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jamesjsix

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REVIEWS (19)

Reviews by jamesjsix



Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Nature Restore for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 25, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Tastes Great
  • Useful Individual Packets
  • High Antioxidant Metric
  • Not Widely Available
  • 20 Servings
  • Expensive
  • Prop Blend

Quick Summary

An antioxidant supplement that doesn't taste like grass, but hard to tell what's in it or if it's worth it.

Introduction

Greetings SR! Back again with another review and this time it's an antioxidant supplement called ROOTS brought to you by Nature Restore. Firstly, I want to thank the SR TROOPs program and Nature Restore's rep, natureRep, for giving me the opportunity to try this product out. If you want to know of my background, you can find it in my profile here at: https://supplementreviews.com/users/jamesjsix

Ingredient Profile

5.0

The packe...

Quick Summary

An antioxidant supplement that doesn't taste like grass, but hard to tell what's in it or if it's worth it.

Introduction

Greetings SR! Back again with another review and this time it's an antioxidant supplement called ROOTS brought to you by Nature Restore. Firstly, I want to thank the SR TROOPs program and Nature Restore's rep, natureRep, for giving me the opportunity to try this product out. If you want to know of my background, you can find it in my profile here at: https://supplementreviews.com/users/jamesjsix

Ingredient Profile

5.0

The packet size is 12g and you get...stuff. That's honestly the best way to put it overall as the blend is a prop blend and there are about 40 different ingredients in there. As a few other reviewers have pointed out, the first 3 ingredients are Tapioca Maltodextrin, Pectin, and Flavoring. Since these are not fruit or vegetable related, I have a bit of a concern about how much of the powder is actually what you are buying it for. The prop blend hurts here as if they at least gave us the total greens/reds content, then I know what part is actually the active supplement. For what is in there, the ingredients looks very good with items like Broccoli Sprout Extract, Spinich Powder, Goji Bery Extract and other similar ingredients but again, no idea if the amounts are significant.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

9.0

This is where most supplements of this time really let me down but in this case, ROOTS shines brightly. If you compare this to something like Amazing Grass, the taste is significantly better and doesn't taste like you just filled a shaker bottle full of dirt and lawn clippings. Instead, the taste of the berries comes through and you just get a hnit on the vegetation that is also in there. This is probably the powder's best feature as supplements like this are only effective if you actually take them.

Mixability and dosing are strong point for ROOTS, it shakes up pretty easily in a shaker bottle (5-10 seconds in a blender bottle) and though it foams up, that foam is very thin and dies down in less than a minute. The dosing is similarly easy as the packets contain 12g each.

Effectiveness

5.5

Judging this is hard as taking this supplement should aide in your diet, not give you increased workout abilities, gains, or anything else easily noticeable. Nature Restore try to put a number on how effective this is by touting the Cellular Antioxidant Activity (CAA) of the product as having the CAA of 158 lbs of spinach.

I had never heard of CAA before so internet research turns up that "The CAA assay is a more biologically relevant method than the popular chemistry antioxidant activity assays because it accounts for some aspects of uptake, metabolism, and location of antioxidant compounds within cells." I pulled this from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which can be found:
http://www.ibric.org/myboard/down.php?Board=exp_qna&filename=jf0715166.pdf&id=67619&fidx=1

Without a degree in biochemistry, I take the information to mean that it has a strong antioxidant effect, which is one of the primary benefits of eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. What is missing from this is the rest of the benefits that come with a diet higher in fruits and vegetables, specifically the vitamins and minerals that are likely not included in this supplement.

I didn't notice any substantive changes or health effects from this product during the run. I don't have the best diet when it comes to fruits and vegetables so I assume it helped somewhat, but not to the point where I know it was working. Additionally, the package claims to help you feel energized but i didn't notice in increase in energy. So overall, I think this is an effective product when looked at as an antioxidant only, but I don't have a high degree of confidence that it is an effective "greens" or "reds" supplement compared to others since I don't know what's actually in it.

Value

4.0

Only place I can find this product is from Nature Restore's own website where you are paying $1.50 a packet and it comes in a 20 pack. That's not cheap and leaves me struggling compared to other similar products. For example, Controlled Labs' Oximega Greens has many of the same ingredients in a fully disclosed label for ~35 cents a serving. The convenience of having the single serve packets is nice, but its not worth an extra dollar plus every time I have this, even if the taste here is far better.

Side Effects

None, no upset stomach or bowel issues.

Conclusion

5.0

The only measurable effect of this product for me is the antioxidant factor (through the CAA metric...science). The good taste helps but without knowing the amount of ingredients in the prop blend, I honestly have no idea what is actually in the product, how effective it is, and it's more expensive than its competitors as well. The CAA number seems nice to have and the taste is actually pretty good but I can't really see any reason to get this product over others that are cheaper and fully disclosed. Do not recommend.


  April 22, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • No After Taste
  • Great Value
  • Do Not Take Without Food

Introduction

Greetings SR! Multivitamins don't get the love of the more sexy supplements like Pre-Workouts, proteins, and thermogenics but they're still a foundational item that most of us take to ensure that we're getting all those micros are being met and the body can do what its supposed to do. How does this stack up from one of the most well known companies in the game, let's see!

Ingredient Profile

8.8

There are 48 reviews on this product already that have gone deep into the ingredients section so I won't belabor the point that this is one of the most complete multi...

Introduction

Greetings SR! Multivitamins don't get the love of the more sexy supplements like Pre-Workouts, proteins, and thermogenics but they're still a foundational item that most of us take to ensure that we're getting all those micros are being met and the body can do what its supposed to do. How does this stack up from one of the most well known companies in the game, let's see!

Ingredient Profile

8.8

There are 48 reviews on this product already that have gone deep into the ingredients section so I won't belabor the point that this is one of the most complete multivitamins that you can get. There are a few particular items worth mentioning however about the ingredients.

