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bctuthill

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Reviews by bctuthill




Introduction

Hi everyone- I'm throwing up a NON trooper review today. There aren't enough of these, if you ask me. What are the guys who get sent free supps going to go out and actually buy as a staple item? That says a lot on its own.

Today's review might be a bit boring in the grand scheme of things... It's not a crazy PWO that's going to have you bouncing around the gym like a proton, it's not a test booster that will have you searching the gym for more plates to rack up on your bench, it's not some miracle nootropic that's going to have you speaking mandarin by Tuesday-- i...

Introduction

Hi everyone- I'm throwing up a NON trooper review today. There aren't enough of these, if you ask me. What are the guys who get sent free supps going to go out and actually buy as a staple item? That says a lot on its own.

Today's review might be a bit boring in the grand scheme of things... It's not a crazy PWO that's going to have you bouncing around the gym like a proton, it's not a test booster that will have you searching the gym for more plates to rack up on your bench, it's not some miracle nootropic that's going to have you speaking mandarin by Tuesday-- it's Glutamine; and it's going to aid in your DOMS!!

This container lasted me forever it seemed, but for the most part I was hitting the gym 5-6 times weekly while taking this. My personal stats put me at 6'2'', 220-225lbs.

Ingredient Profile

*L-Glutamine*

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste: None- this is flavorless
Mixability: meh... not great. It doesn't really dissolve. It will become suspended, but probably better in a smoothie than anywhere else if you don't want to be constantly shaking your drink.
Dosing: You can take up to 3 scoops of this per day. At 225lbs (I'm usually closer to that side ofthe scale), I only ever did 1 scoop per day in my morning shake. I noticed the effects from that alone.

Effectiveness

So how do you determine the effectiveness of glutamine? Stop taking it.

I ran out of this tub about a week an a half ago and haven't had time to order more. Since then, the DOMS have gotten worse and the weights have gotten heavier. I think we have a lot of glutamine haters out there; it's only conditionally essential and in a good diet you probably consume enough of it already. However, when you're training hard, your glutamine reserves plummit and fatigue sets in fast. It makes it harder to progress and the more you go to the gym, the worse it gets.

So here we have it- a really boring, no excitement supplement that can replenish those reserves day in and day out to help you keep up with yourself.

This is currently the #1 ranked glutamine on labdoor.com in terms of purity, and #2 in terms of value.

Honestly, if you've tried one you've basically tried them all. I know there's a big push for vegan or fermented options, which I do think have sound rationale behind them, but at the end of the day it's the same stuff.

To recap: this was effective in reducing DOMS and keeping my power output consistent daily.

Value

Here's the kicka' - $10 for 66 servings. That's the price at Bodybuilding.com, walmart, amazon, stop & shop-- $10.

Amazeballs.

It might be derived from duck feathers and human hair- I don't know- nor do I care. But it isn't marketed as vegan fermented miracle powder like many of the newer/trendier options.

However, it works.

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

If you've been wondering why your lifts on Mondays have been outweighing your lifts on Fridays, if your DOMS aren't fading, and if the weights are getting heavy, you might need glutamine. You might as well start with one that's proven effective and won't put a big dent in your wallet to see if it helps. Go grab a tub of Body Fortress with the change from between the seat cushions and get back to punishing the iron!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Value
  • Quick Recovery
  • Effective
  • Assisted With Doms ( Greatly)

    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to Vaxxen Labs for sending it out!
    (Show run details )

    -----
    Update 06/23/2017:
    Update: The guys at Vaxxen saw that I wasn't a fan of the blueberry muffin flavor and sent over a bottle of the birthday cake. It's completely different and I like'd it a LOT more. Very nice of them to do, and beneficial because now I'm totally on-board with this being a very good tasting option in addition to being very mixable and digestible.
    -----

    Introduction

    I want to start here by thanking Vaxxen Labs for their patience as I worked to complete these reviews. Sometimes life gets hectic and it can be tough to keep up, but nevertheless it's on me to ...

    -----
    Update 06/23/2017:
    Update: The guys at Vaxxen saw that I wasn't a fan of the blueberry muffin flavor and sent over a bottle of the birthday cake. It's completely different and I like'd it a LOT more. Very nice of them to do, and beneficial because now I'm totally on-board with this being a very good tasting option in addition to being very mixable and digestible.
    -----

    Introduction

    I want to start here by thanking Vaxxen Labs for their patience as I worked to complete these reviews. Sometimes life gets hectic and it can be tough to keep up, but nevertheless it's on me to hold up my end of the deal as a TROOPer!!

    While taking WheyXX, I was lifting 5-6 times weekly, usually in the morning and occasionally with a 2nd session in the afternoon.

    Personal stats are 6'2" 220-225lbs, and I admit to relying on powder for a lot of my daily protein intake.

    Vaxxen seems like a great up-and-coming brand. I tried their PWO and was floored by how good that was. Since then I've seen the rave reviews for their protein coming through. While I think this protein had a lot of upsides, I guess my taste buds must be different than our other reviewers. Here's my take:

    Ingredient Profile

    The ingredients for WheyXX are very simple-- as they should be.

    31g per scoop, supplying 24g of Protein in 125 calories, with 1.5g of total fat-- 1 of which is saturated, 2g of sugar, 3g of carbs, 1g of fiber, and 15mg of cholesterol.

    The protein is a blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate, with concentrate being the primary ingredient.

    For those who have trouble stomaching concentrate, Vaxxen also added Lactase to assist with digestion.

    It is sweetened with sucralose.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    I usually took this as a snack between meals. I'm a die-hard shake guy in the morning and like my routines, so I never (er... rarely) stray from using vanilla as my base, so the Vaxxen lived with me at the office. Typically I'd have 2 scoops around 3pm to make the final afternoon push.

