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smashley23

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Reviews by smashley23




----Introduction----
I'm a competing powerlifter, and I just finished my cut, so I'll be maintaining until my next meet. I go through a lot of protein shakes, bars, and other protein products, so I'm always on the look for something new to try

----Ingredient Profile----
Mighty Muffins are high in protein, high fiber, gluten free, non GMO, and have probiotics added in to make them easy on the digestive system. The ingredients may vary a bit depending on the flavor, but the basic formula includes oat flower, whey isolate and pea protein, sugar, butter, corn starch, baking powder/soda, xanth...
----Introduction----
I'm a competing powerlifter, and I just finished my cut, so I'll be maintaining until my next meet. I go through a lot of protein shakes, bars, and other protein products, so I'm always on the look for something new to try

----Ingredient Profile----
Mighty Muffins are high in protein, high fiber, gluten free, non GMO, and have probiotics added in to make them easy on the digestive system. The ingredients may vary a bit depending on the flavor, but the basic formula includes oat flower, whey isolate and pea protein, sugar, butter, corn starch, baking powder/soda, xantham gum, and the probiotic blend.

I don't see any cause for concern in the ingredients list unless you have allergies.

----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

Taste
I went through a box of the maple pumkin muffins and I've tried most of the other flavors. The only ones I haven't tried are the peanut butter and the chocolate peanut butter.

The maple pumpkin I'd have to give a 6.5/10. They tasted okay, but I did not get a taste of maple or a taste of pumpkin. They had this strong grain flavor that I thought was bran, but bran is not in the ingredients list. I even tried adding canned pumpkin to the muffins and I still couldn't get a taste of pumpkin. There was just something that was Bran like.

The apple cinnamon was the best flavor I had. I went through several singles, and I'd give it an 8/10. The apple and cinnamon flavor were both there and there was no "bran taste."

The Smores was bad 5/10. They looked promising as I saw plenty of marshmallows and chocolate bits, but they tasted like stale graham flour.

Double Chocolate 6.5/10. They tasted like chocolate, but I had to take a point off as they were terribly dry compared to the other flavors. Perhaps it would be better if you add more milk or cook it less. I don't know why it was drier than the others.

Mixability 7/10

So to make these you add 1/4 cup of water or milk and then microwave it (the time varies based on the power of the microwave). Mixability shouldn't really be an issue, but it's surprisingly hard to mix in all of the muffin powder with the milk. Usually, I end up with some undissolved powder that got stuck in the edges of the muffin cup. The best way to make these is to dump the powder into a mug and mix it in there. Kind of takes away the convenience factor if you want to stash these at work, but I have no mixing problems with a mug

Dose

Each muffin is 20g protein, 5g fiber, and around 210-220 calories. Perfect for a snack, and if you mix it with milk (or greek yogurt) instead of water, you can get some more protein in there. I wouldn't call a muffin a meal (unless you're on a poverty cut), but it could be the base of a meal. Add a scoop of ice cream and you have a great pre-bed snack.

----Effectiveness----

In the context of a balanced diet, protein is protein so it's hard to say how effective it was. I can say though that it delivered on its promise on being easy to digest. I must have had at least 2 dozen of these and I've never felt any discomfort or stomach issues. I also used them as a pre-bed snack during my high volume phase and my recovery went well at that time. That's not dispositive of course, but I think these muffins had a positive effect on my diet

----Value----
These were $3-4 for singles in the local grocery store and are around $35 for a box of 12 online (the cheapest I'd seen them was for $32). I think these prices are fair. They cost a bit more than a protein bar w/ similar macros, but I find them more pleasant to eat and if I were to go out and buy a muffin at a cafe or something, I'd pay the same amount or more for a product that would be a lot harder to fit into my macros.

----Side Effects----

None

----Conclusion----

If you have a sweet tooth like me, then I'd give these a shot. I would, though, recommend trying out a single if you can before committing to a whole box. I wouldn't want to pay over $30 and then realize I didn't like the flavor I bought. If you can find a variety pack though, that would be great.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Easy To Digest
  • Easy On The Macros
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Value
  • The Double Chocolate Was Dry
  • Can Be Hard To Mix

----Introduction----
I'm a powerlifter and an online coach. I train 4-5 days a week with fairly high intensity and volume (usually 2-3 intensity days and 2 volume days each week). I use a variety of supplements: protein, pre-workouts, nootropics, general health supplements, etc.


----Ingredient Profile----
Elix1r does not have a lot of ingredients, but the ones it has are all good.

Bacopa Monnieri Extract (450mg) This is a nootropic that comes from traditional Indian medicine. It can reduce anxiety and improve memory, and unlike most nootropics, has shown to benefit young people as well...
----Introduction----
I'm a powerlifter and an online coach. I train 4-5 days a week with fairly high intensity and volume (usually 2-3 intensity days and 2 volume days each week). I use a variety of supplements: protein, pre-workouts, nootropics, general health supplements, etc.


----Ingredient Profile----
Elix1r does not have a lot of ingredients, but the ones it has are all good.

Bacopa Monnieri Extract (450mg) This is a nootropic that comes from traditional Indian medicine. It can reduce anxiety and improve memory, and unlike most nootropics, has shown to benefit young people as well (many nootropics have only been studied on the elderly or those with illnesses that can impact cognitive function). A standard dose is 300mg w/ 55% bacoside content. Elix1r has 450mg w/ 45% bacoside content, so it's a pretty good dose.

