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shinndigg

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Reviews by shinndigg




Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Big thanks once again to the peeps at Redcon1 for the hook up on their product line to the TROOPs. One of the newer trends on the supplement scene nowadays are non-stim, pump focused pre-workouts. A two edged sword these products can be stacked with a more traditional pre-workout product, or taken as a standalone. Here was my experience with Redcon1's Big Noise:

Dosage

1 scoop taken taken 30-45 minutes before workout. Primarily stacked with Redcon1's "Total War" pre-workout, but also used as a standalone on a few days as a basis of comparison.

----Ingredient Profile (8.5/10)---...
Big thanks once again to the peeps at Redcon1 for the hook up on their product line to the TROOPs. One of the newer trends on the supplement scene nowadays are non-stim, pump focused pre-workouts. A two edged sword these products can be stacked with a more traditional pre-workout product, or taken as a standalone. Here was my experience with Redcon1's Big Noise:

Dosage

1 scoop taken taken 30-45 minutes before workout. Primarily stacked with Redcon1's "Total War" pre-workout, but also used as a standalone on a few days as a basis of comparison.

Ingredient Profile (8.5/10)

The profile on Big Noise kicks off with 3 grams of Glycerol Monostearate for hydration support, I've personally had some good experiences with Glycerol in other products and I feel it does a great job of hydrating your body and saturating your muscles. 3 grams is also a pretty healthy dose for Glycerol. Next up in the profile is 2.5 grams of Betaine, a great ingredient that provides an array of benefits that range from increasing the body's natural creatine production to liver and joint support.

This product also features 1 gram of Agmatine for pump and blood flow support, and astragalus and huperzine for focus and nootropic effect. This product covers several key factors in pre-workout supplementation that one can benefit from taking on its own, or amplify whatever traditional pre-workout product they are using.

Mixture (5/10)

The mixture for this product was rather rough in my experience. As per my usual, I mixed this product with a little more water than what the directions call for. The directions recommend 8-10 ounces of water, and I used about 12-14. Even with the extra water this product had a gritty texture and there was a decent amount of undissolved powder awaiting me at the bottom of my cup each time I drank this. This product also tended to foam up a lot as well.

I typically added a little more water when I got the bottom of my initial fill up of using this product and swirled it around to drink up the fair amount of powder that was left over. So this definitely wasn't the smoothest ride as far as mixability was concerned, and the only thing I really would have to say is a negative about this product.

Taste (7/10)

I had the Watermelon flavor in this product. I'm typically not one to make a fuss about flavors of supplements (unless we're talking GrapeI'm still traumatized from terrible Grape flavored cough syrups as a kid). This product had a very light and hardly noticeable flavor to me, and was a little on the sweet side actually much like Total War was for me. To be fair, I did water it down considerably by using almost twice the amount the directions called for. I did not experience any bad aftertastes or otherwise lingering unpleasantness after drinking this. The only thing that was unenjoyable as mentioned before was the gritty texture of this product, but that played no role in the taste.

Effectiveness (8.5/10)

As I mentioned in my review of Total War, the stack of that product and this one Big Noise was the best pre-workout experience I have ever had. Everything you expect from pre-workout supplementation is there, most notably the pumps! If you're looking for an amazing 1-2 punch from a pre-workout, I definitely recommend these two products together!

With that being said, this product still performs pretty well on its own merits. I used this on its own for 5 days as a means of getting an overall perspective of this product. The pumps are still very decent thanks to the Agmatine, and the focus is definitely there as well with the two nootropic like ingredients. Obviously being a stim free product it's not going to give you a kick in the rear to hit the gym, but it will keep you fueled and hydrated thanks to the Betaine and Glycerol. This would be a good product to implement if you are on a break from stims, but still want a little boost for your workouts.

Value (7.5/10)

The best price I could find on this was on elitenutrition.com for $33.99 for a 30 serving tub. That comes out to $1.13 per serving, which is about fair to moderate as far as pre-workout values go. I feel it's absolutely worth the price if you are planning to stack it with Redcon's Total War, so I give it a little bump in value for that. On its own it still holds a decent value as a non stim option for a pre-workout.

---Conclusion and Verdict----
Big Noise is a solid non stim option as a pre-workout, and a rock star when stacked with it's counterpart from Redcon Total War. It would make a great addition to most pre-workout products as it offers it's own unique benefits alone. This is a solid product that gets the thumbs up and the Shinndigg Seal of Approval!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Incresed PUMPS
  • Incresed Focus
  • Increased Hydration
  • Versitile
  • Mixes Poorly
  • Gritty

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Big thanks to Redcon1 for providing this product up for review to the TROOPs. Pre-workouts seem to be a dime a dozen these days. It feels like new ones pop up out of nowhere almost every day. Companies need to bring their "A" game when it comes to these pre-workouts to have a product worthy of note. Let's check out how Total War stacked up for me:

Dosage

1 scoop 30-45 minutes before workout. Stacked with Redcon1's Big Noise primarily, but ran a few days on its own as a form of a control for comparison.

