Walk into your local supplement store, or log onto your favorite supplement-selling website (hopefully with a PricePlow coupon handy!) and you’ll slowly realize one thing – there are a ton of options. From pre-workouts to testosterone boosters to protein powders, various bottles and containers fill up every wall and screen. While this means you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a quality product that fits what you’re looking for, it also increases confusion and a possibility that you’re missing a few pieces to the puzzle.
In addition to product variety, there are also substantial differences within product lines – some pre-workouts are underdosed in multiple ingredients, while others are just loaded with caffeine. When it comes to supplementing your workouts and reaping maximum benefits, brands with a science-backed approach, led by a supplementation expert, are often the most reliable.
Kaged Muscle is one such brand. Led by CEO/fitness expert Kris Gethin and industry-leading formulator Brian Rand, the team over at KM has been cranking out insanely effective, lab-tested, high-quality supplements for years. Everything with their logo on it is methodically designed to provide optimal results that are delivered safely – whether you’re a drug-tested athlete or someone just looking to get/stay healthy, look no further than Kaged Muscle!
The Kaged Muscle PIP Stack: Total Peri-Workout Nutrition
Every Kaged Muscle supplement is made to serve a specific purpose, however, things get really interesting when you start to consider how synergistic their product lines can be! This is most evident in their PIP Stack, which consists of Pre-Kaged, In-Kaged, and Re-Kaged. This stack covers your peri-workout nutrition, supplying everything you need before, during, and after training in order to maximize your workout and your recovery.
In this post, we’ll cover each product in the PIP stack – every ingredient, dose, and benefit – along with the potential that comes with stacking them together!
PricePlow’s PIP Stack Video
Don’t feel like reading everything? Then watch us go through the entire stack and do a Re-Kaged tasting at the end!
PIP Stack – Pre, Intra, Post
Kaged Muscle’s PIP Stack was designed to cover the three stages of your workout where your body is primed for nutrition – before, during, and after. At each of these stages, the body can benefit from different ingredients, some of which are more useful at one time versus another. KM understands this and used that knowledge to create a stack of products that seamlessly transitions from one stage to the next.
Typically, we’d break this down product by product – however, in an effort to highlight the progressive nature of this trio, let’s discuss it ingredient by ingredient, to show what the total system delivers to you. This will let us look at the collective doses of each ingredient as they appear throughout the stack!
Supplement facts for each product!
When you’re about to go on a long road trip, what’s the first thing you need to do before you leave? Fuel up! The same goes for training, as well – you better be sure you’re fueled and ready to go before getting after it. The KM PIP stack exemplifies this, initially hitting you with the necessary kickstarting ingredients, and then reinforcing them later on down the line. This creates somewhat of a cascading, “trickle-down” effect – for example, an ingredient taken in Pre-Kaged is still working when more of it comes via Intra-Kaged.
Overall, the stack operates within a pyramiding system of sorts – more at the beginning, less towards the end. Heck, just take a look at the labels and you can see it for yourself!
PIP Stack Ingredients
Not every ingredient pops up in all three products, as some compounds are only necessary at one or two specific points in peri-workout nutrition. If they appear only once, you can bet it’s the full efficacious dose. That being said, if you see something more than once, there’s definitely a reason!
Let’s get into it:
L-Citrulline (fermented) (9.5g total)
L-citrulline is perhaps the top nitric oxide-boosting ingredients out there, showing to be extremely potent in terms of vasodilation. Via enhanced arginine production, citrulline induces elevated blood flow, which gets blood circulating at higher rates. The not only promotes the “pump”, but it also helps efficiently deliver key nutrients to the muscles in the body that needs them.
Research has shown that citrulline is quite an effective endurance enhancer, as well. A study from 2010 saw subjects supplementing with citrulline increase their training repetitions by 52.92%, vastly outperforming a placebo group. And that nutrient delivery we were talking about? It showed up here too – those same subjects felt less tired and less sore after training!
The PIP stacks packs a whopping 9.5g of citrulline – 6.5g in Pre-Kaged, and 3g in Intra-Kaged. The goal here is likely to get the blood moving with the pre-workout dose, while reinforcing the pump and compounding on endurance gains during the intra. Who knows – with this much citrulline, maybe your endurance will be so great that you’ll attack another workout!
Big on fermented aminos!
As you’ll see in this article, Kaged Muscle is huge on fermented amino acids. Kris Gethin is a total stickler for quality, purity, and ethics, and with fermented amino acids, you get all three. The fermented aminos are plant-based, not from synthetics or questionable sources such as animal hair or feathers. Kris has also stated that he believes this helps with absorption and especially gut health.