    I always mixed this in a shaker bottle without the little metal coil (because I lose them immediately). It mixed extremely well. I never had a single chunk. The powder itself seems a little more grainy and dry than some other whey products I've used and it resulted in a very mixable solution.

    Taste: This is where I'm hung up. I received blueberry muffin... I wouldn't say this tasted horrible, but I definitely wouldn't eat a blueberry muffin that tasted like this. Honestly, for me, the smell was actually worse than the taste. I thought it smelled very chemical, and the first time drinking it, I plugged my nose. After I tasted it though I commented to whoever was with me at the time that it actually didn't taste as bad as it smelled. Still though, I got the essence of blueberry muffin, but found it to be a far cry from actual blueberry muffin flavor.

    Effectiveness

    It's hard to gauge protein's effectiveness yada yada...

    All the same, sometimes you feel better than others after consuming it. I'd say that Vaxxen's offering left me feeling good every time. I never felt bloated or weighed down, but it would always eliminate cravings or hunger for at least a couple hours or more.

    There was also no increase in DOMS when switching to this; if anything, they went down. This is tough to attribute to the protein though because there are so many other things in my stack that could help this.

    At the end of the day, Whey as a category has been scientifically backed to aid in muscle recovery, and this is a product produced with a blend of quality whey concentrate and isolate from a GMP-compliant FDA-regulated facility in the USA. Very trustworthy and reliable.

    Value

    Another knock on the rating here. The best price I've found is 36.99 for 2lbs or 28 servings. That's about $1.32/serving and I consider anything over $1/serving in this category to be expensive. Some people can afford it and can justify the excess cost, but I'm not one of them.

    There could also be the argument that this contains isolate which is always more money, but we have no real way of knowing how much is in there.

    A breakdown in ratios might end the discussion on price though-- who knows?

    Side Effects

    No gas, no bloating, no discomfort, no acne, nothing. Maybe bad breath. That's all.

    Conclusion

    I think I'm the outlier here. Everyone loves the taste but me. Besides that, it's an excellent premium protein by all means when you look at the label. If it's in your budget and you want something new, I say give it a shot. Thanks again to Vaxxen for their patience. I'm pumped to see what else these guys put out!!
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Builds Muscle
    • Can Be Mixed With A Spoon
    • Good Profile
    • Reduction Of DOMS
    • No Digestive Issues
    • Not Widely Available
    • Expensive

    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to Vaxxen Labs for sending it out!
    (Show run details )

    Introduction

    Hi Everyone, I'm looking forward to this review. Fulcrum was one of the best pre-workouts I've ever used and from everything I see, I think Vaxxen Labs could be a real up and coming brand name in the supplement industry. While taking Fulcrum, I was lifting in the morning typically, and making it into the gym 5-6 times per week. Some days I'd run an evening session too, but I'd only ever take the PWO in the morning.

    Ingredient Profile

    I'm going to break down Fulcrum's ingredients by category, because they do fall into the trend of having a lot of "stuff" ...

    Introduction

    Hi Everyone, I'm looking forward to this review. Fulcrum was one of the best pre-workouts I've ever used and from everything I see, I think Vaxxen Labs could be a real up and coming brand name in the supplement industry. While taking Fulcrum, I was lifting in the morning typically, and making it into the gym 5-6 times per week. Some days I'd run an evening session too, but I'd only ever take the PWO in the morning.

    Ingredient Profile

    I'm going to break down Fulcrum's ingredients by category, because they do fall into the trend of having a lot of "stuff" on the label. It's all fully disclosed, and I included a photo at the end so you can see exact dosages-Kudos for that.

    Stimulants:
    Caffeine Anhydrous
    2-Aminoisoheptane (aka DMHA aka Octodrine)
    Theobromine
    Halostachine

    Caffeine is my favorite, most reliable, and most trusted stimulant; but, as we all know-it can also make you crash pretty easily. Fulcrum does a good job with rounding out their stim category with other contributors that limit this from happening. DMHA is our new player to replace DMAA. This has also been attributed to crashing, but with Fulcrum I didn't notice that side effect. Theobromine is a derivative of Cacao Extract that provides a milder stimulation than caffeine, and has been touted as an ingredient to improve mood and blood flow. Lastly, Halostachine is closely related to ephedrine and mainly derived from Rye grass. This ingredient will actually demonstrate thermogenic effects, and can stimulate the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream. This results in an increase of alertness, focus, and energy. With all of these stimulants grouped together, you get a very steady and even keeled buzz from about 15 minutes after you take it, until hours later when it quietly wears off.

    Nootropics:
    N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)
    Alpha GPC
    Huperzia Serrata

    Nootropics are becoming more and more common in preworkouts. It's no longer enough to be amped up and get your blood pumping. The expectation seems to also be laser-like focus and an elevated mood. I'm not sure how much I buy into their effects or whether or not they're necessary, but Vaxxen did a good job with this one. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is becoming rapidly popular for its effects on supporting higher motivation levels, increasing focus, and improving mood. It should be dosed at 500mg or more, which is right where Fulcrum has it. Alpha-GPC goes a bit beyond standard nootropics. In addition to providing cognitive support (wheelhouse stuff for nootropics), it also increased power output (one study showed a 14% increase among athletes after supplementing) and potentially can lead to increased free-circulating growth hormone. Minimum dosage is usually around 300mg with 600mg being a target dose for athletes. Fulcrum falls short here only supplying 150mg. Lastly, Huperzia Serrata is relatively unstudied, but has long been used in Eastern Medicine to increase memory and fight cognitive decline. Usually it's dosed up to 200mcg, Fulcrum beats that with a dose of 300mcg. It's also recommended to be cycled every 2-4 weeks.

