Supplement Review: Altius

Jacked Factory’s Altius may just be the best new preworkout on the market.  With a great Mixed Berry flavor, clinically proven ingredients and doses, and a mixability that can’t be beat, this is one preworkout worth a try.

Altius mixes so well, it is almost magic.  Every time I prepped it, all I had to do was put the powder in the shaker, add water, and give it one or two shakes and it was ready to go.  Even with just one or two shakes, it was smooth and all of the powder particles were mixed into the drink.

The Mixed Berry Blast flavor is also great.  It is a nice change from the typical artificial berry flavors used in some drinks, and its not overly sweet or tangy. 

Altius uses no artificial dyes or sweeteners, no fillers, and all ingredients are mixed with proven dosages.  L-Citrulline Malate is the powerhouse of the formula, but there is also a solid amount of Creatine, AlphaGPC, Caffeine, Beta-Alanine, B12, and black pepper extract. 

Altius provides energy and focus through the toughest of workouts and the NO boost and improved recovery are definitely a welcome surprise. 

I’d recommend Altius for anyone looking to improve their progress at the gym.  Altius provides all of the results with no junk or jitters.

Check out Altius or Jacked Factory’s other products here.

Enjoy!

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Do I need supplements?

Loni wrote:

I have finally finished reading your blog!  Love it all and I have to give props for staying true to your fitness journey.

I am on a fitness journey myself and I am wondering something:  Do I need supplements?  My trainers have always suggested protein, joint support, or preworkout supplements, and others too, but I have always wanted to be fit through clean eating and exercise alone.  Now, one year into my journey, I am finding it harder than ever to recover and reach new goals for my workouts.  I know how you feel about supplements, but I want to know WHY you like them.  What’s the big deal?

Loni

Loni,
Anyone can be “short term fit” (a few months to a year), but its a bigger challenge to make fitness a lifestyle choice.  It is not only mentally hard to push yourself, its also hard on your body to push your progress to new levels.  Your body is being worked harder with every new goal you reach and it has to repair itself more efficiently than every past workout as well.

At the very least, I would recommend that anyone getting any exercise stick to the recommended intake guideline of .5-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight (to maintain muscle density and therefore aid in fat loss) and add joint support with a fish/flax oil supplement.  Beyond that, it all depends on what your individual goals are.

Personally, I feel clean eating will never replace supplementation.  In fact, to get all of the recommended protein in your diet without protein, you’d be looking at eating over 2500 calories per day..and that’d be mainly meat, cheese, and nuts…which would pretty much destroy your healthy eating plan (unless you’re a pro wrestler or something).

Can you smellllllllll what The Rock is eating?

Can you smmmellllllllll what The Rock is eating?

And, just because you may be a vegan, paleo, vegetarian eater doesn’t mean you have to skip supplementation (yes there are paleo supplements).  Even pro surfer and vegan Kelly Slater uses supplements…just vegan ones that align with his personal views.  There are supplement varieties for anyone..Celiacs, vegans, those allergic to nuts, etc.,…it is just a matter of finding something you like that works for your needs.

I recommend vitamins, protein, a preworkout drink, postworkout/recovery drink, joint support, and a probiotic.  You can always go for more, but to start, stick with the basics.  You will be pleased with your results.  If you don’t immediately find something that fits your tastebuds, keep looking.  These days, there is a flavor out there for everyone.

Again, I am not saying you can’t be fit without supplements…I am saying that if being fit is your LONG term plan, supplements make that an easier goal to reach.

Sean

Supplement Review: Haleo

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When I have a chance to do these reviews, it’s not every day that I am contacted by the President of the company to tell me more about the philosophy behind the products….but Haleo President (and one hell of a fit dude) Joey Rodrigues took the time to email me and tell me about Haleo before I had a chance to try the products, which I greatly appreciated.

