Nature’s Nectar L-Arginine Supplement

Hubby has been taking L-Arginine supplements for a circulation problem in his foot for years, and it’s been extremely helpful in that regard. It’s also been a regular staple in his pre-workout powders and regimen for quite a few years as well, so we’re always on the lookout for a newer, better product.

DSC_1335

And while it’s a decent supplement, it’s about on par with other’s he’s tried in the past, no better, no worse. It’s also contains some minimal amounts or L-Orinthine and L-Glutamine amino acids as well, they’re not at levels sufficient to have any beneficial effect to your workouts. Taken with his preworkout powder, it’s a nice little boost but the effects don’t last, and there’s even some emerging research that the effects of L-Arginine are purely placebo. I’ll leave that debate for another day and simply state that Hubby had nothing bad to say about this supplement, but at $10.95 for a thirty day supply, it’s a little on the high side for regular supplementation vs. say, a powder.

DSC_1336

Nature’s Nectar offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so if you try it and don’t see any benefit, you can get a full refund via Amazon’s return process. So it’s kind of a risk-free situation to try an L-Arginine supplement and see if it takes your workout to the next level!

DSC_1337

Connect with Nature’s Nectar:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nature’s Nectar. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Advertisements

Better Body Sports “Amino Ammo” Instantized BCAA Mix

Hubby is at it again in another guest post for supplements. Thankfully, this time, he’s got a good one to review and not some horrible concoction or useless gelcaps. So let’s dive right in to this offering from Better Body Sports, shall we?

DSC_0723


Some days, it feels like I’m Micheal Corleone in the Godfather. “Every time I think that I’m out, they pull me back IN!” I’m a sucker, it seems, for trying out certain supplements, and it’s usually within my holy trinity: BCAA’s, protein, creatine. And sometimes it comes back to bite me on the butt, but this time, I’m happy to report, I’ve found another winner in Better Body Sports’ “Amino Ammo” BCAA formula. BCAA’s are a very important part of my workout routine. The help increase muscle building and synthesis, as well as support the muscles you’ve already built, but the also help combat fatigue and stamina in the gym. What sets this mix apart from my usual brand of BCAA powder is the 4:1:1 ratio versus my usual 2:1:1. That ratio refers to the amounts of L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine that comprise a standard BCAA (branched chain amino acid) stack. Emerging research has started to say that a 3:1:1 ratio can produce greater muscle synthesis that the usual 2:1:1, so most companies are starting to put a 4:1:1 ratio in their BCAA stacks. There are also many reports of this just being another heaping helping of “bro science”, but I can tell you from use that I did notice some minor gains from this over my usual Optimum Nutrition BCAA powder. I didn’t have Those who have read my other reviews know that I consider them the standard by which others are judged for the simple fact that I trust them to put exactly what they say is in there, in there. And trust is huge in the supplement market where fly-by-nights come and go it seems almost daily. But Better Body Sports went above and beyond and made this not just a BCAA mix, but a pretty decent pre-workout mix as well by adding beta-alanine, citrulline malate, agmatine (which some have referred to as “super arginine”) and vitamins (C, B6 and B12) as well. Add a caffeine pill and I’d put this up there with the new formulation of Cellucor’s C4. The downsides to Amino Ammo are a super-sweet flavor to mask the bitterness of the vitamins and aminos, and the paltry amount of agmatine sulfate, which is only 250mg. Most studies show the minimum effective dose of agmatine to be in the 500-750mg range. The other is the price for a 30-day serving: $39.99. I can usually get a 30-day supply of pre-workout powders for around $20-25 for a 30 day supply, and less with coupons and promotions.

DSC_0725

Overall this is a good product that seems to contain exactly what is says it does, and offers a price point that, while I find a little on the high side, is on par with the other, more well-known names in the industry. If you don’t mind the flavor (I’m not the biggest fan of watermelon, and as Wifey put it best “It tastes like powdered Jolly Rancher”), you have a better than average pre-workout with no caffeine, and some really look hard for that. And for those that don’t, you can add it for about 5 bucks a bottle and never need another pre-workout mix. There’s no filler, binders, no artificial colors, anti-oxidants…Better Body Sports has a real winner on their hands.

DSC_0726


 

Well, then. It’s nice to actually get a supplement company that actually gets it and I’m glad hubby doesn’t have to choke down something he hated for a review. Better Body Sports makes an entire line of products, and if they’re as good as their Amino Ammo, there’s going to be a new big player in the supplement industry very soon.