Ingredient Profile (8.5/10)

Right off the bat, major bonus points for...
Big thanks to Redcon1 for providing this product up for review to the TROOPs. Pre-workouts seem to be a dime a dozen these days. It feels like new ones pop up out of nowhere almost every day. Companies need to bring their "A" game when it comes to these pre-workouts to have a product worthy of note. Let's check out how Total War stacked up for me:

Dosage

1 scoop 30-45 minutes before workout. Stacked with Redcon1's Big Noise primarily, but ran a few days on its own as a form of a control for comparison.

Ingredient Profile (8.5/10)

Right off the bat, major bonus points for a fully disclosed label and no prop blends! There are a few ingredients in the profile that stand out to me, first off being the 6 grams of Citrulline Malate. A very healthy dose, and among the highest you will find on the market today. Next is 3.2 grams of Beta Alanine, which is the "Magic Number" as far as a dose of this ingredient goes. 1 gram of Agmatine Sulfate and 1 gram of Taurine, and to round it out a 250 mg dose of caffeine. The caffeine is a little on the low side for me as I prefer at or around 300 mg, but the Agmatine and Taurine are both in adequate amounts. There are a lot of potent ingredients in this profile in adequate to exceptional doses, and this product is a good option for people looking to go the creatine free route. This is a very well put together product.

Mixture (8/10)

I mixed this with a little more water than normal, the directions on this product call for 8-10 ounces of water and I used 12. This mixed up pretty well with only a small amount of undissolved powder. The foaming was moderate, but wasn't too bad.

Taste (7.5/10)

I sampled the Watermelon flavor in this product. This had a little sweeter than normal taste to me, not off-putting however it was noticeable. The sweetness also left a little bit of an aftertaste, but again not necessarily a bad thing. This was an easy product to chug before hitting the gym.

Effectiveness (8.5/10)

When I evaluate a pre-workout, I like to look at what I call the 5 points of performance: energy, strength, endurance, focus, and pumps.

Energy: This product is a little light on the caffeine as I mentioned prior. Folks who are stimulant tolerant as I am may not experience as strong of a feeling
of energy, the added Taurine does help a little though. I wasn't lethargic, but not quite to the "amped up" level. I give energy a C+.

Strength: Being a creatine free pre-workout puts this at a little disadvantage as far as strength goes in my opinion, this product is geared more towards endurance. I didn't really notice any significant increases or boosts in strength. So for this category it gets a C-.

Endurance: One of the highlights of this product is the endurance factor, the Beta Alanine and Taurine work well together to promote endurance. Beta Alanine is one of my favorite supplements, and using it in adequate doses makes a significant difference in my eyes. This product was no exception, I give this an A for endurance.

Focus: One of the greatest feelings in the world is getting that tunnel vision and that "In the zone" feeling. I didn't quite reach that level with this product, however I did notice a slightly increased feeling of focus during my run on this. Focus gets a B.

Pumps: The other category this product shines in. 6 grams of Citrulline Malate and 1 gram of Agmatine hit you with some real nice pump action. The pumps you feel with this product are great, however when you stack with Big Noisethe pumps are other worldly, no joke. The best pumps I have ever felt in my life came from stacking these two products, the kind of pumps that are almost painful. Even on its own though, the pumps are excellent and it gets an A+.

Value (7/10)

The best price I can find is on Amazon for $33.99 for a 30 serving tub, this is specifically for the Watermelon flavor. The going rate appears to be $39.99 elsewhere. At the $33.99 price it comes to $1.13 per serving, which is about middle of the pack as far as per serving price goes. With the quality ingredients you get though, this adds to this products value slightly.

Conclusion and Verdict

This product is a hard hitting pre-workout for pumps and endurance. All the other facets are there to a degree, and this is one of the best well rounded products I have used as far as pre-workouts go. I could go for a little bit more caffeine, and perhaps a version with creatine in it but overall this product gets the thumbs up and the Shinndigg Seal of Approval!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Great Pump
  • No Proprietary Blends
  • Great Endurance
  • Great Dosages
  • Too Sweet

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Iron Addicts for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Big thanks going out to Iron Addicts for hooking up their products to the TROOPs. BCAAs are one of my favorite and most used supplements. A supplement that's beneficial at essentially any time, BCAAs in my opinion should be a staple in anyone's supplement regimen. Let's take a look at what CT Fletcher's brand of BCAAs brings to the table:

Dosage

2 scoops, sipped on before, during, and after workout.

