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Cray

SR TROOPer


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TROPHY CASE
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Reviews by Cray



Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to RSP for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 3, 2017

Introduction

Thanks to RSP for allowing me to run both their Regen and Amino Focus products and apologies for the delay in posting this review.

Ingredient Profile

Though it has "amino" in its name, I wouldn't classify Amino Focus as a BCAA supplement or as a preworkout (which is how SR has it categorized). Instead I'd call this a "preworkout-lite" product that's similar to G Fuel or Muscle Feast's 8 Hour Power. I knew looking at the profile that this wouldn't be strong enough for me to use as an actual preworkout, but could be a good fit as a mid-day booster to replace my...

Introduction

Thanks to RSP for allowing me to run both their Regen and Amino Focus products and apologies for the delay in posting this review.

Ingredient Profile

Though it has "amino" in its name, I wouldn't classify Amino Focus as a BCAA supplement or as a preworkout (which is how SR has it categorized). Instead I'd call this a "preworkout-lite" product that's similar to G Fuel or Muscle Feast's 8 Hour Power. I knew looking at the profile that this wouldn't be strong enough for me to use as an actual preworkout, but could be a good fit as a mid-day booster to replace my afternoon coffee.

The stim profile is relatively low at only 125mg caffeine and 100mg Theacrine per two scoops. Also included are an amino blend and a focus blend, neither of which are particularly impressive. Essential BCAAs (leucine, valine, isoleucine), per my research, need to be dosed at 5g per dose in order to be effective. Focus has a 5g amino blend with the first ingredient being L-Taurine, a non-essential amino acid, which is typically dosed at around 1g on its own. Also listed in the blend are bunch of other amino acid derivatives, which basically means you're getting nowhere near an effective dose of essential amino acids in two scoops.

Same deal with the focus blend. You've got three choline-based nootropic compounds here, but all of them have a recommended dosage of around 500mg. The entire blend is dosed at 600mg for two scoops you do the math.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I usually dosed 2-3 scoops of Amino Focus in 32oz. ice water in the afternoon on most workdays to serve as an energy booster and to get me through those fantastic post-lunch meetings. I requested and received the Blackberry Lemonade flavor which was excellent. It's not overly sweet, nor does it have a chemical aftertaste. Really nice and refreshing and never got old. Mixability is also excellent. Dissolves quickly with little to no foaming or residue.

Effectiveness

As is to be expected with this sort of ingredient profile and with how I dosed it, effects were minimal. I did notice a decent kick from the caffeine and Theacrine, which was appropriate and what I wanted mid-day, but the actual "Focus" effects were lacking. I felt more energized but can't really say that I was more focused on my work. Certainly not like I am when I'm in the gym and have a proper pre-workout. Outbreak's Virus is a good example here - it contains an appropriate dosing of choline bitartrate per scoop and worked really well for me with respect to focus. I did not get a similar effect from Amino Focus.

Yes, you could up the number of scoops as is instructed on the tub but going up to "high intensity" at six scoops means you're now taking 675mg of stimulants and jacking the cost per dose up significantly. I'm personally not going this route with this type of product. Makes no sense from a price standpoint.

Value

From what I've seen so far, RSP does a great job pricing their products competitively. A tub of Amino Focus (with 60 scoops / 30 servings) will cost you ~$16 on Amazon. Basically ~.50c per serving. Tough to compare this price-wise with either preworkouts or proper BCAA products considering you're just not getting the same dosage of key ingredients. As a coffee or energy drink replacement, I think this is a good value. If you're going to try and use this to replace a proper preworkout, you're probably going to be spending $1.50 per dose which simply isn't smart from a cost perspective.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

Amino Focus gets ahead of itself. It's a nice option as a mid-day energy supplement or as a healthy replacement for daily energy drinks, but the amino and focus blends are under dosed. Tweak those profiles and I think this could be a really great product. Personally I still recommend it in select circumstances, but do think they are stronger options on the market if you're looking for this type of "preworkout lite" product.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Value
  • Increased Energy
  • Healthy Replacement For CoffeeEnergy Drinks
  • Under-dosed Blends
  • Not True Preworkout Or BCAA Product


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Propello Life for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 29, 2017

Introduction

I'm always open to trying new protein powders and was intrigued by Propello Life's approach to a standard supplement. Their whey concentrate is derived from grass-fed cows, is hormone and antibiotic free, and is naturally flavored. Thanks to Propello for letting me run a can.

