Maximuscle Cyclone was the undisputed champion of muscle building supplements back in the 2000s.
Wanna gain size? Start using Maximuscle Cyclone!
Wanna get stronger? Get on Cyclone, bro!
Wanna get 3 weeks of protein powder for the price of 12? Cyclone!
But how does it fare nowadays?
It was recently updated and re-released, so with this in-depth review I’ll be putting it against the best of the best to determine whether it is still the king. Can the new-look Cyclone survive my deliberately harsh supplement rating system to come out on top?
(Remember, no product has ever received 5 stars from me – yet!)
The Troubled Story Of Maxi… Who?
Man, these guys have been on one hell of a journey.
If you’re old-school like me, you’ll know them as Maximuscle, and if you discovered them in the last 5 years you’ll probably know them as Maxi Nutrition.
So what gives?
Is it the same company? Yes it is.
Back in 2011, original Maximuscle founder Zef Eisenberg sold his creation to GlaxoSmithKline for £162 million. Maximuscle were Europe’s top-selling supplement brand at the time, and the new owners decided to re-brand as Maxi Nutrition in order to target an even bigger audience.
(You know, cuz Europe aint’t big enough.)
In their ill-fated quest for world domination they decided that the term ‘muscle’ would likely scare away female customers, so they squashed it and Maxi Nutrition waas born. Alongside this change, they also decided to tackle thr growing threat of Myprotein by launching a budget supplement line (Maxi Raw) and products designed specifically for women (Maxi Tone)!
Of course it failed.
Just one year after the takeover, customers did not know what the f**k was going on and they’d lost their spot as Europe’s #1 sports nutrition company. Somehow the boffins at GlaxoSmithKline had fumbled what seemed a sure-fire winner, and by the end of 2016 it looked like Maximuscle (or whatever you wanna call them) was dead and buried.
And then they weren’t.
Because in 2018 GSK decided to cut their losses and sell to German food giants Kruga. Sensing that GSK had broken something which didn’t need to be fixed, the new owners wasted no time putting things right.
Their first move was to erase all of the silly names and go back to Maximuscle (thank goodness!), and they even went as far as to wipe out all of the products which had been developed under GSK’s ownership, announcing they would be returning to the core product line-up from the 2000s (Cyclone, Promax, etc).
This was a very smart move, because that’s exactly what long-time Maximuscle customers wanted!
It also allowed Kruga to hit the ground running with an established brand name and product familiarity, while they set about updating each supplement with a new formula to bring it into the modern era. Early reports indicate they’ve even managed to keep the trademark Maximuscle taste!
Whew! So now you’re up to date!
And I imagine the question you’re probably wondering is… did it work?
In a nutshell, yes! Profits have risen year on year, they’ve landed clever sponsorship deals within UK rugby and athetics (just like back in the day), and they’re once again becoming recognized as the premium supplement brand they’ve always been. Whether you previously knew them as Maximuscle, Nutrition, Raw, or Tone… the fact is they’re BACK and they’re dead set on reclaiming their spot as Europe’s #1 supplement company!
Which brings us to Cyclone.
A lot hinges on this product because it was always their flagship supplement. Let’s see what these guys can do!
Maximuscle Cyclone Review – The Good & The Bad
Cyclone is an “all-in-one” shake designed to help you build muscle size and strength.,
Each serving contains:
- 31g protein
- 12g carbs
- 1g fat
- 10g glutamine
- 5g creatine monohydrate
- 1.5g HMB
- 2.5mg zinc
- 1.4mg vitamin B6
There’s a lot to unpack here, and most of it is GREAT!
If you used the original Cyclone back in the day then you’ll notice that the new version contains more protein, less carbs, and less fat. Awesome start! They’ve also revamped the protein blend to ensure a higher quality of ingredients (more on that in a sec!).
31 grams of protein is tremendous because it lands near the top end of the “sweet spot” for building muscle. A 2009 trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that 20 grams of protein can create a similar anabolic response to a serving twice as large, and Maximuscle go slightly above this baseline figure in order to ensure you’re getting maximum bang for your buck. (1)
Of course, I’m always telling you to look for protein supplements which provide at least 75% protein-per-serving (because you’re likely buying it to boost your protein intake, so you want as much of your scoop to be “P” as possible), but I’m going to give Maximuscle Cyclone a free pass on its 51% protein-per-serving ratio, seeing as it’s an all-in-one post workout supplement and the sole purpose isn’t just to give you protein.
But that’s the only free pass it’ll get.
Now let’s look at the protein blend itself…
Maximuscle deserve a high five regarding how much they’ve improved the Cyclone blend, because the old product was made up of mostly whey protein concentrate (the cheapest form of protein around!). This version contains 16.7 grams of whey protein isolate, 13.3 grams of whey protein concentrate and 1 gram of whey protein hydrolysate.
If I wanted to be extra harsh (and you know I do!), I’d suggest they could have improved this blend even more by replacing whey protein concentrate with a slower release option like egg or casein, or perhaps even gone ‘all in’ with whey protein isolate as the sole protein source (at £40 for a 1.2kg tub, the profit margin certainly allows for it).
However, the new formula is certainly a big improvement!
Up next we have 5 grams of creatine monohydrate.
This is another area where Maximuscle Cyclone gets it dead right!
Lots of supplement brands have fallen into the trap of using fancy creatine blends (like creatine HCL, creatine ethyl-esther, or kre-alkylyn) which are more expensive and no more productive, so it’s GREAT to see Maximuscle have opted for a full clinical dose of the most proven form of creatine – creatine monohydrate.