Haleo was started by David Halton and Joey after they’d spent years in the supplement industry.  After noticing a lack of ethics in the industry as well as questionable practices concerning quality, they founded Haleo, which has a focus in safety and quality, is free of banned substances, and using only evidence based and naturally occurring substances in their products.  The result is a top notch product line that delivers on the promises they make.  It is truly a product with ethical care inside every product.

I first started with their preworkout, Vici (latin for conquer).  It has a tart Fruit Punch flavor that is a nice variation on the typical FP flavor, it mixes extremely well, and it goes down easy whether you take before or during a workout.  I even tried taking this on an empty stomach (many PWO’s give gut rot if taken on an empty stomach) and found that Vici had no stomach upset if taken on an empty stomach, which makes this a great preworkout drink for those early morning workouts.  Don’t think that it isn’t good for a night workout though..it certainly is.  I took it for a 7pm workout and blasted through it but still slept by 1030pm.  No jitters and no sleepless nights mean I have more time to conquer my day the next day.

Vici is comprised of electrolytes, a blend of betain, beta-alanine, and carnitine for power, malic acid, taurine, and caffeine for energy,  and beet root & agmatine for stamina.  It has tapioca starch, but no unidentified maltodextrin, so that’s always comforting too.  All in all, Vici has a powerful formula built for success.

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I also tried Mind Set, the clarity and concentration supplement.  This was an interesting trial for me because I usually depend on large doses of caffeine to focus my mind when I am doing analytical projects at work.  Mind Set gave me the ability to focus and really concentrate without the side effects of caffeine.

Mind Set is made of Tyrosine, Wild Blueberry Extract, Carnitine, Picamilon, Theanine, Theobromine, Ginkgo Biloba, Choline, and Bacopa Monneieri (also known as the Herb of Grace) which increases blood flow in the brain and is renowned for it’s neuroprotective properties.  It’s a formula unlike any other and it is certainly effective.  I love every aspect of my job but sometimes, the reporting can feel overwhelming as I build queries, and analyze large amounts of data.  Mind Set really helped my stay focused and power through even the toughest reports.  I’d certainly recommend it for any college student looking to push their progress in studying.

Haleo also makes a fat burning supplement.  You can find them all here.  I’d recommend Mind Set for everyone and for anyone looking to push their next workout to the limit, try Vici!  Enjoy your progress!

Sean

Supplement Review: Lean1 Protein

In the past, I have not been a fan of pea protein because of the typically chalky texture.  After trying two proteins lately that have pea protein in them, I have to say, I am certainly realizing there are some great pea proteins out there.

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Awesome taste, smooth, and easy to drink!

Lean1 is a protein blend (whey, pea, casein) that not only tastes great, it mixes really well in either milk or water and it is formulated to help weight loss and fat burning.  Green Coffee Bean Extract helps with the fat burning, Hoodia helps with appetite control (so does Alpha Lipoic Acid), enzymes and probiotics aid in digestion, and it’s packed with vitamins and minerals to help your body be more efficient.

It’s also a solid 20g of lactose free protein!  If you desire more protein per serving, check out Lean1 Pro!

The strawberry flavor was also delicious and has more of a real strawberry taste than the typical “fake strawberry” flavor. I tried it for a few days and also shared some with my coworkers.  They all seemed impressed by the fact that it easily mixed with a shaker OR a spoon and cup, they all really enjoyed the flavor, and they all gave positive feedback on how smooth it was to drink.  They seemed even more amazed by the creamy flavor when I informed them Lean1 has pea protein in it. My coworkers gave overwhelmingly positive reviews of Lean1 and so do I.

You can buy here, and I also found Lean1 at our Minnesota Cub Foods for a great price too.  I feel this protein is worth every penny.  Enjoy some today!

Supplement Review: Six Nutrition

Six Nutrition sent some supplements to review and I have to say, they were amazing.  I sampled their Hydra hydration drinks, their Energy supplement, their Mela-Luna Sleep Supplement, and the multi-vitamins for Men.

