Reviews

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The main purpose of this article is to educate prospective distributors and customers on the Advocare brand and it’s products.

What Is Advocare

Advocare, if you are not familiar, is a multi-level marketing supplement company. What is multi-level marketing? In a nutshell, it’s when a company sells their goods to a person (not a business), so that person can market the products to their family and friends in order to make money? Sounds good right? While this may look ok at first glance there are a few problems inherent to this system.

  1. In order for both the parent company and distributor (the person buying the product to re-sell) to make money, products have to be priced higher than normal market pricing. You are adding an extra middleman in this scenario who needs to be paid. This will drive up the sales price significantly.
  2. Many people, after spending their own hard earned money on inventory, find out that they are not as well suited to selling that product as they thought. In many situations, these people end up stuck with the inventory and have to either sell it at a loss/break even, or use it themselves.
  3. Referring back to #1, it drives up prices to have a middleman. In many cases, in order to accommodate the additional cost, companies produce low quality (aka cheap) products in order to allow more margin to pay themselves and distributors. Unfortunately, this is rampant in the multi-level marketing industry and I will go more in-depth on this below.

So basically the problem with multi-level marketing companies comes down to selling high-priced, low-quality products to people that may not be able to sell them. Often times these companies skirt the line into pyramid scheme territory. What is a pyramid scheme? According to Investopedia

“At issue in determining the legitimacy of a multi-level marketing company is whether its products are sold primarily to consumers or to its members who must recruit new members to buy their products. If it is the former, the company is deemed a legitimate multi-level marketer. If it is the latter, it could be operating a pyramid scheme, which is illegal.”

So in essence, a pyramid scheme is a company whose primary focus is to recruit more and more people in order to sell their products. Not all multi-level marketing companies are pyramid schemes, but it is certainly a thin line.

Back in 2016, ESPN published an extremely comprehensive article on Advocare due to the involvement of New Orleans Saints star quarterback, Drew Brees. According to ESPN numbers, in 2014 of the over 517,000 AdvoCare distributors, only .54% (that’s just over 1/2 a percent) made at least $10,000 selling Advocare supplements. Under 5% earned more than $1,000.

Many of the people that buy into Advocare products end up keeping their distributor status in order to get discount products for themselves. This is not a bad gig until you compare Advocare distributor pricing to the normal sales price of supplements in the consumer market. Many supplements sold at normal retail price are higher quality than the Advocare products at a similar price to what distributors pay.

Advocare Quality

The remainder of this article is going to focus on the quality and formulas of Advocare supplements. Due to the companies marketing, often Advocare is seen as a premium brand. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Below I’m including a brief breakdown of each product, comparing it to the top products on the market, and giving my commentary.

Advocare Spark

Spark is likely the most popular product in the Advocare lineup. It provides the immediate benefit of a caffeine boost and many people enjoy it because of the taste and energy they get.

Price: $57.90 per 42 servings on Amazon

Distributor price: Most distributors make around 40% margin which puts their price at around $34.74.

Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine HCl), Vitamin B-12 (as cyanocobalamin), Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl acetate), Thiamine (as HCl), Riboflavin, Niacin (as niacinamide), Pantothenic acid (as calcium pantothenate), Zinc (as zinc monomethionine), Copper (as copper glycinate), Chromium (as chromium citrate), Choline (as bitartrate and citrate), L-Tyrosine, Taurine, Caffeine , Glycine, L-Carnitine (as tartrate), Inositol, Maltodextrin, citric acid, sucralose, silicon dioxide.

91xTXS9ESpL._SL1500_First off, Advocare does not include the full supplement panel on their website. This is extremely shady, and if you ever see a company that does this you should stay far away. This means the company is not proud of their label and don’t want people to see it. Most supplement companies with legitimate formulas will be proud of this and have it front and center. I had to go to Amazon to find the supplement facts which are included to the left.

From Advocare’s website, “Spark® is a unique blend of 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work synergistically to provide a healthy and balanced source of energy.* Spark contains an effective amount of caffeine to give you a quick boost, B vitamins to enhance your body’s natural ability to produce and sustain its own energy, and neuroactive ingredients that enhance mental focus and alertness.*”

Vitamins and Minerals: Advocare’s blend of vitamins and minerals are included at levels far under what you would find in a good quality multi vitamin. Basically, everything in this blend is underdosed.

Energy: Advocare utilizes Caffeine (120mg) and L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate (10mg) for their energy blend. Both of these are good, proven ingredients and the caffeine is at a good moderate dosage (around the same amount as a cup of coffee). The problem I see is the Carnitine dosage. At 10mg, Advocare is using a technique known as “pixy dusting.” This basically means including the ingredient on the label, but not at a high enough dosage to do anything. For reference, in clinical studies, L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate was administered in doses around 2g. That’s 20x the dosage that Advocare includes in Spark!

