Tag Archives: supplement review

Natural Supplements

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of NOW Foods. 

FitFluential Is Fitness Found

I get a lot of questions daily about supplements. We’ll refer to supplements as anything other than the normal food or drink you consume daily. That includes all of those pills and powders you see in the stores; it makes breaking this topic down a lot easier. 

Now obviously in an ideal world, you can just eat and drink what you want everyday and you’ll be healthy, but it doesn’t always work like that. People have food allergies, conditions that affect their diets, fitness related goals, and are just plain picky! My father hates olives. I don’t like bad eggplant. It’s a tough world we live in and we are all faced with lots of challenges.

No matter what situation you are in it is important to realize there are ways to help yourself. When we are discussing health and wellness, supplements are obviously one of the most popular subjects in our society. Whether you are taking a multivitamin for overall health, iron to recover from internal bleeding, or whey protein to grow big and strong like your favorite bodybuilders, there are plenty of choices.

Supplements help me stay in good form! (This pic was after a huge Mexican meal)

Supplements help me stay in good form! (This pic was after a huge Mexican meal)

Personally, I have tried everything legal in the fitness industry. As an elite athlete, I was drug tested regularly and couldn’t even have elevated levels of caffeine in my body! I’ve tried supplements that provided zero results that made me sick, that cost a lot of money, and that tasted disgusting. On the other hand, I’ve tried supplements that had all of the opposite effects and if you want to ask about some specific to my or your needs, feel free to comment on this post. Otherwise, listen to what I have to say about NOW Sports and their products.

Right now, I’m going to touch on five of their products that I have in my cabinets in the kitchen. Keep in mind, NOW Sports is a family-owned company that has been providing high quality goods for almost a half of a century. Thus, as you can imagine, they have hundreds and thousands of different products. However, I’m a 25 year-old male and these are what I have at home. (A lot of these will work for both genders!)

1. Men’s Extreme Sports Multi – Made in the USA and GMP Quality Assured, these softgels are reasonably sized and easy to swallow. You take three a day to get your daily source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more. Why take a hundred pills when you can take three? It’s cost-effective and makes you feel good. Why? Because you go to sleep knowing that you fueled your body with important nutrients that are sometimes difficult to find in the foods you eat every day. What I really like about this product is the blend of herbal extracts it contains. There is just something natural about herbs that makes you feel so good. This is a must for active men.

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2. Certified Organic Whey Protein – How many tubs of whey protein on store shelves have a USDA Organic label on them? Well, this one does and it really is one of the most natural whey proteins in the world. It doesn’t contain any salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, egg, shellfish, preservatives, antibiotics, or rBGH. It is natural and unflavored, thus taking the taste of whatever you decide to mix with it. A serving contains 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar, and a whole lot of essential amino acids! In all honesty, I have whey protein every day of the week and although it’s not meant to be a meal replacement, it will definitely help you track your consumption of macro-nutrients throughout the day. This is a must for just about anyone!

3. Pea Protein – I am staring at my tub of Vanilla Toffee and what stands out the most is the fact that this product is VEGAN friendly. That means any vegetarian or vegan can eat this without any beef! (Get the pun?) Every serving contains 25 grams of protein derived from non-GMO vegetables. That means your veggies are natural and not treated with all those nasty chemicals! It also means this protein is the way to go if you have allergy issues since it contains no major allergens! This product really has a nice smooth flavor and texture; its mixability is through the roof so you won’t see or feel any clumps. Nothing better than having a nice smooth shake and then choking on an explosion of dry powder! Oh, I forgot to mention, it ALSO has a huge serving of essential amino acids. Anyone can try it but some people need it… you know who you are!

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4. L-Carnitine Liquid – At this point, you’re probably like what the heck… is that? You recognize multivitamin, protein, whey, etc. But what is this?!?! L-Carnitine is a non-essential amino acid. Now, before I get too in-depth and scientific for people who haven’t read thousands of pages of textbooks and taken tests on this, I’ll just say that you have to believe me! I will say that L-Carnitine is regarded as a facilitator of good health and energy production. Who doesn’t want more energy? I know I do. Now you can get this naturally from eating red meats, but even for us carnivores there usually isn’t enough and you need to supplement that intake anyways. As for the veggie-loving folk, you definitely need this product. Just take a tablespoon twice a day on an empty stomach and feel the greatness occurring on a cellular level. It goes down smooth!

5. MCT Oil – This final product that comes in an amazing glass bottle that makes you feel like you’re living centuries ago (It’s a good thing!). It is a source of fat! Yes… you heard me right. It’s a source of fat. Now, before I get too emotional, I want to express my opinion that fat has a bad reputation. It is an essential nutrient that does so much more for our body than we know. Again, tens of thousands of pages of reading and life experience… I know! This is a source of saturated fat that comes from coconut and palm kernel oil. Those are high quality oils that provide a high quality saturated fat. So how exactly do these help you? Fats help in bodily functions such as the production of energy and these fats just so happen to require less enzymes to be absorbed. Therefore, you do less work and get more! One to three tablespoons a day, depending on your needs, aid in weight management and healthy bodily functions. And my favorite part… you can use this to replace those cheap oils that contain saturated fat’s evil cousins. Just don’t fry with it, the boiling point is too low!

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And there you have it, five amazing products that could find a place in anyone’s home. They are affordable, reliable, natural, effective, sometimes organic, sometimes vegan, and NOW Sports doesn’t bother making annoying packages that claim to make you shredded! They just provide a high-quality product and I respect that! Use any of these to stay Hungry & Fit!

Supplement Review: Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-Workout

It is time to write this review because I have officially decided to stop using this product for health concerns. Honestly, I cannot say for certain if this is having negative side effects on me, but I believe that it is.

A little history: I have been using Optimum Nutrition as a major supplement provider for the past five years. I have consistently gone back to cycles of their Isolated Whey Protein (Chocolate) because it is affordable in bulk, mixes well with milk and water, and is one of the more natural proteins in its class. I also only use Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder in cycles for the past four years. I have never had any issues with these two products, obviously.
 
As a result, when I found out that they recently released their own Pre-Workout, I was excited. I bought it immediately and said as soon as my MusclePharm Assault and 1MR are finished, I’ll start a cycle with it. Well I did just that and was immediately not impressed. I got the Raspberry-Lemonade, 30 servings, which has recommended use of 1 scoop for average training and 2 for intense. It’s a rule that you only try the half serving the first time around with a new supplement so I did just that.

It tasted awful! Really was one of the worst tasting pre-workouts ever, and I have tried nearly all of them (not every flavor of all of them). The weirdest part was that is was spicy. I have a tongue disorder that causes my tongue to be extremely sensitive and this burned my tongue worse than chili peppers. This was extremely painful and the sensation lasted for quite some time. Within three days of starting using this I ended up in the emergency room with what was diagnosed as gastritis. Looking back, I truly believe that this was the cause of the gastritis, which essentially ruined my last two months of 2012 and even carried into 2013. I believe if I did not buy this product, I would not have had my health issues that led to me missing work, Christmas, and weeks of working out.

Now, I have no issue with ON over the incident but as of tonight, despite having servings left, I will stop taking it to see if my stomach issues and digestive problems go away. If they don’t, maybe I’ll finish the load. If they do, I’ll give it away to someone who might not have as sensitive a stomach. I highly doubt any other supplement that I am taking is the cause since I have used them for the last five years with no issues.
As for its effectiveness, it is hard to measure but I never felt any sensation of extra blood or oxygen flowing through my veins or body during the cycle. No tingling in the lips or mouth. No extra pump in muscle groups and no noticeable decrease in my lactic acid build up.So unfortunately, ON, from a professional opinion, I have to give your Platinum Pre-Workout a 2/10. It is somewhat affordable and mixes well, but tastes awful and has little to no effect on a workout, either pre, during or post. The rating does not even include what I think it did to my health. No hard feelings on potentially ruining a ton of progress that I made and my two favorite months and holidays of the year.