Top Supplement Companies
Get the inside scoop on these major contributors to the industry, plus an honorable mention for a few others.
For every reputable sports supplement on the market, there are many more that are pure junk. Unfortunately, far too many companies have placed greed and profit over quality and performance. This article is designed to reveal what we consider to be some of the best companies in the industry. This list of the Top 10 is in no particular order and also includes an honorable mention section for further reference. Your favorite brand may or may not be included here. And of course, these results can be debated. But one thing is for certain, each of these companies, at one time or another, have made significant contributions to the extraordinary world of bodybuilding, either in one or two specific categories or in the industry as a whole. And for that, every athlete and supplement user can be thankful!
MAXIMUM HUMAN PERFORMANCE (MHP) (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1997
MHP was born of a fortuitous friendship between Gerard Dente “world-class competitive bodybuilder” and Vincent Giampapa, MD, a renowned expert on hormone supplementation for athletic performance and founder of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).
The company’s first product was Secretagogue-One, a clinically proven formula that continues to be one of the top HGH-boosters in the nation. The success of Secretagogue-One was followed by further innovations and accomplishments that cover a full array of sports nutrition categories.
MHP now celebrates its 10-year anniversary and rise to the top as “The Breakthrough Brand of the Year” in this year’s 2008 Buyer’s Guide.
Giampa’s staff of top-flight sports science researchers and physicians, working closely with Dente, has made MHP one of the most dynamic forces in the sports nutrition industry. As President, Dente directs MHP’s entire operation toward technologic superiority, quality, service and value. Dente was featured on the cover of ProSourceâ€™s 1999 Performance Nutrition Buyers Guide, and MHP now celebrates its 10-year anniversary and rise to the top as “The Breakthrough Brand of the Year” in this year’s 2008 Buyers Guide.
Dente’s personal passion for bodybuilding and nutrition has driven the company to the heights it now commands. He is continually seeking new ways to enhance muscle development and athletic performance. Even though he no longer competes, Dente is still a bodybuilder at heart, and having just turned 40, he depends more than ever on high-tech supplementation to keep in shape. His product ideas are often triggered by a desire to maximize his own performance and physique.
Apart from his duties as President, Dente is an accomplished author, writing authoritative articles in numerous fitness magazines. He recently completed his magnum opus titled Macrobolic Nutrition, which is a distillation of Dente’s life experience and knowledge in sport and nutrition supplementation. MHP has sponsored numerous physique and power sport champions, such as Victor Martinez, Joe Mazza, Brian Siders, Ryan Kennelly, Rob Luyando, and Phil Pfister (now World’s Strongest Man). Notably, in most instances these stars were taken-on before they had reached their zenith. MHP literally helps guide them to the top. As Dente remarks, “we take great pride in helping build our champions, not buying them.”
MHP is best-known for its outstanding contributions to two product categories: nitric oxide (NO) boosters, and testosterone boosters.
In 1999, the company introduced TRAC: the very first product to reliably increase peripheral NO levels for circulatory and anabolic enhancement. The product was far ahead of its time, employing a patented time-release delivery technology. TRAC literally led the entire field into the (now-huge) NO category.
This success was followed by the release, in 2001, of T-BOMB, the first of its kind in this important subcategory.
As if that were not enough, MHP bested itself in 2004 with the release of T-BOMB II , a 5-stage testosterone optimizer and complete male hormone metabolic enhancer. T-BOMB II includes an incredible array of natural and powerful compounds that optimize the body’s entire sex steroid balance.
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Unsatisfied with its own accomplishment in the NO category, MHP went on in 2005 to develop TRAC Extreme-NO, a product that experts have acclaimed as achieving “mastery of the nitric oxide pathway”. TRAC Extreme-NO contains the exclusive nitric oxide synthetic catalyst Biofolin, for an NO boost unseen with any competing product.
Last year, MHP introduced two new muscle-building breakthroughs: SARM-X and Cyclin-GF. SARM-X is the first of a new class of designer androgenic/anabolic steroid-memetic compounds called Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), which are engineered to exert powerful anabolic effects without being diverted to androgen receptor-bearing tissues elsewhere.
