ACG3 By NDS Nutrition is a popular pre workout on the shelves of GNC, but does it live up to its reputation of being one of the most solid formulas on the market today? I’ll be the judge of that! In this comprehensive review, I’ll go over the taste, formula, performance, packaging, and evaluate the overall value of the product to help you decide if it’s the right play for you.
My ACG3 Pre Workout Review- Going Under the Hood of the NDS Pre Workout
ACG3 is a product that I’ve been aware of for some time now, since it is currently one of GNC’s most popular pre workout supplements. While it is not per say a women’s pre workout, several of my readers and friends have been asking me whether or not this pre workout is safe and effective for women to take. So of course I figured I would give it a full BPW review and a shot at the title in the upcoming BPW best pre workout for women of 2015. Without much further ado, let’s get into this NDS PMD ACG3 Charged Review! I’ll start with the narrative of how this product performed for me.
This pre workout had big shoes to fill coming off the heels of my review with NDS Cardio Cuts, which is a product that might be even better suited for women seeing as it is among the best creatine-free pre workout supplements that we’ve ever reviewed on BPW.com. The weird thing is that I didn’t even know that ACG3 was part of the NDS family, because the brand name is called ‘PMD’ Platinum, whatever that means. So how did I even know that this was related to NDS? Well, when I searched the GNC website for ACG3 to make my purchase, the top result says ‘NDS PMD ACG3..’ so that’s how I knew that this was under the NDS umbrella. So actually before I get too deep into performance, let me talk a little bit about how this product tastes.
ACG3 Taste Review: 8.8 B+
I went with the watermelon flavor of ACG3 just because I was totally un-inspired by the alternative flavors presented, which are blue raspberry, pink lemonade, and orange. I’m getting so sick of this standard menu of pre workout flavors! Like someone come out with something crazy and new and delicious already. Grr. Anyways. After dropping $65 on my 30-serving tub of ACG3 (more on that later), I received my tub of the silver-lidded pre workout. I mixed 2 scoops of the product into about 12 ounces of the ice cold water, and gave it a nice stir. I used a glass pint-glass, which I always recommend to bring out the natural flavors of the pre workout. LOL. So the mixability was fine- no real clumping was going on which is good. The color was a nice pinkish tint which was expected and pleasant. And the taste. The taste was pretty darn good for a watermelon flavored pre workout. Was it as good as Cellucor’s C4 Extreme pre workout– watermelon flavor? No, probably not. But almost nothing is. I liked this iteration of the watermelon flavor because while it was certainly artificially flavored and sweetened, it didn’t have that gross typical Jolly Rancher-ish taste that I’ve honestly come to hate. This watermelon taste was a little bit saltier and more authentic in my opinion. It was more fruity than sweet, and the bitterness was balanced properly so that it didn’t just taste like all the rest. I give NDS/PMD a B+ on the flavoring once again, because they really have done a nice job with making their pre workouts taste good.
ACG3 Performance Benefits Review: 9.0 A
As I said before, I was expecting this pre workout to perform very nicely, because their Cardio Cuts supplement did just that for me. I even expected ACG3 Charged to OUTperform the Cardio Cuts because of the presence of all the other exciting ingredients that this one has. I’ll talk a little bit more about what exactly those new ingredients are in the ingredients review section, but for now let me tell you about how this product performed for me during today’s workout. I took my time enjoying my pre workout ‘marinade’ <- this is the time when you are drinking your pre workout and getting ready for the upcoming challenge ahead 🙂 So after my marinade was complete I headed over to the gym for my workout. It was a Saturday, which meant I didn’t really have a workout planned for this day. It was a sort of wild card day where I could do whatever I wanted. So on my way to the gym I decided I would put my ass through the paces- literally. I would do a few treadmill intervals, followed by my hellish split-squat superset, and then finish with more intervals. I knew it would put any pre workout through the paces.
The first set of treadmill intervals went down relatively easily, partly due to my pre workout. I could feel the beta-alanine tingle my skin as I powered up that 9.0 incline at 8.2 mph. I felt good and strong during the split squat routine as the creatine swelled up my muscles with blood. I ended drinking a lot of water during this workout to keep my cells volumized and make the best use of the creatine. Of course that latter sets of split squats were hellish, but they always are regardless of what you put in your body pre workout. This is when it’s all about the internal battle in your head. It’s you versus you. I think the nootropic and focus ingredients in ACG3 Charged really assisted and let me win the war versus myself in this case. I was able to complete every last rep without quitting on a single rep or cutting sets. Speaking of cutting sets, I did end up cutting the last set of hill climbs because, well, I was shot. Like totally done for. My glutes felt like they had been torn to shreds (which they more or less were). PMD’s pre workout did what it was supposed to do for me today, and for that reason I had to give it an A on performance.
But what is it about this product that allows it provide these kind of performance-enhancing benefits? Let’s take a look under the hood and see if we can identify which ingredients are providing the horsepower here:
ACG3 Charged Pre-workout Ingredients & Formula: 8.8 B+
Again, ACG3 gets top marks from me in a key category- the formula itself. NDS has done a really nice job of aggregating the top performing ingredients into one comprehensive mix. Let’s go through the key ingredients:
- Creatine Citrate, Creatine Magnesium Chelate: ACG3 used a handful of patented ingredients in this pre workout, of which Creatine Magnapower is the first to appear. This form of creatine is easily absorbed and taken into the muscle, without needing a ‘creatine loading phase’ which prevents you from gaining the immediate benefits of the creatine. I love CMC in particular because it makes my muscles feel super full and hard. Of course if you are NOT looking for a more full, big-muscle look, you might steer towards a creatine-free pre workout, since this one will fill you up a little.
- Nitro-FLOW Blend: This is not an ingredient itself but a mix of Arginine and it’s derivatives- designed to enhance blood flow and promote vasodilation. I’ve personally never felt much of a benefit from Arginine supplementation, but literally ALL pre workouts have some form of arginine in them- so I just live with it.
- G-Force Energy Blend: I’ve never been a fan of proprietary blend usage, but in this case I don’t mind because the name is so creative – ‘G-Force Energy’ …Hell yeah! this is the combination of Advantra Z patented Citrus Aurantium (which is one of my favorite stimulants of all time), and caffeine. Add in a little bit of dendrobium, and some green tea, and you really do have a ‘Charged’ effect. I’ve ripped on dendrobium before, as it is definitely not GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by anyone at this point. But I don’t really think there is much of it in this product because I know what it feels like, and it wasn’t really there with ACG3.
ACG3 Packaging Review Score: 7.0 B-
You all know from reading my supplement reviews that I’m a little bit of brat when it comes to packaging. I mean we’re just used to being spoiled by great design these days! So NDS, you guys can blame Apple, Tory Burch, Nike, and Method for the spanking I’m about to give y’all. LOL. But seriously this packaging is pretty week. Really not crazy about the name itself first of all…I mean what is ACG3 Even supposed to mean? They don’t tell you anywhere! The black color palette is pretty basic, and the silver metallic gradients are heinous. The parts that are exceptionally weak are the lightning graphics, and also the water splash graphics meant to convey the flavor. This is actually horrid design. And the PMD logo itself. I can’t even. The product works really well, but the package design is an atrocity. They can be thankful that the packaging doesn’t play more of a role in the final score:
ACG3 Pre Workout Review Final Score: 9.0 A
I’m giving NDS PMD ACG3 Charged+ a rare A because it was an effective product for me. It enhanced my workout and allowed me to complete more work than I would have been able to without it. At the end of the day, this is what you need from your pre workout supplement. You need it to just work, and that’s what ACG3 does. The only thing that stops this pre workout from scoring even higher is how pricey it is. At over $65 a pop- this thing is just too expensive. Was it a cheap product to produce? Probably not seeing as they used some really expensive branded ingredients- but I know they can afford to mark this product at something more reasonable*
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