Ingredient Profile

The profile of this whey is about as basic and clean as you can get. They're no additives or fat-burning complexes or an extra amino acid profile. Just 20g of whey concentrate that's naturally sweetened with Stevia. I do appreciate the simplicity here, but 20g of protei...

Introduction

I'm always open to trying new protein powders and was intrigued by Propello Life's approach to a standard supplement. Their whey concentrate is derived from grass-fed cows, is hormone and antibiotic free, and is naturally flavored. Thanks to Propello for letting me run a can.

Ingredient Profile

The profile of this whey is about as basic and clean as you can get. They're no additives or fat-burning complexes or an extra amino acid profile. Just 20g of whey concentrate that's naturally sweetened with Stevia. I do appreciate the simplicity here, but 20g of protein per scoop is a light dose. I typically shoot for ~30g of protein post-workout.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I requested and received the Chocolate flavor. As is expected from a product that's flavored with raw cocoa and Stevia, the taste is not as refined as other whey supplements. There's a slight bitterness due to the cocoa, and Stevia has a somewhat distinctive aftertaste in my experience. Not bad, but not a great tasting whey.

Mixability was also mediocre. This is a stubborn powder that regularly left residue in the bottom of my shaker cup. Obviously it was fine when blended, but if you're like me and usually just mix your protein with water, you'll want to throw in a blender ball to help this product out.

It's been stated in other reviews but the container design is flat out dumb. This is stored in what is essentially a paint can. You have to pry the lid off to open it up and resealing it is a pain. Why they went this route, I've no idea.

Effectiveness

I primarily dosed one and a half scoops in the AM regardless of whether or not I worked out. This did mean that I burned through this tub really quickly, as a container only has 15 scoops.

I've referenced this before but will post again here. Petey had a great breakdown in one of his recent reviews on protein effectiveness that I want to reference as it mirrors my personal stance:

"I would strongly challenge someone to give a valid reasoning for saying that one protein is more effective than another in how much they gained from it. The minuscule differences that are noted by a user outside of a lab environment are overblown by saying a certain protein is more effective than another."

I've never prescribed to the notion that you'll only see results from using a pure, high-quality protein, and I can't honestly say I've ever noticed significant differences in muscle gain as a result of my protein supplement. That remained the case here. I was running TheWhey when Propello Life arrived so I tried a scoop or two of it and then pushed the rest of the tub back to after I finished my tub of TheWhey. I noticed no significant differences in overall results between the two products

Value

Propello Life is not widely available. On their own site it's $33 for 15 scoops. It's only slightly less on Amazon at $31 for 15 scoops. This is simply not a viable price point in my opinion. I understand the claim that the product is high quality, but their processing methods are not new and this is still just whey concentrate. With how I dosed it, it was essentially $3.00 per dose. Insane.

Let's check out a top whey product - ON's Gold Standard. You can grab of tub of this product for .79c per scoop. The profile is solid, the company is respected, and the product profile contains some nice additives. Why anyone would pay almost 3x as much for something like Propello Life is beyond me.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

Overall Propello Life is a very basic whey product. If the derivation method and ingredient profile are EXTREMELY important to you, then perhaps this product would be appealing. But I simply don't see why anyone would pay that price for this product. It makes no sense.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • No Hormones
  • Clean Profile
  • High Quality Ingredients
  • Too Expensive
  • Not Enough Servings Per Container
  • Bad Container Design
  • Low Grams Of Protein Per Serving


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to MaxQ Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 23, 2017

Introduction

I'm a big fan of BCAA supplementation and was intrigued when MAXED OUT became available to the Troopers. I'd never heard of the company, MaxQ Nutrition, but the profile of the product looked amazing so I decided to give it a try. Thanks to MaxQ for the opportunity.

Ingredient Profile

All I really care about in my intra-workouts is the dosage of BCAAs. Maxed Out goes hard in the paint with 10g!!! of essential BCAAs. Aside from this awesome start, also included are effective dosages of glutamine, l-taurine, a host of other amino acids, BioPerine for absorption,...

Introduction

I'm a big fan of BCAA supplementation and was intrigued when MAXED OUT became available to the Troopers. I'd never heard of the company, MaxQ Nutrition, but the profile of the product looked amazing so I decided to give it a try. Thanks to MaxQ for the opportunity.

