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smashley23

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Reviews by smashley23




Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Dymatize Nutrition for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 20, 2017

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, currently coming back from a back injury. I train 6 days a week using an upper/lower split, and I'm hoping to compete again in November.

I just wanted to thank Dymatize for sending out this product. They also sent me a t-shirt and a shaker bottle.

Ingredient Profile

Dymatize's Pre W.O. has a lot of ingredients. We have:

Citrulline Malate (8g). This is a full dose. Many pwos skimp on the citrulline malate, so Dymatize did us good.

3.2g Beta Alanine (3.2g) (Carnosyn). This is a full dose. Beta alanine is a saturation ingredient, ...

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, currently coming back from a back injury. I train 6 days a week using an upper/lower split, and I'm hoping to compete again in November.

I just wanted to thank Dymatize for sending out this product. They also sent me a t-shirt and a shaker bottle.

Ingredient Profile

Dymatize's Pre W.O. has a lot of ingredients. We have:

Citrulline Malate (8g). This is a full dose. Many pwos skimp on the citrulline malate, so Dymatize did us good.

3.2g Beta Alanine (3.2g) (Carnosyn). This is a full dose. Beta alanine is a saturation ingredient, so you can take it any time of day. It doesn't need to be here at all, but at least you have a full dose, so you don't need to look for more elsewhere.

Taurine (2g). This is a good dose (common dose is 500mg-2g). This is an amino acid that is often put in energy drinks. When used with caffeine, taurine can help improve mental performance. It can also help with muscle contraction and hydration.

One caveat to mention, it's possible that beta-alanine and taurine can interfere with each other when it comes to absorption and that they should be taken at different times. This hasn't been tested in humans (only in mice), so they may play together just fine for us.

Betaine (1.5g) (Betapower) This is a bit light in terms of dose, but it's passable. The lowest effective dose is 500mg, but most trainees who use it, take 2.5g a day. Betaine can improve muscle oxygenation and help reduce liver damage. I think it can be taken any time of day.

Arginine Silicate (Nitrosigine) (1.5g) This is a perfect dose. Most PWOs with this ingredient only have 750mg. Here, we have arginine silicate which is arginine bonded to a silicate. Why, well because pure arginine isn't very bioavailable. People were adding it to PWOs left and right, but it wasn't actually doing anything. Bonding arginine to a silicate makes it work. Dymatize did us good.

NALT (350mg). This is a form of tyrosine, which can help with mood and concentration. I've seen people go back and forth on whether or not NALT is actually an improvement from tyrosine. Honestly, I've never noticed anything from either ingredient, so I have no hat in the debate. 350mg is a decent dose for NALT.

Caffeine (300mg). We all know what caffeine is. 300mg may be a high dose for some, but for many lifters it's just right. Caffeine helps with power output and to a certain extent more is better. For me, this would be too much for an every day PWO. It would be a good amount for a heavy squat day.

Coconut Water (200mg.) It helps with hydration. It's becoming increasingly popular for pre and intra workouts.

Theacrine (Teacrine)-125mg- Theacrine is a stimulant. It's not as heavy hitting as caffeine, but it has a much longer half life. It provides this nice, smooth energy. 125mg is a good dose. Many pwos skimp on it because it tastes very bitter, although now there is a version sold with a flavor blocker. You want at least 50mg. Less can actually have a sedative effect.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

The flavor I received was cotton candy, and it tastes like cotton candy. Dymatize did a great job of masking the theacrine (which has a very bitter taste). It was a bit sour though, which I don't expect when I hear cotton candy. It also had this strange viscosity, not sure why.

Mixability could have been better. Something causes the pre-workout to clump like a rock. This was the case as soon as I opened it. A butter knife will do the trick, but it can be a bit cumbersome.

One scoop was more than enough for me. Depending on your caffeine tolerance, you could go with 4/5 of a serving and stretch out the tub.

Effectiveness

This product takes a while to kick in. Most pres say to take them 30 min pre-workout, but I usually take them right before because they hit me fast. With Pre W.O., however, it does take more like 20-25 minutes to kick in, so I take it right before I leave my house. I think it's due to the theacrine, which has a slow onset.

Once the product takes effect though, it really delivers.

I tried Pre W.O. on each training day, e.g. volume squat day, volume bench day, ohp day ... to evaluate it. Every time, I got solid energy, focus, and pumps.

I could also take the product multiple days in a row without any crash, which is an issue for me with certain stimulants. This product could either be an every day pre workout or a heavy hitter.

Value

The product is a little pricey, often selling for $40 for only 20 scoops. However, I have seen it for $34, which brings you down to $1.7/scoop, which is more in line with other top pre workouts.

To be fair, Dymatize is giving you a lot of trademarked ingredients at efficacious doses. That costs money. Also, Dymatize is a member of Informed Choice, which means you can trust them if you are a drug-tested athlete, like I am. The peace of mind that comes with that also is worth something.

Side Effects

Just itchiness from the beta-alanine. I personally could do without that ingredient.

Conclusion

If you're looking for a solid pre-workout that you can either use daily or save for the harder workout days, then give Dymatize a shot. This really is miles ahead of anything they've done before in this category.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Increased Performance
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Increased Energy
  • Informed Choice Certified
  • Powder Clumps Up In Tub
  • Slightly Expensive
  • Itchiness From The Beta Alanine



Overall
Overall
7.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.5
Value
Value
8.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to EvoMuse for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 17, 2017

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter currently coming back from a back injury. I'm doing a 6 day upper/lower split and am leaning down until it's time to get ready for my next competition. Basic Stack: protein powder, creatine, fish oil, pre-workout, and curcumin.