Focus: L-Tyrosine and Choline Bitartrate (both at 500mg). L-Tyrosine is an ingredient that is great for focus and is very cheap. At a 500mg dose, it’s not as much as is normally included in supplements, but it’s not extremely underdosed either. Choline Bitartrate is an inferior version of Choline that does not pass the blood-brain barrier easily and thus is relatively ineffective for oral consumption. Other versions of Choline such as Alpha GPC and CDP Choline are far superior.

Value: Coming in at almost $1.38/serving, Spark is extremely overpriced compared to other competitors on the market. All it will really do for you is give you a small energy and focus boost. I’m going to give two options below that are far superior as far as value and quality go.

Spark Alternatives

Charged Amino: $.67/serving. A great alternative to Spark, Charged Amino boasts a moderate amount (100mg) of Caffeine. The taste is amazing and it includes a good mix of Essential Amino Acids to help with recovery. Charged Amino further separates itself by including an Electrolyte Matrix. This assists with hydration and various bodily functions. The bottom line here is that Charged Amino comes in at under half the price of Spark and gives the energy benefits along with recovery and hydration. While there are better options on the market, if you are looking for something very similar to Spark at a fraction of the price, this is your best bet.

Dedicated Nutrition Unstoppable: $1.33/serving. Dedicated Nutrition Unstoppable is one of the premiere pre workout supplements on the market. This supplement is literally packed with amazing ingredients to enhance your energy, endurance, blood flow, and focus. This is 10g of extremely effective proven ingredients with no filler. In comparison, Spark boasts a 7g scoop size, however 4g of this is carbohydrates in the form of maltodextrin (a cheap filler) which leaves you with 3g or less of active ingredients. For close to the same price per serving, Unstoppable is an amazing value when compared to Spark.

Advocare Catalyst

$31 for 31 servings on Amazon. $1.14/g of BCAA.

710UEDavHML._SX522_The Science: Amino Acid supplements work by signaling muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in your muscles. Leucine, the anabolic trigger, is the primary amino acid responsible for elevating rates of MPS. However, studies have shown that Leucine on it’s own can’t do the job and needs the support of the other two Branch Chain Aminos (Isoleucine and Valine) in order elevate rates of MPS. In addition, in order to sustain MPS, your body will need the other 6 Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s).

Dosage: Leucine needs to be present in quantities of 2.5-3.5g in order to optimize rates of muscle protein synthesis. Catalyst includes only 450mg. That’s about 1/7 of what you need. In addition, BCAA’s should be present in a 2:1:1 ratio which means the isoleucine and valine are lacking as well. And optimally there would be 10g total Essential Amino Acids as that is the amount present in approximately 25g Whey Protein. All in all for 30 servings at $31 (on Amazon) you are getting ripped off. See the two comparison products below.

Summary: This is an extremely expensive product when you break down what you are getting. There are much better alternatives on the market for far less money.

Catalyst Alternatives

NutraBio BCAA 5000: Cost: $29.99 for 63 servings. This is 9.5 cents per gram of BCAA. Compare to $1.14/g of BCAA in Catalyst. This product is literally over 10x cheaper and extremely high quality. NutraBio uses only vegan BCAA’s (sourced from plant fiber and not duck feathers which are sometimes used as a BCAA source). In addition, NutraBio manufactures all of their products in-house and does 3rd party testing to ensure quality and purity. They are literally the most trusted brand in all of sports nutrition.

NutraBio Intra Blast: This Amino Acid supplement differs from both BCAA 5000 and Catalyst by including Essential Amino Acids in it’s blend. Essential Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and include the 3 Branch Chain Amino Acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Intra Blast includes a huge dose of 10g of Essential Amino Acids which is the equivalent of 25g Whey Protein.

NutraBio BCAA 2500 Caps: 30 servings for $12.95 or $.17/g of BCAA. This is a great alternative that comes in capsule form. I normally recommend amino acids in powder form as to get a proper dosage you normally need to take around 10 capsules.

Advocare Meal Replacement Shake

61FO9gj7-oLProtein source: Whey & Casein – RED FLAG: Additional amino acids added to protein products indicate the possibility of amino spiking.

Carb source: Most prevalent is Crystalline Fructose (basically sugar). Also contains Maltodextrin and Oat Fiber.

This is Advocare’s meal replacement product. Meal replacement shakes can be a great way to get quality protein, fat, carbohydrates, and sometimes vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, Advocare cuts a lot of corners here. The most worrying thing to me is that the protein blend in the label includes several amino acids. Generally, when this happens it indicates amino spiking. Amino spiking is the process wherein companies add cheap amino acids to their protein so it tests higher in nitrogen levels (how protein levels are derived) than what is actually in the product. This basically means that there might not be 24g of protein in here. Amino acids added in the ingredients section are not always indicative of amino spiking, but especially when it is included in the protein blend, there’s a very strong possibility that it could be.

