In this Force Factor review, I will show you the research on this sports supplement and its ingredients. What is Force Factor? Well, at its website, they say it“represents a long overdue progression in the fundamental paradigm of nutraceutical development.” That sounds pretty impressive but fancy words aside, does it work -and by work I mean raise nitric oxide levels and improve your workout? Does it have any side effects? Let's cut through the hype and get to the facts. Is Force Factor right for you? Let's see… Also see the review of Force Factor 2 and Super B
What is Force Factor?
Force Factor is a nitric oxide supplement. This is what the company’s website says about their product:
It “helps move oxygen into your muscles when they need it most, sparking powerful muscle growth, strength gains, and ripped pumps.”
So, its supposed to both boost NO levels and improve muscle strength.
Force Factor Benefits
From the product website (ForceFactor.com) we learn the supplement is supposed to provide the following benefits:
- Build Lean Muscle, Fast
- Maximize Strength
- Improve Endurance
- Transform Your Body
All this sounds pretty impressive on the surface. But, does it really work? Let's look at the science of Force Factor next
Force Factor Research
Does Force Factor really work? Well, the best way to know for sure is to test it in a lab. To see if this was ever done, I searched clinical research databases for “Force Factor Research.”
No studies showed up.
I also performed a search online too and found no clinical studies. Likewise the product website also does not list any studies either.
The ForceFactor.com site does have a page called “Discover The Science” where they talk about the benefits of nitric oxide. There is also a video called “The Science Behind Force Factor” which discusses nitric oxide too. But, no actual, clinical studies – on this product – are mentioned.
Conclusion: I could not locate any clinical investigations of Force Factor itself. This is unfortunate. It means the nobody seems to have taken it into the lab, tested it in people and published the results in a medical journal.
To know if it really works, we need to look at its ingredients. Let's do that next.
Force Factor Ingredients
The Supplements Facts label tells us 4 capsules contains the following ingredients:
|Force Factor (4 capsules)|
|Advanced 3X Nitric Oxide Booster (3000 mg) composed of of:|
|alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (A-KIC)|
|Advanced Nutrient Delivery System (200 mg) consisting of:|
|Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)|
As you can see from this table, Force Factor is made up of 2 different proprietary blends of ingredients:
- Advanced 3X Nitric Oxide Booster (3000 mg)
- Advanced Nutrient Delivery System (200 mg)
While they do not tell us how much of each ingredient is in these different blends, we know ingredients must be listed from the most to the least. For example, if we look at Advanced 3X Nitric Oxide Booster, we see the first ingredient is Arginine-Alpha-ketogluterate (A-AKG). This tells us the blend is mostly made up of A-AKG.
Lets now look at the research on the ingredients in Force Factor. In this review I'll focus on only the human research involving nitric oxide and exercise.
Advanced 3X Nitric Oxide Booster
Each 4 capsules of Force Factor provides 3000 mg of the following ingredients:
Arginine plays a role in nitric oxide synthesis (in other words, the creation of NO). As such, it makes sense it would be in an NO booster like Force Factor. Since this is the first ingredient listed, it makes up most of the 3000 mg in this proprietary blend.
Researchers in Texas gave 12 grams per day of an NO booster supplement (NO2 Platinum) which contained Arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate or a placebo to 24 young men for 7 days. The men also performed a strength training program too. While the supplement did raise arginine levels, the improvements in blood flow and nitric oxide were attributed to the exercise program -not the supplement.
Researchers in Italy tested an AAKG containing supplement (called Tenosan) to see if it helped speed recovery from rotator cuff surgery. After 3 months, those taking the supplement seemed to have less shoulder pain and seemed to have a “slight improvement” in the integrity of the repair. Because Tenosan has many ingredients, whether or not this was due to AAKG needs more research.
When researchers gave 3000 mg of AAKG or placebo to 16 trained and untrained men and put them on a strength training program, it failed to improve strength in either groups.
