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bctuthill

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Reviews by bctuthill




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:
  • Increases Recovery
  • Increases Libido
  • Increases Test
  • Strength
  • Vascularity
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Value
  • Dry Look
  • Painful Joints

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

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

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!)

Introduction

Hey SR folks- and thank you NutraBio for letting me try this product. It's tough to impress me with protein; I usually stick to concentrates and rarely mess with Isolates, but when it popped up on the dashboard I needed to give it a try. I'd seen lots of good reviews, and now I can personally attest that they're accurate as well. I really enjoyed this and for those of you who are already buying premium proteins, or strictly use isolates, this one's the bomb!

Special Kudos for being made in the USA, at Nutrabio's own GMP-certified and FDA-inspected facility. This me...

Introduction

Hey SR folks- and thank you NutraBio for letting me try this product. It's tough to impress me with protein; I usually stick to concentrates and rarely mess with Isolates, but when it popped up on the dashboard I needed to give it a try. I'd seen lots of good reviews, and now I can personally attest that they're accurate as well. I really enjoyed this and for those of you who are already buying premium proteins, or strictly use isolates, this one's the bomb!

Special Kudos for being made in the USA, at Nutrabio's own GMP-certified and FDA-inspected facility. This means you're getting a high quality product with no middle man in the process of developing --> manufacturing --> selling to consumers.

Ingredient Profile

Off the rip, this is about as pure a whey isolate as you can find. There's really nothing else in it-literally, in a serving of 28.7g, 28.2 of those grams are whey protein isolate (non-denatured), and .5g are natural flavoring and sucralose.

25g/scoop and 110 calories.

There's no lactose, gluten, or soy.

Also verified to have no amino spiking, no GMOs, and no cholesterol.

What you DO have is a litany of Essential, Conditionally Essential, and Nonessential amino acids... A quick list here and photos at the end for measurements...

Essential: Tryptophan, Valine, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Phenylalanine, Methionine
Conditionally Essential: Arginine*, Cysteine, Tyrosine, Histidine, Proline, Glutamic Acid (*~.5g -- don't expect a pump)
Nonessential: Aspartic Acid*, Serine, Glycine, Alanine (*not d-aspartic acid, just to be clear)

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I requested the vanilla, but received the peanut butter cup and am glad I did. It was delicious. I mixed it a few ways and enjoyed it each time. I normally request Vanilla because I mix a morning shake with bananas and PB and it goes together well, but I found myself mixing this alone more often with just skim milk because it tasted so good.

Typically I was taking 2 scoops in the morning, 1 post workout. Sometimes I'd take one pre-workout if I was hungry to the point I'd worry about being distracted by it.

This had fewer chunks than any protein I've used before. Mixing with a spoon typically left a top layer of chunks that were all very small (<1/8"). Shaking or blending was totally smooth. Really impressive.

Effectiveness

The bane of all protein reviews I know it's working, but I can't tell, and there's no way I'm going to cut my protein intake to verify.

I had no fall off in recovery time after switching to this, and actually I lost a bit of body fat w/o losing weight. That could be due to a variety of factors harder training, changing my lifts up... but since I cut out the banana and PB in the morning shake, that may have done it too. I was simply consuming fewer calories in the morning because I liked how this tasted on its own so much.

Value

$39.99 for 32 servings everywhere I looked.

That's pretty expensive, even for an isolate. Other powders at 30ish servings are usually around $30-$35.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

If you're a buyer in the premium market already (i.e. using proteins like isopure or syntha-6), give this a shot-no question. This is a better product in the same price range (-ish). Other companies seem to derive their pricing from spending money on ad campaigns and have a heavy reliance on places like GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and BodyBuilding.com but NutraBio seems to derive its price from manufacturing high-quality products. I'll take the latter any day. I really appreciated having the opportunity to try this and hope I can add this to my stack on a regular basis in the near future.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Mixes Well
  • Super Clean Protein
  • No Fillers
  • Lactose And Gluten Free
  • Zero Fat And Carbs
  • Dissolves Effortlessly
  • Pricey

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to Blackstone Labs for sending it out!)

Introduction

Hi everyone-I'd like to thank blackstone labs for their participation in the TROOPers program. I'm not someone who frequently takes weightloss supplements, but I've had good experience with carnitine in the past and found that it affects me only as much as I'd like it to. Prior weight loss supps I've tried that are more intense or stim-based tend to leave me looking more emaciated than lean. But with carnitine as a main ingredient in this, and no stimulants, I thought it be worth a shot. Unfortunately, the sides were terribly uncomfortable and the taste was even wor...

