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Xcmiler

SR TROOPer


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REVIEWS (35)

Reviews by Xcmiler



Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Magnum Nutraceuticals for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  September 21, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Value
  • Improved Recovery
  • Light On Stomach
  • Gluten Free
  • Lactose Free
  • Okay Taste
  • A Little Pricey

Introduction

I have seen Magnum Nutraceuticals products over the years but never tried them. They always seemed to have interesting profiles especially there preworkout, Limitless. So, when they put up their protein powder for review I wanted to try it to get a feel for the company.

Ingredient Profile

Each scoop of the salted freakin' caramel of Magnum Nutraceuticals Quattro has 140 calories, 1g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, and 30g of protein. The protein source in this product is a blend of four different whey protein isolates. You have whey protein isolate (90%), mi...

Introduction

I have seen Magnum Nutraceuticals products over the years but never tried them. They always seemed to have interesting profiles especially there preworkout, Limitless. So, when they put up their protein powder for review I wanted to try it to get a feel for the company.

Ingredient Profile

Each scoop of the salted freakin' caramel of Magnum Nutraceuticals Quattro has 140 calories, 1g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, and 30g of protein. The protein source in this product is a blend of four different whey protein isolates. You have whey protein isolate (90%), milk protein isolate (90%), micellar casein "isolate" (it says isolate on the side of the bottle but not in ingredients) and egg protein isolate. I like how there are multiple sources of protein but I will note I did not notice a difference over just straight whey protein isolate. The rest of the ingredients are standard to what you would find in a protein powder. I will note that some of the ingredients are labeled as organic such as organic cane sugar and flaxseed. This also has bromelain for digestion and is sweetened with sucralose. One of the great things about this product is that it is lactose free, gluten free, and nut free. I personally like the ingredient profile especially since it has a slightly higher protein count.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I received the salted freakin' caramel version of Quattro. I would always use a blender bottle with a blender ball and after mixing it would have a slightly chalky vanilla caramel smell. When you first drink you are hit with an almost milky vanilla taste that is followed by a salty taste (in a good way) then a caramel aftertaste. I will be honest I thought it was just okay but bear in mind I prefer chocolate for a protein powder flavor. So, if you love vanilla and caramel this could be worth a try for you. The flavor was by no means bad it was just not for me. I will say it definitely was above average and I would say better than Nutrabio flavoring. As far as mixability goes, it mixed fine but there were some particles still left over I could feel as I drank it. As far as dosing goes, I really just used it to fill my protein macros so it really depended, it usually was one scoop a day. I will note that if you use more than 8 ounces of water I felt like it was too watered down, I usually stuck with 6-8 ounces.

Effectiveness

Magnum Nutraceuticals Quattro was definitely an effective protein powder. While taking it I noticed that I was recovering faster after my workouts. I have been doing an FST-7 workouts and I have been extremely sore. This product definitely helped me recover and gave me a clean protein source to use right after the gym. It was also light enough on my stomach that I was able to go running shortly (20-30 minutes) after taking it. Other protein powders will weigh me down and I will feel sluggish. The recovery aspect of the product really shined when I went on vacation without supplements. I continued with my training at a hotel gym and noticed I was a lot more sore than I usually am. This leads me to believe that Quattro was helping me recover. Granted, it could have been my diet was a little lax on vacation and I was not meeting my protein goals. But, still if this was the case then Quattro would still be effective in helping me reach my target protein macros.

I mentioned previously how light on the stomach this protein was. I did bring this on a long distance bike ride and drank it during the ride. With other proteins I have done this with I would sometimes feel weighed down and with this I never was. In terms of satiety, after two hours I was usually hungry again. Overall, a solid protein choice.

Value

Magnum Nutraceuticals Quattro currently goes for $38.71 for a 2 pound tub and $70.99 for a 4 pound tub on bodybuilding.com. This makes it $1.55 per serving or $1.39 per serving for the 4 pound tub. I will note that the flavors available in the 4 pound tubs are less than the 2 pound tubs. Comparing this to Nutrabio whey protein isolate, that retails for $39.99, which is $1.38 per serving for a 2 pound container. There are other isolates out there that are cheaper such as Iso-100, which is about $1.11 per serving ($0.99 if larger tub). However, many are not gluten free, lactose free, nut free, and kosher like Quattro is. I am unsure if the nut free means it is made in a nut free facility or contains no nut products. I will note that I rarely see magnum nutraceuticals products go on sale. I think this product is a little pricey but I would pay it depending on my supplement budget for the month.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Overall, Magnum Nutraceuticals Quattro is an effective protein supplement. It is on the pricey side but it is high quality. It has some unique features being lactose free, gluten free, nut free and kosher. The taste of the salted freakin' caramel was just okay but vanilla and caramel lovers may really enjoy it. I would like to thank Magnum Nutraceuticals for sending out the product.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Eternal Labs for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  September 17, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Pump
  • Increased Vascularity
  • Increased Endurance
  • Increased Strength
  • Some Ingredients Need To Be Dosed Higher
  • Not Widely Available

Introduction

Recently, I have been looking more into supplements that are naturally sweetened so when I saw Eternal Labs put up their pump supplement it intrigued me. I can't remember the last pump supplement I have taken but I wanted to give it a go. I will note that this is actually marketed as a stimulant free pre workout. Here is the review for Juicy by Eternal Labs.

Ingredient Profile

At first glance one might think that Juicy had a proprietary blend. It does not and lists the ingredients and their amounts on the label. There are 30 servings (scoops) in each tub a...

Introduction

Recently, I have been looking more into supplements that are naturally sweetened so when I saw Eternal Labs put up their pump supplement it intrigued me. I can't remember the last pump supplement I have taken but I wanted to give it a go. I will note that this is actually marketed as a stimulant free pre workout. Here is the review for Juicy by Eternal Labs.

Ingredient Profile

At first glance one might think that Juicy had a proprietary blend. It does not and lists the ingredients and their amounts on the label. There are 30 servings (scoops) in each tub and each serving is 5.2 g. This product is naturally sweetened with organic stevia, which I liked. The ingredients start out with 2.5 g of Hydromax (65% glycerol powder). I will not there is a small typo on the label and it actually says "power." Glycerol powder has been shown to increase aerobic and anaerobic performance. In addition, it also aids in muscle pumps. There is one downside though as it can increase water retention. The next ingredient is Agmass Agmatine in a 1 g dosage. I really like the size of this dosage as many pump supplements only include 500 mg and here you are getting double that. Agmatine has multiple uses but the main benefit here is increased NO production. The next ingredient is 1 g of l-citrulline. I will be honest this is a pretty skimp dosage of citrulline. I know personally I do not notice much from l-citrulline unless it is at least 3 g. The major benefit to l-citrulline is an increase in NO production leading to more pumps. This is followed by 500 mg of beet root extract. The main benefit here is an increase in NO production due to the nitrate content of the beets. This was an interesting ingredient as I have experimented with beet juice in the past. The final ingredient is 200 mg of sodium chloride. This is salt, which can increase vascularity at least that is what I noticed with it especially in my forearms. I do like the ingredient profile but I do wish that it had slightly more l-citrulline other than that I was happy with it.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

The flavor I received was peach mango and it was okay. You could definitely tell that it was sweetened with stevia. I felt like the flavor was almost a 50/50 to mango and peach. It was definitely above average for a naturally sweetened product. It had a different texture and was thicker than most pre workout products I have taken. I am presuming it is due to the glycerol as there seemed to be small floating particles I could feel in my mouth while drinking. It was by no means an issue just something I noticed. It did foam slightly when mixing but not enough to cause an issue. As far as dosing goes, I would either mix it with my pre workout or drink it right after. I stuck to one scoop and never saw the need to go above that even when taking this as a solo product with caffeine.

