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Unheard0f

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ABOUT
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REVIEWS (14)

Reviews by Unheard0f




Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.0
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
(SR paid for product; Rule 1 Proteins did not participate)
(Show run details )
  September 6, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Flexible Dosing
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value
  • Not An Effective PreWorkout
  • Almost No Focus Effects

Introduction

Just want to start this off with a shout out to the SR.com Trooper Program for sending me a 30-Serving container of Rule 1 Energy+!

I love when a supplement company branches out beyond just the gym floor & creates what I call a "life" product, something with multiple uses that could improve multiple aspects of life when used. Rule 1 seems to have done that with more than a few of their products, but their Energy + should have a little more notice than it actually has. Marketed as a stimulant pre-workout, I found myself using it for work, partying on the weekends and ...

Introduction

Just want to start this off with a shout out to the SR.com Trooper Program for sending me a 30-Serving container of Rule 1 Energy+!

I love when a supplement company branches out beyond just the gym floor & creates what I call a "life" product, something with multiple uses that could improve multiple aspects of life when used. Rule 1 seems to have done that with more than a few of their products, but their Energy + should have a little more notice than it actually has. Marketed as a stimulant pre-workout, I found myself using it for work, partying on the weekends and in the gym when I didn't feel like loading up on some heavy stimulated stuff. My caffeine tolerance is off the map, so this wasn't exactly the most optimal pre-workout for myself or people like me, but I would toss it in with some BCAA's before heading out for the night & it kept me from grabbing an energy drink or better yet spending an insane amount for a Sugar Free Red Bull at the bar. With a great price point, and many benefits that most people could really take advantage of, it's a good product. What's in it though? Let's find out.

Ingredient Profile

Rule 1's Energy + keeps it simple and transparent, with a fully open label consisting of 5 ingredients & a small total scoop worth of 3.2g.

Betaine Anyhydrous (1.5g): At a recommended dosing of 1-1.5g a day, Rule 1 nails it's dosing of Betaine right on the head. For those who don't know, Betaine has a wide range of uses & is in a lot more of your supplement products than you may have noticed. Right off the bat, Betaine is responsible for methylation of the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. A lot of big words thrown around there but the amino acid methionine is crucial for the bodies creation of Creatine, which can boost muscle strength, size, and increase pump by increasing the amount of water being pulled into the muscle tissue. Betaine has also been shown to play a huge factor in protein synthesis again by helping the body convert to methionine, and by having that more available in the body, protein synthesis is in full effect working as hard as it can to make sure the body absorbs as much protein as possible.

L-Taurine (1g): L-Taurine is another amino acid you might take in more than you know, it's a popular ingredient tossed in many energy drinks, who than market it as a "focus enhancer". After numerous studies and a bit of digging, it's not shown to be as beneficial as everyone originally thought it was. It's biggest study was shown to dilute the numerous side effects that come along with caffeine, such as the jitters and that awful crash a lot of us go through once everything settles. It's biggest study found Taurine compared to L-Theanine, another amino acid that diminishes the side effects of caffeine. Taurine also acts as a nitric oxide booster, increasing the amount of cells & blood shuttled to the muscles when under stress.

Beta-Alanine (400mg): We all know what Beta-Alanine feels like, and we've all experienced walking out of the gym into the cold night ready to scratch our faces off. What does it actually do though? This non-essential amino acid increases the amount of carnosine in the blood stream, which affects muscular endurance directly. While not directly affecting your pump, studies have shown athletes supplementing with Beta-Alanine to be able to lift harder for longer, and maintain some of their explosiveness in compound movements later in the workout, maybe after secondary exercises when the body begins to lose a lot of that muscular endurance.

Caffeine Anyhydrous (100mg): Energy + is an energy product, obviously, and packs in a tiny 100mg per scoop. This isn't designed for the hardcore athletes pounding down the worlds strongest pre-workout's, but more for the people looking for a tiny boost before cardio or when they can't find that physical energy to get off the couch. For people with a low caffeine tolerance, this could be a perfect pick me up. It could also benefit someone who trains in the morning, and needs to get some work done later in the day but doesn't want to pound down another handful of caffeine.

Theacrine (25mg): Recently picking up steam in the supplement market over the last year, Theacrine is another form of stimulant you're going to be seeing a lot more. Usually partnered up with caffeine, Theacrine is an energy booster, but the catch being that the body doesn't get used to it. The reason why your favorite pre-workout might not be working for you anymore is your body adapting to the amount of caffeine, and constantly reaching that wall and pushing above it can lead to you being able to handle a lot of caffeine and be just as tired as you were before. Theacrine is still being heavily studied for deeper understanding, but it's tossed in here for good measure and maybe the tiniest of support when it comes to your energy jump.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste: Rule 1 went the smarter route here releasing the product as unflavored, which makes it perfect to toss into your favorite drink or a bottle of water, completely forgetting it's there. In plain old water it adds a little bit of a funk flavor, but in a regular flavored beverage you won't even notice it.

Mixability: I put Energy + to the test every single way I can, and I wasn't surprised to see it perfectly mixing in every scenario. From your shaker bottle to the smallest bottle of water I could find, this blended perfectly and never added the weird grain feel a lot of these additive products have.

Dosing: Possibly one of my favorite things about the product is your ability to play with dosing as much as you'd like. You can toss in four scoops to get a huge hit of everything in it, or you can keep it clean and simple with one or two. It gives you the ability to control it to your liking. I rarely used a single scoop, and never really needed to push it to three or beyond but one or two when I needed a boost during the day was nice, and not having to worry about overdoing it with some of the ingredients felt really good.

Effectiveness

Rule 1's Energy + is a really cool product to keep in the gym bag or the car trunk, and I reached for it quite a few times for the first few weeks to test out as an actual pre-workout. At my level of caffeine tolerance, I felt almost nothing on a single scoop, and barely anything on two scoops. It was much better than taking nothing, but I could never use the product as a full on pre-workout. The biggest benefit I found from it was outside of the gym. I'd toss two scoops into my morning BCAA's on non-training days for a little boost, and did in fact find my focus to be slightly improved and a decent little energy boost. If the product can get me off the couch, it's a success in my book, and it was especially helpful to be able to increase the amount of scoops I took if I felt the need to.

I'm a huge believer in having the best life you can outside of the gym as well as in, and I have a strong appreciation for my weekends off from my training with my friends. I'd always have to stop off for a Monster or a Bang on my way to meeting with friends, but tossing Energy + into my shaker bottle with some branched chains always worked better. I'd sip on a few scoops over the course of the night and never felt the need to find some other energy source, but again, it was that dosing flexibility I loved so much. If ya needed a bit more, you could take down another scoop and not have to worry about over stimulating yourself.

Value

The average price I found Rule 1's Energy + was around $20, which is under $2 per serving. I found it for $16 from Campus Protein, and I'd say it's worth every penny. Add up 30 of those energy drinks you're always grabbing and I guarantee even the $20 looks a lot better than that number you have. No complaints about price here!

Side Effects

No Side Effects

Conclusion

Rule 1's Energy + is a really cool product, something I'd keep in the trunk of my car or bring with me to work or school as a quick little pick me up that's not too extreme. The dosing flexibility makes this product useful for people of all caffeine tolerances in all kinds of different life situations. While this didn't do much for me as far as training goes, I loved using it before my nights out or those double shifts at work, which is when I felt I reaped the most benefits out of the product. It's cheap, it's effective, and it's an extremely convenient product to keep on hand at all times.

Thank you again to SR.com's Trooper Program for letting me try this out!



Overall
Overall
8.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.5
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  September 4, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value
  • Improves Recovery
  • Hydrates
  • Mixes Well
  • Longer Lasting Pumps

    Introduction

    If somebody had approached me one day & told me I could only take one supplement for the rest of my life but continue my bodybuilding career, I wouldn't hesitate to choose BCAA's. Since my discovery of their benefits a few years ago, they've become a staple in my supplement stack and just an overall constant product in my life. I'm always switching up brands or exploring new flavors, especially since throwing 3-4 scoops into a gallon every single day isn't the most cost effective way to do things, but I make due. When the chance came to try out one of Redcon1's amino p...

    Introduction

    If somebody had approached me one day & told me I could only take one supplement for the rest of my life but continue my bodybuilding career, I wouldn't hesitate to choose BCAA's. Since my discovery of their benefits a few years ago, they've become a staple in my supplement stack and just an overall constant product in my life. I'm always switching up brands or exploring new flavors, especially since throwing 3-4 scoops into a gallon every single day isn't the most cost effective way to do things, but I make due. When the chance came to try out one of Redcon1's amino products, I jumped at the chance.