Introduction

Hi everyone-I'd like to thank blackstone labs for their participation in the TROOPers program. I'm not someone who frequently takes weightloss supplements, but I've had good experience with carnitine in the past and found that it affects me only as much as I'd like it to. Prior weight loss supps I've tried that are more intense or stim-based tend to leave me looking more emaciated than lean. But with carnitine as a main ingredient in this, and no stimulants, I thought it be worth a shot. Unfortunately, the sides were terribly uncomfortable and the taste was even worse. I had to cut it off early. I know this is taboo, but as I understand it, the rationale behind whether to continue taking a supplement that's causing side effects is to consider it through the lens of "what would you do if you'd paid for it?" Since I would've paid to be able to stop easy decision.

Ingredient Profile

Fully disclosed label here that has the usual 500mg dose of carnitine tartrate, plus garcinia cambogia extract, calcium pyruvate, and chromium picolinate.

Garcinia Cambogia is supposed to work by inhibiting the citric acid lysase enzyme from being able to synthesize fatty acids, but it's been shown to have little to no effect in humans.

Calcium pyruvate is produced in cells from glucose over the course of creating ATP. It has poor absorption ability and can cause stomach distress in high doses (about 4x the standard dosage in Trojan Horse). According to what I've read, its effects for weight loss are minimal.

chromium picolinate has been studied with results showing little to no effect on weight loss and possible DNA damage and carcinogenic activity at high doses in male rats (but not females). -and in doses much higher than in this supplement.

Carinitine Tartrate helps your body transport triglycerides to your cells to be converted to energy in the form of ATP. I believe this is the most active compound in the supplement, alluding to its ability to induce ketosis (body burning fat for energy instead of carbs).

So what happens to your carbs in artificial ketosis? See side effects

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

This is hands down, no question, the worst tasting thing I've ever tried. I'd rather stick a battery on my tongue for an hour. I tried it dry too, hoping I could just swallow it whole and not taste anything by chasing it with some water have you ever had a spoonful of cinnamon? It just stuck to my teeth and gums and anywhere else it could fall into and totally backfired. When mixing with water it was so sweet it made me feel sick. I had the black currant- maybe the lemon lime flavor is better.

Mixing was ok, but there was a fair amount of settling at the bottom of the cup each time.

I averaged about 1 scoop every 3-4 days that's how long it took the sides to settle down. Probably compromised its effectiveness.

Effectiveness

I noticed no change in weight. I had to wait a few days between doses because of the side effects, so that is probably why.

Value

The best price I found was $39.95 on ebay for 60 servings. I can't say it's a good or bad value because as I stated in the opener, I would've paid to stop taking it.

Side Effects

Besides being unbearably sweet and feeling sick after drinking this, I had to wait days between doses for the sides to wear off. Trojan Horse is a perfect name for this stuff because it comes at you all sweet then once it's in your stomach it wages war on your entire digestive system.

The premise of this supplement is that it induces ketosis, thus forcing your body to burn fat reserves for energy. The problem with this is that if you're still eating carbs, they still need to go somewhere. So, they go out. Rapidly, thoroughly, and seem to multiply on their way through.

Conclusion

I can't recommend this to anyone and will never use this again. The experience was miserable from the first sip to the last wipe. I hate to give Blackstone a bad review because I think they're a good company that tries to push the envelope on the supplement world, but this just failed for me entirely. I hope others will have different experiences. Admittedly, my stomach can be a bit of a snowflake.
 Pros:
 Cons:
    • Side Effects
    • Bad Taste

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

    Introduction

    Hey SR-and thank you to VMI for participating in the TROOPs program and giving me a chance to try out this seriously intense PWO. I'd seen lots of good press on here about this, and then had a buddy in my office recommend it as well. When it popped up on the dashboard I jumped at it. Ultimately, it lived up to its name as a high-stim, intense PWO. Sometimes, too much; but too much for me isn't hard to do. I love caffeine, but other stim products tend to make me uncomfortable. I loved that this product had 400mg of caffeine in it, but quickly determined that the do...

    Introduction

    Hey SR-and thank you to VMI for participating in the TROOPs program and giving me a chance to try out this seriously intense PWO. I'd seen lots of good press on here about this, and then had a buddy in my office recommend it as well. When it popped up on the dashboard I jumped at it. Ultimately, it lived up to its name as a high-stim, intense PWO. Sometimes, too much; but too much for me isn't hard to do. I love caffeine, but other stim products tend to make me uncomfortable. I loved that this product had 400mg of caffeine in it, but quickly determined that the dosing difference between perfection and too much was a very fine line. VMI makes one of my favorite products of all time (arimistane), and it seems their products always pack a punch but have a few side effects. Overall, I love the brand. Here's my take on K-XR in detail

    Ingredient Profile

    X-XR is a prop blend. However, they do categorize things by their intended effects and if you know how you'll react to certain ingredients at certain dosages (and can connect the dots from other parts of the label) you can actually break down the blend to individual ingredients pretty closely.