Caffeine Anhydrous (300mg). Pretty self-explanatory in my opinion. 300mg is plenty of energy for most people.

Sensoril (125mg). Sensoril is a trademarked form of ashwagandha, a very good adaptogen that also comes from traditional Indian medicine. It can reduce anxiety, cortisol, cholesterol, and increase power output to name a few benefits. I wish there was more Sensoril.

It's marketed as 8 times as strong as traditional ashwagandha, so 125mg should be the equivalent of 1000mg ashwagandha. That's enough to get some benefit, but I would love to see 250mg here. They are reformulating Elix1r, so maybe my dream will come true.

Galantamine 4mg- I had never seen this ingredient before. It's used to treat dementia and Alzheimers. It was also patented by the US Army as a treatment for nerve gas poisoning. I'm not sure how applicable this ingredient is to the average lifter, but it's interesting to say the least

Sensory Blend: ALCAR, Alpha-GPC, J. Regia (1.8g)- Unfortunately, this part is where the proprietary blend comes in. Olympus Labs is the only company that uses J. Regia extract and they always put it in a prop blend to try and disguise how they are using it (they also don't disclose the extract).

It's not too much of an issue here since they disclose the caffeine amount (they didn't in Conqu3r Unleashed). Even with the prop blend, I think that each ingredient is fairly dosed.

J. Regia is similar to DMHA (although not the same), so there's probably 100-200mg of that. This leaves 1.6g for ALCAR and Alpha GPC which is plenty for both. You want at least 500mg of ALCAR and at least 300mg of ALPHA GPC and there's enough for double of that.

I can only speculate as to how the ingredients are divided, but it looks like Olympus Labs didn't short change us on anything.

----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

If you've seen my other reviews, then you know I've taken issue with OL's flavoring's in the past. Elix1r is their best tasting product in my opinion. I give their Majestic Red flavor an 8/10. It tastes like cinnamon candy.

The mixability is okay. There's a little residue on the bottom but most of it mixes in.

One dose is 2 scoops which is easy enough. I weigh out my supplements, and I noticed that I usually need more than 2 level scoops to get a serving. I need 3-4. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a heaping scoop or not, but you may want to weigh it out to make sure you are getting the amount that you want.

One serving is 5.64g

----Effectiveness----

One word: Amazing! I had a great time with Elix1r, and I'm glad I grabbed 2 tubs cause the first one went fast. The energy was terrific. The focus was laser sharp. I usually used Elix1r pre-workout, and it was great for my harder workout days, e.g. squat day or deadlift day. The energy was long lasting 90 minute to 2 hour workouts were no problem and unlike DMHA, I never had a crash afterwards.

Elix1r builds up on you. I take it when I first get to the gym (after I weigh in) and maybe 20-25 minutes in I really start to feel it. This is perfect for me since I'm kind of slow on warming up, so the energy comes right when I need it to.

This is a nootropic, so there aren't any pump ingredients here, but it still makes for a great pre-workout. If you do want some pumps, just add a scoop of Noxygen or some bulk citrulline.

----Value----

Right now, Elix1r is cheap. If you get it from the Olympus Labs website, you can get it for $19 a tub using their springcleaning coupon. They are reformulating it (and re-flavoring their entire line), so I'm not sure how much longer they'll have this version, but I'm sure the next version will be just as good if not better.

The value is great. $19 for 30 servings.

----Side Effects----

None

----Conclusion----

What else can I say? I love Elix1r. It's a solid product at a great value, and I can't wait to see the new version of it when it comes out.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Great Focus
  • Good Taste
  • No Crash
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Value
  • Prop Blend

----Introduction----
I'm a competing powerlifter, and I my training is fairly high when it comes to volume. I train with a mix of heavy compounds and lighter assistance/isolation exercises. I'm at the end of my cut, getting ready for a meet in June.

----Ingredient Profile----
There are a lot of ingredients here, so I'm going to go through the most notable ones from each complex.

Gaspari Proprietary Arginase Inhibitor Matrix

N(omega)-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine, Boron amino acid chelate

As far as I know, Plasmajet is the first pump product to not only include ingredients that inhibit compou...
----Introduction----
I'm a competing powerlifter, and I my training is fairly high when it comes to volume. I train with a mix of heavy compounds and lighter assistance/isolation exercises. I'm at the end of my cut, getting ready for a meet in June.

----Ingredient Profile----
There are a lot of ingredients here, so I'm going to go through the most notable ones from each complex.

Gaspari Proprietary Arginase Inhibitor Matrix

N(omega)-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine, Boron amino acid chelate

As far as I know, Plasmajet is the first pump product to not only include ingredients that inhibit compounds that detract from your pump. This is supposed to leave your muscles fuller and your pumps lasting longer.

Gaspari Hypertrophic Vaso Expansion & Phosphodiesterase Formula

This complex has 50mg caffeine from a variety of sources; not enough to provide much of an energy boost, but it's included because it's synergetic with other ingredients in the formula.