Effectiveness

The two major claims of Eternal Labs Juicy is that in boosts strength and performance. I want to look at both claims and whether they were meet. Over the course of the bottle I noticed that I definitely got stronger. At the start of this product I started back up on an FST-7 type workout and noticed my strength dipped slightly due to increase in reps. As time went on I got stronger and eventually got close to where I was before starting FST-7. Now, some of that was probably diet and time but I do think this helped. For example, I usually jump 10 pounds on cable flyes for each set but adding in seven sets (was 3-4 previously) this was not the case. By the end of the container I was able to jump by 7.5 pounds. In addition, I don't know about you all but when I have a really good pump in the gym I just feel stronger. So, I think this helped in that regard as well since pump wise this was great.

In terms of endurance, if you have ever read my previous reviews you would know that I run quite frequently. One of the major things I noticed was an increase in hydration. In the Summer months, I always get drained when I run due to sweating. I noticed when taking Juicy I was thirsty less during my runs. This in turn let me run farther due to an increase in endurance. I only noticed this on long distance runs. On sprints (HIIT), I did not notice too much of an endurance increase. I can only presume I was sweating more during HIIT and even with the boost from Juicy it wasn't enough. I will note my legs did look a lot more pumped after my runs especially my calves. Overall, I was happy with the strength and endurance I had while taking this product.

Value

Juicy retails for $39.99 making it $1.33 per serving. Comparing this to other similar pump products Core Nutritionals Pump retails for 39.99 for 28 servings making it $1.43 per serving. Man Sports Pump Powder retails for 29.99 and is $1.00 per serving. Hemavol is 29.99 for 16 servings making is $1.87 per serving. So, Juicy kind of falls in the middle of price for similar products in the market. If I was looking to buy a pump product Juicy would be one that I would look at. I think the major thing is to look at the ingredients and see which you personally prefer. For me personally, I don't think I would get a pump product as I would rather use my supplement budget on something else or even food.

Side Effects

The only side effect I noticed was a slight increase in water retention. This retention ceased when completed the container. This was expected based on my past experiences with glycerol.

Conclusion

Eternal Labs Juicy is an effective stimulant free preworkout/pump product. I noticed an increase in strength and endurance in both the gym and on the trail. In terms of value, it is competitively priced falling in the mid range of similar products. As far as taste goes it was just okay but above average for naturally sweetened products. This is definitely worth a try as a stimulant free pre workout and/or a pump product as an addition to a preworkout. Thank you for Eternal Labs for sending out the product and I apologize that the review took so long to finish.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Vital 4U® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 16, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Convenient
  • Increased Energy
  • Great Pick Me Up Alternative
  • Versatile
  • Prop Blend
  • Did Not Like The Taste
  • PWO Components May Be Underdosed
  • Mediocre Taste
  • No Sugar Free Version

Introduction

After having a good experience with VITAL 4U multivitamin, I wanted to give their ready to drink (RTD) energy supplement a try. I am always looking to try different products especially RTD ones such as this. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Each package of Screamin Energy Ultra comes in 12 ready to drink (RTD) pouches. Each pouch is a single serving. I will note that this product does contain 13g of carbohydrates from sucrose. I originally missed that it had the sucrose but after tasting it, I noticed a sugary aftertaste and saw it on the ingredien...

Introduction

After having a good experience with VITAL 4U multivitamin, I wanted to give their ready to drink (RTD) energy supplement a try. I am always looking to try different products especially RTD ones such as this. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Each package of Screamin Energy Ultra comes in 12 ready to drink (RTD) pouches. Each pouch is a single serving. I will note that this product does contain 13g of carbohydrates from sucrose. I originally missed that it had the sucrose but after tasting it, I noticed a sugary aftertaste and saw it on the ingredient panel. So, just be aware of it, those 13g of carbohydrates equate to 50 calories. The first vitamin ingredient is thiamin at a 1.5 mg dosage, which is 100% daily value. Thiamine can help with metabolism, immunity, and cardiovascular support. The next vitamin is niacin at 10 mg, which is 50% daily value. Niacin can aid in ED, skin health, brain function and improve cholesterol levels. The next ingredient is vitamin b6 at 2 mg dosage, which is 100% daily value. Vitamin B6 can improve mood, support the brain and eye health, and help with high blood pressure. The last vitamin ingredient is vitamin b-12 in the cyanocobalamin form at 24 mcg, which is 400% daily value. The main benefit to vitamin b-12 is increased energy levels, mood boost, and digestion aid. The vitamin ingredients in this product were pretty well dosed.

After the vitamin ingredients, you have alpha-GPC at a 25 mg dose. This particular ingredient can aid power output, an acute increase in growth hormone, and reduction in cognitive decline. The main issue here is that the 25 mg dose is way below effective dosages. The most common dosages used are 300-600 mg with 1200 mg being used for cognitive decline. I have to doubt that this will be much at a 25 mg dosage. The proprietary "Ultra Power Blend" follows this ingredient at a 551 mg dose. This consists of taurine, caffeine, L-Arginine AKG 2:1 and yohimbine HCL. The main issue with the proprietary blend is half of it is underdosed. There is 185 mg of caffeine in the product, which leave 366 mg left in the proprietary blend. At 366 mg the only other ingredient that could be close to clinical dosage is yohimbine HCL. As for the taurine and l-arginine AKG 2:1, they are much underdosed and will not have much benefit at this dosage. Overall, the ingredient profile is underwhelming but that was rather expected for RTD products. Most RTD products especially energy ones are underdosed in comparison to powdered versions.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Screamin Energy ULTRA comes in French caramel coffee as its only flavor. The flavor was honestly just okay. It definitely had a coffee flavor but I did not get much caramel. When you first take it, you are hit with a coffee flavor that dissipates into this odd sugary chemical type taste. I rather expected this based on similar packaged products I had. Overall, I did not look forward to taking this but the taste was bearable. Mixability does not come into play with this product but I will mention that it comes in 12 RTD pouches. As far as dosing goes, I really used one pouch as a coffee alternative and a boost before hiking or running at the park.

Effectiveness

For an RTD energy product, I found this to be effective. It was a good coffee replacement that I felt had versatile uses. As I mentioned in previous reviews I do a lot of running at a park and this was perfect for that. I would usually take this on the way to the park or when I got there. It would kick in rather quickly (on empty stomach) and would last for the duration of my run. I noticed that I was able to run a little faster and I was not out of breath as quickly with just coffee. The energy would last through the entire run and would continue for about two hours after. I did try this before a weight-training workout and I thought it was just okay. I would not use this as a preworkout replacement but if you are only using coffee this could be a step up.

There was another way I found this to be effective and that was the convenience of the product. I was able to have an energy boost without the need for water or a bottle. I went camping overnight and this product came in handy without needing to heat water for coffee. I also had a spur of the moment workout where this came in handy. This honestly is one of those products to have on hand when you need convenient energy but the price is high.

