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smashley23

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Reviews by smashley23




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

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

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

----Ingredient Profile----

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

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

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

----Ingredient Profile----

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

Macros:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

----Effectiveness----

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

----Value----

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

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

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

----Side Effects----

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

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

----Conclusion----

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

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

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

----Ingredient Profile----

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

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

----Ingredient Profile----

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

----Effectiveness---

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

----Value----

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

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

----Side Effects----

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

----Conclusion----

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

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

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

--------Introduction----

I'm a competing powerlifter, and I'm currently cutting down for a meet in June (slowly, losing .5-1lbs/week). I'm training 5-6 days a week right now (2 high volume days and three intensity days- one for each main lift), and looking to add 40-50lbs to my total, so I'll be hitting the grind quite hard for the next 10 weeks.

I use a variety of supplements, mainly pre workouts and protein powder/bars, but I also have some for general health, multi, fish oil, curcumin, and joint support (cissus) which I only take as needed.

----Ingredient Profile--

BCAAS- This produ...
--------Introduction----

I'm a competing powerlifter, and I'm currently cutting down for a meet in June (slowly, losing .5-1lbs/week). I'm training 5-6 days a week right now (2 high volume days and three intensity days- one for each main lift), and looking to add 40-50lbs to my total, so I'll be hitting the grind quite hard for the next 10 weeks.

I use a variety of supplements, mainly pre workouts and protein powder/bars, but I also have some for general health, multi, fish oil, curcumin, and joint support (cissus) which I only take as needed.

----Ingredient Profile--

BCAAS- This product has 7g of BCAAs in the standard 2:1:1 ratio. Usually people take anywhere from 5-10g at a time, so 7 is just about right.

Electrolytes- I like that there are electrolytes here. I think hydration is often underrated when it comes to performance and recovery. The blend includes sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and trisodium citrate dyhdrate

Citrulline Malate- 1g here, clearly not enough for a pump, but even small doses of citrulline malate can help muscles recover faster and improve endurance. I don't know if 1g is enough for endurance/recovery purposes (I couldn't find any literature on the matter), but many pre workouts have citrulline in them anyway, so it's easy to get more (or you can just add some in bulk).

Peak O2- This is what sets Xtend Perform apart from the other Xtend versions. Peak O2 is a trademarked blend of mushrooms. One study on it found that it can improve peak power output, VO2 Max, and time to exhaustion. In the study, they used 4g Peak O2 over the course of the day.

Each scoop of Xtend Perform has 2g Peak O2, and on the bottle, they recommend you take it twice a day, which would mean one bottle lasts 22 days (or 22 workout days if you only take it then.)

If Peak O2 holds up to the hype (hopefully there will be more research on the product), this could prove to be a really interesting supplements for athletes in a variety of sports.

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

I had the black cherry tub, and it tasted good, but it was strong. So strong that 1 scoop was almost enough for my half gallon water bottle. If I filled my bottle up all the way, the flavor was a little weak. 50-55oz is about right, so I would not use a small shaker bottle for this supplement.

My friends who also had black cherry complained the flavor was too strong, and it was like drinking candy. They had 20 oz shakers. That's why. I can't comment on the other flavors yet, but I ordered mango, so I'll know soon if it's as strongly flavored.
It mixed easily if anything 1 scoop might be too much for people who have a normal sized bottle. They should supersize their bottles, like I have :D.

----Effectiveness----

For me, this product was very effective. I found that on days where I used it, I wasn't as tired at the end of my workouts, some of them last 2 hours and I do 38-40 sets, so prolonged time to fatigue is really helpful for me.

I also found that my endurance improved even though I wasn't doing cardio regularly. I might do cardio 2-3 times some weeks and not at all other weeks. I found that when I came back to cardio, I didn't have to start over endurance wise. I was able to pick up where I left off and I've never been able to do that before.

----Value----

It can be expensive, $30-35 a tub, which is 44 servings if you take 1 scoop a day, but only 22 servings if you take 2 scoops a day, but if you look around, you can get a good price.