This is the first of several vegan-sourced, fermented amino acids you’ll find on this page!
BCAAs (2:1:1 ratio) (fermented) (17.5g total)
Pre-Kaged: 3.5g (plus an additional 3g of leucine)
When it comes to building and maintaining muscle, there’s little else that compares to the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). This potent trio – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – are imperative to reaping the gains made during training. They each play a specific role:
- Leucine is simply the star of the BCAA show (hell, the entire amino acid show!). It directly impacts muscle protein synthesis (MPS) by stimulating the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Activating mTOR is crucial – it’s home to the mTORC1 sub-path, which is massively important to building muscle mass. Think of MPS as a door, and leucine is the key that unlocks it!
- Isoleucine, while capable of supporting leucine in mTOR activation, is mainly focused on recovery – research suggests it helps improve glucose uptake after training. This helps the muscles efficiently absorb the nutrients it needs to make muscle tissue!
- Valine doesn’t need the spotlight, as it likes to operate behind-the-scenes, doing the little things that help support the other two BCAAs. It’s been shown to facilitate glycogen synthesis, which makes it valuable for proper recovery.
As you’d expect with KM, the 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs used in both of these supplements is what’s typically used in research, and getting it twice makes it even more beneficial. However, KM steps it up a level here – Pre-Kaged contains an additional 3g of leucine. Because this amino is the most important of the 3, any time we can get extra leucine, by all means, give it to us!
Also, Re-Kaged, as you’ll see soon, contains protein, which, you guessed it, is composed of more BCAAs! The post-workout supplement packs a solid dose of BCAAs, as well as the more anabolic essential amino acids (EAAs)! Therefore, the entire PIP stack delivers a substantial amount of the muscle-protecting aminos with each product!
CarnoSynⓇ (beta alanine) (3.2g total)
Beta alanine is here for one thing, and one thing only – endurance. A derivative of the amino acid alanine, this compound has been around since the advent of the industry, and has remained amongst the most used ingredients for good reason!
Research has continuously shown the endurance-enhancing effects of beta alanine, with the amino proving quite useful for reducing fatigue in intense exercise lasting between 60 to 240 seconds. Because it often increases time to exhaustion, studies have also linked beta alanine to better training performance, increased power output, and even volume-linked body recomposition!
High-quality beta alanine from CarnoSynⓇ
CarnoSynⓇ is a patented form of beta alanine from Natural Alternatives International. It’s widely viewed as one of the highest quality variations of the amino on the market. NAI only allows their ingredients to be used when they’re efficaciously dosed, which is what you get in the PIP stack at 3.2g total. Kaged Muscle strives to make the best products, so it’s no surprise that they’re calling on CarnoSynⓇ to deliver the endurance-boosting benefits here!
It’s important to note that beta alanine works through saturation, meaning that you don’t have to take it all at once. The clinical dose is 3.2g, so as long as you reach that number over the course of the day, you’re setting yourself up to reap those aforementioned benefits. And if you look at those studies cited above, they space the beta alanine out throughout the day too!
Sure enough, KM gives us a full clinical dose here, split in half between the pre and intra formulas. That actually could be advantageous – it might help you avoid those infamous beta alanine “tingles”!
BetaPowerⓇ (Natural Betaine) (3.5g total)
Sometimes referred to as trimethylglycine, betaine has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s coming into its own as a power-boosting ingredient, due to some pretty interesting research.
A study from 2013 tested the effects of betaine in 23 men who were well-versed in strength training. After 6 weeks of receiving 2.5g daily, subjects significantly improved in multiple metrics, compared to a placebo group – increased arm cross-sectional area, bench press training volume, and improved body composition!
Betaine is also an osmolyte, which helps move water around within the body – yes, this ingredient even influences pumps, too! All in all, it makes for one strong, comprehensive training aid.
The clinical dose is around 2.5-3g, but the PIP Stack delivers a full 3.5g before and after training. Not only that, but they’re using BetaPowerⓇ from Dupont Nutrition & Biosciences, a renowned form of betaine!
Patented Creatine HCl (3g total)
From a fast-growing ingredient to perhaps the most tried-and-true of them all, next up is creatine. Despite what you may or may not have heard about this ingredient, creatine is incredibly safe and effective, and should be a centerpiece of your supplementation!
A meta-analysis from 2003 best encapsulates all this naturally-occurring substance has to offer. Looking at over 20 studies, researchers concluded that creatine can increase muscle strength, maximum strength, and overall training performance. If that’s not enough, it has also shown the ability to reduce fatigue! In coming to all of the conclusions, they didn’t cite any adverse effect either – creatine works, and you should consider using it!
Why HCl? Digestion!
