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Unheard0f

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REVIEWS (5)

Reviews by Unheard0f




Overall
Overall
8.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
8.0
  June 18, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Amazing Taste
  • Great Consistency
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value
  • Leaves You Thirsty

Introduction

It's extremely rare that I invest myself in a supplement company enough to go out of my way to try all of their products. With an insanely flooded supplement market, I never really care enough to blow my hard earned money on everything out there. That all changed with Ghost, who from the initial release of their BCAA's & Legend Pre-Workout, had me counting down the hours until the release of their next product so I could be one of the first to get it. There isn't a single product I've tried by them that left me desiring anything more. While the Pre-Workout is just a ta...

Introduction

It's extremely rare that I invest myself in a supplement company enough to go out of my way to try all of their products. With an insanely flooded supplement market, I never really care enough to blow my hard earned money on everything out there. That all changed with Ghost, who from the initial release of their BCAA's & Legend Pre-Workout, had me counting down the hours until the release of their next product so I could be one of the first to get it. There isn't a single product I've tried by them that left me desiring anything more. While the Pre-Workout is just a tad to weak for my personal preference, it still had an incredible taste profile & a blend to write home about. As they continue to take over the supplement industry, innovation over the next couple of years is going to determine whether or not they're going to leave their mark on the industry forever.

Teaming up with another up and comer in the industry, Icon Meals, Ghost's infamous Cereal Milk is now an official Protein Popcorn flavor. Available exclusively through each companies personal site or at GNC, is the Ghost x Icon Meals collaboration worth searching for? Simple put, yes. This is a delicious, extremely addictive entry in the Protein Popcorn line that perfectly combines that iconic Ghost flavor with popcorn.

Ingredient Profile

In an 8.5oz bag of Protein Popcorn, you're looking at about 4 servings per bag. Each serving is a cup & in that you're looking at 10g of protein, 8g of fat, and 32g of carbohydrates. A cup of this stuff is hard to eat though, as you find yourself almost finished the bag by the time you notice you're still snacking on it. Obviously, protein based food products with taste like this aren't going to be the most diet friendly, but with some personal macro tweaking it's better than most of the junk on your local food stores shelves. With all that said, you're best bet if dieting is to measure this out & enjoy the cups worth deliciousness.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Since day one, Ghost has been a force to reckon with when it comes to their taste profiles. If you've ever tried their Cereal Milk protein, you know exactly what you're getting here. The flavor, from the beginning of the bag to the end, it perfectly proportioned through each and every piece. It's not like one piece is dull and another is jam packed with flavor, the profile is insanely consistent through the entire bag. With all that though, there's a very minor downfall which is the dryness. This is an issue consistent through most Icon Meals Protein Popcorn's and protein food products in general, so I don't fault anybody here for that. Just keep a bottle of water near for an occasional wash down! Other than that, zero complaints when it comes to taste, texture, or anything else for that matter!

Effectiveness

This is a snack product, so I wasn't expecting this to really affect me in anyway besides some increase in energy levels. You're looking at 32g of carbs per serving, so it works well as a pre-workout snack but it's hard to determine when you're also throwing down a pre-workout drink. I never noticed any bloating or tiredness, even after eating my first bag in full, but I felt good. I don't lean on a product like this to do anything more than be a satisfying snack, and that's what this is.

Value

For the volume of snacking you're getting here, I can't imagine anybody complaining about spending $9.99 for this. If you can find this at your local GNC & skip the shipping costs of purchasing it online, it's a great value. With your average protein bar costing you around $3, this is a lot of food for the cost and if that doesn't convince you paying that for the product, try eating a bag and see if you can skip past them next time you're in GNC.

Side Effects

No side effects, just some dry mouth. That makes you drink more water though so, it might be a plus?!

Conclusion

There isn't too much to say about Icon Meals Protein Popcorn other than the fact that it tastes incredible. With a sealable bag, it's a perfect snack to keep in your gym bag or even on your bedside table like me. For someone like me who doesn't count macros or has a habit of binging on whatever unhealthy snack is near at night, this was the perfect product to keep around for times I wanted to do nothing more than snack. Ghost has not only delivered a perfect collaboration product, but also Icon Meals best flavor to date. Now, if we can get some Peanut Butter Cereal Milk Popcorn from the two companies I'd be ever happier than I am now. What will they do next?!



