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ron

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Reviews by ron




Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to Nutraceutical Innovations for sending it out!)
--------------- Claims -------------------
Extreme Muscle Fullness
Immune System Booster
Enhanced Muscle Growth


--------------- Ingredients--------------
Main ingredient here is 1-lauroyl-glycerol which is also known as Monolaurin or glycerol monolaurate. My initial research on this ingredient was a little confusing because in food it acts as a preservative, but for pharmaceutical uses it has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits. The latter explains the immune system boosting, but nowhere could I find how this could have increased muscle pump benefits. Perhaps it is all in the TetraS...
--------------- Claims -------------------
Extreme Muscle Fullness
Immune System Booster
Enhanced Muscle Growth


--------------- Ingredients--------------
Main ingredient here is 1-lauroyl-glycerol which is also known as Monolaurin or glycerol monolaurate. My initial research on this ingredient was a little confusing because in food it acts as a preservative, but for pharmaceutical uses it has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits. The latter explains the immune system boosting, but nowhere could I find how this could have increased muscle pump benefits. Perhaps it is all in the TetraSorb Delivery system? I seriously doubt it. This gimmicky term merely refers to the capsule casing surrounding the magical mystery ingredients. For many of you, the ingredients mean nothing anyways. The real meat and potatoes is how it performs. For that info, keep reading.....


--------------- Dosage-------------------
Label states to take 3 caps pre-workout which is what I did for about 2 weeks until I went and got myself injured. Being down for a while I started getting those nagging (but necessary) pokes from the SR system asking if I'd finished taking the product yet. Of course I hadn't, but decided to do the right thing and explain the situation to the rep. It was at this time I noticed their message stating I could take up to 5 caps per dose. So, once I was well enough to work out again, I jumped right into the 5 cap dosage and I am so glad I did! More to follow below under "Effectiveness".


--------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
They're easy to swallow TetraSorb capsules (wow, that does sound fancy!) with no harsh chemical burps once your stomach acid bursts them open for digestion.


--------------- Effectiveness -----------
At the recommended dose of 3 caps pre-workout I can say that I absolutely, kind of, well, maybe, noticed some minor pump effect. Ok, I'd like to think I did. We all know how strong the placebo effect can be and that may be the case here. It wasn't until I upped the dose to 5 caps that the pump effect became very noticeable. My normal higher rep workouts proved an obvious increase in vascularity coupled with tight skin as the muscles became engorged with blood. (whoa, did i just slip into a Viagra commercial?) In all seriousness though, I honestly would not be going out on a limb by stating that the pumps I experienced were among the best of any other pump product I've used. And after all the supps i've tried over the years, that is really saying something.

Now as far as the claims of assisting my immune system go, I can say that I didn't get sick while using this product. A second note of particular interest is that I did notice a decrease in needed hay fever allergy medication this season. Far less than any year i can remember since moving to the Las Vegas area. Is this due to the product or my perhaps a light allergy season? I truly can't say.

How about the claims of increased muscle growth? If they are referring to my muscles getting packed with blood during a workout as growth, then absolutely. If they are referring to measurable differences with calipers or a body composition scale, then I say no. My weight and body composition hovered right at 215 lbs and 16% body fat the entire time I was on this product.

However, regardless of discernible immune system boosting or true measurable muscle growth I can honestly say that I enjoyed this product and do miss it now that it's gone.


--------------- Sides --------------------
Harsh bicep pump following workout that may cause physical pain while attempting to get a tooth brush into your mouth or razor to your face.
Seriously, this is the true sign of an effective pump product for me and i welcome it!

--------------- Value --------------------
At the time of this review, a 90 count bottle could be purchased for $26. Not bad for what I consider an unnecessary luxury workout product. Of course the real value here is for the smaller individual that can get away with the minimum 3 cap dose gaining them a full 30 workouts worth of product. For those of us requiring 5+ caps, the term luxury is more of a reality than a desirable necessity.


--------------- Final Words ------------
Now the real question based on label name.
DID THIS PRODUCT PRODUCE PUMPS THAT LASTED A FULL 24 HOURS?
Sadly the answer is no.
OK OK, BUT DID IT LAST 12 HOURS?
Sadly again the answer is no.
As a matter of fact, I did not notice muscle fullness beyond that of any other workout whether taking a pump product or not.

I'm afraid the title is merely a well played gimmick to get you to buy the product and honestly, it's a good ploy. I mean who doesn't want to look like they just got done working out every second of every day? I sure as hell know I would love to! However. regardless of pump duration, i can honestly say that this was a good product that i truly enjoyed and is worthy of your consideration.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Consistent Pump
  • Immune Benefits
  • Increased Vascularity
  • Bigger Users Will Need More Pills
  • Pump Does Not Last Anywhere Near 24 Hours

Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!)
--------------- Claims -------------------
Builds explosiveness, power and strength
Enhances endurance and increases reps
Accelerates performance and recovery
Supercharges mental focus and acuity


--------------- Ingredients--------------
PRE is composed of 18 clinically researched and proven ingredients to cover every aspect of your workout needs. To aid endurance you get L-Citrulline DL-Malate and Canosyn (Beta-Alanine). To help you with strength and recovery there is L-Leucine, Betaine Anhydrous, and two creatines, monohydrate and the big performer HCL. To cover your hydration needs d...
--------------- Claims -------------------
Builds explosiveness, power and strength
Enhances endurance and increases reps
Accelerates performance and recovery
Supercharges mental focus and acuity


--------------- Ingredients--------------
PRE is composed of 18 clinically researched and proven ingredients to cover every aspect of your workout needs. To aid endurance you get L-Citrulline DL-Malate and Canosyn (Beta-Alanine). To help you with strength and recovery there is L-Leucine, Betaine Anhydrous, and two creatines, monohydrate and the big performer HCL. To cover your hydration needs during a workout there is the electrolyte power houses Taurine, Calcium Potassium Phosphate Citrate and Sodium Phosphate. For the much needed energy and focus category you not only get the typical caffeine, but also Infinergy (Di-Caffeine Malate), N-acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Theapure (L-Theanine), N-Methyl Tyramine, Hordenine HCL, and Huperzine A. For your all important "pump" needs there is the tried and true Agmatine Sulfate and Nitrosigine (Insitol Arginine Silicate). Lastly, to make sure all of these components are digested and utilized to their fullest extent you have Bioperine (Nigrum Extract). For much more information on each of these ingredients I highly recommend checking out the NutraBio website. Along with their full disclosure, they explain everything flawlessly.