    First is their "Intense Pump Blend", which represents 3300mg overall and consists of CarnoSyn, Taurine, and Theobromine. I typically feel Beta Alanine (CarnoSyn) at 2g(+). When drinking this, I immediately felt tingles on my lips and within 15 minutes felt them down through my hands. I'd assume this puts the total CarnoSyn amount at 2.5(ish)g, leaving 800mg for the taurine and theobromine.

    Next is the "Maximum Energy Blend". This represents 632.5mg and includes triple stage caffeine (incl. infinergy), and is meant to delay the release throughout your workout and eliminate the potential to crash. You also find Higenamine HCL (a feature ingredient), and rauwolscine. At the bottom of the label is a disclaimer that tells us there is 400mg of total caffeine per serving. That leaves 232.5mg for the Higenamine and Rauwolscine. *Higenamine is lumped into a category called "adrenergic receptor agonists" by the world doping agency. Its legality is questionable. If you are a drug tested athlete, inquire with your sport's testing board prior to taking this.*

    Last we have the "Focal & Cognitive Enhancing Blend" at 503mg, and including Choline Bitartrate with Hyperzia Serrata Extract.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Dyes are strong here, and the taste is VERY strong. I was not crazy about it. I received the Blue Raspberry flavor, but also got samples for their other options. None of them were bad, but all of them were very strong and had coconut flavor in them somewhere. Why is there coconut flavoring in just about everything now??

    It mixed fairly well, but never completely. No real clumping, but always some settling at the bottom.

    I took this 15 minutes before my workout and felt it working very quickly.

    Effectiveness

    I'll break this down by the categories marketed by VMI

    Pumps: 4/10 That might be generous. I didn't notice any pump from this, nor did I expect to. They have the "intense pump blend", but I've never thought of CarnoSyn as a pump ingredient. Taurine maybe, but not an intense one; same with theobromine. Both help with blood flow, but I never think of them as ingredients to provide any real pump.

    Energy: 10/10 Yep. 400mg of caffeine, theobromine, higenamine, rauwolscine, etc. How can you not get crazy energy after taking this? Unfortunately, dosing was a fine line. Too much and I quickly felt very energized AND nauseous. That wasn't ideal and became a drag on my workout a few times. That was made worse by not being able to workout as hard, thus not expelling that energy, and ultimately not sleeping. So, careful with dosing.

    Focal & Cognitive Enhancement: 8/10 Very good. I was less likely to become distracted while taking this, and moved swiftly from one workout to another. I lift after work during primetime at the gym, and this focus blend helped me shark through crowds of people when I'd see equipment open up. Very handy.

    Value

    The best price I found was $32.99 from Walmart? Since when does Walmart sell stuff like this? Anyway, with 30 servings, that puts it at $1.17/serving. That's a fair price and right around market average for a product like this.

    Side Effects

    VMI makes awesome products usually, but I think they also tend to have sides. This was no exception. I'm susceptible to the cold sweats of the Rauwolscine-so that's one. They came on every time I took it and I am not a fan. Second was nausea. I had to be really careful dosing this. A full scoop brought it on every time, and a half scoop wasn't enough to be effective. There's a line on the scooper about 1/16th of an inch below the rim and I found that was my perfect measurement to balance high energy and focus w/o feeling nauseated. Last was insomnia. I lift after work, and this might not be the best choice for that schedule. Most nights I was having trouble sleeping after taking it.

    Conclusion

    Altogether this is a hell of a PWO and one I think others might be able to handle better than I could. I always seem to be prone to side effects from anything that can have them, and besides caffeine I'm not really into high-stim products. I'd say it's worth trying for anyone. If it agrees with you, you're going to love it. But if you're like me, you might need to play with dosing a bit and respect the potency. Thanks again VMI and well-done with this one overall!
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Increased Energy
    • Long Last Energy
    • Consistent Throughout Workout
    • Increase Focus
    • Clean Energy
    • Skin Tingles
    • Slow Release Energy
    • Strength Boost
    • Contains Proprietary Blends
    • Chills
    • No Pump Ingredients
    • Dyes
    • Some Insomnia Is Taken Too Late
    • No Pump
    • Some Sides
    • Heavily Flavored

    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    (Thanks to Nature Restore for sending it out!)