    Breach is a BCAA & hydration blend, and I just want to thank the people over at Redcon1 & here at SR for the chance to try this out via the Trooper Program. Containing your three BCAA's & a few hydration ingredients in there, Breach is a super effective amino product. I can honestly say that you can notice the recovery improvements, but even more the endurance and hydration benefits of drinking it intra-workout. Only on off days did I drink Breach outside of the gym, and I did that upon waking as instructed on the bottle. I began with one scoop intra-workout and eventually up to two, and enjoyed the product so much I recently bought myself another bottle of a different flavor. What's in here outside of your traditional BCAA's? Let's look deeper.

    Ingredient Profile

    My hands are becoming numb from applauding Redcon1 on their 100% transparent labels, and that was a huge plus to see here also on Breach.

    BCAA (5g): We all know BCAA's (Branced Chain Amino Acids) are essential for muscle recovery since that's always the first thing we see about them, but they're benefits for muscular endurance, preserving muscle tissue during dieting, and protein synthesis always seem to fall off in the conversation. In all of my research, I try to stick with products giving us at least 5-10g of BCAA's in a serving, and with the recommended 15-20g a day for an active adult anything less is really just lazy dosing. With Breach, we're getting a full 5g per serving, a nice 2:1:1 ratio. For those who don't know, your three BCAA's are Leucine, Iso-Leucine and Valine, Leucine always being the highest amount with Iso-Leucine and Valine trailing shortly behind. When are BCAA's most crucial? I always try to take in a serving immediately upon waking up, I throw it into 20oz of water & drink it down while making breakfast. Intra-Workout is the most popular due to the muscular endurance and hydration benefits, but if you're dieting and utilizing fasted cardio, BCAA's are essential to get in to help prevent some of the muscular breakdown that happens when in a caloric deficit with consistent intense cardio.

    Coconut Water Powder (1g): If you've never tried a product containing Coconut Water, you owe it to yourself to do so. Coconut Water Powder is incredible for hydration, and includes a bunch of electrolytes. Proper electrolyte balance leads to hydration, a big boost in muscular endurance & overall increase in energy expendature. Just for fun, use a standard BCAA product that doesn't include coconut water (and that's a lot of them), and the next day try one with. I promise you'll notice a difference.

    Glycerol (1g): Glyucerol is slowly gaining more traction in the supplement industry, seen in a wide range of products from Pre-Workouts, Post-Workouts, and everything in between. Glycerol has a number of benefits, ranging from muscular endurance, hydration and pump. Since Glycerol is rapidly absorbed by the body, one of it's biggest benefits is the increase in muscle pump. We all know what a muscle pump is, and Glycerol has been shows on many occasions to increase plasma within the muscle tissue, leading to a bigger and more full look. On top of that, Glycerol also increases fluid intake to the muscle, and both of those uses lead to a large pump increase when taking Glycerol either pre or intra workout.

    Taurine (1g): Acting similarly to Creatine, Taurine is an amino acid that can increase cell volume and allow the muscle to hold more water resulting in muscle fullness and a great pump. It's tossed in here at the end of the ingredient label but combined with the Glycerol mentioned above, it turns this simple intra-workout into a little pump product as well, though I would say it has a higher benefit on muscular endurance, allowing you to give your A game from beginning to end.

    I have nothing negative to comment on when it comes to this ingredient label, a nice mix of endurance, hydration, and small pump increasers here outside of the just fine 5g of BCAA's. Two scoops of this stuff amounting to 10g of total BCAA's make this a killer intra-workout amino product.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Taste: I was lucky enough to receive the one flavor I was interested the most in, that being Pineapple Banana. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would, it doesn't have a bad flavor profile, but to me it seems to be more of a desired flavor. There were times I really enjoyed it, and other times, mostly in the morning, when I would hate Pineapple Banana being the first flavor to hit my taste buds for the day. The flavor falls more towards Banana, with the Pineapple being more of an aftertaste. Overall not a bad flavor at all, but maybe having a different flavor around for the times I wasn't feeling this would've been nice.

    Mixability: For some reason there's this misconception that BCAA's should mix up really well, and I don't mean you should be swallowing chunks of this stuff at a time, but there's supposed to be this underlying graininess to your amino product if it's done well. Breach is a bit grainy, and it's noticeable over some other BCAA products I've had more recently, but nowhere near enough to turn you away from it. I've never experienced any clumping or powder sticking to the bottom of my bottles, this stuff even mixed well in a glass with a spoon, which was impressive.

    Dosing: There's many different ways to dose your BCAA product, people like myself tend to drink this stuff all day long while others prefer intra- or post-workout. On the Breach label, they first recommend one serving, or one scoop, pre, intra, or post-workout. For best results, they recommend up to three scoops a day. At three consistent scoops a day, you're only going to get 10 days worth of product out of this. I started off with a single scoop a day, on non-training days first thing in the morning and intra-workout 5 days a week. On Sunday's, I have a rest day where I take in no supplements so I was going through about six scoops a week. In my final week, I upped it to two at a time to see if I could notice any further benefits, and there were some, but I'd say the single scoop a day is perfect enough.

    Effectiveness

    As mentioned earlier, I was taking a single scoop upon waking up on non-training days, and a single scoop intra-workout on training days, and had a noticeable increase in muscle recovery. At the time I started Breach, I was also starting a more intense training style with more volume, and was surprised at the lack of DOM's when the first week ended. I felt tight and sore, but not enough to be wincing in discomfort while at work or doing everyday activities, and nowhere near sore enough to have a negative impact on any other training days. I typically have issues when it comes to shoulder soreness that impacts a few other training days, but I doubled up Breach that day and had zero issues in the following days. I noticed some benefits when drinking a serving after waking up, it seemed to work as a perfect cure for that morning de-hydration, ridding of my dry throat after just a few sips. Usually with breakfast, I'm downing glasses of water to feel better and give myself the smallest boost possible, but with Breach I felt perfect after the 20oz and was content with just sipping on water normally instead of drinking it down like I was lost in the desert for a week.

    For the last week, I doubled up on my scoops intra-workout and noticed another big bump in hydration, but not so much with recovery. It didn't seem to increase recovery further from the single scoop servings or endurance, but there is further hydration benefits at two scoops, obviously. If you can afford to do more than a single scoop I say go for it, but for most people a single serving a day should be more than perfect.

    Value

    The cheapest I found a 30-Serving of Breach was $19.95 through IllPumpYouUp, and the average asking price seems to be upwards of $35. At my local Vitamin Shoppe & GNC, it's priced at a reasonable $29.95, which equals just about $1 per serving. I have zero complaints paying $1 per serving, even better if below that.

    Side Effects

    Zero Side Effects

    Conclusion

    In the muddled crowd of BCAA products, Breach stands out. 5g of total BCAA's, with hydration & pump ingredients littered in there make this a pretty packed amino product, and one that tries to be better than most, and succeeds. The intra-workout benefits are awesome and when put against an equally priced, simpler amino product, I'm sure would come out on top for most people in the gym training hard and really looking to reap the benefits of their aminos. I went to the store and picked myself up a second bottle in the Sour Apple flavor which I'm really excited to crack open tonight and try out. If you're looking for a great amino product that you can feel working and don't want to break the bank, Breach is the way to go.

    I wanted to thank Redcon1 and The Trooper Program for sending me Breach!



    Overall
    Overall
    8.0
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    8.5
    Value
    Value
    7.5
      August 19, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • 7g Creatine Per Dose
    • Builds Muscle
    • Good Ingredient Profile
    • Muscle Fullness
    • Great Taste
    • Awesome Recovery
    • Woah Those Pumps

      Introduction

      I have to admit, I've been a little bit of a Redcon1 fan-boy as of late. What started off as a love simply for the packaging, has turned into my supplement cabinet littered with their products that I'm eagerly awaiting trying out over the next few months. Tango was a no-brainer for me, a creatine blend consisting of three forms equaling a total of 7 grams, with a few added ingredients for recovery? I'm all about it. I've tried so many different brands of creatine products, from the simplest monohydrates to ridiculous blends, and always find some sort of success with it...