DSC_0724

Connect with Better Body Sports:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Better Body Sports .  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Research Verified NO2 Booster Preworkout Supplement

So here’s the return of Hubby with a dietary supplement that, against his better judgement, he decided to try. So, take it away, Hubby:

Sometimes, you’re looking for a little edge in the gym. Sometimes, after a long day, you need a little extra pep. NO2 boosters are generally a good way to power through those last sets, and keep your form and those last few reps. But sometimes, all the hype and fancy packaging doesn’t help when a product fails to perform. Such is the case with this Research Verified NO2 Booster. There was quite literally no effect for me at all.

DSC_0416

I take arginine supplements to help aid in a circulatory issue a have in my leg, and for a little extra bonus in the gym. After my old preworkout mix changed formulations, I’ve been looking for a new mix, and thought I’d found one missing a couple of ingredients in the old stack, so why not pick up a could of supplements to supplement the mix, right? But right from jump I got nothing from this pill. I thought at first to wait a couple of weeks and see if perhaps it was a case of expecting too much too soon. I added it to my regular preworkout stack, and after a couple of weeks, when I wasn’t feeling what I expected, I stopped them. No reason to tax my liver with some pills that don’t have any benefit. Maybe I’m used to a higher potency of arginine product, maybe I got a bad bottle, but whatever the case, I got no benefit whatsoever from this NO2 Booster.

DSC_0417

In the end, I should have stuck to my guns about testing these type of supplements, because most of the time I’m disappointed. There’s only a couple of companies I truly trust, and from here on out it’s them or the highway. I’ve learned my lesson. No more testing and reviewing exercise supplements.

DSC_0418

Okay, I won’t say “I told you so”, but I totally did. Proprietary mixes are the devil, and threre’s no way of knowing what you’re really getting unless you trust the company. We’ve really yet to find more than a handful of these companies that deliver on their promises, and we should really learn to stick with them religiously.

Connect with Research Verified:

  • Online
  • On Facebook
  • On Amazon

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Research Verified.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

SlimQuick Pure Protein Supplement Review

slimquick_logo

After passing off various workout supplements to Hubby to test and review, one targeted towards women finally came my way. SlimQuick Pure Protein shake supplement is a weight loss supplement “designed for women” that boasts it will help you lose “3X the weight” of just a diet alone. Fine print mentions that the diet advises is a paltry 1350 calories, which would be highly effective on it’s own when combined with any sensible exercise routine. Contradicting that is the supplement facts that are centered around a much more achievable 2,000 calorie diet. So let’s just dive right in and see what there is to see, shall we?

IMAG2982

Right from jump street I don’t know what about this particular product is specific to women’s health needs or exercise requirements. I see that the ingredients list a proprietary blend of soy and green tea extract, along with taurine and something called “Fibersol-2” digestion resistant maltodexterin. Oh my. Sounds…intimidating. Some reading tells me that Fibersol is generally used as a rapid delivery system for proteins. And the protein used here is whey protein concentrate, which as proteins go is pretty good. Unfortunately, this Fibersol-2 kind of also flies in the face of the “natural ingredients” tagline as well. Moving on, there’s a bunch of other stuff that are missing from hubby’s various protein shakes. In fact, glancing over the supplement facts shows that each 20g serving contains only 10 grams of protein. At this low 50% ratio, it puts SlimQuick at the low end of most protein shake brands listed protein content. To give you some idea, most of hubby’s protein shakes are usually a minimum of 85%, up to about 95% for some. Also troubling is the 20mg of cholesterol per serving as well. Again, referring back to hubby’s shakes, his generally contain between 15 and 30mg’s, but again, we’re talking about 28-30 grams of protein per serving. And not nearly as many added fillers either. Oof. Alright. How’s it taste?

IMAG2983

Not too bad, as protein shakes go. A few of hubby’s have been pretty, well, awful at times. Even the ones he says are pretty good are still pretty bad. This one is very, very sweet. Almost too sweet, considering they only recommend 4 oz. of water to mix in. Which means if you don’t shake it vigorously, it’ll be pretty clumpy. Forget stirring it either.

IMAG2984

Lastly, I’ll touch on price and results. The price is pretty astronomical for a protein shake. Less than one pound of product (300g to be exact) is good for about 15 servings, or a little more than a week’s worth. For $21.99 (by Amazon.com’s pricing). To put that in perspective, hubby’s “premier” shake containing over 4 pounds of whey protein isolate (which is a purer, better form of protein that is generally more expensive) is usually $49.99, sometimes as low as $40. Scaled up were looking at almost $100 for the same amount of product as hubby has been buying. It’s much more cost efficient to buy a 5lb tub of another brand and supplement the green tea, caffeine, or whatever weight loss “stack” you want separately.  As for results, I didn’t see any difference as far as weight loss, muscle tone or general fitness level as I did from my usual diet and exercise routine, but then I didn’t go on a highly restrictive 1300 calorie diet either. So results will depend on where you are, goal wise, and how intense you are willing to be, diet and exercise-wise, and not on the additives in your shakes. As a meal replacement it’s poor, and as a meal supplement, would be awfully sweet in the mornings and afternoons (as directed on the label). I wanted to like this product. I tried to like this product. But with more negatives than positives, I would have to give this shake mix a failing grade from me, though your mileage may vary. However with a money-back satisfaction guarantee, there’s no harm in trying to see for yourself.

IMAG2985

Connect with SlimQuick Labs:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from SlimQuick.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Nutura Formulas BCAA Capsules

Natura-Formulas-logo

Poor hubby. He’s back again with a workout supplement review, and as so many of these before, there’s some serious questions asked, including that I take a sabbatical from workout supplements after this next batch has been reviewed. So, off to the races, dear readers! Here’s Hubby:

There’s an accepted holy trinity of workout supplements, and they are Protein, Creatine, BCAA’s. Today I’m going over one of that trinity, and that’s Natura’s BCCA Capsules. I’ve taken amino acid supplements in one form or another for almost 20 years, off and on. We’ve covered a BCAA supplement here before, with Diet Standard’s version, I’m afraid for very simple reasons I can’t recommend these capsules from Natura as highly.

IMAG2847

To start, BCAA’s are three essential amino acids: l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine. Usually taken in a 2:1:1 (2 parts of one to one and one of the others) stack to help promote lean muscle growth and retain lean muscle mass during a calorie deficient diet and workout routine, these are some of the most researched and proven workout supplements on the market. They are plentiful and inexpensive, and used the world over safely.

IMAG2848

 

My problem is fairly simple: I’m currently using a very popular and well known brand of BCAA caspsules from Optimum Nutrition.

They are considered in many circles the industry standard, trusted and tested to be exactly what they say they are, and their serving size is shown as 1000mg for 2 capsules. I only mention this because Natura’s capsules are purported to be 1600mg’s, and they’re smaller. That’s a huge red flag to me. Aside from the sheer physics of it, it makes me cast a very critical eye at the product. For $17.77, they are almost triple the cost of the same count from Optimum Nutrition. For what should be the exact same supplement. The supplement market is completely saturated with products and companies, so for the life of me I can’t see why one would pay 3 times as much for the same thing, and that’s not even considering that there are less expensive brands than ON on the market. Let me stress again that the capsules are smaller to boot. Both are made in the USA, too. Natura has a guarantee that reads: “GET RESULTS OR YOUR MONEY BACK – You are protected by our 100% Money Back Guarantee. If, for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase from Natura Formulas, just return the empty bottles for a full refund! WE STAND BEHIND OUR PRODUCTS WITH A RISK FREE GUARANTEE. That’s the Natura Formulas Guarantee”. That’s bold, but really, results from a workout supplement are dependent on the work you put in, not the boasts of being the “most potent on Amazon”, which are laughable. Same with the  questionable boasts of “building muscle faster” “alter your bodies metabolism”, “instantaneous results” and “burn fat faster”. Again, you get from a workout what you put into it, so you can pop a million pills but if you don’t put in the sweat equity, you’re wasting your time and money. I didn’t notice any difference, results wise, from my current BCAA capsules, either. I can’t make a very high recommendation for these, because A) the price, and B) the size problem. Sorry, Natura.

IMAG2849

Okay, so you can see why he’s asked for a break on supplements after we finish this next batch. Once again, disappointment. There’s talk of the FDA finally getting serious about supplement (and cosmetics) regulation, and it con’t really come quick enough in this girl’s opinion. I absolutely hate being down on products that I try fro free from companies that are trying to get their foot in the door, but I would also hate to be up on a product I had serious reservations about and make it seem like I just love something because it’s free. Like Hubby said: Sorry, Natura, but we can’t recommend this product.

Connect with Natura Formulas:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Natura Formulas.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Summit Nutritions Instantized Whey Protein Isolate Powder (3-pack)

summitnutritions_1390806685_3

While I am a fan of and can appreciate a good protein powder, Hubby is the real “house expert” here, so I will again defer to him for this coming review, Summit Nutritions Instantized Whey Protein Isolate Powder in natural dutch chocolate. Take it away, Hubby:

IMAG2401

I’ve tried more than a few protein powders, and mostly through much trial and error have found out what works best for me and my exercise routines. Summit Nutritions has made a very decent Isolate product that can stand on it’s own with the likes of BSN, Muscle Pharm, and Optimum Nutrition. A little bit about this product and others like it. All whey proteins are not created alike. All protein powders aren’t created alike either. Whey is created by separating the components of milk. The differences between concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. The differences between the three are the purity of protein, available protein by weight, and the purest forms can be virtually lactose free, carbohydrate free, fat free, and cholesterol free. Whey proteins are quickly absorbed, have a high amout of BCAAs, and lately, the better ones can be very expensive. Isolates especially. To find a good isolate powder, that isn’t spiked, and tastes good is a tricky endeavor. “Spiked” powder is pretty cheap and unfortunately pretty common. The practice of spiking protein powders with certain amino acids and other substances to artificially boost the protein count. Brands like Body Fortress are notorious for this, and are actually being sued in a class action because of it.

IMAG2402

 

Summit Nutritions isn’t playing that game. Just whey protein isolates, some natural flavors, sweeteners, cocoa powder, and some thickener. And for it’s minimal ingredient list, it tastes pretty dang good. A little on the sweet side, but for anyone who’s tried “unflavored” whey proteins knows that the sweetness is much better than the alternative. No sugars, no cholesterol, minimal carbs and practically no fat. It mixes well, leaves no clumps, and actually tastes IMAG2403better than my usual isolate product. It’s premeasured in 30g individual pouches, and one can easily add your BCAA powders or creatine with minimal effect on the taste and consistency of the shake. I use these powders for my post-workout shake, but I can see this being an occasional meal replacement shake too. Be it a quick liquid breakfast or a liquid lunch on the run. The sealed single serve packages lend themselves to quick and easy mixing that you can do anywhere, anytime with just a half bottle of water. If not for one glaring thing, I could see this becoming my go-to powder for regular use.

 

That oIMAG2404ne thing is price. At $8 for 3 servings, you’re looking at almost $200 to match the leading brand’s 74 serving tubs of concentrate, or $133 to match the leading brand’s 50-serving isolate tub. That’s prohibitively expensive. I’m not sure I’d pay an additional $80 for the convenience of pre-measured powder to mix on the go. Currently, the company sells a package of 3 single serving pouches at $7.99, 2lb tubs at $36.99 and 5lb tubs for $69.99. That’s still pretty expensive, more than one would spend for similar products of equal quality on Amazon, which is currently the only place Summit Nutrtions sells their protein powder. So while 3 days of mixes do not really give you enough of a sample size to see whether you get the usual benefits of a good post-workout whey isolate shake, it is enough to tell you it tastes good, smells good, mixes good, & seems to have everything you want in a protein powder, nothing you don’t.

 

Thanks, Hubby. I appreciate you being my designated sports nutrition testing try-out fella.

 

Connect with Summit Nutrtions:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Summit Nutritions. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

GreenForce Labs No2 PreWorkout Supplement Review #GreenForce

10301283_723874317708784_1011568735093048421_n

I’ve passed off workout supplements to hubby before, and this one is no different, but thankfully for him, this one was much better than the last. I don’t think he could take another horrible product to be my crash test dummy for. So, without further adieu, here’s hubby:

I’ve been using pre-workout supplements for years now. Some tasted good and did bupkis for me. Some tasted horrible, and did bupkis for me. Some tasted tolerable and worked out well. I have yet to find one that wasn’t overly sweet, loaded with sugars, artificial colors and flavors, or ingredients that I’d rather not ingest. I think, however, I’ve found one in Greenforce Labs No2 Preworkout that hits every metric I want.

20150129_153858-1

Some background on what I consider essential preworkout primers. One is a bit of caffeine. It really helps get my butt up and moving. Next are some B-vitamins to keep it moving. A little arginine to keep the blood vessels wide open. Everything else for me is gravy. Greenforce No2 Preworkout ups the ante by adding l-ornithine and l-citrulline to combat muscle fatigue, and a new one for me, beet root extract, which aids in greater output, lowers fatigue, and possibly greater strength. Hey now, I’m in. And for me, this product worked. I matched my exercise output and results from my powdered product, at half the cost. I’m happy to alternate between this and my usual.

After making sure I cleared my system of my previous preworkout powder, which I consider seriously flawed due to being obnoxiously sweet. I can happily report that Greenforce No2 Preworkout has no added sugars, natural OR artificial, a major failing of almost every single preworkout on the market. You can easily tailor your intake to your needs or workout. With a 4 capsule serving, that’s simple to say “Okay, it’s late, I’m only taking half tonight”. Also, this is an all-natural product made in the USA, NFW and GMP certified. You get a month’s worth for $21.95 with 120 capsules per bottle.

Now for the best part. This product is 100% satisfaction guaranteed. From the first capsule to the last. Greenforce Labs stands behind this product, no questions, full stop. I had a minor issue with shipping and Greenforce Labs bent over backwards to make sure I was a satisfied customer. Above and beyond. Show me a supplement company that does that. I’ve had dealings with some of the biggest, and it’s all finger-pointing and no guarantees. I’m happy to report there none of that nonsense with Greenforce Labs. I’m happy to support them and look forward to see what they bring to market next.

10710592_723870147709201_1170406003357679455_n

Connect with Greenforce Labs:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Greenforce Labs.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

ATH Sports: Hemp Gold, Organic Coconut Hemp Protein Powder Review #HempGold

IMAG0404

Protein powders aren’t just for gym rats anymore. Everyone has to go, go, go, and a meal on the run is always appreciated. I am always seeking the new and especially a different approach when it comes to supplements and fuel for your body. The protein bar world is dominated and oversaturated and you can finally find bars that are both good tasting and nutritious, but I wish I could say the same for the world of drinks. Even though they have been around longer than the bars, they have not been what I call mastered by all. Many are filled with….well, fillers and loaded with sugars and cheap sources of protein. Thanks to hubby I have had a chance to sample many different powders, with some being great tasting but not so good for you. Some were good for you and tasted AWFUL (**cough-Arbonne-cough**). Only a select few have balanced both well. I saw a post on The Underground on a new brand that I had not heard of and it’s not your common mix, so when ATH offered to send samples, I jumped on it.

ATH Sports is a Hawaii based company and their Hemp Gold is derived from cold-pressed Organic Hemp Protein seeds. The cold-pressed process helps keep their natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, plus the enzymes intact. I also love that when it comes to sugar, they use an all-natural source….coconut, stevia and Lo Han Fruit Extract, also known as the monk fruit. The Lo Han Fruit is 300 times sweeter than sugar and your body metabolizes it more effectively. The ingredient list in this protein supplement is short and all that it contains is what I noted above. Don’t be fooled by the short list because this is the power punch you get from ATH Sport’s Hemp Gold:

  • 15 grams of protein
  • 2000 mg of Omega-9 Fatty Acids
  • 6400 mg of Omega-6
  • 420 mg of Omega-3
  • 18 grams of Fiber
  • 10 essential Amino Acids
  • Non-GMO
  • No Sugar Added
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic Ingredients

All the above from just 1 scoop! Each 3 pound container yields about 57 servings and ATH’s scoop size is a mere 24 grams. Each serving is only 130 calories, 36 coming from fat. The THC has been removed so testing positive for anything bad is not a worry! Not bad so far but let’s get to the taste test.

Taste Test:
The powder does not fight back when you try to dissolve it and you do smell the Organic Coconut notes, think almost a earthy scent when undissolved. It actually smells good and inviting, so far so good. I mix it and the color of the powder is deceiving, it is like a mustard-green but don’t be fooled……this tastes so good that you can’t believe it’s a protein drink. It’s like no other, no bad after-taste, no needing to chug it, no particles in the water that remain undissolved…..you actually are left with a Coconut butter taste that is better than any Coconut Water I have ever had!!! I’m a fan and can say of all the shakes, mixes, smoothies, the ATH Sports Hemp Gold should be an example to other brands, healthy, natural nutrition drinks can taste freaking awesome!

Get your Hemp Gold at:

I received the above product free of charge from ATH Sports. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

%d bloggers like this: