ATTENTION: This product is being discontinued in lieu of Pre-Gro MAX, which unfortunately does not have an open formula anymore.
iSatori’s Bio-Gro took the supplement industry by storm. Now, they’re at it again with Pre-Gro – the first and only pre workout supplement to contain Bio-Gro.
In this article, we’re not going to get into whether or not Bio-Gro “works” – the consumers have spoken and many have enjoyed buying it as a second tier type of supplement behind protein and creatine.
Instead, we’re going to focus on whether on the rest of this pre workout, assuming that users wanted to try a pre workout with the bioactive peptides included.
The bad news is that this seems to be a 1.5 to 2-scooper, and we need the prices to come down a bit more before we get seriously interested (we like to have a solid workout for $1.00).
To check on those prices, you can compare them below and sign up for price alert notifications through PricePlow:
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The Pre-Gro formula consists of three ingredient complexes:
- Advanced muscle-building complex
- PlasmaVol™ plasma expansion matrix
- Core focus blend
Each ingredient complex was designed using ingredients that work together to support each other and create synergy.
Advanced Muscle-Building Complex
The advanced muscle-building complex was designed with one intention – to support lean mass gains.
It’s comprised of four heavy hitting ingredients, all of which you’ve probably heard of by now.
At the top of the ingredients list, we see iSatori’s patented Bio-Gro™.
Bio-Gro™, is a group of colostrum derived, bioactive peptides, which are said to act as “fertilizer for muscles.”
Now, in our honest opinion, the science here is lacking – and the research that is available is far from black and white. We generally rate Bio-Gro as a second-tier supplement worth trying if you’ve got the cash and are already set on creatine / beta alanine / betaine / protein / food.
What’s beautiful about Pre-Gro though, is that you’ll get to experience all the benefits of Bio-Gro, built right into a competitively priced pre-workout supplement.
Next on the list is creatine monohydrate.
Creatine’s benefits are widely recognized:[1,2,3,4,5]
- It enhances strength
- It improves endurance
- It increases muscle mass
- It aids in cognitive function
It’s cheap, effective, and if this label is correct, there is a total of 3g creatine per two scoops, which is the appropriate dose for everyday use, and suitable according to our creatine is broken rant / article (we hate underdosed creatine in pre workouts).
Beta alanine is another supplement that’s been proven to work time and time again.
It provides benefits similar to creatine, but it works through different pathways, making the two ideal for stacking.
If you want to understand how beta alanine works, our full report can be found right here.
Here’s a quick summary of what it’s got to offer:[6,7,8,9,10,11]
- It improves endurance
- It increases muscle mass
- It offers anti-aging benefits
It’s worth it to mention that beta alanine can cause a side effect similar to a niacin flush, the sensation is essentially harmless – just inconvenient.
Creatine Hydrochloride is another form of creatine that may increase bioavailability, but we believe it more or less provides the same benefits as the more traditional creatine monohydrate (which is already extremely highly bioavailable).
This is a 0.5g dose per scoop, whereas monohydrate is 1g per scoop – together, they combine to make the 3g dose you want in 2 scoops.
You’ll want to add more creatine on off-days or if you don’t use a full two scoops, though. 3-5g every day is the goal.
PlasmaVol™ Plasma Expansion Matrix
The PlasmaVol™ plasma expansion matrix was formulated to stimulate blood flow and enhance nitric oxide production.
It’s comprised of five all-star ingredients, three of which are relatively unique – with the other two being industry classics.
First off, we’ve got Glanbia’s HydroMax™. This takes the claim of being the industry’s first stable, highly concentrated, powdered form of glycerol blended with silica.
The combination of these two components creates a powerful hyperhydration agent, which essentially increases the concentration of fluid within blood and muscular tissue.
In other words…this stuff will leave you feeling full and pumped.
Don’t make the mistake of confusing HydroMax™ with glycerol monostearate. While they both offer the same benefits of glycerol, HydroMax™ consists of 65% glycerol by weight – whereas glycerol monostearate only clocks in at 5% – 12%.
Citrulline malate is next up on the Plasma Expansion Matrix’s list of ingredients.
This is a modern day classic in terms of “pump” ingredients.
Here’s a quick summary of what it’s got to offer:
- It brings about “pumps” through an increase in NO synthesis.
- It reduces recovery time
- It improves muscular endurance
Citrulline offers the above benefits, all without the risk of negative side effects.[13,14,15,16]
The issue is dosage, which is on the light side compared to some other products and what’s in the best studies mentioned above (3g l-citrulline). However, as this is a blend with the above and below ingredients, you shouldn’t need to max dose it.
Nitrosigine® is a form of arginine that’s been bonded with silicate.
You may be skeptical of arginine’s efficacy, but when combined with silica, the two work in powerful synergy to increase NO synthesis and blood flow.
The science that went into the development of this potent component is extensive, you can read up on it on Nitrosigine’s research page.
For an unbiased review of the ingredient, check out our recent blog post.
AstraGin™ is a combination of highly fractionated astragalus and panax notoginseng.
What’s it doing in the plasma expansion matrix?
Clinical studies have proven that AstraGin™ is effective at increasing the absorption of some of the complex’s key ingredients, such as arginine and citrulline.
Essentially, AstraGin™ is a supporting player in the overall absorption and utilization of the rest of the NO ingredients.
Tienchi ginseng extract
Ginseng has the potential to bring about many benefits, but the principle reason for its inclusion in the plasma expansion matrix, is due to its ability to increase NO synthesis.
Multiple pieces of research have indicated that ginseng is powerful enough at increasing NO production to result in vasodilation, which in turn brings fullness and pumps to our muscles.
This is a new one for most pre workouts, and ginseng often provides adaptogenic qualities that we often like during workouts, so it could add a new minor spin to things, although the dose seems to be fairly small.
Core Focus Blend
The core focus blend is comprised of four powerful ingredients.
Like the aforementioned ingredient complex’s, the core focus blend was designed using cutting edge science and high quality ingredients, which work together in synergy with one another.
It’s safe to say that for the most part, we all know of caffeine’s benefits by now – after all it’s the most widely used drug in the world.
If you really want to get into the nitty gritty science behind it, and explore some of it’s lesser known potential, feel free to check out our in depth caffeine guide.
The most important thing to note here is that each serving of Pre-Gro provides a nice healthy dose of 175 mgs. Making it not too stim heavy, but just enough to get the job done.
At two servings, with 350 mgs of caffeine, this stuff is sure to pack a punch – but also cost you more.
The thing is, you need two whole scoops to get a proper dose of creatine, so if you don’t want to do that, just add a dash more creatine later on.
Let your caffeine tolerance drive your Pre-Gro dosage
You’re always best off using caffeine and your stimulant tolerance as your pre workout dosage barometer, since the cons of too much caffeine far outweigh the pros of getting enough creatine.
For many, Pre-Gro is a 1.5 scoop product needing just a dash of extra creatine to top it off.
Grape seed extract
GSE is typically put into the nitric oxide booster list. It’s been shown to increase NO production and improve recovery time between workouts. Furthermore, it’s been demonstrated to work in direct synergy with arginine to improve physical performance.
But a focus booster?
So why’s it in the core focus blend when it could be in the above blend? The research is a bit more sparse, but it’s possible that daily grape seed extract improves cognition – at least for mice with cognitive deficits. It’s also been shown to be neuroprotective against glutamate, the “neuron cell death” molecule.
Either way, there are far more pros than cons to grape seed extract, no matter where you put it in the formula.
Schisandra is an ancient component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM.) It’s present in the core focus blend because of it’s ability to lend cognitive support.
Essentially, schisandra works through its ability to reduce inflammation in the brain and improve synaptic transmission.[23,24]
This ingredient was very commonly used in the popular Jack3d pre workout, but hasn’t been in too many others since then. We all know it was the DMAA that made Jack3d so popular, but the schisandra certainly may have helped.
Hordenine acts as a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor. What it means is actually quite simple though:
It works to prolong the rate at which noradrenaline stays active within the bloodstream. In turn, this leads to a longer lasting feeling of alertness, focus, and overall energy.[25,26]
While we aren’t 100% sold on the complicated science behind Bio-Gro, this is potentially a very solid pre-workout nonetheless, but will depend on where our price comparisons drive it.