      Introduction

      I have to admit, I've been a little bit of a Redcon1 fan-boy as of late. What started off as a love simply for the packaging, has turned into my supplement cabinet littered with their products that I'm eagerly awaiting trying out over the next few months. Tango was a no-brainer for me, a creatine blend consisting of three forms equaling a total of 7 grams, with a few added ingredients for recovery? I'm all about it. I've tried so many different brands of creatine products, from the simplest monohydrates to ridiculous blends, and always find some sort of success with it. It's rare though that a product turns out to be as beneficial as Tango is, as my recovery time seemed to nearly be cut in half & the fullness I felt outside of the gym made me feel much bigger than I really am. While actual strength gains were undiscovered because of my current training style, I just felt better in the gym, bigger and healthier feeling pumps and a real noticeable increase in muscular endurance that had me killing one training session after the next.

      What makes Tango stand out though? Let's dig a bit.

      Ingredient Profile

      Tango features a fully transparent ingredient label consisting of seven total ingredients. I just have to take a second to praise Redcon1 for these fully open labels in 2018, it's such a beautiful thing. Brings a tear to my eye.

      Creatine Monohydrate (5g): Monohydrate is the most universally accepted form of creatine, it's the most basic and to most people seems to yield the best results with almost no negativity attached to it's name. Playing a massive role in increasing protein synthesis, creatines biggest role is cell volumization within the muscle or in other words, increasing the amount of water volume which can play a massive role in muscle building and strength increases. Redcon1 nails it on the head here with a perfect 5g, the recommended dosing of creatine monohydrate.

      Betaine Anhydrous (2.5g): Studies showed Betaine Anhydrous playing a large role in strength increases in all subjects using 1.25g dosages, and it did that by not only increasing protein synthesis but also increasing the bodies natural ability to create creatine. These studies also showed all test subjects taking Betaine post-workout, which makes this added ingredient a key role in the overall effects of Tango.

      Creatine HCL (1g): Another widely used form of creatine, HCL is a widely much more absorbed form of creatine. With a proven faster absorption rate than any other form on the market, and dosed at a much lower amount, it seems to be just as high up there in effectiveness as your typical Monohydrate, and tossing a gram into this creatine based post-workout is a nice touch to boost absorption in the body.

      Creatine MagnaPower (1g): In much simpler terms, it's creatine binded with magnesium. This binding with magnesium can actually allow for further ATP production within the muscle, being proven to allow for bigger muscular pumps & contractions than any other form of creatine. As a fun little bonus, Magnapower also increases carb metabolism, meaning that insanely needed post-workout meal has the potential to be absorbed better and actually put those carbs to good use.

      Taurine (1g): Taurine, as we all know, is an amino acid mainly shown to increase cell volumization, which lends a huge hand to muscle recovery and an increase in nitrix oxide, aka, blood flow. Working hand in hand with creatine & glutamine to pull more water into the muscle, teaming it up with all of the creatine in Tango can increase muscle size and muscular pump.

      L-Ornithine L-Aspartate (1g): Acting as a pre-cursor to nitric oxide, this combination of amino acids increase blood flow to the muscles and can play a huge role in muscle pump and recovery.

      As we see here, Tango is pretty loaded up. You can really feel the three grams of creatine every single day taking this product, and especially after passing the two week mark. I love this blend of products, and the dosing is exactly how I'd do it, ya know, if I owned a huge supplement company and had expectations to match.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      Taste: Between the few flavors available, I eagerly grabbed Grape & had huge expectations for it. I'll put it this way, I looked forward to mixing this up after every training session. The taste was damn near perfect, not strong enough to push you away but that perfect flavor profile that I actually missed when it was all gone.

      Mixability: My prior experiences with creatine products made me watch carefully when drinking Tango, as creatine has a reputation for not mixing too well, and some of the products I've tried have been absolute hell to mix. Tango exceeded my expectations, only settling at the bottom when I let the bottle sit for too long, which was very rare. It's very smooth, never dealing with a mouthful of powder or the feeling of "pebbles" in my teeth after each sip (which is more common than I ever thought), and never felt the need to re-fill the shaker bottle to clear out the rest of the powder.

      Dosing: This was the only real struggle I had over the forty-some days I was using the product. According to the label, maximum effectiveness is at two scoops per day. At that rate, you're only looking at 15 days worth of product. I decided to start off with a single scoop post-workout and in the morning on non-training days, and after a week and a half, jumped up to two scoops per day. I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt after bumping this up to two scoops, but I won't debunk using a single scoop instead of two. Using a single scoop you're going to get the full 30 days out of the product and still reap major benefits at that dosing.

      Effectiveness

      As I had mentioned before, I used a single scoop of Tango on non-training days and post-workout for the first week and a half. That first week, I noticed some small changes in recovery time but that could also be from my BCAA product or diet. It wasn't until I bumped up to the recommended two scoops per day that the big changes kicked in. My recovery time felt nearly cut in half, and halfway through I even cut out my BCAA's to try and simplify final conclusion, and my recovery remained just as great as it was before. In the gym, my muscular pump & endurance shot up tremendously, I noticed full pumps within just a few warm-up sets and this was even on days I didn't take a pre-workout. The entire duration I used the product, every workout just felt so great, and as somebody who loves achieving the most ridiculous pump possible, this did the job for me!

      Outside of the gym, I noticed huge improvements in muscle fullness & hardness every single day. I noticed more size in my shoulders and arms the most, and my shirt sleeves felt a tad tighter passing the 2-3 week mark of consistently using Tango. I always noticed a general change while on creatine, but something about this just felt so much better. I felt like I always had a decent pump, and glancing in my reflections while out shopping became more of an enjoyment rather than a fear of mine. Of course, there's a lot of factors for me noticing these changes, but for the last week off of the product, I've noticed a very slight decrease in the changes I noticed most. Just the feeling I had everyday from being on Tango is worth the price alone & I already miss it.

      Value

      Tango has a price range from $24-$35, the higher price seeming to be the average at retail stores. At single dosing, the thirty servings are worth the slightly over $1 per serving asking price, and doubling up on that I don't mind paying the $24 lowest asking price I found. You can snag a good creatine monohydrate powder for much less than this but if you've never used a creatine blend before or just really want a high end product, I'd pay anything within the general range. No complaints there.

      Side Effects

      None.

      Conclusion

      Tango is killer, as I move on to my next creatine product, I can't help but think about the giant shoes it has to fill. It's worth trying for much more than just the killer pumps you get in the gym, but the recovery time increase and the fullness you get outside of the gym, as it just feels so damn good. There's no proprietary blends, no extra junk or fluff, and the taste is awesome. Try taking this and not looking forward to drinking it after a hard training session, you look forward to it! In my opinion, another killer addition to Redcon1's already awesome line-up of products & an absolute stand out product on the shelves at your local retailer. It's time for companies to step up their game & get on Tango's level.


        August 16, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Energy Hits You FAST
      • Amazing Flavors
      • Increased Energy
      • No Crash
      • Improved Mood
      • Some Of The Ingredients Are Dosed Too Low To Be Effective

      Introduction

      Energy drinks are the new craze, once only ruled by the handful of energy juggernauts who take up that entire freezer at your local corner store, now being combated by supplement companies looking to get their products in the hand of those who otherwise would never look twice. I became excited at the announcement of ProSupps entering the market with Power Potion, marketing it directly as an energy drink rather than a RTD pre-workout.

      I became less excited at the thought of them signing DJ Khaled as an "athlete", but I digress.

      Power Potion holds nothing back, packi...

      Introduction

      Energy drinks are the new craze, once only ruled by the handful of energy juggernauts who take up that entire freezer at your local corner store, now being combated by supplement companies looking to get their products in the hand of those who otherwise would never look twice. I became excited at the announcement of ProSupps entering the market with Power Potion, marketing it directly as an energy drink rather than a RTD pre-workout.

      I became less excited at the thought of them signing DJ Khaled as an "athlete", but I digress.

      Power Potion holds nothing back, packing in 50mg more caffeine than the infamous Bang & a much bigger punch than any energy drink I've ever had before. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this stuff is the energy equivalent of a punch to the face, and surprisingly, with zero crash (for me at least). I can't even begin to think of how many times I've leaned on Power Potion to get me through a double shift at work, or a long day out cutting & taking care of my lawn that nobody even sees, this stuff always delivered an intense amount of clean energy to make sure what got done, got done.

      Though more than just caffeine, Power Potion packs a lot into a single can but it's all crammed into an "Other Ingredients" list so let's try our best to break that down.