Cyclin-GF is the first to target Muscle Precursor Cells (MPCs) in muscle tissue, which is premised on the theory of activating them to initiate new muscle growth cycles and achieve muscle fiber maturity.
The company recently released a stunning new addition to the post workout category, called Dark Matter, a creatine-based formula that employs a new Nano-Physics absorption technology called Precision Nutrient Infusion for powerful anabolic synergy. This elite mass builder combines a carbohydrate matrix of waxy maize, glucose polymers and dextrose to spike up insulin, along with multi-phase creatine and a protein synthesizer matrix of key amino acids for faster and greater anabolic effectiveness.
All the way around from the TRACs, to the T-BOMBs, to SARM-X and Dark Matter, and beyondâ€”MHP stands as one of the few companies on the forefront of real innovation. Clearly, MHP’s advanced new product entries have earned them “The Breakthrough Brand of the Year.”
UNIVERSAL NUTRITION (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1982
One of the “grandfathers” of the sports nutrition industry, Universal Nutrition has been at it for over a quarter century, bringing quality formulations and solid value to a growing crowd of loyal consumers. With over 200 products, Universal also boasts one of the most complete lines in the field, with something for virtually every specialized need.
Over the years, this company has developed an integrated operation, featuring R&D, manufacturing, quality control lab, and virtually everything else in-house, under one (150,000 square-foot) roof. And everything Universal produces is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.
Universal’s core is its very popular “Animal” line. The bold black and white imagery of “Animal” stood in stark contrast to the technicolor glitz and hype of the competition. These are products with a primal attitude, and they are supported with the extensive training and nutrition information resource Animalpak.com.
The Animal line includes:
- ANIMAL TEST: billed as “the ultimate hypertrophic test pack”, combining a patented arachidonic acid with natural testosterone boosters and anti-estrogen compounds.
- ANIMAL PUMP: a preworkout creatine/nitric-oxide matrix, containing creatine, volumizers and NO-enhancers, all shoe-horned into a convenient dose pack.
- ANIMAL FLEX: a joint support formula for hardcore lifters, providing an array of joint lubricators and chondro-protective compounds.
- ANIMAL PAK: THE definitive, comprehensive multivitamin/mineral pack used by bodybuilders and powerlifters for more than two decades.
Special mention goes to the latter: Animal Paks. This category may seem boring, but it is really one of the most important single things you can take. It builds a “base of operation” for other supplements, and your whole training program. Each Pak contains the full spectrum of basic vitamins, minerals, lipotropics, digestive enzymes, and performance enhancers, further enhanced with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, PAK, IGF colostrum, nucleotides, L-arginine, Protogen A, eleuthero, and moreâ€”55 elements in total in 11 pills per pack.
Universal’s core is its very popular “Animal” line
|See Universal Nutrition products|
Yes, it takes that many. You can only squeeze so much into a single tablet. The company describes it bluntly, in Animal fashion: “It’s a multivitamin. Itâ€™s an amino supplement. It â€™s an EFA supplement. Itâ€™s a digestive aid. Itâ€™s a performance enhancer. Itâ€™s a boatload of things all wrapped up into one pack.”
Universal also offers more-exotic products, such as Torrentâ€”a postworkout formula with multiple creatines, cell volumizers, whey protein hydrolysate, and an anti-catabolic leucine complex. Also Stormâ€”the cell-volumizer and mass-builder.
CYTOSPORT (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1999
CytoSport is a family-owned business especially devoted to the needs of endurance athletes. President/CEO Greg Pickett, himself an athlete, is a 30-year veteran in the industry, with a background as a professional race car driver.
CytoSportâ€™s consulting scientist is Dr George Brooks, a world-class exercise physiologist and sports nutrition expert at UC Berkeley. Dr Brooks was responsible for developing the breakthrough compound polylactate (more on that below), and provides input on CytoSport formulations. Since its founding in 1999, Pickett and staff have guided CytoSport to become one of the top performance nutrition manufacturers in America.
