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Finding a good supplement source is hard. It seems common these days for companies to spend more of their investment dollars in branding than they actually do in developing a quality product.
To further consume the inquisitive purchaser it seems new supplement and vitamin brands are popping up almost overnight. Keeping track of what’s hot, what’s legit, what’s affordable and what’s effective is a never ending chore.
Well, this blog post is designed to make your life a little easier as we identify a quality supplement provider for you so you don’t have to waste your time reading through endless marketing hype or endless bb.com forums.
Today I am going to introduce to you Performance Lab, some of their primary core supplements, and why they should be on any fitness enthusiasts consideration list when looking quality supplements to add to their regular stack.
This is an authentic review. Skinny Yoked actually use these supplements and we’ve added our own pictures showing so. We don’t do fake reviews here, only honest first-hand experiences. You’re welcome.
Who Are Performance Lab?
Performance Lab is a supplement company out of the United Kingdom owned by Opti-Nutra, which manufacturers their own supplements directly. This is a BIG differentiator from other supplement companies as so many of them are simply resellers, sourcing low-quality ingredients from big manufacturers, often from China, and simply slap their own label on the product.
Knowing Performance Lab sources directly from a reliable brand like Opti-Nutra is greatly reassuring that the ingredients you are ingesting on a regular basis are not only safe but of the highest and most pure potency.
Opti-Nutra also boasts the following certifications:
- Registered with the FDA
- NSF cGMP certified (Current Good Manufacturing Practices Certified)
- Natural Products Association Certified (NPA)
- Underwriter Laboratories Certified (UL)
- USP standards for heavy metals compliant
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Certified
- Orthodox Union & Kosher Certified
- USDA Organic Certified
- Halal Certified
- Specialized Technology Resources (STR) Certified
- Health Canada Certified Registered – Natural Health Products Directorate
- European Supplement Commission (ESC) Compliant
- US Pharmacopeia Certified
They literally have every certification you can get as a supplement maker which should not only help you sleep sound at night but also know you’re money is being well spent on quality products and not fillers.
Opti-Nutra also uses a whole variety of super high-tech testing methodology to ensure consistency in quality day in and day out. This includes infrared spectrometer testing gas chromotographerds and coupled plasma mass spectrometer testing and high performance liquid chromotography and advanced microbiological screening and polymerase chain reaction screening and photo stimulated luminescence testing.
Yes those are all real tests. You can even Google them each individually.
In my over 15 years of lifting weights and taking supplements I have yet to find a supplement manufacturer that boasts as many certifications and testing methodologies as Opti-Nutra.
You can see that Opti-Nutra is the science behind Performance Lab as there is a little watermark at the very bottom of the Performance Lab homepage. Personally I think they should boast this connection a bit more prominently but I also get they are trying to develop a more performance-oriented brand in Performance Lab.
What Do They Make?
Performance Lab categorizes their supplements into general categories, those being the CORE range and the SPORT range.
The CORE Range
The CORE range is for general health (something every person could take) and consists of a multivitamin (Whole-Food Multi), an energy booster (Energy), a cognition-enhancing nootropic (Mind), a eye health support pill (Vision), a sleep-enhancer (Sleep), and a digestive support supplement (Prebiotic).
These are some of the most popular selling categories so that’s why Performance Lab has chosen to focus on them in their CORE line. Each supplement variant uses only the highest quality, often trademarked ingredients to insure the highest potency and quality. Seriously, try counting all of the “©” symbols. None of the generic stuff here no sir.
The SPORT Range
While the CORE range is more directed at working professionals the SPORT range is designed with the athlete in mind. The SPORT supplements are more focused on increasing athletic performance more than they are on general body health like the CORE line.
The SPORT range consists of a BCAA supplement (BCAA), a pre-workout supplement (Pre), a post-workout supplement (Post), a thermogenic/fat burner (Fat Burner), and a testosterone booster (T-Booster).
It is the SPORT range that I tested (the whole line) because I feel that is the one that is more appropriate for bodybuilders. This isn’t to say the CORE range isn’t a great line, and everyone should be taking a multi-vitamin anyways, so stacking the CORE and SPORT together makes perfect sense (if you can afford it!).
Everything about the SPORT range screams quality. The BCAA is contains the muscle-optimized 2:1:1 ratio that’s been proven an anabolic golden ratio.
The pre-workout contains Creapure pH10, one of the most advanced forms of creatine on the market, in addition to Cordyceps Super (trademarked), L-Citrulline, L-Glutamine (trademarked Ajinomoto), L-Carnosine, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Maritime Pine Bark Extract.
Quality in the Details
Having a pre-workout you can take in pill form is MASSIVELY convenient as lugging around a separate cup with a pre-workout powder everywhere can be a major pain in the ass, especially if you work an office job and workout immediately before/after work.
Little touches like using the more expensive and premium version of creatine in Creapure to using Himalayan Pink Salt over just regular sodium (pink salt is pink because of trace minerals which are great to have as pre-workout as you loose these in your sweat) is what sets Performance Lab products apart from the competition as well as justify their price.