Ingredient Profile

Here, we have an open label glucose disposal agent from Evomuse. A GDA is a supplement used to reduce your blood glucose levels and make you more sensitive to insulin. They are often taken around high carb meals.

There are a number of ingredients in Slintensity that have been found to re...

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter currently coming back from a back injury. I'm doing a 6 day upper/lower split and am leaning down until it's time to get ready for my next competition. Basic Stack: protein powder, creatine, fish oil, pre-workout, and curcumin.

Ingredient Profile

Here, we have an open label glucose disposal agent from Evomuse. A GDA is a supplement used to reduce your blood glucose levels and make you more sensitive to insulin. They are often taken around high carb meals.

There are a number of ingredients in Slintensity that have been found to reduce blood glucose levels, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol.
It's hard to evaluate the doses of the ingredients in this product because Evomuse used standardized extracts instead of using whole herbs, and I could only find dosing information on the whole herbs. I included those doses for reference.

In Slintensity, we have:

Banaba blend-standardized Corosolic Acid and Elagitannins (150mg)-

Banaba leaf can help with glucose control. One study showed that it reduced blood glucose levels 20-30% in users. Studies have also shown reduced total cholesterol levels, increased HDL cholesterol levels, and reduced insulin levels. A dose for banaba leaf is 1-2g

Oh-isoleucine- std 40% (75mg).

I believe this comes from fenugreek seed, which can improve insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels. A dose for fenugreek seed is 2-3g.

Bitter melon extract std for 35% momordin (100mg)

Bitter Melon can reduce blood glucose levels and total cholesterol levels. A dose for bitter melon is 300mg.

FMOC-L-Leucine (100mg)- I couldn't figure out what this is.

Phellodendrill Cortex 20: 1- Std berberine and obacucone (175mg)-

Berberine can reduce blood glucose levels, reduce total cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol. A dose for berberine is 1-2g.

Green Curry Leaf Extract 10:1 (150mg)- I couldn't find much information on this ingredient.

--Dosing----

No taste or mixability here. Slintensity is a pill product.

The dose is 1 pill per 60g carbohydrates. I only used 1 pill at a time, and I used it at dinner, as my dinners are often 50-70g carbs. Also, insulin sensitivity tends to go down during the day, so it made more sense to me to use GDAs at dinner than at breakfast.

The pills are fairly small (about the length of a fingertip) and were easy to swallow.

Effectiveness

I didn't get any blood work done, so I can't say if this product had any impact on my blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, etc. My numbers were all good at my last doctor's appointment, so any differences would have been minor.

However, I do think this product was effective for me.
With Slintensity, I had no bloating after eating a high carb meal, which is sometimes a problem for me. I was also noticeably leaner over the past month.
The scale only went down 3-4lbs, but my stomach is noticeably smaller as are my thighs. Those are both problem areas for me.

I also had improved definition in my calves, which didn't have a lot of fat before, but any positive results, I will take.

Value

I think the value is pretty fair. I've seen Slintensity go for $26-29 a bottle, and depending on your macros, one bottle could last about two months (assuming a high carb meal every day). If you don't use it every day, one bottle could last longer.

This seems in line with other GDAs on the market, which I've seen range from $20-$50 for 60 servings.

Side Effects

I had no side effects.

This is worth noting because several of the common ingredients in GDAs are known to cause gastrointestinal distress (e.g. berberine). I think my lack of issues was because Slintensity uses standardized extracts instead of raw powders. This way, not as much of the ingredients are needed and the potential for stomach issues is reduced.

Conclusion

For those who want a GDA, I think Slintensity is wort considering. It's effective. It's pretty fairly priced, and I had no side effects.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Open Label
  • Standardized Extracts
  • Good Value
  • Unclear What All Of The Ingredients Are
  • Hard To Evaluate The Dosages



Overall
Overall
7.3
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
6.5
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to IdealFit for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 11, 2017

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, coming back from a lower back injury and trying to lean down in my off season (17lbs to go). I'm doing a 6 day upper/lower split, and do some cycling, albeit not consistently.

Ingredient Profile

This is a whey isolate. It has added glutamine for recovery (not sure how necessary that is as whey is already abundant in glutamine) as well as Acai, Mangosteen, and Blueberry. There is natural and artificial flavoring, sucralose, and some emulsifiers for thickness (xanthan gum, cellulose gum).

1 Scoop is 25g, giving you 20g of protein, 0...

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, coming back from a lower back injury and trying to lean down in my off season (17lbs to go). I'm doing a 6 day upper/lower split, and do some cycling, albeit not consistently.

Ingredient Profile

This is a whey isolate. It has added glutamine for recovery (not sure how necessary that is as whey is already abundant in glutamine) as well as Acai, Mangosteen, and Blueberry. There is natural and artificial flavoring, sucralose, and some emulsifiers for thickness (xanthan gum, cellulose gum).

1 Scoop is 25g, giving you 20g of protein, 0g carbs, 0g fat, and 80 calories. This is the lowest for a protein powder that I have seen.