Overall
Overall
3.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
3.0
Value
Value
4.0
  June 18, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • No Prop-Blend
  • Good Ingredient Profile
  • Bad Taste
  • Too Expensive
  • Mixability Is Awful
  • Leaves You Unsatisfied

Introduction

I remember when I was 21, I was working at Walgreen's as a shift manager. When I had transferred stores for a promotion, one of my employees that I took under my wing was working towards his first competition as a physique competitor. At the time I was carrying around a gallon of water with me everywhere (yeah I was that guy), and I would add Mio Water Flavoring just to try and make drinking it a little more enjoyable. I wasn't too informed on BCAA's or what their benefits were but Paul gave me a tub of Iso-Amino by Man Sport's as a little gift, and told me to throw a ...

Introduction

I remember when I was 21, I was working at Walgreen's as a shift manager. When I had transferred stores for a promotion, one of my employees that I took under my wing was working towards his first competition as a physique competitor. At the time I was carrying around a gallon of water with me everywhere (yeah I was that guy), and I would add Mio Water Flavoring just to try and make drinking it a little more enjoyable. I wasn't too informed on BCAA's or what their benefits were but Paul gave me a tub of Iso-Amino by Man Sport's as a little gift, and told me to throw a few scoops of it in the water everyday. Iso-Amino, more specifically the "Sour Batch" flavor kicked off my love for BCAA's and it's a product that I still use five years later because of the affordability & taste. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into my local Vitamin Shoppe a month later to find their Clean Protein on clearance, which lead to me stocking up on what they had left.

Now I know why it's on clearance..

Clean Protein by Man Sport's is a protein blend consisting of four different forms of protein, ranging from your faster absorbing isolates to your slower absorbing casein. It's not the blend though where the real problem with this product lies, it's the mixability & flavoring that kill it. After shaking the hell out of it in my shaker bottle, it still managed to send chunks into my mouth with every sip and on top of that, I had to choke this down each time to prevent myself from pouring the whole thing down the drain. It almost felt like a chore to drink my two daily protein shakes & over the last month of using Clean Protein, I haven't enjoyed a single second of using it. Is it worth choking it down for the decent protein blend though? Let's break it down.

Ingredient Profile

As I mentioned before, Clean Protein features an open blend of four types of protein. Starting the non-prop blend off with 8g of Whey Protein Isolate, which is the most refined and arguably one of the easiest absorbed forms on the market. Whey Isolate features a minimum of 90% protein, and one of the best choices for people who usually deal with stomach issues after consuming whey protein or have an issue with any sort of lactose. Following that is 9g of Whey Protein Concentrate, which is a lower grade protein compared to others on the market for it's pure protein amounts. Man Sport's though breaks it down far enough for us to see they used WPC 80, meaning 80% of that concentrate is protein. A solid move on their part considering most blends won't tell you the percentage of protein their concentrate is, leaving it to be possibly down to 35%.

Next up we have Micellar Casein at 6g, and we all know the slow absorption abilities of Casein. The addition of Casein makes for a more filling product, adding some real volume to your shake & making it a great go to protein shake anytime of the day. Rounding off our blend is Milk Protein Isolate at 6g. Wait, isn't there already Whey Isolate in this? Yes there is, and the Milk Protein is going to assist with the overall texture of the protein but also provides us with a balanced release of amino acids thanks to the whey & casein content of Milk Protein.

Why choose a protein blend over your standard whey? Well, that comes down to personal preference. There are many people who can't handle certain forms of protein, which is why protein blends usually appeal to a small group of people who can digest all the forms properly with no stomach issues. Taking a protein blend is checking off all the boxes, giving you everything from rapid absorbing protein to extremely slow absorbing, and in my history of using blends, I find them a little more satisfying then a standard whey protein. I applaud Man Sport's for the open label & well put together blend, but it's nothing new. Other brands might not have the transparency as Clean Protein, but have a much better taste and texture. Can it really taste all that bad though?