Industry-Leading Ingredient Blends
Once big problem in the supplement industry is the over-reliance on “fillers” to make products cheaper to manufacture. These price savings are usually not brought to the consumer and kept as “profit margin” on the product. Some supplement companies make big bucks by selling sub-par product at premium prices.
Performance Lab is a unique instance where the price of the product actually reflects the quality of the ingredients contained within.
Whether it’s the pre-workout capsules, which contain only ingredients which have scientific backing (university studies) supporting their actual effectiveness, to the post-workout which in addition to proven-effective ingredients like creatine (performance enhancer) and pomegranate extract (anti-oxidant).
The post-workout capsules also contain organic coconut water crystals, which are insanely electrolyte-dense (sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus) as well as B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates) and thus make a wonderful addition to a post-workout supplement.
For reference, one tablespoon of coconut crystals contains the equivalent of drinking a full 12 ounce bottle of coconut water.
It’s the inclusion of standout ingredients like this that sets Performance Lab apart from much of their competition.
Fat Burners & Test Boosters
While the ingredients in the BCAA supplements, as well as the pre-workout and post-workout supplements have endless scientific research backing their effectiveness as safe performance enhancers, test boosters and fat burners often don’t have such robust backing.
This is because burning fat, at the end of the day still relies on you burning more total net calories than you consume.
This is simple and unavoidable math..
This is why fat burners get a bad rap, because people take them while in a caloric surplus and expect them to work miracles..
This is akin to trying to dig a hole to china but starting on top of mount Everest first, instead of at sea level.
Fat burners come into their own when you are already in a lean state (10% body fat) and are looking to help shred just an extra couple percentage points of body fat.
The ingredients in Performance Lab fat burner include Coleus Forskohlii (trademarked as Forslean), HMB (which we’ve reviewed extensively before), Cayenne Pepper Extract (trademarked as Capsimax), and Black Pepper Extract (trademarked as BioPerine).
Together these ingredients help kickstart and support robust metabolization, which means they’re best taken in the morning. They also promote thermogenesis so you can burn more calories during the day than if you weren’t supplementing.
Similarly, testosterone boosters can get a bad rap because people take them again without modifying their diet or exercise, and expect IFBB Pro levels of testosterone production as a result.
T-boosters simply “boost your testosterone”. They DO NOT JACK IT UP BEYOND NORMAL PHYSIOLOGICAL RANGES. This is not to say they are worthless like so many “experts” claim. Many people’s natural test levels are on the low end of the natural range.
That’s right, there is no “perfect” test level, instead men are deemed healthy as long as they fall within the range of 300-1,000 ng/dL. The “average” for men is around 700 ng/dL.
This is where test boosters come into play. If you are sitting at just 300 ng/dL of natural testosterone then a test booster can help push that up to perhaps 4-500 ng/dL. They won’t blow you past the 1,000 ng/dL mark, but they can help optimize your bodies natural processes to better assist it in producing it’s own natural test.
*A healthy diet, solid sleep cycle, and resistance training should be your primary pillars driving and supporting your test levels naturally.
So if you want to go pro then no, test boosters are not for you. Similarly if you have abnormally low levels (you can get easy home-test kits now via Amazon) then you should see a doctor as you’ll probably need to add exogenous (test not naturally produced by your body) boost your levels.
Ultimately if you have unnatural, below healthy range hormone levels you’ll want to be consulting an actual doctor as this is a serious problem with your endocrine system and not just something natural over the counter supplements will fix.
If you are looking to exceed your “natty ceiling” via supplementation then we’d recommend you look into the research published on selective androgen receptor modulators or SARMs as their more commonly referred to as. These promote anabolic growth without negatively impacting other systems or organs (prostate, heart) like anabolics tend to do.
But for squeezing 100% out of your natty potential we’d suggest focusing on dialing in your workout routine, diet, and of course, supplementation.
What Does Skinny Yoked Recommend?
In summary, if you are just looking to boost your performance we’d recommend getting the BCAA, Pre and Post workout supplements. If you do a hormone test and you’re on the low end of the natural spectrum then we’d recommend the t-booster.
If you’re test levels are at a healthy level then we wouldn’t recommend it as you’d be wasting your money since these kind of supplements will never push you past your natural range.
Same can be said with the fat burner. If you’re above 15% bodyfat then don’t waste your money. First diet down to around 10% and THEN we’d recommend considering stacking in the fat burner supplement on top of the BCAA, Pre and Post.
At the end of the day it is important to remember natural over-the-counter supplements like these aren’t miracle workers. They will not push you into competitive bodybuilder categories of muscle mass or bodyfat percentages.
Instead they will help provide the nutrients your body needs to rebuild and grow at an optimal rate in the face of regular stressors like strength training.
The human body prefers homeostasis, it is a lazy thing.
Thus, if you are regularly pushing it beyond what is considered a normal workload by doing heavy compound lifts, then it’s important to provide that extra supplementation it needs to recover from those unnaturally high muscle stressors.