Product Reviews, May 2007: The Spotlight Is On Creatine!

The following reviews cover creatine, ribose and more. Learn more from this descriptive review about great products such as SIZEON, Ribose, Xyience NOX-CG3, and more!

Creatine Monohydrate Formulas

The high-quality creatine monohydrate saturation formulas have quickly become must-have supplements for any serious body

These formulas have really taken the guess-work out of making solid, consistent, and CONTINUAL gains with creatine.

By combining pure creatine monohydrate, the high glycemic, insulin-releasing carbohydrate dextrose, and sodium from sodium phosphate (a critical nutrient for proper creatine transport), along with a few other enhancers, these products have made creatine supplementation easy, exact, and inexpensive. Those grape juice bills can really mount up.

Phosphagen HP from EAS was one of the first creatine monohydrate drinks, and it's still a good supplement.

Creatine HSC from AST Research is a personal favorite; it mixes up easy and tastes great. I hear from a lot of people who say they never really made big gains on creatine until they started using this product. And now AST Sports Science uses only Micronized Creatine in all their Creatine HSC products. It's definitely top notch.

MuscleTech's Cell-Tech Harcore is an extremely potent creatine formula, with twice the usual amount of creatine per serving (a full 10 grams). Cell-Tech has a very loyal following. Combining Cell-Tech with MuscleTech's other top products Anotesten and Nortesten (New, improved formula) makes for one hell of a Super Stack.

HDT's creatine drink called CLF-5000 is made without the use of Aspartame and is an excellent choice for those seeking to avoid artificial sweeteners.

Any of these supplements will help you maximize creatine uptake, and more creatine in the muscles generally means more cell volume and more explosive power.

Advanced Creatine Cycling Schedule

If you're not making the gains you want on creatine, give this advanced cycle a try.

Many people find that after a few weeks, the gains they make on creatine monohydrate begin to taper off or even disappear altogether. There's an increasing belief among hardcore trainers that cycling creatine intake may help one experience continued progress with this proven supplement.

Here's a typical creatine cycle you might try adding to your supplement program:

  • Week 1: load (20 g /day)
  • Week 2-4: maintenance (10 g /day)
  • Week 5: load (20 g /day)
  • Week 6-8: OFF
  • Repeat Cycle

You're basically "on" for 5 weeks (higher than average doses), then "off" completely for 3 weeks. This seems to work well and can help give you continual progress with creatine supplementation.

Of course, another important factor is what type of creatine you're using. I never made great gains with creatine until I switched to a creatine formula as opposed to just mixing the powder up myself.

In particular, AST's Creatine HSC has really worked well for me. Other people see good results with EAS's Phosphagen HP and MET-Rx's Micronized Creatine. And at 10 grams creatine per dose, MuscleTech's Cell-Tech Hardcore is very popular.

With creatine it's best to avoid generic powders (the cheap stuff), as its purity is often in question and it doesn't seem to work nearly as well as the quality formulas on the market.

Creatine: Beyond the Basics
Advanced Creatine Supplementation Questions & Answers.

[ Q ] Is there a difference between types of creatines that are currently available?

    [ A ] As some people are aware, you can now find creatine on the market in three forms:

    1. Phosphate
    2. Citrate
    3. Monohydrate

    My feeling is that the phosphate variety is not easily absorbed by the body and for this reason will not yield effective and substantial results.

    The citrate variety seemed to be catching on for a time, but again the research is sketchy here. In fact, nearly all the positive clinical studies that have been done on creatine have utilized the monohydrate form, and this is the only form that I currently recommend.

Is There A Difference Between The Various Forms Of Creatine? Is There A Difference Between The Various Forms Of Creatine?
This week our forum members go into great detail about the different forms of creatine available. They also share with you what they think is the best and worst.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Suggestions For Next Topic Of The Week?
What do you think would make a good topic for this section? What makes a good topic?
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[ Q ] Should you use creatine monohydrate and an ECA Stack together?

    [ A ] Depending on your training and physique goals, doing so may be counterproductive. You see, one of the primary ways creatine works is by loading the muscles with water - this is why consuming large amounts of water is such a critical part of effective creatine supplementation.

