Pre-Workout! The craze started more than a decade ago, and to this day, supplement stores still stock their walls full of them. Go to any bodybuilding/sports fest, and you will see just about every sports supplement brand offering samples of their pre-workout. The popularity of pre-workout powders exploded in sports nutrition with the promise that users would quickly “feel” its effects and know they were going to make those gains. The craze is very similar to the thermogenic (fat burner) explosion of the late 1990’s, but with pre-workouts we have a plethora of products to choose from all offering that quick rush we are looking for.
How do we get that quick rush? Caffeine! We all love caffeine, and many of us have believed the lie that we need a ton of it. But, to be completely honest, more caffeine isn’t always a good or safe thing. Similar to taking thermogenics, just because you are intaking 2 to 3 cups of coffee (sometimes more) at once does not mean it will work better for you. Sadly, most supplement companies know this. But, most consumers don’t really know the facts about these caffeinated pre-workout products. The fact is, the more caffeine you consume before a workout, the more your blood vessels constrict! So, instead of opening up to flood your muscles with blood and nutrients, your vessels are closing and restricting growth. So how do companies combat that fact? They simply add more (because they can) to make you “feel” even better.
Now, studies do show that blood vessels reopen around the 300 milligram of caffeine mark, but that is the equivalent of drinking three cups of strong coffee at once. Have you ever had three cups of coffee (at once) before a workout? That doesn’t sound like the best idea, and I have yet to meet someone who’s actually tried that. Still, a good majority of gym goers consume this daily in the form of their pre-workout powder.
As someone who sells pre-workouts, I see it every day. People come in wanting something they can “feel”, and they buy an over caffeinated pre-workout. At first, they fall in love with the product, and then a few weeks later, one of two things happens. The first, they bring it back or stop using it because the product has too much caffeine, and they come back asking for something less stimulating. Or, they love the product for a week or two only to discover the effects seem to be wearing off. After the effects of a high stim pre-workout wear off, they need something else they can feel- They need something stronger. In the end, this leaves them with adrenal burnout, and they fall into a cycle of exhaust despite the high amounts of caffeine they are consuming.
In addition to the caffeine conundrum, pre-workouts have another huge flaw. The supporting ingredients! For years, most companies used free form L-Arginine as a staple ingredient to their pre-workout products. However, free form L-Arginine has proven to do little when taken before your workout. Low quality Creatine Monohydrate (or other forms like Creatine HCL, Krealkalyn) is another supporting ingredient that companies often add. I know, I know. Creatine is great, but its effects work when used over time – not when combined with hundreds of milligrams of caffeine and taken pre-workout. Now, there are times when companies add ingredients that are helpful, but when they add them, they often underdose those ingredients. In other words, if you wanted those ingredients to truly work, you would need to take multiple scoops of the product (which would lead to you ingesting even more caffeine).
To put it simply, most pre-workouts just aren’t very effective. But have no fear! There is now a pre-workout powder that does what it’s supposed to do. A pre-workout that uses ingredients that have been clinically validated to give you an edge in the gym when taken 30 to 45 minutes before your workout. A pre-workout powder that dials you into each set and rep without the three cups of coffee. One that gives you a true nitric oxide boosting amino acid to give you that pump you are looking for. A pre-workout that I proudly suggest to many of my customers. That pre-workout powder is none other than Prolific from Pescience.
Prolific’s first ingredient sets the tone for that “pump” we all want. Each scoop of Prolific gives you three grams of pure L-Citrulline per scoop! L-Citrulline is an amino acid that has better bioavailability than its more known counterpart L-Arginine. Although many websites will tell you that L-Arginine is the “Nitric oxide booster”, or the “Nitric oxide molecule” they are not telling you the whole truth. All the studies done on L-Arginine as a nitric oxide booster tested it intravenously. Why did they test it intravenously? Because L- Arginine has a poor absorption rate when taken orally. Meaning, no matter how much L-Arginine you consume pre-workout, your stomach acids will eat up most of it and leave very little (if any) to help your body produce nitric oxide. L-Citrulline, unlike L-Arginine doesn’t get destroyed by your stomach acids. In addition, L-Citrulline converts into L-Arginine once its metabolized by the body. And then what? You guessed it, a few more chemicals reactions go on and nitric oxide gets produced! Pure L-Citrulline is also better for pre-workout blood flow and muscle pump than the more often used Citrulline Malate. Most companies prefer Citrulline Malate because it’s a cheaper ingredient. Citrulline Malate is one part Citrulline to one part Malate. So, if you read a label that says it has 3 grams of Citrulline Malate per serving, you are truly only getting 1.5 grams of Citrulline and 1.5 grams of Malate per serving. That low dose of Citrulline is nowhere strong enough to produce any results in the gym. L-Citrulline, alone, has also been shown to improve heart health, increase cellular stores of ATP, and increase erectile function in men.
