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pionkej

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REVIEWS (6)

Reviews by pionkej



  July 12, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Great Taste
  • Good Combo Of Proteins
  • Great Profile
  • Can Clump

Introduction

The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

THREE IMPORTANT NOTES

1.) I like protein blends. While there is some evidence blends perform marginally better in protein synthesis than whey or casein alone, you won't see my decision driven by the "effectiveness".

Whey tends to be runny when mixed with water. Casein tends to be thick when mixed with milk. I mix my protein with different ...

Introduction

The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

THREE IMPORTANT NOTES

1.) I like protein blends. While there is some evidence blends perform marginally better in protein synthesis than whey or casein alone, you won't see my decision driven by the "effectiveness".

Whey tends to be runny when mixed with water. Casein tends to be thick when mixed with milk. I mix my protein with different liquids and so I migrate towards protein blends. Like goldilocks, for me they're "juuuuuust right". Simple as that.

2.) Artificial sweeteners and fillers don't bother me. So long as the company doesn't appear to be "amino spiking", I don't let the ingredient profile influence my decision too much. My summary of the ingredient profile will only focus on protein per serving and the blend used.

3.) I typically ONLY purchase vanilla protein because I use it for:

-Breakfast shake with cold brew coffee and milk -or- OJ and kefir.
-PWO shake with Gatorade or Mio (typically orange or grape) to make a "creamsicle" flavor.
-Bedtime shake with sugar free pudding.

Ingredient Profile

Protein: 24g

Protein blend:

Milk Protein Isolate--Milk Protein is 80/20 casein to whey.
Whey Protein Concentrate 80%--Whey Protein Concentrate can have an actual protein content as low as 55%. That's typically what you see on less expensive powders. WPC 80 is the quality stuff.
Leucine Peptides--Leucine is the amino acid shown to primarily improve protein synthesis and casein doesn't have as much (which is why I think they've added it here).

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste: 10 out of 10! 4-stars! 100%! Whatever you use for ranking, this "cream of the crop". Hands down the taste is brilliant. There are little pieces of vanilla bean in the powder (I don't know if that's the secret to the flavor or just placebo, but it doesn't matter, I love this stuff). Smell of this powder is also great. Not as important as taste, but it can play a factor in perceived flavor, so I make note of it when I can.

Mixability: Good but not perfect. If there is any ding on scoring this powder, it's the initial mixability. The powder is "lighter" and takes a bit of extra effort to get it blended. However, once it's blended it does have a great consistency that isn't too thick, too thin, and is without much foam.

Dosing: 24g protein per 32.5g scoop of powder. Flavoring usually improves with some fats/carbs added. PES nailed it without adding much. This is a great protein to total powder ratio.

Effectiveness

Protein is one of three main macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, fat). Whole foods is the preferable source, but depending on your diet, it may be difficult to hit macro goals without supplementing. Protein powder has proven to be an effective supplement for achieving macro-nutrient goals.

Some powders contain more calories, fat and/or carbs than other powders, but so long as the supplement works within your nutrition goals, "effectiveness" should be roughly the same. My ranking is based on Taste/Mixability/Dosing. If budget is unlimited, I'll always buy my highest ranking protein. If budget is limited (which is usually is), cost/value will also factor into my purchase decision.

Value

Typical Cost: $49.99 for 55 servings ($0.91/serving).

Value is relative. Based on the Taste/Mixability/Dosing, I feel you get a top notch product for the price you pay. However, my personal budget puts an "ideal cost" of blended protein around $0.60-$0.75 per serving. PES is above this amount. I don't find it on sale often (probably because they don't need to), but if I can find PES for 20-25% off, I make the purchase because it's my favorite.

Side Effects

None.

Since this product uses both milk protein and whey protein concentrate, it contains lactose. In some people lactose causes gas. If you are lactose sensitive I recommend you look for whey protein isolate.

Conclusion

This is my #1 protein. The slight issues I have with initial mixability can't knock it from my top spot. The flavor is just THAT good.

Personal Protein Rank:

-PES Select
-USPlabs Modern Protein
-TrueNutrition (custom blend 40% wpc, 50% milk protein, 10% casein)
-Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey+Casein (manually blended)*
-Muscle Pharm Combat
-BSN Syntha 6
-My Protein Impact Whey+Milk Protein Smooth (manually blended)

*This is my benchmark. Items ranked below this point I don't plan to purchase again. Items at/above my benchmark are purchased based on rank and funds available at time of purchase.


