Doing a bit of info gathering, one could easily identify a sizable portion of the Loadoutroom readership that’s currently (or has in the past) associated with either Law Enforcement or the US Armed Services. Among the non-LEO or MIL readers, there still exists a significant portion who share a common interest with our uniformed associates: fitness. Many of us have at some point in our lives dedicated sizable portions of our day in the pursuit of a body that functions faster, with more strength and greater efficiency. While there is never a replacement for hard work, proper nutrition and supplements can certainly get you further, faster. Enter Ranger Nutrition.
Ranger Nutrition’s owner Scott Hardesty is a 26 year Veteran of the US Army. His commitment to this nation continues to his business model, all of his products are designed and manufactured in the USA. I was able to get my hands on a sizeable sample box filled with four different products: the NITRO NO2 pre-workout booster, Whey protein powder, Ranger Candy and Catalyst XT. Let’s run down the details on each, then I’ll discuss personal results with each.
- Nitro NO2: Increases blood flow to the muscles, enhancing stamina and “pump”. Contains a number of amino acids such as L-Arginine, A-AKG, A-KIC and more. Capsule form.
- Whey Protein: Protein is the base building block for muscle. Low-lactose, low sugar and low fat, this blend boasts 24 grams of protein per serving. Advertised as tasting great and easy to dissolve. Powder form.
- Ranger Candy: A BCAA (9branched chain amino acid) blend. BCAA’s are well known for their role in protein synthesis (repair), neurotransmitter synthesis and energy production. Those with knowledge on the subject will likely recognize taurine among the ingredients, which by itself can significantly boost energy. “Freedom fruit” flavored, powder form.
- Catalyst XT: Shown as a triple threat, this is designed to suppress appetite, increase energy and increase natural fat burning. Contains Synephrine (from Bitter Orange), Yohimbe, Guggulsterone, Caffeine, Rhodiola Rosea and more. Bright red pill form.
Before I get into my experience with Ranger Nutrition’s products, here’s a little background. I grew up in an athletically involved way. Wrestling, baseball, soccer, track… and more. After high school I went straight into the Army, spending my whole enlistment assigned to 2nd Batallion 75th Ranger Regiment. After I left the service, I got a job at a gym in California as a personal trainer. Suffice it to say, I’m not a novice when it comes to hitting the gym. The last few years though, my body hasn’t been working quite right. While in the process of tracking my symptoms down to a physiological issue, I wanted to see how much of an improvement in health/energy/fitness I could make while waiting on the VA to figure out how to fix me from a medical standpoint. I needed more energy, more intensity and faster recovery time.
While there was no magic in a bottle, I did find a significant boost to my workouts. The Catalyst XT was taken daily and gave me a significant bump in my baseline energy levels, without leaving me feeling jittery and cracked out the way many caffeine-centric supplements do. The days I used NitroNO2 prior to my cardio/weights combo workouts were given a further boost. Instead of being wrecked after 20 minutes of strenuous cardio and limping to the weights, I was stretching my cardio sessions another 50% and still hitting the weights hard.
Now on to the flavor section, featuring Whey Protein and Ranger Candy. Many whey protein drinks fall somewhere between “sugary plus meaty” or “aged Peruvian fish sauce in the sun”. Ranger Nutrition’s whey is delicious, but not sugar-coated choco-puff flavored, thankfully. The whey also mixed quite easily in water, though milk did gum up the mix a bit. The Ranger Candy, however, tastes like someone ground up smurfs and put them into a magical leprechaun amino acid-based dessert. It is sweet, but that doesn’t mean it is ineffective. The two benefits I noticed on days I drank Ranger Candy were faster recoveries after heavyweight sets and less soreness the next day, both nice bonuses. Within a half of an hour of drinking Ranger Candy, I felt good enough and energized aplenty, I felt like maybe I should go work out again, just to be sure I hit it hard enough.
The bottom line: if you’re into working out for competitions, general fitness or as part of your occupation, you’ve come across a thousand brands of supplements. Many over-promise and under-deliver, while others are selling legitimate advantages you can choose to partake in. As with any substance you’re thinking of putting into your body, research is imperative! But for what it’s worth, my experience with Ranger Nutrition and their products has been extremely positive, and it is worth your time to check out this disabled-Veteran owned all-American brand.