Jason Cloninger is a conservative writer, U.S. Navy & Army veteran, business owner, husband of 17 years, father, 2A supporter, & patriot.
Giving Service Members Better Results
One of the first things that I remember in my first weeks and months of time in the military was spent getting to know my way around, finding which gym I like to train at the most, finding who was serious about training in the gym, and then discovering what supplements I needed to take in order to find greater success from my time spent in the gym. Going to supplement stores was overwhelming, and I had to resort to doing a lot of reading. However, even that led to some flops and disappointments, as some of the "this is the best product for X" articles were propaganda driven by paid endorsements and/or advertising. So, I had to perform two activities: One was to perform my own trial and error analysis of products, which meant spending more money that I wanted to. The second was to rely upon community ratings and reviews of products, and word of mouth.
After years of me performing this work, I've amassed years of knowledge and experience. I've also learned to spot when a product is being pushed by marketing versus the community. So, now it's time to give back to my fellow veterans and currently serving service members. One of the greatest assets to a service member is the experience of their superiors, as the education learned form them is invaluable to their growth and success within their individual military careers. Now it's time for me to provide the with another resource, that will help them to find successes in the gym and ensuring that they are physically superior to the state they were in before they found this article.
Supplements for Enhanced Training
A good pre workout is one that is going to enhance your energy output during training. This means that it is going to either provide higher energy output levels, prolong energy output duration, or delay levels of fatigue. A great pre-workout will accomplish, at some level, all three of these goals. It is important that all three of these occur, especially on days when you are training a specific muscle group where you are trying to make improvements or launch yourself above a previously encountered plateau. Some training will require explosive power, while others will require a steady sustainment of energy output for a prolonged period of time. So, customizing your pre-workout according to your energy output requirements for the day is key towards achieving your goals.
Evil Energy Domination of Next Level Stimulation
1. Evil Energy (COMPANY RE-LAUNCH PENDING)
Evil Energy, currently with a 40% discount coupon code, has recently popped onto the scene, but as an energy drink and not actually as a pre-workout. In fact, they aren't even targeting the fitness industry as a pre-workout at all. However, review of its ingredients will show you that it has some truly major ingredients which enhance focus, performance, and increased vascularity. In fact, it wasn't until we got our hands on the products, and started playing with it, that we discovered its true potential.
Being a person which already had a high tolerance of stimulants, it was required for me to take multiple doses in order for me to get a good feeling from pretty much any pre-workout. The problem is that most pre-workouts are designed for only one single purpose in mind, or one single type of activity. Those which are great for running, aren't great for lifting. Those which are great for a good solid muscle pump doesn't do you any good on the treadmill. So, I found myself mixing one pre-workout with another, on a constant search for a perfect and well-rounded combination.
That is when Evil Energy finally was born, and showed me the perfect balance of ingredients, including 15 superfood ingredients, that I needed to fill the holes I was experiencing from my other pre-workouts. Can Evil Energy be used by itself as a pre-workout, yes it can. However, my perfect match was combining Evil Energy with just a single dose of my favorite pre-workouts, and then performing a two or three mile run. I then tried the same mix, but threw in Creatine HCl and BCAA's, and took it to the weight room. I can tell you now, that I will always be throwing Evil Energy into my pre-workout mixture from now on, plus they offered a Free Sample to prove to me that they have what it takes to earn my business!
2. Project-1 (1st Phorm)
Project-1 is the amazing pre-workout energy blend recipe of 1st Phorm. It's packed with 350mg of Caffeine Anhydrous, as well as BCAA's, L-Citrulline Malate, Creatine Monohydrate, Betaine Anhydrous, Beta Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, and Theacrine. It is engineered to increase your energy levels, provide you with a muscle pump, fight off muscle fatigue, and speed up muscle recovery immediately after workout completion. It is definitely a must have within your pre-workout drink and/or your intra-workout sipper. Tailored for maximum muscle energy output and physical performance, Project-1 has been put through the wringer by some of our strongest and most extreme warriors in the armed services.