    Introduction

    Hey SR! I want to thank Nature Restore for giving me an opportunity to try their AstraGin 200. I'd wanted to try this after seeing it pop up in ingredient profiles as part of a blend, and am very pleased with the results it gave as a standalone ingredient. Overall, it's nothing you're going to get too excited about, but the impact it has on the effectiveness of the rest of your stack and the total lack of any kind of side effects whatsoever, really make it a no-loss scenario for everyone that wants their money's worth from their supplements.

    ----Ingredient Profile...

    Introduction

    Hey SR! I want to thank Nature Restore for giving me an opportunity to try their AstraGin 200. I'd wanted to try this after seeing it pop up in ingredient profiles as part of a blend, and am very pleased with the results it gave as a standalone ingredient. Overall, it's nothing you're going to get too excited about, but the impact it has on the effectiveness of the rest of your stack and the total lack of any kind of side effects whatsoever, really make it a no-loss scenario for everyone that wants their money's worth from their supplements.

    Ingredient Profile

    AstraGin - a proprietary, all natural compound including astragalus membranaceus and panaxnotoginseng. It is effective at increasing mRNA levels, thus enabling greater biologic availability of a variety of nutrients. Clinical studies have shown it to increase absorption levels of the following:
    - Amino Acids (+62%)
    - Vitamins (+50%)
    - Glucose (+57%)
    - Creatine (+34%)
    - Beta Alanine (+30%)
    Each pill contains 200mg of AstraGin

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    1 pill daily is all anyone needs at 200mg each.
    I dosed in the morning every day, usually with a protein shake.

    Effectiveness

    I started noticing the effects of this after a week of taking it, but the only tell came from pump products I was taking. That's not entirely unexpected though. Creatine stays loaded, strength increase effects of Beta Alanine could be attributed to other factors pretty easily, vitamins are tough to gauge in general, but the pumps from arginine/citrulline were noticeably better and more reliable. I noticed increased muscle fullness earlier into my workout, along with fire hose-level vascularity as soon as I started my first lift. Sometimes pump products can be hit or miss for me, but this seems to have had a serious impact on making their effects more consistent.

    Value

    The only place I could find this on sale is on Nature Restore's own website, and it was priced at $34.95 for 90 servings. That's a per dose cost of less than $0.40-and an incredible value for the increased effectiveness you'll have from your other supps.

    Side Effects

    None.

    Conclusion

    I think this is a new staple for me. At such a good price point, there's really nothing to stop me from keeping this in rotation at all times. It's not the most exciting supplement in the world, but you'll notice the effects it has on your other supplements pretty quickly. I'd recommend everyone give it a shot.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Enhanced Pump Feel
    • Increase Supplement Absorption
    • Great Value

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to Pumped Sports for sending it out!)

      Introduction

      Thanks to Pumped Sports for giving me an opportunity to try their preworkout Loaded! After seeing a TON of positive reviews on here I was excited to get my hands on it. In some respects it delivered and did so in ways I hadn't encountered before with other PWO products. But in others it came up a bit short. I'll comb through the good and the bad, but overall, I think this is a product anyone should try.

      Ingredient Profile

      Usually I'll run through each ingredient in this section. For this, I'm going to avoid that. There are a lot of things in here that w...

      Introduction

      Thanks to Pumped Sports for giving me an opportunity to try their preworkout Loaded! After seeing a TON of positive reviews on here I was excited to get my hands on it. In some respects it delivered and did so in ways I hadn't encountered before with other PWO products. But in others it came up a bit short. I'll comb through the good and the bad, but overall, I think this is a product anyone should try.

      Ingredient Profile

      Usually I'll run through each ingredient in this section. For this, I'm going to avoid that. There are a lot of things in here that we all know and love, but the lesser known ingredients I'll add a little more detail for.

      For kicks, you've got 200mg of caffeine per serving. There's another 75mg of Infinergy (Di-Caffeine Malate), which is a patented ingredient by a supplier called Creative Compounds. It's 75% caffeine, 25% malic acid. The idea/the result is to buffer the caffeine, make it more easily digested, minimize crashing, and make it longer lasting.

      2.5g Carnosyn Beta Alanine (brand name). I have a love/hate relationship with Carnosyn. I'm really not a big fan of the tingles, but beta alanine will add a couple reps to your lift. I could feel the tingles kicking in within 10 minutes of taking this, every time.

      1g Agmapure Agmatine Sulfate (brand name). Agmatine can inhibit your body's ability to regulate nitric oxide levels, theoretically leading to huge pumps. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work as well for me as it does for other people.

      Nitrosigine Arginine Silicate (brand name). Tried and true Arginine bonded with silicate and clinically shown to raise levels of arginine and silicon in the blood, thus boosting NO levels significantly. (pumps)

      Also found are strong doses of Betaine Anhydrous, Taurine, Acetyl-Tyrosine, Choline Bitrate, Theobromine, and Bioperine (absorption enhancer).

      4 more ingredients were newer to me:

      Hordenine HCl - effective for burning fat, and a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor
      N-methyltyramine - Take away 1 methyl atom from the Hordenine and this is what you get. Demonstrated to be effective in the increased production of norepinephrine
      Higenamine HCl - This shares similar mechanisms as ephedrine and is supposedly an effective fat burner/anti-asthmatic
      Huperzia Serrata Extract (Huperzine A 1%) - Cognitive enhancer to increase focus

      Sweetened with sucralose - no color additives

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I received raspberry lemonade flavor and it wasn't bad, but not really lemonade flavored-more just sweet. I started adding Citrulline to it (which I'll explain next), and that actually boosted the lemonade taste quite a bit due to its natural lemon-y flavor. I think it tasted much better with that added in.

      1 scoop 15-20 minutes before working out and you'll have the tingles starting in 10.

      Mixing was smooth, very little left suspended, but definitely best to stir hard and drink fast to avoid anything settling on the bottom. I never tried shaking it, always stirred.

      Effectiveness

      I'm going to break this down in three categories where I noticed this working or expected it to: focus, energy/endurance, and pumps

      Focus: 8/10 (very good) - I noticed focus starting to set in within 15 minutes of taking this every time, and it was very pronounced. I got such tunnel vision, I had to make sure I took it and immediately left the house, or else I felt like I shouldn't be driving! It was almost like I was looking past everything and while I didn't drive badly, I just noticed it became harder to share my focus with other cars outside of my immediate lane. Unfortunately, I did lose the tunnel vision effect a bit once I began to actually hit the weights. There's also a lot to look at in my gym (so to speak), and unfortunately it didn't help pull my attention from that either. Regardless, tunnel vision or not, I still had laser like focus on completing one workout and getting on to the next.

      Energy/Endurance: 7/10 (good) - The energy I got from pumped was really nice and smooth. I definitely felt the sustained effects of the caffeine malate, and never crashed when coming down. However, there was never a crazy rush of energy either. I lift at the end of the day usually, and I did have a few days where I felt the day wearing on me despite taking this.

      Post-lift cardio did become a little easier to get to as well. I found myself debating the extra time on the treadmill at the end of the weights, but this seemed to give me the little boost of motivation to get on there and run for 15-20 minutes to close things out.

      Pumps: 4/10 (bad) - PS, I think this one's on me-not you. Agmatine just doesn't seem to work for me without pairing it with Citrulline. The first few times I took this I had, like, negative pumps. Usually I'm very vascular and at one point I remember looking down at my arms and thinking wtf is this?? All my veins were very narrow-more constricted than they normally are throughout the day. I had some citrulline at the house and decided to try adding that to the powder. THAT WORKED GREAT. I added about 4g and not only did that take my veins from limp noodles to fire hoses again, but it made the drink taste better too by making the lemonade flavor more pronounced. If anyone else struggles with agmatine like I do, I would try doing something similar.

      Value

      As far as I know, this is only available from Pumped Sports' own site for $34.99. In my opinion, this is a fair price when you consider the premium they must need to pay for as many brand name ingredients as they have. It's on the higher end, but justified by the quality. $1.16/serving.

      Side Effects

      None.

      Conclusion

      If you're an agmatine believer, you'll love this product. If you're like me and agmatine doesn't seem to do it for you, you might find this isn't quite as loaded as the label says. However, the focus is undeniable and the energy is very nice and smooth. It's worth a try for sure but if you're struggling to get good pumps, try adding some citrulline to the mix.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Mood Elevation
      • Increased Energy
      • Focus
      • Clean Profile
      • No Dyes
      • Well-Rounded
      • Not Widely Available
      • No Pump For Me

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to Maven Labs for sending it out!)

      Introduction

      First, thanks to Maven Labs for participating in the Troops program! I'm a long time non-sleeper, but rarely take anything to fight it. I'd been noticing a lot of sleep supplements being reviewed on here and when I saw this being offered by ML, I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. With minimal side effects, I was pretty much guaranteed a good night's sleep with every dose.

      Ingredient Profile

      Unwind has a long ingredient list, all with similar effects and backed by melatonin-something I'd bet most of us are familiar and experienced with. I'll run ...

      Introduction

      First, thanks to Maven Labs for participating in the Troops program! I'm a long time non-sleeper, but rarely take anything to fight it. I'd been noticing a lot of sleep supplements being reviewed on here and when I saw this being offered by ML, I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. With minimal side effects, I was pretty much guaranteed a good night's sleep with every dose.

      Ingredient Profile

      Unwind has a long ingredient list, all with similar effects and backed by melatonin-something I'd bet most of us are familiar and experienced with. I'll run through them all here in brief, and cite what they're typically used for. All information is pulled from either WebMD or Examine.com. I've posted the label at the end as well.

      Pyridoxine- (Vitamin B6) Required by the body in order to produce amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.
      Magnesium Glycinate- A sleep habit must-have is magnesium. If you eat like an average person, you're probably deficient. If you exercise regularly you would be hard pressed to have too much (but you can have too much). This will help your muscles relax, and without magnesium your body would be unable to create ATP (cellular level energy source).
      Taurine- Also good for relaxing muscles and reducing cramping, as well as improving blood flow and reducing muscle soreness
      Valerian Root Powder- Effective as a sleep aid, though some studies indicate prolonged use is required. Also, some indications of added benefits related to stress, anxiety, depression and adhd.
      Chamomile Powder- Usually affiliated with tea, but used for sleeping problems, upset stomach, and menstrual pain
      L-Theanine- A feel-good supplement. Effective for reducing stress levels, and acting as a sedative/relaxing agent.
      5-HTP- Most effective for treating depression, but also useful for reducing anxiety and possibly for reducing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
      Lemon Balm Herb Powder- Possibly effective for reducing anxiety and stress, while reducing instances of insomnia.
      Hops Flower Powder- Most often used to treat insomnia
      Passion Flower Herb Powder- Typically used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and withdrawal symptoms
      Melatonin- Here's the powerhouse. Very effective for helping users sleep, and a common ingredient recognizable in most homes.

      Obviously there's a common thread here-a lot of ingredients aimed at reducing stress and anxiety while promoting sleep, backed by the tried and true effects of melatonin (if all else fails?). What you end up with is a dynamic sleep aid that will help put you to bed and keep you there.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      Take 2 pills at night as a sleep aid, or 1 pill during the day to feel more calm and relaxed

      Effectiveness

      I never took this as a day-time supplement because I always need to be on point and don't have time to relax, so I can't attest to the effects there.

      As a sleep aid, it was very effective. Every time I took it I was out fairly quickly and had deep, dreamless sleep. In the morning it was a little tough to shake, and I did find myself getting up and running a bit slower than normal. The tradeoff is that once the cobwebs were gone, I felt great! The deep sleep helped me recover faster and have all the energy I needed to have a good gym session.

      What I ultimately ended up doing was using this on the days where I didn't have important things going on in the morning, and avoiding it on the days that I did. This worked out great.

      I didn't have any more trouble falling asleep on the nights I went without it, so there didn't seem to be any habit forming effects.

      Despite morning grogginess, I had no trouble waking up in the middle of the night if my son (2 years old) woke up and yelled for me. I was a little worried about this because I didn't want to sleep through hearing him, but luckily no issue.

      This was also added to my normal routine of fish oil and ZMA at bedtime, so I was getting an extra boost of magnesium. There didn't seem to be any negative interactions.

      Value

      Here's a little ding for Maven Labs. This product is a bit expensive. The best price I found was $24.99, on sale from Amazon. That's $1.56 per serving, but you are getting a well-rounded product. For someone that needs a sleep aid it's worth the price. You really can't put a price tag on that.

      Side Effects

      Some grogginess in the morning.

      Conclusion

      Overall I'm happy I tried this, and I will probably continue to keep some on hand in case I am having trouble sleeping or need a guarantee of a solid rest, but I won't use it daily because it made me tired in the morning. For someone more used to melatonin this would probably be awesome. I'm just not a frequent user, and therefore I think I have more sides related to the effects wearing off slowly than someone who is. Thanks again to Maven Labs, nice job with this-definitely give it a shot if you're on the market for a sleep aid.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Deep Sleep
      • Helped With Recovery
      • Able To Wake Up If Needed
      • Grogginess

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to Catalyst by Strength.com for sending it out!)

      Introduction

      First, thanks to Strength.com for participating in the Troops program here. I was very excited to try this protein because it looked to be very high quality and seemed very clean coming from grass fed cows and being hormone free with very few ingredients. Usually my daily protein is the MyProtein Impact Whey, and I found this to be on par in many respects, while not as good in others. This will be a shorter review overall, since the protein itself is very straight forward and basic-- which is also one of the things that makes it great. But, there's just not a heck o...

