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BigHoop65

SR TROOPer


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REVIEWS (43)

Reviews by BigHoop65




Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
6.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  September 24, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Mixes Perfectly
  • Tastes Great
  • Builds Muscle
  • TRAACS Electrolytes And Minerals
  • Increased Hydration
  • Pricey
  • Not Widely Available
  • Foamy

Preface

I have been following VMI Sports for a few years now... Having a Pancakes and Syrup flavored whey isolate could do that to you. But with the TROOPs program, I'm more than happy to try this flavor.

Ingredient Profile

Non-GMO Cold Processed Whey Protein Isolate 25g
Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate (TRAACS) 500mg
Calcium Bisglycinate Chelate (TRAACS) 300mg
Potassium Glycinate Complex (Albion) 113mg
Chromium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate (TRAACS) 8mg

Taste/Mixability

The Vanilla Cake Batter is one of the best tasting vanilla flavors I've had. The vanilla half of t...

Preface

I have been following VMI Sports for a few years now... Having a Pancakes and Syrup flavored whey isolate could do that to you. But with the TROOPs program, I'm more than happy to try this flavor.

Ingredient Profile

Non-GMO Cold Processed Whey Protein Isolate 25g
Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate (TRAACS) 500mg
Calcium Bisglycinate Chelate (TRAACS) 300mg
Potassium Glycinate Complex (Albion) 113mg
Chromium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate (TRAACS) 8mg

Taste/Mixability

The Vanilla Cake Batter is one of the best tasting vanilla flavors I've had. The vanilla half of the flavor has a solid flavor base. Adding the sweetness of the cake batter half is what makes this a really good flavor.

The biggest problem by far is the mixability. It mixes instantly like any isolate should. But the issue is in the fact that it seriously foams up. I would wait a little bit for the foam to settle. By that time you would have to give it a minor shake up to avoid the slight settling... And back to having foam again.

Effectiveness

As a thinly mixed whey isolate it carries virtually no weight or bloat on the gut outside of the water. But the epic surprise is with the electrolytes.

A lot of hydration profiles don't have huge electrolyte doses, but certainly enough to actually hydrate and to label it for hydration. VMI didn't just put pixy dusted amounts into each serving, it's enough to consider as a standalone hydration profile. This is compounded by the fact that the electrolytes are TRAACS bonded, the good stuff.

I found myself sweating differently in the hours following my serving. I never felt stripped of water or that my water was passing through me.

Value

The smaller 25svg container has a $35-$40 price range. The 5lb container runs $65-$75. Isn't that expensive even for a whey isolate? Absolutely. Why? The high quality electrolytes might have something to do with it. VMI doesn't appear to skimp on making this protein.

Side Effects

zero

Conclusion

Protolyte was definitely worth the few year wait to finally experience. Of course it helped meeting my protein goals for the day... but the hydration really flashed gloriously for me, as I work a physical job in the California heat. A lot of the time I could not get myself past being annoyed with the foam up. The foam got in the way of enjoying everything else, but I had to do my best with the nice vanilla cake batter flavor.

If I have some money to throw around on a worthwhile deal, I will definitely see about trying other flavors. It's just hard to make the call to spend the additional income on this as a semi-regular protein choice. However, what I feel about the price point is what it is... it certainly is not an indictment as the quality is towards the level of what you're paying for.

Thanks for taking the time,
As usual: Thoughts, comments, questions, critique are all welcome.



Overall
Overall
7.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.5
Value
Value
7.0
  September 3, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Solid Pump
  • Fully Dosed
  • Good Focus
  • Not Enough Flavor

Quick Summary

While taking my routine, but long overdue, month away from stimulants... I was in need of a pre-workout that would help keep me from caffeine for the most part. Primeval MEGA PRE is one of the more popular stim-free pre-workouts these days. I'm grateful to the Bounty Program for allowing me the opportunity to snag this one.

Introduction

Primeval was looking to make a pre-workout that changed the stim-free game. It was marketed so well to that angle that it was a matter of 'how' and not 'if'. With this review I hope I can give some insight as to how Primeval s...

Quick Summary

While taking my routine, but long overdue, month away from stimulants... I was in need of a pre-workout that would help keep me from caffeine for the most part. Primeval MEGA PRE is one of the more popular stim-free pre-workouts these days. I'm grateful to the Bounty Program for allowing me the opportunity to snag this one.

Introduction

Primeval was looking to make a pre-workout that changed the stim-free game. It was marketed so well to that angle that it was a matter of 'how' and not 'if'. With this review I hope I can give some insight as to how Primeval set a new bar for quality stim-free pre-workouts.

Ingredient Profile

Servings Per Container: 20
Serving Size: 2 Scoops

L-Citrulline 6,000mg

Betaine Anhydrous 3,000mg

D-Ribose 2,000mg

Glycerol Powder 2,000mg
(standardized to 65% Glycerol)(GlycerPump)

Choline Bitartrate 1,000mg

L-Norvaline 300mg

Vaso-Drive AP
(Iosleucl-prolyl-proline (IPP) and Valyl-prolyl-proline (VPP)(from hydrolized milk casein) 254mg

Toothed Clubmoss 100mcg
(huperzia serrata)(aerial parts)(standardized to 1% Huperzine A)

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

The taste itself is on point to its Pineapple Mango name, although I might taste more pineapple than mango. The not-so-good news is that the flavor lacks any real kick or power. With how successful Primeval was in flavoring it, one would think they would make it a little stronger. The mix ends up more like flavored water than the typical expectation of a juice mix. On the bright side, it's ambiguous enough of a yellow flavor to add a yellow juice of your choice just to make it that much better.

The mixability is not much of an issue as there isn't any serious settling. Left alone for a little while and it will settle with some of the heavier, less soluble ingredients. However if you're gonna give a good shake and sip it right away, I don't foresee an issue if you continue swirling the mix as you go.

Effectiveness

The most glaring qualities on the label are pump and focus. Without a doubt, these two qualities deliver profoundly. The solid water pump from the GlycerPump works mighty well, but I was forced to take in some more water before my morning workout. Choline bitartrate, L-Norvaline and Toothed Clubmoss come together for a massive focus profile that does excellent... that's IF you don't have a problem going without caffeine as part of your ideal focus.

What's equally addressed without much touting is the strength and vascularity. I don't remember seeing such a serious dose of betaine, ever. A full dose is 2.5g... so having 3g did real work for one's strength output. So much work that I don't find myself missing creatine TOO much when it comes to heavy sets. However betaine and creatine go together like peas and carrots... So no true substitute for when they're not together.

I had a previous encounter with VasoDrive AP, which had been paired well with some other ingredients. But it was left alone with only citrulline and found itself not doing much for vascularity. I'm not gonna say that it doesn't work. But it may have been lost underneath a more powerful water pump.

Value

At regular price ($39.99 - $49.99), it's a turn-off to pick this one as a straight 1 qty order. But there has always been a discount or BOGO that makes it a very worthwhile choice. So be on the lookout for those types of promos, as they will give you a chance to stock up and explore the flavors.

Side Effects

As this is the original formula, it has 2 grams D-Ribose. As of this writing, it was replaced with elevATP. D-Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar in the body. Supplementing with it may limit muscular fatigue and boost athletic performance by assisting in cellular energy transport. This is something to keep in mind for those that are diabetic.

Conclusion

Primeval has made a firm effort with this first formulation of MEGA PRE. It's focus components do very well without caffeine and don't slack on the rest of what makes you feel solid during your workout.

What makes things even better is that this works as a true standalone pre-workout. It's not something that requires stacking with something else... unless you absolutely want to throw in an energy drink or powder with this (nothing wrong with that either).

Thanks for taking the time
As usual: thoughts, comments, questions, critique and analysis are all welcome.



Overall
Overall
8.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
7.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
(SR paid for product; Primeval Labs did not participate)
(Show run details )
  June 11, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Helps Prevent Fat Gain
  • Increased Endurance
  • Recomp Effect
  • 7 Pill Serving Size
  • Too Expensive

Preface

Many thanks to Clipper83 for making this one available for me. This was high on my list of desired products and we'll see how it lives up to the anticipation.

Introduction

Primalog is Primeval Labs' entry into a very tough GDA lineup. The recent lineup has been made tough by the likes of Primalog itself. A very powerful ingredient profile gives a lot to work with.

Ingredient Profile

Gymnema Sylvestre 1g
A typical ingredient found in most glucose disposal agents for reducing blood sugar, with a whole gram being a solid dose.

Agmatine Sulfate 750mg
Used in ...

Preface

Many thanks to Clipper83 for making this one available for me. This was high on my list of desired products and we'll see how it lives up to the anticipation.

Introduction

Primalog is Primeval Labs' entry into a very tough GDA lineup. The recent lineup has been made tough by the likes of Primalog itself. A very powerful ingredient profile gives a lot to work with.

Ingredient Profile

Gymnema Sylvestre 1g
A typical ingredient found in most glucose disposal agents for reducing blood sugar, with a whole gram being a solid dose.

Agmatine Sulfate 750mg
Used in pre-workouts for nitric oxide and vasodilation, assisting with part of the carb pump we all like to enjoy.

