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smashley23

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REVIEWS (99)

Reviews by smashley23




Overall
Overall
7.2
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.5
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  August 13, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Builds Muscle
  • Good Digestion
  • Natural Protein
  • Amino Profile
  • Electrolytes
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Incredibly Foamy

Quick Summary

I got the chocolate fudge cookie. It tasted like a chocolate fudge pop to me, and the stevia wasn't overpowering. It made good mug cakes, but the shakes were a bit too foamy. I recommend it if you want a naturally flavored product. Else, stick w/ the regular VMI Protolyte.

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, currently cutting some vanity pounds before I bulk in the winter. I'm lifting 4 days a week using Brian Alrushe's Powerbuilding Program and I'm running 3 days a week in preparation for a 10k race in October.

I really enjoyed VMI's Protolyte, so w...

Quick Summary

I got the chocolate fudge cookie. It tasted like a chocolate fudge pop to me, and the stevia wasn't overpowering. It made good mug cakes, but the shakes were a bit too foamy. I recommend it if you want a naturally flavored product. Else, stick w/ the regular VMI Protolyte.

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, currently cutting some vanity pounds before I bulk in the winter. I'm lifting 4 days a week using Brian Alrushe's Powerbuilding Program and I'm running 3 days a week in preparation for a 10k race in October.

I really enjoyed VMI's Protolyte, so when I saw they had a natural version in the Troops Program, I had to try it. I've had a few natural protein powders before and they never tasted good. I hoped VMI would do better than the rest.

Ingredient Profile

One scoop (27.6g) gives you 21g protein, >1g fat, 1g carbs (0g sugar), and is 105 calories. There are also 10.5g EAAs per scoop, added electrolytes, and VMI gives us the amino profile on the tub.

In terms of ingredients, VMI uses non-GMO cold processed whey protein isolate, cocoa powder, natural flavors, xanthan gum, stevia, and an enzyme blend.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I thought it tasted pretty good for a natural protein (8/10). There was a clear chocolate flavor. There was no bitterness. In my experience, natural proteins usually bitter from the stevia. My one critique would be that it tasted more like a fudge pop than actual fudge. This product, though, did not taste as good as the regular Protolyte.

Mixability (6/10) This is where the product started to falter. I don't know what happened (guessing VMI had too much xanthan gum in the product) but my shakes were excessively foamy. They didn't look as bad as some of the pictures I saw of the vanilla cake batter, but I would say 20-30% of my shaker cup was foam.

The xanthan gum, however, did come in handy when I made mug cakes in the microwave. They came out great every time. The product also mixed well with yogurt.

Dose- I had a scoop at a time.

Effectiveness

For me, this product was pretty effective. I usually drank it (or ate it) post workout, and my recovery has been pretty solid over the past month. (I had been concerned that my running would affect my lifting, but so far my legs are doing fine)

Protolyte Naturals digested easily, and it was very easy to fit into my macros.

On its own, it was not very satiating, but I would not expect that for 105 calories and almost no fat.

With milk, however, the satiety was better, and it was best, when I mixed it with greek yogurt.

Value

The lowest price I saw was $40 for a tub, which is $1.6/serving. This is a bit expensive to me. I can usually get a whey isolate for $1.1-$1.3/serving. That being said, I think the price is fair. One, those other products may not give me the amino profile or have added electrolyte and enzymes (all of which add value).

Also, when I looked up the costs of some other natural protein powders, they were $2/serving.

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

VMI gave us a pretty solid natural protein option (they just need to fix the foaming issue). If you don't care about natural sweeteners vs. artificial ones, go one to regular Protolyte.

Thanks for letting me try it.



Overall
Overall
6.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
6.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 30, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Convenient
  • Good Value
  • Lactose Free
  • No Bloating
  • Low Fat
  • A Bit Chalky
  • No Amino Profile

Quick Summary

The Dutch Apple Pie tasted okay. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. The macros are decent, but there's no amino profile, so I'm unsure of the protein quality. It is reasonably priced, but I would pass on this one.

Introduction

I'm a personal trainer, and right now, we don't have a fridge at work, so my lunch options are limited. I saw MRE in the Troops program and thought it would be a good alternative to beef jerky or buying restaurant food. I've had Redcon1 products before and enjoyed them, so my expectations were high.

Right now, I'm cutting vanit...

Quick Summary

The Dutch Apple Pie tasted okay. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. The macros are decent, but there's no amino profile, so I'm unsure of the protein quality. It is reasonably priced, but I would pass on this one.