      Ingredient Profile

      There's a decent amount of stuff stuffed in a can of Power Potion, the biggest kicker being the 350mg of caffeine. For perspective, a ton of people find Bang Energy to be to strong for them, and ProSupps jammed 50mg more than Bang into the Potion. Though weaker than the Hyde Pre-Workout, a lot of pre-workout companies won't touch more than 300mg of caffeine, let alone push 350mg into an energy drink. Similar to Bang also, we get our three BCAA's thrown into the mix at an undisclosed amount. While it's a nice touch, there's probably the bare minimum in here and at that amount it's almost useless. They could ditch the BCAA's & the product wouldn't change a bit, and that makes me even more curious about the CoQ-10, Taurine, and Citrulline dosages in here considering they're just tossed into this list of "other ingredients" at the bottom of the label. There's a lot to like here, and the fact that it's all undisclosed in a random ingredient profile doesn't really bother me too much. I'm not looking for anything more than an energy kick here and it seems like a lot of this stuff was just tossed in for good measure and just so they can say it's there. The L-Carnitine amount probably isn't enough to have a lasting effect since you're probably not drinking one of these consistently day after day, and the only thing I can see actually working in here is the CDP Choline since there is a noticeable boost in focus after drinking one.

      To be real though, what are we looking for when we grab an energy drink off the shelf? Energy and focus, which is delivered just fine even after trying to sort out the messy ingredient profile.

      Taste/Dosing

      Power Potion is currently available in five flavors: Winter Blast, Island Punch, Cherry Cola, Pineapple Cooler & Purple Mist. The store I bought these at were nice enough to allow me to make a variety pack seeing as I needed to try every flavor I possibly could at my cheapest option. The taste was a bit of a surprise to me, they're not extremely sweet or up front, but instead have a smooth & enjoyable flavor profile. These were super easy to pick up & drink at anytime, and all flavors were as enjoyable as the others. It was a little bit of a challenge to open up the fridge and make a decision day after day but no matter which I grabbed, I enjoyed it fully. Just as a little side note, don't let these get warm. The flavor is great until they sit in the cup holder a little to long and only than does chugging become the only option.

      I probably wouldn't recommend someone to drink more than one of these a day, or even consume any other caffeinated products within the same day as a Power Potion. I saved these for off days from the gym, when I was working a 14 hour shift or just an afternoon pick me up on the way to the beach. About 3/4 of my way through the package, I was forced to take 2 weeks off from consuming caffeine, and downing one of these on my first day allowed back on it was a life changing experience, so save these for those active rest days from training!

      Effectiveness

      I typically don't call myself a fan of energy drinks, nor find myself drinking these for much longer in my life, but Power Potion is such a good pick me up I found myself looking forward to grabbing one. The energy hits fast, most of the time I found myself speeding up about halfway through on average, and the biggest hit came about 15 minutes after finishing the can. I'd be practically dragging my feet and maybe it's placebo, but I felt an almost instant turn around in mental focus and physical energy, which really allowed me to finish off manual labor on a real high note. I only live about a half an hour from the nearest beach, and those days in the sun physically kill me, but Power Potion kept me kicking even through happy hour at the beach bar.

      The biggest downfall that always comes with these heavy stimulant drinks, is the crash. I was ready to experience the worst crash of my life the first few days I was drinking Power Potion, and it never happened. The energy wore off really smooth and never left me needing a nap or ready for bed before sundown. It also never kept me awake to long, as I'd drink one pretty late in the day and still manage to fall asleep without the jitters at a very reasonable time. Maybe it's my adrenal glands being shot? Who knows, but it was a huge benefit to me.

      Value

      A pack of 15 cans of Hyde Power Potion will run you anywhere from $30 to $35, breaking that down to an extremely reasonable $2.33 a can. If bought single, the price at my local Vitamin Shoppe is $2.99, and if you love one flavor enough it's a nice bargain to grab the case. For the amount of caffeine you're getting and the effectiveness, $3 isn't bad at all considering it's only about $.30 more than their competitors average price. At both the case and single price, I have zero complaints about cost here.

      Side Effects

      No Side Effects.

      Conclusion

      Power Potion was a huge surprise to me, and I'm ecstatic seeing a company like ProSupps making this kind of impact in the energy drink department. With two more flavors announced recently, and an overall positive response from everybody trying them, it seems like Power Potion could be a contender for best new carbonated energy drink here in 2018. With many more companies reaching their hands into the energy drink category, products like Power Potion are going to make it extremely difficult for someone to come in swinging as hard as ProSupps has. You just can't beat the kick this stuff gives you, and the flavor makes these extremely easy to enjoy. If you're a fan of the Hyde Pre-Workout, definitely make it a priority to try Power Potion soon, you won't regret it.



      Overall
      Overall
      8.0
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      8.5
      Value
      Value
      8.0
        August 7, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Great Taste
      • Improves Pumps
      • Increased Endurance
      • Good Value
      • Increased Energy
      • Proprietary Blends

      Introduction

      When I began my journey as a powerlifter, I did nothing but follow in the footsteps of my friends & of course, my idols. We all want to be as hardcore as we can, and there was nothing more hardcore than the Animal line by the kings over at Universal Nutrition. One of my first pre-workouts was the iconic Rage XL, and I've used nothing but the Animal Pak multi for nearing ten years. I recently decided to re-visit my past & found a little two facing of Animal's Juiced Aminos at my local Vitamin Shoppe. As a huge advocate for the use of BCAA's, I completely forgot how much...

      Introduction

      When I began my journey as a powerlifter, I did nothing but follow in the footsteps of my friends & of course, my idols. We all want to be as hardcore as we can, and there was nothing more hardcore than the Animal line by the kings over at Universal Nutrition. One of my first pre-workouts was the iconic Rage XL, and I've used nothing but the Animal Pak multi for nearing ten years. I recently decided to re-visit my past & found a little two facing of Animal's Juiced Aminos at my local Vitamin Shoppe. As a huge advocate for the use of BCAA's, I completely forgot how much was packed into a single scoop of this stuff, and when I went back to purchase my second bottle only three weeks later, I realized it was one of the few BCAA products I've ever purchased back to back. Sure, it's extremely tough to ignore the two giant proprietary blends that makes up Juiced Aminos, but I just felt so damn good using this stuff it was easy to not let it get too in the way when it came down to reviewing it.

      How juiced up is Juiced Aminos? Let's dig deeper.

      Ingredient Profile

      Juiced Aminos is broken up into two proprietary blends, 'Anabolic BCAA & EAA Matrix' and 'Juiced AA Performance Blend'. It's a tad bit confusing as to why the prop-blend route felt proper here, especially since it'd be super easy to break each of these ingredients down to a simple dosing, but we got them.

      "Anabolic BCAA & EAA Matrix" (6g)

      Instant BCAA Blend (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine): Our three heavy hitters are for sure topping off this prop-blend, and we all know just how crucial our three aminos are. They aid remarkably in recovery as well as protein synthesis, and getting a proper dosing of these three intra-workout have proven to increase the amount of protein absorbed by the body when you hit that post-workout meal. Of course, the recommended 15-20g of BCAA's per day involves a little more than a scoop while training, but who likes drinking a gallon of plain water? Flavor it up!

      EAA's: Juiced Aminos also contains six essential amino acids, simply meaning the body cannot produce it, and the combination of all these EAA's with the BCAA's make for even better recovery than just the branched chains alone. Of course, there's some speculation about how beneficial EAA's actually are. I dug into this a little deeper before writing this and while they are proven to enhance recovery, it's simply curiosity about if you need them. Since they're popularity is on the rise here in 2018, and companies are charging more for their products containing them, more studies have been published proving their use, so I say if you can get them, it can't hurt!

      "Juiced AA Performance Blend" (4g)

      L-Taurine: Kicking off this blend is L-Taurine, a naturally occurring acid that aids in muscle fatigue as well as well as enhanced muscle functioning, w which is just a fancy way of saying that it's a nitric oxide booster. We all love more blood flow & topping this blend off with Taurine is a good sign, especially considering it's recommended dose of 1-2g.

      Citrulline Malate: Quickly becoming one of the most popular nitric oxide boosters in the market, and the one I've found the most personal success with, it's an awesome addition to the product. Citrulline Malate increases blood flow to the muscle, allowing for increased pumps & to help fight off a little of that muscle fatigue.

      L-Glutamine: Often referred to as the supplement kind of recovery, L-Glutamine is another amino acid that aids in recovery. It's strange to see it tossed in here this low into the performance blend considering it's benefits are researched to be in far greater amounts than what's seen here, but with how well this product actually aids in that recovery, it must be adding a helpful hand in somewhere!