I got 3 tubs for $60 (and free shipping). At $20 a tub it was an absolute steal, and I found that 1 scoop a day was enough for me to benefit from Peak O2, so 3 tubs will last me a long time.

You can also buy Peak O2 in bulk from Primaforce, so if you want 4g, but don't want to double scoop this product, that's an option.

----Side Effects----

None for me!

----Conclusion----

This product has become my favorite intra workout. It checks all the right markers: helps with performance, tastes good, hydrates. I'd recommend it to anyone who has long workouts or wants a boost in their work capacity or just wants to stay hydrated and have something that tastes good.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Reduces Fatigue
  • Increased Energy
  • Tasty

    ----Introduction----
    I'm a competing powerlifter, and I usually train for 1-2 hours each session, 4-5 days a week. I'm doing my next meet in about 3 months, so I'm pushing myself pretty hard, hoping to go 9/9 on my lifts this time.

    ----Ingredient Profile----
    There's only one active ingredient here, Teacrine (which is a trademarked form of theacrine). You can take it on its own or add it to a preworkout or a caffeine pill.

    ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----
    There's no taste here as the product comes in pills. Teacrine tastes pretty bad (very bitter) so this is a good thing. Now, teacrine can...
    ----Introduction----
    I'm a competing powerlifter, and I usually train for 1-2 hours each session, 4-5 days a week. I'm doing my next meet in about 3 months, so I'm pushing myself pretty hard, hoping to go 9/9 on my lifts this time.

    ----Ingredient Profile----
    There's only one active ingredient here, Teacrine (which is a trademarked form of theacrine). You can take it on its own or add it to a preworkout or a caffeine pill.

    ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----
    There's no taste here as the product comes in pills. Teacrine tastes pretty bad (very bitter) so this is a good thing. Now, teacrine can be sold with a flavor blocker, which some pre-workouts have, but this is just teacrine here.

    No mixability to comment on.

    Each pill is 50mg of teacrine, which I think is just right. You want at least 50mg to get an energetic effect from it (less can actually be sedative) and a common dose is 100-150mg, so you can just take 2-3 pills and be on your way. The pills are small and are easy to swallow, and there are 120 capsules per bottle, so you're getting 40-60 servings per bottle.

    ----Effectiveness----
    Theacrine is not the most powerful stimulant. For those of you who want something hard hitting, e.g. DMAA AMP-Citrate, DMHA, this is not it. What theacrine does provide, however, is a milder energy and focus that will last for a few hours. It comes on gradually and leaves gradually as well. I find this nice for my longer workouts as I never feel too stimmed out at any point, but I have enough energy for my entire workout.

    Another good thing about theacrine is that it doesn't appear to induce a tolerance (at least it is less tolerance inducing than caffeine), which means you don't need to keep increasing the dosage to get an effect. I've used this product multiple days in a row and the effects did not diminish for me.

    Theacrine is effective on it's own, but I usually add it to my less powerful pre workouts (around 200mg caffeine) and take 1-2 caps. I have taken it with a pre that had yohimbine (and about 200mg caffeine) without any problems.

    ----Value----
    The value is really where Primaforce's product shines. It can be bought for $20/bottle, which is anywhere from 17-50 cents a dose depending on how much you use at a time. I got it for 30% off when they first launched it, so I only paid $14 and I usually see it on sale, e.g. buy 1 get one 50% off or buy 2 get one free, so you get it for even less if you look around/wait for the right time to purchase.

    Most of the pre-workouts that I have seen with teacrine use ineffective doses <50mg or hide it in a prop blend, so you can't tell what the dose is. That really irks me because using it in such a small dose can be sedative, which defeats the point in adding to a pre-workout, and is really just a way of driving up the price (because more stims sounds cool) while actually offering a weaker product vs. not including it at all.

    These caps are great because you can just control the dosage on your own, and even if you start with one cap just to try it, you shouldn't get a sedative effective.

    ----Side Effects----

    I had no side effects with this product, no over stimulation, no crash, no tolerance issues.