The other worrying part about Advocare’s Meal Replacement Shake is the primary carbohydrate source. Ingredients labels list ingredients in order of most to least prevalent. The second highest quantity ingredient in this is Crystalline Fructose. What is Crystalline Fructose? Basically sugar. Fruit sugar in fact. When searching for more info about Crystalline Fructose, many sources claim it is actually worse for you than regular sugar due to the fact that it must be metabolised by the liver. For meal replacement shakes, a high quality, slow digesting carbohydrate is preferable here.

Advocare Meal Replacement Alternatives

NutraBio Muscle Matrix MRP: $41.99 per 18 servings. As I mentioned in the Amino Acids section, NutraBio quality is unmatched. This holds true with their MRP Product which uses Whey Protein Isolate and Micellar Casein as it’s protein source. Whey Protein Isolate is the highest quality protein source available due to it’s fast digesting nature, high purity (over 90% pure), and high Leucine content. Micellar Casein is a slow digesting protein which will digest slowly and stimulate your metabolism for hours after consuming. For a carbohydrate source, Nutrabio MRP uses Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin which is very fast absorbing, but slow release. In addition, Cyclic Dextrin is extremely low Glycemic Index which means it doesn’t spike insulin levels like sugar or fructose does. Low Glycemic Index foods are exactly what dieters want for their carb source. NutraBio MRP also contains a high amount of fiber.

Summary

Advocare is overall not a good company to associate yourself with. Their product line includes extremely low-quality products and formulations relative to the rest of the market at several times the market price. In addition, many people who get into distribution for Advocare find themselves unable to sell the products they buy and end up either using them themselves or selling them at a loss. Even if you are an excellent salesperson, most of the products in the Advocare lineup will not help the people you are selling to, and in some cases may actually hinder their fitness and nutrition goals.

If you are someone that really wants to get involved in the fitness industry, a better option would be to become an affiliate or brand ambassador for a supplement company. Many companies (including Suppz) have programs that pay out commission for every sale you make. Some brand ambassadors are able to earn a monthly stipend for posting and marketing on behalf of supplement companies. Another option would be to apply as a demo rep. Some supplement companies will pay demo reps $20-30 per hour for setting up booths and sampling out product at stores and gyms.

If you have additional questions or want to ask about any other supplements, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer.

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This website has already been called out by SupplementReviews.com and we applaud their efforts and transparency. Click the link above to read their review.

What is it?

ConsumerHealthDigest.com is a spammy review website. It draws you in with fairly extensive reviews but then gives all of the products in question a bad review. They then push you instead to one of their “top-rated” products on an affiliate site, or another site owned by them. These products are full of pixy dusted proprietary blends (i.e. they include a lot of ingredients at extremely small dosages). These products are made as cheaply as possible in order to pay out maximum commissions (sometimes upward of 50%) to affiliates. For reference, Suppz.com affiliates make closer to 10% commission because the products we sell are of higher quality and are more expensive to produce and market.

ConsumerHealthDigest.com looks like a very official website and has an official sounding domain name. Do not be fooled. If you read the article from SupplementReviews.com above they go into a lot of detail about who the company is. ConsumerHealthDigest.com is owned by a company called 21 Century Web out of India. This company is owned by a company called Golden Street Media. There is no professional organization behind ConsumerHealthDigest.com as you may expect from the site’s appearance. Just someone posting spammy affiliate links and dishonest reviews.

Our Experience

I stumbled upon ConsumerHealthDigest.com after checking out a review on our top-rated pre-workout, AREZ. One of our customers said they had read a bad review on it, so I decided to check it out. It didn’t take long to find. ConsumerHealthDigest claimed one of the top spots when googling “AREZ Review.”

The review itself was not terrible. It briefly listed a few of the potential benefits of AREZ and gave a brief ingredient breakdown. It didn’t say a lot, being very vague about the potential benefits, but it didn’t outright lie either. The score was the interesting part, giving AREZ 2.5 stars. Mind you, AREZ had already claimed a top spot on several online review sites. So I wondered, “if AREZ only gets 2.5 stars what is their top-rated product?” I checked a few reviews on other well-respected products and brands and they all received low ratings around 2.5 stars.

The only products that seem to get high reviews on their website are from a brand called Black Wolf Trail or brands owned by their parent company Golden Street Media. This includes their fat burner, Phenocal (#1 ranked fat burner), and their test booster, Virectin (#1 ranked test booster). I wanted to check out the supplement facts panel for their #1 ranked pre-workout, Blackwolf Trail, so I clicked their link to blackwolfworkout.com.

Immediately I noticed the URL contained an affiliate code. This is how they track commission from sales. I also noticed it was extremely hard to find an ingredient panel. I even asked for one on their live chat to which they responded, “unfortunately we are unable to send you a label of the product but you can send us an email to [email protected] for the label.” For reference, if the supplement facts for a product are not immediately visible by either clicking a tab or checking images you probably want to stay away from it. I was eventually able to find an ingredient list on one of their pages. This ingredient list does not list any dosages and includes every ingredient in a proprietary blend, so it’s impossible to really tell anything. I have the ingredients listed for each of their products below.

Blackwolf Track

L-Leucine, Isoleucine, Taurine, L-Valine, Creatine Monohydrate, Co Enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinine), Zinc Citrate Powder, Seleno L-Methionine 0.5% Selenium, Whey Protein Isolate 90%, D-Aspartic Acid, L-Glutamine 13.4mg, Vitamin C Powder (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B1 Thiamine Hcl, Vitamin B5 (Calcium D-Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Hcl, Vitamin B12 Pure (Cyanocobalamin), Xantham Gum, Stevia Extract 97%, Natural Flavouring Summer Berries 2sp-91502, Brown Rice Flour

Blackwolf Trail

L-Leucine, Isoleucine, Taurine, L-Valine, Creatine Monohydrate, Co Enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinine), Zinc Citrate Powder, Seleno L-Methionine 0.5% Selenium, Whey Protein Isolate 90%, Conjugated Linoleic Acid Powder 60%, L-Carnitine L- tartrate, Green Tea Leaves Extract 10:1 40% Catechins, Vitamin C Powder (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Hcl, Vitamin B5 (Calcium D-Pantothenate), Xantham Gum, Stevia Extract 97%, Natural Flavouring Summer Berries 2sp-91502

Blackwolf Hunt

L-Leucine, Isoleucine, Taurine, L-Valine, Creatine Monohydrate, Co Enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinine), Zinc Citrate Powder, Seleno L-Methionine 0.5% Selenium, Whey Protein Isolate 90%, Vitamin C Powder (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B5 (Calcium D-Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Hcl, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Citrate Anhydrous, Calcium Citrate, Vitamin E 50% SD (DL Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) T 60 Powder, Xantham Gum, Stevia Extract 97%, Natural Flavouring Vanilla 2sp-93195, Brown Rice Flour

Blackwolf Eliminate

L-Leucine, Isoleucine, Taurine, L-Valine, Creatine Monohydrate, Co Enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinine), Zinc Citrate Powder, Seleno L-Methionine 0.5% Selenium, Whey Protein Isolate 90%, Vitamin C Powder (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B5 (Calcium D-Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Hcl, Potassium Citrate, Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) T 60 Powder, Xantham Gum, Magnesium Phosphate, Medium Chain Triglycerides 68%, Stevia Extract 97%, Natural Flavouring Vanilla 2sp-93195, Brown Rice Flour, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate

Ingredient Breakdown

Check out the first 9 ingredients in each of these formulas:

L-Leucine, Isoleucine, Taurine, L-Valine, Creatine Monohydrate, Co Enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinine), Zinc Citrate Powder, Seleno L-Methionine 0.5% Selenium, Whey Protein Isolate 90%.

They are all the same! Keep in mind that these ingredients are listed from highest to lowest dosage. These products are supposed to differ from each other in terms of ingredients and what they do. Track and Trail are pre-workout formulas for men and women respectively. Hunt is an intra-workout formula, and Eliminate is a post-workout formula. In other words, this company was so lazy with their formulations that they didn’t even bother to differentiate the products! While we don’t know the exact dosage of the ingredients (or even the dosage of the proprietary blend for that matter), I can say with certainty that the only thing these products are good for is tossing them in your garbage.

Better Options

For trustworthy product reviews, you can trust websites like supplementreviews.com. You can also send us a message on Facebook with your goals and we can make personalized recommendations for you. If you’d like to join a community that reviews supplements, you can join the Suppz Reviews Facebook Page.

For product alternatives, I’m making a brief list below of our top products in each category with a breakdown on why it’s our top product.

Pre Workout

AREZ God of The Gym

This product has gotten amazing reviews from some of the most respected review sites in the industry. AREZ has a full disclosure label (you can see the dosage of each ingredient) and contains over 1g of proven stimulants and nootropics for energy and focus. In addition, AREZ contains 4g of Citrulline (this is a clinical dose and the most proven ingredient for pump/nitric oxide/blood flow) and 3.2g Beta Alanine (again this is a clinical dose and gives you the beloved “beta tingles”). For a non-beta option (if you don’t like the tingles) we recommend Dedicated Nutrition Unstoppable.

Intra Workout

NutraBio Intra Blast

NutraBio is the most trusted name in sports nutrition and for good reason. Each of their products have 100% full label disclosure (you can see the dosage of each ingredient), are in-house manufactured by NutraBio, and are 3rd party tested for potency and purity.

Intra Blast contains a blend of 10g Essential Amino Acids including 7.2g coming from BCAA’s. This is more than any other intra-workout product in the industry currently. It also contains a plethora of other awesome intra-workout ingredients, but the 10g EAA’s is what we’re really interested in as it will maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

Post Workout

MTS Nutrition Whey

Whey Protein is optimal post workout. Whey is superior to other forms of protein due to it’s high Leucine content and fast digestability. If you do not want to take protein for some reason, NutraBio Intra Blast could be an option as it contains a similar Essential Amino Acid profile as 25g Whey Protein.

