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MMAFreak

SR TROOPer


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REVIEWS (67)

Reviews by MMAFreak




Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.0
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Flex Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 30, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value
  • Oxide Form Minerals
  • Some Compounds Under Dosed

Quick Summary

Liquid Multi is a liquid (kind of) multi vitamin that provides a decently complete profile at a solid value.

Introduction

Sorry to have to sneak this review in at the buzzer. Thank you as always to the SR Troop Program and Flex Nutrition for the opportunity to review Liquid Multi. Multi vitamins have been a part of my supplement stack for a long time and should really be a part of anyone's stack who wants to make sure they hit their nutritional gaps. I was intrigued by the fact that this was a liquid multi in capsule form and the price point seemed more tha...

Quick Summary

Liquid Multi is a liquid (kind of) multi vitamin that provides a decently complete profile at a solid value.

Introduction

Sorry to have to sneak this review in at the buzzer. Thank you as always to the SR Troop Program and Flex Nutrition for the opportunity to review Liquid Multi. Multi vitamins have been a part of my supplement stack for a long time and should really be a part of anyone's stack who wants to make sure they hit their nutritional gaps. I was intrigued by the fact that this was a liquid multi in capsule form and the price point seemed more than fair for what you get.

Ingredient Profile

So before we go into any detail about the profile let's answer one question. Is this actually a liquid? Well sort of. In the interest of being thorough I decided to break one of these open and have a look inside. I don't recommend doing this by hand as what is liquid in the capsule went everywhere. Literally on the ceiling. Oh well. It was all in the name of science. So yes it is basically a liquid but also kind of pasty.

As far as the profile is concerned it is a decently dosed multi vitamin containing the majority of vitamins and minerals you would expect to see and some other goodies such as Choline and CoQ10. At one serving some of the compounds are a little under dosed and a few are pretty much useless in the quantities provided. At two servings most compounds are dosed where they need to be but more on dosing of the product later.

Worth mentioning that Magnesium is present in oxide form which is essentially useless to our bodies. Minerals work best in a chelated form when taken exogenous. Not a huge knock against them and I didn't deduct any value points on this. Just worth throwing out there.

There is also a "42 Fruits and Vegetable Blend" thrown in that is extensive but probably not going to do much at 5mg per serving.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Recommendation is that you take 2 capsules with a meal one to two times per day. I opted to go with one serving as I look at this more of a supplement to whole food nutrition and not as a replacement for healthy eating. They are fairly small capsules and go down easy.

Effectiveness

There's definitely a conundrum when trying to quantify the exact effectiveness of a multi vitamin. Can't say I felt any worse taking this product than taking another vitamin supplement. It won't make you superman but it will definitely lend a hand to an overall sense of well being.

Value

At $15 per bottle and taking the product the way I used it the value is pretty solid. Even after shipping charges you are looking at $10 per month to help fill in the gaps in your nutritional intake. If you take two servings per day then obviously the value is slightly diminished but still comparable to other similar products.

Side Effects

No unwanted sides from this one.

Conclusion

Liquid Multi is a solid product that should work well and fit the needs of most athletes and it won't break your bank either. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone on the prowl for a new multi.



Overall
Overall
6.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
5.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to TBN Labs for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 16, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Great Taste
  • Easy On The Stomach
  • Sweetened With Stevia
  • Pricey
  • Foaming
  • Fix Label Claims
  • Sketchy Label

Quick Summary

A protein that touts itself as a 100% Natural, Cage Free, Grass Fed, GMO Free Organic protein that even makes mention of being "Halal Certified".

Introduction

Thank you to the SR Troop program and TBN Labs for sending a tub of their Total GO protein for my evaluation. Protein supplements are something that I use almost daily to help fill the gaps in my nutrition and I am always on the prowl for a quality product. Prior reviews seemed very favorable so I opted to try Total GO.

Ingredient Profile

So lets just talk about the labeling on this product...

Quick Summary

A protein that touts itself as a 100% Natural, Cage Free, Grass Fed, GMO Free Organic protein that even makes mention of being "Halal Certified".

Introduction

Thank you to the SR Troop program and TBN Labs for sending a tub of their Total GO protein for my evaluation. Protein supplements are something that I use almost daily to help fill the gaps in my nutrition and I am always on the prowl for a quality product. Prior reviews seemed very favorable so I opted to try Total GO.

Ingredient Profile

So lets just talk about the labeling on this product first and foremost. It is confusing. It seems as though there are a lot of buzz words thrown around like "Cage Free", "Organic" and "GMO Free" to name a few. Best I can tell from the information that is out there is that this product is a pure whey protein concentrate. The label doesn't really divulge the normal information such as different types of proteins used (if it is a blend) and processing methods used (i.e. ion exchange, cold process micro filtered, etc.). I'm confused about the use of "Cage Free" as that is a term typically associated with poultry since cows are not typically kept in cages and equally confused about it being "Halal Certified" since this is usually only pertains to meat and the standards for processing.

The label is also very vague in where you would usually find a run down of all ingredients it just has a section that says other ingredients which you can view in the attached photo. It basically just is one long claim that they add no dye, sugar, fillers, carbs or preservatives. 1 scoop nets 30 total grams of which 24g comes from protein, 1.7g comes from fat and 2.1g from Carbs. So 27.8g total leaving what I assume to be 2.2g of flavoring and Stevia per scoop. This is not a bad breakdown for a protein supplement. I'm not bothered by the fact that there are naturally occurring sugars or fats but by now it is probably clear that I'm not a fan of the way this product is labeled.

