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smashley23

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Reviews by smashley23




Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter who's nursing a minor back strain right now; still training, just can't go crazy like I usually do. I was supposed to compete in June, but I had to push that back. My typical supplement stack is a protein powder, creatine, multi, fish oil, and a pre workout. Recently, though, I've added joint support/anti-inflammatories

Ingredient Profile

Like with most multi vitamins, there are a lot of ingredients here. This review would be a Tolstoy novel if I went into detail about all of them, so instead I'll go with the highlights.

We have o...

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter who's nursing a minor back strain right now; still training, just can't go crazy like I usually do. I was supposed to compete in June, but I had to push that back. My typical supplement stack is a protein powder, creatine, multi, fish oil, and a pre workout. Recently, though, I've added joint support/anti-inflammatories

Ingredient Profile

Like with most multi vitamins, there are a lot of ingredients here. This review would be a Tolstoy novel if I went into detail about all of them, so instead I'll go with the highlights.

We have our all of our basic vitamins covered here: Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B complex, etc.

For many of them, the dose is actually higher than you would need, e.g. there's 40 times the daily recommended amount of Thiamin. To me, that's overkill, but from what I could find, the dose is a safe one. The high dosing could allow you to just take 1 pill a day vs. 2 (which is a full serving) depending on your nutritional needs.

We have a lot of minerals in this product as well.

There's a full dose of Iron here, which makes sense in a women's multi. We ladies are more prone to iron deficiency, and although that's usually only a concern for pre-menopausal women, many women during and after menopause still get iron deficiencies.

There's a full dose of Zinc here. About 1/4 people worldwide are at risk of zinc deficiency (not sure how prevalent it is in any specific country).

There's 50% RDA of calcium, which is important because women are more likely to suffer from calcium deficiencies and osteoporosis.

The only mineral I thought there was too little of was the magnesium. Only 25% of the RDA is present, and I find it hard to get enough from food, so I would have appreciated more.

There are two proprietary blends in the multi, one is an active sports blend (150mg) and the other is an anti-oxidant blend (30mg). There are some interesting ingredients in the blends: coenzyme q10, lutein, and lycopene to name a few, but the amounts listed are so small that I'm not sure if you're getting an effective dose of them. I'm sure you're not with some of those ingredients, like taurine and beta-alanine.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

There's no taste here as this is a pill product.

There's no mixability either.

Dosing is easy, just take 2 pills with a meal. The pills are kind of big, but I don't think they're that bad. They're not horse pills.

Effectiveness

Multi's aren't a product that you feel working (unless they're addressing a present nutrient deficiency), so I can't describe their effectiveness in a physical way, but I can say that I was more likely to meet my RDA for vitamins and minerals on days that I took it vs. days where I didn't. I log what I eat on Cronometer.com, so I can see which nutrients I am getting from food, and which ones I am getting from the multi.

For me, I struggle to get enough Vitamin D, copper, iron, and magnesium in my diet, and this product helped with all of those. I do try to eat a balanced diet, but there are usually gaps here and there.

I found this product to be effective at filling most of them. Again, more magnesium would be nice (and they could cut back on some of the overly abundant vitamins).

Value

This multi is a good value. You can get a bottle for $13, and 45 servings come in a bottle ($0.28/day). Comparing it to some other simpler multis, it's cheaper than Controlled Labs Vitmore, which is $0.50 cents/day (while offering a similar formula) and a touch more than Opti-Women, $0.24/day.

One advantage Active Woman has over Opti-Women is that it doesn't have any ingredients that would interfere with hormone-based birth control, which means that a woman who is on the pill (or the patch or the shot) can still use it.

This product will cover your basic nutritional needs at a good price. There are other multis with more bells and whistles, but they'll cost about twice as much.

Side Effects

I had no side effects.