Bitter Melon Extract 4:1 500mg

Banaba Powder 500mg

Berberine HCl 300mg

Cyanidin-3-O-Glucoside 250mg
A very powerful ingredient found in dark fruit skins. Not only utilizes the same GLUT4 pathway as Gymnema for glucose transport, but also acts as a fat cell inhibitor. It's an ideal cheat meal ingredient as it were. I wish the dose was closer doubled, closer to likes of Biotest Indigo-C3G that carries a 600mg dose. This bad boy doesn't see as much daylight as it should but it's coming around.

R-Alpha Lipoic Acid 100mg

Alpha Lipoic Acid 100mg

Another expectation of a glucose disposal agent is to have 200-250mg of alpha lipoic acid. It's good to see a combo of the normal variant AND the sodium variant for insulin sensitivity. Bitter Melon Extract, Banaba and Berberine have all been tested against metformin (a standard medication for diabetics) as blood sugar control ingredients and individually competed very well. I see no issue with those ingredient doses here since they tread closer to the clinical.

Dosing

The instructed dosing is 7 capsules. In order to test effectiveness and understanding that the ingredient dosages were efficient, I didn't deviate from taking the instructed amount. For reasons that I'm not keen on, the instructions say to take the dose 15-20 minutes before workout. You can take a GDA around your workout but I wouldn't want to tinker with my insulin sensitivity anytime other than post-workout. I've personally found that most GDAs should be taken 20-30 minutes prior to your planned high carb meal.

Effectiveness

With this product, I began using a glucometer to test my blood sugar post meal. Something I plan on using with GDAs going forward. My baseline blood sugar is 80-85mg/dL. The range of meals included: 100g+ complex carbs, 100-200g combo complex carbs and simple sugars. Testing exactly 2 hours post meal showed a complete return to baseline in almost all instances.

The only exception is one ~100g carb meal where I took the capsules too soon before the meal (10-15 minutes). That only caused my blood sugar reading to be slightly higher at 96mg/dL.

In addition to the insulin sensitivity and apparent glucose uptake, there weren't much lethargic 'itis feelings. Dealing with certain carbs and sugars could cause my body to crash a little bit and end up needing a brief siesta, even when using a GDA.

Value

Rating the value is a struggle here because the normal price is around $60. But there is always a sale or a BOGO free promo somewhere on the interwebs. However, the way this one slays an insulin spike like clockwork, the question is how much nutrient partitioning matters to you and your wallet.

Side Effects

Taking seven capsules.

Conclusion

While writing this, I'm admittedly behind the ball on understanding the uses of some nutrient partitioning agents. The oldie-yet-goodies like alpha lipoic acid and gymnema sylvestre have their essential place. Banaba, berberine and C3G are some choice toss-ups depending on who is formulating the product, which I'm still learning about. But it's shown that Primalog is as dependable as a glucose disposal agent could be these days. Besides, who wouldn't mind digging into all manner of delicious carbs all in the pursuit of an honest review. I was told by trusted, avid consumers that Primalog is in the current pantheon of glucose disposal agents... and it was awesome being able to find out the truth for myself.

Thanks for taking the time
As usual: thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome.



Overall
Overall
6.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.0
Value
Value
6.0
  May 8, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Same-day Recovery
  • Underwhelming

Preface

I'm pretty fortunate to have the relationship I have with my favorite supp shop. They received an extra complimentary bottle of PES TruRecover with their shipment that none of the other crew was up for going through at the time. Those types of situations are when I'll just get it as a hand-me-down. Let's see about it.

Ingredient Profile

Serving Size: 3 Tablets
Serving Per Container: 30

Calcium 220mg 22% RDV
(as a-Hydroxyisocaproate Calcium Salt)

Hydroxy-Isocaproic Acid 1500mg
(as a-Hydroxyisocaproate Calcium Salt)

Whole Tart Cherry Fruit 500mg
(VitaCherry Sport)
...

Preface

I'm pretty fortunate to have the relationship I have with my favorite supp shop. They received an extra complimentary bottle of PES TruRecover with their shipment that none of the other crew was up for going through at the time. Those types of situations are when I'll just get it as a hand-me-down. Let's see about it.

Ingredient Profile

Serving Size: 3 Tablets
Serving Per Container: 30

Calcium 220mg 22% RDV
(as a-Hydroxyisocaproate Calcium Salt)

Hydroxy-Isocaproic Acid 1500mg
(as a-Hydroxyisocaproate Calcium Salt)

Whole Tart Cherry Fruit 500mg
(VitaCherry Sport)

Taste / Dosing

Those who know about tart cherry extract knows that it makes flavoring a bit easier, as it has a hint of cherry built in. This is gonna be one of the best tasting tablets you'll take outside of chewable vitamins.

Effectiveness

I have to admit that it's been a little tough to discern the true effectiveness of TruRecover. It wasn't a difference maker for recovery nor is it meant to be. It's more meant to assist your body in its recovery for the day and to be able to turn around for tomorrow... I believe it serves as a cool little cog in that machine.

