About VolcaNO by Force Factor
VolcaNO by Force Factor is a supplement that immediately increases your body’s natural production of nitric oxide, helping you gain more strength, vascularity, and muscle.
By taking 2-4 capsules of VolcaNO at breakfast and another 2-4 at lunch (with plenty of water), you’ll get bigger, faster, and stronger. How?
Using multi-targeted, NO pathway stimulation, VolcaNO can provide you with more lean muscle mass, improved energy and endurance, boosted drive and performance, and faster recovery. Which is why the supplement is claimed to work “with science, no sweat.”
But really: Personal biohack? Is the company grossly overselling VolcaNO, or is it the real deal?
We’ll answer all your questions by first taking a look at the role of nitric oxide in the body.
What Is Nitric Oxide? Does Supplementation Work?
Nitric oxide (NO) supplements like VolcaNO by Force Factor don’t actually provide nitric oxide, which is a gas (and is toxic to humans).
Instead, they usually include an ingredient that, once digested by the body, can increase NO levels. In turn, this might “increase blood flow to muscles and other organs.”
This is why most NO boosters like VolcaNO claim that your veins will be more visible, your pumps (blood in the muscles after working out) will last longer, etc.
But here’s the kick: According to ConsumerLab (note: Full access requires membership), “Despite their popularity in bodybuilding circles, there’s also no clear evidence that NO products lead to gains in strength, muscle size, or muscle pump.”
Granted, much of this research was performed specifically on the ingredient l-arginine. Is this contained in VolcaNO? If not, are the supplement’s other ingredients any more effective?
How Effective Are VolcaNO’s Ingredients?
The label on VolcaNO’s website referenced the following ingredients:
- Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 1mg
- Nitric Oxide Muscle Matrix 1,520mg
Of these ingredients, creatine is the only one with enough clinical evidence showing it to be possibly effective for improving athletic performance. Although WebMD notes, “Many factors seem to influence the effectiveness of creatine, including the fitness level and age of the person using it, the type of sport, and the dose.”
This doesn’t mean that these ingredients can’t provide some benefits—such as vitamin B6 for high blood pressure, or glycine for treating schizophrenia and the most common form of stroke—just none of the benefits claimed by VolcaNO’s manufacturer.
On top of this, all but one of VolcaNO’s ingredients are part of a proprietary blend. So even if they were effective, we can’t know if there’s enough to provide any real-world results.
VolcaNO’s Side Effects
Despite this, if you experience any side effects from VolcaNO, it will probably only be mild digestive upset.
Considering these lackluster ingredients, are VolcaNO’s customers happy?
Customer Feedback for VolcaNO by Force Factor
Based on the company’s ingredients selection, you might think that VolcaNO would come with poor customer reviews, although this didn’t seem to be the case.
On Amazon, VolcaNO had 52 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.3 stars. There, common compliments cited increased energy and stamina, reduced pain and recovery after exercise, and fat lost/muscle gained.
Among complaints, the most common referenced the company’s free trial (more about this in a second), failure to work, poor customer service, and side effects (such as increased heart rate).
Important note: Many of the 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon came from accounts where this was their only review, or where all reviews were posted around the same time, which could be indications that they’re fake.
BreakingMuscle’s author claimed to have tried VolcaNO and was pleased by the results (“it will work”), but stated that its price was something that’s not reasonable for most consumers.
Finally, another third party source tests claim to have experienced “increased recovery times after a sprint, a reduction in soreness from his workouts, and an overall “light” increase in his energy levels.”
Ultimately, they claimed that if you’re looking for a stimulant-free NO booster, VolcaNO is a good option that comes from a reputable company. But the price is definitely steep.
The company held an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (as of 10/30/15), based on 98 closed complaints. As we found elsewhere online, Force Factor’s most common BBB complaints involved problems with the trial and difficulty obtaining refunds.
What’s going on with this trial? Keep reading to find out!
Force Factor’s Trial & Refund Policy
There are two different ways you can purchase Force Factor directly through the company:
- Upfront purchase of $69.99 plus $4.99 S&H
- An 18-day trial for $4.99
If you choose the trial option, you’ll be sent a 30-day supply (60 capsules) of VolcaNO. Then, once your trial ends, you’ll be billed the full price of $69.99.
In either instance, you’ll also be enrolled in Force Factor’s autoship program, which means you’ll keep receiving a new bottle of VolcaNO once per month, and will be billed $69.99 plus $4.99 S&H each time.
With your order, you’ll also receive a 12-week workout log (including nutrition tips, a supplementation guide, workout routines, and more) and performance cookbook with 104 “no-fuss” recipes.
Note: VolcaNO is also available through GNC.
All direct VolcaNO purchases 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges, although this only applies to unused bottles.
To request a refund, you’ll need to call Force Factor’s customer service at 877-492-7243.
Will VolcaNO Help You Get the Most Out of Your Workouts?
On one hand, we have science telling us that for the most part, nitric oxide supplements don’t work as advertised. On the other, we seem to have mostly positive online feedback (both from customers and professionals) for VolcaNO.
Ultimately, this leaves you squarely in the middle.
So from an objective standpoint, if you’re intent on giving VolcaNO a try, we’d recommend purchasing it through a retail GNC location. Why?
This will save you the $4.99 in S&H charges, as well as the free trial and autoship enrollment.
Just remember this: Even if you save money this way, VolcaNO doesn’t come cheap compared to other NO supplements. And when you consider that taking 8 capsules per day (the maximum recommended dose) will leave you with only a 15-day supply, this might be a good reason to explore the competition.