Ingredient Profile (8/10)

For most BCAA formulas, the profile is pretty cut and dry. This particular formula goes a little bit beyond basic. Each scoop gives you 6 grams of...
Big thanks going out to Iron Addicts for hooking up their products to the TROOPs. BCAAs are one of my favorite and most used supplements. A supplement that's beneficial at essentially any time, BCAAs in my opinion should be a staple in anyone's supplement regimen. Let's take a look at what CT Fletcher's brand of BCAAs brings to the table:

Dosage

2 scoops, sipped on before, during, and after workout.

Ingredient Profile (8/10)

For most BCAA formulas, the profile is pretty cut and dry. This particular formula goes a little bit beyond basic. Each scoop gives you 6 grams of BCAAs in the traditional 2:1:1 ratio (3 grams leucine, 1.5 grams of isoleucine and valine). In addition you also get 2 grams of glutamine, which is a low dose in my opinion as 5 grams is typically the number you look for when supplementing glutamine. 1 gram of Taurine, which is an adequate dose in my opinion. The formula rounds out with 500mg of pomegranate extract for antioxidant support, and 250mg tart cherry powder for anti-inflammatory support.
I like the inclusion of the antioxidant and anti -inflammatory ingredients, this is an aspect often overlooked by many people (including myself). Not to many sports supplements include these types of ingredients, so this makes this more of a unique product than your standard BCAA product.

Mixture (6/10)

I mixed by two scoops of this product with 24-28 ounces of water. There was always some un-dissolved power and the texture overall was very chalky and powdery, especially when you got to the bottom of the cup. I always had to give this a good shake or swirl before sipping on this.

Taste (7.5/10)

I actually tried two flavors in this product since I was using two scoops at a time and wanted to give this a fair run. Fruit Punch (or Fruit F*ckin' Punch) and Watermelon (or Muthaf*ckin Watermelon). Fruit Punch tasted like the red or Fruit Punch Gatorade to me, which I enjoyed. The Watermelon flavor was decent and not too overpowering. Fruit Punch gets an 8, and Watermelon gets a 7, so I will average out the overall score for this product to a 7.5.

Effectiveness (8/10)

Where it matters most, this product is very practical and useful. Sipping on this throughout your workouts will give you all the benefits of BCAAs; Improved recovery during, decreased soreness after, peppered in with a little energy and endurance bump from the Taurine. I had a few disruptions in my normal workout flow and schedule during my run on this, but I was always able to recover in time for the next gym session while on this product. As for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients I can't speak too much on the effects as it is not something I consciously take note of or pay attention to. Overall though, this product performed up to the standard I'd expect a good BCAA product to.

Value (8/10)

The best deal out there currently on this is a BOGOF deal at A1, this is where I purchased my additional tubs of this product at. Giving you two 30 servings tubs at $34.99, or roughly 58 cents per serving. The $34.99 price tag seems to be the average price on other retailers, so the A1 deal is hot for the taking while it's still going on. At normal price I'd rate this a lot lower for value since you'd be over a dollar per serving. However anyone interested in this I'd urge to take up on this deal while it's still active.

Conclusion and Verdict

This product was up to snuff so to speak as a BCAA product in my opinion, while it is underdosed in glutamine I still experienced decent recovery and decreased soreness during my run on it. This product also offers an aspect not found in many other sports supplements with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. With the great deal on A1 right now for this product, I'd say try it out if you're intrigued by it. This gets the thumbs up and the Shinndigg Seal of Approval!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Reduces Muscle Soreness
  • Good Value
  • Improved Recovery
  • Bad Mixability

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Iron Addicts for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Big thanks to the peeps at Iron Addicts for the hook-up on their products, including this one. I will be completely honest; I had no idea who CT Fletcher was before using this product. After some Youtube research though, I have to say I'm impressed with his story and his work ethic and demeanor. You can definitely get motivated after watching a video or two of his. Does his protein meet the intensity of his videos though? Let's take a look:

Dosage

One scoop taken primarily post-workout, taken first thing in the morning on off days.

Ingredient Profile (7.5/10)

Each 32 gr...
Big thanks to the peeps at Iron Addicts for the hook-up on their products, including this one. I will be completely honest; I had no idea who CT Fletcher was before using this product. After some Youtube research though, I have to say I'm impressed with his story and his work ethic and demeanor. You can definitely get motivated after watching a video or two of his. Does his protein meet the intensity of his videos though? Let's take a look:

Dosage

One scoop taken primarily post-workout, taken first thing in the morning on off days.