    On the other hand, the caffeine included in the typical ECA Stack has a diuretic effect - it draws water out of the muscles and the body. So if you take your creatine simultaneous with your ECA Stack, or with a cup of coffee for that matter, you'll tend to cancel out the cell-volumizing effects of the creatine.

[ Q ] Is all creatine monohydrate alike, or are the name brands really better?

    [ A ] There's a ton of cheap, generic creatine monohydrate on the market (especially on the web), but I'm convinced that most of it is of significantly lower quality than the reputable brand name versions.

    Supplement companies and distributors in the U.S. currently get their raw creatine from two primary sources: China and Germany. The creatine that comes in from China is almost always less expensive, but it's also much more likely to be impure.

    Typically, it'll be cut with the complex carb maltodextrin. This is the dirt cheap "creatine" that many wholesalers offer. No wonder some people don't see any results. Reputable creatine suppliers prefer the German version, which is a bit more expensive but tests out at a significantly higher level of quality. With creatine you really do get what you pay for.

Creatine: Why Use It? Scientific Support. Creatine: Why Use It? Scientific Support.
Creatine has been recognized as a product that delivers on its promise of improved strength. In this article we will review creatine benefits, who will benefit, types to buy and much more.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

[ Q ] Is micronized creatine just hype or is it really better?

    [ A ] Micronized creatine is very interesting. Basically, it's produced through a process that finely grinds or "micronizes" the creatine particles themselves into particles that are 10, 15, even 20 times smaller than regular creatine particles.

    There's no doubt that micronized creatine dissolves better in liquid - this just makes sense. It's also theorized that the smaller particle size leads to easier and faster digestion and uptake into the blood. Individuals who report stomach upset with regular creatine intake almost always find the problem alleviated by switching to the micronized version.

Creatine - It's All About Absorption! Creatine - It's All About Absorption!
With High Intensity Interval Training you can burn more fat while spending less time in the gym. I will explain how you can get the best results from this.
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    Many of the top creatine monohydrate products on the market - including AST's Creatine HSC - have already switched to using micronized particles. This trend is likely to continue and accelerate in the near future.

Gaspari Nutrition SIZEON

Before I begin, I want to explain that while I am do believe that supplements are effective and can aid you in achieving your bodybuilding and fat loss goals, I think that what is most important of all is proper nutrition using whole foods.

Supplements are supposed to be just that - supplements to a healthy diet and proper exercise program. If you do not have the two aforementioned factors in place, supplements will be of little value to you. I should also point out that nutrition is the most important aspect of physique transformation and you would be amazed at the progress you can make with a regimented diet.

That all said, I was a creatine junky for about three years from Fall of 2000 when I started working out, up until about that time in 2003 when I decided to write off supplements in lieu of more focus on proper nutrition with whole foods because they are so important, as mentioned above. But this year I traveled to Columbus, Ohio to check out the 2007 Arnold Classic.

Since I have had this website for so long and my name was out there a little in the industry, it was easy for me to score a lot of free DVDs and basically whatever supplement I wanted. One which I had heard good things about which I wanted to try was Gaspari's SIZEON.

With virtually any product you will hear both praise and criticism but SIZEON was one where I heard consistently POSITIVE reviews from just about everyone who used it. With that I decided to use it. Tom, the National Sales Manager for Gaspari Nutrition, was happy to fill my request for a free review copy of SIZEON which I started using a week after returning home from the Arnold.

Now let's move on to the review...

High Intensity Interval Training! Gaspari Nutrition Presents:

No other Creatine cell volumizing product works as fast or as long as SizeOn. SizeOn our new intra/post workout formula, is the only cell volumizer containing Creatine Gluconate.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


Click Image To Enlarge.


    I used the Grape Blast flavour and it was awesome! It didn't leave an aftertaste and could be mixed with varying amounts of water without huge variations in sweetness or taste. It was so good in fact that at times during the day I would look forward to my one tall shaker bottle full of SIZEON each day. It was honestly about good enough to just drink as a juice. Flavour wise, SIZEON gets an A+ for sure.


    I drank SIZEON in water and it mixed pretty well perfectly. It was somewhat sandy, but not nearly as much as some other supplements are. It was really not much different than a lot of powdered juices you would find at the bulk food section of the supermarket.

