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dmf8625

SR TROOPer


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  • Member has been active for 3 months, and was last online today
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REVIEWS (43)

Reviews by dmf8625




Overall
Overall
6.6
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.2
Value
Value
6.0
  April 23, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Flavor Selection
  • Great Taste
  • Too Expensive
  • Lots Of Fillers
  • Low Protein Percentage
  • No Digestive Enzymes

Quick Summary

BSN Syntha-6 protein powder. Surely many people who have lifted weights sometime in their life has either heard of, seen the red tubs or consumed this protein. Now there is an "Edge" version. Do you like living on the "Edge"?

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

Not much to say here for this product. Many of us who have been using supplements for years know the BSN name, probably either for their NO Xplode pre-workout or because of Syntha-6 protein powder. This...

Quick Summary

BSN Syntha-6 protein powder. Surely many people who have lifted weights sometime in their life has either heard of, seen the red tubs or consumed this protein. Now there is an "Edge" version. Do you like living on the "Edge"?

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

Not much to say here for this product. Many of us who have been using supplements for years know the BSN name, probably either for their NO Xplode pre-workout or because of Syntha-6 protein powder. This review is going to be for the "Edge" version, which basically means the macro profile is a little bit leaner and cleaner than the standard Syntha-6 protien.

Ingredient Profile

The macros will vary slightly depending on which flavor you choose and mine is going to be based on the Chocolate Milkshake flavor that I purchased. There are a total of seven flavors available for this protein in the approximate two pound tub.

Serving Size 1 Scoop (38g)
Servings Per Container: 28

Amount Per Serving
Calories 150
Calories From Fat 30

Total Fat 3.5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 190 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 24 g

Calcium 15%
Iron 10%

Ingredients:
Protein Matrix (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Concentrate), Sunflower Powder (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Mono- & Di-Glycerides, Di-Potassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Natural & Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Gum Blend (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose.

As you can see from the label, this powder is about 63% protein by weight per scoop. This is compared to the regular Syntha-6 version of this flavor which is only ~47 % protein by weight per scoop. Calories are less in this version at 150 per scoop compared to 200 for the original. Fat is only 3.5g compared to 6g. Carbs come in at 6g per scoop for the Edge compared to 15g for the original. Out of those carbs, 1g is fiber and 2g is sugar. This compared to the original which has 5g of fiber and the same 2g of sugar. The Edge version gets you 24g of protein per scoop compared to only 22g in the original.

Moving into the ingredients section, the protein portion is comprised of a blend of you guessed it, six types of protein. The first three are all whey based with WPC, WPI and Hydrolyzed Whey Protein. There is no mention on the label or BSN's website of how the whey protein is processed. Since this product is not trying to be the cleanest protein on the market, it is safe to say that Ion-exchange was likely not used, in my honest opinion. These whey proteins are used for the fast-acting amino acid infusion into the body to start muscle repair after a workout. All the different versions of whey included in this product have slightly different digestion rates and bioavailability values. After the three types of whey protein, we have calcium caseinate, micellar casein and milk protein concentrate. These proteins combined are the slower digesting forms of this product, meant to keep a steady flow of amino acids running through your system for multiple hours. Some people swear by protein blends for increased muscle protein synthesis while others swear by having whey and casein proteins at separate times of the day.

After the protein matrix, the rest of the ingredients are the thickeners, flavoring agents and sweeteners that make this product live up to BSN's taste claims. These ingredients make up the other 37% of the scoop and are not the most natural of ingredients if that is a characteristic you are looking for in a protein powder. Please note that are also no digestive enzymes included in this product.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> This is where BSN makes its name when it comes to proteins. Their claim is "ultra-premium protein matrix with amazing milkshake-like taste and texture." Personally, I believe that is achieved with the large amount of thickeners, flavoring agents and sweeteners that I mentioned in the ingredient section. Since this is not the cleanest or most macro friendly protein powder on the market, I would expect to be blown away by the flavor. The chocolate milkshake flavor mostly lived up to the claims. Strong chocolate flavor and thick consistency when following the recommended liquid amount of 4-5 ounces per scoop. If the water or milk is ice cold, you definitely get the milkshake feeling while drinking. Sadly, that feeling does not last long because the shake is only 4-5 ounces. You can add more liquid as I did a few times but it dilutes the flavor and just makes a thinner shake as expected. If you increase the water but want the same taste and consistency, you will need to add more powder.

Mixability >> Throughout the use of my tub, I tried mixing this powder two ways. The first was using the 4-5 ounces of water in a shaker bottle without the blender ball. This route gave a final product that was about 90% mixed in my opinion. There would still be some clumps throughout the liquid and some leftovers on the sides of the shaker bottle. When I did the same but added in the blender ball, the shake ended up much better with everything mixed and nothing left on the sides of the cup. If you don't have a blender ball or some other type of mixer in your shaker cup, the shake is still drinkable but you might have to chew a few small clumps and/or you might feel them in your throat.

Dosing >> As with most protein powders, the dosing is left up to the individual and how additional protein will fit their lifestyle. Most people who have been lifting weights for many years go the route of having a protein shake after training. Since this product has a low recommendation for liquid amount, it is easy to down a scoop quickly. BSN also mentions that this can be used anytime day or night because of the different types of protein included.

Effectiveness

As with dosing, the effectiveness of a protein product can only be determined by the individual using it. If the food you typically eat does not contain a lot of protein, this product will be effective at increasing your intake. Or if you are a person who has trouble consuming enough whole food to meet your goals, this product will be effective at allowing you to quickly consume some protein and calories without using up too much volume in your stomach. For those hard gainers, this product does contain some extra carbs and fat compared to some others on the market without going overboard. If you really have a hard time meeting your caloric goals, I would recommend going with the original Syntha-6 version instead of this one. This product was also effective for me at satisfying my sweet tooth that would sometimes kick in towards the end of the evening. I could mix up a scoop or two in some cold liquid and trick myself into thinking I was drinking a milkshake.

Value

In terms of value, this protein comes in some odd sizes compared to what the market is used to. Normally protein powders are sold in two pound and five pound tubs or somewhat close to those weights. This protein however is sold in either 2.25 or 3.86 pound tubs. The smaller size tub gets you 28 servings while the larger tub gets you 48 servings.

A lot of stores and websites carry this product, so there may be a better deal out there or a big sale might pop up compared to what I am currently finding. The 28 serving tub looks to be going for between $25 and $30 on most websites and varies depending on the flavor, equaling out to about one dollar per serving. The 48 serving tub pricing will again vary depending on site and flavor selection. Currently I can find prices ranging from $38 up to the mid $40 range on average. Buying the larger tub will obviously drop your per serving cost to below one dollar each compared to buying the smaller tub. With so many stores and flavor options, the chances of finding a great deal are much higher if you take some time to look around and/or possible find someone who has an inventory that is approaching expiration.

Side Effects

Personally, I did not experience any side effects with this protein supplement. I can drink pure WPC products without issue, so I had no fear in picking this one up. As a bit of caution to others, since the first protein listed in the ingredients is a concentrate, I would recommend anyone sensitive to lactose to try and get a sample of this protein before buying an entire tub, especially because it does not contain any digestive enzymes.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, this protein is a great option for those who are more concerned with flavor than having the cleanest, most macro friendly protein powder available. With only ~63% protein per scoop, you are paying for a lot of non-active fillers but damn they taste good! If you have been using the regular Sythna-6 protein but are tired of taking in 15g of carbs per scoop and only 22g of protein, here is a great option to stay with the same brand and flavoring system but save some calories, macros and up your protein intake. Lastly, for those who may be new to consuming a protein powder and really value taste over everything else, this product has the flavor options for you and will likely deliver on the promise of "milkshake-like taste and texture". I can only speak to one flavor but I am confident a large company like BSN would have comparable quality across all flavor options of the same product.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.[\b]



Overall
Overall
8.3
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.5
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Wildflower for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 22, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Joint And Muscle Relief
  • Strong Cooling
  • Calming Sensation
  • Easy Application
  • Strong Smell
  • Application Residue
  • Possible Sticker Shock

Quick Summary

CBD products are all the rage right now. Should this one be included in the discussion?

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

First, thank you to Wildflower for participating here with the TROOP program to allow me to try and review this CBD+ Cool Stick. Having lived in the state of California where marijuana and CBD has been legal medically for many years and recreationally within the past year, I was somewhat already aware of CBD products, their int...

Quick Summary

CBD products are all the rage right now. Should this one be included in the discussion?

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

First, thank you to Wildflower for participating here with the TROOP program to allow me to try and review this CBD+ Cool Stick. Having lived in the state of California where marijuana and CBD has been legal medically for many years and recreationally within the past year, I was somewhat already aware of CBD products, their intended uses and effects. The Cool Stick was my first experience with any CBD product personally, although members of my family have been using CBD products for quite a while. I decided to review this item because of nagging aches and pains from increased activity from my job and the gym while trying to lose weight. Let's see how this goes shall we?

Ingredient Profile

The main active ingredient in this product is the 300mg of CBD (Cannabis plant extract). For those unaware, products containing CBD are not measured in servings or ounces but by how many milligrams of CBD the entire product contains. I am not sure if there is a way to test that a product actually contains the specified amount of CBD. The trust is left up to each individual and the reputation of the company that produces it. Luckily for us, Wildflower says that "All Wildflower CBD products have been rigorously third party laboratory tested for content and safety, so you can be sure you're getting only the very best products made to the highest ethical and safety standards. Certified lab tests are available upon request. Wildflower goes above and beyond so that you can be content in the knowledge that we never compromise on safety or quality. Our plants and topical ingredients are all certified organic, non-GMO, and have never come into contact with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides."