--------------- Dosage-------------------
NutraBio recommends mixing one heaping scoop of PRE into 12-14 ounces of water and consume 30-45 minutes prior to training. I will add that taking this on an empty stomach had some rather adverse effects for me personally. More on that topic below under "sides".

--------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
This product comes in several flavors: Tropical Fruit Punch, Green Apple, Watermelon and the one I received Raspberry Lemonade. This flavor was quite good, but very tart at the recommended water quantity. It easily and efficiently covered up all traces of the myriad of ingredients that can sometimes taste quite chemical. Mixing was effortless with little foam or grit remaining in the shaker.


--------------- Effectiveness -----------
I know this section is the real meat and potatoes of a review. Unfortunately what follows will be a disappointment for most of you still reading this. This product had very little positive effect for me and I honestly believe it to be because my body rejected it so quickly through my digestive system that I didn't truly get to experience the ingredients as NutraBio designed and therefore the plethora of inferred claims. Even the simple things like the caffeine energy kick and beta alanine tingles were absent. A true shame and a true waste of a quality product on my sorry butt. Literally.


--------------- Sides --------------------
I was truly surprised to experience a workout ending bought of diarrhea each and every time I consumed this product on an empty stomach. On the days I worked out in the evening, the diarrhea was much less severe as I had eaten a solid lunch earlier in the day and in some rare cases I was actually able to finish the workout before spraying the porcelain. Over the past 7 years, this is certainly not the only PWO to do this to me and if I went back and looked at common ingredients amongst the hand full of offenders, I'd probably be able to figure out exactly which ingredient was the culprit. Rest assured, this is currently on my to-do list.


--------------- Value --------------------
A 20 serving tub of PRE can be found on the NutraBio website for $35. As per the norm, NutraBio is much higher in price than most of its competition. However, keep in mind that the ingredients are or the highest quality, fully disclosed and in dosages that exceed not only the minimum effective dose, but also the category average for each ingredient. You are truly getting what you pay for, no matter what you purchase from the NutraBio product line.


--------------- Final Words ------------
I am sad to report that NutraBio failed me with this pre-workout. I believe very strongly in this company, their mission statement and their product line. I can't blame them for the experience I received as I'm pretty sure that I am a rare exception in the workout community. Of course I am going strictly on the string of successful reviews for this product here on Supplement Reviews. It makes me happy to know this product is not a failure for everyone and for those of you reading this, if you haven't tried this product, I hope my experience will not persuade you steer clear of it. It with that in mind that I don't fully degrade this product, but give it mid scale grading across the board.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • No Prop Blends
  • Comprehensive Profile
  • Expensive
  • Laxative Effect
  • Not Enough Servings

Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to Adaptogen Science for sending it out!)
--------------- Claims-------------------
Best Protein Available on the Market Today


--------------- Ingredients--------------
A 29.5g scoop of ISOP9X contains 25g Protein, 1g Carb and .5g Fat which leaves roughly 3g for flavoring and a few other necessary components in the production of a tasty whey isolate. This puts Adaptogen Science's protein count at 84.7% which is a tad low when claiming to be the best protein available. Obviously flavoring is to blame for the lower percentage count so I can't fault them too hard in this area.


--------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
ISOP9X c...
--------------- Claims-------------------
Best Protein Available on the Market Today


--------------- Ingredients--------------
A 29.5g scoop of ISOP9X contains 25g Protein, 1g Carb and .5g Fat which leaves roughly 3g for flavoring and a few other necessary components in the production of a tasty whey isolate. This puts Adaptogen Science's protein count at 84.7% which is a tad low when claiming to be the best protein available. Obviously flavoring is to blame for the lower percentage count so I can't fault them too hard in this area.


--------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
ISOP9X comes in 4 flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream and my go to flavor that I never waver from, good ol' tried and true Chocolate. This protein did not disappoint in regards to taste, texture or mixing. The flavoring was very light and not overly sweet at all. It tasted delicious no matter what I mixed it with and for all intents and purposes hung right up there with any other pure isolate I've used. And believe me, I've used a lot over the years.


--------------- Effectiveness -----------
ISOP9X fit flawlessly into my body building lifestyle. It mixed perfectly with my morning coffee. It blended impeccably with my post-workout casein, instant oats and PB2. Two scoops with low fat milk and some mixed nuts for an anytime snack, scrumptious!


--------------- Side Effects -------------
It's lactose and gluten free so zero negative gastrointestinal issues!


--------------- Value --------------------
On Adaptogen's website you can purchase a 1.6 lb. 25 serving tub for $45.50 or a 3 lb. 47 serving tub for $89. However to save some cash, I recommend checking out Amazon. At the time of this writing, the smaller tub could be had for $40 which works out to $25 per pound or $1.60 for each single scoop serving.

As you can clearly see, this is not a cheap protein by any means. And while I am a firm believer in getting what you pay for, with a little shopping you'll find that there are many other equal isolates on the market for far less cash.