If you’re a long-time reader of mine you’ll already know I’m a big fan of this ingredient! It’s one of the very few bodybuilding supplements that is genuinely proven to work, and has over 30 years of research to back it up. The benefits of include more explosive strength and being able to perform more reps to failure – both of which mean more muscle growth! There was a brilliant meta-analysis on creatine relating to weight training published back in 2012 in which researchers compiled the data of 22 separate studies spanning almost three decades and noted that (on average) trainees see a strength increase of about 8% and can perform around 14% more reps per set. Wowza! (5)
Offer any seasoned weight lifter those kind of improvements for something as simple as adding creatine to your protein shake and they’d gladly snap your hands off!
Next we have 1.5 grams of HMB (betahydroxybetamethylbutyrate). This is a metabolite of leucine (the amino acid which plays a key role in the muscle building process).
It has grown in popularity as a bodybuilding supplement in recent years as research began to link it with increased muscle growth when taken as a standalone supplement, but new studies have since shown that HMB is no more effective than leucine (which you’re already getting thanks to the BCAAs in Cyclone). (6. 7)
However, there is one useful aspect of HMB which rarely gets discussed and that’s its anti-catabolic effect. You see, while it’s not superior to leucine in terms of protein synthesis, research suggests it may be upto 20x more effective at preventing muscle breakdown. (8)
Let me put that into perspective; if you are an athlete trying to maximize hypertrophy on a high volume training program, adding HMB to your supplement stack could make it significantly easier for you to hang on to your lean mass as you power through your workouts! BOOM!
The formula also contains zinc (2.5mg), and its billing as a “muscle building” ingredient relates to its role in the support of optimal testosterone levels (zinc is lost via sweat, so many athletes can be low on zinc without knowing, and this can lead to drops in testosterone production or maybe even depression).
However, in the contect of Maximuscle Cyclone, zinc is little more than a “filler” ingredient.
You see, research indicates a correct dose of zinc would be between 5-45mg per day, but Cyclone provides just 2.5mg per serving, which is about as effective as the 2016 Ghostbusters remake. (9)
If you genuinely want to increase your zinc intake, you’d be better off just grabbing a zinc supplement. They’re cheap enough.
And finally, the elephant in the scoop:
Coming in at a whopping 10 grams, Maximuscle have decided to go BIG on this amino acid. It’s long been touted for its links to increased hypertrophy, and muscle recovery speed – but despite the huge potential of this ingredient there’s one big problem…
… it doesn’t work.
Supplement expert Sol Orwell from examine.com explains:
“The more glutamine we can get into our muscle cells, the more they will grow! It’s a great muscle builder! Except – that’s not how it works in real life. Your intestines are going to hoard it, so it’s great for gut health, but it won’t reach the muscle cells and therefore it won’t make your muscles bigger, which is often the reason we bought it.”
To confirm; if you have a glutamine deficiency (vegans, vegetarians, low dairy diet) then you can certainly benefit from glutamine supplementation. But if you don’t, then you have no need for it. (2, 3, 4)
Maximuscle Cyclone Review – Russ’ Final Score!
Everyone loves a comeback!
Not only is it great to see Cyclone pack an impressive punch, it’s great to see Maximuscle return to the top tier of supplement brands where they belong.
The new Cyclone formula has been greatly improved versus the original, and the classic Maximuscle taste is still there.
Now let’s talk about the price…
Maximuscle were always positioned as a premium brand, and that remains the case. A tub of Cyclone costs £40, and because it’s meant to be used once per day (after training) it’ll last about three weeks (despite looking f**king tiny when it first arrives!). If you’re the type of person who always struggles to hit your daily protein target then you’ll probably want to pick up an additional whey protein supplement as well (one which doesn’t contain all the ‘extra stuff’ of Cyclone).
This can drive your costs up, so if you are training on a budget maybe this one’s not a good choice.
(By the way, you could essentially create your own version of Cyclone for less by grabbing each key ingredient separately: whey protein, creatine, HMB, zinc). Five tubs of Cyclone costs £240 and would last four months, but doing it this way you’d spend about £110 for the same duration – however, it wouldn’t taste anywhere near as nice!)
In sumary, Kruga deserve serious credit for helping Maximuscle rise like a Phoenix from the ashes to reclaim their spot among Europe’s elite supplement manufacturers. Cyclone is their flagship product, and I’m pleased to say it’s back to its best.
It gets a solid 3 stars from me, click here to get some.
- Moore D. R., et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr (2009).
- D. G., et al. Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Eur J Appl Physiol (2001).
- Bassini-Cameron A., et al. Glutamine protects against increases in blood ammonia in football players in an exercise intensity-dependent way. Br J Sports Med (2008)
- D. G., et al. Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Eur J Appl Physiol (2001).
- Rawson E. S., et al. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res (2003).
- Dunsmore K. A., et al. Effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid gel supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2012).
- Kreider R. B., et al. Effects of Calcium β-HMB Supplementation During Training on Markers of Catabolism, Body Composition, Strength and Sprint Performance. J Exercise Physiol (2000).
- Gallagher P. M., et al. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate Ingestion, Part I: Effects on Strength and Fat Free Mass. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2000).
- Kilic M. Effect of Fatiguing Bicycle Exercise on Thyroid Hormone and Testosterone Levels in Sedentary Males Supplemented With Oral Zinc. Neuro Endocrinol Lett (2007).
Who Is Russ Howe PTI?
Featured in Men’s Fitness magazine and voted in the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost, Russ is among the UK’s most subscribed personal trainers with 104,357 people getting his free weekly fitness tips e-mail.
In the gym, clients range from busy parents, to models, to athletes and actresses. Russ also worked alongside the UK government for 8 years in a venture combating childhood obesity in England.
Outside of the gym, he’s a proud Dad to three young boys.
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