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garlick

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  • Reputation is high. (+3161)
  • Member has been active for 10 years, and was last online 8 months ago
  • Member has posted 42 reviews
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REVIEWS (42)

Reviews by garlick



  May 4, 2014

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Ingredient Profile
  • Good Recovery
  • Could Be A Good Intra Workout
  • Good Value
  • Bad Instructions
  • Not Made For Post Workout
RE-BLD is made up of BCAA's, Creatine & Glutamine, and that's it. That's a fine combination, and it's definitely high quality ingredients. The Glutamine and BCAA's kept me from getting sore, and I had all the normal reactions to the Creatine. Where I'm missing the boat on this, is the instructions to take this post workout. Why would this be a beneficial post workout drink??

I get that these components are important for muscle recovery. We all know BCAA's and Glutamine are important for muscle recovery, but there are several other components that are missing when you consider a full recov...
RE-BLD is made up of BCAA's, Creatine & Glutamine, and that's it. That's a fine combination, and it's definitely high quality ingredients. The Glutamine and BCAA's kept me from getting sore, and I had all the normal reactions to the Creatine. Where I'm missing the boat on this, is the instructions to take this post workout. Why would this be a beneficial post workout drink??

I get that these components are important for muscle recovery. We all know BCAA's and Glutamine are important for muscle recovery, but there are several other components that are missing when you consider a full recovery product.

When I look at my post workout supplements, I always start with a good base of whole protein sources, or partial protein chains, like hydrolized or isolate whey. RE-BLD completely dismisses large portions of the good properties of whole or partial protein sources, and claims that you can take RE-BLD on it's own, and get complete recovery. I'm not convinced, and this leaves me feeling like I've missed something.

As I stated, the ingredient profile is solid. The ingredients seem to be of high quality, and it did keep me from being sore. I just felt it lacked being a complete product, or it was stated to be used wrong. What I could totally see, is this being a very high quality intra workout drink, where you sip on it throughout your gym time. That would be perfectly fine, followed up by a protein shake, or some amount of carbs or whole foods.

On taste, I also wasn't extremely high on the Blue Raspberry. The watermelon would probably be better. It wasn't bad, just a bit tart, and left an aftertaste that I wasn't very happy about, but it wasn't bad, just not my taste.

Value is also fairly good, when you consider that you can get a BCAA drink like Scivation Xtend for $32 and RE-BLD is a similar cost or less, with Creatine & Glutamine included. So again, as an intra workout, it's actually quite a good product. As a post workout.....not so much.


  May 4, 2014

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Increased Endurance
  • Beta Alanine Tingles
  • Good To The Last Scoop
  • Not A Complete Pre-workout
  • No True Pump From The Product
  • Could Use Some Agmatine
Before 2013, I'd never heard of iSatori, or any of their products. Enter Bio-Gro, and that changed in a hurry. I was mightily impressed by Bio-Gro, and when the BOGO offers are on, I will be buying it as often as I can. For recovery, and increased protein synthesis, there really is nothing better, in my opinion. They really came through with a great product.

When the opportunity came up for the ER's to select a new product to review from them, I jumped at the chance to pick something else out of their line up, to see if there was something else they had to offer, or if they were just a one...
Before 2013, I'd never heard of iSatori, or any of their products. Enter Bio-Gro, and that changed in a hurry. I was mightily impressed by Bio-Gro, and when the BOGO offers are on, I will be buying it as often as I can. For recovery, and increased protein synthesis, there really is nothing better, in my opinion. They really came through with a great product.

When the opportunity came up for the ER's to select a new product to review from them, I jumped at the chance to pick something else out of their line up, to see if there was something else they had to offer, or if they were just a one trick pony.

After finishing off a tub of H-Blocker, I don't think my face can take much more itching from the beta-alanine. Just how good of a product is H-Blocker?? I think that really depends on what you're looking for in a pre-workout.

H-Blocker was very effective in what it claims to do, from the Beta-Alanine perspective. As I mentioned, I got the itches and the flush immediately every time I took the product. This didn't diminish over the entire tub, which tells me it is a high quality BA product. The BA was mixed in completely throughout the tub, and even the final doses were laced with the goods. Energy from the BA was great, and very clean, with no jitters. For an energy product, it was great.

As a total pre-workout product, this was a bit lacking. Yes, energy was fantastic, and it gives good endurance during the whole time you're at the gym. It works very well with Creatine supplements, and really makes you feel like you have energy to burn, even when you get to the shower. Where it falls short, is that there's not much to write home about, in terms of pumps or even in terms of feeling like you can throw up a massive amount of weight.

Some of the best pre-workout products I've taken, make me want to rage at the gym. I feel like I want to throw the barbell up and catch it on bench days. I want to do full burpees with my deadlifts.....I'm there to work out, and no one is going to stop me. I never got that on H-Blocker. I also wasn't busting out of my shirts on arms days. I didn't feel like I had balloons on my arms or on my chest after pushing through those final reps on sets.

I also wasn't completely wasted by the time I got home, though.

So did iSatori make a good product?? Absolutely.

Did it do what it advertised?? Yes.

Was it a game changer?? No way.

I liked taking H-Blocker, and I really got some good quality workouts in while I was taking it. I did cardio, and felt fantastic, and less winded. Was that really what I wanted at the gym?? Not all the time.

So while I'm impressed at the quality of the Beta-Alanine in the product, and how well it performed all the way through till the last scoop, I can't say I would recommend it as your everyday pre-workout. If they through in some Agmatine, then I probably would have been in love. Then I would be blowing up during workouts, and feeling the tearing at my skin because the muscles underneath were just filled with what gasses were building up in there.

H-Blocker is a fine product, and if you're looking for the BA tingles, this will definitely do the trick. Just make sure you're adding to the profile, so that you get the complete pre-workout you're looking for.

