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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Beldt Labs, Inc. PULSS Premium Nitric Oxide Load

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Part 2 of Hubby’s Experience with Beldt Labs, Inc.’s offerings is below, this time with a “pre-workout” supplement, PULSS. Seems like we have another winner on our hands. Take it away, Hubby:

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So, last time we talked about a supplement that is generally taken post-workout. This time we cover a supplement that is generally taken prior to your workout, and PULSS has plenty of a version of this supplement, arginine.

Used for bigger “pumps”, or the enhanced muscular definition and vascularity one sees after an intense workout, the jury is still out as to whether there are proven benefits from this particular supplement. I, for one, have been using it for better circulation, and a little extra “oomph” during my workouts. What I wasn’t expecting was the increased vascularity and definition I got. Even the wife noticed the difference, which was marked. Containing primarily A-AKG (Arginine-alphaketoglutarate), and a token amount of ornithine and glutamine for good measure, I substituted this for my regular L-Arginine supplement I use to boost my regular pre-workout drink. No adverse effects, so stomach upset, no jitters.

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Made in the USA in a GMP-certified facility, backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, the only thing really stopping me from saying “Buy it. Buy it now”, again, is the price. You can supplement your pre-workout routine for considerably less than the almost $26 price tag for a 30-day supply. So your mileage may vary with results and value, but the Money-Back Guarantee means the most you’ll be out is return shipping if it doesn’t work for you.

 

Okay, 2 for 2 with Beldt Labs. Maybe we’ll consider some other supplements in the future, but I think we’ll probably end on a high note here. Many thanks to Bedlt Labs, Inc. for the opportunity.

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Connect with Beldt Labs, Inc. :

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Beldt Labs, Inc..  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.

Beldt Labs, Inc. Crusch Tri-Phase Creatine Tablets

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Hubby takes the reigns again as our resident supplement guinea pi…er, I mean, expert, and reviews a couple of new supplements this time, from the kind folks at Beldt Labs, Inc., starting with their tri-phase creatine supplement, CRUSCH. Take it away, hubster!

 

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I’m happy to report this time that it seems, on the surface, that a supplement company is actually putting decent, quality ingredients out there, that contain what they claim to contain and work the way they’re supposed to work. Sounds simple but you can read here easily that there’s a LOT of supplement companies that aren’t worth the time, money and potential liver damage to “test” their products. Beldt isn’t one of those. And while they are smaller that the big boys at GNC, they seem to have the product nailed down, aside from a few claims that amount to little more than wishful thinking on their Amazon page, but that is par for the course with any supplement.

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CRUSCH contains three forms of one of the most researched and proven workout supplements on the market today, creatine. Initially identified way back in the 1800’s, it has been successfully used for over 2 decades to increase muscle mass, density, power, intensity and strength. CRUSCH contains the standard creatine monhydrate, the most readily commercially available form of creatine, creatine HCL (hydrocloride), a more exotic and expensive form of creatine, and an exotic type of creatine, creatine pyruvate. I have extensive experience with the first two forms, and this is my initial experience with the last. I will say that I saw no drop off in muscle mass, definition or overall strength when switching from my usual CreaPure Creatine from O.N. to this. There is no loading phase listed in the instructions, which is fine because most research will tell you a loading phase is mostly unnecessary. What is does recommend is “cycling”, which means a defined time using the product, and a set time not. Most reliable fitness experts will tell you that with normal creatine monohydrate, there is no need for “cycling” on and off the product, so I’ll leave that portion up to you.

My only problem with this product isn’t with the product so much as the price. 90 capsules (which equals 30 days of product) is $25. You can get regular creatine monohydrate from almost every major supplement company for between $8, and up to $20, for a 90 day supply. Considering that there’s practically no research that the more exotic forms of creatine are any better, results-wise, than plain old monohydrate, I’m at a loss to explain why anyone should pay so much more.

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As I stated, the product is fine. It delivers what it claims to deliver, albeit in a massive pill that I recommend taking one at a time. I saw absolutely no drop off in my stats, strength or stamina. But I didn’t see any gains that would make me want to pay more for this than my regular brand. What it has going for it is ease of use (no powder to measure, weigh, and mix), no flavor added to your pre- or post-workout drinks (I don’t care what anyone says, “unflavored” has a flavor, and it’s not good), and is easy to take with you wherever you go. It’s made in the USA and has the 30 -day, money back guarantee (just return the unused portion at your expense). It’s up to you if that is worth the extra cost for the ingredients. But other than that, I liked this product.

 

Nice that Hubby get’s a good one after so many iffy ones before.

Connect with Beldt Labs, Inc. :

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Beldt Labs, Inc..  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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Max Potency – Maximum Strength Testosterone Booster Review

Our resident supplement guru and favorite guinea pig, Hubby, makes another guest appearance today after trying out the latest offering from Vitality Max Labs, Max Potency – Maximum Strength Testosterone Booster. So here’s hubby with his review for WOM-derful. Take it away, hubby!

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I’m no stranger to workout supplements, and use them frequently. When you want to maximize your effort, every little bit of boost can help, especially after a long day. When my better half mentioned a “testosterone booster” supplement I was wary, to say the least. A testosterone boost would mean significant gains in lean muscle mass, an increase in energy and output, and strength gains. Most reputable studies have shown that very few, if any, OTC supplements will truly boost the body’s testosterone. I’m sad to report that Vitality Max Labs “Maximum Potency” Testosterone Booster did bupkis. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. 3 weeks of moderately intense exercise and not even a modest increase in any results at all. A quick read of the “active” ingredients shows why. 200IU Vitamin D. 2mg of B6. 10mg of b12. And then 608mg of a “proprietary blend” of roots and seeds that have been boasted about since the 70’s and shown time and time and time again to do nothing to boost testosterone. Fenugreek seed (Nope.), tribulus terrestris (Nuh-uh.), muria puana (Not really.), chrysin (Again, no.), siberian ginseng (Still nothing.) cordyceps sinensis (unproven to do anything, really) and zinc oxide. A lot of exotic sounding stuff, roots and barks and whatnot, and then a clear gelcap of white powder. Interesting to say the least. The Amazon listing initially failed to even list the ingredients. And while I know the industry standard is to put heaping helpings of “proprietary blends” (which may as well be sand, really), I don’t have to like it. And I don’t here either.

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Further reading showed me that the main purpose of this supplement was help in the bedroom. I highly doubt, from my reading on the ingredients, that anyone will see any benefit there, either. Vitality Max Labs, the company behind this product, has the distributor listed on the bottle as “EyeFive, Inc.”, who is changing their name to “ShipOffers”,a curious choice to say the least. And confusing as heck. Hard to trace the provenance of a product when you’re not even sure who’s who. At $34.99 for a 30 day supply, that’s some pretty expensive, and questionable, powder to boot. I can’t recommend this product for any reason whatsoever. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there about stuff to boost testosterone (most pretty dubious and will fall apart under even modest medical scrutiny), and to boost bedroom performance (see previously mentioned caveat, only much more so), and almost none of that stuff is in these pills. There should really be a lot more oversight in the supplement industry, and for the FDA to just throw up their hands and say that “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease” and say that’s good enough, is pathetic and best, negligent at worst.

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I don’t like being negative or down on a product sent for free by a company trying to get it’s foot in the door, but sometimes it’s warranted. Sometimes, to play with the big boys, the little guy needs to try harder. And these guys aren’t trying at all. I would avoid this product, because I don’t see how it could help anywhere.

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Ouch. Poor guy. I may have to give him a break with supplement testing before he sprouts a third ear or a tail! Sometimes, you find solace in taking one for the team so other people don’t end up spending hard-earned money on products with fantastical claims and nothing to back them up.

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Vitality Max 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.

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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