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Best Creatine Supplements - 1
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Cellucor M5 Extreme
Creatine monohydrate info.
Creatine benefits
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Creatine use and cycling
Creatine serum vs. powder
Creatine Monohydrate FAQ
EAS Betagen Review
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Gaspari Superpump 250 Review - 1
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Homemade Celltech Phosphagen
Kre Alkalyn Creatine Review
Muscletech Aplodan
MuscleTech Cell Tech
MuscleTech CellTech 2
NO Xplode Creatine Review - BSN
Nutrex Vitargo CGL Creatine
San V12 Turbo Review
Universal Animal Pump Review - 1
Universal Animal Pump Review - 2
Universal Animal Rage
VPX NO Shotgun
Xyience NOX-CG3

Energy Supplements

ABB Carbo Force Energy Drink
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Amino Energy
BSN Endorush Review - 1
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Cytosport Cytomax Sports Drink
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Endurox R4 Carbohydrate Drink
Scivation Xtend
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Vitargo S2 Carbohydrates
Xyience Xenergy

VPX NO Shotgun Review

NO Shotgun V3 Reviews

The VPX NO Shotgun supplement is a pre-workout creatine / NO matrix that also contains the fat burning combo from VPX Redline and Meltdown. If you've used any VPX products before, you'll know that VPX makes some quality supplements, and their products such as Redline is a seriously potent energy drink that you don't just want to mess around with! NO Shotgun contains several matrices including a protein matrix, BCAA matrix, muscle volumizing (NO2 / creatine) matrix, strength and endurance matrix, and a "Redline Energy & Meltdown Fat Burning Technology" component. As you can see, it sure contains a lot of stuff! Some 20g of proteins, 10g of NO2 / creatine matrix, bunch of amino acids, and on top of that, an energy component with fat burning ingredients (377mg)

There are plenty of NO / Creatine supplements on the market such as BSN NO-Xplode, Xyience NOX CG3, Universal Animal Pump, and many others not quite worth mentioning here. In fact, NOX CG3 isn't quite worth mentioning either. I've had plenty of experience using many of these supplements, and would have to say that Animal Pump and NO Shotgun are at the top of my list. On a side note, while on a related subject, when it comes to the best energy drinks, I would have to say that BSN Endorush and VPX Redline are clear winners. I will mention here early on that with these supplements, take half (1/2) serving for your first time! Very important! You need to assess your tolerance for these supplement, since they contain some very potent stimulants. Another energy drink I've really liked is the Ultimate Orange - unfortunately, it seems that it's been discontinued.

In this review, we'll take a quick look at some of the ingredients in NO Shotgun. If you've used NO Shotgun, please share your NO Shotgun Review here.

VPX NO Shotgun Supplement Ingredients   

NO Shotgun is a NO2 / creatine matrix supplement that contains a large number of ingredients. These ingredients are broken down in to several different matrices of the supplement including a protein hydrolysate matrix, BCAA matrix, muscle volumizing (creatine / NO2) matrix, strength and endurance matrix, and an energy / fat burning matrix. The protein mix contains casein and whey protein hydrolysate, and ionic whey protein; the BCAA matrix contains a long list of amino acids; the muscle volumizing matrix contains citrulline malate, L-arginine malate, and several forms of creatine including creatine ethyl ester and creatine monohydrate; the strength and endurance matrix contains quite a few ingredients including Ketoisocaproic Acid Calcium (KIC), beta alanine, and creatine magnesium chelate; and finally, the energy and fat burning matrix contains plenty of caffeine. Below is a full list of NO Shotgun ingredients:

Calories ~81
Total Fat 0 0%
Carbohydrates 0mg 0%
Sodium 65mg 2.6%
Protein 20g 40%
Protein Hydrolysate Matrix Yielding 22% Glutamine Peptide, 21% BCAA Peptide, & 41% EAA's 9,660mg **
Casein Protein Hydrolysate
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Ionic Whey Protein
Proprietary Branched Chain Ethyl Ester Amino Acid Matrix
L-Leucine, L-Valine, :-Isoleucine, L-Arginine, L-Valine Ethyl Ester, L-2-Aminopentanoic Acid (L-Nor Valine), L-Alanyl Glutamine, L-Arginine Ehtyl Ester Di-HCL, L-Isoleucine Ethyl Ester HCL, L-Leucine Ethyl Ester HCL
Proprietary Muscle Volumizing, NO2, Insulinotrophic Matrix 10,055mg **
Creatine Gluconate
CEX®(creatine ethyl ester HCL)
Creatine Taurinate
Creatine Monohydrate
COP® (Creatinol-O-Phosphate)
Di-Na Creatine Phosphate Tetrahydrate
Di-L-Arginine Malate
Citrulline Malate
Gamma-Butyrobetaine Ethyl Ester
Magnesium Tashinoate B
Bis Picolinato Oxo Vanadium (BPOV)
Power, Speed, Strength And Endurance Matrix
Beta Alanine/beta Alanine Ethyl Ester HCL
Guanidinopropionic Acid (GPA)
KIC(Ketoisocaproic Acid Calcium)
Vitamin B6(Pyridoxine HCL- 250%
Creatine Magnesium Chelate
Redline Energy & Meltdown Fat Burning Technology 377mg **
Caffeine Anhydrous
Beta Phenylethylamine HCL
Hordenine HCL
Folate(as Folic Acid)-100%

Not much needs to be said about the protein and amino acid content here. You can read more about whey protein Hydrolysate here. In the BCAA matrix, one amino worth mentioning is the Leucine. Leucine is one of the 20 most common amino acids - Leucine is an essential amino acid. It is the most common amino acid found in proteins, and it is also essential for optimal growth in infants, and nitrogen equilibrium in adults. It is believed that Leucine plays a roll in maintaining muscles by equalizing protein synthesis and breakdown.

Bodybuilders and other athletes use protein powders that contain leucine to promote muscle recovery. Leucine helps with regulation of blood sugar levels, and the growth and repair of muscle tissue. It helps to prevent the breakdown of muscle proteins that can occur after trauma or severe stress.

There are many studies that confirm leucine helps improve protein synthesis, prevent break down of muscle proteins, and promote muscle recovery [1]. An interesting side note I'd like to point out here is that it almost seems that NO Shotgun contains something similar to Muscletech Leukic. Leukic is the short version for L-leucine-ketoisocaproic acid calcium. If you look down on the ingredients list you'll see KIC (Ketoisocaproic Acid Calcium) from the strength and endurance matrix. More on KIC later.

The volumizing matrix contains quite a few different forms of creatine. The time tested creatine monohydrate is also included. Creatine ethyl ester HCL (CEE) is a derivative of creatine monohydrate, sold as an athletic performance enhancer and promoted as being better than creatine monohydrate for building muscle and strength. It is an ethyl ester derivative of creatine - the ethyl ester is claimed to promote a much better absorption rate than regular creatine in the body. However these claims are not supported by scientific studies, and in fact some studies have actually found CEE to be less stable than regular creatine.

Another key ingredient from the volumizing matrix is Citrulline Malate, which is a non-essential amino acid, and is not abundant in our diet, but it plays a role in regulating Nitric Oxide (NO). Here are some benefits of citrulline:

  • Studies show that Citrulline Malate helps raise arginine levels more effectively
  • One study found Citrulline to significantly reduces the sensation of fatigue, increase ATP production during exercise by 34%, and increase phosphocreatine recovery after exercise by 20%. Citrulline Research - 1

Now we get to the strength and endurance matrix. As mentioned just above, the most interesting and key ingredient here is the KIC or Ketoisocaproic Acid Calcium. There are research documenting the beneficial effects of KIC, and its potential for reducing muscle damage from exercising, and also delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS). So it makes sense to include the KIC in the "strength and endurance" matrix, which should help reduce muscle soreness, speed up recovery, and allow you to push harder during exercises.