Introduction

I'm a personal trainer, and right now, we don't have a fridge at work, so my lunch options are limited. I saw MRE in the Troops program and thought it would be a good alternative to beef jerky or buying restaurant food. I've had Redcon1 products before and enjoyed them, so my expectations were high.

Right now, I'm cutting vanity pounds, so the MRE shake was my largest meal of the day. I also fast one day a week.

Ingredient Profile

One serving is 4 scoops (130g) and gives us 525 calories, 47g protein, 75g carbs (8g fiber, 5g sugar), and 4g fat >1 saturated. We also have 250mg potassium and 200mg sodium.

I would like to see more fat, though, as this is a meal replacement and 4g is pretty low. It would be nice to see 10-15g of fat and to bring the carbs down a bit (to keep the calories the same).

I like that the product uses rolled oats for carbs.

This is a diary free product. The protein is a blend of beef, salmon, chicken, egg, brown rice, and pea protein. I really wish Redcon1 gave us an amino profile here.

Usually beef protein products are just collagen which is good for your skin, but offers nothing in terms of a quality protein source. Salmon protein powder is similarly untrustworthy, and I couldn't even find anything on chicken protein powder that wasn't marketing.

47g of protein is good amount, but we don't know what all the protein actually is.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I asked for, and received, the Dutch Apple Pie. When I opened the tub, I got that smell of cinnamon that tells you that you're about to eat apple pie. I was excited. Unfortunately, the taste did not live up to the scent, 6.5/10.

The initial taste was alright, but the finish was really earthy. It wasn't a beet flavor but it reminded me of beets. It's hard to describe. It lingered through which was the real issue.

The mixability was okay. I didn't have any big clumps but it was a little sludgy when I used my shaker bottle.

I used 4 scoops in 16 oz of water.

Effectiveness

For me, the product was fairly effective. It was quick and convenient, easy on my stomach, and it kept me full for hours, which is what I needed.

My training has been going pretty well the past six weeks, but I'm in my off season now and not chasing any PRs, so I can't say anything cool like my recovery has improved X amount since I started taking this product.

Honestly, I'm not pushing myself that hard right now, compared to what I'm used to doing.

Value

One tub is $72, and has 25 servings, so we're looking at $2.88. This is actually pretty good for an MRP. I compared this product to two others and one was over $3 serving and the other was $1.6 serving, but only had half the calories, so if you double scooped it, you're looking at $3.2/serving.

All of these options are cheaper than buying takeout (save the $1 menu), so if that's your other option, there's clearly decent value here.

I would have rated the value higher if I had liked the taste.

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

All in all, this was a decent rough draft, but it needs refinement to be a good final product. If Redcon1 were to (1) give us the amino profile, (2) fix the flavoring, and (3) add more fat, they would have a knockout product.



Overall
Overall
7.4
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
6.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Ryse Supps for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 27, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Great Taste
  • Builds Muscle
  • A Little Clumpy
  • Too Expensive

Quick Summary

This protein tastes really good and has added MCTs. The only downside is that the product is expensive.

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, and I go through a lot of protein shakes each week. I try to consume some fat post-workout along with my protein and carbs, so when I saw Ryse's Loaded Protein in the Troops program, I knew I wanted to give it a go. The added MCTs were a big plus for me.

Ingredient Profile

One scoop (38.7g) gives us 140 calories, 25g protein, 5g carbs, (2g fiber, 1g sugar), and 2.5g fat (1.5g saturated). There's also 260...

Quick Summary

This protein tastes really good and has added MCTs. The only downside is that the product is expensive.

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, and I go through a lot of protein shakes each week. I try to consume some fat post-workout along with my protein and carbs, so when I saw Ryse's Loaded Protein in the Troops program, I knew I wanted to give it a go. The added MCTs were a big plus for me.

Ingredient Profile

One scoop (38.7g) gives us 140 calories, 25g protein, 5g carbs, (2g fiber, 1g sugar), and 2.5g fat (1.5g saturated). There's also 260g, 200mg potassium, and 120mg calcium.

The protein sources are whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. The fiber is probiotic fiber added to improve digestion and the amino profile is posted on the side of the tub.

