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Supplement Reviews

  • TC Nutrition Batch 27 Review

     

    TC Nutrition Batch 27 is a super concentrated pre-workout supplement that promises pump, power, and performance. Is this just another run-of-the-mill pre-workout or can Batch 27 deliver?

    Nutritional Breakdown

    Most pre-workout supplements focus on caffeine for a quick jolt, but Batch 27 contains a well-rounded formula to fuel the brain and the body.

    Let's talk about performance: Batch 27 contains beta alanine and betaine anhydrous, two ingredients that have been shown to increase strength levels during your workout. With one gram of creatine HCl, you'll be providing your lean tissue with instantly-available adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the preferred fuel source of muscle. (1, 2)

    Batch 27 also offers you a collection of nitric oxide-boosting ingredients. Higher levels of nitric oxide during your workout can improve performance and overall results. Batch 27 delivers eight grams of citrulline malate, one of the best ingredients to increase nitric oxide production for that blood-pooling pump. You'll also get tyrosine, agmatine sulfate, theanine, and carnitine. (3)

    With your muscles taken care of, what about your mental energy levels? Batch 27 goes above and beyond most other supplements, offering you two types of caffeine along with two nootropics or brain-boosting compounds for elite-level focus.

    Theobromine complements caffeine anhydrous and caffeine citrate, helping to increase energy levels while alleviating the anxiousness typically felt with caffeine-based products. Huperzine A is the king of nootropics and it's been shown to skyrocket focus, cognitive performance, and memory formation. (4)

    Black pepper extract ties it all together. Studies show that black pepper extract can increase bioavailability of a supplement by up to 2,000%. (5)

    For those who try to limit their exposure to artificial sweeteners, Batch 27 contains both sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace K).

    Overall, this is one of the most complete and advanced pre-workout formulas I've seen. It addresses energy on all levels – mind and muscle – and not just a fast boost and crash. This is a very impressive pre-workout formula.

    FORMULA RATING: 5/5

    Taste

    TC Nutrition Batch 27 offers three unique flavours: Fuzzy Peach, Rocket Pop, and Sour Batch. For the purpose of this review, I tested Fuzzy Peach. While it doesn't taste exactly like a peach, I was pleasantly surprised with the flavour.

    I've seen other reviews where people comment that the taste is a bit like cough syrup, but I think it's important to remember that supplements are meant to support your fitness performance and goals; a great taste is just a luxury.

    I enjoyed the Fuzzy Peach flavour, and I'd love to try the other two flavours to see which one is my favourite.

    TASTE RATING: 5/5

    Solubility

    TC Nutrition Batch 27 is surprisingly easy to mix given that it doesn't contain lecithin, which is usually added to help with mixability. I used a shaker bottle with a mixing ball, and it took a few extra shakes but it mixed well.

    MIXABILITY RATING: 5/5

    Value for Money

    Amazing quality doesn't come cheap and Batch 27 is not on the cheaper side of supplements. The average price you'll find for 20 servings is around fifty dollars. Despite the price tag, I still think it's a worthwhile buy considering all of the ingredients you're getting per serving.

    VALUE RATING: 4/5

    Conclusion

    This is a complete and well-rounded pre-workout supplement, something you don't often find in the overcrowded market.

    It has a collection of scientifically-proven ingredients to power both the mind and the body for an optimal workout experience. Flavour is great and it's easy to mix, but my only pain point is the price. Even with the higher price tag, you're paying for an elite-quality supplement.

    OVERALL RATING: TC Nutrition Batch 27 gets 5/5!

    References

    1. Maté-Muñoz JL, Lougedo JH, Garnacho-Castaño MV, et al. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation during a 5-week strength training program: a randomized, controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15:19. Published 2018 Apr 25. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0224-0
    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
    1. Morrissey JJ, Klahr S. Agmatine activation of nitric oxide synthase in endothelial cells. Proc Assoc Am Physicians. 1997 Jan;109(1):51-7.
    1. Wang R, Yan H, Tang XC. Progress in studies of huperzine A, a natural cholinesterase inhibitor from Chinese herbal medicine. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2006 Jan;27(1):1-26.
    1. Prasad S, Tyagi AK, Aggarwal BB. Recent developments in delivery, bioavailability, absorption and metabolism of curcumin: the golden pigment from golden spice. Cancer Res Treat. 2014;46(1):2-18.
  • Ghost Legend Pre-Workout Review

    The Ghost brand isn't the most recognizable one when it comes to fitness supplements in Australia. However, it is quickly becoming a favourite of many who try it, with the Legend pre-workout product being the flagship product of the Ghost brand.

    Even though it is often overshadowed by bigger name brands, Ghost Legend actually brings a couple things that are quite different from others currently on the market. But let's check out if it's worth your time giving it a shot.

    Taste

    Straight off the bat, Ghost Legend tastes 'Legendary'. Quite a few other pre-workout supplements on the market possess a taste that is less than palatable, but in the case of Legend we were pleasantly surprised.

    Even though it comes available in four flavour varieties, the two that stood out head and shoulders above the others were the Red Berry and the Sour Watermelon. Don't make a name put you off however, as if you ever had watermelon flavoured Warheads candy as a kid, you'll undoubtedly love it.

    The Red Berry was clearly the sweetest of the lot, and while the sour watermelon was not as sweet (go figure with a name like that), it was still rather refreshing.

    Ghost Legend uses Sucralose, an artificial sweetener in the formulation, but which does not leave that lingering bitter aftertaste that some products are known to possess. In fact, sucralose possesses a rather clean taste that can be compared to that of table sugar.

    It also comes in a Blue Raspberry and Lemon Lime flavour, and while they weren't bad, it is very likely most people would prefer the former two.

    Taste: 4.5/5 Stars

    Solubility/Texture

    This is a contentious point many pre-workout supplement manufacturers fail to address.

    Nobody likes drinking a gritty, insoluble pre-workout supplement, especially since most of the flavouring is removed leaving you bitter sand at the bottom of the bottle.

    Ghost Legend mixed flawlessly in water. As long as you are following the recommended mixing ratio (that is one scoop to 250ml of water) you will not encounter solubility issues.

    Whether you prefer to shake a serving up, or mix with a spoon, what you have is a very clean per workout drink ready to go.

    Mixability: 5/5 Stars

    Nutritional Breakdown

    Most effective pre-workout products have begun moving away from using arginine as their primary nitric oxide booster, to using citrulline instead, a step which Ghost Legend has also implemented.

    The supplement consists of two primary blends, the Ghost Legend blend, and the Smart Energy blend.

    Looking at the Ghost Legend blend, to start off it has a massive 4 g of citrulline, which is significantly more than many other competing pre-workout products.

    It also contains a sizable 2g of beta-alanine, which is also higher than the typical 1.5 g contained in many others. Beta-alanine is a very popular additive in pre-workout products that can help to boost endurance and allow you to get more out of your workouts.

    The Legend blend also contains Agmatine sulphate and Norvaline, which play minor accessory roles in muscle protein synthesis and nitric oxide production.

    The Smart Energy blend, on the other hand starts off with an impressive 237 mg caffeine, which is a slightly greater equivalent than consuming 2 cups of coffee, theobromine (another methylxanthine closely related to caffeine), and taurine which can help to prevent muscle cramping due to water loss from cells. Taurine also helps mitigate the jitters some people experience the first time consuming stimulant heavy pre-workout.

    Other ingredients in the Smart Energy blend include alpha GPC, NADH and olive leaf extract which together exert antioxidant effects, and support power output and energy production.

    While there seems to be a lot going on, the primary ingredients of citrulline, beta alanine and caffeine have the product deliver what you look for when choosing a pre-workout product, and the supporting ingredients also go a long way in supporting your aim.