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Of the three flavors on the clearance table at VS, I ended up going with Vanilla Ice Cream. Typically, Vanilla is the easiest to enjoy and also the simplest to make a full protein smoothie with. Toss some fruit in there, with a little peanut butter and some ice, the Vanilla flavor always allows for the best taste with the most variety. For my first time though, I tossed a serving in my shaker cup with 10oz of 2% milk, and honestly began to think my milk was expired. Along with a giant chunk of powder, the first sip almost stunned me with just how much this doesn't taste like Vanilla Ice Cream. I get it, make the packaging look as appealing as possible and trick people into thinking this is as good as Breyer's Ice Cream, but this doesn't come anywhere near it. Not within miles. I checked the dates of my milk and the Clean Protein, both well within selling code. I continued to close the lid and shake it in between sips but it became a chore, almost gagging as I chugged the 5oz I had left. With all the shaking I did, there were still chunks of protein stuck to the bottom of my shaker cup. This wasn't one time either, this continued through both bags of Clean Protein. Even when I added fruit chunks and peanut butter with the product in a blender, it still left me with this awful vanilla after taste and believe it or not, still chunks with every sip.

I'm not being harsh here to be harsh, and I'm certainly not going to buy more of this product to hope eventually I'll come across a bag that's better than the two I used. It's the flavor and mixability to kill this product for me, and to this day, the Vanilla Ice Cream Clean Protein is one of the worst tasting protein products I've ever used. I shouldn't have to chase my protein shake with something else just to fight off an aftertaste. Also, why doesn't this stuff mix? I've heard brands literally ask customers to mix their product in a shaker cup without the blending ball just to show them how easily their powder breaks down. I understand that when blending different protein sources together there's going to be some small issues with texture, but I've had protein blends that taste incredible but also mix extremely well. So, what happened?

Effectiveness

It's difficult for me to really track the effectiveness of a protein considering that could alter from training intensity to your diet, but Clean Protein did the opposite most blends do for me, and left me hungry. The good news is I never had a hard time digesting the shake, but it just left me ready to eat again when taken without food. To elaborate, most of my protein shakes are taken with a meal, with the exception of one I take to work on mornings I have to be in early. With most proteins I've used, I can expect them to fill me up decently and hold me over the few hours I have until I can sit down and eat, but Clean Protein left me hungry. I'd get to work 15 minutes after drinking it, stomach growling and looking for a snack. This isn't a meal replacement, I understand that, but most proteins do a good job of putting enough into my system to kick food cravings. This did not. Over the month I used the product, I was still working on putting on some more mass & I did! I ended the month heavier than the one before, but to say this protein held any responsibility for that, would be a false statement.

Value

At Vitamin Shoppe, Clean Protein is available for $29.99 at regular price. For that, you're getting about 23 servings per bag. Compared to other protein blends such as Combat by MusclePharm, or Beast Protein by Beast Nutrition, it's a tad expensive. You can get 50+ servings with both of those products for about $20 more. Plus, they both taste and mix better in my opinion. It's tough for me to turn down double the product, for less than double the price.

Conclusion

All I ever ask for with my protein is quality & taste, if you can deliver both of those to me I'll be happy. Clean Protein delivers for the most part quality, but if I could buy another product that's not only cheaper, but better tasting and easier to drink, why would I settle? After two bags of Clean Protein, I didn't enjoy a single second of using it. Every single time I was making my shake, I just dreaded what was to come and almost made the decision to toss the bag in the trash and go buy something else. That's pretty bad. Of course, taste is subjective and undoubtedly some people will enjoy this product. The potential is there with a little more focus on making the product mix better, and experimenting more with the flavor profile, this could be a competitive entry in the protein market. With many other brands doing the same thing better though, It's difficult for me to find the heart to recommend this to anybody. Man, do I feel let down. *pun intended*



Overall
Overall
8.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
8.0
  June 14, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Amazing Taste
  • Cheaper Than A Meal
  • Very Filling
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value

    Introduction

    Protein bars have nearly become a mainstream source of snacking in 2018, branching out well beyond your local supplement store or that tiny little section collecting dust in your little one stop shop. To see companies such as Quest & Lenny and Larry's creating new and unique spins on their stable products exclusively for companies like 7-Eleven show them trying to widen their market wider than the local gyms "meathead" (as people in my town call people like us). Everybody wants the best tasting product though, willing to sacrifice some of the healthy benefits a good pr...