Value

The cheapest that I could find this was from Vital4U website where it retails for $21.00 with free shipping. This comes to $1.75 per pouch. This is on the expensive side. To put it into perspective I pay $.43 for coffee pods and $.80 for espresso pods. For a few cents more, you can get Pre Kaged ($1.80) or Pre Jym ($1.78). However, all of these you would need water to mix. The value comes down to whether or not you want to convenience of the RTD pouch. Personally, I could see myself having a case that I would take if I were going camping or long hikes.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Screaming Energy Ultra is an effective energy boosting product that is very convenient. As far as performance goes it is more effective than coffee. However, it comes at a high price that could potentially be worth it if you want the convenience of the RTD pouch. I would like to thank Vital4U for sending the product and the Trooper Program for coordinating it.

-Xcmiler


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

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Natural Source Of Caffeine
  • Stevia
  • Good Taste
  • Increased Energy
  • Builds Muscle
  • Slight Increase In Endurance
  • Not Widely Available
  • Half Clinical Dosage Of Beta Alanine

Introduction

One of the great benefits to being a Trooper is the opportunity to try out newer products. Awhile back, I was looking through the bodybuilding.com Train Magazine and saw an ad for AthElite Train and it caught my eye. The profile looked intriguing to me with it being sweetened with stevia and including l-theanine along with caffeine. So, when I had a chance to give it a try I claimed it and here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

AthElite Train comes in a relatively small can with 21 servings. Each serving is about 18 grams and they recommend one scoop per da...

Introduction

One of the great benefits to being a Trooper is the opportunity to try out newer products. Awhile back, I was looking through the bodybuilding.com Train Magazine and saw an ad for AthElite Train and it caught my eye. The profile looked intriguing to me with it being sweetened with stevia and including l-theanine along with caffeine. So, when I had a chance to give it a try I claimed it and here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

AthElite Train comes in a relatively small can with 21 servings. Each serving is about 18 grams and they recommend one scoop per day. I will note that one-scoop servings does have 30 calories and 7 carbohydrates and it appears to be from dextrose. The first is ingredient is 220 mg of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and can aid the immune system and in recovery. The next ingredient is niacin at 35 mg. The main benefit of niacin is vascularity and a potential increase in HGH production. It then includes vitamin B6 at a 15 mg dosage, which can help with homocysteine levels, improve mood, and blood pressure. The last vitamin ingredient is vitamin b-12 at 100 mcg in the cyancobalamin form, which can aid in energy production, help the digestive system, and can boost mood. Following that is has several minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium I presume to aid in hydration.

Following the vitamin ingredients, you have several of the main ingredients you find in your traditional pre workout. The first is 3g of fermented l-leucine. L-leucine is one of the branch chain amino acids that can aid in muscle recovery. In essence, it works by competing with the uptake of tryptophan in the brain when working out. This can lead to a reduction in fatigue, which in turn can help your performance in the gym. Following this, you have 3g of micronized creatine monohydrate. This is a good dosage and it is at the dosage I use when I take creatine. The main benefit to creatine is a rise in creatine levels, which in turn can aid in energy production within the body. Following this, you have 1.6g of carnosyn beta alanine. I was surprised by this dosage, as it is half the clinical dosage. I looked at AthElite website and it appears they are coming out with other products (intra and post) so I am presuming the other 1.6g might be in those. This is not surprising since both Kaged Muscle and Jym do this as well. Beta alanine can blunt fatigue and work as an acid buffer. The next ingredient is nitrosigine at the clinical 1.5 g dosage. This ingredient can aid in NO production and has cumulative effects overtime. Following this, you have 500 mg of n-acety-l-carnitine, which can aid with recovery and energy production. The one thing I will mention is that the clinical dosage is 600-2500 mg, which you are only getting 500 mg here. Next, you have green coffee bean extract yielding 250 mg of caffeine. This form of caffeine is from a natural source as opposed to synthetic. Personally, I prefer natural sources of caffeine, as I feel better on them and crash less. This is followed by 250 mg of l-theanine, which can aid in focus and concentration as well as smoothing out the feel caffeine. Then there is 10 mg of black pepper fruit extract, which is supposed to help with absorption of the ingredients. Lastly, there is 5 mg of huperzia serrata aerial parts extract yielding 50 mcg of huperzine a. Huperzine A can aid in focus while you are working out. Overall, I like the ingredient profile but I would have liked to see a full dosage of beta alanine and another pump agent.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

AthElite Train currently only comes in one flavor and that is cherry limeade and I found it to be quite good. It tasted almost identical to Pre JYM cherry limeade but had those stevia undertones. Definitely be aware that you can tell that this is sweetened with stevia. Personally, this is not a problem with me as it is something I look for at times. As far as mixability goes, it mixed fairly well but there was some grit on the bottom. I am presuming it is from the micronized creatine monohydrate. I would just give it a quick mix every time I took a sip. Just to note I would always mix it in a blender bottle with 20 ounces of water and ice. As far as dosing goes, I just did one scoop a day before either my weight training or cardio. I did not feel the need to split the dosage with this product as I did with other pre workouts I have tried.

Effectiveness

For the effectiveness, I decided to discuss four areas that AthElite Nutrition claim that Train can improve. They are intense energy, heightened focus, improved muscular endurance, and pump. When I took this, I really liked how it made me feel, I was not overly energized and it was smooth. I would feel it about 20-30 minutes are taking it and would last for about two hours and I would drop slowly. I never felt a crash off this and I still had some energy that I believe benefited me when I would go to the park after the gym. In this regard, I think it out performed other pre workouts such as Dymatize PWO and Pre Jym. Both of those I felt had a harsh caffeine feel and I would crash if taking full dosage acutely. I also noticed that I had a lot more focus over when I would just train with coffee. I would be more focused on my workout and less about everything going on outside the gym (or park). The focus felt similar to other pre workouts I have taken.

I recently added in more supersets and higher reps to my workouts so endurance has been an issue. I felt that this pre workout aided with endurance but it was not as pronounced as other preworkouts. I would really feel the burn sometimes when I was running with this product and I think that had to do with half the clinical dosage of beta alanine. It still definitely helped but not as much as other preworkouts or bulk beta alanine has in the past. The pump with this product was average. It was definitely a step above coffee but it was more of a flat pump if that makes any sense. I was definitely pumped but not to the level as I have been in the past using some other pre workouts. In recent memory, pre kaged gave me the best pump. This was still definitely good but not as good as others were in the past. Overall, this was an effective pre workout but I do wish it had more beta alanine and perhaps an additional pump agent.

Value

In terms of value, it currently retails for $45.00 from AthElite Nutrition website making it $2.14 per serving. However, when ordering direct you can get 20% off and free shipping bringing it to $36.00 per bottle at $1.71 per serving. At this price, it is much more competitive and has decent value. Comparing this to other pre workouts, Pre Kaged goes for $1.80 per serving and Pre Jym is $1.78 per serving. There are a few differences between these, most notably JYM and Kaged use creatine HCL while Train uses creatine monohydrate. Both Kaged and Jym use citrulline or citrulline malate as their pump agent while Train uses nitrosigine. The big thing is to look at the profiles and see the ingredients you would rather have in your pre workout. Personally, I would probably interchange between Pre-Kaged and Train, as I prefer natural caffeine sources.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

I enjoyed my time with AthElite Train and will be trying it again along with the other supplements AthElite Nutrition releases. I do wish that it had a full clinical dosage of beta alanine and maybe another pump agent. However, this product was effective for increased energy, focus, endurance, and pumps. It may not be the best out there but it definitely was above average. In my eyes, the value is there but I really think that with this product it is very subjective. I do recommend giving it a try. I would like to thank AthElite Nutrition for sending the product and the Trooper Program for coordinating it.

-Xcmiler


  August 3, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Comes In Three Bites
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value
  • Protein Bar Aftertaste
  • Sucralose
  • Dyes

Introduction

I am always willing to try different protein bars especially when they have a unique twist. So, after seeing several ads for the Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites I wanted to try them. So, here is the review of a box of birthday cake flavored bites.

Ingredient Profile

For the ingredient section, I am going to focus on the birthday cake flavor as that is the box I had. Just bear in mind that each flavor of the product has slightly different macros. The birthday cake flavor has 240 calories, 7g of fat (4g of saturated fat), 25g of carbohydrates, and 20g of protein...

Introduction

I am always willing to try different protein bars especially when they have a unique twist. So, after seeing several ads for the Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites I wanted to try them. So, here is the review of a box of birthday cake flavored bites.

Ingredient Profile

For the ingredient section, I am going to focus on the birthday cake flavor as that is the box I had. Just bear in mind that each flavor of the product has slightly different macros. The birthday cake flavor has 240 calories, 7g of fat (4g of saturated fat), 25g of carbohydrates, and 20g of protein. The protein source is a blend of milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolates, and milk protein isolates. The main thing I want to mention is this bar as many ingredients that are typical of standard protein bars. So, if someone was looking for a more" natural" bar similar to Luna, EPIC, or Strong Bars I would look elsewhere. While the cake bites, bars are great they have many artificial ingredients including dyes and sucralose. Personally, this is not an issue for me and I will most likely buy the product again.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I had a box of the birthday cake flavor and some individual bars of the red velvet flavor and both were quite good. Each individual package comes with three bites with all of them being a serving. They are about the size of a peppermint patty but a lot thicker. The birthday cake bite has sprinkles on the outside while the red velvet is solid white. The birthday cake has a distinct vanilla flavor when you first bite into it followed by a good representation of a cake flavor. I will note that the texture is very reminiscent of a protein bar. The box says that they are whipped but this did not seem the case to me. As for the red velvet, they have a white exterior with a red color inside. These had a similar texture and vanilla taste that the birthday cake bites had. However, they did have that simulated red velvet taste. Both were quite good but I think I prefer the birthday cake and any future boxes I order will be of those. I will note that these do have that protein bar aftertaste. Overall, they were quite good and I enjoyed them. As far as dosing goes, I usually just had a package a day but it depended on my macros. I do like how they come in three bites so I could always save some bites for later in the day.

Effectiveness

It is a challenge to rate the effectiveness of these as I only had one box. In addition, I look at protein bars and powders as food so noting a difference is difficult. I will say that having replaced a protein shake with these I did not notice a decrease in my baseline performance. This leads me to believe that this is an effective protein supplement. In previous reviews, I have mentioned that I will go the gym then to the park to run. I enjoyed having these so I could eat them on the way to the park. I noticed more energy than with my regular protein shake I would do. I figure that is probably due to the carbohydrates in the product. I felt like I was able to run a little longer and had a little more energy in reserve when I finished.

Optimum Nutrition markets these as a "sensible snack" and that is where I think the product is most effective. Before I started tracking my macros my biggest issue, was night eating and snacking. Once I began to track my macros, it was hard at times to not fall back into that routine of snacking/night eating. Using the Optimum Nutrition cake bites helped quite a bit. The main reason was they are split into three small servings. So, what I would is spilt up the bites and save some later in the day when I would want to eat past my macros. Since these were already portioned and factored into my daily macro totals, they were fine to eat and curbed my hunger. This is the major reason that I would buy these again and I think for this purpose they are definitely worth trying.

Value

In terms of value, these retail for $19.99 for 12 packs making them $1.67 per serving. However, I have seen these on sale quite a lot and currently on bodybuilding.com, they are 20% off making them $15.99 per box or $1.33 per serving. At this price, it is definitely worth it especially since one serving is portion to the three bites. In the past when I tried to portion regular protein, bars I would just end up eating the whole thing with these I did not. Comparing these to other bars, they are cheaper as most bars retail for $24.99 for 12 making them $2.08 per serving. FIT Crunch, OhYeah!, MyBar and several others are $24.99. I think the value is definitely high with the Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites are a unique take on the protein bar. The macros I felt were adequate for my needs but be aware that some flavors differ. They taste quite good but do have a protein bar aftertaste. They were most effective for curbing hunger as a small snack since each serving is split into three bites. In terms of value, they are cheaper than most protein bars and are frequently on sale. These are definitely worth a try if you are looking to try something different in the protein bar category.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to IdealRaw for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 22, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Caffeine Content Listed
  • Scoop
  • Organic
  • Increased Energy
  • Expensive
  • Silicon Dioxide

Introduction

One of the great things about the trooper program is the ability to try different and unique supplements. So, when IdealRaw (part of the Hut Group) put up their organic Matcha Tea I had to try it. I had heard about the unique benefits of matcha so I wanted to put it to the test. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Each container of IdealRaw Matcha Tea comes in 30 servings at 2.5g each. In each scoop, there are 5 calories, 0 fat, 1 carbohydrate, 0 protein, and 70mg of caffeine. It is important to note that this product contains a scoop, as most other matc...

Introduction

One of the great things about the trooper program is the ability to try different and unique supplements. So, when IdealRaw (part of the Hut Group) put up their organic Matcha Tea I had to try it. I had heard about the unique benefits of matcha so I wanted to put it to the test. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Each container of IdealRaw Matcha Tea comes in 30 servings at 2.5g each. In each scoop, there are 5 calories, 0 fat, 1 carbohydrate, 0 protein, and 70mg of caffeine. It is important to note that this product contains a scoop, as most other matcha products do not. In addition, some matchas do not make their caffeine content clear this one does. There are two ingredients and one is organic matcha green tea powder, which is culinary grade and silicone dioxcide. Before I go into the matcha I want to touch on the silicone dioxide. Silicone dioxcide is a natural compound of silicon and oxygen. It is present naturally in many foods we eat and is mostly used as a food additive. The primary purpose is to prevent clumping. I will note that studies on the safety of it show no health risk. I understand why IdealRaw put the silicone dioxide in the product but most other matcha products are pure with only one ingredient. I would have preferred a pure product.

Matcha tea is concentrated powdered green tealeaves rather than the loose green tea leaves in a bag like traditional tea. To my knowledge, there are two types of matcha tea they are ceremonial grade and culinary grade. IdealRaw uses culinary grade matcha tea. The major differences between them is ceremonial is strictly for drinking and has a sweeter mild flavor. Culinary grade can be used for drinking, cooking, and baking and has a less sweet taste. Matcha teas benefits are similar to that of green tea but is supposed to be enhanced since it is a concentrated version. It may help prevent certain cancers such as bladder, breast, and prostate. One example is a 22% lowered chance of breast cancer in women who drank green tea (1). Matcha tea can also aid in fat loss, recovery, energy booster and much more. I liked the ingredient profile especially the matcha tea as someone who regularly drinks regular green tea.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

In terms of taste, you have to be aware that when you buy matcha it is going to taste slightly different from regular green tea. Matcha has a very earthy taste, as it is ground tealeaves so you get that tea taste along with that grass like taste. It also is a lot richer and thicker than regular tea from teabags. I personally prefer matcha tea. I was able to mix this in cold water but you really have to stir. I mostly would put it in a blender bottle with the whisk ball and it mixed fairly well. There was always some residue on the bottom but I would shake up the bottle and that mixed it back into the liquid. As far as dosing goes, I used this as a coffee alternative. I normally would do a scoop or two throughout the day.