      Introduction

      First, thanks to Strength.com for participating in the Troops program here. I was very excited to try this protein because it looked to be very high quality and seemed very clean coming from grass fed cows and being hormone free with very few ingredients. Usually my daily protein is the MyProtein Impact Whey, and I found this to be on par in many respects, while not as good in others. This will be a shorter review overall, since the protein itself is very straight forward and basic-- which is also one of the things that makes it great. But, there's just not a heck of a lot to cover.

      Ingredient Profile

      Very straight forward, per serving you get:
      24g of protein, in 110 calories, with 2g sugar, 1g fiber, 3g carbs, 20mg cholesterol, and .5g of fat-- along with 116mg of calcium, and a trace of iron (.83mg).

      Sweetened with Stevia, and also contains dextrose-- both "natural" sweeteners

      This contains 25% more protein per serving than my usual MP brand, and 10 more calories. Nearly identical besides that.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I requested and received Vanilla, as that's what I usually buy myself and figured it would be best to take that for comparison on taste.

      The protein mixed well overall. In a morning shake using a blender it didn't stick to the sides quite as much as my normal protein, and had no chunks. After lifting I'd mix this with a spoon in some water and that was a little tougher. If I used the side of the spoon to break up the big chunks I was eventually able to mix it well enough that I wouldn't feel any chunks while drinking it, but I never got it quite perfect-- but I've also yet to meet the protein that I have!!

      As far as taste, this is where I was most disappointed. I don't usually buy things sweetened with Stevia, and I think I'll continue to avoid it. Every time I drank this, it tasted great up-front but finished with this sort of bitterness that was really unpleasant and lingered. If you're used to Stevia, maybe it won't be a problem. For me as someone who isn't, it was. It made it difficult to finish.

      Effectiveness

      Effectiveness was good. There was no increase in DOMS after switching over, and maybe even a slight improvement. I was getting more protein per serving, and it was fueling me up without weighing me down. It's so protein rich, with so little content besides that, this is exactly what I'd expect. I felt great every time after drinking it.

      I also appreciated that the scoop was clear. Maybe minor, but I always worry there are voids in the scoop when I mix my protein. No need to worry about that here though!

      Value

      Catalyst is too expensive. The best price I found online was $44.99 from their own website. For 30 servings, that's $1.50 each. When you're taking multiple servings throughout the day, it adds up quick and runs out fast.

      Side Effects

      None.

      Conclusion

      Overall I think this is a quality product, and I think my lack of exposure to Stevia in general is the reason I had an issue with the taste. If it's something you're used to eating, you'd probably love this stuff. I do think they need to get the price down though, and I would love to see them release a different sweetener option. Thanks again to Strength and give this a shot if you're looking for a nice clean protein with natural ingredients!
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Grass Fed Sources
      • Builds Muscle
      • NSF Certified
      • Low Fat And Carb Profile
      • Too Expensive
      • Bitter Aftertaste

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to AZÖTH for sending it out!)

      Introduction

      Thank you to Azoth LLC for participating in the troops program and giving us a chance to try out their new (loaded-up) nootropic! This was a really interesting supplement to take. It was very effective at increasing focus, and improving an overall feeling of well-being and calm. Unfortunately, I do have some concerns with the legitimacy of the ingredient disclosures that I'll get into later on. I also noticed that I'd crash a few hours after taking this, and since every other day dosing is recommended with a disclaimer for dosing no more than once every 24 hours, a ...

      Introduction

      Thank you to Azoth LLC for participating in the troops program and giving us a chance to try out their new (loaded-up) nootropic! This was a really interesting supplement to take. It was very effective at increasing focus, and improving an overall feeling of well-being and calm. Unfortunately, I do have some concerns with the legitimacy of the ingredient disclosures that I'll get into later on. I also noticed that I'd crash a few hours after taking this, and since every other day dosing is recommended with a disclaimer for dosing no more than once every 24 hours, a crash is tough to handle.

      Ingredient Profile

      This list might be a bit overkill, but Azoth provides a fully disclosed label, so I think it's worthwhile to breakdown the effects of each ingredient. Actual label is posted in the images. Most of this information is pulled from Examine.com, and done so because it's an unaffiliated site I trust and that shows not only what studies have been conducted and their results, but the level of quality for those studies-including whether they include things like double-blind research.