    Introduction

    Protein bars have nearly become a mainstream source of snacking in 2018, branching out well beyond your local supplement store or that tiny little section collecting dust in your little one stop shop. To see companies such as Quest & Lenny and Larry's creating new and unique spins on their stable products exclusively for companies like 7-Eleven show them trying to widen their market wider than the local gyms "meathead" (as people in my town call people like us). Everybody wants the best tasting product though, willing to sacrifice some of the healthy benefits a good protein bar can deliver. So, while companies keep slapping cupcakes & brownies on their packaging to sell a product full of sugar and filler with a taste nothing like the packaging delivers, others take the time to craft the perfect on the go protein bar.

    In steps Redcon1.

    Redcon1's MRE Bar is a damn near perfect meal replacement bar. Packing 20g of protein from a wide array of whole food sources & making it taste great seems like a challenge, but one they took on and completed. This isn't a bar heavy enough to bloat you, make you feel uncomfortable in the gut or ramp up the desire to grab something that actually tastes good to make up for the blandness of what you just ate. Instead, MRE Bar leaves you feeling perfectly content with yourself and doesn't have you running for fast food while out running errands or wasting some of your pre-workout picking up snacks on your way to the gym. I always say there's something better but, have you seen this ingredient profile?!

    Ingredient Profile

    Beef Protein Isolate, Salmon Protein, and Chicken Protein kick off our "Protein Blend", being followed by Egg Albumin, Brown Rice Protein & Pea Protein. The average person might be thinking, "that's too much protein!". In your typical protein bar, the "Protein Blend" is made up of Milk Protein & Whey Protein Isolate, which is okay. There's nothing wrong with that, but every protein source in your MRE Bar is derived from real sources with different rates of absorption and digestion. Following up the protein blend is Gluten Free Rolled Oats, and a Carbohydrate Blend packed from sources like Dehydrated Yam, MCT Oil, Sweet Potato, Pea Starch, Blueberries, Goji Berries, and that's about half of them to name. The objective of these packed out blends is to assure the body is getting all the nutrients it possibly can, using different sources to create a complete, and whole product that doesn't short itself in nutrient delivery.

    Breaking down all of these ingredients, you're looking at 260 calories. That might seem like a lot from a bar, but considering how much is jammed in here and all of the sources, it's impressive. You're also looking at 9g of fat, 29g of carbs and 20g of protein, which when treated like a meal is a lot better than most of the things you're probably going to eat while on the run.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    While I was able to try all of the flavors available in the store, I ended up bringing a box of the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip home simply because it seemed the easiest for me to enjoy at any time. The flavor profile here is delicious, and it feels more like a layer baked treat than a protein bar. The bar would fall apart with every bite, making it insanely easy to eat down quickly without spending so much time chewing. I didn't deal with any of the bar sticking to my mouth or leaving any sort of strange aftertaste which was amazing considering exactly what's in the product.

    I was given a few samples of the Blueberry Cobbler to try in store, and the taste was incredible, there was no change in consistency or texture and the blueberry taste really tops the bar off well!

    Effectiveness

    For the sake of testing out the true ability of the bar, I used it as a pre-workout snack following an eight hour fast. I ate the bar during my drive over to the gym and started training nearly a half hour after finishing the bar. Surprisingly enough, I was hungry after my 90-minute session, but nowhere nears feeling the need to rush home and scarf down some food. I felt satisfied enough to make a few stops on the way home before that hungry feeling kicked in full effect but that's pretty impressive for a protein bar. I felt good energy from the carbohydrate sources & never felt like I was lugging around a meal's worth of food in my gut. Outside of the gym, the bar has come a perfect mid-workday snack when my lunch break seems to far away to even think about. It supplies me with the feeling of satisfaction and kicks my energy levels up a bit, the complete opposite effect of some other big name brand bars. I never once felt the need to eat anything else after the MRE Bar for quite a while, and it never left me craving something that tastes better.

    Value

    $34.99 will get you a box of twelve if you feel the need to keep these in bulk, but for an average price of $2.69 at your local supplement store, it's a damn good value for what is essentially a meal. Of course, you may not have the enjoyment of spending $8 at your local burger joint, but you'll help your wallet a bit and you'll feel much better about yourself once you realize how good these bars leave you feeling. Plus, if you're like me and sometimes can't leave your job for a lunch break, these are the perfect snack to keep in your locker or glove box for those errand emergency hunger strikes.

