The iron gods have been quite benevolent to the gym bros this year as the market has been flooded with an unending wave of new pre workouts throughout the year. There have been some highs and some lows (see Kai Greene’s Savage Roar).
HIT Supplements is the latest company to release a new pre workout to the masses with Built Pre Workout. This is the debut product in HIT’s new Built series.
We don’t know yet what the new line will entail, nor do we know if it will replace the existing HIT Igniter Extreme or HIT Igniter Extreme Women Only. It could be a “graduate” line of products similar to MP’s Hardcore series, or it could be a more basic line. We’ll have to wait until more products in the line roll out.
The TL;DR bullet points
- 300mg caffeine per scoop
- Creatine free and Beta Alanine free
- A smattering of underdosed pump ingredients
Either way, we’ve got the breakdown for you below. First, make sure to sign up for alerts from PricePlow when HIT’s new supplement line hits the market:
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Built Pre Workout Ingredients
HIT’s newest offering features a 100% open label listed all the doses contained within it. What you’ll notice that sets it apart from a vast majority of other pre’s that have been released recently is that Built Pre Workout is Creatine and Beta Alanine free!
This alone perked up our ears and made us think this might actually be something different that could land on our Best Pre Workout supplement guide. Let’s see what they’ve got in store:
Citrulline Malate (3g)
Built starts off with the incredibly popular pump booster and fatigue fighter, Citrulline Malate (CM). This ingredient is a combination of L-Citrulline and malic acid that offers a 2-for-1 bonus when dosed properly.
Studies done on the ingredient show it to be a superior nitric oxide (NO) booster compared to arginine due to improved bioavailability in the body. Greater NO production leads to increased vasodilation and bigger pumps!
Citrulline Malate also functions as an intracellular buffer in the body by helping to remove ammonia buildup. This leads to better endurance, less fatigue, enhanced ATP production and overall greater lean body mass.[2,3,4,5,6]
However, studies show you usually need 6-8 grams to get the full effects from CM, which would mean you’d have to use 2 scoops here…. and that’s not gonna happen given the 300mg caffeine.
Another ingredient that is becoming increasingly popular in new pre workouts is the conditionally essential amino acid, L-Taurine. This amino has large amounts stored in the brain, heart, and muscles of the body which opens it up to several benefits in the body.
First, Taurine acts as a sponge in the muscles helping to pull water into them, thereby improving hydration. This has the added benefit of improving endurance, reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and helping support “water-based” pumps.[7,8]
Second, due to its large reserves in the brain, Taurine supplementation also helps to improve focus and cognition.
Arginine AKG (500mg)
Arginine AKG (also known as AAKG) was the go-to nitric oxide “pump” ingredient 5 to 10 years ago, but it has since been replaced by much more potent NO boosters like citrulline and Nitrosigine.
We’re still not sure why companies still choose to include it in their formulas when it’s been shown to do nothing for improving vasodilation or blood flow – especially at this dose!
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid used to improve focus during your workouts. It helps to increase the production of dopamine and noradrenaline, two crucial neurotransmitters in the brain. This should lead to greater concentration as well as lower stress and anxiety.[11,12]
The dose here is decent, but we’d prefer to see either a higher dose of L-Tyrosine (closer to 1-2g) or used N-Acetyl L-Tryrosine (NALT) which is more bioavailable and needs a smaller dose to be effective.
Caffeine Anhydrous (300mg)
Caffeine provides the main stimulant kick in Built Pre Workout boasting a hefty 300mg dose. As we’ve seen with the majority of new pre’s this year, 300mg has become the default dose.
While this is a solid amount for most of the stim junkie crowd out there, others who don’t tolerate caffeine as well will want to use ½-¾ scoop, which has the unintended consequence of giving you even less of the ingredients you would want more of in Built.
This isn’t the only stim in Built either, we’ve still got two more to come!