    Pumps:
    Citrulline Malate
    Agmatine Sulfate
    Red Spinach Extract (aka Oxystorm)

    The pump levels in Fulcrum are tremendous. I went into it a bit skeptical because Agmatine seems to be really trending, but I don't seem to respond to it typically. Not the case here. Fulcrum came in with a really solid dose for all the pump ingredients, and it turns out this Oxystorm stuff is quite legit! I've taken plenty of products with similar doses of citrulline and agmatine, and typically the two will work well in tandem. It was a whole different ballgame with the oxystorm. Usually citrulline will become noticeable for me in vascularity-but when taking fulcrum it was also the muscle swells that caught my attention. I couldn't help but notice how tight my skin would get over whatever muscles I was working out that day, and the pumps would typically last for a while after the gym too. All that pumpage really aided in recovery time between sets too. I couldn't stop!

    Endurance:
    Beta Alanine

    I have a love/hate relationship with Beta Alanine. I hate the tingles, but I know it works. I also notice that the tingles subside as I work out harder. So it actually motivates me by wanting to lose that uncomfortable feeling, too. This was dosed at 2.5g, significantly below the clinical dose, but solid all the same. I got the tingles, but they weren't torturous. I had no issues with fatigue either. I think 2.5g is probably enough, at least for me.

    Miscellaneous:
    Vitamin B6 & B12

    Note: There are no artificial dyes in Fulcrum, and it's made in the USA in an FDA-regulated, GMP-compliant facility.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Dosing was always 15 minutes or so before my lift. 1 scoop with about 12 oz. of water and there was hardly any settling. There was a good amount of foaminess, but that's it. The color of the powder and drink are a little strange. If you're used to seeing white-don't be shocked. This stuff is brown.

    I received the cherry bombsicle flavor and thought it was good (for a PWO). It wasn't overly sweet, but it wasn't really tart either. I'm usually one to have trouble getting down supplements that have a bad taste, but had no issue with this one. Once I experienced how well it effected my workouts, it became my favorite taste anyway!

    Effectiveness

    I honestly think I have a little separation anxiety from finishing this stuff. It was incredible. I almost always lift in the morning and only get 5-7 hours of sleep typically (usually closer to 5). I need a jolt to get me going and this did it. I also need to be mindful of a crash since I'm at work afterwards-none of that. It was a quick spike in energy every time that never left me falling hard. My focus was up a few ticks as well, and I found myself regularly adding a few extra lifts to my routine in every session. The pumps were ridiculous as well. That Oxystorm stuff seems to be the real deal, and I already knew I loved citrulline. Veins were always popping and muscles were swelling by the end of my first lift. The beta alanine was effectively dosed to provide increased stamina, but didn't make my face and hands feel like they were covered in fire ants. I also had no issues that sent me to the bathroom mid-lift. Not sure how they avoided that one, but they did!

    Value

    Fulcrum is priced at premium, frankly because it is premium. Everywhere I looked it was $39.99 for 25 servings. That's about $1.60/serving. Definitely expensive, but keep in mind that it does need to be cycled because of both the stimulants and the huperzia. So you won't be spending that every month, even if it becomes your favorite go-to. You definitely want to cycle on and off, and definitely DON'T want to exceed the recommended dosage!

    Side Effects

    None

    Conclusion

    If you can afford it, buy it. Fulcrum is no joke. Its ingredient label wins when put head to head with just about any of the other top-tier preworkouts available. It really seems to cover all the bases for me: energy that's clean and sustained; pumps that let you check your pulse by sight; focus even when surrounded by yoga pants; and endurance that pushes you to go beyond what you'd slated for the day. Really good stuff, and really recommend giving it a shot. Vaxxen labs- well done!!
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Improved Endurance
    • Increased Energy
    • Pumps
    • Razor Focus
    • Expensive

    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to AurumRX for sending it out!
    (Show run details )

    Introduction

    Hey everyone, today I'm going to be reviewing Trumino BCAA 6000 by a new brand I'd never heard of before, AurumRX. While taking this I was also running PWOs, a multi, fish oil, astragin, ZMA, creatine, and whey. I was lifting 5 days per week on average, usually 1.5-2 hours daily. I wasn't sure about what to expect with this from a brand I'd never heard of. All in all I was really impressed. The ratios of 3:1:1 are what initially caught my eye, but what sealed the deal for me to pick it is probably a little unexpected...

    Ingredient Profile

    The goods: 3:1:1...

    Introduction

    Hey everyone, today I'm going to be reviewing Trumino BCAA 6000 by a new brand I'd never heard of before, AurumRX. While taking this I was also running PWOs, a multi, fish oil, astragin, ZMA, creatine, and whey. I was lifting 5 days per week on average, usually 1.5-2 hours daily. I wasn't sure about what to expect with this from a brand I'd never heard of. All in all I was really impressed. The ratios of 3:1:1 are what initially caught my eye, but what sealed the deal for me to pick it is probably a little unexpected...

    Ingredient Profile

    The goods: 3:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine-- a total of 6g. You also get 1g of Taurine, and 3g of glutamine-- which I'm a big fan of in general. Total carbs is 4g.

    Here's the thing though: From my days bartending, I know a commonly practiced trick for cutting a strong drink and making generally anything more palatable is to use pineapple juice. It's sweet and blends into other flavors very well while masking unfavorable tastes. I've always found BCAAs to taste kind of gross, and what ultimately made me select Trumino was that I noticed the first ingredient listed in the "other ingredients" was pineapple fruit powder. I had to see what that was all about.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Well-- I think the pineapple powder was about tasting great! AurumRX sent me passion fruit flavor-- from what I can tell that's their only flavor. That's fine... because it's delicious. I'll attest it to the pineapple powder, but the nasty BCAA flavor I've always found off-putting was nearly non-existent.

    As for mixing... some might dock points here, but I saw what I wanted. When mixed, it gets a very thick foam on top. I like to see that though because I know that's the leucine I want. After a few minutes and a couple swirls, the foam settled down and I encountered hardly any settling at the bottom.