Now that that’s out of the way, MTS Whey is our top-rated protein because of quality and taste. It has an excellent amino acid profile and is comprised of a mix of Whey Protein Isolate and high-quality Whey Protein Concentrate. It has a high percentage of protein per scoop (yield grams of protein/scoop size) so you know there are few filler ingredients.

Summary

Don’t get scammed by ConsumerHealthDigest.com, Blackwolfworkout.com, Phenocal.com, Virectin.com, or any other websites they promote! These websites are trying to scam you and are not worth your time. If you are looking for non-biased reviews check out supplementreviews.com. If you need more information on supplements, fitness, or nutrition, check out more of our blog posts or send us a message on Facebook. If you’d like to join a community that reviews supplements, you can join the Suppz Reviews Facebook Page.

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Are you confused by all of the different variations of C4 pre workout? You’re not the only one. Our friends over at Cellucor were nice enough to put together informational videos outlining the differences between all of the products in the C4 family. We’ve also outlined the main differences in our list below.

  • C4 Original – best selling & original version.
  • C4 Candy Shop – C4 Original in candy flavors.
  • C4 Ripped – C4 targeted towards weight loss.
  • C4 Extreme Energy – more stimulants! This is a harder hitting version of C4 Original.
  • C4 Zero – C4 with no Creatine or Beta Alanine with added BCAA’s.
  • C4 Mass – C4 with Carbohydrates.

10% Off All C4 at Suppz.com

Take 10% off your order of any and all varieties of C4 at Suppz by using code C410.

Shop All Cellucor

C4 Original

Shop C4 Original

C4 Ripped

Shop C4 Ripped

C4 Extreme Energy

Shop C4 Extreme

C4 Zero

Shop C4 Zero

Shop C4 Mass

Shop C4 Mass

 

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Are you confused by all of the different variations of Xtend BCAA? You’re not the only one. Our friends over at Scivation were nice enough to put together informational videos outlining the differences between all of the products in the Xtend family. We’ve also outlined the main differences in our list below.

  • Xtend BCAA’s – Original Xtend. 7g BCAA’s.
  • Xtend Go – Xtend with caffeine for energy.
  • Xtend Ripped – Non stimulant cutting formula for weight loss along with BCAA’s.
  • Xtend Elite – Maximize power and endurance + BCAA’s. Contains Beta Alanine.
  • Xtend Perform – Contains endurance blend with PeakO2 along with BCAA’s.
  • Xtend Free – Does not contain artificial colors or sweeteners.
  • Xtend Raw – Unflavored, uncolored BCAA’s.

10% Off

Get 10% off any and all of these great BCAA products at Suppz.com by using code XTEND10 at checkout.

Shop All Xtend

The Xtend Family

Shop All Xtend

Xtend BCAA’s

Shop Xtend BCAA's

Xtend Go

Shop Xtend Go

Xtend Ripped

Shop Xtend Ripped

Xtend Elite

Shop Xtend Elite

Xtend Perform

Shop Xtend Perform

Xtend Free

Shop Xtend Free

Xtend Raw

Shop Xtend Raw

Scivation Xtend vs other Intra Workout Supplements

A common debate for years has been what’s the best intra workout supplement for boosting your results?  Which will give you better performance in the gym, help with recovery, and build more muscle?

If you look at popularity and sales figures over the years, Scivation Xtend seems to be the one everyone loves.  Why all the love for Xtend over all the others on the market?

  • Longevity
  • Delicious flavoring
  • 7 grams of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)
  • 0 carbs, 0 calories
  • And now multiple different versions, some of which include caffeine, carbs, Peak02, etc.

Xtend is marketed as burning fat, promoting recovery, and replenishing electrolytes and is NSF certified.  If you’re purchasing the regular version of Xtend, you will pay less than $1 a serving.  But when you start looking at Xtend Perform, Xtend Elite, or Xtend Ripped, the price point goes up well over $1 a serving.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)

Xtend’s primary ingredient across the board is Branch Chain Amino Acids.  The three primary BCAA’s are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.  These are three of the nine essential amino acids for the human body.  BCAA’s have several roles in the human body such as signaling pathways and metabolism of glucose.  Oxidation of BCAA’s may increase fatty acid oxidation meaning supplementing with BCAA’s can help with fat loss.

One misunderstanding about BCAA’s is that most think they are calorie free.  BCAA’s are NOT calorie free.  Here is the breakdown of calories per gram:

Leucine: 6.5 calories per gram

Isoleucine: 6.5 calories per gram

Valine: 6 calories per gram

So why does the label say zero calories?  Supplement manufacturers don’t because they are not legally obligated to do so due to the following:

  • the FDA regulations state that supplement manufacturers can’t declare the protein content of a product when this only contains individual amino acids.
  • the FDA regulations allow supplement manufacturers to calculate the caloric content of their products using a number of methods, including the Atawater method, which involves adding up the calories from protein (4 kcal/g), carbs (4 kcal/gram) and fats (9 kcal/gram).