Ingredient Profile

All I really care about in my intra-workouts is the dosage of BCAAs. Maxed Out goes hard in the paint with 10g!!! of essential BCAAs. Aside from this awesome start, also included are effective dosages of glutamine, l-taurine, a host of other amino acids, BioPerine for absorption, AND an electrolyte complex. This is honestly one of those most robust ingredient profiles I've seen in a BCAA supplement in a while, and I have to compliment MaxQ for laying everything out in a fully disclosed profile.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I only used Maxed Out on workout days and would throw one scoop in 32oz. of water and sip throughout my workout. I alternated this a few times with Regen, which I was also running, just to get a feel for the difference between this product and a simpler BCAA supplement.

I requested and received the Blue Raspberry flavor. I found the taste to be very flat and bland compared to other blue raspberry supplements I've tried. It's nice that it's not overly sweet and contains no dyes, and it is a flavor that's easy to sip through a long workout, but I could have done with a little more flavor punch. Mixability is about what you would expect with 10 grams of BCAAs. There's a good amount of foaming and residue and it takes a few minutes for everything to fully dissolve.

Effectiveness

As a straight recovery BCAA product, Maxed Out is a good option. I personally can't tell the difference in recovery effect between most BCAA products. And I honestly can't say I experienced a boost in recovery from Maxed Out's 10gs of BCAAs vs. Regen's 5gs. Of course, I noticed a difference in my recovery time and DOMS in general (vs. not taking a BCAA supplement), and was satisfied with this overall.

Now, as an intra-workout booster, Maxed Out is excellent and really shines. I do think the extra dosing of BCAAs makes a difference here, as do all the other ingredients and the electrolyte complex. I definitely felt as though getting through my workouts was easier the days I was took Maxed Out compared to those when I had Regen or Recovery in my water bottle.

Value

Most solid BCAA supplements will cost you around .80c per serving. Some of the flashier products with broader ingredient profiles will run you closer to $1.00 per scoop. A simple BCAA product, like Regen for example, costs .60c per scoop.

Here's the biggest issue I have with Maxed Out you can't find it anywhere. It's available through MaxQ's own website (and we all know the brand's actual website is never a good deal) and some shady looking site called i-supplements.com at the price of $53.39 for 30 scoops. That's roughly $1.75 per scoop; a harsh hit to the wallet. As much as I loved this stuff, paying almost double the price (compared to competitor products) is not something I can support. I'd be OK paying around $1.00-$1.25 per scoop considering the outstanding profile and its effectiveness but almost $60 for 30 scoops of a BCAA supplement? No way.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

This is one of the best BCAA intra-workouts I've tried in a long time and I'd absolutely recommend it to everyone if not for its current price point and lack of availability. MaxQ has a winner here - they just need to make it competitively priced and easier to find. I'm still going with a YES for recommended in this review given that value is subjective and people for whom price is no issue will definitely want to check this out.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Recovery
  • Improved Endurance
  • Effectively Dosed Ingredients
  • Fully Disclosed Profile
  • Very Expensive
  • Not Widely Available



Overall
Overall
5.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
2.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Size Slim for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 21, 2017

Introduction

As I've written in other reviews, I'm a fan of constantly supplementing BCAAs for overall health and recovery, and jumped at the chance to try out Size Slim's Recovery.

Ingredient Profile

All I really care about in my intra-workouts/BCAA supplements is the actual dosing of BCAAs. 5g of BCAAs per serving has been clinically proven to be the minimum effective dose (at least, that's what I've found in my research). As such, I was slightly disappointed to see Recovery only contains 4g of essential amino acids (at a 5:1:1 ratio) per scoop. The dosage of glutamine ...

Introduction

As I've written in other reviews, I'm a fan of constantly supplementing BCAAs for overall health and recovery, and jumped at the chance to try out Size Slim's Recovery.

Ingredient Profile

All I really care about in my intra-workouts/BCAA supplements is the actual dosing of BCAAs. 5g of BCAAs per serving has been clinically proven to be the minimum effective dose (at least, that's what I've found in my research). As such, I was slightly disappointed to see Recovery only contains 4g of essential amino acids (at a 5:1:1 ratio) per scoop. The dosage of glutamine is also light, considering it's typically dosed at 5g per serving. I did like the inclusion and dosage of HICA, but all in all the profile was underwhelming. Furthermore, I appreciate that it's simple and fully disclosed, but I felt I needed to take 1.5 scoops every serving in order to ensure I was getting effective dosages of key ingredients.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I requested and received the Lime Cucumber flavor. While it smells amazing, the taste was rough for me. It's got a VERY strong cucumber flavor. I was expecting more of a lime citrus taste, which wasn't the case. Now, I didn't like this, but it is different and I bet someone who regularly drinks cucumber-infused water would be really into this option.