Effectiveness

It is hard to rate the effectiveness of this product since it does not really have a defined purpose as it has more general usage. So, I will rate it as a coffee alternative. Then I will talk about one aspect of the product that I felt over the course of the bottle. As a coffee alternative, I felt like this product was very effective. It gave me energy that lasted for several hours after taking it. The energy was not over the top as sometimes it is with coffee. Sometimes when I have coffee and espresso I will be hit with a caffeine rush and crash quickly. However, with the matcha tea it was a more stable energy that tapered off. I also used this before some cardio and I thought it was on par with coffee for that since my recent cardio has been more HIIT so it is shorter. Overall, matcha is something I would keep around to switch it up when I get bored of coffee on some days.

A major aspect of this I noticed was the energy I got from this was more calming in a sense. I was energized but it was much smoother. I think this had to do with the fact that there is high levels of theanine in matcha tea. You will see that in some energy supplements and nootropics they include theanine along with their caffeine. I find this to be preferred because it blunts the harshness of the caffeine and gives it a smooth feel.

Value

IdealRaw Organic Matcha retails for $22.99 making it $.76 per scoop. However, you can buy three tubs for $59.99 making it $.66 per scoop. Comparing this to other Matcha Teas, Jade Leaf on Amazon goes for $18.95 and at a similar dosage to IdealRaw you are looking at $.37 per serving. I will note this comes in 100 1/2 tsp servings with each serving coming to $.18 but you need two servings to equal the amount in IdealRaw hence the $.37. Zen Spirit Matcha goes for $22.79 making it $.69 per serving. Ujido Matcha is $24.00 making it $.47 per serving. IdealRaw Matcha is more expensive than other Matcha Teas on the market. However, it does come with a scoop and most do not. I also noticed most other Matcha Teas do not have the food additive silicone dioxide while IdealRaw does. Overall, I think there are cheaper options and the scoop is not worth the extra price.

Quick comparison to coffee, I currently pay $.43 for coffee pods, which is cheaper than IdealRaw matcha. My Espresso pods are actually more expensive and they are $.80 per pod.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed idealRaw Matcha. I felt like it was an effective coffee alternative and gave me a smooth energy. This does contain a filler of silicone dioxide that I wish was not in the product, as other matcha teas do not include this. In addition, it is more expensive than other products but does include a scoop. The only reason I could see purchasing this over other matcha products is if you are invested in the IdealRaw brand and prefer a scoop. I would like to thank IdealRaw for sending the product and the Trooper Program for coordinating it.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16311246

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Nature Restore for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 21, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increase Supplement Absorption
  • Improved Recovery
  • Some Endurance Increase
  • Good Value
  • Possible Placebo Effect
  • Not Widely Available

Introduction

If you have been taking supplements for several years there is a good possibility you have taken AstraGin. I know I have. It is in numerous products inlcuding BCAA, preworkouts, sleep formulas, growth formulas, and many more. I always wondered if it actually worked and if I would be able to see a difference if I took it in a pure form. So, when Nature Restore put up their Astragin product I wanted to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Nature Restore Astragin comes in a 90 capsule bottle. I will note that at the time of this writing if you were...

Introduction

If you have been taking supplements for several years there is a good possibility you have taken AstraGin. I know I have. It is in numerous products inlcuding BCAA, preworkouts, sleep formulas, growth formulas, and many more. I always wondered if it actually worked and if I would be able to see a difference if I took it in a pure form. So, when Nature Restore put up their Astragin product I wanted to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Nature Restore Astragin comes in a 90 capsule bottle. I will note that at the time of this writing if you were to purchase this from Nature Restore you would get three 30 serving bottles. They stated there was a manufacturing error in production when they filled the bottles. Regardless, it is the same amount. Each 100% plant based capsule contains 200mg of AstraGin. Before I get into AstraGin and the benefits it has I want to touch on the plant-based capsule.

If you ever looked at different pill supplements you will notice a vast majority of them come from gelatin capsules. Gelatin capsules are boiled down animal parts from pigs and cows. After it is boiled, you are left with a gel substance that can be formed into a pill shape. One of the drawbacks to gelatin capsules is they aren't very heat tolerant. Plant based capsules are all-natural and are made using cellulose. I much prefer my supplements to be capped in plant-based capsules as opposed to gelatin. I am glad that Nature Restore uses plant based capsules over gelatin capsules for their AstraGin product.

As previously mentioned, this AstraGin comes in a 200mg dosage (per pill). One thing you may notice is that the dosage seems high and it is. Most times when you see AstraGin it is in a 50mg dosage so with this you are getting four times the clinical dosage. Astragin is a blend of astagalus membraneceus and panax notoginseng. The major claimed benefit is that it can increase the absorption of several amino acids, vitamins, and supplements. The claimed percentages are a 6.7% increase in absorption rate of arginine, 18% increase in ATP production, and 50% increase in vitamin absorption. This all sounds great but many of the studies are "in vitro," which means outside the body. In addition, the patent holders NuLivScience used to have a sales sheet but it is no longer accessible. The sheet claimed a 41% increased in absorption of peptides and amino acids. NuLivScience also claims that the results of AstraGin could be seen instantaneous and measurable over a month when using it in a sports supplement. Overall, it is definitely a unique supplement.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste and mixability do not apply to this supplement but as mentioned before the active ingredient is in a 100% plant-based capsule. The standard dosage for Astragin from what I have seen is 50mg. This product contains 200mg in each capsule and they recommend one per day with a meal. My personal dosage was usually one per day with my multivitamins, creatine, or pre workout. I did try two, three, and four pills but I did not notice a difference over the one pill per day. So, if I were to take this again I would stick to just one pill a day.

Effectiveness

I was on this product for about two months and it is hard to rate the effectiveness. I have been off it for several days and feel the same. However, there were three things that I noticed over the course of the bottle and they were some supplements felt stronger, increased vitamin-b absorption (presumed), and some improved recovery. Towards the start of taking this, I had just finished taking a pre workout and I moved to RTD energy/recovery supplements. The main one was FitAid, which was just okay. FitAid without Astragin I struggled getting through my workouts because it did not give me enough energy or really help at all with recovery. However, with the added Astragin I noticed I would be sustained through the workout (they were shorter then) and had slightly more endurance. Another supplement that Astragin aided was VMI Agmatine. I noticed that when I took the agmatine with the Astragin my pumps were slightly better than without it. It was nothing huge but definitely worth noting.

The next area I noticed was a perceived increase in vitamin B absorption. When I have taken multivitamins in the past, I notice that I sometimes will have bright yellow urine. This is due to excess riboflavin or vitamin b2 being excreted by the body. What I noticed when stacking this with my multivitamin I did not have that bright yellow urine all the time. So, this leads me to believe that perhaps the AstraGin was helping my body better absorb the vitamin b2 thus leading to less being excreted in my urine. This could have translated to other vitamins as well but this was the only one I could somewhat measure.

