Force Factor 2 (Factor 2) is a pre-workout supplement, which, was “created by biologists to help you build strength and power” as well as “help you achieve your muscle-building goals.” At the heart of the claims of Force Factor 2 is its effects on nitric oxide, a gas that expands blood vessels. The Force Factor website eludes that nitric oxide will help people “build lean muscle,” as well as “increase strength” and several other things. This sounds good, but does it really work, or is it a scam? In this review, Ill show you the evidence for Force Factor 2 and its ingredients so you can decide if it's right for you. Also, see my review of the original Force Factor and the Super Beets Review for more insights.
Force Factor 2 Benefits
From the product website, we see this supplement is supposed to provide the following benefits:
- Amplifies Strength, Power, & Stamina
- Delivers Explosive Energy
- Enhances Nutrient Uptake & Delivery
On the surface, these sound pretty impressive. But, it would take clinical research to know for sure if Force Factor does these things. Is there any clinical proof for this supplement? Let's address this next.
Force Factor 2 Research
I wanted to know if this supplement had ever been tested in a lab. So I searched clinical databases for
- Force Factor clinical research
- Force Factor Clinical Evidence
I could not locate any research on this supplement. On the supplement website (ForceFactor.com) there is a “Discover the Science” page which does discuss nitric oxide but it also does not list any research on the supplement itself.
Therefore, it looks like Force Factor 2 – itself- does not have clinical proof it does what the maker claims it does. That is too bad because this product has been around for many years.
To know for sure if it really works, we need to look at the ingredients in Force Factor.
Force Factor 2 Ingredients
According to ForceFactor.com, two capsules of Force Factor 2 have these ingredients:
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||100 mg||167% DV|
|Calcium (calcium ascorbate)||16 mg||<1% DV|
|Folic acid||600 mcg||150% DV|
|Dual Stage Next-Gen NOXplosion||1285 mg||N?A|
|Stage 1 Substrate Input Regeneration Complex||N/A|
|Lovage root (Rhizoma)|
|Stage 2 Dynamic NOX Enzyme Catalysis System||N/A|
- DV = Daily Value
- Mcg= micrograms (1 millionth of a gram)
- NA = No Daily Value established
Each bottle has 60 capsules. If 2 capsules are taken per day, this is a 30 day supply.
Before we go further, let me make the label more clear since some may find it confusing.
The “Dual Stage Next-Gen NOXplosion” formula is composed of 2 proprietary blends:
- Stage 1 Substrate Input Regeneration Complex
- Stage 2 Dynamic NOX Enzyme Catalysis System
Even though these phrases sound very scientific, they are made-up words. For example, there is no formal phrase as “substrate 1 impute regeneration complex.” These phrases are invented by the maker of the supplement.
Because Force Factor 2 is touted to improve nitric oxide in humans, I will specifically look for proof the ingredients
- Raise nitric oxide in humans
- Improve exercise performance in humans
I won't include test tube or lab animal research.
Force Factor 2 has 100 mg of vitamin C in 2 capsules. Evidence suggests intravenous vitamin C raises NO levels in people. At least one study of diabetics noted vitamin C improved blood vessel health. This investigation however used 2 grams (2000 mg) of vitamin C. Lower amounts might also work but how more study is needed.
Free radical damage likely reduces the ability of blood vessels to make nitric oxide. Vitamin C – a well known antioxidant- likely augments nitric oxide production, in part, by protecting blood vessels from free radical damage
Calcium (Calcium Ascorbate)
This is another form of vitamin C. It's vitamin C and calcium stuck together. It's vitamin C, buffered with calcium, hence, the other name for this form, buffered ascorbate. I believe the idea here is that this buffered version of vitamin C might cause fewer side effects (diarrhea, etc).
Calcium ascorbate is one of the main ingredients in the popular Ester C supplement which you may have seen on TV. Human evidence of calcium raising NO levels cannot be located. If it really does this, it may be due to the vitamin C bonded to the calcium. Regardless, Force Factor 2 does not provide much calcium ascorbate (16 mg). Whether that adds anything significant to the supplement needs more study.
Force Factor 2 has 600 micrograms in 2 capsules.
Homocysteine is a compound that damages blood vessels and plays a role in heart disease. If we could lower homocysteine levels, would this help them make more nitric oxide? Folic acid is well known to reduce homocysteine levels.
So, would folic acid help improve NO production by lowering homocysteine? Its an interesting theory – and it does make sense – but there is not much research on it. One investigation noted 10 mg of folic acid improved the enzyme which makes nitric oxide (nitric oxide synthase). But, to know for sure, we would need to give folic acid supplements to healthy people and measure their NO production.