Conclusion

This is not your fancy, has all of the frills multi. It's simple, to the point, and can help make up for gaps in your diet. At the price, I think it's a great deal.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Full Dose Of Iron
  • Full Dose Of Zinc
  • Good Value
  • Could Use More Magnesium

Introduction

I'm a powerlifter and aspiring strength coach. Currently, I'm working on this nagging lower back strain, but I'm still working out 4 days a week. I just have to take it easy on the weight. I take a mix of different supplements, some for general health and others for athletic performance. Typically, I have a multi, a fish oil, a protein powder, a pre-workout, and a joint support/anti-inflammation supp in the mix.

Ingredient Profile

This is a fish oil product. Generally, speaking, people take fish oil for heart health (and because they don't eat fatty fish regu...

Introduction

I'm a powerlifter and aspiring strength coach. Currently, I'm working on this nagging lower back strain, but I'm still working out 4 days a week. I just have to take it easy on the weight. I take a mix of different supplements, some for general health and others for athletic performance. Typically, I have a multi, a fish oil, a protein powder, a pre-workout, and a joint support/anti-inflammation supp in the mix.

Ingredient Profile

This is a fish oil product. Generally, speaking, people take fish oil for heart health (and because they don't eat fatty fish regularly), but fish oil can provide a slew of other benefits: reduced risk of stroke, improved brain function, relief from osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, and reduced risk for certain types of cancer.

You do, though, want to be careful when selecting a fish oil product. Subpar fish oil products can be rancid or have unreasonably high levels of mercury. I would not just get any product off the shelf in the store. You do want to know and trust the brand you are buying.

The only noteworthy ingredients are the EPA and the DHA (the omega 3s). One serving is 2 gel capsules, which has 800mg EPA and 400mg DHA, so 1200mg omega 3s in total. The American Heart Association does not suggest a specific amount for daily omega 3 intake in healthy individuals. It only makes recommendations for those who have certain risk factors (and for those people the recommendation can vary from 500-2000mg a day).

From what I have read, 250-500mg omega 3s a day is a good minimum for the average joe, so Controlled Labs gives more than an efficacious dose for most people. Even half a serving would be a reasonable dose.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

There's not much of a taste here. The pills are orange flavored to help mask any fishiness, but it's more of a scent than a taste to me. No fish burps though.

No mixability.

The dose is just 2 pills. They're easy enough to swallow.

Effectiveness

Fish oil isn't something that you necessarily feel. If you're taking it for the heart benefits, you would really need repeated blood work testing to see how it's working for you.

I mostly take fish oil for heart reasons (family risk factors), so I can't feel it working for me, but I'm confident that it is. Fish oil has been extensively researched. Oximega has been tested and shown to meet label claims, so you should get all of the benefits of fish oil supplementation with this product. I do keep it in the freezer to protect it from going rancid (it also prevents fish burps).

If you're taking it for other reasons, joint pain, improved brain function, etc, it may be easier to see if it's working for you based on experience. I already take a joint support product and anti-inflammatories, so I wouldn't be able to say if Oximega is doing anything on top of those.

Value

I think the price is pretty fair. Oximega is an ultra concentrated product, so you only need 1 pill to get enough omega 3s (in normal circumstances) and there are 120 pills per container, so 1 bottle can last you up to 4 months.

One bottle will retail for around $18, but a few times a year, you can find this product on BOGO or BOGO 50%, so you can get it for $9-13 a bottle if you're patient, and if you stock up when the sales are, you can save for the entire year.

There are cheaper products, of course, (I saw one product that offered 250 pills for $11), but they did not have the same concentration of omega 3s, so you would need to take more pills to get the same health benefits. This can be cumbersome, and if you're prone to fish burps or getting an upset stomach, you do not want to take 4-5 fish oil pills when you could have taken 1-2.

There are also more expensive fish oil products on the market. From what I could gather CL's product was in the middle on pricing, and I'm okay with that. I'll spend a few more dollars over the bare minimum and know that I'm getting what I'm paying for.

Side Effects

None. No fish burps, no upset stomach.