There are also some added micronutrients: Vitamin D 100% RDA, Folic Acid 50% RDA, Chromium, 170% RDA.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste 7/10- I got the peaches and cream flavor (which I requested as I love peaches). The flavor was pleasant, but I had to take off some points because I didn't really get any peach flavor. It was sweet and somewhat fruity, but I couldn't discern any peach.

This product is on the sweeter side. I preferred it with water vs. milk because using milk made it even sweeter. I think the product tasted the best in greek yogurt, which is a bit sour, so the extra sweetness worked well.

It also faired well with proats.

Mixability 8/10- This mixed pretty well with a shaker bottle, minimal clumping. There were no clumps when I used my blender, but that's to be expected. It mixes pretty thin, even with the added emulsifiers.

Dosing- I think the dose is a bit small. This product is marketed to women who typically need fewer calories than men do; however, emerging research suggests that when it comes to lifting, the protein needs for women are the same as men, i.e. both genders benefit from getting 2.5-3g of Leucine per meal, ideally 4+ times a day.

One scoop gives you 2.35g Leucine, so if you're mixing it with milk, you're fine, but if you're using water, then you want a bit more than a scoop. It's easy enough to add a bit more than a scoop, e.g. 30g instead of 25, but then you only get 25 servings per tub instead of 30.

Effectiveness

I found this product to be pretty effective. I'm cutting right now, so it was nice to have a very lean powder. Using 30g of this product and water, each shake was 96 calories, which allowed me to allocate the rest of my calories to tastier things (like ice cream).

I do think, though, they were reaching with the marketed claims. I didn't notice that my recovery was any faster using this product than it was with any other protein powder I have used (or just eating more meat), and as far as I know, "pure protein" i.e. no carbs or fat, won't build you muscle any faster than eating your protein with carbs and fat.

Value

This product is a bit pricey. The MSRP is $49.99 which is way too much for 1.67lbs of protein unless there's gold in it. Right now, it's selling for $29.99, which is the same as you would pay for a small tub of Dymatize Iso-100. The thing is, though, Dymatize also comes in larger sizes, so you can spend less money per serving.

Right now, IdealFit only comes in small tubs. It would be nice if they released some larger tubs, so the cost/serving could come down. This would make it more competitive with other whey isolate offerings.

Side Effects

None for Me

Conclusion

All in all, this was a pretty decent offering. It could use some tweaking, but it works well for anyone who is trying to use as few of their calories on their shakes as possible.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Many Flavors
  • Low In Calories
  • Not Widely Available
  • Too Sweet



Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
8.0
Value
Value
7.0
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Utzy Naturals for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 9, 2017

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, and I'm hoping to get back on the platform in November (was going to compete in June, but got myself hurt). Right now, I'm training 6 days a week doing an upper/lower split and my typical stack is protein powder, creatine, multi-vitamin, fish oil, pre-workout, and curcumin.

Ingredient Profile

Each capsule has 800mg omega 3s, 710 are from EPA/DHA, which is what most people care about. The American Heart Association does not have a recommended amount of omega 3s for the general public; they only give recommendations for people with ...

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, and I'm hoping to get back on the platform in November (was going to compete in June, but got myself hurt). Right now, I'm training 6 days a week doing an upper/lower split and my typical stack is protein powder, creatine, multi-vitamin, fish oil, pre-workout, and curcumin.

Ingredient Profile

Each capsule has 800mg omega 3s, 710 are from EPA/DHA, which is what most people care about. The American Heart Association does not have a recommended amount of omega 3s for the general public; they only give recommendations for people with certain risk factors. From what I've read though, 250-500mg EPA/DHA a day is sufficient for general health purposes, so Utzy gets the job done on this front.

The fish oil is sourced from anchovy, sardine, and mackerel. Utzy uses young, small fish because they have shorter life spans, which usually means fewer contaminants than larger, fish (salmon, tuna, etc).

The fish oil is also in natural triglyceride form which means its more bioavailable than the synthetic ethyl ester fish oil that many other companies use. This means you don't need as much of it to get the benefits of fish oil supplementation.

Some bodybuilders mega dose their fish oil, taking in 2-3g omega 3s a day. I believe this is because the products they are using are synthetic, and if they switched to a natural triglyceride form, they may find that they do not need as much fish oil to get the same benefits.

Utzy uses "natural flavoring" for the lemon, but I don't know what exactly they use.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

I didn't taste anything. I do keep my fish oil in the freezer to prevent fish burps and to keep it from going rancid, so that may be why I didn't taste anything. I didn't need fish oil caps to taste good. I just don't want my fish oil products to actually taste like fish. Neutral is fine by me.

There's no mixability.

One dose is 1 pill. They're medium size, fairly easy to swallow. I take one pill with breakfast every day. It's beneficial to take fish oil with a meal that already has dietary fat for improved absorption.

Effectiveness

It's a bit hard to gauge the effectiveness of a fish oil product as it's not something that you feel working like you would a pre-workout for example, but fish oil is a well studied supplement that provides a myriad of benefits, ranging from reduced triglycerides and blood pressure to reduced symptoms of depression. As long as you're getting a quality fish oil product, i.e. one that is well dosed, low in contaminants, and is not rancid, you should be getting a number of benefits from its use.

