Vitamin & Protein Supplements - My Experiences

Quest bars for the win… I score them for .99 ea, $11.88/ box of 12… I’m also taking a suitcase full of them when I travel :joy:

I agree … I didn’t even think to include my quest bars here … but they are wonderful, taste great, and deliver great amounts of protein. I eat one every afternoon around 3:30 when I start dragging.

I don’t get them as cheap as you have however! How do you get them so cheap???

Absolute favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

I stopped eating quest bars because they are made with Almonds. Almonds increase SHBG. isn’t that an issue for you Traveling man?

Yes and No … Before I realized the connection, I ate BAGS of Almonds because that was my only “snack” that I kept around all day long.

Even though I don’t eat them anymore, my SHBG levels did not lower because of the elimination of Almonds. SHBG actually increased.

IMO there aren’t enough almonds in Quest to worry. But no, I have no documentation to prove that statement. My reason for going to quest was to boost my protein intake which would be more important than the small amount of almonds that might be in Quest. I needed more protein when I calculated how much protein I was taking.

diets low in protein in elderly men may lead to elevated SHBG levels and decreased testosterone bioactivity. Source Contradictory Study

Most of the ONE bars did not have any almonds in them. just an idea.

Nitric Oxide Supplement

This is probably my least favorite supplement and the first one I will likely quit as it is FOUR capsules per serving. I added this supplement because I began testing my NO levels using saliva strips (strip results are in my journey thread)

The more I read about nitric oxide depletion, the more I wondered if that was part of my issues. According to the data, if you have low NO in your body, Viagra and others are less likely to work. And at one point this year, 100mg Viagra wasn’t doing the trick.

Others on this board have posted about their NO supplements, focusing on either Arginine or Citrulline. I decided to try this one because it had both amino acids at a reasonably high quantity; and included L-Arginine HCL, which is the “better” choice for the body.

Arginine is not suggested with “chronic” low blood pressure. I have low blood pressure, but not at a dangerous level.

There are also studies that show citrulline is NOT as effective as Arginine. You will also find some people who swear by it.

My nitric oxide levels have increased since I started with the supplements, so this is one of the few that I can say I have verified as working. The saliva strips show that my levels went from DEPLETED to THRESHOLD.

Updated 4/24/19:
Recent studies suggest that NO is a major physiological stimulus for relaxation of penile vasculature and trabecular smooth muscle, essential for penile erection. Relaxation of the trabecular smooth muscle of the corpus cavernosa leads to a decreased vascular resistance and increased blood flow to the penis. Alongside the increased flow, venous outflow is reduced by the compression of the subtunical venules. The combination of increased inflow and decreased outflow causes penile engorgement and erection. (

My next supplement to add to this thread: Yohimbe.

I was confused about this supplement – with the terms “Yohimbe” vs “Yohimbine”. Because of this, I think I bought a less potent supplement than I should have. I have said it before that the supplement industry is full of confusing products and ingredients. Yohimbine study and here.

Yohimbe ( Pausinystalia yohimbe) is the name of an evergreen tree native to western and central Africa. The bark of the tree contains an active compound called yohimbine. In the United States, yohimbine has been developed into a prescription drug for erectile dysfunction. In this form, it is more commonly known as yohimbine hydrochloride and has been used for longer than viagra. Yohimbine hydrochloride can also be found as an over-the-counter supplement.


You will notice on the ingredients label that it does not list “Yohimbine HCL” which would be the ingredient to look for. I missed it somehow, thinking the 3% standardized for Yohimbe meant the same thing - but it does not.

The active ingredient in yohimbe bark extract is yohimbine. It is a poor source of yohimbine in my opinion. Would use yohimbine-hcl 100% of the time.

If you are really confused by the name, you should know that yohimbe is the herbal version and yohimbine HCL is the synthetic version. Yohimbine HCL is a cleaner compound and has all the benefits while retaining none of just a few of the side effects of the herbal version.

And one last time … “Most clinical studies have looked at the drug yohimbine and not the herbal extract Yohimbe.” Which means that the documented clinical benefits were based on YOHIMBINE and not Yohimbe.

Yohimbe/Yohimbine comes with some interesting warnings:

As little as 40 mg a day can cause severe side effects, such as dangerous changes in blood pressure, hallucinations, paralysis, liver, kidney, and heart problems, and can even be fatal. Because yohimbine blocks the enzyme monoamine oxidase, people taking Yohimbe must avoid all tyramine-containing foods (e.g., liver, cheeses, red wine) and over-the-counter products that contain the ingredient phenylpropanolamine, such as nasal decongestants. People with kidney or liver disease, stomach ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder should not take Yohimbe.

If that isn’t enough to scare you from taking it, I don’t know what is. But I find many supplements with this crazy warnings and they are still being sold hand over fist.

I take all my supplements first thing in the morning.

The takeaway is that yohimbine needs to be taken several hours from a meal or first thing in the morning because the effects are eliminated totally even by small amounts of insulin -> any kind of food raises insulin levels.

So after writing this, I decided to go back to Amazon site and look at my purchase. The ingredient label on Amazon is DIFFERENT from the ingredient label on what was shipped.

Amazon shows “Standardized for 3% Yohimbine”. The description also includes the statement “standardized to 3% Yohimbine HCL” which is also different from the label. And my label shows “standardized for 3% YOHIMBE”.

UPDATE 5-4-19:
I learned something today.

You calculate the “mg” of Yohimbine by multiplying the percentage by the number of mg of the capsule.

In my photo example of the label, 3% yohimbine of a 100mg capsule, means that there is 3mg of effective Yohimbine in this product.

The latest bottle I received has been updated to 4%, meaning 4mg per capsule.