Conclusion

Not the most exciting product to review, no fun stims or crazy pumps here, but omega 3s are important for our health and are often lacking in American diets, so it's good to have a product as a backup.

Controlled Labs put out a good one and was one of the earlier companies to offer a concentrated fish oil product. There are more on the market now, but I'm happy with what I have here.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Easy To Swallow
  • Higher Epa/dha Concentration
  • Neutral Citrus Smell

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

    Introduction

    I'm a powerlifter, and I had been peaking for a meet in June, but due to some injuries/family illnesses, I decided to postpone until later in the year. I'm still training and taking care of myself. I just need to wait before I start strutting on the platform again. I absolutely hate being sick. Really, it's the worst. When I saw this product pop un on TROOPs, I was down to try it!

    Ingredient Profile

    Only one ingredient here. We have a concentrated reishi extract. Reishi is a type of mushroom that has been long used for health purposes (starting with the Chin...

    Introduction

    I'm a powerlifter, and I had been peaking for a meet in June, but due to some injuries/family illnesses, I decided to postpone until later in the year. I'm still training and taking care of myself. I just need to wait before I start strutting on the platform again. I absolutely hate being sick. Really, it's the worst. When I saw this product pop un on TROOPs, I was down to try it!

    Ingredient Profile

    Only one ingredient here. We have a concentrated reishi extract. Reishi is a type of mushroom that has been long used for health purposes (starting with the Chin Dynasty. It used to be reserved for royalty). There are a number of health benefits associated with reishi supplementation: boosted immune response, lower blood pressure, act as an anti-allergy/give antihistamine effects, protecting against liver disease and ulcers. Reishi can also slow the process of blood clotting.

    Unfortunately, most of the positive research has been done on animals, and the human research is both limited and mixed in terms of results.

    There are hopes that reishi has anti-cancer properties, but this has not yet been proven.

    The Product-

    Here, we have 500mg of extract at least 30% polysaccharides. I'm not sure if that's a good dose or not as I'm not sure of the effective dose for an extract. Life Extension offers a product with 980mg extract at 13% polysaccharides, so you're getting more polysaccharides with Nature Restore.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    This section will be pretty short. We have no taste as this is a capsule product. Reishi is said to taste pretty bitter, so this is probably for the best.

    Likewise, there's no mixability.

    Dosing. It's pretty easy to take. One small pill a day.

    Effectiveness

    Now this is a tough one for me. Unlike a pre-workout or a nootropic, health supplements aren't something you feel, so it can be hard to assess their efficacy.

    Having said that, I do think this product did do something for me. I took it every day for over a month, and I did not get sick once. That's not surprising. I don't get sick very often, but my sister had this cold for a week and a half, and to my chagrin, she doesn't always cover her mouth when she coughs (and commits a number of other germ-related offenses). I still didn't get sick.

    Value

    I think the value here is pretty fair. It's $16 on Amazon for 90 servings. Life Extension's Reishi product is $21 for 30 servings, so NR is clearly cheaper. There are even cheaper reishi products, but they don't tell you the % of polysaccharide, so those products could be the junk part of the plant.

    Side Effects

    I didn't feel any side effects. I do, though, want to say that reishi supplementation has been associated with liver issues. I don't know if that's only in people who have pre-disposed liver conditions or people who take way too much, but it's something to think about (and research) if you want to supplement with it regularly.

    Conclusion

    I liked this product. I don't know for sure that it worked, but I have a good feeling about it. I've only had positive experiences with Nature Restore. Reishi extract is associated with a lot of health benefits (although there needs to be more research to understand in what situations it will be helpful and for what people), and the price is pretty good.

    For $0.17/day, I think it's worth a shot if you want to boost your immunity, and who wants to be sick?
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Boosts Immunity
    • Good Value
    • Concerns Of Liver Toxicity

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

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter and just decided not to compete next month. I've had a few setbacks in training and am now focused on getting healthy and trying not to lose any strength.