1 scoop gives you 5.2g bcaas (2.4g from leucine), which is pretty normal for a whey powder.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I got Peanut Butter Cup (made with PB2), and it was really delicious, 9.5/10. It had the right balance of chocolate and peanut butter and it had a hint of salt which you would get if you ate a Reese's cup. It's one of the best protein powders I've had, and is the best chocolate peanut butter cup on the market in my opinion.

The mixability is okay. There was a little clumping when I used a shaker but not a lot. I wish the shake had been thicker. This mixed a little thin for my tastes.

I used 1 scoop at a time, usually in a glass of milk but sometimes, I mixed it in yogurt.

Effectiveness

My results using Loaded Protein were mostly good. I usually had this protein post workout/for breakfast. It would keep me full for 2-2.5hours which is pretty normal for me.

It was easy to digest. I don't know if the probiotic fiber helped, but it certainly didn't hurt.

In general, my recovery was pretty good while I used Loaded Protein. I was doing an ultra high frequency program at the time, so I had some joint soreness, but that was to be expected.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I saw any benefit from the added MCTs. They're supposed to give you energy, but I didn't notice anything special. It's possible that i don't respond to them. It's also possible that 1g isn't enough.

Value

One 2lb tub retails for $45, which is a lot, $1.66/serving. Only found one "deal" on the product, bringing the price down to $40.5 and the cost per serving to $1.5.

That's just too high in my opinion. The protein tastes very good, but taste alone isn't enough to justify the expense. It would be one thing if the product was unique, but there are two other protein powders that I know of with added fats (one has MCTs and the other sunflower oil), and they're cheaper $ ($1.16 and $1.33/serving respectively).

Perhaps if this was a pure whey isolate or there were more MCTs, I could understand the price. But right now, it's just not competitive.

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

I enjoyed Loaded Protein. Ryse definitely brought the flavor, but it's too expensive to be a go to protein for me. Perhaps if I was in the mood to splurge.



Overall
Overall
8.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.8
Value
Value
7.2
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Redcon1 for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  June 25, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Energy
  • Good Recovery
  • Bad Mixability
  • Too Expensive

Quick Summary

Cluster Bomb is a tasty and effective carb supplement. The science on HBCD is a bit iffy, but if that's what you want, this is a solid option.

Introduction

I'm a powerlifter and I've recently cut from the 84kg class down to the 72s. I decided to cycle my carbs as that makes it easier for me to keep with my deficit. When I saw Cluster Bomb was available, I had to grab it. I've tried a number of products from Redcon1 and they'd all be good, so I was looking forward to using it on my refeed days and it was my main carb source for my competition this past weeken...

Quick Summary

Cluster Bomb is a tasty and effective carb supplement. The science on HBCD is a bit iffy, but if that's what you want, this is a solid option.

Introduction

I'm a powerlifter and I've recently cut from the 84kg class down to the 72s. I decided to cycle my carbs as that makes it easier for me to keep with my deficit. When I saw Cluster Bomb was available, I had to grab it. I've tried a number of products from Redcon1 and they'd all be good, so I was looking forward to using it on my refeed days and it was my main carb source for my competition this past weekend.

Ingredient Profile

Pretty straightforward formula here. 1 scoop gives you 25g of highly branched cyclic dextrin and is 100 calories.

HBCD is a specially processed form of dextrose intended to have low osmolality. This means it will pass through the stomach quickly and get to your muscles faster. People use HBCD over cheaper carb sources to try and avoid the bloating they may get when using a cheaper carb source and to try and get faster muscle recovery.

Honestly, I think this is pretty much bro-science. There's not really any evidence that HBCD will treat your muscles better than other carbs. It could be true, but the only "proof" we have of it is marketing. The literature I've read is unpersuasive.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I got the strawberry kiwi, and it's pretty good, 8.5. It's sweet without being overly sweet (I used a 22oz shaker bottle to mix 1 scoop with) and it tastes like a "strawberry-kiwi" drink normally tastes. In other words, it doesn't taste like a real strawberry or a real kiwi.

The mixability was okay, 7.5. I didn't have much clumping, but it left a chalky texture on my tongue. I didn't like that very much.

In terms of dosing, I would use 1 scoop intra workout and one scoop post workout on my refeed days. For my meet, I had two scoops (one in each shaker bottle), one shaker I drank immediately after weigh in and one I sipped on for the next hour.

Effectiveness

I found Cluster Bomb to be effective for three different reasons. (1) Using it, I had more energy for my workouts. I typically train 1.5-2 hours, and I usually train fasted. The first hour goes pretty fast, but usually in the second hour, I can feel the fatigue setting in. When I had Cluster Bomb, I didn't feel tired at all, so I was able to put more in the last part of my workout.

