest review.

Ingredient Profile

So there are a bunch of vitamins and such in here, along with one big Prop blend (I get it), and it seems our important creatine is listed under Other ingredients. One serving nets you with 20 Calories, 5g Carbs, 5g Sugar Alcohol (booo), 240mg Sodium, 195mg Potassium, 60mg Vitamin C, 6mcg Vitamin B12, 30IU Vitamin E, 50mg Magnesium, and 15mg Zinc. I am not going to go into detail on each of these ingredients as the important stuff is in the prop blend, but I always appreciate any extra inclusion of Zinc and Magnesium. So a little extra vitamin boost.

The Proprietary Blend of MRF-4 Cell Proliferator (Say that 4 times fast) contains 13.17g of 11 ingredients. We will break these down as they are the true warriors of ingredients for this product.

Leucine/Valine/Isoleucine: I lump these three together since this is what you are looking for in recovery, the big 3 aka BCAAs. Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. The Valine in the red headed step child here, as more research is needed to even know what this does for you. Valine just takes some BCAA credit while the true workhorses are Leucine and Isoleucine. Kind of frustrating that I do not know the dosage of these three combined, just about any other BCAA product out there will tell you. I actually had success with this product, so wish I knew. I do understand the reasons from a business point of view for Prop Blends, but at least you can tell us this, hoping its the standard 2:1:1 ration with at least 5g.

Lysine: An Amino Acid commonly paired with Vitamin C. Though it is an essential AA it does do much for you beyond reducing the symptoms of herpes simplex. Obviously that is not the intent of this product, so to me this appears to be a filler, which I hate to see. This

Phenylalanine: An Amino Acid whose role in people is not yet determined in humans as per webmd. The body does use this to make chemical messengers but currently no one knows how this works.

Threonine: Another amino acid that changes into a chemical called Glycine once in the body. Glycine works in the brain to reduce constant and unwanted muscle contractions (spasticity). So maybe this does help with recovery? As usual insufficient evidence exists to really prove these benefits.

Histidine: Amino Acid that is involved in a wide range of metabolic processes in the body. Insufficient evidence here as well to show what it actually does for you.

Methionine: Yup you guessed it, an Amino Acid. This prevents liver damage in Tylenol poisening as well as treating liver disorders. Not real sure what its doing in here as I do not think this would be your go too supplement for Tylenol poisoning.

Tyrosine: An Amino Acid used for anti-stress. It produces noradrenaline and dopamine to do this. Again, a nice thing to have, but not real sure what its doing in here. Dosage here really depends on your body weight, and is designed to be anti-stress prior to exercise. But this was a POST workout supp, so I guess I did not see the benefits here.

Cysteine: Nope, not the chapel, but this Amino Acid is used for a ton of things. Mainly used for Tylenol poisening, and is known to be effective.

Creatine Beta Alanine (as Carnosyn): Okay, so it may be my lack of knowledge here, but I am not real sure why its Creatine Beta Alanine and not just Beta Alanine. I have seen Carnosyn in a ton fo things and its typically just Beta Alanine. I loved the effects of Beta Alanine as it truly does aid in recovery, and your cardiovascular endurance if taken on a daily basis. Either way we all know the benefits of Creatine and Beta Alanine, so finally an ingredient thats great to have.

The Other ingredients list Tri-Creatine Citrate along with other of the usual flavoring and coloring ingredients. Kind of odd to have Creatine listed here, why not just bump it up by itself in the label or add it to your prop blend if you do not want to give up the dosage. Putting it down with the ass and trash makes it appear kind of not a big deal. I honestly cannot find much information about it, but at least there was some creatine added in here.