I know it seems like I am really harping on TBN Labs but the product itself wasn't bad. I just don't care for the manner in which it is presented. I do like the fact that it is sweetened with Stevia and if it is actually a GMO Free, organic product then there is certainly some value to that aspect of the product.

It is also worth mentioning that unless they left it off the label that this product is not manufactured in an FDA inspected facility under cGMP (current good manufacturing process) regulations. They put everything else on the label so if it was I would think that this would be included as well. It is more expensive so almost any manufacturer will proudly display this on a product label. This doesn't mean that it's being made in some guys basement but it raises an eyebrow for sure.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I have seen other reviews that mentioned the product foaming but I had no issues whatsoever with foaming or clumping. Whether mixing in almond milk or water it dissolved completely with pretty minimal shaking and stayed together with no settling. The rep mentioned to me that shaking was not needed as the product could just be "inverted" a few times and it will dissolve. I definitely call BS on that one. I tried it in water and almond milk and it didn't even come close to being mixed.

I had the Chocolate Cream flavor and honestly it is one of the best chocolate flavors I have ever tried. Maybe even the best I have ever tried. Mixed in almond milk, water or used in my overnight oats recipe it was delicious. I really enjoyed every last scoop of this stuff from a flavor standpoint.

Effectiveness

I tend to gauge protein powders based on how I feel for the next hour after consumption, taking note of a few things. Does it feel heavy in my stomach? Did it upset my stomach? Did it give me gas? Bargain brand proteins tend to do all three and I can at least say that I experienced none of that with Total GO. Despite this being a concentrate which tends to be cheaper protein, I had no issues at all with taking the product.

Value

Total GO doesn't come cheap. Best deal I was able to find was a three pound tub for $67.75 delivered through Amazon Prime. With 45 servings per tub that gives a breakdown of $1.50 per serving. Definitely on the high end of the protein spectrum and especially high for a whey protein concentrate. I understand that organic foods cost more to produce but I honestly can't give it that much towards value just solely because it claims to be organic.

Side Effects

No negative side effects from Total GO.

Conclusion

So do I recommend this product? Not really but I wouldn't say unequivocally to stay away from it all together. In an industry that already suffers from a lack of transparency it seems as though there are some things not being disclosed on the label and other things are being vastly overstated. I would think that a product this high end should be manufactured in a FDA inspected facility under cGMP regulations. Neither of these seals of approval show up on the label which is something that worries me.



Overall
Overall
8.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to For Active Bodies for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 3, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Extended Energy
  • Hydration
  • Increased Energy
  • Recovery
  • THE TASTE!!!

Why I Chose This Product

Well it touts itself as a preworkout supplement designed for us with fasted cardio. I do fasted cardio almost every single morning so it seemed like a good fit for me.

Quick Summary

A very comprehensive profile with full disclosure on all ingredients and definitely one of the more unique products I have tried.

Introduction

What's up everybody? Big thank you to For Active Bodies for sending a tub of their Phasted Kardio out to me for review. And as always thank you to the SR Troop program for their continued efforts to get real unbiased r...

Why I Chose This Product

Well it touts itself as a preworkout supplement designed for us with fasted cardio. I do fasted cardio almost every single morning so it seemed like a good fit for me.

Quick Summary

A very comprehensive profile with full disclosure on all ingredients and definitely one of the more unique products I have tried.

Introduction

What's up everybody? Big thank you to For Active Bodies for sending a tub of their Phasted Kardio out to me for review. And as always thank you to the SR Troop program for their continued efforts to get real unbiased reviews out there on as many products as possible. Phasted Kardio is an interesting supplement in the sense that it is a pre workout that is actually aimed at enhancing cardio based workouts. Not many of these floating around out there as most in the preworkout category are aimed at intense energy and pumps. Phasted Kardio seems to take a different approach and it was intriguing to me. So let's dive in and take a look at what we have here.

Ingredient Profile

So the profile on Phasted Kardio is massive (28 total ingredients). I'm not even going to attempt to list out all the ingredients but rather talk about some of the highlights and lowlights.

Starting off is a full BCAA/EAA complex. I like the addition of the EAA (essential amino acids) to the mix as they help further stimulate protein synthesis beyond what BCAA's (branch chain amino acids) are capable of stimulating on their own. Admittedly the EAA complex is dosed slightly lower than other supplements which include them in their mix, but to be fair most of these supplements are a BCAA/EAA supplement only.

The caffeine in this supplement is more moderately dosed at 165mg per scoop which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have always avoided heavy caffeine doses before cardio due to the fact that my heart rate will already be elevated and higher doses in the 300-350mg range can have a negative impact on cardio. The label says that you can take up to two scoops in a single serving but I never did. Honestly for doing fasted cardio first thing in the morning the 165mg dose seemed to be a real sweet spot to stimulate energy without feeling like my heart would explode. Worth noting that they also include a 50mg shot of Theacrine to work in synergy with the caffeine.

For a profile this massive they did a pretty good job making sure it wasn't just chocked full of under dosed compounds and there seems to be a little more thought put into what is here. From the BCAA/EAA, stimulants, electrolytes and other goodies it was just a well thought out profile.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Dosing was pretty straight forward as it should be with any pre workout supplement. I do have to file a complaint in the taste department. I received the pineapple flavor and to be honest it was god awful. I pretty much just downed it as quick as I could while avoiding breathing through my nose to try and mitigate the horrid taste. I was excited because I absolutely love pineapple but I got no semblance of pineapple from Phasted Kardio. I'm not going to deduct points because at the end of the day what matters most is how it works. But it sure would be nice to not dread taking this stuff.