Finally, I have to say thank you to iSatori for letting me try this, and I'm SUPER sorry for posting this review so late. I should have had it up months ago.


  February 15, 2014

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Cool Looking
  • Share Activities With Friends
  • Cool Website
  • Easy To Use
  • Motivational Reminder
  • Inaccurate
  • Doesn't Track Lifting Well
  • Doesn't Track Sleeping
  • Too Simple On The Display
  • Inconsistencies In Production
I have been on a massive quest to find a fitness tracker that I could use that would help me track my caloric intake vs output. Nike released the fuelband+ a couple years ago, and it was one of the first that I tried.

Nike did a commendable job of trying to make a user friendly fitness tracker, and I definitely appreciate what they were going for when they released this product. Their website was easy to use, and the motivational tools really were awesome. Setting new records on fuel points (Nike's own proprietary name for workout energy tracking) was fun, and added motivation. It become...
I have been on a massive quest to find a fitness tracker that I could use that would help me track my caloric intake vs output. Nike released the fuelband+ a couple years ago, and it was one of the first that I tried.

Nike did a commendable job of trying to make a user friendly fitness tracker, and I definitely appreciate what they were going for when they released this product. Their website was easy to use, and the motivational tools really were awesome. Setting new records on fuel points (Nike's own proprietary name for workout energy tracking) was fun, and added motivation. It becomes addicting when you're hitting new weekly goals, and higher total points on a regular basis. The little character was fun and the animations were impressive.

There's also some fun features that include workout sharing, and competitions, which allow you to share with your friends in your fitness goals. This feature was awesome, and a group of my friends decided it would be a good motivational tool for us to help get into shape. Again, Nike did a tremendous job in setting up these features, and the ease of getting started, made this a breeze to get going.

All that said, this device has some pretty major flaws.

1) My biggest complaint was that the fuelband is mainly set up for running activities. If you run, the device is accurate, and you get the maximum fuel points for your day. This is all fine and good, but try any other activity and it just wasn't very accurate.

2) While motivational, it can also be demotivational if you don't run. For example, my friend was training for a half marathon. During our competitions, he would run 5-10 miles a day. His fuel points were through the roof, while my weight lifting activities got me a quarter or less of what he was getting. He could run for 30 minutes, while I was doing heavy squats and deadlifts for an hour, and I was no where near as many points as him at the end of an exercise.

3) It was easy to cheat the system. After a couple weeks, we figured out that if you were within 100 points of your goal for that day, you could sit watching TV and move your arm up and down, and the activity tracker thought you were running on a treadmill, so you could get 100 points in 10 minutes, and hit your goal. Yes, this wasn't really playing within the "spirit" of the device, but after getting only 400 points for 1 hour of lifting that day, it kind of made up for the inaccuracies of the device.

4) The device is extremely basic. There is an LED display, and the only read outs you can get on the device itself, are time, calories, steps & fuel points. It's that simple, nothing more.

5) My device seemed to run out of battery power pretty quickly. While my friend's bands would last for a couple days, I had to charge mine daily. So there definitely were some inconsistencies in the manufacturing process.

So while the concept was a good concept, I finally gave up on the device, and started to look elsewhere for something that would better track my activities.

My search for the perfect fitness tracker is still going on, and when I find it, I'll let you know. I can really only recommend this for runners. But if you're a runner and looking for a motivational fitness tracker, this one could not be any easier to use.



Overall
Overall
3.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
2.0
Value
Value
2.0
  January 16, 2014

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Interesting Profile
  • Attempt At A Non-stim Fat Burner
  • Gave No Noticible Results
  • No Increase In Metabolism
  • No Thermogenic Effect
  • Not Effective
The supplement world is the modern equivalent of the wild wild west. There's tons of companies producing all kinds of "new and amazing tonics" that will solve all your problems from being overweight, to having bad breath. If you can put a powder into a pill capsule, you can sell it in today's day and age.

There are companies that are good at what they do, and there are smaller mom and pop shops that produce 1-3 products, and sell them to a limited market. God body nutrition is one of those smaller companies, that has a very limited catalog, and really only has a very small target for th...
The supplement world is the modern equivalent of the wild wild west. There's tons of companies producing all kinds of "new and amazing tonics" that will solve all your problems from being overweight, to having bad breath. If you can put a powder into a pill capsule, you can sell it in today's day and age.

There are companies that are good at what they do, and there are smaller mom and pop shops that produce 1-3 products, and sell them to a limited market. God body nutrition is one of those smaller companies, that has a very limited catalog, and really only has a very small target for their product offerings.

They offer 3 products, and only 3 products. A creatine supplement, a multi vitamin & torn up extreme, a fat burner.

I was very impressed with their external life energizing multi vitamin, and the glandular complex they included. So much so, I gave it a recommended rating here not that long ago. It was a solid product, that seemed to give me some impressive results, even though it was just a simple multivitamin complex.

I was very much looking forward to trying out their fat burner, based on the results I got with multivitamin. Unfortunately, the fat burner didn't live up to the lofty expectations that I had.

Torn Up Extreme has a fairly solid profile. Gamma-Linolenic Acid, Conjugated Linolenic Acid & L-Carnitine are all quality ingredients. It even was impressive in it's proprietary blend of all natural compounds which help regulate mood and metabolism. I was intrigued by the inclusion of Kelp, Spirulina, Cinnamon, Bromelain & L-Phenylalanine as I've had these in other products that did seem to work.

To my dismay, the mix just didn't seem to add up to anything of note.

My hope was an increased thermogenic reaction, causing a higher body temperature throughout my workouts, and increasing my metabolic rate & fat burning. What I got was a whole lot of very little results.

I was almost completely disappointed in the fact that I felt no excess heat generated during workouts, over and above my standard baseline. I had no increase in perspiration, and seemed to have a very limited effect on my overall metabolic rate. So much so, that it really just felt like a placebo most of the time.

