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bosox516

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REVIEWS (44)

Reviews by bosox516



Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 13, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Superb Taste
  • Helps With Recovery
  • Increases Hydration
  • Reduces Doms
  • Label Clarity
  • Aids Endurance
  • Prevents Cramping
  • Great Taste And Mixing
  • A Couple Additional Ingredients Might Make Sense
Hello again ladies and gentlemen of SR.com. First off I want to thank Nutrabio for sending out so many products to review, and I should also apologize for how late this review is! Up for review this time is Intra Blast, which is (as you might tell by the name) an intra-workout blend of amino acids, micronutrients, and electrolytes aimed at boosting performance and recovery. Now onto the details.

INGREDIENTS: 8.5

First and foremost, as always, I love how Nutrabio discloses the exact amount of every single ingredient, INCLUDING all of the miscellaneous sweeteners and coloring agents (which ...
Hello again ladies and gentlemen of SR.com. First off I want to thank Nutrabio for sending out so many products to review, and I should also apologize for how late this review is! Up for review this time is Intra Blast, which is (as you might tell by the name) an intra-workout blend of amino acids, micronutrients, and electrolytes aimed at boosting performance and recovery. Now onto the details.

INGREDIENTS: 8.5

First and foremost, as always, I love how Nutrabio discloses the exact amount of every single ingredient, INCLUDING all of the miscellaneous sweeteners and coloring agents (which are things like beet powder, rather than dyes). This makes for very little guesswork and a whole lot of confidence. You get a 2:1:1 ratio of EAAs at a pretty standard total dose of 7.2g, then some other nice BCAAs like lysine, threonine, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan. You also get a full 5g dose of Kyowa glutamine, some betaine and OKG, and an electrolyte blend that includes taurine. I also really appreciate how Nutrabio uses quality patented versions of these common ingredients wherever possible.

Most of these ingredients come in effective doses, though it would be nice to see some more of the secondary aminos and micronutrients/electrolytes. At least with Nutrabio, you know where this product might come up short for you, and how better to plan your peri-workout supplementation. There are a few things that would make sense to add to this formula, like maybe citrulline or carnitine, but even so this is one of the best intra-workout profiles I've seen.

TASTE/MIXABILITY: 9.5

I had the orange mango flavor and it was fantastic; thoroughly enjoyable and easy to mix with other products, no matter their flavor. Mixing was very easy, especially with large amounts of water (e.g. gallon jug). A few firm shakes usually did the trick. You do get some initial foaming and flaking as with any amino powder, but it doesn't last long or return with more shaking.

EFFECTIVENESS: 8

Sometimes products like this can be tough to measure; it all depends on how you use it and what you're looking for. I typically mixed Intra Blast with a peri-workout carb product, and sipped for an approximate 4 hour window around my workouts. This seemed to be the easiest and most effective way for me to use Intra Blast to optimal benefit, and combining with a carb product helped round out the easy nutrition I was getting. I often like to break down a product's effectiveness by its manufacturer's claims, so I'll do that again here.

Boosts recovery while you train - perhaps, yes. I definitely do think there was some reduction in the length and intensity of DOMS, which is always a plus. At the time I was running a program with a bit more training frequency than I was used to, so this aspect helped. To what extent this actually took place while I was training, I'm not really sure. My guess is it was a simple matter of the additional nutrients, a full dose of glutamine, and peri-workout carbs to tie it all up.

Accelerates strength, endurance, and performance - strength, not really. I suppose in the sense that it might improve recovery, and you might be able to train more frequently than you would otherwise, and that might help you make gains faster, maybe. But those are a lot of conditions and plenty of doubt to dispel any one of them. Accelerates endurance, yes, I believe it does. Workout performance is most certainly affected by peri-workout nutrition, and some sort of fuel during your workout can extend the amount of quality work you're able to put in. Again, for me, it was most often a combination of Intra Blast AND carbs, so keep that in mind. Performance is a vague word, but in the sense I described above, yes, it helps performance.

Replenishes and rehydrates - by virtue of the fact that you take this with water, yes, it will rehydrate you. The electrolytes and other micronutrients will also help to prevent cramping, which can be a huge aid for high-volume workouts.

VALUE: 7.5

Value is always a sticking point for me when it comes to intra-workout stuff, and I hate for it to remain so here because Nutrabio is one of the best in terms of value, simply because their quality standards are so dang high. Fundamentally, I think the best route for the average lifter is good whole-food pre-workout nutrition and plenty of water. Now, when it comes to athletes competing in long events, or those with an emphasis on speed or endurance where whole food isn't really a viable option, the value of something like this would shoot up, in my opinion. Combined with a carb product, you get fairly complete nutrition that is extremely convenient and easy to keep down through strenuous activity. This one is around for the mid-$30 range for 30 complete servings, and compared to the rest of the market, for what you get, that's pretty good.

OVERALL: 8

As always, Nutrabio provides a high-quality, well-conceived product that performs well. If the intra-workout product category is one that interests you, this is probably one of a very small handful that I would recommend with no reservations.

Thanks for reading SR, and have a great day!


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to FINAFLEX for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 6, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Deeper Sleep
  • Improved Recovery
  • Anxiolysis
  • Longevity
  • Slight Hangover
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Prop Blends And Nomenclature
Hello again, everybody! Hope all is well. Up for review today is Finaflex G8, a supplement that was getting a lot of attention when I signed up to try it, but that seems to have died down a bit. G8 is a sleep-aid, recovery, anxiolytic-type of product, and it is definitely effective; however, I'm still undecided for a few key reasons. Let's dig in.

INGREDIENTS: 8

G8 contains a lot of good stuff, definitely more than the typical sleep-aid/recovery formula. I see it as the "mad scientist" of this product category, way beyond your standard ZMA blend. There's a light helping of vitamins C and ...
Hello again, everybody! Hope all is well. Up for review today is Finaflex G8, a supplement that was getting a lot of attention when I signed up to try it, but that seems to have died down a bit. G8 is a sleep-aid, recovery, anxiolytic-type of product, and it is definitely effective; however, I'm still undecided for a few key reasons. Let's dig in.