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I started with Hydra, the hydration drinks (both flavors).  These aren’t your typical taste-like-garbage-even-though-it’s-good-for-you drink and they aren’t your sugar-laden Gatorade either.  Razor Raspberry is the energy blend with yerba mate, green tea caffeine, and Vitamin B. The flavor is the best raspberry flavored drink I’ve tried and it is light and easy to drink.  Tropical Staredown is the focus blend and it was my favorite of the two.  It’s also not a syrupy or heavy drink and it has Siberian Ginseng, yerba mate, and ginko biloba to help maintain focus.  You don’t have to be a weightlifter or hardcore athlete to benefit from these products either..they are great for anyone to use anytime.  Did I mention they have zero sugar and only 5 calories per serving?  Yeah!  This is definitely one hydration drink worth checking out.

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I tried the sleep formula (my leg issues are nothing to laugh at…I have to do what I can) for a few evenings and it was also a great experience.  Not only is it gluten free and paleo friendly, it also really works well.  In fact, I haven’t found a better night’s sleep with any other supplement.The mix of melatonin and B6 comes in a quick dissolving orange flavored tiny pill.  Who knew a solid night’s sleep could come in the form of something so tiny?

The energy supplement was more than I expected as well.  It is a zero calorie capsule of guarana, green tea, kelp, ginger root, and grape seed extract blended with 18 probiotics.  It’s a perfect way to have steady energy just by improving metabolism.  It doesn’t make you jittery, there is no crash, just pure, regular, day-long energy.

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Finally, the Men’s multi-vitamin provided everything I’d been looking for in a vitamin.  This multi isn’t just a bunch of stuff thrown together in the hopes of improving someone’s health…it is designed by matching vitamins to six main areas: Heart (Co Q-10/Arginine/Folic Acid/Vitamin D), Joint (Glucosamine/Vitamin E/Vitamin D/Olive Oil/Astaxanthin-my favorite anti-inflammatory that can also benefit your eyes and brain), Energy (the energy blend from above), Muscles (Arginine/Astaxanthin/Folic Acid/Glutamine), Mind (electrolytes/B Vitamins/Green Tea extract) and Sexual Health (Saw Palmetto/Arginine/Pumpkin Seed/Pygeum Africanum Bark which helps the kidneys and prostate).  Add these to a multivitamin that is packed with the vitamins and minerals your body needs and you have one incredible multi.  I am hooked.  I still have another multi that I was (yes…was) taking before Six Nutrition came along and I won’t be going back.

Six Nutrition isn’t just for men either.  There is a women’s multi, women’s arginine, and omega-3 capsules (for anyone) as well.  Six Nutrition is really about complete nutritional approach.  You can check them out here.   I am certainly glad I tried Six Nutrition…I know you will be too.

Supplement Review: Stimulant X

I know, I know, Stimulant X sounds like some B-Movie’s top secret “test drug” that the government has kept under wraps, but it’s not..AND it’s actually more effective than the name would have you believe.

Stimulant X, from Athletic Xtreme, is a nicely loaded energy pill for those days when your brain needs a kick in the pants (What?  Brains don’t wear pants?..), or you need just a little more focus on a big work project.  It all works through something called 1-MetIQ.  There is a looooong chemical name for 1-MetIQ, which I am not even going to try to type and spell check, so let’s just understand it as this:

It improves focus, it has powerful neuro-protection abilities, and it eliminates cravings by targeting your “satisfaction” part of the brain and closing up shop. It has caffeine, an herb that promotes 5-HTP production in the brain, L-Tyrosine to help with the alertness and help organs function more efficiently, and a bunch of other good stuff.  One pill can last 8 hours too, so keep that in mind

I took this for two mornings with no side effects.  The pill made me energized and alert, and my focus was razor sharp.  I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking to kick an energy drink habit or anyone looking to kill junk food cravings.

Sean

Supplement Review: Liftag Sport

A rainbow of flavor.

A rainbow of flavor.

