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Xcmiler

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REVIEWS (72)

Reviews by Xcmiler



Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Gainful for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  October 7, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Personalized
  • Good For Individuals With Dietary Restrictions
  • Good Base Flavor
  • Builds Muscle
  • Slight Thermogenic Feeling
  • Great Base Flavor For Smoothies
  • High Price
  • Slightly Weak Flavor

How It Works

Gainful is a personalized protein powder based on your answers to a series of questions. These questions range from your age to current body type. For example, in my questionnaire I put my current body type was a "few extra pounds." I selected my goal body type as "toned/muscular" and added my current weight 210 and my goal weight of 190. Based on these, green tea extract was added to my formula. If I were to flip that around and add in options saying I wanted to gain weight the formula would change to include carbohydrates in the form of tapioca maltodextrin, tapi...

How It Works

Gainful is a personalized protein powder based on your answers to a series of questions. These questions range from your age to current body type. For example, in my questionnaire I put my current body type was a "few extra pounds." I selected my goal body type as "toned/muscular" and added my current weight 210 and my goal weight of 190. Based on these, green tea extract was added to my formula. If I were to flip that around and add in options saying I wanted to gain weight the formula would change to include carbohydrates in the form of tapioca maltodextrin, tapioca dextrose, and oat powder.

One of the best things about gogainful is how they handle dietary restrictions. For me personally, if I take anything with whey protein concentrate (and some casein) I will have stomach issues. So, for my blend I added lactose as a dietary restriction and it gave me a whey protein isolate product. If I had not selected that it would have been a whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate blend. The dietary restrictions you can select are: vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, lactose intolerant, pea allergy, and whey allergy. For example, if I choose vegan, gluten free, lactose and whey allergy the formula would give me a product with organic pea and brown rice protein.

To sum this up, you go to their website (gogainful.com) and answer about 15 questions ranging from how many meals you eat, weight, height, ideal body type, dietary restrictions etc. Based on that the formula gives you a generated protein powdered based on your choices. If you are at all curious, I would go to their site just to see what formula you end up getting based on your answers.

Ingredient Profile

The ingredient profile of my protein was unique to the goals I choose for my blend. In my questionnaire, the answers I choose most closely aligned with weight loss. Based on that and the fact that I had mentioned a lactose issue I was given the following protein blend containing whey protein isolate. Unfortunately, I do not have have the bag of the original protein I received of the birthday cake flavor. It did have a similar profile to the chocolate flavor that I personally purchased. So, here is the breakdown of the chocolate version since I have access to that profile. Each scoop contains 93.29% whey protein isolate, 3.27% organic cocoa powder, 1.64% green tea extract, 1.31% natural chocolate flavoring, and 0.49% organic stevia sweetener. I really liked that they included the percentages of each of the ingredients per scoop. The green tea extract within the blend is about 0.4 grams per serving. The main benefit to green tea extract is metabolism boosting and it also is an antioxidant. In addition, there is a very slight amount of caffeine and gogainful mentions 5% of a cup of coffee. I want to also mention that while my protein is flavored with stevia you can actually opt to have it sweetened without stevia.

I did like the ingredient profile that was generated based on the questions that I answered. However, I do wish there was a place to see what other options I have for the protein blend. How many combinations are there? Can I add something else other than green tea extract? What different herbal extracts or other ingredients are available? Unfortunately, I could not find anything on the website. But, you can reach out to them and they will get back to you rather quickly.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

All of the following flavors are with the birthday cake flavor protein:
Unsweetened Almond Milk: When you smell this mixed you get a very slight nutty smell followed by a light almost vanilla smell. When you taste it you get mellow vanilla with slight cakiness followed by an almond milk taste.

Chocolate Almond Milk with Peanut Butter: I found that this flavor tastes the best in chocolate almond milk with a small amount of peanut butter. It gave a good combination of flavors that blend well together. It was kind of like one of those chocolate cakes with the peanut butter filling but very subtle in flavor.

Skim Milk and Cacao: I felt that this was the best mixer with this protein as it accented the slight birthday cake flavor of the protein. It gave it a smooth taste with a very slight vanilla/cake type taste that mixes well with the cacao.

Vanilla Almond Milk with Two Scoops of Chocolate Flavor Boost: I felt that this was really great tasting. It was kind of like a mix of nutty, vanilla, cake, and chocolate and was quite good. I would say this is probably the best combination of flavors I have had with this protein. I will mention that the flavor boost is from Gainful (I purchased that myself) and is organic cocoa and natural flavoring.

Overall, I felt that the flavor alone was just okay. It was rather weak to be honest and I felt that it was best used as a base flavor for smoothies. When I added different things to the shakes it was much better. I will mention that they do offer these flavor boosts in various flavors. I purchased the chocolate one and it did add some great flavor to the product. However, even with the unique customization this product is expensive and add in a $10 flavor boost the price goes up even more. I just wish that the flavoring was a little stronger. I want to note that I could barely tell that this was sweetened with stevia, which was great. For mixability, I always used a blender so that was not an issue and for dosing I did one to two scoops a day.

Effectiveness

As I have said in past protein powder reviews the effectiveness of a protein powder is hard to rate. I will say that when using this protein I did not notice a dip in my recovery and it remained on par with other protein powders I have taken. I really believe that the effectiveness of a protein powder comes down to wanting to actually take it. I have had some poor tasting protein supplements and if I have to choke them down I am less inclined to take them. While I felt that gogainful flavoring was on the weaker side it still was okay to take alone. Due to the weaker flavor, I found myself experimenting with adding different combinations of ingredients to my shakes. I liked that about this protein because with others I have recently reviewed I did not really experiment. I think this gives credence to this protein being used a smoothie base and adding in your own ingredients into it. I do wish I tried baking with it but I never got around to it.

I do want to mention that I did feel a very slight thermogenic effect shortly after taking this protein. It was more pronounced when I took it before the gym. I did not track my weight while taking this but I did feel leaner when I finished the bag. I think the green tea extract help but honestly it was my diet and training.

Value

The value of this protein I feel will really depend on the person. If placing a nonsubscription order this protein is $49 per 30 servings. With a subscription it is $45 per 30 serving bag. For some reason I have a 20% credit on my account so if I were to order now it is $36 followed by $45 for subsequent months (a single order would be $39.20). I will note that shipping was free even for the one time purchase orders. For me personally, this protein is on the expensive side even at one serving a day. The current protein I am using retails for $42 but I can get it for $36 then a 10% coupon on top of that but I will have to pay $12 shipping. I am accustomed to spending more for what I want and to note I only use whey protein isolates. I think gogainful will be the protein I come back to every now and again when they have a new flavor. I did enjoy experimenting with it as I felt it was the best base protein for different smoothies.