      Agmapure (Agmatine Sulfate): Agmatine Sulfate is a wonderful addition to this blend, being proven to help heavily with blood flow, as well assist in energy levels. Outside of that though, it's also shown to act as something of a nootropic, aiding with mental clarity and mental health. Something all of us could probably use some more of, especially when being in the gym is your second job.

      Glycocarn (Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine HCL: A big set of words, I know. Glycocarn is essentially a combination of Glycine & L-Carnitine, both together helping heavily with increased pumps, intra-workout energy and fat burning, and on top of all that is actually seen to be slow releasing, meaning the delayed effects could be beneficial to you during long training sessions.

      Arginocarn: A combination is another chemical combination of Arginine & L-Carnitine, and while it still aids benefits to muscle pump, it's mainly shown to help with brain & mental health, one study practically calling it the "cure to poor mind muscle connection".

      Sustamine: One last chemical combination ingredient, this time with L-Alanine & L-Glutamine. Both of these being vitally involved in the production and storage of glucose, but also playing a huge affect in hydration.

      Whew, a lot going on there. Proprietary blends always seem to be a companies "easy way out", or some stubborn way to hide their dosing so another company can't copy. Either way, they're lame, but Juiced Amino's has a ton going on here and all of it having major affects on muscle pump, mental clarity & the most important one, recovery.

      Taste/Mixability/

      Taste: I'm always a sucker for Grape, and I have to say this has got to be in my top ten list of favorite tasting amino products. The grape is spot on, though a little bitter when mixed with less than recommended water, I always loved sipping on this during my workouts. I would actually crave it at some weird times in the day when I wasn't carrying around my gallon jug, but zero complaints coming from me as far as taste goes.

      Mixability: I always find myself lenient when it comes to the mixability of BCAA's, as they really shouldn't blend up absolutely perfect. Juiced Amino's gets pretty darn close though, but don't be shocked when you feel a big of the roughness with each sip. You can clearly see the floaties in there and feel them, but it never bothered me or was enough to force me to re-shake them. Never once did I find any left behind in the shaker bottle or the glass I used from time to time.

      Effectiveness

      This is where Juiced Amino's really stood out to me, you could almost literally feel it working. I was struggling with recovering during this push/pull/legs split I was utilizing while taking these, and it almost felt like an instant improvement within days of using the product. I started off with a single scoop intra-workout, and this seemed to almost carry the benefits of my pre-workout once they died off & as I continued sipping on them. After a few days of testing the waters, I increased to two scoops in my gallon, and another scoop tossed into my shaker bottle for during training. I still had my sore days but it seemed like my recovery time was nearly cut in half after drinking this stuff consistently, making my life much less painful and still allow me the ability to train as hard as possible when I have to.

      I saw most of the performance blend benefits as soon as I started sipping on Juiced Amino's during the day, downing two scoops of it before I even got to the gym. A few times I used it without any pre-workout, there were noticeable increases in my muscle pump & endurance, and I made a few big leaps in number of reps during my run of Juiced Amino's. Can I say it was because of them? Probably not, but it's crucial for the body to be able to handle consistent heavy training sessions day after day, and I'm confident in myself saying that Juiced Amino's played a huge role in my ability to survive the last nearly 6 weeks of training in that style.

      Value

      I don't mind paying for quality, and I payed $29.99 for a 30-serving tub over at Vitamin Shoppe. During my online research, I found them for the cheapest price of $17.99 through AllStarHealth, and an equally good $19.99 from Amazon. Am I now a little upset I payed $10 more than I had to? Sure, but it was still worth every penny and scoring this for under $1 per serving makes it a no brainer.

      Side Effects

      None.

      Conclusion

      If you told me I could only take a pre-workout or a BCAA supplement for the rest of my lifting career, without hesitation would I side with BCAA's. The older I get the more I appreciate a supplements ability to make my life a little less sore, and when you toss in some pump ingredients with a sprinkle of nootropic, I'm sold. Juiced Amino's might just be my favorite intra-workout product on the market, but there's been plenty of other great ones had I spent more time with, might just be better. If Universal decided to wipeout these proprietary blends & release a few more flavor options, I'd probably run out and buy more as soon as I'm finished typing this up. Team this up with that new Fury Pre-Workout though and be ready to almost literally become an animal.



      Overall
      Overall
      8.5
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      8.5
      Value
      Value
      8.5
      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to BPI Sports for sending it out!
      (Show run details )
        August 3, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Amazing Pumps
      • Good Flavor
      • Smooth Lasting Energy
      • Increased Energy
      • Builds Muscle
      • Good Value
      • A Few Mixing Issues
      • Prop Blend

      Quick Summary

      One More Rep is another impressive entry by BPI Sports, delivering long-lasting clean energy, great pumps, and focus.

      Introduction

      I just want to kick this off with a huge thank you to BPI Sports & SR's Trooper Program for sending me this container of One More Rep!

      I've tried them all ladies & gentleman, from the highest stimulant pre-workouts to entry level grade stuff, and have had a ton of amazing experiences with products from all ranges. Of course I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for those hardcore stimmed out pre's, but the more I learn mysel...

      Quick Summary

      One More Rep is another impressive entry by BPI Sports, delivering long-lasting clean energy, great pumps, and focus.

      Introduction

      I just want to kick this off with a huge thank you to BPI Sports & SR's Trooper Program for sending me this container of One More Rep!

      I've tried them all ladies & gentleman, from the highest stimulant pre-workouts to entry level grade stuff, and have had a ton of amazing experiences with products from all ranges. Of course I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for those hardcore stimmed out pre's, but the more I learn myself as a bodybuilder & a person, the more I find myself looking for something that checks off on everything I'm looking for. 2018 is shaping up to be a huge year for the legendary BPI & One More Rep is proof that the games are over. Making major improvements over their original 1.M.R., One More Rep is one of the most consistent pre-workouts I've had in recent memory, always delivering enough energy to get me through the most grueling of training sessions and helping me dial in after those stressful days you always find hard to get off of your mind. I was insanely impressed by how much I liked this product, and though it has it's few flaws like almost every product does, day after day I could always count on it.

      What exactly makes One More Rep so good? Let's dig deeper.

      Ingredient Profile

      BPI's One More Rep split's it's 10 ingredients in half, 5 being fully transparent & the other half unfortunately is packed into a 454mg Energy Proprietary Blend. Kicking off the first half is a 3g serving of Citrulline Malate, which the body converts into L-Arginine. Seen as the latest "king of the pump", this amino acid is also shown to help with muscle recovery & endurance, but it's only dosed at half the recommended dosing. We typically see this around the 6g mark, but it does it's job well here. Following that is a 1g serving of L-Carnitine Tartrate, which helps convert fatty cells into energy & it's also sure to make you sweat.

      One of the biggest new ingredients BPI crammed into One More Rep is Beetroot, which is very quickly becoming a huge deal in the industry. Beetroot is a natural root which increases nitric oxide productions by relaxing the blood vessels, thus allowing for more bloodflow to the muscle. I've used a few products which tossed Beetroot into the mix, and at the 500mg dosing here in One More Rep, it makes a difference. Next up we have TMG (as betaine anyhydrous) and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, which boosts Glutathione levels working as a "master Antioxidant" & can increase muscular endurance.

      This is where the ingredient label loses me though, as BPI uses an energy proprietary blend totaling up to 454mg. Hiding in this blend is caffeine anhydrous, but when you read the "caffeine warning" to the right of the label, it says the product contains about the caffeine level of three cups of coffee. I just assume there's anywhere from 250-300mg, with my prediction leading more towards 250mg. Also hiding in here is Theobromine, an alternative energy source to caffeine which raises our stimulant level a bit. Phosphatidylcholine, Himalayan Pink Salt & Yohimbine round off our proprietary blend, the Himalayan Salt increasing hydration benefits and Yohimbine, which is always a heated topic in the fitness community, helps blood flow & muscular endurance. While we have a great overall ingredient label going on here, proprietary blends are always a huge downfall & I can never understand the purpose of them. Oh well.

      Taste/Mixability

      I have to admit, as somebody who has used Beetroot as a daily supplement in my morning shake, the addition to it here made me very worried about the taste. I was fortunate enough to be sent the Fruit Punch flavor, which has a surprisingly good flavor. The Beetroot is very apparent though, especially once you get a whiff of this stuff after opening it. Not to say Beets taste bad, but they're there in both taste and smell, very noticeably. Props to BPI though for finding a way to mix the flavor in well & use it to make a very easy to drink product. Mixability was one of the main issues I had here, I noticed a majority of the time a good amount of left over powder after drinking it. I would have to throw a tad more water into the bottle and give it a little shake to get the rest down. I was always sure to use the recommended 6-8oz of water, and consistently had a mixing issue. It's not as bad as it could be, and never did I have to swallow half a scoops worth of powder that didn't blend, but it was a little bit of a hold up to have to head back to the water fountain to finish it all off.

