The pre workout landscape has taken a number of different forms over the years. Initially it was all about the “ultra-concentrated” condensed pre workout that was pure crack n’ stim. Then came the age of the all-inclusive pre workout, which included all the acute and saturation ingredients you could ever want in a pre workout.
Today, we’re in a bit of a cross between the two — some users don’t want the full blown, decked out Lamborghini pre workout that costs $2/workout. They just want something to kick their ass to get in the gym and absolutely destroy the weights.
Inspired Nutraceuticals has already delivered their high-end pre workout in DVST8 White Cut, which met rave reviews with our crew. But now, Inspired has crafted their spin on the “streamlined” pre workout which offers much more than your typical “condensed” pre-workout (those that typically only offer a high doses of caffeine, beta alanine, and yohimbine.
DVST8 Crimson was created to offer an “otherworldly” experience at a more affordable price — something that everyone could use (and afford!).
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DVST8 Crimson Ingredients
DVST8 Crimson is a very different beast from Inspired Nutraceuticals headlining pre workout DVST8 White Cut. The formula is more “closed up” and proprietary than White Cut (more on that later!), and a bit different as it’s geared to a different end user than the more robust White Cut.
Maximum Effort (8g)
Citrulline Malate (5:1)
Citrulline Malate is a proven performance enhancer and nitric oxide booster that’s vastly superior to L-Arginine. Not only does it increase vasodilation and blood flow, but it also improves ATP production, endurance, performance during high-intensity exercise.[2,3,4]
We were curious how Inspired Nutra actually even made a 5:1 ratio citrulline malate, since we’ve ever really only seen 2:1 or 1:1 in most pre workouts. So we asked them:
”Citrulline malate is a can of worms, basically it’s citrulline mixed with malic acid at a 5:1 ratio, just like a di-citrulline would be 2:1 ratio.”
So we’ve got a penta-citrulline ratio here, which means significantly more citrulline than malic acid in DVST8 Crimson.
Another proven ergogenic is betaine anhydrous, a.k.a. trimethylglycine (TMG). Betaine synergizes with creatine to improve the body’s production of creatine as well as improve overall ATP production.[5,6]
Moreover, betaine also enhances power, strength, hydration, and endurance.[7,8,9] The end result is significantly better workouts translating to more gains!
Taurine is an incredibly versatile conditionally essential amino acid that enhances cellular swelling (“water-based” pumps), hydration, and cellular swelling. In skeletal muscle, taurine functions as an osmolyte that helps pull water into the muscle (promoting cellular swelling). It’s also stored in the brain, where it helps bolster focus, and supporting many of the other cognitive boosters we’ll address next![10,11]
If you’re looking to boost the “mind-muscle” connections, there’s no better ingredient around for it than choline. In and of itself, choline is one of the PricePlow crew’s favorite focus enhancers.
Choline bitartrate has lower bioavailability and absorption compared to more bioavailable choline forms such as CDP Choline or Alpha GPC, which means you’ll likely need a higher dose of the bitartrate form to “feel” its effects.
Beet Root Powder
Ready for some more pumps?! Because here it comes!
Beet Root, a.k.a. Beta Vulgaris, is a root vegetable rich in nitrates. This provides another nitric oxide boosting compound in in DVST8 Crimson which is a great “supporting” N.O.-booster to Citrulline Malate 5:1 discussed above.
Nitrate supplementation has been well documented to first and foremost enhance nitric oxide production, vasodilation, and blood flow in the body, but it also significantly improves performance too![14,15]
Glycine is the simplest amino acid, structurally speaking, as it only consists of one hydrogen atom in its side chain. It’s primarily an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, spinal cord, and CNS, helping you relax. Additionally, it’s also a co-agonist, along with glutamate, for NMDA receptors.
This ingredient will help “tame” some of the heavy stims to come!
2-Aminoisoheptane, otherwise referred to as DMHA, is an aliphatic amine that mimics the effects of DMAA, also an aliphatic amine. But, 2-aminoisoheptane seems a little safer to include in supplement lately since DMAA is still tied up in a multitude of legal battles. In fact, it’s been proven to exist in nature in the 2014 study Metabolic Profiling of Kigelia africana Extracts with Anti-Cancer Activity via High Resolution Tandem Mass Spectroscopy.
Further, the referenced study details exactly from where DMHA was extracted and documents other uses for the stimulant — as as an antibacterial, anti-cancer, and analgesic (pain relieving) agent.
Here though, DMHA helps improve focus, motivation, and most noticeable of all, mood during training sessions (or really any other time too!). It feels similar to DMAA, but a little “less intense.”
Commonly known as bitter orange, Citrus Aurantium is a plant rife with bioactive alkaloids (synephrine, hordenine, etc.), which functions as strong Beta-2 and Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonists that stimulate lipolysis. Beta receptor agonists liberate stored triglycerides, essentially “freeing” them into the bloodstream to be used for fuel by the body.[18,19]
Bitter orange is a great “burn fat for fuel” type ingredient for training as it helps spare glycogen stores for the really, really intense exercises (i.e. deadlifts & squats), where glycogen is most needed.
Hordenine is one of the beta-receptor agonists extracted from Citrus Aurantium. Aside from supporting lipolysis, it also boosts energy expenditure, and functions as a noradrenaline reuptake modulator.[21,22] Basically, hordenine “sustains” the life of noradrenaline in the body, leading to greater energy, focus, and alertness!
Huperzine A 1%
The ultimate acetylcholine “supporter” is the nootropic Huperzine A. It indirectly boosts acetylcholine levels by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down “the learning neurotransmitter” acetylcholine.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibition results in greater acetylcholine — ultimately yielding greater focus. On top of that, huperzine also protect the brain against the “neuron death molecule” glutamine, and encourages new brain cell growth, making it “neurogenerative”.
Caffeine Matrix (400mg)
DVST8 Crimson’ s primary energy kick comes from a blend of three forms of caffeine which consists of: Caffeine Anhydrous, Caffeine Citrate, Infinergy™, and PurCaf™. The total caffeine hit from these three forms isn’t openly disclosed on the label, but after reaching out to Inspired Nutraceuticals, they’ve been gracious enough to disclose the total caffeine yield you’ll get, which comes to around 375mg per serving!
This is definitely a high stim product, and fans of DVST8 White Cut’s energy profile will like this one too! Also, it’s important to note that the Tri-blend of caffeine will provide a steady, sustained release of energy that avoids the jittery, chest pounding, crash-inducing effects of 375mg pure caffeine anhydrous.
More companies have been switching to this graduated release caffeine in their products, and we absolutely love it!
Quotes from Inspired on the Formula…
Fans of DVST8 White Cut may be wondering why Inspired Nutra even released another version of DVST8 that may be deemed by some as a “weaker” product, so we reached out to the brand to see why they created DVST8 Crimson at all:
”Crimson was created to fill the gap that White Cut could never fill, the stim heavy “baller on a budget” category. People love the focus of White Cut, but not everyone wants to spend $50… in came Crimson. Still a big dose of the proven ingredients, but will twice the amount of stimulants. We also replace the synephrine with bitter orange and yohimbine(something not everyone likes) with huperzine.
Additionally, you’ve also no doubt noticed that Crimson is a much more “closed up” the label so to speak compared to White Cut, so we also put that question to Inspired Nutraceuticals, who responded:
”We only switched back to a blend on this because of how well White Cut is doing, and how easily it has been mimicked. Plus, Crimson it not meant to be a “premium” pre workout like White Cut, so the crowd who is interested in Crimson doesn’t care as much as if it has 8g of Citrulline, 4g Betaine, etc… So there was not a point, and it protects Crimson’s unicorn magic.”
Inspired Nutraceuticals isn’t just recycling the same old flavors from DVST8 White Cut — they’ve released three brand new flavors for Crimson, including:
- Crimson Berry (Raspberry)
- Pineapple Express
- Strawberry Splash (Strawberry Lemonade)
Normally, we’d be happy with that, but DVST8 White Cut has some of the best taste we’ve ever seen – so those are going to be tough to beat!
Additionally, DVST8 Crimson also contains absolutely NO artificial flavors, color, or dyes (naturally colored with beet root powder)!
Side Note: We honestly love when companies go the no artificial color route, as there’s really no need for them at all, and we’re tired of our shaker bottles getting stained from all the nasty fake dyes used in a lot of products. Just think, if it stains the inside of your shaker, what’s it doing to your insides?!
While we may not be fans of the more closed up label on Crimson, we can understand Inspired Nutra’s reasoning for closing off its energy blend. White Cut was a fantastic product, and as pointed out above, can be (and possibly has been) copied by others in the industry seeking to craft a pre workout with the same supreme energy, focus, drive, and performance of DVST8 White Cut.
Crimson is a more economical version of White Cut that will deliver the same drive, but without as many bells and whistles (no GPS, sunroof, etc to keep the car analogy rolling) as it’s more robust older brother. Still though, Crimson’s profile is solid and will definitely bring all the pumps and performance most “everyday” users will want in their go-to pre workout.
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- Curis E., et. al; “Citrulline and the gut;”; Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care; September 2007
- Wilson GJ, Layman DK, Moulton CJ, Norton LE, Anthony TG, Proud CG, Rupassara SI, Garlick PJ. Leucine or carbohydrate supplementation reduces AMPK and eEF2 phosphorylation and extends postprandial muscle protein synthesis in rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Dec;301(6):E1236-42
- Bailey SJ, Blackwell JR, Lord T, Vanhatalo A, Winyard PG, Jones AM. l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Aug 15;119(4):385-95
- Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22.
- Sanchez-Margalet V, Valle M, et al. Elevated plasma total homocysteine levels in hyperinsulinemic obese subjects. J Nutr Biochem 2002;13, 75-79.
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- E. McGlade, A. Locatelli, J. Hardy, T. Kamiya, M. Morita, K. Morishita, Y. Sugimura and D. Yurgelun-Todd, “Improved Attentional Performance Following Citicoline Administration in Healthy Adult Women,” Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 6, 2012, pp. 769-773. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.36103. http://file.scirp.org/Html/8-2700397_19921.htm
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- Ismet, Ara, et al; “Evaluation of Antimicrobial Properties of Two Different Extracts of Juglans regia Tree Bark and Search for Their Compounds Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrum”; International Journal of Biology; Vol. 5, No. 2; 2013; Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijb/article/view/25651/15862
- Frank M, et al; Hordenine: pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and behavioural effects in the horse; Equine Vet J. (1990)
- Barwell C.; School of Pharmacy; “Deamination of hordenine by monoamine oxidase and its action on vasa deferentia of the rat;” 1989
- Nedergaard O.; British Journal of Pharmacology; “Action of various sympathomimetic amines on the isolated stripped vas deferens of the guinea-pig;” November 1968
- Zhao, Q; Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine.; State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 2002
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