I do want to say that if you are someone with very strict dietary restrictions I would definitely recommend giving gogainful a try.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

GoGainful protein is a unique personalized protein that has a good base flavoring for smoothies and great for individuals with dietary restrictions but comes at a high price. I felt that the flavor was on the weaker side but made a great starter for smoothies. The price is high and I could see myself trying it again when they release new flavor. Thank you to GoGainful for sending out the product and sorry for the delay in the review.

-Xcmiler

Note: I purchased a bag of the chocolate flavor protein with the same formula I was sent. The reason I bring this up is there was an issue with the bag the product came in. There was a note within the box that mentioned there was a manufacturing error with the bags leading to issues with them closing. They also included a spare bag to put the powder into in the event yours had issues. Mine did have issues and I was careful but lost about a serving or two getting it into the other bag. I would still purchase this again even with the bag issue as the bag I received for review was fine.


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  September 12, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Natural Protein
  • Electrolytes
  • Great Taste
  • Gluten Free
  • Lactose Free
  • Slight Foam
  • Not Widely Available
  • Would Like A Larger Tub

Introduction

I have been a big fan of VMI Sports for quite sometime now having tried a majority of the products in their product lineup. I have tried several of their other protein products and when I heard they were coming out with an all natural one I had to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

VMI Sports Protolyte Natural is a naturally flavored 100% cold processed whey protein isolate protein. Each scoop of the chocolate fudge cookie flavor contains 105 calories, less than 1g of fat, 1g of carbohydrates, and 21g of protein. This protein is also naturally ...

Introduction

I have been a big fan of VMI Sports for quite sometime now having tried a majority of the products in their product lineup. I have tried several of their other protein products and when I heard they were coming out with an all natural one I had to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

VMI Sports Protolyte Natural is a naturally flavored 100% cold processed whey protein isolate protein. Each scoop of the chocolate fudge cookie flavor contains 105 calories, less than 1g of fat, 1g of carbohydrates, and 21g of protein. This protein is also naturally sweetened, non-GMO, lactose free, and gluten free. Further, it also includes digestive enzymes, which is something that I look for in a protein supplement. This product (and VMI's other whey protein isolate) set themselves apart with including 991 mg of electrolytes and minerals. This product contains 500 mg of magnesium bisglycinate chelate, 300 mg of calcium bisglycinate chelate, 183 mg of potassium glycinate complex, and 8 mg of chromium nicotinate glycinate chelate. The major thing here is that these are all trademarked through Albion International who specialize in electrolytes and minerals. Overall, I really like the ingredient profile especially the naturally flavored and the addition of electrolytes and minerals.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I received the chocolate fudge cookie flavor and really enjoyed it. The powder has a very rich cocoa smell and I almost get hints of dark chocolate. To me this smelled like dark chocolate hot cocoa mix. When mixed, the smell kind of reminded the same but if I used milk the smell got more towards milk chocolate. When you first taste this you get hit with rich milk chocolate that is followed by a dark chocolate type taste that was slightly bitter. I want to note that the bitterness was not a negative, it was like the bitterness you get from dark chocolate. I did not really taste a stevia aftertaste as it was well masked in this product. I'll be honest this is the best tasting naturally flavored supplement that I have taken. If I did not know this was naturally sweetened I would have not been able to tell the difference. Do note that I mostly used skim milk with this product.

In terms of mixability, it mixed well but there was slight foaming. I would mostly use a blender with this product and it gave the shake more froth, which I liked. I tend to like frothy shakes as I find them more filling. As far as dosing goes, I used this to fill my protein macros so it varied by day.

Effectiveness

I personally found this to be a very effective product especially in my motivation to want to take it. Protein supplements are a challenge to rate because in the end they are a food supplement to fill in protein macros. The major thing I noticed with this is that I wanted to drink and I really enjoyed taking it. The flavor I felt was great. I currently am taking the whey protein isolate by Kaged Muscle and I have to choke it down with how sickenly sweet and odd aftertaste due to stevia there is. With Protolyte I have absolutely no issue even with the fact that it is naturally sweetened with stevia, I can barely tell. I feel like this one really set the bar with the naturally flavored proteins and I really enjoyed taking this product.

In terms of performance and recovery, I feel like this had a slight edge over other protein supplements due to the inclusion of the electrolytes. I felt more hydrated, which I feel let me push a little harder than usual. I am really attune to my hydration levels and this helped a lot especially for cardio. Now, I am off in the Summer so some of this could be due to having a better diet due to having more time. However, I still believe that this protein gave me a slight edge. Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this protein and it is one I recommend to people when they ask me about protein supplements.

Value

The one thing that I have noticed with VMI Sports is that there products are not always as widely available like some brands. Recently, I have noticed that they are on Amazon, which is great. On Amazon this product currently retails for $39.99 for 30 servings making it $1.33 per serving. I feel like this is competitively priced especially for how good it tasted and the quality of the product. So, in my eyes this is definitely worth it. I do wish there were larger tubs but this is a fairly new product so perhaps in the future.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Protolyte Naturals is a great tasting natural whey protein isolate. I thought it tasted fantastic and I could barely tell that it was naturally sweetened. This is important since I cannot stand that stevia aftertaste that a lot of products have. I felt that it was effective in filling my protein macros and I noticed a slight increase in performance. I definitely recommend giving this a try.

-Xcmiler



Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
7.0
  August 8, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Gluten Free
  • Non-GMO
  • Great Taste
  • Versatile
  • Widely Available
  • More Of A Puff Than Chip

Introduction

After seeing the protein chips pop up on the Trooper program I got a craving for protein type chips. I have already tried the Quest Chips so I wanted to give Ips Chips a try. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Ips Chips comes in a bag that contains one serving of about 32 chips, which is 1 ounce. I will note that there are varying sizes of the bags and some contain 3 servings. The nutrition facts due vary depending on the flavor so just be aware of the that. I will give an example of the sea salt & black pepper flavor. These chips contain 130 calorie...

Introduction

After seeing the protein chips pop up on the Trooper program I got a craving for protein type chips. I have already tried the Quest Chips so I wanted to give Ips Chips a try. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Ips Chips comes in a bag that contains one serving of about 32 chips, which is 1 ounce. I will note that there are varying sizes of the bags and some contain 3 servings. The nutrition facts due vary depending on the flavor so just be aware of the that. I will give an example of the sea salt & black pepper flavor. These chips contain 130 calories, 4g of fat, 17g of carbohydrates, and 6g of protein. The bag on all of the chips mentions that it has as much protein as an egg. The main ingredients in these is non-gmo yellow corn flour, whey protein concentrate, and expeller-pressed sunflower oil. The majority of the rest of the ingredients vary depending on the flavor of chip.

