General

The reality that rings true for the fitness and supplement industry is that there will always be a trend. Whether it be the diet that promises to be the end-all for fitness goals or the supplement that promises to redefine a category, we are always searching for the latest and greatest. The most recent emergence as you are probably aware of by now is the ketogenic diet and actually combines both a diet trend and a whole category of supplements geared toward helping you live the ‘keto’ lifestyle.

For those that weren’t already aware, the ketogenic diet really isn’t new at all. It was originally devised when endocrinologist Rollin Woodyatt observed that three ketone bodies were produced by the liver as a result of starvation or a high fat/low carb diet. The observation then made it’s way into dietary practice and was introduced in the 1920’s as an alternative to non-mainstream fasting and therapy for epilepsy. It saw noteable success, howoever it started to be abandoned with the introduction of anticonvulsant therapies (1). It saw a minor resurgence in 1994 for the same type of treatment, but it wasn’t until the emergence of low carb dieting around 2007 that we saw the ketogenic diet and variations make a large comeback along with the widespread ‘carbophobia’ trend before once again, seeming to receed a bit. Now, that brings us to present day and the ketogenic diet is once again in the spotlight with many touting to live the ‘keto lifestyle’ and the supplements to go along with it.

MCT POWDERTraditionally, MCT oil was used after research in the 1970’s demonstrated that there were more ketones produced by MCT per unit of energy due to them being transported quickly to the liver via the hepatic portal vein, as opposed to the lymphatic system (2). These additional ketone bodies allow slightly more protein and carbohydrates to be included as MCTs are metabolized into ketones even in the presence of dietary carbohydrates.

These days, much like the MCT oil, BHB (β-hydroxybutyrate) salts have emerged onto the scene to play a part in the keto movement. These BHB salts are simply compounds consisting of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate. In products containing such BHB salts, the individual components are being held together by ionic bonds and when ingested, they are absorbed into the blood where it dissociates into free Na+, K+, and BHB, thus directly and immediately putting ketones into your blood.

What is the State of True Ketosis?

Now, with these things in mind, one misconception and marketing ploy is that those unfamiliar with the ketogenic diet may be lead to think that simply ingesting ketogenic products like BHB salts will put them in a ketogenic state, however that isn’t the case. True ketosis is a metabolic state in which dietary carbohydrates are in such low amounts that there is a reliance on almost exclusively ketone and fatty acid metabolism.

While it may sound relatively simple, a little background will help you understand the physiology behind it a little more. For brain function, it requires around 400 calories per day, running almost exclusively on glucose, meaning you need a minimum of 100g of glucose (carbohydrates) per day just to fuel it. The human body is an amazing machine that constantly adapts to the stresses placed up on it and carb restricted diets, which cut off the glucose supply to the brain, are one such stress. To counteract, the body combats by borrowing and/or converting sugars from other areas or sources within the body. As a safeguard in this event, it is supplied by the liver which stores glucose and can pump it into the blood to fuel the brain.

The liver can store around 100 grams of glucose, allowing you to run for about a day before the stores are depleted. If you run it this low, the next logical place you would think glucose could come from would of course be our skeletal muscle that can store 400-500 grams of glycogen. This is great in numbers, but it’s the equivalent of standing outside of a bank vault because there is the lack of the enzyme that can break down the glycogen and make it readily available to your brain.

Rest assured, your body has a solution for everything and in the absence of any more available glucose from carbohydrates, it once again relies on the liver to deliver. In this situation, the liver begins to produce the aforementioned ketone bodies to be released into the blood for use by your brain and other tissues for energy.

If you are unaware, this is critical because when one is ‘burning fat’, whether it is in the form of a calorie deficit or ketogenic state, what is really happening is a fatty acid molecule is undergoing a chemical change. Essentially, when you “burn fat,” you’re really taking a fatty acid molecule and converting it to something called acetyl CoA.

In the ketogenic state, the amount of fat that your liver is using for energy is so high, there is an excessive amount of this acetyl CoA that it starts converting it into the ketone bodies. As a result and due to the need for a new energy source, the body happily begins dumping these ketone bodies into the blood stream for energy. Once this process is underway, and the body is doing this continually, the body has officially reached a state of true ketosis.

No Magic Switch…

Superman Front Most MuscularNow that you know what ketosis is, here is a little insight for the process. It takes some time (up to 2 weeks for some) for the body to transition into a ketogenic state so you won’t even come close to achieving a true state of ketosis by cutting out carbs for a day or two. Anyone that has done a true keto diet understandably will get annoyed when someone says they are going to ‘try keto’ for a week as by they will most likely barely be getting into true ketosis by the time they end the experiment.

The same can be said for the supplements on the market such as the BHB salts or even MCT oil that has come back in to prominence. There’s no supplement that can make you go into a state of ketosis as this must be done through dietary manipulation, however it is easy for it to get misconstrued when people hear of products that discuss ketones and the like. Further supporting this misconception is that a common way of testing for the state of ketosis is the use of urine testing strips. While these strips do serve a helpful purpose, it must be remembered that simply having ketones present in urine doesn’t indicate the state of ketosis. By ingesting BHB salts or MCT oil, you are providing exogenous ketones that will of course show up in urine and cause a reading of false ketosis.

Furthermore, for those utilizing the ketogenic diet for fat burning, if you are ingesting exogenous ketones or using MCT oil, it can actually hinder your fat burning as your body can use these ketones or MCTs as a readily available fuel source rather than the ones being released from your body to burn.

So What Value Do Exogenous Ketones Have?

Quest MCT OilWhen it comes to MCT oil and BHB salts, they both do indeed serve a helpful purpose, but it must be kept in context. MCT oil is a great source of energy and as stated before, produces more ketone bodies compared to other long chain fatty acids. They are easily used for energy, very similar to carbohydrates (via the ketone pathway) and have secondary benefits on metabolism (3) and blood sugar regulation (4).

As for the new BHB salts, they have been emerging as both a standalone product as well as being featured in products such as pre-workouts. They provide an instant and immediate source of ketones in the blood stream, translating to providing energy via the form of ketones. They are most promising from a performance standpoint, offering the potential for stimulating the metabolic shift away from glucose (5) and improving mental cognition (6) all while providing an immediate fuel source from ketones.

For both the MCT oil and BHB salts, they can help reduce the impact of carbohydrate intake on ketosis to some degree, but to what degree is still being examined. Among other items that are still being researched is that there may be the potential for BHB salts to increase exercise capacity via reducing oxygen consumption, and that will be some potentially exciting research in itself.

References

1. The ketogenic diet: one decade later. Freeman, JM and EH, Kossof. 3, March 2007, Pediatrics, Vol. 119, pp. 535-543.

2. Medium-chain triglycerides as a therapy for intractable childhood epilepsy. Huttenlocher, PR and Wilbourn, AJ. 11, November 1971, Neurology, Vol. 21, pp. 1097-1103.

3. Postprandial thermogenesis in lean and obese subjects after meals supplemented with medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides. Scalfi, L and Coltori, A. 5, May 1991, Vol. 53, pp. 1130-1133.

4. Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. St-Onge, Marie-Pierre and Bosarge, Aubrey. 5, October 2008, J Am Coll Nutr, Vol. 27, pp. 547-552.

5. Ketones Suppress Brain Glucose Consumption. LaManna, Joseph and Salem, Nicolas. 2009, Adv Exp Med Biol, pp. 301-306. 645.

6. Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Reger, MA. 3, March 2004, Neurobiol Aging, Vol. 25, pp. 311-314.

Photo by Cheeesssee / CC BY

The scene is set. Picture it along with me, it’s primetime action set for a picture perfect Saturday night. It’s about an hour before game time and for some, the biggest game of these young men’s lives. The teammates move in silence but with a vibe of confidence and quiet, hard focus. They gather as a team on their folding chairs and listen intently to the coach as they cover the strategy one last time, running through the X’s and O’s for taking on their bitter rival. They eat as a team; ensuring proper nutrition and hydration aren’t taken lightly and then gather for one last pump up session to ensure everyone is on the same page and to not let the crowd rattle them before heading out to do battle.

Now, while this description may have sounded like the setting of a college football team preparing to hit the gridiron, in reality, it was helping you picture the scene before one of many competitive gaming showdowns. The popularity of video games and competitive gaming is at an all-time high and so are the stakes associated with the matches. Prize money, sponsorship dollars and endorsement deals, the level at which competitive gaming has grown is serious business. So, it only makes sense that just like other competitive events, the competitors would want to make sure they are performing optimally, and you can bet that supplements can indeed play a part. Let’s pick up the sticks, tune the headset and zone in on the Top Supplements for Gamers.

G Fuel by Gamma Labs

G Fuel Blue IceUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years or so, chances are you’ve seen countless energy drinks come and go from the scene. Many are nothing but higher caffeine versions of soda, and provide little to no benefit, and the ‘energy’ that you’re getting is a sugar rush that is going to have you crashing down later.

Not to mention, the amount of artificial colors and non-sense fillers in many are just unneeded. Gamma Labs G Fuel was created to change all of that. With the gamer specifically in mind, G Fuel was created to be a convenient and healthier alternative to the traditional energy drink. Formulated to give you that “in the moment” focus, driven by a calm consistent energy without the imminent crash, G Fuel is one of the most versatile products out there. G Fuel comes in a variety of flavors that taste great, but G Fuel is water based and sugar free – which means that it’s better for you.

More than just a caffeine powder, G Fuel has a very modest amount of caffeine (150mg) compounded with 650mg worth of antioxidants deriving from 19 different fruits. The nutrients Vitamin C, B6 and B12 have been added to not only provide immense nutritional value to the energy supplement, but also to mesh with the antioxidants and provide unparalleled focus and concentration throughout your day.

Bang by VPX

Bang Sour Heads 12 PackThere’s so many energy drinks out there, it’s not even funny. The reality is that most of them are simply soda with caffeine added for the ‘energy’ aspect of it, but that doesn’t do you any good if you are crashing from all that sugar in short order. VPX has hit a homerun here with Bang, as it isn’t your stereotypical high sugar, life-sucking soda masquerading as an energy drink.

From weekend warriors, to average gym joes, to fitness competitors to hardcore gamers, Bang has been a huge hit ever since it came on the scene. It is powered by a hefty 300mg of caffeine per can and paired with Creatine & BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) for added benefits.

There’s a lot of great research on creatine improving cognition and brain health, and paired with caffeine, it works synergistically to help you concentrate better, game harder and feel better. Topping it off, many note that Bang are the best tasting energy drink out there with top sellers being SourHeads, Cotton Candy and Black Cherry Vanilla.