The one defining moment, that told me that the product wasn't a placebo, was on the last day, I had 2 pills left, and rather than spacing out the dosage, I took them both at once. This produced a massive amount of acid reflux, which is typically with overdoing it with GLA or CLA products. I've felt this in the past, and was not overly surprised when it occurred this time. I was actually a bit relieved, as I was actually concerned that the dosages were so low, that they had vastly under dosed these two acids, making them generally useless in the system. The concept behind GLA and CLA supplementation, is to increase the acidification and oxydization of the fat cells, thereby increasing lypolisys and fat reduction. I just didn't find this to work in practice with this product.

Over the month run on Torn Up Extreme, I can unequivocally state, that I saw no increase in metabolic rate, and no decrease that I can directly attribute to my waistline during this time.

I was rather disappointed in my results with this, and it truly made me sad to see such a promising product like their energizing multivitamin product, be followed up by something so disappointing as this fat burning product.

I'm holding out hope that their creatine product is more up to par with their multivitamin, and I'm even going to give it a try on my own, just to see if they got that correct. Since I'm in need of a multivitamin at this time, and was so impressed with their product, I'm going to test out if there's a synergistic effect with their creatine product, and test the theory that they have, in that their system as a whole (the 3 products combined) is better than the individual parts. If I find that the Creatine product is enhanced in any way by the inclusion of their energy multivitamin, I might just have to reconsider this product. At this time, I definitely can't recommend Torn Up Extreme as a stand alone product, as I feel it's just not great on it's own.

I hope that God Body Nutrition can produce something new that rivals their multivitamin, as it holds a ton of promise, and they don't end up being a too small to succeed mom & pop shop that only offers such a limited catalog, that they have no way of succeeded. I also hope they can traverse the wild west of supplements, and wish them nothing but the best as a company, because I know they have the potential to do well, based on my experience so far. It's just they need to re-think the Torn Up Extreme formula. They're definitely more innovative than several larger companies out there, so I'm looking forward to hearing from them again, as their all natural approach is something that I'm definitely in favor of.



Overall
Overall
9.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
8.0
  January 2, 2014

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Taste
  • Builds Muscle
  • Mixes Well
  • Hard To Find
  • Outrageous Claims
  • No Published Studies
  • Not Available In Store Near Me
I have a hard time writing reviews for protein. As it's one of the most basic supplements around, there's not much to it that allows for a whole lot of creativity in formulas and ingredients. In terms of commercial business practices, protein has become a commodity product. The cheapest product usually wins, because it sells off the shelves fastest.

What this creates, is a market where the cheapest products typically are not the best, but rather just the best selling, and most people don't care, and that's a fairly reasonable response from consumers.

Recently, I've started to see more...
I have a hard time writing reviews for protein. As it's one of the most basic supplements around, there's not much to it that allows for a whole lot of creativity in formulas and ingredients. In terms of commercial business practices, protein has become a commodity product. The cheapest product usually wins, because it sells off the shelves fastest.

What this creates, is a market where the cheapest products typically are not the best, but rather just the best selling, and most people don't care, and that's a fairly reasonable response from consumers.

Recently, I've started to see more interest in the quality of proteins that are produced, and more interest in where the products basic materials are sourced from. Rich Myers has done a fantastic job of bringing these concerns to the forefront on this site. I've also noticed that there's been an extended push outside of just this ecosystem for and increased awareness of protein sources and quality ingredients.

In writing all of this, I think the next big push in protein, will be the push to go to natural grass fed whey protein concentrates & isolates, to make sure that the ingredients are quality all the way from farm to market.

For this review, I can't locate any information on the source location of the whey production facility, only the information on Fit Nutrition's testing facility, and their incoming inspection criteria for their source materials. While this is good, it's not great. I won't knock the company for hiding this data, but it would be nice if they included it in the product marketing or anywhere on their www.iammutant.com website.

The company also claims to have a scientifically verified new "diamond & platinum" standards for whey protein synthesis....what Diamond & Platinum standards are, is anyone's guess. It's a neat little marketing speak, that I actually find quite amusing from their materials.

What I do find interesting, is the idea of using 5 different sources of whey protein (again, all whey blend, and not a blend of multiple protein forms) in order to deliver results. This is a slightly novel idea, and gives them points for creativity in thinking of whey protein delivery. While this is creative, their concepts of what each type of whey provides, is quite interesting and there are no studies to explain how exactly NitroSerum protein is THAT MUCH different than your standard hydrolized whey proteins, which are also included in the product. They do make some very interesting claims here, about increased nitric oxide production & better delivery of BCAA's to the muscular structure, but without the published studies, this is just unverifiable marketing speak.

Some of the claims that the company makes are funny, "Retains more immunoglobulins than whey isolate, fostering more immune protective properties." To generally outrageous "Patent Pending whey peptides that absorb fast and stimulate NOS (nitric oxide synthase) by up 950%"

My experience was no where near a 950% increase in NOS due to my protein intake. This had no verifiable nitric effect in my muscles, as I didn't get an increased "pump" during workout, and post workout, after I had the scoop of protein, I didn't feel that my pump continued unabated for any amount of time.

I'm more than willing to overlook these types of claims, as they're harmless, and most protein manufacturers claim similar ridiculous and outlandish things in the name of being different.

What I did find to be different, was the suggested dosage of the product. On the label, they have the "standard" dose at 2 scoops, while they list only the nutritional value for 1 scoop on the label. So you have to do a bit of math to get to the "standard" dosage. Right there on the label, they also list a "mutant dose". Again, very interesting marketing, as they're telling you to use more of the product, to see even better gains! Not only will you be increasing your usage, but you'll run out of product much faster than the "standard" use. Not a bad double bonus for the company. You play to people's perception that more is always better, and increase the amount of protein you can sell to any one individual. If you took the "mutant" dose, you would be consuming 66G of protein in one sitting! That has to be the best way to take the product right??