I generally dosed 1.5 scoops in 32 oz. of water and sipped throughout my workout. On off days I'd drink throughout the morning. Mixability is on par with other BCAA supplements - there's some foaming and residue that takes a few minutes to fully settle and dissolve.

Effectiveness

I personally can't really tell the difference between most BCAA products. I notice a difference in my recovery time and the amount of DOMS I experience when I'm taking a BCAA product versus when I'm not, but not usually between individual supplements. I'd just finished a tub of RSP's Regen when I started up Recovery, and I noticed no difference in my DOMS or recovery time. I do think this product is effective in this area - just not more so than any other BCAA supplement.

As an intra-workout booster, Recovery's not a great option. There's no electrolytes or really any ingredients to support endurance or stamina. It's not marketed as that type of supplement, but I thought it worthy to mention given that I believe many people are like me and tend to drink their BCAAs mid-workout.

Value

Most solid BCAA supplements will cost you around .80c per serving. Some of the flashier products with broader ingredient profiles will run you closer to $1.00 per scoop. The cheapest I could find Recovery was $37.92 for 30 scoops. That's $1.26 per scoop and is already significantly overpriced in my book. Add in the fact that I personally felt I needed 1.5 scoops in order to get the full effects of this product, and you're looking at a supplement that is wildly more expensive than its competitors.

Take RSP's Regen for example. You can get a tub on Amazon at $18 for 30 scoops. Each individual scoop nets you 5g of BCAAs at a cost of .60c per scoop. That's less than HALF the price of Recovery per scoop and has a more effective dosage of essential amino acids.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

This is a simple recovery product that does do what it states, but is significantly overpriced. Given the vast array of BCAA supplement options, there is simply no way I would recommend this product based on its price point.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Recovery
  • HICA
  • No Dyes
  • Completely Overpriced
  • Under-dosed BCAAs


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Nutrex for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 15, 2017

Introduction

I grabbed Outlift based on all the strong reviews I was reading from respected Troopers. Seemed like yet another awesome preworkout product that I needed to try.

Ingredient Profile

Fully disclosed and effectively dosed. How many preworkouts can you say that about these days? Outlift is fairly basic and straightforward, which I respect and prefer. Sometimes all the additives and blends and extracts in today's pres make me nervous. And I really hate when companies don't disclose the full dosages of all stimulants in a product.

Regardless, this hits you hard wit...

Introduction

I grabbed Outlift based on all the strong reviews I was reading from respected Troopers. Seemed like yet another awesome preworkout product that I needed to try.

Ingredient Profile

Fully disclosed and effectively dosed. How many preworkouts can you say that about these days? Outlift is fairly basic and straightforward, which I respect and prefer. Sometimes all the additives and blends and extracts in today's pres make me nervous. And I really hate when companies don't disclose the full dosages of all stimulants in a product.

Regardless, this hits you hard with 350mg of caffeine, drops in a solid 8g of Citrulline Malate, further supports your pumps and focus, and is assisting with recovery with 6g of BCAAs. That's more BCAAs in a single serving than most BCAA supplements! My only gripe is the creatine. I'd prefer to supplement that separately.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I requested and received the Miami Vice flavor which I really did not enjoy. The flavoring was very strong and reminded me of gross pineapple cocktails. Not the worst tasting preworkout I've tried, but I'd definitely go with Blue Raspberry if I was to order this again.

The scoops are large but each dose mixes surprisingly well with only slightly foaming. I dosed one scoop in 12 oz. of water and sipped on the way to the gym usually 30 minutes prior to working out.

Effectiveness

Outlift is no joke. The company says clinically dosed and effective ingredients and they mean it. The energy was stellar for me. A strong kick with no crash and the best Beta Alanine tingles I've gotten from a preworkout in a long time. The stamina was also excellent as were the pumps. I was crushing workouts on this stuff. It's consistent, well-rounded, and delivers. Most of my workouts are hypertrophy-focused, so I'm not as concerned on strength boosts or 1MRs. I want a preworkout that helps me push through my sessions with aggression and gets me to my 15 mins of cardio with energy to spare and Outlift did exactly that.