Through the few latter weeks of use. I did notice a slight better ability to turn around for the next day. Some times after a leg day, you do have to drag yourself into the gym to keep the week going. For those few weeks, that next morning workout didn't feel like such a task to get up for. Be advised, this is a very slight difference, though still noticeable.

Value

In this case, the priced value is rated the same as the product because I do feel they go hand-in-hand. TruRecover isn't overpriced, even at retail. Most stockists will have it leveled off at $20. The best price is actually direct from PES at $17.99. This is firmly in the realm of being something to donate extra funds for.

Side Effects

Nada

Conclusion

I went away from looking at TruRecover as a singular product and changed the angle. Because it's simply a recovery support item, maybe it's best placement is in a stack. PES has an entire Tru line meant to piece together an entire day's stack, not just a workout.

In addition, imagine a recovery-driven stack... a post-workout, protein, TruRecover, etc. That's where this would make more sense. I prefer to give something its due before I dismiss it. I couldn't just go so far to call this one useless just because it didn't rock the world. Especially when I didn't find it to be useless in my experience.

Thanks for taking the time.
As usual: thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome.



Overall
Overall
8.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
8.0
  April 8, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Improve Sleep Quality
  • Reduces Stimulant Tolerance
  • Good Value
  • Proprietary Blend

Introduction

I was at my favorite supp shop when I crashed a meeting between the managing partners and a rep for Gaia Herbs. I brought up the fact that I was going into my routine month off stimulants. Since I'm in a blessed position that the managers value my opinion, they all agreed to toss me a bottle for feedback.

From what I've learned about this particular item. It's apart of the Adrenal Health line from Gaia Herbs. The Adrenal Health Daily Support is meant for ongoing, adaptogenic maintenance. Jump Start is specifically for a one month cycle, which I do at least once per yea...

Introduction

I was at my favorite supp shop when I crashed a meeting between the managing partners and a rep for Gaia Herbs. I brought up the fact that I was going into my routine month off stimulants. Since I'm in a blessed position that the managers value my opinion, they all agreed to toss me a bottle for feedback.

From what I've learned about this particular item. It's apart of the Adrenal Health line from Gaia Herbs. The Adrenal Health Daily Support is meant for ongoing, adaptogenic maintenance. Jump Start is specifically for a one month cycle, which I do at least once per year. There is also Nightly Restore, which functions like Daily Support, but focuses on the sleep quality angle.

Ingredient Profile

Rhaponticum carthamoides root extract 100mg
As an adaptogen, it helps support the body's healthy physical stress response, which is controlled by the adrenal glands.

Siberian Rhodiola root extract 80mg
Rhodiola rosea root supports the functioning of the adrenal glands and encourages a healthy response to physical, emotional and mental stress by supporting cortisol levels and other stress-related hormones. If used regularly, it functions to support the body's natural resistance and adaptation to stressful influences.

Cordyceps mushroom fruiting body extract 60mg
Cordyceps' diverse functions make it similar to a conductor within the body, supporting the communication between the adrenals (they control the body's natural stress response) and a number of aspects of the immune system.

Proprietary Extract Blend 700mg
Schisandra berry
Schisandra berries function to enhance the body's natural resistance and adaptation to stressful influences, support mental endurance and promote overall metabolic efficiency.
Prickly Ash bark
Prickly ash is a great addition to a formula when a tonifying and supportive alterative is needed to rejuvenate the body.
Asian Ginseng root
Licorice root
Eleuthero root extract
Research subjects from studies in the 60s and 70s experienced a normalization in mental alertness and work output

*Summaries on select extracts were pulled and edited from product page found at Gaia Herbs' website. The website cites research where used for the provided information.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

The directed dose is 2 capsules in the morning. I haven't found the timing to be a hard rule. It has waited until lunch time or early afternoon some days. My guess is you may need most of the day ahead of you for your body to benefit from the dose.

The capsules are filled with liquid extracts that go down easy. Plus there's the nice benefit of no reflux taste. Anyone who's been around enough might know what the traditional ginseng drinks straight to the head taste like. No need to be further reminded of those.

Effectiveness

The fundamental point is to refresh your body from the stress of stims and their effect on your body's homeostasis. An easy assumption is that your usual shot of caffeine or pre-workout will hit you as hard as it's supposed to. The usual 300mg+ of caffeine pre or canned crack has to be sipped slowly now, as opposed to chugged straight to the head. Not only did I get that, but I experienced some surprise ancillary perks.

I really began to feel my body returning to normal rhythms and patterns of the day. I saw less and less random shutdowns (dozing off and feeling fuzzy) that resulted from inconsistent sleep patterns. On average my body would steal an extra half hour of sleep every morning before I wake up. It seems like whatever sleep cycle I was in would finish as opposed to stressfully responding to an alarm. It put me up against it most mornings but the benefits outweighed.

Value

Direct brand MSRP is $35. Your brick and mortar place like Vitamin Shoppe would sell for $30. Internet pricing will work in the $20-$25 range before shipping. I believe that an adrenal reset shouldn't cost you more than $25... and I would definitely put Jump Start in that proper, worthwhile territory.

Side Effects

Your body might take a bit more sleep than you plan on.

Conclusion

This was a blessing and couldn't have better timing to have this opportunity. Not only did Jump Start give me the solid adrenal reset that I needed, it gave me some other effects that I definitely did not ask for. After thinking about it, they were the type of benefits that should come with getting your body back to a regular state... the kind where caffeine is a plus vs a necessity. Adrenal Health Jump Start deserves to be on the short list of dependable adrenal health supplements.

Thanks for taking the time
As usual: Thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome.


  March 10, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Stim-free
  • Muscle Pump
  • Too Expensive

Introduction

I'm a pump-chaser, plain and simple... nitric oxide, vascularity and hard body fullness. I enjoy that feeling and look for it in my pre-workout nutrition, even on the daily. Retailers were running a promotion that included this bottle with the DMAA free Mesomorph. It was a nice opportunity to stack this with a pre-workout that I favor but also lacks this ingredient on its own in Mesomorph.

Ingredient Profile

1 serving / 3 tablets / 60 servings total
HydroMax Glycerol Powder 2g

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

There is a slight neutral taste given them being wh...

Introduction

I'm a pump-chaser, plain and simple... nitric oxide, vascularity and hard body fullness. I enjoy that feeling and look for it in my pre-workout nutrition, even on the daily. Retailers were running a promotion that included this bottle with the DMAA free Mesomorph. It was a nice opportunity to stack this with a pre-workout that I favor but also lacks this ingredient on its own in Mesomorph.

Ingredient Profile

1 serving / 3 tablets / 60 servings total
HydroMax Glycerol Powder 2g

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

There is a slight neutral taste given them being white capsule. You'll only encounter it if you leave it on your tongue for a lil while, without liquid to wash down.

The dosage is three tablets to get 2g grams of HydroMax. However there's nothing wrong with scaling that up or down based on whatever it is you're pairing it with, as well as your weight and workout purpose. Plenty of room to have fun with your dosing.

Effectiveness

If you've been around the block with pre-workouts, you develop an understand of nitric oxide pump / vascularity and water-based pump. HydroMax form glycerol is now the standard of comparison for achieving a water-based pump. What will take work on is getting the timing down. These are tablets and not powder... so the absorption may take a few ticks longer.

As can be expected, the cell swelling does occur consistently as long as your water intake is fine. The fun always comes along when you're doing more pump-inducing work on the bro muscles like biceps, pecs, etc. The pump does stay with you for up to a few hours post, but remain encouraged to continue your hydration.

Value

At this time, APS HydroMax can be found at most retailers for $30. This is why 1) It's not selling... and 2) It's being offered as a free item with the likes of Mesomorph (which doesn't have glycerol). It's more beneficial and/or more cost effective to get this same dose in other stim-free pump additives.

Side Effects

Sweating will be a lot more difficult having a lot of water pulled into the muscle cell.

Conclusion

It was great being able to pair this with a couple of pre-workouts that didn't have glycerol at all in Mesomorph and Purus Labs' Muscle Marinade. Did a solid job in rounding out the pump profile.

Muscle Marinade already has a heavy taurine dose. But in my review for Muscle Marinade, I touted how you get a rock solid pump from the full creatine paired with betaine and taurine. Once you add the glycerol, you can feel the growth and swell that you didn't know could otherwise be there.

The downside is that there are better options for the wallet. Assuming you don't want to add something like MTS Vasky, NutraKey Hydro Pump, etc to your pre... there's still a cheap bulk powder option from True Nutrition that cuts the cost in half compared to APS' tablet form here.

It doesn't come down to whether or not this works for you. But you can make better choices for the dollar amount. If you get this for a free add-on, definitely worth taking advantage of.

Thanks for your time
As usual: Thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome



Overall
Overall
7.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
6.0
  February 24, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Solid Pump
  • Strength
  • Too Expensive

Introduction

Had a nice opportunity to get a container for a stupid cheap deal. I saw this as an opportunity to see how the new Muscle Marinade performs and take the lid off the rim since there were no reviews prior to this one.

Ingredient Profile

AminoBlast Premium Instantized 5:1:1 BCAAs 5g
(L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine)
Creatine Monohydrate 4g

Mind/Muscle Nootropic Blend 3.5g
Choline Bitartrate 2.5g
L-Tyrosine 400mg
VitaShure Sustained Release Caffeine 250mg
Caffeine Anhydrous 200mg
Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCl 75mg
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine 75mg

CarnoSyn Beta...

