Total War (Old DMHA Formula) Reviews
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IntroductionHi Everyone, I'm here with a review on what must be one of the most hyped up supplements of 2017-- and for good reason! Thanks to RedCon1 for being a supporter of the TROOPs program, and I hope we've been able to deliver some good insight for potential consumers and Redcon1 themselves. This stuff is a legit preworkout that needs to be tried!
Ingredient ProfileI've decided to try a new approach to ingredients sections. I found that with preworkouts and multivitamins especially, the ingredients can be a little overwhelming. I'd been finding myself focusing only on key ingredients in these situations, and I think that had a negative impact on the review overall. Going forward, I will be listing out each ingredient with its intended effects then saving these to a library for quicker input and more thoroughness in the ingredients section.
Citrulline Malate - I'm assuming this is a 1:1 mix, otherwise I'm sure Redcon would've made note of it being 2:1. Citrulline is great for pumps and once ingested is converted to arginine in the kidneys. It is more effective than consuming straight arginine. Total War includes 6g of this stuff which is a very solid dose. The only PWO I think I've seen with more than that was Nutrex's Outlift at 8g. According to studies, Citrulline will have a noticeable effect in decreasing muscle soreness and fatigue, and a minor drop in blood pressure (due to vein expansion). It also causes a noticeable increase in nitric oxide levels and training volume, and a minor increase in overall bloodflow.
Beta Alanine - Clinical dosing of BA calls for 3.2g. That's exactly what we get in Total War. Beta Alanine comes into play after anaerobic exercise has transitioned to aerobic exercise, after 60 seconds or so of continuous stress on the muscles. It helps to buffer acid build up so that immediate muscle soreness is less noticeable. It's a great ingredient for cardio-minded workouts, including HIIT or timed circuit training.
Agmatine Sulfate - As arginine is a metabolite of citrulline, agmatine is a metabolite of arginine. You and I will want to use agmatine because of its effect on eliminating governors that limit nitric oxide levels and increased vascularity, but it's also used to alleviate neuropathic pain and treat drug addiction and depression. In fact, it's most promising study shows a drastic decrease in depression with patients dosing 2-3g. One little thing to note for the greenies... apparently agmatine is a good thing to take if you're going to smoke some weed. According to examine.com it enhances signaling to your CB1 cannabinoid receptor. Sweeeet duuuuuude...
Taurine - Taurine is important stuff. With all the pump products in a product like Total War, you could easily get too pumped! Taurine helps prevent that. It's great for staving off cramps, can increase blood flow significantly, and can slightly increase your overall exercise capacity.
Caffeine Anhydrous - Yummy caffeine. Total War hits you with 250g. That's my personal sweet spot where I'm wide awake and ready to go, but don't feel like a cracked out squirrel. Caffeine Anhydrous is probably the most common stimulant out there, and it basically improves your ability to do anything-- to run, lift, think, stay awake, reason, work... You get it. Personally, I think I'd just shrivel up into a raisin without it. But be careful, too much caffeine can leave you jittery, increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and increase your cortisol levels and anxiety.
N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate - What now? Maybe you've heard of Eria Jarensis? Well this is basically it's active compound. Its molecular structure is similar to DMAA, making it a potent, but not overwhelming stimulant
2 Aminoisoheptaine - AKA DMHA, AKA Octodrine, this is another twin (sorta) of DMAA and stimulant. There isn't a ton of research out there yet, as it's still relatively new to the supplement world. What we do know is that is wakes you the F*** up and gets you moving! Sides are similar to caffeine and you shouldn't exceed 300mg.
Di-Caffeine Malate - Here we have caffeine fused with malic acid, typically in a 3:1 ratio. Ever take a PWO loaded with caffeine only to find yourself jacked up in a bathroom stall? This is Total War's method to prevent that. The malic acid works to prevent digestive issues in the stomach. Through personal experience it also seems to last longer and have less of a crashing effect than caffeine.
Theobroma Cocao extract - AKA Theobromine (I think?). This is a common, but minor stimulant. It won't cause quite the crash that you may get with caffeine or DMHA, and I think that the intent here is to lessen the crash of Total War overall.
Higenamine - This is a anti-asthmatic and fat burner that's banned by most competitive sports organizations. It's a natural compound, and there aren't a ton of studies on it from what I can find. It stimulates receptors that spark lypolisis and triggers the body to burn fat.
Bioperine - This is black pepper extract, and it's mainly used in supplements to increase absorption and make the ingredients more biologically available to use.
As a cumulative group, every one of Total War's ingredients are effectively dosed. If you cross reference with a site like Examine.com you'll find that most ingredient doses fall right in the middle of their effective range. That's great to see.
Taste/Mixability/DosingMixability: No problems at all, and no noticeable settling. I always mixed this with a shaker.
Dosing: 1 scoop 20-30 minutes before working out. Never exceed 1 scoop.
Taste: Meh... I wasn't crazy about the flavor. I requested and received sour gummy bear because I can't stand overly sweet PWOs. But, that's exactly what this was. I found that it was actually sweeter than Vaxxen Lab's Fulcrum Bombsicle flavor. That was pretty surprising. However, in general it wasn't really bad. Just too sweet for my taste. I never had a problem drinking it though.
EffectivenessA few days ago I saw someone on here write about how some PWOs take time to really kick in. That was kind of my experience with Total War. While I did feel an immediate boost and got a decent workout, after a week or so of taking it daily it continued to get better. I'll break it down by category in terms of effectiveness:
Energy: 6-8/10 - If 5 is having no trouble getting out the door, but not really being jacked up at all, the first few days were a 6. I just had a little extra energy. By day 7 I was at a solid 8. Wide eyed and ready to hit the weights. The energy levels were smooth, never spiking, and with no real crash afterwards. It's a level of stimulant that newbies would likely be pretty shocked by, but old PWO vets would find just above average. I thought it was perfect for me after a week or so.
Pumps: 7/10 - It wasn't the craziest pump experience I've had, but it was respectable. Surface veins were out immediately and close to maximum dilation, but none of the tougher veins to pop were showing like in my chest, shoulders, lower abs, or legs. It was enough to have great recovery time and decreased muscle soreness, but never groundbreaking.
Focus: N/A - I can never really rate this one because I take adderall daily, so the review wouldn't be fair. I never really notice much effectiveness in this section because everything has a fall off if I don't take it in conjunction with the adderall and when I do I just feel normal.
Crash: 9/10 - Never experienced much of a crash at all while taking this
Strength: 8/10 - It's tough to achieve a 10/10 without creatine and Alpha GPC, but generally speaking I felt strong while taking it. There were a lot of other things at play in my stack, but I felt comfortable hitting that extra rep or two with each lift.
ValueThe best price I found for this was at Amazon for $31.67. Not bad, still over $1/serving, but not by much at all. For the effectiveness and the full 30 servings, I think it's fair. Keep in mind that you'll also want to cycle off high stim PWOs like this, so it's not like it will cost you that much every month. Also, Redcon is great about discounts. Keep an eye out for this stuff on fitnessdealnews.com or priceplow.com. Sometimes their reps will even text you to offer deals.
ConclusionOverall I'm thrilled I had a chance to try this stuff, and I've already started recommending it to friends and coworkers who ask me for suggestions. I'd say it lands squarely among my top-3 PWOs along with Nutrex Outlift and Vaxxen Labs Fulcrum. If you're in the market for a well-rounded, high stim choice that won't leave you jamming in the bathroom stall with GI issues, this is a good choice!