INGREDIENTS: 8

G8 contains a lot of good stuff, definitely more than the typical sleep-aid/recovery formula. I see it as the "mad scientist" of this product category, way beyond your standard ZMA blend. There's a light helping of vitamins C and B-6, which I assume are included for their potential to aid production of certain neurotransmitters. The 3g "HGH Elevate-Restore-Recover" blend includes phenibut (the real heavy-hitter), GABA, L-arginine and L-glutamine. I like the inclusion of arginine; I do think it's much more useful in a recovery formula like this than it ever would be in a pre-workout. The dose is probably on the light side, however.

The 812.5mg "Mood Elevator" blend contains some fairly common nootropic ingredients, like phenethylamine, tyrosine, picamilon, and 5-HTP, all very reasonable contributors to mood and sleep quality. One of my gripes with the profile, however, is they don't use the widely-known names for these compounds; rather, they have the long scientific standard versions that are just annoying to read, e.g. 2-amino-3-(5-hydroxy-1H-indol-3-yl) propanoic acid. What benefit is there to labeling this way?

I also don't like the large blends, which is admittedly a fairly common industry practice but with ingredients like phenibut, which are highly individualized, potent, and dose-dependent, I think a bit more specificity is warranted. They could do it the same way a lot of companies label pre-workouts containing caffeine, and disclose the specific amount of phenibut within the blend. Even then, however, the powder doesn't guarantee you'd receive that exact amount with each scoop, as I found this powder to be less uniformly constituted than others. Aside from these drawbacks, G8 offers a very solid collection of ingredients.

TASTE/DOSING/MIXABILITY: 9

I have seen some negative reactions to the Lemon Freeze flavor, but I thought it was excellent. Just enough tart and sweet, depending on the amount of water you use to mix, and I never got sick of it. Mixability was pretty good too. I often only had to swirl in a glass of water to get enough of a solution. Dosing is also easy and fairly accurate (if you are working with a level scoop).

EFFECTIVENESS: 9

As I mentioned previously, G8 seems to have a pretty widely varied effect from one user to the next, so keep that in mind. That being said, G8 is the most effective sleep and recovery product I've ever used. I would say about 90% of the time, I fell asleep quickly, easily, and DEEPLY right when I planned to. Any discrepancies in this pattern I would attribute to a possible un-even distribution of ingredients in the powder, or some combination of effects from other supplements I might have been taking. At first I only used half a scoop, and could definitely feel the effects. As I progressed through the tub, or if I were looking forward to a chance to sleep in, I increased to a full scoop. The interesting thing about increasing the dose was that it seemed to just lengthen the effects, rather than increase the intensity of the initial onset.

The combination of nootropics also seemed to increase the depth of REM sleep, as evidenced by more frequent and intense dreams. These included a career as a border-hopping cocaine mule, having my wallet stolen abroad and getting wrapped up in legal proceedings, being watched by a strange woman while I crapped you can check my most recent log for more details. Anyway, this was all a sure sign that I was sleeping more deeply, albeit perhaps with a more active unconscious mind. I also seemed to experience less DOMS while using G8, perhaps a combination of the glutamine, arginine, and deeper sleep.

SIDE EFFECTS: 4

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic, but this stuff really did mess me up pretty good on more than just a handful of occasions. Primarily, just in general, it took a long time to really feel "awake" in the morning. I'd often feel pretty heavy and hazy upon waking, sometimes accompanied by what felt like tremors that would calm down after an hour or so. This effect was greater with increased doses. I also woke up in the middle of the night once, full-on hallucinating a giant spider crawling across my ceiling (again, look to my log for more details). This was more a "whoa, that's weird" experience than something legitimately scary, but still.

Perhaps most troublesome were the effects I experienced when I finished the tub, rather than during its use. I've said this before, but it bears repeating - I wish I had done more research on phenibut before using G8, and you would be wise to do the same. That's not to say I wouldn't have tried it at all, but I definitely would have been a lot more cautious about finishing it, i.e. reducing my dose slowly over many days, rather than cold turkey. There were some very real withdrawal symptoms that I dealt with for at least a week, maybe more. These included anxiety, cognitive deficit, agitation, sleeplessness I certainly did not feel like myself, but thankfully things improved pretty quickly.

VALUE: 7.5

Just like a product's effectiveness, its value will vary greatly from one user to another. For how effective this was for me, and how long the 40 serving tub lasted, I think the price point is pretty solid. Because of the side effects, I'm not sure if I would purchase G8 again, but judging strictly from a price/longevity ratio, G8 ranks very highly.

OVERALL: 8

G8 performed exactly as I needed and expected it to, but unfortunately it snuck some weird and uncomfortable stuff in as well. I would recommend it, with a note of caution, to anyone searching for a sleep and recovery formula.

Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great day!


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Cellucor for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 18, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Decent At 2 Scoops
  • Tastes Pretty Good
  • Poor Value
  • Lightly Dosed
Hello again, SR.com! Up for review this time is Cellucor's C4 Ripped product, one of many variants of their new(ish) line of C4 pre-workout powders. C4 being the first pre-workout I ever used, I couldn't deny the nostalgic appeal of that shiny silver tub. Unfortunately, that was probably one of the best qualities about it. Let's dig in

INGREDIENTS: 6

I feel like C4 Ripped is a classic case of throwing a whole bunch of things onto the panel to make it seem legit, but upon closer inspection, virtually none of it is dosed adequately. There's a light vitamin/mineral blend, some BA, some AAKG,...
Hello again, SR.com! Up for review this time is Cellucor's C4 Ripped product, one of many variants of their new(ish) line of C4 pre-workout powders. C4 being the first pre-workout I ever used, I couldn't deny the nostalgic appeal of that shiny silver tub. Unfortunately, that was probably one of the best qualities about it. Let's dig in

INGREDIENTS: 6

I feel like C4 Ripped is a classic case of throwing a whole bunch of things onto the panel to make it seem legit, but upon closer inspection, virtually none of it is dosed adequately. There's a light vitamin/mineral blend, some BA, some AAKG, and two fairly weak prop blends. There's nothing really new or revolutionary, and nothing to make one think that C4 Ripped will perform any better than anything else out on the market.

