The Energy Angel pre workout comes to us from a company called Gym Angel, which is a new off-shoot brand of a company called Controlled Labs. Controlled Labs is a supplement industry staple that has been around for a few years now. Their intra-workout 'Purple Wraath', and pre workout 'White Flood' are among their most popular products, and are distributed in almost all major retailers. The funny thing about Energy Angel is that I had no idea that it was a Controlled Labs brand until I really took the time to look over the label closely. I've tried CL products before, and I actually recognized the design of the label as being similar to their men's products. As you'll read, this is NOT a good thing. Before I get to the labeling, let's touch on the flavor, the performance, and the formula itself.
Energy Angel Flavor Review: 7.8
In my experience, Pina Colada can be a really tricky flavor to nail. Alot of times you're going to get a very artificial pineaapple taste, and not much by way of coconut or citrus. Lo and behold, that's almost literally what I got with Energy Angel's 'Pina Colada' taste. It wasn't HORRIBLE, but it was not my favorite by a long shot. It was borderline overly sweet, and was incredibly pineapple heavy. There was a hint of coconut, but it was no more than a hint. A definite knock on the Energy Angel is the flavoring, and how they use sucralose and artificial flavors as opposed to more natural alternatives. I get that it's harder to pull off using naturals, but c'mon now. It's 2015 almost. Flavor gets a C plus from me and only because I'm in a good mood.
Energy Angel Performance Review: 8.6
As I mentioned, this is actually not my first experience with a Gym Angel product, because I used to take Controlled Labs' men's pre workout called White Flood. I was kind of expecting this to be similar in comparison to that product, and basically I couldn't have been more wrong! White Flood made me feel good, but also gave me a vicious case of the beta-alanine tingles. You literally felt like you drank a glass of pure beta-alanine with that stuff. Window dressing aside, the workouts that I had with White Flood were pretty dang good. They gave a great boost to my endurance, and while I'm not a HUGE fan of the 'pump', I will admit that I didn't mind the added vascularity and hardness that this product seemed to provide.
Suffice to say that I went into my first workout with Energy Angel to be comparable. I took Energy Angel for a weight day because of how I recalled the White Flood being a good fit for strength training. I took out my little tub of Energy Angel about 35 minutes before I started training, and dosed out around 1 and 3/4 scoop into my shaker. I felt Energy Angel start to kick in around ten minutes later on my drive to the gym. To my (pleasant) surprise, there were no beta-alanine tingles to speak of, just a nice rush of caffeinated energy. I cranked up the T.I. (yeah I still get down with the King) and drove like a mad-woman the rest of the way to the gym.
My shoulder workout today was actually sort of a medley of cross-fit and traditional iron-pumping. For those of you who ask me about my workouts- here's a quick snapshot of one of them: Using dumbbells that you can military press comfortably like 30 times, complete the following circuit of exercises with no rest in between:
- Curl x 10 reps
- Upright Row x 10 reps
- Military Press x 10 reps
- Hang Clean and Press x 10 reps
- Bent Row (overhand grip) x 10 reps
- Bent Row (underhand grip) x 10 reps
- Military Press x 10 reps
- Hang Clean and Press x 10 reps
After completing this, you rest for like three or four minutes, and then repeat a few times. Trust me, after about two you will feel like your arms are going to fall off!
I did a quick warm-up on the treadmill and then got right into things with the shoulder circuit. I could feel some energy from the pre workout start to kick in towards the end of that first circuit, and then it REALLY helped me on the second and third series. During those bent rows I thought my arms were actually going to fall off, and somehow I was able to find the strength to push through to the end and finish strong. Even though my form was super sloppy, I even managed to crank out a fourth round before collapsing onto a medicine ball for a cool down stretch.
As I mentioned, there was very little physical effect to speak of. There was no itchy-ness, and not really that much of a 'pump'. But what did happen was that I was just plain strong as an ox using this pre workout. Of course you could argue that other factors were playing into it (ie I got tons of sleep last night, I ate right pre workout, classic placebo of a new pre workout, etc, etc..) but I swear Energy Angel really was responsible for a lot of that ability to just crank out reps even after the initial point of fatigue. It's a sort of muscular endurance that I've found only in a handful of pre workout products, and I was so glad that it's a key part of Energy Angel.
I'm giving Energy Angel a B plus on the performance side of things because it performed nicely above average for me in the weight room. The slight catch is that I tried Energy Angel for cardio the following day for my spin class and it just does not play nice with cardio. You'll get that same 'feeling' of invincibiliy up front, but wow does it wear off quick when you're doing any kind of extended cardio. My bff tried it for cardio too, and she liked it a little bit more than me for that workout, so I guess it could've been partly me having an off-day (not). So B-plus for performance- let's look at what's actually in the Gym Angel pre workout.
Energy Angel Ingredients: 8.5
One of the things I've always appreciated about Controlled Labs, and therefore Gym Angel- is that they practice full label transparency and list out all the ingredients for the eye to see. You know exactly what you're getting with this product, and that's the way it should be. With this particular product, it ends up looking kind of like a puny formula because there are only a handful (exactly five) of ingredients in here. Certainly makes my job easier though doesn't it lol. Let's run through the fab five:
- Caffeine: Shoo-in. All of our favorite drug is a proven performance enhancer. Nicely dosed at 225mg.
- vit-C: Another easy call. Support the adrenal glands and immune system.
- L-Carnitine-L-Tartarate: This is a great call by the CL folks. LCLT is by far the most effective form of this amino that helps with everything from mental clarity/focus to fat oxidation and muscular endurance.
- Agmatine Sulfate: This ingredient is supposed to act as a vasodilator, but it really hasn't been proven to do much else. For the record I don't even find it to provide much of a 'pump' either, so this ingredient is sort of dead to me. Meh. Next..
- Betaine: Here is the money maker in Energy Angel. This ingredient has come on strong in the last few years as more and more studies come out on it's effectivenss. I'm not going to lie, I have no idea how it works, but I know it's a proven muscle builder and fat-loss ingredient. At 3g/serving, it is the backbone of this formula.
IN summary, Energy Angel has a solid, if basic, formula. I attribute the strength and power enhancements that I felt during my workout to the heavy does of betaine, and appropriately dosed caffeine in this pre workout for women. As expected, Controlled Labs cooked up a well-though-out supp facts for their first women's pre workout supplement.
Gym Angel Energy Angel Packaging Review: 3.0
Alright. Time to get real. Energy Angel, like All Controlled Labs products, has some of the worst packaging/labeling of all time. Of all time. Of ALL time. It's so effing bad I get a little bit mad just looking at it. Like...someone got paid to design the Energy Angel label. I honestly think a four year old names, and then designs the labels of all Gym Angel/Controlled Labs products. If you're a supp-nut like me, you know the Controlled Labs logo is a rusty lock that's all pixely and awful looking..yeah you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, please go google it because I want you to understand just how ugly it is. I'll wait. Did you see? Isn't at an atrocity? CL folks if you do end up reading this, do everyone a favor and actually take your label designer's computer and spike it off the parking lot. And then pour hydrocholoric acid on it and run it over with a steam-roller. He or she should be prohinbited from ever designing a package ever again. The name is horrific too. Gym Angel Energy Angel. It's so bad. Ugh. Moving on.
Energy Angel Value and Final Score: 8.5
Lucky for Energy Angel, the package doesn't weight into things too too much. What is more important is how the stuff works, and if the price is right. As with most Gym Angel products, the price is pretty good. As I mentioned, the formula is basic, and they clearly didn't spend a ton of money on packaging- so it makes sense that they set out to make basically a value product. And when looking at Energy Angel through that lens- it IS a successful product. It works pretty well, and is priced very fairly. Overall Gym Angel is a strong product worth a shot. Hope you enjoyed my Gym Angel Energy Angel reviews!