1. Almost all of the named vitamins are dosed at or above the RDA. The exceptions to this are Vitamin K, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese (close at 87%) and Sodium. I wanted to mention this because with the exception of possibly magnesium, you should be getting the bulk of those in your diet as they are common in many different food.

2. There are 4 different prop blends in this product. While I hate this in pre-workouts and many other supplements, I don't care as much here personally. My thought on that is that is that at the size of the blends are too small and I don't have to worry about overdosing anything here. The Amino Blend is 1g, the Phyto Blend is 100mg, the Viri Blend is 50mg and the Enzyme Blend is 50mg.

3. There is no Iron in this multi. I prefer that as I eat rather copious amounts of red meat, eggs, and other high iron foods but for some people this might be looked at as a negative.

4. There is nothing in here for joint support. I think this is one of the bigger letdowns but honestly, I can't fault them that much as adding in the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin (or other joint support) that you would need would make the product much larger and expensive.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

8.0

If you leave the rather large pill in your mouth for a few seconds, its kinda a spicy/peppery taste. Unless you were doing that out of sheer curiosity, I can't imagine why you'd want to try it. After being swallowed though, there is no aftertaste. As a pill there is no mixability.

Dosing is 3 pills with food daily. I split up my dosing with 2 pills in the morning and 1 in the evening. This should make it more absorbable as there is a limit to how much your body can process at once. The best idea is to take one with each of your 3 big meals, but I absolutely hate carrying around pills during the day so I take this way.

Effectiveness

8.5

Its hard to rate whether or not a multivitamin is effective. I have been taking this specific one every day for the past year or so and I think it's the best at getting all the vitamins and minerals my body needs. I feel better knowing this need has been met by this product, it's one more thing I don't need to worry about and when my diet isn't as varied as it should be, I'm not negatively impacting my training by missing out on certain vitamins. Compared to other multis, this is extremely complete and I don't need to stack almost anything on top of it (the exception being a joint support product) so you can say its effective at getting me what I know I need.

Value

9.2

You can get this almost everywhere and if you get the 240 ct, the best deal I can find is for $32. That gets you out the door at right at 40 cents a day, assuming you take the full 3 pill dose as recommended. I think this gets you pretty great value as their primary competitors of Orange Triad and Animal Pak (#2 and #3 on SR's rankings) are both more expensive.

Side Effects

You're going to get the standard neon pee with this multi but I didn't notice any bad smell like a few reviewers have. Only other thing worth mentioning is that I did experience stomach issues when I took this without food. When they say take with food they mean it!

Conclusion

8.8
I've been taking this supplement for over a year so it's pretty clear I'm a fan of the product and would recommend it enthusiastically. The dosages for this product are right where I need them to be and the few things that are not fully dosed are not the things my diet lacks. There are a few other products out there that compare to this product but I think ON edges them out in terms of value, you just can't get more out of a multi for the price, highly recommend!



Overall
Overall
5.1
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
5.8
Value
Value
4.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to FREEZiNda for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  April 18, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Unique Idea
  • Too Expensive
  • Icey Texture

Introduction

Greetings SR! Back with a pretty unusual product compared to most of the other supps that we review, FREEZiNda. First and foremost, a shout-out and thanks to FREEZiNDA for their participation in the TROOPs program that brings you this review today. I've got a heck of a sweet tooth and this product works to convert normal protein powder into a frozen dessert. Does it work...stay tuned!

Ingredient Profile

No Rating
Nutritional Info:
Calories: 50
Fat: Zippo
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 45mg
Carbs: 18g
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 0g

Ingredients:
Vegetable Glycerine
Erythir...

Introduction

Greetings SR! Back with a pretty unusual product compared to most of the other supps that we review, FREEZiNda. First and foremost, a shout-out and thanks to FREEZiNDA for their participation in the TROOPs program that brings you this review today. I've got a heck of a sweet tooth and this product works to convert normal protein powder into a frozen dessert. Does it work...stay tuned!

Ingredient Profile

No Rating
Nutritional Info:
Calories: 50
Fat: Zippo
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 45mg
Carbs: 18g
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 0g

Ingredients:
Vegetable Glycerine
Erythirtol
Sugar
Baking Powder
Guar Gum
Xanthan Gum

So different profile to evaluate as this isn't meant to help you workout better or recover, its supposed to make protein...well...into dessert. With that in mind, the ingredients are mostly sugar alcohol and stuff to make it pretty creamy. To do that, the ingredients create 3/4 of a pint of dessert when you combine about 3/4 of a cup of protein with a dry and wet bag of ingredients and 1 cup of water. The result is whatever of cup of your favorite protein is in nutritional information with about 150 calories, almost all from the sugar alcohol.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

5.5

So I made this two ways, both with Optimum Nutrition's products. The first one I tried was the Gold Standard in my favorite flavor from them, coffee. After seeing other's reviews, I skipped even trying to use a spoon and went straight to the blender bottle and mixed the protein in the water first and then added the two bags from FREEZiNda. The result was pretty uniform, although there were a few small chunks of powder (probably due to there only being less than 4 oz of water per normal sized scoop of protein). Regardless, it wasn't bad at all. This created a product that had about 410 calories and 55g of protein (just over 2 scoops of protein).

The second type of powder I used was their casein and gotta say, that didn't mix up almost at all. After adding all the ingredients, the shaker ball was almost immobile as the resulting mixture was so thick. I had to add about an extra 2 oz of water to get it to mix up at all. This product was about 390 calories.

Effectiveness

5.5

So what was the results of all this chemical whatsitall? Well, the whey protein was a fairly decent desert. Was it ice cream? No, not even really a little bit. If you've ever had shaved ice, it was much more that consistency where you can see the ice crystals formed as you pull out scoops with a spoon. I didn't notice any real different to the flavor, it still tasted like coffee protein powder to me.