My meet this past weekend was a bit rough. Squats and bench were not going my way at all, but I was able to come alive during the deadlifts, and I think the Cluster Bomb helped me keep my energy levels up in the latter part of my meet. For those of you who don't compete, there can be an hour (or more) between events, so it's easy to start off hot and have fatigue catch up to you through out the day. With Cluster Bomb, I was able to pull with fury!

(2) I found that I recovered faster between workouts when I used Cluster Bomb. So I usually take a week off after my meet, but I went in today. Wasn't 100% of course, but my post meet soreness was much better than it usually is.

(3) I had bigger pumps and increased vascularity on days I used Cluster Bomb.

Value

Cluster Bomb typically retails for $35-38, which is a little high to me, considering there are no extra here. I found competing brands that were cheaper, and the one that I found that was over $30/tub had electrolytes added to it. It would be nice to see Cluster Bomb have electrolytes added to it (or to have the price come down a bit)

Side Effects

None

Conclusion

This is a pretty good carb supplement. If Redcon1 can fix the chalky mouth feel and add some extras to it (or bring down the price a bit), they could make the product great!



Overall
Overall
8.0
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
8.0
  June 14, 2018

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Taste
  • Good Macros

    Quick Summary

    I used this product to make brownies last week. They were delicious, fudgy not dry at all. I wouldn't have known they were protein brownies if I hadn't made them myself. I do recommend.

    Introduction

    I'm a powerlifter, and I like to bake. I often make desserts, and sometimes, I make protein desserts. Baking with protein powder is risky because you can easily end up with a dry product or a rubbery one.

    When I saw this product in the grocery store, I had to try it. I've already used Kodiak pancake mix and the microwavable muffins, so I know they're a good comp...

    Quick Summary

    I used this product to make brownies last week. They were delicious, fudgy not dry at all. I wouldn't have known they were protein brownies if I hadn't made them myself. I do recommend.

    Introduction

    I'm a powerlifter, and I like to bake. I often make desserts, and sometimes, I make protein desserts. Baking with protein powder is risky because you can easily end up with a dry product or a rubbery one.

    When I saw this product in the grocery store, I had to try it. I've already used Kodiak pancake mix and the microwavable muffins, so I know they're a good company.

    I decided to make the brownies as specified on the box. I didn't want to get fancy with my first attempt.

    Ingredient Profile

    The ingredient list is pretty standard. You have cane sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, and baking powder, all of which you would expect to see in brownie mix. The flour used is whole wheat. There's also oat flour, wheat protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate.

    The macros will change depending on how you make the brownies. For example if you use butter, then you'll end up with more calories than if you use greek yogurt (which is an acceptable substitution on the box).

    Macros for Dry Mix (1 serving = 1/12 box)
    Calories 140, 2.5g fat (1.5g saturated), 24g carbs (2g fiber, 18g sugar), protein 7g.

    If you follow the recipe, the macros are:
    Cals 230, 12.5g fat, (6g saturated), 24g carbs (2g fiber, 18g sugar), protein 8g.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    I got the chocolate fudge as that was the flavor in the store. I thought it was done really well, 9/10 . Often times with protein snacks, the chocolate flavor is weak and underwhelming. These were done right. The flavor was rich. The texture was also good. They had a nice, heavy mouth feel that I expect when I eat brownies. All you need is a glass of milk by your side and you're good to go.

    The brownie mix was easy to work with. I had no clumping issues.

    I cut the brownies into 16 pieces instead of 12 to try and make them last a bit longer, so my servings were a bit smaller than standard. Not sure it worked. The brownies were gone in a few days.

    Effectiveness

    I found this product to be effective because:

    1. It made good brownies. They tasted good. They were filling without being too heavy in your stomach.

    2. The directions were easy to follow.

    3. The recipe was accurate. I didn't end up with a brownie mix that was too loose or too dry or too eggy. I did bake them at the lower end of the time range, and I think that was the correct decision for my oven.

    Value

    A box of Kodiak Cake Brownie Mix will cost you about $5 (can be a bit cheaper if you buy in bulk). This is a lot for a brownie mix. You can often get a box for $2-3, but a typical brownie mix will give you 1-2g protein per serving.

    Other protein mixes I've seen on the market were $6-$8, so I think Kodiak's product is fairly priced considering the market.