The last area I noticed was some slight increase in recovery. I was taking some recovery supplements while taking the Astragin and I think it enhanced them. I felt better recovery with the recovery supplements and Astragin over just the recovery supplements. This was most notable with Xtend BCAA. I noticed a slight recovery improvement over when I just took Xtend on its own. Overall, Astragin is a supplement that will benefit your other supplements. I do not think it will do much if you are not stacking it with different supplements. When stacked I found it to be effective and a welcome addition.

Value

I actually could only find this product in one place and that was on Nature Restore website. It retails for $32.95, which makes it $0.36 per serving. I did not see a need to go over one pill per day since 200mg is four times the clinical dosage you are looking $0.36 per day. I think this price is fair if you believe in the benefits of Astragin. Just to note Nature Restore was the only place I could find to buy any pure Astragin product that looked legitimate (other had old labels and products I have not seen on the market in years). I am glad I was able to try it and if it did not come up on the Trooper program, I probably would have ended up purchasing to try it. Overall, I think it is worth a try and if you have the budget, it could potentially become a staple.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Nature Restore Astragin is an effective product that is worth a try. It helped me enhance the effects of other supplements, improve my recovery, and perceived absorption of vitamin B2. It is priced fairly and comes in at four times the usual dosage so you are getting your money's worth. I would recommend giving it a try to stack with your current supplements. Thank you to Nature Restore for sending this out and the Trooper Program for coordinating it.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Dymatize Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 19, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Increased Vascularity
  • Increased Endurance
  • Informed Choice Certified
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Increased Performance
  • Powder Clumps Up In Tub
  • Slight Bitterness To Taste
  • Slightly Expensive
  • Ace-K
  • Crash And Headache At Full Dosage

Introduction

I am ashamed to admit but I never really looked at Dymatize supplements. I always thought that they were a bargain brand seeing them in the clearance section of my local supplement store. I took notice of them after trying a scoop of Iso-100 from a friend and the recent updated labels. So, when I heard they were coming out with a new preworkout (I took their old one years ago and was not impressed) I had to try it. Here is the review of Dymatize Pre WO.

Ingredient Profile

Each scoop Dymatize Pre WO comes to 21g and has 15 calories and less than one carbohyd...

Introduction

I am ashamed to admit but I never really looked at Dymatize supplements. I always thought that they were a bargain brand seeing them in the clearance section of my local supplement store. I took notice of them after trying a scoop of Iso-100 from a friend and the recent updated labels. So, when I heard they were coming out with a new preworkout (I took their old one years ago and was not impressed) I had to try it. Here is the review of Dymatize Pre WO.

Ingredient Profile

Each scoop Dymatize Pre WO comes to 21g and has 15 calories and less than one carbohydrate. Pre WO includes several vitamin ingredients. The first is 250 mg of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and can aid the immune system and in recovery. The next ingredient is niacin at 30mg; one of the biggest benefits of niacin is vascularity and a potential increase in HGH production. Then there is 260 mcg of folate, which can enhance NO production. The last vitamin ingredient is vitamin b-12 at 30 mcg in the methylcobalamin form, which is the most desired form. Vitamin B-12 can aid in energy production, help the digestive system, and can boost mood.

The next section of ingredients are those you will typically find in a preworkout and they start with 8g of citrulline malate (CM). The biggest benefits of CM are increased NO production and recovery. The next ingredient is a full clinical dosage of beta-alanine using the trademarked carnosyn. Essentially what carnosyn does is it can blunt fatigue and works as an acid buffer. It traditionally works for higher rep and longer workouts (long distance runs, circuits etc.). I used to use this a lot when I would run but would stack it with baking soda for fatigue reduction. Then you have l-taurine at a 2g dose, which has benefits as an antioxidant, blood flow, and exercise capacity. It is worth noting that 2g is a clinical dosage. This is followed by 1.5g of betaine in the trademarked BetaPower form. There were some studies that showed a 30% increase in squat repetitions after 7 days of taking betaine and then a 60% after 14 days. The performance increases though are seen at 2.5g but Pre WO only includes 1.5g. The next ingredient and one I have been seeing more of lately is nitrosigine at a 1.5g dose. The major benefits to this are increased NO production leading to larger pumps. In addition, it has a cumulative affect and improves overtime while taking it. Following nitrosigine, you have N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) at a 350 mg dose. NALT is tyrosine that has been bonded to an acetyl group. This is supposed to increase bioavailability and absorption of regular tyrosine. The role of NALT is the creation of several neurotrasmitters in the brain including dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Next, we have 300 mg of caffeine anhydrous, which is a stimulant that can increase alertness and energy during a workout. Then there is 200 mg of coconut fruit powder to aid in hydration. The final ingredient is 125 mg of theacrine in the TeaCrine trademarked form. Theacrine is similar to caffeine but it does not have the same side effects as caffeine such as a buildup of dosage needing to take more. It is shown to increase mood, focus, and motivation to exercise. This does also include surcalose and Ace-K as a sweetener.

Overall, I like the ingredient profile but I do wish that there was theanine in the product to blunt the caffeine. One of the major things I noticed (will go into more detail later on) was the overall feeling of the high caffeine and theacrine dosage was harsh. I feel like if theanine was in the product it could blunt the harsh feeling of the stimulants.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Dymatize Pre WO comes in three flavors handspun cotton candy, chilled fruit fusion, and sweet cherry lime. I received the handspun cotton candy it was pretty good. The taste was on par with other cotton candy supplements I have taken and was very similar to them (PES alphamine and high volume). There was a slight bitterness to the taste due to the theacrine. However, it was nothing that was terrible. As far as mixability goes, it mixed fine but there was some clumping with the powder but shaking the container took care of it. The first time I took this I went with one full scoop and I thought that was too much. About halfway through the workout, I started to crash and headache from it and my performance was negatively impacted. I tried a full scoop the following day and same thing happened. So, I decided to split the dosage to a half a scoop with my AM cardio and the other half a scoop with my workout and/or PM cardio. This worked out much better and eliminated the side effects. As I mentioned before, if this had theanine in it to blunt the caffeine I doubt I would have had the crash/headaches. I was surprised by this as I have taken pre workouts with designer stimulants and have not had issues like this. Definitely assess your tolerance with this pre workout.

Effectiveness

Once I assessed my tolerance and went with a half scoop twice a day (one full scoop per day) at AM cardio and PM workout/cardio this became an effective product. The major things I noticed were increased energy, vascularity, endurance and reduced fatigue. For this section, I will go into the effects during the AM and then the effects for the PM dosage. For AM, cardio will usually walk stairs for about 20 minutes or I will go to the park for long distance running. The major thing I noticed for the stairs was an increase in alertness and a desire to actually do the cardio as it is easy to skip it. I also noticed that my pace quicker and I was able to increase the amount of floors I did over taking nothing for AM cardio. At the park, the biggest increase I noticed was the endurance increase and I felt like I could go farther than usual and noticed a slightly quicker pace. It was nothing huge but it was more than without taking anything. I also noticed some reduced fatigue probably due to the beta alanine. I should note I would usually just drink water and then start my AM cardio. So, the inclusion of this product aided me quite a bit.