  June 18, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Amazing Energy
  • Intense Focus
  • Excellent Endurance
  • Clinically Dosed
  • Fully Transparent
  • Bad Taste

Introduction

The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

Stats at time of use: 5-10, 180lbs, 15% BF

Routine at time of use: 4-day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), upper (hypertrophy), lower (hypertrophy)

Ingredient Profile

Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*
L-Citrulline: 4g (Pump)
Beta Alanine: 3.2g (Endurance/Tingling sensation)
Hydromax: 2g (Pump)
Taurin...

Introduction

The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

Stats at time of use: 5-10, 180lbs, 15% BF

Routine at time of use: 4-day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), upper (hypertrophy), lower (hypertrophy)

Ingredient Profile

Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*
L-Citrulline: 4g (Pump)
Beta Alanine: 3.2g (Endurance/Tingling sensation)
Hydromax: 2g (Pump)
Taurine: 1g (Pump)
Agmatine: 1g (Pump)
NALT: 500mg (Endurance)
Eria Jarensis: 250mg (Focus)
Caffeine: 200mg (Energy)
DMHA: 200mg (Energy/Focus)
L-Norvaline: 100mg (Pump)
Niacin: 30mg (Flush sensation)
Vitamin B12: 1mg (Focus)

All dosages appear to be at or above the range where they provide performance enhancement (i.e. no "pixie dusting" the label). The only ingredient that hasn't been shown to provide appreciable performance enhancement is Niacin. Many PWO's include niacin because of the sensation it provides (much like beta alanine tingles), and this is because many PWO users want to FEEL that their supplement is working. I don't dismiss any products containing niacin, but it's not a selling point for me either.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Flavor: Sex on the Beach

Taste: Not great and was the only part I really didn't care for with this supplement. The actual taste is a bit hard to describe. It wasn't a bitter or sour flavor (like I find with many PWO), but it seemed very concentrated. When I made my purchase, SOTB was the only flavor available. I have read that the other flavors are much better tasting.

Mixability: Good but not perfect. I had a little foaming and a minor amount of settling when using the amount recommended on the label.
Dosing: Label recommends mixing with 8-10oz of water. I found mixing with as little water as possible (4oz) and taking it like a shot minimized foaming. Mixing it with around 16oz of water and sipping it worked best for flavor and also had reduced foaming.

Effectiveness

Energy/Strength: 4.5/5

My energy on this supplement was good. At 200mg caffeine it's not the strongest I've had, but I still feel it kick in. I find a lot of PWO's jump straight to the 300mg level which is too much for those who are stim sensitive. To me caffeine is the easiest factor to augment because for $5 or so you can buy 100 caps of 200mg. You want 300mg here? Take PWO and a half cap. Want 400mg???? Two PWO and one cap.

Focus/Mood: 5/5 (Perfection)

Two wordslaser focus. I mean, I go into the gym, put on headphones, and everything but becomes a blur except me and task at hand. I attribute this attribute to the hefty doses of Eria Jarensis and DMHA and I absolutely love it!

Endurance: 4/5

There aren't a lot of ingredients in here specifically targeting endurance, but this is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In short, I was able to go strong for my whole lifting sessions and never saw performance drop off (either across sets or as I got further into the overall routine).

Pump/Vascularity: 4/5

As I get more into using pump products, I find some make your muscles feel fuller and some make your muscles feel so full its uncomfortable/painful (I'm assuming that's the "Skin splitting" in PWO advertising). I'd say Kraken gets you into "skin splitting" territory without having to cut your workout short from being uncomfortable. For me, that type of pump was perfect.

Value

Cost at time of purchase: $30.00 ($1.50/serving)

I've found most PWO's that are actually effective land between $1 and $2 per serving. This is the most effective PWO I've ever purchased and it falls right in the middle. While the cost isn't low, I feel the value is high.

Side Effects

Jittery/nervousness: None
GI: None
Crash: None
Tolerance buildup: None*

*Possible in my opinion with prolonged use or if using more than 4x a week.*

Conclusion

I loved everything about this PWO except the taste. I definitely plan to buy again and I will try one of the newer flavor options if I do.

