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"MuscleTech Shatter SX-7 Revolution" - now that’s a mouthful, MuscleTech has never been shy on the longest names and shiniest tubs you would expect from a NASA mission.
MuscleTech has been synonymous with bodybuilding for the last 18-20 years, dishing out some of the most lucrative sponsorships to the top tier bodybuilders. Their products are not cheap and expect to pay a premium. The one thing you can be assured of, is what’s on the label is in the product you are taking.
Lately for me, pre-workouts are pre-workouts are pre-workouts, my favourite being Switch On from Chronicle Nutrition, good dose of caffeine, right ingredients and good value for money.
Now as for ingredients the usual suspects are in there, Beta alanine, L-Citrulline and Taurine all in effective doses and of course a hefty dose (depending on your serving size 1/2 or full) of caffeine 175 mg - 350 mg which is pretty standard across most pre-workouts these days.
I am actually glad to see they haven’t added creatine, this is a supplement I much prefer to take separately than I do in a pre-workout, mainly because the dose is usually not at optimal levels, and I believe creatine to be a daily supplement, not one only used on workout days. Sitting trying to work out what’s in my pre-workout and then weighing 2.33456 g somewhere else in the day to reach my maintenance dose is a pain…sorry not sorry.
I am also on the fence about beta alanine being an ingredient in pre-workouts, as beta alanine benefits lay in a long loading phase and in my opinion does not have any acute effects taken as a once-off dose, other than the “sensation” it provides vs actual benefit to the athlete. Like creatine add it or don't add it, it’s all the same to me, and if it makes you “feel” like a beast and train that little bit harder, who am I to argue.
They have added a few additional ingredients that are of some interest:
Teacrine - or otherwise known as theacrine, similar to caffeine, what is interesting is we don't seem to develop a tolerance to it quite like we do with caffeine, which potentially could help keep the pre-workout working for extended periods of use, and keeping a stimulatory effect.
Lions mane - Yamabushitake (funniest name ever) is a dietary mushroom, which has some positive research suggesting it as a cognitive enhancer, and immunomodulator. I am noticing a trend now of more and more pre-workouts experimenting with nootropics as ingredients.
Studies have been done on doses of 1000 mg x 3 a day for a total of 3000 mg per day, what we don’t know if this is the only effective dose, we just know it was effective at that dose, but lower doses have not been researched. So, with around 100mg per serving, I only have my anecdotal opinion mentioned below to go off of.
After trying it for a few workouts, I am impressed, of late, most pre-workouts leave me jittery and anxious, and often interfere with my workout rather than enhance it.
I went straight for the full serving for my first try, I did not feel that initial urge to scratch my skin off, like often happens when niacin is too high, although sometimes beta alanine can cause this as well.
I had no nausea, which for me has been a common problem with recent ones I have tested, this is my opinion and effects people differently, but my heart rate maintained and I didn’t feel overstimulated.
The biggest benefit however speaks more to my laziness and lack of focus on training the last few months, my major wins of late is actually just getting to the gym, actually finishing an 80 min workout however has been few and far between. I felt a definite increase in focus and drive, and 30-40min into a workout where I would usually come up with an excuse to get my backside home. I felt a sense of focus and intent on getting the job done, with no drop off of energy, even at the 80 min mark, after a full weight’s session, 3km of fast walking around the track, and 5min on the power mill of death, thrown in here and there for training I am doing for hiking purposes. I am going to assume this is the lion’s mane ingredient.
Disclaimer, I was researching the ingredients BEFORE taking the pre-workout, this can often introduce some bias and the placebo effect.
Let's be honest the Muscletech pre-workout is not cheap, if you are one struggling to make ends meet and have to spend very wisely on supplements, I would give it a skip, and opt for another version like Switch On I mentioned earlier or a few cups of coffee. But if you have the financial means and willing to drop some cash, give it a bash and let me know what you think.
Train hard, stay healthy and never fall for the hype unless it's backed by solid research and science.
P.S that scoop they supply took me 10 min to figure out how it works, but it was to the gram accurate at 8g on my scale.
Head coach CSB Bodyfusion
Mac Uni Certified Nutritionist