In a study done at the School of Life Sciences of Kingston University in the UK, researchers studied the effects of supplementing beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB Supplement ) and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC). The study found that supplementing HMB and KIC "reduced the signs and symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage in man". See study summary below:

This study examined the effects of beta-hydroxyl-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) supplementation on signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage following a single bout of eccentrically biased resistance exercise.

6 non-resistance trained male subjects performed an exercise protocol designed to induce muscle damage on two separate occasions, performed on the dominant or non-dominant arm in a counter-balanced crossover design.

The subjects were given either an HMB / KIC (3g HMB, 0.3g KIC) or placebo treatment prior to exercise. One repetition maximum (1 RM), plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, DOMS, limb girth, and range of motion (ROM) were determined pre-exercise at 1h, 24h, 48h, and 72h post-exercise.

The study found that the HMB / KIC supplement group had weakened creatine kinase response, and reduced decrement in 1 rep max. Also DOMS was reduced at 24h post-exercise in the HMB KIC group. This lead to the conclusion: 14 d of HMB and KIC supplementation reduced signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in non-resistance trained males following a single bout of eccentrically biased resistance exercise. [2]

Now, a brief explanation of the results from above. Some may wonder what exactly is creatine kinase (CK), and how is reducing the CK response beneficial? So in plain english, it just means that creatine kinase activity burns up an ATP to convert creatine to phosphocreatine. Why is this bad? Because ATP is what your muscle needs to produce the energy for muscle contractions. So, with HMB / KIC supplementation, the CK response is reduced - meaning there is more available ATP for muscle contractions. The study also found that delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS) was reduced.

>> Click here for VPX NO Shotgun

VPX NO Shotgun Side Effects & Supplement Study

In the relatively un-regulated supplement industry, there's no shortage of supplement companies making unsubstantiated claims, and citing some so called "studies" to backup their products. So when I see these, I always check the legitimacy of these studies, and unless they're published in a peer reviewed publication, they really hold no weight. VPX is one company that differentiates itself by citing actual studies done on its products, that are published in peer reviewed publications. For example, its Redline and Meltdown supplements all have clinical trials done that were published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN). The VPX NO Shotgun study is also published in the JISSN. We'll briefly summarize it below.

This study evaluated the effects of VPX NO Shotgun on body composition, muscle strength, and mass during a 28 day trial using heavy resistance exercises. Eighteen non-trained males participated in the 28 day resistance training program. They were given either a placebo, or a serving of NO Shotgun 30 minutes before exercising.

The study found that lean mass increased significantly greater for the NO Shotgun group compared to the placebo group. Bench press strength was also significantly greater for the NO group compared to placebo. In short, for all the measured variables, the NO Shotgun group significantly out performed the placebo group. The study concluded that combining heavy resistance training with VPX NO Shotgun effectively increases muscle strength and mass, and no negative side effects were noted during the study. [3]

Although the study mentioned no side effects; however, there are few side effects associated with VPX NO Shotgun. Some users have reported upset stomach, increased sweating, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, sleeplessness, feel irritated, and some jitteriness. Not all users will experience side effects, and will likely experience different side effects if any. More common complaints would be sleeplessness and stomach upsets. To avoid affecting your sleep, try taking NO Shotgun earlier in the day and avoid taking it late in the day. Take a half serving for your first time to assess how well you tolerate its effects.

>> Click here for VPX NO Shotgun


1. J Physiol. 2006 Aug 15;575(Pt 1):305-15. Epub 2006 Jun 15.
Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia.
Rieu I, Balage M, Sornet C, Giraudet C, Pujos E, Grizard J, Mosoni L, Dardevet D.

2. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Aug;15(4):413-24.
Supplementation with beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) reduces signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in man.
van Someren KA, Edwards AJ, Howatson G.

3. Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise and consuming a commercially available pre-workout supplement, NO-Shotgun®, on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of satellite cell activation, and clinical safety markers in males
Brian Shelmadine, Matt Cooke, Thomas Buford, Geoffrey Hudson, Liz Redd, Brian Leutholtz and Darryn S Willoughby
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:16


Feb 2010