I do want to note here that these are more puffs than chips. So, just be aware of that, I am surprised that they call them chips when they really are puffs. It was not a negative and I expected it based on the picture on the bag. I will also mention that at times I have issues with whey protein concentrate but I did not have any with these chips.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Ips Chips comes in several flavors that include barbeque, white cheddar, and sea salt & black pepper. For this review, I will be writing about all three since with a product such as this taste is important. I will note that these are not really chips but more of like a baked puff in the shape of a chip.

Barbeque: They do not really smell like much, kind of like flour with a slight BBQ smell. When you taste them you are hit with very strong BBQ taste. It was kind of a cross between mesquite and a honey BBQ. It was definitely more mesquite and there was some spice to it. It was quite good.

Sea Salt & Black Pepper: These have a very strong peppery smell, which I personally liked. When you first taste these you get a blast of pepper that is followed by an almost buttery taste. They were not overly salty and had a good balance of flavors. This one was quite good as well.

White Cheddar: These have a very distinct cheese smell. They smell like the packets of the powdered cheese in macaroni and cheese boxes. When you first taste these you get a very cheesy taste that is followed a milky taste. It kind of tastes like dried macaroni and cheese. I felt that this flavor was just okay.

As far as dosing and mixability goes, they do not really apply here and I ate the chips to fill my daily macros.

Effectiveness

These are in essence a food supplement. So, the effectiveness of these is rather hard to rate. I will say they were effective at controlling my portion sizes with snacks. If I had a larger bag I would end up eating several servings but having the 1 ounce portion bag made it easier to snack. Further, I felt like these were something that I could eat between the gym and cardio and not have them weigh me down. If I were to do a shake, I will sometimes feel it sloshing around in my stomach. With these they were very light and I did not have to worry about them being in a hot car as with protein bars they will melt. They also tasted quite good so there was never an issue with eating them.

Value

I purchased these on Amazon for $12 for 6 bags that are 1 ounce. So, it comes down to $2 per serving. Comparing it to Quest chips they are also $2 per serving. I think the value in these is as a fun snack to try out every once and awhile. I do not think there is value in making these some type of staple as you can get similar macros for much cheaper. To me there is value in these and I could see myself picking them up a few times a year.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Overall, Ips Chips is a great tasting and healthy snack. They are about $2 per one serving bag, which is standard for this type of product. I would recommend giving these a try as a snack every once and awhile.

-Xcmiler



Overall
Overall
6.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.5
Value
Value
5.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Roar Ambition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 6, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Increased Energy
  • Okay Pumps
  • Naturally Sweetened
  • Increased Stamina
  • Too Expensive
  • Low Creatine Dosage
  • Lacks Focus

Introduction

I had never heard of Roar Nutrition or their product line until it came on the Trooper Program. After looking at their product the line, the pre workout intrigued me due to high l-citrulline Dl-malate and lower caffeine amount. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

4 Gauge comes in a small thin tub that is shaped like a shotgun shell. Each bottle contains 20 14g servings and two scoops is a serving. Each serving of two scoops contains 5 calories and 4g of carbohydrates. It appears that the carbohydrates are from the dextrose and sugar alcohols in the pro...

Introduction

I had never heard of Roar Nutrition or their product line until it came on the Trooper Program. After looking at their product the line, the pre workout intrigued me due to high l-citrulline Dl-malate and lower caffeine amount. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

4 Gauge comes in a small thin tub that is shaped like a shotgun shell. Each bottle contains 20 14g servings and two scoops is a serving. Each serving of two scoops contains 5 calories and 4g of carbohydrates. It appears that the carbohydrates are from the dextrose and sugar alcohols in the product. After these, you have the ingredients that you traditionally see in a preworkout. The first is 6g of l-citrulline Dl-malate, which is for muscle pumps and can aide with endurance due to the malate. This is a great dosage for this ingredient. Next, you have 1g of creatine monohydrate, which can aid in power output, muscle building, and endurance. However, the dose in this product is much too low unless you are 75 pounds. Even if you were to already be saturated with creatine, I do not see 1g maintaining that saturation. I would have rather of seen 3-5g of creatine monohydrate in this product. Alternatively, a different form like creatine HCL could have been used. Following this, you have acetyl l-carnitine at 500 mg, which can help with focus. Then you have 300 mg of red beet root extract to aide with pumps and then 300 mg of coconut water powder for hydration. After these you have 200 mg of l-theanine, which can aid with energy. I also noticed that it will almost blunt caffeine and make it more level and steady in terms of the energy it provides. Next, you have 150 mg of caffeine, which is a good dosage. I personally like lower caffeine amounts but this is on the low end of what I like 120-275 mg. Lastly, you have rhodiola rosea powder at 100 mg and this can aide with fatigue when taken over a long period of time.

Overall, I liked the ingredient profile. My only concern is the low dosage of creatine monohydrate. It really should be more or I would have preferred they just not have it and add another ingredient instead. I would not mind the creatine be replaced with l-tyrosine or NALT for focus. I will note here that this is naturally sweetened and uses NO artificial sweeteners but does contain sugar alcohols. I personally do not have issues with sugar alcohols but some people can have GI issues from them.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

4 Gauge only comes in one flavor and that flavor is fruit blast. When you first open the container you are hit with this fruit punch type smell that is candy and sour at the same time. The sour I believe is from the l-citrulline Dl-malate in the product as when I used to mix my own pre workout from bulk powders the smell was similar. It kind of smelled like tums, thinking about it that is the first thing of think of when smelling the powder. When mixed in water it lost the fruit punch smell and kind of smelled like alka seltzer. I will also note that when mixed it has a yellow tinge to it but is otherwise free of any dyes. When you drink it you get this very muted fruity taste that kind of was like one of those sweet tart candies. That did not really last long and you get hit with this sour taste. After this you are left with this sugar alcohol lingering taste/feel in your mouth. Overall, for a pre workout that does not contain any artificial sweeteners it was not that bad.

In terms of mixability, it mixed okay but there was sediment at the bottom after mixing it with cold water. Some of that sediment never really dissolved and I presume it might be the creatine as that is sometimes difficult to dissolve. As far as dosing goes, I used two scoops before workouts whether they were cardio or weight training. I usually do not do pre workouts before cardio but since this was lower caffeine I decided to use it for that as well.