--------------- Final Words -------------
ISOP9X is an excellent whey isolate. It will meet your dietary needs for cleanly adding a low fat, low carb protein source to your diet. However, is it truly the best on the market as claimed? Unfortunately I have to say no. But can it hang with the best of them? Absolutely!

The real problem here is value. Yes, you are getting a quality protein for your hard earned dollar but there are other manufacturer's out there who manage an equal if not more pure isolate recipe while still maintaining good flavor offerings and also adhering to best practices of cold filtered processing.

If you are a frugal consumer who loves to shop around, you don't need me to tell you to keep shopping. If you really don't care to save your money, this product is among the best you'll find. For me personally, I'll be waiting for the big sale or perhaps the Olympia Expo to pick up my next tub of ISOP9X.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Taste Good
  • Gluten Free
  • Lactose Free
  • No Amino Spiking
  • Too Expensive

Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to AI Sports Nutrition for sending it out!)
--------------- Claims -------------------
Intense Energy & Focus
Mood Elevation
Faster Body Fat Loss
Increased Strength & Stamina
Rapid Cellular Hydration


--------------- Ingredients--------------
To keep lactic acid down and keep those muscles contracting hard throughout your workout, AI Sports tossed in a nice clinical dose of 2g Carnosyn beta-alanine.

For hydration coverage, AI Sports included an electrolyte prop blend consisting of several ingredients like sodium, potassium and magnesium. These are all desirable ingredients that will improve your physical well-being through a tough...
--------------- Claims -------------------
Intense Energy & Focus
Mood Elevation
Faster Body Fat Loss
Increased Strength & Stamina
Rapid Cellular Hydration


--------------- Ingredients--------------
To keep lactic acid down and keep those muscles contracting hard throughout your workout, AI Sports tossed in a nice clinical dose of 2g Carnosyn beta-alanine.

For hydration coverage, AI Sports included an electrolyte prop blend consisting of several ingredients like sodium, potassium and magnesium. These are all desirable ingredients that will improve your physical well-being through a tough workout.

To take care of your "WAKE UP LAZYHEAD, IT'S TIME TO WORKOUT" energy needs, AI Sports included a special secret recipe called the "Instigator Complex". At the top of this prop blend is the very inexpensive, highly effective and widely used caffeine, sadly in an undisclosed amount.

(Not cool AI Sports! No reason to keep caffeine quantity a secret, EVER!)

Following this java derivative to cover mental focus is L-tyrosine, Phenylethylamine HCL, and Hordenine. Lastly capping off the Instigator prop blend is Advantra-Z which is derived from immature bitter orange for its p-synephrine component and used here as a thermogenic fat loss ingredient that can also suppress your appetite.

Finally to finish off the list of disclosed quantifiable ingredients is Taurine for additional muscle building assistance and Grape Seed Extract which is used for its antioxidant compounds to support your cardiovascular health and immune system.


--------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
Furious comes in 3 flavors: Colada Chaos, Booming Blue Raspberry and the one I received, Cherry Bomb. This was my first foray with a cherry flavored PWO and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The flavor was quite delicious and easy to drink. The powder mixed easy enough with cold water and though there was more foam than I care for, little to no grit remained in the shaker after slammage.


--------------- Dosage-------------------
Simple and straight forward as usual with the standard "1 scoop 30 minutes prior to exercise". Funny thing is the AI Sports website states not to exceed one scoop per day. This is not listed anywhere on the actual Furious label. So, since I did not consult the website for dosage instructions, I actually did use more than one scoop on several occasions. Bad idea? Find out below.


--------------- Effectiveness -----------
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been drinking some form of caffeinated PWO before every workout for several years now without fail. I say this because I may not be the best judge of how effective this PWO may be for a less experienced consumer. So please take the following information with that in mind.

At first I tried one scoop and received a little wake me up and energy boost. Lactic acid buffering was good for extra reps, but focus was not there and the lack of pump ingredients was very apparent.

Like many other PWO's I've tried, when experiencing lackadaisical results at the recommended dosage I did what most people do. I doubled the dose. Big mistake! The beta-alanine in Furious is of very high quality and the tingles I experienced were very intense. And if that wasn't bad enough, 20 minutes later I was forced to run for the bathroom to experience some very extreme diarrhea.

Obviously after that fiasco I never tried 2 scoops again. For the remainder of the tub I used 1.5 scoops which was really the best I could hope for from this product. The BA tingles were still uncomfortable and as long as I didn't take Furious on an empty stomach, I could avoid the emergency diarrhea. I still experienced a very loose stool following the workout, but nothing extreme.

As far as effectiveness was concerned at 1.5 scoops I really didn't get much more out of it than the 1 scoop dose. Better wake up energy with very little focus and good lactic acid buffering. Zero fat loss or appetite suppression experienced. Lastly I figure hydration is a gimmee with the added electrolytes as thirst never appeared to be a factor during my workouts.


--------------- Sides --------------------
Heavy tingles when exceeding the 1 scoop dose.
Diarrhea when taken on an empty stomach.


--------------- Value --------------------
Interestingly enough, a 30 serving tub can be found on the AI Sports website for $25. This seems to undercut all secondary middleman online markets I checked out. At any rate, $25 for a 30 serving tub is a great deal if you can get away with using only one scoop per workout. Unfortunately I could not.