    Side Effects

    None

    Conclusion

    These were good. They're a bit too expensive for me to buy all the time, but every now and then, I'd splurge on a box. I also got their cornbread, so I'll be trying that next.



    Overall
    Overall
    8.5
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    8.8
    Value
    Value
    8.2
    Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
    Thanks to VMI Sports for sending it out!
    (Show run details )
      June 6, 2018

     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Keeps You Full
    • Builds Muscle
    • Good Meal Replacment
    • Increased Energy
    • Mixes Effortlessly
    • Amazing Taste
    • Great Recovery

      Quick Summary

      This is a good meal replacement/lean mass gainer. It's delicious, mixes well, and works well as a shake and with yogurt.

      Introduction

      I'm a powerlifter and am 2.5 weeks out from my fourth meet. I really enjoyed VMI's Protolyte, so when I saw Major Mass in the Troops program, I wanted to give it a go. I used it as a meal replacement vs. using it as a mass gainer as I'm not putting on weight right now. I would either drink it or mix it with yogurt and consume it post workout to start my carb refeeds.

      Ingredient Profile

      Each tub of Major Mass comes ...

      Quick Summary

      This is a good meal replacement/lean mass gainer. It's delicious, mixes well, and works well as a shake and with yogurt.

      Introduction

      I'm a powerlifter and am 2.5 weeks out from my fourth meet. I really enjoyed VMI's Protolyte, so when I saw Major Mass in the Troops program, I wanted to give it a go. I used it as a meal replacement vs. using it as a mass gainer as I'm not putting on weight right now. I would either drink it or mix it with yogurt and consume it post workout to start my carb refeeds.

      Ingredient Profile

      Each tub of Major Mass comes with 60 scoops. The smallest serving size listed is 2 scoops. The macros are (for two scoops):

      Calories 250, Protein 20g, Carbs 31g (10g sugar), Fat 5g (3.5g saturated).

      The protein is a blend of Whey Protein Concentrate, Whole Milk Powder, Whey Protein Isolate and Milk Protein Isolate. The carbs come from Carb10 and maltodextrin. Carb10

      The fat comes from a combination of MCT Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, and Whole Milk Powder.

      There are is also a digestive complex in the product.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I got Apple Pie Ala Mode and it tastes great (9.5/10). It tastes just like apple pie filling, and it has graham cracker bits that give it a nice crunch, reminding me of a crunchy pie crust.

      The mixability is good. It mixes well with a shaker bottle and it dissolves easily in milk or water. The shakes were on the thick side, which I prefer.

      I usually used 2 scoops at a time (sometimes 3). I would either mix it with Fairlife or greek yogurt and would eat it post workout.

      Effectiveness

      As a meal replacement, I found Major Mass to be pretty effective. Two scoops was enough to keep me full for a few hours without leaving me overly full or bloated.

      I liked how balanced the product is. A lot of people avoid fat post workout because it slows digestion but newer research suggests that having fat along with protein post workout may improve MPS (e.g. whole eggs would be preferable to egg whites).

      I also found that my recovery improved with the shakes. I was less sore during my run with Major Mass and even though my squat days were two days apart (Saturday and then again on Monday), I was always roaring and ready to go on Monday's session.

      Value

      The list price is $60, which is pretty high, but I often see it selling for $40, and I've seen it sell for $32. If you have 2 scoops at a time, this is only $1.06/serving, which I think is pretty fair for a meal replacement.

      It's a bit tricky comparing mass gainers as they often use different serving sizes/servings per container. I decided to use calories per dollar as a way to compare them.

      Major Mass is about the same (in terms of calories/dollar) as ON Pro Gainer, is cheaper Beverly International Mass Maker, and is a bit cheaper than Muscletech's Mass Tech

      As far as high quality gainers go, Major Mass is a good deal.

      Side Effects

      None

      Conclusion

      As I expected, Major Mass was a tasty treat. It was also good for my training/recovery. I highly recommend.



      Overall
      Overall
      8.0
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      8.3
      Value
      Value
      7.7
        May 28, 2018

       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Tastes Good
      • Good Value

        Quick Summary

        They're tasty. They actually taste like cookies (crunchy ones not chewy cookies). I'd recommend.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter getting ready for my fourth meet. I've tried a lot of protein snacks over the years, and I try to note the good ones (and the bad ones).