Dual Stage Next Gen NOXPlosion Ingredients
The Dual Stage Next Gen NOXplosion proprietary blend adds up to 1,285mg (about 1.3 grams) and is composed of the ingredients below. It is made up of 2 different proprietary blends
- Stage 1 Substrate Regeneration Complex
- Stage 2 Dynamic Nox Enzyme Catalysis System
While they do not tell us the exact amounts of each ingredient, we know supplement companies must list ingredients from the most to the least. For example, since L-citrulline is listed first, it makes up most of the Dual Stage Next Gen NOXplosion compound.
Stage 1 Substrate Regeneration Complex
The product website states that:
“The L-citrulline in Factor 2 has been shown to be even more effective than L-arginine itself at raising your body's L-arginine levels, stimulating your body's natural NO production as you conquer your toughest workouts.”
L-citrulline is an amino acid that helps us make arginine. Both citrulline and arginine help us make nitric oxide. This is why you see these two amino acids showing up so much in NO boosters and pre-workout supplements.
So whats the evidence?
Back in 2006, Researchers in North Carolina wanted to see if citrulline improved exercise in healthy young men. It didn't. In this study, the men who got arginine actually pooped out faster during exercise than the men who took a placebo. It's worth knowing these men took 9 grams of L-citrulline. That's a LOT more than is in Force Factor 2
Would lesser amounts of L-citrulline have the same effects? I'm not aware of any published evidence either way. Here is a brand of citrulline malate powder that has 6 grams per tablespoon.
Further complicating this issue is this study which showed that even though citrulline raised nitric oxide, it did not improve blood flow. Huh? Isn't improved blood flow why people take NO boosters? To be fair, this investigation involved older people with heart disease. Younger, heather people might respond differently due to having a healthier circulatory system.
Despite the hype of this amino acid, I believe the effects of this L-citrulline on exercise performance is still not fully known. While I'm sure it likely raises NO production, if I had to guess, I'd say its exercise effects might be best in those who were basically healthy and “normal” and not so much in either very sick people or highly exercise-trained individuals (weight lifters, sprinters, etc.).
Loveage root is an herbal ingredient. Its scientific name is Levisticum officinale. So, what does it do to nitric oxide levels? I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Lovage nitric oxide
- Levisticum officinale nitric oxide
Human proof of lovage root extract raising nitric oxide levels in humans cannot be located. There is also a lack of evidence for lovage improving exercise.
Coenzyme Q10 is also called ubiquinone and ubiquinol (because it's said to be ubiquitous or everywhere). CQ10 is a popular supplement that seems to have a variety of health-related benefits. But what about exercise and nitric oxide? As an antioxidant, CoQ10 probably helps blood vessels, which, as we saw with vitamin C, above, might lead to more NO being produced. This makes sense.
What about exercise?
Well, researchers in Turkey gave 15 healthy men – who did not exercise regularly – either a placebo or 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 8 weeks. Men performed 5 high-intensity bike tests. These researchers noted CoQ10 supplements increased average muscle power in men.
Researchers in Norway, however saw no differences in exercise performance when they gave 11 healthy men 90mg of COQ10 for 8 weeks.
To be fair, there is a LOT of research on CoQ10. While they don't tell us h ow much CoQ10 is in Factor 2, Ill say its probably similar to what many researchers use. I'm sure it contributes something to the effects of the supplement. But, whether or not it contributes significantly is difficult to know without clinical studies.
Here is the brand of COQ10 I use for those who are interested.
Stage 2 Dynamic Nox Enzyme Catalysis System
Taurine is a non-essential amino acid that we naturally make. Lab animal research finds taurine supplements improve blood vessel health. Lab animal research also suggests taurine might also improve sexual arousal. This makes sense, given the role of NO in erections. This is after all, how prescription ED pills work too.
Whether or not taurine improves workouts is debatable.
Japanese researchers have noted taurine reduced free radical damage in the white blood cells of men who rode a bike till exhaustion. Other research – involving Red Bull – has shown improved Red Bull, improved aerobic endurance, reaction time, and coordination. While Red Bull contains 2000 mg of taurine, because it has many ingredients, making it hard to pin this effect down to just taurine.
Other studies have shown no effects by Red Bull. For example, researchers in Nebraska, found sugar-free Red Bull did not improve upper body strength or muscle endurance in well-trained men more than a placebo.
In a study by researchers in Minnesota, the conclusion was basically that other than caffeine, the ingredients in Red Bull (taurine included) did not raise the resting metabolic rate after weight lifting.