While I might be sounding like I am not satisfied with this product so far, the truth is far from it.

I actually found this to be a really good protein. While the claims were outrageous, the taste was pretty incredible. I received a 5 pound bag of the vanilla infusion, and for a vanilla protein, it was extremely smooth, and very good tasting. So much so, that my wife who doesn't always like whey flavors, was actually asking me to make her post workout shakes. To me, that says something. She's got a slightly more discerning palate when it comes to flavors, and especially when it comes to supplement and protein flavors. She typically prefers the chocolates more, but was actually quite satisfied with the vanilla. I personally found it to be very tasty, and look forward to my post workout shakes, especially after I discovered trader joe's cookie butter (GO FIND THAT AND PUT IT IN A VANILLA SHAKE TODAY!) Sorry, I digress.....

Mixing was very easy, and the protein mixed well in both water and my personal preference of almond milk. No clumping, and would mix simply with either a shaker bottle, a spoon, or my magic bullet (again preferred method).

As I started this review, I'm going to reiterate that it's becoming increasingly hard to differentiate protein's based upon performance. They're just too similar in what they do for you when it comes to results. Mutant Whey unfortunately suffers from this, as I didn't really notice any increased results from this compared to Nutra-Bio's pure whey isolate or even Bio Nutritional's Proto Whey, which have been my two go to proteins this year. In fact, the only real protein that I've found that had any significant performance increase was Next Level Formulations Lean Muscle Egg & Whey isolate blend, which exceeded my expectations of what protein does from an absorption perspective. Even then, the difference between that & Mutant Whey, is really negligible.

So we're back to looking at the product from a commodity perspective. What is the overall value proposition that Mutant Whey creates that can differentiate it from any other protein product on the market?? I honestly don't really know. It's definitely not the cheapest protein on the market today, and it's not the best value from a cost perspective. 5 lbs will cost you around $48 plus shipping. That's good, and why I say it's got some good value.

Overall, is this THE BEST protein on the market?? No. It's not what I would consider the highest quality, but it's not priced there either. Is the cheapest?? No, but again, that's not a bad thing, as you don't necessarily want the quality of the cheapest either. Is it THE BEST tasting?? The vanilla sure was good, but I can't say that absolutely blew me away either.

Overall, it's a good product that performs well. The company makes some pretty outrageous claims, and you're directed to use 2 scoops, while they only give you the nutritional content of 1 scoop. Also, 3 scoops, or their suggested "mutant" dose, is a bit outrageous, and a little overboard.

This is me really nitpicking here, as I don't really have too many complaints, but I also don't have anything stand out to say about the product either.

If you need protein, and want a big bag that's of some pretty quality materials, this can work. It's just not going to be the first protein I look to purchase every time. Mostly because it's not available at any stores in my area, and I typically don't buy proteins online, I get them in local stores.



Overall
Overall
6.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.0
Value
Value
7.0
  December 16, 2013

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Taste
  • It Tastes Amazing
  • Man This Is Great Tasting
  • Too Many Ingredients
  • Not Enough Focus On One Thing
  • No Real Kick At The Gym
I don't swear by pre-workouts. I actually typically don't even take them. I've given up on stims in large doses, and I've found that I get a pump from non-stim products like D-Pol or APS Creatine Nitrate, and really that's all I'm looking for when it comes to pre-workouts. A good pump is plenty of motivation.

When Metabolic Bio Shock came up for the ER program (Thanks Giant Sports), I decided it might not be a bad idea to give a Pre-workout a try. I had also signed up for GAT Nitra Flex, so this was a good opportunity to do a compare and contrast with another supplement in the same categ...
I don't swear by pre-workouts. I actually typically don't even take them. I've given up on stims in large doses, and I've found that I get a pump from non-stim products like D-Pol or APS Creatine Nitrate, and really that's all I'm looking for when it comes to pre-workouts. A good pump is plenty of motivation.

When Metabolic Bio Shock came up for the ER program (Thanks Giant Sports), I decided it might not be a bad idea to give a Pre-workout a try. I had also signed up for GAT Nitra Flex, so this was a good opportunity to do a compare and contrast with another supplement in the same category. GAT ended up being a disappointment, and I can't say that I'm that much more satisfied with Bio Shock either.

To start, what Metabolic Bio Shock does do well, is the flavor. Boy does this stuff taste good. Most pre-workouts have some amount of a citrus flavoring to them, but this doesn't have that at all. I received the Blue Raspberry flavor, and it's one of the best tasting supplements that I've had the pleasure of tasting. They really did a quality job making the flavor on this one. One of the downsides of this, is that it's SUPER BLUE!! There are a ton of dyes and flavoring components to this, and it really does get everywhere. It's not that it's messy, but it stains my shaker cup if I don't wash it out immediately, and if you spill it on your shirt, you may as well throw that thing out, as it's going to be hard to get out of the fabrics. I even toyed with mixing this and Royal Sports LTD Charge together to create an incredible fruit co(ktail of goodness, that was perfect pre-workout, and gave me a ridiculous amount of Amino Acids.

What I didn't like about Bio Shock was just about everything else. I don't mean to say this isn't a quality product, because it's not bad. It's just not ground breaking on any level, and they used a kitchen sink approach to supplementation that I'm not really excited about. They list 17 ingredients for the mix, and while I definitely like that they individually listed the amounts of each component (actually big props for this), there's just a lot of stuff in here that's not really focused on any one thing.

For example, they have BCAA's and Glucosamine for recovery and joint support, but also have Carnipure and Creatine for muscular strength, as well as Tyrosine.....it's just kind of all over the map. There's something in here for each system. I appreciate wanting to touch on as many beneficial systems as possible, to try to help you while working out as much as possible. The issue is that it doesn't do anything well enough to stand out from any other pre-workout, and all of these components are fighting with absorption so much, that you end up with no noticeable effect from anything.

