Supplement review: Valhalla Labs PT 2

“I am impressed beyond belief.”

That is what I told someone who asked me how the supplements from Valhalla Labs are going with me.

Awhile back, I reviewed Fenris Fury preworkout from Valhalla Labs and it is, hands down, the best preworkout I’ve ever used, which made me more interested in trying the rest of the product line.

Typically, a supplement manufacturer makes one or two supplements well, and the rest of the line is substandard, but is there to keep drawing people back to the “all stars”. Valhalla Labs line is all around fantastic and I’ll walk through the awesomeness right now.

1. Battle Mead Intra and Battle Mead Post – Both of these have an apple cider type of flavor that tastes great, and the results are great. They are sold together and you should take them together, and they are a great value.

Battle Mead Intra is unlike many other Intras because it doesn’t contain a boatload of carbs, but IS loaded with other ingredients that provide better results by driving more blood and nutrients into muscle cells. I have 15-18% body fat that I am working to lose and have struggled for years to get rid of it. I can gain muscle like a madman, but I have struggled to lose fat, and it may because I’d been carb boosting before or during a workout like I’d been taught to do. I even had a trainer once suggest I take a handful of gummy bears or skittles mid-workout along with an intra-drink. It turns out it’s a bad practice. Battle Mead Intra, with R-Ala (helps with muscle synthesis), cinnamon (assists in glucose transportation), chromium p (raises glucose sensitivity), vanadyl sulfate (helps glucose synthesis when resting), glutamine (prevents muscle deterioration), and isoleucine (it’s like a snowplow of carbs into muscle tissue), promotes some serious muscle synthesis. Taurine, creatine and a 2:1 Glucose-dextrose blend prevent muscle cramping and create muscle engorgement. It’s a perfect blend that took years to make, but it’s well-made and it shows in the results. It mixes well, and there are some snowballs in the shaker when taking this but that’s to be expected with an intraworkout.

Battle Mead Post is very similar in ingredients to Intra, but it has Leucine without Isoleucine (they work better independently) and some sucrose that provides the insulin surge post workout, which is the time you need it. The result is more dextrose being funneled to the muscle tissue and more IGF-1 being produced.

Together, these two behemoths provide the perfect training tool to push through the long workouts with better results. Where I had bulk before, I now have defined muscle. My biceps and triceps are wider, and the added definition is crazy.

Of course, results for men are always improved with a test booster…unfortunately, many test boosters are absolute garbage. Many don’t contain estrogen inhibitors or quality ingredients, which ends up with mood swings, a dead sex drive, or serious breakouts…all with no results.

Thor’s Hammer and ToddLeeMD.com Test Booster is an incredible test booster combo for an insane value. The key here is to cycle the two pieces of the puzzle. Take the ToddLeeMD.com Test Booster 2 days on, then one day off, but take Thor’s Hammer daily. Take right away in the morning on an empty stomach. Both are a blue raspberry flavor, which allows you to take them together without worrying about differing flavors.

Thor’s Hammer has a solid anti-estrogen complex in it that is made up of arimistane (androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione), ellagic acid, Resveratrol, and 7,8 Benzoflavone (helps boost testosterone while inhibiting prostaglandin), which helps raise testosterone levels, make luteinizing hormone levels go up, and stop testosterone from being converted to estrogen. This combo is extremely effective and I haven’t seen it used in any test booster before.

As an added benefit, agmatine sulfate (NO booster for pumps), L-Cartinine (turns fat into energy), kudzu (increases growth hormone and makes L-Carnitine more effective), Marus Alba (amplifies growth hormone), and calcium lactate (starts the whole test machine pumping when you take it).

ToddLeeMd.com Test Booster is a 3g mix of D-Aspartic acid (sodium D aspartate) and vitamin D3, which increase testosterone production from a testicular and glandular level.

Together, these two provide a noticeable increase in testosterone with no side effects. Sex drive also increases, workouts get way more productive, and muscle is added as a result. Your body then also produces less cortisol, which allows your body to burn whatever fat is left. When combined with Fenris Fury, workouts are INTENSE and physical benefits of the combo are noticed after only taking a few weeks.