The other ingredients include coconut oil, hemp oil, shea butter, beeswax, ecosoya, vitamin E, Arnica, CBD oil, peppermint essential oil and menthol crystals. These are what allows the product to become its stick form and also gives the stick its smell and cooling sensation that I will discuss later. The amount of these ingredients is not listed on the container and since they are not really the active ingredients, I am ok with that.

Per Wildflower's information, CBD is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant agent. We use only the premium parts of the cannabis plant and a superior C02 extraction method to bring you the purest flavor and terpene profile possible.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

There is nothing to report for taste and mixability on this product. Dosing/application is left up to the user. You apply the stick to whichever parts of your body that is currently in pain and allow it to take effect. I do not believe you can over-dose this product but there are probably only certain parts of your body that you will want to apply this product to. One swipe of the stick provides a nice layer of product on your skin, whether there is hair in that location or not. I personally used it on parts of my body that do and do not have hair, and there was no issue with either.

Effectiveness

For the effectiveness section, let me first start out by saying I did not know what to expect since this is the first CBD product that I have used. I initially decided to start using the product on my right lower leg. Last year I got an infection that started in that area that ended up putting me in the hospital for a few days for IV treatment. Since that time, that part of my leg has felt a little different than before and seems to feel more strain quicker than my left leg. This difference is especially felt during activity such as walking on a treadmill or just everyday walking for a long period of time. My first application was after a LISS cardio session. That part of the leg was hurting as it normally does and I applied the Cool Stick from below the calf to the ankle on all sides. I noticed an immediate cooling sensation and about five to seven minutes later the pain started to dissipate. Shortly after that, I decided to sit down and that caused the rest of the pain to disappear. The pain free feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day; even with the additional walking as part of my normal day. I also tried applying the stick to my leg before cardio sessions and it stopped the pain from ever occurring. My ideal application was before cardio but sometimes I would forget and use it after. Luckily the effects did not take too long to start relieving the pain. I continued to use the stick on this part of my body for the remainder of the trial.

The second way I used the Cool Stick was on my lower back after weight lifting. Typically, my back day in the gym is my most difficult and I am usually feeling the DOMS the next morning. What I did with the CBD Cool Stick is apply it to my lower back before going to bed. Each time I did this, I was able to wake up the next morning with far less muscle soreness in my lower back. It did not remove all the DOMS but probably a good 90% or so. This made those mornings much more productive and allowed me to recover faster for my next workout. My lower back was the only other part of the body I used the Cool Stick on because I typically do not have DOMS after any other workout.

As a side note and secondary effectiveness of this product for me, the aroma from the menthol and peppermint oil put me in a calm and relaxed mood. Some other reviews have mentioned the aroma being overpowering but I enjoyed it and it added a second level of effectiveness for me. Think of Vicks Vapor Rub when you have chest congestion. The aroma gave me the same feeling even though I was not congested and it was relaxing in my case, even during LISS cardio.

Value

This is the section where most of the previous reviews have had an issue and presumably took some points off the rating. Coming from a state that has had marijuana and CBD products around for quite a while, the price tag is a little bit less of a concern to me. Going to a dispensary in my area and purchasing just a few CBD products will likely set you back at least $150 or more by the time all the taxes get added on. The standard retail price for this product at most website is $60 but after some Google searching, I was able to find a site (https://alchemistcbd.com/products/wildflower-cbd-cool-stick) listing this product for $48 (a 20% discount from the price we typically see). In the end, is it more expensive than multiple tubes of Bengay or Tiger Balm, yes but this is a more natural option and personally more effective in my experience.

Side Effects

Possible side effects include the strong smell of menthol and peppermint being with you for some time after application. Personally, I did not mind this but it may be a turn off to some. Second is the residue that transfers from the application site to anything else that it touches (ie: clothing or furniture). Be cautious of any clothing you put on after applying this product as it will stick and possibly stain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I had a great experience with this product and would recommend it to anyone who wants a more natural pain reliever and/or other traditional products on the market have not worked for them. Alternative medicine like this product and the sticker shock may cause some people to move past this option but I would advise them to reconsider and think about how much being pain free is worth to them.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.



Overall
Overall
5.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.0
Value
Value
4.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
(SR paid for product; OxyXtreme did not participate)
(Show run details )
  April 19, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Prop Blend
  • Under-dosed Ingredients
  • Artificial Colors
  • Too Sweet
  • Not Effective
  • Too Expensive

Quick Summary

With all the product options available in the Weight Loss > Thermogenics category for the TROOPer program, I decided to take a chance on this one because it was from a company that I have not tried before. I am always open to giving a brand a try and here was my opportunity for OxyXtreme. Was it a good decision? Let's see...

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

First off, thank you to Clipper83 and SR.com for purchasing and sending me this tub of Oxy...

Quick Summary

With all the product options available in the Weight Loss > Thermogenics category for the TROOPer program, I decided to take a chance on this one because it was from a company that I have not tried before. I am always open to giving a brand a try and here was my opportunity for OxyXtreme. Was it a good decision? Let's see...

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

First off, thank you to Clipper83 and SR.com for purchasing and sending me this tub of OxyXtreme as the company is not participating here on the site. In regards to this product, I picked it up mainly as a morning pre cardio supplement to help increase thermogenesis and give me a boost to make it through the cardio session and tackle the rest of the day. After doing some research, it looks like this product was first created in pill form as a fat burner/mood stimulant and now it is a powder and labeled as a pre-workout as well. Let's see how this trial went.

Ingredient Profile

First off, all the active ingredients for this product are wrapped up in a prop blend as seen here >> 3,300mg: Beta-Alanine, l-arginine, agmatine sulfate, panthergy, n-methylpentyl-iminoglutaric acid, caffeine, caffeine citrate, cocoabuterol, cocoa seed extract, guarana seed extract, rauwolfia root extract, hordenine HCI, huperzia serrata club moss extract. Other Ingredients include Natural and artificial flavor, maltodextrin, citric acid, calcium silicate, l-tartaric acid, sucralose, silica, red #40.

With all the actives in a blend, we have no idea the doses on anything; not even the total amount of caffeine per scoop. Most companies at least disclose the amount of caffeine if everything is in a blend.

In regard to the active ingredients and how this product claims they work:

N-Methylpentyl-iminoglutaric Acid: Increases mood, focus and mental energy. Increases your overall sense of well-being.

Agmatine sulphate: More pumps and vascularity at the gym. A harder and leaner body.

Alpha yohimbe -Rauwolscine: Helps burn fat. For men, the stomach area. For women, the hips and butt.

Cocaobuterol: Helps with fat loss and increases in lean muscle mass.

Hordenine hcl: Helps the body release more adrenaline and noradrenaline. More fat burning and more energy are the result!

Huperzia serrata Club Moss Extract: Helps to improve mental alertness, focus and concentration. Perfect for in and out of the gym!

Beta-alanine: Increases muscular endurance. Increase the amount of reps and overall exercises per session!

L-Arginine: Increase nitric oxide in the body.

Caffeine: Powerful stimulant to increase alertness and make you feel more 'awake'

Cocoa seed extract: Helps support increases in weight loss.

Guarana: Helps improve weight loss, athletic performance and reduces overall fatigue.

With each scoop only being 3300mg, many of these ingredients have to be severely under-dosed in my opinion. The blend is lead off with Beta-Alanine, which we most commonly see dosed between 1600mg and 3200mg. We also have Agmatine for pumps and that is usually dosed around 1000mg or more. Another common ingredient in the blend is L-Arginine, which for nitric oxide production is pretty useless in my opinion unless you are dosing it at 5000mg or more.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> I received the cotton candy flavor of this product and boy is it STRONG! The tub does not say anything about how much water to use per scoop, so the first time I tried it I used eight ounces. That was a punch in the mouth in terms of flavor and sweetness. The flavor reminds me of the original pink Bubblicious bubble gum that I used to chew as a kid, not really cotton candy as I expected. I have had some cotton candy flavored supplements that really hit the mark with flavor but this one did not. After a few more rounds, my ideal taste was found by using a full shaker (`24 ounces) of water per scoop. Not necessarily ideal when trying to get a scoop down in the morning before cardio but a little planning made it work.

Mixability >> Since this product has a relatively small scoop, mixability is not an issue, especially with the amount of water that I ended up using. Even when I was using a smaller amount of water, everything mixed just fine.

Dosing >> Per the tub, "Take one scoop 30min before workout on an empty stomach. If looking for an anytime energy boost, take 1/2 scoop." I always dosed at a full scoop before my cardio session and sometimes a half scoop as a mid-day energy boost.

Effectiveness

A little background about my current lifestyle and goals right now. I am aiming to lose weight/fat at a slow and controlled pace with a goal of one to two pounds per week. I currently do LISS cardio seven days a week and follow an intermittent fasting eating protocol. I will finish eating at around midnight each day then fast until around 2000 hrs the next day. During my feeding window, I will typically focus on protein and fat with carbs depending on if I weight trained that day or plan to weight train the next day.
These are the claims that the brand makes about this product that I found online:
Improve Your Mood
Increase Energy
Burn Fat
More Endurance
Razor Sharp Focus
Skin Bursting Pumps

I will try to touch on each one briefly in terms of effectiveness from my experience. First about mood improvement. When using this in the morning before my cardio, I would notice a slight mood improvement part way through my session. Not sure if that was because of the supplement or because my body was getting moving and starting to wake up for the day. When I took a half scoop in the middle of the day, the mood improvement was less noticeable and non-existent some days.

At the full scoop dose, the increase in energy was there and noticeable during my cardio. Before I started to use this product, I would start to tire out towards the end and lose my pace. With this, I could push through the end and still have energy left over afterwards for any other tasks I wanted to complete. At the half scoop mid-day dose, the energy uptick was short lived and provided no long term benefit. In regard to burning fat above and beyond what I expected from only caloric deficit and training, this product did not produce any noticeable results. No certain part of my body lost more fat than another and scale weight continued to progress as if I wasn't using this product. I did not notice an increase in body temperature that I could specifically relate to consuming this product and no increase in heart rate beyond what I normally experience while doing LISS cardio.