Personal PWO Rank:

-Sparta Nutrition-Kraken
-Vein Nutrition-Rupture
-Giant Sport-Giant Pump + Giant Rush
-Innovapharm-Limitless
-Performax Labs-Hypermax XT
-Benchmark*
-Jacked Factory-Altius
*Benchmark is my homemade PWO: ECA stack + creatine, beta alanine, vanilla protein, orange gatorade


  June 17, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Taste
  • Increased Energy
  • Too Much Focus

Introduction

The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

Stats at time of use: 5-10, 185lbs, 16% BF

Routine at time of use: 5 day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), push (hypertrophy), legs (hypertrophy), pull (hypertrophy)

Ingredient Profile

Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*

Citrulline Malate: 4g (Pump)
Agmatine: 1g (Pump)
NALT: * (Pump)
Beta Alanine: * (...

Introduction

The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

Stats at time of use: 5-10, 185lbs, 16% BF

Routine at time of use: 5 day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), push (hypertrophy), legs (hypertrophy), pull (hypertrophy)

Ingredient Profile

Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*

Citrulline Malate: 4g (Pump)
Agmatine: 1g (Pump)
NALT: * (Pump)
Beta Alanine: * (Endurance)
Caffeine: * (Energy)
DMHA: * (Energy)
CDP-Choline: * (Focus)
Phenylpiracetam: * (Focus)

*All of these ingredients are part of a proprietary blend. Total dose of all ingredients is 1.9g

The prop blend makes it impossible to say that everything is clinically dosed. However, comparing the cost, performance, and ingredients used it doesn't appear this is a case of "pixie dusting" as a money grab.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Flavor: Cotton Candy

Taste: Taste was quite good, but reminded me more of a tropical punch than cotton candy. Smell was just like cotton candy though.

Mixability: Very good mixability. A slight bit of foaming and no clumps or settling.

Dosing: Label recommends mixing with 8-10oz of water. I found mixing 10oz worked best. 8oz was a bit too tart. More than 10oz tasted watered down and lost the flavor.

Effectiveness

Energy/Strength: 4/5

My energy on this supplement was good. I don't know the actual amount of energy-based ingredients because the prop blend. But performance was good.

Focus/Mood: 2.5/5

I had a hard time scoring this part. Phenylpiracetam is a nootropic, can greatly enhance focus, and I'd imagine it's a large reason this PWO is named Limitless (think Bradley Cooper movie). For me, it actually worked too well. I praised Kraken because its ingredient profile gave me "tunnel vision". The only way I can describe Limitless is I become "hyper aware". It provides an excellent mind-muscle connection, but small things going on inside the gym also catch my attention and distract me.

I don't personally care for the focus of this product because of the "side effects". However, I also think my comments aren't something that shouldn't keep you from trying it. Nootropics seem to be highly individual and others may have MUCH better experiences than I did.

Endurance: 3.5/5

Not a lot of ingredients targeting endurance. I never noticed my performance dropping while lifting, but I never felt a significant boost in performance either.

Pump/Vascularity: (4/5)

As I get more into using pump products, I find some make your muscles feel fuller and some make your muscles feel so full its uncomfortable/painful (I'm assuming that's the "Skin splitting" in PWO advertising). Limitless gave me the former full feeling. Workouts with this PWO were never painful. Some people like the pain. I personally prefer to get right to the edge of uncomfortable and here I got close without going over.

Value

Cost at time of purchase: $42.99 ($1.43)*

*I bought this with a 40% off discount being applied so my cost was less than going rate listed above.

I've found most PWO's that are actually effective land between $1 and $2 per serving. This falls right in the middle. While the cost isn't low, I feel the value solid.

Side Effects

Jittery/nervousness: None
GI: None
Crash: None
Tolerance buildup: None*

* You WILL develop a tolerance with phenylpiracetam. I never took this more than twice a week to avoid developing one.

Conclusion

Sparta Nutrition's Kraken is my current benchmark. Limitless is very good but it is not my favorite. This could have been my favorite had I responded better to the focus ingredients. I've already mentioned nootropics are individualistic and so I do encourage people on the fence to try this if you haven't yet. It has the potential to be a game changer for people.