The one knock you can sometimes find on creatine is it causes stomach individuals in some individuals. Kris Gethin has said he’ll only provide supplements he can use, and he’s one of those guys whose stomach just doesn’t tolerate raw creatine monohydrate. So he’s put the Hydrochloride salt form into his stack here! Some people just don’t tolerate it as well as they’d like, and those people definitely understand Kris’ take.
So Pre-Kaged and Re-Kaged are using creatine HCl, or creatine bonded to hydrochloric acid. This bond essentially aids digestion, with research showing that it’s more soluble than standard creatine monohydrate. That means it can be a bit easier on the stomach, eliminating those cramping issues!
You’ll often see a dose around 3g to 5g suggested for creatine, and the 3g split evenly between Pre-Kaged and Re-Kaged puts us on the lower end. However, getting creatine both before and after training can be advantageous – there’s conflicting research about which is more optimal, but by taking a dose before and after training, you’re avoiding that conundrum!
SPECTRATM Total ORAC Blend
SPECTRATM is a blend of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables made by FutureCeuticals. These natural compounds help promote a variety of bodily functions, such as nitric oxide production and oxygen transportation, all while protecting overall health.
SPECTRATM is only included in Pre-Kaged, and mainly operates as a primer to help ensure the body is healthy and ready to go before a training session!
This is one of those ingredients that was well ahead of its time, several years ago, as we’re now seeing many other supplements using similar ingredients. But formulator Brian Rand knew about it long before most, and we always give props to those who are ahead of the curve!
Taurine (3g total)
A conditionally essential amino acid, taurine is typically found within the brain, eyes, and heart, and holds crucial responsibilities in terms of your overall health. Supplementing with taurine, while assisting with those functions, also impact your endurance.
Two studies from 2003 highlight these effects – one showing how taurine operates within the body, and the other showing the impact on the body’s capabilities. First, scientists found that taurine decreases the build-up of lactic acid, which should help delay fatigue. Sure enough, the other study found this to be true – men supplementing with taurine increased their VO2 max, time to exhaustion, and workload during exercise.
The PIP Stack from KM hits you with a solid 2g before training and follows through with an additional 1g of taurine during training. Working with the other endurance-focused ingredients in the stack, the 3g here helps keep your endurance up!
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) & L-Tyrosine (Total 2.35g)
Pre-Kaged: 1g NALT, 850mg L-tyrosine
Intra-Kaged: 500mg L-tyrosine
Tyrosine is an amino acid, but it doesn’t exactly function like one – while most amino acids help with muscle-related functions, tyrosine helps facilitate neurotransmitter production. Research has shown it can increase concentrations of the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, dopamine, as well as noradrenaline and adrenaline. Its an effective cognitive booster, which when training, is something you love to have!
At this monster dose, there really shouldn’t be much of a difference between the acetylated form of tyrosine and the standard ingredient – all that matters is the euphoria encouraged by this cognitive booster! We like the fact that both are used, and typically recommend L-Tyrosine or combinations of both like we have here.
PurCafTM Natural Caffeine (Total Yield 380mg Caffeine)
In order to truly get you going, this stack relies on caffeine. The energy-boosting, performance-enhancing effects of this stimulant are no secret, with research consistently showing how impactful this ingredient can be in elevating your training. One of the most interesting studies, however, found an interesting relationship with taurine – when taken together, the two nootropics further elevate neurotransmitter production! Energy, performance, and nootropics?! No wonder caffeine’s been around this long!
PurCafTM– a more natural form of caffeine
PurCafTM, manufactured by Applied Food Sciences, is a naturally-sourced form of caffeine derived from green coffee beans. It’s also long been a favorite inclusion in Kaged Muscle supplements. It’s 96.5% caffeine, 2.5-3% natural polyphenols, and water. The antioxidants present help the body better process the stimulant, working to negate the negative effects sometimes tied to caffeine, such as “crashing”. The jury is still out on just how beneficial this ingredient is, but the mechanisms at play are promising. For more information, make sure you check out our feature on PurCafTM!
Right from the onset, the PIP stack is looking to provide the energy boost you need. Pre-Kaged hits you with a potent 274mg, which is more than enough to get you going. Once those energy levels start to waver, however, Intra-Kaged comes to the rescue with an additional 124mg. That brings the ingredient total to 398mg, which yields around 380mg of pure caffeine. While that may be a lot for some individuals, but is not necessarily unheard of these days. If you can tolerate caffeine, you’ll love the dose in this stack!