Agmatine Sulfate (250mg)
Agmatine is another N.O. booster included in Built Pre Workout. Rather than directly increase nitric oxide production, agmatine actually inhibits its premature breakdown. This leads to a longer lasting and stronger pump during your pre workout.
However, the dose here leaves something to be desired. Most pre workouts include at least 500mg of Agmatine, and we’d actually prefer to see 750mg to 1g dose to really see enhanced pumps.
Including only 250mg of Agmatine furthers our thinking that this is just a glorified stim kick of a pre workout with very little ergogenic benefits to offer.
N-Methyl Tyramine (15mg)
N-Methyltyramine (NMT) is the second of three stims included in Built. NMT functions as a mild beta-2 agonist in the body, helping to stimulate the “flight or fight” response. This provides a mild surge in adrenaline and helps mobilize fatty acids for energy. Research into NMT suggest it’s approximately 1/140th as strong as adrenaline, which will help to increase the initial energy surge from the caffeine.
Yohimbe HCl (10mg)
Yohimbe Extract is a naturally occurring alkaloid derived from the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree and the Rauwolfia Serpentina plant. Yohimbe helps to increase focus and cognition, as well as provide a solid energy boost to your workouts.[15,16,17]
One thing we’re not sure is what standardization they are extracting for. This would give us some clue into how hard this particular Y extract will impact users.
If this is actually 10mg of yohimbine HCl, then you better watch out – that’s about 4x the 4x the “beginner dose” of 2.5mg. We’re not sure how much actual yohimbine is in here.
Black pepper extracts are often included in supplements to improve bioavailability and absorption by the body. BioPerine® is the trademarked form of black pepper extract that’s the most commonly used around the industry.
Built should be hitting stores later this month, and when it does it will come in 30 serving tubs and have at least two flavors when released. Those two flavors are Green Apple and Blue Raspberry.
HIT’s debut supplement in the new Built line leaves us rather disappointed. It’s great that there is a new option for users who don’t want creatine or beta alanine, but there’s also not a whole lot here that’s worth your dollars, unless it’s extremely cheap. What are we really paying for here??
At one scoop you’ll get loads of energy but very little in terms of ingredients that actually enhance your performance. Low-stim users using ½ scoop gives you even less potential for seeing pumps or improved endurance.
Unfortunately unless something magical happens here, this isn’t going land a spot on our Top 10 Pre Workouts and is relegated to the very back of the line, unless it’s in the value section – time will tell on the prices for that.
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- Curis E., et. al; “Citrulline and the gut;”; Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care; September 2007
- Wilson GJ1, 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.
- Osowska S, Duchemann T, Walrand S, Paillard A, Boirie Y, Cynober L, Moinard C. Citrulline modulates muscle protein metabolism in old malnourished rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Sep;291(3):E582-6.
- Le Plénier S, Walrand S, Noirt R, Cynober L, Moinard C. Effects of leucine and citrulline versus non-essential amino acids on muscle protein synthesis in fasted rat: a common activation pathway? Amino Acids. 2012 Sep;43(3):1171-8.
- Hoffmann, E.K., I.H. Lambert, and S.F. Pedersen, Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates. Physiol Rev, 2009. 89(1)
- Alford, C., H. Cox, and R. Wescott, The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids, 2001. 21(2)
- 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)
- Demady, D; Agmatine enhances the NADPH oxidase activity of neuronal NO synthase and leads to oxidative inactivation of the enzyme.; Department of Pharmacology, The University of Michigan Medical School; 2001
- Mizuki Y, et al. Differential effects of noradrenergic drugs on anxiety and arousal in healthy volunteers with high and low anxiety. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. (1996)
- Szemeredi, K; Simultaneous measurement of plasma and brain extracellular fluid concentrations of catechols after yohimbine administration in rats.; Hypertensive-Endocrine Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 1991
- Cameron, O; Effects of yohimbine on cerebral blood flow, symptoms, and physiological functions in humans.; Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical Center; 2000