2013 in Supplements - A Review
It’s that time of year again where we start our search on some of the best supplements of 2014. We’ll be looking at all categories, but concentrating mainly on protein powders, pre-workouts, test boosters and fat burners. 2013 was an interesting year for bodybuilding, fat loss and workout supplements. Perhaps the biggest event in the industry was the arrival of MusclePharm’s Arnold Series, an unexpected move by all accounts; but a brilliant one and one that cements MusclePharm’s reputation as one of the best supplement companies in the world.
2013 also saw the rise of EHPLabs OxyShred, a fat burner which also came out of nowhere, but has really made a splash both in Australia and in the international market. Its reputation has grown so much that it overshadows OxyElite Pro’s popularity and by quite a fair bit. 2013 saw a massive rise in new-ish companies such as Top Secret Nutrition, American Muscle and Pro Supps. Many companies have also decided to rebrand themselves such as Beast and BPI Sports, while other companies have decided to branch out and release new lines of supplements such as BPI Sports with the Jay Cutler Series of Supplements and Cellucor with the Neon Sport Series.
Whilst there has been plenty of action in 2013, there has also been plenty of inaction with brands such as BSN, Pharmafreak and Driven Sports all having a relatively quiet year with few new releases. Hopefully this means that they’ve been working hard in terms of some serious R & D for a big 2014, at least for BSN and Pharmafreak. Unfortunately, Driven Sports has slowly been driven out of business by regulations and negative analyses of its products; despite their popularity. But all is not lost, Driven Sports have recently made a resurgence back into the market with a new pre-workout and amino acid supplement. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the best supplements on the market of 2014 in no particular order.
Top 10 Supplements of 2014 - Updated List
While we would love to put the entire Arnold Series up here, Iron Mass is perhaps the most innovative out of the entire range. Using hydrolysed beef protein as its main source as well as sweet potato powder, barley powder and whipped cream powder, Iron Mass packs a serious punch and condenses a whopping 485 calories in a small 95g serving. If you want to look like Arnie, then Iron Mass will get you there and will be one of the defining mass gainers and supplements of 2014.
Having been released quite early in 2013, its popularity has been growing on an exponential scale – overtaking other popular fat burners such as USPLabs OxyElite Pro Powder. And there doesn’t appear to be any stopping of EHPLabs and OxyShred and even with the release of USPLabs OxyElite Pro Advanced Formula, OxyShred will continue to be one of the best if not THE best fat burner of 2014.
3. Updated - BodyWar PreWar & Driven Sports Frenzy
Originally, GEAR Sports Nutrition held this spot as one of the more exciting brands to come out. Backed by Liz Gaspari, the supplement company only released their supplements after almost 6 months delay. While their products are still quite good, newer releases have superceded its entry into the list. BodyWar PreWar and Driven Sports Frenzy are two of the newest pre-workouts on the market and are considered to be two of the strongest pre workout supplements around. With plenty of stimulants including the DMAA alternative AMP Citrate, if you need the motivation to work out this year, then you can't go past these two supplements.
4. ProSupps Mr Hyde & Hyde V2
Mr Hyde was one of those underrated pre-workouts and was often overlooked in favour of more popular pre-workouts such as Cellucor C4 and APS Mesomorph, both excellent concentrated pre-workouts. The original Mr Hyde was a fantastic pre-workout though and one that offers super clean but extremely intense energy and pumps. The original Mr Hyde will slowly be replaced by Hyde V2 – a potent and extreme revision of the original formula. Cellucor C4 and APS Mesomorph are still going to be 2 of the most popular pre-workouts in 2014, but the current Mr Hyde and Hyde V2 will definitely give them a run for their money.
Elemental Nutrition is a company that has been growing strength to strength the last couple of years. With popular and strongly named supplements such as HGH, Anabolic Mass and Massive Muscle Fuel – one of their latest supplements is titled Peptides. An apt name for the supplement, which contains branched chain amino acid peptides useful for recovery and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. A controversial name, especially in the Australian landscape, but a truly exciting direction for amino acid supplements, as seen by the release of the similar new supplement from BPI Sports – Best BCAA which also contains amino acid peptides.
6. Updated - Muscletech Clear Muscle & Essential Series
This position was originally held by Top Secret Nutrition's Pump Igniter. While still one of the best pre-workouts around, Muscletech's latest flurry of supplement releases including the much hyped Clear Muscle and their plentiful Essential Series rocket the company onto this list with another entry. Clear Muscle is a muscle growth support supplement containing free form HMB known as BetaTOR, which has some excellent research showing its effectiveness in promoting muscle growth and recovery. The Essential Series also does away with the expensive image the company gave off previously and offers trainers with an affordable range of all the necessities including proteins and single ingredient supplements such as CLA (conjugated linoleic acids) and creatine.
7. BPI Sports Whey HD
The release of new blended whey proteins are always a risky move, especially from companies who don’t have a name for themselves. After all, it’s a hard slog competing against well established companies such as Optimum Nutrition, Muscletech, MusclePharm and BSN. BPI Sports have decided to take on that challenge though by releasing their Whey HD blended whey protein. An easier task for them thanks to their established branding, BPI Sports latest release is a great tasting protein that will offer a great alternative to customers looking for a different, but effective protein to try. Another good option would be MusclePharm Arnold Series Iron Whey.
Scivation have had plenty of success with their seminal intra-workout Xtend. Having released their new pre-workout replacement to Novem in early 2013, they had to reformulate due to issues with the supplement during the initial release. A smart move on their behalf as not only did it show Scivation are strongly customer focused but their revision resulted in a fantastic new addition to the pre-workout arena. While 1 scoop won’t cut it for those who train consistently, 2-3 scoops of Psycho will have even the most seasoned supplement users raving.
Optimum made some good releases in 2013 including their quality pre-workout Platinum Pre and their innovative night time protein Tri-Celle Casein. Optimum 2:1:1 Recovery was also quietly released with very little marketing or promotion, however, it is one of the best products on the market in our minds, especially if you are a frequent or an advanced trainer. Packing quality no frills ingredients including 4 sources of carbohydrates, 3 sources of protein and branched chain amino acids; Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery is the ideal recovery and growth supplement. Another great supplement from one of the leading supplement companies of all time.
No top supplements list is complete without an entry from Muscletech. Their extremely popular fat burner Hydroxycut Hardcore Pro Series was swapped over sometime in the middle of 2013 for the Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite. Still one of the most potent fat burners around, it is Oxyshred’s main current rival and with good reason. If you’re looking to slim down in 2014, then Muscletech Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite is one of your best options.
Top Supplements of 2014 - Stay Tuned...
The above is just a short list of some of the best supplement options for 2014. Honourable mentions do go out for the Jay Cutler Series of supplements, especially Jay Cutler Legend and Big T, ProMera Pump Extrem, Giant Sports Metabolic BioShock and the latest Ronnie Coleman products including Amino Tone and King Mass XL. 2014 is going to be a big year for bodybuilding, exercise, fat loss and sporting supplements so stay tuned throughout the year as we update this list and bring you all the latest and greatest supplement releases.