Monday, March 06, 2006

Supplement Picks of the Month - March '06

After looking over some of the latest nutritional supplements released lately I've decided to review them here. These are based on my own personal preference from my experience reviewing previous supplements and my knowledge of them and how they work. Not all of these are brand new, some of them are old but have just come to my attention. None the less, I think they are worth mentioning and so here are my picks of the month.

Now don't be afraid if you see some supplements on this list from companies that I, and many others, have been critical of in the past. With the demise of prohormones, companies have had to come up with new and novel ways of creating supplements that work to build muscle, lose fat, and give energy in ways like never before - and without recycling old supplements (for the most part). Who would of thought I would actually be endorsing a VPX, Biotest or MuscleTech product. Well, here it is - and they aren't even paying me to do it! I actually think these are good supplements. The latest supplement from MuscleTech actually has some science behind it and may actually work.

So, we'll start off with a rather new supplement from VPX called Dietex.

VPX Dietex - I recently picked up some of this at Vitamin Shoppe for my dad who's on a never ending diet. They had the RTD version that was on sale for $1 a can. It's a stimulant free fat burner, actually more of an appetite suppressant, that works on a similar theory of the prescription appetite suppresants like Meridia, by increasing serotonin. It contains some good appetite killers like Hoodia, 5-HTP and Tyrosine. Right after drinking one of these my dad (who's 60ish, btw) wasn't the least bit hungry and ran outside to trim the hedges. He doesn't like stimulant fat burners which I've put him on before because they give him the jitters and keep him awake at night. So in this regard, it's perfect.

VPX claims that you need to "load" it, but I think that's really unnecessary considering that the ingredients don't need to build up in your system to work - they should start working right away. So, if you're looking for a little self control along with mood elevation while dieting, Dietex might be something to look into.

Proprietary Blend: 810mgs
Hoodiax (Hoodia Gordonini)
Sceletix (Sceletium Tortuosum)
5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP)
18 Beta-glycyrrhetinic Acid
Evoburn (Pure Evodiamine)

NOW TestoJack 100 - NOW is a company I really like. They've come in and taken over the generic supplement market where Twinlab used to be, since they filed for bankruptcy several years back. They have a very nice line of sports supplements, along with all the regular vitamins, minerals, herbs and regular supplements you would want at very low prices - not to mention they are GMP certified. Their labels aren't very fancy and they don't have any reps on the boards going around pimping their stuff, but their products are great none the less and I use them all the time. TestoJack is a blend of testosterone boosting ingredients that a lot of more expensive products have, at a much lower price. It has high quality tribulus, ZMA, and Longjack all in one - of course all high quality and standardized in the right amounts. This would be a great product for anyone working out, looking to boost their libido, used as an adjunct to PCT, some cheap and 'natural' HRT or whatever else you can think of for a test booster, this should get the job done. The only thing it's missing is some estrogen control, but that's not a big issue.

Vitamin B-6 3.5 mg 180%
(from Pyridoxine HCI)
Magnesium 150 mg 40%
(from Maganesium Aspartate)
Zinc 10 mg 70%
(from Zinc L-Monomethionine and Zinc Aspartate)

ZMA 808 mg
(Patent Pending complex of Zinc L-Monomethionine, Magnesium/Zinc Aspartate, and Pyridoxine HCI)
Eleuthero 300 mg
(Eleutherococcus senticosus) (Root)
Tribulus terrestris Extract 250 mg
(Fruit) (min. 45% steroidal Saponins)
LJ100 Tongkat Ali 50 mg
(Eurycoma longifolia Extract) (Root)(18 - 28%

Javalution JavaFit Energy Extreme - I just tried this product recently and will be buying it again when I run out for sure. It's basically "super coffee" - an excellent blend of high quality coffees with some extra ingredients, like more caffeine, green tea extract and niacin for added energy. It does the trick too, one cup will give you plenty of energy. It doesn't give you the jitters either, but it might if you drank more than a few cups. Javalution also makes a few more coffees, including two other "diet" coffees with some extra ingredients to speed up your metabolism and act more like a thermogenic, and a multivitamin coffee and a coffee with added calcium. It's kind of a novel idea and I don't know if it will catch on. Obviously there are a lot of coffee drinkers out there and just the idea of a super coffee for me was good enough to try it. The bag comes in a thirty day supply and includes a small supply of little tea type bags so you can drink it as a tea instead of running it through a coffee machine (sort of like coffee singles). It's regular coffee, and not instant and has a very good flavor. The standard serving for a cup is the same as any other store brand coffee.