DVST8 by Inspired

DVST8 White Cut ContainerNot for the faint of heart, Inspired Nutraceuticals DVST8 will help you do just that to your competition. Powered by the potent stimulant DMHA, DVST8 is an energy and focus powerhouse. It doesn’t stop with just focus either. Sporting an incredible profile from top to bottom, DVST8 has ingredients that will help you in the gaming chair and at the gym, promoting blood flow, cognition and endurance.

While anyone can take DVST8 and see great effects, we do want to mention that this may be for a more advanced stimulant user because it is pretty powerful. IF you’re newer to stimulant based products, simply consider starting with ½ a scoop to assess your tolerance before picking up the controller and getting the job done.

HyperAmino by Gaspari

Hyper Amino BottleWhen you’re working away in an intense game, hours can go by without even realizing it. You forget to eat and often drink and the end result is energy dropping, dehydration setting in, focus getting less sharp and overall, just not a good state for your body to be in. HyperAmino is a handy fix for addressing this!

Not only does it encourage hydration and provide electrolytes, but it has a nice little addition of caffeine for improving cognition and reaction time to keep you on top of your mental game. Lastly, sometimes it can be tough to get in as much food as your body needs when in a long gaming session, and that can mean a cascade of negative effects for your metabolism. HyperAmino provides amino acids which help prevent tissue breakdown and rebuild your body.

KOR Lipolytic by Inspired

Inspired Nutraceuticals KORRounding out our list, speaking of Inspired Nutraceuticals, they also have another product that can be used to bring your gaming up a level and help get you shredded up a little at the same time and that would be their product KOR Lipolytic Ignitor. This is quite the innovative formula and contains components that hit both fat loss and mental focus. While other products that claim to be ‘fat burners’ are out there, many are ineffective or contain little-to-no ingredients that actively seek out and destroy fat stores or help with the ‘good energy’ but rather just give you anxiety.

KOR is a much more intelligent approach because burning fat and improving focus isn’t just about overloading on stimulants. Rather than just jacking you up on stimulants, KOR contains effective nootropic elements featuring Alpha GPC and Bacopa Monnieri. These ingredients, among its many benefits, Alpha GPC have been shown to increase attention and focus, along with increasing power output during strenuous exercise. Bacopa Monnieri is an Ayurvedic herb that has been shown to increase memory and cognition and the great thing about Bacopa is, the longer you take it, the better it works.

Sometimes you have to outsmart your opponent, and KOR is definitely a product that can help you supplement your game and do just that.

Game On!

So, as you can see from this article, supplements aren’t for just gym rats. They can have a wide array of benefits for all and help you take your game to the next level by improving your focus, reaction time and overall health. Get in the game today and give some supplements a go!

Ketogenic Dieting

By now, if you are remotely connected to the fitness world, you are probably aware of the recent emergence of keto. It can truly be a game changing diet method if implemented right, but most underestimate just how challenging a true keto diet is and how counterproductive it can be if done incorrectly. Despite its surge in popularity, keto is still one of the most misunderstood diet methods, and now with many variations, styles and diets all using the word keto, it is getting a bit out of hand.

There are numerous benefits for using ketogenic dieting, especially for those interested in burning body fat while maintaining lean mass. It’s been researched for decades and there is still new science emerging all the time, so the aim of this article is to define and hopefully set the record straight on the subject.

Keto Is Neat-O: Defining the Beast

In a nutshell, true ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. While this sounds simple, there is way more going into this as you probably imagined, so let’s delve into that.

Essentially for basic function, the human body requires a substantial amount of energy and in particular, a currency called ATP. For example, if the average human body requires 1800 calories per day, not including any activity or physical movements, then the amount of calories required for normal functioning alone is 1800 calories. This can be more or less, but for examples sake we made this a general number.

Brain FuelThe control center of the whole body is of course your brain and it requires about 400 calories per day, running almost exclusively on glucose, meaning you need a minimum of 100g of glucose (carbohydrates per day just to fuel it. Obviously your body is an amazing machine that constantly adapts to the stresses placed up on it. Carb restricted diets, which cut off the glucose supply to the brain, are one such stress that the body combats by borrowing and/or converting sugars from other areas or sources within the body. As a safeguard in this event, it is supplied by the liver which stores glucose and can pump it into the blood to fuel the brain.

Rest assured, your body has a solution for everything and in the absence of any more available glucose from carbohydrates, it once again relies on the liver to deliver. In this situation, the liver begins to produce ketone bodies to be released into the blood for use by your brain and other tissues that don’t utilize fat for energy.

If you are unaware, this is critical because when one is ‘burning fat’, whether it is in the form of a calorie deficit or ketogenic state, what is really happening is a fatty acid molecule is undergoing a chemical change. Essentially, when you “burn fat,” you’re really taking a fatty acid molecule and converting it to something called acetyl CoA.

In the ketogenic state, the amount of fat that your liver is using for energy is so high, there is an excessive amount of this acetyl CoA that it starts converting it into the ketone bodies. As a result and due to the need for a new energy source, the body happily begins dumping these ketone bodies into the blood stream for energy. Once this process is underway, and the body is doing this continually, the body has officially reached a state of true ketosis.

Keto Terms: Don’t Get It Twisted

Tired ManNow that you know what ketosis is, here is a little insight for the process. It takes some time for the body to transition into a ketogenic state…you won’t even come close to achieving a true state of ketosis by cutting out carbs for a day or two. The body gradually adapts over a course of 2 weeks or so (shorter, generally the leaner the person is) and in that time period, people often feel tired, foggy and sluggish while the body is adapting to utilizing a new energy source.

To put this into perspective about how profound of a fuel source change this is on the body, on average, with other factors aside, a person can utilize about 30 grams of fat per hour, however in studies that have six weeks of ketosis adaptation, individuals can burn up to 90g of fat per hour.

After an adaptation period of two weeks, however, we have noticed that the levels of ketones do rise. More importantly, after adaptation focus, drive and mental clarity begin to improve. The crossover point you enter after 2-6 weeks of dieting is known as “keto-adaptation.”

Keto is a perfect example of the entire result depending on the diet, as the state of ketosis is influenced in an overwhelming majority by the dietary intake. Structure wise, a diet comprising of 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates is the best method for getting into and maintaining ketosis, which works out to:

150g fat, 90g protein and 22g carbs for our 1800 calorie example.

Understandably some, especially those involved in physique based goals will see the protein levels as being too low and will fear losing strength and/or muscle mass, but we can assure you that’s not the case, and leads us to the next subject…

Don’t Blow Your State of Keto

With a diet that is as complex as this, it’s not surprising that there is quite a bit that can make it not work correctly or as optimally as one would like. The items that need to be addressed in regards to this are:No Carbs

  1. Confusing a low carb diet with a ketogenic diet
  2. Consuming too much protein on the ketogenic diet
  3. Too many carbs/false insulin spikes
  4. Not allowing long enough for reaching ketosis

First and foremost, when you’re just on a low carb diet and not in state of ketosis, your body still utilizes both fat and carbs to fuel your daily energy needs. Your body won’t accumulate blood ketones nor burn them as they don’t require ketones for energy in this state. As stated earlier, a ketogenic diet means your body has reached the point where it’s actually producing ketones in sufficient amounts that there are elevated levels of ketones in your blood and they’re being utilized for fuel because there is a complete lack of carbs for glucose.

Proving this is a study1 in which a group of individuals consumed the same amount of protein and calories while in a deficit, divided up into three groups. The groups were allotted 104, 60 and 30g of carbs respectively. It was found that the highest carb group (still low carb) lost 25% of the weight from lean muscle while the 30 grams of carbs group lost almost no muscle, the reason being that the ketones have a protective effect for amino acids such as leucine and aid in sparing muscle.

In regards to protein, rarely would we consider having too high of a protein intake a bad thing, but when it comes to the case of ketosis, this is indeed counterproductive. It is important to reprogram your mindset to understand that a ketogenic diet is high fat, and slightly lower protein intake than you are probably used to. If you are ingesting protein above certain quantities and especially in the absence of carbohydrates, protein can actually undergo gluconeogenesis (converting protein into carbs) and kick you out of ketosis! A safe number is to stay in the 20% of your calories from protein range, or .8 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight.
Low Glycemic Index SaladUltimately, it is important on a ketogenic to keep the small amount of carbohydrates that you DO eat as low glycemic as possible, and they will come in the form of trace carbs. Green, leafy vegetables are the best bet as the carbs are minimal and contain fiber, which is critical for maintaining normal digestion as well as providing micronutrients. While this may seem simple enough, also watch out for sabotaging your state of ketosis. Avoiding sugars is pretty obvious, but it’s also important to avoid things that cause an insulin response such as sugar alcohols and BCAA (specifically leucine causes an insulin response). If you need to supplement, consider keto friendly options that are low in carbohydrates. Options for post workout like ProtiZyme are great for recovery and if you need to get more calories in, MuscLean is a perfect choice, being keto friendly with high protein and fats with little to no carbs.

Finally, one of the biggest keys is patience. It can take time for the body to reach a state of ketosis and studies show most people don’t stick with the diet long enough for a full ketogenic state to kick in as for the first few days of the diet transition, workout performance suffers. It can take from anywhere from 4-15 days for someone to reach ketosis and in general, if you are re-entering ketosis from a refeed (carb up day) and/or are leaner, you’ll get into ketosis faster.

On the Re-Up – Carb Refeed or No?

The ketogenic style diet is a pretty daunting idea as it may be appealing to want to use it to finally be shredded, but not having those delicious carbs every once in a while is a pretty big commitment. With this in mind, there are a few popular variants of the diet including the cyclic ketogenic diet which is where individuals, after reaching ketosis, maintain a strict keto diet for 6 days before ‘carbing up’ on the 7th day.

Well, with the popularity of such a method, there have been studies recently completed examining and comparing regular sustained ketogenic state diets vs. the cyclic version involving carbohydrate days. Both groups in the study2 followed diets with a 500 calorie deficit, with the cyclic ketogenic group having carbohydrates on a refeed day. It was found that the group that the strict keto group lost nearly exclusively body fat, but the cyclic keto group lost lean mass as well. The reason for that is that while maintaining the ketogenic state, the ketones protected the muscle; meanwhile the cyclic group had to go through the process of regaining a ketogenic state following the carb up.