Coconut Water Powder
With coconut water powder, the name of the game is hydration. It’s so useful in this regard, that Kris Gethin loves using it, especially for his triathlon training! Research shows that this powder is more effective in rehydration and electrolyte rebalancing when compared to other hydrating sports drinks on the market. Getting some of this hydration agent in your system during your workout, just when you begin sweating, can be crucial for maintaining intensity!
Protein (as whey protein isolate) (Total 28g)
Re-Kaged finishes off the stack here, closing things out with the ingredients crucial for recovery. The first of these is protein, which needs no introduction. This macronutrient is integral to building and maintaining muscle, so much so, that you’ll rarely ever hear someone speak about exercise without mentioning it!
12.3g of EAAs!
Because the protein source here is so high-quality, it packs quite the muscle-building punch. It’s full of EAAs, which are known to be better for muscle growth than BCAAs alone. While BCAAs are excellent for maintaining muscle, EAAs help build new muscle. Having them in a post-workout formula is integral, and getting them from a top-notch protein is all the better!
This protein is whey protein isolate (WPI), which is among the cleanest, easiest-digesting protein sources available. It contains minuscule amounts of lactose, the milk-based sugar that tends to cause dairy-related issues. WPI is one of our favorite ways to get our protein in, and it seems to be one of Kris’s, too!
ProhydrolaseⓇ (Digestive Enzyme Blend)
Even if you’re still a little weary of the dairy-based content in Re-Kaged, don’t worry – KM has got you covered! Re-Kaged uses 280mg of a digestive enzyme blend, which delivers probiotics and other healthy gut bacteria to aid in digestion. It may be more beneficial than that, however.
Research funded by Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes, the formulator of ProhydrolaseⓇ, showed that this enzyme blend increased total serum amino acid levels, in addition to decreasing digestion-related inflammation and discomfort when taken with whey protein. The digestion aid is much appreciated, but if this ingredient can help make ingested protein more bioavailable, that could be huge!
The PIP stack wants you to train and recover effectively and comfortably, and this blend plays a huge role in doing just that!
Re-Kaged: 7g total 3g + 4g from WPI
Glutamine is a conditionally-essential amino acid, so the body is able to make it in small amounts, albeit failing to reach the necessary total – glutamine is the most abundant amino in the body, so it’s crucial you get it via food and supplements!
When you train, the body expends glutamine in order to keep up with the intensity. This can lead to onset fatigue and can severely dampen your performance. Luckily, supplementing with glutamine may prevent this – research shows that glutamine reduces markers of fatigue, especially when endurance is a factor, such as in running or swimming.
Because the PIP stack helps you get an intense training session in, it knows it needs to prioritize recovery. Including glutamine in this formula ensures your body keeps enough of the nutrient it needs to properly function!
Re-Kaged Nutritional Facts
While we did include this earlier, we felt it was important to note the nutrition in Re-Kaged, given it has significant caloric content listed. In each massive 47g scoop, here’s what you’re getting:
- Calories: 160
- Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Sugars: 3g
- Protein: 28g
While not as bare, calorically, as other WPI products out there, Re-Kaged offers much more. It has more recovery-boosting potential, in addition to the use of high-quality ingredients. It also uses coconut oil powder to help flavor and thicken it, which delivers a more joyful drinking experience!
KM is safe for drug-tested athletes!
What truly separates Kaged Muscle from the rest of the industry is how universal their products are. They’re certified safe for drug-tested athletes, so those individuals can take KM supplements with the confidence that they’ll be adhering to any sports-related restrictions. No banned substances here, thanks to Informed Choice for Sport!
Whether you’re a pro athlete, endurance runner, or recreational lifter, Kaged Muscle is a brand you can trust – effective formulas that do exactly and only what they claim to!
Conclusion – KM PIP Stack covers it all
Kris Gethin first made a name for himself through launching an array of fitness-related content – workouts, trainers, guides, and full programs. He didn’t just release a new one every day, however. In order to achieve maximum quality, he spent a lot of time and resources meticulously crafting each one. That approach worked, and after he noticed something lacking in the supplement industry, he decided to carry that approach over.
Kaged Muscle, following in the beliefs of Kris himself, doesn’t come out with new products at a ridiculous rate – rather, they spend the time necessary to create borderline perfect formulas. Potent ingredients, all-natural sourcing, and natural flavorings are trademarks of each KM product, each of which is incredibly effective. When your products are this good, you simply don’t have to expand your product profile – they’re already versatile enough!
Stack some of that versatility, however, and you’ll create a fool-proof supplement regimen. Perhaps the best example of this is the PIP Stack, where the combination of Pre-Kaged, Intra-Kaged, and Re-Kaged covers virtually all your bases! It provides everything you need to get the most out of your training – it preps you for a session, keeps you going during said session, and helps you effectively recover! What more could you want?
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