    ----Conclusion----

    I can't say much else. I think this product is awesome, glad I gave it a shot. Thanks Primaforce.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • No Crash
    • No Tolerance Issues
    • Increased Energy
    • Good Value

      Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
      (Thanks to iQ2Labs for sending it out!)
      ----Introduction----
      I am a competing powerlifter and am currently cutting down, so I won't have go up to the next weight class (currently 2lbs over). My next meet is in June, so I have plenty of time, and this will be a slow cut. I like using nootropics pre-workout as I find they help my focus during the workout. I'm a bit hyperactive and it's easy for my mind to wander way from the task at hand.

      Thanks IQ2 for letting me try their nootropic supplement.

      This is the third nootropic I have used. I have also used Focus XT (both the stimmed and stim free version), and Noowave's The High Pe...
      ----Introduction----
      I am a competing powerlifter and am currently cutting down, so I won't have go up to the next weight class (currently 2lbs over). My next meet is in June, so I have plenty of time, and this will be a slow cut. I like using nootropics pre-workout as I find they help my focus during the workout. I'm a bit hyperactive and it's easy for my mind to wander way from the task at hand.

      Thanks IQ2 for letting me try their nootropic supplement.

      This is the third nootropic I have used. I have also used Focus XT (both the stimmed and stim free version), and Noowave's The High Performer. Before I started using established nootropics, I made my own with piracetam and Alpha GPC.

      ----Ingredient Profile----
      This product is a blend of well known nootropics, e.g. choline bitrartrate, ALCAR, vinpocetine, and Huperizine-A to name a few. It's advertised as having a "clinically effective dose of each ingredient," however I think the ALCAR and the choline bitartrate are too low.

      ALCAR is usually dosed from 500mg-2g in products and there's only 150mg here. There's also 400mg of choline bitartrate, and I'd like to see at least 500mg.

      I think the vinpocetine and the Huperizine A are well dosed, and I wasn't as familiar with the other ingredient, so I won't give an opinion on them.
      Overall, I'd give the formula a 7/10. I like the ingredients that they used. I just think there needs to be more for some of them.

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

      One serving is two gel caps, so there is no taste or mixabilty to consider here. The pills are easy to swallow and taking two pills isn't very hard, so the dosing is fine.

      ----Effectiveness----
      Within 10 minutes or so of taking the product, my mood would improve. I would feel less agitated and more relaxed. There was also increased mental clarity, but the mood elevation was more pronounced for me.

      Another benefit I saw when I used this product was that it seemed to mitigate the crash that I felt on days I took pre-workouts with either DMAA or DMHA. Both ingredients have given me effective workouts, but I tend to want to just climb into bed and nap for three hours when I get home.

      Taking this supplement after my workout but before breakfast, made dealing with the crash easier to deal with, and made me more productive in the hours right after my workout.

      I'd give the experience 8/10. I did not get the laser sharp focus that I got with other products, but I did have noticeable mental clarity and mood elevation.

      ----Value----
      This product is expensive. Right now, you have to get it from the manufacturer, and either spend $60 to get a bottle (which is 30 servings) or $50/month if you get a subscription. I think that's too much. To compare it to a similar product, Noowave's High Performer is $40 for 30 servings and it's also only available direct from the manufacturer. Of course, if you look at other nootropics with a wider availability, you can get them even cheaper.

      IQ2's product is supposed to be coming to other stores, soon so hopefully the price will go down as the availability goes up, and the stores have to compete with each other. Right now, however, this product is just not worth what it costs.

      ----Side Effects----

      I didn't have any side effects when taking this product. I wouldn't expect any given this formula.

      ----Conclusion----

      I do think think this is a decent product, I just can't recommend buying it at it's price and dosing. You can get more liberally dosed products cheaper from other brands.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Feeling Of Wellbeing
      • Mental Clarity
      • Limited Availability
      • Too Expensive
      • ALCAR Dose Is Low

      ----Introduction----
      I'm a competing powerlifter and am currently in my off-season. I've been pushing my lifts as hard as I can, hoping to break some records when I return to the platform this summer. I just finished a hypertrophy phase (a high volume body part split), and have just started a strength phase (higher frequency/intensity and less volume).

      I've used this pre workout with both programs, but primarily with the body part split.

