I think all of us in this country, never mind the running world, can agree that it's been one hell of a week. There are so many things still left to be said, and so much running through my head right now that it's all too much to process. Personal, professional, and just plain "I am a human being, and this hurts me" feelings. So on that note, now is a perfect time to put personal posting aside for a minute and share a product review instead.
I'm not supposed to like supplements, and thus I will give you the following run down/ disclosure.
I was taught over and over in school that we can obtain every macro and micro nutrient we need to thrive from our food. And while I absolutely believe this to be possible in theory, I know first hand that it is sometimes harder to achieve in practice. Note: I said harder, not impossible. I also know that I'm a picky eater, special diet (vegetarian), crazy athlete who sometimes needs some help. As always when I review supplements, keep in mind that this is a personal review of my experience, and is not a personal nor professional recommendation on my part for my readers.
BSN recently sent me two products to try out and review, and both were products that align with what I do and use: Syntha-6 Isolate protein powder and HyperFX concentrated preworkout energy formula.
HYPER FX Preworkout is a generic name for a product, typically a powder or pill, that is taken, you guessed it, before a workout to in theory, aid your performance in the gym/box/road/etc. As this is a product review, I am not going to go in depth regarding the components and proposed claims of a preworkout. Research regarding preworkout is all over the spectrum: some notable research shows that a preworkout energy supplement may delay the fatigue while increasing the muscular endurance and reaction time; while other research shows that the claims of the ingredients are false. I highly suggest doing plenty of personal research and reading before taking a preworkout supplement to determine if they are right for you. There are many possible benefits, but also many possible negatives to such supplements. Follow directions carefully and heed all warning labels if you so choose to take a preworkout supplement.
On a personal note, I do find that a preworkout helps give me a huge energy boost in the gym that has allowed me to push my limits slightly further than I may have otherwise, resulting in a heavier lift with more repetitions. Is it a placebo effect? Possibly. My guess, however, is that the high dose of caffeine kicks in right when I need it. Let's face it, 7:00 pm, the hour I'm usually in the gym, is nearing my bedtime, so I need a little pick me up to keep me from napping on the gym floor.
So regarding the BSN HYPER FX, here's what I've got for you:
Pro: 270mg caffeine per serving, quick to feel the effects (energy, mental alertness, the tingling sensation that often comes with a preworkout, typically due to beta alanine and niacin.)
Neutral: D-Aspartic Acid, an ingredient in HYPER FX, has been shown to support testosterone levels. In theory this isn't going to help nor hurt females, though I personally am always leery of taking anything marketed directly for men.
Pro: Creatine free. I have found it hard to find preworkouts that DO NOT contain creatine. While the effects of creatine have indeed been proven as beneficial, I personally tend to bloat/experience water weight gain with use of creatine. I try to avoid creatine unless it fits in with the current phase of my lifting routine at the gym.
Pro: Small serving size is easy to mix
Con: MUST be stirred, and not shaken, as it is slightly effervescent, and no one wants to clean preworkout off their walls when the shaker bottle explodes.
Neutral: Grape flavor, tolerable, but incredibly, artificially sweet tasting. It reminds me of the kool-aid mom gave us back in 1986.
Neutral: Cost, at $39.99 for 30 servings, is comparable to other pre-workouts on market.
Overall Review: Not bad. I'd be interested in trying other flavors, as the grape is certainly not my favorite ( though a preworkout is obviously not meant for sipping poolside. Chug it and be done.) For the effects alone, combined with reasonable cost and small serving size/efficiency, I would recommend it. Syntha-6 Isolate Protein Matrix
I am a vegetarian. Despite contrary (an uniformed) belief, I do not have a problem getting the recommended daily amounts of protein. However, post intense workout, I often crave a large dose of protein, and unlike many of my fellow athletes, won't reach for a handful of paleo bacon. A protein shake works perfectly for me. Further, research shows that protein consumption post workout aids in muscle hypertrophy and recovery. Win-win.
According to BSN, Syntha-6 Isolate is a protein formula comprised of fast-and slow-release isolate sources (whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, micellar casein, calcium caseinate, egg albumen, and glutamine peptides) to deliver amino acids, designed to support :
Pro: At 140 calories per serving, with only 1.5 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein, the Syntha-6 Isolate is just enough protein for my taste. There are many powders out there that boast a higher protein dosage per serving, but I find those are often too much protein for my needs. In addition, the Syntha-6 contains 7g carbohydrates and only 2 g of sugar. This makes a perfect post workout snack, and is not so heavy that it needs to be considered a meal, like many other protein options.
Pro: Taste. The chocolate milkshake flavor tastes like a chocolate milkshake. Now don't get me wrong, we aren't talking Ben and Jerry's here, but I don't have to choke it down. The flavor is not only tolerable, but when blended with berries into a smoothie, actually quite enjoyable. The consistency is smooth and somewhat thick, not the watered down , gross, protein shake I am used to.
Con: Cost. Of course, you get what you pay for as far as ingredients and product. However, $58.99 for 24 servings is a bit pricey for those of us on a budget, and a far cry from the $16.99 for 30 servings that we sometimes purchase at the big box stores. Again, you get what you pay for.
Neutral: Contains milk and soy.
Overall review: While the cost is hard to swallow, the protein itself certainly isn't. If you are looking for a protein powder that is made of fast and slow digesting proteins (not 100% whey), low fat and low carb, land TASTES GOOD, then I would recommend giving BSN Syntha-6 isolate a try.
*Disclosure* BSN provided these products to me free of charge, however, all opinions expressed in this review are my own. The statements reflected in this post are meant as a review only, and not as personal recommendations for you or your diet. If you choose to take any of the supplements featured in this website, you do so at your own risk. Please consult your physician or registered dietitian if you have questions regarding supplements and your personal needs.