The beta alanine is pretty light at 1.6g. Granted that is more than you get with a lot of other products, but still not sufficient. Then arginine AKG I feel like it's pretty common knowledge that citrulline is more effective in the way of NO production and blood flow, right? I can't help but wonder what the rationale might be for continuing to include forms of arginine in a pre-workout blend.

Then you have the C4 Ripped Blend at 1g and the Explosive Energy Blend at 371mg. The ripped blend contains some good stuff, but at 1g total there's no way any of it is dosed very effectively. And definitely not so for coleus forskohlii, which is thrown in at the end I suspect to attract the unknowing consumer drawn to fancy plant extracts. I like forskohlii as an ingredient in a fat burner, in the proper amounts, but a tiny pre-workout dose of forskohlii will not do anything at all.

Finally there's the explosive energy blend, weighing in at a whopping 371 mg. And 150mg of that is caffeine. So you have 221mg left over for NALT and mucuna pruriens, which is more of a nootropic than an energy ingredient. So not so explosive.

TASTE/MIXABILITY: 7.5

I had the fruit punch flavor, definitely more than palatable and not something I got sick of. Sometimes you get a lot more of the cayenne flavor than you'd expect, and it can burn a little bit going down. Mixability was okay, clumpy and gritty at first but not too bad after enough shakes.

EFFECTIVENESS: 6.5

At one scoop, the effects were very slight - only a mild energy boost, almost nothing from the BA Just comparable to a weak cup of coffee. A scoop and a half did it enough for me most times. That seemed to be enough of the energy blend for me, definitely more motivation to do something, but still not much from the BA and really no pumps to speak of, though I wouldn't expect much pumps from the ingredients.

Inevitably I had to increase to two scoops on many occasions, and at this point it really felt like something worth taking. Great energy boost, to the point where I felt compelled to be active, and a wonderful BA tingle that I yearn for. I don't know about anyone else, but that BA effect is possibly the most important thing to me, and I didn't get even remotely close to what I wanted with anything less than two scoops.

The problem with this, of course, is that I can't separate the caffeine from everything else, and I don't always want 300mg of caffeine before lifting. Especially with squats or deadlifts, or an otherwise very taxing workout, I felt much more inclined to nausea with all those stimulants. The AAKG did seem to become marginally effective at two scoops, but still nothing to write home about in the pumps department.

In terms of the "ripped" concept, that this might somehow aid someone with fat loss, get the heck out. Adding tiny amounts of buzzword-type ingredients to a pre-workout that someone is only taking at one specific time of day, and likely not every day, is not at all cause to market it as a weight loss aid.

SIDE EFFECTS: 9

Aside from the occasional overstimulated feeling that accompanied the oft-necessary two scoops, there were no apparent side effects. No GI issues or anything like that.

VALUE: 5

At first glance, C4 Ripped seems pretty much on par with the industry for cost anywhere from $35-$45 after some quick shopping. But when you consider how light the profile actually is, that cost is way too high. I would wager that anyone with at least a few months of serious lifting under their belts would need 1.5 scoops or more, so the 30 servings you get with the tub are a de facto 20 at best.

OVERALL: 6.3

In my eyes, 6.5 is barely passing, and C4 Ripped narrowly misses that mark. This might be a good entry-level pre-workout for someone feeling their way through that market, but the cost is way beyond entry-level. In my opinion, you'd be better served paying just as much, or even a little bit more, for something of much higher quality (that might actually last you 30 workouts).

Thanks for reading everybody, and have a wonderful day!


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to CEL Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  March 17, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Unexpected Thermo
  • Prop Blend
  • Not Much Impact On Mood Or Focus
  • Expensive
Hello again, everybody! This time around, we'll be taking a look at CEL Nutrition Nervacore, a "powerful nootropic specially formulated to increase energy, focus, and improve memory." I wasn't exactly looking for a strong nootropic when I signed up to try out Nervacore - more just something to enhance my productivity and focus throughout the day, and help me get into the right frame of mind for my workouts. Anyway, let's get started.

INGREDIENTS: 7.5

This product is another of the age-old story: good stuff, but not quite enough of it. Most of the important things are lumped into a prop bl...
Hello again, everybody! This time around, we'll be taking a look at CEL Nutrition Nervacore, a "powerful nootropic specially formulated to increase energy, focus, and improve memory." I wasn't exactly looking for a strong nootropic when I signed up to try out Nervacore - more just something to enhance my productivity and focus throughout the day, and help me get into the right frame of mind for my workouts. Anyway, let's get started.

INGREDIENTS: 7.5

This product is another of the age-old story: good stuff, but not quite enough of it. Most of the important things are lumped into a prop blend as well, which isn't my favorite thing to see. You get a decent blend of B-vitamins in different forms and other micros, then the prop blend. The average supplement user will probably recognize some of these stalwarts, like L-tyrosine, L-taurine, Alpha GPC (which I love but again, probably not enough of it in here), Acetyl-L-carnitine, and huperzine.

The first ingredient listed in the prop blend is Paullinia cupana, AKA guarana, which is basically just a source of caffeine that sounds more intriguing than just "caffeine." You also get some phosphatidylserine, which is a really interesting compound with some promising research behind it (stress relief, improved cognition, cortisol reduction), but again because of the prop blend there's no way to be sure you're actually getting an effective amount. There's also some vinpocetine, and apparently enough of it to be effective, but what reading I've done seems to indicate there's only a cognitive effect where some deficit already exists, e.g. Alzheimer's or dementia, or in the case of restricted blood flow to the brain due to its potential as a vasodilator.