    Conclusion

    At the end of the day, many people aren't going to be too confident about a protein bars ability to leave you feeling satisfied. People have found success in other brands, finding that it leaves them satisfied, but how many bars can claim to be packed with real food ingredients ready to leave you feeling as good as the ingredient label. It's an impressive entry in the on-the-go protein snack industry and one that may be the driving force for other brands to start including more whole food based ingredients in their products. While the idea behind the MRE Bar isn't new, it's stand out product for its amazing taste, texture, and how well it actually works. If the macros scare you a bit, try actually replacing a small meal with the MRE Bar and see how it leaves you feeling, it might just be the best new thing.



    Overall
    Overall
    6.7
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    6.0
    Value
    Value
    7.0
      June 12, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Amazing Flavors
    • Increased Energy
    • Hydration Benefits
    • Not Strong Enough

    Introduction

    Adaptation is a constant battle in the supplement industry, having to comply to trends is the only way to stay relevant. In 2018, we're seeing bigger and more radical changes from industry veterans to keep up with the demand for change. It seems if you don't release something new & exciting within 6 months, people forget about you and move on to the next big thing. Energy drinks are nothing new as Monster & Red Bull continue to dominate the largest market, taking up as big a section in your local stores fridge as bottled water. We've seen ProSupps release their Hyde En...

    Introduction

    Adaptation is a constant battle in the supplement industry, having to comply to trends is the only way to stay relevant. In 2018, we're seeing bigger and more radical changes from industry veterans to keep up with the demand for change. It seems if you don't release something new & exciting within 6 months, people forget about you and move on to the next big thing. Energy drinks are nothing new as Monster & Red Bull continue to dominate the largest market, taking up as big a section in your local stores fridge as bottled water. We've seen ProSupps release their Hyde Energy Drink, 'Merica Labs recently dropped their 'Merica Energy and VPX's Bang! has been the king of the small market for years now.

    Now, It's Cellucor's time. While not exactly marketed as a "pre-workout", it's basically a 16oz carbonated scoop of C4. With 200mg of Caffeine, and a proprietary blend of Taurine, Betaine Anyhydrous, Citrulline Malate, and Beta Alanine, C4 On the Go is a worthy competitor in the ever expanding energy drink market. How well does it all work though? Let's break it down.

    Ingredient Profile

    C4 On the Go features a hefty 6.73g "Explosive Performance Energy Blend", with Citrulline Malate topping the proprietary blend. We should all know by now how Citrulline Malate is becoming one of the most widely used "pump enhancers" on the market, as the body converts it to L-Arginine and then into nitric oxide, widening the blood vessels and allowing more blood flow into the muscles. This of course leads to a greater "pump", and allows more nutrients to flood the muscle. Following the Citrulline Malate, is the C4 famous Beta Alanine. Known best for it's ability to increase muscular endurance, it's mostly the innocent tingling people chase most. Remember the first time you bought C4 & almost wanted to scratch your face apart? It's that, and oh man does it feel good.

    Rounding off the last half of the ingredients is Betaine Anyhydrous, most well known for being found in sugar beets, it's main job is to maintain your cells electrolyte concentration. Basically, it's what keeps you hydrated. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is a nice little addition as it's job is to support mental & cognitive health. Some say it's "brain motivation", helping you to stay focused and positive through a tough workout or a hard day at the beach. Of course, ending the blend is a 200mg dose of Caffeine, which helps the product fall midway between your Monster & your VPX Bang. It's a smart choice for Cellucor to not ramp up the levels to an extreme, as it seems any Caffeine level over 200 tends to scare away your average person just looking for a boost. It's enough to please your experts but not too much to freak out a potential new drinker.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Cellucor to me was always a stand out brand for their tastes, the iconic Icy Blue Razz C4 Original was a landmark product when I first began training. I still to this day compare most Blue Raspberry flavor profiles to C4's. Taste is the biggest advantage Cellucor has when it comes to this product, all three flavors I've tried are packed with flavor and perfect for the Summer heat. I find myself mostly reaching for the Twisted Limeade, the taste being best comparable to that of a Sprite. Both the Limeade & Frozen Bombsicle have the perfect flavor profile, just sweet enough to encourage an "ah" after each sip, but not enough to warrant a sour face reaction. It's more the Strawberry Watermelon that turns my face sour after a few sips, but once you're adjusted to it it's actually really good. I have to say though that across the board, Cellucor has created almost perfect flavors. Of course the most liked varies from person to person, and might actually vary by the season, but each flavor can easily be enjoyed on the boardwalk or any outdoor activity.