Personal PWO Rank:

-Sparta Nutrition-Kraken
-Vein Nutrition-Rupture
-Giant Sport-Giant Pump + Giant Rush
-Innovapharm-Limitless
-Performax Labs-Hypermax XT
-Benchmark*
-Jacked Factory-Altius
*Benchmark is my homemade PWO: ECA stack + creatine, beta alanine, vanilla protein, orange gatorade



Overall
Overall
8.2
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
9.0
  June 17, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Simple Profile
  • Clean And Consistent Energy
  • Good Focus
  • Solid Value

    Introduction

    The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

    Stats at time of use: 5-10, 185lbs, 16% BF

    Routine at time of use: 5 day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), push (hypertrophy), legs (hypertrophy), pull (hypertrophy)

    Ingredient Profile

    Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*

    Caffeine: 200mg (Energy)
    DMHA: 125mg (Energy/Focus)
    Bai Mudan White Tea: 25mg (??...

    Introduction

    The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

    Stats at time of use: 5-10, 185lbs, 16% BF

    Routine at time of use: 5 day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), push (hypertrophy), legs (hypertrophy), pull (hypertrophy)

    Ingredient Profile

    Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*

    Caffeine: 200mg (Energy)
    DMHA: 125mg (Energy/Focus)
    Bai Mudan White Tea: 25mg (??)

    Pretty simple ingredient mix and in this case simple works. It might have been nice use some slower acting caffeine instead of just anhydrous caffeine (to give the energy "levels"), but that's really nitpicking and would probably drive the cost up.

    I'm honestly not sure what the bai mudan is used for here since there isn't a lot I could find on it related to sports performance. Maybe it enhances the "fat burning" and "appetite control" the label claims?

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    Flavor: Raspberry Rush

    Taste: Taste is good but uninspired. Safe is probably the most appropriate term. It certainly doesn't taste bad, but it's not an exciting or unique flavor either.

    Mixability: Very good mixability. No grit, foam, clumping (if dosed properly).

    Dosing: Label recommends mixing 1-2 scoops with 6-12oz of water. I think they nailed it you do 6oz water per scoop. If you 2 scoop and go 6oz waterprepare for a chalky mouth feel. If you 1 scoop and go 12well its super watered down.

    Effectiveness

    Energy/Strength: 4/5

    Energy is great on this thing, and the scoop size is perfect. You can hit between 100mg-400mg caffeine by adjusting between 0.5-2 scoops. And the 200mg caffeine to 125mg DMHA seems to have perfect balance between energy and focus.

    Focus/Mood: 3.5/5

    I consider DMHA as an energy ingredient, but it does impart a "smoothness" that help take jitters away and allows focus/mood to just flow.

    Endurance: 1/5

    This product is in no way geared towards endurance. But an energy boost can boost duration performance, which is just another word for endurance.

    Pump aspect not evaluated as this is an energy-based product.

    Value

    Cost at time of purchase: $21.00 ($0.35-0.70/serving-depending on 1 or 2 scoops used)

    I've found most PWO's that are actually effective land between $1 and $2 per serving. I typically use 1-1.5 scoops which actually makes it cheaper than the typically effective price range. However, that cost is for an "all-around" performer and this is only giving you energy/focus. You can turn this into an "all-arounder" by adding a pump supplement (which I cover in my conclusion)but the cost will go up. No matter how you slice it, value on this one is great. How great depends on how you want to use it.

    Side Effects

    Jittery/nervousness: None
    GI: None
    Crash: None
    Tolerance buildup: None*

    *Caffeine can have a tolerance build-up. I try and limit my usage to "as needed" and I do cycle off caffeine completely from time to time to reset my tolerances.

    Conclusion

    I really appreciate Giant Sports offering a pump-based pre (Giant Pump) and an energy-based pre (Giant Rush) as two separate items. I don't know if it was coincidence or brilliancebut you can get both in a raspberry flavor. I bought both and I use both. My typical use is Giant Rush on power days for the strength/focus boost, Giant Pump on hypertrophy days for the pump, and I use both together on hypertrophy days where I might be dragging a bit from lack of sleep.