Gaspari Proprietary Nitric Oxide (NO) Support & Lipsosmal Delivery System

Hydromax- a higher % yield of glycerine monosterate and is supposed to help with hydration and pumps

Citrulline Silicate- This is supposed to be better than just using citrulline, like how arginine silicate works better than just using arginine

Choline bitartrate- This supplement raises acetylcholine levels and promotes brain health and focus. I think either alpha GPC or cit-choline would be better nootropics, but I'm not sure if choline bitrartrate is here for focus or if it's supposed to be helping provide pumps

----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

This product is in pills, so there's no taste or mixibility factor. The pills are kind of big, but not too bad. They are pretty malleable though and sometimes got bent as I pushed them out of the blister pack. One full serving is 4 pills

----Effectiveness----

This product just didn't do anything for me. For me, certain muscle groups get pumps more easily than others, so I tried using the product on several days (chest day, legs, arm day, etc) to see how my best and worst muscle groups responded. All of my muscle responded the same way, meh!

I didn't get any of the things that are marketed for this product. No "vein-splitting pumps," no muscle fullness that lasts all day. It was no better than the days I forget my pre-workout at home.

I tried taking it 15-30 minutes pre-workout as the label suggests, and I tried taking it right when I got to the gym. I drank water with it. I tried pre-workout carbs. Nothing, nada, zilch! I tried it with more caffeine. I tried it stacked with another pre. I tried it with astragin. I couldn't save this product.

I do respond to pump enhancers. I respond well to citrulline, arginine silicate, agmatine. Hydromax does nothing for me, and I don't know how much citrulline silicate they used, but it wasn't enough to give me any benefits.

----Value----

The product isn't too expensive. I had paid about $26 for a box, and now the price is lower on amazon ($23), which comes out to a $1.15/serving. I looked up some other pump enhancers to compare prices and they were $1.25-$1.40/serving. So I do think the price is a fair one, well if you respond to the product. For me, $26 was $26 too much.

----Side Effects----

No side effects.

----Conclusion----

I've heard that this is the best pump enhancer on the market. I've seen articles that make Plasmajet sound like it is worth it's weight in gold. I wish that had been my experience, but it wasn't at all. I don't know what the original Plasmajet was like, but this one is no good. Avoid.
 Pros:
 Cons:
    • Proprietary Blend
    • Not Effective

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

    I lift 4-5 days a week, with a focus on strength, but I do a fair amount of hypertrophy work. I like trying out different pre workouts, and I have used a number of different stimulants over the years (DMHA, DMAA, J. Regia etc). Total War was the third DMHA pre I have tried and is by hard the strongest pre I have used.

    ----Ingredient Profile----

    Total War is a pretty well rounded pre. Instead of an underdosed stim bomb hidden in a prop blend, we have a well dosed, open profile that has multiple stimulants, pump agents, and ergogenic aids. There are a lot of ingredient...
    ----Introduction----

    I lift 4-5 days a week, with a focus on strength, but I do a fair amount of hypertrophy work. I like trying out different pre workouts, and I have used a number of different stimulants over the years (DMHA, DMAA, J. Regia etc). Total War was the third DMHA pre I have tried and is by hard the strongest pre I have used.

    ----Ingredient Profile----

    Total War is a pretty well rounded pre. Instead of an underdosed stim bomb hidden in a prop blend, we have a well dosed, open profile that has multiple stimulants, pump agents, and ergogenic aids. There are a lot of ingredients. I'll go through the more common/interesting ons.

    Stimulants

    Caffeine (250mg) We have about two cups of coffee worth of caffeine. Definitely enough to get most people going without being overwhelming.

    2-Aminoisoheptaine (DMHA 100mg- This is a newer stimulant that is becoming more popular in pre workouts. It's similar to DMAA and provides a lot of energy and focus. I have seen more DMHA in other pres (150mg, 200mg), but 100mg is still a good amount.

    N-phenthyl Dimethylamine Citrate (Eria Jarensis) 125mg- This stimulant is similar to PEA and gives a euphoric effect. It's often paired with DMHA. There is no established clinical dose for Eria Jarensis, but 125mg is a common dose.

    Rauwolscine (2mg)- This is a fat burner similar to yohimbine. There isn't an established clinical dose for it, but it's often sold in 1-2mg capsules.

    Pump Agents

    Citrulline Malate (6g)- Citrulline Malate is used for pumps and endurance. I'm assuming this is a 1:1 ratio since there isn't one giving, yielding about 3g of citrulline per scoop. This is a decent dose, but I'd rather see 4g of citrulline per scoop.

    Agmatine Sulfate (1g)- Agmatine is a metabolite of L-Arginine. It's often used in pre workouts to improve pumps, but it may also benefit cognitive health and improve nutrient partitioning. 1g is a good dose for pumps.

    Other Ergogenics

    Taurine (1g)- is a conditionally essential amino acids. It can improve focus, cell hydration, and is anti-catabolic. 1g is a reasonable dose; you probably don't want more than 3g.

    Beta-Alanine (3.2g) This is the building block of carnosine and is used to increase physical performance in the 60-240 second range. I'm not the biggest fan of beta-alanine in pre workouts because it's a saturation ingredient (doesn't impact your workout) and is not that advantageous for most bodybuilders and powerlifters. Unless you regularly have sets that go over 60 seconds, you probably aren't benefiting from it. This supplement is better for endurance athletes.

    Also, it's can interfere with taurine in terms of absorption, so it's probably better to take taurine pre-workout and to take beta alanine at a different time (and with carbs).

    That being said, Total War at least offers a clinical dose, and some people like the tingles that come with it.

    Other ingredients: theobromine, higenamine, biopeperine

    --Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

    I got the strawberry kiwi flavor and it tasted pretty good (8.5/10). There are a number of ingredients in Total War that taste pretty bad (agmatine, DMHA, etc), so you need a strong flavor to mask it. This easily tasted better than the other DMHA pres I tried.

