My Cardio Igniter by Top Secret Nutrition review
A few weeks ago on bodybuilidng.com, While researching my next pre workout to review for my site, I came across Top Secret Nutrition and their crazy amount of reviews for the Cardio Igniter Pre workout. This is how I knew that it was time for this product to undergo its official BPW review. Cardio Igniter is looking to capitalize on the success of other cardio-focused products such as NDS Cardio Cuts (one of my personal faves), and the Athena pre workout (my fave of all time). The folks at Top Secret have figured out that most of us do cardio, and we are always looking for a way to get the most out of our routine! Since I’m cutting down for my FIRST bodybuilding figure-competition, I have indeed been doing alot of cardio, and so it worked out perfectly that I found a great new pre workout for women to review. Without much further ado- let’s launch into it- here is my review of Cardio Igniter by Top Secret Nutriton!
Like I mentioned in the introduction, I totally needed a new pre workout for my cardio. As I close in on the date of my very FIRST NPC competition, my coach has had me doing all kinds of cardio. I mean I was doing cardio before my cardio. I was doing cardio after my cardio. I was doing cardio between my cardio. You get the picture. Running. Biking. Hill climbs. It gets tiresome. Especially when you’re trying to cut down. If you’ve ever done a classic bulk/cut routine, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
When bulking, you can legit eat whatever you want. Er. Don’t tell my coach I said that, but let’s just say the rules are much more relaxed. The point of a bulk is to add muscle mass, and the only way (yes, still) to do that, is to eat more than you burn. Now. The easiest way I know how to do that is to eat the foods that I actually like eating! LOL. So ya I was eating lots of oatmeal with some..er..enhancements that were less than healthy. But since it was still oatmeal based it was still healthy! Right?! Ok, I’m getting off track. Cutting. When cutting, you’ve gotta do some extra cardio, and you’ve gotta eat way less. Well, less than you burn. So way less.
The toughest part of cutting is that while you’re eating less, you’re doing more. (cardio). And since you’ve got less fuel on board, both in your stomach and in your bodyfat stores, you have less energy. Around the second weekend of my cut I was starting to really feel it. I was tired ALL day, and could barely bring myself to blog, which usually is NOT that physically taxing. LOL. It was at that time that I started browsing the pre workout category once again, looking for a prodcut suitable for me and my fitties to bench-test for the site.
Cardio Igniter immmediately stood out to me because of the sheer number of Cardio Igniter reviews. Like hundreds of people have been compelled to write out a review of the product. That’s honestly a little surprising to me. Who takes the time to write these reviews unless it’s someone charged with finding the BEST pre workout of all time? AKA ME. LOL. Soo ya I knew I had to get me some of this stuff and let you know if it measures up to all these reviews. While the official BPW of ’14 is closed for the season, there is always room for more competition as we head into this Fall season, and inch ever closer to the BPW ’15 – our THIRD Annual top ten pre workout for women awards. Hard to believe it’s been almost three years isn’t it!? Anyways, I finally got my hands on some Cardio Igniter, cracked it open with some of my fitties (xoxo <3) and then we all got together and compiled the feedback. Here’s what we’ve come up with the main benefits of Top Secret’s Cardio Igniter:
Benefits & Performance Review: 8.5
You know how tough I can be on pre workout supplements for women. Let’s be honest for the most part we can take any pre workout supplement out there for men and basically be fine. Where these products DO come in handy is when they are specialized for certain training styles. Becasue then, the ingredient list matches up to the goal, and you don’t get any of the unwanted ingredients. That sort of doesn’t make sense but here’s what I mean: Cardio Igniter doesn’t have creatine, becasue it’s for cardio- it’s not really going to help THAT much, or as much as it would for a strength session. In my opinion, that’s reason enough why this product is great for me and others that are looking for a boost without wanting the added bulk or water-weight that often times comes along with creatine. In addition to the strong ingredient profile (which I’ll get to in a sec). There are several key benefits that I would like to highlight about Top Secret Nutrition’s cardio Igniter.
- Strong Workouts: On paper, this pre workout shouldn’t perform all that great for cardio. It’s got a big ‘ol prop blend for a formula- probably all stock (meaning there are probably twenty-five other products in this world that are actually, er, the exact same. BUT here’s the thing. This product freakin-g kicks. I’m a little bit of a stimaholic as you know from reading my other reviews- but this stuff was actually legit. I’m not kidding I was whooped by this product. Now, keep in mind that I took two and a half scoops of it because I knew what my tolerance would be by reading the label- but the fact remains it’s a strong product. I took Cardio Igniter before a bike circuit that is basically 20 minutes of bike sprints with no rest at all. I took Cardio Igniter about 30 minutes before my workout, since I’ve been in the habit lately of really letting my supplements sink in for full effect. Another quick tip- try swishing your pre-workout around your mouth a few times, especially under your tongue to let the product really set in. The pre workout will be absorbed faster while in the uppper half of your digestive tract than it will in your stomach. Try it! So after my 30 minutes was up me and my fitties hopped on the stationary bikes and got right down to business. The peddling was hard and fast right off the bat. I had my initial wave of ‘i can’t do this’ sweep over me like a tidal wive almost right after the bat. If I wasn’t so used to this effect by now, I really might’ve quit right there and then. But I battled through my first five intervals and finally was able to settle into a nice groove. Cardio Igniter bubbled up around the halfway point and provided a great dose of push to get me through the latter half of the workout. It’s a really noticeable and pronounced energy which was awesome. Another great benefit of Cardio Igniter was the fact that I didn’t crash at all afterwards.
- NO Crash: I’m the first one to absolutely pass out after a workout. And the thing that I’ve found with several pre workout supplements for women is that soon after you finish your workout, you come down hard. It varies from product to product, but alot of times it’s after a cardio-heavy workout that I get my worst crashes. That being said, the workout that I did that day was a perfect example of a workout that should’ve elicited an unreal crash. We absolutely got after it on those bikes. I had nothing left afterwards physically. One of the best things about Cardio Igniter is that it allowed us to push to the limits, but it didn’t leave me useless for the rest of the day. POint of fact is that I had a really strong three and a half hour shopping session right afterwards- and that was BEFORE my post-workout meal! Not crashing is a really strong feature, but I’ll tell you the very best thing about this product- it won’t break the bank.
- VALUE. Value. Value.: You all know by now how much I love Cardio Cuts. And you know how I’d rather get four tubs of C4 for christmas than a Tory Burch purse. (really though?) (no). And you definitely all know that I worship the ATHENA pre workout. But those are all rich girl pre workouts. And let’s just say- no matter how eloquntly I write- I am far from a rich girl. (that really sad iOS emoticon). Since I’m…poor for lack of a better word…I’m pretty darn choosy when it comes to choosing my supplements. And that’s why Cardio Igniter will become one of my go-to’s. You won’t find another pre workout with the level of bang-for-the-buck that Top Secret was able to pull off with this pre workout drink. At under a dollar/serving, they lead the pre workout category in value in my opinion. Combine that with good, strong energy, and no crash, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Cardio Igniter Ingredients and Formula Review: 8.0
The ingredients in this product are nothing special. Like I said, on paper, this isn’t that great of a formula. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good formula. But it’s not ground-breaking. There is no patent pending on this dinosaur of a prop-blend, and their formulator didn’t win a bodybuilding.com award for pre workout of the year, that much is certain. But they’ve hit all the basics. Here are the highlight ingredients of Cardio Igniter:
- Caffeine: Duh. World’s most popular stimulant. No-brainer.
- Beta-Alanine: You all know how I feel about this stuff at this point…gives the user feedback with tingles and such, but really won’t do much for your performance unless you took enough to use it in lieu of a Halloween mask this year.
- Ribose: Here’s the one bright spot of this formula. Of course you’ll never know how much of it is actually in here since it’s a proprietary blend, but I’m excited that the this product has ribose because not many companies know about it yet. D-Ribose is the backbone of RNA, and a derivative of ATP, so it’s benefits really speak for themselves in terms of what it can do for your workout. This simple sugar has been underused in the supplement industry and isn’t all that expensive to include. Props to Top Secret on this one.
Cardio Igniter Flavor Review: 7.0
Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Watermelon. Take your pick of average. Top Secret gets a C from me in this department because they almost re-defined average in terms of flavoring. I went with watermelon just because the other two have been recycled so many times that you can close your eyes, have someone say ‘blue raspberry’, and you can taste it. Same with fruit punch. It’s just the hawaiin punch flavor every. singe. time. Come on. So I went with the watermelon, because at least there was the prospect of variety. Like sometimes you get the jolly rancher watermelon. Sometimes you get the bubblicious watermelon. Sometimes you get the wierd semi-authentic one. Fortunately, this was one of the rare semi-authentic ones. It wasn’t too too sweet, even with the double serving that I had. I know it’s expensive, but I’d love to see them use a natural sweetner like Athena does. Like the sucralose is killing us. It has to be. Other than that I really don’t have a ton to say in terms of the flavoring here. They are very unimaginative in the options that they chose- and from the example that I had, they all taste about how you expect them to.
Cardio Igniter Packaging: 7.5
Similar to the flavoring, I was not blown away by Cardio Igniter’s packaging efforts. I’m not going to say that it’s bad, but it just didn’t blow me away. The color scheme is kind of unusual with the black, yellow, white, and red. I do think the shiny-ness helps, and the little splash graphic does help give you the sense of hydration and good taste. But let’s call a spade a spade here. The packaging, like the flavors and taste, are just plain un-inspiring. Other bright spots of the packaging include the subtle chevron patterning on the black background, as well as the clear call-out of the number of servings per container. Are we getting down to the nitty-gritty at this point? Yes, we are. But hey. You’d be surprised the number of pre workouts that I’ve seen that don’t even have this feature! In summary, the packaging is good, not great. But that fits the product in a weird way when you think about cardio Igniter holistically.
Final Score & Wrap Up: 8.6
But let’s think about this though. Top Secret created a VALUE product. They know they weren’t going for the cream-of-the-crop. And I’ll be the first one to say I appreciate it. This is a great value product, and after experiencing it for myself, I now know why there are so many Cardio Igniter Reviews.
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