Ingredient Profile (7.5/10)

Each 32 gram scoop gives you 24 grams of protein, which 75% protein per scoop. A pretty solid ratio, and about the minimum you would want in a protein powder. The protein is a blend of whey protein concentrate and whey protein hydrolysate. I know a lot of people may knock a protein that is mostly concentrate, however I feel that concentrate can offer some benefits. Concentrates tend to hold more intact major subfractions of whey protein than with isolates or hydrolysates, unless they are cold pressed. The calorie counts are usually a little higher with concentrates; however with this you're at 130 calories per scoop with 2.5 grams of fat and 3 carbs. This may not be ideal for those who are very strict on their macros, but for the average gym bro or gentleman this product is set up nicely with faster absorbing hydrolysate and moderate absorbing concentrate.

Mixture (9/10)

A few shakes in a shaker cup and you are set to go. A nice and smooth texture that you'd expect from a whey protein with no chunks and minimal residue left behind when you finish. I was very pleased with how this product mixed up and it's texture.

Taste (8/10)

The flavor I received was name "Crenshaw Chocolate", a clever name for sure. This is your standard chocolate flavored protein though, it won't blow your taste buds away but it won't disgust you either. It's comparable to a chocolate protein from any other major brand (ON, Dymatize, Muscle Pharm, ect.), so for those of you like me that don't like to stray into exotic flavors, this product is safe for your consumption.

Effectiveness (8/10)

In my opinion, a protein powder is meant to be a foundation on which to build your nutrition and recovery on. With this product you're getting a protein that while a little heavier in other macros compared to what an isolate gives you, provides whole proteins and its full range of aminos and subfractions. You also get some faster absorbing protein to help your recovery and protein synthesis kick into action. I always felt satisfied chugging this after a workout. The artwork on the bottle is pretty awesome too; it looks nice sitting on top of your fridge or counter. It will definitely get your friends asking, "What's that?"

Value (6/10)

The going rate for this appears to be $39.99 on multiple outlets (illpumpyouup, A1, Muscle and Strength). This price is for a 28 serving tub, which comes out to $1.42 per serving. That's pretty high for a regular protein powder in my view. I realize hydro-whey costs a little bit more, but this is still a pretty steep price tag to me. A1 currently has a promotion where you get a free shake cup with your order, so if you insist on trying this you can at least get a freebie out of it too. There are comparable options at a much more reasonable price in my opinion though.

Conclusion and Verdict

This is essentially your typical whey protein blend, no fancy bells and whistles. If you can grab this on a sale I'd say it's worth trying, but otherwise there are far better deals out there for the same product pretty much. So while this looks cool, and is the official protein of a certified boss like CT Fletcher this product gets the "meh" rating.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Great Label Design
  • Mixes Well
  • Too Expensive

I've been fortunate enough to get to try out several of Redcon1's products via the TROOP, this one however I opened up the wallet and spent my own greenbacks on to try out. BCAAs are one of my cornerstone supplements, and probably the supplement I use the most. One of the positives about BCAAs is you can take them pretty much any time and they are beneficial. Here's my breakdown on Breach:

Dosing

2 scoop mixed with Redcon1's Cluster Bomb and taken as a peri/intra-workout drink. Better known as the "Gym 40".

Ingredient Profile (8/10)

A fairly simple formula with a few twi...
I've been fortunate enough to get to try out several of Redcon1's products via the TROOP, this one however I opened up the wallet and spent my own greenbacks on to try out. BCAAs are one of my cornerstone supplements, and probably the supplement I use the most. One of the positives about BCAAs is you can take them pretty much any time and they are beneficial. Here's my breakdown on Breach:

Dosing

2 scoop mixed with Redcon1's Cluster Bomb and taken as a peri/intra-workout drink. Better known as the "Gym 40".

Ingredient Profile (8/10)

A fairly simple formula with a few twists in this product, but sometimes simple is effective. Fully disclosed product label, so bonus points for that. This profile starts off with 5 grams of BCAAs per scoop in the traditional 2:1:1 ratio; 2.5 grams Leucine, and 1.25 grams of Isoleucine and Valine. 1 gram each of Coconut Water Powder and Glycerol for hydration support, 1 gram of Taurine for endurance support and a 400mg electrolyte complex of 240mg of potassium and 160mg of sodium.

I like the simplified approach to this product with the emphasis on hydration; this makes it an ideal intra-workout product.

Mixture (8/10)

As noted above I used this along with Redcon1's Cluster Bomb HBCD carbohydrate product. I mixed them both together with 40 ounces of water in my creation I dubbed the "Gym 40", which was nearly twice the amount of water called for the two products together. Since BCAAs tend to be a more fine powder that dissolves quickly the grit in my concoction I attributed to the HBCDs I was using with this, and I used this on its own a few times as well and it mixed just fine.

Taste (7/10)

I got the Strawberry Kiwi flavor in this product to coincide with the same flavor I got in the Cluster Bomb. Taste overall was decent, but not great. No terrible surprises or lingering aftertastes and the flavoring is mild and not overpowering.