Effectiveness

I'm just going to put this right on front street. I absolutely loved Phasted Kardio. It made a noticeable difference in my morning workouts. I either do circuit training (calisthenics), yoga, or hill sprints almost every morning and it aided nicely in putting a little extra pep in my step. And when you wake up at 4:30am to train believe me, you need all the extra pep you can get. Endurance was better as a general rule. Only gripe I have is that I would burp and have to relive the taste at times.

Value

So a 30 serving container is going to set you back about $35 and this isn't a widely available supplement at this time. I don't think that $35 is an unreasonable amount to ask for the product based on the profile and average cost in this category.

Side Effects

The taste and only the taste.

Conclusion

If you are like me and wake up way too early to make sure you get your cardio in every day then I would highly recommend giving this one a try!



Overall
Overall
6.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.5
Value
Value
5.6
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Nature Restore for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 21, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Relaxation
  • All Natural
  • Deep Sleep
  • Stay Asleep
  • Wake Up More Refreshed
  • Prop Blend
  • Possible Hangover Effect
  • High Melatonin Level
  • Costly Compared With Other Sleep Aides

Why I Chose This Product

I have always had difficulty falling asleep at night. Partly due to genetics and partly due to living a hectic lifestyle. Sleep aid supplements have been something on my radar and in my pantry for years now. I've been loyal to one supplement for years and figured it was time to try something new.

Quick Summary

Sleep Boost by Nature restore is an all natural sleep aide that contains a blend of different compounds with the goal of promoting more restful sleep. While I didn't find this to be a total bust compared to the supplement I have been using, ...

Why I Chose This Product

I have always had difficulty falling asleep at night. Partly due to genetics and partly due to living a hectic lifestyle. Sleep aid supplements have been something on my radar and in my pantry for years now. I've been loyal to one supplement for years and figured it was time to try something new.

Quick Summary

Sleep Boost by Nature restore is an all natural sleep aide that contains a blend of different compounds with the goal of promoting more restful sleep. While I didn't find this to be a total bust compared to the supplement I have been using, I didn't find it to be quite as effective and priced significantly higher. Sleep Boost may be great for some but I would not be a buyer based on the effectiveness and value compared to my normal sleep aide.

Introduction

Well thank you to Nature Restore for their participation in providing a bottle of Sleep Boost for my review. And as always thanks to Tommy and Clippy for all they do to keep the SR Troop program running. Sleep aide supplements have been a staple for me for quite some time now. I'm one of those people who just has a difficult time turning everything off at night. When I should be resting I'm replaying my days and planning tomorrow. Great for being productive from an organizational standpoint but not from a getting good sleep standpoint. Let's have a look at how Sleep Boost stacked up for me.

Ingredient Profile

I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to see that the majority of the supplement is in a proprietary blend. But the profile is as follows.

Magnesium Glycinate 300mg
L-Theanine 50mg
Melatonin 6mg

Proprietary Sleep Boost Blend 1100mg

Zizphus Jujuba Spinosa
Reishi
Siberian Ginseng
Valeriana Officinalis
Wullinshen

So of the known amounts we can see that the Magnesium and Melatonin are in effective dose ranges but the L-Theanine falls short of the effective range of 100-200mg by a considerable amount. I included a snip of the other ingredients as explained by the Nature Restore website but since I don't know the amounts included in each serving I won't go into any detail about them myself.

One perceived negative is that the standard dose of melatoinin in a serving is 6mg. This may be a little high for some people and lead to being groggy in the mornings. It is fine for me but I can see this being a problem for someone like my wife who is really sensitive to melatonin. Also would be nice to see an effective dose of Theanine since there is pretty strong research that indicates it promotes relaxation.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Simple protocol to follow here. Three capsules an hour before bed.

Effectiveness

While I definitely could feel the effects of Sleep Boost it fell a little flat from the results I get from my normal sleep aide. It was definitely better than nothing but as a comparison I consistently got to sleep earlier and got better quality sleep using my normal fare. I track my sleep with an app called Sleep Cycle which rates your sleep based on how long you sleep, how much you wake up, snoring, etc. and gives you a percentage between 1 and 100. I consistently hit 85-90% sleep quality on my regular sleep aide but found myself turning in a lot more nights between 75% and 85% using Sleep Boost. I would intermittently switch from Sleep Boost to my normal supplement while running Sleep Boost and there was almost always a jump in sleep quality when I went back.

Again this was better than nothing for me and definitely helped me fall asleep earlier and get better sleep. But I wouldn't pick this up again based on my results.

Value

Out of respect I won't mention my normal supplement but I can tell you I get a years worth for about $15 plus tax. But I also do one and a half tablets which makes it less than a years worth but still over 240 days worth. By comparison this is the same price for only a months worth. Is the ingredient profile different and more complex with Sleep Boost. Yes it is. But I think that a big part of value has to be predicated on what else is available in the market. $15 per month for better sleep isn't necessarily a bad value but it is far from being a great value.

Side Effects

At the recommended dose of 3 capsules I didn't experience any negative sides such as morning grogginess but at 6mg of melatonin some might have an issue with this.

Conclusion

This isn't a bad supplement, but for me there are far better and far cheaper options that deliver better results. I wouldn't recommend this product based on the value aspect alone compared with other options.