    Normally I take BCAAs intraworkout, but I opted against that this time because I was running VMI's SMART creatine intraworkout for most of the trumino bottle. So, this came to live with me at the office. I'd usually drink it in the afternoon when the afternoon fog started to creep in. It didn't do much to combat the fog, but walking over to the cooler usually did, and if that didn't help a cup of joe was fine for a chaser. I stuck to one scoop per day, usually 5 days per week.

    Effectiveness

    I must say... while the science goes against BCAAs as a whole, I did notice a decrease in DOMS during the week. I also rarely took this on the weekends, and noticed on Sundays I'd feel a little sore after lifting Friday/Saturday. That really impressed me. If that was really due to missing a couple days of Trumino, that's really something. But... a lot of that might have to do with it just being the end of the week and having lifted 5-6 days straight. All the same, I felt fueled up daily, and I think it worked.

    I did have significant strength gains and muscle growth while taking this, but I think that's more due to changes in my training whereas the Trumino may have been helpful in supporting my ability to handle it, if anything.

    Value

    Maybe a knock here, maybe not. It's a little expensive and not widely available. Currently on sale at AurumRX's website or Amazon for $29.99 with 30 servings. If I use Xtend as a baseline, this comes in significantly more expensive (Xtend is usually $22ish), but it's also a superior product IMO.

    Side Effects

    Bad breath-- as with all aminos.

    Conclusion

    I definitely recommend this stuff. If you're looking for a new BCAA I'd say give it a try. New company, new product, and worth exploring if nothing else. The product is made in the USA so kudos for that, I believe in Staten Island, and is GMP certified. Altogether with the effectiveness, the flavor, their responsive rep on the site, this was a good experience end to end. Thank you to AurumRX for putting this up, and hope you'll keep it going!
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Great Taste
    • Shortened Recovery Time
    • Too Expensive

    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to ProlifeStream for sending it out!
    (Show run details )

    Introduction

    A quick thank you here to ProlifeStream for giving me a chance to review this unique protein/probiotic combo. Also a quick apology for taking so long to post! Work has been insane for the past few weeks.

    I typically spend at least 5 days per week in the gym, and at a lean 225 I need a lot of protein-- much of which comes in powder form simply due to the macro requirements. When this popped up on the trooper dashboard I had to give it a shot. My diet is actually the opposite of what any self-respecting nutritionist would tell you it should be. My smallest meal is...

    Introduction

    A quick thank you here to ProlifeStream for giving me a chance to review this unique protein/probiotic combo. Also a quick apology for taking so long to post! Work has been insane for the past few weeks.

    I typically spend at least 5 days per week in the gym, and at a lean 225 I need a lot of protein-- much of which comes in powder form simply due to the macro requirements. When this popped up on the trooper dashboard I had to give it a shot. My diet is actually the opposite of what any self-respecting nutritionist would tell you it should be. My smallest meal is in the morning, and my largest meal is at night. More specifically, that's usually a protein shake with some banana, PB, Glutamine and Creatine in the morning. At lunch I have nearly 0 protein and eat a box(ish) of arugula/field greens with some beets and a tbsp of feta. Dinner could be just about anything. In between I add in more shakes-- just powder and water. Usually one of these shakes is right after lunch to make up some of the missed protein in that nutrient-rich salad. That's where ProLife fit in nicely. That said, it would be tough to keep it there from a cost standpoint.

    Ingredient Profile

    ProLifeStream comes in 2-packets. First is the protein packet. This packet contains 20g of Pea-Protein and a robust lineup of vitamins and minerals (see the photo at the end). What's particularly nice about the blend is while it has all of your usual players that you'd find in a multivitamin, it also has a proprietary blend consisting of 6.15g of *stuff*. Stuff like Chlorella (basically pond scum)-- a veritable super-food; ashwagandha root-- a natural ingredient shown to decrease stress and lower cortisol levels; turmeric-- especially helpful for joints but trending in the health community as a cancer preventative and more; MSM-- again for joints... and the list goes on. I've put a photo of the label at the end because it would be simply too cumbersome to list everything out here.

    The second packet is your probiotic blend. Full disclosure, This is a bit under-dosed in my opinion, but it's good to have at all. I normally look for 30 Billion active cultures or more. This has 15 Billion.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Let's start with Mixing... because that gets pretty technical here, as far as supplements go. The directions state to mix one of each packet with 8-12oz of water, then let it sit for 2 minutes before drinking. The rep also followed up on my dashboard to reiterate that you need to wait 2-minutes. So, it seems important to wait! I'm guessing the cultures need to activate? Who knows... moral of the story... ya gotta wait.

    I usually poured the packets into my shaker, shook it up, waited, shook it up again, and drank. That worked well. One nice thing about this was it dissolved really easily-- much easier than Whey.

    Dosing was once daily- usually at lunch. I eat a veggie-based lunch usually that represents most of my intake of greens for the day but has very little protein. Because of that, I usually follow up with a shake, and this was great in tandem with that.

    Taste was not great. I described it to people that it didn't taste very good but it was like Kombucha... I don't think anyone actually *likes* the taste, but knowing that it's good for you makes it taste... rewarding. Think: Peas with vanilla flavoring, dried and ground to powder, and kind of gritty. However, I felt great after drinking it every time and the added greens seemed to have an effect on my body's alkalinity that made me experience less acid reflux than I normally do.

    One annoying thing though... Of the two packets, the probiotics were able to be torn open, but you needed scissors to open the protein. I think that needs to change. At the price point of this product, you really need to have the user experience ironed out completely. You shouldn't need to use tools.

    Effectiveness

    As I mentioned before, this seemed to heighten the alkalinity of my body. I noticed less heartburn & acid reflux. I also felt healthier and in a better mood, but that could be due to other supplements I was taking at the time, or even a placebo effect from drinking something I knew was packed with good stuff for me.