Effectiveness (9/10)

This performed up to par with what a good BCAA should do for you when utilizing as an intra-workout. Improved recovery time and reduced rest breaks during workouts. I was pumping out workouts at or around the 2 hour mark during the course of my use with this product, and I experienced some excellent recovery periods. Definitely felt well hydrated as I was never really thirsty during my workouts, and made adequate stops at the urinal. I rarely ever went over the minute mark for rest breaks. On its own, it's great as a drink to sip on throughout your workout. Combined with Cluster Bomb this made for a superb peri/intra workout mix.

Value (7/10)

When I bought this, it was on a BOGOF at A1. But that deal has evidently come and passed. So the cheapest spot to nab this looks like Tiger Fitness at $32.49 for 30 servings, or $1.08 per serving. A decent price considering all you get, but perhaps slightly on the high side for a BCAA product.

Conclusion and Verdict

This is a legit and solid BCAA product either on it's own or stacked with HBCD or other carb energy source. Provides excellent recovery and hydration, and is easy to mix and drink. This gets a solid thumbs up and Shinndigg Seal of Approval!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Improves Recovery
  • Hydrates
  • Mixes Well
  • Slightly Expensive

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
One final shout out and thanks to VMI for hooking up the TROOPs with many goodies and products. Who doesn't love a good pump? Very few things can motivate you more than some muscle filling, vein popping, pump action. Here is my experience with Vasogen XT:

Dosage

2 pills, stacked with VMI's K-XR pre-workout.

Ingredient Profile (6/10)

So right off the bat we're lead to do deductive reasoning since the profile in the form of a prop blend. 2 pills is going to hit you with 1250mg of this prop blend which includes: Schizandra Berry Powder, Agmapure Agmatine Sulfate, Pine Bark...
One final shout out and thanks to VMI for hooking up the TROOPs with many goodies and products. Who doesn't love a good pump? Very few things can motivate you more than some muscle filling, vein popping, pump action. Here is my experience with Vasogen XT:

Dosage

2 pills, stacked with VMI's K-XR pre-workout.

Ingredient Profile (6/10)

So right off the bat we're lead to do deductive reasoning since the profile in the form of a prop blend. 2 pills is going to hit you with 1250mg of this prop blend which includes: Schizandra Berry Powder, Agmapure Agmatine Sulfate, Pine Bark Extract, Vinitrox, Hawthorne Berry Powder, Sodium Chloride, and Theobromine. All fine and well these ingredients are together in a formula, but there are two problems: 1) We don't know how much we're getting of each ingredient. And 2) By deductive reasoning, the amounts of these ingredients is likely well underdosed. E.g Agmapure, listed as the second ingredient in this blend when a 500mg to 750mg dose is the bare minimum to get any real effectiveness, 1 gram is the magic number so to speak.

So while the profile is good in theory, it's likely lacking in effective dosages.

Dosing (10/10)

These pills were reasonably sized and easy to swallow. No aftertaste or unpleasant surprises after taking these.

Effectiveness (6.5/10)

While I did feel some pumps from this, I was pretty underwhelmed for the most part. I consider a pump product to be a luxury and a non-essential, so if I'm going to use one I really want to feel it. On certain days, namely days I worked biceps or chest I could feel a little more pump than normal. When I was working legs or back, I didn't really feel anything above what a natural pump would feel. The true sign of a good pump product in my eyes is when you can feel it on leg day or back day. Vacularity was slightly above average, definitely not "vein popping" though. So overall rating I'd give for pumps is a D+ since they were inconsistent and not very strong or prevalent.

Side Effects

None

Value (8/10)

You can grab this on illpumpyouup for $22.95 for 3 servings or 77 cents per serving. Which is not a bad deal for a specialized pump product that isn't a bulk powder like citrulline or agmatine.

Conclusion and Verdict

Overall this product was kind of a letdown in my eyes. While it did deliver some pumps, it was nowhere near what I've experienced with other products, or with just citrulline and agmatine powder alone which is also a better deal financially. So unfortunately this product gets the thumbs down from me.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Affordable
  • Craved A Little More Pump
  • Pump Didnt Last Long
  • Vascularity Could Be More Apparent

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Shout out to the peeps at VMI for providing this product to the TROOPs. Most of us that are chasing that pot of gold they call gainzz at the end of the proverbial rainbow use a pre-workout supplement. They are probably the most popular supplements besides proteins used today. That also means that there are a lot of options out there, so let's see how K-XR stacked up in my eyes.

Dosage

1 scoop roughly about 45 minutes prior to workout.

Ingredient Profile (7.5/10)

If you are looking for a fully disclosed label, unfortunately you will not find one here. So we get to play t...
Shout out to the peeps at VMI for providing this product to the TROOPs. Most of us that are chasing that pot of gold they call gainzz at the end of the proverbial rainbow use a pre-workout supplement. They are probably the most popular supplements besides proteins used today. That also means that there are a lot of options out there, so let's see how K-XR stacked up in my eyes.

