AEN was one of the first companies to popularize intra workout nutrition with IntraXcell and Intrabolic. Recently, the company has gone through a re-branding now flies under the moniker Athletic Edge.
To go along with their new name and image, the company has released a brand new workout aptly title Steel Edge.
This one’s label caught our eyes, as it has a large serving of well-dosed muscle-building ingredients, and is another product in the resurgence of bringing some carbs back into pre workouts.
The caffeine dose is a relatively high 350mg, but there’s no other stimulants added, so this is great for an aggressive-but-still-conservative kind of consumer who doesn’t want to mess with a ton of odd stim.
Before we get to the details of what’s inside AE’s latest offering, take a second to sign up for alerts from PricePlow and check the best deal:
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Steel Edge Ingredients
Each serving of Steel Edge packs a whopping 20.2g of active ingredients all designed to deliver an extremely powerful and focus-driven workout experience.
The quick bullet points:
- 350mg total caffeine with no other stimulants
- 3g creatine
- 6g carbs
- Everything looks very well dosed if the caffeine dose aligns with your goals
The label is 100% open and rather robust including many tried and true ingredients starting with:
Strength/Endurance & Anti-Fatigue Matrix
Creatine Monohydrate (3g)
Steel Edge gets things rolling with perhaps the most well known and effective supplement on the market, creatine monohydrate. It’s been the gold standard among the various hybrid forms of creatine because it just plain works.
Countless studies have proven it’s effective for improving strength, power, lean body composition, and endurance.[1,2,3,4,5] The recommended dose for creatine supplementation is 3-5g and AE ensures that you get your daily dose to maintain saturation.
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine (1.6g)
AE was one of the first companies to really popularize the use of beta alanine in their supplements with IntraXcell over 10 years ago. Now, nearly all pre workouts hitting the market incorporate it and various other aminos.
Beta alanine helps fight fatigue in the body by buffering lactic acid accumulation in the muscles. It accomplishes this feat by increasing cellular carnosine concentrations in the muscle. This will help offset the burning sensation you may experience during higher rep training which otherwise would cause you stop a set early. Beta alanine helps offset this soreness and fatigue while also boosting your power and strength.[6,7,8]
Extreme Nitric Oxide & Cell Volumizer Matrix
Waxy Maize Carbohydrate (6g)
Waxy maize is a rapidly digestible source of carbohydrates that will help provide your body with the fuel it needs for intense gym workouts or long bouts of endurance exercise. It will help fill your muscles out, replenish glycogen stores and resist fatigue during your intense workouts.
Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 (4g)
This combination of L-Citrulline and Malic Acid has become one of the best all-around pump agents used in pre workouts today. This is due to Citrulline being much more readily absorbed by the body and increasing nitric oxide (NO) levels in the body better than Arginine.
But Citrulline is much more than a pump inducer, it’s also a fatigue fighter! Citrulline malate helps remove lactic acid and ammonia from the muscles which boosts endurance and ATP production[10,11] allowing you to grind out those that few muscle-building reps.
The 4g dose is a solid, above average one. We’ve seen bigger, but we usually see smaller. Combined with the fast-acting carbs and the other surrounding ingredients like taurine and betaine, you are nearly guaranteed to get a great pump with Steel Edge.
Taurine is another pump inducing and fatigue fighting amino acid. It’s not an NO booster like Citrulline Malate, but helps provide “water-based” pumps by pulling water and nutrients into muscle cells. A secondary perk of the additional nutrients being absorbed is that it boosts endurance by reducing the onset of muscle soreness.
Sustained Energy/Focus & Neuro Recovery Matrix
Betaine Anhydrous (1.5g)
Betaine is a metabolite of choline with three methyl groups bonded to it, hence it’s chemical name, trimethylglycine. It’s widely popular in new pre workouts coming recently and for good reason, as it improves strength, endurance, power, and hydration.[14,15,16]
Additional research has also shown it to work synergistically with creatine supporting its production in the body and increasing ATP production as well, leading to better performance in the weight room.[17,18]
In our article titled Betaine: A Safe & Natural Muscle-Builder, we explain the research showing that 2.5g/day is the goal, as it’s what has been studied. This is definitely a good start though!
Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL (750mg)
A PricePlow favorite, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is the acetylated form L-Carnitine. It’s absorbed via a different pathway than other forms of L-Carnitine and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
In addition to being a mild-stimulant, ALCAR is also a strong focus enhancer. As it that’s not enough, it works synergistically with caffeine to boost “fatty acid dumping” where fatty acids are excreted by the body when cells are in “fat burning” mode.
Choline Bitartrate (750mg)
Choline works together with our previous ingredient to create Acetylcholine. The acetyl group is removed from the carnitine salt, transferred to Acetyl-COA, then transferred to choline to produce even more acetylcholine.
At 750mg per scoop, you’ll definitely have a strong mind-muscle connection in your workout and will absolutely “feel” it working. This is a great dose (we’re also huge choline lovers here on PricePlow).
On top of that, choline is metabolized in the mitochondria of our into betaine. This increases the concentration of betaine in the body’s cells and has the added effect of improving endurance and weight loss.[22,23]
Caffeine Anhydrous (300mg)
You’re well aware of caffeine and its focus and performance-enhancing benefits, so we won’t waste valuable space elaborating on it. We will take a second to mention that Steel Edge packs a pretty serious dose of it though.
300mg seems to be the go-to amount for nearly all new pre workouts coming to the market. This may steer some people away from the brand, but if this dose is too much for you, consider going with ½-¾ scoop your first few times to assess tolerance.
The issue is that if you end up using ¾ of a scoop, you’re going to want a dash more creatine in your day.
Ashwagandha Extract (125mg)
A popular Ayurvedic herb that’s also known as Withania somnifera or “Smell of Horse,” is a potent adaptogen that’s often used to combat anxiety. It’s also been shown to increase VO2 max in cyclists, thereby increasing their aerobic capacity allowing them to exercise harder for longer duration.
Sustained Release Caffeine (50mg)
As if 300mg of caffeine anhydrous wasn’t enough to get your engine churning, AE has included 50mg of “sustained release” caffeine to carry you through long and arduous workouts. While some may experience a rough ride down from pure caffeine anhydrous, the sustained release should help smooth out the ride down from the energy high.
This brings the total caffeine content of Steel Edge to a whopping 350mg which may be A LOT for some, and just right for others. Again, it’s probably best to start with ½ scoop if you don’t tolerate high doses of this popular stimulant.
Steel edge comes in two flavors: Fruit Punch, and the rather intriguing Strawberry Margarita. Not too many companies make adult beverage flavored supplements, so this should be a rather interesting flavor to try.
Each tub of Steel Edge contains 25 full scoop servings. If 350mg of total caffeine content is too much for you, you could get 35-50 workouts helping make your dollar go a little further – with the loss of having a bit less pump and a bit less than your daily goals in creatine.
Athletic Edge went back to the drawing board when rebranding the company and came out with an extremely well rounded and robust pre workout that contains nothing but tried and true ingredients.
Its caffeine content may make some users weary, but remember that it’s the only stimulant, so no other surprises inside. If you can handle that surge of energy, you’ll likely be rewarded with a pre workout experience few other pre workouts can compare to.
This is one that’s definitely on the must-try list through the end of 2015.
Make sure to check prices below on where to get the best deal and see if you’re sharp enough to handle Steel Edge!
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- 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
- Anomasiri, W; Low dose creatine supplementation enhances sprint phase of 400 meters swimming performance.; Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University; 2004
- 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
- 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)
- Curis E., et. al; “Citrulline and the gut;”; Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care; September 2007
- Giannesini B., et. al.; European Journal of Pharmacology; “Citrulline malate supplementation increases muscle efficiency in rat skeletal muscle;” September 2011
- Perez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM; Journal of Strength and Conditioning; “Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness;” May 2010
- Hoffmann, E.K., I.H. Lambert, and S.F. Pedersen, Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates. Physiol Rev, 2009. 89(1)
- Courtenay ES, et al. Vapor pressure osmometry studies of osmolyte-protein interactions: implications for the action of osmoprotectants in vivo and for the interpretation of “osmotic stress” experiments in vitro. Biochemistry. (2000)
- Cholewa, J; Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013
- Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010)
- Sanchez-Margalet V, Valle M, et al. Elevated plasma total homocysteine levels in hyperinsulinemic obese subjects. J Nutr Biochem 2002;13, 75-79.
- Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, et al. Effect of 15 days of betaine ingestion on concentric and eccentric force outputs during isokinetic exercise. J Strength Cond Res 2011;25, 2235-2241.
- Vermeulen, RC, et. al; “Exploratory open label, randomized study of acetyl- and propionylcarnitine in chronic fatigue syndrome“; Psychosomatic Medicine; March-April 2004
- Sachan DS, Hongu N; Increases in VO2max and metabolic markers of fat oxidation by caffeine, carnitine, and choline supplementation in rats . J Nutr Biochem. (2000)
- Forsgren, S; Novel information on the non-neuronal cholinergic system in orthopedics provides new possible treatment strategies for inflammatory and degenerative diseases; Orthop Rev (Pavia); 2009
- Elsawy, G; Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes. J Hum Kinet 40 (2014)
- Penry, J; Choline: An Important Micronutrient for Maximal Endurance-exercise Performance? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 18.2 (2008)
- Kulkarni SK, Dhir A; Withania somnifera: an Indian ginseng . Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. (2008)
- Shenoy S, et al; Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists . J Ayurveda Integr Med. (2012)