    Mixability- This mixed easily with a shaker bottle. No clumps or residue on the bottom and the foam that appeared settled readily.

    Dosing- One scoop is more than enough. I started with a 1/2 scoop to test it out, and I recommend that even if you have used DMHA before. The combination of stimulants here is powerful, so I would start of easy to assess your tolerance.

    ----Effectiveness----

    I had a great time with Total War. The energy was (10/10), and I'd recommend saving it for your heavier days. I think the Rauwolscine made the difference for me. The other DMHA pres I've tried had caffeine, and Eria Jarensis, but now rauwolscine and I could feel the difference. The other pres woke me up. This one woke me up with a fog horn.

    In my experience, a tolerance will build if you use DMHA too often, so I would either have a stim-free pre for some of the days or at least one without DMHA.

    I liked using Total War on Deadlift Day, which for me is the best day to go all out.

    For me, the energy would peak around 20-25 minutes I took it, would be really intense for about 10 minutes and then would level out over the next hour or so. It was easily enough to get me to through a 90+ minute session.

    I got pretty good pumps with TW as well (8/10) and the focus was there as well (8.5/10)

    ----Value----

    I usually see Total War retailing for $36-$40, which comes out to about $1.25 per workout. This is cheaper than the other DMHA pres I've used which were around $1.50-$2 per pre workout, so I'd say the value here is pretty high.

    I've also seen Total War go on BOGO a couple of times, which would get you two tubs for $40. That's a steal and easily worth it if you like DMHA.

    ----Side Effects----

    I got cold sweats for a few minutes from the Raw (also happens when I take Yohimbine). I don't mind it, but for some people that would be a problem.

    ----Conclusion----

    What else can I say, this is a really good pre. Well formulated, tasty, a solid price. RedCon1 did well with this one, and I will definitely be paying more attention to their line after this.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • No Proprietary Blends
    • Great Endurance
    • Good Taste
    • Increased Energy
    • Great Value
    • Clinical Dosing For Ingredients
    • Can Cause Cold Sweats

    ----Introduction----
    I'm a competing powerlifter, basically perma-cutting, and I go through a lot of protein shakes, bars, snacks through out the week. I've been a fan of Fit Crunch for a while, and was excited for these brownies to come out. Alas, they started as a Sams Club Exclusive. I never shop there, and it took a while for me to be able to find a place to get them.

    ----Ingredient Profile----

    Each brownie is 190 calories with 15g of protein, 20g carbs (9g sugar, 4g sugar alcohol), 8g fat (4g saturated, 4g unsaturated). The macros are pretty similar to the little Fit Crunch Bars (o...
    ----Introduction----
    I'm a competing powerlifter, basically perma-cutting, and I go through a lot of protein shakes, bars, snacks through out the week. I've been a fan of Fit Crunch for a while, and was excited for these brownies to come out. Alas, they started as a Sams Club Exclusive. I never shop there, and it took a while for me to be able to find a place to get them.

    ----Ingredient Profile----

    Each brownie is 190 calories with 15g of protein, 20g carbs (9g sugar, 4g sugar alcohol), 8g fat (4g saturated, 4g unsaturated). The macros are pretty similar to the little Fit Crunch Bars (or 1/2 of the large ones).

    The protein blend in these brownies is whey isolate and whey concentrate. They do not specify the ratio, but whey isolate is listed first. There is soy protein isolate listed later in the ingredients list, unclear how much is present.

    Unfortunately, there are mono and di glycerides in the product. Mono and di glycerides can be trans fat (if exposed to high heat), but they do not have to be listed as trans fats under FDA regulations. Basically, they are defined as emulsifiers not fats, so they do not have to be listed as trans fats.

    The label says 0g trans fat, but under FDA regulations, that just means that there's less than .5g trans fat per brownie. Therefore, it is unclear if there are trans fats in this product. The recommendation is to limit trans fat to 1g per 1,000 calories of your diet, so if you eat 2,000 calories a day, you don't want to eat more than 2g of trans fat per day. I don't think the brownie would have a lot of trans fat, surely less than half a gram per brownie, but it's something to be aware of when the recommended limit is so low.

    ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

    Now to the good part. These brownies taste good (8/10). Granted, they do not taste as good as a regular brownie (how could they, real brownies are mostly fat), but they are the best protein brownie I have had, and I have tried a few different brands. I usually warm these up in the microwave for about 10 seconds, so they are nice and gooey. When I'm feeling decadent, I add a scoop of ice cream.

    I think 15 grams of protein is a good amount for a snack. If you want more protein, add a glass of milk to wash it down and you're at 23g protein (28g if you use Fairlife).

    ----Effectiveness----

    I usually have some protein before I go to bed to keep my body in positive nitrogen balance overnight; sounds totally bro-ey, but I do think that it helps my recovery, especially when I'm running on limited calories. Food is food, so I can't say that these brownies were more or less effective than any other protein I would have eaten before bed, but they did the job.

    ----Value----

    I paid $20.68 for a box of 12, which comes out to $1.72 per brownie. I think this is a decent price. I'm comparing this product to other protein brownies that I have tried ($1.82 per brownie and $2.22 per brownie). Granted, those other brownies had more protein per brownie, but they didn't taste as good in my opinion.

    ----Side Effects----

    None for me. There are peanuts and almonds in the product (along with soy and milk), so if you have any allergies, beware.