Overall
Overall
8.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.5
Value
Value
8.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 19, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Tastes Great
  • Mixes Perfectly
  • Quality Ingredients
  • TRAACS Electrolytes And Minerals
  • Great Macros
  • Non GMO
  • Slightly Higher End Price Tag
  • One Size Option
  • Not Widely Available

Why I Chose This Supplement

Been using whey and other protein supplements for a long time. This one seemed to emphasize quality of product over price point.

Introduction

Thank you to VMI Sports for sending out a tub of their Protolyte Whey Protein isolate for review and thank you to the SR Troop program for the endless opportunities to give honest feedback on products. There is no shortage of protein powders on the market these days. Much of what is out there is junk. So when I see something where the idea is quality over price I'm all ears.

Ingredient Profile

...

Why I Chose This Supplement

Been using whey and other protein supplements for a long time. This one seemed to emphasize quality of product over price point.

Introduction

Thank you to VMI Sports for sending out a tub of their Protolyte Whey Protein isolate for review and thank you to the SR Troop program for the endless opportunities to give honest feedback on products. There is no shortage of protein powders on the market these days. Much of what is out there is junk. So when I see something where the idea is quality over price I'm all ears.

Ingredient Profile

So one of the first things I always look at when looking at a protein supplement is the GMP seal of approval on the container. Without being manufactured in a GMP regulated facility they can pretty much say whatever they want. Check that box for Protolyte.

Next thing I immediately look at is the manufacturing process listed for the whey protein. Ideally you want cold processed micro or ultra filtered. I have gone into detail in forum posts about the cheaper methods and why to avoid them. First ingredient listed is Non GMO Cold Processed Whey. Exactly what you want to see if quality is your goal.

In addition to using higher quality protein there is also the addition of electrolytes to aide in hydration if using as a post workout meal and the addition of digestive enzymes. Even with a higher quality whey I always like seeing the addition of digestive enzymes.

As far as macro breakdown is concerned you have the following in a 29.6g scoop.

105 Calories
1g Fat
1g Carbs
25g Protein

This may vary by flavor. I had the Vanilla Peanut Butter and this is what my breakdown is for this flavor.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

So I was given some sample packets of additional flavors but sent a full tub of the Vanilla Peanut Butter. Taste was good mixed with water but fantastic mixed in some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Wasn't overly sweet and a really good natural peanut butter flavor.

Mixing was great as well. Not much effort required to ensure that there were no clumps and no issues with excessive foaming either. For the small samples I tried of other flavors I have rated them as well. All of them were mixed with almond milk and not water FYI. (It is what I use 99% of the time anyway)

Effectiveness

Given that there is no real quantifiable effect of a protein supplement other than the absence of side effects it would be difficult to gauge how "effective" this product or any other protein supplement really is to be honest. That being said I had absolutely zero issue with any gas, bloating or discomfort from Protolyte.

Value

So you are looking at about $35 per 1.6 pound tub which contains 25 servings. This comes out to about $1.40 per serving. Are there cheaper proteins out there. Of course there are. But most quality proteins that emphasize better process and ingredients tend to fall in this range or even slightly higher. You shouldn't be having protein shakes that frequently but rather striving to get adequate nutrition from whole foods. So realistically a tub should last you a month or more if you focus more on whole food like I do. This product would not be a huge addition to your grocery bill if you use it as intended to fill in nutritional gaps and for when time doesn't exist to prepare a meal.

I hope that this product picks up and becomes more widely available to the masses. There aren't a lot of retailers carrying this product at the moment. One drawback unfortunately.

Side Effects

No negative side effects.

Conclusion

You get what you pay for in life. If you want a cheap amino spiked, denatured protein then you can find them everywhere for far cheaper. But you should definitely think twice about what you put in your body and consider buying a higher quality whey protein.



Overall
Overall
6.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.2
Value
Value
7.2
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to EVLution Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 19, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Libido
  • Better Sleep
  • Good Ingredient Profile
  • Pill Size

Why I Chose This Supplement

Simply put, I have always had good luck with DAA (D-Aspartic Acid) based test boosters.

Introduction

First and foremost a big thank you to the SR Troop Program for remaining steadfast in their mission to get honest reviews out there on as many products as possible. And a big thank you to EVLution Nutrition for their continued participation in the SR Troop Program.

EVL Test is a DAA based test booster with some bonus compounds thrown into the mix. Their claims are that it will help support natural test levels, muscular strength, stamina, perf...

Why I Chose This Supplement

Simply put, I have always had good luck with DAA (D-Aspartic Acid) based test boosters.

Introduction

First and foremost a big thank you to the SR Troop Program for remaining steadfast in their mission to get honest reviews out there on as many products as possible. And a big thank you to EVLution Nutrition for their continued participation in the SR Troop Program.

EVL Test is a DAA based test booster with some bonus compounds thrown into the mix. Their claims are that it will help support natural test levels, muscular strength, stamina, performance and optimal sleep. But how did the results stack up to the claims? Lets take a closer look.

Ingredient Profile

So as many of you know I'm a sucker for a fully disclosed profile. It is becoming more of the industry standard thankfully but I remember the old days of prop blends out the ass, which is why I'm probably so grateful for full disclosure.

The meat and potatoes of the profile is a clinical dose (3120mg) of D-Aspartic Acid. There is a real division among the community on the efficacy of DAA but it seems to give me some pretty favorable results and is a relatively cheap compound.

