First off, I must say I generally love Myprotein products.
They're top of my list of supplement manufacturers who produce a good grade of products at a very reasonable price.
And they remain my go-to choice when it comes to stocking up on individual ingredients (citrulline malate, creatine monohydrate, etc) when I'm making my own preworkout.
But that doesn't mean they always hit the nail on the head!
Check out my review of MyPre 2.0 for instance.
Their brand new preworkout hit the fitness scene in a flurry of hype, only to land a very average 2 star review, thanks to my deliberately harsh supplement rating system.
Today I will be putting another of Myprotein's heavy hitters under the microscope - this time, it's their all-in-one formula Hurricane XS!
Can it become the first supplement to leave with a full 5 star review? I'll be breaking down the individual ingredients inside the formula, and explaining the reason for their inclusion, as well as pointing out any potential flaws which could be improved upon or have already been improved upon in rival products.
Let's dive into my Myprotein Hurricane XS review..
Okay, so the first question on most people's lips is literally the first piece of writing on the product description page.
"What is an all-in-one formula? And what is the difference between an all-in-one and a normal whey protein shake?
Heck, which one should I use for the best results?
Now I'm confused...
F**k it, I'll buy them both..."
That right there is paralysis analysis. And that's how most people waste a ton of money on supplements each month.
An all-in-one protein shake is actually quite simple once you get past the hype in the advertising of the product - you're getting a serving of a few different key ingredients all in one drink, so you don't have to purchase separate products.
This allows you to get good value for money, and extra convenience.
The key ingredients included usually consist of some whey protein, a form of creatine, glutamine and HMB.
Take a look at the Hurricane XS formula above, before I break down each of the key ingredients and explain the reason for their involvement in the product.
If you're a supplement veteran, you may notice an immediate familiarity with MaxiNutrition Cyclone.
And not just in name.
Myprotein have made no secret of the fact that this is their take on that popular product.
The key players are as follows:
We're off to a decent start with 30g protein per serving.
This is a protein blend, which means we don't get protein from entirely one source. We get it from a combination of both whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, with whey protein concentrate being the main form used in the blend.
Sadly, the precise split of these is not know, as Myprotein don't disclose the dosages on the label.
This is still pretty commonplace in the whey protein market. While hiding formulas behind proprietary blends is frowned upon when it comes to preworkout supplements, most companies still follow this tactic with their protein supplements, apart from industry-leading brands like Jym, Grenade and NutraBio.
It shouldn't take long before other companies catch on to this much clearer approach, because a proprietary blend is a sign of a company who are choosing to hide their dosages from the customer - and that's never for good reason!
I'm all for protein blends as opposed to one single source of protein, as explained in this article. A great study published in Clinical Nutrition in 2012 found that a protein blend consisting of whey, casein and soy outperformed whey on it's own in terms of spiking muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth). (1)
Inside Hurricane XS, however, we get a blend of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, as opposed to one consisting of they whey, casein and soy blend used in that study. But a blend, nevertheless, is superior to one single protein source because this is going to space out the release of amino acids to your muscle cells, allowing for a prolonged period of muscle recovery.
Another interesting sidenote to take into consideration is the size of the protein serving here.
In 2012, researchers from McMaster University, Canada, showed that we can stimulate almost as much muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth) with 20 grams of protein as we do with 40 grams. (2)
As you can see in the diagram above, there is a drop-off point after we cross the 20 gram point, meaning that we can get the most out of a protein supplement by taking around 20 grams per shake, because while a 40 gram serving did obtain slightly higher results, they were certainly not noticeable enough to warrant running out of your protein supplement twice as quickly!
Myprotein Hurricane XS comes in at 30 grams of protein per serving, which is a little higher than the optimal serving size.
As with many all-in-one supplements, the protein-per-serving ratio is on the very low side.
The protein-per-serving ratio helps us to determine exactly how much of your protein shake is actually protein, and whether or not you are getting a lot of 'filler' in the product for your money.
Hurricane XS comes in with a 42% protein-ser-serving ratio, thanks to it's 30g protein per 70g serving.
Simply put, not good enough.
The bulk of that low protein-per-serving ratio is caused by the inclusion of this 22 gram carbohydrate blend.