Norvaline is an amino acid. Its chemical name is 2-Aminopentanoic acid. Chemically, it looks like the branch chain amino acid valine but, it is not a component of proteins. Norvaline may be in Force Factor 2 because it seems to inhibit the enzyme arginase. Arginase is the enzyme that breaks down arginine.
Remember from above that arginine improves NO levels. So, if we can block the enzyme that breaks down arginine, then this might lead to greater NO levels – and NO that lasts longer in the bloodstream.
Sounds good, but is there any proof Norvaline helps people exercise better? Evidence of norvaline improving nitric oxide or exercise performance cannot be located.
Vitamin C and Calcium
Vitamin C and calcium are listed at the top of the ingredients list of Force Factor 2 and they are also listed separately as ingredients in the Stage 2 Enzyme Catalysis System. I won't cover them again here as I already did above.
Ingredients With NO Evidence
Looking at the research I could locate as I wrote this review, I find that the ingredients in Force Factor 2 that seem most logical to affect nitric oxide levels are:
There is more evidence for citrulline raising NO levels than any other ingredient in Force Factor 2. Might all the ingredients in Factor 2 work better than Citrulline by itself? Maybe. It would take clinical research to know for sure.
Buy Force Factor 2
This is a popular supplement that has been around for many years. You can find Force Factor 2 at most major retail stores such as GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target, PureFormulas, and Hi-Health. It is also available on Amazon and eBay too.
Who Makes Force Factor 2?
The company is called Force Factor LLC. They are located at 24 School St Ste 401 Boston, MA 02108-5113
This address corresponds to a large building called Boston 5 Cent Savings Bank building. I believe Force Factor LLC is one of many companies with office space in this building. This is not where Force Factor 2 supplements are made or shipped from.
This is also the same address as another company called NutraClick (NutraClick.com). NutraClick appears to be a marketing company. Their website reveals they work with several companies, such as Femme Factor, Peak Life, and ProBioSlim to name a few.
Another name for NutraClick is Hungry Fish Media LLC (HungryFishMedia.org), a film and TV production company. Hungry Fish is a reference to the Bible, where Jesus told his disciples to become fishers of men.
Force Factor BBB Ratings
When this review was updated Force Factor LLC had a Better Business Bureau rating of A. I found this odd since most of the reviews were negative. The high rating likely reflects the company's willingness to address customer complaints. This is good. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
NutraClick also had a BBB rating of A when this review was last updated. See their BBB file for updates and more information.
Contact Force Factor
In the US and Canada call 877-204-3263
- In the UK call 0808-1012202
- In Australia call 800-084-649
- In Guam, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico call 877-301-6149
Force Factor Free Sample
If you want to get a free sample, contact the company. See the contact info above. If you sign up for a free 2 week sample, you may be entered into an auto-ship program where you get regular shipments of Force Factor regularly. You will have to cancel the trial period ends. Be sure to ask about this when you ask about the free trial.
Return Force Factor
If you want to return Force Factor 2 or their other supplements, you can simply return them to the store you purchased them from. If you purchased the supplement directly from the company, call them first and obtain a Return Authorization Number (RMA number). You will need this before you return the supplement.
Here are the addresses to return the supplement:
- In the United States: Force Factor, 105 Commerce Dr, Aston, PA 19014.
- In Canada: Force Factor Returns, P.O. Box 1051, Fort Erie ON L2A 6C7.
- In Australia: Force Factor, PO Box 535, Braeside VIC 3195.
- In the United Kingdom: Force Factor Returns, PO Box 1417, Bedfordshire, MK41 0QB
Do NOT just send it back without a Return Authorization Number. Call the company first and get the RMA number before you send it back.
Force Factor 2 Side Effects
So, is Force Factor 2 safe? While I believe Factor 2 is safe in healthy persons, it should be remembered the supplement has not been tested in clinical investigations. This is unfortunate because the supplement has been around since at least 2010 when I first heard of it. Here are some things to think about if you are not healthy. This list is not complete:
- Start with less than recommended for the first week to see how you respond.
- Stop taking Force Factor 2 at least 2 weeks before having surgery.
- Force Factor 2 should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Speak to your doctor/pharmacist/dietitian if you take any medications such as those for high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction (ED) or heart disease.
- Do not take if you are under 18. Teenagers already have LOTs of nitric oxide. Teenagers who take NO boosters are wasting of money.
If Force Factor 2 raises nitric oxide levels, then it might reduce blood pressure. This may be a problem for those with blood pressure problems (high blood pressure or low blood pressure) or heart disease. This may result in BP going too low, resulting in dizziness.