The next ingredient on the list, is Betaine Anhydrous. This is an ingredient that has been popular in the natural products industry for quite some time, and it has now made waves in sports nutrition. From the year 2010 on, there have been many studies showing that Betaine Anhydrous aids in increased power output, increased energy, cellular hydration, and (most importantly) in aiding your body to produce more Creatine. Studies have shown that taking 1.25 grams of Betaine twice a day increases muscle strength by up to 25 percent. Also, Betaine Anhydrous has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis. Pescience gives you that 1.25 grams of Betaine Anhydrous per scoop! If you want the full clinically validated dose of Betaine Anhydrous, just take 2 scoops of Prolific 15 to 30 minutes before your workout!
The next ingredient is the amino acid Taurine. This is an amino acid that is sort of an unsung hero in sports nutrition. It is normally thought of as an “add on”, but it does a lot more than most people know. Taurine is the second most abundant amino acid found in muscle tissue. Not only that, Taurine is also found in large amounts in your heart and brain. Taurine has been shown to increase brain function, because it is one of the main precursors to the neurotransmitter GABA. Taurine has also been shown to help increase strength, muscle volume, and fat burning. And those are just a few of things taurine does.
Next up is caffeine in two different forms. Form number one is Caffeine Anhydrous (dried up caffeine) for the rapid uptake of caffeine. The second is Infinergy™ brand Dicaffeine Malate. Dicaffeine Malate is caffeine bonded with an organic compound found in fruits and vegetables known as Malic Acid. Malic acid is a part of the Krebs cycle. It helps proteins, carbs and fats become energy in the body. Another added benefit of bonding Malic acid with caffeine is that it calms down the naturally occurs acidity that occurs with caffeine consumption. So those one or two scoops of Prolific, most likely won’t send you running to the bathroom like many pre-workouts do. Plus Pescience doesn’t overdue the caffeine content by keeping it at 160 milligrams per scoop.
Cognizin Citicholine is the next ingredient. It is a personal favorite nootropic of mine at 125 milligrams per scoop! Cognizin Citicholine has been clinically shown to help with attention span and memory. Citicholine works as a precursory aid to the brain chemical phosphatidylcholine, one of the brains main neurotransmitters. Citicholine is one of the reasons Pescience Prolific gives you unrivaled focus without over caffeinating. Plus Pescience cuts no corners by using the best form of Citicholine, the patented Cognizin brand of Citicholine.
L-Theanine, another ingredient in Prolific, also helps you dial into each rep and set. Although L-Theanine is usually marketed as a “relaxing’ aid, it is also a nootropic like caffeine and citicholine. L-Theanine taken with caffeine has been shown to improve cognition and alertness. If you want to enhance the caffeine you are taking and help its effects last longer, then take L-Theanine with your caffeine. It was a no brainer for Pescience to add this awesome amino acid into the Prolific formula at 100 milligrams per scoop!
Rhodiola Rosea Extract is known for its energizing benefits, as well its stress reducing, antioxidant, and brain boosting properties. Those are just a few things that Rhodiola is known for. Studies of the additional benefits of Rhodiola Rosea are still being conducted. Just like with L-Theanine, Rhodiola also helps caffeine last longer in your bloodstream. This leads to smoother and longer lasting energy levels. Best of all, Pescience uses one of the strongest possible extracts of Rhodiola Rosea. Studies show that the best Rhodiola Rosea extracts are standardized to at least 3% Rosavin content (one of its main components) and at least 1% Salidroside. But Pescience did not get the normal standardized extract, they went even further to give you a more potent, more concentrated extract of Rhodiola Rosea. Each scoop of Prolific gives you 50 milligrams of Rhodiola containing 5% Rosavins and 2% Salidrosides!
The last ingredient in Prolific is the patented coffee fruit extract. But not just any coffee fruit extract, Pescience uses the trademarked brand of NeuroFactor coffee fruit extract. NeuroFactor has been shown to increase what is known as BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). BDNF is an active protein our brains. It is also active in our central peripheral systems, has a critical role in neuron development, and helps protect against the breakdown of neurons. Increasing BDNF helps with learning, memory, alertness, controlling bodyweight and mood health. Prolific gives you 50 milligrams of NeuroFactor per scoop.
There you have it. The complete rundown of a pre-workout powder that is truly in a league of its own! It is one that doesn’t rely solely on its caffeine content. It is like no other company in its offering of four different nootropic (brain boosting) aids in one scoop. If this article has sparked your interest on this great product, head on over to pescience.com, or you can swing by your local supplement store.
Give it a try and be ready to get focused and enjoy some great muscle pumps!
Take care and enjoy everyone!
Ricky Seda has been in the supplement retail/health food business for almost ten years. He has managed many stores in the Philadelphia/Tampa Bay area. He is always passionate about making sure each customer gets the care, knowledge, and best supplement for that person’s needs. He has worked with countless brand representatives over the years, to learn everything he can about every product he sells. He is currently enrolled at Trinity School of Health. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone has a supplement question. He can also be found @rickythesuppsguy via Instagram, and has his own blog site at rickythesuppsguy.com.