If you’re looking to transition out of a ketogenic style diet back to one that includes carbohydrates, it is pretty straight forward and similar to reverse dieting as seen in other diets. Specifically for ketogenic reverse diets, gradually add in carbs at specific meals, ideally pre and post workout and gradually increase from there.

Concluding Keto

Weight LossTo summarize, the diet is done by utilizing a diet ratio of 75% fats, 20% protein 5% carbohydrates, starting your calories at the basal metabolic rate or up to a 500 calorie deficit to facilitate fat loss. Avoid keto pitfalls such as eating too much protein, causing insulin spikes (BCAA, sugars, sugar alcohols) and most of all, allow yourself time to adapt to the full ketogenic state.

There are definite benefits to doing a ketogenic style diet including fat loss while maintaining lean muscle and improving insulin sensitivity. While it is a very rewarding style of diet, it can also be mentally challenging and daunting task, especially at first. If you stick with it though, the rewards are well worth it and add yet another valuable tool to your arsenal in your quest for a great, healthy physique.

References:

1. Young, C. M., Scanlan, S. S., Im, H. S., & Lutwak, L. (1971). Effect on body composition and other parameters in obese young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 24(3), 290-296.

2. Sharp, M.S., Lowery, R.P., Shields, K.A., Hollmer, C.A., Lane, J.R., Partl, J.M., … & Wilson, J.M. (2015). The 8 Week Effects of Very Low Carbohydrate Dieting vs Very Low Carbohydrate Dieting with Refeed on Body Composition. NSCA National Conference, Orlando, FL

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lipodrene vs hydroxyelite

Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals is known for pushing the envelope on many things when it comes to creating hardcore supplements. Leaving no doubt that a product will pack a punch and leave the user feeling the effects of their stimulant driven products, they have rolled out numerous pre-workouts and thermogenics that are known for being some of the hardest hitting on the market.

With this in mind, High Tech Pharmaceuticals Lipodrene and Hydroxyelite are no exception. Both are hard hitting, stimulant based thermogenic products that have somewhat ‘edgy’ ingredients at their core for amping up the intensity and powering the product. Thought similar, they do have some key differences, so the purpose of this article is to dive into some compare and contrast and take a look at what makes them special.

lipodrene fat burnerLipodrene

Starting out with Lipodrene, the product highlights are as such:

  • 35mg focus-enhancing DMAA
  • 25mg Thermo-RX Ephedra Extract (with the ephedrine alkaloids removed)
  • 100mg caffeine
  • Acacia rigidula extract for its mood-enhancing and fat-attacking PEA alkaloids
  • Other appetite suppressing ingredients

Right off of the bat, you see that there is no joke when it comes to the ingredients that drive Lipodrene, fueled by DMAA and ephedra extract at the heart of the stimulant base. There are a lot of other ingredients that go into Lipodrene as well, so let’s next take a peek at what it all includes and a few brief notes of what they do.

Caffeine Anhydrous – 100mg

  • Potent CNS stimulant that antagonizes adenosine receptors
  • Enhances mental focus and energy
  • Increase cognition and reaction time
  • Contributes to fat loss by helping release more fat cells and reduces fat storage

Ephedra Extract – 25mg

  • Ephedra free extract (not the banned alkaloids)
  • Derivative of the plant Ephedraceae
  • Concentrated active material that has been drawn out by chemical means from the raw herb; extracts, or removes, the active alkaloid content
  • Shown to be effective in the weight loss field as appetite suppressant; Promotes weight loss and energy
  • Extract contains alkaloids pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine and methylpseudoephedrine but does NOT contain ephedrine itself or methylephedrine

Senegalia Berlandieri Extract – 125mg (Formerly Acacia rigidula)

  • Southern Texan plant
  • Shown to have fat burning and mood enhancing compounds
  • Supplies PEA (phenylethylamine) alkaloids including methylsynephrine, B-Phenylethylamine, and N-Methyl-B-Phenylethylamine
  • Has a mild stimulatory effect and great boost in mood

Synephrine HCl – 25mg

  • Also known as bitter orange extract
  • Known as a safe alternative to ephedra
  • Helps facilitate utilization of energy substrates
  • Helps stimulate metabolic processes and favors uptake of amino acids into muscle
  • May help suppress appetite
  • Stimulates fat loss and energy expenditure
  • Doesn’t increase heart rate or blood pressure

DMAA – 35mg

  • Powerful neural stimulant with structure similar to ephedrine and adrenaline
  • Classified as sympathomimetic amine extracted from Geranium
  • Triggers the release of norepinephrine – Creates ‘euphoric’ sensation
  • May also provide appetite suppression effects

Theobromine

  • Derived from cacao seeds; structurally similar to caffeine
  • Exerts effects similar to caffeine; Known to have smoother, less intense effects
  • Helps to offset potential crash that may happen when taking stimulants

Green Tea Extract – 45mg EGCG

  • Shown to aid in inducing lipolysis (fat breakdown)
  • High polyphenol and catechin content offer numerous health benefits
  • Effects further amplified when combined with caffeine

Hoodia Extract

  • Short, desert shrub; derived from Hoodia gordonii
  • Known for appetite suppression effects

Cassia Nomame Extract

  • Medicinal plant native to China that currently grows wildly in many regions and areas all over the world
  • Interacts with lipase enzyme; shown to inhibit lipase potentially preventing fat storage

Naringin

  • Compound found in grapefruits
  • May have mild weight loss effects
  • Known as a potent energy booster
  • Inhibits PDE enzymes

6,7 Dihydroxybergamottin (Fruit)

  • Compound found in grapefruits
  • Inhibits enzymes (CYP3A4); Prevents breakdown of active ingredients
  • Prolongs half-life of other ingredients for longer effects

5-Methoxytryptamine HCl and 5-HTP

  • 5-HTP is synthesized from tryptophan; later converted to serotonin
  • Used to help with sleep or combat stress and anxiety
  • Also shown to combat obesity and suppress appetite
  • 5-MOT is naturally occurring in the body and is the same molecularly as serotonin
  • Prevents serotonin from being broken down in the body
  • Increases circulating levels of serotonin

Yohimbine HCl

  • Increases adrenaline levels in the body
  • Stimulates Alpha receptors to help trigger fat loss
  • May help reduce body fat in ‘trouble areas’
  • Reduces hunger sensation

 

hydroxyeliteHydroxyelite

Now, let’s take a look at Hydroxyelite. Known as one of the greatest thermogenics of all time, USPLabs OxyElite Pro was a hard hitting, energy packed powerhouse that quickly became a favorite. However, due to the nature of the supplement industry and an ever changing landscape, the once popular OxyElite Pro no longer is available and has left many searching for a suitable replacement. That’s where Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals steps in with their recreated and what most would consider improved HydroxyElite.

Hydroxyelite highlights according to Hi Tech Pharmaceutials include:

  • Extreme Thermogenic
  • Intense Stimulant
  • Increase Energy
  • Suppress Appetite
  • Boost Metabolism
  • Featuring DMAA

As you can see, just like Lipodrene, Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals wasn’t messing around when it came to creating HydroxyElite Pro. Based very closely on the original USPLabs OxyElite Pro, it takes it as step further. Let’s take a look at the ingredient profile:

Bauhinia Purpurea L. (Leaf And Pod) Extract

  • Shown to possibly have thyroid boosting effects
  • Converts thyroid hormones into fat burning beneficial ratios; acts to convert T4 to T3
  • Possibly increases T4 by 37%; Boost T3 by 83%
  • Shown to counteract declining T3/T4 levels

Bacopa Monnieri

  • Nootropic herb used in traditional medicine for longetivity and cognitive enhancement
  • Supplementation can reduce anxiety and improve memory formation
  • Has secondary effects as thyroid booster; works synergistically with Bauhinia Purpurea

DMAA (1,3 Dimethylamylamine)

  • Powerful neural stimulant with structure similar to ephedrine and adrenaline
  • Classified as sympathomimetic amine extracted from Geranium
  • Triggers the release of norepinephrine – Creates ‘euphoric’ sensation
  • May also provide appetite suppression effects

Cirsium Oligophyllum (Whole Plant) Extract

  • Helps the body burn fat by exciting beta-adrenergic receptors
  • Boosts energy expenditure by increasing action of uncoupling proteins (UCP1)
  • Stimulates release epinephrine; increases lipolysis
  • Helps mobilization of brown fat tissue

Rauwolscine – 5mg

  • More commonly known as alpha-yohimbine
  • Powerful Alpha-2 agonist; prevents fat storage and encourages fat mobilization
  • Potent stimulatory effects

Garcinia Cambogia Extract (fruit rind)

  • Fruit known to enhance culinary experience of foods
  • Enhances satiety from meals
  • Believe mechanism for lipolysis is the Hydroxycitric acid works by inhibiting citric acid lipase

LIPODRENE DEAL

Lipodrene vs HydroxyElite – The Differences & Verdict

Comparing Lipodrene and HydroxyElite, they do indeed have some major differences in ingredient profile. Most notably, both feature the often controversial DMAA as the main stimulant driven component. After that, Lipodrene’s main difference is the inclusion of ephedra extract, another controversial ingredient to some.

Overall, the Lipodrene has what most would regard as a harder hitting simulant profile including both the DMAA and ephedra extract. It does have a lot of other ingredients for helping the user with fat loss and the main emphasis is the appetite suppression effects with some extra targeting of fat loss from the inclusion of the Yohimbe which is an alpha-receptor agonist.

On the other hand, HydroxyElite has a strong stimulant base as well, but it does seem a bit toned down compared to the Lipodrene to some degree. It will still hit hard, but the emphasis is more so on the appetite suppression component and what many would consider more ‘modern’ modifications for the fat loss area. Another main difference in that regard is utilizing Rauwolscine in place of traditional Yohimbe, which is known for having less side effects associated with Yohimbe and providing an overall ‘cleaner’ feel.

Between the two, you really can’t go wrong. Personally, we like the HydroxyElite a bit better than the Lipodrene due to the cleaner feel, without so many stimulants and the true ‘fat burning’ ingredients aspect is better. However, if you’re a stim junkie and want extreme energy or just are looking for a more familiar feeling that you would get from old school ephedra products, they you won’t go wrong picking up Lipodrene instead.

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BEST PROTEINS OF 2016

In an industry packed with so many different products, it’s pretty easy to get caught in the whirlwind of marketing, fancy labels and product function claims. With so many choices, how do you know what is legit and what is a waste of your hard earned money? No one wants to buy subpar protein, pay for an amino spiked container or spend the extra dough on a ‘special’ proteins that don’t have any extra benefit.