My recovery was not noticeably better than before, so the BCAA's were a bit pointless. I didn't feel that my joints benefited from having the Glucosamine. I didn't get a massive increase in my lifting ability while running this, so I can't say that Carnipure was all that beneficial. One of the most perplexing additions is L-Aspartic Acid. I'm still not 100% sure why they added L-Aspartic Acid to the mix, as L-Aspartic Acid doesn't have the same effect on testosterone as it's counterpart D-Aspartic Acid.

I'm still not covering all the aspects of this product, as there's just so much, and so many different compounds in here, that it's really impossible to go line by line.

The final components that I will talk about, is the Caffeine & NO3-T (Glutamine Nitrate). Here's where this product really is mediocre. There isn't a massive kick from the caffeine in this. At 150mg, I'm not really surprised by this, as it's just over a strong cup of coffee. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's not great either. You don't go to the gym and want to tear up your workouts. You can double up your dosage, as they do list 2 scoops on the label, but I had a hard time going to 2 scoops, as something would upset my stomach, and I would prefer having less caffeine to having to puke half way through a tough leg day.

On the pump side of things, with only 500mg of a nitrate compound, I found that this product was just OK. It wasn't the worst pump product on the market, and was slightly better than NitraFlex at producing a pump, but it was nowhere near as good as straight Creatine Nitrates or D-Pol.

What does that leave you with as an overall pre-workout product?? Just a mediocre pre-workout that tastes wonderful. At $40 a tub, that's not all that valuable to me, and my workout regiment. One benefit, is that you do get 40 servings per container, so it ends up being less expensive as a per serving product. If you do take 2 servings per session, though, it loses a lot of it's value, and for stim junkies, that is what you're going to have to do in order to make this product worth taking.

For a product with a name like Metabolic Bio Shock, it's rather disappointing that it doesn't have a better "kick".

In a market that is completely saturated, like the pre-workout market, you need to stand out more by doing one thing well. This product just tries to hard to be everything to everyone.



Overall
Overall
6.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.0
Value
Value
4.0
  December 3, 2013

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Awesome Taste
  • Good Recovery
  • Too Expensive
  • Not As Good As Bio-gro
I had never heard of Royal Sport LTD or any of their product offerings until I was given the opportunity to review Charge. Charge is pretty basic in it's premise. An amino acid blend, that includes your BCAA's and SAA's.

While we all understand the benefits of BCAA's on muscle repair and soreness, SAA's only recently have become a hot topic of debate in the supplement industry. Much was published about the "recent discovery" of SAA's in the last couple of years. This couldn't be further from the truth. SAA's have a long history, although not so much in the supplementation arena. Silk Am...
I had never heard of Royal Sport LTD or any of their product offerings until I was given the opportunity to review Charge. Charge is pretty basic in it's premise. An amino acid blend, that includes your BCAA's and SAA's.

While we all understand the benefits of BCAA's on muscle repair and soreness, SAA's only recently have become a hot topic of debate in the supplement industry. Much was published about the "recent discovery" of SAA's in the last couple of years. This couldn't be further from the truth. SAA's have a long history, although not so much in the supplementation arena. Silk Amino Acids have been know to give Silk, the soft feel and appearance. Hence the name.

For several years, companies have been using SAA's in shampoo and body products, as a means to increase water retention in the cellular structure, and create the same "silky" feel to hair and skin.

SAA's, up until last year, were actually combined in an 18 amino acid chain. There was a new hydrolyzation process which was discovered, which split out a usable absorbable form of Sericin-S or small form Sericin, which includes a much smaller and tighter chain of 5 of these amino acids. When supplement companies talk of SAA's, they're actually talking about Sercin-S, which is the only digestible form of SAA's.

Some of the purported benefits of Sericin-S supplementation, are increased protection of your male testosterone levels, accelerating cellular regrowth, cellular protection against UV damage & Bovine Albumin replacement. All of these have been identified only in animal studies, and not in actual human trials though. So can we take these benefits at face value?? It's not quite clear yet.

One thing we do know, is that SAA's are EXPENSIVE. The hydrolyzation process is currently derived from silk worm fibers, which makes the process tedious, with not a very large output per year. A large majority of the liquids are used up by cosmetic companies, which makes it even less available for supplement companies. This means, if you want to use SAA's, you're going to pay through the nose for them.

With LTD Charge, this is no exception. The only place I've found this product available is through GNC, and the cost is astronomical. $70 per bottle for approximately 1 month worth of product.

The question is, the overall value of adding SAA's to a BCAA supplement?? Here are my personal findings:

Performance: 4
This is based on Standard BCAA formulas vs BCAA/SAA mix. I just didn't feel a major difference in recovery between a BCAA supplement and this mixed supplement.

Taste: 9
This is probably the best tasting Amino product I've ever had. I loved it. I couldn't get enough of the flavoring. It really stands out compared to other products that I've had.

Mixability: 9
This also helps, as there were no clumps on the bottom of the shaker bottle for me. It also didn't create a lot of foam like other products that I've tried. With USP Labs BCAA's & Scivations Xtend you end up with little bits of undissolved product in water. Not with this.

Value: 3
It's not the least valuable product that I've ever purchased, but I'm not going to spend my money on it. I also know it doesn't perform nearly as well as Bio-Gro has for me in the recovery department. So if I'm going to spend $70-100 per month on a recovery product, I want something that's superior, and this falls short of what iSatori offers with Bio-Gro.

So are SAA's worthwhile?? I'm not so sure. Not only have there been no human studies to show all the purported benefits, but my performance wasn't affected enough to warrant me going out of my way to look for SAA's in the future.

I do know, that if you have a BOGO offer on this product, it probably would be worth taking a shot at it, because the flavor is outstanding. Definitively the best tasting amino acid product on the market.



Overall
Overall
7.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
6.0
Value
Value
6.0
  November 25, 2013

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Smart Caffeine Works
  • L-theanine
  • Increased Energy
  • Clarity Of Mind Not Up To Par With Noopept
  • Too Expensive
Nootropics are all the rage these days. More and more pre-workouts are including nootropic ingredients and claiming to increase your focus at the gym, as well as promote higher levels of thinking. In my opinion, and at this date, November 2013, the best nootropic product on the market is Noopept from CTD labs. All other nootropics should be compared to noopept, and the clarity of thought that is given by this supplement.

On this scale, the nootropic stack by Natural Stacks falls short. This is not to say that the quality is not top notch, or that it is useless as a nootropic product. It ...
Nootropics are all the rage these days. More and more pre-workouts are including nootropic ingredients and claiming to increase your focus at the gym, as well as promote higher levels of thinking. In my opinion, and at this date, November 2013, the best nootropic product on the market is Noopept from CTD labs. All other nootropics should be compared to noopept, and the clarity of thought that is given by this supplement.

On this scale, the nootropic stack by Natural Stacks falls short. This is not to say that the quality is not top notch, or that it is useless as a nootropic product. It just doesn't compare to the results that you get from noopept.

The Nootropic Stack consists of 2 products:
CILTEP which is their actual "Nootropic" product
Smart Caffeine, which includes just Caffeine & L-Theanine
CILTEP's ingredient profile, includes Artichoke Extract, Forskolin, L-Phenylalanine, Vitamin B-6 & Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR). Out of these ingredients, ALCAR is the only compound that I have experience with, outside of vitamin B-6. Forskolin has become a newer ingredient that I've seen more recently in more and more products. I was interested to see how it worked, as it's supposed to increase cAMP in neurons. This should, theoretically, increase the efficiency of brain cells, and help to protect against damage that occurs through oxidization of the cells.

As an overall ingredient profile, I found the total a bit lacking. While these compounds show some promise in the effects on neurotransmitters & the effectiveness of protecting brain cell break down, that's not the only issue effecting brain capacity and the ability of the brain to function properly.

Where racetams have vastly out shown other compounds, is in the ability to effect communication of the cells across the brain hemisphere barrier. By increasing the ability of communication between cells, racetams like noopept, allow for much clearer and precise thought.

With the Noopept stack, I didn't find an effect that even rivaled that of noopept when it came to clarity of thought. In fact, the best part of the stack, was the least advertised. The Smart Caffeine was actually much more effective at creating clear concise thoughts on it's own, rather than the combo of both CILTEP and Smart Caffeine. Because the dosing for CILTEP meant that there were only 20 days worth of product in the bottle, I had the ability to continue to take the Smart Caffeine after the CILTEP finished, because it comes with a 30 day supply.

During the 10 days after the CILTEP ran out, the effects of the Smart Caffeine were still continuing, even without the CILTEP. I did feel more awake, and alert, while not jittery or over stimulated. The inclusion of L-Theanine, was pretty ingenious, in that it's been shown to extend and "smooth out" the initial shock of caffeine intake, and can improve uptake of the caffeine in the neurosystem.

I'm actually more impressed with the Smart Caffeine as a whole, than I have been in a lot of supplements these days. The uptake from the caffeine was truly "nice" feeling, and didn't allow you to crash over time. I've found it to be so good, I've been considering purchasing L-Theanine supplements, and taking them with my coffee in the morning, and any pre-workout that I'm taking in the afternoon. Included with this, has been a suggestion that has just come up, of adding coconut oil to the mix, to include Medium Chain Tryglicerydes, which would work synergistically with the caffeine and the L-Theanine to increase the overall effects of stimulants on your system. This is something I'll be trying in the very near future.

Overall on the Stack, I was not completely underwhelmed by the experience, it just didn't live up the high bar that Noopept has set on the market. There's nothing better than the clarity of thought and mind that you receive on Noopept, and especially for the price point. 2 months worth of Noopept will run you about $100, where as 2 months of the Nootropic Stack would run you closer to $150.

I did very much enjoy the Smart Caffeine, but at $20 per bottle, I'm going to work out creating the same effects by adding L-Theanine to my stack. This might end up at a net/net of the same cost, so overall, the Smart Caffeine. So the value is still there, if you want to give this a try.


  November 23, 2013

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Stamina
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Taste
  • No Creatine
  • Better Products Out There
  • No Boost In Testosterone
  • Proprietary Blend
  • Technical Label Of Ingredients
I was pretty intrigued by Nitraflex when the ER team was offered the opportunity to try out this pre-workout. I'm not a really big PWO believer. High amounts of caffeine, and massive stimulants aren't all that great for your internal organs, and while they can increase drive at the gym, I'm not sold on the fact that they aren't doing more harm than good. I also have yet to find one, that's significantly better than the 1,000,000 other products on the market.

Add in the fact, that when I close my cupboard doors, pre-workouts seem to be screwing like rabbits and multiplying when I'm not lo...
I was pretty intrigued by Nitraflex when the ER team was offered the opportunity to try out this pre-workout. I'm not a really big PWO believer. High amounts of caffeine, and massive stimulants aren't all that great for your internal organs, and while they can increase drive at the gym, I'm not sold on the fact that they aren't doing more harm than good. I also have yet to find one, that's significantly better than the 1,000,000 other products on the market.

Add in the fact, that when I close my cupboard doors, pre-workouts seem to be screwing like rabbits and multiplying when I'm not looking. I have actually had to give a few away because I just don't take them all that often.

But why did Nitraflex intrigue me so much?? The inclusion of Calcium Fructopyranose Borate, which has been shown in limited studies to increase testosterone production. Huh. That's pretty different. So I signed on, to give this one a shot, with the focus all on whether or not this actually could increase my testosterone production.

As many on here know, I like to test myself often. My bills for blood work, are actually pretty high each month, and I'm getting a bit concerned about the whole "Obama Care" issue, and how it's going to effect what tests I can and can't get under my coverage. But I digress. So mid last month, I had my levels tested in my normally monthly schedule with my doc. My levels tend to fluctuate very minimally when I'm not on test boosters. Pre Nitraflex, I measured at 545ng/dL. This is right at my average over the last 3 months, all of which have been completely free of any test boosters. My last dPol cycle, was back in June.

So the real question for me, is how this product really performed when it came to testosterone boosting. I'm going to get to that in a second, but I first have to voice a pretty major complaint with GAT for their practices. The label on the bottle is STUNNING...and not in a good way.

I don't typically post ingredients, but this one really does take the cake for being one of THE WORST possible labels in the industry.

NITRAFLEXâ„¢ PROPRIECEUTICAL BLEND 7,365 mg

Vasoactive Arginase-Regulating NO Precursor Complex

2-Amino-5-(Carbamoylamino)pentanoic Acid, (S)-2-Amino-5-Guanidinopentanoic Acid, L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, (E)-5-(4-Hydroxystyryl)benzene-1,3-Diol, 4-[(E)-2-(3,5-Dimethoxyphenyl)ethenyl]phenol

Acute Energy, Focus, Intensity, Neuromodulating, Endurance Complex

3-Aminopropanoic Acid (As CarnoSyn®), 1,3,7-Trimethyl-1H-Purine-2,6(3H,7H)-Dione, 2-(Dimethylamino) Ethanol, 2-Acetylamino-3-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-Propanoic Acid, 2-Amino-4-(Ethylcarbamoyl) Butyric Acid, Rauwolscine (Rauvolfia Canescens L. [Leaf And Root])

Clinically-Studied Testosterone-Enhancing Complex

Calcium Fructopyranose Borate (CFB) US Patent #5,962,049

First and foremost, EVERY ingredient is included in their "proprietary mix". There's no separation to tell you how much of anything you are getting in one dose.

Second, just look at the scientific names for everything that they included. It's like they purposefully wanted to make it look like they were doing massive amounts of chemical structuring and engineering to make a good product. This couldn't be further from the truth. Here's a translation for those that don't have science degrees:

2-Amino-5-(Carbamoylamino)pentanoic Acid = Citruline
(S)-2-Amino-5-Guanidinopentanoic Acid = L-Arginine
L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate = AAKG (duh)
(E)-5-(4-Hydroxystyryl)benzene-1,3-Diol = resveratol
4-[(E)-2-(3,5-Dimethoxyphenyl)ethenyl]phenol = Pterostilbene
3-Aminopropanoic Acid = beta alanine
1,3,7-Trimethyl-1H-Purine-2,6(3H,7H)-Dione = caffeine
2-(Dimethylamino) Ethanol = DMAE
2-Acetylamino-3-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-Propanoic Acid = L-N-Acetyl-Tyrosine
2-Amino-4-(Ethylcarbamoyl) Butyric Acid = Theanine
Rauwolscine is what it is
Calcium Fructopyranose Borate is exactly that.

I don't really understand the concept here, besides to make it look like something that it's not. And hiding behind a proprietary blend, is one of the worst offenses a company can make.

Now, if the product works out well, we can forgive a few things, like the technical names for simple products. So how did this actually perform?

Taste: 8

I actually liked the taste of the product. It was well balanced, not too tart, and didn't taste as chemically as the label sounded.

Mixability: 6

Not the best here. In my normal shaker cup, there was quite a bit of residue left at the bottom of each serving, that hadn't completely mixed in, even after a few minutes of vigorous mixing. This is what I consider about average for pre-workouts, although lately, I've found them to be better than this, and mix completely.

Energy: 8

This performed better than the C4 that I replaced it with, and actually was quite good from a stimulant perspective. It didn't make me too jittery, and was a "clean" stimulant effect. So overall, I was very satisfied with this aspect.

Pumps: 6

Not the best pump product in the world, but it did still hit me on my arm days, and I do still enjoy AAKG as a pump product, even though many believe it to be "bunk", I don't. I've had too many good pumps with straight AAKG to discount it's benefit to nitric production. Plus I've read the studies that supposedly "debunk" AAKG as a nitric enhancer, and I've found them to be flawed. Are they as good as straight nitrates?? No way, but that is to be expected. So this is an above average pump product, but not the best by any means.

Testosterone boosting: 3

This is where I'm vastly disappointed. My post test results just came back, as I was tested on the last day of the last serving of the nitraflex. I tested at 580ng/dL. Ugh. It is approximately an 8% increase in my testosterone from pre supplementation, and really not a significant enough boost to truly make me want to run this product again. While it adds to the pumps that I had, and does give good energy, there are better products on the market for this, that don't have a proprietary blend slapped on the label, and aren't trying to be a scientific with their ingredients to hide what's really in their product.

Value: 6

Now, here's my one disclaimer, if you're using this product purely as a vasodiolator product, to increase pumps, and for energy only, it's not that bad. The value can actually be OK. If you're buying the product with any hopes that it will increase your testosterone levels, you really need to look elsewhere for any meaningful gain in this regard. Now, combine the two, and IF the product worked as advertised to increase testosterone levels significantly, then this product would have some pretty significant value. I just can't give it any value higher than a 6 with the current performance.

Overall: 5

I'm not really all that impressed with this product, and I can't say that I recommend it for anyone looking for a product that can help boost their testosterone. I can say, if you're looking for clean energy, and you see this on a sale rack somewhere, it's worth a try. It's a decent enough pre-workout product, it just has some ridiculous claims, and you don't really know how much of everything you're getting, because of the dumb proprietary blend. So be careful, as it could conflict with other supplements that you're taking. Don't seek this product out, it's not worth it, as I've found there's just better options out there.