That's not to say 22 grams of carbs is a bad thing, by any means, but if you are purchasing this supplement to stay on top of your protein intake then you'd best be aware that you are also intaking a considerable amount of carbs per shake, too.
The blend itself is pretty solid, with a mixture of dextrose and Scottish ground oats combining to give us a mixture of fast-release and slow-release carbs.
I'm a huge fan of fast-release carbohydrates after a workout (and dextrose is ideal for doing this as it doesn't need to be broken down by the body), but although the slow-release carbs offer us a sustained energy release, they serve little purpose here as this could easily be obtained via food instead and once again Myprotein have not disclosed the exact split of the two forms of carbohydrates in the formula, so we don't know how many grams of fast-release or slow-release carbs we are getting here.
In fact, most of my clients also obtain their fast-release carbs through food, in the shape of Haribo Gold Bears.
Yes, eating Haribo Gold Bears after a workout is a real thing, and it's great for providing your body with the carbs it needs after training to spike your insulin levels. Doing this can help to elevate muscle protein synthesis versus consuming protein alone, but the key is in the dosage.
You see, studies show consuming 30 grams of fast-release carbohydrates after a workout can spike your insulin levels for muscle building purposes as much as a massive 90 gram serving. (3)
So there is no need to feast on a big bowl of pasta, or wolf down a mega-thick protein shake that tastes like wallpaper paste.
Although we don't know the exact number of fast-release carbohydrates inside Myprotein Hurricane XS, we do know that the total number of carbs is only 22g per serving, meaning it's too small.
My advice here is that you'd be better off supplementing with a dedicated whey protein blend ( like this) and using food to get your fast-release post-workout carbohydrates.
(17 bears, in case you were wondering..)
If you lift weights, you should be using creatine.
It's the best-selling bodybuilding supplement of all time for good reason!
All of my male and female clients use creatine daily, and in studies over the last three decades it has been shown time and time again to increase explosive strength by an average of 8%, improve the number of repetitions possible in each set by an average of 14%, and significantly increase one rep max strength! (4)
All while being perfectly safe! (5, 6, 7, 8)
Creapure is the German-manufactured form of creatine monohydrate, which remains the gold standard in creatine supplementation to this day, despite the fact that it first burst onto the sports supplement scene over 25 years ago and has since been 'replaced' by several newer formulas which have failed to outperform the original.
As far as creatine goes, this is as good as it gets.
The dosage is also perfect, as 5g creatine monohydrate is enough to yield the maximum training benefits. (9)
If you've read a muscle building magazine in the last 20 years, you've probably been told to use glutamine.
Glutamine is an essential amino acid, which is drawn from your protein intake.
Your body can only produce small amounts of glutamine on it's own, so we rely on our intake of meat, fish and eggs to obtain our daily requirements in order to unlock the full training benefits it offers.
It'll increase growth hormone, stop you from losing muscle mass, and help you to recover faster from workouts.
At least, it will if you eat it...
See, what the supplement brands are not telling you is that when we supplement glutamine it doesn't work the same way. The vast majority of our glutamine serving is gobbled up by the intestines and winds up in the digestive tract, not the muscle cells.
So although adding glutamine directly to a muscle cell has been shown to make it grow, it is highly unlikely that any glutamine taken in supplement form will survive long enough to make it anywhere near the muscle cell anyway. (11)
To confirm this, despite supplement brands regularly claiming that using glutamine will increase muscle building results, a six month study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology actually confirmed that glutamine did not increase lean muscle mass when paired with a weight lifting routine. (12)
It's also worth pointing out that you can find very high levels of glutamine in whey protein, too, so supplementing with it directly is unnecessary.
Myprotein do not disclose how much glutamine is contained within Hurricane XS, although this ingredient represents little more than filler.
The final big ingredient inside Hurricane XS is HMB.
That stands for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid, which is about as catchy as a bouncy ball at a trampoline park.
Thankfully, HMB offers some nice big claims that anyone who lifts weights will quickly associate with success - increased strength output, decreased muscle breakdown, and increased muscle protein synthesis (muscle building)!
The science says otherwise.