        I was curious about these when they first came out, but I'm not a big fan of the regular buff bake cookies, so it took me a while to pull the trigger. I finally ordered some in April, and I grabbed two different flavors: double chocolate and peanut butter cup.

        ----Ingredient Profile--...

        Quick Summary

        They're tasty. They actually taste like cookies (crunchy ones not chewy cookies). I'd recommend.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter getting ready for my fourth meet. I've tried a lot of protein snacks over the years, and I try to note the good ones (and the bad ones).

        I was curious about these when they first came out, but I'm not a big fan of the regular buff bake cookies, so it took me a while to pull the trigger. I finally ordered some in April, and I grabbed two different flavors: double chocolate and peanut butter cup.

        Ingredient Profile

        These cookies come in packs of four. In one pack (52g), we have:

        220 calories, 16g carbs (2g fiber, 11g added sugars), 12g protein, and 13g fat (5g saturated). They're a bit low on protein for a protein cookie, but I can forgive them because these are actually cookies. Many "protein cookies" are just protein bars cut into the shape of a circle.

        Adding more protein would likely mess with the texture and taste of the product.

        These cookies are gluten free, made with oat flour instead of wheat. They are made with whey protein, eggs, baking soda, and other common cookie ingredients.

        Taste/Mixability/Dosing

        The double chocolate cookies were good, 8/10 and the peanut butter cup cookies were very good 9/10. I think the peanut butter flavor came out a bit stronger than the double chocolate (so it got a better rating).

        There is a bit of peanut butter in the double chocolate cookies and there are chocolate chips in the peanut butter cookies, so you do get both flavors in both products.

        No Mixability here.

        I usually just ate a whole pack at a time. If I was feeling generous, I might share one of my cookies.

        Effectiveness

        I wasn't really looking for anything impressive in terms of effects. Buff Bake markets these as a tasty snack, not the secret to making gains.

        I really just wanted a snack that tasted good, and Buff Bake delivered.

        The cookies were good on their own and of course were better with milk.

        They were easy on the stomach.

        They kept me full in the evening.

        Value

        One 8-pack will typically sell for $18, which is a little high to me ($2.25/pack). Protein cookies are usually $1.5-$2/cookie. I, however, got 2 packs of the protein sandwich cookies for $27, which is a pretty fair deal in my opinion ($1.68/pack). This deal happens often (at least right now), so if you're looking to try them, get two boxes. Thank me later :D

        Side Effects

        None!

        Conclusion

        These are on the short list of protein cookies that I recommend. They are not third rate protein bars. They are actually crunchy cookies. I look forward to trying the other flavors.



        Overall
        Overall
        6.4
        Effectiveness
        Effectiveness
        6.0
        Value
        Value
        6.8
        Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
        Thanks to Beast Sports Nutrition for sending it out!
        (Show run details )
          May 23, 2018

         Pros:
         Cons:
        • Slight Warming Effect
        • Thermogenic Effects
        • Short Term Only

        Quick Summary

        Super Sauna worked well at first, but its success was short lived. As a fat burner, it was so so.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter trying to cut down to get into a new weight class. I'm about 4 weeks out and only have a couple pounds to go. When I saw Super Sauna in the Troops Program, I was excited to try it. I figured every little bit helps.

        Ingredient Profile

        We have an open label product, which I like. In one scoop of Super Sauna (5g), we have:

        LCLT (100mg)- This is a form of l-carnitine often used for recovery. 100mg is a pretty small...

        Quick Summary

        Super Sauna worked well at first, but its success was short lived. As a fat burner, it was so so.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter trying to cut down to get into a new weight class. I'm about 4 weeks out and only have a couple pounds to go. When I saw Super Sauna in the Troops Program, I was excited to try it. I figured every little bit helps.

        Ingredient Profile

        We have an open label product, which I like. In one scoop of Super Sauna (5g), we have:

        LCLT (100mg)- This is a form of l-carnitine often used for recovery. 100mg is a pretty small dose. 1-2g would be better.

        Grains of Paradise (30mg). This spice is common in West Africa. Recently, it's made an appearance as a fat burner. 30mg is a decent dose.

        Gamma-butyrobetaine HCI (25mg)- This compound will make you sweat, and it may help boost your metabolism. I couldn't find much on it (outside of rat studies).

        BioPerine (5mg)- This is a patented form of piperine and can help improve the absorbability of some supplements. I don't think, however, any of the ingredients in this formula have been shown to benefit from piperine. Often, this ingredient is added for no reason (other than marketing).