Based on what's on the ingredient panel, there isn't really good reason to expect Nervacore to perform as a "powerful nootropic," but there is definitely a potential for discernible benefit.

DOSING: 8

There weren't really any issues with odd tastes or sour burps that I can remember, but Nervacore definitely isn't the easiest protocol to follow. 1-2 capsules with a light meal 30 minutes before mental or physical activity, taken consistently for optimal effect, BUT with 2 days off per week to prevent tolerance. And you can take up to 4 capsules in a 24 hour period. A protocol like this isn't a big deal, and it's understandable because of the ingredients, but it still just creates one more thing to track.

EFFECTIVENESS: 6.5

As a nootropic, this didn't really have all that much effect on me. I would change my timing every now and then to see if I'd feel it more under certain situations, but nothing really jumped out. It seems to me like the prop blend is front-loaded with guarana, because I could definitely feel that, but otherwise there wasn't much of a marked increase in mood or focus like I've felt with some other nootropics. I'd try Nervacore in the morning, and one pill didn't do much of anything. 2 pills brought a bit more energy and alertness, but nothing special. Same if I'd take it in the late afternoon at work, virtually identical to a cup of coffee. I also tried using Nervacore as a sort of nootropic aid to my preworkout, but again it seemed very stim-heavy and not all that beneficial for focus or mood. Sometimes the stimulating effect was to the point of being uncomfortable while lifting, which again points to the prop blend being very heavy on the guarana and lighter on the more important stuff.

One unintended effect I discovered was a pretty good thermogenesis, which came on usually within an hour and lasted a couple more. I'm not sure what would cause this, maybe a combination of the B-vitamins and vinpocetine, but it made me think that Nervacore might function well as a partner to a stim-free fat burner.

In summary, Nervacore was a good little kick in the pants when needed, in terms of energy and alertness, but it pretty much missed the mark in most other ways - no perceivable increase to focus, mood, productivity, cognition, or anything like that.

VALUE: 6

As is the case with many products, your usage will dictate how far your money goes. At the recommended 2/day, you'll get 45 days out of a bottle that sets you back $55-60 from what I'm seeing. Even for 45 days, I think the price is too high for something that didn't really provide me a substantial benefit. It seems like some other reviewers saw better results than I did, so it may be worth a try for you to determine what side of the fence you fall on.

OVERALL: 6.5

Nervacore has some interesting stuff in it, but the parts don't really lead to an effective whole. While this didn't really work for me, it still warrants a look from anyone in the market for nootropics.

Thanks for reading, SR. Have a great day!



Overall
Overall
7.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to UXO Supplements for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  March 1, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Fully Disclosed
  • Good Blend
  • Does What Creatine Should
  • Pricey Versus Creatine Monohydrate Alone
Hello again, everyone, I hope you're all doing fine. Up for review today is UXO Supplements Creatine. Thanks UXO for participating in our community, keep up the great work! I really like UXO as a company. The military aspect is, I think, something we can all appreciate, and they seem to care a lot about their products, their image, and their customer service. Anyway, onto the product.

INGREDIENTS: 8.5

This product comes as a 6g blend of three different types of creatine: monohydrate, di-creatine malate, and MagnaPower, a patented form of magnesium chelate. According to the reading I did, ...
Hello again, everyone, I hope you're all doing fine. Up for review today is UXO Supplements Creatine. Thanks UXO for participating in our community, keep up the great work! I really like UXO as a company. The military aspect is, I think, something we can all appreciate, and they seem to care a lot about their products, their image, and their customer service. Anyway, onto the product.

INGREDIENTS: 8.5

This product comes as a 6g blend of three different types of creatine: monohydrate, di-creatine malate, and MagnaPower, a patented form of magnesium chelate. According to the reading I did, the possible benefit of the two other forms of creatine is more about bioavailability and preventing side effects than it is about actual effectiveness for training. Even though I've never had any issues with plain monohydrate, it was nice to see a creatine blend with a little more thought invested in it.

Creapure would have been a definite plus, just to ensure quality, but the MagnaPower is there at least, and I didn't have much reason to doubt the sourcing of other ingredients.

TASTE/MIXABILITY: 7

There were never any issues with mixing. As with any creatine, this blend dissolves easily without too much settling. The taste was a bit odd, however, and I was forewarned by the rep ahead of time, which I appreciated. It wasn't a taste I'd expect with a creatine blend, though I don't think I've tried the malate or chelate varieties before. The taste was tart and acidic, similar to DAA but much more subdued, and it did noticeably change the taste of my shakes. In fruit juice or a pre-workout with a similar taste profile, I don't think you'd notice. Not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning.

EFFECTIVENESS: 8

I started using UXO's creatine after a lengthy stretch of time with no creatine at all, so my experience is more accurately UXO vs. no creatine than it would be a comparison to straight monohydrate or some other blend. Whether by placebo or not, I did feel as if my training improved after the addition of UXO creatine. I don't feel like I have quite as much power when I'm not using creatine, so I was glad to have the chance to use this blend after a drought of a few weeks. It's a difficult effect to measure, but for those of us who know how workouts usually feel, all else being equal, creatine helps.

In terms of the benefits of the blend (e.g. fewer negative side effects) I can't say I saw much improvement with UXO's creatine over a straight monohydrate powder. I didn't feel bloated, or experience negative GI effects, but that doesn't happen to me anyway. If standard creatine monohydrate doesn't agree with you in that way, for whatever reason, it might be worth trying a blend like this. Otherwise, the addition of malate and chelate doesn't strike me as revolutionary in any way.

SIDE EFFECTS: 10

See above, no issues whatsoever. Just as easy on the system as any other creatine supplement I've used.

