Total Strength + Performance Review
Total Strength + Performance from Onnit makes such a big thing of being a pre-workout supplement, you may wonder why it’s sold alongside T boosters.
Simple. If you’re going to advertise a strength and performance increase, there’s only one thing which can deliver it and that’s a rise in testosterone.
Basically, this product tries to combine the energy surge of a good pre-workout option and the added results of a quality booster. It aims to:
- Improve athletic performance
- Increase strength and power
- Help muscle recovery
Instinctively I’m not crazy about supplements that have a foot in both camps like this. They clearly think it’s a selling point, but for a lot of us it just looks like a lack of focus.
They should keep their eyes on the prize and use all their effort to boost T. It’s a multitasker on its own anyway and will bring benefits in all the above areas. However we don’t pre-judge here – let’s see what Onnit’s got.
Except we can’t see much of anything because most of the ingredient dosages are hidden away in proprietary blends. Yup, don’t ask questions, just pay up and take it. Hate to see this, there’s no excuse for not having full info on the label.
How Does It Work?
At a Glance
- Vitamin B6 and Luteolin to control estrogen
- Magnesium and nettle to help free T
- BCAA for energy
- D-Aspartic Acid to help boost T
- Mucuna pruriens to promote L-DOPA
We’ll get into the ingredient in greater detail after the scores ….
There are some stand out names in Total Strength + Performance, but most of them are undercut with dosage problems. The vitamin B6 is okay, but there’s only about 20% of the magnesium you’d want. D-Aspartic Acid is great but is only given part of blend whose total is under the ideal amount for D-AA.
Likewise we’re in the dark about other useful choices like mucuna pruriens, luteolin, and nettle root. Same goes for the more unproven, filler ingredients featured. The blends mean we can’t be sure the bad doesn’t dominate the good.
The annoying thing about this is that the formula could be pretty good as the choices are good… but it could also be awful, it depends on the unknown quantities. A little more clarity would make all the difference here.
Around the $50-70 mark isn’t cheap, but it’s what a truly quality booster can justify charging for the consistent results it delivers. Unfortunately in this case the price tag seems to be way ahead of the formula. Failing a serious drop in cost or vast improvement in recipe. Total Strength + Performance can’t be considered great value.
On one level this product absolutely checks out. It’s made in the U.S in line with GMP regulations and it promises it is 100% safe to take in competition. They’ve also put the finished product through it’s own small clinical trial, which is rare.
But when you hide important info from users in needless proprietary blends and include a lot of ingredients that clinical trials suggest aren’t that effective, you’ve still got a way to go on trust in our book.
We hate to see retail site reviews left to do the work of selling a product and to be fair Total Strength + Performance go beyond that. They give you a short statement from a handful of high profile personalities and athletes including Joe Rogan.
These guys talk about how they use the booster and are great to aspire to, but it’d be nice to see more average user testimonials with a bit more detail. Different ages, body types, stages of their fitness journey.
There’s really no arguing with the success of Onnit. Headed up by Aubrey Marcus, based in Texas and running since 2010, it has an A+ rating in the Business Bureau. This is thanks to a sizable range of successful supplements with a dedicated fan base. The highly professional website offers not only products but merch and an online community.
It is a well regarded company.
How Do I Take It?
You should take 2 scoops in 6 ounces of water 30 minutes before a workout.
Honestly we much prefer a capsule system for all our supplements. They’re just less hassle to take and cut out any problems with added ingredients for taste etc . But if you’re fine with channeling your inner cocktail waiter, go for it.
There’s also the fact that this is just a single serve supplement. You just take it once, being a pre-workout, before working out. That means any advantages you get will be short lived, you’re on your own most of the day.
Any Total Strength + Performance Side Effects?
Beta Alinine can cause skin tingling which some users find unpleasant. Also any supplement that requires to be mixed means there’s a chance you won’t like the taste. Tingly, bitter chalkiness aside you should be fine.
Where Can I Get It?
A one month supply is available from the Onnit website for around $50
Ingredients – In Detail
B6 is a great start because although it doesn’t directly promote T, it does help to lower both production and influence of estrogen in our system. The male and female hormones are battling for territory and when one’s up the others down.
Magnesium is useful as it lowers the SHBG count in our bodies. SHBG is protein which renders up to 60% of the T in we make unusable. Enough magnesium will help to free up more of our good stuff. 40mg could do to be much higher.
Vitamin B5 looks good on paper. It helps promote Coenzyme A, which is vital for good energy levels. However supplementation is only really useful if your B5 levels are low and that’s pretty rare.
Branch Chain Amino
L-Leucine, L-Valine and L-Isoleucine are all aimed at boosting energy, but are of varying use. Leucine has most of the blend it may be of some use in terms of upping power output.
D-Aspartic Acid is a strong choice as it’s vital for stimulating key building blocks of T. Luteinizing hormone, growth hormone and follicle stimulating hormone are all promoted when you get enough. 3500mg is generally an active amount. D-AA only has a share of a 3400mg blend however.
Calcium has well known general health benefits when it comes to things like bone health. As for T though, there’s really no direct help. Focus!
Mucuna Pruriens are another decent choice. Otherwise known as velvet bean this is a great source of amino acid L-DOPA. This is useful not only because it promotes androgens, it also cuts cortisol, the main stress hormone which blocks T. No dose again though.
Beta Alinine can delay the build-up of acid in the muscles, allowing you to workout for longer, so improving performance. Pity it only does this in large amounts of around 5g and here it’s only part of a blend totalling 4.5g
The beta sitosterol in nettle means like magnesium it is good for lowering your SHBG thus freeing up more of the T in your system. 250mg again is another useful dose.
L-Glutamine seems to improve athletic performance, but mainly in people who may be deficient, such as vegans. That suggests a balanced diet can bring just as much benefit.
An ingredient of many names (aka longjack, tongkat ali) but pretty few talents. Only really good for giving for stimulating libido. 100mg won’t do much for your T.
Japanese Knotweed has shown some early promise as a means of regulating estrogen, but we need more info both from further study and the product label if we’re going to be sure it’s any use.
Luteolin is actually a really strong natural way of controlling estrogen levels and keeping the female hormone out of T’s way. Without the numbers though, difficult to get our hopes up.
Some weakish claims to being an estrogen inhibitor but mainly used for antioxidant and anti inflammatory qualities. Good for general health, not much help for T.
Shows mild anti-anxiety properties in some studies but a little out of place here, even in a supplement trying to be two things at once.
Vitamin D3 and zinc are arguably the two biggest absentees from this line up. They would be a lot more helpful than some of deadweight in this formula.
Not all bad, a decent product from an excellent company. Questions over dosages and a few missing ingredients would tend to make us suggest you think about looking elsewhere. In terms of formula, they haven’t quite put their Onnit.
Studies Quoted in the Review
- Bliskind & Bliskind Inactivation of testosterone propionate in the liver during vitamin B complex deficiency. Alteration of the estrogen-androgen equilibrium (1945)
- Excoffon, L., Guillaume, Y. C. Magnesium effect on testosterone-SHBG association studied by a novel molecular chromatography approach Université de Franche-Comté (2009)
- Wall BT, Stephens FB, Marimuthu K, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Macdonald IA, Greenhaff PL. Acute pantothenic acid and cysteine supplementation does not affect muscle coenzyme A content, fuel selection, or exercise performance in healthy humans. School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, United Kingdom.(2011)
- Cinar V, Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R, Kilic M. Testosterone levels in athletes at rest and exhaustion: effects of calcium supplementation. Karaman High School of Physical Education and Sport, Selcuk University, Karaman, Turkey (2009)
- Zoeller RF, Stout JR, O’kroy JA, Torok DJ, Mielke M.Effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on aerobic power, ventilatory and lactate thresholds, and time to exhaustion. Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Florida Atlantic University, Davie, FL, USA. (2006)
- Galera SC, Fechine FV, Teixeira MJ, Coelho ZC, de Vasconcelos RC, de Vasconcelos PR. The safety of oral use of L-glutamine in middle-aged and elderly individuals. Department of Surgery, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. (2009)
- Ispoglou T, King RF, Polman RC, Zanker C. Daily L-leucine supplementation in novice trainees during a 12-week weight training program. Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK. (2011)
- Topo E, Soricelli A, D’Aniello A, Ronsini S, D’Aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, Italy (2009)
- Yamada T, Nakamura J, Murakami M, Okuno Y, Hosokawa S, Matsuo M, Yamada H. Effect of chronic L-dopa administration on serum luteinizing hormone levels in male rats. Environmental Health Science Laboratory, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan (1995)
- Gansser D, Spiteller G. Plant constituents interfering with human sex hormone-binding globulin. Evaluation of a test method and its application to Urtica dioica root extracts. Lehrstuhl Organische Chemie I, Universität Bayreuth, Bundesrepublik, Deutschland (1995)
- Ismail SB, Wan Mohammad WM, George A, Nik Hussain NH, Musthapa Kamal ZM, Liske E. Randomized Clinical Trial on the Use of PHYSTA Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia for the Improvement of Quality of Life and Sexual Well-Being in Men. School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia. (2012)
- Zhang CZ1, Wang SX, Zhang Y, Chen JP, Liang XM. In vitro estrogenic activities of Chinese medicinal plants traditionally used for the management of menopausal symptoms. Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road No. 161, Dalian 116011, PR China. (2005)
- Lu DF, Yang LJ, Wang F, Zhang GL. Inhibitory effect of luteolin on estrogen biosynthesis in human ovarian granulosa cells by suppression of aromatase (CYP19) Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, China (2012)
- Wang Y, Lee KW, Chan FL, Chen S, Leung LK. The red wine polyphenol resveratrol displays bilevel inhibition on aromatase in breast cancer cells. Department of Biochemistry and Department of Anatomy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong (2007)
- Lipovac M, Chedraui P, Gruenhut C, Gocan A, Stammler M, Imhof M. Improvement of postmenopausal depressive and anxiety symptoms after treatment with isoflavones derived from red clover extracts. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology General Teaching Hospital Korneuburg, Austria. (2009)