I am the type of consumer that won’t just chug any old drink…I want flavor AND performance.  Liftag Sport’s Ulift Pre-Workout has both the amazing flavor and top notch performance to power you through any workout.  There are four flavors and Liftag NAILED each one.  The green apple is a great apple flavor without being too tart or two overpowering, the fruit punch is tasty and light, the watermelon actually tastes like watermelon (not watermelon candy) and, from someone that usually despises blue raspberry flavors, the blue raspberry flavor is my absolute favorite..it’s not thick, it’s not too strong, and it tastes more like a sweet red raspberry than a fake blue raspberry flavor.

As far as performance, it made my week of 5am workouts a breeze and I was able to shower and dress for work with no overpowering “tingle” that some other preworkout drinks sometimes have as a byproduct.  The formula is packed with L-Citrulline, Dimethylglycine, agmatine sulfate, and L-arginine, creatine and a sweet energy blend.  The result is a focus enhancing, power producing, all-around awesome product that is easy to drink time and time again.

Check out Liftag Sport here.  You can sign up for updates or follow them on Facebook as well.  This is one drink you’ll want to add to your workouts.

Product Review: High Energy Labs

So much power it should require a license.

So much power it should require a license.

I have recently spent some time reviewing products from High Energy Labs and I would recommend every single one I tried.  I reviewed a pre-workout, a testosterone booster, a sleep aid, a joint formula, and a lean body mass booster.

The pre-workout drink is Galvanized N.O. and it’s a great blend.  It’s got:

AKG, L-Arginine and L-Citrulline for nitric oxide optimization
Beta-alanine, glucuronolactone, green tea, and DMG for anti-fatigue and an energy boost
Creatine for muscle buffering and Astragin, B Vitamins, Magnesium, and Vitamin C.

Before I opened the container, I was concerned that, like many supplements that contain green tea, the taste would be bitter and “grassy”, but I was surprised when I mixed the product with water and only tasted the Watermelon flavor with no bitterness.  I was able to drink the formula before and in the middle of my workout with no bitter taste.

There was no huge energy push, just a steady stream of energy throughout my entire workout, which is a big bonus, because there was no crash after the workout.  It also mixed well with no chunking or grainy sediment.

The lean mass optimizer I tried was HGH Complete.  Many muscular movie and TV stars take HGH injections to maintain muscle mass, improve metabolism, fight the effects of aging, and improve libido.  Compared to age 21, about 80% of a body’s natural HGH level is depleted by the age of 60.  I took the recommended dosage for 5 days and I slept better, noticed a much faster recovery after the gym, I had more energy (no more going to bed at 9:30), and I also noticed an increase in libido.  The formula has 7-Keto, DHEA, MSM, Tribulus, L-Dopa, and Aswagandha for lean body mass/libido/and anti-aging optimization, along with GABA (which always helps my restless leg syndrome at night).  Combine that with a full blend off amino acids and you’ve got a great formula.

The testosterone booster was a whole new level of awesome.  When this product says it’ll boost energy, strength & lean mass, and increase libido, it’s certainly true.  With Testo RX, I was hitting the gym with new found power, I wasn’t half as sore the day after leg day either.  My energy levels went up and my libido did as well.  When combined with the HGH Complete, I’d say this is THE test boosting/anti-aging powerhouse combo.  Don’t worry about getting moody either.  There are plenty of ingredients in Testo RX to stop the body turning the excess testosterone into estrogen, including Chrysin.

The joint formula Multi Flex Complete completely changed what I thought about joint repair formulas.  It supports joint strength and flexibility with MSM and chondroitin , reduces swelling and inflammation with bromelain turmeric and yucca (among others) , and it helps rebuild cartilage with hyaluronic acid and glucosamine.  From a guy who has joints that creak like an old house, Multi Flex Complete is a blessing.

Last but not least, the sleep formula SomaRest is a complete rework of a sleep aid.  The formula consists of Hops extract, passion flower, valerian root, GABA, L-Tryptophan, Chamomille, Velvet Bean, L-Theanine, Lavender, Peppermint, and Melatonin and it works like a dream (no pun intended).  Within 10-15 minutes of taking the product and hopping into bed, I was out like a light and I slept the entire night.  I woke up refreshed and ready to face the day too.  The peppermint smell was also a bonus.  I’ve taken sleep aids before and they usually stink a little, so to have SomaRest smell nice, it was a great change.

