A good pre-workout supplement should serve one primary purpose above all else; enabling you to have a highly productive session. However, even if a product clears the boundary in this regard, there is still much more that goes into making a supplement a great success overall.
To help you compare some options you may be considering, we have compiled the traits of two very popular pre-workout supplement products- Faction Labs Disorder and Redcon1 Total War and made it easy for you by comparing them to see how they fare.
Let’s delve right into it and see what these juggernauts have on offer.
The taste of a product offering plays a large part in how well it is received by consumers overall, since not everyone is comfortable with ingesting unflavoured or unpalatable powders. With this consideration, I am not surprised that these two brands have done their research to make available flavours that are appreciated by users.
To Start with Faction Labs Disorder is available in four unique flavours, all with a fruit centric taste. These include the passionfruit based Green Haze, raspberry Red Russian, watermelon Purple Reign, and candy bomb Blue Pearl flavour.
Redcon1 Total War, on the other hand offers significantly more flavour options, which might be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For one, more flavour options mean that you are likely to find one that works well for you, but on the flipside too many options sometimes leads to buyer paralysis. Their flavour offerings include blue coconut, blue raspberry, sour gummy bear, orange crush, pineapple, pink lemonade, watermelon, the curiously named White Walker, and a few other options as well.
Do you know why some supplements succeed and others don’t? Because of what they contain. Indeed, if you’re going to fill your powder with a lot of unnecessary or filler ingredients, it won’t go over well with consumers.
In the case of Faction Labs Disorder, its formula is quite comprehensive and offers much of what you’re looking for in a pre-workout product. To start it, it contains over 6 g of citrulline, one of the key vasodilator base ingredients on the market. Citrulline works much better than supplemental arginine for converting into nitric oxide and subsequently enhancing blood flow and oxygen delivery[i].
To follow that up, it contains a very effective dose of beta-alanine, coming in at 3200 mg. Beta-alanine helps to saturate muscle carnosine stores, which in turn helps buffer fatigue and improve performance[ii].
Mucuna Pruriens, also known as velvet bean extract, is a rich source of the amino acid L-dopa, which is subsequently converted to dopamine and can boost drive and motivation. Other supporting ingredients in L- theanine, L-norvaline, synephrine, and hordenine all function to help mental clarity, and even fat oxidation[iii].
And of course, there is classic caffeine, which can be found in the majority of highly effective pre-workout powders. Caffeine not only enhances energy and motivation but also has an ergogenic effect on performance and fat usage[iv]. Just keep in mind- you’re getting a whopping 450mg per scoop!
Redcon1 Total War offers a little more streamlined ingredient profile, opting to leave out some of the redundant ingredients and instead include ingredients with an upgrade. For instance, their L-citrulline malate is of the 2:1 ratio, which is actually the recommended ratio of citrulline to malic acid (malate). The 2 to 1 ratio refers to twice the amount of citrulline than malic acid, as some other supplements include a higher malic acid ratio which is sub-optimal.
Other ingredients include beta-alanine, beetroot extract which is a rich source of dietary nitrates, caffeine anhydrous, taurine to help reduce muscle cramping, while the inclusion of AMPiberry supports a smoother energy curve when combined with caffeine.
This is also supported by the presence of Infinergy di-caffeine malate, which is a sustained-release form of caffeine that is said to offer all the stimulant energy boosting effects but without the associated crash.
Texture And Solubility
Both of these products mix surprisingly well in water, given that you follow the mixing directions and use enough liquid in the first place.
Faction Labs Disorder recommends mixing half of a scoop in 725ml water, while Redcon1 Total War advises mixing one scoop in 4 to 6 ounces of water (120-180ml), which is a significantly lesser volume. This could likely mean that Faction Labs Disorder has a poorer mixability in water. Nevertheless, it makes for a smooth drink as long as you follow the instructions.
Value For Money
One thing is clear across the board- good supplements aren’t cheap. That being said, neither of these pre-workout powders is priced bad, but you will still want to know the numbers behind it.
Faction Labs Disorder offers 40 serves per jar, and costs $62.96. Redcon1 Total War costs exactly the same, but contains 30 serves. At first glance, you may be deceived by price, but the number of serves per container is another consideration you need to give.
If you work out casually, going with Faction Labs Disorder is not a bad choice at all. With the price per serve lingering around $1.5, this isn’t a bad entry-level supplement. Redcon1 Total War, on the other hand, comes in at over $2 per serve, and should be considered more of an intermediate-advanced product.
This is also because many of the ingredients it contains are upgrades of classic offerings, and might be more appropriate once you’ve been training a little while and looking to mix things up.
Both Faction Labs Disorder and Redcon1 Total War are excellent products and might be suitable for you at different points on your training journey. Their formulations are solid, with a varied flavour profile as well. I would give a slight edge to Redcon1 Total War as it is the harder hitting formula, but again, the choice will depend on your specific needs.
[i] Stephen J. Bailey, Jamie R. Blackwell, Terrence Lord, Anni Vanhatalo, Paul G. Winyard, and Andrew M. Jones.l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans
Journal of Applied Physiology 2015 119:4, 385-395
[ii] Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE, Stout JR, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:30. Published 2015 Jul 15. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y
[iii] Gutiérrez-Hellín J, Del Coso J. Acute p-synephrine ingestion increases fat oxidation rate during exercise. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;82(2):362-368. doi:10.1111/bcp.12952