I can say, though, that my joints have appreciated this product. I noticed that my shoulders and knees have been less achy over the past month. I do squat and press 3 times a week, so this is a common problem for me.

Value

This is an expensive product. One bottle is $27.70 (10% off if you subscribe), and I could not find it for sale anywhere other than from the manufacturer. One bottle is 60 servings, so you're at $0.46/day.

Oximega, a common fish oil product in the bodybuilding world, is $18 for 60 servings, which has you at $0.30 a day.

I wouldn't, though, say that Utzy's product is overpriced. Utzy is a member of GOED, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omegas and Controlled Labs is not. This means that Utzy's product is subject to random testing to ensure that it meets its EPA/DHA label claims, has uniform unit dosing, limits any presence of heavy metals and other contaminants, is using a natural triglyceride form, and meets other specifications listed in GOED's monograph.

I'm not bashing CL at all. I like their product, but Utzy is subjecting itself to the strictest omega 3 testing organization in the world, it must pay to be apart of that organization, and that all has to be reflected in the price. Utzy has to charge more than Controlled Labs to deliver what all it does.

Side Effects

None.

Conclusion

If you want a premium fish oil product, then I'd consider Utzy. It's going to be pricier than many other products on the market, but with the higher price comes peace of mind. Their product is well sourced, low in contaminants, has uniform dosages, and is high in EPA/DHAs. You can't really ask for more; well it would be nice if it was more widely available.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Natural Triglyceride Format
  • High EPADHA Content
  • Not Widely Available



Overall
Overall
7.5
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
7.3
Value
Value
7.7
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to Nature Restore for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  July 5, 2017

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, currently running a 6 day upper/lower split. I also enjoy cycling and mountain biking, so I am interested in supplements that will improve my aerobic performance as well as ones that improve my lifting performance. Most of my supplement use, though, is geared towards lifting.

Ingredient Profile

This is a one ingredient product, Cordyceps and is standardized to 10% cordyceptic acid.

Cordyceps is a mushroom used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Historically, it was used for anti-aging, but more recently, it has been marketed for im...

Introduction

I'm a competing powerlifter, currently running a 6 day upper/lower split. I also enjoy cycling and mountain biking, so I am interested in supplements that will improve my aerobic performance as well as ones that improve my lifting performance. Most of my supplement use, though, is geared towards lifting.

Ingredient Profile

This is a one ingredient product, Cordyceps and is standardized to 10% cordyceptic acid.

Cordyceps is a mushroom used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Historically, it was used for anti-aging, but more recently, it has been marketed for improving aerobic performance (and as a testosterone booster).

Cordyceps is one of the ingredients in PeakO2, which is a trademarked blend of mushrooms. Studies indicate that PeakO2 improves power output and VO2 max.

Unfortunately, the studies for Cordyceps on its own have not been as promising. It is unclear if Cordyceps alone is enough to get some of these benefits. It would be nice to see one study that puts the two different offerings head to head.

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

There's no taste. This is a product that comes in pills. I think it should be either in pills or in a flavored product, as I've had raw Peak O2 before, and it's pretty gritty and kind of funky.

Likewise, there's no mixability.

One dose is one 500mg pill. I took 2 pills at a time, since Cordyceps is usually dosed 1000mg-3000mg, and there were 90 pills in a bottle. I usually took it pre-workout, but on days I didn't workout, I took it with breakfast.

I don't know if the timing matters, as I'm not sure if this is a saturation ingredient or if it works acutely.

Effectiveness

I've used PeakO2 before (on its own and in Xtend Perform), so when I was using this product, I wanted to see if I got similar benefits. When I used PeakO2, I noticed that I was less tired at the end of my lifting workouts, that volume squat days were slightly less hellish, and that my aerobic capacity improved, even though I wasn't as consistent with my cardio as I wanted to be.

With Nature Restore's product, I noticed a similar improvement with my aerobic capacity. Being true to form, my cardio was on and off during the past month, but each time I came back to it, I was able to pick up where I left off.

The same goes for my volume squat days. They were equally hellish whether I used Peak O2 or NR's Cordyceps.

Unfortunately, though, I did not get the same benefit when it came to fatigue at the end of my workouts. I think the Cordyceps helped somewhat, but PeakO2 was more effective for me. My workouts were shorter this month, and I still didn't feel the same "I could do even more" feeling I had with PeakO2.

Do take this with a grain of salt though. It could just mean I'm in need of a deload soon.

Value

Nature Restore's product is fairly priced. It's $15.95 for a bottle on Amazon, and that's 90 pills, which is $0.35/day if you take 2 capsules a day (half that if you do 1 pill a day).

I compared it to other Cordyceps pill products to gauge the market, and NR's product was by far the cheapest. The other products for $50-$70, and none of them were dosed any better.

PeakO2, though, is cheaper if you buy it in bulk (don't think anyone sells it in pills). It's $15.52 for 60 servings, but then you have a somewhat messy powder that doesn't taste very good.

NR is definitely the more convenient way to go.

Side Effects

None for me.

Conclusion

I think Cordyceps is an interesting offering from NR, and I'd recommend it for those who could use an aerobic boost and who prefer a capsule product to a powder one. I personally, preferred having PeakO2 already included in my intra-workout, so I probably wouldn't buy this product, but I could see myself recommending it to others.