CytoSportâ€™s most popular formulation, with many devoted users, is Muscle Milkâ€”a ready-to-drink with an unusual nutritional profile
CytoSportâ€™s most popular formulation, with many devoted users, is Muscle Milkâ€”a ready-to-drink with an unusual nutritional profile, patterned after human motherâ€™s milk, which is natureâ€™s ultimate anabolic food. The formula is built around EvoPro, CytoSport’s proprietary protein-amino blend that mimics the complex of alpha and beta micellar caseins, alpha-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, peptides and amino acids in human milk. Combined with EvoPro is emulsified MCT oil: a special “fatless fat” that does not get stored as body-fat, but instead gets burned for muscle energy while promoting positive nitrogen balance.
Another unique ingredient that shows up exclusively in CytoSport products is called polylactate: a patented compound that lowers blood lactate during exercise, and reduces muscle cramping, burning and soreness both during and after intense workouts. The benefits were demonstrated in a double-blind trial of male cyclists; this stuff really works! Look for it in CytoSport products such as Muscle Energy and Cytomax Recovery. Another favorite by CytoSport is called CytoGainer: a calorie-dense formula with complex carbs, glutamine, branched-chain aminos and partially pre-digested whey proteins. This is a solid “fast protein” source for immediately pre-workout, during-workout or after-workout feeding.
Watch CytoSport for novel formulations that might be your personal ticket to substantial muscle gains and improved workout performance.
GASPARI NUTRITION (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1997
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Rich Gaspari, the company’s founder and namesake, came to the sports nutrition industry with unique credentials. As a former Mr Universe, Arnold Classic winner, and 3-time runner-up in the Mr. Olympia, few individuals have had more insight on what it takes to win than Rich. After retiring from professional bodybuilding in 1996, he had the itch to build on his passion for the sport, and to pass along his knowledge of training and sports nutrition. The result was Gaspari Nutrition: a company devoted exclusively to personal performance.
As a former Mr Universe, Arnold Classic winner, and 3-time runner-up in the Mr. Olympia, few individuals have had more insight on what it takes to win than Rich.
The company’s most popular product is the pre-workout powerhouse SuperPump 250. It is more than just an NO-releaser. It appears to boost endurance and mental focus, while promoting muscle growth. Billed as “Way Beyond Nitric Oxide”, SuperPump 250 has the makings of a very fine contribution to the pre-workout/NO category.
Since its release, sales of SuperPump 250 and customer loyalty have multiplied. Users notice not only a physical effect in terms of muscle pump and growth, but a mental effect that translates into longer, harder workouts. Gaspari claims that SuperPump 250 is “the first supplement ever to cause people to end their workouts as a conscious, intellectual decision, and not as a result of physical exhaustion”. This statement may seem a bit glowing but Super Pump’s quality and effectiveness has earned it a coveted second place in the Pre-Workout category in this ProSource Buyer’s Guide, so it certainly offers real value for the bodybuilder.
Other products currently being offered by Gaspari include Intra-Pro, a whey concentrate and isolate blend, Size On, a creatine-based intra- and post-workout formula and the thermogenic called CytoLean. Look for Gaspari to out-do itself once again with an all-new product soon to be released “PlasmaJet” which is destined, they say, to “totally redefine the entire nitric oxide segment”.
NUTREX RESEARCH (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 2002
Nutrex Research was founded by Jens Ingenohl and Jeff McCarrell; a dynamic team with decades of experience in sports nutrition and bodybuilding. Hailing from Germany, Jens is a prolific author with great depth of knowledge about performance enhancing substances. He is best known for publishing, in 1996, the World Anabolic Review, a journal of advanced sports enhancement strategies, authored under the pen name of Manfred Bachmann. Jens still owns a successful sports nutrition company (BMS) and runs a nutrition and training magazine in Germany. Jeff McCarrell has been involved in the sports nutrition industry for 20 years, working with such notables as EAS and MET-Rx. With broad experience in sales, marketing, and product development, as well as being a successful competitive bodybuilder himself, Jeff has been a powerful force in building and assuring Nutrex’ success.