--------------- Final Words ------------
When all is said and done, Furious is not a bad product. It's just not for the experienced supplement user. Personally I found that the current recipe does not lend itself well to experimenting with larger dosages. The unknown amount of caffeine coupled with the high level of quality Carnosyn only made the entire experience regrettable for me. However, keep in mind that people have different reactions to different things and your experience with Furious may differ.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Flavor
  • Good Lactic Acid Buffering
  • Good Hydration
  • Manufactured In A USA GMP Compliant Facility
  • If Any To Focus
  • Very Little Benefit
  • No Increased Fatloss
  • Unknown Caffeine
  • Heavy Tingles When Using More Than 1 Scoop
  • Diarrhea If Taken On Empty Stomach
  • No Pump

Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to Elemetx for sending it out!)
--------------- Claims-------------------
Supports muscle growth and reduced DOMS
Helps increase muscular endurance and performance
Supports optimal intra-cellular hydration


--------------- Ingredients--------------
EliteAmine has a fairly short list of ingredients, but they are on the high end of what you want to see in a quality intra-workout drink. Well, at least what I want in regards to muscle building, recovery and hydration.

To help build that quality lean muscle mass there is L-Glutamine Sustamine, HICA and of course the necessary branch chained aminos in the desired scienti...
--------------- Claims-------------------
Supports muscle growth and reduced DOMS
Helps increase muscular endurance and performance
Supports optimal intra-cellular hydration


--------------- Ingredients--------------
EliteAmine has a fairly short list of ingredients, but they are on the high end of what you want to see in a quality intra-workout drink. Well, at least what I want in regards to muscle building, recovery and hydration.

To help build that quality lean muscle mass there is L-Glutamine Sustamine, HICA and of course the necessary branch chained aminos in the desired scientific ratio of 2:1:1.

To increase your workout endurance and recovery you can't go wrong with ActiGin and a little coconut water.

Lastly, to round out your intra-workout hydration needs you've got the electrolyte trio Potassium, Sodium and Magnesium.

All great ingredient choices for an intra, but are they in a quantity that equals quality benefits? Keep on reading.


--------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
Directions state to mix one scoop in 8-16 oz of water or preferred liquid and consume during your workout. Also for optimal results it is suggested you consume a second scoop after your workout.

Personally I only ever used one 1 scoop with 20 oz of cold water during my workouts and it always mixed great with very little grit or foam.

Flavor-wise this appears to only come in Bubble Gum Punch and I think that name describes the taste quite well. With 20 oz of water it was very light in flavor, not overly sweet and quite refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed this product and never tired of drinking it during my workouts.


--------------- Effectiveness -----------
The scientific studies supporting EliteAmine's ingredients will tell you this stuff works and I honestly believe the individual components do exactly what they claim to do. Well, at least in a low level kinda way. Sadly, there just isn't enough of the good stuff in EliteAmine to give the average 180+ pound body builder the desired effects wanted or needed. Perhaps at higher dosages the benefits would be more pronounced, but at the suggested single scoop, this product truly can't live up to its full potential.


--------------- Side Effects -------------
Zero negative sides to report.


--------------- Value --------------------
A 25 serving tub of EliteAmine can be found on the elemetx website for $47 ($1.88 per serving). However to save a few bucks it can also be found at Supplement Source for $40 ($1.60 per serving). In either case, this is downright expensive when compared to the rest of the intra-workout market.

Unfortunately, price is not the only issue. At only 7g per scoop, this is really a 2+ scoop product and that is where the value really falls on its face. I believe this product could be really beneficial with a larger dose, but honestly I didn't want to burn through this tub in 2 weeks by using 2 scoops a workout.


--------------- Final Words -------------
Unfortunately for elemetx, this review comes right on the heels of my current favorite intra-workout which blew EliteAmine out of the water when comparing effectiveness and value. I realize elemetx is a smaller company from Canada and perhaps when they expand their market base they can become more competitive with their products. Unfortunately that isn't the only thing holding them back. The severe under-dosing of several ingredients kills this product and that is a shame because the chosen flavor and ingredients are excellent!

To elemetx:
Rework the recipe to include clinical dosages for all ingredients and cut your price to around $1 per serving. Without that, I'm afraid you are doomed to fall by the wayside like so many other pixie dusted products.

To the fitness community:
This product has great potential at double the suggested dose, but if you can't purchase it for less than $15 at the current recipe, keep shopping.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Improved Hydration
  • Great Taste
  • GMP
  • No Dyes
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Fully Disclosed
  • Natural Flavors And Colors
  • Too Expensive
  • Some Underdosed Ingredients
  • Requires 2 Servings For Effectiveness

Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
(Thanks to Vital 4U® for sending it out!)
--------------- Claims ------------------
No claims here, but oh what a multitude of health benefits to be had!
Each convenient pack is filled with fully disclosed amounts of Vitamins, Minerals, Herbals, Amino Acids, Phyto Greens and even Bee Pollen!
How can you go wrong?
You can't!


----- Comparative Ingredients ------
Normally I would just tell you what is in this product, however I kinda just did that. What makes more sense to me here is to compare this product directly to something I've been using for the past 2+ years, Controlled Labs Orange Triad.

At first glance when comparing t...
--------------- Claims ------------------
No claims here, but oh what a multitude of health benefits to be had!
Each convenient pack is filled with fully disclosed amounts of Vitamins, Minerals, Herbals, Amino Acids, Phyto Greens and even Bee Pollen!
How can you go wrong?
You can't!


----- Comparative Ingredients ------
Normally I would just tell you what is in this product, however I kinda just did that. What makes more sense to me here is to compare this product directly to something I've been using for the past 2+ years, Controlled Labs Orange Triad.

At first glance when comparing these massive labels, V4U has twice the E, B12, Magnesium, Copper, 4x the Chromium and 5x the Vit.A and Calcium. In fact, besides a couple of the lesser listed ingredients in OT, the only real shortage for V4U is in the B-Complex group. However, looking closely you are still getting 100% of your daily B requirements, so no issue there.