Our biggest gripe is the aforementioned labeling issue, and we’re waiting to see where we land on that before moving further.
It’d also be nice to have a bit more creatine for those who don’t want to do two scoops. That being said, it’s easy enough to consume another gram or two of creatine.
Those factors aside – Pre-Gro has a couple of our favorite new pump ingredients and a reasonable amount of stimulants, possibly making it a solid pre-workout for iSatori’s fans who’ve been wanting a new one.
Whether you’re a fan of Bio-Gro or not, Pre-Gro should work well for you if the stimulant dose is right for you. The question is, will it be worth the price if you need more than one scoop?
Since we like to find solid workouts at $1.00 or less per workout, and this seems like a solid 1.5 scooper, we’re hoping to eventually find this at roughly $20. At the time of posting, that’s not yet the case.
Want to try Pre-Gro? Make sure you’re getting the best deal!
If you’re interested in give Pre-Gro a go, you can compare prices below or check it out on PricePlow. Also be sure sign up for notifications so you can receive alerts when there’s a new price drop.
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Pre-Release ReviewsSo far, judging from the pics on Facebook, things look exciting.
Take a look at the picture to the right, which is of Craig Stevenson (iSatori’s VP of Marketing), who took cherry limeade flavor 30 minutes pre workout and did a simple 22 minute arm workout!
So far, the following flavors are live:
- Fruit Punch
- Arctic Blue Razz
- Lemon Drop Supreme
- Cherry Limeade Rush
Like this Post? We have more on the way…
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- Bender A, et al.; Neurology; “Creatine supplementation in Parkinson disease: a placebo-controlled randomized pilot trial;” 2006
- University of Maryland Medical Center; “Creatine;” Updated 2013
- Mayo Clinic; “Creatine: Dosing;” Updated 2012
- Cornelissen VA, et. al.; Clinical Rehabilitation; Effect of creatine supplementation as a potential adjuvant therapy to exercise training in cardiac patients: a randomized controlled trial; 2010
- Mayo Clinic; “Creatine: Evidence;” Updated 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
- Walter, AA et al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; “Six weeks of high-intensity interval training with and without beta-alanine supplementation for improving cardiovascular fitness in women;” May 2010
- Hipkiss, A.; Experimental Gerontology; “On the enigma of carnosine’s anti-ageing actions;” April 2009
- R.C. Harris, et. al; Amino Acids; “The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis;” May 2006
- Glanbian Nutritionals “Hydromax;”
- 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
- 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;“
- Moinard C., et. al.; The British Journal of Nutrition; “Dose-ranging effects of citrulline administration on plasma amino acids and hormonal patterns in healthy subjects: the Citrudose pharmacokinetic study;” April 2008
- Nitrosigine.com; “Nitrosigine Research;”
- The Official PricePlow Blog; “Arginine Silicate;” Updated December 2014
- GetAstraGin.com; “Astragin The Ultimate Absorption Enhancer;”
- Gillis CN.; Biochemical pharmacology; “Panax ginseng pharmacology: a nitric oxide link?;” July 1997
- Feng Z., et al.; Cell Biology International; “Grape seed extract enhances eNOS expression and NO production through regulating calcium-mediated AKT phosphorylation in H2O2-treated endothelium;” January 2013
- Camic CL., et al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength and Conditioning Association; “Effects of arginine-based supplements on the physical working capacity at the fatigue threshold;” May 2010
- Jiang ZJ., et al.; British journal of pharmacology; “Schizandrin ameliorates ovariectomy-induced memory impairment and exhibits antioxidant and synaptic transmission properties;” January 2015
- Zeng KW., et al.; European journal of pharmacology; “Schisandrin B exerts anti-neuroinflammatory activity by inhibiting the Toll-like receptor 4-dependent MyD88/IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway in lipopolysaccharide-induced microglia;” October 2012
- 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
- Wang J, et al. Grape-derived polyphenolics prevent Abeta oligomerization and attenuate cognitive deterioration in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosci. (2008)
- Ono K, et al. Effects of grape seed-derived polyphenols on amyloid beta-protein self-assembly and cytotoxicity. J Biol Chem. (2008)