But that’s still a very small amount of calories in the grand scheme of things.

Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s)

If BCAA’s are only three of the nine essential amino acids, what about supplementing with EAA’s?

The nine essential amino acids are Methionine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine.  EAA’s are called “essential” because the body cannot make them.  They must be obtained through food sources or supplementation.  Not only those going to the gym can benefit from EAA’s, but everyone can!

Multiple benefits of EAA’s:

  • EAA’s stimulate the production of cellular energy and promote cellular repair
  • Create critical enzymes for healthy digestion
  • Prevent muscular breakdown during periods of intense physical and mental stress
  • Improve, enhance, and protect the mitochondria, our cells energy factories
  • Can curb hunger and improve metabolism
  • Stimulate protein synthesis

So which should I take?

Both of them have positive benefits and are marketed the same.  Companies selling BCAA supplements would have you believe BCAA’s are enough to stimulate protein synthesis.  It is true a hefty dose of Leucine will help but getting all nine essential amino acids will produce a much better effect overall for the body.  Supplementing with BCAA’s is still beneficial for maintaining glycogen stores and promoting fat loss.  However research has shown EAA’s to be superior to BCAA’s.

What EAA supplements are available?

Plenty of intra-workout supplements on the market contain EAA’s.  Here’s a list of some of the most popular EAA products sold here at Suppz:

Shop All EAA's

 

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gnc protein comparison

GNC has been an established retail chain selling health and nutrition related products including vitamins, supplements, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, diet, and energy products since the 1960’s.  They are a combination of corporate-owned and franchised stores all across the world. A local GNC is the most common store that someone new to the fitness world goes to.  I know I found myself going to my local GNC and spending hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis building and establishing my supplement stack.  What really stuck out to me was the amount of money I found myself spending on a month supply.  Are these supplements better than the ones at my local grocery store?  Are other supplement companies out there offering quality products for a better price?

Looking at the products offered by GNC, they have a core line of their own supplements they sell.  You’ll notice when visiting a store and asking for help, this is where your friendly GNC employee will direct you because they make a commission off these items.  Let’s use protein powder as our example to see what GNC offers versus what else is on the market.

GNC Protein Powder

Arguably the most popular GNC supplement is their Pro Performance AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60.  That’s quite the catchy name.  Without a sale being ran, a three pound tub will run you $54.99 for the original version.  $59.99 for the “ripped” version.  The three pound tub is the only size available and you get 51 scoops per tub.  You do get quite a few flavors to select from such as Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, and Salted Caramel.  It’s been several years since I’ve tried this protein, but I remember the Chocolate flavor being ok.

For each scoop you are consuming 90 calories and have a macro nutrient breakdown of 20 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, and half a gram of fat.  The protein sources are made up of Hydrolyzed Whey Protein and Whey Protein Isolate.  You also are getting a small dose of L-Carnitine and an Amino Acceleration System which is more of an enzyme matrix for improving digestion of this protein.

Now let’s look at GNC’s mass gainer Pro Performance AMP Amplified Mass XXX.  $49.99 for a 13 serving tub that comes in the flavors of Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, and Strawberry.  A full serving is four scoops giving you 750 calories, 50 grams protein, 123 grams carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat.  You also get HMB and Creatine but it’s a prop blend, so you don’t know how much of each you’re getting.

These GNC protein powders do appear to have a solid profile on them but you are paying a hefty amount for each.  Easily over a dollar per serving which adds up.  What GNC has going for them is a brand name many people know and you are going to pay extra just for that brand name on the tub.  To be fair to GNC, they have a rewards program however the high prices mealy come down to barely meeting the competive prices of other high quality proteins available on the market.

What about other retailers and protein powders?

Plenty of other retailers are out there, it’s just a matter of looking.  Big grocery stores like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS offer supplements and protein powders, however looking at the brands and quality, they are marketed towards the general public. These are very basic products, and normally are not high quality. It’s recommended to look at retailers that specialize in sports and nutrition supplements for finding the higher quality and better formulated products.  Bodybuilding.com was originally the top place for purchasing supplements online however they have been on a major decline over the last several years of less deals, higher shipping costs, and longer shipping times, and they just dropped a bunch of brands.  Variation in product from Bodybuilding.com is the lowest it’s been in several years.

In comparison, Suppz has been on the rise with more and more brands being added and new store locations opening.  Suppz began as a gym in the small town of Fennimore, WI.  The gym had a small shop which eventually transitioned to an online store that does business in 94 different countries as well as local brick and mortar locations in the state of Wisconsin.  High quality products for competitive prices backed by great customer service.  A rewards program was recently incorporated to save customers even more.  One of the first things that stands out about Suppz is that they will price match any competitor selling the same product for a lower price.  Yet one thing you will notice is you won’t find yourself asking them to price match often because the prices are already some of the best on the market.  But the big question you may be asking is: what is the quality of the products they sell?

