A few months ago, the owner of Alpha Wolf Nutrition sent me free samples of his three products to try. I swore I’d review them, then got busy, so…three months later, here it is, my review of the entire Alpha Wolf Nutrition product line.
Next Level Superfoods Multivitamin
This product is actually a mix of three things: a multivitamin, a “superfoods” blend of fruit and vegetable extracts, and an energy booster complex.
As a result, it’s bulky– the serving size is six capsules, and you’re supposed to divide that dosage, taking three in the morning and three in the afternoon.
I’ll start with the vitamins and minerals. This product only has about half the vitamins and minerals that most multivitamins have. Comparing it to my CVS multivitamin, it’s missing vitamin A, B1,E, folic acid, and copper, among other things.
On the other hand, the vitamins and minerals it does have are the ones you’re most likely to need more of, like B12 and zinc. A notable standout here is Vitamin D, which is dosed several times higher (960 i.u. by my count) than most multivitamins, though still lower than a standalone vitamin D supplement. That’s really important, because most people need at least a thousand i.u. per day, if not several thousand.
Next up is the superfoods mix. This actually accounts for round 90% of the bulk of the supplement and is the reason a serving is six capsules. It contains several grams of various extracts like beet root, kale, asparagus, etc.
While it sounds like some hippie nonsense, these sorts of green foods extracts are actually legit, or at least can be if they’re well-sourced. They’re loaded with antioxidants and other phytonutrients, and I really do feel better when I’m taking a greens supplement. I usually take a powdered greens supplement, but there’s no denying that these pills are more convenient.
Finally, we have the mental energy and focus support complex. This has just four ingredients: alpha-GPC, green tea extract, theacrine, and L-theanine. These are all legit ingredients that work– alpha-GPC is a modified form of the neurotransmitter choline, while green tea extract slightly improves blood flow and cognition and burns fat.
Theacrine is a close relative of caffeine– it has similar effects, except weaker and a bit longer-lasting, with fewer side effects and less potential for tolerance. As for theanine, it has a relaxing effect that mitigates the side effects of stimulants; it’s usually taken with caffeine, but combines just as well with theacrine.
Finally there’s a little bit of black pepper extract to help you absorb the contents. Black pepper has been shown to improve digestion, but I have no idea how much this helps in practice.
The final thing to note is the taste– it’s kinda yucky, albeit easily bearable and washes away quickly if you wash the pills down with water. That’s due to the superfoods, unfortunately. It doesn’t stop me from using these pills but it is a downside.
So how well does Next Level work for me? Pretty well actually. When I take three capsules in the morning with breakfast, I definitely feel better throughout the day. I have more energy, but it’s a non-jittery energy.
That said, I only take three capsules a day, not six. That’s mainly out of concern for the theacrine keeping me up at night. Since I’m very sensitive to stimulants, I want to limit my intake. And because I usually eat breakfast around noon, my second dose of the day would be late enough to cause sleep problems if I took one.
I love Next Level, but I do think it should drop the “multivitamin” from the name. It’s primarily a greens and energy supplement with just a few added vitamins and minerals, and doesn’t really provide everything that a multivitamin would. What I typically do is take three capsules of Next Level with my first meal of the day, and a different multivitamin with my last meal of the day, or at least the last one I eat at home.
Force X7 Natural Testosterone Booster
Force X7 is meant to boost testosterone and provide all the benefits you’d expect from that: higher libido, stronger erections, fat loss, better recovery from workouts. Also less stress and better sleep. How well does it do that?
The ingredients fall into two categories: there are a few standard vitamins and minerals, and then some mostly-herbal testosterone-boosting chemicals. The vitamins and minerals are all things that contribute directly or indirectly to testosterone and libido, like zinc and magnesium. The testosterone boosters include ginseng, longjack, ashwaghanda, maca root extract, and a few other things.
Most of these ingredients directly boost testosterone. A few, however, are instead aimed at reducing stress, like magnesium and ashwaghanda. This indirectly boosts testosterone because the stress hormone cortisol competes with testosterone for metabolic precursors.
You’re supposed to take Force X7 with breakfast, since some of the ingredients can be stimulating. That really conflicts with the claimed effects of improving sleep though, as to do that you’d want to take magnesium, ashwaghanda and like the like the evening. I personally didn’t notice any sleep improvements.
As for libido, erections, and aggression in the gym…I think I noticed a bit of an improvement, but it wasn’t consistent for me. That light be largely because I have a high libido to begin with, but also because my libido and energy level are so inconsistent from day to day. In effect, it’s hard for me to separate the signal from the noise.
I expect most guys would get somewhat more of a result from it than I did. Overall though, I’m pretty bearish on testosterone boosting supplements in general, even ones like this that use all the right ingredients. Will it do something for you? Almost certainly. As much as just eating and sleeping a little better? Maybe not.
Sandman- Liposomal Sleep Aid
Sandman differs from the other two products in being a liquid supplement, and in having very few ingredients.
The first and most obvious ingredient is melatonin. This is the neurotransmitter responsible for sleep initiation. I take it every night, it works, and it isn’t habit-forming, at least at lower doses. It’s dosed at 2.5 mg here, which isn’t crazy high, but most people would be fine with as little as half a milligram.
Next up is GABA– gamma-aminobutyric acid. This is the nervous system’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. In the brain, GABA is responsible for sleep maintenance, whereas melatonin is responsible for sleep onset.
Unfortunately, GABA doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier very much at all. It does act in the peripheral nervous system though, so it can reduce physical agitation.
Then there’s L-theanine. As I mentioned before, it’s an amino acid that has a relaxant effect on the brain.
There’s also a tiny bit of glutathione. If you haven’t heard of it, glutathione is an antioxidant that plays a pervasive role in cellular biology– your body needs lot of it. Unfortunately, while it can be absorbed intact into the bloodstream, it can’t be absorbed into cells without being broken down into its constituent amino acids. As such, there’s very little evidentiary or even theoretical basis for supplementing it.
Finally, there’s a lecithin-based liposome (fatty molecules) blend that’s meant to speed absorbtion of the other ingredients.
So how well did it work? Pretty well, for me at least. I didn’t feel like it got me to sleep much faster that a standard melatonin supplement, but it did seem like I stayed asleep more easily, and slept more deeply. I’m not entirely sure what to attribute that to, but I do think GABA played a role even if it only acted on the peripheral nervous system.
That said, I suffer from severe insomnia, and also a mysterious itching disorder where I itch all the time for no reason anyone’s ever been able to figure out. So this could easily work a lot better or a lot worse for other people. I don’t know.
So, to recap: I love Next Level and plan to keep using it. I liked Sandman and will probably keep using it. X7 was a bit of a miss for me; mildly effective but not enough to justify the cost, but more so it just solves a problem I don’t personally have.
The other thing I want to say about Alpha Wolf Nutrition is that I love how all of their product labels tell you exactly how much of each ingredient the product contains. None of this “proprietary blend” crap to obscure the fact that most of the ingredients are included in insignificant quantities. And the ingredients are all things that have some evidence to back them up, other than, arguably, the glutathione in Sandman.
Overall they seem like a really solid company, and I look forward to seeing what else they come out with.