An interesting addition is the presence of a ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium, B6) blend. Again another topic of controversy wherein the community seems a little divided on the efficacy of ZMA but I have used it for years to promote better sleep with great results. My only qualm is that the magnesium seems to be dosed a little low at 160mg rather than the 350-400mg usually found in a standalone ZMA supplement.

Another addition that is a regular staple in my arsenal that I could temporarily suspend while running EVL Test is vitamin D3. D3 is vital for hormone production and another cheap addition to one's supplement arsenal. They throw in an adequate dose of 50mcg in every serving.

I guess it would be worth mentioning that they include "clinical" doses of both Tribulus (750mg) and Fenugreek (500mg). The science isn't very strong on either compound in terms of showing that they undoubtedly and effectively raise testosterone. But to each their own. At least they are included in the clinically tested dose range.

The last ingredient to cover is 250mg of Diinodolymethane (DIM). This one is a newer compound in the field of natural test boosters. It is derived from cruciferous vegetables which are things like broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy, etc. The more a vegetable causes horrendous gas, the more precursors to DIM they likely contain. DIM is not by nature a test booster but rather a natural AI (aromatase inhibitor), meaning that it inhibits the aromatase enzyme from converting free testosterone into estrogen. Studies have shown lower urinary levels of estrogen which would typically indicate less conversion of testosterone into estrogen, but there doesn't seem to be a boat load of evidence just yet proving that it without a doubt inhibits conversion.

All in all it is a pretty well thought out and complete profile for the mission that EVL Test sets out to accomplish.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Dosing is pretty straightforward. 4 pills on an empty stomach 30-60 minutes before bed.

Pill size may prove to be problematic for some who don't do well with larger pills. Because these things are definitely horse pills. Worth noting however that it appears to come in a flavored powder form as well. Given the option I would go with that over the pills.

Effectiveness

My results with EVL Test weren't earth shattering but they didn't fall flat either. I noted a slight increase in energy and libido and my lifts in general went up slightly. Nothing crazy that I can attribute solely to EVL Test on strength though. Despite the lack of magnesium I seemed to get the same relaxing and sleep aide effect as I would expect with ZMA.

Value

So the cheapest I seemed to be able to find EVL Test was $30 for a 30 day supply. Given the cost of DAA and ZMA as a standalone this really isn't bad. $30 is what I would expect to pay for a run of the mill natty test booster, so to have the added bonus of ZMA included helps bolster the value of the product.

Side Effects

No negative sides to speak of for me.

Conclusion

If you are a person who tends to respond well to DAA then it is a product worth trying.



Overall
Overall
7.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.0
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  May 21, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Fat Reduction
  • Good Value
  • Increased Energy
  • Tasty
  • Cognitive Boost
  • Enhanced Focus
  • Fishy Body Odor

Why I Chose This Supplement

In all my years of supplementing diet and exercise I have never really given L-Carnitine a shot as a standalone product. I have taken many products that combine L-Carnitine with other compounds but never a standalone. I was interested to see if A.) there would be a quantifiable difference by adding it to my regiment by itself and B.) if the claims that it aides a ketogenic diet as nicely as some claim.

Quick Summary

L-Carnitine is a compound that is not technically an amino acid but does have like qualities to both amino acids and vitamins. It ...

Why I Chose This Supplement

In all my years of supplementing diet and exercise I have never really given L-Carnitine a shot as a standalone product. I have taken many products that combine L-Carnitine with other compounds but never a standalone. I was interested to see if A.) there would be a quantifiable difference by adding it to my regiment by itself and B.) if the claims that it aides a ketogenic diet as nicely as some claim.

Quick Summary

L-Carnitine is a compound that is not technically an amino acid but does have like qualities to both amino acids and vitamins. It is a naturally occurring compound produced in both the livers and kidneys and stored in muscle tissue. It is a pretty well studied compound and some of the functions important to people who would supplement L-Carnitine include but are not limited to things like transport of fatty acids, resistance to fatigue and a host of other benefits. Lots of great articles are out there that go into more detail if one were so inclined to read up further on the subject.

Introduction

I want to extend thanks to VMI Sports for their generous participation in the Troop Program and their incredibly expedient response time. L-Carnitine 3000 is a flavored liquid L-Carnitine supplement that contains three forms of L-Carnitine. It is available in three flavors which include gummy bear, patriot pop, and orange pineapple. I was sent the patriot pop flavor for my run.

Ingredient Profile

So not much to cover on the ingredient profile. Just three forms of L-Carnitine totaling 3000mg of total L-Carnitine divided as follows.

1.5g L-Carnitine
750mg Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)
750mg L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate

There are supposed benefits to each form which I won't really go into detail about. Notably though ALCAR is said to be able to more readily cross the blood brain barrier and thus having more impact on cognitive function than other forms of L-Carnitine. All in all if the science backs the claims then the ratio and idea of using three different forms is fairly well thought out.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I was worried about how it would fare in the taste department but I gotta say that the patriot pop was quite enjoyable. Maybe not the best tasting supplement I've ever had but they hit the nail on the head with the flavor as it literally tasted like drinking a melted bomb pop.

Dosing was simple as my protocol included taking one dose in the morning prior to fasted cardio/yoga.

Effectiveness

I honestly didn't think that I would have much in the way of quantifiable effects from a standalone L-Carnitine supplement but I did feel a little more energized during my morning routines. Even in the absence of stimulants there was a noticeable difference in how I felt throughout the workout. It was a pleasant surprise. In terms of fat loss I really didn't get to run it long enough to quantify the efficacy as a fat loss aide. But more on that later.