As for my PM weight training, I found this to be a very effective product. The major thing I noticed was increased vascularity in my forearms and biceps. They were especially prominent on back and arm day. I would say that it was on par with other pre workouts and a surmise it had to do with the nitrosigine where the effect improves overtime. I did notice some increased endurance and reduced fatigue on my high rep and superset days. This was definitely noticeable on pull days were I would fatigue rather rapidly. I noticed I was able to push a little harder. The energy was good but again I still think theanine would have improved the feeling of the formula. As for PM cardio, I will usually do PM cardio after my workout and I noticed that this pre workout did last long enough for me to do 20 minutes of cardio after my workout. This usually involved the stairmaster or HIIT on the treadmill. The benefits were similar to the AM cardio. As for when I strictly did PM cardio with no weight training this lasted for entire cardio session. Again, the benefits were similar to the AM session with increased energy, endurance, and reduced fatigue. Overall, this was an effective pre workout once I assessed my tolerance.

Value

This does not seem widely available since it is very new. I have seen it retail for $39.99 making it about $2.00 per serving. However, at my dosage of a half a scoop that is a $1.00 per serving ($2.00 per day). If I were to take this, again I would stick to one-half scoop before my workout and use coffee for AM cardio. Comparing this to other preworkouts it is on the expensive side. Pre Kaged goes for $1.80 per serving and Pre Jym is $1.78 per serving. I think you get more bang for your buck with pre kaged and pre jym over Dymatize Pre WO. It may be worth a try if you are looking to take a break from Kaged or Jym.

Side Effects

At a full scoop, I had a headache about halfway through my workout followed by a significant postworkout crash. I split the dosage and this alleviated the workout headache and crash. My side effects could have been due to the combination of caffeine and theacrine, I would say my max for caffeine is 300 mg at one time. I usually stick to 200-250 mg so I could have been over stimulated with the caffeine and theacrine.

Conclusion

Dymatize Nutrition PRE WO is an effective preworkout once you assess your tolerance. I saw increased energy, endurance, vascularity, and a reduction in fatigue. I dosed a half scoop twice a day as one scoop acutely led to some side effects. It is slightly more expensive than other similar pre workouts. It is definitely worth a try as it becomes more widely available. I would like to thank Dymatize Nutrition for sending the product and the trooper program for coordinating it.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 15, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Improved Recovery
  • Improved Hydration
  • Reduced Fatigue
  • Increased Energy
  • Magnesium Glycinate Glutamine Chelate
  • Not Widely Available

Introduction

BCAAs have been something I have been taking for years. I first started using them when I doing serious running and used them to preserve muscle and to recover. When I got into weight training, I again used them for recovery and as a fatigue fighter. I am always looking to try different products so when VMI put up their Aminogex Ultra I had to try it. I already had great results from their protein powder ProtoLyte so let us see how Aminogex Ultra fares.

Ingredient Profile

Aminogex Ultra comes in a 30-scoop tub. Each scoop is 11.2g and contains multiple ing...

Introduction

BCAAs have been something I have been taking for years. I first started using them when I doing serious running and used them to preserve muscle and to recover. When I got into weight training, I again used them for recovery and as a fatigue fighter. I am always looking to try different products so when VMI put up their Aminogex Ultra I had to try it. I already had great results from their protein powder ProtoLyte so let us see how Aminogex Ultra fares.

Ingredient Profile

Aminogex Ultra comes in a 30-scoop tub. Each scoop is 11.2g and contains multiple ingredients to support muscle recovery, hydration and strength. The first two ingredients are vitamin B6 at 25mg and vitamin B-12 in the methylcobalamine form at 30mcg. Vitamin b6 has many functions such as metabolism and hormone control. Vitamin B-12 can aid in energy production, help the digestive system, and boost mood. VMI included the methylcobalamine form of B-12, which is the more desired form. The next ingredient is 7g of BCAAs as the trademarked InstAminos. These 7 grams are broken down by 3.5g of L-leucine, 1.75g of L-isoleucine, and 1.75g of L-valine. The main benefit of BCAAs are that they can improve and increase muscle protein synthesis. This in turn can reduce DOMS that can enable a person to train more frequently thus helping them achieve their goals more quickly. Another major benefit to BCAA is as a fatigue fighter while training. When you workout serotonin levels in the brain will rise, this will lead to an increase of tryptophan in the brain. This increase of tryprophan will lead to fatigue. However, BCAAs compete with tryptophan thus leading to less fatigue while training. The next ingredient is betaine at a 1.25 g dose. The clinical dosage of betaine is 1.25g twice a day for a total of 2.5g. With this dosage, the major benefits are increased muscle mass and fat loss. Betaine also can help with digestion and detoxification.

Before I get into one key ingredient (MGG), I want to mention the hydration ingredients in Aminogex Ultra. There are 50mg of each of the following potassium glycinate, magnesium glycinate, calcium glycinate, and sodium chloride. All of these are in the TRAACS form, which is a trademarked version of those minerals. All of these will help with hydration and aid in the replacement of lost minerals from sweat. The final ingredient and the most unique in the formula is magnesium glycinate glutamine chelate or MGG. The breakdown of MGG is 40mg of magnesium, 240mg of glutamine, and 120mg of glycine. MGG has been shown to increase lean body mass by 7.04 pounds in a study. The study was conducted over 8 weeks and participants took 400mg of MGG, which is one scoop of Aminogex Ultra. I could not find the actual study but I did find a paper written by the patent holder for MGG that mention these claims. In addition, they were also mentioned in the patent, which you can see at the following link (https://www.google.com/patents/US5888553). The study is mentioned in "example 1" use ctrl F to search for it on the page if you wanted to see since it is rather long. Overall, this is a solid ingredient profile and I like the inclusion of the MGG. Just a note, it is sweetened with sucralose.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Aminogex Ultra comes in three flavors; they are topical mango, cherry lime Italian ice, and sweet iced tea. I requested and received the sweet iced tea and it was on par with other iced tea flavored supplements I have tried (Ergonine, Amino Energy, and Alphamine). It had a very distinct lemon flavor and less of that "iced tea" flavor. Just make sure that if you were to get this flavor that you are okay with lemon as it was very prominent. As far as mixability goes, it mixed fine with minimal foaming and I did not notice much sediment on the bottom. As far as doing goes, VMI recommends one level scoop. However, they say "for best results" use two scoops per day. I personally used two scoops per day but I will be honest I think one is fine. Especially since at one scoop you are getting the MGG dose used in the study. My dosage was two scoops in 64 ounces of water throughout my workout and into post workout, as I would continually fill up the bottle, as it got lower. On off days I would drink it throughout the day. If I were to use this product, again I would use one scoop.

Effectiveness

The major benefits I noticed with Aminogex Ultra were improved recovery, improved hydration and reduced fatigue. I have mentioned this in my other reviews but I have added in supersets and high rep days into my workouts. One of the things I noticed is that I would extremely sore after my workouts. This was even with a good diet and supplemental protein. However, when I added in Aminogex Ultra I noticed a significant reduction in muscle soreness. The soreness was still there but this seemed to blunt it and I was able to get back into the gym faster. I most notably saw this on back where deadlifts will take a lot out of me; this got me back to the gym faster. As far as running goes, I felt like I was able to get to the park more frequently. I also felt like my longer runs were quicker due to increased recovery from the last run. In terms of improved recovery, I think this was on par with other recovery supplements. However, it surpassed all strictly BCAA products and I think that had to do with the inclusion of betaine and MGG. Another benefit I noticed was improved hydration while running. It has been hot in NJ and I notice that during my runs I will get quite thirsty. However, after adding this product I noticed I would run by my car for water less often than without it. I did not notice too much in terms of hydration in the gym but I usually drink a lot of water/BCAA throughout the workout anyway.