Thanks for letting me try it out.
 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Good Value
  • Increased Oxygen Levels
  • Pretty Cheap



    Overall
    Overall
    7.8
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    8.3
    Value
    Value
    7.5
      June 30, 2017

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter, coming back from a back injury, and I am currently doing a 6 day upper/lower, DUP style. My basic supplement stack is a protein powder, creatine, multi, fish oil, and anti-inflammatories, (curcumin, apres-flex).

    Ingredient Profile

    I don't want to go through every ingredient cause that would be dull as dirt to read, so I'll highlight the more interesting parts of the profile. Keep in mind that this is the women's version. There is also a men's version. Both are marketed to athletes.

    Key ingredients
    It has 18mg Iron, so a full dos...

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter, coming back from a back injury, and I am currently doing a 6 day upper/lower, DUP style. My basic supplement stack is a protein powder, creatine, multi, fish oil, and anti-inflammatories, (curcumin, apres-flex).

    Ingredient Profile

    I don't want to go through every ingredient cause that would be dull as dirt to read, so I'll highlight the more interesting parts of the profile. Keep in mind that this is the women's version. There is also a men's version. Both are marketed to athletes.

    Key ingredients
    It has 18mg Iron, so a full dose. Iron deficiency is pretty common amongst women, so this is good.

    It has 15mg of zinc, so more than a full dose. Zinc deficiency is very common amongst women (also common amongst men), so it's good to have it here. If you are zinc deficient, then supplementing with it can help boost testosterone levels, growth hormone, and your immune system, so it's not only important for people generally, but it is important for athletes specifically.

    KSM-66 600mg- This is a trademarked form of ashwagandha, an herb which can help reduce anxiety, cortisol, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and improve power output, memory, and cognition. It's pretty great for general health and athletes specifically. I'm not entirely sure on what a good dose is for KSM-66 as it is more concentrated than regular ashwagandha, but from what I've read online (no legit study I'm afraid), 600mg sounds like a fair dose.

    The rest of the profile is pretty standard in my opinion. Your basic vitamins (A, B complex, C, D, E, K) and minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese).

    Taste/Mixability/Dosing

    There's no taste. This product comes in capsules. No mixability either. One dose is 3 pills. They are of medium size and fairly easy to swallow. I just take it all at once with breakfast. You could split the dose and take 1 cap per meal, but that's too cumbersome in my opinion.

    Effectiveness

    For effectiveness, I used two criteria to evaluate this product.

    1. How did it support my nutritional needs?

    2. How did it impact my athletic performance?

    Since it's a multi marketed towards athletes, I thought that it should be evaluated with that in mind.

    On the first question, I would give it a 7.5/10. It definitely helped fill in some gaps, but I have gotten better micronutrient coverage with other multis, MET-Rx Active woman. I log everything I eat in cronometer, so it was pretty easy to compare how I met my micros while I was using Tru-Multi vs. how I met my micros when I was using Met-Rx.

    With Tru-Multi, I was under my target for B1, B5, Manganese, and Magnesium. I struggled to get enough Mangesium when i was taking Met-Rx as well, but the other three nutrients were met completely. Comparing the labels explains the difference. Met-Rx doses those ingredients higher (and other nutrients as well, but these 4 were the only ones where I was under target).

    Cronometer tracks over 20 nutrients, and Tru-Multi got the job done on most of them, but there were some gaps for me.

    On the second question, I would give TruMulti a 9. This is really where the product shined for me. I have experienced less fatigue post-workout, specifically no issues with a post-workout crash, which is sometimes a problem for me.

    My workouts in the gym have been very focused, shorter than they usually are (I think because I'm more focused), and for the most part, I've been able to follow my progression perfectly.

    I think the difference is from the KSM-66. I can't think of what else it could be. Good stuff.

    Value

    You can get it for about $17 a bottle, which will last 30 days, so $.56 a day. This is about twice the price per serving of the Met-RX multi, but is about the same price per serving Orange Triad.

    It is one of the more expensive multis for sure, but KSM-66 is not cheap, especially at the 600mg dose they're providing. If I bought the KSM-66 on my own and took it along side Met-RX, that would cost me .44 cents a day. Given the added convenience of putting the KSM-66 in the product, you can see why it costs significantly more.

    I would say the value is fair. I wouldn't complain if they lowered it, but they are creating a good product, and value costs money.

    Side Effects

    None

    Conclusion

    I think this is pretty good product. It's certainly competitive in the "athletic multi" market, but I think it could use some tweaking. It would be nice if they boosted some of the doses for the more basic minerals. It is a multi-vitamin after all, but the athletic part, yeah they nailed that.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Innovative Formula
    • Increased Energy
    • Good Value
    • Could Use Some Higher Doses



    Overall
    Overall
    8.5
    Effectiveness
    Effectiveness
    9.0
    Value
    Value
    8.0
      June 17, 2017

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter making a comeback from a back strain that I got in April. Right now, my back is feeling great, and I'm ready to start killing it. Right now, I'm doing a 6 day upper/lower comprised of two squat focused days, two bench focused days, one deadlift focused day for lower body and one focused overhead press day.

    Material Profile

    These straps are made of leather and have NeoTekpadding for comfort. I'm not entirely sure what NeoTek is, but it's used in brake pads for various kinds of vehicles. There's a velcro strap that goes around your w...

    Introduction

    I'm a competing powerlifter making a comeback from a back strain that I got in April. Right now, my back is feeling great, and I'm ready to start killing it. Right now, I'm doing a 6 day upper/lower comprised of two squat focused days, two bench focused days, one deadlift focused day for lower body and one focused overhead press day.

    Material Profile

    These straps are made of leather and have NeoTekpadding for comfort. I'm not entirely sure what NeoTek is, but it's used in brake pads for various kinds of vehicles. There's a velcro strap that goes around your wrist, so that you can keep them snug (and adjust the size).

    Effectiveness

    I have found these to be very effective in my training. If I can get 6 reps when I'm doing rows without my straps, I might get 7 or 8 straps with straps, and over time, those extra reps will add up. I can build a bigger, stronger back by using lifting grips instead being stubborn and forcing myself to only use my hands. I also find that I can get a better MMC with the grips because I don't have to concentrate on holding the barbell or the dumbbell.

    I have to admit, I used to look down on straps. I thought they were for people who couldn't be bothered to actually develop grip strength. What I have learned, however, is that straps are great for getting in additional training volume, which is really the driving force for hypertrophy. I care more about getting bigger and stronger than I do about being a "purist." Lifting grips are just one tool in the box, along with my belt, my wraps, my sleeves, everything else that's in my overcrowded gym bag. Use them wisely and they will only help.

    The grips are much easier to use than your typical lifting straps. You just velcro them around your wrist and then loop them around the bar. For some reason, I could never use regular straps properly. I would end up making the bar fatter and if anything, my training volume would decrease.

    The grips are double sided. One side has extra padding that makes the bar more comfortable to hold. If you don't want the padding, you just turn the straps around. I seldom use the padding, only when my hands are torn up, but it's nice to have that as an option.

    I am a powerlifter, so I can't just do everything with straps. I never use them when I'm doing deadlifts because I don't want them to change my technique (you can pull faster with straps than you can with your hands), but I will use them on barbell rows, dumbbell rows, romanian deadlifts, etc. I haven't found that my grip strength has suffered since I started using them, but if this is a concern for you, then I would add in some grip work to the end of your workouts

    Value

    My grips cost me $30. They're basically knock off Versa Gripps which can be $55. Other products can be anywhere from $20 (these ones looked rather shabby) to $60, so I think the value is pretty reasonable. I've had mine for a year and they're still in pretty good condition.

    Side Effects

    Is getting too swole a side effect?

    Conclusion

    I think these were definitely a good buy. I've seen a lot of progress in my rows and rdls, and I'm glad that my grip strength is no longer the limiting factor for my pulling work. I am actually training the intended muscles to exhaustion now. They are a tool though, not a crutch. Use them wisely.
     Pros:
     Cons:
    • Builds Muscle
    • Good Value


        June 13, 2017

      Introduction

      I'm a competing powerlifter and am at the tail end of my cut (got 18lbs to go). I use protein supplements 1-2 times a day, so I can hit my protein target while keeping my overall calories on the lower end. My typical stack is a protein powder, PWO, creatine, fish oil, and recently curcumin.

      Ingredient Profile

      This is a blended protein. It has milk protein isolate and WPC-80, aka two high quality protein sources. There is no egg protein, which some blends have. I'm not taking off any points for this because there is some question as to how bioavailable egg whit...

      Introduction

      I'm a competing powerlifter and am at the tail end of my cut (got 18lbs to go). I use protein supplements 1-2 times a day, so I can hit my protein target while keeping my overall calories on the lower end. My typical stack is a protein powder, PWO, creatine, fish oil, and recently curcumin.

      Ingredient Profile

      This is a blended protein. It has milk protein isolate and WPC-80, aka two high quality protein sources. There is no egg protein, which some blends have. I'm not taking off any points for this because there is some question as to how bioavailable egg white protein powder is. Cooked egg white proteins have a high bioavailability. Uncooked egg whites do not. Pasteurized egg whites (e.g. what you get in egg white protein powder) has been insufficiently studied in terms of bioavailability, so I don't blame PES for not including it.

      Here are the macros:

      Calories: 110
      Protein: 24g
      Fat: 1.5g
      Carbs <1g

      As you can see, the protein/calorie ratio is pretty good (especially if you're cutting). Typically, a scoop of protein will have 120-140 calories and 22-25g protein, so PES does us right here.

      They do add leucine peptides, which may be superior for increasing lean mass than free form leucine (this also could be total bro science, the literature is weak).

      There are artificial sweeteners here (which I don't mind at all), but some people do, so I thought I'd mention it.

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      So the reason I got a tub was because I was told by a lot of gym bros that Frosted Chocolate Cupcake was, hands down, the best tasting chocolate protein powder on the market, and that it tasted exactly like a frosted chocolate cupcake. I actually waited a few months before I ordered since, you know, I am naturally skeptical what people tell me. I finally ordered a tub when TruMulti came out because I wanted that, and FCC tasted good. I'll give it an 8/10, but hands down the best. Sorry, these bros are tripping.

      It tastes like chocolate, and it mixes thick, which I like, but I didn't get a frosted cupcake taste, and it was a bit gritty. It was better than a number of other chocolate proteins I have had, but it was not the best that I have ever had. I would say it's almost as good as Cellucor's Molten Chocolate, which is pretty good. Cellucor's offering, however, is not gritty.