Overall
Overall
7.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
3.0
  November 2, 2013

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increase In Huger
  • Increase In Recovery
  • Vivid Dreams
  • Seems To Be Effective
  • Too Expensive
People are going to look at this review, and be completely perplexed at how I can rate this product as a 9 under effectiveness. I would have been one of those people before I received the product. Everything I've read or known, would tell me that this is probably a bunch of boohicky.

Well, my experience tells me otherwise.

I can't explain how there is information out there, stating how IGF-1's won't cross the mucous threshold, to create absorption, yet everything that I experienced tells me that IGF-1 levels were increased. All indicators completely contradict what I would believe is ...
People are going to look at this review, and be completely perplexed at how I can rate this product as a 9 under effectiveness. I would have been one of those people before I received the product. Everything I've read or known, would tell me that this is probably a bunch of boohicky.

Well, my experience tells me otherwise.

I can't explain how there is information out there, stating how IGF-1's won't cross the mucous threshold, to create absorption, yet everything that I experienced tells me that IGF-1 levels were increased. All indicators completely contradict what I would believe is product that should really have no effect in anyway.

Here's what we know about Deer Velvet Spray or Extract. The process by which this product is made is by cutting off the antlers of red deer, which are one of the most common types of deer in the world, before they're able to harden. The antlers are still "soft" and have a harry appearance, which is the reason for the velvet name. In theory, the deer's antlers are grown by increases in Growth Hormone, which create the bone growth out of the skull of the animals. Before the antlers harden to full size, it is actually scientifically proven that the antlers are packed with IGF-1's and Growth Hormones.

Eastern medicine, has used Deer Antler Extract for various uses for hundreds to thousands of years. The antler is actually split into 3 sections. The tip has been used as a growth tonic for children, the middle section is used to treat arthritis in the elderly & the bottom section is used for calcium deficiencies. The tip is what is used most often in VAS (Velvet Antler Spray) products in western countries. These are the most expensive pieces of the antlers. There are many different extracts and herbs that are used in Chinese medicine that have actually been proven to have positive results, and scientifically viable uses in when western medicine tests these herbs and extracts. VAS, though, was thought to have little to no effect in the system, because of the unstable nature of IGF-1's.

Enough with the science lesson for the day, and time to get into the results.

Here's where I'm just stunned that I'm writing this.

Upon first use of the product, I actually found an increase in hunger. This was not a simple, I'm a little bit hungrier than I was before, this was an "I'm freaking starving right now, and if I don't eat, I will kill you and drink your blood for sustenance" type of hunger. WTF!! I actually haven't been this hungry in years. This started on the 3rd day of taking the VAS and continued all the way to the last week. During the final week, 25 days after starting, the hunger started to subside. Hunger typically is a good indicator of increases in growth hormone.

During the entire time taking the VAS, I also experienced vivid dreams. This was similar to taking MassHGH or other sleeping aids. The interesting part, was while I had increase in the vivid nature of the dreams I was having, I was not waking up with a "hungover" feeling, which can be typical with MassHGH or Noxitropin or other sleep aids that keep you in REM longer. With this, it felt as if REM was natural, but just stronger. This is typically when dreams occur, and the stronger the dreams, the better the indicator that GH is being released. Since I've been off of VAS my dreams have become less vivid.

Another interesting notation that I made in my log, is that over this same time period, I seem to have been sleeping "hotter" than usual in body temperature, and having night time sweats. I would wake up sweaty, which is never a good feeling, but does indicate higher body temperature, which indicates more muscle repair is occurring, typically triggered by higher GH levels. Since I've stopped, I've woken up dry in my bed, without sweating. My wife has even commented about this.

If you have followed my log, I have been taking this product with Bio-Gro & Restoraide from iSatori, and so I can't be 100% sure that recovery is completely based upon the VAS, but I can say the combo of these three products has been OUTSTANDING for recovery. I have had no DOMS over the last few weeks, and I've not had any nagging joint pains or injuries over this time either. The major claim with VAS products, is that they increase recovery of pulls and strains, and there have been times when my muscles did feel a bit strained, or I had knots in my back which went away very quickly. I can really only attribute this to the combination of bioactive peptides in bio-gro and the VAS combination.

Unfortunately my insurance does not cover IGF-1 blood test levels, and I checked into it with my physician, and the cost was prohibitive for me to run pre and post my run. If it would have been covered, I would have definitely done this test, but at $500 a test, it's not really something I can afford to do at a whim.

This is my experience. It's absolutely stunning to me. I had all indicators that Pro Vida Nutritions IGF-1 1500T spray actually did what it claimed. It was effective in increasing GH levels, and would have helped with increasing recovery from both workouts, and injuries.

This leaves value, and in this....WOWZAS!! The only place that I can find this product is on Pro Vida's own website, and the IGF-1 1500T product runs $169 per bottle!! Sorry guys, but that's not worth it. I believe this is effective, but in order to be worth it, it needs to be half that price.

The company even offers a 3000T version which is just 2x the size of the dosage, and is sold for $270 per bottle. Again....just too expensive.

In order to be taken seriously, the product needs to be priced lower, for someone to consider making this a regular part of their routine. There are several other companies that are selling their products for $40-50 per bottle. I understand all the claims of "well, we have a better process, our product is higher quality...blah blah blah", but at 3x the cost, and $170 for one month, that's not a good enough argument for anything more than a 3 in value.

I can't recommend that anyone pays the full price for the bottle, but if you can find it for anywhere for less than the price listed on the website, I would actually consider it for around $60-80 per bottle. The recovery was nice, and the indicators say it could be good in building muscle and adding mass.

And yes, I know, I'm completely nuts for saying any of this.




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