    In terms of increased DOMS... hard to say. I take in a lot of protein, plus other things like glutamine and BCAAs, plus I stretch and rollout regularly. All of these things will have an impact on soreness.

    I did not notice a tremendous change in joint soreness or anything despite multiple ingredients in the proprietary blend that would help with alleviating joint pain.

    Value

    So... this would be about a 0/10 rating for most people, but I think the company is really gearing itself toward a niche market. When I first received it, MSRP on their website is $130 for 14 servings. Astronomically expensive! However, it was "on-sale" for about $100. As of June 1st 2017, when I looked again, they have some tiered pricing options. You can now get 28 servings for $258.90, marked down to $189.75; or you can get 56 servings for $517.80, marked down to $359.86. So- at the best bulk price you're looking at ~$6.43/serving. That's a lot. But, it comes in a nice box and has neat shiny packets. This would be good for a neat-freak with money to burn.

    Side Effects

    None

    Conclusion

    Pricing aside, I think this is a good supplement. It doesn't taste great, but it has a solid ingredient profile and a hearty dose of protein in it. However, it's simply going to be cost prohibitive for most people. Unless this is easily within your budget, I wouldn't recommend trying to stretch a dollar to afford it. There are simply other ways to ingest the ingredients you find here at a lower cost per serving by using other means. If you *can* afford it, this provides a very clean, one-stop option to cover your multivitamin, joint, and greens needs, as well as some, if not all of your protein needs. Thanks again to these guys for participating and I'm sorry to take so long in posting the review!
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Good Ingredient Profile
    • Makes Your Gut Feel Good
    • Requires Scissors
    • Too Expensive

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

    Introduction

    Hi everyone, today I'm going to be reviewing SMART Creatine v3 by VMI sports-thanks to those guys for participating in the troops and the opportunity to review another awesome product by this company! I used SMART creatine as a pre/intra-workout, usually consuming it all within 20 minutes of getting started at the gym and a typical session of 90-minutes to 2-hours. I usually kick off my sessions with big muscle lifts like squats, deadlifts or cleans and it's during those sets that this stuff was usually finished. It was also by then that my muscles were bulging and I...

    Introduction

    Hi everyone, today I'm going to be reviewing SMART Creatine v3 by VMI sports-thanks to those guys for participating in the troops and the opportunity to review another awesome product by this company! I used SMART creatine as a pre/intra-workout, usually consuming it all within 20 minutes of getting started at the gym and a typical session of 90-minutes to 2-hours. I usually kick off my sessions with big muscle lifts like squats, deadlifts or cleans and it's during those sets that this stuff was usually finished. It was also by then that my muscles were bulging and I was ready to move on to more isolated movements.

    During this run I was typically taking a PWO beforehand. I tried to isolate the SMART Creatine's effects by changing the PWO on a few occasions and seeing what remained consistent

    Ingredient Profile

    SMART uses a blend of 3 different creatines that digest at different rates (slow, medium, accelerated, release technology; SMART).

    First is Magnapower (Magnesium Creatine-Chelate). Magnapower has a faster rate of absorption than standard monohydrate and requires no loading period. It creates an energy source for fast twitch muscle fibers and decreases fatigue.

    Next is Creatine Citrate which is supposed to be more water soluble than monohydrate. Besides that, the two don't differ much in terms of absorption.

    Last we have Creatine Pyruvate which again shows very little difference in absorption from Monohydrate, but demonstrated an ability to cause an elevation in plasma levels of creatine-which I suppose I could attribute much of the pump to.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    My regular dose was 1 scoop in my shaker, consumed as I warmed up and did my first set at the gym. It tasted great and mixed well. I received Lemon-Lime and thought it tasted very similar to Gatorade.

    On a few occasions I drank this as a recovery drink on off days, but never took more than 1 scoop daily.

    This stuff tasted great-honestly. I looked forward to both the taste and its effects.

    Effectiveness

    So, it would be tough to judge SMART forits effects on recovery, but I found it really shined in two areas: pumps and endurance. My lifts were pretty great every time I took this, and I noticed an ability to push out a few extra reps on every lift. I've been forcing myself to spend a little more time between sets recovering lately too, so that may have helped as well, but by the time I hit the 90-second mark I was usually growing impatient and ready to go.

    As for the pumps, those things were SERIOUS! On a good arm day my muscles were swelling to a point that I've never experienced. Through most of the time taking it I was also stacking with a product that contained a good amount of Citrulline, and the added vascularity from that just made the whole experience pretty epic. I'd highly suggest combining a good vascular pump product with this to ensure you get the most of it.

    SMART is a really good product to demonstrate the difference between a pump and an increase in vascularity-- I know I used to think the terms were interchangeable, and I doubt I'm alone. SMART made my muscles fuller, but I don't attribute an increase in vein size/visibility to it.

    Value

    Right now on Amazon you can buy Lemon-Lime for $29.99. At $1/serving, I'll take that deal all day long.

    Side Effects

    Thirsty. This also has salt in it which is great as an added electrolyte, but I think it did seem to make me thirstier.

    Conclusion

    VMI does it again-this is a product I'd recommend to anyone. Its pumps are incredible, and I experienced no water retention while taking it. My only gripe is that I don't think it can entirely replace monohydrate if you're used to having that loaded at all times, so I did need to play around a bit with when trying to add the monohydrate to the stack daily and how much to use. Besides that, it was nothing but pro's here. For the price, I'd say it's worth anyone giving it a shot.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Muscle Endurance
    • Full Label Disclosure
    • Increased Power
    • Better Pump
    • Great Taste

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

      Introduction

      Hi everyone- I'm here to review VMI Sport's Arima-XD. This company has quickly become one of my favorites and they usually do a great job in the AI space. Arima-XD is no exception. It's milder than other AIs they've produced, but altogether I think it's a solid standalone product for recomping, and potentially a good tail-end supplement for a PCT stack. Thanks to VMI for their support of the TROOPer program and I hope we're delivering the quality reviews they need to spark the brand!