We’re here to cut through the hype, marketing and nonsense to cover the tried and true products out there that rise to the top. No matter what kind of protein you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this list as we give you a brief summary of the Top Proteins of 2016.

Top 5 100% Whey Proteins

classic whey proteinNutraBio Classic Whey

NutraBio has long been known for creating some of the cleanest, most trusted products on the market since their launch in 1996. Stemming from their roots, NutraBio Classic Whey is the same incredible, no nonsense formula that started it all. There’s no need to re-create a classic, and with that note, NutraBio is brining you the same great formula with the fitting name – Classic Whey.

NutraBio Classic Whey provides a very straight-forward formula, it is comprised entirely of whey protein concentrate, known in the industry as WPC80. In layman’s terms, this means that it is create using whey protein concentrate that is a minimum of 80% protein content with the remaining 20% being naturally occurring analogs including great things like immunoglobulins that can aid in immune health.

The protein content is 100% non-denatured WPC80, meaning that unlike some other proteins on the market, it isn’t treated with acids. Instead, Classic Whey is processed with a low-temperature cross flow micro filtration process which means that it keeps the protein fractions intact, providing a higher amino acid profile.

Classic Whey is a great choice for all, being OU Kosher certified gluten free and has a low glycemic index. Furthermore, NutraBio Classic Whey boasts a clean ingredient profile that is 97% lactose free and contains no fillers or additives and is a great, less expensive alternative to whey protein isolate.

mts machine wheyMTS Machine Whey

Machine Whey starts out with whey protein concentrate over the predominate isolates that many of the proteins on the market use. The reason for this being that it is more intact than isolates due to less processing, and this means that it preserves the naturally occurring fractions such as immunoglobins and lactoferrins to support immune function. It also means that it has the naturally occurring fats like CLA which can help with metabolism and body composition. MTS Machine Whey strikes a nice balance to keep the carbs and fats in check as well by including whey protein isolates to increase the protein content, giving you the best of both worlds.

Lastly, sometimes what you’re NOT getting in your protein is just as important. MTS Machine Whey contains no Maltodextrin, Dextrose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono and Di-Glycerides, added Sugars or Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or cottonseed oil (trans fats) which have NO PLACE in your protein shake.

protizyme proteinMetabolic Nutrition ProtiZyme

ProtiZyme is different from regular proteins in that not only does it use high-quality whey protein isolates and concentrate protein that is cold-processed and micro filtrated, but the protein itself is coated with digestive enzymes to improve digestion and enhance absorption. This means that unlike other proteins that may have digestive enzymes thrown in for good measure, each ProtiZyme molecule is jacketed with a specific blend of powerful enzymes, maximizing digestion of every gram and reducing gas and bloating.

Not only are you getting the most bioavailable protein possible, but it’s topped off by including their T.A.G. (trans-alanyl glutamine) and 24 essential vitamins and minerals to maximize recovery, fuel muscle building and improve digestion.

whey powerOh Yeah Whey Power

Everyone knows OhYeah! from the success of their One Bar and it’s amazing flavors. They have followed suit with their Whey Power, which is a high-quality, easily digested blend of Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) and Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) without the added carbohydrates, sugars or fats. It’s manufactured by a special cross-flow filtration process and naturally rich in glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) while only containing minimal amounts of lactose and fat.

 

gold standard whey proteinOptimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

The long-time, reigning champion of the protein market, no list would be complete without Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. From users young and old, beginner to champion, chances are that at some point, everyone that has used protein has used Gold Standard Whey at some point in their life. It’s a solid blend of whey protein isolates, concentrates and peptides. Tried, true and available in a wide variety of flavors, it’s a tested staple of protein supplementation.

Top 5 Blended Proteins

myofeed proteinPurus Labs Myofeed

Purus Labs Myofeed is one of the top choices out there period in terms of the feedback it has received, and for good reason. It boasts a great blend of whey protein isolate, whey concentrates and micellar casein, making for a fast/slow protein blend that promotes anabolism. The taste has gotten continuous rave reviews and with flavors like Maple Buttermilk Pancake and others that include real PB2, it’s not hard to see why.

Not only does it feature a top notch protein blend and flavor profile, but it also has Aminogen which is a patented blend of digestive enzymes that help the body digest protein into smaller peptides which makes it easier for the body to absorb and utilize. Lastly, one cool feature is that you can verify that your protein is legit by using a lot number on the bottom of the package that can be plugged into a dedicated website that shows the batch lab tests for the specific protein that went into your tub.

core pro proteinCORE PRO

Core Nutritionals Core PRO is a sustained release protein formula containing cold-processed whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and egg albumin. This blend is great as it provides a nice arrangement of both fast-uptake and sustained-release proteins for versatility and maximizing recovery. This blend also means that it has a large array of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) in their naturally-occurring biological ratios, to delay fatigue and expedite recovery.

 

muscle matrix proteinNutraBio Muscle Matrix Protein

NutraBio Muscle Matrix is a powerhouse protein, containing 25g of pure, complete protein coming from two different milk sources for fast and slow digestion. This combo ensures the ignition of protein synthesis and helps keep amino acid circulation elevated for hours, creating the ultimate anabolic environment to support strength gains, lean muscle mass and recovery.

NutraBio Muscle Matrix features whey isolate which is rapidly digested and ignites protein synthesis. On the other hand the micellar casein coagulates in the gut, leading to slow digestion and a slow increase in amino acid concentrations in the blood that remain elevated for up to 7 hours. This 1-2 punch extends the overall protein synthesis times and work together for the hard hitting and long lasting protein solution. Furthermore, both the whey isolate and micellar casein contained in Muscle Matrix are high grade, pure, non-denatured proteins that are cold temperature processed to keep protein fractions intact and protect the integrity of the amino acid profile.

clean proteinMAN Sports Clean Protein

MAN Sports Clean Protein is just that…clean protein! Starting with a transparently labeled package, Clean Protein not only lists how much of each type of protein is listed, but the amount of protein that each type actually contains. Featuring whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and milk protein (made up of casein & whey) and micellar casein, you know exactly how much of each is in this complete mix. Transparency and no amino spiking are huge notes for Clean Protein, however it certainly doesn’t hurt that it comes in some awesome and very unique flavors like Peanut Butter Bits and Unicorn Milk.

5 Top Isolates/Hydrolysate

nutrabio isolate proteinNutraBio Isolate

NutraBio Whey Protein Isolate is another great product from their extensive line us high quality supplements that packs all you need in a protein. Featuring 25 of complete protein per serving, 0g fat and only 1g of carbs per serving, it is the perfect choice for anyone looking to keep their protein as clean as possible. Furthermore, it contains no whey concentrates, added carbs/sugars, no creamers or other fillers and is cross-filtered at a low temperature to ensure it is non-denatured. Other whey proteins may be ‘watered down’ with cheaper proteins such as acid treated whey, ion exchanged whey or have cheaper whey protein concentrates mixed in. This ensures that you are getting what you pay for every time while leaving nothing to chance.

re kaged proteinKaged Re Kaged

Kaged Muscle ReKaged takes your everyday isolate and takes it to a whole new level to make it an optimal recovery protein. It features 28g of whey protein isolate, 7g of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid, betaine,  Creatine HCL and Beetroot. It also is unique in its featured inclusion of ProHydrolase which breaks down (hydrolyzes) whey protein into smaller particle sizes for maximum absorption. This is unique as instead of being hydrolyzed in the manufacturing process, it is instead hydrolyzed when it is mixed at the time you take in your shake.

core iso proteinCore Nutraceuticals CORE ISO

What makes Core Nutraceuticals Core ISO unique is in its simplicity.  It is made using high purity, non-instantiated whey protein isolate and essentially nothing added to it. It keeps it crazy clean with no soy, GMOs, artificial colors or added sugars. Sometimes it goes to show that what DOESN’T go into your protein is just as important as what does. For a high quality, simple yet high quality isolate, you can’t go wrong with Core ISO.

 

 

iso optima proteinNutrakey ISO Optima

Nutrakey ISO Optima  uses whey protein isolate that is processed through cross flow microfiltration (CFM) in a cold environment. This means that it delivers a pure, quality protein while preserving the bioactive branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). This is critical as some proteins are treated through extreme heat and others are treated by acid, both of which can denature the protein and damage the naturally occurring benefits of lactoferrins and immunoglobins and can remove some of the essential BCAAs. Topping it off, it doesn’t have unnecessary carbs, fillers, or flavorings.

gaspari precision proteinGaspari Precision Protein

With the new Embedded Enzyme Technology, Gaspari has taken the concept of classic hydrolyzed whey protein and taken it a step further. By definition, hydrolyzed whey protein is created by breaking down whey protein into smaller protein fragments through a process known as ‘enzymatic hydrolysis’, which allows the protein to be more rapidly digested compared to a non-hydrolyzed form. Improving upon this, the Embedded Enzyme Technology further increases hydrolysis upon mixing the product into the consumer’s choice of liquid before consumption. A pretty cool concept for those looking to take their isolate game up a notch.

Drink Up!

If you hadn’t noticed, with this list alone there are a ton of different proteins out there to choose from, so no wonder many get confused when it comes to buying a protein. There are a lot of great choices, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of subpar choices as well, but if you use this list as a starting point, you can’t go wrong!

 

best fat burners 2016

Another year has come and gone and that means that just like so many other things in our daily life, it’s time to discuss the ‘top’ products of the past year! This time we’ll be focusing specifically on the top fat burners of 2016! What a better category to discuss than fat buners at a time of year that many are starting weight loss resolutions and looking to better themselves. Now without further ado, here is a breakdown of some of the best products of the category from the past year on Suppz!

kor fat burner inspired

Kor Lypolitic Ignitor – Inspired Nutraceuticals

Inspired Nutraceuticals KOR Lypolitic Ignitor re-released a new and better than ever version of this popular fat burner. It took it above and beyond with the new additions to the formulation and was designed to be more than just a high-stimulant fat burner like the other ones out there. Instead, the goal was to bring a next next-generation thermogenic that not only gave you energy, but enhanced your mental focus and cognition. Move beyond “just another fat burner” and step into KOR Lipolytic Ignitor for reaching your ultimate physique with the smarter approach.

