Hot on the heels of our review of Combat Powder and it’s sustained release properties, we are going to take a close look at MuscleTech’s Phase8 protein blend.
Again the company behind it promotes its product as a sustained release blend of different proteins, with added BCAA’s to promote better recover and growth.
Familiar claims these days in a very competitive market. So to find out if Phase 8 really whey’s up, read on as we give you the scoop on it… and I promise, no more bad puns.
About The Company
It’s reassuring to know that MuscleTech has been around for over 15 years. In such a competitive market, longevity of a brand is only achieved by providing a good product.
In 1998, they introduced Cell-Tech, which was the first creatine-carbohydrate-alpha lipoic acid supplement. This new form of supplement was investigated and proven to be effective by a study in 2003 (See footnote 1). Since then,many companies have followed MuscleTech’s lead.
The company has built on its reputation as a cutting edge, industry leader, by continually developing new products of high quality.
Don’t just take my word for it, 2012 Arnold Classic Champion Branch Warren and 2012 Olympia Champion Phil Heath both use and promote MuscleTech’s products.
Call me naive, but when champion athletes are willing to put their name to a product name, I tend to listen.
The Ingredients and how they work
As mentioned in our Combat review, a protein powder’s effectiveness is hard to assess without taking into account the users diet, physiology and exercise routine. What we can assess are the science behind the ingredients and anecdotal evidence from users and their experiences with the product.
Like Combat and a couple of competitors, Phase 8 contains a blend of protein types with different absorption rates. This means that post workout, you get a protein hit soon after drinking it.
Then, over the next 8 hours or so the other types of protein are slowly absorbed into your bloodstream aiding growth and recovery of your muscle tissue for a sustained period.
Unlike it’s competitors, Phase8 contains 6 protein types (Combat has 5) they are: Whey concentrate, Whey isolate, Micellar Caseinate, Hydrolyzed Whey isolate, Calcium Caseinate and Milk protein concentrate.
Adding to the mix
Once again we see the addition of BCAA’s to the powder to further assist you in reaching your growth goals. According to the packaging there are 4.6gm of BCAAs in every scoop.
MuscleTech have also added a digestive enzyme “matrix” (why can’t they just say blend or mix? Really.) The enzymes further help digestion and absorption while promoting internal health.
Phase 8 has a slightly higher caloric value than some of it’s competitors, however I don’t really see this as a problem if you plan your meals, reducing calories from other sources of nutrition. Here’s the Macro breakdown:
Serving size: 1x42gm scoop
Calories 150 (20 from fat)
Total fat: 2gm
Saturated fat: No info available
Trans fat: 0gm
Amino acid BLEND: 4.6gm
Taste and Mix-ability
Unlike some other brands, MuscleTech have kept it simple when it comes to your choice of flavors. There are only three: Milk chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla.
(If you’re a no nonsense type like me, it’s refreshing. I don’t want a “Belgian chocolate, triple fudge mocha latte with a twist of lemon” protein shake. I just want it to provide nutrients in a proprietary manner with no fuss.)
That being said, I’ve tried the chocolate flavor and it was very good indeed. Not too sweet and not too chocolaty. I mix mine with water, and it’s mix-ability was also good with very little clumping. (Combat still wins on mix-ability). In other reviews I’ve seen, the same applies to the strawberry and vanilla flavors.
Phase 8 is available in 2 size tubs. 2 lbs and 4.4 – 4.6lbs (strawberry weighs less than chocolate or vanilla?).
Regular prices are around $45 and $85 US for 2 and 4 pound tubs respectively. As usual shop around for the best price because there are some truly huge saving to be made. As I write this two sites are selling Phase 8 for 40% off the regular price.
With 22 servings in a 2lb tub, it means it’s $1 per serve at the promotional price, so about mid range in terms of cost.
However you need to consider a) the regular price $2.05/serve and b) the recommended dosage is 4 servers per day for a minimum of 6 weeks. At that rate you’ll be churning through a small tub in under a week making the cost much higher.
Pros and Cons
The main points below will give you some idea as to why Phase 8 is gaining popularity.
- 6 different protein types to provide a sustained protein absorption for up to 8 hours.
- Added BCAAs for better mobilization and absorption of protein.
- Added digestive enzymes for better digest and absorption of protein.
- Some excellent promotions saving you up to 40% of the price
- Taste is very good and not overly sweet.
- Produced by a company that is well respected in bodybuilding circles and endorsed by two of bodybuilding’s elite athletes.
- Mix-ability could be better
- Limited choice of flavors for those who like variety.
- Non promotional price and high recommended dosage makes it expensive.
- Higher caloric value per serve than some competitors.
Overall, Phase 8 looks great, with the company’s reputation and high profile athlete endorsements.
The sustained release formula with amino acids is becoming very popular and in itself could save you some money on BCAAs. (If they would actually tell you the profile and quantity of each one).
Things like mix-ability and the higher calories are easily overcome,so no problems there. The big issue to me is the regular price and amount of servings required. I will recommend you try Phase 8 while the price is low, after that, I’d recommend it to upper level athletes preparing for competition and upper income earners.
1.Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Parise G, Tarnopolsky MA, Candow DG (2003-09-01). “Effect of alpha-lipoic acid combined with creatine monohydrate on human skeletal muscle creatine and phosphagen concentration”. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (Human Kinetics Publishers) 13 (3): 294–302.