Force Factor 2 vs. Force Factor
Originally, the company made a supplement called Force Factor. It was only after this, it invented Force Factor 2. How do they compare to each other? Here is how the ingredients stack up to each other:
|Force Factor (4 capsules)||Force Factor 2 (2 capsules)|
|Advanced 3X Nitric Oxide Booster (3000 mg) made of:||Vitamin C 100 mg (167%DV)|
|Arginine-Alpha-ketoglutarate (A-AKG)||Calcium 16 mg (<1%DV)|
|alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (A-KIC)||Folic acid 600 mcg (150% DV)|
|Duel Stage Next Gen Nxplosion 1285 mg made of:|
|Advanced Nutrient Delivery System (200 mg) made up of:||Stage 1 Substrate Regeneration Complex – made up of:|
|Di-potassium phosphate||Lovage root|
|Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)||Stage 2 Dynamic Nox Enzyme Catalysis System – made up of|
As you can see, the ingredients are quite different. Both Force Factor and Force Factor 2 are said to boost nitric oxide levels. How do they compare to each other? This is not known. No studies which compare these supplements to each other can be located.
Force Factor vs. The Competition
How does this supplement compare to other popular supplements?
Force Factor vs. Ageless Male
These are different supplements made by different companies. Unlike Factor 2, Age Male is marketed to raise testosterone levels. Ageless Male is not a NO booster. No studies compare Ageless Male to Factor 2.
Force Factor vs. Androzene
Like Ageless Male, Androzene is a testosterone booster – and it's also touted to improve men's performance in the bedroom. No studies compare Androzene to this supplement. Their ingredients are very different also.
Force Factor vs. Nugenix
Nugenix is one of the most popular exercise supplements on Earth. While no head-to-head studies compare Nugenix to Force Factor, my hunch is they would not act the same way. Nugenix is a T booster, not a NO booster.
Force Factor vs. VolcanNO
The company behind this supplement also makes another supplement called VolcaNO which is also reputed to vasodilate blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide levels. Both supplements contain L citrulline and norvaline so they have that in common. VolcanNO also contains other ingredients like creatine, methionine, and glycine. Because VocaNO contains both creatine and L citrulline, I wonder if they are trying to make a creatine nitrite supplement.
There are no studies that compare VolcaNO to Factor 2. The fact that the company makes multiple nitric oxide supplements makes me wonder how well any of them work. Think about it it. If Force Factor really worked, why would they need other NO boosters?
Force Factor 2 Questions
Let's now address several common questions about this supplement. If you don't see what you are looking for, leave a comment below and I will answer it for you.
Does Force Factor Have Caffeine?
No. Neither Force Factor or Factor 2 have caffeine. See the Force Factor review for more info on that supplement.
What Is Force Factor?
Basically, it's a preworkout supplement that is supposed to raise nitric oxide levels. The idea is by raising NO levels, will lead to better blood flow to muscles and the removal of waste products. From this, the supplement is supposed to lead to better workouts. See the review of the evidence above for more on this.
How To Take Force Factor?
For Factor 2, take 2 capsules at least 30 minutes before working out.
Does Force Factor 2 Cause Weight Gain?
I don't see anything in this supplement to make me think it would cause someone to gain weight. I also dont see anything in it which would cause weight loss either.
Does Force Factor Build Muscle
The product lacks evidence it builds muscle but the idea is the better your workout, the more intense your workout would be. This, in turn, might lead to stronger muscles. Whether or not your muscles would get bigger (muscle hypertrophy – as in bodybuilding) is more complicated and depends on several factors ranging from the kinds of muscle fibers you have (slow-twitch vs fast-twitch), tendon placement, bone density, and other things.
Does Force Factor Raise Testosterone?
I doubt it. While there is no clinical proof either way on the supplement, nothing in the product would make me think it would raise testosterone.
Does Force Factor Contain Tribulus?
Neither Force Factor or Factor 2 contain Tribulus Terrestris.
Factor 2 Pro & Con
Here is a quick rundown of what I liked and didn't like about Force Factor 2
|Available at most stores||Expensive|
|Been around a long time||Lacks clinical proof|
|Company has a good BBB rating||Made-up to describe ingredients|
|Easy to return policy|
Does Force Factor 2 Work?
While research shows nitric oxide plays a role in a healthy blood vessel system, Force Factor lacks clinical proof it raises nitric oxide in humans. this is despite the product being sold for many years. Yes, there are ingredients in Factor 2 that do raise NO levels but do all the ingredients in the supplement work together and do the same thing? Does Factor 2 work better than L citrulline? These are some of the questions I'd like to see answered. More than this, Does Force Factor 2 (or its ingredients) make people bigger, stronger or faster? Again, I'd love to see proof.