There are few things more fetishized in the Crossfit community than Navy SEALs…so it’s no surprise that several have marketed products to us, and cashed in on the popularity we afford to them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, and we’ve certainly seen our share of it. Unfortunately, while their prowess as warriors is deservedly legendary, SEALgrinderpt.com sucks pretty bad, the Perfect Pushup is useless, Fit Deck is obvious, and TRX Training is lame as Hell. Obviously this is just a small sampling of training stuff we’ve seen out of them…
But Kill Cliff is the one of the only SEAL-derived dietary supplements I’m aware of. And like like a SEAL sniper, the ingredients are almost impossible to find; there isn’t a single link on the Kill Cliff website that says “ingredients” or “nutritional facts” or anything like that. Their FAQ is all about the nuts and bolts of ordering and shipping, and the closest I could come to an ingredients panel is this description:
Kill Cliff is what happened when a Navy SEAL grew tired of popping pills to recover from his daily workouts. His idea was to replace them with a natural recovery drink – tastier than pills and hopefully better for you too. The result is a blend designed to be just that including Ginger Root, Green Tea Extract, Milk Thistle, Ginseng Root Powder and an enzyme mix of Amylase, Beta Gluconase, Bromelain, Invertase, Lipase, Protease 4.5, and Serrapeptase as well as B, C and E Vitamins. You can look up and decide for yourself the benefits of all these ingredients. The bottom line is they make up a drink that is flat out AWESOME. Only 25 mg of caffeine, 15 calories, 3 grams of carbs and no sugar.
After searching all over the KillCliff.com site for the elusive nutritional facts panel, I received word that it had slipped over the border into Pakistan, where locals were suspected to be hiding it.
BreakingMuscle.com posted a fawning review of the product based on how “tasty” it is, combined with the fact that the author thinks that the company is really, really cool, and he’d like to hang out with them. I already knew the stuff was tasty, because that’s the actual flavor:
Why, I was forced to read this, instead of the usual and unabasheddly workman-like effort of Doug Dupont, is a question that only BreakingMuscle.com’s editors can answer.
Infuriatingly, the review failed to address whether or not the product actually did anything for the reviewer, and also failed to provide any insight into the facts panel. The only thing that could have made the review more useless, would have been if the author relied on memes and other supposedly-funny tropes and sight gags, that he recycled from the Internet, ostensibly to avoid coming up with something original.
Here’s a tip I’ve found useful: When I review a product, I write things that “review” the product. When I say “review” I’m usually talking about whether the product “works” in the way that nutritional products are supposed to work. Sometimes I even talk about the science behind the product, so my readers have an idea “how” the product “works”. Under no circumstances would I spend the bulk of my review talking about how I’d like to hang out with the guys who run the company, or how hilarious their Twitter is.
Kill Cliff was designed by Navy SEALs, but can it get us through our uber-intense Crossfit WODs?
To find out, eventually, I cornered the ingredients by locating an image of the back of the can:
At only 25 milligrams of caffeine in their product, plus the total milligram amount of their vitamin and enzyme blend (aka, a proprietary blend), we can be assured that this product lacks an appropriate dose of everything. We know that from caffeine until the end of the ingredient list, nothing can be above 25mgs (per FDA labeling standards). Hence, above the caffeine is where we’ll find majority of our milligrams, and we know that an effective dose of ginger is going to be measured in grams, minimally. So we can say that every ingredient is underdosed. Or any ingredient…Either way it’s underdosed when we compare it to the literature on what doses have been studied and found to provide an effect.
I drank a can and didn’t notice anything (that day or the next), and no, I didn’t try it for a month, which would have involved me buying a case of product, which is quite the committment in terms of ‘fridge space in my world.
Could there be synergy betwixt the underdosed ingredients, and the sum be more than the individual parts? Perhaps it required a steady diet of product to realize worthwhile results…? Could this stuff actually work for recovering from a workout? I guess. But I don’t see that as being probable, even if the stuff is, indeed, tasty.