    Effectiveness

    Personally, 200mg of Caffeine is a low dosing for me, and typically I find myself reaching for another energy drink halfway through the day. C4 On the Go is my halfway through the day drink though as of lately, it gives me just the right amount of energy to end my work day off on a high note. As a pre-workout, the Citrulline Malate supplied me with a decent little pump that took a little longer than usual to show up, but it eventually did and it hung around for quite a while. A powdered pre-workout with a stronger ingredient profile is obviously my preference, but if I'm already loaded up on Caffeine and just looking for that little boost, it gets the job done. For somebody like me though, this just isn't strong enough to be a constant go to. I usually find myself good for an entire day with anything around 300mg of Caffeine, and with products like Bang! creating forumlas out of BCAA's, Creatine and CoQ-10, it's a tough market to compete in with a simple blend. I find myself reaching for this more for the taste and the hydration benefits, both of which are excellent compared to most.

    Value

    At $29.99 for a 12 Pack, that makes each individual can $2,49, an average price point for your typical energy drink. The awesome flavoring would be my biggest incentive to spend the money on this rather than a Monster, but I'm happy to see them remaining pretty low cost on this one and not making the customers break the bank for a simple product.

    Conclusion

    Of all the energy drinks I've ever tried, none have really impressed me as immediate as C4 On the Go has, and I found myself quickly hunting for the other flavors after my first one to make sure C4 didn't create a one trick pony flavor I just happened to grab first. As I said before, I'm grabbing this for the flavor and hydration benefits, not so much for the energy. Someone as used to caffeine as I am would probably want to grab something stronger if they're dragging their feet early in the day, but Cellucor has created a memorable entry in the energy drink department. There are surely better pre-workout refrigerated drinks on the market, especially considering C4 already as an entire RTD line available with less volume to drink and a harder hitting experience. Grabbing this at your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe on your way to the beach or a long day in the Summer heat (along with your water) is worth the stop, but if you're like me you'll be making another stop a few hours later for another dose of that good old Caffeine!



    Overall
    Overall
    9.2
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    9.0
    Value
    Value
    8.3
      June 8, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Increased Energy
    • Endurance Boost
    • No Crash
    • Tunnel Vision
    • Bigger Pump
    • Nice Colors
    • Nice Name

      Quick Summary

      A hardcore, hard hitting, and well balanced pre-workout that nearly demands you to be the hardest worker in the room.

      Introduction

      Redcon1 has done something this past year that many supplement companies won't ever find success in doing. First, they rid of the original DMHA formula for Total War, completely transitioning to a friendlier and more simple formula. Following that, they blew their market wide open by placing their products on the shelves of The Vitamin Shoppe. Finding Redcon1 stamped all over your local supplement store might be a new sight to y...

      Quick Summary

      A hardcore, hard hitting, and well balanced pre-workout that nearly demands you to be the hardest worker in the room.

      Introduction

      Redcon1 has done something this past year that many supplement companies won't ever find success in doing. First, they rid of the original DMHA formula for Total War, completely transitioning to a friendlier and more simple formula. Following that, they blew their market wide open by placing their products on the shelves of The Vitamin Shoppe. Finding Redcon1 stamped all over your local supplement store might be a new sight to you, but it's a clear threat to the rest of the supplement industry. Total War is pretty much what the title suggests it might be, this was crafted for the hardcore who enter the gym ready to work. While being slightly under the big dogs in terms of stimulants, Total War brings you something that many brands can't, and that's balance. I didn't have to dig through the supplement cabinet for my stimulant free pump formula to mix with it, or load up on any focus products to make sure my head stays in the game. Total War had me covered from the second I stepped foot in the gym until my last rep. How does it do that exactly? Let's break down the blend.