VALUE: 7

As far as blends go, this one isn't bad, especially if you can get it on sale. It looks to be about $20-25 for 60 servings. Obviously pure monohydrate in bulk is going to be the most cost-effective option, but as I said before, if that doesn't work well for you, UXO Creatine might be worth a look.

OVERALL: 7.7

UXO Creatine is a good product that does what it should, and I'm sure there's a market out there for a blend like this. That market isn't me, so I wouldn't choose this over bulk Creapure, but I definitely wouldn't advise someone to avoid it for any reason. I don't give it an 8 only because the explanation for an 8 is "would definitely buy again," which I wouldn't, but it's still worth a look for sure.

Thanks for reading everyone, and have great day!



Overall
Overall
9.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.5
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  February 23, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Great Taste
  • True Label Disclosure
  • High Quality
  • No Bloat
  • Improved Recovery
  • Can Be Expensive Depending On Serving Size
This review is long overdue, but better late than never. As always, thanks Nutrabio for participating in the TROOP/ER programs, and putting up so many great products for us to try. Thanks as well to the SR team for all your work.

Supercarb is a HBCD (highly branched cyclic dextrin) product, meant to provide steady nutrition over an extended period of time for long-lasting energy and endurance. There's plenty of information out there on HBCD, so I'm sure we're all pretty familiar with it by now.

INGREDIENTS: 9

This has just about everything you could ask for. 25g of HBCD, lots of electro...
This review is long overdue, but better late than never. As always, thanks Nutrabio for participating in the TROOP/ER programs, and putting up so many great products for us to try. Thanks as well to the SR team for all your work.

Supercarb is a HBCD (highly branched cyclic dextrin) product, meant to provide steady nutrition over an extended period of time for long-lasting energy and endurance. There's plenty of information out there on HBCD, so I'm sure we're all pretty familiar with it by now.

INGREDIENTS: 9

This has just about everything you could ask for. 25g of HBCD, lots of electrolytes and micronutrients, and patented quality ingredients wherever possible. Nutrabio has established a reputation of quality and clarity, and Supercarb is no exception. I always enjoy their "absolutely none" statement at the bottom of every panel, just to punctuate the purity you're getting. Not really much else to say about that.

TASTE/MIXABILITY: 9

The Orange Mango flavor is great. It never really got old for me, and it was easy enough to adjust the level of sweetness with more or less water. Like most carb powders, this one clumps together at first, but quickly dissolves with enough shaking. As others have stated, I never experienced any adverse GI effects, like feelings of bloat or heaviness.

EFFECTIVENESS: 8.5

It took a bit of experimenting to find what worked best. I usually tried to throw two scoops into my gallon jug of water and sip on it about 1-2 hours pre-workout, intra-workout, and again a couple of hours post-workout until it was gone. In order to make it a more complete nutritional formula, I added BCAAs as often as I had them. If I didn't, I tried to eat some protein-rich foods along with it, to take advantage of the steady flow of carbs (and thereby steady insulin response).

The most noticeable (and likely most desired) effect of Supercarb is the energy. Not PWO powder, caffeine and BA rip-your-face-off type energy, but the true, chemical energy of real calories and real carbohydrates that are metabolized by your real digestive system and used by your real muscles. Not many of us can or would want to eat constantly through our workouts, but Supercarb provides the same benefit in a very convenient way. I always felt like my only limitation was time. I never really felt too exhausted to continue lifting, and I felt like I recovered better from very long sets or circuits (e.g. multiple sets of 10-12 rep squats). I could absolutely see a benefit for athletes competing in very long events, like PL meets or wrestling tournaments.

Pumps are also great with Supercarb, which is a testament to its ability to get good nutrients into the muscles. And these pumps stick around for a while. They're good, thick, full carb pumps, which have always been preferable to me.

Of course, every product has its limits. I don't necessarily feel like I got any stronger, nor did I expect to, nor should you expect to. But you may be able to train longer, with higher intensity, than you normally do, and that will reap long-term benefits.

VALUE: 7

This is really the only aspect of Supercarb that gives me pause. It'll set you back at least $50 from what I can see, which is a good chunk of change no matter how you slice it. You are getting 60 servings of a fantastic product that you know is pure and of high quality, and that's reflected in the cost (rightfully so in this case, not so with a lot of other companies). In any event, if you're going to give $50+ to any supplement company, give it to the folks who do it the right way, and will do right by you with a great product.

OVERALL: 9

KISS = keep it simple, stupid. This is a great product with a well-defined purpose, which it fulfills with excellence. It is expensive, yes, but also of very high quality. If you're someone who needs a carb supp, or sees a really significant benefit, this would be my recommendation.



Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
6.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Nutra Clipse for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  January 22, 2016

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Effective AI
  • Possible Decrease In Joint Pain
  • Sloppy Label In Some Parts
  • Chrysin Makes No Sense
Thank you again to Tommy and the SR team for the ER/TROOP system, and thanks Nutraclipse for participating. Up for review this time around is Forma Drive Elite, Nutraclipse's combo AI/test booster. I've had enough experience with this product category to know what certain ingredients should do, what does and doesn't work for me, and how to gauge my expectations. In this case, Forma Drive performed very nearly how I expected.

INGREDIENTS: 7.5

The name of the game here is good ingredient choices, questionable dosing in some cases, and poor presentation (as was the case with Alpha Drive, th...
Thank you again to Tommy and the SR team for the ER/TROOP system, and thanks Nutraclipse for participating. Up for review this time around is Forma Drive Elite, Nutraclipse's combo AI/test booster. I've had enough experience with this product category to know what certain ingredients should do, what does and doesn't work for me, and how to gauge my expectations. In this case, Forma Drive performed very nearly how I expected.