    Ingredient Profile

    There are a lot of ingredients here. Most of them vitamins. I'm not going to talk about them because they're all pretty common/basic and are probably covered in your diet (or your multi ;))

    To me, the interesting ingredients here are the amino acids and nootropics.

    Focus Blend
    HICA, Theobromine, CDP Choline 640mg

    HICA is a metabolite of Leucine. It could be...

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter and just decided not to compete next month. I've had a few setbacks in training and am now focused on getting healthy and trying not to lose any strength.

    Ingredient Profile

    There are a lot of ingredients here. Most of them vitamins. I'm not going to talk about them because they're all pretty common/basic and are probably covered in your diet (or your multi ;))

    To me, the interesting ingredients here are the amino acids and nootropics.

    Focus Blend
    HICA, Theobromine, CDP Choline 640mg

    HICA is a metabolite of Leucine. It could be more worthwhile to supplement with than leucine is but more research is needed. Single studies have shown increased lean mass and reduced soreness as benefits. The optimal dose is unknown. The only human study I know of used 500mg 3 times a day (1500mg total). Clearly, we don't have that here.

    Theobromine is an alkaloid which is similar in structure to caffeine. It is under researched in the supplement world, but is used to increase NO, improve mood, and as a natural diuretic. Dosing can be anywhere from 100-600mg. We're probably in that range here, but I can't say for sure.

    CDP Choline- This is a pretty good source of choline- you either want this or Alpha GPC. Ideally, you would get at least 300mg for nootropic purposes. We're probably below that here as it's listed 3rd in the ingredients and this blend is small.

    Amino Acids
    Leucine (2g), Isoleucine (1g), Valine (1g)- We have 4g of BCAAs here, which is a little low. You usually see 5g+ in an intra product.
    Lysine (1g)- Lysine is an amino acid that plays a major role in recovery, hormone production, and calcium absorption. Couldn't find an effective dose recomemndation.
    Taurine (1g) Taurine is an amino acid. Common dose is between 500mg-2g, so 1g is a fair amount. It can improve bloodflow and hydration among other benefits.
    Therorine (950mg) Therorine is an EAA, so it must be obtained through diet. It helps produce connective tissue
    Alanine (500mg)- Alanine is a nonessential AA and supports muscle growth.
    Methionine (300mg)- Methionine is an EAA. It's important in the growth of new blood vessels and can help with a variety of diseases. I didn't see much in terms of benefits for athletes specifically
    Phenylalanine (150mg) Phenylalanine is an EAA and plays a key role in biosynthesis in other amino acids.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    I'm of the opinion that intra products should taste good as people tend to add a lot of water to them and sip them during the workout. I bring a half gallon bottle to my workouts and will add 1-2 scoops of my intra to it. Unfortunately, I had some issues taste of this product.

    First, it had a strange and unpleasant aroma that kind of reminded me of vomit. Smell and taste are connected, so when something smells foul it tends to color how the product tastes. I tried not to inhale it before drinking.

    The initial taste was actually okay, just your ordinary fruit punch, but this unpleasant aftertaste would start to build. After a few swigs, I didn't want to drink any more. The aftertaste made it was hard to finish the product during workouts.

    The first time I used Resurgence, I failed to finish my half gallon of water during my workout. No worries, I figured I'd just finish it later in the day. When I tried drinking it a couple of hours later, it was awful. The bad smell amplified and it tasted terrible. You cannot let this product sit. It becomes noxious somehow. I swear the smell could wake the dead.

    I had to wash my bottle w/ soap and water a few times to get the smell out.

    The mixability was okay. There was some grittiness, but it wasn't too bad and some residue in the bottle but it mostly mixed.

    A dose is 1 scoop which is easy enough to measure out. The scoop has a long handle which makes it easy to find, but hard to get the lid to close when you first start using it.