The increased endurance was there as well, likely as a byproduct of the increased energy from multiple ingredients included. As the energy curve started to decrease, the endurance effect went down at the same time. Since I was not lifting weights, I can not speak to any increase in muscle endurance from the Beta-Alanine. In response to the claim of "Razor Sharp Focus", razor sharp is a little of an overstatement for me. An increase in focus was there during my cardio sessions but not nearly as sharp as I have experienced from other supplements, some of which do not quantify the focus as "razor sharp". It was there and nice to have but nothing to celebrate and write home about.

Lastly, we have the skin bursting pumps claim, which in my opinion is completely false. As I detailed in the ingredients section, this product is severely under-dosed in any of the pump ingredients included in the prop blend. And it doesn't include any of the more effective ingredients like Citrulline, Glycerol or Betaine. Now I wouldn't expect to get a pump from cardio, which is why I decided to also mix in some bicep and triceps work when taking a scoop of this. I would pause my cardio part way through and do some high reps of arms to try and get a pump going. I would do this multiple times during my cardio to try and get this effect. No matter the weight and reps I used for this trial, there was no pump to report.

To wrap up the effectiveness section, I want to say everything I experienced was mostly from taking a full scoop. I would have liked to try one and a half or possibly even two scoops to see what the effects were like but since all the ingredients are in the prop blend and the caffeine amount was not known, I never went down that road. Also, even though this product does claim to be a pre-workout supplement, I never used it in that fashion. Based on the results I received from using a scoop prior to cardio, I can confidently say this product would not have been enough for a full weight lifting session for me. I am used to complete pre-workouts (see NutraBio Pre) with clinical doses of multiple ingredients. For the new user to the pre-workout market, this would be a great product to start with. Sadly you won't be able to test your tolerance with specific ingredients since we don't know the dosages of anything; but you will get some energy, focus and mood boost during your workout.

Value

For value, it looks like the typical retail price for a 30 serving tub of this product is between $19.95 and $24.95 online. I know part way through my tub, A1 Supplements had this on a B1G1 Free deal for $24.95. At the time of this writing, that deal is no longer available but may pop up again.

Side Effects

None to report. No tingles from the Beta-Alanine. No crash from the energy ingredients. Use a lot of water if you don't like extremely sweet tasting products. Does contain artificial color.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this product was middle of the road for me. There was nothing extremely negative about it but nothing overly positive to report either. It is not a product that I would personally purchase and use for pre-cardio and especially not for a weight training session. I would not recommend this to the experienced gym goer who is used to harder hitting, more extreme products. I would recommend it to someone new to the gym and taking pre-workouts. Also for someone who needs a little extra kick and motivation to do their morning cardio but don't expect increased fat burning unless you react extremely well to this product.

Once again, thank you to Clipper83 for making this product available on the site. And to any company rep that may happen to read this review, please open up your label so the consumer can see the dosages of each ingredient or at least let us know how much active caffeine is in each scoop. And I would recommend cutting way back on the flavor and sweetness of this powder.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.



Overall
Overall
5.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
5.5
Value
Value
4.0
  April 18, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • No Fat
  • No Carbs
  • Pure Protein Supplement
  • Many Possible Benefits
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Repairs Muscle
  • Too Expensive
  • Bad Taste
  • Claimed Benefits Not Experienced

Quick Summary

This is a product that showed up on my Facebook news feed with a special of two tubs of protein for $2 with free shipping. This was a similar deal to what I received on this brands Fish Oil that I have also reviewed on here.

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

As mentioned above, I received two tubs of this product as part of a Facebook deal. Personally, I have never used a collagen protein powder until trying this one; only read about them in the news and th...

Quick Summary

This is a product that showed up on my Facebook news feed with a special of two tubs of protein for $2 with free shipping. This was a similar deal to what I received on this brands Fish Oil that I have also reviewed on here.

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

As mentioned above, I received two tubs of this product as part of a Facebook deal. Personally, I have never used a collagen protein powder until trying this one; only read about them in the news and the benefits associated. Since this deal was only going to cost me two dollars, I figured it was worth a shot and even if this product turned out to be a complete bust, I really wouldn't lose anything (barring any negative health reactions).

Ingredient Profile

The ingredient profile and supplement facts is pretty simple for this product. Each scoop which weighs in at about eight grams provides you with seven grams of protein and 28 calories. The protein comes from the "Multi-Collagen Complex" which consists of hydrolized bovine collagen peptides, chicken bone broth collagen concentrate, hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides and eggshell membrane collagen. This 7.8g complex is the only source of ingredients providing the seven grams of protein per scoop. There are no other ingredients included for flavoring, sweetness, mouth feel or mixability.

Moving into the collagen protein and the claims made, the front of the tub talks about five types of collagen (I, II, III, IV, X). When searching the web for the benefits of collagen protein, I came upon this website (https://www.amymyersmd.com/2017/05/top-7-health-benefits-collagen-get/#close) which lists these benefits:

Helps Repair a Leaky Gut
Strengthens and Repairs Hair, Skin and Nails
It's Anti-inflammatory to Prevent Joint Pain
Supports Weight Management
Helps Protect Your Heart
Supports Bone Formation, Growth and Repair
Improves Detoxification and Liver Function

I will go more into my thoughts about these claims in the effectiveness section.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> This product only comes in an unflavored version and by itself in water, it is nasty tasting. Since there is no other ingredients included for taste or sweetness, you are drinking the pure protein contents. It did not cause me to throw up or come close but it was just an unpleasant thing to drink if you did not add anything else. It is actually recommended to use this in juice, coffee, tea or a smoothie recipe. I usually mixed it in with a scoop of whey protein and that solved the taste issue. If possible, mix this powder with a strong tasting beverage to help counteract the flavor (or lack there of). If you do not want to mix it with other beverage, my other recommendation would be to add some cinnamon to the powder and mix.

Mixability >> On its own, the protein powder would mix pretty well in a shaker cup but would produce some foam. This would dissipate if left to sit for a short while. The powder is very fine, so by itself there was no issue with sediment at the bottom or on the sides of the shaker. When mixed with a whey protein, everything would mix according to the characteristics of the whey. If the whey would mix well on its own, adding a scoop or two of the collagen product would not affect it except for the additional foam.

Dosing >> As with most protein powder supplements, the dosing is left up to the individual and how they decide to use it to achieve their desired goals. In comparison to most protein powder supplements where one scoop will get you between 20 to 30 grams of protein, each small scoop of this product only gets you seven grams of protein. With that in mind, most people will likely use multiple scoops each time, especially if this is going to be their only source of protein for the meal.

Effectiveness

The claims made by the brand is this powerful Collagen Protein combination supports healthy and beautiful hair, skin, and nails along with providing joint support and aiding in digestion. From doing some research on the web, these seem to be the common claims across various articles that I read but none of them have been scientifically proven. Personally, I picked this product up because of the special discount I received and figured at worst this would be just another protein supplement for me to use. And that is exactly what it ended up being. As a male, I do not specifically notice or keep track of the health of my skin, nails or hair. Before taking this supplement, everything was fine and normal in my opinion. My nails were not brittle, my hair was not falling out and nothing about my skin was an issue. After going through two tubs of this protein, I can say nothing has noticeably improved or gotten worse.

In relation to the claims of providing joint support and aiding in digestion; my starting point included a little joint pain in my knees and no problems with digestion. The pain in my knees has been a constant issue for many years because of sports injuries from high school football along with other repetitive activities over time. I was hoping for some benefits from using this supplement in this category but sadly nothing changed after using the two tubs. The lingering pain is still there and I can not report any significant or even minor improvement. Since I had no digestion problems before taking this supplement, I can not speak to any effectiveness after taking it for this review. Some people report good results from collagen protein improving their digestion issues in a gentler way than traditional laxatives.

In the end, the only positive rating I can give this product for effectiveness is being an easy way to increase my protein intake without having to worry about the other macros since there is no carbs or fat in this product. Basically this supplement is like a high quality whey protein isolate with some possible additional benefits for your hair, skin, nails, joints and digestion.

Value

At the special Facebook discount I received for this product, it has a great value since I was able to receive two pounds of protein for only two dollars. That is a one time deal and is not something I will be eligible for again. Putting that aside, the retail price currently on Amazon is just over $29 per tub with free shipping. The more tubs you buy, the bigger discount the company offers you. Buy two, save 10%. Buy three, save 15%. Buy four, save 20%. Since these only come in one pound tubs, that is the only way you are going to be able to save any money on this product. Even with the biggest discount available, you would still be spending over $23 per one pound tub. For the effectiveness that I received from using this product, that cost is too expensive for me to consider ever buying again. Maybe that price could be more feasible for someone who has some major health problems and this product provides amazing benefits, but not for me. There is a money back guarantee listed on the Amazon product page but I do not know how that process works with the brand.

Side Effects

I did not experience any side effects from using this supplement. It is sourced from various types of animals and contains egg, so be cautious of that if you are allergic to or trying to avoid any of those products.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I am thankful that I received this product at such a great promotional price. The various claims/benefits did not show themselves for me while using this product. After the first tub, I looked at this product as just a macro filler to help me get my protein in each day. I stopped expecting any of the other benefits claimed and just used the powder until it was gone so nothing went to waste. This was my first experience with a collagen protein and will likely be my last because I did not see or experience any significant benefits compared to a traditional whey or milk based protein powder. I did not have any negative effects from consuming this, which is why I did not rate it a "No" for the "Recommended?" section but the price will definitely keep me away from purchasing this again. As I mentioned in the value section, this product does list a money back guarantee; so if you are on the fence about trying a collagen protein, this may be the one to go with. If you don't like it, send it back to Amazon and get a refund. "Nothing to lose" as the company claims.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.