The remainder becomes more complicated as OT has 3 proprietary blends to handle their Joint, flex, digestion and immune supports. V4U lists no joint or flex support, but does handle digestion with a bevy of phyto greens. V4U also goes above and beyond by including an herbal complex to aid mental sharpness and focus, an amino acid complex to help support that muscle mass you've worked so hard to build and lastly a healthy dose of Lecithin and Bee Pollen to help with your immune system and allergies.


--------------- Taste/ Dosage------------
Swallow one pack of 14 pills down daily with a big swig of something and there is zero taste. I found that a protein shake worked the best when slamming the entire vitamin pack. Also happy to report there are no harsh chemical burps experienced afterwards.


--------------- Value --------------------
This is usually the easy section to fill out and I admit that it would be very easy to say "Hell yeah, $1.16 a day to get all my essential nutrient needs filled." However to truly assess value here, I need to take a hard look at what I am personally spending per day when not using V4U. And to be honest, I'm a little afraid to figure it out. More to follow

On the Vital 4U website you can find this multi-vitamin product for the following price:
$45 for 30 day supply ($1.50)
$75 for 60 day supply ($1.25)
$105 for 90 day supply ($1.16)
$140 for 120 day supply ($1.16)

Shipping is free for every order in the contiguous United States and if you care to save an additional 5%, you can sign up for Vital 4U's auto refill subscriber program.

Now the hard part.

------------- Confession ---------------
HELLO, MY NAME IS RON AND I AM A SUPPLEMENT JUNKIE!

For years I have been making my own vitamin packs comprised mostly of several different Kirkland brand vitamins. You know the ones: B-Complex, C, D, E, Calcium, Magnesium, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Glucosamine w/ MSM + others I've long forgotten. It was my ignorant mentality that it was simply better to have too much, than not enough. Am I right? Stop hiding! I see you in the shadows and know exactly who you are..

Looking back at that ridiculous and embarrassing list of individual vitamins I realize that it would be nearly impossible for me to accurately price my daily consumption. However, I think it fair to state that I was getting way more than I needed of each vitamin and spending way more than $1.16 to get it. Wouldn't you agree? If not, I'm afraid you may be as lost as I was.

Anyways, as I read more and more about what worked for others here on SR, I moved away from the basic Centrum's multi to Gaspari's brand X Multi and finally settled on Controlled Labs Orange Triad because of the added joint care components. And that's where I've been for the past 2+ years.

Then enter Vital 4U Multi-Vitamins.
I admit it was hard for me to ignore all the other bottles in the pantry. This one packet of 14 different colored tabs and gels looked impressive, but did it really have everything I needed? Time would tell as winter flu season was in full swing in the Vegas Valley.


--------------- Effectiveness -----------
2 weeks before starting my 30 days of using V4U Multi-Vitamin, I had just started a new (well new to me) weight lifting program called German Volume Training. In short, it is a brutal 10 sets x 10 reps x 60 second breaks between sets and if you make all 100 reps, you started too light on the weight. Anyways, this program really pushes your limits on a daily basis and needless to say, DOMS becomes a way of life. Starting the vitamin on week 3 had an obvious impact on my recovery as DOMS was significantly decreased. How much you say? I'd guess around 75% relief.

Also the tendinitis in my left forearm completely disappeared. Now I know there are no joint and tendon support ingredients listed in Vital 4U's pack, but I swear this to you. The pain, GONE! And nothing hammers its effectiveness home more than this: Now that I am almost 2 weeks off of this multi-vitamin, the DOMS and tendinitis pain is slowly coming back and I am hating it! Hating it so much that I will be placing an order to get more very very soon.

As far as winter flu season is concerned, I watched several co-workers, friends and family get sick while I remained perfectly healthy. If that doesn't speak volumes of an amped up immune system I don't know what is.

Honestly, I just can't say enough good things about how great this stuff worked for me and now that allergy season is coming, I am hopeful for some hay fever relief as well..


--------------- Sides --------------------
No negative sides to report


--------------- Final Words -------------
I know that in my supplement junkie mind it will take me some time to learn that more is not always better. I'm slowly realizing that I don't need massive doses of this and that to make a true difference in my health and gym lifestyle. That sometimes you find something that is simply just right. Something that fills the need without over explaining, without extra scientific studies, without the need to increase dosages or sell your first born to obtain more. V4U's Mulit-Vitamin has seriously changed my outlook on supplements. Not only did it make me feel physically better, keeping me in the gym and pushing my limits daily through my GVT program, but I also didn't get sick while people around me were falling ill. If that peace of mind is not worth $1.16 a day, I honestly don't know what is.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Aids Digestion
  • Good Value
  • Once A Day Dosing
  • Phyto Greens
  • Bee Pollen
  • Boosts Immune System
  • DOMS Relief
  • Aids In Recovery

    Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
    (Thanks to Platinum Labs for sending it out!)
    --------------- Claims -------------------
    Explosive Energy
    Tactical Focus
    High Intensity Pumps


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    Some very common players are included in this fully disclosed PWO and with good reason. Tried and true components such as Beta Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, Creatine HCL, L-Citrulline, Betaine and of course Caffeine are to be expected when creating a high energy, pump inducing PWO. What breaks DEFCON 1 out of the norm is their addition of the nootropic choline bitartrate to aid in increased attention, memory enhancement or what Platinum Labs calls "tacti...
    --------------- Claims -------------------
    Explosive Energy
    Tactical Focus
    High Intensity Pumps


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    Some very common players are included in this fully disclosed PWO and with good reason. Tried and true components such as Beta Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, Creatine HCL, L-Citrulline, Betaine and of course Caffeine are to be expected when creating a high energy, pump inducing PWO. What breaks DEFCON 1 out of the norm is their addition of the nootropic choline bitartrate to aid in increased attention, memory enhancement or what Platinum Labs calls "tactical focus" to remain on theme with their military dubbed product. And while I suspect a few things may be underdosed for my liking, on paper this appears to be a very well rounded PWO.