      Effectiveness

      Luckily, I received One More Rep right at the beginning of my "cutting" prep. I was restricting my calorie intake & upping the cardio, just ready to unleash my miserable side. It's times like there when the pre-workout really shows it's true colors, and I was insanely surprised by how great this worked. The energy moves in very clean, I never experienced any jitters or early kicks causing me to rush my stretches or locker room YouTube hype video moments, instead it seemed to work as I did. Moving through my warm up sets I could feel my energy levels begin to rise, and it almost perfectly lined up with that first batch of working sets. It holds on for a good amount of time too, I usually found it wearing off about the 70-90 minute mark, but it made going home to my post-workout meal easy and without looking like a mad man either.

      My training philosophy is simple, push as much blood & nutrients as I can into my muscles. One More Rep enhanced my ability to do that, as it allowed me to achieve those skin tearing pumps very quickly. I bounced off of this occasionally to use a pump product I was testing out, and it surprised me to see that my stimulant based pre-workout gave me better pumps than my non-stim. The pumps lasted the entire duration of the workout & made me feel really good walking out of the gym & for the rest of the day. I hope you're ready to sweat too, cause as soon as you pass the twenty minute mark after drinking One More Rep, you're damn near drenched. Some of the sweatiest workout's I've been through in my life have been with this product and I loved every second of it. I know sweat doesn't equal hard work but walking out of the gym ready to ring out your shirt and hoodie you warmed up in is a heck of a feeling.

      Now, one major issue I did experience with One More Rep is occasional nausea, but I think that's more my bodies response to Yohimbine. The biggest issue with BPI's old 1.M.R. was the constant sick feeling I would get after taking it, and that's not the case with One More Rep, except when I took it on a near empty stomach. I try to test all of my products in every possible situation, and both times I took One More Rep with barely any food in me, I found myself fighting off this urge to get sick. Of course, every person is going to have a different experience but it's worth mentioning that it happened and the circumstance at which it did.

      Value

      One More Rep has an average price range of about $29.99, which both Muscle & Strength and Vitamin Shoppe have it listed for. I found it for $24.99 through IllPumpYouUp, but you're paying a little over $1 a serving on average since the product comes with 25 servings. For $30, One More Rep is worth every penny. Since most pre-workouts tend to hover around that price range and some cost even more for not even a fraction of what BPI is giving you here, I have zero gripes with this price range.

      Side Effects

      As mentioned earlier, I noticed a little bit of nausea when using the product on a near empty stomach. Not sure why, but I think it's my bodies reaction to Yohimbine based on experiences with other products containing it. Other than that, I got nothing else.

      Conclusion

      Boy, did BPI get it right. My hopes weren't all that low to begin with, but this knocked almost every expectation I had near out of the park. You can't expect insane energy out of this that will have you throwing 45lb plates around your gym, but it's the perfect amount that allows you to focus in & kill those training sessions. I have an issue with the Energy Proprietary blend but that doesn't stop me from saying that One More Rep is a redemption product from BPI in the pre-workout category, and a huge contender for best new pre-workout product so far in 2018.

      A big thank you again to BPI & SR Trooper Program for giving me this opportunity!



      Overall
      Overall
      5.0
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      6.5
      Value
      Value
      4.0
      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to VMI Sports for sending it out!
      (Show run details )
        August 1, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Interesting Flavor
      • Increased Pump At Two Scoops
      • Improved Vascularity At Two Scoops
      • Prop Blend
      • Expensive At Two Scoop Dosages
      • Under Dosed Ingredients
      • Low Benefits
      • Too Expensive

      Introduction

      I want to kick this off with a huge thank you to both the Trooper Program here at SR & VMI Sports for supplying me with a full container of Vasogen!

      VMI Sports Vasogen is a Non-Stim Pump based pre-workout, designed to increase Nitric Oxide production which we can all thank for the insane vscularity and muscle pumps we love so much. Vasogen, while unfortunately utilizing a proprietary blend, is an extremely simply designed product, utilizing only 6 ingredients in it's "Swell Matrix Blend". I used Vasogen both on it's own & mixed in with a pre-workout, on both low & hi...

      Introduction

      I want to kick this off with a huge thank you to both the Trooper Program here at SR & VMI Sports for supplying me with a full container of Vasogen!

      VMI Sports Vasogen is a Non-Stim Pump based pre-workout, designed to increase Nitric Oxide production which we can all thank for the insane vscularity and muscle pumps we love so much. Vasogen, while unfortunately utilizing a proprietary blend, is an extremely simply designed product, utilizing only 6 ingredients in it's "Swell Matrix Blend". I used Vasogen both on it's own & mixed in with a pre-workout, on both low & high carb days to really see how well this product performs under all scenarios, and found myself really disappointed after a few days using a single serving at how little the product actually helped. It wasn't until I bumped up to two scoops that I saw a noticeable increase in pump and muscular endurance, which turned this 30 serving tub into less than half of that after a few days of use. Those two scoops though played no games, and after just a few warm up sets my pump hit hard & kept me full until well after my workout ended.

      What makes up this "Swell Matrix Blend" exactly? Let's find out.

      Ingredient Profile

      Before we reach our proprietary blend, let's breakdown all above it:

      Calories: 4
      Carbohydrates: 1g
      Niacin (Vitamin B3) (As Niacinamide): 10mg
      Chloride: 61mg
      Sodium: 39mg
      L-Taurine: 2g

      Before we even get to the actual pump matrix, Vasogen is supplying us with both Chloride & Sodium, which are both good sources of electrolytes. Don't let that scare you away! Just keep your daily water intake high as you should and let the Sodium do it's thing. Now we dig into the "Pump Matrix", a 1.15g total prop blend consisting of six ingredients. Kicking it off is both Hawthorn & Schizandra Berry Powder. Both are natural herbs which have been shown to increase Nitric Oxide, but Schizandra playing a bigger role in cognitive function. Theobromine is a close relative to caffeine, but doesn't ignite the nervous system quite like caffeine does, playing a bigger role in Nitric Oxide production. The final three ingredients are Agmapure (Agmatine Sulfate), Pine Bark Extract, and ViNitroX, which is a combination of Grape and Apple Polyphenols. Every ingredient in this matrix is designed to give you the most wicked pump possible, with a few showing a lending hand in focus & energy. Did it have to be a proprietary blend though?!

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      At both the single serving and two scoop servings, Vasogen tastes really good. I was supplied with the cleverly named Hawaiian Pump which I enjoyed sipping on during my drive to the gym. There were a few cases of some powder being left behind after drinking it, but that only happened with one of my shaker bottles. I used it twice with this product and both times found that, but never found any lingering powder with any other of my bottles. Just as a test, I mixed one scoop of Vasogen in a standard glass and mixed it with a spoon in which everything blended perfectly together.

      Dosing is one of the biggest downfalls with this product, a single scoop is giving you only a total of 1.15g of actual pump ingredients. Yes you're getting the dose of Sodium & Chloride with that, but there really isn't much going on here. It's a relatively small scoop and there was such a big difference when bumping up to two scoops, it makes me wonder why this isn't dosed higher. The potential is right there & I really love the contents but there just isn't enough in here to warrant using a single scoop.

      Effectiveness

      For the first few days of using Vasogen by itself, I didn't really notice any improvements in my pump. I would warm up as I always do, pushing as much blood & nutrients as I can into the working muscle group, but nothing really wowed me. I had a decent little pump from the warm ups but much like I always have to when not using a pump product, I really had to keep the rest times short to make sure I stayed full. It wasn't until I bumped it up to two scoops where I saw a huge improvement, and I really began enjoying Vasogen from that moment on. Man did the pump come on quick, right in the middle of those warm up sets I could feel the blood rushing through my body and filling up the target muscle group without really forcing it. Vascularity increased shortly after and by the time I finished my first exercise, I was as full as I could be. I trained with both short and long rest times to test how long I could keep the pump up, and no matter if it was 45 seconds or 4 minutes, I never once felt the need to pump back up as I did without using the product. I will say that some days it took a little longer to kick it than other, which was to be expected, but on a few occasions it took almost an hour after drinking it to really feel the pump kick in. There's so many factors contributing to that though, I can't blame the product for that, but I feel the need to mention it.

