Another scoop, another review – this time of Jacked Factory’s “Nitro Surge” pre-workout.
Cover to Cover
Jacked Factory’s tagline for Nitro Surge is that it is a “Scientifically Dosed Pre-Workout Powder”. It boats “Endless Energy”, “Muscle Growth”, “Powerful Pumps” and “Laser Focus”. Fairly straightforward label nothing really bombastic anywhere on it.
Let’s get straight to the ingredients.
Ingredients – Flavor & Nutrition
The flavor of cherry limeade comes from a base of citric acid and pineapple fruit powder, real simple and basic and greatly appreciated. To boost the flavor a bit is some Ace K (acesulfame potassium) and sucralose and thankfully to get its color it uses actual fruit and vegetable juices. The powderizing agents of silica and calcium silicate keep it dry and mixable as it should, no caking was experienced.
All in all, appreciated to see some natural ingredients even if it needed a little bit of artificial sweeteners to boost, it’d be an A-grade on flavor from me if they could get this same mix with stevia instead of sucralose/Ace K.
I want to note in a non critical way that the spoon to scoop is nice and big but the handle seems like its an inch and a half long, barely fitting inside the container. Could probably trim half that handle off and still be good on the length of the handle.
Ingredients – A Team (L-Citrulline, Beta Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous)
It wasn’t until I reviewed this pre-workout that I noted the difference between L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate. Malic Acid with Citrulline is fine IMHO, but is double the dose to get the same quantity of Citrulline as just pure L-Citrulline powder. At the end of the day I’m not really sure which is better, but 2g of L-Citrulline powder (which is effectively 4g of Citrulline Malate to my understanding) seems ample. This will absolutely help with recovery and fatigue management. For its actual pre-workout effects you’re probably good but a little more couldn’t hurt would like to see this be 3g ideally.
Beta Alanine is another great stimulant and will help your workout volume with its positive endurance and energy output effects. The 1.6g dose should be plenty for preworkout purposes although you probably should consider taking a little more of this daily if your goal is dietary supplement more than mere pre-workout stimulation (using it only as a preworkout is still namely all I consume a preworkout for right now).
Betaine Anydrous is also a new one to me, a choline vitamin which if you have diverse dietary sources you should get some of. As a preworkout supplement this one is weak, but as a general health dietary supplement I think its fantastic. The vitamin lowers your homocysteine levels, which could be an issue for you if you have a meat-centric diet (as many working out will to keep their protein intake right). It’s great for the liver, and can help with the lipid levels to keep you burning fat. I’m not sure what dose is regarded as good for this, but 1.25g seems like plenty.
Ingredients – B Team (Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Theanine, Hordenine HCI, Black Pepper Fruit Extract Bioperine)
I won’t comment much on caffeine anhydrous but 180mg is okay. It’s not great, it could be better, especially since so many Americans like myself have completely ruined our caffeine tolerance through consuming caffeinated beverages. L-Theanine at only 90mg is kind of weak but I don’t think there is a ton of research on what would make for suitable levels… being a tea leaf derivative it has its own range of beneficial features. Here I believe it is to help provide mental focus (or “Laser Focus” as the label says) with an anti-drowsiness/relaxing effect. As a dietary supplement I’m all for more of this and honestly this should be like 250mg per dose rather than 90mg. Some of the effects of this take the edge off rather than put the edge on though but I’ll get to that more in my workout results below. Hordenine HCI is at a good 25mg dose and that will also help the “Laser Focus” claim, being great for your central nervous system.
Lastly the black pepper extract patented under the brand name BioPerine, well I’ll take this info from the horse’s mouth at the official BioPerine website. It is supposedly a “bioavailability enhancer” which lets you absorb nutrients more efficiently. Now I’m not really sure why it is here if that is in fact what it does. Most of what the BioPerine people suggest it works well with helping absorption rates are select aminos (none of which are included on this list at least that I see), minerals (none in this mix), antioxidants and vitamins (maybe L-Theanine is effected by this but again it is not on the site’s list of items to pair with Bioperine). Seems like a waste to me to include BioPerine if you aren’t going to include a few more other items that go along with it – like a ton of extra vitamins or a nice herb extract stimulant mix. Just a little wasted potential here, feel like it’s on the label to just be there.
I’m going to be honest about this, I feel like Jacked Factory might be simply misbranding this product by pushing it as a high energy muscle building preworkout, which isn’t meant to insult its preworkout properties in the least. I like this product a lot but not entirely for preworkout reasons. Now as for my workouts, I’ve had pretty good workouts while on this, it definitely helps concentration and focus and is a good change of pace from a preworkout that overstimulates and has a bite. This one is good to get focused but doesn’t get you amped which is not how I feel a product called “Nitro Surge” should necessarily behave.
While working out to give this mix a bit of a kick I have been stacking it with a half serving of the pro-thermogenic Diablo that I reviewed before. This just tastes good especially mixed with something else and the extra kick of a different stimulant product definitely helps a preworkout dose a ton. In fact, my last workout with that combination scored me a new personal best deadlift PR 1RM. This preworkout definitely gives good focus.
It just isn’t a “Nitro Surge”. It’s more like a “Cool Breeze”, refreshing and calming on a day when the bite of a harder mix just isn’t desirable and every workout schedule has a ton of those kind of days. Today is my recovery day, I’m enjoying Easter with the family and I’m drinking a dose of my “Nitro Surge” because I was feeling a little worn out and wanted the focus and energy, it made me feel great. I’d drink this daily if my personal budget for preworkouts permitted it. I also like it on certain workout days. But if you’re looking for that awesome kick in the ass get you peaked and freaked type of preworkout, this isn’t for you.
My final advice just be open minded and get it, experiment with stacking it with other preworkouts for a real full preworkout experience and I will definitely consume again. It is a creative blend and I like a lot about this and would like to see more like this in the preworkout marketplace. My only advice to the makers is maybe consider a herb-extra based stimulant mix to really make the BioPerine more worthwhile and give the product a little bite.