Nutrabio

Nutrabio is a company that’s really been changing the supplement industry with the amazing quality and 3rd party testing they use on every batch of product they produce.  In the supplement industry, without 3rd party testing verification, you don’t know that what you’re looking at on the supplement label is really in the tub.  This 3rd party testing verified every product meets label claims and the customer can feel safe knowing what’s listed on the product is what’s in the tub.  Some companies over the past several years have been caught going the cheap route not putting the full dose in the actual product.

Nutrabio offers a whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, micellar casein, and mass gainer protein powders.  All of which are produced in a GMP facility and are FDA inspected.  Nutrabio’s most popular protein is its Classic Whey which is gluten free, 25 grams a protein per serving of whey protein concentrate and only 130 calories.  Available in several delicious tasting flavors such as Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Cake Batter, Pina Colada, Cold Brew Cappuccino, and Horchata.  In a two pound tub you get 27 servings for $32.99.   A five pound tub provides 66 servings for $59.99.  Buying in bulk will save you money and you’re paying less than a dollar a serving for one of the highest quality, tested and verified protein powders on the market.

MTS Nutrition

MTS Nutrition another high quality company that has firm belief in 3rd party testing.  They offer a wide range of supplements but MTS Machine Whey is arguably the top selling product of the bunch.  Formulated with high quality ingredients and produced in a GMP manufactured facility.  Machine Whey is packed with 25 grams of protein and moderate carbs and fats to range between 150-170 calories per serving depending on which flavor you purchase.  You also get a big dose of leucine, over 5 grams of BCAAs, and immunoglobins and lactoferrins to support immune function.

Two pound tubs come with 23 servings per tub and costs $29.99.  Or you can opt for the more cost efficient five pound tub with 67 servings for $54.99.  Besides the excellent profile, the biggest draw of customers purchasing Machine Whey are the flavors.  Flavors include Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream, Mint Cookies and Cream, Red Velvet Cake, Apple Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Banana Cream Pie, Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Fluff, Blueberry Muffin, Black Forrest Cake, and Pumpkin Pie.  I’ve tried a majority of the flavors and they are all absolutely fantastic!

Other cost efficient and quality options

Besides the two brands and proteins I’ve listed above, you can find plenty of other fantastic quality and tasting protein powders on the market that are very cost effective.  I’ve compiled a list of just a few popular proteins and the prices you can find them for at any Suppz location or on the website:

Brand: Dymatize Iso-100

Price: 1.6lbs – $29.99, 3lbs – $49.99, 5lbs – $74.99

Flavors: Gourmet Chocolate, Gourmet Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, Banana, Birthday, Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, Fudge Brownie, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Coconut

Description: One of the most popular isolates on the market and for good reason.  Only containing 110 calories per serving, 25 grams protein, and no carbs or fats.  Backed up by fantastic taste, you are getting exactly what you pay for.

Brand: Nutrakey Whey Optima

Price: 2.4lbs – $28.95, 5lbs – $51.95

Flavors: Chocolate Lava Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie, Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies and Cream

Description: Quality backed by a quality company, Nutrakey produces a very healthy and clean protein powder with very good flavoring.  120 calories and 23 grams of protein with only 3 grams carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat.

Brand: Purus Labs MyoFeed

Price: 2lbs – $27.95, 4.4lbs – $54.95

Flavors: Chocolate Cookie Crunch, Homemade Vanilla Wafer, Mom’s Strawberry Milkshake, Maple Butter Pancake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla Peanut Butter

Description: Purus Labs prides themselves in releasing products that have been tested, every batch.  The first and only brand to incorporate PB2 (a popular powdered peanut butter brand) into the flavoring of their protein.  Only 120 calories for 23 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, and barely over a gram of fat.

All of these protein powders listed are high quality and clean protein powders backed by fantastic flavoring.  Check out the website or any store location and you will find Suppz has plenty of other options that are even more cost effective that may be on a monthly sale.  Speak with the employees livechat, or email [email protected], and they can give you information based on personal experience with each one to help you find the protein that fits your diet perfectly and one you will ENJOY the flavor of.

Reviewing everything above, GNC protein compared with all the other proteins considered does have a higher cost to them.  All protein powders I’ve mentioned including the GNC protein has an excellent ingredient profile, good taste, and will benefit the user.  The biggest difference is the price.  When I’m shopping, I do want what’s going to be of most benefit to me.  But paying a higher price for the same results as I can get from other protein powders, I’ll opt for a combination of high quality, great taste, and what’s cost efficient so I can use the money saved either on the other supplements I need to re-up on or enjoy some extra money I can spend elsewhere.

The main takeaway I want people to take from this entire article is that paying a higher price for your protein powder does NOT mean it’s better.  Paying twice as much for the exact same item does not change the fact the higher priced item is the exact same.

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amino energy vs charged amino

Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy has been on the market for several years and has been a big hit.  Offering a very basic formula that is an excellent replacement for coffee and soda.  It’s very versatile and can be used as a mid-day pick me up or as a pre workout or intra workout supplement.  A variety of over 13 good tasting flavors has been what has really kept Amino Energy on top of the market and selling well in the category of an amino blend with caffeine at a very cost effective price.

