March 31, 2010

Supplement Review: Magnum Quattro, A-Bomb & Big C

So awhile ago, my mom gave me a lil extra cash (yes, I'm still a student and I'm still under the Mommy's 100% Scholarship :) ) and I decided to try out some new supplements other than my usual Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey, creatine monohydrate, glucose stack.

So after a recommendation by a friend of mine, Zen Low Xiang Hua, whose competition placings include

Asian Juniors 2007, 2nd
Singapore National Juniors 2007, 1st
Asian Juniors 2008, 3rd
Singapore National Juniors 2009, 1st

I got three supplements, all from Magnum.

First up is Magnum Quattro, a protein powder with the mix of whey, milk and micellar casein isolates. And yes! ONLY isolates. No inferior concentrates... at all!

Actually, to tell you the truth, I fell in love with Quattro's perfect mix before Zen even recommended it. The reason being that it contains only protein isolates. So it goes in your system super fast! Plus, it's a mix of isolates of different sources - whey, casein, eggs and milk. And mixed protein sources are shown to be more anabolic than single-source protein. And another thing is, the casein in Quattro is FULLY micellar casein. If you look at some protein powders, it may contain calcium caseinate, which is more cheapo, less natural and harder to be absorbed by the body.

Alright, enough of the biology and to the real stuff.


So, after I've tried it, the first thing I noticed is that it's very thin. VERY. Now, think about this for awhile - before this, Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey made me bloat a lot after I take it as my post-workout drink. Optimum did not state how much of their whey is whey concentrate and how much is whey isolate. But based on that observation, you could tell that it's mostly concentrate.

And come to think of it, Optimum did state on their whey, "Whey protein isolates are the FIRST ingredient that you read on the 100% Whey Gold Standard label".



Very smart, Optimum. Very smart.

Back to Quattro. The minimal bloating allowed me to eat more following my post-workout drink. And that helped me in gaining mass. More appetite. The only problem I have about Quattro is the price. It's S$70+ for a 2lb bottle. It's worth it for those who can afford it. But for those on a really low budget, I guess you guys need to choose an inferior protein. Nonetheless, if you have some extra cash, try it at least once!

The second supplement I tried out was A-Bomb, an arginine supplement. Now this is really something to talk about!

Below is its supplement facts.

There's nothing much to explain there. But if you guys didn't notice, the supplement contains arginine ethyl esther and various kinds of arginine which is stronger than the basic form of arginine, L-arginine. So it's no inferior stuff we're talking about here.

Just a short intro to those who doesn't know about arginine yet, arginine is the precursor for the body to produce nitric oxide, which is a gas that vasolidates (expand) blood vessels and in turn, improves delivery of nutrients and flushing away of lactic acid. Therefore, recovery is improved. Plus, it's also responsible for the 'pumped' feeling in the muscles that a person feels after a few sets of exercises. Oh, and that's just a part of its dozens and dozens of benefits, which include weight loss too.

The first time I took A-Bomb, it was my leg day. So I took a serving pre-workout. After two warm-up sets of leg extensions and leg presses, I could already feel some blood rushing into my quadriceps. My working set is a superset of leg extensions followed by leg presses. I had only one set of that because I was training using HIT (High Intensity Training). And wow! The pump effect was amazing.

After my quad workout, my quads were incredibly pumped! The skin on my thighs were so tight that walking felt like walking in a pair of skinny jeans. And when flexed, I could feel from the inside of my thighs, every single muscle of the quadriceps popping out in different directions!

Wow! Subsequently, the effect was pretty similiar to every other body parts. Yesterday I just had a back workout and when I pulled my arms back and flexed my back, I felt deeply in my torso every single muscle - the rhomboids, traps, lats and lumbar erectors popping out, just like my quads.

In short, this is one supplement I'm gonna keep taking for sometime.

The last supplement I tried was Big C, a creatine supplement with a mix of creatine ethyl ester (CEE) HCL, creatine ethyl ester malate, creatine AKG and tri-creatine malate. Unlike Quattro, I've not heard of Big C before this. But from the ingredients, I could tell that it's not bad at all. Firstly, CEE is a lot stronger than creatine monohydrate. Some articles say up to 10 times stronger! And there's no need to take it with glucose, which is a big benefit for me because I've started my diet already. Goodbye sugars!

Secondly, it does not contain any creatine monohydrate in its blend. Why is that a good thing?

Ok, let me explain.

Let's say a creatine blend contains creatine monohydrate and CEE and the label says

Super Creatine Blend 4000

Nutrition Facts
Super Creatine Proprietary Blend 1000mg
Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Ethyl Esther

Honestly, what do you think the ratio of creatine monohydrate and CEE is? 50:50? It could even be 90% monohydrate and 10% CEE!! Remember, companies are profit-driven.

So in short, Big C not having creatine monohydrate on its label is a good thing.

And what's my verdict after taking Big C? Well, it's not a supplement that one can 'feel', so I'll be honest with you, I can't feel anything. BUT I noticed that the combo of these three supplements has improved my recovery time, less DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness. You know, when you feel sore the next day) and in total, more strength and...


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