Serving Size: 1 Scoop (26.5g) Servings Per Container: 20 Amount Per Serving % Daily Value Sodium (as Sodium Bicarbonate) 135 mg 6% Instant BCAA 2:1:1 6000 mg + L-Citrulline Malate 2:1 6000 mg + Creatine Monohydrate 5000 mg + Betaine Anhydrous 2500 mg + Beta-Alanine 2400 mg + Agmatine Sulfate 1000 mg + Caffeine Anhydrous 350 mg + Theacrine (as TeaCrine®) 50 mg
3. Ghost - Size
Ghost Lifestyle has released an array of amazing products that we are putting through the ringer. We have tested and evaluated our first products, and Ghost Size definitely does NOT disappoint. It utilized a stacked array of ingredients which work together in order to enhance muscle performance, muscle growth, muscle repair, and muscle recovery. This product is vegan friendly, gluten free, and soy free, so most people with diet restrictions are able to use Size. The flavors are amazing, and bring back memories of our childhood! For each flavor, they partner with a specific product from the 80's, 90's, or 2000's, and work with them to perfectly match the flavor! You definitely want to give this product a try, if not for the flavor alone. Not only will your taste buds be taken on a journey in time, but your body will get the enhanced benefits of perfectly balanced ratios of top muscle enhancing supplements.
First, they delver 5g of Creatine with every scoop with their 3.21G HCl & 2.84G Monohydrate ratio. Next, they provide 2.5g of Betaine, to enhance your body's benefits from Creatine. Then 200mg of Epicatechin is added to catalyze muscle building. 2g of Beta-Alanine to give your muscles that boost to enhance blood flow. Finally, Astragin is thrown in to enhance you're muscle cells' ability to absorb glucose, amino acids, and proteins. All in all, it is an amazing mixture of ingredients that truly delivers in the gym!
4. God of Rage (Centurion Labz)
God of Rage and God of Rage Reloaded are one of the strongest pre-workouts I've ever taken. I found it thanks to a local independent supplement store owner, after I asked him for the strongest pre-workouts he had. I told him my plight with pre-workouts not providing me with the level of stimulation I needed to get a good workout in. It has 300mg of Caffeine Anhydrous, but also has Creatine Monohydrate, L-Arginine, Beta Alanine, and Agmatine Sulfate. It has an amazing boost, and all of the ingredients to provide your muscles with an influx of water and nutrients that will maximize muscle performance and allow you to push yourself past your limitations. The feeling that you get when it begins to hit your blood stream is extremely noticeable, and the level of performance increase is undeniable. Three mile runs feel like one mile, and two hours in the gym feel like thirty minutes.
5. Ghost Amino
Ghost Amino is our second Ghost Lifestyle product to be evaluated, and frankly goes hand-in-hand with Size. You can drink them together, however I find that chugging Size on my way to the gym, and then sipping on Amino during my training session, truly allows my body to pump our whatever I throw at it! I've done a full anabolic routine, followed by a 4 mile run, and left because I HAD to be on time for lunch. I could have stayed at the gym and done just about anything I wanted, and I'm in my 40's! Amino gives you 10g of amino acids per serving, again offering some amazing flavors from my childhood for me to enjoy while I exercise. I get the benefits of the amazing flavor of some of my childhood favorites, without any of the sugars or concerns about cavities!
Ghost Amino provides your body, not with 10g of amino acids per serving, but a MASSIVE blend of 5.5G EAAs and 4.5G BCAAs. It doesn't stop there, to maximize cellular hydration and absorption of the the amino acids, it includes Organic Raw Coconut Water, Taurine and Aquamin! Finally, to top it all off, it has a dose of Astragin to enhance your body's ability to absorb glucose, proteins, and amino acids! It can enhance your gym session, enhance your body's ability to recover after the gym, and can even help you to hydrate and recover after a hard night out!