      Ingredient Profile

      First we have vitamin E-- Why?
      > Maybe because of the ...

      Introduction

      Hi everyone- I'm here to review VMI Sport's Arima-XD. This company has quickly become one of my favorites and they usually do a great job in the AI space. Arima-XD is no exception. It's milder than other AIs they've produced, but altogether I think it's a solid standalone product for recomping, and potentially a good tail-end supplement for a PCT stack. Thanks to VMI for their support of the TROOPer program and I hope we're delivering the quality reviews they need to spark the brand!

      Ingredient Profile

      First we have vitamin E-- Why?
      > Maybe because of the effects vitamin E has on prolactin levels. Prolactin is also known as luteotropic hormone-- a protein based hormone responsible for milk production in (usually) females. Sounds estrogen-y. Vitamin E will supposedly drop prolactin levels without having an effect on free testosterone, and has demonstrated the ability to do so in numerous clinical studies.

      Next up, we have the "estrogen destroyer matrix"... [Calcium-D-Glucarate] at 350mg per serving is in there because it's proven to lower estrogen levels, and is also used as a form of breast cancer protection for that reason. However, if taken orally you'd need to take a toxic amount for it to be effective... about 100mg/kg... so if I'm 225lbs, that's 102kgs x 100mg = 10,200mg... or 10.2g. That's a lot. [Diindolylmethane A.K.A. DIM] You can get it in your broccoli. It is anti-cancer and anti-estrogen. This stuff is really the power at work in Arima-XD, I think. It's been shown extensively that it regulates estrogen levels, but specifically, to keep them steady and without radical fluctuation in either direction. It will act as an aromatase inhibitor by actively targeting more potent forms of estrogen and preventing conversion of testosterone to estrogen via the aromatase enzyme. A dose as low as 100mg has been shown decrease estrogen levels. Tread carefully though. DIM can go Benedict Arnold on you and switch sides to start upping estrogen levels. That's why you need to cut A-XD out at 6 weeks tops. There's 150mg in here. --Or is there? The last ingredient in the "matrix" is [Indole-3-Carbinol], the metabolic precursor of DIM! But, it's only 150mg more, and it breaks up into other metabolytes too, so it's tough to say what you're getting in DIM from the i-3-c.

      Last is the "Aromatase Enxyme Inhibitor" 165mg, proprietary blend. Chrysin and Astragin. Well... Chrysin is only shown to work if you inject it directly into your testicles, and won't work at all taken any other way. That's a lot of pressure for Astragin... I think AstraGin is great stuff and works really well, but I don't know if it's THIS powerful/effective.

      That's it.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I took it every morning on an empty stomach, even though the bottle said to take it at night. I thought that worked out great and I really felt the effects.

      Effectiveness

      After a very long waiting period (and I usually react fast), I started to notice similar (but milder) effects as what I have when I take arimistane. Drying out... toning up... looking more lean... more vascular, as well as actually feeling better in the gym, a greater sense of motivation and confidence.

      It did take a really long time though. I remember complaining to someone almost two weeks in that I felt nothing.

      On the bottle VMI makes the following claims:
      - Increases Libido
      - Lowers Cortisol
      - Inhibits Aromatase Enzymes

      Now, I can certainly attest to the first. There was definitely an uptick in libido, but it was a fraction of what you'd experience taking a stronger AI like arimistane. As for the other two, it's difficult to prove, but symptomatically I'd say it was working there too. Cortisol is your stress hormone and I feel that during my time running Arima-XD I was able to function more confidently. I sometimes get nervous before presenting to my CEO, but needed to make a few presentations during my cycle and felt much more prepared and confident while doing so. This deserves an asterisk though because I'm also more settled in to my current position than I have been at any other time as well. So, it could be attributed to that too.

      Other indicators for AI effectiveness might be things like moodiness or feeling overly emotional. These symptoms seemed to be kept at bay. I felt very level headed during the entire period of taking it-- even when watching Homeward Bound with my 3-yr old son... I remained a rock of composure and stoicism. That's basically impossible, but it happened. That movie usually gets me every time. Man when Shadow falls into that hole and can't get out then he shows up somehow at the very end!! Killer.

      I didn't notice anything drastic in terms of weight or rep increases, maybe a slight decrease in fatigue, but when used during a stack that could be attributed to a lot of things.

      Altogether this stuff is very mild feeling, but in a good way. You don't feel like anything other than a slightly better version of yourself.

      The biggest indicator of its effectiveness for me was probably the mirror. My workouts weren't dramatically changing, but I seemed to get better faster aesthetically.

      Value

      Available for $31.63 on Amazon right now. That's a fair price at a little over $1/day for 30 servings.

      Side Effects

      Similar sides to Arimistane- mainly sore joints. However, the sides were much milder and the on-set was much later (i.e. mid-end of the 3rd week)

      Conclusion

      Overall I had a good experience with Arima-XD. I'd recommend it to someone that wants to explore AI's and Natural Test Boosters but doesn't have experience with them yet, just to get a sense of what they'll experience in a milder setting than some of the more potent ones. I could also see this being used as a last step in a PCT stack. I don't think it's powerful enough for use when coming off any prohormones, but tapering down from a PH or strong NTB or SARM, to a NTB or Arimistane, then to Arima-XD I think would be a perfect setting for it.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Good Value
      • Increased Libido
      • Builds Muscle
      • Improved Vascularity
      • Fat Loss
      • Dry Joints

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to GDN Superstore for sending it out!
      (Show run details )

      Introduction

      Today I'll be reviewing ADNs daily 100 multivitamin. I didn't have a great experience with this one unfortunately, but I want to thank ADN and hope they'll have a chance to improve the product based on the feedback generated by their participation in the TROOPs program.