Nutrex has committed itself to the needs of hardcore bodybuilders, and expresses this commitment by sponsoring several top IFBB pros: Markus Ruhl, Mark Dugdale, Troy Alves, Armin Scholz and Dennis Wolf.
Of this company’s most notable products is their popular fat burner called Lipo-6. It is a solid caffeine and synephrine stack, teamed with yohimbine and guggulsterones for metabolic stimulation and fat mobilization. The new Lipo-6X builds on that success by adding thyroid-stimulating trace amines, and the body repartitioning CLA, to the formulation.
Best of all, Nutrex has developed a unique liquid multi-phase capsule formulation system; the first in the industry. Acting like two capsules in one, multi-phase capsules deliver a fast-acting liquid outer capsule and a sustained-release inner capsule. Several Nutrex products, including Lipo-6X, Ignite and Anabol-5, are now available as multi-phase capsules.
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Vitargo CGL is Nutrex’s contribution in the creatine category. It features a uniquely high-glycemic carbohydrate, in combination with creatine, for superior uptake and muscle hydration. They also produce a quality testosterone-booster “Vitrix” which packs a load of tribulus and other ingredients into a liquid capsule.
Nutrex’s most recent release is Mass XXplosion, which the company claims will allow athletes to actually build muscle while they train by providing critical anabolic agents during the period when blood flow is maxxed-out. An interesting strategy.
PROSOURCE (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1996
When ProSource Performance Products, Inc. first opened its doors in 1996, it was a far simpler entity than it is today. Back then, ProSource was primarily a small supplement distributor, which specialized in a select line of genuine premium-quality supplements, most notably its ultra-pure German creatine monohydrate, which is still one of the leaders in the category today. The ProSource marketing strategy was simpleâ€”offer only the absolute best quality supplements and eliminate the middle-men to keep the price as low as possible. As a result, consumers were able to buy truly superior-quality supplements for prices comparable to, and in some cases, even lower than the cost of the inferior-grade products sold in retail stores. Word of this tremendous value spread like wildfire throughout the bodybuilding community, and as a result, ProSource quickly emerged as the leading company for true premium-grade supplements.
ProSource’s pricing and quality strategies had a tremendous impact. But aggressive cost-cutting and enhanced quality werenâ€™t the only innovations they introduced to the industry. Unlike its competitors, ProSource diligently investigated and analyzed every product it sold under the ProSource brand. This was unheard of in a marketplace where companies were accustomed to selling anything they could get their hands on regardless of whether a product had merit or not.
“Right from the very beginning,” ProSource Chief Scientific Advisor Jeff Volek, PhD. said, “there were highly hyped products out there that ProSource simply refused to carry. These were supplements that didn’t do what their manufacturers claimed they did, but yet, were in high demand because of marketing hype. Needless to say, this adherence to high standards of quality control ruffled some feathers. They made a few manufacturers unhappy by exposing some of the hype,” continued Volek. “But they had a commitment to their customers, which was apparently unwavering. ProSource has demonstrated that they are simply not willing to sell a product unless there is evidence of a legitimate performance benefit.”
This meticulous attention to detail carried over to ProSourceâ€™s landmark annual Buyer’s Guides and Performance Nutrition Catalogs. Rather than a shotgun approach to merchandising, ProSource has always been extremely selective with the product lines and brands it carries.
“In preparation for each issue of our annual Buyer’s Guide, we analyze thousands of products, review volumes of scientific studies and technical data, and in many cases, even “field test” the products with members of our product testing team”, said Jeff Orr, Senior Product Tester at ProSource. “This information is instrumental in creating the informative product reviews that competitive bodybuilders have come to rely on for optimally effective supplement strategies”, said Jeff.
The ProSource Buyer’s Guides also became famous for their insightful articles, invaluable advice on training and supplementation, Q&A features, and other cutting-edge research content. Those catalogs have since been augmented and reinforced with Prosource.net, the industry’s most informative and user-friendly shopping and information website, and one of the top online bodybuilding destinations.