    ----Conclusion----

    These are a pretty good snack. After I finished my box, I ordered another one, so I would recommend them. I just have to include the caveat that there could be trans fat in them. This is probably the only thing I eat that might have trans fat in it, so I'm not that concerned, but it did cause me to knock off a point.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Tastes Good
    • Could Have Trans Fat
    • Was Hard To Find

    ----Introduction----

    I'm a competing powerlifter and I am a big fan of high frequency training. For me, it has yielded the fastest progress for my bench and my squat (deads, not so much). I also like training heavy. Heavy + high frequency can be a bit much for my joints sometimes, so I do use joint support products when they are starting to feel achy. I haven't used any comprehensive joint products yet. Instead, I've been trying out different supplements one at a time to see what works for me. I have also tried MSM, cissus, and mega dosing fish oil.

    ----Ingredient Profile----

    There's onl...
    ----Introduction----

    I'm a competing powerlifter and I am a big fan of high frequency training. For me, it has yielded the fastest progress for my bench and my squat (deads, not so much). I also like training heavy. Heavy + high frequency can be a bit much for my joints sometimes, so I do use joint support products when they are starting to feel achy. I haven't used any comprehensive joint products yet. Instead, I've been trying out different supplements one at a time to see what works for me. I have also tried MSM, cissus, and mega dosing fish oil.

    ----Ingredient Profile----

    There's only one ingredient here, bosweilla serrata. Bosweilla serrata is a gum resin that comes out of a tree. It originated in ancient Indian medicine (hence it's an Ayurvedic herb) and has also been used in Chinese Medicine, through out the Middle East, etc.

    Bosweilla is an anti-inflammatory, has been known to help with osteoarthritis, edema, and may have anti-cancer effects (this needs more extensive research). It's fairly non-toxic and it's starting to appear in comprehensive joint support products.

    However, 5-Lox Inhibitor is not just any bosweilla serrata product. This is Apres Flex, which is a trademarked form of bosweilla. It has been standardized to 20% AKBA (the active ingredient in the resin). 20% is ideal for joint support. Some products contain 30% AKBA, but 20% has outperformed 30% in studies.

    Long story short, this is what you want. Bosweilla has been known to help with

    Unfortunately, a lot of companies sell the junk part of the plant in their supplements, and since it's all called bosweilla, you don't necessarily know what you are buying. Here, Life Extension is offering a trademarked form, so you know exactly what it is, and it is the good stuff.

    ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

    No taste or mixibility issues here. Just one small pill for you to take your first meal of the day. 1 pill is 100mg which is the lowest effective dose for a standardized extract. If you have the raw resin, you would need a lot more (around 1800mg to start). It's recommended that you start with 100mg and only increase it if you don't find relief with just one pill.

    ----Effectiveness----

    This was just great. I noticed improvement with my elbows and shoulders right away, within a few days of starting to take it. My joints never hurt enough for me to stop lifting. It was a nagging pain that would just annoy me when I had a lot of bench sets or skull crushers. I'd say it was a 3-3.5 on the pain scale. With this product, the nagging pains were gone. If you are having more pain than that, I recommend you give your body a break (or perhaps see a specialist) vs. looking for a supplement.

    I went right through the bottle, and I liked it so much that I ordered 3 more. I just got my mom to start taking it to see if it helps with her knee; she's had ongoing problems with it, but the jury is still out on that one.

    ----Value----

    I think this is priced very fairly. It's around $14 for 60 capsules, which for me is enough for 60 days. You will find cheaper bosweilla products from other brands ($13 for 90 servings, $20 for 120 servings), however they are not trademarked, and they do not tell you how much AKBA is present.

    Assuming that their bosweilla is in its raw state vs. being standardized for more AKBA (and I think that's a fair assumption because if it were more concentrated- they would tell you that, they would charge more, and their serving size wouldn't be 500mg), you would need 3-4 pills instead of one to get an effective dose, and what was a cheaper product is now twice as expensive.

    It's not worth it. 5 Lox Inhibitor is where it's at.

    ----Side Effects----

    None

    ----Conclusion----

    I know, I know, I could just lift less often to give my joints a break, but what can I say? I'm addicted to the iron. This stuff helps. It's worth a shot if joint support is of interest to you.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Trademarked Extract
    • Easy To Swallow
    • Good Value

      ----Introduction----
      I am a competing powerlifter currently cutting for a meet in June. With my reduced macro intake, it can be hard to get all of my micros in every day. I use a multi-vitamin as a bit of insurance. I do try to get everything in with food, but some days that doesn't happen. I usually avoid women's products since they're often a rip off in a pink bottle, but a women's multi (particularly for younger women) makes sense as we're more likely to be iron deficient (and I believe calcium deficient as well).

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      At first glance, this is a standard multi. I...
      ----Introduction----
      I am a competing powerlifter currently cutting for a meet in June. With my reduced macro intake, it can be hard to get all of my micros in every day. I use a multi-vitamin as a bit of insurance. I do try to get everything in with food, but some days that doesn't happen. I usually avoid women's products since they're often a rip off in a pink bottle, but a women's multi (particularly for younger women) makes sense as we're more likely to be iron deficient (and I believe calcium deficient as well).

