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Overview of Axe & Sledge The Grind
Axe & Sledge is one of the hottest brands in sports nutrition with some of their innovative formulas, authentic flavor collaborations and the uniqueness of their brand to connect to their target demo.
The Grind is the brand's EAA and hydration formula. It is not a bad formula, however it is missing one of the nine EAAs which was a miss in our opinion. The addition of a full gram of coconut water powder helps as this is something that is almost a must-drink intra-workout. If they can go back and reformulate to add the full EAA profile, we are talking one of the best EAAs on the market today.
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Testing Results and Ratings
We reviewed Axe & Sledge The Grind on five categories. We first start by looking at its ingredient profile. This portion of the review looks at the different ingredients used in the Amino Acid supplement, what their intention is and how effectively dosed are each ingredient.
We then look at effectiveness. An effective Amino Acid product will use high quality, proven ingredients, at clinically backed dosages. This is generally an extension of the profile section. The higher quality ingredients used at proper dosages, the more effective that Amino Acid will be.
Then we move into the taste of the different flavors we’ve tried. We grade each flavor separately and average the scores for their overall taste rating. We were able to test out the following flavors: ICEE Cherry and ICEE Blue Raspberry.
Finally, we talk about value. Value is the combination of profile, effectiveness, taste and mixability in relation to cost. Another part of value are the competitors and other versions of Amino Acid products on the market.
When it comes down to an EAA product, we look first to assure we are getting the full nine EAAs:
In Axe & Sledge’s The Grind formula they are missing Methionine. Because EAAs cannot be made by the body you need to get them from foods or supplements. When you release an EAA we’d like to see all nine being used and dosed.
We do get the 2:1:1 BCAA ratio. If you are lifting and have had a protein rich meal within the past three hours than this formula is just fine. If you are fasted, you then are missing an EAA that is necessary to repair, recovery and rebuilding of muscle tissue.
The hydration aspect of The Grind is sold. We like the use of a full gram of coconut water powder. This aids in hydration. We also like the use of Betaine (so many benefits in terms of power and strength output and muscle recovery). Ornithine is a nice add at a gram which can improve athletic performance. Glutamine is dosed at 2.5g. We are not huge fans of glutamine in any supplement unless you are seeking gut health. Glutamine in terms of muscle recovery and repair has been essentially debunked (it was studied in burn patients and healing time). However, again, for gut health and potential cognitive benefits there can be some benefit.
Overall, if you are using this product after already consuming a meal with protein, then it is good. If you are fasted we would like to see the full nine EAA used, we can live without Glutamine but we do love the addition of Betaine, coconut water powder and Ornithine.
Effectiveness is generally an extension of the profile on amino acid products. You don’t necessarily feel these products like you would with a pre-workout. Yes, they may alleviate muscle soreness through the repair of tissue but it is not something you will get instant relief from. For us at FI, this would have a higher effectiveness score if it was a full EAA profile.
ICEE Blue Raspberry:
If you’ve ever had an ICEE in your life you can swear by the fact that you can taste the syrup that it comes out of. You get this same flavor with these powders. It is very realistic. If you love the ICEE flavoring system, they nailed this.
For us we preferred Cherry over Blue Raspberry, but the ICEE version of Blue Raspberry is slightly different than the readily available commercialized blue raspberry we are used to drinking in powdered supplements.
The ICEE Blue Raspberry gives you a hint of that blue raspberry with a smack of that syrup type flavoring that everyone loves with ICEE.
The ICEE Cherry is a more smooth cherry flavor, actually quite enjoyable, with that syrup flavoring that we expect with ICEE.
If you’re a fan of ICEE you cannot go wrong with either of these flavors.
EAAs are not going to be completely soluble in water or any solution. It just doesn’t happen. You will always have particles. Our EAA/amino acid mixability scores always start at about 8.5. If it ends at an 8.5, like it does here, it is pretty standard. You will notice from the video you get some foaming (leucine) and some particles. You also get some residue at the bottom of the shaker cup too, but again this is to be expected.
The Grind retails for $40 for 30-servings. This alone makes it a solid value, but then we look at the fact that we’re missing a very important EAA. When you look at other EAAs as a whole, there are other 30-serving units for $40 that contains the full EAA profile as well as additional features like hydration. Those, however, don’t always contain unique flavor collaborations such as ICEE so there is value there. Overall if you are planning on using this as a way to get more liquids into your day, it is not a bad choice, especially if you like ICEE.
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