      ----Ingredient Profile----
      Kraken has a well dosed profile. Pumps (4g citrulline, 1.5g hydromax, 1g agmatine), Energy (200mg caffeine, 200mg DMHA, and ...
      ----Introduction----
      I'm a competing powerlifter and am currently in my off-season. I've been pushing my lifts as hard as I can, hoping to break some records when I return to the platform this summer. I just finished a hypertrophy phase (a high volume body part split), and have just started a strength phase (higher frequency/intensity and less volume).

      I've used this pre workout with both programs, but primarily with the body part split.

      ----Ingredient Profile----
      Kraken has a well dosed profile. Pumps (4g citrulline, 1.5g hydromax, 1g agmatine), Energy (200mg caffeine, 200mg DMHA, and 250mg Eris Jarensis extract), as well as some other ergogenic aids to round out the product.

      ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----
      I got the sour gummy bear, and I didn't love the flavor. It's definitely sour, but I think of sour candies as sour and sweet and all I got was sour. It's drinkable, but I'd recommend getting sex on the beach instead; I've heard great things about that flavor.

      It mixes well, no complaints there. Sometimes pre workouts with hydromax can get clumpy, but I've had no clump issues.

      1 scoop is all you need. You may be able to do w/ less if you're sensitive to stims or if you have caffeine in your intra. I have no need to go above one scoop.

      ----Effectiveness----
      The effectiveness is where this product really shines. The energy was great. 200mg caffeine doesn't sound like a lot, but with the DMHA and the eris jarensis extract, it's plenty.

      The energy builds up slowly. The "tingles" from the beta-alanine you feel immediately, and the caffeine hits you pretty quickly, but it takes me 20-30 minutes to really feel the DMHA. It's kind of a chilly feeling, like you went out in the cold and then got a rush of adrenaline. The peak lasts around 20 minutes and from there, the energy is more gradual.

      The pumps from the agmatine and the citrulline were strong. The calf pumps were a bit painful, but "no pain no gain." I'm not sure if the hydromax is really needed. I personally have never gotten anything from it in terms of pumps, and from what I understand, you need a lot of it to get any hydration benefits, but it's presence doesn't pose any issues.

      The focus was good (mainly due to the stims). There weren't any ingredients that I think of as focus ingredients, e.g. noopept or Alpha GPC, but I don't think Kraken needs any of them.

      I usually save this pre for my harder days, e.g. leg day, where my workouts can be 1.5-2.5 hours and I have energy from start to finish. I don't know if it's just me, but I find that pres with DMHA don't work as well if I use them multiple days in a row, so at most, I would use it every other day.

      ----Value----

      This pre isn't cheap, but you usually have to pay for good quality. Kraken often retails for around $33, which in my opinion, is a lot for 20 servings. I was able to get a great deal on it for Black Friday. I got 3 tups for $55 shipped, which was a steal. If you ever see a deal like that, run, don't walk, get it!

      I think the normal price is fair considering that other pres sell for the same amount, but don't offer as much. I've seen people pay that much for stim-free products that have basically the same pump agents/quantities but no stims.

      I can't afford the normal price though, so I'll be savoring these tubs for a while. I did finish the first tub, but I got two more.

      ----Side Effects----

      Sometimes, I crash after I take this pre. I think it's the DMHA, as I've had other pres with it and had a similar crash. Other than that, I was fine. I wasn't overly stimmed or nauseous or anything. I usually only use this pre once a week though. In part from the crash and in part I don't want to build a tolerance to it.

      ----Conclusion----

      If you're looking for a new pre to try and you're cool with exotic stims, then I'd definitely consider Sparta Kraken. It's a great option for people like me who like other stims, e.g. DMHA, teacrine, etc but don't fair too well with a lot of caffeine. Many pres with these stimulants are 300+mg of caffeine which is too much for me.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Intense Focus
      • Amazing Energy
      • Fully Transparent
      • Patented Ingredients
      • Clinically Dosed
      • A Bit Expensive
      • Crash Afterwards

      ----Introduction----
      I'm a competing powerlifter who's currently cutting (I'm always cutting lol), and I probably have a bar or a shake (maybe both) every day. I eat plenty of whole foods too, I swear.

      Other supplements: pre workout, creatine, fish oil/multi, joint support (cissus, bosweilla)

      Currently, I'm training 6 days a week, in a body part split (one day is for auxiliary work).

      ----Ingredient Profile----
      The first ingredient is a protein blend of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate (no soy protein isolate here). There's 20g protein per bar. There are other proteins ...
      ----Introduction----
      I'm a competing powerlifter who's currently cutting (I'm always cutting lol), and I probably have a bar or a shake (maybe both) every day. I eat plenty of whole foods too, I swear.

      Other supplements: pre workout, creatine, fish oil/multi, joint support (cissus, bosweilla)

      Currently, I'm training 6 days a week, in a body part split (one day is for auxiliary work).

      ----Ingredient Profile----
      The first ingredient is a protein blend of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate (no soy protein isolate here). There's 20g protein per bar. There are other proteins listed later on, e.g. milk protein isolate and pea protein isolate, but I'm assuming the amounts of those are rather small.

      The other ingredients are typical for a protein bar, vegetable oil, sugar, etc. Each bar has 10g fat (5g saturated fat), and 17g carbs (6g sugar, 1g fiber).

      If you are prone to allergies, these bars do contain milk products, soy products, almond, and peanuts. They're also made in a facility that processes eggs and wheat.

      ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----
      These protein bars were made to taste good and they deliver. The Ice Cream Cookie Crunch is phenomenal, as is the Iced Cinnamon Twist. I liked the Salted Caramel Crunch, but the caramel taste was a bit artificial to me, so I ranked it lower than the other two flavors. You can't go wrong here though. Each flavor is a winner.

      MyBars are similar to the Fit Crunch bars, but they have a softer interior (vs. their crunchy exterior), which makes them easier to chew. They're also smaller than the large Fit Crunch bars and are about the size of the small Fit Crunch bars (if you can still find those). Their macros are more similar to the high fiber bars (Quest, Oh Yeah One, etc). They're 220 cals per bar with 20g of protein.

      ProSupps has pretty much made the perfect protein bar. It's oven baked and has a taste that exceeds or rivals every other oven baked bar that I've had and is easier to chew. Also the macros are as easy to work with. The only think you're missing out on vs. a "cleaner bar" is the fiber, and some people don't react well to the fiber from sugar alcohols anyway, so I don't see this as a real minus anyway.

      ----Effectiveness----
      They're a great snack and if you're hungry, one will tide you over for 2-3 hours. They would not make good meal replacements, as they're too small for that. You're getting 20g of protein for each bar, which is pretty close to what you need to optimize MPS (20g will get you most of the way there, 40g is a bit better), so they're a pretty good muscle builder in a pinch.

      ----Value----
      I think they're priced pretty fairly, especially given how good they are. Many stores sell them for $25/box, which comes to just over $2/bar, but if you look around, you can find a better deal. I got 36 bars for $50 or $1.38/bar, which was a steal, and I've seen them for $20/box which is about what you'd pay for plenty of other bars that don't taste nearly as good.

      ----Side Effects----
      I had none here, other than maybe too many empty wrappers because I ate them too fast :D

      ----Conclusion----
      If you like protein bars, get these. Even if you don't like protein bars because they've disappointed you too many times, still get these. You won't be disappointed if you have a sweet tooth
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Great Taste
      • Good Snack Size
      • Good Value

        ----Introduction----
        I'm a competing powerlifter looking to drop 20lbs or so. I go through a lot of protein bars each week; don't worry, I eat "real food too" I just like having convenient protein snacks in between meals. I've tried a lot of bars on the market. Some were great. Some were crap, and some were completely forgettable. When there's a bar that I would buy again, I try to get the word out.

        ----Ingredient Profile----

        There are a lot of ingredients in these (as is the case for most protein bars), so I'll try to keep this to what most people would find relevant.

        Macros: 30g protei...
        ----Introduction----
        I'm a competing powerlifter looking to drop 20lbs or so. I go through a lot of protein bars each week; don't worry, I eat "real food too" I just like having convenient protein snacks in between meals. I've tried a lot of bars on the market. Some were great. Some were crap, and some were completely forgettable. When there's a bar that I would buy again, I try to get the word out.

        ----Ingredient Profile----

        There are a lot of ingredients in these (as is the case for most protein bars), so I'll try to keep this to what most people would find relevant.

        Macros: 30g protein, 27g carbs (8g sugar, 2g fiber), 15g fat (8g saturated fat).

        These bars include 4 types of protein: whey protein isolate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and soy protein isolate. It doesn't say how much of each type is in each bar (which is pretty standard), but wpi is listed first, so there should be more of it than the other types.

        Soy isn't a problem for me, but it is for some, so that's worth noting.

        If you have any common allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk) then these bars are not for you, sorry. They are also manufactured in a plant that processes eggs and wheat.

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

        These bars are really good. Cinnamon Twist is the best, but alas it's a GNC exclusive (really hoping they make it apart of their regular line up). Chocolate Peanut Butter is my second favorite and Cookie Dough was just too sweet for my liking.

        They opted to favor taste/texture over macros, but if you're looking for a lower calorie bar, they do make Fit Elite, which are more like Quest bars in terms of macros/texture.

        1 bar is a good amount of protein, just a lot of calories.

        They used to have 1/2 size bars which were perfect if you wanted a snack, but I haven't been able to find these recently, and I think they are discontinued.


        ----Effectiveness----

        They're bars of food, hard to gauge the effectiveness of them. They will fill you up and give you protein, mission accomplished.

        ----Value----
        I think they're priced very fairly. Depending on where you buy them, you can get them for less than $2/bar, and given their size (around 50% larger than most protein bars), that's a pretty good deal. The smaller bars were a bit over $1/bar when I could find them.

        ----Side Effects----
        Didn't have any side effects, and I wouldn't expect any unless you're allergic to one of the ingredients.

        ----Conclusion----
        If you're first priority for a protein bar is taste, then I would look here. You may need some more wrangling to fit these in your macros, but to me, it's worth it.
         Pros:
         Cons:
        • Taste Good
        • Good Value
        • No More Small Bars
        • Cinnamon Twist Is An Exclusive


        -----
        Update 12/04/2016:
        The chocolate peanut butter flavor is now available. It's just as good as the vanilla marshmallow, 10/10.
        -----

        ----Introduction----
        I am a competing powerlifter and I eat a lot. I do try to get most of my calories from "whole foods," but hell, I eat a lot of protein bars too. I've had some that were awesome. One that was so bad I sent the rest of the box back for store credit, and I do try to let people know when I find one particularly good (or particularly bad).


        ----Ingredient Profile--
        The main protein source is soy, which will be off putting for some, but...

        -----
        Update 12/04/2016:
        The chocolate peanut butter flavor is now available. It's just as good as the vanilla marshmallow, 10/10.
        -----

        ----Introduction----
        I am a competing powerlifter and I eat a lot. I do try to get most of my calories from "whole foods," but hell, I eat a lot of protein bars too. I've had some that were awesome. One that was so bad I sent the rest of the box back for store credit, and I do try to let people know when I find one particularly good (or particularly bad).


        ----Ingredient Profile--
        The main protein source is soy, which will be off putting for some, but I don't mind that. There's also whey, milk protein, and egg protein in the bars.
        For those who have allergies, there are peanuts and almonds in these bars.


        ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----
        The taste is *amazing.* I like rice krispie bars and I love these bars. The only critique I can make is that they don't have the gooeyness that you get from a marshmallow, but I am splitting hair at this points.

        These are not like any other bars on the market. They are not loaded with sugar alcohols or so hard that you need a microwave to soften them first. These are ready to eat.

        These bars are on the smaller side (160 calories, 15g protein), so they are better for a snack than as a meal replacement.

        ----Effectiveness----

        These bars are too effective if anything. Once I eat one bar, I want a second bar, and if you give in to that temptation, you will have an empty box.

        Other than that, it's just food. It will be as effective (or ineffective) as any other food if your overall diet is on point.

        ----Value----

        This is where the downside comes in. These bars are expensive. A box is about $14. They're are 7 bars in a box and the bars are small, so you usually want 2 instead of one.

        If you're good at searching, though, you can find them on sale, which is how I got 2 boxes for $21 (and now they're all gone).

        If you buy them direct, there is a rewards program, so you can get discounts on future orders.
        Alas, the price is why these are an occasional treat for me and not a daily occurrence (probably better for my waist line this way).

        ----Side Effects----
        I had no side effects and unless you have allergies, you probably won't have any either. These are not like other protein bars on the market. They are not loaded with sugar alcohols or a ton of fiber.

        ----Conclusion----

        If you want a protein bar that just tastes damn good, these are definitely worth giving a shot! They are pricey, but when you are ready to splurge a bit, give them a whirl.
         Pros:
         Cons:
        • Great Taste
        • Crunchy
        • A Bit Small
        • Too Expensive

        ----Introduction----
        I'm a competing powerlifter, and I go through a lot of protein (usually pre and post workout). I tend to get bored with just one flavor, so I usually have a number of different proteins open at once. I usually train six days a week and am cutting at a slow pace. I try to get 1g/lb protein per day, without going over my calories. Whey helps with this considerably.

        ----Ingredient Profile----
        Nutrabio has the most open label I've seen for any protein powder. Every brand tells you how much protein you're getting, but Nutrabio tells you the yield, i.e. 32.2g of WPC80 to get...
        ----Introduction----
        I'm a competing powerlifter, and I go through a lot of protein (usually pre and post workout). I tend to get bored with just one flavor, so I usually have a number of different proteins open at once. I usually train six days a week and am cutting at a slow pace. I try to get 1g/lb protein per day, without going over my calories. Whey helps with this considerably.

        ----Ingredient Profile----
        Nutrabio has the most open label I've seen for any protein powder. Every brand tells you how much protein you're getting, but Nutrabio tells you the yield, i.e. 32.2g of WPC80 to get 25g of protein. They also tell you how much of each flavoring agent they use. I don't have any practical use for this information, but it's nice that they disclose everything, no tricks here.

        ----Taste/Mixability/Dosing----
        The taste was excellent. I got the Horchata flavor, and it was spot on. (Horchata is a name for many drinks in Latin America and the recipe changes depending on the country of origin. The ones I've had were made with rice, cinnamon, and almonds.)

        I usually rotate through flavors, but I had this protein almost every day until the tub was gone. I never got bored.

        The flavoring was a bit light, but horchata isn't a strongly flavored drink (at least not in my experience), so I think that's appropriate. Also, they don't use a lot of flavoring (1.2g per scoop). The texture was thick and creamy, which are both plusses in my book.

        The mixability was also good. I usually used a blender, but I did use a shaker bottle a couple of times and it mixed well.

        The dosing was normal. 1 33g scoop gives you 25g of protein which is just about right for a whey product. I usually use a scale for accuracy, but the scoop size was just about right.

        ----Effectiveness----
        Protein is protein, so as long as the company is honest about the protein in the product (and is palatable), the effectiveness should be the same for all whey products (not withstanding individual things like lactose intolerance and macro requirements).

        ----Value----
        The product is a bit pricey. List price is $29.99 for 2lbs, and I got my tub for $22.50, which is still on the higher end of what I'd pay for a whey powder, but they did throw in some free samples for me and a shaker bottle. I can never have too many shaker bottles. However, I think it's worth it to pay for quality and trustworthiness and NutraBio is one of the most upstanding companies out there. They make all of their products in their own FDA approved facility, and they offer free tours. I'm also a Jersey girl and am happy to support local companies.

        ----Side Effects----
        I didn't have any side effects, and provided you're not lactose intolerant or anything, I think you'd be fine with this product.

        ----Conclusion----
        If you're looking for a new flavor to try, pick up the Horchata. If you want whey from a trustworthy company, give NutraBio a shot.
         Pros:
         Cons:
        • Fully Disclosed Label
        • Mixes Well
        • Clean Profile
        • Great Taste
        • A Little Pricey

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