Coffee Arabica Beans ground 4.9g
Niacin 95% 19mg

Proprietary Blend 294mg
Green Tea Extract
(50% polyphenols, 37.5% catechins)
Caffeine USP
Garcinia Cambogia 50% HCA

ErgoPharm Mass Meal - When you think of a weight gainer you probably think of the following: low grade whey protein concentrate, maltodextrin, and maybe some vitamins. Bleh. ErgoPharm came along and created Mass Meal, a very similar idea for a weight gainer I had that I had pitched to a few supplement companies that weren't interested. Too bad for me. Mass Meal has only whey protein isolate (the first of it's kind, that I'm aware of), a new type of diglyceride oil, Enova, MCTs and vitamins and minerals. The only thing I don't like is the maltodextrin in it, but the formula includes Chromium and ALA to try and compensate for the insulin spike caused by the high GI carb. It comes in three flavors - banana cream, chocolate fudge, and vanilla cream. It's a little pricey though, and only has 15 servings per container. Still, I think it's a move in the right direction for weight gainers. Similar to MHP - Up Your Mass and SAN Infusion, both MRP/weight gainers that attempt to use better, higher quality ingredients with lower GI carbs to help add muscle instead of just fat. I still haven't heard any feedback on Legal Gear's Anabolic Protein, which contains buckwheat protein - an ingredient that is supposed to have very potent muscle building properties, but doesn't seem to have caught on in the mass market. Still, you can always mix up your own MRP in the blender with the usual ingredients. Hopefully we'll see some more weight gainers like Mass Meal with good ingredients, good flavors, but at a lower price.

Calories 330
Calories from Fat 110
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 5mg
Total Carbohydrate 25g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 8g
Protein 34g

Vitamin A 35%
Vitamin C 30%
Vitamin D 30%
Vitamin E 30%
Vitamin K 30%
Thiamin 35%
Riboflavin 30%
Niacin 30%
Vitamin B6 30%
Folate 30%
Vitamin B12 30%
Biotin 30%
Pantothenic Acid 30%
Calcium 35%
Iron 30%
Phosphorous 30%
Iodine 35%
Magnesium 35%
Zinc 30%
Selenium 21%
Copper 30%
Manganese 30%
Chromium 40%
Molybdenum 30%
Sodium 3%
Potassium 15%

Other Ingredients:
Whey protein isolate, non-dairy creamer, maltodextrin, fructose, micelar casein, Enova oil, inulin, glutamine, medium chain triglycerides, rice oligodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, vitamins and minerals, alpha lipoic acid, sucralose, aminogen.

Syntrax SwoleN - We haven't heard a lot from Syntrax since their old message board shut down. Still, despite rumors of bankruptcy and changes in ownership, new products continue to come out of Syntrax and it's new parent company SI03. Back before creatine ethyl ester, Swole v2 was a huge hit. The product worked great and had a very successful following. Now Syntrax has come back with another great version of Swole - SwoleN, basically Swole with a nitric oxide addition to it. They took their old dicreatine (or was it tricreatine?) product and added malate to it, along with their old creatine anhydrous to give a double boost of highly bioavailable creatine. Then, they took their popular Nitrous ingredient, di-arginine-malate and threw it in there as well. Along with that is their original Swole blend of potent insulin potentiaters and some type of proprietary carbohydrates to help uptake the creatine. This is the main difference between SwoleN and Swole V3 which doesn't have the carbs or the arginine. If you really wanted to get crazy you could throw in some bulk creatine ethyl ester into the mix. This would give you a triple whammy of creatine and definitely give you some massive pumps.

2CM Enhanced Dicreatine-l-malate 5g
CR100 Creatine Anhydrous 2g
Nitrous Malate Di-L-Arginine-l-malate 3g
Taurine 2g
Betapure Betaine Anhydrous 2g
Guanipro Guanidinopropionic Acid 500mg
Glycovol Glycocyamine 500mg
Anabolic Carbohydrate Blend 20g

Biotest FlameOut - This is an interesting new product from Biotest that's only sold through their online magazine site, Testosterone Nation. It's an EFA product with extremely high doses of EPA and DHA, along with CLA. They claim that they are free of the common pollutants in fish oil. It's also much cheaper than some comparable products, like SAN's Triple Strength Fish Fats, or my personal favorite, The Total EFA. FlameOut is only $25 and has 22 servings per bottle. It has an astonishing 2g of DHA and 880mg of EPA per dosage, which makes it a very good value (if in fact the product is free of contaminants). I'm not familiar with the different isomers of CLA that are included, and I'm also aware that CLA has shown to have poor use as a fat burner - but is obviously an EFA and is needed in the diet, plus it has it's uses outside of dieting. Hopefully, Biotest will start selling this outside of their own store and the price might come down even further.

Free Image Hosting at

Giant Nutrition Liposolv - Liposolv is a very interesting new product from famed supplement 'artist' Patrick Arnold. This seems to be Skulpt v2 with the kinks worked out, such as the orange staining and the skin peeling. It doesn't have any anti-estrogens (unless you count forskolin which is debatable). It's also lacking a favorite of topical fat loss products, yohimibine. Whereas Skulpt seemed to be more suited for cases of mild gyno, Liposolv seems to be better used for abdominal adipose fat loss. One of the more striking ingredients in the solution is epinephrine, aka adrenaline, which is only sold as a prescription drug for patients who carry it around as an emergency injection for allergic reactions, as well as an inhalable mist for asthmatics. How this can be legally included in an OTC topical supplement is an enigma, but I've seen stranger things. Another positive attribute Lipsolv has over it's predecessor is that it has some benzocaine to help numb the application area so the DMSO and alcohol in the solution won't be to harsh for the average user. Coming in at $30 a bottle, and a recommendation of 7 sprays twice a day, it would be an expensive product to use for long periods of time. You can read the full writeup here. (PDF)

Isopropyl Alcohol, Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), Water, 18 beta-Glycrrhetinic acid, Theophylline, L-Epinephrine Bitartrate, Benzocaine, Forskolin.

Muscletech GAKIC - I know it's hard to believe that MuscleTech would come out with something innovative that might actually work, but it seems they might have done it! With the amount of money they made from CellTech and NitroTech sales, they've funded some research into a new compound called Glycine-l-arginine-alpha-ketoisocaproic acid calcium. According to two studies conducted with the substance, the conclusions from the researchers were that "... data support an ergogenic effect of GAKIC for attenuating the decline in mean power during repeated bouts of supramaximal exercise." & "... oral GAKIC treatment increased muscle torque and work sustained during intense acute anaerobic dynamic exercise..." So what the hell is this stuff and how do you use it? According to MuscleTech: As a dietary supplement, take 1 serving (1 scoop) up to 45 minutes before a high-intensity workout.

Here are the studies involving GAKIC:

Glycine-arginine-alpha-ketoisocaproic acid improves performance of repeated cycling sprints.

Buford BN, Koch AJ.

Health and Exercise Sciences, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO 63501, USA.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of glycine-arginine-alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (GAKIC) supplementation on repeated bouts of anaerobic cycling performance. METHODS: Ten men completed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled exercise protocol of two sessions separated by 7 d. Plasma lactate was analyzed in blood collected 45 min before exercise (REST) and 5 min postexercise (POST). Subjects consumed either 11.2-g GAKIC or placebo (PLC) during a 45-min period between the REST and exercise. Mean power, peak power, and fatigue values were assessed from five supramaximal, 10-s cycle ergometer sprints, separated by 1-min rest intervals. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANCOVA. RESULTS: A significant treatment x time interaction (P = 0.039) was observed for the change in mean power output over the five sprints between the GAKIC and PLC treatments. Post hoc analyses revealed a greater retention of mean power (P = 0.038) between sprints 1 and 2 after GAKIC (-1 +/- 9 W) versus PLC treatment (-47 +/- 18 W). No other performance variables differed between PLC and GAKIC. POST lactate was increased (P < p =" 0.936).">
High-intensity dynamic human muscle performance enhanced by a metabolic intervention.

Stevens BR, Godfrey MD, Kaminski TW, Braith RW.

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0274, USA.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of a metabolic treatment on human muscle dynamic performance (strength, work, and fatigue) measured under conditions of acute, exhaustive high-intensity anaerobic isokinetic exercise. METHODS: Unilateral prefatigue and postfatigue peak torque and work values were measured in the quadriceps femoris of 13 subjects using a computer-controlled isokinetic dynamometer, over a 23-d interval. The two experimental treatments were: 1) a glycine and L-arginine salt of alpha-ketoisocaproic acid calcium ("GAKIC"); and 2) isocaloric sucrose (control). Based on a randomized double-blind cross-over repeated measures design, measurements were made before and during an exhaustive anaerobic fatigue protocol to calculate a Fatigue Resistance Index (FRI = [peri-exhaustion torque]\[baseline peak torque]), as well as total work. RESULTS: The FRI and total work for each of the exhaustion sets measured at 0, 5, and 15 min after oral GAKIC treatment were greater than values obtained for isocaloric control treatment (P <> 0.05): mean FRI = 0.42 +/- 0.05 and mean total work = 4600 +/- 280 J. There were no significant differences attributable to random order of testing. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with isocaloric carbohydrate, oral GAKIC treatment increased muscle torque and work sustained during intense acute anaerobic dynamic exercise; additionally, it increased overall muscle performance by delaying muscle fatigue during the early phases of anaerobic dynamic exercise.

Publication Types:

* Clinical Trial
* Randomized Controlled Trial

Their other new supplement, Leukic, which is L-Leucine-ketoisocaproic acid calcium doesn't seem to have any studies supporting it. These two supplements apparently don't have patents on them either, at least not by MuscleTech, leaving other manufacturers with the option of making and selling these supplements (hopefully in bulk powders) so the masses can afford to use it. The only patents MuscleTech holds that I could find are:

6,784,209 - Food supplement for increasing lean mass and strength (this one seems to be for their NO supplement)
6,620,425 - Food supplements and methods comprising lipoic acid and creatine (this one seems to be for CellTech)
If the above links are broken you can use the US Patent Office Search to find the patents by their number.

Well, that's all for this month. If you come across any interesting supplements for my next picks, feel free to contact me and let me know. If there's anything worth a crap next month and I feel like doing a writeup on them, I'll do it.


Anonymous said...

Pouge, do you think any other supp co. will put out GAKIC powder at a cheap price or will fear of MT sueing them prevent them from doing so?

I was getting bulk GAKIC cheap but the poor guy had to quit selling it cuz MT threatened him.

pogue said...

As far as I know, MT doesn't have a patent on the compound. They might have a trademark on the name, so if this person was selling it as GAKIC that might have caused problems. But if he was just selling the powder that's the main ingredient in it I wouldn't think he would have any trouble. But then again, I'm not a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Imitator "LEUKIX" will be out soon from what I've heard.

Anonymous said...

Pogue, thank's for the info. Now I can at least hold out hope that someone else will come out with Glycine-l-arginine-alpha-ketoisocaproic acid calcium. The bulk supplier was not calling the powder GAKIC, but he still got threatened. I even BN if they would pick it up and they said they were not interested in having MT sue them.

Anonymous: thanks for the heads up. I will wait until LEUKIX is out and try it then.

Anonymous said...

I just found AST release the new trend of "Weight gainer" call "Muscle XGF". Which contains pretty low carb, but high EFA!

I'd like to here your comment on this one, or if it's good enough, you may comment this on the next article.

Thanks in advance,

pogue said...

The AST product looks very similar to Muscle Milk. I wouldn't say it's anything revolutionary, and it looks pretty pricey.

Anonymous said...


Manpreet said...

pogue, you're the king!
Keep us informed about the supplement breakthroughs as I no more trust majority of the mods who pimp their products over and over again!
Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Chemical Nutrition has a product called "Pro Gakic".

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