I also sampled an amino acid chewable tablet called ElectroAmino and they were outstanding.  The lime flavor is delicious and it chews up like a Sweet Tart.  It’s basically a great tasting amino acid blend in a citrus flavored tablet.

High Energy Labs has other great products too, and you can check them all out here.  I’d easily recommend every single product I tried.  Try them for yourself and let me know what you think.
Sean

 

 

 

Product Review: Elevate Me Bars and Oatmeal

 

Goooooood stuff.

Goooooood stuff.

 

I am a big fan of energy and protein bars.  I eat four to five meals per day and at least one of them is a protein/energy bar because it fills me up and gives me the nutrients I need.  Elevate Me bars go beyond the normal protein/energy bar and are gluten free, high fiber, cold-formed, have no artificial sweeteners, are 24% protein, and they taste amazing.  I tried all 8 flavors: Apple Strawberry, Cranberry-Blueberry-Goji Berry, Coconut Cocoa, Cocoa Acai Berry, Banana Almond, Cranberry Matcha Green Tea, Cocoa Espresso, and the All-Fruit Original and I have to say they are all fantastic.  The Cranberry Matcha Green Tea was delicious and Olivia’s favorite, I liked the “banana bread” flavor of the Banana Almond, and the Cocoa Espresso paired perfectly with a morning coffee.  The bars are only 230 calories and make a perfect before-gym snack or a nice mid-afternoon mini meal.

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If you’re looking for a breakfast that will fill you up and you’re out of Elevate Me bars, you can always pick up some Elevate Me Wheat Free Oatmeal.  It’s not your sugar laden kid flavored oatmeal with gummi pieces…this is all around healthy stuff and it tastes great.  I added a dash of agave syrup to mine and each morning, had a filling breakfast in just one easy to make cup of oatmeal.  The oatmeal has 10g of protein per serving and comes in three great flavors:  Tropical Fruit Chia, Very Berry Chia, and Cocoa Coconut Chia (my favorite).

Elevate Me bars and oatmeal offer a healthy alternative in the world of bars and oatmeal.  You can see more about their product (and pick some up) here.  Enjoy!

Get in a Workeat

Minnesodad,
Love your site BTW.  Question for ya:  I recently started my weightloss journey and I’ve been going hard and heavy for about a month.  The issue is, I am WAY more hungry than I ever have been.  I feel like snacking all day long!  I don’t want to ruin my progress so I usually settle for water.  My question is, why am I so hungry?  Bonus question: Should I eat when I am hungry or continue with water?
Leona
MUST EAT ALL OF THIS!!!

MUST EAT ALL OF THIS!!!

Leona,
Congrats on your healthy journey.  Without seeing what you’re eating each day, I have to ask, are you getting enough protein? If you would say “I get it from my food”, I’d say you’re definitely not.  You need more protein for your body than you can get from food (eating within 2000 calories or under) if you’re working out “hard and heavy”.  I’d recommend a whey protein (or soy if you’re animal free) to take within 30 minutes of your exercise.  All in all, you need .8g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day to maintain proper muscle mass.  Try also eating an apple or some healthy carbs with fiber within the 30 minute post-workout window too.  If you’re eating three meals per day, try also increasing that to 4-5 meals per day and divide your portions up to fit those lunch periods.  Don’t cut back on water, but you shouldn’t be drinking more than a gallon per day anyway.  You’re hungry because of two reasons: (A) your activity is stimulating your metabolism and your body is using what you eat more efficiently and (B) you may have changed your eating habits and your body is still getting used to the calorie expenditure versus the old way (meaning, you’re burning more but eating less and your body isn’t used to it).
Hopefully, spreading out your portions, increasing your protein and fiber intake, and giving yourself more “meal” times will help.  Feel free to let me know how it goes after you try it for a month or so.
Sean