    It mixed well under every condition I tried it in, whether I added the SIZEON mix in before the water or after. It dissolved quickly when stirred and was ready to serve very quickly for those in a hurry or always on the go.


    I started using Gaspari SIZEON in the mid to high 170s after taking some time off from my usual high intensity workouts in the gym. I was ready to rock and roll and get back into it hard and I did so while starting with SIZEON. I finished my 30 day cycle 10 pounds heavier and in the same condition.

    At the time of this writing, it has been two weeks since I finished my last dose of SIZEON and I have retained all of the weight that I gained.

    Now some may say that I only gained water during the cycle and I don't rule that out as a possibility. However, no matter what, my pumps were better than ever during my workouts and sometimes I would be in the gym for only 10 minutes and already have such a good pump I was ready to go home.

    Of course, knowing better, I kept on with my workout and had some of the best pumps in my life by the time my workout was complete. Two workouts in particular I had crazy pumps going on - one was a back/biceps split and the other was a chest/biceps split.

    My skin was tight and the muscle was very full and hard, so even if I did gain water, it looked great. As far as I was concerned, I put on 10 decent pounds using it. Another variable to consider here is muscle memory though. I had just got back into working out hard again and put the weight on.

    I would counter this by saying that even with muscle memory, I stilled gained weight at a rate about twice as fast as usual muscle memory. Not to mention, every time in the past when I relied on muscle memory to regain muscle, my diet changed drastically too.

    On SIZEON, my diet stayed exactly the same and I still put on 10 pounds. I kind of regret not eating more actually, because I think I could have gained a little more, or at least been a little more refined when all was said or done if I had done so.

    One more point I should make is that I had not had great expectations going into the cycle. I had heard great things about SIZEON, but I still wasn't convinced that supplements could do much to begin with so I figured I would probably gain around five pounds of water in total and with no noticeable changes in pumps.

New Get-Big Supplement For Offseason Growth: Gaspari SizeOn! New Get-Big Supplement: Gaspari SizeOn!
End of the season and you want to put on some serious mass. One way to do that is with proper supplementation. What I've put together here are some details on a new product with creatine and how much promise it has.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    I was totally wrong, gaining twice that and having some of the best pumps I had seen in a while. The fact that I had little expectation of SIZEON is proof that there was no placebo effect here.

    I also sort of forgot I was taking it until almost no time had passed and I had gained 6-7 pounds. When I realized it was working, I really had it on my mind and made the most of the cycle afterwards, at least as far as the placebo effect and expectation effects were concerned.

Overall Review:

    I had planned to come on here and write a completely unbiased review. If Gaspari SIZEON was garbage, I would have said it. If it was average I would have said it. I can honestly say that SIZEON was excellent and it is A+ material.

    In fact, it has renewed my faith in supplements and I will be using another creatine product after I wait a little more time since I believe that cycling creatine with time off equal to time on is important.

    I only wish I could use SIZEON again because I know it works, but in the spirit of reviewing various bodybuilding products, I will use something else and post the review for everyone to check out.

    By no means do you need to trust me on this one. Go to the Supplements Forum and check out other comments on this product. I think you will find that my opinion is pretty normal for SIZEON. A+.

Ribose: More Energy Equals More Muscle
By Jason Cohen, WNBF Pro Bodybuilder

In basic terms Ribose is the starting point for the production of ATP in your body. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is responsible for all of the energy your body is supplied with. In normal conditions, your body produces enough ATP to survive. However, in certain conditions, such as high-intensity exercise, your body can't replace ATP fast enough. Therefore, it would make sense to supplement with Ribose in order to keep ATP levels high in order to increase your energy levels.

ATP: Energy's Currency! ATP: Energy's Currency!
If one has ever wondered just how we are able to summons the energy to perform a number of activities under a variety of conditions, the answer, in large part, is ATP. Without ATP, ones body would simply fail to function.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Now, the more important part of your question is whether it is worthwhile to supplement with Ribose. My opinion on whether or not to take any supplement rests on two things. First, is there an adequate amount of science behind a certain "new" product on bodybuilders (not mice). Second, is the product cost-effective to warrant you spending your hard-earned money to find out if the product will work for you.

