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Supplement Reviews

  • Faction Labs Disorder VS Redcon1 Total War

    A good pre-workout supplement should serve one primary purpose above all else; enabling you to have a highly productive session. However, even if a product clears the boundary in this regard, there is still much more that goes into making a supplement a great success overall.

    To help you compare some options you may be considering, we have compiled the traits of two very popular pre-workout supplement products- Faction Labs Disorder and Redcon1 Total War and made it easy for you by comparing them to see how they fare.

    Let’s delve right into it and see what these juggernauts have on offer.

    Taste

    The taste of a product offering plays a large part in how well it is received by consumers overall, since not everyone is comfortable with ingesting unflavoured or unpalatable powders. With this consideration, I am not surprised that these two brands have done their research to make available flavours that are appreciated by users.

    To Start with Faction Labs Disorder is available in four unique flavours, all with a fruit centric taste. These include the passionfruit based Green Haze, raspberry Red Russian, watermelon Purple Reign, and candy bomb Blue Pearl flavour.

    Redcon1 Total War, on the other hand offers significantly more flavour options, which might be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For one, more flavour options mean that you are likely to find one that works well for you, but on the flipside too many options sometimes leads to buyer paralysis. Their flavour offerings include blue coconut, blue raspberry, sour gummy bear, orange crush, pineapple, pink lemonade, watermelon, the curiously named White Walker, and a few other options as well.

    Nutritional Composition

    Do you know why some supplements succeed and others don’t? Because of what they contain. Indeed, if you’re going to fill your powder with a lot of unnecessary or filler ingredients, it won’t go over well with consumers.

    In the case of Faction Labs Disorder, its formula is quite comprehensive and offers much of what you’re looking for in a pre-workout product. To start it, it contains over 6 g of citrulline, one of the key vasodilator base ingredients on the market. Citrulline works much better than supplemental arginine for converting into nitric oxide and subsequently enhancing blood flow and oxygen delivery[i].

    To follow that up, it contains a very effective dose of beta-alanine, coming in at 3200 mg. Beta-alanine helps to saturate muscle carnosine stores, which in turn helps buffer fatigue and improve performance[ii].

    Mucuna Pruriens, also known as velvet bean extract, is a rich source of the amino acid L-dopa, which is subsequently converted to dopamine and can boost drive and motivation. Other supporting ingredients in L- theanine, L-norvaline, synephrine, and hordenine all function to help mental clarity, and even fat oxidation[iii].

    And of course, there is classic caffeine, which can be found in the majority of highly effective pre-workout powders. Caffeine not only enhances energy and motivation but also has an ergogenic effect on performance and fat usage[iv]. Just keep in mind- you’re getting a whopping 450mg per scoop!

    Redcon1 Total War offers a little more streamlined ingredient profile, opting to leave out some of the redundant ingredients and instead include ingredients with an upgrade. For instance, their L-citrulline malate is of the 2:1 ratio, which is actually the recommended ratio of citrulline to malic acid (malate). The 2 to 1 ratio refers to twice the amount of citrulline than malic acid, as some other supplements include a higher malic acid ratio which is sub-optimal.

    Other ingredients include beta-alanine, beetroot extract which is a rich source of dietary nitrates, caffeine anhydrous, taurine to help reduce muscle cramping, while the inclusion of AMPiberry supports a smoother energy curve when combined with caffeine.

    This is also supported by the presence of Infinergy di-caffeine malate, which is a sustained-release form of caffeine that is said to offer all the stimulant energy boosting effects but without the associated crash.

    Texture And Solubility

    Both of these products mix surprisingly well in water, given that you follow the mixing directions and use enough liquid in the first place.

    Faction Labs Disorder recommends mixing half of a scoop in 725ml water, while Redcon1 Total War advises mixing one scoop in 4 to 6 ounces of water (120-180ml), which is a significantly lesser volume. This could likely mean that Faction Labs Disorder has a poorer mixability in water. Nevertheless, it makes for a smooth drink as long as you follow the instructions.

    Value For Money

    One thing is clear across the board- good supplements aren’t cheap. That being said, neither of these pre-workout powders is priced bad, but you will still want to know the numbers behind it.

    Faction Labs Disorder offers 40 serves per jar, and costs $62.96. Redcon1 Total War costs exactly the same, but contains 30 serves. At first glance, you may be deceived by price, but the number of serves per container is another consideration you need to give.

    If you work out casually, going with Faction Labs Disorder is not a bad choice at all. With the price per serve lingering around $1.5, this isn’t a bad entry-level supplement. Redcon1 Total War, on the other hand, comes in at over $2 per serve, and should be considered more of an intermediate-advanced product.

    This is also because many of the ingredients it contains are upgrades of classic offerings, and might be more appropriate once you’ve been training a little while and looking to mix things up.

    In Summary

    Both Faction Labs Disorder and Redcon1 Total War are excellent products and might be suitable for you at different points on your training journey. Their formulations are solid, with a varied flavour profile as well. I would give a slight edge to Redcon1 Total War as it is the harder hitting formula, but again, the choice will depend on your specific needs.

    [i] Stephen J. Bailey, Jamie R. Blackwell, Terrence Lord, Anni Vanhatalo, Paul G. Winyard, and Andrew M. Jones.l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    Journal of Applied Physiology 2015 119:4, 385-395

    [ii] Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE, Stout JR, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:30. Published 2015 Jul 15. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y

    [iii] Gutiérrez-Hellín J, Del Coso J. Acute p-synephrine ingestion increases fat oxidation rate during exercise. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;82(2):362-368. doi:10.1111/bcp.12952

    [iv] Graham TE. Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance and performance. Sports Med. 2001;31(11):785-807. doi:10.2165/00007256-200131110-00002

  • Amino Z WPI VS Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI

    If you work out diligently day after day, it’s only natural that you would want to support your efforts with a high quality whey protein powder. However, not all protein powders are created the same. In fact, if you’re not careful you may end up spending way more money than you have to, and still not have access to the best you can get.

    With so many variables to consider, we’ve decided to make your purchasing decision a little easier, especially if you’re on a budget. Today we are going to run a comparison of two very popular whey protein brands on the market: Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI vs. Amino Z WPI.

    Let’s dive right into it then, shall we?

    Amino Z WPI

    Where Can I Buy Amino Z WPI?

    Here’s where you can purchase Amino Z WPI

    Pros of Amino Z WPI

    Our Amino Z WPI delivers the classic offering you may have become accustomed to when using whey protein isolate powders. Versatile WPI can be used pre and post-workout, first thing in the morning or any other time to help support recovery and lean muscle growth[i].

    • Higher than average protein content per serve, coming in at 26.5g per scoop
    • Low in sugar, fat and lactose to give less of what you don’t want
    • Free of soy
    • All Natural; uses only Stevia as sweetener
    • Many flavour options including banana, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla creamy, chocolate coconut, chocolate orange and even an unflavoured version
    • Packaged in a bag to reduce carbon footprint and bring down cost to the end consumer

    Cons Of Amino Z WPI

    • The sweetener used in our WPI is stevia, which is 8x as sweet as table sugar. Some people may not like the taste of this sweetener
    • That, and the fact that you may be unable to procure our Amino Z WPI out of Australia.
    • Our product is also packaged in a bag with a resealable pouch to reduce our carbon footprint and bring down cost, but you may or may not want a tub for storage

    Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI

    Where Can I Buy Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI?

    Here’s where you can purchase Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI

    Pros Of Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI

    Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI is another high quality protein powder that can be used to complement recovery and lean muscle synthesis.

    • It delivers 21g of protein per serve to fuel muscle growth
    • Enhanced with L-Glutamine to enhance recovery and reduce muscle soreness[ii]
    • Low in fat and carbohydrates
    • Available in flavours including vanilla, chocolate, banana, strawberry, and chocolate hazelnut
    • Contains fast acting whey protein hydrolysate in addition to whey protein isolate
    • Well known internationally
    • Comes packaged in a tub for easy storage

    Cons Of Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI

    • Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI is a bit under dosed in terms of its actual protein content, coming in at 21g per serve.
    • Product taste is excellent, but owing to the presence of artificial sweeteners. This may be of concern if you are health conscious and looking for a natural WPI.
    • Finally, it can be considered a bit of overkill to have every piece of inventory available in a tub. It may have been better to offer tubs and bags which could easily be refilled into them once empty. The price is also a bit on the higher side, possibly because of the (unexpected) addition of whey protein hydrolysate.

    In Summary

    We stand behind both of these great brands, so it should really just boil down to a matter of personal preference. Consider which product meets more of your needs and you’ll have a great supplement to support your effort while working out.

    [i] Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.

    [ii] Legault Z, Bagnall N, Kimmerly DS. The Influence of Oral L-Glutamine Supplementation on Muscle Strength Recovery and Soreness Following Unilateral Knee Extension Eccentric Exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015;25(5):417-426. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0209

  • Vital All In One Review

    Vital All In One belongs to a group of supplements that are not often given much thought; greens and superfoods. Originally known as Vital Greens, the supplement comes in the form of a highly bioavailable powder which possesses several surprising benefits for your health.

    Let’s take a look and see how this greens powder shapes up.

    Taste

    When you think of a greens/ superfood powder, you would be forgiven for thinking that taste is not its strong point. Given, Vital All In One is not comparable to the sweetness of a protein powder or pre-workout, but that does not mean that it is bad. It even has a somewhat pineapple tinge, by virtue of the natural flavouring agents.

    In fact, it has one of the best taste profiles for any greens powder you can purchase. The taste is not bitter, nor is it overly sweet and artificial. It strikes a good balance, as much as can be expected for such types of products, making it much more than merely “tolerable” on the taste buds.

    Category Specific Taste: 4.5/5

    Solubility/ Texture

    Vital All In One Powder actually mixes very well, and does not leave much visible residue. It can easily be mixed with a spoon in a glass, but if you are looking to make drinking your greens an experience, we recommend whipping up a batch in a blender. You can also mix it with non-acidic juices such as apple for a little extra sweetness boost.

    A blender ensures a continuous supply of air is infused into your beverage, making for a fluffy, light smoothie. A blender is also superior for ensuring a uniform mixture, making drinking it smooth sailing.

    The soluble fibre it contains definitely helps with the excellent texture and mixability. Add each serve of the powder (10g) to at least 200ml liquid to ensure an adequate texture is achieved every time.

    Solubility/ Texture: 5/5

    Nutritional Breakdown

    Being true to the name “All In One”, Vital greens contains an impressive number of ingredients; over 70 to be precise. These include:

    • Vitamins and Minerals

    Many vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, Vitamin A, C and E are included in Vital All In One Powder. These have various functions ranging from supporting energy levels[i], bolstering eye health[ii], and of course enhancing immunity and anti-oxidant capacity[iii]

    It’s also worth mentioning that is contains several important micro minerals as well, including zinc, calcium and selenium, hard to get on vegan diets.

    • Digestive Aids

    These comprise of the ever-helpful probiotics which can alleviate digestive disorders such as chronic constipation[iv], and even promoting protein absorption[v].

    Then, you can also find digestive enzymes and aloe vera gel for stomach health[vi].

    • Antioxidants And Herbs

    Vital All In One is not done yet. It also contains several adaptogenic herbs, green tea, Astragalus, reishi mushrooms and even resveratrol, one of the most effective anti-oxidants that may help reduce your heart disease risk[vii].

    • Vegetables And High Nutrient Fruits

    Last but not least, are the veggies and fruits it contains. Kale, barley, broccoli, beet, bilberry, kelp, chlorella and spirulina are some of its biggest draws. These can help you meet your recommended daily intake of 8-10 serves, and in conjunction can support detoxification (thanks to milk thistle) and reducing inflammation[viii].

    Value For Money

    Investing in a greens and superfood powder such as Vital All In One has to simply be an outstanding choice. It is extremely affordable, with a container of 25 serves coming in at less than $25. That means you pay under $1 per serve. Extremely affordable, even comparing to consuming the vegetables and fruits themselves.

    Considering there are over 70 different ingredients in the supplement, the value is hard to beat.

    Value For Money: 5/5

    In Conclusion

    Vital All In One, as the name suggests, should definitely go on your list of vital nutritional supplements. The sad fact is that the majority of adults do not meet the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, making it a good idea to use a super greens powder.

    It is very low in sugars and undesirable additives, and comes at a price point that is hard to argue with. The great mixability, as well as decent taste are also great traits of this powder.

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5

    [i] Martel JL, Kerndt CC, Franklin DS. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) [Updated 2020 May 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482360/

    [ii] Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8 [published correction appears in Arch Ophthalmol. 2008 Sep;126(9):1251]. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(10):1417-1436. doi:10.1001/archopht.119.10.1417

    [iii] Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211

    [iv] Zhao Y, Yu YB. Intestinal microbiota and chronic constipation. Springerplus. 2016;5(1):1130. Published 2016 Jul 19. doi:10.1186/s40064-016-2821-1

    [v] Jäger R, Purpura M, Farmer S, Cash HA, Keller D. Probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 Improves Protein Absorption and Utilization. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2018;10(4):611-615. doi:10.1007/s12602-017-9354-y

    [vi] Panahi Y, Khedmat H, Valizadegan G, Mohtashami R, Sahebkar A. Efficacy and safety of Aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial. J Tradit Chin Med. 2015;35(6):632-636. doi:10.1016/s0254-6272(15)30151-5

    [vii] Dyck GJB, Raj P, Zieroth S, Dyck JRB, Ezekowitz JA. The Effects of Resveratrol in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Heart Failure: A Narrative Review. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(4):904. Published 2019 Feb 19. doi:10.3390/ijms20040904

    [viii] Polachi N, Bai G, Li T, et al. Modulatory effects of silibinin in various cell signaling pathways against liver disorders and cancer - A comprehensive review. Eur J Med Chem. 2016;123:577-595. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2016.07.070

  • Momentum Protein Chips Review

  • Ghost Whey Review

    The Ghost Brand is an up and coming supplement line that is gaining quite a lot of traction, earning coveted word of mouth referrals from those that use their products. Even though at first glance Ghost Whey might appear as if it is just a basic Whey protein powder, it actually has a few tricks up its sleeve.

    Wondering how this iteration of the Ghost family will fare? Let's check it out now.

    Taste

    One thing the Ghost brand has completed nailed, as is evident in Ghost Whey as well, is the taste factor. Ghost Whey comes in several delicious flavours, including cereal milk, fruity cereal milk, blueberry toaster pastry, milk chocolate, peanut butter cereal milk and coffee ice cream.

    There is something in Ghost Whey that brings about a nostalgic feeling after drinking a serve, which is especially true if you recall having cereal in milk as a kid and then drinking the milk left in the bowl. This is the truest explanation of what cereal milk is, and one that you are bound to love.

    The non-cereal milk flavours also taste exceptional, though if you dislike the taste of coffee you may not love the coffee ice cream flavour. But that's not to say it's bad in the least. Overall, Ghost Whey has at least one flavour you are bound to love.

    Taste: 5/5

    Solubility/Texture

    Ghost Whey does an excellent job of mixing in water, as is the standard we have come to expect from all Whey-based proteins. It is instantized, so whether you choose to whip up a batch in a shaker bottle, blender or just with a spoon, you should not encounter difficulties with the process.

    You can mix up to two serves in 360ml of water, being sure to vigorously mix throughout. You can still modify the amount of water you use to achieve the consistency and texture you desire prior to consumption.

    Solubility/Texture: 5/5

    Nutritional Breakdown

    Ghost Whey does not need to reinvent the wheel. It is well known that Whey protein is the gold standard when it comes with getting high quality amino acids in your diet, in a fast and convenient form, but what they have done is combine three extremely popular forms of this protein; namely the concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate, so that you can take advantage of the unique offerings of each.

    Consumption of a Whey protein supplement, especially in the post workout window helps to promote muscle protein synthesis thanks to its stimulating effect on the anabolic hormone insulin [1]. Insulin is critical for helping to shuttle glucose and amino acids into muscle cells, which after a training session are primed to absorb much-needed nutrients.

    In addition to this, the branched-chain amino acid leucine [2] plays a critical role in stimulating anabolism and protein synthesis at the genetic and cellular level, so that your efforts in the gym do not go to waste. This is why many protein supplements proudly trumpet their BCAA content on the label. As an added bonus, consumption of high amounts of BCAAs can help with the loss of abdominal fat when on a hypocaloric diet, compared to diets which are low in BCAAs [3].

    Lastly, but certainly not least is Whey protein's speed of absorption. As a whole, Whey proteins are absorbed rapidly, but as purity goes up (concentrate<isolate<hydrolysate) so too does it speed of absorption. While the difference in actual protein content between the concentrate and hydrolysate form isn't that significant, the hydrolysate form has been partially broken down into amino acid components, so that it enters blood even faster and leads to higher blood amino acids[4] (and greater muscle growth!)

    Ghost Whey can help you take advantage of your entire workout window if consumed before and after your session. In addition to the actual training session, you may also consume Ghost Whey immediately upon waking in the morning, or before bed (both optional).

    The Ghost Whey label also makes reference to enzymes, though there is no specific mention of which. However, based on the fact that it is a protein supplement, it is most likely some form of proteolytic enzymes (to speed up cleavage of the amino acid bonds).

    Value For Money

    When it comes down to the cost per serve, Ghost Whey may seem a tad bit expensive. A jar supplying 28 serves costs about $68.95, which equates to almost $2.50 per scoop. However, you need to keep in mind that Ghost Whey is not simply one type of Whey protein, but actually three blended peptides combined into one product.

    By including the concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate you are able to experience different rates of protein absorption, especially when taking around the peri- workout window. Even at 25 g of protein per serve, however, Ghost Whey still remains one of the more expensive Whey protein products on the market. This is the price you pay for good things.

    Value: 3/5

    Conclusion

    Ghost Whey is on its 'Whey' up, with the brand as a whole developing a stellar reputation after being used. The blended approach that Ghost Whey employs is a great idea as smaller differences in absorption speed and purity can make a difference in you gaining every ounce of muscle you deserve.

    Our only hope (and negative) is that Ghost make their Whey protein available in 5 pound jars, since this would most likely bring down the individual cost per serve and make it more justifiable spending your cash on it.

    Overall, a great product with great taste and mixability, but at a higher cost per scoop.

    Overall: 4/5

    References

    1.Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in Whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002

    2.Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.

    3.Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY.Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers.Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

    4.Manninen AH.Hyperinsulinaemia, hyperaminoacidaemia and post-exercise muscle anabolism: the search for the optimal recovery drink. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Nov; 40(11):900-5.

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