Value

Ah. Here's the stinger. Outlift is fairly expensive. Most sites are listing it at $35 for only 20 scoops - a per dose cost of $1.75. The industry average, from my research, is right around $1.00. Of course when you consider the quality of Outlift, its effectiveness, its clinically dosed and quality ingredients, it's no surprise it's more expensive than most competitor preworkouts. I think the value question here is really individualized. If you're on a budget, this is probably not the best product for you. If you want to stay away from prop blends and get a product where you KNOW every ingredient is effective then I can see being fine with spending more money.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

Read just about any review for this product - it's a winner. An expensive winner, but a winner. I'd absolutely recommend this preworkout to anybody. And honestly, I hope this is the direction more supplement companies are headed. Hiding core ingredients in a SUPER ENERGIZING PUMP COMBO BLEND MATRIX is foolish in my opinion. I want to know I'm getting effective ingredients dosed at an appropriate level, and that's the reason I'll companies like Nutrex will continue to get all my business.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Fully Disclosed
  • Clinically Effective Dosages
  • Clean Energy
  • Improved Stamina
  • Dye Free
  • Premium Price
  • Heavily Flavored


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to RSP for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 13, 2017

Introduction

I'd been going through intra-workout supplement withdrawal for a few weeks when suddenly a bunch became available to review. I snagged a few tubs of various products, including Regen BCAA, to run concurrently. Thanks to RSP for allowing me to try tubs of Regen and AminoFocus.

Ingredient Profile

All I really care about in my intra-workouts is the dosage of BCAAs. Regen packs 5g of essential amino acids at a 2:1:1 ratio. Good stuff. Also included are a few other core minerals and electrolytes, but for the most part Regen is far simpler and less flashy than some ...

Introduction

I'd been going through intra-workout supplement withdrawal for a few weeks when suddenly a bunch became available to review. I snagged a few tubs of various products, including Regen BCAA, to run concurrently. Thanks to RSP for allowing me to try tubs of Regen and AminoFocus.

Ingredient Profile

All I really care about in my intra-workouts is the dosage of BCAAs. Regen packs 5g of essential amino acids at a 2:1:1 ratio. Good stuff. Also included are a few other core minerals and electrolytes, but for the most part Regen is far simpler and less flashy than some other competitors.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Regen was my go-to morning BCAA supplement. I exercise most mornings, so on lifting days I would put around two scoops in 32 oz. of ice water and sip throughout my workout. On rest days I still threw a scoop or two in my water bottle to sip throughout the morning.

I requested and received the Raspberry Lemonade flavor which was a good choice. It's not overly sweet, nor does it have a chemical aftertaste. To me it tasted more like a standard Fruit Punch, but all in all I enjoyed drinking it. Given the hydrophobic properties of powdered BCAAs, Regen does foam and clump a bit when first added to water, but after a minute or two of shaking it dissolved fully with no residue

Effectiveness

As a straight recovery BCAA supplement, Regen is a good option. I personally can't really tell the difference between most BCAA products. I notice a difference in my recovery time and the amount of DOMS I experience when I'm taking a BCAA product versus when I'm not, but not usually between actual individual products. Regen was no different. I experienced the standard spike in recovery, which was particularly nice considering I've resumed hitting legs most days (had taken several months off) and was surprised I wasn't more sore right out of the gate.

Now, as an intra-workout booster, Regen's not as strong as some competitors. As I mentioned in the profile section, this product isn't as packed with intense electrolyte compounds (though it does include a few ingredients with that goal) and energy matrices. This isn't a negative - just clarifying that this is a straight up recovery-focused BCAA supplement and not one that shines as a workout extender.

Value

Most solid BCAA supplements will cost you around .80c per serving. Some of the flashier products with broader ingredient profiles will run you closer to $1.00 per scoop. Right now, Regen is available on Amazon at $18 for 30 scoops - that's a VERY competitively priced .60c per serving. And each individual scoop nets you 5g of BCAAs which is the minimum effective dose. Even if you push the serving size up like I did, the overall price point is still strong. You can also find this on major supplement sites, meaning you'll probably be able to get an additional discount.

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

This is a simple recovery product that does what it states and no more. It's one of the most affordable BCAA supplements I've found and is perfect for someone on a tight budget. While it's not the most robust or amazing intra-workout option, I had a good experience with this product and would absolutely recommend it.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Improves Recovery
  • Excellent Value
  • Effective BCAA Dosage


    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to VMI Sports Nutrition for sending it out!
    (Show run details )
      June 7, 2017

    Introduction

    My days of prohormone usage is behind me, but when a few bottles of Cycle Guard went unclaimed I figured I'd give it a run and see how it performed as a general health supplement.

    Ingredient Profile

    The profile is fairly basic with most ingredients being touted, obviously, as natural liver protectors and detoxifiers. The core here is Milk Thistle Extract, which in my opinion is under-dosed. According to most articles I've read, the standard dose of milk thistle is 200mg, two to three times daily. Same for the Kudzu Root Extract, which is commonly used to trea...

    Introduction

    My days of prohormone usage is behind me, but when a few bottles of Cycle Guard went unclaimed I figured I'd give it a run and see how it performed as a general health supplement.

    Ingredient Profile

    The profile is fairly basic with most ingredients being touted, obviously, as natural liver protectors and detoxifiers. The core here is Milk Thistle Extract, which in my opinion is under-dosed. According to most articles I've read, the standard dose of milk thistle is 200mg, two to three times daily. Same for the Kudzu Root Extract, which is commonly used to treat alcohol consumption. The studies I found dosed this ingredient at 2g daily, with an active isoflavone content of 520mg. Finally the NAC is also very light at only 200mg per dose - the recommended dosing varies depending on the condition, but most other support products dose NAC at 500mg per dose. This is a significant problem in my opinion. Unless you're running something else, you're not getting the recommended daily values of the core organ protecting ingredients.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Easy to dose pills that have no odor. I dosed two daily, usually with a meal.

    Effectiveness

    This isn't exactly a product where effectiveness can be easily gauged. I wasn't running an aggressive synthetic compound, and the liver is a resilient organ that doesn't show signs of everyday wear and tear or "overuse" at least not without extensive bloodwork. I personally didn't notice any changes or effects I could directly attribute to this product that weren't psychological. I did feel good about taking Cycle Guard and that I was giving my liver some extra support, but I can't prove that was actually the case.

    Value

    At $16 for a 30 day supply, Cycle Guard is affordable and on par with similar products. Some of the more comprehensive and robust cycle support supplements are significantly more expensive which makes sense. The problem here goes back to the dosages. I can go buy 50 caps of straight milk thistle for $6 and dose it at 600mg daily for a month. I can dose a month of NAC at 500mg for $4. Basically, I can go buy most of the ingredients of Cycle Guard and dose them at much higher amounts for only a few more dollars.

    Side Effects

    No issues.

    Conclusion

    As a standalone cycle support product, I would not recommend Cycle Guard. Unless there's some rationale or reasoning as to why the primary ingredients are dosed low i.e. they are laboratory-generated hyper-compounds that don't need as much to be effective or whatever. Personally if I was running a harsh PH, I'd want a much more robust support product. And if you're just looking to support general organ health, go the route I outlined above. Buy straight milk thistle and NAC and dose it strongly. All in all, while I like the profile of VMI's product, it needs some significant adjustment before I'd recommend it.

    To clarify, I rated this a five overall as it's not a BAD product, it's just not strong enough to be fully effective.
     Pros:
     Cons:
      • Core Ingredients Under Dosed



      Overall
      Overall
      7.8
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      8.1
      Value
      Value
      7.5
      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to Strike First Nutrition for sending it out!
      (Show run details )
        June 5, 2017

      Introduction

      Put that preworkout in my stomach. Do it. Thanks to StrikeFirst for allowing me the chance to run their new preworkout, Sinister.

      Ingredient Profile

      Like many preworkouts on the market today, Sinister is comprised of multiple prop blends. The blends aren't overly complicated or fancy and include most of the usual players and a few creative additions. Of course, it's impossible to tell whether or not the ingredients are dosed effectively. I also really am not a fan of the amount of caffeine not being fully disclosed, and the fact that pouching tea has been criti...

      Introduction

      Put that preworkout in my stomach. Do it. Thanks to StrikeFirst for allowing me the chance to run their new preworkout, Sinister.

      Ingredient Profile

      Like many preworkouts on the market today, Sinister is comprised of multiple prop blends. The blends aren't overly complicated or fancy and include most of the usual players and a few creative additions. Of course, it's impossible to tell whether or not the ingredients are dosed effectively. I also really am not a fan of the amount of caffeine not being fully disclosed, and the fact that pouching tea has been criticized for its potentially dangerous stim capabilities. It's similar to DMAA, and honestly I think it's in the company's best interest to disclose exactly how much of these stimulants are in each dose.

      That said, I've started not worrying too much about how this preworkout profile stacks up to that one, and instead make my purchases based solely on my experience with the products/brand.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      Sinister comes in a host of flavors - I asked for and received Rocket Pop. The taste is on point but reminded me more of a tropical fruit punch. Still good, but it is heavily dyed. Mixability is excellent. The product dissolves easily with no clumping or foaming.