        Taste/Mixability/Dosing

        Taste

        I got the Lemon Dropkick. The initial taste was fine, 7.5/10, but the after taste is a bit rough.

        Mixability

        So the powder dissolves fine, but be careful with how you mix it. I first tried stirring it with a spoon, and I quickly realized that was a mistake. It felt like I was being maced.

        I tried stirring it and leaning back and it was still kind of like being maced. It's worth it to use a shaker bottle, just so you can mix the powder while it's enclosed.

        Dosing

        I used one serving before each workout. I didn't find a scoop in my container, so I just used a spoon and a food scale.

        Effectiveness

        At first, Super Sauna was pretty effective for me. I could feel my body warm up right away when I used it, my heart rate was higher through out the workout (I can see my HR on a screen at the gym), and when I compared my fitness tracker data on my first Super Sauna workout to a similar workout the week before, I saw a 12% increase in my calories burned per minute, i.e. I burned 5.4 cals/min instead of 4.8

        Unfortunately, however, these results did not last for very long. Although I could subjectively feel Super Sauna in my additional workouts (higher body temp, sweating, etc), my heart rate did not stay elevated as it did the first day.

        On my second workout, I only saw a 6% increase in my calories burned per minute. Then it quickly fell to only a 1% increase, and by the end of the week, my calories burned were the same. I adapted to the product very quickly.

        Maybe other people can get more use out of it, but I only had two good days with the product.

        Value

        I've seen this product sell for $19, which is pretty cheap. There are 30 servings in a tub. The product, though, has no caffeine, so most people would probably add it to a caffeinated product, which does take away from the value a bit. I saw this as an add on to a pre-workout vs. being a full one.

        Side Effects

        The spice in the product can be a bit rough, but I found it worse when I was mixing the product than when I was actually drinking it. If you don't like spicy things, I would stay away.

        Conclusion

        I did get some use out of the product, but it wasn't enough for me to want to recommend it. It could be worth a try at it's lowest price, and if you did get it, I would cycle it, e.g. 2 days on, 2 days off.



        Overall
        Overall
        8.0
        Effectiveness
        Effectiveness
        8.5
        Value
        Value
        7.8
        Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
        Thanks to Flex Nutrition for sending it out!
        (Show run details )
          May 17, 2018

         Pros:
         Cons:
        • Reduces Inflammation
        • Good Value
        • Non-GMO
        • Probably A Synthetic Ester

        Quick Summary

        This was a great fish oil product. It helped with my joint pain. I had no fish burps, and it's very affordable. I recommend.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter, and I train five days a week. I'm a big fan of fish oil, for general health, and for joint support. I'm doing a high frequency routine right now (benching five days a week), and sometimes my shoulders and elbows get a little wonky. I wanted to try Flex O-Mega to see if it would help.

        Ingredient Profile

        In one softgel, we have:

        10 calories (1g fat), 400mg EPA and 300mg DHA.

        For gene...

        Quick Summary

        This was a great fish oil product. It helped with my joint pain. I had no fish burps, and it's very affordable. I recommend.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter, and I train five days a week. I'm a big fan of fish oil, for general health, and for joint support. I'm doing a high frequency routine right now (benching five days a week), and sometimes my shoulders and elbows get a little wonky. I wanted to try Flex O-Mega to see if it would help.

        Ingredient Profile

        In one softgel, we have:

        10 calories (1g fat), 400mg EPA and 300mg DHA.

        For general health, you want 250-500mg EPA/DHA per day, so one softgel will do it for most people. If you have certain risk factors, you may want 1-2g EPA/DHA (2-3 softgels). Gym bros will often take 2-3g EPA/DHA a day (3-4 softgels).

        It does do not say what kind of fish oil is used, whether it is a natural triglyceride or a synthetic ester. I prefer natural triglycerides as they are more bioavailable, but they are also more expensive, so I have to assume (unless stated otherwise) that we have a synthetic ester here. This would be a reason to take 2 softgels/day instead of just one.

        The fish used are herring, anchovy, sardine, and salmon. You want smaller fish to as the fish oil source as they tend to have fewer contaminants in them.

        The capsule comes from bovine.

        Taste/Mixability/Dosing

        I keep my fish oil in the freezer. They had no taste, and I got no fish burps from them.

        There's no mixability here.