Key Ingredients:

Aframomum Melegueta (as Pyroxidine®)
• Specialized extract of ‘Grains of Paradise’
• Stimulates loss of brown adipose (fat) tissue
• Can help increase energy expenditure

Synephrine
• Also known as bitter orange extract
• Known as a safe alternative to ephedra
• Helps facilitate utilization of energy substrates
• Helps stimulate metabolic processes and favors uptake of amino acids into muscle
• May help suppress appetite
• Stimulates fat loss and energy expenditure
• Doesn’t increase heart rate or blood pressure

Cocoabuterol (N –Coumaroyldopamine)
• Naturally occuring; found in the cocoa plant
• Acts as Beta-2 agonist; activates mTOR within the body
• Aids in sparing lean muscle tissue during fat burning

2-aminoisoheptane (DMHA)
• New age stimulant known more commonly as DMHA
• Classified as ‘psychostimulant’ and known to be the DMAA replacement
• Shown to have roughly 90% the strength of DMAA
• Enhances mental focus and cognition
• Shown to elevate dopamine and norepinephrine

N-phenylethyl Dimethylamine Citrate (Eria Jarensis Extract)
• Known more commonly as Eria Jarensis Extract
• Strong stimulatory and euphoric effects
• Has euphoric properties and increases mental cognition
• Has PEA attributes; Crosses blood-brain barrier to cause catecholamine release

Huperzine A
• Cognitive enhancer that inhibits acetylcholinesterase
• Shown to be useful in combating cognitive decline associated with aging

Caffeine
• Potent CNS stimulant that antagonizes adenosine receptors
• Enhances mental focus and energy
• Increase cognition and reaction time
• Contributes to fat loss by helping release more fat cells and reduces fat storage

core burn

Core Burn – Core Nutritionals

With all the talk, seemingly every day, about how the next ‘revolutionary’ fat burner is hitting the market with the ‘miracle’ compound, it’s easy to get a bit numb to the flood products out there. Core Nutritionals understands that the body is complex machine and it takes more than one single ingredient to effectively aid in fat loss and muscle retention. They set out with the goal of dropping the ‘kitchen sink’ approach of stuffing a bunch of the hot ingredients in a capsule, and instead focus in on the specific metabolic pathways that the body uses to burn fat. The result is a scientifically backed, efficacious product that helps increase metabolism, release stubborn body fat and reduce appetite for an all-round, fantastic thermogenic formula!

Key Ingredients:

Acetyl-L- Carnitine
• Unique form of carnitine that can cross the blood-brain barrier
• Helps reduce mental fatigue and improve mood
• Increases nitric oxide levels
• Works in tandem with caffeine to enhance lipolysis
• Synergistically works with choline to increase acetylcholine synthesis

Green Tea Extract
• Shown to aid in inducing lipolysis (fat breakdown)
• High polyphenol and catechin content offer numerous health benefits
• Effects further amplified when combined with caffeine

Olive Leaf Extract

• Extracted from the plant leaf; distinct from olive oil
• Contains phenolics such as oleuropein
• Has protective effects against LDL oxidation
• Benefits of aiding glucose metabolism and skin health

Caffeine Anhydrous
• Potent CNS stimulant that antagonizes adenosine receptors
• Enhances mental focus and energy
• Increase cognition and reaction time
• Contributes to fat loss by helping release more fat cells and reduces fat storage

Theobromine
• Derived from cacao seeds; structurally similar to caffeine
• Exerts effects similar to caffeine; Known to have smoother, less intense effects

Bacopa Monnieri
• Nootropic herb used in traditional medicine for longevity and cognitive enhancement
• Supplementation can reduce anxiety and improve memory formation
• Has secondary effects as thyroid booster; works synergistically with Bauhinia Purpurea

Coleus Forskohlli Extract
• May enhance fat loss via elevating cAMP activity
• Can help memory formation and retention

Yohimbe Extract
• Increases adrenaline levels in the body
• Stimulates Alpha receptors to help trigger fat loss
• May help reduce body fat in ‘trouble areas’
• Reduces hunger sensation

Synephrine (Advantra Z)
• Also known as bitter orange extract
• Known as a safe alternative to ephedra
• Helps facilitate utilization of energy substrates
• Helps stimulate metabolic processes and favors uptake of amino acids into muscle
• May help suppress appetite
• Stimulates fat loss and energy expenditure
• Doesn’t increase heart rate or blood pressure”

dexaprine fat burner

Dexaprine – iForce

iForce Dexaprine is one of THE legendary fat burners that will forever bring memories of the good old days when thermos still had kickass stimulants. The kind that made dieting effortless, your focus laser sharp and you felt as good on the inside as you looked on the outside from being shredded. Sadly, however, Dexaprine disappeared for a while, leaving fans wanting their favorite thermo to once again grace their supplement stash and deliver the powerful effects they had come to know and love.
Well, the wait is officially over and the layoff was well worth the anticipation with the relaunch of iForce Dexaprine, powered by the legendary, hard hitting DMAA! Packing 65mg of DMAA and 250mg of caffeine per caplet, Dexaprine is back, bad and meaner than ever in your war against shedding excess body fat. Make no mistake iForce Dexaprine is no joke and will have you focused and feeling better than ever before on a diet!

Key Ingredients:

Citrus Aurantium
• Also known as bitter orange extract
• Known as a safe alternative to ephedra
• Helps facilitate utilization of energy substrates
• Helps stimulate metabolic processes and favors uptake of amino acids into muscle
• May help suppress appetite
• Stimulates fat loss and energy expenditure
• Doesn’t increase heart rate or blood pressure

DMAA (1,3 Dimethylamylamine)
• Powerful neural stimulant with structure similar to ephedrine and adrenaline
• Classified as sympathomimetic amine extracted from Geranium
• Triggers the release of norepinephrine – Creates ‘euphoric’ sensation
• May also provide appetite suppression effects

Caffeine Anhydrous
• Potent CNS stimulant that antagonizes adenosine receptors
• Enhances mental focus and energy
• Increase cognition and reaction time
• Contributes to fat loss by helping release more fat cells and reduces fat storage

Theophylline (Standardized from Green Tea Extract)
• Also known as 1,3-dimethylxanthine
• Methylxanthine compound in same chemical family as caffeine and theobromine
• Non-selective adenosine receptor agonist; Stimulates A1, A2 and A3 receptors
• Increases heart rate and blood pressure via CNS stimulation
• Strong phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor; increases intracellular cAMP and reduces inflammation in the body

3,3’ Diiodo L-Thyronine – 200mcg & 3,5 Diiodo L-Thyronine
• T2 Thyroid hormone metabolites
• Naturally occurring and plays vital role in physiological functions
• Work synergistically to increase metabolic rate and reduce appetite
• Doesn’t affect heart rate or blood pressure

hydroxyelite fat burner

HydroxyElite Pro- Hi-Tech

Known as one of the greatest fat burners of all time, USPLabs OxyElite Pro was a hard hitting, energy packed powerhouse that quickly became a favorite. However, due to the nature of the supplement industry and an ever changing landscape, the once popular OxyElite Pro no longer is available and has left many searching for a suitable replacement. That’s where Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals steps in with their recreated and IMPROVED HydroxyElite. Powered by the legendary DMAA, Hi Tech HydroxyElite is everything you remembered about the great OxyElite Pro and then some.

Key Ingredients:

Bauhinia Purpurea L. (Leaf And Pod) Extract
• Shown to possibly have thyroid boosting effects
• Converts thyroid hormones into fat burning beneficial ratios; acts to convert T4 to T3
• Possibly increases T4 by 37%; Boost T3 by 83%
• Shown to counteract declining T3/T4 levels

Bacopa Monnieri
• Nootropic herb used in traditional medicine for longevity and cognitive enhancement
• Supplementation can reduce anxiety and improve memory formation
• Has secondary effects as thyroid booster; works synergistically with Bauhinia Purpurea

DMAA (1,3 Dimethylamylamine)
• Powerful neural stimulant with structure similar to ephedrine and adrenaline
• Classified as sympathomimetic amine extracted from Geranium
• Triggers the release of norepinephrine – Creates ‘euphoric’ sensation
• May also provide appetite suppression effects

Cirsium Oligophyllum (Whole Plant) Extract
• Helps the body burn fat by exciting beta-adrenergic receptors
• Boosts energy expenditure by increasing action of uncoupling proteins (UCP1)
• Stimulates release epinephrine; increases lipolysis
• Helps mobilization of brown fat tissue

Rauwolscine – 5mg
• More commonly known as alpha-yohimbine
• Powerful Alpha-2 agonist; prevents fat storage and encourages fat mobilization
• Potent stimulatory effects

Garcinia Cambogia Extract (fruit rind)
• Fruit known to enhance culinary experience of foods
• Enhances satiety from meals
• Believe mechanism for lipolysis is the Hydroxycitric acid works by inhibiting citric acid lipase

synadrene fat burner

Synadrene – Hi Tech

For years, one of the most legendary fat burners and energy products on the market has been Metabolic Nutrition Synedrex. This high energy, hard hitting powerhouse fat burner was known for its hardcore power and serious results for those looking for that extra edge in their weight loss journey.

 

However, with changes in the market and reformulations, this same legendary was since taken off of the market and left users searching for the remaining stock or a similar replacement, all to no avail. That changes now with the introduction of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Synadrene.

 

They have re-engineered the one-time best seller into something even more powerful and better than the original and with a similar name, leave no doubt about the powerful effects of Synadrene.

Synadrene was designed to embody everything that users loved about the original Synedrex, and with improvements through slight modifications of the ingredients, it will be more powerful than ever.

Key Ingredients:

Methylxanthine (Caffeine)
• Potent CNS stimulant that antagonizes adenosine receptors
• Enhances mental focus and energy
• Increase cognition and reaction time
• Contributes to fat loss by helping release more fat cells and reduces fat storage

DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine)
• Powerful neural stimulant with structure similar to ephedrine and adrenaline
• Classified as sympathomimetic amine extracted from Geranium
• Triggers the release of norepinephrine – Creates ‘euphoric’ sensation
• May also provide appetite suppression effects

Green Tea Extract
• Shown to aid in inducing lipolysis (fat breakdown)
• High polyphenol and catechin content offer numerous health benefits
• Effects further amplified when combined with caffeine
• Synadrene’s green tea content: 45% EGCG/75% total catechins/95% polyphenols

Yohimbine Extract
• Increases adrenaline levels in the body
• Stimulates Alpha receptors to help trigger fat loss
• May help reduce body fat in ‘trouble areas’
• Reduces hunger sensation

Sulbutamine
• Synthetic molecule consisting of two Thiamine (Vitamin B1) molecules
• May help alleviate feelings of fatigue
• Promotes mental clarity and cognitive focus
• Aids in countering mental fog from dieting
Sandalwood Extract
• Source of pterostilbene
• Shown to have anti-diabetic properties; aids in glucose disposal
• May help improve memory and cognition

Poly Thyronine
• Naturally occurring metabolite of the thyroid hormone T2
• Elevates basal metabolic rate for more calorie burning
• Acts as appetite suppressant
• Shown to not affect heart rate or blood pressure

Alpha Lipoic Acid
• Mitochondrial fatty acid involved in energy metabolism
• Synthesized in the body naturally; beneficial against inflammation and oxidation
• Shown to be protective against heart disease, diabetes and neurological disease
• Potent anti-oxidant compound properties

Get Burning!