6. Optimum Nutrition BCAA's Powder
Optimum Nutrition's BCAA 5000 Powder (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are essential for protein synthesis, as well as for proper conversion of sucrose into energy. Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Powder, 5000mg, Unflavored, with 60 Servings, is definitely a recommended addition to your pre-workout drink - as well as to your post workout recovery drink. BCAA's are just as important to proper recovery, as they are to proper output of energy during your workout. So, mixing it into your protein shake will offer just as much benefit as mixing it into your pre-workout drink. I've even used it as part of my during workout sipping drink, to extend my energy levels during prolonged workout sessions. If you're going to spend two hours in the gym, then you definitely want to make sure that those two hours are well spent!
5. PrimaForce Citrulline Malate Powder
PrimaForce Citrulline Malate Powder Supplement, 200 Grams, is another highly recommended component that you should add to your pre-workout stack. It has been scientifically proven to enhance strength and performance, as well as improve muscle recovery and minimize soreness after training. It accomplishes this by increasing Nitric Oxide production, reducing lactic acid and ammonia production, and increasing ATP (Andenosine Triphosphate) and phosphocreatine recovery. So, if you want to boost your energy levels, increase your muscle pump, and then recover faster and with less soreness, citrulline malate is definitely the supplement for you.
What Do You Take?
MUSCLE PUMP SUPPLEMENTS
Completing the second half of the formula of maximizing your performance enhancements are supplements that increase blood flow to your muscles, bringing all of the oxygen, nutrients, and pre-workout elements that your muscles will need to perform at the optimal levels that you desire. Essentially, you are speeding up the rate at which your muscles are receiving and absorbing other supplements that you are taking to enhance your workout. This level of enhanced absorption of supplements, water, and oxygen into your blood stream provides you with enhanced level of energy and performance, while delaying muscle fatigue.
1. AlphasurgeDRV (1st Phorm)
Here we are again with one of 1st Phorm's products, AlphasurgeDRV. It is a perfectly designed and paired to work in conjunction with their Project-1 pre-workout product. This veteran and first responder support focused company is really laying it down when it comes to what they believe is optimal nutrition for those serving in uniform. AlphasurgeDRV is a blend of Niacinamide, Vitamin B12, Arginine Malate, Glycerol Monostearate, Agmatine Sulfate, Alpha GPC, Vitamin C, Rutaecarpine, Epimedium, and L-Norvaline. The effects of it are amazing! I was able to visibly see the vasodilation in my arms and legs while I was training, within minutes of my taking the AlphasurgeDRV and then drinking on my pre-workout blend. I took both of 1st Phorm's products, the AlphasurgeDRV and Project-1, so the Project-1 may have sped up or enhanced the effects of the AlphasurgeDRV. However, my strength and endurance levels on my heaviest training day was off the charts! This is definitely a recommended product, and does everything 1st Phorm has promised.
Serving Size: 10 Capsule Servings Per Container: 20 Amount Per Serving % Daily Value Niacinamide 25 mg 250% Vitamin B12 2.5 mg 41665% Arginine Malate 3000 mg + Glycerol Monostearate 2000 mg + Agmatine Sulfate 1000 mg + Direct Response VoluMatrixTM: 500 mg + Alpha GPC, Vitamin C, Rutaecarpine, Epimedium 20%] L-Norvaline 250 mg +
2. Blood Rush (Centurion Labz)
Yet another fine product released by Centurion Labs, Blood Rush is an amazing muscle pump enhancing pre-workout. It's ingredient composition includes High-Yield Glycerol, Norvoline, L-Arginine, Citruline Malate, Agmatine, Beet Root Extract, and Vinpocetine. It has amazing flavor and takes about twenty to thirty minutes to kick in. It actually recommends that you use it in conjunction with their God of Rage pre-workout, and we have. It takes the already amazing feeling from a great pre-workout and brings it to a whole new level of performance. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day prior to your training session, as these products require healthy hydration of your cells in order for them to work properly.
3. CON-CRET Creatine HCl (ProMera Sports)
CON-CRET is a new micro-dosing creatine product to hit the shelves, and it has some pretty amazing product features that will have our service members clamoring for it off of the shelves. As someone who's been taking Creatine and Creatine Monohydrate since the 1990's, I have been implementing CON-CRET into my pre-workout blends with amazing and noticeable differences in my results.