Overall
Overall
8.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.2
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to MDRN Athlete for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 3, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Value If On Sale
  • Builds Muscle
  • Increased Energy
  • Great Focus
  • Great Pumps
  • Pharmacist Formulated
  • Proper Doses
  • Fully Disclosed Label
  • Expensive Without A Discount
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Artificial Colors

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

First off, thank you to MDRN ATHLETE for partnering with SR.com and allowing me to try your "NEXT GENERATION PRE-WORKOUT" Once I saw the supplement facts panel, I knew this was a product that I wanted to try. Not only is this pre loaded with all the goodies many of us gym junkies have come to know and love but this also includes the new and exciting stimulant Dynamine! If you have not heard of this ingredient yet, I will explain more in the ingred...

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

First off, thank you to MDRN ATHLETE for partnering with SR.com and allowing me to try your "NEXT GENERATION PRE-WORKOUT" Once I saw the supplement facts panel, I knew this was a product that I wanted to try. Not only is this pre loaded with all the goodies many of us gym junkies have come to know and love but this also includes the new and exciting stimulant Dynamine! If you have not heard of this ingredient yet, I will explain more in the ingredient profile section but basically this is Compound Solutions newest discovery to try and mimic the effects of DMAA without any of the negatives. Compound Solutions is also the company that brought us TeaCrine (which is also included in this product).

****As a note in terms of manufacturing and quality control for this product, I did weigh out the entire tub when I received it brand new. The total amount of product that is supposed to be in the container is 324 grams. The tub I received weighed only 317 grams, which equals out to being about a half scoop short. While this difference is within acceptable tolerance; if you are a person who is paying a premium price for a premium product, you probably want to know that you are receiving the full 20 servings.

Ingredient Profile

If my math is correct, this product is over 85% active ingredients and less than 15% flavors, colors, sweeteners etc. That is a great start in my book and should be for others if you happen to look at stats like this for a supplement. The first batch of ingredients for this product is a VitaBlend. Nothing too exciting here. Just solid doses of Vitamin C and a few B vitamins. The guts and glory of this pre are:

SwoleMatrix

L-Citrulline -6 grams

L-Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted to L-arginine in the kidneys. It has been shown to raise plasma levels of arginine over a longer period of time than supplementing with L-arginine itself. Clinical studies have shown l-citrulline to:
-Improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance
-Delay fatigue and reduces muscle soreness
-Increase nitric oxide levels
-Increase growth hormone by 66.8%

CarnoSyn (beta-alanine) -3.2grams

Beta-alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine. When beta-alanine is ingested, it turns into the molecule carnosine, which acts as an acid buffer in the body and offers protection against exercise-induced lactic acid production. (Large doses of beta-alanine may cause a tingling feeling called paresthesia. It is a harmless side effect.) Studies have shown beta-alanine to:
-Enhance muscular endurance and workload
-Reduce muscular fatigue
-Buffer lactic acid

Betaine - 2 grams

Betaine (trimethylglycine) is a component of beet root and an active metabolite of choline. Betaine is gaining more and more popularity in the fitness industry as a performance enhancing supplement shown to increase endurance and strength. Similar to creatine, betaine acts as an osmoregulator, increasing intracellular hydration and protecting against muscle damage from intense training.

Agmatine - 1 gram

Agmatine is a multi-function powerhouse. It is derived from the amino acid l-arginine and is sometimes called "super-arginine". Agmatine is stored in neurons and aids in central nervous system functions as a neuromodulator and neurotransmitter. It also plays a vital role in NO synthesis, hence its popularity as a pump inducing addition to many supplements. Some of agmatine's many benefits include:
-Increased nitric oxide production
-Aids in mental clarity and focus as a nootropic
-Helps promote insulin sensitivity driving nutrients into the muscles
-Reduces short term neuropathic pain

NueroHack Complex

N-Acetly-L-Tyrosine (NALT) - 750mg

NALT is a more soluble form of l-tyrosine, an amino acid that is involved in producing catecholamines like dopamine and adrenaline. More dopamine and adrenaline can equate to better focus and more energy during your workout, enhancing mind-muscle connection and eliminating distractions in the gym.

Alpha-GPC - 300mg

Alpha-GPC is an exceptional natural nootropic providing a boost in mental function, focus and cognition. Alpha-GPC works by supplying choline which is a precursor to acetylcholine. We've included this choline source to work synergistically in our NeuroHack complex providing laser focus, mental clarity, cognition and enhanced mind-muscle connection.

Dynamine 40% - 250mg

The NEWEST ground-breaking stimulant to hit the supplement industry! Dynamine is methylliberine, a purine alkaloid found in the kucha tea leaf. Its molecular structure is similar to theacrine (aka TeaCrine) and is believed to behave in similar ways in the body. Like theacrine, methylliberine may amplify feelings of energy, mood and focus by activating dopamine receptors and other key neurotransmitters, inhibiting adenosine receptors, all without elevating heart rate or blood pressure.

TeaCrine 40% - 125mg

The KING of long-lasting crash-free energy and the perfect addition to caffeine. TeaCrine is a patent-pending compound containing pure theacrine, which can be found in natural sources such as the Camellia assamica var. kucha tealeaf, coffee and certain exotic fruits. A nature-identical compound, TeaCrine delivers energy, mental clarity, and improved motivation and mood. It does not increase heart rate or blood pressure and is not a stimulant.

L-Theanine - 100mg

L-Theanine is a relaxing but non-sedating amino acid that works synergistically with stimulants like caffeine as it can 'take the edge off' high stimulant use. A combination of l-theanine with caffeine has also shown to be synergistic in promoting cognition and attention.

Huperzine-A - 50mcg

Huperzine-A is a compound extracted from the herbs of the Huperziceae family. It is known as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which means that it stops an enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine which results in increases in acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is known as the learning neurotransmitter, and is involved in muscle contraction as well. Increasing levels of acetylcholine is routinely used as a technique amongst weight-lifters and scholars.

Caffeine - 300mg

No introduction needed here. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and classified as a nootropic because it sensitizes neurons and provides mental stimulation. Enhanced energy, strength, endurance, cognition and focus are all benefits resulting from caffeine intake.

Absorption Aid

BioPerine - 5mg

What good is the best formulated pre-workout on the market if you have trouble absorbing all those nutrients. Enter BioPerine. BioPerine is a patented extract obtained from black pepper fruits (Piper nigrum) standardized to a minimum 95% Piperine. It has been used as a bioavailability enhancer for over 20 years and in general, BioPerine was found to enhance absorption of nutrients by at least 30%.

As you can see, a fully transparent label with everything dosed as any gym junkie would expect and everything is there for a purpose. Plus there are multiple ingredients where the registered version is used, signifying the highest quality form available. While searching the internet on this product, the main complaint that I have seen about the ingredients is that there is no creatine included. Personally, I am ok with that as I can get my creatine in many other routes. I can understand this complaint but do not believe it takes anything away from how this product has been formulated. In a perfect world, I would like to see the Alpha-GPC dose increased a bit (mainly because I really like that ingredient) but in the real world this product looks amazing on paper.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> When deciding the claim this product, I looked on their website and seen this comes in three flavors (Tiger's Blood, Cotton Candy and Sour Gummy). All three of those sound amazing to me so I left it up to the rep to decide which flavor to send. I received the Tiger's Blood flavor, which seems to be their primary focus with this product in terms of advertising and marketing. Many of the photos and posts I see of this product have this flavor front and center. While the name Tiger's Blood really doesn't give you an idea of what flavor to expect; I knew from past experiences that this should be a tropical taste with some coconut. Honestly, the only flavor I taste with this product is coconut. I believe there is supposed to be some cherry or berry flavor as well but I do not get that. This is the same no matter how much water I chose to use. I experimented with eight ounces all the way up to 24 ounces of water per scoop. Even at 24 ounces of water, the coconut flavor was still strong and enjoyable. If you enjoy coconut flavored products, the Tiger's Blood flavor is definitely for you.

Mixability >> This product is no tiny scoop! Each serving is just over 16 grams of product and I mixed using a range of water amounts. No matter the amount of water used, this supplement mixed almost perfectly. There was very little foam and what foam was there dissipated quickly. After about ten seconds of shaking in a blender bottle (without the blender ball) I would say 95% of the product was dissolved. After shaking you could see a few granules start to settle at the bottom but extremely minimal. Well done by MDRN ATHLETE in this category for a product with a high percentage of active ingredients and few fillers/garbage.

Dosing >> Per the tub, take one scoop with 8-10 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before training. Start with 1/2 scoop or less to assess tolerance. They also warn that some individuals may experience the harmless tingling, which is nice of them.

Effectiveness

Before I get into the effectiveness section, I am going to detail a little about the training style that I used during this product run. I typically lift weights between four and six days a week. The exact number of sessions will depend on what other commitments I have for that specific week. I follow somewhat of a bro split when it comes to lifting, separating out back, chest, legs, shoulders, arms and if I train on a sixth day, that is a freebie and I will hit whatever I feel like. If I only train four days in a week, I will combine back with biceps and shoulders with triceps, then have legs and chest. My workouts will start with a heavy compound movement for the muscle group then move into more hypertrophy training using free weights and machines. I also typically do LISS cardio seven days a week. Sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening after weight training.

Now that we got that information out of the way, one scoop of this pre was great for each and every workout that I did. No matter the length or difficulty, this product was there to push me through the entire workout. In the energy department, I experienced a great mix of energy from the beginning thanks to the caffeine and long-term energy from the Dynamine and TeaCrine. The energy profile would even take me beyond the workout for another few hours. This was perfect if I happened to be doing cardio after the workout because I did not need to take something else to get me motivated for the cardio session. The long-lasting energy was also great if I happened to be going to work after the gym. I would not crash and still have the energy to complete the tasks at work.