    --------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
    DEFCON 1 comes in 4 flavors: Watermelon, Pineapple, Waterberry, and the flavor I requested, Red Cream Soda. I found the flavor to be very enjoyable and I never tired of it. Kudos to Platinum Labs for their creativity when it comes to flavors. I don't miss the days of everything tasting like chemical fruit punch. This PWO mixed easily in cold water with very little foam or grit remaining.


    --------------- Dosage-------------------
    Nothing new here. Directions state to mix 1 scoop with 8oz. of cold water 30 minutes pre-workout without food. I found 1.5 - 2 scoops to be more to my liking. More on that in the next section.


    --------------- Effectiveness -----------
    While the recommended one scoop was just MEH, I found that this PWO performed fairly well in regards to enhancing my workouts once I upped my dosage to 1.5 scoops. I had plenty of energy for a 90 minute workout after a 10 hour work shift. My lactic acid burn was significantly reduced allowing me to push myself further. The pump effect was definitely enhanced, though I prefer more Agmatine in my PWOs to truly achieve the label of "high intensity". And as far as tactical focus was concerned, I didn't notice anything. I'm not sure if I just don't respond well to choline, but in past PWO products, I've responded very well to ingredients like Alpha-GPC and AMP Citrate so I'm aware of what to look for in regards to focus.

    So why not pop up to two scoops?
    Well, I did and I found the beta-alanine tingles to be too extreme and honestly at 180mg caffeine per scoop, I felt I may be overdoing the stimulants if I consistently maintained that dosage. This is where I feel the ratios may be off from one ingredient to the next. I felt like I hit the ceiling at 1.5 scoops thereby reducing my potential workout experience.


    --------------- Value --------------------
    A 30 serving tub can easily be found for $30 at a couple of the more popular web-shops here on SR. At $1 per serving this is right in line with most other pre-workout supps on the market. And if you can get away with the recommended serving size, great! Unfortunately for me, I required more than 1 scoop to achieve the desired effect which drops the value considerably for those of us craving a bigger kick.


    --------------- Sides --------------------
    I consistently experienced an emergency level, workout delaying, bout of diarrhea when taken on an empty stomach. If consumed a few hours after a meal, the bathroom trip usually held till after my workout and was much less fluid, however it was still consistent every single time. I should also mention that I experienced very strong BA tingles when using more than the recommended 1 scoop dosage.


    --------------- Final Words -------------
    On the Platinum Labs website they claim DEFCON 1 to be Australia's #1 PWO of the year. And while I believe they've constructed a quality product, I found this particular recipe just didn't suit my personal needs. A little too much of one thing and not enough of another, but that's just my particular experience. I have no doubt that for some of you, this just might be the ticket. I mean, all those voting Australian's can't be wrong, can they?
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • No Proprietary Blend
    • Made In A GMP Facility
    • Great Taste
    • 2 Scoop Formula
    • Diarrhea When Consumed On Empty Stomach
    • No Focus Effect Experienced
    • Expensive If Double Dosed
    • Intense BA Tingles
    • Advertised Effects Not Present At Recommended Dose

    Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
    (Thanks to All American EFX for sending it out!)
    --------------- Claims -------------------
    Non-Steroidal Testosterone Support System
    Not A Drug Or Prohormone
    Does Not Need To Be Cycled
    Tested Banned Substance Free & Pure


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    The ingredients for both the Test Charge Hardcore Liquid & Capsules are listed under a massive proprietary blend which honestly seems quite comical when you notice the sheer size of the supplement facts labels. I mean who would actually attempt to duplicate this colossal recipe?

    Each "Taxadral Matrix" (delayed capsules or Fast-Acting Liquid) contains a massive list (roughly...
    --------------- Claims -------------------
    Non-Steroidal Testosterone Support System
    Not A Drug Or Prohormone
    Does Not Need To Be Cycled
    Tested Banned Substance Free & Pure


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    The ingredients for both the Test Charge Hardcore Liquid & Capsules are listed under a massive proprietary blend which honestly seems quite comical when you notice the sheer size of the supplement facts labels. I mean who would actually attempt to duplicate this colossal recipe?

    Each "Taxadral Matrix" (delayed capsules or Fast-Acting Liquid) contains a massive list (roughly 24 each) of similar ingredients that I've never heard of. And these ingredients fall under 8 subtitled categories like Taxanes, Flavanoids, Lignans, Benzoid and Phenols. It is by far the most confusing blend I've seen to date. However, conducting a simple comparison proves the only difference between these two versions appears to be a couple of "Carotenoids" and the 50mg of 5,7 Dihydroxyflavone and 25mg of Indole-3-Carbinol.

    And as if that was not vague enough, there is yet a third product added to this Hardcore Kit named Aroma Block-R. The nicely labeled title gives away its obviousness as the estrogen smashing portion of this 3 part test boosting stack. Nice, but will the ingredient list be friendlier than its two predecessors? The prop blend of the same "Block-R" name would indicate a resounding NO. This ingredient list is as confusing as the others with no less than 18 scientific sounding components neatly placed under several sub-categories. Again, super vague and again, I apologize.

    Two things I can tell you:
    1. Most of these components are derived from plants and
    2. EFX really doesn't want you to know what you are consuming and they don't want it duplicated by the competition.

    I know that doesn't really help you and I apologize, but without knowing the actual amount of each component, there really isn't any point in over analyzing the ingredients.


    --------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
    The capsules and tablets have no taste, assuming you don't suck on them before swallowing.