Introduction

Had a nice opportunity to get a container for a stupid cheap deal. I saw this as an opportunity to see how the new Muscle Marinade performs and take the lid off the rim since there were no reviews prior to this one.

Ingredient Profile

AminoBlast Premium Instantized 5:1:1 BCAAs 5g
(L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine)
Creatine Monohydrate 4g

Mind/Muscle Nootropic Blend 3.5g
Choline Bitartrate 2.5g
L-Tyrosine 400mg
VitaShure Sustained Release Caffeine 250mg
Caffeine Anhydrous 200mg
Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCl 75mg
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine 75mg

CarnoSyn Beta Alanine 2g
Taurine 1.5g
Creatine MagnaPower (magnesium creatine chelate) 1g
Betaine Anhydrous 1g

Plasma NOX Blend
NO3-T Sodium Nitrate 555mg
VasoDrive-AP Hydrolyzed Casein Tri-Peptides 254mg
NO3-T Betaine Nitrate 185mg

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

The bad thing about the taste is that it doesn't taste bad. It doesn't taste great, but it's not annoying or even memorable. This matters because you can mix it with anything else that's berry or fruit punch. My current carb powder is a berry flavor and you wouldn't know they were two separate flavors mixed. Just to get more water in for the creatine, I'll add something like Minute Maid Light and I'll get a full pint or so.

This one mixes about normal, but I would recommend water close to room temperature. It will begin to settle if you let it sit, but it's not in immediate danger of settling right after you shake up. This is all given that you're using normal temp water. Cold water makes this more difficult with the creatine. One scoop or less based on tolerance. Also give this one no less than 45 minutes to take effect.

Effectiveness

One of the main features of either version of Muscle Marinade so far is a full dose of creatine (I'm saying creatine a lot in this review), which is in full effect. I was definitely able to enjoy some solid strength and power. There's not much after that though. The sustained ability move weight and feel like a rock (or maybe like THE Rock) doing it is the most profound effect, just don't be surprised when that's all you get.

What I should do is give honorable mention to is the time-released caffeine though. The stim and focus doesn't do much of note if you're no stranger... but the secondary VitaShure caffeine will keep that same level with you for quite a while.

Value

This container was priced at $25 when I bought it at a brick & mortar store. You can find Muscle Marinade right now ranging from $25-$45 throughout the internet. It loses its worthiness above maybe $35, based on the effectiveness.

Side Effects

When that caffeine shifts from the initial dose to the time-release, they would occasionally overlap on me a few hours after taking it. So you might get a small rush that feels something like 200mg-300mg of caffeine.

What is Missing

My normal thing missing would be a glycerol variant like HydroMax or GlycerPump. But that would undercut the purpose of Purus' Noxygen. So in this case I understand that glycerol is left out for business reasons. This also may be the cause for the Plasma NOX blend not being as big as it should be.

My real struggle is pairing a full 5g of creatine with only 1g of betaine. Although 1g of Creatine MagnaPower can help make up the difference for hydration and cell uptake, I still believe in 1.5g - 2.5g of betaine to go with this full day's dose of creatine.

What's also missing is citrulline. The Plasma NOX blend is a different approach for vasodilation and vascularity, but the dosing on it just isn't big enough. However that kind of novelty could've been covered with a full dose of citrulline and maybe had an affect on cost.

Conclusion

I didn't have grand expectations for Muscle Marinade to be so disappointed. But now I understand why it hasn't received much attention outside of the Purus Truth-ers. The only comp that I can match with Muscle Marinade is VPX Bang Master Blaster in terms of both profile and effectiveness. Although this version acts as an up-to-date formula from the original Muscle Marinade, the stim is different and it's just too heavy on the creatine for my preference. I can only take so much creatine and anything higher than 3g-4g at one time could feel excessive for me. Other aspects may have had a chance to shine if their doses had been turned up, but the creatinous shadow belittles them for me.

Thanks for taking the time.
As usual: thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome.



Overall
Overall
7.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
7.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Dymatize Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  January 18, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Value
  • Mixes Great.
  • Tastes Great
  • Clumps Sometimes
  • Settles At The Bottom When Mixing

Introduction

I've had Dymatize Elite Whey throughout the years... but never had the chance to try Snickerdoodle. This one is more my type of flavor and was grateful to get a shot at this one through the TROOPs program.

Ingredient Profile

34g scoop
25g Whey Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Concentrate)
Soy Lecithin
Natural & Artificial Flavors
Cinnamon Powder
Salt
Gum Blend (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan)
Acesulfame Potassium
Sucralose
Steviol Glycosides (Stevia)

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Apologie...