INGREDIENTS: 7.5

The name of the game here is good ingredient choices, questionable dosing in some cases, and poor presentation (as was the case with Alpha Drive, their pre-workout I reviewed a few months ago). I'll just speak on the label presentation briefly Perhaps I'm being picky, but there's something about extraneous commas, lack of trademark notation, and lack of scientific nomenclature or concentrations that doesn't sit right with me. In isolation, one or two of these things wouldn't be the end of the world, but altogether they just create an image of sloppiness. For instance, they just have "DIM" and "Arimistane" instead of providing the full chemical names. That alone isn't a big deal, but they also don't provide extract concentrations for horse chestnut seed, broussonetia, or black pepper. Where labels are concerned, I would always err on the side of specificity, particularly in an industry with so much shady business going on (but really how could one ever err in being specific?)

That being said, the selection of ingredients is a plus. Diindolylmethane is definitely promising as an AI agent, according to what research I've seen. 25mg may be on the light side, but I couldn't really find a benchmark for effective doses so I'll give NC the benefit of the doubt there. Same with acacetin. Chrysin doesn't make any sense to me at all, however. It hasn't shown any oral bioavailability, even in doses well above 1000mg, and this only has 4mg. The reading I've done has to be readily available to the folks at NC as well, so I have to ask, what gives? I can't help but think it's just another cool-sounding thing to fill out the panel. And of course, no AI would be complete without Arimistane, 75mg as there should be.

The horse chestnut is an interesting one. It seems to be included to counteract the usual side effects associated with decreased estrogen, like joint pain. The research is associated more with pain caused by circulatory issues, but still I like the inclusion. The broussonetia papyrifera is something I've never seen before and couldn't find much info, but again it seems to be linked to anti-inflammatory effects. As I stated earlier, I would love to see some extract concentrations for these ingredients, and black pepper (though that's less important).

DOSING: 8

Not too hard, 3 capsules spaced evenly throughout the day, with food. As with a lot of products like this (maybe because of the black pepper, maybe exacerbated by other ingredients) I would get some spicy burps and acid reflux. No big deal.

EFFECTIVENESS: 8

Forma Drive was definitely effective, though unpredictably so. Rather than a slow start and steady increase in all effects, as you might expect with a product like this, I experienced different aspects of it at different times, to varying degrees of intensity. I'm sure the variety of ingredients creates an effectiveness curve of sorts that ebbs and flows over the course of a month.

I certainly experienced some firming and drying out of muscles. Once, I actually got a terrible cramp in my bicep from holding my baby. That wasn't fun, but it let me know the stuff was working. There wasn't any very discernible leaning effect, because I'm not all that lean to begin with, but I'm sure if my body fat percentage were lower, the decreased water retention would definitely make a difference in appearance. Libido was a bit of a roller coaster. It seemed to be higher at first, but wore down a bit after a couple of weeks. Moods were more or less normal, no aberrations I can really point to. I've had a bit of a short fuse in recent months anyway, and I'm certain it has nothing to do with Forma Drive.

I didn't experience any increased motivation, aggression, or performance in the gym. Everything was fairly consistent, perhaps a bit of a tighter pump when I had one. Basically, every effect you can depend on with an AI, this one produces. It's not anything stellar or game-changing, but certainly as effective as anything else I've tried.

SIDE EFFECTS: 8

Again, everything you'd expect. The one painful cramping incident, as I described above, was all that really came out of the drying effect. Joints did become sore, but nothing that prevented me from working out the way I normally do. Maybe there's something to the additional plant extracts they threw in there? Otherwise nothing really to report, no major changes in mood or anything odd.

VALUE: 6.5

According to my own experience, Forma Drive costs slightly more than some other major players that are a bit more effective. I've seen it in a few places for, on average, about $35, which is not bad for an effective AI, however I would turn elsewhere first.

OVERALL: 7.5

An effective product for a price that isn't astronomical, and I'd say it's worth consideration for anyone shopping for an AI. There's something to be said for the additional plant extracts, I think -- if anything separates this from the pack, it would be that. I would love to see a big improvement in Nutraclipse's labeling practices, both in the way of linguistic issues and specificity of ingredients. You don't want to give any reason for your consumers to doubt the care you take in developing a product.

Thanks for reading everyone, and thanks again Nutraclipse and the SR.com team!



Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
5.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to SD Pharmaceuticals for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  December 10, 2015

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Faster Recovery
  • Reduced Fatigue
  • AstraGin
  • Cost Per Serving Size
  • Tub Size
It's that time again! Up for review this time is SD Pharmaceuticals' BCAA powder. I'm not really familiar with this company so I was interested in seeing what they have to offer. Thanks SD for participating in the TROOP/ER program! Keep it up! BCAAs are something that I don't keep regularly, only because I feel like I eat enough, and I eat well, so they're more of a luxury than anything else. But I do find that my workouts and my recovery seem to improve at least a little bit when I have them in my routine. That's always a welcome possibility.

INGREDIENTS: 8

Very simple profile. It's kin...
It's that time again! Up for review this time is SD Pharmaceuticals' BCAA powder. I'm not really familiar with this company so I was interested in seeing what they have to offer. Thanks SD for participating in the TROOP/ER program! Keep it up! BCAAs are something that I don't keep regularly, only because I feel like I eat enough, and I eat well, so they're more of a luxury than anything else. But I do find that my workouts and my recovery seem to improve at least a little bit when I have them in my routine. That's always a welcome possibility.

INGREDIENTS: 8

Very simple profile. It's kinda hard to screw up BCAAs. This one is a bit light on the dosing, but I feel like BCAAs are a pretty adaptable thing, based on individual needs. A single scoop of this contains 1500mg of leucine, but you're advised to take up to 3 servings per day, or about 4.5g of leucine. As far as ratios go, I don't really know what the benefit would be one way or the other. SD's formula is a 45:30:25 ratio, which seems a little bit on the obsessive side to me.