Firstly, it is extremely fine and dissolves within water immediately. There is no grittiness, and no texture what-so-ever after you mix it. There is no loading period, and no cycling off of Creatine HCl, as it does not conflict with your body's natural production of Creatine and does not saturate your muscle cells to cause ineffective bloating which inhibits your muscle's ability to absorb other supplements. In fact, there is no cramping, bloating, water retention or gastro-intestinal issues what-so-ever when used as directed!
Your dosing is based upon body weight, and will be a fraction of what you needed with Creating HO. Due to its structure, it promotes a faster plasma uptake into your muscle tissues, which means you get an immediate benefit from it within minutes of ingesting it. My notice was 15 minutes, which is much better than the 30-45 minutes recommended from Creatine Mono-Hydrate.
4. PrimaForce - Beta-Alanine
PrimaForce Beta-Alanine has been scientifically shown to enhance performance during high-intensity exercises. By blocking Hydrogen ions, which causes the body to produces acids which promote fatigue and hinder your muscle's ability to perform work, it enables the body to perform exercises longer, which in turn increases muscle mass and improves endurance levels. When taken with Creatine HO or Creatine HCl, it will enhance their effectiveness as well.
Beta-Alanine is essential for the production of carnosine, a protein-building block that helps blocks Hydrogen Ions, preventing aging and supporting proper muscle function and development. This amino acid is known for delaying muscle fatigue, which helps your muscles to work longer and harder during exercise - which, in turn, promotes muscle growth. Beta-Alanine is especially helpful in enhancing high-intensity and short-duration workouts, such as weight-lifting or HIIT.
Persons taking Beta-Alanine may notice a slight tingling sensation, known as paresthesia. The tingling occurs because Beta-Alanine dilates your blood vessels, allowing more oxygen and blood to reach your muscles. This sensation is normally of short duration, is temporary, and is normally gone before the end of your workout session.
Intensive training, especially for those in the military, requires that they have extremely effective and efficient recovery time in between training sessions. Service members cannot afford to experience muscle failure, either during training or in the field, and therefore need to ensure that their bodies are well rested, ready for action, as well as properly hydrated and with available nutrients needed for hours of physical activity. So, we are including a list of various supplements for various phases of the recovery process. This includes supplements needed to be taken immediately following the completion of training, as well as supplements taken prior to bed which enhance your body's night time recovery while sleeping - which is EXTREMELY important. Night time recovery isn't reviewed or discussed enough within the supplement industry, or it is not given enough exposure, as proper sleep, available proteins, and hormone levels can drastically improve how efficiently your body performs repairs while sleeping. So, let's get this party started!
1. Phormula-1 (1st Phorm)
Also designed by 1st Phorm, Phormula-1 is geared towards your body immediately absorbing the protein and amino acids within. Packed with the essential electrolytes your body needs during the muscle repair process, cellular hydration, and absorption of amino acids, Formula-1 is enhanced even more when used in conjunction with 1st Phorm's Ignition. Taking Phormula-1 both post workout, as well as first thing in the morning as your first meal of the day to break your fasting, you are ensuring that your body has everything it needs in order to repair damaged muscle tissue, and to build new muscle cells in order to repair the damage done in the gym and to enhance your performance the next time your muscles are put to the test.
Serving Size: 1 scoop (28g) Servings Per Container: 32 Amount Per Serving % Daily Value** Calories 100 Total Fat 1 g 1%* Saturated Fat 1 g 5%* Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1%* Total Sugars 1 g ** Protein 20 g 40%* Calcium 105 mg 8% Sodium 85 mg 4% Potassium 85 mg 2%
We Are Working for You!
While this beginning list is small, we will be working to develop it for you as we can. We will continue researching all supplements out there, work to find the best ones for our men and women in uniform, and will get the information to them right here. Be sure to continue returning here periodically so that we can give you the most up-to-date information on the best and most relevant supplements!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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