“One of the things that makes this site unique,” said Bill Kispert, ProSource Senior Editor “is that the editorial content is researched and authored by highly credentialed experts in the field. The bodybuilding world is unfortunately loaded with much misinformation due to low editorial quality control standards of many internet sites, which utilize writers who have no legitimate qualifications. In contrast, our credential requirement for writers is extremely stringent. We typically seek out the preeminent authority in a given field to author each particular article. Our objective has always been to provide reliable authoritative information on the supplements we sell. In many cases, this leads us to university researchers with volumes of published scientific work on the particular subject they are writing about.”
Inevitably, these high standards and uncompromising attention to detail yielded dramatic growth for the highly acclaimed ProSource brand. ProSource continues to purchase large volumes of the very highest-grade premium-quality raw materials on the market; compounds like genuine CreaPure® German creatine monohydrate and Glanbia’s super potent CFM processed growth-factor-rich whey protein isolate, which enables them to stay ahead of the competition in both quality and price. In 1999, their first flagship protein, NytroWhey appeared, and the ProSource brand instantaneously became known for delivering an unprecedented level of quality.
“I’ve personally used NytroWhey long before I began working with ProSource,” said ProSource Research & Development advisor Dwayne Jackson, PhD. “As a bodybuilder and researcher, I could immediately notice the difference in quality compared to standard grade proteins. There was no bloating, the taste was excellent, it mixed easily, and most importantly, I experienced noticeably improved recovery and growth with NytroWhey. This impeccable quality is one of the things that attracted me to the company. To this day, I have yet to find another protein that even compares to the quality of the NytroWhey line”, said Dwayne. “It’s a 100% pure, growth factor-rich whey isolate of the highest quality at a cost comparable to what most customers were accustomed to paying for the crudest whey concentrates. Its not surprising that I see high-level bodybuilders who are under contract with competitive sports supplement companies using NytroWhey.”
More landmark products followed, including vital additions to the NytroWhey line, such as new NytroWhey Ultra, or the super potent, clinically-tested testosterone booster AndroTest, the ultra comprehensive super-multi MegaMax, the immensely popular maximum strength joint support formula Joint Command, the fast-acting high-powered creatine formula SynthaTrex Xtreme and many more.
The ProSource R&D team was also involved in the development of a quadruple-layer protein bar that completely revolutionized the category.
Offering the highest quality products, based on real science, with the lowest prices nationwide has helped ProSource establish the most loyal customer base in the supplement industry.
“Until Supreme Protein came along,” Jackson said, “manufacturers were content to fill their bars with crude low-quality proteins such as useless gelatin. ProSource simply applied the same high standards to the Supreme Protein bars that they have applied to the other top-selling ProSource products, like NytroWhey. The quality is impeccable and consumers apparently have been quick to recognize that.”
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Working with a leading team of food technologists, these visionary researchers set out to create a truly nutritious muscle-building protein snack. Powered by premium whey protein isolate, Supreme Protein has literally taken the bar category by storm. In fact, Supreme Protein has proven to be such a high performance taste treat that it has quickly become a top-seller in stores across the country.
ProSource’s unique dual capacity as both a supplement innovator and multi-line retail giant has placed it in a prime position to offer unprecedented values to its legions of satisfied customers.
“We treat our customers like they’re family,” said Operations Manager John Gordon. “We are athletes and supplement users ourselves, and in this sport, it’s kind of like a brotherhood. As an avid power-lifter myself, I know that when I need a supplement, I don’t want to wait. That’s why we stock in our own warehouses every item we distribute so that we can get it out to our customers the fastest way possible. Nothing is more satisfying to me than building long-term relationships with our customers and I have found the best way to do that is provide excellent products, great prices, and fast service”, said John.
“When we introduce a ProSource brand product, you can be sure it is of the absolute highest quality on the market”, added Jim Casagrand, Quality Control Manager at ProSource. “We tell you what’s in it, what benefits it provides, and we present the scientific data associated with its effectiveness. Many of our competitors’ approaches to selling supplements rely on over the top claims and advertising hype, which can be entertaining at times, but they’re not useful tools for judging the real worth of products. At ProSource, we place a heavy emphasis on hard science and that is what truly sets us apart.”
Offering the highest quality products, based on real science, with the lowest prices nationwide has helped ProSource establish the most loyal customer base in the supplement industry. “They deeply respect their customer’s bodybuilding and fitness goals”, said Chief Scientific Advisor Jeff Volek, PhD. “That comes through in everything they do, and that’s why more and more bodybuilders and athletes are turning to ProSource for their supplement needs.”
MUSCLETECH (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1995
Managed by a privately held company, MuscleTech’s dynamic R&D machine is headed by Marvin Heuer, MD, the firm’s Chief Science Officer. With over three decades of medical experience, both in patient care and clinical research, Heuer has authored over 40 scientific papers and other publications. He is an expert on general fitness, heart and muscle physiology, and the science of muscle growth and performance. His background includes positions of responsibility at world-class premium companies like Ayerst Labs and SmithKline Beecham. Heuer’s stellar credentials reflect MuscleTech’s commitment to research, scientific validation, innovation and quality.
MuscleTech has funded over 100 clinical research studies to date, including trials at Baylor University, the University of Nottingham, the University of Laval, St. Francis Xavier University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto. These studies have been published in 66 abstracts and more than 25 full papers in scientific journals such as the International Journal of Sports
Nutrition, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Theyâ€™ve also been the basis of Iovateâ€™s large intellectual property portfolio, including over 30 patents and 83 patents pending.
Few companies can claim this level of devotion to the sport, and willingness to put serious resources into research on the science of sport supplementation.
All this effort has resulted in relationships with some of the worldâ€™s top applied physiology and sports science research specialists. Not only does MuscleTech develop relationships with top scientists, it also gives student awards to young scientists, recognizing excellence in student research. MuscleTech also sponsors scientific symposia such as “Dietary regulation of skeletal muscle metabolism at rest and during exercise” (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology 2003). Few companies can claim this level of devotion to the sport, and willingness to put serious resources into research on the science of sport supplementation.
Several products are worthy of special note. Under the direction of Dr Heuer, MuscleTech researchers have devised a comprehensive pre-workout formula: naNO Vapor. Containing six (no less!) proprietary ingredient blends, each targeting a relevant physiological system or functional goal, naNO Vapor has lifted the bar in the pre-workout categoryâ€”possibly farther than anyone else can clear. In brief, the complexes in this formula are:
- NeuroAMP: Amps-up concentration and mental focus with tyrosines, acetylcholine-boosters, and lipo-thiamine, for more intense workouts.
- Infernogen: Turns up the heat with thermogenic compounds and alpha-receptor (fat-release) stimulators.
- Vasoprime: A vasodilating NO amplification matrix proported to deliver more anabolic nutrients to working muscles.
- Anaphex: An anabolic/anti-catabolic signaling complex designed to promote protein synthesis and damp the catabolic bad-guys.
- Intravol: A creatine derivative-based muscle cell volumizing, cell-swelling and hydrating complex.
- Myo-GF: An endocrine stimulant designed to promote optimal testosterone delivery and post-workout growth hormone release.
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Thatâ€™s it in a nutshell. The full story on all the ingredients in these complexes would take pages. Suffice it to say that MuscleTech has outdone itself on this one, packing more high-tech, engineered pro-growth compounds into one product than ever before.
Adding to naNO Vaporâ€™s efficiency is that some of the ingredients have been provided as nanoparticlesâ€”ultra-tiny particles up to 7400% smaller than the particulates of the native raw materials. This advanced technology is intended to enhance absorption and the ability of the total product to achieve effects on muscle size and strength.
Another MuscleTech research accomplishment is Cell-Tech Hardcoreâ€”a top-selling creatine-based muscle builder, and for good reason. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated Cell-Tech Hardcoreâ€™s potency for increasing mass, strength, and cell volume. Cell-Tech Hardcore employs four proprietary complexes that promote creatine uptake and delivery to muscle cells: Crea-Edge, Osmodrol, Insulodrive, and Lipoic-Tech.