      I did not exceed one scoop of Sinister per dose and would sip it on my way to the gym - call it 20 minutes before my actual workout.

      Effectiveness

      Sinister worked really well for me, particularly the energy blend. It consistently provided a strong and solid thirty-to-forty-five minute boost of clean energy. No jitters or shakes or harsh crash. I also noticed the purported thermogenic properties of this supplement as I did sweat more than normal and felt warmer in general. A nice plus honestly. I felt like I was working harder. Pumps were decent but not amazing. About what I expect from a well-rounded preworkout.

      Sinister also claims to increase natural growth hormones and assist with appetite control. I can't say I noticed any effects of this nature.

      Value

      Sinister is, from my research, only available on StrikeFirst's website at $60 for 50 scoops. This is slightly above the industry average of $1.00 per scoop. Considering its effectiveness, I'm giving Sinister a high value score. Unlike many competitors, it truly is a one-scoop preworkout and you're going to get the full 50 scoops out of each tub.

      Side Effects

      No issues.

      Conclusion

      I really liked Sinister a lot. It hit me well and consistently gave me exactly what I want from my preworkout. The profile is well-rounded and appears to be balanced, and the stim blend is strong. Be careful with this one though. I am very stim-tolerant and even so, Sinister hit me hard each and every dose. I would not recommend this to people new to supplements or preworkout products, and it may be too much for people sensitive to stimulants. Fix the prop blend and make this more widely available, and Sinister would be one of my top preworkouts.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Clean Energy
      • Consistent Effects
      • Thermogenic
      • Increased Stamina
      • Heavy Dyes
      • Prop Blends
      • Stimulant Dosages Not Disclosed
      • Pouchong Tea Included


      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to MyProtein for sending it out!
      (Show run details )
        June 5, 2017

      Introduction

      Chocolate protein powder. Legit my favorite supplement of all time. I'm always excited to try out a new brand or a product with an interesting ingredient profile twist. I'd never tried any MyProtein brand supplements before and appreciate them letting me run a tub of TheWhey.

      Ingredient Profile

      LOVE the profile of this product. A solid 25g of protein (mixture of isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate) at only 2g of carbs and 120 cals per scoop. Also included are Aminogen and Digenzyme for digestion and absorption. And nothing else. Clean and basic.

      ----Taste...

      Introduction

      Chocolate protein powder. Legit my favorite supplement of all time. I'm always excited to try out a new brand or a product with an interesting ingredient profile twist. I'd never tried any MyProtein brand supplements before and appreciate them letting me run a tub of TheWhey.

      Ingredient Profile

      LOVE the profile of this product. A solid 25g of protein (mixture of isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate) at only 2g of carbs and 120 cals per scoop. Also included are Aminogen and Digenzyme for digestion and absorption. And nothing else. Clean and basic.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I requested and received the Chocolate Fudge flavor. I've probably tried 40 different brands and types of chocolate flavored proteins and this is honestly in the top three. Outstanding. Tastes like chocolate pudding. I loved the taste from the first scoop to the last. Mixes easily in a shaker cup with no foaming or clumping.

      I primarily dosed one scoop in the AM regardless of whether or not I worked out. If I did lift, I would take post-workout. On weekends I'd throw a scoop of this in the blender with a banana and coconut milk. Delicious.

      Effectiveness

      Petey had a great breakdown in one of his recent reviews on protein effectiveness that I want to reference as it mirrors my personal stance:

      "I would strongly challenge someone to give a valid reasoning for saying that one protein is more effective than another in how much they gained from it. The minuscule differences that are noted by a user outside of a lab environment are overblown by saying a certain protein is more effective than another. You really don't need a protein supplement period post training, and in my last 10-12 weeks of contest prep, use whole food such as chicken breast, ahi tuna and egg whites for my post workout protein and imagine that...it's just as effective."

      I've always struggled with gauging the effectiveness of products like protein and multivitamins. In my opinion these are staples of a well-balanced diet and should be used in conjunction with a solid exercise regimen. And I've never prescribed to the notion that you'll only see results from using a pure, high-quality protein. To that end, I pick my proteins based on their profile, taste, and price. As for TheWhey, it worked as well as any other protein I've tried and I had no issues with digestion or gas.

      Value

      TheWhey is not widely available. I was only able to find it on Amazon at $60 for 60 scoops. $1.00 per serving for whey protein is high in my book. ON's Gold Standard has a similar profile and includes amino acids, and will cost you .79c per serving. The cost isn't necessarily a deal breaker for me, but many similar products can be had for right around .85c per serving, and that's not including the frequent deals to be had by using major websites.