      Altogether, there isn't much to say here, but I'll dive into it as best I can.

      It also seems as though the product might be getting phased out... it's no longer available on Amazon, and doesn't come up in Google Shopping either.

      Ingredient Profile

      Very basic lineup...
      Vitamins A-K; with h...

      Introduction

      Today I'll be reviewing ADNs daily 100 multivitamin. I didn't have a great experience with this one unfortunately, but I want to thank ADN and hope they'll have a chance to improve the product based on the feedback generated by their participation in the TROOPs program.

      Altogether, there isn't much to say here, but I'll dive into it as best I can.

      It also seems as though the product might be getting phased out... it's no longer available on Amazon, and doesn't come up in Google Shopping either.

      Ingredient Profile

      Very basic lineup...
      Vitamins A-K; with higher doses of the whole b-vitamin spectrum, especially thiamine (b1), riboflavin (b2), and b6.

      Other usual players... folate, calcium, zinc, magnesium... The label is posted at the end, but there just isn't much to write about here.

      There is a proprietary blend as well that includes green tea leaf extract, grape seed extract, turmeric and a few others.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      3-pills daily, which I took with my first meal.

      There is a strange sulfuric smell to these- luckily I didn't have any issues with burping after I took them, but I'm very surprised I didn't because of how bad these smelled.

      Effectiveness

      From the standpoint of someone who doesn't usually take multivitamins, I actually could tell this pill was helping me to some degree. I just felt a little better in general- more awake, level headed, less sore, etc. All those benefits were extremely slight. With other multis (when I do take them), I've felt the same things with more prominence. I think the prop blend with the green tea extract and heavy doses of b-vitamins were the most effective part of the experience, as they did provide a mild wakeful energy shortly after taking them. It was something I noticed one morning after buying my coffee and then realizing I didn't really need it as badly. Besides that one event I didn't have any other moments where I thought to myself that the supplement was kicking in.

      Value

      This appears to only be for sale on Groupon now. It was $39.95, but is marked down to $14.95 there and is still too expensive. You can buy a better option like opti-men for the same price.

      Side Effects

      Neon pee.

      Conclusion

      You're better served spending your money elsewhere. The dosages here are lower than in similar priced options from competitors, and I've never encountered a smell like ADN has elsewhere. It's really off-putting.

      Sorry everyone for the lame review, but there's just not much to say here. I actually struggled to even hit the 400 word minimum on this one.

      Move along and choose something else.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Increased Energy
      • Easy 3 Pills
      • Under-dosed Compared To Competitors
      • Too Expensive

      Introduction

      Hey guys- it's been a while since I wrote a review on a purchase and this review on Arimistane is long overdue. I took this to stack with D-Pol and the two work together incredibly well. When the D-Pol ended I kept up with the Arimistane for another 6-weeks, then took a month off of all things that can effect hormone levels. I'm hoping this will provide a well rounded testament to how amazing this stuff actually is.

      Ingredient Profile

      50mg Arimistane (Androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione)

      Arimistane is a suicidal Aromatase Inhibitor that acts by binding to and...

      Introduction

      Hey guys- it's been a while since I wrote a review on a purchase and this review on Arimistane is long overdue. I took this to stack with D-Pol and the two work together incredibly well. When the D-Pol ended I kept up with the Arimistane for another 6-weeks, then took a month off of all things that can effect hormone levels. I'm hoping this will provide a well rounded testament to how amazing this stuff actually is.

      Ingredient Profile

      50mg Arimistane (Androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione)

      Arimistane is a suicidal Aromatase Inhibitor that acts by binding to androgens and preventing estrogen conversion. Without an AI, your body will try to balance rising testosterone levels (from whatever cause), with a spike in estrogen. This kills your muscle growth, libido, motivation... basically your will to live! (gains are life, bro) It also prevents the onset of gynocomastia, and can help in reversing it if it's already happening to you.

      Arimistane also prevents a rise in cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which can lead to gaining weight and killing your progression. Preventing it from becoming a problem leads to a better, more confident mindset and leaner physique.

      Lastly, it increases the release of luteinizing hormone which is responsible for sperm production and an increase in natural testosterone. Take that to bed with you.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I had great effects at 2 pills daily first thing in the morning. When supplementing with this on its own, you can take a second dose later in the day, but with the effects I had without doing so, I wouldn't say it's even close to necessary. Just take it on an empty stomach 30 minutes before you eat.

      My routine was to take it first thing, before I showered for work. Once I was showered and dressed I had easily surpassed 30 minutes, made my morning shake, and hit the road.

      Effectiveness

      I started arimistane 2-weeks into a D-Pol run. I'd noticed a quick change in energy, strength, and motivation within a week of starting the D-Pol, and noticed it start to taper down around that 14-day mark. Motivation was in decline and so was my libido, and I attributed this to my body trying to balance my hormone levels with more estrogen. I started the arimistane and within days (literally, like... 2 days) I was on another level. I was spending 2 hours in the gym easily with no fatigue at all. My queue to go home was due to time, not fatigue. Add to that, my weights on just about every lift went from reps of 8-10 to 15-20. I increased my weights in every single category-- usually by ~20%, but in a few lifts I literally doubled my weights.

      One thing I'd noticed early on when just running the D-Pol was that my muscles were full but the gains were relatively bulky. The arimistane dried that right out. The gains got very lean, and vascularity significantly increased.

      When the D-Pol run ended after 30 days, I was worried about the drop off. Arimistane kept that at bay too. D-Pol was definitely the leading edge on increasing my weights, but once that fell out of my stack I was able to maintain most of the weight/rep ratios I'd achieved or only take a minor step back. That lasted about a week and then strength gains started to come on again with just the arimistane, though not as rapidly as when I had the two compounds stacked.