What really stands out here is the AstraGin. I've never used a product with AstraGin before, and I really think it made a big difference for me. Compared to other BCAA products with similar profiles, I felt I could detect a marked increase in speed of muscle recovery and control of DOMS. Considering the relatively small dose of actual aminos in this product vs. some others out there, I would wager that the AstraGin significantly increases how much of each amino acid actually gets absorbed.

TASTE/DOSING/MIXABILITY: 8

The blue raspberry flavor is very enjoyable, and meshed well with my Pineapple SuperCarb. There is a pretty obvious abundance of dyes, as just a couple scoops of this could make my gallon of water look like antifreeze. Mixing was never an issue. You get the typical BCAA foam, but it went away quickly enough. I am a little miffed by how small the container is. Again, this is an issue of personal preference and use, but for something that was most effective at a full 3 scoops/day, a container this small just isn't very practical.

EFFECTIVENESS: 8

Again, a solid showing in this regard. As I stated above, I think the AstraGin made a big difference. In terms of muscle recovery, and decreasing fatigue, this is one of the best BCAA products I've ever used. In the midst of some pretty high-volume, high-intensity workouts that would typically leave me very sore, I always felt ready to go in time for my next workout. This is during a routine where I'm performing every major lift twice a week. I don't necessarily feel like my intraworkout endurance increased much at all, but I don't think that should be the primary objective with a BCAA product.

Aside from all these benefits, SD's BCAAs provided an easy and convenient way to keep my nutrient intake up throughout the day, when it isn't always easy to get whole food meals. I don't really buy into a lot of the "anabolic window" talk that circulates, or that my body will start cannibalizing its own muscle tissue if I don't get a meal every 2 hours, but it was nice to know I always had a steady stream of aminos to fuel muscle growth. I did decide very quickly to move to the full 3 scoops/day, which did bring about the full benefit of faster recovery, but severely limited the lifespan of the tub.

VALUE: 5

It's hard for me to find anything to redeem the cost when the serving size is so small compared to other BCAA products. While the price for 30 servings is pretty similar to other product offerings, 30 servings at 5.7g per serving becomes much more expensive than 30 servings at 10 or more grams per serving. I'm sure the AstraGin might make this a little more effective with less actual BCAAs, I don't think that's enough to justify the price of a tiny tub with a tiny scoop.

3 scoops/day is where I went with this, and I think most people would operate in the 2-3 scoop range. At that rate, you're only getting 2 weeks' worth or less.

OVERALL: 7.5

This was a truly useful addition to my supplement intake, thanks in large part to the addition of AstraGin, but I really wish the price/serving size ratio could be a little more attractive and practical for the average user. For that reason only, I would bump this down a few spots on my BCAA list.

Thanks for reading everyone, and happy lifting!



Overall
Overall
7.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.0
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Cellucor for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  December 8, 2015

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Pleasant And Effective Sleep Aid
  • No Test Boosting Effect
Before I begin, I want to thank Cellucor for participating consistently in the TROOP/ER program. I decided to give P6 PM a try mainly for its potential effect on sleep quality, and if the test boosting agents worked at all, it would be a nice bonus. From the product label, P6 PM "supports free testosterone" and "promotes improved sleep." Sleep aids aren't something I use frequently, since I hardly ever have any issues falling asleep. But now with a baby at home, my nights are later and my mornings earlier, so I was hoping this might help me fall into a deeper sleep sooner, effectively provi...
Before I begin, I want to thank Cellucor for participating consistently in the TROOP/ER program. I decided to give P6 PM a try mainly for its potential effect on sleep quality, and if the test boosting agents worked at all, it would be a nice bonus. From the product label, P6 PM "supports free testosterone" and "promotes improved sleep." Sleep aids aren't something I use frequently, since I hardly ever have any issues falling asleep. But now with a baby at home, my nights are later and my mornings earlier, so I was hoping this might help me fall into a deeper sleep sooner, effectively providing quality over quantity.

INGREDIENTS: 6.5

I like some of what's in here, but I think to market this as a testosterone booster is misguided. This blend of ingredients is pretty much all "PM" and barely any "P6" (whatever that means). The only ingredients with specifically disclosed amounts are the vitamins and minerals, which nobody really cares much about anyway (I'm assuming). Vitamin D3 isn't even included, pretty much a staple in any hormone support blend. All the good stuff is packed into a prop blend of 855mg, so there's no way to know how much of each ingredient you're getting. With certain ingredients, especially where sleep/anxiolysis is concerned, I would really be more comfortable knowing exactly what I'm getting. Same deal with any product containing caffeine.

That being said, I really do like the variety of sleep and calm-promoting ingredients. I've had experience with most of them before, but something about this combination really worked well for me. I'm guessing it's the theanine and passionflower, since I don't think I've had those two in any product before. The rest of it is pretty vanilla - ZMA, melatonin, and GABA.

The only "test boosting" ingredient here is the tribulus terrestris, which doesn't even affect test levels in otherwise healthy men. According to my reading, it's useful for virility and organ protection in some cases, but otherwise doesn't do much. This is one of those "smoke and mirrors" kind of ingredients that I see pop up pretty frequently. It might make you feel frisky (which it didn't for me, by the way), so you might think it's doing something, when it really isn't. Honestly I think just the name of it has some sort of subconscious affect too. "Terrestris" and "testosterone" seem like they should be related somehow. I also read that chrysin, which can be found in passionflower, can increase test only when it's injected directly into the testes. I didn't try that, if you're wondering.

If they're trying to provide free test support, I would recommend adding a SHBG inhibitor or AI. The evidence seems to suggest that these categories lead to more free test through preventing conversion/binding. In otherwise healthy males, ingredients meant to boost test production don't really work that well.

DOSING: 7.5

You're supposed to take these 30-60 minutes before bed. Each dose is a hefty 4 pills, but that never really bothered me. I didn't get any weird burps, heartburn, or any other GI difficulties with these. What I did find a little obnoxious is the directions suggest to take on an empty stomach, and to avoid taking with dairy or anything containing calcium. I think a lot of us who try to eat regularly might find this aspect a little bit difficult, especially if you like cottage cheese before bed, or a glass of milk (both of which I often do). Not the end of the world, but a bit annoying for sure.

