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Tag Archives: Pre-workout

  • 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:


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


    • 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.



    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.



    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.
  • Product Review: ProSupps Dr. Jekyll

    ProSupps is no stranger to the supplement industry. They burst on to the scene with their controversial pre-workout supplement, Mr. Hyde. Named after the literary wild man, Mr. Hyde is a hardcore (and potentially dangerous) pre-workout that contains a variety of hard hitting stimulants and thermogenics. ProSupps knew that Mr. Hyde wouldn't be for everyone. In fact, they explicitly warn consumers on their label that Mr. Hyde is far from an average pre-workout. Knowing that Mr. Hyde was bound to cause some trouble, ProSupps designed its counterpart and appropriately titled it Dr. Jekyll.


    Dr. Jekyll is considered the responsible pre-workout from ProSupps. Despite being a low stimulant product, ProSupps claims that Dr. Jekyll is more than enough to get the job done. Let's take a look at Jekyll's formula to determine if it's a worthwhile buy.




    A quick scan of the label shows that for what Dr. Jekyll lacks in stimulants, it makes up for in nootropics and quality pre-workout ingredients.


    Each serving contains 2.5 grams of Beta Alanine! Try finding that amount in any other pre-workout. Beta Alanine may be able to help promote performance and strength levels intra-workout. It also contains 500 mg of Choline Bitartrate, which may be able to boost exercise performance while protecting the muscle tissue from catabolic breakdown.


    Another great thing about Dr. Jekyll is the fact that it contains real cellular energy boosting ingredients such as Creatine Nitrate. Once ingested, creatine is converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the preferred fuel source of muscle tissue, which means it may help to promote strength, power, and performance. Creatine may also help you see better results as it supports recovery. (1-4)




    There are only two simple concerns with Dr. Jekyll and they are pretty easily remedied.


    First, if you're not a fan of artificial colours and sweeteners, Dr. Jekyll is no different from the majority of products out there. With that said, the amount of artificial sweeteners and colours are so minimal that you should be able to make an exception.


    The other concern is the lack of stimulants. Many people resort to pre-workouts because of the stimulants contained within. While Dr. Jekyll isn't stimulant free, it's certainly lacking in the stimulants you may want. With only 100 mg of caffeine, Dr. Jekyll pales in comparison to the big and bad pre-workouts out there. However, that's the whole point of Dr. Jekyll. It's a safe, low dose stimulant pre-workout for those out there who can't handle caffeine or likewise. Jekyll's specialty is nootropics, which helps to boost your mental clarity and focus. If you want a stimulant packed pre-workout, then check out its counterpart, Mr. Hyde.




    If you're looking for a quality pre-workout that provides the appropriate dosage of proven pre-workout ingredients with a very low dose of stimulants, then ProSupps Dr. Jekyll is the product for you. Dr. Jekyll truly is the responsible pre-workout counterpart to the wildly notorious Mr. Hyde. Click here to buy Dr. Jekyll from ProSupps. If you're no amateur to stimulants and you want to see if you can handle the beast, click here to buy Mr. Hyde from ProSupps.




    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


    1. Ralf Jäger, Martin Purpura, and Michael Kingsley. Phospholipids and sports performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007; 4: 5. Published online 2007 Jul 25. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-4-5.


    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.


    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.
  • Product Review: Betancourt Nutrition B-NOX (formerly Bullnox) Androrush

    What could be better than a pre-workout that amps you up and gets you ready to crush your workout? How about a pre-workout that does all that AND helps to support healthy testosterone levels?

    Betancourt Nutrition B-NOX, formerly Bullnox, Androrush promises to do that and a whole lot more but is it all hype? Can a pre-workout really be so powerful that it can amplify your energy and testosterone levels?

    Let's take a looks at the benefits, pros, and cons of B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition to see if it's worth buying.


    It's important to look at B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition as two things: a pre-workout AND a testosterone booster. With that said, it has a lot to live up to. First up: B-NOX Androrush as an energy booster.

    Right out of the gate, B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition is coming out swinging. It features an impressive energy blend that focuses on more than just caffeine. You're getting energy support in the form of stimulants AND muscle fuel. As a carbohydrate source, the maltodextrin found within is going to give your muscles the fuel it needs to keep pushing intra-workout.

    What's more, B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition has the following heavy hitters for energy:

    • May be able to boost your intra-workout strength levels while supporting your performance.

    Dicreatine Malate
    • Converts into ATP, the preferred fuel source of muscle tissue. As a result, this type of creatine may be able to boost your workload output.