      The last thing I noticed was in the bedroom. Good in every respect. I actually think my member got a little bigger... and that was according to my wife. Not bad!

      When I stopped my second month I did notice a significant fall off that took about 3-weeks to get out of. Weights went down, motivation decreased, water weight came back a bit, but in every category I never fell to even close to the point I was at when I'd first started taking it. It was far from 2 steps forward, 1 step back... more like 5 steps forward 1 step back.

      Value

      You must be kidding me with the value here. I spent $29.99 at nutrahealth supply the first month, and $24.99 at Amazon the second month. It easily justifies itself to cost $1/serving.

      Side Effects

      As with the other reviews, this did make my joints sore. Mainly my shoulders and only noticeable with things like rows at full extension. My knee bothered me too, but always does. Arimistane didn't help that. I upped my fish oils though, and that pretty much eliminated the problem. However, that doesn't look like it was effective for everyone. (I'll quickly add that 2 1/2 weeks into VMI's Arima-XD I have no sore joints and similar yet not quite as intense effects so far, but that reviews comes later)

      Conclusion

      Altogether, this is an incredible supplement. It could be helpful as a PCT, but also a totally legit standalone choice. If you want to push the limits for yourself, but stay safe and away from complicated PH stacks and their PCT requirements, this is the best you'll find.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Good Value
      • Increases Libido
      • Strength
      • Vascularity
      • Builds Muscle
      • Increases Recovery
      • Increases Test
      • Dry Look
      • Painful Joints

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      Thanks to Nutrex for sending it out!
      (Show run details )

      Introduction

      Hey SR folks- & thank you to Nutrex for the opportunity to try this PWO Outlift. I was pretty much ready to write off PWOs and return to my standard practice of mixing my own pump ingredients and taking some caffeine, but then I tried this and I'm a believer again.

      Ingredient Profile

      Fully Disclosed (+1) and clinically dosed (+1)

      Citrulline Malate 2:1 @ 8g provides huge vascularity at that dose
      Carnosyn @ 3.2g provides tingles in every dose (sometimes too much for me) and an extra rep or two
      Creapure @ 3g-could have done without this actually
      Leucine/Isoleu...

      Introduction

      Hey SR folks- & thank you to Nutrex for the opportunity to try this PWO Outlift. I was pretty much ready to write off PWOs and return to my standard practice of mixing my own pump ingredients and taking some caffeine, but then I tried this and I'm a believer again.

      Ingredient Profile

      Fully Disclosed (+1) and clinically dosed (+1)

      Citrulline Malate 2:1 @ 8g provides huge vascularity at that dose
      Carnosyn @ 3.2g provides tingles in every dose (sometimes too much for me) and an extra rep or two
      Creapure @ 3g-could have done without this actually
      Leucine/Isoleucine/valine @ 6g 2:1:1 blend provides a bit of help to endurance
      Taurine @ 2g for a little more pump
      Caffeine @ 350mg gives the perfect boost in one shot
      Acetyl Tyrosine @ 150mg for a bit of focus
      Bioperine to help with absorption

      Sweetened with Sucralose

      No artificial dyes

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      Taste: Fantastic-easily the best tasting PWO I've had since NO-Xplode, and honestly it's been so long since I took that, possibly the best ever. I HATE the way PWO drinks usually taste, but this was actually pleasant. I received Miami Vice and it just tasted fruity. The flavor that seemed most prominent was pineapple.

      Mixability: This WILL explode, but not as bad as others I've tried. I typically threw it in a shaker, shook, and drank. There was always a good amount of foaminess to it, but that's no bother. At the end, there were very few particles left over.

      Dosing: You had to shake the container prior to mixing, and this actually did seem to have an impact on the 1 occasion I didn't do that & noticed diminished effects. From there, 1 scoop 20 minutes prior to your lift and you're off.

      Effectiveness

      Every time I took this I immediately felt alert, had tingles from head to toe, and huge vascularity. My workouts were better and longer, and I was able to push myself harder. Sometimes the Carnosyn was a little much for me; I don't really like the tingles. If I didn't head to the gym right after taking it, it was a bother. It always settled down once I got rolling though. The citrulline had my arm veins looking like firehoses, plus I was getting veiny in my shoulders, chest, and even legs. Muscle fullness was huge, but I was getting extra creatine citrate intra-workout as well, so that might have had an effect there.

      Recovery wise I was solid from one set to the next, one lift to the next, and one day to the next. Definitely felt sore after my lifts, but once I got in again the next day and warmed up I felt strong and didn't notice that.

      Value

      This stuff is too expensive. I was able to find it for $34.95 at supplement central, which is about $1.75 per scoop (20 servings). That's kind of a lot. All the same, I loved it and I do plan to buy it again. That said, the price of $34.95 was marked down from $70 no WAY would I pay $70.

      Side Effects

      None- no headaches, no crash, no frequent trips to the bathroom, nothing.

      Conclusion

      I'm really bummed to be out of this stuff. It really renewed my belief in PWOs as a category and provided a simple straight-forward choice in a land where the blends seem to be getting more and more complicated.

      For a stim junkie, it might leave a bit to be desired with only caffeine in there to provide a jolt of energy, but I really don't like the DMHA and infinergy, and all the other stuff companies are adding nowadays. I understand why it's in there, but it either doesn't agree with me & my head or stomach, or it keeps me up all night. Outlift struck the perfect balance.

      My only gripe is the creatine. It's creapure, which is good, but it's also monohydrate which isn't going to provide much in terms of immediate effects. Moreover, you'd really need 5g to replace an alternative source of creatine, so at 3g it makes it a little tricky to get to 5g elsewhere without water retention.

      Creatine aside, if you can afford Outlift, go buy it and lift hard!
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Good Taste
      • Increased Energy
      • Endurance
      • Fully Disclosed
      • Clinically Dosed
      • Huge Pumps
      • Huge Vascularity
      • Pricey

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