      Value

      It took some digging, but I found a 30 Serving of Vasogen for $29.99 through IllPumpYouUp, which is a huge difference from VMI's asking price of $42.99. After doing some research into the most popular Non-Stim pump products, Vasogen falls on the pricey side. There's a lot of other brands packing bigger formulas with more promising ingredients around the same price as the cheapest retailer for Vasogen, but again, if everyone had the same experience I had and needs two scoops of this stuff, you're paying $30 for 15 days worth, which doesn't sound too exciting. I've personally used stronger pump products for less money, but quality is going to change from person to person so if you have $30 burning a hole in your product, try it out.

      Side Effects

      No side effects noticed while using Vasogen.

      Conclusion

      At the end of the day, Vasogen is a good Pump product, at double the recommended serving. I understand that everybody is different and there's a lot of people who could benefit from the single serving, but to go from no difference in my pump to a drastic increase in blood flow by simply increasing by a scoop, is a big deal. Especially when it cuts itself from a month supply, to fifteen days worth of product. There's a ton of room for improvement by VMI, who says the product works best when combined with their Creatine and Pre-Workout, but that doesn't help anyone who's just looking for an overall good increase in their muscular pump. In my opinion, cut out the proprietary blends, up the dosing significantly and if that's all done well, the price might justify the product. Until then, it's just not really worth all that much as it stands.

      I just want to thank the SR.com Trooper Program & VMI Sports once again for sending me the product!



      Overall
      Overall
      8.0
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      8.5
      Value
      Value
      7.5
        July 16, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Insane Focus
      • Fantastic Pump
      • Increased Energy
      • Builds Muscle
      • A Tad Pricey

      Introduction

      I'll just admit it now, I've been staking out the 1-Up Nutrition website for quite a while now. I've done my fair share of adding products to the cart, filling out all necessary checkout information, and as soon as payment pops up I change my mind & pretend I was never even there. See, I'm a broke mid-20's male who just doesn't get many chances to dish out good money on supplements. Conveniently one day I was lifting with a friend who uses 1-Up, he spent a solid 5 sets talking up their BCAA's and how the pre-workout could probably raise him from the dead. Some time lat...

      Introduction

      I'll just admit it now, I've been staking out the 1-Up Nutrition website for quite a while now. I've done my fair share of adding products to the cart, filling out all necessary checkout information, and as soon as payment pops up I change my mind & pretend I was never even there. See, I'm a broke mid-20's male who just doesn't get many chances to dish out good money on supplements. Conveniently one day I was lifting with a friend who uses 1-Up, he spent a solid 5 sets talking up their BCAA's and how the pre-workout could probably raise him from the dead. Some time later as we were hogging parking lots just talking about nonsense, he reaches into his trunk and throws me an open bottle of 1-Up Pre-Workout, saying how he's only used a scoop of it and I can take it since he was leaving for vacation and had more at his house.

      Get yourself some good friends, folks.

      1-Up All-in-One Pre-Workout is exactly what it claims to be, all-in-one. It delivers high end energy, backs up all that talk with a good pump & endurance complex, with the cherry on top being the extremely effective focus complex. I stayed hesitant to make all these claims leading up to the end of my first week with it but this effectiveness carried all the way through until the last scoop, which is when I found myself staring at the bottom of an empty bottle wishing more would magically appear in front of me. With all these good things to say though, what exactly are all of these transparent complex's made up of? Let's dig a little deeper.

      Ingredient Profile

      Right off the bat one will notice the completely transparent ingredient label consisting of two complex's, the 'Pump Volumizer & Endurance Complex', and 'Energy & Focus Complex'. 1-Up deserves major points for breaking down every single ingredient individually, utilizing a half-scoop and full-scoop dosing chart. Half-scoop did the job for the first few days but the full-scoop really brings the noise, and is a noticeable jump compared to the half-scoop. The 'Pump and Endurance' blend is jam packed, featuring a full 8g of Citrulline Malate, 3.2g of Carnosyn Beta Alanine, 1g of Agmatine Sulfate & 200mg of L-Norvaline. The 8g of Citrulline Malate combined with Agmatine and L-Norvaline bring the pump fast and does a really great job of keeping it around. This is my first time using a product featuring L-Norvaline though, being a water dissolvable amino acid in the same family as the more popular Valine, it's a unique addition to this already packed complex. To say it's effectiveness added anything on top of the other ingredients is hard to say, but my pump was incredible time & time again so it must've been doing something!

      Our second complex is the locked & loaded 'Energy & Focus' blend, packing a huge punch with a 500mg Caffeine Complex. Instead of opting just for the Caffeine Anhydrous, which makes up for 400mg of the blend, we also get 50mg of Di-Caffeine Malate & 50mg of Caffeine Citrate. After all of your stimulants comes a well put together focus blend made up of Higenamine HCL, Hordenine HCL, L-Theanine, DMAE, N-MethylTyramine HCL & Rauwolfia Vomitoria Extract. If you genuinely find yourself having a hard time mentally dialing in at the gym, 1-Up covers all of it's bases when it comes to focus. Within the half hour after taking, I noticed a huge change in my mood and motivation, as well as the ability to really focus on my mind-muscle connection, which is something I always find myself struggling with.

      Taste/Mixability

      I constantly find myself comparing every Blue Raspberry supplement I take with Cellucor's Icy Blue Razz, being as that was the first pre-workout I ever used and the one I bought endlessly for the first few years of training. 1-Up's Blue Raspberry is really good, a little sweeter than most I've tried & a little tart, but I enjoyed it. I would sip on it during my drive and genuinely enjoyed it rather than what I usually do with most, which is down it as fast as I can to get it over with. I had almost no issues with mixability, with the exception of the few times I used a shaker without a mixing ball where I found a few small spots of powder clumping to the bottom edges. I blame that on more of using a damp bottle rather than an actual issue with the product. It always mixed smooth and never once did I find myself swallowing chunks of powder, not even after letting it sit in the water while I prepared to leave for the gym.

      Effectiveness

      1-Up plays no games when it comes to covering all of it's bases, the consistency of it's effectiveness throughout the 25 servings is awesome. I'd drink it on my way to the gym, and would start lifting anywhere from 25-30 minutes after finishing it. Believe it or not, this doesn't kick you in the butt like a lot of pre's do, instead the energy delivery is smooth. I would feel the itch & alertness begin to kick in during my warm ups, allowing me to finish them without going crazy and ease into my first exercise. It was about this time the energy hit it's peak, and it lasted well over 3/4 of all of my workouts, including leg day which always drains my energy as quickly as I drink the pre-workout. It was about the 75-minute mark where the energy would seem to drop off a little bit, but all while still keeping me alert and awake enough to finish the workout with zero issues. I was most impressed with how much clean energy carried a good chunk of the day following a morning workout, getting me through lunch and the first few hours of work with no noticeable tiredness or need to reach for the nearest energy drink.

      1-Up's ability to enhance focus & pump though is where I'm impressed the most, since I'm a firm believer that the two go hand-in-hand, I could always guarantee that my pump would blow up within the first few post-warm up sets. Combined with a well thought out warm up and exercise selection, 1-Up delivers blood flow quickly, and keeps it around the entire duration of the workout. I've tried a few other pre-workouts where I would notice a drop off muscle fullness eventually, but I never found that happening until a good while after my workout. I thought maybe it was just me keeping the volume high & the rest low, but one workout without using 1-Up quickly debunked that though. I typically struggle with focusing in enough on my mind-muscle connection as my mind seems to wander around quite a bit, but there was a noticeable difference in my ability to focus using this product. I felt mentally prepared for whatever the workout was going to hit me with & never noticed my mind wearing out as the workout reached it's final stages. On a few occasions, I felt good enough to extend my workout's by a few sets or even a few exercises if my training partner felt the need too, which is something I usually decline doing since I'm always so drained by the end of training. I'd say I enjoyed the product more for these cognitive effects and it's ability to increase blood & nutrition flow very quickly, more than I enjoy it as a stimulant. Typically I would judge a pre-workout based on how it physically kicked my butt in the gym, but 1-Up delivered a full package with just enough of everything to make me very happy.