The scientific evidence on Ribose's ability to rebuild and restore energy in heart and skeletal muscle cells is pretty impressive. At this point, however, there are no studies that I know of on Ribose in the bodybuilding community. I have received quite a bit of anecdotal evidence from bodybuilders and the preliminary reports look very promising.

In addition, I can give you an account of my own personal experience while supplementing with Ribose. I took a product called Liquid Ribose from Performance Biomedical Laboratories. I took one serving prior to working out and one serving immediately after training.

I did notice that I was able to train hard for a longer period of time without depleting my glycogen stores. I also noticed that I was able to recuperate from intense workouts in a shorter period of time then before I took the Liquid Ribose. Finally, and most evident, I noticed that I had more energy when I performed cardio after an intense weight training session.

Now, is Ribose cost-effective? I guess this one depends on what your supplement budget is each month. I really didn't think that Ribose was terribly expensive considering how new it is. The companies offering Ribose all seem to be right around $44.95 for a thirty day supply.

One last note about Ribose. I think it is best to use it in conjunction with creatine. I used the Ribose with and without creatine and noticed considerably better results with the creatine. I used the Effervescent Creatine Plus by Performance Biomedical Labs. I also think that the liquid form is better because it is kept stable in a glycerol base. Therefore, if you decide to give Ribose a shot stick to the liquid form and use it with creatine.

Xyience NOX-CG3

What's In It?

Click Image To Enlarge.


    Take 2 scoops in 8 to 10 oz. of cold water 30 minutes prior to workout.


    Seek advice from a health care professional before use if you have any pre-existing medical condition. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. For healthy adults over 18.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

NOX-CG3 Xyience Presents:

NOXCG3, uses the most advanced matrix of extreme ingredients to achieve the most massive pumps, incredible size, superior performance and unsurpassable strength!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Xyience NOX-CG3 Review, Review #1: By Marc Skaf

    All good things come in pairs, or so they say, however Xyience proves that saying wrong because this stuff is the great and it's three main ingredients come triple-fold.

      Three Types Of Arginine(NO):

      • L-Arginine HCI
      • L-Arginine Ketoisocaproate
      • L-Argining Alpha-Ketogutarate

      Three Creatines:

      Three Different Types Of Glutamine:

      • L-glutamine
      • N-Acetyl-L-Glutamine
      • L-Glutamine Alpha-Ketogutarate

    NOX-CG3 is a pre-workout drink, meaning it is going to get you pumped and energized for any hardcore workout! It comes in 3 flavours, Blue Raspberry, Lemon-Lime and Fruit Punch. I was fortunate enough to try Blue Raspberry and Lemon-Lime.

    The First Week:

      First day of trying this stuff I was really excited to get to the gym, I knew I was going to feel alot different using this stuff, and that was exciting. I opened the space age container this stuff comes in and a burst of bubble gum smell hit me as soon as I opened it, there it was in a neat little zipped up package, as if it was blow.

      I took the recommended 2 scoops, didn't go over, and didn't go under, with 10 oz of water. Unfortunately the stuff doesn't taste as great as it smells but it certainly isn't the hardest drink to stomach. I continued my workout that day with bi's and tri's, immediately after the first set of standing alternate dumbbell raises my veins were popping, and that's a rare thing to see with my hairy arms.

      After the second set I had a great pump going that lasted from the first exercise to the last exercise. Then it all started again with triceps, got a pump right away doing dips, then weighted dips and the exercises that followed kept the pump very much maximized.

      It wasn't anything too crazy, I wasn't ever scared that my muscles were going to tear out of my skin but it was more powerful then the pumps I usually get at the gym when working out arms. Keep this in mind too, I am on a low carb diet and basically this stuff is the only thing fueling my pumps.

    The Importance Of The Pump! The Importance Of The Pump!
    As with most profound physiological processes, the pump results from the complex interplay of a number of related functions. Find out right here what the pump is and how best to achieve it.
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

      The next day I didn't get to the gym late and was worried to see if I would still have the energy to workout. That morning I had gone for a 40 minute run followed by an 8 hour shift at work, so by the time I got to the gym, I was exhausted.

      However, I had a secret weapon, I took the stuff and I proceeded to have a great workout with even more intensity then if I hadn't gone for that run or worked that day, and I was working out legs too, managed to squat 315lbs for 8 reps, which I haven't been able to do for awhile.

      At the end of the week I had a chest workout on this stuff, my training partner wasn't prepared for the amounts of sets I was about to do. We started with flat bench-press, worked up to 225lbs after 4 sets for 6 reps, then went on to do incline bench-press, 4 sets of 135lbs, by this time my chest was ready to blow up.

      Then we moved on to some of the hammer strength machines for wide chest and incline, and finished it with some cable flyes. 20 sets in total and I was still ready for more, but enough is enough. Finished the workout with some abs and that was it, another great workout.

    Week 2:

      Same great pumps when working out and the taste is barely noticeable anymore. Worked out legs and had a great pump in my quads after squats! Was able to go heavy with up to 3 plates a side and that was after a 30 min run! It kept my energy level up, finished with leg presses and leg extensions, then some hams and calves with no problems.

      Week two was pretty much consistent with week 1. The effects never really dulled and the pumps were consistent.

      Usually while working out biceps I lack much of a pump, but I noticed I was more vascular and had a huge pipeline vein coming down my bicep, it seemed bigger than before (not sure if it was just my ego or the Xyience).

      Was able to do 60lb curls for 4 reps when before I could only do 50s. At some points I had to put down the weights cause of the pump I got in my forearms while doing standing alternate dumbbell curls.

      Triceps was exceptional too. Heavy skull crushers superset with tricep pulldowns, it felt great. I don't want to hype this stuff up too much, but I had to keep my elbows bent for a few seconds after the sets cause of the pump.

    Week 3:

      Since I was taking 2 scoops the supply only lasted half the week, boy was I sad when it was gone. I used some before going on runs of off days too so it went down pretty fast. I highly suggest this stuff to anyone who wants a great pre-workout drink!

      I am not just saying that, this stuff works! I asked some friends to try it as well and all of them got good pumps from it as well. This is the first pump inducing product I have ever taken so the bar is set pretty high for the other guys.

        The Taste:
        This stuff smelled great but tasted kind of bad. Then again it isn't loaded with sweeteners and the such so you can expect that. The Blue-Raspberry was the better of the two flavours I tried, the other being Lemon-Lime which just takes like sh!t. But the Blue stuff was ok.

        The canister it comes in is pretty neat, I think I might keep it for random stuff, but it is packed in a plastic bag and after dripping some moisture into it the stuff got really messy and I walked around with blue hands at the gym.

        Would I Recommend This Product?
        Yes, to anyone who can afford a great pre-workout drink. I was able to put on at least 1lb of LBM and cut up a bit too. Of course I was doing cardio and on a 1800-2000 calorie diet so anyone not carb or calorie restricted would probably see better results. Even with the low carbs the pumps were still great.

Xyience NOX-CG3 Review, Review #2: By Tony

    I will be honest; when Xyience first emerged on the supplement scene I was not impressed. Flashy advertisements and marketing were, I felt, geared to young bodybuilders. I was guilty of assuming that their products were nothing spectacular and would give the bodybuilder only modest results.

    At most I assumed that their supplements were no better than average. I will be the first to admit, my baseless and illogical opinions couldn't have been farther from the truth. I was sold due to the overflowing amounts of positive reviews of NOX-CG3 on supplement and bodybuilding message boards.

    Nitric Oxide boosters and creatine products are nothing new to the world of bodybuilding. In fact, these products have become mainstay supplements of the bodybuilder community. However, in the case of Xyience they have raised the bar when it comes to NO/creatine supplements.

    Nitric Oxide works to expand muscle and flood it with more nutrients. Creatine is one supplement that could be flooded into the muscle. It was the next logical step to combine the two supplements into one product. With this practice, Xyience has created a real winner.

    Xyience further raised the bar by combining THREE types of creatine and THREE types of Nitric Oxide boosters. Being the cutting edge company they are, Xyience did not rest on their laurels. They further advanced their product by adding glutamine formula, a formula consisting of THREE different types of glutamine.

    Glutamine as we all know is one of the most important building blocks of muscle and post workout recovery. I was now ready to experience Xyience NOX-CG3 and its wealth of positive effects. I will be concluding my review once I have finished the bottle.