Effectiveness

I decided to rate this based on the claims made on the pre workouts website. They are power output, extended stamina, muscle pumps and focus. In terms of power output, I felt that this pre workout was consistent with others I have tried. It gave me consistent energy before I worked out, which in turn allowed me push myself. When I workout with no pre workout I notice I just go through the motions and I don't push myself. With this pre workout (and others) I felt that I was able to power through my workouts more effectively. This was very noticeable on days I took this before I ran as I was able to push farther and faster especially with hill workouts. Do note that I do not usually take a pre workout before I run but decided since the caffeine was low I would try it. As far as stamina goes, my stamina remained consistent throughout my run of the product, which was good. I noticed slight improvements in my stamina with running but I don't usually take a preworkout before running. I usually rely on whatever left over energy I have from my pre workout from the gym. As far as increased power output and stamina, I felt that this was an effective product and consistent with results I have had from other high quality pre workouts.

In terms of muscle pumps, I felt that this product was quite good. I noticed they were especially good on days that I did arms or calves. As far as larger muscles goes, I did not notice much above what I usually get in regards to pump. I felt this was on par with other pre workouts but I will say the pumps were good but did not last long. Other pre workouts I have noticed my pumps have lasted longer and I felt fuller throughout the day. With 4 gauge I noticed shortly after leaving the gym my pumps began to significantly dissipate (more so than other pre workouts). As far as focus goes, I felt that this product was lacking. I had more focus than when I just took caffeine but it was just not as good as other pre workouts I have tried. I feel like this should have had l-tyrosine or citicoline. I just found myself some days going through the motions without this helping me focus.

Overall, I felt that this was an effective product for power output and extended stamina. It was also slightly effective for muscle pumps but they did not last long. As far as focus goes, I did not find this that effective.

Value

4 Gauge is only available direct from Roar Nutrition and it goes for $45 per bottle making it $2.25 per serving. Now, keep in mind when ordering one bottle you have to pay shipping of $7.95. You can also order two bottle for $90 and the price per serving remains the same but shipping is free. You can also order three bottles and you will receive one free for $135 making this significantly cheaper than the other options. You are looking at about $33 per bottle and $1.68 per serving. Overall, I feel like this is too expensive. The three bottle then one free option is just too much of a commitment for me. I always look for focus with a pre workout so based on what I experienced there are better and cheaper options. I feel like this should be priced $35-$40 to bring it closer to other pre workout products.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

4 Gauge might be worth a try but it comes at a high price. I felt that 4 gauge was effective for power output and increased stamina. It was somewhat effective for pumps due to them not lasting long and as for focus it was not that effective. It is priced quite high unless you purchase three containers (get one free so 4 in total). In the end, it depends on what you like in a preworkout. Personally, I don't think I would purchase this product after having tried it but I am glad I was able to try it.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 1, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Thick Consistency
  • Frequently On Sale
  • Low Sugar
  • Good Value
  • No Whey
  • Low Carb
  • Uses Artificial Sweeteners
  • Only One Size Tub Available
  • Use Artificial Flavors

Introduction

I previously reviewed Redcon1 MRE regular version and quite liked it. When I heard they were doing a lite version I wanted to try it. Especially since it is easier to fit into my macros as I prefer to eat my carbs rather than drink them. So, when it came up on the Trooper Program I claimed it and requested Pecan Pie flavor as that is my favorite dessert. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

MRE Lite comes in a 30 serving container with each serving being about 29g. Each scoop contains 134 calories, 2g of fat, 4g of carbohydrates, and 24g of protein. Th...

Introduction

I previously reviewed Redcon1 MRE regular version and quite liked it. When I heard they were doing a lite version I wanted to try it. Especially since it is easier to fit into my macros as I prefer to eat my carbs rather than drink them. So, when it came up on the Trooper Program I claimed it and requested Pecan Pie flavor as that is my favorite dessert. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

MRE Lite comes in a 30 serving container with each serving being about 29g. Each scoop contains 134 calories, 2g of fat, 4g of carbohydrates, and 24g of protein. The ingredient profile begins with protein sources which are beef protein isolate (bovine), salmon protein (fish), chicken protein, egg albumin (egg),brown rice protein, and pea protein. There are quite a few protein sources within this product. Redcon1 also claims that these are all real whole food sources. This product also contains coconut water and MCT Oil. It is sweetened with natural and artificial sweeteners and uses sucralose and acesulfame-k. Overall, it is very similar to the regular MRE but excludes the carbohydrate sources and has slightly less fat. I kind of prefer this version of MRE as I found it easier to fit into my macros (and I prefer to eat my carbs rather than drink them).

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

MRE Lite comes in a variety of flavors that you don't normally see in protein powders. I received the pecan pie flavor as that is one of my favorite deserts. When I first smelled this powder I got a slight cinnamon smell followed by an odd artificial smell. I can't really place it but it smelled out of character for a pecan pie flavor. When mixed the cinnamon flavor becomes muted and you get this kind of nutty type smell. More close to pecans and almonds than peanuts. When you first drink it you have this cinnamon taste followed by a kind of bread type taste. This is followed by a somewhat odd aftertaste that is similar to what I smelled with the dry powder. I can't really place it but it does impact the flavor for me. I will note that this powder does have a thicker consistency, which I really liked. In terms of the overall flavor, I will be honest I did not really like it. I think the redeeming factor was the thickness, which I felt kept me sated longer.

In terms of mixability, it mixed well with water in a shaker bottle with the mixing ball. I have done this with skim milk and I noticed it did not mix as well. As far as dosing goes, I dosed this to fill my protein macro goals so it depended on the day.

Effectiveness

Over the course of the container of MRE Lite my recovery and muscle building remained the same and consistently increased. I don't think this product went above and beyond in terms of recovery and muscle building. At the end of the day, this is a food supplement product and marketed as a whole food meal replacement. So, I only expect that my performance will not dip and continue to improve and it did with this product. So, to me in terms of muscle building and recovery this was as effective as other quality protein products I have tried. In terms of fullness, I felt it was above average due to the thickness, which I liked

However, there is one major issue I had with this product and it came down to the flavor and me actually want to drink it. Even with pecan pie being my favorite dessert I never really wanted to drink this product. This can be a major issue especially if you have a supplement that is hard to take. Maybe, another flavor would have been better. I will say that I did enjoy the flavor of the regular MRE product I reviewed a while back. At the end of the day, this was an effective product but the pecan pie flavoring could use some work.