At night, I tried Dragon Dreams, to help with my sleep issues. For those of you that don’t know, I was a radio DJ for years and was also working 1-2 other jobs to make ends meet (because radio pays horribly). This led to a lack of sleep, overindulgence in energy drinks, and an even greater inability to sleep. Weight gain then happened, and my health began to slide. When I got out of radio, I set out to change my personal health and professional life, and I have done that…but sleep issues have always plagued me.

I’ve tried a zillion sleep supplements. Straight 10mg melatonin just left me with headaches. Other powders gave me initial sleep but I ended up waking up repeatedly or getting up in the morning feeling like I was drunk. Dragon Dreams offers a sleep solution that allows me to fall asleep quickly, but stay asleep for a good 7 or 8 hours with no waking. I say “no waking”, and I mean if “undisturbed”…if my 2 year old son calls for me in the night, I can still get up and attend to him, but go right back to sleep within a minute or two of getting back into bed. It’s got a nice peach flavor and it mixes better than any other sleep powder I’ve tried.

So what’s in it?

GABA-Helps the brain relax…like seriously relax.

Arginine AKG-Helps get the GABA to the right place.

L-Citrulline-Converts to arginine to help wave 2.

Phenibut-kicks in later as a wave 2 of relaxation

Valerian Root and Lemon Balm-Helps keep GABA from converting away from its relaxation providing state.

L-Theanine-promotes relaxation and stress relief without drowsiness.

Kudzu-increases growth hormone while you slumber blissfully

Stinging Nettle-helps with pain relief, prostate function and a host of other things.

Melatonin-the relaxation hormone naturally produced by the body. Too much of this and you can get a headache, and too little and you’re wasting money…but Dragon Dreams has just the right amount to get a great night of sleep.

I can honestly say I have never fallen asleep so fast and never slept better as I have with Dragon Dreams. This stuff is practically pure magic.

Finally, I tried Wrath of the Valkyrie from Valhalla Labs, their fat burner/fat burning cream combo. I honestly didn’t have high expectations for this because I’ve tried fat burners in the past (even ephedra) and hadn’t seen results. I had even tried fat burning cream that was money down the drain…BUT, like the rest of Valhalla Labs’ lineup, this one proved effective. While many fat burners (like some test boosters out there) are underdosed or completely poorly formulated garbage, Wrath of the Valkyrie provides a unique formulation that leads to noticeable results.

I’ve always had some “insulation” on my midsection. No matter how hard I work on it with eating and exercise, I have never had a trim midsection with visible abs. Not even one ab, for that matter. Wrath of the Valkyrie is getting me closer than ever before and I anticipate I will see some abs by the time I am able to wear shorts. This isn’t a magic pill, which means you still need to exercise and eat right, but by doing just that and adding in Wrath of the Valkyrie, you should see results too.

The cream consists of Yohimbine HCL, which offers a gender targeted fat burn (mainly abs for men and hips/butt for women). It rubs in easily, is odorless, and gives good moisture too.

The pill part is a 3 stage (and NO crash) fat burn with ingredients such as T2 Diiodo-L-Thyronine (aids thyroid function without the need for super caffeination, making it a top of the line fat burner), more Yohimbine HCL (targeted fat burn), synephrine HCL (boosts energy and suppresses appetite), hesperidin (restricts fat accumulation), cayenne (helps speed up metabolism and decrease appetite), L-Carnitine (turns fat into energy), HMB (this preserves muscle while fat burning happens), and about a large coffee’s worth of caffeine and some teacrine, which provides an energy boost with no tolerance buildup. The result of this cream combo is remarkable. I just replaced the pants in my wardrobe last year and may have to do it again due to the loss of size in my mid-section. I also finally had someone say, “looks like you’re getting abs” for the first time EVER, which feels pretty good. Wrath of the Valkyrie is a top notch fat burner with no crash, steady energy all day long, and great results.

So there you have it. Valhalla Labs lineup of products (they also have vitamins and clothing available too, worth checking out). I really hope you give them a try by clicking here. I know you won’t be disappointed, they have been the best supplement line I have tried so far (and I’ve tried A TON). I can’t say enough about this brand…I was extremely fortunate to find them and hope you check them out.

Sean

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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!

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