As you can see just from this sampling of our top 5 fat burners of 2016, there have been some great products introduced to the market with more coming each day! Stay tuned to Suppz for the latest and greatest and be ahead of all the game for all of your supplementation information and orders!

BROS-GUIDE-TO-THANKSGIVING

You’ve survived the month of October…that means that you’ve waded through the piles of garbage calories from all the Halloween candy, dodged the pumpkin-f**king spice everything and managed to stay cut up for looking like a beast or goddess in the Halloween costume you planned on rocking for the last 5 months. Now that you have urge of painting yourself green to be the Hulk or donning the Hot Topic shopping spree for your Harley Quinn costume (c’mon, we all know you did), it’s time to shift focus.

Aside from the stores gently beginning to slip Christmas down our throats by having a section for decorations already in place mid-October, the next big thing on our radar, especially for those diet minded is the Thanksgiving mega-meal. While Christmas sure can pack on some pounds, especially with the sweets added in, Thanksgiving is hands down the one day of the year that can really throw a wrench in your diet. I mean, what other holiday is celebrated with the MEAL being the sole focus of the day? That’s what we thought.

Now, for those who are looking to add some mass and turn those chicken legs into turkey legs, the calories can be a welcome addition and beneficial. However, if you’re cutting up or just looking to negate holiday damage and maintain weight, this can be a potential landmine. Those bulking aren’t’ off the hook either as just because it’s bulking season, that’s no excuse to get sloppy and more fat than necessary that you’ll have to cut off later. You can and definitely should enjoy Thanksgiving and the delicious food that it brings, but the key is to have a little strategy going in.

One bad meal isn’t going to make you fat, nor will one healthy meal make you lean. Keep this in mind and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with some common sense. By planning for the meal in advance and eating with a good strategy, not only can you maximize the benefits of some quality calories but you’ll keep the damage control in place from gaining extra poundage.

  1. ashley-dissmore-veggiesPlan Accordingly Diet Wise

First and foremost, Thanksgiving is a planned meal. It’s not like you have a sporadic or ‘accidental’ cheat meal that can happen on occasion. It’s literally the same day every single year, so when you know that big meal Thursday is coming, get your strategy in place. Since weight gain isn’t determined by a day to day fluctuation here or there, but rather calorie balance over time (more than a few days), if you create a calorie deficit (for cutting) or a reasonable surplus (for bulking), you can destroy that meal and still stay in the ballpark of staying on track and not blow your diet entirely.

For example, if you’re cutting and remove an extra 200 calories from your diet for a day leading up to the meal, that gives you an additional 1400 calories in theory for the week that you can have in the tank and at your disposal for that thanksgiving goodness. No, don’t make this strategy a normal thing as consuming large chunks of calories at once while cutting too low calorie wise for periods of time as it isn’t optimal, but it is a useful strategy for such an occasion.

  1. Use It As A Refeed – Carbs Are King

This strategy is especially useful for those that are cutting. When you diet utilizes the response of the leptin boost that results from the short-term boost in calories. Leptin is a hormone that regulates satiety and energy intake and when calories and body fat drop, leptin also decreases. The result is the natural hunger response, which as you know can be the biggest b**ch in dieting is increased and your satiety (feeling satisfied after food) is reduced. The goal of a refeed day is to promote a rise in leptin levels to spike the metabolism and help stave off some of the hunger and satiety.

Now, to make your Thanksgiving meal work to your advantage, think lean protein and carbs. This is because a refeed day should primarily focus on increasing carbohydrate intake. While this may sound like a bit of a downer as there is a lot of Thanksgiving goodies that have a higher fat content, but it has been demonstrated that high-carbohydrate meals can boost leptin, particularly when compared to a high-fat meal. This short-term boost in carbohydrates can also help fill muscle carbohydrate stores, promoting hard training in the days to come.

The perfect scenario would be hitting a hard training session before the big meal if you can. This will further deplete your body, and insulin sensitivity is heightened following training, creating the ideal time to smash all of those lean proteins and carbs. Aim for the skinless, white turkey meat for protein and carb wise, think sweet/mashed potatoes (without the butter), stuffing (not made inside the turkey or with butter), breads and low fat desserts (enjoy some sugar without the fat here).

  1. Dave Price Fuck SkinnyCrush the Gym Before You Crush Your Food

Training has a profound effect on muscle insulin sensitivity as well as increases the movement of GLUT4 receptors (the cellular gateways that allow glucose into your muscles) to the surface of your muscle cells. This means that your response to carbohydrates as we just touched on in the refeed section will be optimal and be utilized for training recovery, muscle gain and minimally stored as fat. This is why you always have been told to get in those carbs post training as this effect is so profound that it can temporarily improve insulin resistance with just one training session, and repeatedly doing this practice will lead to some great gains.

With this in mind, make your Thanksgiving meal work for you and have it as your post-workout meal. Furthermore, to maximize the impact of the improved post-workout insulin sensitivity, ensure that your body has burned off some glycogen (not as hard if you’re already cutting) to ensure it has something to refill. To start, skip the pre- and intra-workout carbs. This may sound counterintuitive, but if your muscles are topped off with glycogen already, there’s nothing to refill, plus your body has at least 1500 kcal of glycogen stored. It’s a nice strategy to prime the anabolic pump though by taking some BCAA during the training session to promote protein synthesis and get the ball rolling for your recovery before following up with the Thanksgiving feast throw down.

Lastly, in order to maximize the effect the meal has, the more depleted your muscle glycogen stores are going into the meal, the more calories they will be able to store, reducing the chances that some calories get sent to the body fat stores. So, sorry Curl-Bros but to get the most out of this, hit the largest muscle groups in the body since these will require the most muscle glycogen for storage purposes. A hard legs workout along with some touch up work on other body parts will do the trick.

  1. Dessert Damage Control

One important strategy that can be useful, refeed day or not is to keep in mind the desserts. There’s so many out there and nothing adds in calories quicker than a plethora of sweets by way of Holiday desserts. This is typically where you’ll pack in the most calories, not to mention fat depending on the variety, so by limiting this you’ll go a long way toward decreasing the damage done by the meal.

If you want to get a handle on this, one way to avoid going crazy or letting urges get the best of you is to choose only one dessert and make your selection before even sitting down. If you have it pre-picked before the meal, you’ll eliminate the contemplating or difficulty deciding, reducing the chance that you’ll just say “F**k it” and get multiple items. Yes, high carb and lower fat items are idea and can fit into your refeed, but dietary refeed or not, there’s no need for shoving stupid amounts of sugar down your throat “all for the gains”.

  1. dave-price-beerAlcohol – Getting Tipsy While Giving Thanks

While food is one thing that is to be expected, it’s also tradition for a wide array of alcohol to be available to accompany it. It doesn’t take the sharpest tool in the shed to realize that alcohol has calories in it as well, and it can hit your waist line, especially when paired with a surplus of calories from the Thanksgiving feast. Choosing whether to partake or not in alcohol can be a challenging issue, especially when it comes to keeping your calories and weight in check.

One good rule of thumb is that if you choose to drink, ensure that you’re eating some food along with it. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram and is processed differently in the body than food and can cause a drop in blood glucose. Due to the calories, many try and not eat when they drink, but this can lead to issues such as hypoglycemia and cause other metabolic issues. Instead, choose to partake intelligently by limiting yourself to 2 drinks or less for men and 1 drink for women. Doing so not only cuts back on calories but it allows you to enjoy a drink and stay in control more to make healthy food and beverage choices.

When selecting drinks, be aware that some are higher in calories than others. The liquid calories can add up quickly and before you know it, add several hundred calories that you wouldn’t expect with ease. Opt for lighter beers and lower sugar mixed drinks. Steer clear of calorie bombs like heavy beers, margaritas and other sugary concoctions.

Go Forth For Feasts & Gains

Now that you have some very useful information of how to use Thanksgiving to your advantage, make the most of it. There’s no reason to dread the holiday or skip it for the sake of staying on track with your goals, it just takes a little planning, and with the tips and strategy we outlined above, you can use your Thanksgiving feast to feed your every day beast!

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whey protein concentrate vs isolate

Everywhere you turn your head you will see a form of whey protein for sale on sports nutrition websites.  Different brands, sizes, flavors, profiles and protein types makes it difficult for the customer to know what they are buying. Typically, a customer will buy a product with kick-ass packaging or a brand name they’ve seen before.  However, it is way more important to know what you are buying inside that tub versus what you see on the outside.

One of the most misunderstood topics in whey protein is the difference between whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey protein isolate (WPI). I am going to attempt to lay this out in simplistic terms so even the beginner in this category can understand what to look for when they purchase their next tub of whey protein.

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a complex protein used within the fitness community.  We say whey protein is complex because it is made up of many subfractions of of smaller proteins that each have their own unique attributes that promote different areas of health. It is important to know this because WPC and WPI each have a different process on how it is made which leads to differing amount of these smaller subfractions of proteins in the final profile of that protein.  You will learn more about this later.

curd-from-wheyHow is Whey Protein Made?

Twenty years ago cheese factories couldn’t give away the substance that today gives us our whey protein. The only people that seemed to be interested in the substance that made our whey protein were local farmers.  These local farmers would take this substance and apply it to their crops as they believed it was a fertilizer for their crops.  Thankfully this world has scientists and gym rats to change that.

Whey protein is derived from cow milk. The milk is churned by a cheese factory to make curds (these are used for cheese curds, cottage cheese, etc). There is a liquid substance that is left behind after the curds are harvested by the cheese factory.  This is where we get our whey protein.

