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Complete Nutrition Expands with New Product Line

One of the busiest booths at the Arnold Classic in March was the Complete Nutrition booth. Centrally-located, these ambitious first-time attendees had four lines going at all times, giving away bags of product (in return for names and emails, of course). Pre-Arnold, Complete Nutrition told me they were bringing 180,000 samples to the show! That’s serous commitment. I was impressed with the consistently happy-to-see-yoy attitude displayed by their employees throughout the exhausting three-day run.

Complete Nutrition has a new, extensive line of products, all announced at the Arnold and handed out in massive quantities. Their new Charge On Bars enter a crowded marketplace of all-natural, whole-food protein bars. I like the first ingredient in their proprietary protein blend: whey protein isolate. Also included is milk protein isolate, whey protein crisps, whey protein concentrate, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate, and sunflower lecithin. Basically, traditional protein bar label reading. Charge On Bars taste good, I like the relatively soft texture and mouth feel. The 16 grams of fiber in each bar is a good thing, balanced with the relatively small 5 grams of sugar. Each bar contains 28 grams of carbs. As protein bars go, Charge On bars seem as viable as any others. Keep in mind, real food and protein powder is always superior to bars in most situations, in my opinion.

Moving into the pre-workout market, Complete Nutrition does so with Liquid NX6 Shots. This 4 fluid ounce bottle is a single serving, believe it or not (it’s pretty big). Included is Beta-Alanine, arginine silicate, Amla Fruit extract, taurine, l-arginine, l-citruline malate, and vanadyll sulfate. The taste is good.  I’ve experimented with using Liquid NX6 pre-workout with a breakfast containing only protein/fat, and with a carb-heavy oatmeal breakfast. My pump was superior following the oatmeal, naturally, no surprise there, but even in a near-ketosis situation, I could feel myself filling out during the workout when I drank the NX6. I used it in the gym, right before beginning the session.

Also part of the new line are Charge On RTD Protein Drinks, in big 16.9 fluid ounce bottles. Each contains 20 grams of protein, and in the words of Complete Nutrition, “The 20 grams of isolate protein is supercharged with Velositol, an innovative new ingredient shown to double the power of protein.” Frankly, I have no idea what that is and whether it can possibly have such benefit. I’m not a fan of RTD protein, in any case. I much prefer blending quality protein powder with BCAA and creatine and MCT oil, trusting my choices for going into the blender.

Amino Uptake is a packet of 5 grams of amino acids, dosed with green coffee bean. The standard for many BCAA blends today is to add caffeine in one form or another. I’m not sure why. I consume plenty of coffee and espresso on my own and don’t need it in my amino acids, but it’s there all the time, it seems.

Pre-X7 is a powdered pre-workout supplement. Each serving has 3 grams of creatine, 750 milligrams of a nitric oxide (Nitrosigine), 3.2 grams of Carnosyn (glucose to help get through your workout strongly), and an unknown amount of AGmass, which Complete says enhances glucose uptake. I’ve not tried this yet, and I think I only have one packet, so I’ll not really know how it compares to other similar products.

Muscle Recovery RX4 interests me; each jar contains 120 softgels, 3 per serving. These have CLA, L-Leucine, MCT oil, ashwaganda root, a fancy form of calcium, and tart cherry powder. I’ll use these for a month along with my post-workout shake. 

Citrine is the “weight management” product, 120 capsules per jar (60 servings). This is their empty stomach fat burner, I assume. In each capsule is Vitamin B6, B12, caffeine, Theacrine, Huperzine, Casicum Extract, citrus avantium 6% synephrine, rhodiola rosea extract, ashwagandha root & leaf extract, and ginkgo bilobo extract. I’ll use this Citrine the same month I use the RX4, on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Citrine bottle label

I find this new lineup of products interesting, but not ground-breaking and innovative. However, I’m not looking for magic. There’s already enough snake-oil merchants selling easy solutions. As a group of health and fitness supplements added to the existing Complete Nutrition line, this appears a worthy addition to their stacks and existing lines.

Why was Complete Nutrition investing so much money and time at the Arnold Classic? Their primary competitors, GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, no longer consistently set-up. GNC has gone from a major sponsor of strongman events, with a large interactive booth, to no visible presence at all. I’ve no inside information at all, but I’ve heard enough rumbling the last couple of years that GNC is hurting. Perhaps Complete Nutrition is taking a run at GNC itself, hoping to carve a bigger piece of the ever-expanding pie.

@completenutritn, @arnoldsportsfesitival

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