      Side Effects

      None.

      Conclusion

      Overall I loved TheWhey. It's exactly what I look for in my daily protein supplement. The only drawback for me is the price. If this was slightly less expensive or I could get it from a major vendor site at a discount, it would legitimately be my #1 go-to whey protein. Even so, I'll be willing to spend a few extra dollars and will absolutely be buying this in the future. 100% recommend.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Amazing Taste
      • Clean Profile
      • No Additives
      • More Expensive Than Competitor Products


      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to Blackstone Labs for sending it out!
      (Show run details )
        June 5, 2017

      Introduction

      As I've said in other recent reviews, with the birth of my second kid it's become more and more difficult for me to stay on top of my fitness game. As such, I'd been keeping my eyes open for a non-stim, alternative fat loss supplement and Trojan Horse fit the bill perfectly. Thanks to Blackstone Labs for letting me run it and apologies for the delay in the review being posted.

      Ingredient Profile

      Four primary ingredients but the main player is L-Carnitine-Tartrate which facilitates fat burning by helping oxidize fatty acids in the body and supporting insulin r...

      Introduction

      As I've said in other recent reviews, with the birth of my second kid it's become more and more difficult for me to stay on top of my fitness game. As such, I'd been keeping my eyes open for a non-stim, alternative fat loss supplement and Trojan Horse fit the bill perfectly. Thanks to Blackstone Labs for letting me run it and apologies for the delay in the review being posted.

      Ingredient Profile

      Four primary ingredients but the main player is L-Carnitine-Tartrate which facilitates fat burning by helping oxidize fatty acids in the body and supporting insulin resistance (http://www.livestrong.com/article/374418-what-is-carnitine-tartrate/). Research shows that the other ingredients have little to no effect on weight loss in humans.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I requested and received the Black Currant flavor. Blackcurrant itself is a small, tart berry - think concentrated, non-sweet grapes or blackberries. I was actually looking forward to this flavor and expected it to be a departure from the hyper-sweetened supplements that plague today's shelves.

      And of course this stuff tastes like over-flavored cherry cough syrup. Horrendous. Very sweet and artificial. I don't know what the hell they were trying to pull off with this flavoring but it failed.

      Mixability is mediocre. There's minimal foaming or clumping but a fair amount of residue would settle at the bottom of my shaker bottle every dose. I usually would give it a shake before each sip, otherwise I'd end up not drinking the full scoop.

      I dosed one scoop a day for about four weeks straight. Usually I drank this in the AM, after my morning shake, before lunch.

      Effectiveness

      In short does this work? Yes. Is it worth it? Not for me.

      I lost around four pounds in the four weeks I was on Trojan Horse. A decent weight loss pace considering I was being more diligent with my diet and getting into the gym more consistently. The problem? I had aggressive diarrhea that entire time. We're talking four+ movements a day. Some days were really bad and I'd be on the throne three times inside of an hour blasting out sprays of liquid. Realllllly unpleasant.

      I honestly didn't put two and two together until I read bctuthill's review of this product. I'd been having stomach issues for a while and thought they had just worsened on their own. Sure enough, I stopped taking Trojan Horse as soon as I read his review and within a few days my movements returned to near normal.

      I tried resuming the product a few times, but ultimately the side effects were too unpleasant. It wasn't worth it to me.

      Value

      At $40 for a two month supply, I'd say Trojan Horse is well priced. Your standard stim-based fat burners will run you ~$1.00 per day/dose, but are obviously generating fat loss through more tried and true ingredients.

      Side Effects

      Aggressive diarrhea and upset stomach.

      Conclusion

      I have a really hard time recommending and rating this product given the harsh negative side effects. If that's something you're willing to put up with to lose weight well you do you. Personally I'm not going to purchase a product that has that effect on my body. I've given it an overall low score and would not recommend it due to the side effects and my personal experience, but have rated its effectiveness and value independently.

      I'd be much higher on this product if not for that fact. It's unique and simple and worked relatively well, plus the price point won't break the bank. To someone seriously considering this supplement - see if you can score a few free samples to determine how this will affect your bodily functions. If you don't have the same issues that I and bctuthill had, then go for it.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Supports Fat Loss
      • Aggressive Negative Side Effects
      • Heavy Diarrhea
      • Upset Stomach
      • Poor Taste



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