We recently introduced you to Advanced Molecular Labs (AML), headed publishing and supplement guru Steve Blechman. In that same article we referenced one of AML’s pre workout additives named Power Rep, which uses a combination of Peak ATP®, synephrine, and theacrine to enhance your overall power.
While Power Rep could be used alone for some low-stim athletes, it’s more suited to being stacked with a more fully dosed pre workout, and that’s where today’s AML offering comes into play. AML Pre Workout is an all around monster performance enhancing formula that packs the energy punch of a gorilla!
The breakdown is just ahead, but first, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:
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AML Pre Workout Ingredients
AML Pre Workout is a real workhorse of a pre workout that uses three semi-transparent blends to enhance muscular power, growth, and endurance. It packs quite a wallop at 400mg of caffeine, but if you can handle the surge of energy, you’ll be well rewarded with one of the better constructed pre workouts on the market.
Right from the first ingredient, it’s pretty clear that this supplement is meant to take on PRE Jym by Jim Stoppani… but it looks even heavier on the muscle-builders:
Adrenaline & Dopamine Activators (2.455g)
Starting off the focus and energy component of AML pre workout is the dopamine precursor N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT). This acetylated amino acid is a more bioavailable, and more expensive form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine.
NALT helps increases the production of two crucial neurotransmitters in the body, dopamine and noradrenaline which together help bolster cognition, focus, and overall mood. Aside from cognitive benefits, NALT also reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety[1,2], as well as improve your overall exercise capacity.
Basically this means that not only are you more focused during your workouts, but you’ll also be able to workout at a higher threshold for a longer duration that you would without supplementing with this amino acid.
AML Pre Workout contains a lone stimulant, which is rare in this day and age, but the one that it uses is man’s oldest and most well-studied stimulant, everyone’s favorite pick-me-up, caffeine. The much beloved xanthine has proven time and again to enhance endurance and just about everything else from energy to focus and alertness as well as endurance.[4,5]
A rather comprehensive meta analysis of caffeine also concluded that the age old stim reduces one’s rate of perceived exertion (RPE) which could be one of the reasons for its ergogenic benefits.
We won’t kid you, 400mg is A LOT of caffeine even for stim fans like CJ & Robert, so if you’re not used to high load caffeine amounts pre workout, you may want to start with ½ scoop just to see how it treats you. But if you can handle the full dose, we have power gains awaiting:
When asked why 400mg, AML provided a fantastic article published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal that covers all of the quality studies performed on caffeine with respect to power. At 5-6mg/kg of bodyweight, various researchers across the world have consistently seen significant increases in strength and power, as well as training volume.
It works in trained athletes, and it works in women as well. It just works.
These doses correlate to about 400mg caffeine for an average 175mg male, and are also near the upper level of caffeine’s most rigorous safety studies, so it was the dose chosen. Sometimes, you just need to work up to it to get to it, and you may not want to use caffeine any other parts of the day if full-scooping AML Pre Workout.
Mucuna Pruriens Seed Extract
Mucuna Pruriens, a.k.a. Velvet Bean, is a bean that grows from trees and is rich in L-Dopa, a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Supplementing with mucuna pruriens has been found to elevate dopamine production in the body leading to lower stress levels and a much significantly better mood.
AML’s Mucuna extract has been standardized for 40% L-Dopa, which isn’t as high as we’ve seen in some other of our Top Pre Workouts, but should still have some noticeably strong mood-enhancing abilities. Additionally, L-Dopa also increases growth hormone levels, decreases cortisol levels, and supports healthy testosterone levels[8,9] – all positive qualities when trying to add muscle.
Many have stated that this doesn’t feel like a 400mg caffeine pre workout, and it could be a healthy dose of mucuna that is to thank for that easier edge.
BioPerine® is the widely used, and incredibly popular, black pepper extract used enhance the bioavailability and absorption of the other ingredients in dietary supplements. It’s accomplishes this by inhibiting their breakdown in the body, thereby extending the life of the compounds in the body and further ensuring you will absorb every last drop of ergogenic goodness.
But did you also know that piperine, the compound inside black pepper that gives it its power, also can increase epinephrine (adrenaline) levels. Research has shown that indeed piperine, as well as capsaicin, has a positive effect on raising adrenaline levels which ultimately increases energy and drive in your workouts.
Nitric Oxide Activators (6.7g)
Citrulline Malate (6g)
When looking for ways to kick the nitric oxide system into overdrive, there isn’t a much better way to start things off than with a full dose of Citrulline Malate at 6g. This combination of the amino acid L-Citrulline and malic acid (malate) has been documented to be a much better N.O. booster and performance enhancer than L-Arginine due to its improved bioavailability in the body.
In addition to increased vasodilation and remarkable pumps, CitMal also improves circulation and vasodilation, which drives more blood and nutrients to your muscles thus allowing them to function at peak output. Most important of all though, Citrulline Malate enhances ATP production, due to Citrulline’s role in the Krebs Cycle, and accelerates recovery.[14,15,16]
Rumor has it that this ingredient’s going to get a bit of an upgrade come the next release of AML Pre Workout, too!