    The liquid portion of this trifecta kit contains some peppermint oil and in this blend is quite easy to swallow. I usually held the 1mL of liquid under my tongue for 30 seconds prior to swallowing and it always reminded me of a pleasant cough syrup. Not delicious, but also not foul in any way, shape or form.


    --------------- Dosage-------------------
    Looking at 3 different containers you would think dosing a complicated proposition, however I didn't find any problems following the directions. The test charge caps and liquid are taken together once in the morning and evening. The Aroma Block-R is taken at bedtime. Done and DUN.


    --------------- Effectiveness -----------
    So here's the meat and potatoes and the answer to the question:

    Do these 40+ mystery ingredients spread out over 3 products do anything other than confuse the consumer?

    First I should mention that in the directions it states that you should train with maximum intensity and consume a nutrient rich and calorically dense diet. As I used this product through the holiday season, there is no doubt in my mind that I more than covered the caloric requirements! With that being said, let's look at what the old Tanita Body Composition Analyzer has to report.

    _________________Day 1____Day 34
    Age_______________47
    Height____________5'10"
    Weight___________218.0____224.6
    Fat %_____________15.7%___17.3%
    Fat Mass___________34.2_____38.8
    Fat-Free Mass______183.8____185.8
    Total Body Water___134.6____136.0

    So after one month I gained 4.6 pounds of fat and an even 2 pounds of muscle and/or water weight for an overall gain of 6.6 pounds.

    WOW! Not exactly the transformation I was looking for, but please keep in mind that these body comp scales are not the most accurate at measuring the muscle mass of a seasoned lifter. But fear not avid reader, I do have one other tool to confirm the actual fat gain. It is my highly technical, never fail, tried and true.. work pants. So without getting too technical, I'll just say that what was once a loose comfortable waist line is now quite snug and in danger of giving up the neat tucked-in shirt appearance.

    As far as strength, power and performance are concerned while on this hardcore kit, I can say honestly that I gave it my all in the gym as I do every workout and noticed zero benefits in this category. Sadly, no new PR's were recorded during this month.

    Lastly there is the icing on the cake for all test boosters and that is libido.
    This is the one area that truly shined above all others for me. I have been experimenting with various test boosters for almost 5 years now and while they all seem to mention an improvement in this category, EFX has truly nailed it! Without going into too much detail I will say that EFX really put the "hard" in this Hardcore Kit. Seriously, I haven't experienced this much morning wood since I was in my 20's.

    So again to answer the question:

    Do these 40+ mystery ingredients spread out over 3 products do anything other than confuse the consumer?

    To answer simply in baseball terms I give:

    one strike to strength, power and performance
    one ball to body comp results
    one hit for a triple on libido boosting.


    --------------- Sides --------------------
    No negative side effects to mention.
    Unless you don't like the extra morning attention. ; )


    --------------- Value --------------------
    Oddly enough the EFX website says this is available at BB.com, GNC and Vitamin Shoppe but I couldn't locate it anywhere but Amazon for $50. This is definitely not a bad value for a complete product such as this. I expect to pay more for the combined test boosting and estrogen killing components combined and you should too. I can say honestly that if my body composition results were more to my liking I would absolutely be purchasing more of these kits.


    --------------- Final Words ------------
    While this product wasn't a home run success for me, it absolutely has value. I would have no problem recommending this product to a new-to-the- gym scene 35+ year old ectomorph looking to put on weight. This of course is based solely on my experience as a seasoned 47 year old gym rat.
    Thanks to EFX for allowing me to test this product and thanks to you all for reading.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Libido Increase
    • Good Value If Purchased Thru Amazon
    • Extensively Under-dosed Prop Blends
    • No Boost To Strength Or Performance
    • Weight Gained May Not Be The Type You Are Looking For

    Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
    (Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!)
    --------------- Claims-------------------
    Fast acting to support repair and recovery
    5.6 grams of BCAA's and 4g Glutamine per serving!
    Maximizes protein synthesis & minimizes muscle breakdown!
    Advanced full-spectrum amino acid profile!
    Highest Biological Value (BV) and protein efficiency!
    Improves glycogen replenishment and nitrogen retention!
    NON-GMO and zero fillers or excipients
    Zero soy, lactose, gluten, or hormones


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    Each 29g scoop contains 28.2g of cross flow micro and ultra-filtered whey protein isolate (non-denatured).

    That all sounds qui...
    --------------- Claims-------------------
    Fast acting to support repair and recovery
    5.6 grams of BCAA's and 4g Glutamine per serving!
    Maximizes protein synthesis & minimizes muscle breakdown!
    Advanced full-spectrum amino acid profile!
    Highest Biological Value (BV) and protein efficiency!
    Improves glycogen replenishment and nitrogen retention!
    NON-GMO and zero fillers or excipients
    Zero soy, lactose, gluten, or hormones


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    Each 29g scoop contains 28.2g of cross flow micro and ultra-filtered whey protein isolate (non-denatured).

    That all sounds quite fancy, but what does it mean?

    Cross flow micro filtered is a natural non-chemical process which employs high tech ceramic filters. Using these low temperature micro filtration techniques allow for a very high protein content, extremely low fat, lactose, sodium and undenatured protein content while retaining several important anti-cancer and immune stimulating sub-fractions.

    This CFM method is actually preferred over another popular method called Ion-Exchange which selectively depletes the most valuable and health promoting components from the whey in favor of a slightly higher protein content.


    --------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
    NutraBio's 100% Isolate comes in several flavors: Vanilla, Wild Strawberry, Banana, Orange Cream, Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon Bun, Cappuccino, Unflavored and the one I received, good ol' tried and true chocolate. Nothing earth shattering here on the taste buds as the use of additional sweeteners is extremely limited. However, the taste is pleasantly chocolatey and overall it blended perfectly with my morning coffee and post-workout shakes.