During an interesting meta-analysis of the available body of research pertaining to HMB supplementation for bodybuilding purposes, researchers concluded that the jury is still very much out on whether HMB can indeed be considered a useful performance enhancing substance. (13)
There are too many variables and too many mixed results for this to be considered a must-have ingredient.
Also, most studies which claim that HMB supplementation can improve muscle building results advise using a dosage of 3g, but Myprotein Hurricane XS comes in at just 1.5g. (14. 15)
Good to know, huh?
As you can probably tell, I'm not a fan of all-in-one protein formulas.
The main reason these products sell is because of the convenience they claim to offer, and that's understandable. Getting a few different things into one drink can be a time saver.
And in terms of it's performance as an all-in-one, Myprotein Hurricane XS is pretty solid compared to others in this category.
The market leader for the last 10 years has been MaxiNutrition Cyclone, the product that this is clearly based on.
That fact is so obvious that if we were to directly compare Myprotein Hurricane XS vs Cyclone you'd see the similarities stacking up! Such as the 30g protein, 5g creatine monohydrate and the inclusion of both glutamine and HMB in each serving (although Cyclone comes in with less sugar).
The biggest difference between the two is the price, with Cyclone always being on the overly expensive side at around £60 for 21 servings.
In typical Myprotein fashion, Hurricane XS comes in way under that pricetag at around £36 for £35 servings.
But here's the thing...
The main reasons for buying an all-in-one protein shake are convenience and value.
I'm about to show you why it actually represents neither.
First off, let's talk value for money.
Myprotein (and other brands offering these type of supplements) will claim that they are providing value for money by giving you one shake that does everything. On the surface, this appears to make sense.
But all is not what it seems.
Given the inclusion of creatine, HMB and sugary carbohydrates we are restricted to taking an all-in-one formula after a workout, when those sugary carbs are beneficial. Otherwise, we'd be stacking unnecessarily high levels of HMB and creatine, as well as consuming 22 grams of carbs for every shake we had during the day, which would mean chopping from the carbohydrate-based foods we eat to stay within our daily nutritional targets.
Which means that if we want to supplement with protein at other times of the day we'd also need to pick up a dedicated whey protein supplement.
When we break down the ingredients inside the tub, what exactly are we getting for our money?
We're getting 30 grams of protein.
We're getting 5 grams of creatine monohydrate.
We're also getting 22 grams of unnecessary carbohydrates which is not enough to spike our insulin levels after training, alongside an unnecessary slice of glutamine and the body of research on HMB is so mixed that it cannot be considered a good muscle building supplement at this point in time.
So how convenient is this really?
Hurricane XS receives an underwhelming 2 stars.
By not representing the convenience or value for money it claims, it falls for much of the same errors as all-in-one formulas from other brands.
For example, we are basically paying £36 for 35 post-workout shakes that have saved us the inconvenience of mixing our creatine into our protein.
That's f**king it.
In fact, I'll show you how to build a superior version of this product for less money:
Ironically, the examples above are both taken from the current Myprotein product line!
By picking up a dedicated whey protein supplement which offers us 33 shakes for £22, and a dedicated creatine monohydrate supplement which offers us a mighty 100 servings for £11, we come in at just £33.
Heck, if you stock up on either option by enlarging the package size you'll end up saving even more money in the long-term!
The protein supplement shown above also has two key advantages over using Hurricane XS..
First, it's super low in carbohydrates, which drop from 22g per shake to 1.2g per shake.
Meaning you can use it at any time of the day, ruling out the need to purchase a separate whey protein product, which should save you in the region of about £35 per month on top of the savings I show above.
Secondly, it's a protein blend consisting of whey protein concentrate, soy, whey protein isolate, hydrolized whey protein isolate, and casein - perfect for a sustained release of both fast-acting protein and slow-acting protein, as opposed to the basic blend inside Hurricane XS.
If you want to use a shake directly after your training, simply mix your creatine into the shake.
Better still, combine it with having yourself a banana or grabbing 17 Haribo Gold Bears to hit your 30 grams of post-workout carbohydrates, all of which are fast-release carbs and at the correct amount to spike your insulin levels for the maximum anabolic response!
Ultimately, I consider Myprotein Hurricane XS a half-decent post-workout shake which is an unnecessary purchase at £36.99 per month on top of your main protein supplement.
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