Physical therapists in Connecticut, also saw no improvements in muscle endurance when they gave AAKG to a small group of resistance trained men. The supplement used – Nitric Suspension – contained 3700 mg of a combination of AAKG and bioperine (likely used to enhance AAKG absorption).
As far as I can tell only one study appears to show AAKG work. In this investigation,12 g of AAGK was seen to improve strength in the bench press after 8 weeks of use.
2 Alpha-Ketoisocaproic Acid (A-KIC)
Alpha Ketoisocaproic acid is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. Leucine plays a role in muscle protein synthesis so, on the surface, something like A-KIC might make sense. But, do A-KIC supplements work? Here's a summary of the research so far:
Researchers in Florida noted a single dose of either – either 1.5 g or 9 grams of A-KIC failed to improve strength more than a placebo when it was given to a group of 13 men. The researchers noted that since this was just a single dose trial, we need more evidence to understand how repeated doses of A-KIC might work.
In a study involving 9 exercise-trained women, 10.2 grams (10,200 mg) combination of glycine-arginine and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (GAKIC) improved lower body strength in female. That's great, but there is no glycine in Force Factor so it's debatable how relevant this study is.
In a small study (14 people), researchers in the UK found a combination of AKIC and HMB did not change muscle damage people after exercise. HMB is another leucine metabolite that is often touted to help muscle growth. While it was highly marketed to people in the 1990s, research is mixed on its usefulness to healthy weight-lifters.
3 Arginine Monohydrate
This is another name for arginine, an amino acid which helps make nitric oxide. Arginine is found in many nitric oxide booster and pre-workout supplements for this reason.
See the Force Factor 2 for more insights.
Advanced Nutrient Delivery System
The advanced nutrient delivery system is made of ingredients said to help deliver the other ingredients to where they can help make nitric oxide. That is the theory of course. On paper, this does make some sense as the ingredients in this blend, help relax blood vessels. This, in turn, might help more blood get to the muscles.
In this proprietary blend, Each 4 capsules of Force Factor provides 200 mg of the following ingredients.
1 Calcium Phosphate
This is just calcium. While they don't tell us why calcium is in Force Factor, we know calcium plays a role in nitric oxide production and the relaxation of blood vessels. In this way, calcium can help lower blood pressure. Because calcium is the first ingredient listed, it makes up most of the 200 mg in this proprietary blend.
2 Di-Potassium Phosphate
This is another name for potassium. Potassium is well known to reduce blood pressure. One way potassium does this is by helping us make nitric oxide. Good sources of potassium include vegetables and fruits. While most people think banana are a good source of this mineral, a baked potato has over twice as much (900 mg vs 400 mg).
3 L-Citrulline Monohydrate
This is another name for the amino acid citrilline. This amino acid helps us make arginine. Remember, arginine is involved in nitric oxide synthesis. By helping us make arginine, L citrulline and helps increase NO levels. This is why citrulline is found in so MANY preworkout and nitric oxide supplements.
4 Magnesium Stearate
Magnesium stearate is found in many supplements. The reason is because magnesium stearate helps the other ingredients work well together. In the supplement world, magnesium stearate helps other ingredients from sticking the manufacturing equipment and to each other and makes it easier for us to swallow capsules. This is why magnesium stearate is called a “flow agent” – it helps the manufacturing – and swallowing and digestion- flow efficiently.
Magnesium stearate is composed of the mineral magnesium and the stearate acid, a saturated fatty acid, which does not raise cholesterol levels. While various health experts claim magnesium stearate is toxic, I don't see much human proof of this. Both cocoa butter and flaxseeds contain magnesium stearate.
4 Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD)
NAD is involved in the formation of ATP, which is the primary energy molecule in all of your cells. That said, they don't tell us why NAD is in Force Factor.
- Is it to improve exercise?
- Is it to increase vasodilation (expand blood vessels)?
