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After visiting my friend and mentor, Craig Brown, from CSBBodyfusion, I found myself walking back to my car with a rather small hand-sized jar of Nutrex Outlift Concentrate to try out. I decided I’m going to avoid looking at the label so I don’t anticipate its effects and possibly psychosomatically manufacture them in my head. A quick dosage check told me I needed to take one scoop, 30-40min before training, I checked my GPS, and I had 23min between me and the gym. “Perfect!” I thought, just enough time to drink it quickly and have enough time to change into my training gear before it ‘hits’. A delicious refreshing flavour, even with my room temperature bottled water in the car, that’s a bonus, I thought.
As always, Joburg traffic is NEVER as simple as “get in your car and arrive on time”, I looked at my smart watch and saw my heart rate was now about 20 beats higher than my usual resting heart rate, the next thing I anticipated was that feeling of tiny pins and needles from Beta-Alanine often used in pre workouts, but nothing. In the next few minutes, the best way I can think to describe what I felt was looking through those big red ViewMaster 3D binocular looking toys from the 80s. With every few seconds, it felt like someone “clicked” over my vision and I could see deeper and further and brighter, like tunnel vision, I even imagined I could see sounds for a split second. So clearly there’s some stimulants in it, and not a small amount.
As I arrived upstairs, I could see my hands were a bit shaky as I filled up my water bottle. First on the playlist, Essential Eminem, and first up for me; Cable low row. First set, I felt a bit unsettled, almost anxious, but the reps went quickly and easily. The following sets were more of the same, heavy, fast, efficient, and primal. As Chad Nicolls (Ronnie Colemans’ coach) so eloquently wrote: “It’s where euphoria and pure evil meets”.
The weights moved easy, almost too easy, to the point that I felt a wee bit nauseous between sets, It was a superb stream of energy, the slight hand shaking remained between sets when I stopped to take a breath, and I kept feeling like I was in a parallel universe compared to everyone else, I could see them, but they couldn’t really see me, which I think was impossible with the amount of hungry hippo grunts I made during my lifts. I guess the Slipknot now blaring in my ears didn’t help, “we are not your kind”, resonated perfectly with my state of mind, I was going to outlift everyone in that building, or so I felt.
I kept going for well over an hour, until I ran out of program, and it seems I have set and/or equaled a few PB’s. Not bad! I also looked like I went for a swim, that was bad.
I decided to pull the container out of my bag and look at what was hiding in there.
Caffeine Anhydrous: At around 0,3mg/kg of bodyweight, caffeine doesn’t just act as a bit of a stimulant, but actually becomes an ergogenic aid to enhance our sporting performance. With a total of around 600mg with the combined variants, it is well above my requirements as a 94kg bodybuilder. The list of benefits is as long as my arm, and most of us are well aware of them. Euphoria, mood elevation, an increase in power output at this clinical dose. It’s the “get up and go” ingredient in this formula, and apart from Creatine Monohydrate, the most researched sports supplement known to us.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine: L-Tyrosine is an amino acid which we metabolise to produce neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Adrenaline from, the theory is that by supplementing with L-Tyrosine, we have more of the ‘building blocks’ readily available to produce these catecholamines so we can benefit from the effects of them. It is also structurally similar to thyroid hormones, that is why you might often see it in “fat loss” pills. It is still inconclusive if it actually raises levels of Dopamine. Dopamine’s effects include feeling motivated and it regulates learning, it enables us to realise when something will be rewarding and motivates us to chase after it, so you can see how this might help you push harder at your athletic conquests. The consistency in research that it supports cognition and reduces acute stress (such as training) is a solid reason to include it.
Betaine & Sodium Nitrate The first Nitrate, Betaine, is named after the vegetable it was originally derived from, you might guess from the first syllable that we are talking about beetroot. Without going into confusing explanations about methylation and methionine, what you need to know is that it is fast becoming a firm favourite and may be as beneficial as creatine because of its effects on muscle protein synthesis as well as its ability to control cortisol levels. In research it looks to be very beneficial for everything from strength to endurance to sprint athletes. For ‘gym rats’ in particular, it has shown to increase your number of total reps you can perform, and similar to Beta-Alanine, could delay fatigue and allow you to train harder, for longer. Nitrate salts in general lowers blood pressure during stress, (so it’s applicable during challenging bouts of exercise) and it reduces the “oxygen cost” of activities, so you may feel less tired by having an adequate amount supplemented.
Rauwolscine is a potent stimulant which doesn’t necessarily promote fat loss, but helps to release the pressure from the body to preserve fat stores, It is also mood elevating and may induce serotonin-like effects. There really isn’t all that much research at present on it, so this is where I will leave it, but variants of this substance have been used in performance enhancing since the 1980s.
In Conclusion, a very well rounded, extremely potent, high dosage pre-workout formula. The next day I took about 70% of the recommended dose (2/3 scoop) and felt all the positives, minus the shaky hands and feeling like I’m Robocop. If you need a proper kick up the butt to train very hard, I would definitely give this one a go, just make sure from your GP that you are indeed fit and healthy enough to take potent stimulants and lift heavy weights. Craig and I will definitely keep this on hand for when our athletes are “deep in prep” and may need some motivation to keep going.
Reviewed for CSBBodyfusion and Chrome SA by;
Stephan du Toit
Clinical Performance Nutritionist
MacNutitionUni Cert. U.K; B.Comm (NWU Potch)
Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans.
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760-5007.
The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness.
Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Pensacola, FL, USA.