Really it just looks to me that they threw in every Amino Acid they could think of. Its possible I am missing something and these AAs are aiding in the protein absorption and degradation, but I just do not know. To me it appears to be a bunch of filler ingredients along with your BCAAs. It does almost seem this product is trying to be sold as more than a BCAA supplement, when in reality thats all it is. More below.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste: Okay, so I had Red Energy, which I believe is the only flavor available for this. I remember taking this to work and commenting to my buddy, that I was trying this crazy name flavor and he mentioned oh it must be Fruit Punch, nope sure was not. Maybe thats what EBN was going for here, but bleh! It smelled like burnt hair which took me about a week or so to get used to, it was hard not to smell it while drinking it. The taste I eventually got used to but never enjoyed. My wife took a sip of it one time and hated it as well. I am just so used to and spoiled with great tasting BCAA and Creatine out there, that this should be a trial to drink. Not completely undrinkable, just takes some getting used to. Not the worst I have ever had either.

Mixability: So this effervesecent thing fascinated me at first, but truly annoyed me. The concept behind it, mix 3.5 scoops to 16oz water, let dissolve 2-3 minutes (DO NOT shake in shaker cup). So I would mix 16oz of water with the scoops, stir it up with a spoon, let it sit a few minutes, stir it again, then I drank it. It still would not completely dissolve and had small foaming on top, and a gritty bottom. This just turned into a lot of work, while any other supp I can just pour, mix, shake, drink and be done. Maybe its a personal issue, but I tend to not have much time post workout and when I start work to watch a shake dissolve. Cool concept, poor execution.

On a seperate note, I was in a rush one day and did shake it in a shaker, yeah! Luckily I caught myself doing it and was real curious what would happen, so I opened it in my sink and BOOM, minor explosion of my shaker cup! LOL, not a ding on the product at all, obviously my mistake, but now you know what happens if you were curious.

Dosing: Okay, the 3.5 scoops was just crazy to me. Can you please make it 3 or 4 scoops and change the size of the measuring spoon. I have complete OCD at times and would try to get exactly half a scoop, some days prob too little, some days I would bro scoop and have too much. Just seems real odd to me.

Effectiveness

Well, this actually was somewhat effective for me. I did not take any other forms or doses of Creatine or BCAAs while taking this (at least outside of what was in my PWO), however I was taking Beta Alanine along with this. I find with most BCAAs I have to take a seperate dose of about 5g in the afternoon to truly recover. The first three weeks on this product I had no DOMS, and was actually impressed. The last week on this it started to wear off, but it still did aid me in recovery. We all know supplements hit people differently, so this at least was effective for me for DOMS recovery.

As far as Protein Absorption and alleviating protein degradation, I really have no idea. I did typically take this after my protein shake post workout, but I really could not tell a difference there. I think I would have to do some serious medical tests to know if this occurred for sure or not.

I also cannot really tell if there was enough Creatine in this or not. My strength really maintained while on this, no real increases in anything, just recovery. To me it probably had such small doses my body did not notice.

Value

It appears the price has changed recently, comparing it to review below. This now goes for $53.99 plus free shipping for 18 servings. I can only find this for sale on EBN Sports web site at this time. This is much better than the $79 dollar price point, but still comes out to $3 a serving. Crazy expensive since I can only say this product has a value of a BCAA. Sorry guys, yeah this worked for recovery, but dang I can grab much cheaper out there the market is completely flooded with BCAAs.

Side Effects

The first week on this I did have a minor stomach ache after I drank this. Maybe it was just the flavor getting to me, it went away by the second week. If you experience this do not let it deter you, it happens, not a big deal.

Conclusion

This was a tough one for me, I really wanted to recommend this product because I did have some good recovery on this. But once I look at the random ingredients, really the lack of emphasis on Creatine in the product, the still expensive price tag I cannot recommend it.

How to make this product better in my opinion is to simply have an all in one recovery product with huge emphasis on BCAA, Creatine, and Beta Alanine and lower the price tag if you can. Right now there is just too much filler in it, and as others have pointed out the label gets confusing saying its an all in one pre and post workout product, when in reality its just a post workout recovery supplement. More work is needed here I think. Thank you again EBN Sports and TROOPer program for this opportunity, this is your truly unbiased review.
Flavors:
  • Red Energy: 3/10



$53.99



Overall
Overall
2.2
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
4.0
Value
Value
0.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to EBN Sports for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 29, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
    • Bad Taste
    • Not Effective
    • Too Expensive
    Thanks to EBN Sports for sending out their Herculin MRF-4 for all of us to try out. I was initially skeptical before getting this and my doubts turned out out to be warranted. I have a lot of thoughts on this one, and while I wish I could love every product that gets sent out to us, that's sadly not the case. Know that this is only my opinion and if you want to try this for yourself at the end despite my review, then so be it.

    ---Ingredient Profile: (5/10)---

    "Herculin MRF-4 is the ultimate pre & post workout. With 6 patents protecting it's formulation, it truly is the world's first pre & post workout muscle generator."

    I don't know about all that, but from what I can see, this is a run of the mill amino product on paper. They also claim on the front label that you can "take the same supplements as professional athletes" and Philip Rivers is actually one of their sponsors, it seems. Interesting, but consider me a skeptic.

    Herculin MRF-4 claims to increase protein absorption, alleviate protein degradation and promote faster recovery. To me, this seems geared towards being paired with a protein source post workout, which is why the claim about it being the "ultimate pre workout" doesn't make any sense to me. At least in this sense, the label claim is fairly ambiguous. For my purposes, I took this strictly post workout.

    ---Taste/Mixing/Dosing: (3/10)---

    This tasted terrible, which is quite a feat considering there's actually 20 calories in this coming from carbs in the form of sugar alcohols. It was also carbonated, which only added to the unpleasant experience. To top it all off, they suggest the following: "As a dietary supplement, add 3.5 scoops to 16oz water. Stir and let dissolve for 2-3 minutes. DO not use a shaker cup, the effervescent formula should be allowed to sit before consumption. For best results, consume immediately following workout. No loading required." I tried this once and it didn't work at all. Decided to use a shaker cup for the rest of the time and it mixed fairly well for the most part. Please note that I used 32-36 oz of water in a huge shaker cup. The taste was more tolerable this way, and at a certain point I grew used to it and just chugged it straight down. This whole entire aspect had me extremely confused. Also, seriously with the dosing? 3.5 scoops? I don't understand this at all. Just make a bigger scooper...becomes a huge pain when you're required to eyeball a "half scoop" in order to get the correct amount.

    ---Effectiveness: (4/10)---

    This just didn't really do much of...anything if I'm being completely honest. I would wake up with pretty bad DOMs after a long session on a stationary bike while taking this, let alone any type of lifting. Don't think it stands up to par with other amino products when it comes to recovery. As for enhanced protein absorption...well, we all know that's pretty much impossible to substantiate. The amount of Beta Alanine in here was irrelevant and there's so little Tri-Creatine Phosphate that it was delegated to the "Other Ingredients" list. Very "meh" all around. Might as well have been taking nothing.

    ---Value: (0.5/10)

    $79 for 18 servings. $4.40 per serving. I'm literally not even going to bother elaborating here because those figures speak for themselves. Truly speechless.

    ---Overall: (2.2/10)---

    Ineffective, gimmicky and outlandishly expensive. I'd advise you to look literally anywhere else but here for an amino acid product. Save your time and money, please.
    Flavors:
    • Red Energy: 3/10



    $53.99



    Overall
    Overall
    1.0
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    2.0
    Value
    Value
    0.0
    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to EBN Sports for sending it out!
    (Show run details )
      August 24, 2017

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Increased Energy
    • Not Effective
    • Bad Taste
    • Too Expensive

    Introduction

    I was originally intrigued about this product when I saw it available to claim in the SR TROOP. Well, my first thought was "okay something different lets give it go". Then after taking it for a few weeks per product label, I was severely disappointed. Not only did I see little to no results from this product, it tasted awful. It was almost like crushing a bunch of medicine and sticking it in some water, and I think that is being generous.

    Ingredient Profile

    Lots of ingredients in this one but I'll mainly go over the proprietary blend which was an additional downfall of this product. The proprietary blend consisted of 13.17 grams of L-Leucine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Tyrosine, Creatine Beta-alanine, isoleucine, histidine, and methionine. The main reason this intrigued me was because of the basic 3 BCAA but also the other pretty good ingredients included in this product. For the most part I was looking for the BCAA (leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) to help my recover. Since these ingredients help activate protein synthesis in the muscles I figured that this product would help me recover. L-tyrosine is mainly used to help produce noradrenaline and dopamine. These help reduce stress and and may help improve cognitive abilities, but there is conflicting evidence behind these claims. The next ingredient, Phenylalanine. This is considered an essential amino acid, but I am not entirely sure what its sole purpose in this product is. Just from general knowledge I know that phenylalnine can help with depression and and pain. The only other explanation why these products use this ingredient is because it boosts thyroid activity. This in turn may boost metabolism and help the process of fat burning. This is a very indirect way of boosting this process and I am not entirely sure it does what its meant to in this product specifically. Now for histidine. This is a precursor for carnosine biosynthesis. Carnosine, in some articles, is known to help build muscle in a similar way to creatine. These certain articles also state that it actually does a better job than normal creatine. So the importance of histidine comes into play because it increases the amount of carnosine and as a result helps build muscle. The last ingredient that I will go over is, methionine. L-methionine is an essential sulfur-containing amino acid that is soluble in water. It is a powerful antioxidant, assists in the breakdown of fats, and helps inactivate free radicals. I assume that it is being used to help breakdown fats and aids in a fat loss process more than anything else.

    Other ingredients in this product include Vit B-12, Vit C, Vit E, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    One of the worst tasting products I have had in the last 10 years. It was completely awful. I would not force anyone to drink this in a million years. Like i stated earlier it tasted like you were drinking a bunch of crushed up medication in water. Not only that, but the bottle recommended that you STIR not SHAKE the mixture once in water, and let it settle for 3-4 minutes, ,which I did, every time. No matter how much water I used or how much time I let it settle, it never fully mixed. It left this white frothy bitterness on top. Since the label stated use 3.5 scoops as one serving I tired that first. Once I realized that it did not mix that well I experimented with 1, 2, 2.5, and 3 scoops to see if it made a difference. Nope. So I stuck with 3.5 scoops as recommended.

    Effectiveness

    Even with all the good ingredients in this product I did not see any difference after 3-4 weeks of taking this product. I don't have much to write here since I noticed nearly nothing but I will do my best. The thing I will say is that I felt the beta alanine working after taking this product, especially post workout. There was not a large increase in energy, but enough to where it made a difference. In regard to recovery of my muscles and/or building muscle, didn't see much a difference. I am really disappointed because I like to write a quality effectiveness section, but when there is not much to go on I don't have much of a choice. Overall I would have liked it to help me gain lean muscle (at least that is what I was hoping).

    Value

    Crazy expensive on the EBN website. One tub of 18 servings costs $79.00 (WTF!!). By no means is this product worth that much money. I honestly could not find it being sold anywhere else.

    Side Effects

    None.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, a poor product by a company aiming to target the sports population especially with the claim " This product is used by U.S. military, college, and professional athletes". Not only was the effectiveness poor but the taste was much worse. Additionally, this product is very expensive on the EBN website, and I definitely would not be spending almost $80 on any product that only gives me 18 servings....18 servings!!! come on. That is roughly 4$ per serving. No thank you. I will go ahead and spend half that on a product I that I trust and know works. I hope this company ups their game if they hope to become successful.
    As always Live Happy, Live Healthy
    Dr. G



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