    • This raw chocolate extract may be able to boost your energy levels. It's also a useful weight loss support supplement. (1-3)

    As a form of testosterone support, B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition has a really impressive line-up. You're getting ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6), which has been shown to support healthy testosterone levels. (4-6) It also provides several other ingredients including Tribulus terrestris extract that may be able to have a significant impact on your testosterone levels. (7)

    Combine all of this with a solid blend of amino acids, creatine, and the absorption boosting black pepper extract and what you have is a very impressive pre-workout supplement that also acts as a powerful testosterone booster.


    The biggest problem with B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition is the fact that, like most companies, it uses a proprietary blend. While all of these ingredients are terrific, you have no idea how much you're getting of each. This is an issue because even if you're using the best of the best, if you don't have the required dose for maximum benefit then it's a waste of money. With that said, the proprietary blend of B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition is over 15 grams. That helps to reassure the user that they are getting their money's worth.


    If you're looking for a pre-workout supplement with a huge bonus, then B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition is what you need. Its hard hitting energy formula is backed up by a list of trusted testosterone boosters. That makes for one great supplement. If you're concerned about the proprietary blend, which we don't think you should be, then you can always double up on the dose. That will give you over 31 grams of energy and testosterone support.

    Click here to buy B-NOX Androrush from Betancourt Nutrition.


    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

    2. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

    3. MU Eteng, HA Ibekwe, UI Umoh, PE Ebong, IB Umoh, EU Eyong. Theobromine rich cocoa powder induces weight loss and changes in lipid profile of obese wistar rats. Discovery and Innovation Vol. 18 (3) 2006: pp. 191-196.

    4. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Arch Androl. 1981 Aug;7(1):69-73.

    5. Cinar V, Polat Y, Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R.Biol. Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Trace Elem Res. 2011 Apr;140(1):18-23. doi: 10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

    6. Symes EK, Bender DA, Bowden JF, Coulson WF. Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient rat. J Steroid Biochem. 1984 May;20(5):1089-93.

    7. Rogerson S, Riches CJ, Jennings C, Weatherby RP, Meir RA, Marshall-Gradisnik SM. The effect of five weeks of Tribulus terrestris supplementation on muscle strength and body composition during preseason training in elite rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):348-53.

  • Product Review: Platinum Labs DEFCON1

    Pre-workout supplements are one of the most popular and purchased product next to whey protein and fat burners. We all know the feeling of waking up early, battling through a long 8 to 10 hour day then coming home to be reminded that it's Leg Day. This is where a pre-workout comes in handy. A quality pre-workout is packed with more than just a little bit of caffeine. It should contain a variety of energy boosters and nootropics so that both your mind and body are revitalized.


    Platinum Labs DEFCON1 is said to be one of the most popular pre-workouts in the industry. Check out its ratings around the internet and it's a universally well liked product. Let's take a look to see if Platinum Labs DEFCON1 can hold up to its reputation.




    As soon as you turn the bottle around to face the label, you can already see the decent sized list that Platinum Labs DEFCON1 offers in the way of ingredients. As you scroll down, you'll see that all of the ingredients found within are popular and proven. Right away, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 has a great formula. At the top, it features Beta Alanine at 2 grams, L-Taurine at 1 gram, and Agmatine Sulfate at 750 mg per serving. These three ingredients are an excellent addition to any pre-workout formula. What's more, these are the ideal dosages for these ingredients.


    Studies suggest that those three ingredients may be able to promote the following benefits:

    • May help to boost energy
    • May support intra-workout strength increases
    • May help to reduce muscle fatigue
    • May promote lean muscle mass gains (1-3)


    Naturally, as a pre-workout, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 contains caffeine; however, it doesn't contain an obnoxious amount such as a supplement like Pro Supps' Mr. Hyde does, for example. (Click here to read more about and buy Mr. Hyde from Pro Supps) At 180 mg of caffeine per serving, that's a nice middle ground for those who are caffeine sensitive and for those who double up their pre-workout servings.




    While some ingredients have an ideal dosage per serving, others are lacking a bit. Creatine HCl for example is only provided at 750 mg per serving. While this may be a pre-workout, creatine is a vital part of the energy conversion process, supplying your muscles with ATP for fuel. (4) 750 mg isn't terrible but it's not even close to the standard 5 gram dosage. This same issue can be seen with Betaine Anhydrous and Choline Bitartrate. Again, we're happy they are in there but disappointed at the low dose.


    With that said, these are the only ingredients that have a lower than normal dose. Everything else is great. An easy remedy would be to supplement with creatine in addition to DEFCON1. As a side note to Platinum Labs, the addition of Alpha GPC would make this a perfect pre-workout supplement.