        I took two softgels a day, and I took them with breakfast. You want to take fish oil with other fat to help with the absorption

        Effectiveness

        I'm in pretty good health, so what I was really looking for with this product was joint support/pain relief.

        I found Flex O-mega to be very helpful on that front. I workout before breakfast, so sometimes I'd have shoulder or elbow pain before I took the fish oil. Within an hour or so of taking it, the pain would be gone.

        I didn't have joint pain every workout day, but when I did have it, it always went away after I took the Flex Omega.

        Value

        You can get 1 bottle (120 softgels) for $22.22 if you buy it direct. This is a pretty fair deal. It's a bit more than Oximega (about $18/bottle), but you're getting more EPA/DHA than Oximega, so I think the bump in price is reasonable.

        Side Effects

        None.

        Conclusion

        This was a pretty solid fish oil. I got good results from it, and at this price, I would recommend it.



        Overall
        Overall
        5.5
        Effectiveness
        Effectiveness
        5.5
        Value
        Value
        5.5
          May 16, 2018

         Pros:
         Cons:
        • Open Label
        • Strong Profile
        • Not Effective
        • Too Expensive

        Quick Summary

        Core Pump has a great profile, but my results were lackluster, and given that the product is expensive, I would not recommend it.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter, and I train five days a week. I start with my main lifts and then go on to do my accessory/fluff work. Although I don't primarily train for hypertrophy, I do enjoy chasing the pump at the end of my workouts. A bigger muscle is a stronger muscle.

        Ingredient Profile

        Core Pump is a stim-free pump product. It is an open-label product, which I like.

        In one scoop (10.9g), you get:

        1...

        Quick Summary

        Core Pump has a great profile, but my results were lackluster, and given that the product is expensive, I would not recommend it.

        Introduction

        I'm a competing powerlifter, and I train five days a week. I start with my main lifts and then go on to do my accessory/fluff work. Although I don't primarily train for hypertrophy, I do enjoy chasing the pump at the end of my workouts. A bigger muscle is a stronger muscle.

        Ingredient Profile

        Core Pump is a stim-free pump product. It is an open-label product, which I like.

        In one scoop (10.9g), you get:

        1g agmatine- This is a metabolite of arginine. It's often used as a pump enhancer and a glucose disposal agent. 1g is a solid dose.

        3g citrulline- This is a precursor of arginine (will turn to arginine in the kidneys). It is considered a better pump enhancer than arginine as it is more bioavailable. 3g is a bit light. I like to see at least 4g.

        2g hydromax- This is a stable form of glycerol monosterate. It is often used to increase hydration and improve pumps. Alas, people need a lot more for hydration (30-40g) than what you will get in a supplement product. I personally have never seen much from it in terms of pumps, and it can make products sticky in the summer.

        1.5g nitrosigine- The new kid on the block. This is a patented form of arginine and is bonded to a silicate to improve the bioavailability. 1.5g is a clinical dose.

        Overall, this is one of the strongest profiles for a pump product that I've seen.

        Taste/Mixability/Dosing

        I got the sour green apple flavor. The taste was fine 7/10. It tasted like a sour apple candy, but it had a bit of a bitter aftertaste, probably from the agmatine.

        The product mixed well. I would add it 6-8oz of water and use a shaker.

        For dosing, I used 1 scoop at a time, and I used a food scale to make sure I was getting the right amount.

        Effectiveness

        I had high hopes for this product. In the past, I have responded well to citrulline, agmatine, and nitrogsigine, so seeing all three of them in one product was exciting. Before now, I've only used 1-2 of the ingredients at one time

        Unfortunately, when it came down to it, I just didn't get much in terms of pumps, 6/10, and I saw nothing in terms of vascularity. There was some effect. It was better than not having a pre-workout at all, but I have seen better results (bigger pumps that lasted longer, increased vascularity) from other products, e.g. Big Noise, Stim-Free Conqu3r Unleashed (now discontinued).

        I'm not sure why I didn't respond to this one. Maybe, some of the ingredients contraindicated each other.

        Value

        This is not a cheap product. Core Pump typically costs $40, and each tub is 28 servings, which brings you to $1.43/serving. That's a lot for a pre-workout, especially considering the less than satisfactory results. I actually paid $36 for my tub and the cheapest I've seen it sell is $33.60. Even that price is high though, considering you can get Big Noise for $26.

        Side Effects

        None

        Conclusion

        This was was a dud for me, I'm sorry to say. A great profile, but the results just didn't follow.




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