Introduction

I've had Dymatize Elite Whey throughout the years... but never had the chance to try Snickerdoodle. This one is more my type of flavor and was grateful to get a shot at this one through the TROOPs program.

Ingredient Profile

34g scoop
25g Whey Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Concentrate)
Soy Lecithin
Natural & Artificial Flavors
Cinnamon Powder
Salt
Gum Blend (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan)
Acesulfame Potassium
Sucralose
Steviol Glycosides (Stevia)

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Apologies for the bias... but I love this flavor. Only issue being it's not one of the absolute best cinnamon/sugar based flavors... probably the bottom of the top handful on the list. Being on that list alone makes it great in my book though. What causes the taste to suffer is the artificial sweetness comes out a bit too much. The comparison would be with Gaspari Precision Protein Cinnamon Cereal Crunch, which nails the sweetness perfectly.

Mixability is normal for a whey blend. With cold water and having the whole powder heap on top, there's some little lumps with the quick shake up. That doesn't mean you HAVE to use warmer water though. Shake a little more or submerge more of the powder in the water before shaking. Using 8oz of water could end up allowing settling over time. I recommend sticking with 6oz per scoop for ideal flavor.

Effectiveness

As a whey blend from one of the industry's most commonplace brands, it performs as expected. Because there's whey concentrate, there might be a bit of gas depending on your individual gut. My body hadn't shown signs of a protein shortage as I took two or three scoops per day to round out my daily intake.

Value

The standard price these days, as with most 2lb containers of a whey blend, is $29.99. This is the standard of comparison. There are deals all the time that could see the price point dip down the $20 range... which is worth it for your choice flavor.

Side Effects

Not lactose free

Conclusion

It was very cool to finally try this flavor and stack it up against the others. If you're fond of cinnamon-centric flavors, this is a definite option. I'm a deal chaser and wouldn't pay a full $30 for this, but eyes are open to get a chance at a decent deal. This is just another piece in Dymatize keeping their longstanding place in the market, even while Iso-100 has seen much more promotion lately at Elite Whey's expense. Elite Whey is still an option and I hope it stays that way.

Thanks for the time
As usual: thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome



Overall
Overall
7.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.5
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Dymatize Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  January 17, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Increased Vascularity
  • Increased Endurance
  • Clinical Dosing
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Focus
  • Slight Bitterness To Taste
  • Slightly Expensive
  • Itchiness From The Beta Alanine

Introduction

I'm sure to not be the only one who has been underwhelmed by the pre-workouts from Dymatize through the years. The fanfare that's been coming around on this one has been a positive wave... let's see if I'm to join in.

Ingredient Profile

Citrulline Malate 8g
CarnoSyn Beta Alanine 3.2g
L-Taurine 2g
BetaPower Betaine 1.5g
Nitrosigine 1.5g
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine 350mg
Caffeine Anhydrous 300mg
Coconut Water Fruit Powder 200mg
Teacrine Theacrine 125mg
Vitamin C 250mg 417% RDV
Niacin 30mg 150% RDV
Folate 260mcg 65% RDV
Vitamin B12 30mcg 500% RDV

Taste

I had to...

Introduction

I'm sure to not be the only one who has been underwhelmed by the pre-workouts from Dymatize through the years. The fanfare that's been coming around on this one has been a positive wave... let's see if I'm to join in.

Ingredient Profile

Citrulline Malate 8g
CarnoSyn Beta Alanine 3.2g
L-Taurine 2g
BetaPower Betaine 1.5g
Nitrosigine 1.5g
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine 350mg
Caffeine Anhydrous 300mg
Coconut Water Fruit Powder 200mg
Teacrine Theacrine 125mg
Vitamin C 250mg 417% RDV
Niacin 30mg 150% RDV
Folate 260mcg 65% RDV
Vitamin B12 30mcg 500% RDV

Taste

I had to give the Fruit Fusion flavor a 5 rating based on how often I could find myself having the flavor on its own. Half the time I would add Minute Maid Light Fruit Punch to the mix or a similar flavored carb powder on a leg day or two. It's not awful or unbearable to me, but there were a lot of day where I just didn't feel like trying with this flavor. This problem was expected when I see Teacrine on the label... so props to Dymatize for making the flavor bearable in the face of a real theacrine dose.

Mixability

Since there's no dye, it's easy to see when it settles on you. However the big settling risk may come with cold water. If you're using cold water, like most of us, take the proper time to shake it up and all will be well.

Dosing

Pre W.O. was designed to be a single scoop product and should be treated as such, barring lower tolerance. Because of the water pump aspect, I make sure to mix with the 12oz water recommendation. As time goes by, make sure to shake up the container to make sure certain ingredients don't get lost towards the bottom or maybe clump.

