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Tag Archives: pre-workout benefits

  • GAT Nitraflex vs. Cellucor C4

    In the supplement market, there are great pre-workouts and there are the best pre-workouts. If you've been using supplements for a while, German American Training and Cellucor are no stranger to your ear. These two giants have two of the best-selling products but are Nitraflex and C4 really all they're cracked up to be? Let's review these two supplements to see which one is worth picking up.

     

    GAT Nitraflex

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of GAT Nitraflex

    Right away, you can see that GAT's Nitraflex is geared towards a male audience and this has everything to do with the fact that there is a testosterone support agent inside of this pre-workout. I'll speak more on that below.

     

    As to the pre-workout itself, Nitraflex hosts an impressive combination of ingredients that combine stimulants and nootropics, or 'brain boosting' compounds. Ingredients of note are the following:

    Raulwolfia

    • Similar to Yohimbe in structure and function
    • Supports weight loss
    • May trigger boost in norepinephrine (energy) without an increase in blood pressure (1)

    Caffeine

    • Famous stimulant
    • May significantly boost your energy levels
    • May increase mental focus and alertness (2)

    DMAE Bitartrate

    • May be beneficial for neuromuscular health
    • May boost focus and memory
    • May prevent feeling of anxiousness, which is common feeling with stimulants (3)

     

    Cons of GAT Nitraflex

    There are two concerns with Nitraflex that I have: First, GAT uses a proprietary blend. This is frustrating because you don't know exactly how much of a certain ingredient you're getting in this blend. With the blend being 7.2 grams, you have to wonder just how effective the pre-workout can be. For example, elite pre-workouts use 2 to 3 grams of Beta Alanine alone. With that said, this is an impressive line-up and at 7 grams, there should be a decent amount of everything in there. As always you can double the dose.

    The only other issue we have is with marketing. By adding the unproven testosterone booster into the pre-workout, GAT is losing out on a potential female market. I'd say ditch the unproven t-booster and market to everyone.

     

    Cellucor C4

     

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Cellucor C4

    C4 by Cellucor has been dominating the pre-workout market for a long time. User reviews report that C4 gives them the energy they need without the crash that comes with caffeine-dominant supplements. This may be directly related to the use of Theacrine, which is considered a softer cousin of caffeine. One study revealed that taking a mixture of both caffeine and Theacrine resulted in an increase in cognitive function and energy without the rise in blood pressure associated with other stimulants. (4)

    Cellucor C4 is also backed by Beta Alanine, Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate, and Creatine Nitrate. Again, you're looking a solid line-up of ingredients that have all been the subject of research, study, and fanfare.

     

    Cons of Cellucor C4

    Like GAT, Cellucor uses a proprietary blend when it matters most. They do reveal that C4 only has 150 mg of caffeine per serving but you're left in the dark with the other 275 mg of the blend. With that said Cellucor does provide the information for most of the other ingredients, which is helpful. As I mentioned above, you could double the dose, if need be, but I feel as if one serving will be plenty considering ingredients like Beta Alanine are dosed appropriately.

     

    Conclusion

    You have two industry giants with two amazing products. It's impossible to choose between them because both have so much to offer. Despite relying on proprietary blends, GAT and Cellucor are providing products that are sure to get you through your workouts. I really like the addition of Theacrine in C4 but I'm also a huge fan of the Raulwolfia in Nitraflex. I'd suggest buying both and see which one is better for your body type.

     

    References

    1. Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Alpha Blockers." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.
    1. Costill DL, Dalsky GP, Fink WJ. Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports [1978, 10(3):155-158]
    1. Caille E.-J. Study concerning the bisorcate demanol effects upon quantified EEG, cortical vigilance and mood. Comparative double-blind, cross-over balanced design versus pirisudanol. Psychol Med. 1986;18:2069-2086.
    1. Daniel J. Kuhman, Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9618–9632.
  • The Power of Pre-Workout

    At some point in your fitness journey, you've probably considered taking pre-workout supplements. After all, they are some of the most well-known supplements in the industry today, and the benefits are continuing to grow.

    While some may fear the ingestion of any unknown chemicals or foreign substances, it is important to know what pre-workouts can provide you before going to any conclusions. Keep in mind, there are also supplement companies that create 'natural' pre-workout supplements, which contain only natural ingredients. You can even create your own!

    Let's take a look at what taking pre-workouts contain, as well as the benefits they provide for you.

    Pre-Workouts: What's In Them?

    Many are concerned with these supplements, since they hear stories of people having cases of rapid heart rate, 'jitters,' not being able to sleep at night, or crashing from exhaustion a few hours after ingestion.

    While these all have occurred, it is important to understand that user error needs to be considered as well. Most of the problems that people fear, such as a very high heart rate, is due to the consumer taking more than the recommended intake that is on the label. You should also take some time to build up to the recommended serving sizes, such as starting off with a half a scoop, instead of a full scoop.

    The main ingredients in pre-workout supplements are caffeine, beta-alanine, BCAAs, and (usually) creatine. The beta-alanine is what gives you the 'jitters,' and the rest are normal supplements that you would otherwise have to stack on top of your pre-workout.

    Now let's take a look at a few of the benefits these powerful supplements bring to the table.

    Pre-Workout For Increased Performance

    This is the #1 reason that people order these supplements. Pre-workouts come with a beautiful combination of supplements that have a high impact (BCAAs, creatine), and combines them with caffeine to provide an excellent energy boost.

    But now, on top of just having an energy boost, you have increased strength, endurance, and focus. One study showed the positive impacts that NO-Shotgun® has on performance, muscle mass, and body composition1.

    Increased Metabolism

    Because of the thermogenic effects pre-workouts have, they give you increased endurance, as well as using fatty acids for fuel. When this is done, you are helping to fight off any excess fat mass gain, due to your pre-workout supplement speeding up your metabolism.

    The side effects of these supplements is another reason your metabolism is boosted. This includes having more stamina, which allows you to train for longer durations during your training sessions. On top of this, you also have increased intensity, which allows you to exert more energy, and thus burn more calories.

    Pre-Workout for Improved Recovery?

    Remember when I said that BCAAs were included in most pre-workout supplements?

    Yeah, those things have a massive benefit on a number of variables.

    One of these variables includes muscle recovery post-exercise. After you finish working out, it is important to replenish and fuel your muscles, to help them recover and grow from the stress that was accumulated. But with the inclusion of BCAAs, you already have a head start on this.

    That is because BCAAs are responsible for protein synthesis, the process that is responsible for starting the recovery and growth of your muscles. When these are ingested prior to working out, they are already helping your muscles to repair and recover, since they are readily available in the body.

    Conclusion

    It is my opinion that everyone should try pre-workout supplements at least once. They are loaded with beneficial ingredients, provide an unbelievable improvement to your training sessions, and make you feel much more fulfilled and satisfied with your workout. Without them, you greatly reduce the chance of a bad training session.

    Don't train fatigued and hinder your growth and progress. Instead, grab a quality pre-workout supplement, and watch the performance improve, and the muscle gains come piling on.

    1. Shelmadine, B., Cooke, M., Buford, T., Hudson, G., Redd, L., Leutholtz, B., & Willoughby, D. (2009). Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise and consuming a commercially available pre-workout supplement, NO-Shotgun®, on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of satellite cell activation, and clinical safety markers in males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
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