For the casein, that went poorly. You can see in my uploaded pic but the stiffness of the mixture didn't get any better after being in the freezer overnight, it was extremely hard and was essentially just frozen protein powder. There wasn't any creaminess to it and it was rather difficult to eat.

Value

4.0

Amazon was out of this at the time of writing the review so FREEZiNda's own website was the only option and they only had 10 packs for $30. At $3 a pack I'm having a hard time with this product. For 3 bucks, your finished product is about 3/4 of a pint, so it's almost exactly the same per oz as Halo. Except...you still need to buy your protein! Unless you are using lower quality protein, you can expect to spend at least $4 for 3/4 of a pint of desert. While its a neat idea, that's pretty darn expensive, especially if you need to commit to multiple packs at once (its advertised as a 5 pk so I assume you can find it somewhere).

Side Effects

None noticed, sugar alcohols aren't the easiest for some people to digest but I haven't seen any issues them.

Conclusion

5.1

The idea of this product is great, but the execution just didn't work for me. I enjoyed the dessert for what it was, a high protein coffee icy, but it definitely wasn't ice cream, it wasn't low in calories, and it wouldn't be a good value at the price. Honestly, I would rather either just pick up Halo at the lower protein amount or just chug a normal shake right before i had some real ice cream, calories be damned! There is some novelty for this product, so it gets a meh from me overall, but I can't find the value in it past that.



Overall
Overall
7.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.3
Value
Value
8.6
  April 14, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Convenient
  • Good Snack Size
  • Good Value
  • No Fiber
  • Too Hard
  • Not Filling
  • Sugar And Carb Content Is A Little High

Introduction

Greetings SR! Back with yet another protein bar and if you read my previous reviews, you know that I really like protein bars because they are much more satisfying compared to chugging a protein shake. Sure its not real food in the same way as eating a steak, but it's closer and my mouth appreciates it. Anyway, here we go with the recently popular MyBAR.

Ingredient Profile

8/10
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 220
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10g
Sat Fat 5g
Cholesterol 40mg
Sodium 400mg
Total Carb 17g
Fiber 1g
Sugars 6g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 1mg
Calcium 140mg
Iron ....

Introduction

Greetings SR! Back with yet another protein bar and if you read my previous reviews, you know that I really like protein bars because they are much more satisfying compared to chugging a protein shake. Sure its not real food in the same way as eating a steak, but it's closer and my mouth appreciates it. Anyway, here we go with the recently popular MyBAR.

Ingredient Profile

8/10
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 220
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10g
Sat Fat 5g
Cholesterol 40mg
Sodium 400mg
Total Carb 17g
Fiber 1g
Sugars 6g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 1mg
Calcium 140mg
Iron .4mg

Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate)
Vegetable Oils (Palm, Palm Kernel)
Sugar
Vegetable Glycerin
Maltitol
Milk Protein Isolate
Gelatin
Sorbitol
Water
Cocoa (Processed With Alkali)
Rice Flour
Pea Protein Isolate
Evaporated Cane Juice
Natural Flavors
Soy Lecithin
Soybean Oil
Tapioca Starch
Whey
Mono and Diglycerides
Chocolate Liquor
Salt
Beta-Carotene
Vitamin A Palmitate
Baking Soda
Potassium Sorbate
Almond
Peanut
Sucralose

Ingredients here are pretty much the standard for the newer "baked" protein bars. The #1 ingredient here the protein blend and I like that you don't have any soy protein in here. Of note though, if you have digestion issues with whey concentrate, this bar might cause some issues for you. The calorie content is about average and and the protein content is 36% of the 220 calories and the fat takes up another 41%. There's 6g of sugar here, which isn't great in my opinion, but the carb content does stay decently low. We don't get a breakdown of the protein blend but nice to have a mix of both types as they digest differently (assuming you handle whey well). Other ingredients are fairly minor and I don't see any major issues with any of them. Chances are that if you are looking at a protein bar like this, all natural isn't your biggest concern so the sucralose isn't a big deal to me.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

6/10

For mixability and dosing, not much to say really, it's a protein bar so you know what you are getting right off the bat. At 55g, this bar is decidedly a snack option and not a substitute for a meal. The instructions on the wrapper "Directions For MY BAR: Consume up to 3 bars per day between meals with appropriate fluid intake." but honestly if you are going through 3 of these a day regularly, I'd ask you to re-examine your diet choices.

Taste is the all-important factor for me in a protein bar because, let's be honest, a shake is pretty much guaranteed to be a cheaper and cleaner option that has more protein in it. The allure of the bar is that you are eating something tasty you can sink your teeth into. I really wanted to like this bar based on the recommendations but...meh. Its not that it's bad, its just not nearly as good as I hoped it would be. Firstly, the texture of this bar isn't soft but is hard and kinda reminds me of like a stale nought like consistency. Second turn off is that it flakes...everywhere. There isn't a good way to eat this that it doesn't make a pretty decent mess as the chocolate coating breaks apart really easily and falls away as you bite into it. Finally the flavor was rather muted to me. I get a little bit of the ice cream sandwich cookie-ness to it, but its subtle and overall too bland for me.

Effectiveness

7.3/10

It helps to hit the macros as any protein bar should but I found myself hungry again very quickly after eating one of these. I think that with the smaller size of this bar and very little fiber, there just isn't enough there to stave off hunger easily. If you are eating this to satisfy a craving and not just because you're hungry, its not bad at that (although the taste issues above impact that for me) but not a great snack for getting you to the next meal.

Value

8.6/10

This bar is all over the map on pricing and that directly impacts the value a lot. I bought mine on Amazon, a 12 count, for $17.99 and at that price, I don't see the value and don't strongly recommend this product as you can get what i think are better bars for the same price. However, depending on what flavor you want, you can do much better as a 12 count box of ice cream cookie crunch is currently $13.99 and two of the other flavors are $15.99. At that price of less than $1.20 a bar, the value here is considerable and even though I'm not a huge fan of the bar, that price compares well to alternatives.