I also noticed a reduction in fatigue while weight training. As previously mentioned my workouts have gone to more high reps and supersets so I can be burnt out. However, with Aminogex I noticed I could push myself a little more. I still burnt out but I was able to get a few more reps in than usual. I think again that this was on par with other recovery supplements I have taken and honestly on par with straight BCAA products. I do want to note that I do not think I was on this product long enough to see the unique benefits it could potentially offer. The MGG study was conducted over 8 weeks and I was only on this for little over two weeks. While this was definitely an effective product I wonder, what my results would have been if I were on it for the full study duration.

Value

Aminogex retails for $34.99 making it $1.16 per serving. However, I did find it on a1supplements.com for $28.95 making it $0.96 per serving. I will be honest I would not mind paying this to run this for 8 weeks to see my results with the MGG. Comparing this to other products is difficult since it has some unique ingredients. However, looking at the price of most other recovery products this is slightly more expensive. The one product that is similar and includes the same amount of MGG is Post Hak, which currently is going for $29.99 or $1.19 per serving. This is slightly more expensive than Aminogex. The major thing is whether you want to try out the MGG and if you do, Aminogex is worth a try.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Aminogex Ultra is an effective recovery product that improved my recovery, hydration, and fatigue. It includes a unique ingredient, MGG, which looks promising. It retails for about a $1.00 per serving, which is slightly more expensive than some other recovery supplements (but not by much). I would not mind paying that price and probably plan to run it for 8 weeks sometime soon. I definitely recommend giving it a shot especially if the MGG is something you would want to try. I would like to thank VMI Sports for sending the product and the trooper program for coordinating it.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Utzy Naturals for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 12, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Natural Triglyceride Format
  • High EPADHA Content
  • Not Widely Available
  • Expensive

Introduction

Fish oil has been a supplement that I have been taking on and off for years. I started taking it a long time ago when I first got into running. Fish oil much like multivitamins are a foundational supplement that I (and many people) take. However, there is some debate as to whether you actually need them. Regardless of that, I still take them. So, when Utzy put up their U-Omega fish oil product I had to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Utzy U-Omega comes in a glass 60 capsule bottle. Each softgel contains 15 calories, 1.5 g of fat, and 800 m...

Introduction

Fish oil has been a supplement that I have been taking on and off for years. I started taking it a long time ago when I first got into running. Fish oil much like multivitamins are a foundational supplement that I (and many people) take. However, there is some debate as to whether you actually need them. Regardless of that, I still take them. So, when Utzy put up their U-Omega fish oil product I had to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Utzy U-Omega comes in a glass 60 capsule bottle. Each softgel contains 15 calories, 1.5 g of fat, and 800 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. The EPA content is 430 mg, the DHA content is 290 mg, and other omega-3 fatty acids are 80 mg. The Omega-3 content of these softgels is good and on par with other products. For example, Omega Jym per softgel has 375 DHA and 375 EPA, which is close to U-Omega. The one thing I want to mention with U-Omega that I did not like was most fish oil supplements have the total fish oil listed on the label. U-Omega does not but I am presuming the 1.5g of fat means that there are 1.5g of total fish oil in the softgel. This makes it easier to see the total dosage as taking too much fish oil could cause issues (GI issues, blood thinning, and immune system reduction).

The main benefits of fish oil are a reduction in high triglycerides, reduction of heart disease, ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, high blood pressure, arthritis, and several others. In addition, fish oil has also been shown to aid in reduction of muscle soreness, improve exercise performance, and increase muscle strength (in older women). There was a study out of the Washington University that found that 4 g of fish oil (1.5 DHA and 1.85 g EPA) stimulated muscle protein synthesis in older adults (1). The dosage of fish oil varies but for athletic performance, I have seen dosages range from 2-4 g of Omega-3s. Now, the actual dosage of the fish oil product will vary since different products have different ratios. For U-Omega, you are looking at three pills to reach that amount (I took two mostly and sometimes three).

One major thing to note with U-Omega is that they are in the natural triglyceride form. This form has more bioavailability over the other fish oil form of ethyl ester. Triglyceride fish oils are more natural and the preferred fish oil type. I should also note that U-Omega is manufactured in an NSF facility and Utzy has significant quality assurance. This includes testing every lot for strength, purity, composition, and contaminates (https://www.utzy.com/pages/quality).

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

These are softgel so there really is not much of a taste. I will note that they did smell like fish with a little lemon smell. This is standard for fish oil softgels. I had no fish burps while taking these but I always took them with food. As far as dosing goes, I varied my dosages. I always took two softgels for 1600 Omega-3s. There were some days that I took three especially when I ran and weight lifted. As stated previously the desired dosage is 2-4 g of omega-3s but as long as I am close to 2g I notice a difference.

Effectiveness

The three major things I noticed with this product were a reduction of DOMS/inflammation, clearer skin, and an increased well-being. One of the main reasons I first started taking fish oil was for joint and muscle soreness from running. Prior to using U-Omega, I noticed that my knees would be more sore than usual. However, when taking U-Omega I noticed a reduction in my knee soreness when running especially when doing hill work. In the gym, I noticed that my recovery was slightly improved above baseline (baseline is taking BCAA and protein). I also noticed a reduction in my right shoulder pain when doing push exercises.

As for clearer skin, I did not notice this until after I finished taking U-Omega (it was always there I just did not notice). Right after finishing U-Omega, I noticed a decline in my skin quality. It was slight but I broke out a little across my body. Now, I think U-Omega was helping in this regard but it could have been the weather as well. It recently got hot and humid here and I have been adding in AM/PM cardio outside so I have been sweating a lot more. So, that could have something to do with the decline but I do think U-Omega helped with my skin quality. As for increased well-being, I noticed that my mood was slightly improved while taking U-Omega. It was nothing huge but I noticed that I was less stressed over the course of the bottle (it is summer break so that could have also contributed to it as well). Overall, in all three areas I felt that U-Omega was on par with previous quality fish oil products I have taken but surpassed Kirkland and GNC fish oils.

Value

U-Omega retails for $27.70 making it $0.46 per softgel, I mostly took two so my dosage was a total of $0.92 per day ($1.38 on days I took three). These are on the expensive side. Comparing them to Omega Jym you are looking at $0.33 for a two per day dosage. Nordic Naturals goes for $0.57 per two-pill serving with slightly lower Omega-3s. Intelligent Labs Omega 3 you are looking at $0.49 for two pills each day. Overall, Utzy U-Omega is quite expensive compared to the competition. Now, the other companies do not state that they are NSF, GOED Omega Members, or friends of the sea. In addition, I am unsure if they go through the amount of quality assurance that Utzy claims to do (they probably do). So, I think you have to weigh out what is important to you. I know personally while I liked U-Omega it just is too expensive to use and I will choose a different brand going forward.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Utzy U-Omega is an effective fish oil product. I noticed a reduction in inflammation/DOMS, clearer skin, and an increase in overall well-being. I dosed mostly two pills per day and on some days I took three. The main issue that I have with U-Omega is the price. It is significantly more expensive than other brands. If Utzy's quality assurance, NSF certificication, GOED Omega Membership status, and friend of the sea certification appeal to you then they may be worth a try. However, understand you are spending quite a bit more. I would like to thank Utzy for sending out the product and the Trooper Program for coordinating it.

-Xcmiler

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21159787




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