Value

Most people are going to use this in a one serving per day model so a single bottle will provide 31 servings or days worth of L-Carnitine. You can find this for about $20 per bottle shipped so roughly $.65 per day to add this to your arsenal. In terms of value compared to other L-Carnitine supplements this is actually pretty strong even when compared with capsules and bulk powder. And the convenience of liquid form that actually tastes good is just added value over the bulk powders and pills.

Side Effects

So it seems like I really liked the product so why not give it a yes on recommended right? Well because I can't seem to take this supplement due to the side effects. Mind you that I did not notice this side effect but rather my wife noticed. Apparently a potential but less common side is that it can give you a fishy body odor. Or as my wife so eloquently put it "You smell like a dirty vagina when you sweat". So not necessarily a physically damaging side effect but certainly not something conducive to a happy home and work life. I don't know if the dose is too high or if this pertains directly to my genetics but apparently I stink from taking this supplement. I obviously had to cut this short and just review based off of what I have run thus far.

This was very disappointing to me as I was enjoying taking this product. I am not discouraging anyone from trying this product because you may not have this particular issue but I also feel obligated to share this experience. This is not a negative mark on VMI Sports by any means either. By all accounts it is a competitively priced product that may be great for some.

Conclusion

Don't let my review scare you away from this or other L-Carnitine products. As I said the cases of this seem to be pretty rare and the effects went away almost immediately after I quit taking L-Carnitine. Maybe in the future I will try a lower dosed product and see if the outcome is different for me.


  May 8, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Focus
  • Supports Endurance
  • Good Pumps
  • Good Value
  • Delicious Taste
  • Not Widely Available

Introduction

Thank you to Outbreak Nutrition for their support of the Troop Program. They are a company that has recently caught my eye and I have been fortunate to try a few of their products lately. Pathogen is their entry into the over saturated world of pre-workout supplements. The industry as a whole is getting better and I would say that this product is one of the few out there that is really leading the way on changing things for the better.

Ingredient Profile

So as the title indicates we have a short list of proven ingredients in their effective dose range. As w...

Introduction

Thank you to Outbreak Nutrition for their support of the Troop Program. They are a company that has recently caught my eye and I have been fortunate to try a few of their products lately. Pathogen is their entry into the over saturated world of pre-workout supplements. The industry as a whole is getting better and I would say that this product is one of the few out there that is really leading the way on changing things for the better.

Ingredient Profile

So as the title indicates we have a short list of proven ingredients in their effective dose range. As with all of their products there are no prop blends or kitchen sink tactics being deployed. So lets take a closer look at what makes Pathogen a well thought out product.

Starting off is a big old dose of Citrulline Malate at 6000mg. This is a compound that has been put in PWO's for some time now and with good reason. There is sound science to back up the claims it makes about increasing blood flow as a vasodilator. Often you see Citrulline show up in doses of 1-2g but research shows that 6-8g is the effective dose range for maximum benefit.

Next up is a hearty 3200mg of Beta Alanine. So for people newer to using PWO's this may give a pretty strong case of the BA tingles. But the benefits of Beta Alanine on muscle fatigue are well documented and definitely worth getting used to the tingles. And once again a compound present in a proven effective dose.

Choline Bitartrate shows up in a 500mg dose and has pretty sound science to back up its claims of enhanced energy and focus.

Next is Potassium Nitrate weighing in at 350mg. PN is a pump agent and has been the subject of a bit of controversy at times. Forum threads have popped up among various websites questioning the safety of using it in supplements or as a standalone. Really nitrates in general are the subject of mild controversy. I have never personally had any adverse effects to nitrates and I think that they add a nice element to the mix. And again it is present in its effective dose range.

Getting into the meat and potatoes of the stimulants you have 350mg of caffeine anhydrous and 125mg of theacrine. I am definitely stimulant tolerant and this was a pretty damn good shot in the arm for me. If you tend to have problems with jitters at higher doses you may want to avoid this one all together. Sure you could take a half a scoop but then you are cutting the rest of the compounds in half along with the stimulants.

An interesting addition in 100mg of Theobromine shows up and admittedly I don't think I can recall taking any supplement that contains theobromine. When someone starts spouting out that it would be easier to OD on chocolate than cannabis they are actually saying it would be easier to OD on theobromine. It's found naturally in chocolate (cacao) and is interesting because it shows some properties of a stimulant but unlike other stimulants is actually a vasodilator. There seems to be some conflict about exactly how much a person should take as it ranges from 50mg all the way up to 400mg depending on who you ask. But it would seem that 100mg is in the low end of the range.

Rounding out the profile is 100mg of Juglans Regia Extract. I knew pretty much zero about this compound so I took an hour to scan the web and see what I could find. The condensed version is that it mimics the molecular structure of synthetic DHMA which acts as a CNS stimulant to increase energy and mental alertness. Effective range is anywhere from 25mg-100mg.

So for the most part you have proven ingredients with not one of them failing to at least fall into the low end of the effective dose range. This one is good in my book.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

As with all PWO's the dosing is pretty straightforward. 30 minutes or so before you work out. I had the War-torn Melon and it took me straight back to my childhood on the first sip. The flavor is spot on with a watermelon jolly rancher and I mean spot on. Seeing as that was my favorite candy as a kid it gets a 10/10 on the taste for this flavor.