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      At first glance, this is a standard multi. It has your main vitamins (A, Bs, C, D, E, K), your minerals, (iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, zinc). Unlike your generic store mutli-vitamin, this product has some extras: some herbs that are sometimes recommended to women for cramps (Dong Quai, chasteberry), some fat burners (that I don't think do anything, like Garcinia Cambogia), and some stuff for your eyes, e.g. lutein. It's rather similar to Opti-Women, but a bit cheaper. One could fuss that not all of the vitamins are chelated (to improve absorption), but some of them are, and it is a budget Multi. If you want everything chelated, you should expect to pay more money.

      ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

      There's no taste as this is a product in tablet form. No mixibility concerns and the pills are a bit on the larger side, but they aren't too bad to swallow. They're not horse pills at least.

      ----Effectiveness----

      So I ran a bottle of this product and thought it was rather effective. You don't really feel anything with a multi-vitamin, but I surely didn't feel deficient in anything either. It wasn't until I was already into my second bottle, that I realized I had a problem. Sorry if this is TMI for men, but I'm going to have to go there.

      I noticed that my monthly cycle had become irregular, which on it's own was not abnormal. These things happen from time to time.

      It wasn't until I did some research, however, that I realized that you are not supposed to supplement with chasteberry if you are on a hormone-based birth control (e.g. the pill, the patch, the shot), and I am on the pill. Chasteberry tries to equalize your estrogen levels, and the whole point of birth control is to artificially elevate them to avoid pregnancy. This can not only cause interference with the birth control itself (e.g. surprise baby), but it can also cause irregular cycles, head aches, and apparently a host of other issues.

      I don't get why a company would put this in a multi-vitamin tailored to younger women. Presumably it is, since it has 18mg of iron per serving, and that would be inappropriate for a menopausal women. Given that 1/3 fertile women in the US are on the pill (and I don't even know how many use other hormonal forms of birth control), it seems like a bad call to include chaseberry in a multi-vitamin marketed towards them, especially without a warning.

      There is the standard warning: don't take if you are pregnant, contemplating becoming pregnant, or nursing, which makes sense, but what about the women who don't want to become pregnant? Put it all together and most of the women who could benefit from the supplemental iron in the product should not be taking it.

      Clearly, I will no longer be using this product, and can't really give away my remaining bottles, unless I start asking my friends about their birth control preferences. Oh yeah, I'm going to be a real hit at parties.

      ----Value----

      Well, it is cheap. 1 bottle is about $17 and it's on BOGO 50% right now. If you are a young woman who is not on a hormone based birth control, it's a great buy.

      ----Side Effects----

      Well, I already touched on that, and won't repeat it, but yeah, no bueno.

      ----Conclusion----

      I wish I could recommend this product. It's at a great price and is almost well formulated, but yeah, they should either remove the chasteberry or reduce the iron and market it towards menopausal women. I can't picture them marketing this product only to women who have had their tubes tied (or rely on condoms), although that would be an industry first.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Cheap
      • Mostly Decent Profile
      • Irregular Monthly Cycle

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to AZÖTH for sending it out!)
      ----Introduction----

      I am a competing powerlifter and I am currently studying to become a strength coach, which entails a lot of reading and a lot of memorization. I've gone through various nootropic formulas (both homemade and pre-formulated products) over the past year. Some of them I used pre-workout and others i used during the day, either studying or when I was at work.

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      Azoth is stacked like the 1960s Boston Celtics. I have to give it a (10/10) on the profile. It has a racetam, a stimulant, choline, a peptide, and natural nootropics all coming together to ...
      ----Introduction----

      I am a competing powerlifter and I am currently studying to become a strength coach, which entails a lot of reading and a lot of memorization. I've gone through various nootropic formulas (both homemade and pre-formulated products) over the past year. Some of them I used pre-workout and others i used during the day, either studying or when I was at work.

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      Azoth is stacked like the 1960s Boston Celtics. I have to give it a (10/10) on the profile. It has a racetam, a stimulant, choline, a peptide, and natural nootropics all coming together to offer brain support, focus, energy, and anti-anxiety/stress. In addition, it's an open label, everything is clinically dosed, and some of these components are synergetic, e.g. the racetam and the alpha gpc, enhancing the value of the product.

      In my opinion, these were the most interesting parts of the formula (in no particular order).

      N-A-L-T: This form of tyrosine offers increased bioavailibility and absorption. Tyrosine is used to improve cognition, working memory, and reduce stress

      Alpha GPC: This is my favorite form of supplemental choline. It pairs well with racetams and is used to reduce cognitive decline or increase power output. Unfortunately, it is often pixie dusted in supplements as it is not a cheap ingredient. Azoth does us right here with 300mg.
      Ashwagandha: This is a natural adaptogen. It helps combat anxiety and stress and can lower cortisol.

      Phenylracetam: This is clearly a racetam. It can elevate your mood, increase CNS stimulation, and increase memory uptake and motivation. For acute effects, you want 100-200mg, so this product is right in the middle (150mg) and should work for most users.

      DMHA: This stimulant is becoming more and more popular in pre workouts and it will improve your energy and alertness. This is the first product I've used with DHMA and no caffeine. I think this was the correct call, because if there had been caffeine and DMHA, I think it would have been too energetic for people to use for work or studying- would make a crazy good pre-workout though.

      Noopept- is similar to a racetam, but has a different molecular structure. I thought it was interesting that they included noopept and phenylracetam, usually I see one or the other and not both.

      ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

      This product is encapsulated, so there are no taste or mixibility factors. A full dose is three capsules which I found easy to swallow, no horse pills here.