      Acetyl Tyrosine - Useful for stimulating the production of noradrenaline and dopamine. The intended effects include increases in cognition, memory, and an overall feeling of well-being, as well as a reduction in stress. Studies have been done that show the effects are minor or minimal.
      Alpha-GPC - According to at least one double-blind study or multiple cohort studies, Alpha-GPC has demonstrated a notable increase in power output, and a notable decrease in cognitive decline and the symptoms of Alzheimer's. They have also suggested a minimal increase in free circulating growth hormone.
      Ashwaganha Root- This is like a miracle drug. Notably effective in the reduction of anxiety, stress, cholesterol and cortisol, and the increase of overall power output; as well as minor effects on a litany of other things, including testosterone levels, fat loss, sperm count, insomnia, immunity, ... the list goes on.
      Phenylpiracetam- Banned by the world doping agency for its effects as a psychostimulant and cold resistance, it's been studied to show minor effects on cognition and reducing depression.
      Octodrine (DMHA)- The "new" DMAA, supposedly 80% the strength of DMAA and effective for increasing focus and energy levels.
      Hordenine HCL- minimal research has been conducted, but what has been done has shown a positive tendency for burning fat and stimulating energy production/focus. It is a naturally derived ingredient found in many plants and is a chemical analog of tyramine.
      Noopept (GVS-111)- A more potent form of piracetam, and taken for similar intentions. It should provide a minimal boost in cognition and serve as a minor psychostimulant.
      Vinpocetine- Also under-researched, but showing minimal positive effects related to increasing blood flow, and decreasing cognitive decline while possibly providing a cognitive boost in healthy users.
      Huperzine A- Another cognitive enhancer, and one that may actually require cycling.
      Bioperine- usually used for enhancing absorption, but dosed at 1/4 of the recommended amount for the effect.

      Altogether this is a hell of a stack of ingredients that all have similar effects on cognition and overall well-being. I'd expect a profile like this for the price. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how legitimate the disclosures really are. On Azoth's website they offer a certificate of analysis. I decided to take them up on their offer and requested a copy. Response time was prompt and I received the CoA from Prady, Azoth's CEO, within 24-hours. On paper, the results of the analysis were pretty incredible: every ingredient came back at nearly exactly the stated amount on the ingredient label. The results were so good, it actually made me a bit leery-which is when I noticed the CoA didn't have a header to say who ran the test. I followed up with Prady, and again he responded quickly that Colmaric Analyticals did the test. So, I emailed Colmaric and sent them my copy of the CoA so they could verify the testing. Unfortunately, the guy who responded said he couldn't determine whether they'd done the test or not; and that the company would normally put their logo on a CoA as a header, as well as the name of the company the testing was done for. This document had neither. I followed up with Prady again, he told me he verified with the manufacturer that it was batch tested, that they do a large volume of orders, and that they're slow to respond. Still, I haven't seen anything to verify the claim.

      I suppose this could be an issue for some, but maybe not for others. For me personally, I want to know what I'm ingesting-especially when it comes to supplements that have an effect on the way your brain operates. Prady was very friendly and I am inclined to believe him (otherwise why offer the analysis at all), but it still concerns me a bit. Certificate of Analysis is posted in images. You'll notice the testing results are represented as 1 pill versus 1 serving (3 pills).

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      3-pills every 24 hours, or every other day.

      Effectiveness

      Azoth is no placebo. This stuff works. There were several key areas where I saw it have an impact:

      1. Focus. No joke-level focus. Not quite on par with Adderall, but really not far off. I'm saying this as someone whose taken it by prescription for years. Very difficult to become distracted, but if it happens, expect to have zero patience for it and be a bit irritable towards the offender
      2. Anxiety/Stress. Big drop in both. There was an overall feeling of well-being when taking this. Even when I got irritated from someone interrupting my laser-like focus, I calmed down fast and never lost my temper. There was just a constant sense of calm.
      3. Thermogenic effects. It's not disclosed anywhere and I am not sure what ingredient would be responsible for it, but every time I took this my body temperature increased, I started to sweat a bit, and got rosacea across my chest, neck and cheeks. My guess is that this is from either the Bioperine or Vinpocetine.

      Value

      Currently on sale at seekingazoth.com for $44.95, marked down from $79.99. In my opinion, the regular price is extremely expensive. Mind you, this is for 10 servings-not 30! So you're looking at $8/serving at full price or $4.50/serving on sale. That's above the industry average, but if you can afford it, you're getting a powerful nootropic.

      Side Effects

      Minor burning sensation in my throat a few times shortly after taking it. (Nothing terrible)
      Crash after 3-hours or so.

      Conclusion

      Overall I think Azoth is a high quality nootropic that might end up having very devout followers, but for the price, I probably won't be one of them. Also because of the crash I experienced every time I took it. The confusion with the certificate of analysis concerns me as well, but I do trust Prady since the information was volunteered on his end first. I'd recommend anyone give this a shot, as it certainly wouldn't be money wasted.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Increased Energy
      • Lower Anxiety Levels
      • Increased Focus
      • Too Expensive
      • Crash

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