    Effectiveness

    For me, the effectiveness was only okay. I did find Resurgence helpful in terms of recovery. I think the added EAAs were of use. I did not, however, find that my focus improved and since it's marketed as having a nootropic formula, I had to take off some points for that.

    Also, the taste cut down on the effectiveness. One of the reasons I like intra workouts is that they get me to drink a lot more water than I would ordinarily, but that was not the case here.

    Value

    The price isn't terrible, but I think it's a little steep. I was able to find it for $35, which is $1.16 a serving. In my opinion, that's a lot for an intra workout. Xtend, which is one of the most common BCAA supplements (and tastes awesome) can be found for $17 a 30 serving tub, which is only $.60 a serving. Even if you get a fancier intra workout like Xtend perform, you're looking at $.76 a serving.

    There are some other products that are similarly priced, like Nutrabio's Intra Blast, so I can't say this price is out of left field, but I wouldn't pay this much for a product that I didn't like drinking, and that to me, wasn't any more special than a standard intra workout.

    Side Effects

    No side effects

    Conclusion

    There were some good things about Resurgence, but it just didn't do it for me. The taste was the biggest flaw, but they could work on the focus blend too.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Improved Recovery
    • No Focus
    • Bad Taste
    • Too Expensive

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter and am about to start peaking for my next competition. A minor back strain has set me back, but I'm training around that and am still working hard in the gym.

    Ingredient Profile

    Prolific has 8 ingredients and an open label. Not a kitchen sink formula by means, but it has a number of good things. It's a bit hard to assess the ingredients/dosing because the label has two options, 40 single scoop servings or 20 double scoop servings. Some ingredients are underdosed at 1 scoop but are liberally dosed at two scoops. I'm going to assess ...

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter and am about to start peaking for my next competition. A minor back strain has set me back, but I'm training around that and am still working hard in the gym.

    Ingredient Profile

    Prolific has 8 ingredients and an open label. Not a kitchen sink formula by means, but it has a number of good things. It's a bit hard to assess the ingredients/dosing because the label has two options, 40 single scoop servings or 20 double scoop servings. Some ingredients are underdosed at 1 scoop but are liberally dosed at two scoops. I'm going to assess the profile using one scoop since that's an option that they are marketing, so I will hold them to it.

    Energy
    Caffeine (160mg/scoop). It's a combination of caffeine anhydrous and caffeine malate. Not gonna lie, I don't actually care about different types of caffeine and can't really talk about the differences between them. 160mg is a little low for most people, but I like it for my less intense days, e.g. if I'm deloading or am tapering before a meet.

    Pumps
    L-Citrulline (3g/scoop). Citrulline is a pre-cursor to arginine (your kidneys turn citrulline into arginine) and is an effective pump enhancer. It can also help reduce fatigue and soreness. 3g is a little low if you wanted just one scoop, but for me it's enough to get a decent pump. Many users, though, want more citrulline per workout, 4-8g.

    Focus
    Citicholine (125mg/scoop). Citicholine is a nootropic that will improve your choline and uridine levels. It can improve your memory and attention while helping to decrease cognitive decline. It and alpha-gpc are effective pre-workout. A standard dose is 500-2000mg per day split into two doses. 125mg is low for one scoop (and even at 2 scoops, it's only about half the amount you want per day). Prolific, though, does offer the trademarked form citcognizin which is a plus.

    Taurine (750mg/scoop) Taurine is supplemented for a number of reasons. It can improve memory and decrease anxiety. It also may be useful for hydration. A standard dose is 500mg-2000mg, so 750mg per scoop is pretty reasonable.

    Rhodiola Rosea (50mg/scoop)- This is a root with a number of benefits, including decreased fatigue and increased cognition. An acute dose is 288-680mg, so the amount here is low. I don't think I've ever seen RR dosed as high as it is suggested.

    L-Theanine (100mg/scoop) Theanine relaxes you without sedating you. It's often paired with caffeine to take some of the anxiety away. 100mg-200mg is a common dose.

    Other- This category is for ingredients that I don't think have an acute effect. They may be helpful, but I don't think they're contributing to the efficacy of the product as a pre-workout.

    Coffee Fruit Extract (NeuroFactorTM) (50mg/scoop)- This is a new ingredient to me. It's supposed to help repair brain damage. I don't know if 50mg (or even 100mg) is a sufficient dose.

    Betaine Anhydrous (1.25g/scoop)- Betaine a precurser to choline and has been extensively studied to see if it helps prevent heart disease. Recently, it has been introduced to the exercise world to help improve power output and body composition. 500mg is the lowest effective dose. A more common dose is 2500mg per day divided in two doses. 1.25g/scoop is reasonable.

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    I got a tub of the mango, and I didn't love the taste. It's okay, but I usually try to get it down in a few big gulps. The aftertaste is surprisingly pleasant, but the initial taste is on the bitter side.

    It mixes easily. No clumpiness. A little residue on the side of the shaker bottle, but it washed off easily.

    I always use my measuring scale to make sure that I'm getting the amount that I want. 1 scoop came out to 7g as it should. 1 scoop is a decent workout, but I found that Prolific really shined at 1.5 scoops, which is what I used most of the time.

    Effectiveness

    I was actually surprised at how effective this pre was for me. When it first came out, I thought it was basically Komodo Katana which I already owned, so I didn't buy it. If you haven't used it, KK is also 40 scoops/container, is low caffeine (115mg/scoop) has similar ingredients (citrulline, cognizin). It lacks neurofactor and theanine but it has agmatine and l-tyrosine.

    Anyway, I had a number of friends raving about how Prolific was amazing. I didn't really believe them since they rave about everything PES does, and PES been hit or miss for me. Eventually, I caved and bought a tub.

    Don't tell my friends, but I'm glad I did. I've thoroughly enjoyed every workout I've used it for, squat day, bench day, doesn't matter what day. With Prolific it's a good day. The energy was nice and smooth. It came up gradually and lasted my entire workout. Sometimes I get "overstimmed" and that was not a problem for me at all. The pumps were solid, and I did find that my focus was strong, even though the dosing on the focus ingredients was on the low side (especially at one scoop).

    If you really want a good kick in the ass, pair 1.5 scoops of prolific with 1-2 caps of Teacrine (I use Primaforce) and you'll get this smooth energy that lasts for hours. It's my go to combo at the moment.

    Value

    I think the value is pretty fair, although I wouldn't call it a steal, especially if you want two scoops.

    One tub will run you about $27 dollars which is only .68 cents per scoop. Komodo Katana, which in my book is fairly similar, is $32-33/tub or 80 cents per scoop.

    Even if you double scoop Prolific, you're still at $1.36/serving which is pretty good given the experience. Comparing it to some top pre-workouts, at two scoops Prolific is cheaper per serving than Pre-Jym, more expensive per serving than Total War, and around the same price/serving as Kraken (assuming you aren't lucky enough to snag Kraken on BOGO). One advantage Prolific has to TW and Kraken is that I can use it every day. I have to space out my DMHA use or else I get a terrible crash.

    For me, Prolific came out to just over $1/serving since I used 1.5 scoops, which is a pretty good price. I'm happy with this.

    Side Effects

    None for me.

    Conclusion

    I think PES was overreaching a bit when they called this "The Last Pre Workout You'll Ever Need," but it is a pretty good one, and I will keep it in my rotation.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Very Good Pumps
    • Good Focus
    • Clean Energy
    • No Crash
    • 1 Scoop Is Not Enough

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

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter, about a month out from my next meet. I train 4-5 days a week and my basic stack is a PWO, protein powder, fish oil, multi, creatine, curcumin, and apres flex. Of course, diet and training are my main focus, but I do believe a well thought supplement regime can only help my progress.

    Ingredient Profile

    This is a single ingredient product.

    AstraGin is a trademarked compound used to improve the efficacy of other supplements. It was created by NuLiv Science and is made of Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng plants. It work...

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter, about a month out from my next meet. I train 4-5 days a week and my basic stack is a PWO, protein powder, fish oil, multi, creatine, curcumin, and apres flex. Of course, diet and training are my main focus, but I do believe a well thought supplement regime can only help my progress.

    Ingredient Profile

    This is a single ingredient product.

    AstraGin is a trademarked compound used to improve the efficacy of other supplements. It was created by NuLiv Science and is made of Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng plants. It works by improving the small intestine's ability to absorb certain supplements. Notably, citrulline (up to 43%) and folate (up to 50%). It is also said to improve the health of the small intestines by mitigating damage to do the walls. If this is accurate, then AstraGin could be quite useful as a general health supplement, even if you don't need it to improve the efficacy of other supplements. I hope they do more research on this. Unfortunately, the supplement industry has too many people ready to jump on the bandwagon and not enough people actually willing to invest into research (getting off my soapbox now).

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    No taste here. The product is in a capsule. Mixability is a non issue as well. The dose is just one small pill, easy to swallow. Each pill is 200mg, which is a very liberal dose. NuLiv calls 50mg 1 dose.

    Effectiveness

    I used this product in two different ways. I used it alongside my pre workout on days that I trained and I used it with my vitamins on off days. Most of my pre workouts have citrulline in them. This is important because if AstraGin is marketed to boost the absorption of citrulline, then you want to use it with a product that has citrulline to see if there's any difference. It wouldn't be very fair if I used a citrulline-free product and then complained it didn't work.

    I also make this point because some supplements are shown to improve the absorption of one product, but then they are added to a whole slew of products as a marketing tactic. Notably, biopiperine. I've seen it in many pre workouts, but most of them didn't have any ingredients that biopiperine is shown to bolster. Just something to keep in mind.

    Anyway, back to AstraGin, I was really impressed with the addition to Astra-Gin to my preworkouts. I used it along with PWOs that I already liked (else why would I use them) and I went from getting good pumps to feeling like I had turned into Blastoise.

    The pre-workouts that I used to test it were PES Prolific, RedCon1 Total War, Sparta Kraken, and Elixir/Noxygen. Most of these PWOs have citrulline (either pure or malate). The only one that didn't was Elixir/Noxygen, but I still noticed that my pumps were better. It could be placebo, but I do think that Astra-Gin also works with nitrate based pump enhancers.

    I can't really offer much feedback on taking the AstraGin with my vitamins. It could have improved absorption, but I didn't do any blood work to confirm this. I can say, though, that I did not suffer any side effects from it, so it probably won't cause any harm. I just don't know if it's beneficial. On paper it should be given that my multi has folate and other ingredients that Astra-Gin has been tested on, but I don't have a way of confirming it.

    Value

    The only place I saw to buy this was from Nature Restore. It's $33 a bottle, and each bottle has 90 servings. I think this is a pretty fair deal. The alternative, of course, would be to just scoop more of your pre workout, but that would cost more in the end, and in my case would cause me to ingest more caffeine at a time than I want to.

    NuLiv Science also sells AstraGin by the bottle for $25, but they only offer 60 servings, so Nature Restore is probably more cost effective.

    Side Effects

    None for me

    Conclusion

    It's kind of a funny idea, supplementing your supplement, but I think AstraGin is a good ingredient to have around. It's cheaper than double scooping (or in some cases 1.5 scooping) your pre workout and it allows you to get more of a pump without having to add more stimulants. Some PWOs are featuring it, and it could be that this ingredient will become a pre workout staple.

    I think it's worth a shot, and I'd like to thank Nature Restore for giving me the chance to try it out.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Enhanced Pump Feel
    • Good Value
    • Increase Supplement Absorption
    • Great Value

      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!
        (Show run details )

        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

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