      ----Effectiveness----

      I used this product in a few different ways: pre-workout, when I was studying , and when I was working on my creative writing (a hobby of mine). For me, it was the most effective pre-workout, and in that setting I'd give it a (9/10). The focus was prevalent in all three situations, but Azoth had a physicality to it that made me want to move; I think it was the DMHA. This was great when I was in the gym, but it was not as helpful when I was studying or trying to write.

      The first time I took it, I was studying, and all I wanted to do was go to the gym and do squats. Once I was able to calm myself down, I had a productive study session, but it makes more sense for me to use it when I plan on squatting. I'd give it a (7/10) for focus when I'm not trying to do something that's physically laborious.

      ----Value----

      You can't have a nootropic as loaded as this one and have it not be expensive. It's list price is $45 for 10 servings which is a lot. I found a coupon that brings it down to $27, but that still is more than twice the cost of some other good nootropics. I think it's better than the ones I'm comparing it to, but is it good enough to pay twice as much?

      For me, the answer is probably not. I liked it best pre-workout, and there are cheaper pre-workouts with DMHA in them, so I would opt for that instead. I could, though, see Azoth being useful if you want a nootropic to use occasionally, e.g. for finals or a big work project.

      It would be too expensive for many to use on a daily basis, and I would caution against that anyway. In my experience, DMHA's effects decline if you use it too frequently, and you can start getting these gnarly crashes, so you want to save it for the times that count.

      Azoth is a luxury product, and it costs luxury money.

      ----Side Effects----

      I made sure not to take it multiple days in a row to avoid a crash. I never had a crash with this product, but I have with other DMHA products.

      ----Conclusion----

      Azoth is definitely one of the more interesting nootropics out there. A lot of good ingredients at good doses and the price reflects that. If you want a nootropic for special situations then this could be the one to get. If you're looking for something to take daily (or at least frequently like 4 or more days a week), then I would probably not go with a product with DMHA.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Increased Energy
      • Increased Drive
      • Long Lasting
      • Appetite Suppression
      • Increased Focus
      • -Not Widely Available
      • Too Expensive

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to Catalyst by Strength.com for sending it out!)
      ----Introduction----

      I'm a competing powerlifer, who is cutting down to the 84kg weight class- just made weight last week. I train 5-6 days a week with two high volume days and three intensity days (one for each of my three main lifts).

      I've been cutting at 1-2lbs/week and go through a lot of shakes to keep my protein count up and calories down. I drank this product for the most part, but I also used it to make whey peanut butter cups and protein bars.

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      There are relatively few ingredients in this protein powder. It's got whey isolate and concentrate. It doesn'...
      ----Introduction----

      I'm a competing powerlifer, who is cutting down to the 84kg weight class- just made weight last week. I train 5-6 days a week with two high volume days and three intensity days (one for each of my three main lifts).

      I've been cutting at 1-2lbs/week and go through a lot of shakes to keep my protein count up and calories down. I drank this product for the most part, but I also used it to make whey peanut butter cups and protein bars.

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      There are relatively few ingredients in this protein powder. It's got whey isolate and concentrate. It doesn't state the amounts of each, but the isolate is listed first and the cholesterol is pretty low (20mg), so my guess is there's more isolate than concentrate. It's sweetened with stevia, has some dextrose, natural and artificial flavors, and is colored with beet juice powder.

      Macros:

      This is a pretty lean product. It's 110 cals per scoop, 1/2 gram of fat, 3 grams carbs (1g sugar), and 24g of protein per 30g scoop.

      ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

      The taste gets a 7 from me. The initial taste reminded me of Swiss Miss, which brought some pleasant childhood nostalgia for me, but there was this aftertaste that was bitter, which took away some points.

      The bitterness wasn't there with every sip, but once you noticed it, it didn't go away until I rinsed out my mouth with water or something. I think it's the stevia, which I've heard can give a bitter aftertaste. I don't use it, so I wouldn't know for sure. If you already use/like stevia, then it may not bother you at all.

      This was only a problem when I was drinking the product. When I used it to make the peanut butter cups or protein bars, there were other components mixed in, peanut butter, sugar, etc, so I didn't taste any bitterness. It also cooks well, so if you like making protein desserts, that's a plus.

      I found that the product mixed well. I usually use a blender, but I did test the product with a shaker bottle a few times, and I didn't have any clumping issues.

      In terms of dosing, I think 1 scoop is a good dose. There's some debate as to how much whey you need to optimize muscle protein synthesis. Some people say 20g is enough. Others say a higher amount is better. 24-25g is about as much as you can expect in a 31g scoop, so I think Catalyst did well here. Also, if you add a cup of skim milk, that brings you to 32g of high quality protein in 190 calories, which is pretty great for cutting (or if you just want your calories to go elsewhere).

      ----Effectiveness----

      When I drank the protein, I'd use a scoop post workout. I found that my recovery went pretty well through out the past month (I'm eating 1g/lb LBM in protein), but whey is whey. It's hard for me to say that 1 protein powder is more or less effective than another.

      ----Value----

      This is a grass fed whey which will cost more than your ordinary protein powders, so I compared Catalyst to other grass fed products I found online to try and assess its value.

      I've seen grass fed whey products range from $11/lb to $26/lb, so there's a lot of variety there. The best deal I found for Catalyst was a 2lb tub AND their preworkout for $23 (at Supplement Hunt), so that's a pretty fair deal even if you don't care for the pre-workout.