      It may be that my expectations were a bit too high, but when I have several people swearing that FCC is the best, then I expect it to be in a league of it's own, and for me, it wasn't.

      Effectiveness

      Protein powder is not magic. It's convenient, but it's not inherently better than any other protein source with a good amino profile/bioavailability. This is assuming, of course, that the protein powder is meeting label claims. I'm giving PES a high effectiveness score for two reasons.

      1. They meet label claims. They have been Stack3d certified and have been tested by other people, and they meet (or exceed) their label claims. In an industry where a lot of companies have cheated their customers with spiked products, this is important to me.

      2. There is some evidence that a whey/casein blend is better for recovery than just whey. I'm not fanatical about when I eat what kinds of protein (I just eat a variety of sources through out the day), but a blend post workout could give you a slight edge. This isn't really that relevant for me since I usually mix my protein powder with milk anyway, but if you mix yours with water, there could be an advantage to getting a blend like PESelect.

      Value

      PESelect is a bit expensive compared to many proteins on the market. A 2lb tub is usually around $27-30 and a 4lb tub usually around $45-$48, bringing you to around $1/serving. But blended proteins are more expensive than just whey products, and PES is similarly priced to other blends like Syntha 6 isolate and Promore, so I think the price is pretty fair.

      Side Effects

      None for me.

      Conclusion

      This was a pretty good protein powder from a brand that is honest. I think that's enough to give it consideration, but when it comes to the flavoring, I think some of the hype is unwarranted.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Good Combo Of Proteins
      • Great Profile
      • Builds Muscle
      • Gluten Free
      • Mixes Thick
      • Meets Label Claims
      • Can Clump
      • Gritty Texture



      Overall
      Overall
      7.8
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      8.0
      Value
      Value
      7.5
        June 8, 2017

      Introduction

      I'm a powerlifter about to finish my long term cut (started at 250lbs and I'm down to 178). I try to eat at least 1g/lb LBM in protein every day and a good amount of it comes from shakes and bars. I've tried a lot of different brands over the years and I'm always up for trying new products. I came across this bar in Walgreens. Think Thin has two different bars, high fiber bars and high protein bars. I have had both, but this review is for the High Protein Bar.

      Ingredient Profile

      I'll start with the macros. One bar has 230 calories, 9g fat (3.5g saturated fat...

      Introduction

      I'm a powerlifter about to finish my long term cut (started at 250lbs and I'm down to 178). I try to eat at least 1g/lb LBM in protein every day and a good amount of it comes from shakes and bars. I've tried a lot of different brands over the years and I'm always up for trying new products. I came across this bar in Walgreens. Think Thin has two different bars, high fiber bars and high protein bars. I have had both, but this review is for the High Protein Bar.

      Ingredient Profile

      I'll start with the macros. One bar has 230 calories, 9g fat (3.5g saturated fat), 24g carbs (0g sugar, 0g fiber, 22g sugar alcohol), and 20g protein. In terms of protein content and overall calories, this is pretty standard. Many bars are between 200-250 calories and have around 20g of protein, which for a snack makes sense.

      There are, though, a lot of sugar alcohols, which can be a problem for some people. They don't bother me, but I thought it should be noted.

      Now for the ingredients.

      The main ingredient here is the protein blend. We have a blend of soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, and casein caseinate (no breakdown is provided). I know that a number of lifters avoid soy because they're concerned about potential estrogenic effects. I personally am not convinced that this is a real issue, at least not in the quantities that most people eat when it comes to soy, but people have the right to avoid whatever foods they want, and that's their business.

      I will, though, say that soy protein is fairly high in leucine, which is good for building muscle, and can help lower cholesterol, although to what degree varies depending on the person.

      Other notable ingredients include palm kern oil (a vegetable source of saturated fat), Maltitol (a sugar alcohol), soy lechitin (an emulsifier), and almonds (fyi for those with allergies).

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      I got a box of the lemon delight, and I thought they tasted pretty good (8/10). They had a pleasant lemon curd taste, and they were sweet and a little sour without being too sour. I do, though, think they could have pushed the lemon flavor harder, but that would have been too strong for some people. This was a marketable lemon flavored product.

      The bars had a white chocolate icing like coating on the outside and were soft on the inside. These are baked bars, and they have a texture that is, in my opinion, much more pleasant than what you get from a high fiber bar.

      My only critique was that they were a bit dry.

      No mixability here.

      In terms of dosing, one bar makes a good snack. It's enough to tide you over until you're next meal, but not large enough to be a meal (at least not in my book).

      Effectiveness

      I use protein bars as snacks between meals (or sometimes I add them to a meal when there isn't a lot of protein present), so I want them to be satiating. I was concerned that these wouldn't do the job since there was no fiber, but I was pleasantly surprised. One bar would keep me full for 2-2.5 hours, which is long enough for me to get to my next meal.

      I didn't find them any less filling than the more fibrous bars that I've had.

      I also found them easy on the digestion, which is a plus.

      Value

      I think the value is pretty decent. A 10 bar box is usually $15-17, which brings you to $1.5-$1.7 a bar. They're similar in size/macros to the small FitCrunch bars and those run for about $1.70 a bar. They're also pretty similar to the MyBar protein bars, which are a little over $2/bar unless you can find a good deal.