The liquid is then forced through a filtration system leaving behind a material which is dried and formed into our whey protein.  Cool huh?  After the material is dried and the whey protein exists this is where the “magic” happens in the industry thus giving us either a whey protein concentration or a whey protein isolate.

whey protien concentrateWhey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate powders are a popular choice among the fitness community because of it’s muscle building properties, health promoting profile and, maybe the most important attribute, it’s affordable cost. WPC contains roughly 70-80% protein. On a per gram basis it contains less protein than whey protein isolate, but it contains many of those subfraction proteins we talked about earlier that WPI remove during the filtration process.

Whey protein concentration does not have to go through the advanced filtration process that isolates go through thus making it more cost-effective to produce.  An important thing to note is that because it does not go through this filtration process that WPI go through the WPC contains more of these health promoting subfraction proteins in them.  Many people choose a concentration as an everyday protein because of these attributes that assist in other forms of health outside of muscle building.

Whey protein concentrate does contain more fat, carbohydrates, sodium and lactose than WPI. This is because the WPC does not go through any advanced filtration process to remove any of these.  If you are not lactose intolerant, not worried about the extra fats and carbs than a WPC is a good choice as it is more affordable.

For more information on Whey Protein Concentrate check out our article here.

whey protein isolateWhey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is a form of whey protein that goes through an additional filtration process that WPC does not go through making it a purer protein powered.  Various filtration processes are available to create a WPI but the most popular are cross flow micro filtration, ion exchange, ultra filtration, micro filtration, etc.  Long story short, each of these filtration processes can remove more or less of those other subfractions of proteins we find in a WPC.

A typical WPI contains 90-96% protein compared to WPC 70-80%. This right here makes it an attractive protein source for those in the fitness community because they want to know they are getting the max protein for their dollar. A WPI also contains less fat, carbohydrates, sodium and lactose than a WPC.

Whey protein isolate is also more rapidly absorbed by your body than a WPC. This leads to an increase in insulin production by your body. There are no real-world studies that I can find that leads to saying this is better or worse post-workout. However, the body needs insulin to product muscle. Rises in insulin at the wrong time can turn into body fat. Rises in insulin after a workout due to the rapid absorption of WPI could be a benefit for those looking to increase muscle mass.

Which One Is Right For Me?

So after reading all of this do you have it all figured out yet? Most likely not. This is just the surface of the protein debates.  What it comes down to is you. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? What can you afford?

Many people will tell you that WPC is inferior to a WPI. This is not true. There are a lot of very good WPC on the market. Avoid any companies that have been accused of amino spiking, however. A WPC typically gives you 70-80% protein which has come a long way since the start of this industry. At 80% protein you are doing very well for the product you are purchasing.

If you are not currently counting calories, worried about extra fats, carbs or sodium and have zero issues with dairy (not lactose intollerent) whey protein concentrate would be just fine for you. This will even be a benefit to your wallet as you won’t have to drop as much money on a tub of it versus a WPI. You are also getting all the health benefits of the subfractions of proteins that make up this complex protein.

A whey protein isolate may be the best choice for you if you are lactose intolerant, looking for minimal calories, carbs, fats and sodium. If you cannot stomach dairy than an isolate might be a must for you if you refuse to move away from whey protein (studies still show this is the most beneficial protein to building muscle and burning fat). The high concentration of protein (90-96%) is very attractive. If you want something that is more rapidly absorbed by your body giving you that insulin boost post-workout than this is also your choice.  If you are getting ready for a bodybuilding or a figure show than this should be your choice.

The choice is yours. I wanted to debunk any myths or ideas that were of common acceptance.  There are very good WPC on the market that 80% of people in the fitness community can take without any issue and it would be the right choice for them.  However, there are that smaller fraction of those in this community that live and breath it, for them the isolate may be the correct choice.

At the end of the day do your research. Do not buy based on packaging, brand name, or flavor. Buy based on your goals, the profile of the product, the protein yield (grams of protein per scoop divided by total grams per scoop), and what your wallet allows to you purchase. It’s your body, you make the choice.

Get 10% off Classic Whey, a 100% Whey Protein Concentrate (80%) at SUPPZ!
Get 10% off Classic Whey, a 100% Whey Protein Concentrate (80%) at SUPPZ!

This post was written by Ryan Bucki of Fitness Informant, a great website featuring supplement reviews and diet and nutrition articles.

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whey protien concentrate

The classic whey protein concentrate is a tried and true staple that has been used among many fitness circles for years. It naturally has a higher quality protein than milk, egg, soy and other plant based protein varieties. Additionally, it contains high amounts of naturally occurring branched chain amino acids which are leucine, isoleucine and valine. These play a critical role in kick starting protein synthesis and help in the growth, recovery and preservation of lean muscle tissue.

So why is whey protein concentrate a superior form of protein?

Naturally High BCAA Content

Let’s start with the naturally high BCAA content and examine just how each of the three BCAA plays a critical role in the human body and why supplementation is beneficial for optimal growth and recovery:

Leucine

Leucine is often considered the ‘king’ of the amino acids due to the solid research behind it and its role in protein synthesis, and its anabolic properties. It has been shown in research to be an activator of the protein known as the mechanistic target of rapamycin (or simply mTOR), which induces muscle protein synthesis.

Another critical pathway that leucine has is that it interacts with glucose and possesses both blood sugar reducing properties (can release insulin from the pancreas, can directly stimulate glucose uptake into a cell without insulin) but also the opposite (via stimulating S6K, it can inhibit insulin-stimulated glucose uptake).

Isoleucine

Isoleucine much like the main BCAA leucine, can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, but to a lesser when not combined with the other BCAAs. The main benefit rather of isoleucine is that it acts complimentary to leucine and plays a significant role in significantly increasing glucose uptake and the usage of glucose during exercise which leads to greater energy production. Furthermore, isoleucine may also play one of the main roles in the research findings that the supplementation of BCAA can aid in fat burning.

Valine

The third of the BCAA, valine promotes muscular endurance and decreases fatigue during exercise. The mechanism of action is that during exercise, tryptophan is converted to serotonin and signals the brain that the body is fatigued. Valine counteracts this as it competes with tryptophan for entry into the brain, translating to less serotonin getting to the brain and ultimately leading to stronger muscular contractions, quicker recovery between sets, and prolonged muscular strength and endurance.

Closest to Whole Food Protein

At the most basic explanation, milk contains two proteins: whey and casein. Whey is the liquid portion of the milk that separates from the curds (the casein component), during the process of making cheese. Whey contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals as well as many highly beneficial subfractions.

With the aforementioned strong BCAA content as well as being a complete protein and strong amino acid profile overall, whey protein is definitely a powerhouse protein. It has been research proven to augment muscle protein synthesis, support fat burning, boost the immune system, improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease appetite. More specifically, whey concentrate is shown to boost production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant.

To create whey protein the liquid portion of milk is pushed through a filter and the material left behind is dried to form whey protein concentrate. This minimally processed concentrate contains varying amounts of fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose (dairy sugar). The percentage of protein varies from about 30% to about 80%, and includes a variety of protein peptide subfractions. These are beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, immunoglobins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, serum albumin, glycomacropeptides, and Proteose Peptone. Many of which have significant biologic activity and health benefits. Evidence suggests that these peptides must remain in their native, undenatured form in order to exert these properties (1).

Beta-lactoglobulin (35—55% of whey)

  • An excellent source of essential and branched chain amino acids
  • Binds with fat-soluble vitamins, increasing their bioavailability
  • Has inhibited cancer cells in animal research

Alpha-lactalbumin (12—25% of whey)

  • The primary protein found in human breast milk
  • Excellent source of essential and branched chain amino acids
  • Protects against infection
  • Shown to improve alertness in the morning
  • Helps removal of toxic metals
  • High in the amino acid tryptophan; Helps regulate sleep, mood, and stress

Immunoglobins (8—15% of whey)

  • Only found in undenatured protein
  • Enhances immunity among people of all ages

Lactoferrin (1—2% of whey)

  • Only found in undenatured protein
  • Antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties
  • Promotes growth of bone and beneficial bacteria
  • Contributes to healthy immune function
  • Regulates iron absorption
  • Controls inflammation and allergic responses

Lactoperoxidase (0.5% of whey)

  • Only found in undenatured protein
  • Inhibits the growth of bacteria

Serum albumin (5—10% of whey)

  • Shown to inhibit estrogen-positive breast cancer
  • Helps control blood pressure

Glycomacropeptides (10—15% of whey)

  • Inhibits formation of dental plaque and cavities
  • Inhibits colitis in infants

Proteose Peptone (12% of whey)

  • Enhances the production of antibodies that protect against infection

Now, there are other forms of whey protein available and these include isolates and hydrolysates which undergo further processing compared to whey protein concentrate. The problem is that typically the more processed and purified a protein gets, the subfractions can be degraded and lose their biologic activity. Since denaturing can affect the biologic activity of certain peptides, whey concentrate has a theoretical health advantage over isolates and hydrolysates and is closer to a whole food than the more processed varieties, providing additional health benefits.

Now, for full disclosure, it should be kept in mind that while there may be degradation of the subfractions, the amino acid sequences do not change when protein is denatured. This means that it will still have the same muscle building properties because in the body, all proteins are denatured in a sense as they are broken down during digestion into smaller protein chains and individual amino acids for the amino acid pool. So, in regards to muscle building muscle, this doesn’t matter, but you’ll be missing out to a large degree on the great benefits of the subfractions.

Parting Wheys

Overall, whey protein concentrates are very economical per gram of protein. They have a low lactose level that is generally well tolerated by even most lactose-sensitive people and are fast absorbing. Additionally, whey protein concentrates are closer to a whole food protein that other forms of whey and have additional immune boosting properties. It’s hard to go wrong with the tried and true whey protein concentrate.

For a comparison of Whey Protein Concentrate and Whey Protein Isolate check out our blog post.

We recommend purchasing NutraBio Classic Whey, a 100% full label disclosure whey protein concentrate with great taste. This is one of the only proteins on the market that is 100% concentrate instead of a blend of concentrate and isolate. Classic Whey is made from the highest quality WPC80 and is the re-branded version of NutraBio Whey Protein Concentrate. NutraBio has made a reputation for producing only the highest quality products and has been using non-proprietary, 100% full disclosure labels longer than any brand, so they are a name you can trust. Watch below for NutraBio CEO Mark Glazier’s explanation of common “protein scams” and how NutraBio differs themselves.

Get 10% off Classic Whey, a 100% Whey Protein Concentrate (80%) at SUPPZ!
Get 10% off Classic Whey, a 100% Whey Protein Concentrate at SUPPZ!