I have also found a 2007 study (Adniyi et al. 2007) that indicates a starting dose of 20mg, increasing to 50mg PER DAY as necessary to reduce delayed ejaculation.

What can I say about Vitamin D?

UPDATE: This high amount of Vitamin D was NOT a good idea and I had to stop supplementing my Vit D as my levels went into danger level.


Where do you buy Quest bars for $.99 ($11.88 for a box of 12)???

I went shopping yesterday and I found a few new drinks to try. Anytime I see different flavors of protein drinks, I want to try them.

I bought PROTEIN H20 - which is water with 15g Protein added. This has a really good taste, and will make for a flavored bonus in the afternoons. I enjoy the taste of plain water, but this reminded me of a “sports drink” without all the sugars and additives. It shows 0 sugars and 60 calories for the entire bottle.

[In the evening, I wanted something sweet. I took a few swigs of the Protein water and the sweetness solved my craving.]

I also bought PREMIER PROTEIN “Strawberries & Cream” protein drink. It is in the same type of container as Ensure Max Protein, and looks very similar, with similar protein (30g) and nutrients with only 1g sugar.

I drank this one this morning. It isn’t “lactose intolerance friendly” so I took a lactaid pill first. The flavor is nice for a change, more “cream” than “strawberry”, but was tasty. Even though it has the same amount of sugar as the others (1g), I found it to be slightly more sweet.

I wouldn’t switch to this drink over the Boost Max Protein, but having an alternate flavor in the refrigerator will be a welcome treat. This is the least expensive shake I have purchased at $7.27 for 4 ($1.82ea) in comparison to the regular price of Boost of $9.99 ($2.50ea).

The last one is MYOPLEX SHRED with 42g PROTEIN, 1g sugar, and 210 calories. This is a 16oz (!) “Chiseled Chocolate” flavored drink. I will try it in the morning and update this post.

UPDATED: I had the Myoplex shred this morning. It was VERY tasty. My only issue is that there is a big difference between 11oz and 16oz first thing in the morning! That problem is minor though - and 42g protein is a super boost for the body in the morning.

Sadly, none of these products are available in Asia, and I can’t load a suitcase full of heavy liquids …

UPDATE 1/29/19: Myoplex 42g protein shakes appear to have been discontinued. Walmart has one location near me with ONE in stock, marked 75% off. I wasn’t able to find local Walmarts in the region that have it nor does online have it (including Amazon). That is disappointing.

That is a lot of stuff to take.

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I bought two more protein shakes to experiment with.

The first is “Pro Series Muscle Milk” in “Knockout Chocolate” flavor. Each container is the standard 11oz, but this one contains slightly more protein at 32g. Sugar remains at 1, and calories at 160.

The taste is equal to the other chocolate flavored shakes I have been purchasing, although MYOPLEX still is number one. Knowing that these different flavors and contents are relatively equal across the board makes it easier to watch the sales and purchase the items on sale. I paid $7.98 for 4 (about $2 each).

The second one I purchased was “Premier Protein Vanilla”. I already purchased and tasted the Strawberries & Cream from this brand and decided to try the vanilla, since the only vanilla flavored drink I had found previously was from BOOST. Also in the 11oz tetra pack, with 30g protein, 160 calories and 1 g sugar, the vanilla flavor had a more “sweet” taste than the others. It forced me to look and make sure that the drink only had 1g sugar. The taste is good, with a good “richness” to it; I just found it slightly sweeter than the others. I paid $7.27 (or $1.82 each).

Why not just buy Metabolic Drive? Do you live somewhere you can’t get it? It is soooooo much better than that other crap!

Do you want the truth?

I do not want to mess with powders. I don’t want to spend time mixing drinks.

Yes, I am lazy when it comes to this … I would prefer to open the refrigerator and have an already mixed protein shake in a variety of flavors at my disposal.

Sad to admit this - but it is the truth

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There is a chain of grocery stores in Oregon called grocery outlet (gross-out). .99 ea. I stocked up!

I still drink a protein shake every morning for breakfast. Each time I see a new brand in the store, I buy it to see if the taste is better, richer, etc., than the others I have tried. I compare the test based on the chocolate flavor.

The latest experiments are PURE PROTEIN, CLEAN PROTEIN by Six Star and WalMart’s generic brand for everything, EQUATE. PURE PROTEIN drinks are good, but are no different than the others - making them no better or no worse. Depending on price that week, they can be substituted for any other.

The CLEAN PROTEIN drinks were interesting. First 32g protein versus 30 on most; 0 grams of sugar, and promotes itself heavily as “lactose free”. Now to be fair, I am lactose intolerant, yet NONE of the shakes I have tried have given me any stomach problems, even though some of the others do list “milk products”.

Also, CLEAN PROTEIN had one of the best flavor of Chocolate (“Gourmet Chocolate Milk”), second ONLY to BOOST Chocolate. Boost is more expensive, so it is nice to find a less expensive alternative with a great flavor.

WalMart does well with their “Equate” line of generics, and this one is no different. The flavor is good, and is about the same overall as most of the drinks I have tested. I’m confident that this is the exact same shake as one of the other brands, packaged for WalMart.

So far, other than Boost, the drinks are about the same - so buying based on price does not provide a better drink.

Of Walart is your go to and you’re willing to mix from powder, get Integrated whey isolate chocolate flavored. It’s the best chocolate flavor I’ve had other than Biotest, with no artificial sweeteners. The artificial sweeteners are a deal killer for me and pretty much ruin what ever they’re in.

I am taking DHEA myself and am curious if it made a difference.

I had to stop taking it …

Urine test reported 18x higher levels than normal

Blood test came back with DHEA 50% higher.

It was also causing me to eat huge amounts of food.

How much did you take per day and did it also have any effect on your testosterone numbers, or estrogen?