      There are, of course, cheaper bars ($1/bar) but the ones I've had tried didn't taste good at all. You get what you pay for, and I'm willing to pay a bit more for a bar that I can actually enjoy eating.

      Side Effects

      None.

      Conclusion

      These are pretty good. They're not perfect, but I've yet to find a perfect protein bar. I'll keep looking though.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Gluten Free
      • Good Value
      • Keep You Full
      • Sugar Alcohols



      Overall
      Overall
      8.8
      Effectiveness
      Effectiveness
      9.0
      Value
      Value
      8.5
        June 5, 2017

      Introduction

      I'm a competing powerlifter just coming back from a back injury (I can finally squat again!), and I am doing a DUP style training program where I squat/bench twice a week and deadlift once a week. My basic stack: pre-workout, protein powder, creatine, fish oil, and a multi.

      Ingredient Profile

      This is a curcumin product. The one ingredient is BCM-95 which is a trademarked curcumin extract, designed to be highly absorbable. It combines curcumin with phosphatidylcholine.

      Naturally, curcumin has poor bioavailability, so it needs to be paired with piperine (or man...

      Introduction

      I'm a competing powerlifter just coming back from a back injury (I can finally squat again!), and I am doing a DUP style training program where I squat/bench twice a week and deadlift once a week. My basic stack: pre-workout, protein powder, creatine, fish oil, and a multi.

      Ingredient Profile

      This is a curcumin product. The one ingredient is BCM-95 which is a trademarked curcumin extract, designed to be highly absorbable. It combines curcumin with phosphatidylcholine.

      Naturally, curcumin has poor bioavailability, so it needs to be paired with piperine (or manipulated in some other way), so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Else, it just sits in your gut (would be helpful for digestive health in that case).

      There are two studies that have found BCM-95 to be absorbed into the bloodstream nearly times better than curcumin on it's own (6.93 times) and over 6 times better than curcumin + piperine (6.3 times). It would be nice to see a larger sample size, but I think it's fair to say that BCM-95 is one of the best curcumin options on the market right now.

      One pill (which is a full dose) has 400mg BCM-95. According to Examine, an effective dose would be between 80-500mg when the curcumin has been manipulated, so we have a pretty liberal dose here.

      If you're looking for intestinal improvements, you would want 2-4g of regular curcumin (vs. a manipulated version).

      Taste/Mixability/Dosing

      There's no taste here, as it's an encapsulated product. Thus, there's no mixability either. A dose is just one pill. They're of medium size, fairly easy to swallow

      Effectiveness

      There are dozens of different benefits that you could get from curcumin supplementation. To name a few, curcumin has anti-cancer properties, can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can help lower triglycerides and improve blood flow. Basically, this stuff rocks.

      I took this product mostly for its anti-inflammatory effects, although I was happy to take any benefit it could give me. Sometimes, I get joint pain from training, usually in my shoulders, but sometimes my elbows or knees as well. I took one capsule every day at breakfast (which is after I train), and I found that my joint pain significantly improved with this product. Instead of having nagging pains that would last through out the day and sometimes go on until the next day, I found that my joint pain was pretty much gone within an hour after I took the curcumin.

      I also found that the product helped with my back pain, and I think it helped with my recovery. I strained my back in April and had to drop out of the meet that I had planned on doing this month. I should mention that I am not a fan of R.I.C.E. the oft prescribed treatment plan for strains. Icing an injury does help reduce the swelling, but it also detracts from blood flow to the injured area, which can slow down recovery. You feel better, but you are not getting better, at least not as quickly as you could be. I also prefer active recovery to complete rest if it's all feasible, and I continued to train around my injury. Instead of squats and deadlifts, I did split squats, and kettlebell swings, any exercise I could do without pain.

      Curcumin, however, is great for injuries because it can reduce swelling and pain while promoting blood flow, so you're getting more nutrients to the injured area and are getting better faster. Also, you don't have the potential side effects that you would get from taking NSAIDs every day (they can really tear up your stomach).

      I know this is completely anecdotal, but a few weeks ago, I couldn't even squat the bar without back pain. Yesterday, I was able to squat for 4 sets x 6 reps x135lbs pain free. I really do think the curcumin supplementation helped me recover faster, and for me, it will be a daily staple from now on.

      Value

      A bottle goes for about $21 (goes down to $20 if you subscribe on Amazon), and it will last you 60 days. This comes out to $0.35/day. I think that's a great deal for all of the benefits you get from it. It's easily a worthwhile supplement for general health, and it confers several benefits to lifters specifically.

      The price is in line with other BCM-95 products on the market. I found a BCM-95 product that was $.33/day, but it didn't have as much BCM-95 in it as Life Extension's offering (325mg vs 400mg). There are other products that cost a bit more $.46/day, but they offer more BCM-95/serving (650mg).

      It appears that the price of BCM-95 is pretty stable, so it just depends on which brand you want to support. I've always had good results with Life Extension, and I'm not familiar with the other brands, so I think I'll stick with this one.

      Side Effects

      I had none. I also couldn't find any common side effects in the literature.

      Conclusion

      What else can I say? if Superman could be a pill, this would be it. Better mental health, better physical health, curcumin does a lot of good things.
       Pros:
       Cons:
      • Relieved Joint Pain
      • Anti-Cancer Properties
      • Improved Recovery
      • Good Value



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