References

  1. Park, Y. Bioactive Components in Milk & Dairy Products. s.l. : John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

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best protein bar comparison
Image courtesy of @pbreview

Whether you need a quick and portable option for getting in some calories, are looking for a healthier alternative for a snack or are simply trying to increase the amount of protein in you daily diet, protein bars are a great option. They have come a long way over the past few years and long lost are the days of choking down the chalky, dry bricks that many thought just came with the territory.

Thankfully, these aren’t your dad’s protein bar and the flavors along with texture are quite incredible. That does leave a tricky aspect to navigate though, as you want a clean protein bar, and not a thinly disguised candy bar masquerading as a health food. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best bars on the market that have had good feedback in regards to flavor/texture and we’ll handle the breakdown of the ingredients and macros.

#1 Oh Yeah! One Bar

one bar birthday cake
The ONE Bar is top in texture and taste with solid nutritionals.

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 210-230 calories/bar
  • 22g protein/bar
  • 7-8g fat/bar
  • 1g sugar/bar
  • 10-13g sugar alcohols/bar
  • Protein Source: Whey & Milk Protein Isolates

When it comes to the Oh Yeah! brand, there is little doubt that they make delicious bars. The previous bars that they have put out were always well received in terms of flavor and texture, but that’s about as much as we can give them credit for. We weren’t blown away by the profile of the original bar they produced in the least as taking the 85g Peanut Butter Crunch bar for example it packed 360 calories, 19 grams of fat, 25 grams of protein (including soy) and had 36g of carbs ( of which 2g sugar, 2g fiber and  8g sugar alcohols).

With the launch of their One Bar, however, you wouldn’t even believe the bar came from the same company! They have taken their outstanding flavors and not only made the flavor better, but re-engineered the bars from the ground up to make the profile one of the best out there to go along with the taste. Comparing apples to apples, the Peanut Butter Pie One Bar packs nearly the same amount of protein as their original bar with 22g and improved upon this making it exclusively whey and milk protein isolates. They also dramatically cut the calorie count down to 220 calories along with the fat and carbs to 8g and 23g (of which 1g sugar, 10g fiber and 9g sugar alcohols) respectively.

A night and day difference in profile to go along with a flavor/texture that is very, very good and this is why we find Oh Yeah! One bars flying of the shelves and in high favor with consumers.

The Verdict:

Oh Yeah One bars are a solid bar from top to bottom in terms of macronutrients, ingredient profile and consumer feedback in regards to flavor and texture. These are a top selling bar for a reason.


 

#2 FitJoy

fitjoy protein bars
Fitjoy has great taste and is naturally flavored.

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 220-230 calories/bar
  • 20g protein/bar
  • 7-8g fat/bar
  • 4-5g sugar/bar
  • No sugar alcohols, artificial colors, flavors or sucralose
  • GMO & Gluten Free
  • Protein Source: Whey & Milk Protein Isolates

New to the protein bar scene, Cellucor lined up to take its shot at a very competitive market. The emphasis that they chose to go with was to make a bar as clean as possible. With a hefty 20g of protein of protein per bar, what ISN’T in the bars was just as big of a deal as what they did put in. For this purpose, they opted to include no GMOs, gluten, artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners, sucralose or preservatives. This is a far cry from other bars on the market so this wasn’t an easy task. The end result has been a well-received bar from the consumer that manages to keep a good texture and flavor profile while cutting down on a lot of the stuff many are consciously looking to reduce from their daily intake.

Rounding out the ingredient profile, FitJoy uses more natural alternatives to the conventionally used items such as stevia and erythritol for sweetening along with chicory root fiber for texture. IT is a solid ingredient profile from top to bottom and surely won’t disappoint those looking for a more ‘natural’ take on the protein bar market.

The Verdict:

This is a very solid choice for those looking for more ‘natural’ alternative to many of the other top bars on the market today. Texture is a bit tacky.


 

#3 MuscleTech Mission 1

mission 1 protein bar
Mission 1 is very clean, great tasting bar.

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 190-220 calories/bar
  • 21g protein/bar
  • 6-9g fat/bar
  • 1g sugar/bar
  • No sugar alcohols, artificial flavors or colors
  • Protein Source: Milk and Whey Protein Isolates

Not known for its ventures into the protein bar category previously, MuscleTech too direct aim at one of the long standing top seller Quest bar with the introduction of its Mission 1 bars. They were created as a protein packed, ‘clean’ protein bar with the main call-outs of containing no sugar alcohols, artificial colors or flavors. Very similar to a few other bars in the category, they are high fiber using both chicory root and soluble corn fiber as the basis as well as the inclusion of isomalto-oligosaccharides. One thing that is refreshing to see compared to similar bars is the inclusion of stevia as a natural sweetener rather than sucralose.

The Verdict:

You can think of this as an updated and slightly cleaner version of the kingpin Quest Bar. Consumer feedback for texture and flavor has been good, drawing comparisons between the two. The main downside that many are finding is that there are currently only 4 flavors available.


 

#4 MusclePharm Combat Crunch

combat crunch bar
Combat Crunch has a soft inside with a crunchy outside!

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 210 calories/bar
  • 20g protein/bar
  • 7-10g fat/bar
  • 5g sugar/bar
  • 1g sugar alcohol/bar
  • Protein Source: Whey & Milk Protein Isolates

Long known for their reputation as ‘The Athlete’s Company’, it only made sense that MusclePharm would make a foray into the protein bar market. Whether after hitting a long practice, following a weight training session or for the casual gym rat looking for yet another option to smash after their workout, the MusclePharm Combat Crunch bar was designed with all of them in mind. They took the approach of using a more ‘gourmet baked’ protein bar rather than go with the industry ‘standard’ of the ho-hum slab of a bar.

The result has been far from disappointing with the bar being well received across the industry as one of the better tasting ones out there and provides a refreshing alternative to the mainstream bar. Granted the trade-off is that they have generally higher sugar content compared to many of the other ‘low carb’ bars on the market, they still have what most would consider to be a pretty clean product.

The Verdict:

MusclePharm did an excellent job putting together a bar with their Combat Crunch to create a bar that has a pretty clean profile and great taste. One thing of note though is even with this being a quite good entry into the market, the same great formula and macro profile didn’t translate to their Arnold Series bars which seemed to take a big step back from their Combat Crunch, so buyer beware.


 

#5 Quest

quest protein bar
The bar that changed the category is still  a solid option.

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 170-200 calories/bar
  • 20g protein/bar
  • 7-10g fat/bar
  • 1-4g sugar/bar
  • Protein Source: Milk & Whey Protein Isolates

Ah yes, the legendary Quest bar. This is the bar that came onto the market a few years ago and literally changed the game when it comes to what the consumer looks for in terms of a protein bar. Throwing the traditional ‘thinly disguised candy bar’ concept that plagued the protein bar market for years under the bus, Quest created the first of the high fiber, low sugar bars that redefined the category. Dominating for years with this concept, Quest has continually had a solid fan base with a solid macronutrient profile and always expanding flavor lineup.

One downside of note is that though the flavors are well received as some of the best on the market, the formula has changed a bit over the years and brought along tweaks to the texture and overall taste of the bar. Through it all though, Quest remains one of the leaders in the category.

The Verdict:

The reigning king, Quest has always created quality products that will be around for a long time to come. With a clean profile, unique and always expanding flavor line-up, they will always be a solid brand. Perhaps one of the best things that Quest has done aside from their own products is inspire other brands to follow suit and as a result, pushed others to create some phenomenal bars as well.


 

#6 ProSupps My Bar

pro supps my bar
My Bar looks promising! Taste and texture are on point.

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 220 calories/bar
  • 20g protein/bar
  • 10g fat/bar
  • 6g sugar/bar
  • Unknown Sugar Alcohol Content
  • Protein Source: Whey Isolates & Concentrates; Milk Protein Isolate; Pea Protein Isolate

Best known for their legendary pre-workout Mr. Hyde, the good folks at ProSupps are ready to take on the protein game. With a bar aptly named ‘My Bar’, the early reception for flavor and texture has been very, very good and the ingredient profile appears to be on point as well. Featuring an industry standard 20g protein from a somewhat unique protein blend that emphasizing the exclusion of soy protein and instead featuring pea protein isolate, the bar is a solid choice protein wise.

The Verdict:

The initial entry for ProSupps into the protein bar market is a solid one and we see this being a contender due to it’s solid ingredient profile that will attract those looking for an incredible flavor and exclusion of soy protein isolate.


 

BPI Best Protein Bar (Dishonorable Mention)

best protein bar
BPI dropped the ball on this product. Consumer reviews have been poor.

Nutrition Snapshot:

  • 220-250 calories/bar
  • 20g protein/bar
  • 6-9g fat/bar
  • 2-7g sugar/bar
  • 5-9g sugar alcohols/bar
  • Protein Source: Whey & Milk Protein Isolates

Not to be outdone by anyone, BPI has always been one to jump into competitive markets head first and with full vigor. Their latest effort in the protein bar world resulted in their ‘Best Bar’. A look at the ingredient profile and we’re not quite sure that this bar lives up to the name. It doesn’t jump off the paper in terms of macronutrient profile or ingredients, coming in with a pretty standard range for calories, protein content and fiber amount. The taste and texture are among the worst in the category.

The Verdict:

We’re a bit confused by this bar…for advertising that they use stevia in the bar, one would think that it would be a more natural product, however it not only has stevia, but includes both sucralose and sugar alcohols. The macronutrient profile isn’t bad by any means, but nothing off the charts. Flavor and texture-wise this bar is one of the worst on the market and we honestly can’t recommend it if you want to enjoy eating your protein bar.

(Un) Wrapping It Up

No matter what your goals are, chances are that at some point or another you’ll be in need of a protein bar. Both delicious and convenient, they are a great a way to get in quality protein to stay on track to your goals and provide a healthy snack alternative. With so many great choices, it’s hard to go wrong and no matter what flavor you’re looking for, chances are, there is a brand out there that makes a clean bar to satisfy your palate.

In general, you want to look for a bar that has at least 20g protein, 10g or less in fat and minimal sugars. Also be mindful of how many grams of total sugar alcohols there are as eating too many can cause gastrointestinal upset in some.

Use coupon code: TOPBARS for 5% off any bar on this list at SUPPZ. FREE shipping $59+ or FREE 1-2 shipping on any order to WI, IA, IL, or MN.
Use coupon code: TOPBARS for 5% off any bar on this list at SUPPZ. FREE shipping $59+ or FREE 1-2 shipping on any order to WI, IA, IL, or MN.