    Personal PWO Rank:

    -Sparta Nutrition-Kraken
    -Vein Nutrition-Rupture
    -Giant Sport-Giant Pump + Giant Rush
    -Innovapharm-Limitless
    -Performax Labs-Hypermax XT
    -Benchmark*
    -Jacked Factory-Altius
    *Benchmark is my homemade PWO: ECA stack + creatine, beta alanine, vanilla protein, orange gatorade



    Overall
    Overall
    8.2
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    8.0
    Value
    Value
    9.0
      June 17, 2017

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Great Pump
    • Swole Effect
    • Vascularity
    • Good Value
    • Great Value

      Introduction

      The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

      Stats at time of use: 5-10, 185lbs, 16% BF

      Routine at time of use: 5 day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), push (hypertrophy), legs (hypertrophy), pull (hypertrophy)

      Ingredient Profile

      Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*

      NO3-T (Gluatmine Nitrate): 800mg (Pump)
      Hydromax (Glycerol Powder): 1500mg (Pump)...

      Introduction

      The goal with my reviews is to use a consistent format that is: to the point, provides context of how I used the product, and references what I'm personally comparing it to (see "Personal Rank" in Conclusion section).

      Stats at time of use: 5-10, 185lbs, 16% BF

      Routine at time of use: 5 day routine of upper (strength), lower (strength), push (hypertrophy), legs (hypertrophy), pull (hypertrophy)

      Ingredient Profile

      Supplement: Dose (Primary Purpose) *Special notes if applicable*

      NO3-T (Gluatmine Nitrate): 800mg (Pump)
      Hydromax (Glycerol Powder): 1500mg (Pump)

      Pretty simple ingredient mix and in this case simple works. It does also include 200mg vitamin C and 10mg sodium, but I'm focusing on the two primary ingredients here.

      Please not that hydromax works by pushing water into the muscles and therefore a third (free) "ingredient" is needed to really make this shinewater. Make sure you're adequately hydrated to always get the most from Hydromax (and taurine, though not relevant in this situation).

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      Flavor: Red Raspberry

      Taste: Taste is good but uninspired. Safe is probably the most appropriate term. It certainly doesn't taste bad, but it's not an exciting or unique flavor either.

      Mixability: Very good mixability. No grit, foam, clumping (if dosed properly).

      Dosing: Label recommends mixing 1-2 scoops with 8-16oz of water. I think they nailed it you do 8oz water per scoop. If you 2 scoop and go 8oz waterprepare for a chalky mouth feel. If you 1 scoop and go 16well it's super watered down.

      Effectiveness

      Endurance: 1/5

      This product is in no way geared towards endurance. But the small amounts of vitamin C and sodium could give a slight endurance boost over nothing at all.

      Pump/Vascularity: 4.5/5

      As I get more into using pump products, I find some make your muscles feel fuller and some make your muscles feel so full its uncomfortable/painful (I'm assuming that's the "Skin splitting" in PWO advertising). I normally like pump products to put me on the edge of uncomfortable and this product nails it! If I have to do 15 repsI feel like I'm gonna explode by 13-14, but it's not so bad I cut the set short. I'm only not giving it a 5 because there <> be something better I've not tried yet.

      Energy and focus aspects not evaluated as this is a pump-based product.

      Value

      Cost at time of purchase: $20.00 ($0.50-$1.00/serving-depending on 1 or 2 scoops used)

      I've found most PWO's that are actually effective land between $1 and $2 per serving. I like to use 1.5 scoops which actually makes it cheaper than the typically effective price range. However, that cost is for an "all-around" performer and this is only giving you pumps. You can turn this into an "all-arounder" by adding energy/focus supplements (which I cover in my conclusion)but the cost will go up. No matter how you slice it, value on this one is great. How great depends on how you want to use it.

      Side Effects

      Jittery/nervousness: None
      GI: None
      Crash: None
      Tolerance buildup: None

      Conclusion

      I really appreciate Giant Sports offering a pump-based pre (Giant Pump) and an energy-based pre (Giant Rush) as two separate items. I don't know if it was coincidence or brilliancebut you can get both in a raspberry flavor. I bought both and I use both. My typical use is Giant Rush on power days for the strength/focus boost, Giant Pump on hypertrophy days for the pump, and I use both together on hypertrophy days where I might be dragging a bit from lack of sleep.