      Value

      As I said earlier, I staked out 1-Up's website on multiple occasions waiting for the day I completed that checkout process. 1-Up Pre-workout runs your pockets for a hefty $54.99 regular price, but I noticed a lot of 10% coupons floating around the site which knocks it down to $49. At only 25 Servings if using full dose, you're paying more than $2 per serving if you're unlucky enough to not have a discount code. Half a scoop brings the product up to 50 servings which is more than suitable for your average gym-goer not looking to stim up like a mad man, and makes things a bit easier when it comes to that price tag. There are plenty of pre-workouts who will pack the punch and deliver a good pump for much cheaper than 1-Up, which makes it hard to say if the product is worth grabbing month after month without wearing out your wallet. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone in any sort of contest prep or extreme caloric deficit, as it's strong enough to really help fight the negatives that come along side training during those times, but it's worth a bottle or two if you're looking to try out something new from a relatively smaller brand.

      Side Effects

      No side effects were found personally by me, but I must say that L-Norvaline has been reported on a few occasions for raising blood pressure. Most nitric-oxide based ingredients aren't recommended for somebody dealing with blood pressure issues, but the few articles I read on Norvaline really made it a point more than I've noticed when researching most N.O. ingredients.

      Conclusion

      1-Up really surprised me here, I can't come up with a single negative experience over the 24 days I used the product. The price is pretty hefty but much like the packaging claims, it's an all-in-one pre-workout that executes extremely well. If you can handle the 500 total milligrams of caffeine that come with the full scoop serving, there should be no reason not to have some incredible training sessions while using 1-Up. If you are hesitant about dishing out the cash, you can request sample packs via the chat option on the brands website, which I did to try out some of their other products which I hope stand up to the same effectiveness as their pre-workout. In the famous words of my friend who makes enough money to give this stuff away, "it will raise you from the dead".


        July 2, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Increased Energy
      • Proprietary Blend
      • Bad Mixability
      • Not Effective
      • Bad Taste
      • Too Expensive

      Introduction

      Everybody involved in the supplement industry appreciates & accepts innovation, there comes a time when we all get tired of drinking the same recycled flavors that crash over the industry in trend waves. One brand does it, and all follow with intent to be better than the last. As more people flock into the world of fitness & health, supplement industries have to work their hardest to continue delivering new and innovative flavors in an attempt to stay relevant and appease to everybody's wants. I don't know who asked for Soda flavored BCAA's, but we got them. BSN isn't ...

      Introduction

      Everybody involved in the supplement industry appreciates & accepts innovation, there comes a time when we all get tired of drinking the same recycled flavors that crash over the industry in trend waves. One brand does it, and all follow with intent to be better than the last. As more people flock into the world of fitness & health, supplement industries have to work their hardest to continue delivering new and innovative flavors in an attempt to stay relevant and appease to everybody's wants. I don't know who asked for Soda flavored BCAA's, but we got them. BSN isn't the first to do it, believe it or not. BPI Sports released their Soft Drink BCAA line at the end of 2017, bringing forth decent flavoring and even topping it off with fizz so that way if you filled your shaker cup a little too much it was guaranteed to explode like a shaken up Soda bottle. Talk about being authentic.

      Now we have BSN's entry to the Soda flavored world, AminoX Soda Series. First released in Europe to a very accepting & loving crowd, AminoX appeared in the states with three flavors: Dr Amino, Cherry Cola, and Cola. Thanks to a BOGO sale, I was able to snag all three at a nifty price. I was very curious, but also scared at the same time. It seemed my gut feeling of fear turned out correct though, as AminoX is one of the worst BCAA products I've ever tasted. If you were to pour a glass of Cola, and leave it sit on your kitchen counter for a week, I imagine it'd taste a lot like all three flavors of AminoX. The sad part is, this isn't an awful BCAA product. We get a hefty 10g Amino blend along with 150mg of caffeine per serving, which seems like it'd be the perfect pick me up recovery product. With two proprietary blends though, what else is in it?

      Ingredient Profile

      AminoX Soda Series features a 2 scoop serving size, which amounts to a total of 15g of product per serving. Unfortunately though, we get two proprietary blends, the first of which is an "Amino Acid Interfusion Blend". Topping off this first blend are your three BCAA's, Leucine, Valine, and Iso-Leucine. If you don't already know, the recommended dosing of a BCAA blend is anywhere from 5-10g. Since the three heavy hitters aren't the only thing in this blend though, I just assume we're getting at the least five grams. Next on the list we have L-Alanine, better known as Beta Alanine. Again, I can't imagine we're getting very much of it in the blend but they follow it up with L-Taurine & L-Citrulline, both of which are "pump enhancers", increasing blood flow to the muscle therefore enhancing nutrient flow and balance.

      The 2nd proprietary blend is a relatively small blend at 2g, starting off with Sodium Bicarbonate. Outside of the caffeine, Sodium Bicarbonate is great pre-workout since it has the ability to balance pH in the blood and muscle tissues, reducing the overall acidity levels in your blood. Following that up is Citric Acid which the body can use to process fats & carbohydrates, which people believe could lead to weight loss benefits if dosed properly. We round off the blend with Malic Acid & Cholecalciferol, Malic Acid most known for it's ability to boost endurance as well as delay fatigue, and that big fancy word mentioned earlier is just Vitamin D. Since the majority of people are deficient in Vitamin D, it can play a huge role in cardiovascular health and recovery. All of this is nice and all, but it's all hidden away in these awful proprietary blends. We can assume it's all properly dosed, but who knows? The only thing not tucked away is the 150mg of Caffeine we get per serving.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      If you're like me, than you're probably using your amino's more than just in the gym. I always make sure to throw a full serving in my gallon when at work or out for the day, and I've never had a worse experience getting all of my water in than the time I was using AminoX. Taste is what kills this product for me since it seems like they skipped the taste testing process in an effort to quickly get this to market faster. You know when the syrup runs out of the soda machine at your favorite restaurant and it comes out tasting like 90% water with that hint of syrup? That's the best way to describe every single sip of AminoX. On top of that, if you don't shake your shaker between each sip, you end up swallowing some of the powder which, if you peer hard enough into the cup, you can see floating around in there. Yes, I know a good BCAA product is supposed to have some floaties, but after the letting the two scoop serving sit in my cup for a little while I noticed a good amount of powder settling to the bottom. I would shake it up some more and within a few minutes, it was back to coating. Also, please don't ever leave this stuff in your shaker cup unless you feel like buying a new one. It took three runs of the dishwasher to finally use my shaker bottle again.

      Effectiveness

      I went through three tubs of AminoX, drinking one serving during the day while at work and another while training. When combining it with a good pre-workout supplement, it didn't do much as far as extending my energy levels. I felt like the pre had over-powered it every single time leaving it just as a basic BCAA product. It gave me a little boost when a full serving was taken before my workout, but with unknown levels of Beta Alanine that I didn't feel anyways, it never made me feel ready to workout. It may have added a little pep in my step but there was zero increase in pump, or anything else that would allow this to be labeled as a pre-workout. When used outside of the gym though, I found myself actually enjoying the little energy boost it gave me while out and about. Since I couldn't stand drinking it in a gallon, I would toss two scoops in a shaker bottle and down it before I left the house. I found it a much better option than stopping off to buy an energy drink and if I really needed a kick, I'd just throw a few extra scoops into the cup.

      As far as recovery goes, there wasn't anything about AminoX that made it standout above all the other BCAA products I've used. There was no real improvement in recovery time or even muscular endurance when used intra-training. In fact, I feel it did nothing more than really flavor my water. I hadn't used a BCAA product in a few weeks before picking this up and it saddens me to say that I almost felt nothing for the month and a half I used the product.

      Value

      A full bottle of AminoX Soda Series gives you 20 servings when the directions are followed & has an average price of about $20. Just for perspective, BSN's standard AminoX gives you 30 servings for about $22. It doesn't have any caffeine but the few dollars difference makes up for it since they taste better and you'll get more life out of it. Across the board, prices for caffeinated versions of other brands BCAA vary by only a couple of dollars. There are plenty of brands though that aren't using proprietary blends, giving you more BCAA's, caffeine, and servings relatively close to the cost of AminoX Soda Series which basically means that you should dish out the few extra bucks and get a product you'll actually enjoy drinking.

      Conclusion

      At the end of the day, it's time to hit the drawing boards again. BSN's standard AminoX is one of my favorite BCAA products and if they can get that flavoring down with this amount of caffeine, there'd be zero complaints coming from me. The crazy thing is that the Soda Series could've worked really well had they had a transparent label and improved the flavoring profile by a ton, or just find some other soda flavors that are a little easier to fake. When all is done though, AminoX did nothing for me on all aspects. With zero improvements in recovery & muscular endurance, choking this product down for the little 150mg of caffeine just isn't worth it when there are so many other brands with a better product at a better value. This makes me wonder though, what are they going to think of next?



      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?!




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