    The only other issue that may be a problem for some is the fact that Platinum Labs DEFCON1 contains artificial sweeteners and colouring. If you aren't too concerned about that, then you have nothing else to worry about.




    Platinum Labs DEFCON1 is a very worthwhile buy and it's no surprise why it's a fan favourite. It contains a variety of well-chosen energy boosters, thermogenics, and nootropics, most of which have been provided to you at their ideal dosage per serving. Taken as a part of any disciplined training program, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 may be able to give you the energy you need to succeed. Click here to buy Platinum Labs DEFCON1.




    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


    1. Yatabe Y, Miyakawa S, Ohmori H, Mishima H, Adachi T. Effects of taurine administration on exercise. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:245-52.


    1. Ryan P Lowery, Jordan M Joy, Joshua E Dudeck, Eduardo Oliveira de Souza, Sean A McCleary, Shawn Wells, Robert Wildman, and Jacob M Wilson. Effects of 8 weeks of Xpand® 2X pre workout supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, lean body mass, and strength in resistance trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 44. Published online 2013 Oct 9. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-44.


    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
  • Top 4 Pre-Workout Ingredients You MUST Have

    Pre-workout supplements are no longer a rare option. Any time you walk into the gym, you're sure to see someone downing a shaker full of pink or blue liquid. Not too long after, that person has a fierce look of determination on their face. Pre-workouts dominate the fitness market but not all of these supplements are made the same. Let's take a look at the top 4 pre-workout supplement ingredients that you need to have in your shaker.


    1. Alpha GPC


    The first ingredient that you should be looking for is Alpha GPC. As a pre-cursor to the neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine, it can help to increase your focus and put you in the zone during the workout. More importantly, Alpha GPC has been shown to increase your growth hormone levels. Why is that important? Growth hormone assists with muscle recovery and growth, which will promote your gains. (1)


    1. Betaine Anhydrous


    More commonly known as Betaine, this is more than just an amino acid. Betaine has been proven in several studies to be an effective way to improve your performance during workouts. In a study of cyclists supplementing with Betaine, it was only those who were taking the ingredient that saw marked improvements in overall power and athletic performance. (2)


    This ingredient is usually only found in supplements with a slightly higher price tag but we can assure you those few extra dollars make it worth it.


    1. Bioperine®


    As soon as the results of this ingredient's study were released, you saw it showing up in a variety of different supplements. The most notable type of supplement you find it in is pre-workouts. Bioperine® is the commercial name for black pepper extract. Does it have a direct influence on improving performance? No, BUT what it does do is amplify the bioavailability of the other ingredients.


    Your body won't always absorb and utilize ingredients like you want it to. That's where Bioperine® comes in. It's been shown to enhance the assimilation of other ingredients, ensuring your body does utilize those ingredients to the fullest extent. This is a great way to improve a cheap, low quality protein supplement as well. (3)


    1. Caffeine


    This shouldn't be a surprise as the primary reason people drink coffee is for the caffeine. This stimulant is one of the best ways to get focused and get serious during your workouts. Moderate caffeine use (in other words: don't overdo it) has been linked to a number of health benefits including the prevention of Alzheimer's but when it comes to fitness, it can't be beat.


    Caffeine has been tested time and time again and has always come on top as the best way to get energized for your workout. With that said, be wary of mega doses of caffeine in some of the new pre-workouts. (4)




    Next time you're shopping for that pre-workout supplement, be sure to carefully scan the label for Alpha GPC, Betaine Anhydrous, Bioperine®, and Caffeine. It's these four ingredients that will help put you in the zone to crush your workout and see results.




    1. Tim Ziegenfuss, Jamie Landis, and Jennifer Hofheins. Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5(Suppl 1): P15. Published online 2008 Sep 17. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-5-S1-P15.


    1. Pryor JL, Craig SA, Swensen T. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Apr 3;9(1):12. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-12.


    1. Vladimir Badmaev, MD, PhD, Muhammed Majeed, PhD, Edward P. Norkus, PhD. Piperine, an alkaloid derived from black pepper increases serum response of beta-carotene during 14-days of oral beta-carotene supplementation. Nutrition Research. March 1999. Volume 19, Issue 3, Pages 381–388.


    1. Hogervorst E, Bandelow S, Schmitt J, Jentjens R, Oliveira M, Allgrove J, Carter T, Gleeson M. Caffeine improves physical and cognitive performance during exhaustive exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Oct;40(10):1841-51. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31817bb8b7.
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