Outside of the energy, this pre also provided great pumps, muscle power, muscle endurance and focus during my workouts. The dose of Citrulline is higher than what I have seen and used in many other pre-workouts. That combined with the full dose of Beta-Alanine along with the Betaine and Agmatine made my muscles work and feel amazing, especially if I happen to be doing higher reps. The last aspect I will speak about is the focus that I had in the gym while using this. I knew what to expect in terms of focus from my previous use of TeaCrine in other products but adding in the Dynamine and Alpha-GPC was icing on the cake. I would show up, put my headphones in and everything in the gym around me just seemed to disappear. My focus would solely be on the exercise that I was doing and the goals I had for each set. I would sometimes not even realize what song was playing on my phone and it was easy to ignore any incoming alerts. It was also easy to ignore other people in the gym around me; which most of the time is ok unless someone is trying to get your attention to ask for help or a question. These feelings combined with the energy profile made it feel like I could stay in the gym and lift for hour after hour.

Value

From what I can find on the web, you can purchase this supplement directly from the company's website or from the company on Amazon. The 20 serving tub is listed for $43.00 on both sites. You can also purchase a sample pack from the company's site which includes one serving of each flavor (three total) for $7.00.

At the listed retail price, the cost per serving is $2.15. Personally, my threshold for a top tier pre-workout is at the $2 per serving mark. Many other fully loaded products that this competes with are around that price point. As this is a relatively new company, they may need to do some experimenting on pricing to find their sweet spot in the market. Part way through my tub, the company posted a 20% off discount for first time customers, which is still currently listed as active as of 4/3/2018. With that discount, the cost per scoop moves down to $1.72 which is definitely worth it for the ingredients and doses you get. At the discounted rate, my value rating would be a 9. At the retail price, my value rating drops to a 7.

Side Effects

With all the good I had to say about this product in the effectiveness section; there were some odd side effects that I need to speak about. The first happened only if I drank the pre-workout quickly. No matter the amount of water I used, if I consumed the entire scoop in under five minutes, I would experience some tightness in my chest. I would relate it to that feeling when you have a chest cold and can't take a deep breath. When I experienced this, I could still take a deep breath without any trouble but the tightness feeling stayed with me for about an hour. This side effect did not occur if I took my time and sipped the pre-workout over about thirty minutes.

The other side effect worth mentioning is this product seemed to cause me to yawn throughout my entire workout. It was not because I was tired but the need to yawn was always present after consuming this. This did not affect my energy levels or productivity in the gym but was just more of a nuisance. During the times when I had tightness in my chest, I could say it was my body's natural reaction to try and get more air into my lungs. On the days where I did not have the tightness feeling, the yawning was still there and I have no idea why.

Another possible side effect that I will bring to your attention has to do with the energy carry over that I experienced and talked about. If you consume this product in the morning or early afternoon, this effect is great and will likely be useful for you. However, if you take this in the evening, the energy carry over may be a negative and affect your ability to wind down at night for bed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I am very happy with the results I received from running this product. The effectiveness I received in the gym was top notch and right up there with many of the other premium pre-workout products that I have used in the past. I also loved the energy and focus carry over from the combo of the caffeine, Dynamine and TeaCrine. The draw backs on this product is the retail pricing and the side effects I experienced. With the discount currently available, the pricing aspect is removed. The first side effect was solved with some planning while the other remained an issue for the entire tub. My recommendations to the company: I would scale back the coconut flavor in Tiger's Blood to allow some of the others to come through and I would drop the artificial colors. There is no reason that this product needs to be such a vibrant color. Once again, thank you to MDRN ATHLETE and SR.com for allowing me the opportunity to run this product!

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.


  April 1, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Organic
  • Simple Ingredients
  • Increased Energy
  • Builds Muscle
  • Refrigeration Recommended
  • Lower Protein Compared To Other Bars
  • Higher Sugar
  • Too Expensive

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

This review is going to be on a different type of protein/energy bar that my job site has been purchasing for the past month. In total, I have probably had about 20-25 of these bars over the past month or so. Ahh...the benefits of not having to pay for these. I will explain later. What really caught my eye with these bars is the refrigeration recommendation. I can not recall another protein or energy bar where the package recommends that you ke...

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

This review is going to be on a different type of protein/energy bar that my job site has been purchasing for the past month. In total, I have probably had about 20-25 of these bars over the past month or so. Ahh...the benefits of not having to pay for these. I will explain later. What really caught my eye with these bars is the refrigeration recommendation. I can not recall another protein or energy bar where the package recommends that you keep it refrigerated for best flavor and texture. I will admit these bars are not for everyone but they are interesting in many ways and I wanted to share my experiences.

Ingredient Profile

Awesome Almond >> Dry Roasted Almonds*, Cashew Butter* (Dry Roasted Cashews* and <5% High Oleic Sunflower Oil*) , Sesame Seeds*, Honey*, Milk Protein Concentrate*, Dry Egg Whites*, Virgin Coconut Oil* and Vanilla Extract* (contains ethyl alcohol). *USDA Organic.

Powerful Peanut >> Dry Roasted Peanuts*, Honey*, Milk Protein Concentrate*, Dry Egg Whites*, Non Fat Dry Milk*, Virgin Coconut Oil*, Dry Roasted Almonds*, Vanilla Extract* (contains ethyl alcohol). *USDA Organic.

Cranberry Crunch >> Dry Roasted Peanuts*, Honey*, Dried Cranberries* (Cranberries*, Apple Juice Concentrate*, Sunflower Oil* (<1%)) , Milk Protein Concentrate*, Brown Rice Crisps*, Dry Egg Whites*, Virgin Coconut Oil*, Dry Roasted Almonds*, and Vanilla Extract* (contains ethyl alcohol). *USDA Organic.

As you can see from the three flavors that I have tried, the ingredient profile varies with each flavor but is lead off with almonds or peanuts for some healthy fats and protein along with some fiber. All the flavors have honey, milk protein concentrate, dry egg whites, virgin coconut oil and vanilla extract as common ingredients. Everything is also certified USDA Organic according to the company.

The macros for each bar vary widely, somewhat because of the size of each bar. The Awesome Almond flavor is only a 40g bar with 200 calories, 14g of fat, 14g of carbs (2g fiber, 8g sugar) and 8g of protein. The Powerful Peanut is a 58g bar with 280 calories, 19g of fat, 21g of carbs (3g fiber, 14g sugar) and 13g of protein. The Cranberry Crunch flavor is a 55g bar with 270 calories, 17g of fat, 23g of carbs (3g fiber, 14g sugar) and 12g of protein.

Looking at some of the other flavors that the company offers, it looks like most of the bars are the 40g size with around 200 calories each. Be cautious if buying these with some of the flavors being larger in size with more calories. We are probably used to the fact that most protein bars are somewhat similar in macros across multiple flavors if they are from the same brand.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> I will start off by saying these are nowhere close to the whey protein bars that I am used to. The first thing that is different is the company recommends these bars be kept refrigerated and eaten cold for best taste and texture. At first, it would kind of different eating a cold protein/energy bar, not bad, just different. Each of the three flavors I tried tasted as the name implies. The peanut one was by far my favorite. It tasted like peanut butter cookie dough, you know the food that you are not supposed to eat raw because it could poison you :) The almond bar was strong on the almond flavor as expected. You can see pieces of almond all throughout the bar. The cranberry bar taste was a little confusing to me. I expected a much stronger cranberry flavor but the peanut flavor over-powered it. I would get hits of cranberry every once in a while but much more peanut flavor than anything else. I like peanuts so it wasn't a bad taste, just not what someone would expect by looking at the label and flavor.

Mixability >> Since these are in bar form, nothing to report here for mixability. I did not try breaking them up and mixing them with other food. Simply just ate them straight from the package.

Dosing >> As with any protein based food product, the dosing is left up to the individual person. For some these could be used as a meal replacement bar or a quick on the go snack to help you hit your macros. Since these are higher in sugar than most of the other protein bars that I have had, I would tend to use these more around when I needed an energy boost to be productive and get something done.

Effectiveness

Much like any protein based food product, the effectiveness is left up to each individual, how they choose to use them and their goals by consuming the product. These are effective at being a quick on the go snack to get some protein, healthy fats and carbs into your diet while not slowing you down. They are also an effective option for those looking for a more natural and organic version of protein bars compared to the many others on the market right now. These bars are made with simple ingredients with all of them being USDA Organic.

Since these were available at my job site, I would typically eat one mid-day when my energy levels started to decrease. The mix of protein, carbs and fat provide a nice even and smooth energy boost that would last for a few hours with no crash. I would also sometimes eat another one towards the end of my shift as a late night treat. They were somewhat filling for being smaller in size compared to some of the other protein bars that I have had in the past. Also, even though they do not have candy bar like flavors, they did seem to satisfy my sweet tooth when eaten, especially the peanut flavor tasting like cookie dough.

Value

This section depends on where you are able to purchase these bars to determine the value. My company is able to purchase these through our local Costco Business Center in a box of 15 for $17.45, just over $1 per bar. When searching on the web, it seems these are also available at Sam's Club but not at any of the stores in my local area. With the lack of availability, I could not find a price for Sam's Club and the 12 pack that they sell. It also looks like these can be purchased in-store at Smart & Final and the price will likely vary depending on your location.

If you purchase these bars directly from the wellabar.com website, all the flavors come in 24 pack boxes at a retail price of $70, just below $3 per bar. Shipping is free but you will have to pay any local sales tax as well. For me, one order comes to just over $75 for a box of 24.

To sum value, when I get them for free at work, they are an amazing value of course :) If I was able to purchase these for myself through Costco at just over $1 per bar, the value would still be great. I would not purchase these directly from the website at $75 for 24 bars. That option does not provide any value for me and I would simply go with another whey based option (like the Kirkland knock-off Quest bars that I have reviewed on SR).