Effectiveness

Obviously there is a trend of high praise for Pathogen happening here and it isn't going to stop in this section. This product just did it for me. Energy levels were sky high throughout long workouts and the pumps were noticeably enhanced. As stated before the stimulants are dosed generously so if you don't do well with them then you might want to steer clear. But if you enjoy a hearty dose I would highly recommend picking up a tub of Pathogen. As a disclaimer I do want to mention something. I don't use a PWO before every workout. I don't think that anyone should honestly. I use them when I need an extra kick because I'm not feeling naturally pumped to get after it that day. But I have tried a LOT of PWO's over the years and this one is among one of the best if not the best I have tried.

Value

I wish this were a more widely available supplement but unfortunately your only option online is their website. As of today it is retailing for $39.99 for 28 servings. That being said their website has a cool function where you can take a spin on a wheel for the potential of additional discounts. But I can't count that since it is random. But even if you are taking 5 servings per week you will still get over a months worth of workouts for $40. Not bad when you consider that the profile is solid and the results are spectacular. Remember that value and price are not synonymous. Something that delivers great results at a higher price point has more value than no results at a rock bottom price point.

Side Effects

Other than a few instances of insane beta alanine tingles I have no negative sides to report.

Conclusion

Outbreak Nutrition is a company with a model that will carry them far. They put out fully disclosed products full of effectively dosed compounds at a reasonable price. Pathogen is a really standout product in a completely over saturated segment of the market. And seeing as they from time to time change their products based on customer feedback I would say they are highly customer service oriented.


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Flex Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 30, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Fully Disclosed Profile
  • High Dose Core Vitamins
  • Not Widely Available
  • Too Expensive

Introduction

Thanks to the folks over at Flex Nutrition for their support of the Troop program and for sending me a bottle of RX Multi to run. Multivitamins are a subject of controversy depending on who you ask. But lets face facts. Most of us (probably all of us) aren't getting our recommended daily dose of all our vitamins. Like all supplements, they aren't meant to replace vitamin rich foods but rather to supplement and fill in the gaps of our daily nutrition. So was RX Multi a solid multivitamin? Lets take a closer look.

Ingredient Profile

So at four pills per day yo...

Introduction

Thanks to the folks over at Flex Nutrition for their support of the Troop program and for sending me a bottle of RX Multi to run. Multivitamins are a subject of controversy depending on who you ask. But lets face facts. Most of us (probably all of us) aren't getting our recommended daily dose of all our vitamins. Like all supplements, they aren't meant to replace vitamin rich foods but rather to supplement and fill in the gaps of our daily nutrition. So was RX Multi a solid multivitamin? Lets take a closer look.

Ingredient Profile

So at four pills per day you are getting a pretty whopping dose of your A,B,C,D, and E vitamins. Very complete and generously dosed B complex I might add. Obviously for the sake of time I'm not going to run through the entire profile. A picture of the nutritional profile is included if you want to look for yourself.

So the vitamins are all present in large doses but it leaves something to be desired when you look at the minerals as a general rule. Some are present in such minute amounts that they are obviously there just for the sake of putting them on the label. I understand you can only fit so much in one pill but frankly I would rather see a more balanced profile between the vitamin and mineral complexes. And honestly I see no reason for things like chromium and iron. I would think that most people into a healthy lifestyle (that aren't vegan) are getting plenty of iron so I really don't see why any vitamin targeted at athletes would have it in the mix.

Bonus points for not going the cheap route and using oxide form minerals however. Vitamins and minerals already have a problem with being readily absorbed by the body when taken in a large one shot dose. It certainly doesn't help that cheaper vitamins will use oxide form minerals as opposed to chelated. The reason you should care about this is that the absorption rate of oxide form minerals is almost nonexistent. Making them essentially worthless to even include.

They included some extras outside of the vitamins and minerals. Some are decent enough additions in proper doses and others are questionable additions even at the recommended dose and extremely under dosed to boot.

I really wish that companies would refrain from including ingredients that aren't properly dosed. As pointed out already by Cray in his review, some of the ingredients (selenium and potassium to name two) are present in what could almost be considered trace amounts. I guess it looks good when someone picks it up and looks at it in the store or online but it just doesn't make sense from a health standpoint.

Dosing

Well the dosing by their instructions all depends on your age, sex and weight. Given that I am over 170lbs I should have been taking 4 pills per day by their instructions but I opted to stretch the bottle out a little further and take 3 pills per day. It seemed like a big jump to go from a recommended 2 pills for being under 170 and jumping all the way to 4 pills if you are over.

Always take a multivitamin with food! Aside from the potential of feeling ill when taking on an empty stomach you are probably going to have a hard time absorbing any of it on an empty stomach. I always opt to take my vitamins with the last meal of the day. No scientific reason, just habit.

I did enjoy them being capsules as opposed to hard pressed pills. Definitely much easier to take than some other multivitamins. (talking to you Animal Pak)

Effectiveness

Obviously quantifying the effectiveness of a multivitamin is pretty difficult. I've never had any vitamin at any price point make me leap out of my chair and scream hallelujah. But if I don't take my vitamins daily I will notice a slight decrease in my natural energy levels (i.e. when I'm not buzzing on caffeine and other stims). My go to has been Orange Triad for some time now and I have been taking it for years. I didn't notice any kind of drop in energy levels when switching so we're good there. Only noticeable difference was the whopping dose of Riboflavin in RX Multi. I haven't seen my pee glow like that for a while now.