Dosage

1 scoop roughly about 45 minutes prior to workout.

Ingredient Profile (7.5/10)

If you are looking for a fully disclosed label, unfortunately you will not find one here. So we get to play the fun game of prop blend deductive reasoning! A full scoop is 7.7 grams, broken down into 3 prop blends. The first one is a 3.3 gram "Intense Pump" blend, consisting of beta-alanine, taurine, and theobromine. From this we can conclude that we are likely not getting a clinical dose of beta alanine, which is 3.2 grams. I wouldn't really consider beta alanine a pump inducing product anyway.

Next up is a "Maximum Energy Blend" at 632.5mg. The one thing we do know from the label is that the caffeine sources add up to 400mg, which is a bananas crazy amount!

Lastly, we get a 503mg "Focal and Cognitive Enhancing" Blend consisting of Choline Bitartrate and Huperzia.

Overall a decent lineup for profile, not the most impressive you'll see around but enough goodies in there to provide some good benefits.

Mixture (7/10)

This product mixes up fairly well, however you will get some undissolved powder and some residue action in your shaker cup from this. The directions called for 6 to 8 ounces of water, I used 12 and still had some leftovers in my shaker.

Taste (8.5/10)

I got to sample the Tropical Punch flavor in this product for my full container, described as a mixture of watermelon, strawberry, and coconut flavors. This was actually a pretty good flavor and made for a tasty little drink before the gym. Like others have alluded to the flavoring is strong with this product, but I found it to be enjoyable. I got to sample the gamut of other flavors offered in this product via samples VMI was nice enough to send along, and all the flavors were good in my opinion.

Effectiveness (7.5/10)

I like to break down pre-workouts into what I consider the 5 important points of performance:

Energy- With 400mg of caffeine, it's hard not to feel the energy with this product. If you have a pulse, you'll get amped up taking this. I would actually wait a little longer after taking this to go to the gym so that I would level off a little bit before hitting the weights. Not for the light at heart for sure. Energy gets an A.

Strength-This is a creatine free pre-workout, so you're not going to see much in the area of strength increase. Luckily for me I was taking Armistane during my run of this product, so I was able to get my strength increases elsewhere. If you're taking a separate creatine, test booster, PH, or ect. This would be a good product to use; otherwise you'll have to rely on good old fashioned tenacity alone to increase your strength. Strength gets a D.

Endurance- This product does have beta alanine, but in all likelihood not an effective dose of it. You still feel the tingles a bit, but not enough to make a profound difference. Endurance gets a C.

Pumps- With no real "N.O." or pump-inducing ingredients, the pump factor in this product is lackluster in my eyes. Although I consider pumps to be the least significant point of performance, if you feel the need to be busting out at the seams you might want to look elsewhere or stack with a separate pump product. Pumps get a D.

Focus- This was the other legitimate thing I felt while using this product, that good old tunnel vision and in the zone feeling. I almost wouldn't recognize or pay attention to the hot girls in yoga pants on the treadmills, that's how I knew the focus factor was legit in this product. Focus gets an A.

Overall Grade for effectiveness: C+

Value (8/10)

The cheapest spot you can grab this in on allstarhealth, $29.99 for 30 servings, I think the math on that one is pretty simple. Not a bad price for a pre-workout, the only knock I would make is that if you're looking for a full spectrum pre-workout experience you would have to buy separate products to complete the cycle.

Side Effects

None to speak of, guess I was lucky on this one compared to others.

Conclusion and Verdict

This was a pretty decent pre-workout in my opinion, it does lack in some areas namely strength and pumps. However it makes up for it in other areas like energy and focus. With that all weighed together I ultimately give it the "meh" rating, although I lean more towards the positive side on this product.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Increase Focus
  • Tastes Good
  • Contains Proprietary Blends
  • Weak Pumps Possibly Underdosed

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Catalyst by Strength.com for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Many thanks going out to Catalyst by Strength.com for providing their product up to the TROOPs. Everyone is particular to some extent about what kind of protein they want to take. Well add "grass-fed" to the list of seemingly endless options you can have in your protein now. This is my first experience with a grass fed whey, so let's dive in.

Dosage

One scoop post-workout.

Ingredient Profile (8/10)

This product is a whey blend that is mostly isolate, with some concentrate thrown in there as well. You get 24 grams of protein per 30.85 gram scoop, which is roughly 78% prot...
Many thanks going out to Catalyst by Strength.com for providing their product up to the TROOPs. Everyone is particular to some extent about what kind of protein they want to take. Well add "grass-fed" to the list of seemingly endless options you can have in your protein now. This is my first experience with a grass fed whey, so let's dive in.

Dosage

One scoop post-workout.

Ingredient Profile (8/10)

This product is a whey blend that is mostly isolate, with some concentrate thrown in there as well. You get 24 grams of protein per 30.85 gram scoop, which is roughly 78% protein per scoop, a solid ratio. Only a half a gram of fat and 3 carbs per scoop, so also a fairly pure protein as well. Naturally sweetened with stevia for those who don't like the artificial stuff, and no artificial flavoring. All in all, a pretty solid profile that caters to many who are very specific on what they want in a protein.

Mixture (6/10)

This protein has a very clumpy appearance and tends to stick together when you try to scoop it out, a lot of scoops became heaping scoops. This tends to translate over to when you're mixing it as well. I often ran into some chunks while drinking this. Definitely a far cry from many proteins that are velvety smooth and go down easy.

Taste (7/10)

I decided to go off the board from my usual and got the "West Coast Strawberry" flavor in this product, which for the life of me I don't know why. I typically hate strawberry flavored proteins. So to me this tasted like every other strawberry flavor I've ever hadI'll assume that to mean people who actually enjoy strawberry will like this. I won't knock the score too hard since I have a bias against strawberry flavored proteins, however fans of this flavor should be pleased with this.

Effectiveness (8.5/10)

I guess I'll beat this dead horse with every protein review I do on here, but I believe that a protein powder is a foundation on which to build your nutrition and recovery off of. With that being said, I feel this product does what it's supposed to do in that regard. You get quality protein that absorbs quickly, helps you recover, and leaves you feeling satisfied. As far as the grass fed angle goes, I personally feel it's more gimmick than substance. A quality protein regardless of its source is going to be helpful if everything else is in line for you. I noticed no difference from this than from any other quality protein that I've used in my past. It works and does what it's meant to do, but I guess you can feel a little better about yourself envisioning the cows in the open meadows gnawing on grass instead of corn meal from a trough.

Value (5/10)

On strength.com, and on Amazon, a 30 serving bag runs you $44.95 or roughly $1.50 a serving. The ends don't justify the means in my opinion, you can get just as good of a protein for far less, even half the price per serving if you find a good sale. This is just like buying a $7 orange at Whole Foods. It's still an orangeand this is still a whey protein at the end of the day.

Conclusion and Verdict

This product will deliver all the results you'd expect from a good whey protein. If you insist on spending the extra dollars to get grass fed protein though, then this is an option for you. To me though, this is just another face in the crowd so to speak as far as a whey protein goes. So while it was effective, and in my opinion a good quality product I wouldn't be able to justify the dollars and cents of it to buy this. So it gets the "Meh" rating, with the caveat that it's not a bad product.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Low Fat And Carb Profile
  • Mostly Isolate
  • Naturally Sweetened
  • Too Expensive
  • Clumps

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )

Intro

Big thanks to the peeps out at Redcon1 for the hookup on this product to the TROOPs. One of the big trends in supplements right now are these carb intra-workout supplements, and one of the big buzz-phrases is "Peri-Workout Nutrition". What it basically all means is optimizing an environment for hypertrophy (muscle building, aka gainzz) by consuming proper nutrients before and during your workout. I'm the trendiest guy I know (not really), so of course I had to give this a shot. Here's how it worked for me.

Dosage

One scoop mixed with Redcon's Breach BCAAs and consum...

Intro

Big thanks to the peeps out at Redcon1 for the hookup on this product to the TROOPs. One of the big trends in supplements right now are these carb intra-workout supplements, and one of the big buzz-phrases is "Peri-Workout Nutrition". What it basically all means is optimizing an environment for hypertrophy (muscle building, aka gainzz) by consuming proper nutrients before and during your workout. I'm the trendiest guy I know (not really), so of course I had to give this a shot. Here's how it worked for me.

Dosage

One scoop mixed with Redcon's Breach BCAAs and consumed during workout.

Ingredient Profile (9/10)

Pretty straight up here, one main ingredient which is "Cluster Dextrin" at 25 grams per scoop. Cluster Dextrin, also known as Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD) is made from the breakdown of starch molecules with enzymes to form new highly branched sugar molecules, thus its name. It provides the energy benefits of a carb supplement without the insulin or blood sugar spike of many traditional carb sources. It's a relatively new supplement, but the more you dive into reading on it, the more you find a lot of professional bodybuilders and fitness gurus alike are using this. Off shoot, here is a good article to read up regarding HBCD: http://mindandmuscle.net/articles/how-to-use-highly-branched-cyclic-dextrin/.

Minimal fillers as each scoop of this is roughly 91% HBCD, and no dyes which is also a big deal nowadays.

Mixture (6/10)

If this product has any flaw, it's in this department. The directions called for 10-12 ounces of water, however I like to add a little more than what is called for with most products. Since I was also mixing this with BCAAs, I made what I called a "Gym 40" 40 ounces of water mixed with my scoop of this product and a scoop of BCAAs. Despite all that water, there was still some considerable grit and undissolved powder with this product. I constantly had to shake this up while using it, so at least it added to my cardio I guess. I give it a little bit of benefit of the doubt considering I was also mixing this with another product.

Taste (7/10)

I had the Strawberry Kiwi flavor in this product. Nothing to write home about, but not the worst thing I've ever put in my mouth. Light flavoring with no lingering aftertaste and very bearable to drink in mass quantity as is called for this kind of product.

Effectiveness (9/10)

For all the hype HBCD gets, I am a believer after using this product. I was also running some Arimistane while on this, and I was doing some long workouts nearing the 2 hour mark. This kept me energized and going the whole way from start to finish. I would start sipping this on my way to the gym, in accordance with good peri-workout nutrition and would chug the last of it before my last sets. This product provided a nice steady source of energy, even as the pre-workout would wear off. I believe this also helped in my recovery as I did not experience any prolonged or significant soreness despite working out each and every day. HBCD has earned a spot as a staple in my supplement regimen now.

Value (8/10)

Best price I've seen for this is on illpumpyouup for $26.95 for a 30 serving tub or roughly 90 cents per serving. Well worth it in my opinion give the experience I had with it. You can buy different HBCD products in bulk for cheaper, but this product is still a decent deal in my eyes.

Conclusion and Verdict

Often times products that are hyped up don't live up to the high bar they set for themselves, however in the case of HBCD and this product I feel it met, and even exceeded my expectations. A big thumbs up and the Shinndigg Seal of Approval!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Recovery
  • Increased Energy
  • Bad Mixability

Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to EVLution Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
Big thanks to EVLution Nutrition for hooking this up for the TROOPs to try. Protein blends are a little bit different of an animal in the grand scheme of supplements. With multiple sources of protein that absorb at varying rates, they are ideal for any situation: morning, pre/post workout, in between meals, and before bed. This is the "natural" variation of Stacked Protein, so how does this Stacked Protein stack up?

Dosage: 1 scoop, typically taken first thing in the morning, occasionally before bed time.

Ingredient Profile (8.5/10): This product is a protein blend consisting of whey con...
Big thanks to EVLution Nutrition for hooking this up for the TROOPs to try. Protein blends are a little bit different of an animal in the grand scheme of supplements. With multiple sources of protein that absorb at varying rates, they are ideal for any situation: morning, pre/post workout, in between meals, and before bed. This is the "natural" variation of Stacked Protein, so how does this Stacked Protein stack up?

Dosage: 1 scoop, typically taken first thing in the morning, occasionally before bed time.

Ingredient Profile (8.5/10): This product is a protein blend consisting of whey concentrate, whey isolate, whey hydrolysate, micellar casein, and egg white protein. So this is a very broad spectrum of protein types that include fast, medium, and slow digesting proteins and very well put together. I make a slight gig in the score for being primarily sourced of concentrate, for the 9 grams of carbs that might be on the higher side for people concerned with that kind of thing, and its protein ratio is 64% protein per scoop which is on the low side in my opinion. The natural sweetner is stevia, so those who want a protein without sucralose, this is an option for you.

Mixture (9/10): Mixed this in a shaker with 8 oz of water and it always came out smooth and fully mixed, no issues in this department. Sometimes with blends you can get some clumps, but no such problem for me with this product.

Taste (7/10): Normally I think naturally flavored proteins suck as far as taste goes, with very few exceptions and this product happens to be one of them. Still not as good as an "artificially sweetened" protein, but a nice light flavor without too bad of an aftertaste. A 7 is about as high as I'd ever give a naturally flavored protein, so this is high praise from me.

Effectiveness (9/10): To me, a protein powder is a foundation on which to build your nutrition and recovery process on. It won't be the main reason you build muscle and see results, but it can be a catalyst and a contributing factor. With that mindset in play, I feel this product is ideal for laying that foundation down. You get quality protein sources that will absorb at varying rates and help with your body's protein synthesis. Add in the convenience and diversity of a protein blend, and this product is a solid option to go with for protein supplementing needs. This helped me hit my macros for daily protein and was a nice kick start to my day nutrition wise.

Value (7/10): The cheapest spot on google to find this for the natural version is on bodybuilding.com at $29.99 for 24 servings, or roughly $1.25 per serving, which is a little high even for a blend in my opinion.

Overall though, this is a solid protein and a viable and legitimate option for those wanting a naturally flavored and sweetened protein blend. Though it is a little spendy, it still gets the thumbs up and Shinndigg Seal of Approval!
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Quality Protein Blend
  • No Artificial Sweetners
  • Spendy

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