Value

Redcon1 MRE Lite retails for $44.99 from Redcon1 making it about $1.49 per serving. Now, Redcon1 frequently has sales and at any one time there usually is at least a 25% coupon available. So, with a coupon like that you are looking at $33.75 per tub and $1.12 per serving. This is a very unique product and I think with a coupon it is competitively priced. Furthermore, it is hard to find a low carb meal replacement that is animal based with no whey protein. I think value comes down to whether this particular formula appeals to you. I will note that I would not purchase it without a promo code. In addition, Redcon1 charges a $9.99 flat rate shipping so keep that in mind.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Redcon1 MRE Lite is an effective whole food protein product but make sure you find the right flavor. I do think this is worth a try but really read the reviews on the various flavors before purchasing. In addition, if you order direct I would recommend using a coupon code. Thank you to Redcon1 for sending out the product.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Ultra Human for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 28, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Better Recovery
  • Hydration
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • Competitively Priced
  • Prop Blends
  • Not Widely Available

Introduction

I had never heard of Ultra Human until they began their participation in the Trooper program. After looking into their company, I was intrigued by their overall premium marketing on their website. I was looking to try EAA/BCAA product when this came up on the Trooper program, here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Amino Code comes in a 40 serving container with each serving being 9.7 g. I want to mention that when this came it was inside a felt bag (shipped in a box the bag was in the shipping box), which was a nice touch. In addition, the batch numbers an...

Introduction

I had never heard of Ultra Human until they began their participation in the Trooper program. After looking into their company, I was intrigued by their overall premium marketing on their website. I was looking to try EAA/BCAA product when this came up on the Trooper program, here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Amino Code comes in a 40 serving container with each serving being 9.7 g. I want to mention that when this came it was inside a felt bag (shipped in a box the bag was in the shipping box), which was a nice touch. In addition, the batch numbers and the persons name of who authenticated the bottle was handwritten on the bottle. This was a nice touch as I like this type of thing. Each two scoop serving of this product contains 30 calories and 3 g of carbohydrates. For vitamins and minerals it has 2 mg of vitamin b6, 25 mg of calcium, 25 mg of magnesium, 40 mg of potassium, and 35 mg of sodium. I see a lot of minerals in BCAA/EAA products these days for electrolytes.

The first major ingredient profile is called the Ultra Human Amino Matrix at 4250 mg. This contains your BCAA, EAAs, and sustamine. Sustamine is a dipeptide of l-alanine and l-glutamine, which when in this form is supposed to have better absorption. In addition, sustamine has been shown to have improved time to exhaustion during high intensity exercise and improved basketball skill performance. However, those benefits were seen with 600 mg, 2g, and 4g. Due to the prop blend, you have no idea of the amount you are getting in this product and if it is close to the doses that showed benefits. The next blend is the Ultra Electrolyte Mineral Blend at 2527 mg. Coconut water powders makes up 2100 mg of this blend and 427 mg are various electrolytes. This particular portion of the label I liked as I usually look for hydration with BCAA/EAA products. This is especially true in the warmer months as I tend to do a lot of cardio outside and sweat quite a bit more.

Overall, I like the ingredient profile but do wish it was not a prop blend. It is not a deal breaker but it is surprising to see prop blends in products today. I did really like that this product has no artificial sweeteners, colors, artificial flavouring, sugar, or gluten.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Amino Code comes in two flavors, they are dragon berry and raspberry lemonade. I received the dragon berry flavor and it was quite good. It had that traditional dragon berry smell kind of like a cross between a raspberry and grape with some strawberry. When you first taste it you get this dragon berry flavor followed by a strawberry like kick. The strawberry flavor lingers a little bit and then you get a slight stevia taste. It was quite good and very refreshing, which I was surprised because some stevia sweetened products are overpowered by it. In this case, the product was not. I usually would mix this in 40 ounces of water with ice cubes and it would mix well. There would be some residue at the bottom but it was minimal. In terms of dosing, I would use two to three scoops at a time. I would sometimes put this in a 40 ounces water bottle and sip throughout the day.

Effectiveness

I felt that Amino code was effective in two key areas, which are hydration and recovery. The first thing that I noticed when I first started taking this product was I was thirsty less. I tend to drink quite a bit of water but it fluctuates since as a teacher it is hard to use the bathroom with how classes are set up. So, during the work day I will usually drink less but that will lead to me being thirsty later in the day. However, when using this I would put it in a large water bottle and sip throughout the workday. I noticed that I tended to be less thirsty later in the day. In terms of taking this during my actual workouts, I noticed that I went to the water fountain less frequently than before. While running I also noticed that I would less frequently need to run by my car to get a drink. I am unsure if it was the coconut water or the electrolytes but whatever it was I felt this product was effective for hydration.

In terms of recovery, I noticed a small but significant reduction in DOMS. I recently have been upping the intensity of my workouts and noticed I would be very sore for several days. If DOMS was a sharp knife, I felt like this product dulled it slightly. It was still there but to a lesser degree. As far as running went, I felt that this made me less sore and I was able to run a little more frequently. On my off days, I will sometimes hike but this will at times turn into a run. However, if I am very sore that does not occur. I noticed that when taking this those hikes turned into runs slightly more frequently.

Value

Amino Code currently retails for 39.95 for 40 servings making it about $0.99 per serving. This is a pretty good price but I will note that this is not widely available. I could only find it direct from them or on Amazon by a third party seller ($0.10 cheaper). At $0.99 per serving I think this is competitively priced due to it being an EAA product as well. Currently, most popular recovery products on major supplement retailers tend to be straight BCAA products, which can be cheaper. I personally see value (and prefer) BCAA/EAA products over straight BCAA. I think it comes down to what you prefer and if you want an BCAA/EAA with hydration support this could be a good buy. If you don't want the hydration their could be cheaper options out there for BCAA/EAA products.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Amino Code is an effective BCAA/EAA product for hydration and recovery. In addition, it is competitively priced but not widely available. I definitely think it is worth a try if you are looking for BCAA/EAA recovery product with hydration.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Dymatize Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 25, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Low Cals And Carbs
  • Lactose Free
  • Mixes Well
  • Informed Choice
  • Recovery
  • Little Bit Sweet
  • Odd Artificial Taste
  • Did Not Enjoy Flavor

Introduction

Dymatize has been around for a long time. Over the years, I have tried their products since they seem to go on sale quite a bit. Out of all the products, I have tried I never used one of their protein powders. So, when it came up to claim I wanted to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

ISO-100 comes in a variety of bottle sizes and the one I received contains 23 servings. Each 32g serving contains 120 calories, 0.5g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, and 25g of protein. That 25g of protein comes from hydrolyzed whey protein isolate and whey protein ...