Effectiveness

Every ingredient comes out to shine. The pump takes effect via nitric oxide (citrulline, Nitrosigine) and drawing water into the cells (betaine, taurine). It really comes out when you're doing volume work. Even if you've squeezed out every rep that you have, this kind of solid pump makes you want to see what you've got with one more set.

Speaking of one more set. Citrulline malate and beta alanine combined for a good endurance profile. They provided me with good opportunities to push forward on some serious, high volume leg days.

The tyrosine and teacrine comes through with the focus as one might hope. I don't really get to enjoy until I really get into my workout. Dealing with that crazy tingle from the beta alanine gets tedious over the course of 20 minutes. After that passes, the cracks seal up and it's time for business.

Value

The standard price is $39.99. The highs and lows run from $34 to $43. I'm honestly lost on how costly this collection of ingredients can be, but its normal price feels a little too expensive for me. There's less to complain about in the $35 range with these kind of doses.

Side Effects

Full effective dose of beta alanine will have your skin tingling mad.

---- What's Missing ----
Creatine MagnaPower
A pre-workout that comes together this well could only improve with the right kind of creatine variant imo. Creatine bonded with magnesium would work well with the betaine and taurine to maintain hydration and muscular power.

Conclusion

I'm partial to pump-driven pre-workouts that give me a half decent creatine dose. So this one isn't my usual bag. However I taper off my creatine intake when I know I'll be playing competitive basketball. In a case like that, Pre-W.O. is definitely on the short list. It was almost fun seeing how far I could push the muscles that I put to work. The days I stress bicep work were especially fun. For what you see on this label, Pre-W.O. doesn't go missing on any of what it's aimed to do.

Thank you for taking the time
As always: thoughts, comments, questions and critique are all welcome.



Overall
Overall
8.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
7.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  December 20, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • High-Quality Blend
  • Fully Disclosed Label
  • Light Feeling Blend
  • No Added Anything
  • The Flavoring Could Use Work

Intro

Glad to have a go with another Nutrabio product. A year or so ago, a half and half whey/casein blend began being pushed onto the market as the new more anabolic protein supplementation method. Though that wave of products has since died down, it's a lane for products like Muscle Matrix Protein to make their way.

Ingredient Profile

55% Fast Release Whey Protein Isolate / 45% Slow Release Micellar Casein
Whey Protein Isolate
16.31g WPI90 + cold processed + instantized w/ sunflower lecithin = 14.19g yield
Micellar Casein
13.68g Casein + cold processe...

Intro

Glad to have a go with another Nutrabio product. A year or so ago, a half and half whey/casein blend began being pushed onto the market as the new more anabolic protein supplementation method. Though that wave of products has since died down, it's a lane for products like Muscle Matrix Protein to make their way.

Ingredient Profile

55% Fast Release Whey Protein Isolate / 45% Slow Release Micellar Casein
Whey Protein Isolate
16.31g WPI90 + cold processed + instantized w/ sunflower lecithin = 14.19g yield
Micellar Casein
13.68g Casein + cold processed + instantized w/ sunflower lecithin = 10.81g yield
Flavoring
natural flavor 750mg, cocoa powder 750mg, xanthan gum 210mg, salt 110mg, sucralose 80mg

Taste

This is the big disappointment for me. Most of the time I will go out of my way to excuse flavoring. Sometimes ingredients (or the lack thereof) will make it difficult to achieve the desired taste. Production mishaps can cause whole lots and batches to be awful.

Nutrabio provided me with the Cookies and Cream flavor... at best, I got Cream. It doesn't taste bad, just like any off-vanilla flavor. Nutrabio is pretty good at flavoring despite the handicap of actually being as clean as can be. But that expertise doesn't show itself in this particular flavor of Muscle Matrix.

Mixability

This one being just under half casein, the consistency will be inherently thicker and slightly more difficult to mix in cold water. However the way this is processed and instantized, all that's required is a little more rigorous shaking.

Effectiveness

For a blend that's almost half casein, it's surprisingly light. I figured to at least feel a little more on the gut than a typical whey... but that's exactly what this feels like. Taking this before bed most nights, I hardly felt it sit on me laying down for the night.

Value

I struggle with the value relative to the quality. There's no gimmicks in this time release blend... you are getting the good stuff. So a regular price of $39.99 feels steep. But put this against a 2lb container of high quality whey isolate and it's the same cost. In that right, I can't justify slamming the price point as tempting as it may be.

Side Effects

Allergen - Dairy

Conclusion

Say what you will about having to pay through the nose a little bit for their products, but Nutrabio continues to deliver on quality in full. I didn't feel myself wasting muscle for the several hours following my serving, including waking up after my nighttime shakes. Because Nutrabio has a good reputation and I think of them as such, I hope this cookies n cream flavor was a rare exception in blandness. The protein itself is well done and may earn the extra dollars.




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