Cell-Tech Hardcore also employs the patented Nanomolecular Hyperdispersion Technology delivery system which, like with naNO Vapor, harnesses the power of nanoparticulation. Other popular products by Muscle-Tech include CREAKIC, LEUKIC, Anator-p70, Mass-Tech, Nitro-Tech Hardcore, Hydroxycut Hardcore, and many more. These formulations and the science behind them help explain why Muscle-Tech holds court as one of the top purveyors of quality supplements in the bodybuilding industry.
OPTIMUM NUTRITION (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 1983
Focusing on value and diversity of offerings, Optimum (with its companion brand American Body Building) offers a comprehensive line of products across multiple categoriesâ€”protein powders, nutritional bars and bites, ready-to-drink sports beverages, vitamins and minerals, and more.
Founded by Mike and Tony Costello, Optimum Nutrition focuses on affordability of the most-essential sports nutrition products, such as whey protein. 100% Whey Protein is Optimumâ€™s #1 econo-whey product, and one of the categoryâ€™s single best sellers.
Their commitment to value is evident throughout Optimumâ€™s product development process. Raw material vendors are carefully vetted, and Certificates of Analysis are required. To eliminate the possibility of chemical or microbiological contamination, Optimum has established a unique Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program. Quality assurance professionals make routine checks on all storage, blending and production areas, and conduct final inspections daily.
100% Whey Protein is Optimumâ€™s #1 econo-whey product
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Again, because of the large volume this company deals in, all this elaborate control work becomes cheap on a per-unit basis. That means that the customer gets the products without paying big bucks for them. Optimum is known for highly-competitive pricing of all its products. Their 100% Whey Gold Standard protein is another popular econo-whey featuring a blend of whey isolate, ion exchange isolate, whey concentrates and whey peptides.
Of course, Optimum carries numerous other formulations, such as Instant BCAA powder, Opti-Men and Opti-Women gender specific daily multiples, Vassive CE creatine ester complex, and Vassive NO nitric oxide blend, but it is the econo-whey category where they have earned their stripes.
BIO-ENGINEERED SUPPLEMENTS & NUTRITION (BSN) (more information)
ESTABLISHED IN: 2001
Founded by Chris Ferguson and Scott Jamesâ€”now President/CEO, and VP, respectively, BSN has been an impressive success-story since coming out of nowhere, in 2001. Some of the buzz is due to BSNâ€™s associations with numerous top athletes, but the other part of the growth derives from BSNâ€™s products including such well-known names as Nitrix, Cellmass and Syntha-6.
Most notable are the companyâ€™s contributions in the nitric oxide category, including NO-Xplode and Nitrix NO-Xplode. NO-Xplode contains an array of performance-boosters, cell-volumizers, insulin sensitivity-enhancers, and more, all wrapped up in a unique delivery system.
Most notable are the companyâ€™s contributions in the nitric oxide category
Nitrix is a more “pure” NO-boosting product, featuring arginine AKG, combined with NO-enhancing cofactors like nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), L-citrulline, and a blend of essential phosphates that act to promote cellular nutrient uptake. Nitrix markedly enhances the workout pump, muscle fullness, vascularity, strength, and recuperation. BSN claims to have developed a precise “bonded ratio” of L-Arginine to AKG, which promotes NO synthesis better than competing products.
Similar to Nitrix is Endorush, a pre-workout energy/NO drink featuring arginine AKG and L-citrulline along with various nutrients, stimulants, taurine and glucuronolactone.
BIOQUEST (more information)
BioQuest is a three-year old company that has already made a major impact on the industry, especially in the key areas of weight loss and mass building. Tetrazene Extreme, for example, is an extremely effective weight loss, appetite suppressant technology that also delivers remarkable energy support. Clearly, their flagship product has got to be MyoZene, which is a great, fast-acting post-workout anabolic breakthrough, powered by ultra-hydrolyzed whey protein. MyoZene is considered without question the most innovative and powerful mass-building product of its kind in the industry. MyoZene and the new low-carb MyoZene UltraPro have been wildly successful additions to their growing line. Also, BioQuestâ€™s new Fusion Force is a top-quality, maximum potency pre-workout formulation of key anabolics and energy boosters that produce massively productive workouts. More great things are on the horizon so be sure to check them out.