Value

Well RX Multi isn't the worst value I have seen. But it definitely isn't the best. At my protocol you will get 33 days for $30 or a cost of about $.91 per day. I usually get my Orange Triad 270 pills at 6 per day for about $28 which comes out to $.62 per day. So this is definitely on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

Side Effects

My pee looked like it could turn ordinary turtles into Shredders worst nightmare. But other than that no negative sides. :)

Conclusion

RX Multi wasn't a total bust but at the price point listed it just isn't a supplement that I can undoubtedly recommend. If you find it for a good price it is worth picking up a bottle I suppose. But at $30 it just doesn't make sense to me.



Overall
Overall
5.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.0
Value
Value
4.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 17, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
    • Not Effective
    • Too Expensive
    • Under Dosing Is A Recurring Theme

    Introduction

    Thanks to RedCon1 for their participation in the SR Troop Program and sending a bottle of Mental Trigger my way for review. Mental Trigger is in the ever growing class of focus/nootropic supplements. A category that seems to be aimed more at tasks not involving working out. And personally I love this category of supplements. My work life involves long days that are sometimes quite arduous. So having something to put a little extra pep in my step and keep me sharp is a huge plus.

    Ingredient Profile

    While doing my research on this supplement to find the low pr...

    Introduction

    Thanks to RedCon1 for their participation in the SR Troop Program and sending a bottle of Mental Trigger my way for review. Mental Trigger is in the ever growing class of focus/nootropic supplements. A category that seems to be aimed more at tasks not involving working out. And personally I love this category of supplements. My work life involves long days that are sometimes quite arduous. So having something to put a little extra pep in my step and keep me sharp is a huge plus.

    Ingredient Profile

    While doing my research on this supplement to find the low price I came across a discrepancy. That discrepancy is that both Muscle & Science and Lucky Vitamin list this supplement as containing Noopept. The bottle I received and their website do not include this ingredient. I'm going to assume that the bottle and Redcon1's website are correct on this one. Maybe a formula change has taken place? The onus is probably more so on the retailers but seeing as I am fond of noopept, I would be thoroughly pissed if I ordered this and it showed up without my favorite nootropic compound. I included a small screen grab from Muscle & Science's website and the profile from Redcon1's website as well so you can see for yourself. Anyway, moving onto the rest of the story.

    Good old caffeine anhydrous makes an appearance at 250mg per serving (2 capsules) and I have said before that I think 250mg is the sweet spot for caffeine.

    Next on the list is 100mg of Hesperidin. I wasn't very familiar with this compound so I did some digging on its efficacy as to how it would fit into a focus supplement. It seems to serve as somewhat of a neuroprotectant and protects organs other than the brain from oxidative stress. The research doesn't seem to be very strong in its support in this regard and even if it was the recommended dose to reap the benefits is 500mg. So not much going here with a dose of 100mg of a compound without strong research to support its efficacy that should be dosed at 500mg.

    Moving onto the next ingredient and you have 50mg of Theacrine. The effects of Theacrine can be similar to caffeine as a standalone but it has gained popularity in the last few years as being stacked with caffeine to help enhance the positive effects and mitigate the negative effects over caffeine by itself.

    Next is Mucuna Pruriens (standardized to 60% L-Dopa) at 35mg. Most people have seen this on a supplement label at one time or another. As the name would allude, L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine. Let's just first say that 35mg is not much of a dose when you consider that 5g is the studied effective dose of Mucuna Pruriens powder. Even an L-Dopa extract should be supplemented at 500-1000mg. So why even talk about potential cognitive benefits when you won't get any at this dosage?

    For the next horrendously under dosed compound we arrive at 30mg of Alpha-GPC. Effective clinical dosage would be somewhere between 300-600mg. Unless this is some kind of super extract that I am unaware of, this is dosed at 5-10% of where it should be. So why even bother talking about it any further?

    Rounding out the profile is 5mg of BioPerine (black pepper fruit extract) which has been shown to improve bio-availability of other supplements. Most of the actual research I could find pertained to enhancing the absorption of curcumin and is often found alongside tumeric in a dose range of 10mg-20mg.

    Dosing

    The recommended protocol is 2 capsules in the morning 30-45 minutes before breakfast and an optional 2 more 30-45 minutes before lunch. With 30 servings in the bottle you are going to run dry real quick at 4 capsules per day. The majority of my run was spent taking 2 before breakfast to help kick start my day.

    Effectiveness

    It didn't fall completely flat for me but this was far from the best focus/nootropic supplement I have taken. Honestly the effects weren't much different than popping a couple of cheap caffeine pills. Did it increase energy and focus? On a negligible level yes. But nothing like I was hoping.

    Value

    The cheapest I found anyone selling Mental Trigger was $38.99 and you have to also add shipping to that unless you are spending over $99 at M&S. Otherwise the two places I looked were $50 for a bottle. Given the generally under dosed nature of this product and the price tag and then factoring it only lasting 15 days if you do two doses per day, the value is pretty horrible. Even at one dose per day the value isn't good. There are supplements in this category that can be found for less and work much better in my opinion.

    Side Effects

    No unwanted side effects from taking Mental Trigger.

    Conclusion

    This is my first experience with RedCon1 and I'm not going to bash the whole company. It seems like they do have products that people enjoy out there. But I am definitely not recommending this one to any of you boys and girls. There are just too many better options out there to spend hard earned dollars on this one.




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