The latest release of NutraCharge Charged Amino is the newest and toughest competitor yet to Amino Energy and offers additional benefits not found in Amino Energy.

Before getting into a comparison between these two brands, lets first take a look at the importance of Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s):

Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s)

EAA’s are essential amino acids that aren’t produced by the body and must be taken in by food or supplementation.  EAA’s consist of nine amino acids.  Consuming essential amino acids results will stimulate protein synthesis.  This means your body can either grow more tissue or reduce the amount of protein breakdown.  Certain amino acids help with supporting your metabolism and improve physical performance.  They have even been shown to reduce the effects of aging.

  • EAA’s prevent muscular breakdown during periods of intense physical and mental stress
  • EAA’s improve, enhance, and protect the mitochondria(energy within our cells)
  • Curb hunger and improve metabolism

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)

BCAA’s are made up of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.  These amino acids aid on preservation of muscle glycogen stores.  This means users can work out harder and for longer with glycogen stores lasting longer due to the quick absorption of BCAA’s.

Which is better?

Comparing what each are, it might seem obvious that EAA’s are much more valuable to a performance athlete or gym rat just based on the fact EAA’s already contain the three amino acids found in BCAA’s along with the additional amino’s your body cannot produce.  Research also backs this as EAA’s are able to stimulate muscle protein synthesis while BCAA’s fall short of this.  So this tells us EAA’s are more beneficial for the recovery process.  This does NOT mean BCAA’s don’t have benefits.  The benefit of keeping glycogen stores readily available to your body will benefit an athlete, however when comparing EAA’s and BCAA’s, EAA’s is the wiser choice to invest your money in.

Charged Amino compared to Amino Energy

So what does all the above mean in regards to Amino Energy vs Charged Amino comparison?

Energy

To start with, both contain 100mg of caffeine per serving, however the caffeine in Charged Amino comes from natural sources such as green coffee bean and green tea extract.

Recovery/Performance

Charged Amino contains 5g of EAA’s with the primary amino acid Leucine, which can be known as the anabolic trigger.  Leucine is the leading ingredient in a 2:1:1 BCAA blend.  The leading ingredient in Amino Energy is Taurine.  Based off the profile, Charged Amino will be more beneficial at stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

Hydration

Charged Amino includes a hydration blend including electrolytes.  One of the only caffeinated amino products on the market to include electrolytes.  Hydration plays a big role in performance in your sport or gym performance allowing the customer to perform up to their full potential.

Taste

Amino Energy has over 13 flavors available while Charged Amino currently only has 3.  With Charged Amino being a new product to hit the market, you can bet they will expand on the flavors.  Amino Energy tastes fantastic and has the backing of being around for several years.  Charged Amino is currently being samples out at all Suppz locations to allow the customer to taste for themselves and feedback has been very good on all 3 flavors.

Cost

The price of a single tub of each is the same at $19.99, however you can save money by buying 2-3 tubs at a time.  Suppz, and most brick and mortar retailers offer quantity discounts and freebies on Charged Amino for buying multiple units.

Who wins?

In my opinion, it’s win-win for customers.  The three available flavors of Charged Amino is well worth the buy over Amino Energy.  Taste and ingredient profile makes this a rather easy victory for Charged Amino.  The better cost as well really makes it an easy choice.  Charged Amino only falls short with regard to the amount of flavors available.  If your goal is the best possible performance you can achieve along with outstanding taste, go with Charged Amino.  If you are okay with sacrificing performance and paying a little extra for flavors Charge Amino doesn’t have, then Amino Energy is likely your pick.

Authors choice: Charged Amino

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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.

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Synadrene VS Synadrex

For years, Metabolic Nutrition Synedrex has been one of the most legendary thermogenics and energy products the industry has seen. Having undergone a reformulation before being temporarily pulled by Metabolic Nutrition, anyone that is familiar known the power of Synedrex knows that it’s no joke and a powerhouse of a supplement. In light of the latest hiatus from the market, Hi Tech has once again done their trend of playing it dangerously close in terms of creating a copycat product that is almost identical in name and formula with a few alterations to improve upon the original, much like they did with Jack’d Up and Hydroxylite Pro, both of which are USPLabs product clones.

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Chain’d Reaction is the new BCAA product from APS.

APS has gained in popularity over the past year due to products such as their pre-workout, Mesomorph, and pro-hormone, Androbolic 250. Their new product, Chain’d Reaction, is a BCAA and EAA blend.

The top selling points are its high dosed blend (7.5g of BCAA’s compared to the normal 5g blend) and the protection of BCAA’s by Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, which does not cause an insulin spike.

In addition, Chain’d Reaction is ultra-micronized which makes it extremely soluble and fast digesting. It also means it mixes really well and won’t settle at the bottom of your shaker or leave a powder residue!