Beet Root Extract
Beet Root, a.k.a. Beta Vulgaris, is a root vegetable that contains a rich supply of nitrates for the body. This provides a second nitric oxide boosting compound in AML Pre Workout which is a great compliment to our previous ingredient.
Among the various benefits of nitrate supplementation are increased nitric oxide production, vasodilation, and blood flow in the body.[18,19]
Grape Skin Extract
Derived from Vitis Vinifera, grape skin extracts are typically standardized for polyphenols to enhance their efficacy. In the case of AML Pre Workout, this particular extract has been standardized for 30% polyphenols.
Research using grape skin extract demonstrates its ability to increase nitric oxide production and reduce oxidative stress after exercise. This is most likely attributed to the high levels of tannins and catechins contained in grapes.
Watermelon Seed Extract
A rarely used ingredient in pre workouts, watermelon seed actually should probably be included more often. The flesh of the watermelon fruit is rife with L-Citrulline, but the extracts of the seed have also been shown in clinical trials to increase N.O. production in the body.
Used in conjunction with the previous 3 nitric oxide enhancers, this should really push you over the edge and give you some of the strongest and most pronounced pumps you’ve ever encountered in a pre workout.
Power, Strength, & Endurance Activators (11.819g)
Creatine Monohydrate (5g)
No single performance ergogenic has been studied and researched more than creatine monohydrate. Time and time again, this tried and true form of creatine has been proven to improve lean body mass, enhance strength and power, and decreasing fatigue.[23,24,25,26]
So newer research has shown that you can maintain saturated creatine levels with as little as 2-3g today, but AML is going full monty and giving us the universally recommended amount of 5g.
A while back, we ranted that if a company was going to add creatine to a pre workout, do it right or don’t do it at all. This here is the right way.
And we’re not done with the muscle-builders yet…
BetaPower® is a patented form of natural betaine from the Finnish company Danisco, which is a division of DuPont Nutrition & Health. Many of you are familiar with betaine, but do you know exactly where this form is derived from?
Being a “natural” form of betaine, it’s 99% pure and derived from the molasses of sugar beets. Betaine, a.k.a. trimethylglycine, has become a favorite of ours for the additional “oomph” it gives our workouts as well as the host of other benefits it brings to the table.
Betaine helps boost strength and power, improve endurance, and reduce muscle soreness.[28,29,30] Additionally, betaine works with creatine to enhance to body’s natural production of the powerful ergogenic.
Betaine and creatine work in similar fashion, and best of all you get full clinical doses of both to really push your power and strength capabilities to the max.
Beta Alanine (2g)
If you find yourself burning out mid-set due to an unbearable burning sensation deep in your muscles, and thereby leaving extra reps on the table, you’ll want to look into this top endurance-boosting ingredient Beta Alanine. Loved, and hated, for its ability to induce paresthesia (the “tingles), Beta Alanine binds to histidine in the body and forms carnosine, a powerful intracellular buffer that removes lactic acid accumulation.
BA’s buffering capabilities offset the burning sensation allowing you to really go the distance in your workouts. Not only will your endurance levels be improved, but you’ll also see notice big improvements in time to exhaustion, strength, and power.[33,34,35]
The clinical dose is 3.2g, but often times that’s too tingle inducing for many and research has shown that it’s actually more beneficial to split the doses for BA to optimize nutrient absorption.
So on the opposite end of your day, if you want the most endurance, add another 1-2g of bulk beta alanine elsewhere — it’s pretty cheap to get separate.
Potassium Citrate & Magnesium Citrate
We’ve grouped these next two ingredients together for the simple reason that they both fall under the same category of essential pre workout elements: electrolytes. Potassium and Magnesium are two of the most powerful, and necessary, minerals used by the body to ensure proper muscular function as well as overall hydration levels.
Losing just 2% of hydration can lead to severe cramping, reduced performance, and impaired CNS function. Any one of these greatly impacts your ability to have a hardcore workout, so make sure to hydrate adequately and replace those electrolytes!
Adenosine-5-Triphosphate Disodium Salt
Adenosine-5-Triphosphate (ATP) is the body’s primary fuel source when doing any sort of intense physical activity like jumping, sprinting, or weight lifting. Depending on how quickly your body depletes and replenishes its ATP stores ultimately governs how well you’ll perform in the gym or on the field.
Typically orally supplemented ATP has poor bioavailability, but attaching it to a disodium salt improves the bioavailability, which leads to reduced fatigue and increased overall athletic performance.
Where are the 90 calories from?!
A few people asked where the 90 calories are from. We had a feeling this was for FDA compliance, but to be sure, we asked AML and they responded:
Many of the active ingredients such as citrulline malate, creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine N-Acetyl tyrosine, velvet bean (l-dopa) contain nitrogenous amino acids and when analyzed provide 4 calories per gram, just like protein.
So technically speaking, this is compliant with the FDA. However, we do not believe these truly contribute to actual caloric energy.