Introduction

Dymatize has been around for a long time. Over the years, I have tried their products since they seem to go on sale quite a bit. Out of all the products, I have tried I never used one of their protein powders. So, when it came up to claim I wanted to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

ISO-100 comes in a variety of bottle sizes and the one I received contains 23 servings. Each 32g serving contains 120 calories, 0.5g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, and 25g of protein. That 25g of protein comes from hydrolyzed whey protein isolate and whey protein isolate. In terms of the sweeteners, you have sucralose and stevia. I was surprised by the stevia but I did not notice it in the taste. The label of the product mentions that it has a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAA at 5.5g and 4.4g of glutamine. In addition, the product is also informed choice, which is something that I like to see. The product is also gluten free and contains 0g of lactose. Overall, it is a good ingredient profile. However, I am curious whether that additional whey protein isolate is cold filtered or ion-exchanged.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

ISO-100 comes in over 10 different flavors with two naturally sweetened options. I received the fudge brownie flavor for review. The powder of this protein smells quite good, it smells like hot cocoa mix. I exclusively used this product with milk so take that into account as I describe the flavor. The smell of the mixed powder with milk has a chocolate milk type smell with a hint of something artificial. When you first drink it you are hit with a very sweet chocolate taste almost like milk chocolate candy. It is followed with a very slight artificial type taste. It is hard to describe but it kind of tastes like straight splenda (sucralose). I'll be honest I have gotten that taste from a lot of different powders. It is very sweet, I did not really like the flavor as I personally prefer richer chocolate flavors that are less sweet. In terms of mixability, it mixed quite well with a blender ball even in milk. I was surprised because other powders I have tried have not always mixed as well as ISO-100. As far as dosing goes, I used this to fill my protein macros so the timing and scoop size varied by day.

Effectiveness

It is hard to rate the effectiveness of protein powders as they are a food source. Over the course of the bottle, I did not notice my performance decrease at all in terms of recovery or building muscle. Therefore, I believe this was an effective product in terms of muscle building and recovery. When I really look at effectiveness of a protein powder (other than quality), I look at the taste and how appealing it is to use. If you have a protein product that tastes bad regardless of the quality you probably aren't going to want to use it. Or, you still will but dread drinking it. As far as ISO-100, I felt that the sweetness and that odd artificial taste made me less inclined to use this product. Now, it was not awful and I still went through the container but I never looked forward to drinking this product. There are numerous other flavors so maybe one of them would have appealed more to me. But, I will note that chocolate is always my go to flavor.

Value

The 1.6 pound tub I received retails for $29.99 making it about $1.25 per serving. Now, there are other sizes of tubs with the largest being 5 pounds. The serving price on that one is $0.99, which is good for a whey protein isolate. As far as value goes, I think taste comes into play here greatly. It might be worth a try to test out some flavors and if you like them get a larger tub since $0.25 will add up overtime. I do see some value in the informed choice certification. One concern I do have with the value is the other whey protein isolate on the label, is it ion-exchanged or cold filtered?

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

I honestly thought this product was just okay. I did not notice any dips in performance or recovery so I believe this was an effective product. However, I did not like the flavor, which I think impacts that effectiveness due to not really wanting to use it. In addition, I question what that other whey protein isolate is in the ingredient profile whether it is ion-exchanged or cold filtered. I do think based on price and performance this might be worth a try if you find the right flavor.

-Xcmiler

EDIT: I am unsure why the run says 353 days but I claimed this back in May.


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 21, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Value
  • Increased Metabolism
  • Makes A Good Sweat
  • Open Label
  • Raise Body Heat
  • Reduce Water Retention
  • Increased Focus
  • Some Ingredients Could Be Dosed Higher

Introduction

About a month or two ago, I reviewed VMI Sports L-Carnitine 3000, now I was not overly impressed with that product. I felt like something was missing from the formula, 3000 mg of l-carnitine I felt just didn't cut it for me. I wanted different ingredients that I see in other non-stimulant fat burners. So, when I saw that they came out with L-Carnitine 1500 HEAT that now includes GBB, paradoxine, and bioperine I had to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

L-Carnitine 1500 HEAT is a product in liquid form and each bottle contains 31 servings. Ther...

Introduction

About a month or two ago, I reviewed VMI Sports L-Carnitine 3000, now I was not overly impressed with that product. I felt like something was missing from the formula, 3000 mg of l-carnitine I felt just didn't cut it for me. I wanted different ingredients that I see in other non-stimulant fat burners. So, when I saw that they came out with L-Carnitine 1500 HEAT that now includes GBB, paradoxine, and bioperine I had to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

L-Carnitine 1500 HEAT is a product in liquid form and each bottle contains 31 servings. There is no measuring cap so you have to use a tbsp, which is one serving. The first ingredient is 500mg of l-carnitine, which can aid with energy and weight loss. Then, you have 500 mg of acetyl-l-carnitine, which can provide some focus. After that, you have 500 mg of l-carnitine l-tartrate, which can aid with weight loss and recovery. Following these you have 50 mg of green tea extract that is standardized to 50% EGCG. This can aid with weight loss and boost metabolism, although I am unsure of the dosage as it seems low. Next, you have Gamma-butyrobetaine (GBB) at a 25 mg dosage. This dosage is pretty good and usually you will see about 25-30 mg in other products containing this ingredient. The big benefit to this ingredient is that it can cause thermogenesis and a lot of sweating while exercising. Then you have 15 mg of paradoxine grains of paradise. The dosage on this is on the low side and you will usually see it at 30 mg or more. This ingredient can enhance energy and aid with fat loss. Lastly, you have 2.5 mg of bioperine for absorption.

Overall, I liked the ingredient profile but I do wish the dosage on paradoxine was increased to 30 mg and the GBB slightly higher. I understand why they are lower due someone taking two doses of this which would put a lot of the ingredients to where I would want them. I personally do not want to take 3000 mg of l-carnitine as that is what the dosage would be if I did two scoops.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

L-Carnitine 1500 HEAT comes in three flavors, they are gummy bear heat, patriot pop heat, and orange pineapple heat. I received the patriot pop flavor. The product is in liquid form and when poured into a measuring cup it is orange in color. It smells like one of those push icicle deserts, the ones in the tube you probably ate when you were a kid. When you drink it you get this intense patriot pop flavor that is somewhat sour. When you swallow it it kind of burns almost like doing a fireball shot. If you have never done one of those it is kind of like taking NyQuil. Overall, I liked the taste and the burn of it I kind of liked. However, I could see someone not liking it so it would depend on the user.

Mixability does not apply since it is intended to be taken as a solo product. As far as dosing goes, they say to take one tbsp on an empty stomach before a meal or before exercise. I personally only ever took one serving at a time and it was either before a workout or before breakfast.

Effectiveness

I have always felt that non-stimulant fat burners were hard to rate. A lot of times you do not really feel them so it is hard to tell if they are working. This product I definitely noticed working especially in regards to thermogenesis. I took this a few times on off days in the morning before breakfast and noticed that I would be on the verge of sweating without doing anything aerobic. It just really gave off that feeling of warmth, which I liked. Now, when I would take it before a gym or a run I would sweat quite a bit. A lot more than I usually do and at times was quite a lot, where I would be sweating before I even started working out (although it is Summer at the moment). I will also note when taking this before a workout I would be a little more focused, which I really enjoyed. My main issue in the gym is losing focus so that is what I look for in supplements I take around training.

In terms of weight loss, I do not have numbers as my weight fluctuates quite a bit depending on my water intake or creatine doses. However, I did notice a pronounced leaning effect with this product, which I was surprised about. I would say I dropped about a pant size if I had to guess. But remember, I combined this cardio, relatively good diet, and weight training. I do think this product definitely helped and I think my results would have been better over a continued use over several months.

Value

This product retails on VMI Sports for $24.99 making it $.80 per serving. I have also seen it on Amazon for $19.99 making it $.64 per serving. This is competitively priced because there is not (at least one I could find) a liquid carnitine supplement that contains GBB, paradoxine, and bioperine. I definitely could see myself purchasing this but I wish this was slightly more available. I have seen it on Amazon but it is not always eligible for Prime or from an odd seller. You can get it direct but then you are paying shipping. Overall, I would recommend giving this a try.

EDIT: I will note that at the time of this writing it is $19.99 on Amazon with a 20% off coupon and I ended up buying a container.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Overall, L-Carnitine 1500 HEAT was an effective non stimulant weight loss product that had a great leaning effect. I definitely would recommend giving this a try but be realistic with your expectations. This is not going to make you shed pounds upon pounds of body fat but it could help you lose weight gradually with diet and exercise.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Sur PhytoPerformance for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 21, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Easy Dosing
  • Improved Endurance
  • Improved Stamina
  • Slight Increase To Recovery
  • NSF
  • Informed Choice
  • Expensive
  • Not Widely Available
  • Gelatin Capsule

Introduction

I had never heard of Sur or AltRed before they came to the site. After looking into the company it appears that they are owned by the same people behind many trademarked ingredients you see in products. Such as Vitacherry, EleveATP, Spectra and quite a few others. In addition, since I do a lot of cardio work this product appealed to me. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

AltRed comes in a small 30 serving bottle. Each serving is one pill and they contain 50 mg of beetroot extract that is standardized to contain 25% betalains. Betalains are said to ha...

Introduction

I had never heard of Sur or AltRed before they came to the site. After looking into the company it appears that they are owned by the same people behind many trademarked ingredients you see in products. Such as Vitacherry, EleveATP, Spectra and quite a few others. In addition, since I do a lot of cardio work this product appealed to me. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

AltRed comes in a small 30 serving bottle. Each serving is one pill and they contain 50 mg of beetroot extract that is standardized to contain 25% betalains. Betalains are said to have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. At first glance the 50 mg might not seem like a lot since a lot of beetroot products will have 500 mg or more. However, those products do not list the standardization and I doubt they are as high as 25%. Based on taking other beetroot products in the past, I could definitely tell a positive difference when using AltRed. So, I believe that the standardization here goes a long way.

In terms of other ingredients, you have organic rice fiber I presume is the filler. Carmine for the color of the pill as they are tiny red pills. Lastly, you have a gelatin capsule. I will be honest I am surprised they went with a gelatin capsule. If this was a vegetarian/vegan type capsule I feel like they could have had broader appeal. To me personally, it does not make a difference.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste and Mixability do not apply here but I will say the pills are very small. So, this could be beneficial for people who have issues taking pills. As far as dosing goes, they say to take one pill each day even on off days. In addition, you can increase the dose depending on the duration of the activity you are doing. Their dosing is as follows: 0-2 hours 1 pill two hours before activity, 2-4 hours 2 pills with one 2 hours before and the other at the start, and 4+ hours 1 two hours before, one at the start, and other two hours into the activity. In essence, you can dose the pills every two hours starting two hours before the activity and throughout the activity. I will include the dosing chart in the event my explanation was confusing. I personally only ever took one pill a day and on running/workout days I would dose it about two hours before.

Effectiveness

The main benefit of AltRed is improved endurance and recovery. If you go to the website a lot of the testimonials are from competitive runners, ironman participants, and bike riders. Luckily, when I began reviewing this product I had increased my running so I was able to test the improved endurance and recovery.

As I have mentioned in a lot of my reviews, I run anywhere from 4-6 days per week. I mix it up with LISS (low intensity steady state cardio), HIIT (high intensity interval training), and hillwork type runs. Once I started taking this I did not notice much for the first week. In the second week, I began to notice a slight increase in my stamina. This was noticeable as I have a running partner. I always had the better endurance out of the two of us as my partner is a novice runner whose main issue is pacing. Therefore, when they lead we will at times be going too fast for the distance of the run. What I noticed was over the course of the bottle my endurance and stamina were improving faster than my partner. In years past, they would usually catch up to where I was at by this time in the Summer. However, they did not in this case. I attribute it to the AltRed as I felt a lot better when I would run.

As far as recovery, there was a slight recovery boost as I was running longer and slightly faster. With this increase in speed and length I was not as sore as I would have thought I would be. So, in regards to recovery I do think it helped slightly.

Value

Each 30 serving bottle is priced at $50 per bottle. So, you are looking at about $1.66 per serving. Now, I have seen this on sale for $10 off so that would be $1.33 per serving. I looked for other similar products but to be honest I could not find one with a standardization even close to 25%. If you are in the market for a beet root product I would give this a try and compare it to other ones. I definitely noticed a large difference with this over a generic 500mg beet root pills with no standardization listed off Amazon. I will also note that AltRed is an Ironman U.S. Series Partner and it is listed on the official ironman website. In addition, the product is informed choice and NSF verified. They also have a 30 day money back guarantee where you can take this for a month and if you did not see results they can refund the purchase.

My personal value of these is I could see myself getting these depending on where I was at supplement wise. Every once in a awhile I go off most supplements such as a pre workout, BCAA, creatine etc. During those times I usually just use coffee, multi, protein and fish oil. I think next time I do that I will pick this up and run it again.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Overall, AltRed was a unique product that I felt was effective for HIIT and LISS cardio. I definitely noticed improvements in stamina and endurance. I also noticed a slight increase in recovery but it was not as large are the stamina and endurance increases. I feel like if you are in the market for a beet root product or do a lot of cardio this is definitely worth a try. Thank you to Sur for sending the product out and I apologize that the review took awhile to get done.

-Xcmiler


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Ryse Supps for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 1, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Enhanced Mood
  • Good Pumps
  • Great Focus
  • Trademarked Ingredients
  • Increased Energy
  • Expensive Without Coupon
  • Not Widely Available

Introduction

Ryse Supps was a company that I really only saw on social media ads. I can remember prior to them offering up their products on the Troops I had looked at their products. I was impressed but I never got a around to trying them. So, when Ryse Supps put up their pre workout Ryse up I wanted to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Each tub of Ryse Up comes with twenty 16.5g servings. I am not going to go through each ingredient but I want to highlight some and mention my thoughts on them. The first ingredient I want to mention is sodium at a 360 m...

Introduction

Ryse Supps was a company that I really only saw on social media ads. I can remember prior to them offering up their products on the Troops I had looked at their products. I was impressed but I never got a around to trying them. So, when Ryse Supps put up their pre workout Ryse up I wanted to try it. Here is the review.

Ingredient Profile

Each tub of Ryse Up comes with twenty 16.5g servings. I am not going to go through each ingredient but I want to highlight some and mention my thoughts on them. The first ingredient I want to mention is sodium at a 360 mg dosage, which I don't see too much of in pre workouts. I am presuming that it is here to aid with hydration as an electrolyte. After this the traditional pre workout ingredients begin with 6g of l-citrulline malate. The main purpose of this ingredient is to aid with pumps during your workout. I really like this dose as for me personally when I go higher I risk GI issues (not the case with this product). Next, you have a 2g dose of beta alanine that can aid with performance in the gym and with high intensity type workouts. As for the dosage, I have seen anywhere from 2-6g being used but you will mostly see 3.2g. I know I have experimented with beta alanine dosage in the past and 2-3.2g was the sweet spot for me.

The next ingredients I want to talk about is the 1.5g of l-tyrosine and 750 mg of n-acetyl l-tyrosine (NALT). The main purpose of these two ingredients is to enhance focus, increase mood and aid with performance during stressful times. The dosage on these is pretty good and it is similar to what I have taken in the past when creating my own pre workouts. The next ingredient I want to mention that relates to focus is 200 mg of citicoline using the trademarked cognizin form. I really like this ingredient and combined with the l-tyrosine and NALT the focus from this was great. The last ingredient I want to mention is 275 mg of caffeine. Personally, this is the perfect dose of caffeine that I always look for. Any higher and I will most likely have side effects and any lower my energy levels are not where I like them.

Overall, I really like the ingredient profile and just based on the formula this could be my go to creatine free pre workout.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Ryse Up comes in two flavors and they are candy watermelon and electric lemonade. I was sent the candy watermelon flavor. The powder of this pre workout has a very supplement type smell and I get hints of watermelon. When mixed it has like a salty watermelon type smell to it. When you first taste it, there is a mellow watermelon taste that has like tinge of salt. Then it is followed by a pretty good watermelon, almost like a slightly salty jolly rancher. This is short lived and then there is a sour kick at the end. Overall, it was pretty good but there definitely was a slight saltiness to the flavor, which was fine. As for mixability, it mixed well and was cloudy white in water. There was some residue left at the bottom so I would recommend shaking it each time you take a sip. As far as dosing goes, I would always do one scoop with 12-24 ounces of water depending on what shaker bottle I had.

Effectiveness

One of the major things that I have issues with at the gym is that I can get bored at times if I am at the tail end of a workout cycle. I will lose focus and just go through the motions, so I am always trying to mix up my routine and look for pre workouts that aid in focus. So, based on that when I claimed Ryse Up I went in knowing that I should get a decent amount of focus from this product. I am pleased to say that this meet my expectations and exceeded them in regards to my focus during my workouts.

I would usually start to take this about 25-30 minutes out from the gym as I drove there from work. It would kick in right as I would start my warm up (10 minutes) and when I finished I would focused. I noticed that the energy that I would get from this was very clean. It lasted for the duration of my workout (about one hour or longer if I did cardio at the gym) and tapered off slowly. I never really noticed a large drop in energy like I have had with other pre workouts. I was able to take it and then still have some energy to go to the park and run. The focus was great but I did notice that the effect was lessened as I kept taking this product. I feel like I built a slight tolerance but it still was effective. One major thing I noticed from this was a definite mood increase after taking it. It really did not kick in until after my workout and lasted for the rest of the day (I workout at about 4). I am presuming that this is from the l-tyrosine and the NALT but I cannot be sure. I really enjoyed how this product made me feel. As for pump, it was nothing to write home about but it felt unrestricted. For example, with high caffeine pre workouts I can feel that my pump is restricted with the high dose of caffeine/stimulants. This was NOT the case with this product and I felt the pumps were above average. Overall, this was a great pre workout product.

Value

Ryse Up retails for $49.99 direct from Ryse Supps making it $2.49 per serving. I will be honest the price on this is quite high and I cannot find it any other place cheaper. However, they do have coupons that range from 10-15% off from what I have seen. This drops it to about $2.12 per serving. Furthermore, they also have stacks you could purchase so there is one for a preworkout and BCAA/EAA product for $84.99. With the 15% off coupon you are looking at about $36 per product, which would drop the serving price to $1.80. However, you would have to want to use the BCAA/EAA product (other other stacked product). Regardless of the stacks and coupons this is expensive. When I personally purchase a preworkout my price point is about $1.50-2.00. I do not like to go over $2.00 per serving unless it is a RTD product. It is up to you whether you feel the price is worth it. I did actually pick up another tub by buying the BCAA/EAA stack. I am not sure if I would pick up the stack again since I did not like the flavoring on the BCAA product and buying the pre workout solo is expensive even with a coupon. I think if this was between $40 and $44 (before coupons) then it would be a definite purchase as my go to creatine free pre workout.

Side Effects

I had no side effects while taking this product.

Conclusion

Based on the ingredient profile and the effects I had from this preworkout I would consider this my go to creatine free pre workout. However, the high price and limited availability (only could find direct) hold it back. I could see myself giving this a try next time they have a sale or a good coupon. This is a hard recommend but based on the effects I received I would recommend giving this a try if your budget allows (I would recommend using a coupon for sure).

-Xcmiler




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