    --------------- Effectiveness -----------
    Satisfied my protein supplement needs in every way. To me this means it conveniently filled my daily macro requirements where I needed and refueled my body after a grueling workout. And lastly it doesn't taste like chemical cardboard or cause embarrassing room clearing gas.

    As far as NutraBio's claims are concerned, I have no doubt that it does an excellent job supporting muscular repair and recovery while maximizing protein synthesis and minimizing muscle breakdown.


    --------------- Side Effects -------------
    No negative gastrointestinal issues.
    This is a lactose and gluten free product that should be fine for everyone interested in a high quality whey isolate protein.


    --------------- Value --------------------
    On the NutraBio website, a 2 pound tub can be had for $40 while a 5 pound tub will run you $80. Certainly on the high side at $16-20 per pound, but you can be assured 100% that you are receiving everything advertised. The more frugal minded person however will be forced to check back regularly for online sales.

    Unfortunately though, NutraBio's Isolate is nowhere close to the value you can receive from other companies such as MyProtein who also use a similar ultrafiltration method to keep the whey undenatured. Also for those looking at exotic products, for the same price you can get Sci Labs Iso Fuzion which is derived from grass fed cows.


    --------------- Final Words -------------
    If you are like me, tearing down your muscle with hard workouts on a regular basis, you want to ensure your muscle receives the best chance to repair and build back bigger and stronger than before. With NutraBio's manufacturing principals and high standards of excellence, I have full confidence that their 100% Isolate fits that bill perfectly. Though at its regular price, it is not the best deal available. It is still a convenient, high quality protein powder that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Mixes Well
    • Good Price
    • Super Clean Protein
    • No Fillers
    • Lactose And Gluten Free
    • Zero Fat And Carbs
    • Not Widely Available.
    • A Bit Pricey

    Verified Full-Container Use through SR TROOPs.
    (Thanks to NutraBio for sending it out!)
    --------------- Claims-------------------
    Boosts recovery while you train
    Accelerates strength, endurance & performance
    Replenishes and rehydrates
    Contains an advanced electrolyte performance matrix
    Has zero fillers or additives
    No proprietary blends and full label disclosure.


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    Contains all 9 essential amino acids and if you don't remember, they are essential because your body can not make them on its own. Your body uses amino acids as energy for working muscles as well as to repair body tissue and perform many other bodily functions.

    And as if...
    --------------- Claims-------------------
    Boosts recovery while you train
    Accelerates strength, endurance & performance
    Replenishes and rehydrates
    Contains an advanced electrolyte performance matrix
    Has zero fillers or additives
    No proprietary blends and full label disclosure.


    --------------- Ingredients--------------
    Contains all 9 essential amino acids and if you don't remember, they are essential because your body can not make them on its own. Your body uses amino acids as energy for working muscles as well as to repair body tissue and perform many other bodily functions.

    And as if that wasn't enough to blow 90% of intra-workout supplement market out of the water, NutraBio also included betaine anhydrous to help you get those extra reps while supporting fat loss and OKG to assist in protein synthesis.

    Lastly, something we all really need during our grueling workouts is assistance with hydration and replenishing electrolytes. NutraBio nailed that with a fully disclosed blend of Taurine, Calci-K, Sodium Phosphate and Dimagnesium Malate. Remember, electrolytes are necessary to maintain water balance and facilitate motor neuron function. Don't work out without taking this into consideration!


    --------------- Taste / Mixing ----------
    Directions state to add one scoop of Intra Blast to 12-16 oz of water, but I found that using 20 ounces to be perfect for my palate. Mixed quickly with very little foam or grit remaining.

    Intra Blast comes in 2 flavors. Orange Mango and the one I received, Passion Fruit. I've never personally eaten a passion fruit and was quite curious to try this flavor. Honestly I don't think anything could come closer to actual fruit juice than this. Seriously, I could easily use this as a replacement to orange juice when eating my spinach omelet at IHOP. It was extremely enjoyable to drink throughout my workouts and I honestly miss it now that it's gone.


    --------------- Effectiveness -----------
    Intra Blast delivered on claims and I couldn't have been happier about it. It assisted me in my workouts to push/pull for more reps and significantly helped reduce post workout soreness. And not only does this stuff taste awesome, it replenishes your electrolytes keeping you hydrated throughout your routine. I never tired of this product and actually looked forward to using it each and every workout.


    --------------- Side Effects -------------
    Zero negative sides to report.


    --------------- Value --------------------
    At the time of this writing, a 30 serving tub of Intra Blast can be found on NutraBio's website for $32. Roughly $1 per serving. Not a bank breaker, but not the cheapest intra either. However, you must keep in mind that this is much more than a simple BCAA product. With Intra Blast you get all 9 EAA's combined with additional ingredients to aid in strength, performance and hydration. It really is a complete package for your intra-workout needs.


    --------------- Final Words -------------
    With new guidelines coming for FDA regulated supplements, companies like NutraBio are way ahead of curve and have been so for close to 20 years. I know there is a lot of debate concerning this regulation of what we put into our bodies, but I'm all for it. The time of the shady supplement manufacturer appears to be coming to an end and I applaud the benefits that will arrive with it. I want all of my supplements to be properly dosed with fully disclosed profiles and created in a GMP and FDA inspected facility. Will it cost more to the consumer? I have no doubt, but honestly those qualities are gold, people. Seriously, if you truly care about what you put into your body and haven't heard of NutraBio, check out their website. They are truly a step above the rest and should become one of your new best friends.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Superb Taste
    • Increased Energy
    • Builds Muscle
    • Good Value
    • Helps With Recovery
    • Increases Hydration
    • Reduces Doms
    • Rehydrates

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