      Personal PWO Rank:

      -Sparta Nutrition-Kraken
      -Vein Nutrition-Rupture
      -Giant Sport-Giant Pump + Giant Rush
      -Innovapharm-Limitless
      -Performax Labs-Hypermax XT
      -Benchmark*
      -Jacked Factory-Altius
      *Benchmark is my homemade PWO: ECA stack + creatine, beta alanine, vanilla protein, orange gatorade


        May 12, 2017

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Increased Energy
      • Clinically Dosed
      • A Bit Expensive
      • Needs Other Flavors
      • Gritty Mouth Feel

      Introduction

      I was searching the internet for unbiased reviews and came across this site. The reviews helped steer me on a few recent purchases, so I thought I'd "pay it forward" and add some reviews myself.

      I've been seriously exercising for about 4 years. The first three years I focused on building a base of "functional strength" and I primarily used a 5x5 lifting program and crossfit style HIIT workouts. I also participated in a number of Spartan races. This year I've incorporated some hypertrophy-oriented routines into my lifting as well. Basically I hit a personal goal...

      Introduction

      I was searching the internet for unbiased reviews and came across this site. The reviews helped steer me on a few recent purchases, so I thought I'd "pay it forward" and add some reviews myself.

      I've been seriously exercising for about 4 years. The first three years I focused on building a base of "functional strength" and I primarily used a 5x5 lifting program and crossfit style HIIT workouts. I also participated in a number of Spartan races. This year I've incorporated some hypertrophy-oriented routines into my lifting as well. Basically I hit a personal goal of deadlifting 405, but felt I still didn't really "look strong", and so decided it was ok to focus on looking strong too!

      Right now I weigh 185-190 and register 15-16% BF. My goal is to run lean bulks and moderate cuts until I can weigh roughly 180-185 at 10-12% BF.

      I've got experience with three or four different PWO's and I'm planning to put up reviews for all of them. I also have tried a bunch of different protein powders, so I'm planning to post reviews for that as well.

      Ingredient Profile

      Ingredient profile is simple but solid. This was the first PWO I ever bought and was using bulk powders before that. I made the purchase because it basically took everything I was already using (and the supplements examine(dot)com recommended) and bundled them into a single premade powder, that was flavored!

      The rundown is:

      Citrulline-Malate: 8g
      Creatine Monohydrate: 3g
      Betaine Anhydrous: 2.5g
      Beta-Alanine: 3.2g
      Alpha-GPC: 150mg
      Caffeine: 325mg
      Methylcobalamin: 500mcg
      Bioperine: 5mgs

      They aren't kidding when they say this uses "clinical doses". Not a single ingredient is "pixie dusted" here...but sadly for me the whole was not as good as the sum of it's parts.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      Taste is fair. They only offer one flavor called Mixed Berry. It's not too sweet or too sour in my opinion. The biggest problem I had was that one of the ingredients (I think it was the caffeine) was coarsely ground, and you'd get these bitter little clumps that get stuck in your mouth. I'd have to kind of bite them and grind them up and then wash them down with water. I've used multiple tubs of Altius and this was present on all the tubs I used.

      One bonus is that this PWO foamed very little and didn't really settle at all compared to some others I've used. Depending if foaming/settling bothers you, this may be a solid selling point.

      Effectiveness

      I'll be honest, I mostly felt the caffeine with this. It was nice, because I knew that component was working. But I never got the "tunnel vision" from just the Alpha-GPC the some other PWO's give me with more focus based profiles. I also didn't get crazy pumps unless I added carbs, which is fine, but kind of surprised me considering the amount of citrulline malate in it.

      Value

      Value is fair. It's not cheap, but it does work. Price on par with some other PWO's I've bought (namely Kraken and Limitless), but I feel both of those were overall better performers. There are lots of other PWO's in this price range that aren't as effectively dosed, so I'm putting Altius in the upper tier for it's overall solid price to performance.

      Side Effects

      I experienced no side effects. I could feel the caffeine but never felt jittery. I workout around 11am and I never felt a crash after using it. No GI or stomach issues either. This is one area where I REALLY appreciate Altius, because I've taken a few PWO's that seemed more effective, but also messed my stomach up...which kind of kills the drive/energy/focus they are supposed to provide in the gym.

      Conclusion

      As I said under the value section, I think Altius is a solid performer in the PWO game. I've found I'm a fan of "exotic stims" like DMHA, Eria Jarensis, etc. But if somebody is just getting in and looking for a caffeine only pre, I think Altius is a great option.




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