As a sidenote, amino acids such as BCAAs (which are not in this supplement) actually do provide some caloric energy, in case anyone is counting their calories to an insane degree.
On Sweeteners and Flavoring
AML’s Pre Workout contains no artificial colors but does contain some artificial sweeteners (Ace-K and Sucralose) as well as one natural one (in the form of Stevia). The good news is that Stevia is listed first among the sweeteners and Sucralose last, which more and more people are in favor of – we assume this allows AML to use less sucralose, a trend many have enjoyed lately.
As for flavoring, AML Pre Workout comes in two tried and true flavors: Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch. These have long been used by the industry and can sometimes vary widely in terms of overall taste.
Although many of us internet supp junkies are always looking for fancy and fresh new flavors, these are the two flavors that sell the most when introducing a new supplement.
AML Pre Workout is indeed a very, very well dosed pre workout formula, especially when used at a full scoop. Honestly, though, what else would you expect with someone as well versed as the guys who brought you Muscular Development?!
Provided you can handle the 400mg of caffeine here, AML Pre Workout should most definitely help you step up your workout game the next time things may have seemed to plateau for you in the gym. And if you need even more strength this month, the Peak ATP in Power Rep is there for you too.
Click the image to the right to read more about Advanced Molecular Labs. But so far, so good!
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- Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF; Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress . Brain Res Bull. (1994)
- Dollins AB, et al; L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress . Physiol Behav. (1995)
- Tumilty L, Davison G, et al. Oral tyrosine supplementation improves exercise capacity in the heat. Eur J Appl Physiol 2011;111, 2941-2950.
- Doherty M and Smith PM. Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta-analysis. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2005;15, 69-78.
- Prasad SK, Qureshi TN, Qureshi S. Mucuna pruriens seed powder feeding influences reproductive conditions and development in Japanese quail Coturnix coturnix japonica. Animal. (2009)
- Alleman RJ Jr, Canale RE, et al. A blend of chlorophytum borivilianum and velvet bean increases serum growth hormone in exercise-trained men. Nutr Metab Insights 2011;4, 55-63.
- Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., and Srinivas, P.S.S.R. (1998) Influence of Piperine on the pharamacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 64(4); 353-356
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- Hickner RC. et. al.; Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; “L-citrulline reduces time to exhaustion and insulin response to a graded exercise test;“
- Palmer RM, Ashton DS, Moncada S Vascular endothelial cells synthesize nitric oxide from L-arginine . Nature. (1988)
- Cosby K, et al; Nitrite reduction to nitric oxide by deoxyhemoglobin vasodilates the human circulation . Nat Med. (2003)
- Modin A, et al; Nitrite-derived nitric oxide: a possible mediator of ‘acidic-metabolic’ vasodilation . Acta Physiol Scand. (2001)
- Belviranlı M, et al; Effects of Grape Seed Polyphenols on Oxidative Damage in Liver Tissue of Acutely and Chronically Exercised Rats . Phytother Res. (2012)
- Belviranlı M, et al; Effects of grape seed extract supplementation on exercise-induced oxidative stress in rats . Br J Nutr. (2012)
- Netreba, A; [Creatine as a metabolic controller of skeletal muscles structure and function in strength exercises in humans].; Ross Fiziol; 2006
- Bemben, M; The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men.; Neuromuscular Lab, Dept. Health & Exercise Science, U. Oklahoma; 2010
- Chilibeck, P; Effect of creatine ingestion after exercise on muscle thickness in males and females.; College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan; 2004
- Hoffman, J; Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes.; Dept. of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey; 2006
- Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010)
- holewa, J; Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013
- Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue
- del Favero S, et al Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performance . Amino Acids. (2012)
- Baguet, A et al.; Journal of Applied Physiology; “Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance;” July 2010;” 2005
- Roger C. Harris; et al.; “The effect of a supplement containing β-alanine on muscle carnosine synthesis, ventilatory threshold and exercise capacity in Korean cyclists, during 12 weeks combined endurance and weight training“
- Hill, CA et al.; Amino Acids; “Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity ;” February 2007
- Kendrick IP, et al. The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with beta-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition. Amino Acids. (2008)
- Casa, DJ., Clarkson, PM., Roberts, WO., American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Hydration and Physical Activity: Consensus Statements. Current Sports Medicine Reports 2005, 4:115–127
- Rathmacher, J, et. al; Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) supplementation improves low peak muscle torque and torque fatigue during repeated high intensity exercise sets; Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 2012
- McCormack, William P, and Hoffman, Jay R; “Caffeine, Energy Drinks, and Strength-Power Performance”; Strength and Conditioning Journal; August 2012; Volume 34, Issue 4, 11–16; http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2012/08000/Caffeine,_Energy_Drinks,_and_Strength_Power.3.aspx, full-text at http://education.ucf.edu/iepw/docs/Caffeine,_Energy_Drinks,_and_Strength_Power.3.pdf (archived at http://www.webcitation.org/6k9wFmbwF)