LABRADA (more information)
Founded by IFBB Hall-of-Famer Lee Labrada, this company sports a full line of weight-loss and energy products, protein shakes, bars, and more. Their hallmark innovation, has been the meal replacement category, where theyâ€™ve dominated with such products as Lean Body and the delicious Lean Body Breakfast, a recent culinary taste award winner.
ErgoPharm (more information)
ErgoPharmâ€™s biggest claim to fame, is their unique 6-OXO (androst-4-ene-3,6,
17-trione): a patent-pending compound that helps inhibit aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. A recent human clinical trial showed that 6-OXO increased levels of free testosterone while reducing circulating estradiol. This is a burgeoning field of study with other technologies coming to the fore, but 6-OXO has more than earned its place in this category.
EAS burst onto the scene many years ago with creatineâ€”the great breakthrough sports nutrition product of the 20th century. Phosphagen HP not only provided this new and powerful compound but it also contained carbs, phosphates, magnesium and taurine. This landmark formula has recently been updated as Phosphagen Elite, a highly rated and super potent creatine formula that has garnered respect across the board. In recent years, the MyoPlex line of MRPâ€™s has become the flagship of EAS.
NOW Foods (more information)
NOW Foods has been offering their respected brand of dietary supplements for over 40 years. Value is the watchword here, with a products like creatine, proteins, branched-chain aminos, glutamine, and lecithin. They even carry personal care items, natural foods, green foods, vitamins, minerals and more. NOW Foods mantra is quality and selection at affordable pricing and this remarkable company delivers on all counts.
ProLab (more information)
Prolab Nutrition has been around since 1989 and provides a decent array of products. They entered the protein category fairly early on with Pure Whey and it remains their flagship formula. Pure Whey contains a blend of whey concentrates, isolates and glutamine peptides. Theyâ€™re also known for their delicious MRP Lean Mass Complex, and their popular weight gain formula N-Large.
AST Sports Science is another company that offers solid values in creatine products, protein powders, test boosters and MRPâ€™s. Theyâ€™ve got a few specialty products of note, such as GABA, a neuro-transmitter amino acid, micronized glutamine, micronized creatine, NAC 500, their popular mass-building MRP called Ny-Tro Pro-40, and their new weight gainer, Muscle XGF. They also have several thermogenics in the brand line so they offer a little something for every bodybuilderâ€™s needs.
NEXT Proteins (more information)
NEXT Proteins earns perennial kudos for its Designer Whey proteinâ€”a quality product at good value. Designer Whey has even won several national taste awards. Their other flagship product is, of course, the Detour protein bar and the variations of such, being one of the first bars to introduce multi-layer technology and enhanced flavor to this tasty category.
Supreme Protein Inc (more information)
The stunning success of this newer company is attributable to the sheer superiority of its product quality. Although now its own company, Supreme Protein’s formulation was originally created with the assistance of the elite ProSource R&D team so that it could tap into their vast knowledge and expertise in the science of protein supplementation. “Clearly, in terms of protein alone, Supreme Protein is the most cutting-edge entry this category has ever seen”, said sports nutrition researcher Doug Kalman, PhD, RD. “In fact, finding a protein bar that is even remotely comparable in quality to this one seems like an impossible task.” Interestingly, the companyâ€™s only brand is this amazingly delicious premium protein bar. This success story is a testament to the adage of “do one thing and do it well”. The fact is nobody does it better in the protein bar category than Supreme Protein. From the superior quality growth-factor-rich whey isolate to the healthy flax seed oil to the amazing gourmet chocolate, every detail of this nutritional masterpiece demonstrates the companyâ€™s quest for absolute perfection. The efforts have apparently paid off as Supreme Protein has become the highest rated bar ever (by a significant margin) in this vast product category. We are told that a number of other exciting innovations for the bar category are on the horizon for Supreme Protein Inc for ’08.Reposted from ProSource.net: