Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Review: Q5 supplements for performance

I don't usually review supplements, because I don't take them, honestly.  Always prided myself that, despite mediocre skills, I have one superpower and that's fast recovery.

But, Colin from Q5 persuaded me to give a few of their magic powders a try, and I'll tell you all about them.

Bill Thomas, forty-something founder of Q5, wrestler, and former Marine explained his goals with the company:

"Q5 isn't for the 20 year old juice monkeys looking to bulk up so they can impress skanky chicks down at the local club. Q5 is for guys like you and me. We take our nutrition seriously, but we still want to have some fun and kick a little ass. And while most guys our age are passed out in their La-Z-Boy with a beer and a bag of chips, we'll be making the young lions nervous. They'll wonder what in the hell the old man has been taking. Let them wonder."

I like his style!  I tried five different products: Warrior Purple, Warrior Green, Launch Fuel, and two flavors of whey protein, vanilla and chocolate.  I know, it's better to eat the real foods, but we all get crunched for time, and it seems better to get close than nothing at all.

Warrior Purple:  Antioxidant blend of blueberry, blackberry, black cherries, black raspberries, black currants, plums, elderberries, bilberries, figs, eggplant, purple cabbage, acai, camu camu, mangosteen, and goji, with no added sweeteners.  I tried it mixed with coconut water and it was pretty good, a nice indeterminate fruity/berry flavor that was easy to dissolve and not gritty or powdery.  Next time I'll put it in a smoothie with yogurt, banana and juice, the way I usually use hemp and acai powder.

Warrior Green: "Over thirty superfood vegetables" is what it says, but I can tell there's lots of spinach in here.  (That's a good thing, I love a veggie smoothie.)

 I mixed this one with mango juice [you have no idea how difficult it was for me to stop typing "jiuce"] and it was... okay.  I couldn't get over the cinnamon flavor, so I think I'll stick to putting pile of veggies in the vitamix (or my bowl.)

Launch Fuel:  This is designed to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before you train.  I wasn't sure what to expect, since like I said, I don't do the supplement thing.  I guess I worried when I tried it that I would be wired, jittery, spazzy... or that I wouldn't feel anything (caffeine traditionally has zero effect on me.)

Launch Fuel is supposed to enhance your mitochondrias' ability to process and recycle ATP, the molecule your body uses to transport and store energy.  According to Q5, "Launch Fuel is a much more effective pre-fight supplement that provides energy for sparring, and helps your cells cycle through their energy stores faster, and provides ready fuel for your most important weapon - your mind!  You only have about 250 grams (9oz) of ATP in your body, so you need to recycle each molecule an average of 10x an hour! When you are training this recycling process skyrockets and efficiency becomes critical to your energy level and your work capacity. Launch Fuel helps improve this efficiency. It also contains special ingredients that help minimize muscle soreness after training."    Well... I think it helped me feel more focused and precise, without making me feel jittery or hyped up, even though it was a late evening  90 minute class then sixty minutes of back to back rounds after a long day at work.  That's worth it.  The flavor is citrusy, and I mixed it in water so I wouldn't alter its effects with sugar from juice or whatever.

Whey protein:  I mixed the protein powders with whole milk.  I liked the vanilla better, it tasted almost like a virgin eggnog to me, whereas I was comparing the chocolate version to "real" chocolate milk (and since neither has any added sugar, it came up the tiniest bit short in a head-to-head with Hershey's.)  But both were yummy, easy to mix, and made me feel virtuous and ready to go rawr.

AND... on top of all the good reasons I see for supplementing my diet and training routine with these goodies... I'll tell you another reason I give two thumbs up to Q5.  They used to sponsor Devon Delbrugge from Team Lloyd Irvin, but yanked their support when they read what nonsense he was spouting.  My respect for this company skyrocketed when I heard that.

If you're gluten-free or vegetarian, they have products for you.  Don't want to buy something you haven't tasted for yourself?  get a sample pack!  And read more independent reviews, listed here.  You can buy directly from Q5 (and if you sign up, you can get a weekly text with a discount code by texting JOIN to 207-517-4242.)

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