Side Effects

None to report. These are not high in fiber like some other bars can be, so the possibility of stomach issues is reduced. Just be cautious of any food allergies as these bars contain peanuts, eggs and milk.

Conclusion

In the end, I eat these and am able to write this review solely because my job site purchases them for the office. Personally, this is not a product that I would seek out and purchase because I am ok with the other options on the market that are not based on organic ingredients, typically cost less and have more protein. They are something new for me and I will continue to eat them if they are available at work but will not be hugely disappointed if the office manager stops purchasing them and goes back to the other bars we have had.

If you are a person who seeks out foods that are organic and made with simple ingredients, these bars are definitely worth a look. Even more so if you are able to find them at a local store for less than $3 each compared to buying them directly from the company's website. If you like the taste and texture of peanut butter cookie dough, definitely go with the Powerful Peanut flavor.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.



Overall
Overall
9.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
9.0
  March 23, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • High Fiber
  • Quality Protein Sources
  • Increased Energy
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Value
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • Gluten Free
  • Limited Flavor Options
  • Limited Availability
  • High Fiber

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

As I finish off another box of these protein bars, I figured it would be worth while to post of review of them on the site. I am not sure if many people who like to consume Quest style protein bars are aware that Kirkland makes a direct competitor. I was unaware that Costco made these bars until I stumbled upon them one day at the store. Since I know that Costco has a great return policy, there was nothing to lose from giving them a try.

----...

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

As I finish off another box of these protein bars, I figured it would be worth while to post of review of them on the site. I am not sure if many people who like to consume Quest style protein bars are aware that Kirkland makes a direct competitor. I was unaware that Costco made these bars until I stumbled upon them one day at the store. Since I know that Costco has a great return policy, there was nothing to lose from giving them a try.

Ingredient Profile

The ingredient profile for these bars is almost a carbon copy of what you will find from the similarly flavored Quest bars. They start out with the protein blend, which is the same as Quest with whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate. That is followed by the dietary fiber which comes from tapioca starch. We then have cashews, unsweetened chocolate erythritol (sugar alcohol), natural flavor, cocoa butter, water, sea salt and Stevia. That list of ingredients is the same through both flavors that I have had. The remaining ingredients vary slightly depending on the flavor you choose out of the box.

The chocolate chip cookie dough flavor also includes sunflower lecithin while the chocolate brownie flavor includes cocoa powder (processed with alkali).

The macros for each flavor are almost identical. Each one is 190 calories with 7g of fat (2.5g saturated), 5mg of cholesterol and 170mg-190mg of sodium. The carbs are either 22g or 23g with 15g of fiber per bar. Each bar has 1g of sugar with 4g of the erythritol and finally 21g of protein per bar. If you are a net carb type of person, each of these bars has only 3g-4g of net carbs each.

When comparing the nutritional facts panel to the similarly flavored Quest bars, each line item is within a few grams of each other. The Quest version may have a little more fat but less carbs while the protein is the same. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if these bars were manufactured at the same facility since they are so similar to each other.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> I have only had the two original flavors that Kirkland produced for these bars. Those are chocolate brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough. Both of them are fantastic tasting and equal in rating compared to the comparable Quest bar flavors. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the chocolate chip cookie dough. The chocolate brownie, as the name implies, is heavy chocolate from the first bite until the last. The chocolate chip cookie dough however gives you a little different flavor with each bite. Sometimes it might be more chocolate while others give you more cookie dough flavor. Both receive a high rating from me and easily replaced the Quest competitor. They also have the same texture and chew that Quest bars have. Please note that Kirkland has now produced some additional flavors of these bars. Along with the two mentioned, you can also purchase cinnamon roll and peanut butter chunk.

Mixability >> Nothing to report here. An easy and portable grab on the go snack or something that you can keep in your car, backpack or gym bag.

Dosing >> As with any protein based food product, the dosing is left up to the individual person. For some these could be used as a meal replacement bar or a quick on the go snack to help you hit your macros. With the fiber content, you probably do not want to have multiple bars too close together or there may be some stomach issues.

Effectiveness

Much like any protein based food product, the effectiveness is left up to each individual, how they choose to use them and their goals by consuming the product. These are effective at being a quick on the go snack to get some protein into your diet while not slowing you down. If you are a person who tracks macros, this bar can easily help you hit your protein and fiber goals each day. It is also an effective replacement for a candy bar if you are willing to sacrifice a little on taste and sweetness. If you typical food intake lacks fiber, having one of these can easily help keep you regular and create good bacteria in your stomach.

Personally I found these most effective as a snack at night when sugar cravings would normally hit. Instead of having some ice cream or candy, I would grab one of these. It would take me longer to eat than the ice cream or candy and fill me up more. Taking longer to eat also help me ask myself if I was really hungry or just bored. By the time I finished the bar, not only was I full but also able to keep myself from eating more because of boredom. Plus with eating some fiber before bed, it would move through my body while I slept and produce the benefits the next morning :)

Value

As with most Costco Kirkland products, the main place for you to purchase these would be from a Costco Warehouse. Here in the Bay Area part of California, a box of 20 retails for $20. If you are not a member of Costco, I also found these listed online from a few Amazon sellers. Currently you can pick these up on Amazon for the $25 to $28 range with free shipping and no sales tax. Many of the listings I see are also fulfilled by Amazon, so you will likely get the product delivered quickly. Either way, you are looking at between $1 per bar to less than $1.50 for a comparable item where the 12 count box regularly retails for $19.99.

Side Effects

I personally did not have any side effects eating one to two bars per day. Since these are high in fiber and do contain some sugar alcohols, be cautious if any of those do not agree with you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, these bars have replaced all of my Quest purchases for the past few years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Now that they are also producing some more flavors, these become even more appealing to me and possibly a larger audience as well. Some people may not like and/or are trying to avoid these high fiber type bars, I personally really enjoy and seek them out. Quest does have far more flavor options to choose from but that comes with a cost. There are also protein bar options that are more candy bar like, which seems to be the way the market is going. If you are a person who wants to try the latest and greatest bar on the market, these are probably not for you. However, if you have been hooked on these flavors of Quest bars for a while but are tired of spending so much money for the name brand, Costco and Kirkland are here to save the day!

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions.


  March 19, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Fully Disclosed Label
  • Proper Doses
  • Research Based
  • Increased Energy
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Value
  • Great Pumps
  • Uses Artificial Sweeteners

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

As a brief intro to this product, I am a huge fan of NutraBio and what the company stands for in terms of transparency in the supplement industry. I enjoy following their Founder Mark Glazier and how he brings more truth and honesty to this industry. He has no fear of calling out the unscrupulous brands and people and exposing them for the lies that they are peddling with their products. In regards to this pre, I have never seen a product so tr...

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

As a brief intro to this product, I am a huge fan of NutraBio and what the company stands for in terms of transparency in the supplement industry. I enjoy following their Founder Mark Glazier and how he brings more truth and honesty to this industry. He has no fear of calling out the unscrupulous brands and people and exposing them for the lies that they are peddling with their products. In regards to this pre, I have never seen a product so transparent and well dosed on the market from any company at any price. There is nothing to hide and nothing to worry about when taking this product in my opinion.

Ingredient Profile

Most of the time when it comes to the ingredient profile section, people will detail what is in the product. For this pre, it would be much easier to attack this section by asking what is NOT in this product. In my opinion, everything that a gym junkie could ask for is in each scoop of this pre. Take a look at the huge label that lists each and every ingredient with full transparency and try to find something that NutraBio is trying to hide or mislead the consumer with. I remember a story on another forum where a consumer found a slight mistake in the nutrient label for this product and brought it up to Mark on the forum. Acknowledging that the consumer was correct and that while not illegal, the label was technically wrong, NutraBio quarantined the incorrect label stock and destroyed it. Did they legally have to do that? No but those are the principals NutraBio stands by since 1996.

Be warned, each full scoop of this pre is almost 29 grams, similar to some protein powders. You will see why that is necessary after looking over the dosages of the active ingredients and comparing them to research studies showing their effectiveness. NutraBio does not play games when it comes to dosing. If science shows a specific amount of an ingredient works, it gets included in this pre, no questions asked and no compromise.

Before you get into the main active ingredients for this pre, the label details a host of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that are included. These include vitamin C, the B vitamins, your calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

You've got the muscle power and endurance ingredients in the first blend which includes a good dose of L-Leucine, the full dose of CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine along with multiple forms of creatine and 2.5g of Betaine.

You've got your pump products such as L-Citrulline at 6g along with Agmatine and Nitrosigine. Combined these three form a hell of a team when it comes to pumps.

Next we move to the focus and stim matrix. Here we have the combination of L-Tyrosine at 1.5g plus Choline Bitartrate, two forms of caffeine (yielding 350mg per scoop) plus the addition of L-Theanine and Huperzine A. All these combined get you going quickly and provide long lasting energy for your entire workout and sometimes beyond depending on how long your training lasts.

Finally, the last group of ingredients is for electrolytes and hydration. Here we have the likes of Taurine at 2g along with some calcium potassium phosphate and sodium phosphate. I think many weight lifters know that if you are not hydrated while working out, your performance will suffer and there are possible consequences of being light headed and passing out during heavy lifts.

The transparency of this product even continues into the other ingredients section. The label tells you exactly how much flavoring, sucralose, ace-k and spirulina is included. Every mg of the 28.70 grams in each serving can be accounted for with this pre. I can not think of another product that provides this much information. Plus with each container of product from this brand, you can view third party test results by using the lot number printed on the container.