      It's also NSF certified, which is a plus if you're a drug-tested athlete and are concerned about the potential for cross contamination with a prohibited supplement.

      ----Side Effects----

      No side effects here. I'm not lactose intolerant, nor do I have any food allergies. If you have any food allergies, you should know that there is an allergen warning on the product.

      "This product was produced in a facility that may also process ingredients containing milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans."

      ----Conclusion----

      I think there are some pretty good things going for this product: a really decent price considering that it's grass fed, macros that are pretty good if you're cutting, works well in desserts, and is NSF certified. but the bitterness kept me from getting excited about drinking it. I think it's worth considering if you want a grass fed product or are avoiding artificial colors or want a stevia sweetened product, but I would rather go with something less bitter.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Lower In Sodium
      • Grass Fed Sources
      • NSF Certified
      • Low Fat And Carb Profile
      • Bitter Aftertaste

      ----Introduction----
      I am a competing powerlifter and am currently cutting down so that I will fit in my weight class (just made my weight cut off this morning-woot).

      I am a drug tested athlete, so I did not use this product after a cycle. I just used it along my basic supplements (creatine, multi, fish oil, protein powder). This product is often used as either a PCT or in conjunction with a cycle, so I will not be able to speak to it in those contexts, but I can talk about my experiences with it, and when I think it could be potentially useful for people.

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      The...
      ----Introduction----
      I am a competing powerlifter and am currently cutting down so that I will fit in my weight class (just made my weight cut off this morning-woot).

      I am a drug tested athlete, so I did not use this product after a cycle. I just used it along my basic supplements (creatine, multi, fish oil, protein powder). This product is often used as either a PCT or in conjunction with a cycle, so I will not be able to speak to it in those contexts, but I can talk about my experiences with it, and when I think it could be potentially useful for people.

      ----Ingredient Profile----

      The main ingredient here is 5a-hydroxylaxogenin, which is a plant steroid (not an AAS or a prohormone). The product also has PhytoFUSE which is a trademarked delivery system designed to make the 5a more absorbable. OL claims that is increases absorbability 2-6 times, which is if accurate would probably make OL's product the best 5a product on the market.

      There's also soy phosphadycholine (50mg), which the body uses to make acyetylcholine, which is important for memory and other bodily functions. I have no idea what a transdermal dose of this supplement should be, but I thought I'd point out that it is present.

      ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----

      I used the transdermal version (there's also a pill version), so taste and mixability were not a factor.

      One dose is 1 squeeze of the bottle, which is supposed to be 2ml. Each bottle comes with 60 doses.

      I found my bottle's nozzle to be a bit inconsistent. Some days I got out a lot more product from one squeeze on than I did on other days. I had no way of measuring this objectively. I could tell, though, because you rub the product on your chest and arms, and some days I needed to cover more ground than other days.

      Other than that, the product's pretty easy to use. Make sure your skin is dry. You squeeze the product onto your hand, rub it in on your chest and arms and you do this 1-2 times a day. I used it pre-workout and then post shower, which was about 2-3 hours later.

      ----Effectiveness---

      I found that this product was effective for me. I was able to progress more consistently when I used Dermastrength Unleashed, and my bench press saw the biggest improvement.

      Over the 30 days that I used the product, I saw my close grip bench press go from 3x155lbs to 3x175lbs. My bench is my weakest lift, so this was a big deal for me. One of my goals this year is to hit a 200lb bench, and I think this product helped give me a nudge in the right direction.

      I do want to say, however, that I think some people's expectations for 5a-hydroxylaxogenin are too high. It gets marketed as an anabolic because it's a plant steroid, but it is a PLANT steroid.

      It is not an AAS. This is not a pro hormone. It has no effects on the HPTA (hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis) or estrogen levels. If it is not clear already, 5a-hydroxylaxogenin is not nearly as effective in promoting size and strength gains as an AAS would be.

      There is a reason that WADA allows it's use. If it were as effective as an AAS, it would have been banned years ago.

      I enjoyed this product a lot, but I don't think people should get it if they are expecting AAS-like results. That's just not realistic.

      This product, is however, one worth considering if you are looking to promote strength and size gains in a WADA compliant fashion. 5ao can help increase muscle protein synthesis. It can help reduce cortisol.

      ----Value----

      Right now, this product is pretty cheap on OL's website. They're selling it for $25.00 a bottle, which would be enough for 30-60 days depending on how you dose it. I'm not sure if it's being discontinued or if it's being upgraded (they're redoing a lot of products right now), but now's a good time to buy if you're thinking about it.

      I think I paid a little bit more for it, but it was during one of their 50% off sales, so I didn't spend more than $30, and I thought that it was money well spent.

      ----Side Effects----

      I had no side effects, and there shouldn't be any. It doesn't require a PCT. It doesn't affect DHT levels or cause any liver strain.

      ----Conclusion----

      I think Dermastrength Unleashed is a pretty darn good product. The literature on 5a-hydroxylaxogenin is a bit sparse/outdated, but I had solid results running it and I will run it again.

      I do want to emphasize though that this is not going to have the same effect on you as an AAS would, both referring to the results or the side effects. If someone tells you it's as good as X drug, that's a lie.

      It can be, however, a helpful addition to your stack if you're looking to promote size/strength gains while staying WADA complaint.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Starts Working Quickly
      • Builds Muscle
      • Good Value
      • Temperamental Nozzle

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