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

7.7

Protein bars for me always come down to the two major factors of value and taste. For me, this bar is not great in the taste department but it's merely ok. The value however, when getting a box for under $14, is where this really shines. Balancing those two factors out should be the deciding factor on if this bar is a good pick as everyone is little different in what they want out of a protein bar. For other factors, the protein content in most well-made protein bars is around 20g of protein for a snack bar of 180-230 ish calories with low sugar so even though this is a little higher in sugar, higher in fat, and lower in fiber than I'd prefer, it still fits my macros without too much problem so that's not a big factor for me.

At the end of the day, the $14 price tag for a 12 count is a great deal for this bar, so I do recommend it, but I'll personally being ponying up the extra cash for a King Whey Crunch or similar as the taste factor is too important for me to pass up on what amounts to a treat for me.


  April 9, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Aides Weight Loss
  • Good Value
  • Fat Loss

    Quick Summary

    Its a mostly pure CLA sup that does what CLAs do, help you lose weight and supports your health, and it does all that at a pretty good value compared to other options out there.

    Introduction

    Greetings SR! I've tried a few CLAs and I stumbled on this one from Sports Research on Amazon a little while back on a Lightning Deal so I gave it a shot. Quick background, I've been on a cut the last few months mixing heavy lifting days using a version of Wendler's 5/3/1 template and HIIT cardio 4x a week. I took this product hoping it would help me with my goals as we...

    Quick Summary

    Its a mostly pure CLA sup that does what CLAs do, help you lose weight and supports your health, and it does all that at a pretty good value compared to other options out there.

    Introduction

    Greetings SR! I've tried a few CLAs and I stumbled on this one from Sports Research on Amazon a little while back on a Lightning Deal so I gave it a shot. Quick background, I've been on a cut the last few months mixing heavy lifting days using a version of Wendler's 5/3/1 template and HIIT cardio 4x a week. I took this product hoping it would help me with my goals as well as because of the other benefits of CLAs.

    Ingredients

    9/10
    Safflower Oil - 1250 mg containing CLA - 1187 mg
    Kosher Gelatin
    Kosher Gelatin Glycerin
    Purified Water
    Natural Carobi

    Two sets of ingredients here. The last 4 ingredients are all the make-up of the Softgel Capsule so unless you have an uncommon avoidance issue, non-factor ingredients. The real thing we are looking for in this single ingredient sup is the amount of CLA from the Safflower oil. In these capsules, there is 95% CLA content which is higher than you normally get from this type of supplement. CLAs are credited with being a non-stim fat burner and for many this is the primary reason to take a CLA supplement. Additionally, some studies have shown that CLA is helpful in other areas of health including having a beneficial effect from getting certain types of cancer. These studies are preliminary but as a whole, CLAs seem like good thing to have without any side effects.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    8/10

    1 Softgel is a serving (they're pretty large) and dosing can be anywhere from 1-3 a day depending on what your needs are. I take 3 of these a day most days with one in the morning, one mid-day and another at night. There are no mixibility or taste issues with the softgels, they are completely devoid either.

    Effectiveness

    8/10

    I'm a believer in the effects of CLAs and this one seems to work as most others that I have tried. The amount of CLA per softgel is on par on slightly better than most other CLAs and the effectiveness of the dosage I'm taking helps. I've been in a cut for the last 3 months and I credit this as one piece of helping me to get where I'm trying to go, obviously with an emphasis on my diet and my workouts. As for the health benefits, I can't say whether or not the effects that are noted in studies are real or not. I take this along with a greens powder, multi, and fish oil sup so I look at this as a building block of health, not the whole building for sure.

    Value

    8/10

    If you order this from Amazon, the standard price is $23 for 180 softgels which puts it at 12.8 cents per softgel and you're getting just a bit under 1200mg of CLA per. I got this on Amazon's subscribe and save for $19.50 and I've seen it on lightning deals for $17.50. If you can get it at the $17.50, it's almost exactly on par with the highest rated value CLAs rated here on SR. If you wait for the best sales, you can probably beat the value of this product but the difference is going to be negligible and I like the quality that this product seems to bring to the table.

    Side Effects

    None

    Conclusion

    8.2/10

    I've been a fan of CLAs as I don't always respond to thermogenic or high stim fat burners and this helps to get the job done without negative side effects. Since this is a single ingredient supplement, the key here is getting the value and quality in the product. Sports Research's CLA seems to be pretty high quality with the disclosed CLA potency and the price is right around the best value mark compared to others. I'd recommend this product to anyone that's looking for a good CLA, it seems to work well for me.



    Overall
    Overall
    6.8
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    7.1
    Value
    Value
    6.3
      March 26, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Increased Energy
    • Builds Muscle
    • Too Expensive

    Introduction

    Greetings SR! Here's a product that's been around for a good bit and I've gone through several tubs so here's the lowdown on it worked for me.

    Ingredient Profile

    7/10

    Easy-Peasy here, only one ingredient here and its creatine monohydrate. Enough studies are out there that anyone looking for this product should be at least decently well versed in what it does, but the short version is that its a safe supplement that increases exercise performance, usually by helping you to maximize your workout potential to get that last rep or 2 on your sets. My rating of ...

    Introduction

    Greetings SR! Here's a product that's been around for a good bit and I've gone through several tubs so here's the lowdown on it worked for me.

    Ingredient Profile

    7/10

    Easy-Peasy here, only one ingredient here and its creatine monohydrate. Enough studies are out there that anyone looking for this product should be at least decently well versed in what it does, but the short version is that its a safe supplement that increases exercise performance, usually by helping you to maximize your workout potential to get that last rep or 2 on your sets. My rating of 7 here is based on the lack of purity information on this particular product. The most recognized form of monohydrate is "Creapure" that is supposed to be 99.99% pure and this is not that but regular creatine monohydate (of an unknown purity)

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    8/10

    There is no flavor to speak of with this product and it has the consistency of a very fine powder. To help visualize, its finer than sand but not as fine as chalk. Mixibility is good, while I usually put this in with another product (my pre workout or my morning BCAAs on non workout days), I have also mixed it on its own. It shakes up pretty easily with 8-10oz of water in a blender bottle even without the whisk ball in about 5-10 seconds and forms a cloudy water. If drank quickly, I don't have any residue while it will settle after a few minutes and requires a quick reshake. The dosing is standard, a 5g dose.

    Effectiveness

    7.1/10

    Rating the effectiveness of an individual creatine is hard as this is not the only item ever in my stack. I believe the research that its working and getting me that extra rep on my sets but since i can't really compare explicitly, I can't say that with sureity. I don't notice a difference between this creatine and other monos that I have had before.

    Value

    6.3/10

    Retail on this product is $15 for 500g at BB.com though it usually comes with a deal like most products from RSP that I've seen. The best deal I usually see on this product is from them as well and it gets you 2x 500g tubs for $20 which comes out to just about 10 cents a serving. That's a fairly decent price but other companies have at least matched it or beaten it for regular creatine. I also docked a point from RSP on the way they made their container for this product. The tub has a lip on it that makes it both hard to get level scoops and very hard to get to the bottom of the container and get at the last 20% of the powder. With this fine of a powder, I've probably lost several dosings of it on each tub.

    Side Effects

    I'm still a fan of the old school loading technique with mono and during the loading, my body doesn't really handle this great. I don't blame RSP for this but something of an issue for monos with me.

    Conclusion

    6.8

    Firstly, the reason I have used several tubs is that they were either free or essentially free with other orders from BB.com. For me this product is near the middle of "Solid Product" and "Ok, but will try something else next time" as its a little bit of both. Its a completely baseline monohydrate with nothing really wrong with it, I wouldn't buy it at the retail price or even at most of the deal prices. I have a concern with the purity of the product since RSP doesn't give me any info on it and while I don't have any reason to suspect its lower than the standard, I'd rather use one that I can find is either Creapure or at least has test results (from labdoor.com or similar).


    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to Beast Sports Nutrition for sending it out!
    (Show run details )
      March 22, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Reduced Soreness
    • Great Taste
    • Aided Weight Loss
    • Disclosed Active Ingredients
    • Mixes Easily
    • Low Dosed Active Ingredient
    • Too Expensive

    Intro

    Greetings SR! First and foremost, a shout-out and thanks to Beast Sports Nutrition for their participation in the TROOPs program that brings you this review today. This review is for Beast's BCAA Ripped BLACK which is, as you guessed it, a BCAA powder that has a few extras in it. Beast Sports is a new company supplement company for me try so let's roll through my thoughts on this product after running through a tub of it.

    Ingredient Profile

    8/10

    L-Leucine - 2.5g
    L-Isoleucine - 1.25g
    L-Valine - 1.25g
    Medium Chain Triglycerides (as MctSMART) - 3g
    Conjugated Linoleic...

    Intro

    Greetings SR! First and foremost, a shout-out and thanks to Beast Sports Nutrition for their participation in the TROOPs program that brings you this review today. This review is for Beast's BCAA Ripped BLACK which is, as you guessed it, a BCAA powder that has a few extras in it. Beast Sports is a new company supplement company for me try so let's roll through my thoughts on this product after running through a tub of it.

    Ingredient Profile

    8/10

    L-Leucine - 2.5g
    L-Isoleucine - 1.25g
    L-Valine - 1.25g
    Medium Chain Triglycerides (as MctSMART) - 3g
    Conjugated Linoleic Acid - 250mg

    Other Ingredients:
    Natural Flavor
    Sucralose
    Silicon Dioxide
    Xanthan Gum
    Ace-K

    The BCAA portion of this product is pretty much you're going to see from most other BCAA products. Namely, the standard 2:1:1 ration of the big 3 and a total of 5g. What is supposed to set Ripped apart is the inclusion of MCTs and CLA.

    MCTs: Since these are medium chain triglycerides (as opposed to long chain) they are absorbed faster in the body and converted to energy quicker. The effect of this is supposed to be a production of ketones that make the body burn off stored body fat, hence resulting in fat loss. From all the data I can gather, this is still a pretty vague claim and more research needs to be done to prove it definitively as the relationship might not be causal and much of the research that has been done focused on their use on obese persons, not athletes.

    CLA: Its good for you. No seriously, it is. Lots of studies show that it has good effects on fat loss and the metabolism. Additionally, it has other benefits like antioxidants and maybe even anti-carcinogenic properties. Oh yeah, and no real side effects, it's a good thing to have. Wish there was more.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    7/10

    I asked for the Coco Cream flavor and that's what I received. It's good, you don't get coconut that often in many sups and this one is pretty strong. It started out a bit jarring as I get much more coconut than cream in here. After the first few days, it became my favorite thing to drink as I am pretty tired of the regular fruit punch, vanilla, and chocolate most sups are flavored with.

    Mixability is pretty good, just a few quick shakes in a bottle (doesn't even need a blender bottle) and you're good to go. No complaints here.

    Dosing on this product, sadly, isn't the strong suit. The BCAAs are pretty well dosed at the 5g level and the MCT dosage isn't too well defined on what's effective, I'd like to have seen CLA dosed higher. Most of the studies that I have seen that show the benefits are dosages of over 3g a day. Most CLA supplements sold recommend the same dosage. In fact, if you look at Beast's 1250 CLA, here are their statements on CLA:

    SUGGESTED USE - TAKE ONE SOFT GEL 3-4 TIMES PER DAY WITH A HIGH PROTEIN MEAL.
    KEY EFFICACIOUS DOSE: 3000 - 4000MG OF CLA PER DAY

    At only 250mg in a scoop of this product, I would have liked to see significantly more. I appreciate the insertion into the sup as a whole, but it's really more of an add-on than a primary ingredient for effect.

    Effectiveness

    8/10

    I took this product two ways, firstly as an intra-workout sup and then in the mornings before fasted cardio.

    The effectiveness of BCAAs is always a little bit in the eye of the beholder but I think it did its job as an intra workout powder well enough. I typically take 7g of BCAAs in my intra but this effect was about the same (I'm working to cut now not bulk so my lifts haven't been huge in any case). I didn't really notice much of an effect of either the MCTs or the CLAs to be honest.

    As a sup before fasted cardio, I think this product shines brighter. The BCAA dosage kept me out of a catabolic state and I think I saw some effect from the MCTs and CLA. In the weeks I used it like this, I didn't feel like I was losing any strength on my lifting days and my weight drop moved along like I hoped it would. It definitely wasn't only this product, but I think the MCTs did do what they were supposed to do and help me burn off some of my bodyfat and provide some energy during the longer runs. For comparison, the roughly 20 days I ran this I lost 5lbs of total weight compared to 3lbs on the same workout plan in the previous 3 weeks. Again, that's a very small sample size so I can't credit that all on this product but it did seem to have a noticeable effect

    My guess is that since I had carbs to burn going into my lifting sessions, my body still wanted to burn them off but with fasted cardio, the effect was more pronounced, hard to say for sure but that's my guesswork.

    Value

    7.3/10

    Best i can find this is $23 for a 20 serving container which is about $1.15 a serving. For comparison, Beast has their 2:1:1 BCAA tubs (with a few vitamins thrown in) for $22.50 and its a 30 serving container which is about 75 cents a serving. The question is whether the CLA and MCT inclusion is worth about 60 cents a serving.

    For the CLA, almost certainly not as Beast's own CLA softgels are 20 cents a pop for 4x as much CLA and you'd need significantly more than what's in Beast Black Ripped to see the effects.

    The inclusion of the MCT powder is a little more intriguing. This additive seems all over the map when you look for it on Amazon.com or Bodybuilding.com but I found a few that come in well under the ~35 cents you are paying to get 3g of it, the cheapest got me 6g for that price.

    Like most combo sups, if you are willing to buy ingredients separately and mix yourself, you can beat the per serving price. For myself, this product has made me more of a believer in the value of MCTs and I like getting them in a convenient BCAA powder plus the pretty fantastic coconut taste. Since this is a newer product, I haven't seen any sales yet. Its an ok, but not great, value at the retail price so I might get some more of this product again regardless, but I'll be keeping my eyes out for deals to start showing up.

    Side Effects

    None, easy to drink, easy on the body.

    Conclusion

    7.5

    So is BCAA Black Ripped the must have supplement for 2018?! Probably not...but it is a solid sup with a functional dose of BCAAs and the added extra of MCTs and a touch of CLA. I like what Beast did here with this, they kept out most other additives that make BCAA powders into pseudo pre or intra workout sups and kept it fairly simple. The MCT powder and CLA should slide into pretty much everyone's stack if they value those ingredients. Im a believer and I'll be looking at this in the future when on a cut and doing fasted cardio and would recommend it for that use.


      March 19, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Cheap
    • Consistent
    • Good Value
    • No Sleep Hangover

      Intro

      Greetings SR! I've got a review of Z-Elite for you here today and its the sleep supplement that I've been playing with for quite a while. I'm stim'd up from caffeine and pre-workout additions much of they day so getting a good nights sleep in is tough for me much of the time, sleep sups are a must for me. ZMAs and Melatonin are two of the most common sleep aids so throwing them into the single go is an interesting idea. Anyway, here we go with seeing how Z-Elite stacks up.

      Ingredient Profile

      8/10

      Active Ingredients:
      Vitamin D3 - 10mcg
      Vitamin B6 - 12mg
      Zinc - 3...

      Intro

      Greetings SR! I've got a review of Z-Elite for you here today and its the sleep supplement that I've been playing with for quite a while. I'm stim'd up from caffeine and pre-workout additions much of they day so getting a good nights sleep in is tough for me much of the time, sleep sups are a must for me. ZMAs and Melatonin are two of the most common sleep aids so throwing them into the single go is an interesting idea. Anyway, here we go with seeing how Z-Elite stacks up.

      Ingredient Profile

      8/10

      Active Ingredients:
      Vitamin D3 - 10mcg
      Vitamin B6 - 12mg
      Zinc - 35mg
      Magnesium - 425mg
      Melatonin - 3mg

      Other Ingredients:
      Gelatin
      Magnesium Stearate
      Silicon Dioxide

      Alright, to start out with, we have the big three that form up the ZMA portion of this sleep supplement. Starting out with the Zinc, we're just a bit past the recommended dosage of 30mg. The magnesium is a hair under the recommended 450mg and the B6 is just over the recommended 10-11mg that I have seen in most others. With these dosages, I'm on board with where they are at as they look right where they need to be. The D3 is way lower than required for an effective dose. I'm with Clippy on this one, I don't mind that it's there as I'm not taking it for the D (Hah!).

      Finally we have the Melatonin dosed at a solid 3mg. For anyone that isn't too familiar with Melatonin, here's the quick primer from examine.com and webmd.com. Basically, it's sleep hormone your body makes on its own but can be affected by how much light you have right before bed. It's highly dependent person to person on how much Melatonin your body likes to produce to get you to sleep, usually between .5mg and 5mg. It's also is non addictive since your body produces it on its own anyway. Additionally, there is research into its antioxidant properties and even anti-cancer properties in supplements. One thing to note is taking more will not help you fall asleep faster so finding the dosage for you is important. At 3mg in here, this dosage is right in the middle of what it should take to have an effect.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      8/10

      Its 3 pills at a time so nothing really to say about the taste or mixability. The dosage is pretty simple, take your 3 pills half an hour to an hour before bed, on an empty stomach.

      Effectiveness

      8/10

      Only one real way to judge the effectiveness of a sleep supplement, how'd you sleep? Well, this sup is effective without being too effective. What I mean about that is that this product did help me to get to sleep and stay asleep better than if I didn't take it. I'll credit the melatonin to help me get to sleep and the rest of the ZMA part to help me sleep better. That's all that I asked of it and that's exactly what I got from it.

      When I say I don't want it to be too effective, I mean that there are times that I have to get up in the middle of the night as I have a 2.5 year old and a 2 month old. Its pretty much a foregone conclusion that I'll be up at least once. Z-Elite didn't knock me out so hard that I was horribly cursed with a sleep hangover. I was still able to get up and function pretty much as well as when I wasn't taking this supplement, so no ill effects even 4 hours in at 2am, I'm calling that a win.

      Value

      9/10

      Honestly, I feel this supplement is a steal, especially with how often its on sale at bodybuilding.com. As of when I'm writing this, you can get 180 caps (60 servings) for $18 and they are running a BOGO free sale. That's how I bought mine as well so you're looking at 15 cents a serving for this. At that price, I think this product has tremendous value and its become my go to for sleep supplements. Amazon runs it for $17.50 and will offer it on subscribe and save for those that use that feature to get it down to just under $15.

      Side Effects

      None, I didn't have any sleep hangovers, weird dreams. That being said, different people handle ZMA and Melatonin differently so YMMV.

      Conclusion

      8.2

      For the price, this might be one of the most useful supplements that I take. Trying to get my body calmed down from a long day of running numerous stims from coffee and pre-workout, not to mention normal stress, is difficult and this does a great job to get me to sleep any allow my body to do its normal recovery thing. I'll be the first to say that this isn't the most powerful sleep supplement out there and that's okay with me. I've taken prescription ones before like Ambien and Restoril and those knocked me out cold, but god help me if i had to wake up before I got my 8 hours. I appreciate that Z-Elite is in a lighter class than those beasts and don't negatively affect me when I'm up in the middle of the night.

      If 3mg of Melatonin is an effective dose for you and you need something to help you sleep but doesn't knock you out cold, this is one of the better options and the price point makes it a great value.


        March 17, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Good Protein Content
      • Too Expensive

      Introduction

      Greetings SR! I've been a customer of products from Optimum Nutrition for a long while as they are one of the biggest names out there and their Whey and Oats product was one that I hadn't had before, so when i caught it on sale, I was all about trying it out as the profile looked pretty interesting and I haven't had too many meal-replacement shakes. Big thing to note here is that ON didn't make it easy for us here as there is another product, Oats and Whey, from them as well. While both have both whey and oats, they are not the same product and the profiles are diffe...

      Introduction

      Greetings SR! I've been a customer of products from Optimum Nutrition for a long while as they are one of the biggest names out there and their Whey and Oats product was one that I hadn't had before, so when i caught it on sale, I was all about trying it out as the profile looked pretty interesting and I haven't had too many meal-replacement shakes. Big thing to note here is that ON didn't make it easy for us here as there is another product, Oats and Whey, from them as well. While both have both whey and oats, they are not the same product and the profiles are different. With that out of the way, here we go!

      Ingredient Profile

      8/10
      Nutrition Facts (50g scoop):
      Calories 190
      Total Fat 2.5g
      Sat Fat 1g
      Cholesterol 40mg
      Sodium 280mg
      Potassium 240mg
      Total Carb 16g
      Fiber 4g
      Sugars 2g
      Protein 27g

      Ingredients:
      Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate)
      Whole Oat Flour
      Oat Bran
      Salt
      Lecithin
      Freeze Dried Blueberries
      Natural Flavor
      Cellulose Gum
      Guar Gum
      Sucralose

      Profile is pretty simple for what amounts to a fairly light meal-replacement shake. The 27g of protein is a combo of isolate and concentrate and accounts for over half of the scoop. The carb content is about 2/3 of the protein and account for most of the rest of the scoop. I like that there is only 2g of sugar in here and we do get a few grams of fiber as well. The oat flour and oat bran are slow digesting carbs and for this type of shake I like that. Blueberries are pretty far down the list and I'll get to the effect of that in just a sec. My only compliant really is that I'd like the carb content to be a little higher than it is, like 1:1 ratio. This would make it more of a sustained energy MRP.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      8/10
      Taste for this product from ON was good, but definitely on the lighter side of blueberry. That's not to say it's not pleasant, but I found myself wanting more flavor after the first few shakes as you almost have to hunt for the blueberry flavor. For mixability, it was pretty much exactly what you expect from the ingredients, the protein mixes up well but with the oat flour, oat bran, and small specs of blueberry, there is going to be a slightly grainy texture no matter how much you shake it up. It's not enough to make it hard to drink, but something to note.

      At only 190 calories per scoop (which is the serving size) this isn't going to replace any of your big meals of the day. ON recommends "For a convenient breakfast-time shake, just add a scoop of WHEY & OATS to a glass or shaker cup filled with 6-8 fl oz of cold water or your favorite beverage. Then stir or shake for 20-30 seconds or until powder is dissolved." For those of us that don't eat huge body building breakfasts, this quick shake on my way out door in the morning is perfect to get me through the first few hours until I have something more solid.

      Effectiveness

      8/10
      Its whey protein and oats, pretty much exactly what you would expect from a product that is titled whey and oats. While I would prefer another 10-20 complex carbs in here to make this a more filling breakfast shake, its does its job of getting me through the first few hours of the day with some carbs for energy and some protein to feed my muscles and continue recovery.

      Value

      6.6/10
      I've only found this product in the 1.54 lb tub which will give you only 14 servings. The standard price for this products seems to be between $20-$22 so you're playing right around $1.50 a serving. At that price, I think there is some value missing from this product and I would be more likely to just throw some oat flour into my normal protein shake. I have seen this on sale for 2/$34 or, like me, you might be lucky enough to find it on sale for half price randomly at GNC and then the value gets a little better. Purchasing this really comes down to how much you value convenience over the lowest possible price.

      Side Effects

      None noticed, I had no gas or other GI issues with this product, although I usually handle most proteins pretty well.

      Conclusion

      7.4/10
      This is a decently tasty product from ON that fills a niche for me in the mornings and has a little more than just protein. The carbs from the oat flour are a good source of energy, although I do wish there were more of them in here. I think overall this product has a few legit gripes against it that keep it from being a great value as a meal-replacement shake, but if you can get it at a sale price or value time and convenience over straight cost, it can be worth your money.



      Overall
      Overall
      6.8
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      6.0
      Value
      Value
      7.0
        March 11, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Tastes Great
      • Good Value
      • Low Protein
      • High In Sugar

      Introduction

      Greetings SR! If you've seen my other reviews, I'm a guy that loves protein bars as a whole, there's just something infinitely more satisfying for me to bite into a bar instead of just chugging a shake to get my protein and they make a great change of pace. Also, I've got a heck of a sweet tooth. Here is my review of the ubiquitous Zone Perfect bars that are in just about every grocery store I've ever been in. I didn't see a review of these more current than 2012 so here is my experience with them as I've had several boxes.

      Ingredient Profile

      5/10

      Nutriti...

      Introduction

      Greetings SR! If you've seen my other reviews, I'm a guy that loves protein bars as a whole, there's just something infinitely more satisfying for me to bite into a bar instead of just chugging a shake to get my protein and they make a great change of pace. Also, I've got a heck of a sweet tooth. Here is my review of the ubiquitous Zone Perfect bars that are in just about every grocery store I've ever been in. I didn't see a review of these more current than 2012 so here is my experience with them as I've had several boxes.

      Ingredient Profile

      5/10

      Nutrition Facts:
      Calories 190
      Calories from Fat 50
      Total Fat 6g
      Sat Fat 5g
      Cholesterol <5mg
      Sodium 210mg
      Potassium 160mg
      Total Carb 22g
      Fiber 1g
      Sugars 14g
      Protein 12g

      Ingredients:
      Soy Protein Nuggets (Isolated Soy Protein, Cocoa [Processed with Alkali], Tapioca Starch, Salt)
      Chocolate Layer (Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Invert Sugar, Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa [Processed with Alkali], Milk Protein Isolate, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract, Gum Arabic, Xanthan Gum, Carob Seed Gum)
      Chocolate Flavored Coating (Sugar, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Powder [Processed with Alkali], Soy Lecithin, Nonfat Milk Powder, Vanilla)
      Corn Syrup
      Soy Protein Isolate
      Chocolate Drops (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla) Fructose Syrup
      Chocolate Liquor
      Cocoa (Processed with Alkali)
      (Bunch of stuff less than 2%)

      I'll be upfront here, compared to a "true" protein bar, the profile in here is pretty poor. Firstly, if you are looking for a protein bar, the 12g here is pretty weak compared to the calorie content. For comparison, Quest bars, King Whey, Combat Crunch, and many others usually have 20g in a calorie content that is similar. Additionally, the sugar content here is high at 14g. This checks with the ingredient list which shows fructose syrup, tapioca starch, sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar. For comparison, if you eat 2 full size Reese's peanut butter cups, you're looking at 21g (most candy bars are at 40+). Finally, a concern of this product is that a lot of the protein looks to come from soy. This might be a concern for some people who would prefer all whey or milk protein.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      9/10

      If you like sweet and sugary, this is zone "Perfect" for you! At the amount of sugar in here, it makes sense these would taste good. The double chocolate is very good and not that dissimilar in flavor to a dark chocolate candy bar, though with a different texture. The size of the bars is just about right. At about 45g, these are filling enough for a snack without being large. The sugar content does cause a problem with its high GI carbs though.

      Effectiveness

      6/10

      As a protein bar or nutritional supplement, not so effective. When you have more sugar than protein in a bar, it's hard to call it a protein bar. This bar's composition just isn't strong enough for it to meet my macro goals or work to hold me off until a meal as the sugar carbs just spike me being hungry pretty quickly. The most effective way for me to eat these was post workout and then I would have one of these with a whey protein shake. Then I would get some use out of the carbs but with a more proper amount of protein (25g in the shake). This was far more effective way to use these.

      The other way to look at these bars, instead of as a protein bar, is a much more healthy candy bar. From that aspect, this bar does meet the mark. There are times that frankly, I just want something sweet and the choice came down between one of these and something more akin to Hershey bar.

      Value

      7/10
      Since you can find them pretty much anywhere, the price can vary. I usually see these on sale about every third week, for 1 buck a bar ($5 for 5 commonly). The regular prices usually seem to be closer to between $1.20 and $1.40. Also, I have seen 12 packs online for as low as $10 but not nearly as often. At those prices, the bars are a pretty good value as long as they meet your needs in the first place.

      Side Effects

      None Noticed

      Conclusion

      6.8/10

      As a protein bar or a nutritional supplement, this bar is very much lacking. The sugar content is too high for 2 low of a protein content. I look at a protein bar as a tastier alternative to a protein shake. I'm not a competitive weight lifter so a little extra carbs or fats can be okay for me as my macros are not overly strict. Even with that in mind, the macros here are way out of line. To get the equivalent of a single shake, I would need to eat 2 of these and get 380 calories with 28g of sugar, that's not going to work. I still think there is a place for a product like this, namely a healthy option in what otherwise is straight junk food, but its a product, I would recommend only for that purpose.




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