    Ingredients: 5/5 Stars

    Value for Money

    In terms of pre-workout products, Ghost Legend ranks amongst the more expensive ones. This could be a hard point to sell, but based on the fact that it does contain more of the ingredients that help you to achieve a fantastic pump, it is a justifiable purchase.

    The cost of each serve comes out to approximately $2.20, which may sound like a high asking for a relatively unknown brand, but what you are paying for is complete ingredient transparency and more of what matters.

    You can think of it this way; you can pay $2.20 per serving, and often times need just one (you can also consume two serves), or be all but assured that you would need to consume two serves of other products that cost $1.50 a pop.

    It is definitely worth it in my opinion, but it's not a bad idea should the company decide to manufacturer bigger tubs with more servings in an effort to bring down individual cost per serve.

    Value: 4/5 Stars

    Conclusion

    Not a bad product at all. Ghost has done a great job of putting the extra effort into their flagship product, and will undoubtedly help you get more out of your work out. Flavour options are great, and there is no issue with mixability, so it's a pleasure to consume as well. You just need to decide if you are willing to pay a little bit more for a premium product, but nonetheless it gets our recommendation.

    Overall: 4.5/5 Stars

  • BSN Hyper Shred Review

    hyper

    Flavour 8.5/10 OVERALL. Note: BSN is known for having a pretty sweet flavouring system.

    Blueberry lemonade 8.5/10
    Citrus Pineapple 8.0/10
    Strawberry Orange 9/10

    INGREDIENTS: 9/10
    Does it enhance thermogenesis? Yes. Namely, the Capsimax & caffeine are responsible for this. The general consensus here is that we all noticed an increase in body temperature roughly 30 minutes after taking it.

    Does it address fat metabolism/lipolysis? Yes. Thank god for Acetyl L-Carnitine

    Does it aid in mood enhancement? Yes. (a.k.a. make you feel less like sh*t on low carb days) HELL YEAH. L-tyrosine, L-theanine, Huperzine A (from toothed clubmoss) & the Longan Fruit extract.

    Does it contain a glucose disposal agent? No. We would have liked to have seen something that could help stabilise glucose & insulin levels, e.g. hydroxy-citric acid, Alpha lipoic acid or green coffee bean extract.

    EFFECT 9/10
    Keep in mind that a short-term trial was executed on this product. However, all of us noticed an increase in body temperature roughly 30 minutes post ingestion. This hints that a thermogenic effect took place. WARNING! If you are performing cardio on this product…bring an extra towel because you WILL SWEAT from places you didn't know you could sweat from. Trust us on this one... In regards to APPETITE - 70% off us who tried the product found a reduction the in desire to eat. One staff member who performs INTERMITTENT FASTING found that they were able to push their 'eating window' back by 2.5 hours any day that they took the product. This allowed them to decrease their total calories intake for those days.

    ENERGY: The energy that this product provides is phenomenal. You will find that it provides a moderate to high energy yield, without the jitters – We call this the 'clean energy' feeling. What really stood out to us was the EUPHORIC FEELING that this fat burner produces. We ALL agree that doing cardio felt much easier than usual. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE POST WORKOUT FEELS? We all experienced a greater sense of elation compared to when it was not taken. 'How long does the energy last?' We say 1-3 hours. Pre workout Crash? Nope!

    If you are in the market for a energy inducing, euphoria creating, delicious tasting fat burner, then head over http://www.aminoz.com.au/bsn-hyper-shred.html.

  • BSN EndoRush Vs BSN No Xplode

    What is BSN EndoRush?

    BSN EndoRush is the newest product in the BSN pre-workout line-up. A tamer version of its predecessor, N.O. Xplode, BSN EndoRush may be the ideal pre-workout for those just getting started with supplements. It contains a moderate amount of energy boosters, nootropics, and nitric oxide support that provides the rush of a pre-workout without going overboard.

     

    Highlights:

    • Features 150 mg of caffeine per serving (N.O. Xplode has 275 mg)
    • 3 grams of Creatine Monohydrate and 1 gram of Creatine Nitrate to support strength levels
    • Provides nitric oxide support with L-Arginine and L-Citrulline
    • Moderately infused energy booster that is ideal for beginners

     

    Why You Should Use BSN EndoRush

    Unlike N.O. Xplode with its five-tier energy matrix, BSN EndoRush takes a more straightforward approach and sticks to a foundation of proven and effective energy boosters.

     

    One thing I really liked about EndoRush is that it does not use a proprietary blend like N.O. Xplode does. You know what ingredients you're getting and exactly how much you're getting. This is a welcome change especially for those who want to make sure they are getting specific dosages of ingredients.

     

    EndoRush has a well-designed energy blend mixed with a performance-focused formula. Not only will you feel like you're getting next level energy, your muscles will be able to pump out more thanks to ingredients like creatine and l-arginine.

     

    Thing to Watch Out for With BSN EndoRush

    EndoRush may not be satisfying to those supplement veterans that have been using pre-workouts for years. It's a moderately dosed pre-workout that is ideal for beginners unlike N.O. Xplode, which features a high performance and high-octane formula. If you've built up a tolerance to pre-workouts, you may need an additional scoop of EndoRush.

     

    What is BSN N.O. Xplode?

    BSN N.O. Xplode features a hard-hitting energy-driven formula that has been the talk of the fitness industry for over a decade. Featuring thermogenics, nootropics, and intra-workout support, BSN N.O. Xplode is a veteran that may be able to effectively support your energy levels, workout performance, and strength levels.

     

    Highlights:

    • Five-tier energy breakdown of ingredients: Myogenic Matrix, Endura Shot, Thermic Energy, N.O. Alpha Fusion, Shock Composite
    • Features 275 mg of caffeine per serving
    • Provides 1.8g of Beta-Alanine to support strength levels
    • Energy boosters are balanced out with ingredients shown to support muscle performance

     

    Why You Should Use BSN N.O. Xplode

    There's a reason that N.O. Xplode took the market by storm years ago and continues to do so: it works. Despite the formula changes, BSN N.O. Xplode is still an incredibly effective product.

     

    It's five-tier energy blend provides one of the most well-rounded pre-workout formulas on the market. Yes, you get plenty of caffeine but more importantly, you're getting ingredients that promote sharper thinking, more strength, and fuel for muscle tissue. For example, it contains a creatine blend. Creatine converts into adenosine triphosphate, which is the preferred fuel source of muscle during weight lifting.

     

    The complexity of the formula shows as researchers clearly went above and beyond, rolling with the punches of the changing restrictions and are still managing to provide a great product.

     

    Thing to Watch Out for With BSN N.O. Xplode

    BSN N.O. Xplode uses a proprietary blend, which is an issue for me since you know what ingredients are in the formula but you have no idea exactly how much outside of the few things they'll tell you. For example, BSN lets you know that it contains 275 mg of caffeine and 1.8 grams of beta-alanine.

     

    Still, this is an issue because you'll never know if you are getting the proper dosage level needed to see real results.

     

    Which Supplement Should You Choose?

    Both supplements are great but which one you choose will depend on experience level. If you're new to taking pre-workout supplements, start with BSN EndoRush. It's a more leveled out pre-workout that won't take you over the edge.

     

    If this isn't your first rodeo with pre-workouts, then go with BSN N.O. Xplode. It's hard hitting formula will be exactly what you need to get going.

     

    References

    1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.

     

    1. Daniel J. Kuhman, Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9618–9632.

     

    1. Park SJ, Park DH, Kim DH, Lee S, Yoon BH, Jung WY, Lee KT, Cheong JH, Ryu JH. The memory-enhancing effects of Euphoria longan fruit extract in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Mar 2;128(1):160-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.001. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

     

    1. K. Hnia, J. Gayraud, G. Hugon, M. Ramonatxo, S. De La Porte, S. Matecki, et al. L-Arginine Decreases Inflammation and Modulates The Nuclear Factor-?b/Matrix Metalloproteinase Cascade In Mdx Muscle Fibers. Am J Pathol, 172 (6) (2008), pp. 1509-1519.

     

    1. B.I. Campbell, P.M. La Bounty, M. Roberts. The Ergogenic Potential of Arginine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 1 (2) (2004), pp. 35-38.

     

    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.
  • Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer vs. Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex

    What is Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer?

    Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer is one of the industry staples for mass gaining. It provides 650 calories per serving with 60 grams of protein! This protein-focused mass gainer may be exactly what you need during bulking season to maximize mass gains while limiting fat gains when compared to other gainers that are high-calorie, carbohydrate, not protein-based.

     

    Highlights:

    • 650 calories and 60 grams of a protein blend per serving
    • Features Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate, Egg Albumin, Hydrolyzed Whey Peptides, Glutamine Peptides – Great for hours of amino acid delivery
    • 85 grams of carbohydrates – Ideal for restoring muscle glycogen levels
    • 8 grams of healthy fats – Necessary for healthy hormone levels

     

    Why You Should Use Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    Unlike some of the supplements out there that provide over 1,000 calories from simple carbohydrates, Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer has a realistic approach to healthy mass gaining. At 650 calories, Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer is an effective tool for pushing your caloric threshold while supplying the body with muscle building amino acids, glycogen-restoring carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This balance may help to boost recovery and build muscle mass while limiting the amount of weight gain from fat.

     

    Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex also supplies 60 grams of muscle supporting protein but at a fraction of the calories. One serving of Pro Complex provides 270 calories with the same amount of protein as Pro Gainer. The implication here is that Pro Complex may be best suited as a lean gainer, not a mass gainer.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer

    Aside from artificial sweeteners, the only thing I'd point out would be the inclusion of synthetic vitamins and minerals. If you're not taking a multi-vitamin or a single vitamin or mineral supplement, then you wouldn't have to worry about this. If you're currently taking a supplement for vitamins and minerals, I'd recommend stopping that supplement until you finish with O.N. Pro Gainer. Too much of a vitamin or mineral supplement could have side effects including toxicity.

     

    What is Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex?

    Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex is a protein supplement providing you with 60 grams of protein from isolate and hydrolyzed sources. Pro Complex only has 1 gram of fat and 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving, making it an ideal post-workout or lean gains supplement.

     

    Highlights:

    • 270 calories per serving
    • 60 grams of protein from the following sources: Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate, Egg Protein, Hydrolyzed Egg Protein, Leucine Peptides
    • Ideal for low-carb, low-fat diets
    • Focus is on muscle recovery via rapid digesting proteins

     

    Why You Should Use Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex

    With 60 grams of protein coming from all isolate and hydrolyzed sources, Pro Complex is one of the best post-workout supplements on the market.

     

    After a workout, your muscles require immediate nutrition. Isolate and hydrolyzed protein is known to be the fastest digesting protein available, ensuring your lean muscle mass receives the amino acids it needs to spark post-workout recovery and growth.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex

    If you intend to use Pro Complex after a workout, it's important to note that simple carbohydrates are a necessity to restore glycogen levels and decrease cortisol levels, assuming you aren't following a carbohydrate-restricted diet such as the Keto Diet. Since Pro Complex only has 5 grams of carbohydrates, I'd recommend pairing it with a healthy carbohydrate source such as a bowl of oat-based cereal (e.g., Cheerios) but only for after a workout. At any other point, it's fine on its own.

     

    Which Supplement Should I Buy?

    Realistically and ideally, you could be using both depending on your goals. If you want to gain mass without the added fat weight, also known as lean gains, you could pair these two up, taking Pro Gainer in the morning or an hour before a workout. You could then finish a workout by using Pro Complex, which is going to provide those fast digesting amino acids.

     

    If you don't care about the amount of fat you gain, such as during bulking season, then you could use Pro Gainer several times per day for the extra calories and protein.

     

    If you want to lose weight and focus on toned, lean muscle, go with Pro Complex, it's lower in calories and fits in perfectly with a low-carb lifestyle.

     

    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

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. 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.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. 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.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
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