In conclusion, this product was formulated by people much smarter than I following peer reviewed research studies for dosing and compiled into a single product at a reasonable cost. There is nothing that I would change based on the currently available non-questionable ingredients on the market.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> The flavor I purchased was the blue raspberry. Most of the blue raspberry flavors that I have tried in other supplements are overpowering and too sweet. Knowing that NutrBio typically does not produce strong or overly sweet flavored products, I felt confident in giving this one a try. It was the best blue raspberry flavored supplement I have had to date. It is not the neon blue color that others produce after mixing and you can tell natural ingredients were used for that part. The Founder of NutraBio has said that he is not big into strong flavors and would rather have unflavored supplements with just active ingredients but knows the average consumer wants something that tastes good and works at the same time. So no matter which flavor you choose for this pre, be aware that the taste will not be overpowering or knock your socks off good.

Mixability >> As I mentioned earlier, this product has a huge scoop (almost 29 grams per serving). The label recommends using 12-14 ounces of water but I typically used between 16 and 20 ounces per scoop. With all the active ingredients, I did not expect this product to mix perfectly but it performed better than I expected. In room temp and cold water, one scoop shaken for ten to 15 seconds mixed 95%+ of the powder into solution. There was some slight foaming, likely from the Leucine, but that went down quickly. The ingredients that did not mix after the first shaking would settle at the bottom and require another slight shake before the next sip. All in all, much better than I expected and far above average even in comparison to products with much smaller serving sizes.

Dosing >> Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, mix 1 heaping scoop of PRE into 12-14 ounces of water and consume 30-45 minutes prior to resistance training. Vary the amount of water to achieve your desired flavor level. PRE is extremely powerful, first time users should begin use with 1/2 scoop or less to assess your tolerance. DO NOT EXCEED 1 SCOOP IN ANY 24 HOUR PERIOD OR USE MORE THAN 5 DAYS IN ANY 7 DAY PERIOD. No person on the planet should ever think about double scooping this pre. There is no need and you will likely harm yourself if you try. I am a large person (6'3" 220+ pounds) and one scoop is perfect for me.

Effectiveness

Before I get into the effectiveness section, I am going to detail a little about the training style that I follow. I typically lift weights between four and six days a week. The exact number of sessions will depend on what other commitments I have for that specific week. I follow somewhat of a bro split when it comes to lifting, separating out back, chest, legs, shoulders, arms and if I train on a sixth day, that is a freebie and I will hit whatever I feel like. If I only train four days in a week, I will combine back with biceps and shoulders with triceps, then have legs and chest. My workouts will start with a heavy compound movement for the muscle group then move into more hypertrophy training using free weights and machines. I also typically do LISS cardio seven days a week. Sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening after weight training.

As for the effectiveness of this product, my main thoughts include the phrases of "Hell Yeah" and "Holy Sh*t". I will typically start drinking this as I arrive at the gym and start doing my warm-up. By the time that is done and I have finished off my shaker, the effects start to kick in. The first aspect that hits me is the energy, focus and desire to start lifting heavy weights. Especially if I am not 100% focused on the workout before taking the pre, all the ingredients in the focus and stim matrix turn my feelings around. It helps me forget any problems that are on my mind and block out the B.S. going on in my life at that moment.

Once the workout gets going, I start to feel the effects of the other ingredients kick in. Those mainly include the power, strength and pump parts of the pre-workout. As my compound lifts increase in weight to my working sets, I do not notice any significant loss of strength or power. This is also when the pump ingredients start to make themselves known and I feel my muscles become fuller of blood and vascularity is now present. This is all happening during my lower rep sets with heavier weight. After I finish these sets, I will typically move on to more hypertrophy work where the endurance aspects become a major player. The energy and focus is still with me as I move on to more movements and the pump/vascularity increases as my sets and reps move higher. When training smaller muscle groups towards the end of the workout (such as arms or calves) and the pump becomes more concentrated, the feeling and visuals are impressive. I am typically not extremely vascular but this product helps me look like I am prepping for a show. At this point in the workout, everything feels great as all the ingredients are working together to provide what I call the "NutraBio experience". I feel like I can train for many hours, and the energy/focus is there if I wanted to.

Value

This pre has a standard price of $39.99 per tub, which contains 20 scoops. Since this is billed as a premium pre-workout, it does not go on sale very often from what I can recall. If you really want a discount on this product, watch supplement sites like Stack3d or PricePlow as they will sometimes have coupons for certain websites that can be used for NutraBio products.

If you workout five days a week, each tub will last you a month if you use the full one scoop serving. If you are on the smaller side, a half scoop may be perfect for you and in that case you will get 40 workouts per tub. When it comes to my views on the value of this product, my baseline for comparison in terms of price and effectiveness is from this pre. Two dollars per serving is the highest I will pay for any pre-workout product because of this. Anything else on the market that costs more than this is most likely not worth it in my opinion. NutraBio Pre has everything in it that I want at the proper doses for two dollars a workout.

For the beginning lifter or someone new to supplements, this price point will likely look expensive in comparison to other products on the market. For those people, a half scoop will likely be a better value than a competing product that has a lower retail price but may require two or more scoops to be effective. I highly recommend thinking big picture when it comes to determining value for this pre versus just comparing price tags.

Side Effects

No side effects for me to report. Does contain the full dose of Beta-Alanine, so beware that tingles may happen. No crash after the workout during my use.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this is my go-to pre-workout product on the market right now. It is what I base every other product on when it comes to ingredients, effectiveness and value per serving. I know no matter how difficult or long the workout is going to be, one scoop of this pre has everything I need to get me through and crush it. If only all companies in the supplement industry were like NutraBio, we consumers would have much less to worry about when purchasing our supplements. I will say it again, I love this company and how they stand behind their products with truth, honesty and scientific research. This product shows everyone that you can have your cake and eat it to...with full transparency!

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions


  March 16, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Productivity Booster
  • Focus Booster
  • Flavor Does Not Live Up To The Label
  • Did Not Experience Most Of The Claimed Effects
  • Low % Of Active Ingredients Per Scoop
  • Not For Those Who Like Fasted AM Cardio
  • Not For Those Who Follow An IF Eating Protocol

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

For this product, I received a free tub in exchange for completing a supplement log about my experiences while consuming this product. I am a big fan of the Muscle Elements brand because I like what they stand for in the supplement industry and have always been open label from day one. The leaders of the brand are also not afraid to address problems or concerns with products head on and publicly. With all that information, I figured why not giv...

Introduction

Hello all. Full intro about myself can be found here in the forum: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

For this product, I received a free tub in exchange for completing a supplement log about my experiences while consuming this product. I am a big fan of the Muscle Elements brand because I like what they stand for in the supplement industry and have always been open label from day one. The leaders of the brand are also not afraid to address problems or concerns with products head on and publicly. With all that information, I figured why not give this a try, what's the worst that could happen? Let's see if this product boiled some fat!

Ingredient Profile

Please note the ingredient profile will vary slightly based on the flavor you choose

Ingredient Amount % Daily Value**
Calories 15
Energy 63kJ
Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 4g
-Sugars 0g
Sodium 5mg
Calcium 14mg
Potassium 35mg

Thermogenic & Nootropic Amplifier Elements 455mg

-Caffeine Anhydrous (Methylxanthine) 200mg
-PEA (Phenylethylamine HCL) 100mg
-Hordenine HCL 75mg
-L-Theanine 50mg
-Synephrine HCL 30mg

Fat Oxidation & Core Temperature Activator Elements 155mg
-Green Coffee Bean (Coffea Robusta) 150mg
-[50% Chlorogenic Acid]
-BioPerine (Piper Nigrum) 5mg

Definition & Tightening Elements 300mg

-Dandelion 20:1 Extract 100mg
-Juniper Berry 4:1 Extract 100mg
-Uva Ursi Leaf 20:1 Extract 100mg

As with all Muscle Elements products, the label is fully disclosed which is always a plus in my book. Based on the ingredient list, I was most looking forward to the claims of increased thermogenesis, focus and appetite control while taking this product. I was also glad to see there was not a stupid amount of caffeine per scoop like we see in some "fat burner" products. The 200mg dosage would allow me to experiment with higher dosages if needed without becoming too "stimmed out".

The ingredients you see listed in the Definition & Tightening Elements complex are commonly found in other water loss/diuretic products on the market. These are all herbal ingredients to help remove any excess water your body may have and give you a tighter more defined look to go along with the loss of fat you should experience while consuming this supplement. With these ingredients included, it is recommend that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while on this product. If you react well to these ingredients and do not monitor your water intake, you may feel light-headed and/or cramp much more easily.

The biggest issue I have with this product's ingredients is the amount of non-actives used in the flavor system. On this flavor, each 5g scoop contains 4g of carbs leaving only about 1g of active ingredients. Most, if not all, of the carbs are in the form of maltodextrin. Not a beneficial carb by any means. I reached out to the company and received a quick response from none other than the CEO. He explained that the active ingredients used are quite nasty tasting on their own and hard to make palatable to drink. I completely understand that and appreciate his honesty in the reply. This product also comes in a pill form, thereby eliminating the flavoring system and making this product much more pure.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> The flavor I received was the sour gummy bear. I was really looking forward to this flavor and had high expectations based on the amount of ingredients used for the flavoring system. I expected to be slapped in the face with an amazing sour gummy flavor, especially based on the amount of water that the product recommends. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed after trying this. After drinking a scoop the first time, I could not put my finger on any specific flavor for this product. As I continued through the tub, the only flavor that I can relate this to is orange, which I am not a big fan of.

Mixability >> This was not a huge issue for this product, mainly because the scoop size and the amount of water recommended is small. The product does not completely mix in a shaker and there is some settling at the bottom if left to sit. Honestly, this was not a big problem because it only takes a few drinks to finish the scoop if you use the recommended amount of water. I expected better mixability based on the ingredient profile but can deal with the end result.

Dosing >> Per label "Mix 1 scoop with 4 to 6 oz of cold water on an empty stomach upon waking. For maximum results a second serving can be consumed mid-afternoon or 5 hours before sleep. DO NOT EXCEED MORE THAN 2 DOSES IN A 24 HOUR PERIOD. Drink at least 120 oz of water daily to avoid dehydration." I actually violated the warning about not exceeding more than two doses in a 24 hour period. I will detail more in the effectiveness section, but I found my sweet spot to be just under three scoops a day.

Effectiveness

These are the effects that the company claims this product provides:

Full Spectrum Fat Incinerator
Alpha receptor 2 antagonist
Increases thermogenesis and energy expenditure
Maintains mood and reduce appetite
Increases fat loss and water removal
Increases energy and mental focus

A little background about my current lifestyle and goals right now. I am aiming to lose weight/fat at a slow and controlled pace with a goal of one to two pounds per week. I currently do LISS cardio seven days a week and follow an intermittent fasting eating protocol. I will finish eating at around midnight each day then fast until around 2000 hrs the next day. During my feeding window, I will typically focus on protein and fat with carbs depending on if I weight trained that day or plan to weight train the next day.

My goal with this product was to consume before my morning LISS cardio for an extra boost to push my through the session each day and increase my sweating. At the beginning of the tub, I used the recommended one scoop before my cardio. Outside of the caffeine kick and a slight boost in focus, I did not feel any of the intended effects. On future sessions, I experimented with different dosages before finally settling on nine grams per session, which is just below two scoops. This dosage gave me a great boost in energy, mood and focus during the session. Sadly even at almost double the dose, I did not notice an increase in body temperature, sweating, water removal or reduced appetite as the label says.

Towards the middle of the tub I also started to experiment with taking another scoop in the afternoon during my work day. This was mainly done for the energy and focus boost. As I work swing shift, my body can start to shutdown and lose productivity in the evening towards the end of the shift. With the extra scoop part way into my shift, I was able to stave off the shutdown and be more productive for the entire day. For the last few scoops that I took during work, I drank the 212* earlier in the shift and stacked it with 125mg of TeaCrine. This was an amazing combination that provided both short and long term energy and focus. Before stacking it with the TeaCrine, I had to play a timing game in order to feel the effects during my shift but not take it too late to effect my sleep pattern. When stacking with the TeaCrine, I could consume both earlier in the shift because I knew the TeaCrine would be there for the long term boost while the 212* would provide the short term.

In the end, I was still able to reach my weight loss goals of one to two pounds per week while using this but it did not provide much of a boost in that department in my opinion. Based on previous history, the weight loss I experienced could be achieved with diet and training and no fat burner supplement help. I was expecting a little more help in the weight loss department or at least some noticeable recomp effects. As mentioned, this product's effectiveness was most noticeable for me in the energy, mood and focus department.

Value

Currently you can find the 40 serving tub online for anywhere between $25 to $30 depending on which flavor you want and what the retailer has. I personally do not see Muscle Elements products go on sale too often because they like to be known as one of the premium brands that produces high quality products. Your best option for the best deal is to be open on your flavor choice and act quickly when you see a sale.

Side Effects

Personally I did not experience any negative side effects. The product does contain caffeine, so be cautious about the time of day you consume this and your sleep schedule. This product is supposed to heat you up, so be cautious if you do not want that feeling.

Another side effect to keep in mind is for the people who may want to specifically do fasted cardio and/or follow an intermittent fasting eating protocol. Since this product does contain four grams of carbs per scoop, you will technically be knocked out of your fast if you take this prior to your eating window.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I was expecting much more from this product than what I experienced. While the effects I did receive were nice, I was really looking forward to the increases in body temp, sweating and water removal while reducing my appetite. Since my main purpose of using this product was during morning cardio, I wanted those effects so that my session felt more productive. After the first few sessions realizing that was not going to happen, that is when I started to experiment with increasing the dosage and using later in the day for more benefits. This product is also produced in a pill form with slightly different ingredients and no flavoring system needed (ie: no carbs). If I were to try this product again, I would go for the pill form instead of the powder. If you are considering this product, I would definitely recommend the pill version first.

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions



Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.5
Value
Value
6.0
  March 13, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Builds Muscle
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Whey Free
  • No Artificial Colors Or Sweeteners
  • High Fiber
  • Natural Ingredients
  • Too Expensive
  • Few Flavor Options

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

A little back story on these bars. At about the middle of last year I had the privilege of visiting the BodyBuilding.com HQ in Boise, ID as part of a group of randomly selected people to speak with various groups of the company about how to improve the site and service to the bodybuilding community. While I was touring their HQ, the group leader introduced us to Kandace Hudspeth, who is the founder of the company Nourish & Bloom. Their focus is on...

Introduction

Hello all! Full intro on myself can be found on the forum here: https://supplementreviews.com/forum/index.php?topic=35432.0

A little back story on these bars. At about the middle of last year I had the privilege of visiting the BodyBuilding.com HQ in Boise, ID as part of a group of randomly selected people to speak with various groups of the company about how to improve the site and service to the bodybuilding community. While I was touring their HQ, the group leader introduced us to Kandace Hudspeth, who is the founder of the company Nourish & Bloom. Their focus is on all-natural vitamins and supplements for women. While I am not their target demographic, I connected with what Kandace had to say about the company's mission and the types of products that it is producing. As part of the goodie bag that each person received, there were a few boxes of these bars included. Since these come from a relatively unknown company, I wanted to share my review and feedback about this product with the rest of the SR community.

Ingredient Profile

The ingredients included in this bar are: Organic Cashew Butter, Non-GMO Soluble Tapioca Fiber, Pea Protein, Pea Protein Crisp (Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch), Cherries, Water, Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds, Organic Flaxseeds, Natural Flavors, Greens Blend (Green Tea, Spirulina, Chlorella), Stevia, Kale, Spinach, Sea Salt.

As you can see, this bar is made from all natural ingredients with no whey protein, artificial colors or sweeteners and is vegan. By looking at the macros, I would relate this bar closely to a Quest protein bar. It is a little higher in fat compared to most Quest bars at 11g but only 2.5g of that is saturated fat. The carbs are about for a protein bar at 25g with 15g of that being fiber (similar to the fiber amount you find in Quest bars). Relatively low sugar at only 4g with 15g of protein per bar. While the protein amount may seem low to some when compared to many other bars on the market that contain 20g to 30g each; one must remember that these bars are marketed mainly towards women who have lower protein goals compared to the average male bodybuilder. In the end, with 11g of mostly healthy fats paired with 15g of fiber and 15g of protein; this is a solid bar that will likely be quite satisfying for anyone who eats it (male or female).

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste >> Currently they only have two flavors to choose from. Cherry Quinoa Crunch and Chocolate Almond Biscotti. I tried both of them and the Cherry Quinoa Crunch was by far my favorite. I love cherries and that was the main flavor I got from eating this bar. The other flavor was ok but nothing really stood out for me when eating it. There was no strong chocolate or almond flavor to it. The cherry flavor won it for me and I would eat that bar continuously if given the option.

Mixability >> Since the product is in bar form, nothing to report on mixability. I will note that these bars had a slight oily coating on the outside which I think was because of the cashew butter and coconut oil ingredients. This did not make the bar slimy or difficult to eat but I would recommend having a napkin nearby if you don't eat the bar directly from the package.

Dosing >> As with many protein bars or protein food products, the dosing is left up to each individual. The company web page for this product doesn't give any specification for how these should be used. For the targeted demographic, I could see these being used as a snack or a meal replacement if paired with another item like a piece of fruit. With me being a larger male, this made a great snack after the gym and when traveling to eat on the go. I would also eat these at night as an after dinner snack. The sweetness of the cherry flavor reduced any cravings I had for late night candy or ice cream.

Effectiveness

Much like any protein based food product, the effectiveness is left up to each individual, how they choose to use them and their goals by consuming the product. These are effective at being a quick on the go snack to get some protein, fiber and healthy fats into your diet while not slowing you down. If you are a person who tracks macros, this bar will assist you in hitting your protein and fiber goals each day. It is also an effective replacement for a candy bar if you are willing to sacrifice a little on taste and sweetness. If your typical food intake lacks fiber, having one of these can easily help keep you regular and create good bacteria in your stomach. And if you are vegan or trying to avoid whey protein, this is one of the best bars I know of on the market IMO.

Personally I found these most effective as a snack at night when sugar cravings would normally hit. Instead of having some ice cream or candy, I would grab one of these. It would take me longer to eat than the ice cream or candy and fill me up more. Taking longer to eat also helped me ask myself if I was really hungry or just bored. By the time I finished the bar, not only was I full but also able to keep myself from eating more because of boredom.

Value

You can purchase these bars either directly through the company's website or from BB.com. The price is $36 for a box of 12 bars. At $3.00 a bar, these are on the higher end compared to similar whey protein style bars. In comparison to other vegan or plant based protein bars, these are about average in price. Please note that you can only purchase these in boxes of 12. They do not have the option available to buy a single bar. If you purchase these through BB.com, they are part of the $49 free shipping program. If you purchase them directly from the company's website, free shipping is included.

Side Effects

I personally did not experience any side effects while consuming these. Keep in mind that each bar contains 15g of fiber, so be cautious of eating too many in a day as it may cause stomach issues.

Conclusion

Honestly, this is normally not the type of bar that I would initially ever directly go to. I am not vegan or female and do not specifically seek out products with no artificial colors or sweeteners and I am ok with whey protein. However this bar was a pleasant surprise! I know and can pronounce all of the ingredients listed on the label, which is almost impossible with other bars because of the artificial ingredients that are used. I also like the company and the mission that they are looking to achieve in the fitness community, especially focusing on women and producing products that cater to their needs versus your typical meathead in the gym. While I do not fall into any of the target demographics for this company; they produced a great protein bar, have a solid mission of helping others in the community and get two thumbs up from me!

Thank you for reading my review and let me know if you have any questions




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