      Ingredient Profile

      Gram for gram, Total War doesn't waste a bit of it's 10 ingredient profile on junk. Topping the list is Citrulline Malate at a perfectly dosed 6g almost guaranteeing you those skin peeling pumps and a muscular endurance increase which is very easily noticeable. I've noticed most brands underdosing their Citrulline, typically placing 3-4g per serving and trying to make up for that by throwing some low dose NO booster into the mix just to increase their ingredient profile, but Total War wants the proven ingredients to do their job and do them damn well. Following up that Citrulline is a 3.2g dosing of Beta-Alanine as well as a 1g dose of Beet Root Extract, which is becoming more common. Beet Root has been slowly making it's way into the sports supplement industry after becoming a very popular "add on" to the common health & wellness smoothie. Known for it's antioxidant properties and it's studies showing to help improve nitric oxide levels, it wasn't to my surprise to find this tossed in the mix. Complimenting the Beta Alanine for muscular endurance, it took me a few weeks with the product to really notice the few extra reps I was able to force out with weight I sort of plateua'd with before. To say directly that was because of the Beet Root Extract would be wrong, but the 250mg of Caffeine combined with the 150mg of Ampiberry & 100mg of Di-Caffeine Malate, might have played a role in that. This is where all of my talk about balance comes in, most highly stimulated pre-workouts, to me at least, have to be combated with a pump product. Companies feel the need to jack their caffeine levels up past RDA and people love it. They leave the gym feeling like a champion ready to take on the day, but what was accomplished? I want to be woken up and ready to work, but I also want to be ready to pump as much blood and as many nutrients as I can into my muscle, and too many stimulants can prevent that by restricting blood flow. Total War delivers on energy, but without sacrificing many other factors that contribute towards achieving your goals.

      Rounding off the end of our list is Cocoabuterol at 50mg, a cocoa extract mainly used for it's thermogenic effects. If you're like me though and always start your training in a hoodie, Total War will make sure it comes off sooner rather than later. Naringin falls just under that at 25mg. You might know Naringin through a few of it's other names, such as citrus bioflavonoid or quite simply, grapefruit. Researched to help with muscle recovery, it's mostly found to help the body heal tissue after the damage a grueling workout causes them. To end off our list is Bioperine at double it's clinically researched dose, 10g. Bioperine is just here to make sure your body is going to absorb everything to the fullest, a little safety net to assure you that each ingredient can get where it has to and work just like it's supposed to.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I had a choice between Sour Gummy Bear & Strawberry Kiwi, and like any other sane human being, I chose Sour Gummy Bear. The taste did not disappoint, as I found myself wincing a tiny bit from the sour bite I got towards the end of my sip, perfectly complimenting the smooth flavor profile. I don't know how many people do this already, but I recommend letting the product settle a little bit after mixing. A few times I found myself ending the drink with a hefty amount of foam, making emptying the bottle for my intra-workout a little more complicated than I'd like it to be. The 4-6 ounces Redcon1 recommends you fix a full one scoop serving in was perfect, never leaving any powder behind or any weird floaties to freak me out mid swallow. It mixes perfectly and tastes amazing.

      Effectiveness

      I train first thing in the morning, about a half hour after consuming some complex carbohydrates through dried oats. I've learned to sip on this during my drive to the gym, as it kicks in relatively fast. I find myself feeling the beginning stages about 12 minutes after I finish it, and about ten minutes later it's kicked in full force. That initial hit left me relatively fast but it's the smooth energy and focus which surprised me the most, lingering around the entire 90 minute average of my workout. Unlike most pre's, this doesn't leave me passed out on my bed from a vicious crash, I can continue on with my day and feel perfectly fine.

      Value

      You're going to pay for quality, and at an average price of $40, this isn't the cheapest for those looking to save a little more in the piggy bank. I've had a good number of pre-workout products which work nearly as good for less, but none that covers all the bullet points quite like this. I keep talking about the balance, and that's what keeps bringing me back. Unless you want to spend another $30 on a well blended pump formula to throw into your stim loaded pre-workout, Total War keeps you covered in all aspects for a little over a dollar per serving. I expect more sales though as the brand grows into their place at your local supplement store, so just keep an eye out.

      Side Effects

      No side effects noticed after taking Total War.

      Conclusion

      Unless you have a thing for camo, there isn't much about Total War on the surface to separate itself from all of it's competitors. It's not until you really get that focus, energy, and pump blend mid way through your training that really shows what Total War is made of. This isn't built for everybody though, and for people looking to train hardcore and get a little bit of assistance, it's a damn near perfect pre-workout product. I recommend ditching all of your other pre-workout supplements and letting this product show you how well it can deliver on all levels.




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