EFFECTIVENESS:

As a Sleep Aid: 9

I have to be honest, this was one of the best and most consistent sleep aids I've ever used. It didn't force me out, like drinking too much or anything like that. What it did was, very dependably, make my body and mind feel totally relaxed and at ease. There was a very distinct moment, each night, where I could feel this wave of calm flow over me, and I enjoyed it very much. It wasn't harsh or overpowering, but it wasn't so subtle either that it couldn't be felt. Just right, so when I made the decision to sleep, it happened immediately. And I never felt like I needed to increase the dose to get the same effect.

This also helped me get to REM sleep much more quickly and consistently, as far as I could tell, and that's exactly what I wanted. Although my dreams were not very vivid or memorable, I know I dreamt more often than I had been previously. I woke up every morning feeling as if I'd gotten exactly as much sleep as I needed, even if it was less or more than my "average." Now, this didn't necessarily help my recovery at all. I didn't perceive any change in that way. But better sleep is always a good thing.

As a Test Booster: 3

Trib doesn't do anything for test, and even what it should have done (increase virility, libido, etc.) it did not do for me. Any trace test boosting that might have happened, would only be a result of improved sleep quality, and I don't think even that took place. I had none of the standard signs of increased testosterone, not even any kind of placebo.

SIDE EFFECTS: 8.5

I didn't have any trouble waking up in the morning. No hangover, no sluggishness, no mental haze or anything like that. I did sometimes wake up with a bit of a tremor in my hands, which I found odd but not alarming. It didn't inhibit my function at all, and it usually went away within about 20 minutes of waking. I also did not perceive any increased tolerance during use, or withdrawal symptoms after I finished it. Both big positives for a sleep aid.

VALUE: 7

If you can find this for $30, which I have seen, I think that's pretty good. That's based on my experience with this as an effective sleep aid, and other products in that category seem to hover above the $30/30 days mark. If you're looking for an effective test booster, look elsewhere. If you have a sleep aid that you like, stick with it. As with most things, it seems like individual experiences vary wildly for that product category.

OVERALL: 7

This is undeniably poor as a test booster, but undeniably effective as a sleep aid. If you haven't yet found something that works for you in that way, I'd say this is worth a try, especially if you find it on sale or in the sub $30 range.

Thanks for reading SR, have a great day!


Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Protein Factory for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  December 3, 2015

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • High Quality Ingredients
  • No Unnecessary FillersFlavorsPreservatives
  • Super Convenient
  • Great Taste
  • Not Enough PackagingPurchase Options
Thanks to Protein Factory for participating in the TROOP/ER Program. I have to admit, I was giddy when I saw beef jerky in my CP and snatched it up as soon as I could. I'm not really a connoisseur of jerkies, but I'm a big fan and it's a pretty common snack in my home, so I was excited to give this a try.

INGREDIENTS: A

Let's be honest, sticking "New Zealand" in the title of anything makes it sound cooler. I mean, that's where they filmed a lot of The Lord of the Rings movies. Seriously though, New Zealand is pretty well know for their propensity toward livestock, and you can't go wrong ...
Thanks to Protein Factory for participating in the TROOP/ER Program. I have to admit, I was giddy when I saw beef jerky in my CP and snatched it up as soon as I could. I'm not really a connoisseur of jerkies, but I'm a big fan and it's a pretty common snack in my home, so I was excited to give this a try.

INGREDIENTS: A

Let's be honest, sticking "New Zealand" in the title of anything makes it sound cooler. I mean, that's where they filmed a lot of The Lord of the Rings movies. Seriously though, New Zealand is pretty well know for their propensity toward livestock, and you can't go wrong with 100% pure Angus beef. This stuff is lean, virtually no carbs, and lower in sodium than most jerkies you could buy retail. No soy, no nitrates, and no MSG. This is about as pure as you can get without raising the cows, killing them, bathing in their blood (if that's your thing), butchering the meat, and treating it yourself. There are only 4 ingredients... the meat, salt, brown sugar, and spices.

And 15g of whole beef protein in a single ounce? That's pretty fantastic. Not much else to say about that.

TASTE/TEXTURE: A

Perfect, in my opinion. Just salty enough, just sweet enough, just spicy enough. A lot of jerky varieties overdo it on at least one of those qualities, but everything is in perfect balance with this stuff. I also love how thinly sliced it is, not thick chewy pieces like you get with those big, evil, corporate jerky manufacturers. It has the consistency of a real thin hard salami or prosciutto maybe, very easy to contend with but just enough toughness to help you savor it.

EFFECTIVENESS: A

It made me happy, provided good whole protein for my diet, and was super convenient. What more can you say?

VALUE: B-

This stuff isn't exactly cheap. With the quality of ingredients, you can't expect it to be cheap, and in my opinion it would be money well spent. You can get a single 4oz. package for $7.99, or save a bit and get a 7 pack for $49.99. Compared to something like Jack Links though, which is not as clean a product, this isn't all that much more expensive. As hard as it is for me to part with $50 for any reason, the quality you get for your money is undeniable. If anything, I'd like to see some more quantity/packaging options. Larger bags would probably shave a bit off the production cost, and it would make bulk purchases even more appealing.

OVERALL: A-

The standards for grading a beef jerky might be a bit different than your average supplement, but what are supplements but a way to complete your nutrition? In that sense, Protein Factory New Zealand Beef Jerky fits the bill very well. Sure, you can get 5+ pounds of whey for around the same money, but in my opinion this is better nutritionally, more convenient, and WAY more palatable. I have no real complaints. If you are a jerky enthusiast, and it's something you purchase on a regular basis, this is a product I wholeheartedly recommend.




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