There is much hype that NAD may play a role in slowing the aging process. Several supplements touted to increase NAD levels have become popular. Two of these are are:
These supplements contain a compound which comes from the vitamin niacin (vitamin B3) called nicotinamide riboside.
While I remain skeptical of these supplements, one question is this: does taking oral NAD supplements (such as in Force Factor) improve exercise? Evidence cannot be located.
Force Factor Active Ingredients
From the research available, I believe the key ingredients in Force Factor , are in order:
This is based on their ability to raise nitric oxide levels. Whether or not they improve exercise is another story. Of course, I could be wrong and all the ingredients in Force Factor work better than what I'm listing here. But, this would take research to know for sure.
Force Factor Side Effects
While I think Force Factor is safe in most people who use it, here are somethings to consider when taking nitric oxide boosters. This list is not complete:
- Start with less than is recommended for the first week. This is to see how you respond.
- Stop taking nitric oxide boosters like Force Factor at least 2 weeks before having surgery.
- Don't take if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- Don't take if you are under 18 – or under 30 years of age. When you are young, your NO levels are already high. Despite what ads make you think, you don't need nitric oxide supplements.
- Don't take nitric oxide boosters if you take medications for high blood pressure, heart disease or erectile dysfunction (Viagra, Levritia, Cialis).
- Don't combine Force Factor or other nitric oxide supplements with erection supplements.
People with heart disease, high blood pressure or kidney problems should be cautious of arginine and other nitric oxide boosting supplements. By opening up blood vessels, they may reduce blood pressure. This might cause you to get dizzy if you stand up too fast- and may make you pass out. Always tell your doctor what supplements you are taking.
There have been reports of healthy people going to the hospital after taking nitric oxide supplements. Several reports highlight a specific product called NO-Xplode. Some reports include:
- NO-Xplode linked to kidney failure in a soldier
- NO-Xplode linked to ischemic colitis in a soldier
- NO-Xplode linked to liver failure in US military
NO-Xplode contains many ingredients, most of which are not in Force Factor. Still, it's a reason to exercise caution when using nitric oxide supplements.
Doctors in New York reported the case of a 33 year old man who developed dizziness, heart palpitations and vomited 5 times after taking an alpha-ketogluterate containing nitric oxide supplement called NO2 Platenium. Three tablets of that supplement contained 6 grams of AAKG. The AAKG ingredient is also in Force Factor. although in a lower amount.
These doctors also reported heart palpitations and loss of consciousness in a 21 year old man following use of an AAKG supplement. They further reported the case of a 24 year old man who went to the hospital 45 minutes after taking “2 scoops” of the NO-Xplode supplement. In this instance, the supplement caused heart palpitations and headache.
Nitric Oxide Supplements And Exercise
I'll be honest. I've been skeptical of the benefits of nitric oxide supplements since they first came on the market. While I feel they can likely raise nitric oxide levels for a short time, I was never convinced they improved exercise ability in highly trained people. Research seems to agree with me. If these supplements work, they might be most effective in beginners and not in highly trained people or athletes.
Buy Force Factor
The supplement can be purchased at many local retail stores including Walmart, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kmart, Sam's Club, BJs and Costco. It can also be purchased at the Force Factor website and Amazon too.
Force Factor Price
When I checked the cost of Force Factor was $59.95. For what it's worth I think that's a lot of money.
Who Makes Force Factor?
The company is called Force Factor LLC. The company makes a variety of other supplements too including VolcaNO, VolcanNO Extreem, LeanFire XT, ALpha King and Test X 180.
See the Force Factor 2 review for much more on the company and other topics.
Does Force Factor Work?
If Force Factor works, I think it's because it contains arginine which seems to raise nitric oxide levels. Whether or not this improves workouts is open to speculation. Despite having been on the market for many years, there seems to be no clinical research on Force Factor itself. See my review of Force Factor 2.
Do You Have Any Questions?