Komodo Nutraceuticals is a brand relatively unfamiliar to the majority of supplement users out there, but those experienced in the industry know the brand to be a top-rate organization synonymous with quality products.
Katana is the well known pre workout that’s seen several improvements over the years, and recently Komodo updated the formula yet again. Fans of v3 will notice a few changes in the fourth edition of the pump-centric pre workout.
Katana v4 TL;DR:
- Ideal for low-to-moderate stim users:
- 40 servings at 115mg caffeine each
- Extremely well balanced between energy, focus, pumps, and endurance
- No ergogenics – you’ll need separate creatine/betaine and beta alanine
The breakdown is just ahead, but first, make sure to take a second to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:
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Note: In the above widget, you can tell which products are v4 since they will have 40 servings. Past versions had 30.
Komodo Katana v4 Ingredients
The fourth iteration of Katana may be its best yet. As users have come to expect with this pre workout, it’s all about the pumps with a moderate stim kick. Removed from the v3 blend are Amentoflavone, Peppermint Extract, and Bioperine, in lieu of ALCAR, Vitamin B-12, and Sustamine.
When it’s pumps you’re after, L-Citrulline is just about the best place to start. Not only is it more bioavailable than L-Arginine, it also gives stimulates greater nitric oxide production in the body than other amino acids..[1,2,3]
Greater N.O. production enhances blood flow to your muscles, as well setting the stage for some fairly strong pumps. Additionally, L-Citrulline can also improve endurance due its role as an intermediary in the Krebs Cycle.
Citrulline helps remove ammonia from muscles which can negatively impact athletic performance and stamina. Lastly, Citrulline improves endurance and overall ATP production resulting in greater “staying power” late into particularly intense workouts.[4,5]
HydroMax™ is a patented form of glycerol that is highly concentrated. Whereas glycerol monostearate (GMS) contains at most 25% glycerol, HydroMax contains 65% glycerol.
HydroMax™ has completely replaced GMS for the most part in pre workouts as a superior cell volumizer and pump booster. Glycerol turns your muscles into a sponge and makes them absorb a lot of extra water, leading to improved hydration and endurance.[7,8] The extra water also helps provide some pretty strong “water-based” pumps and gives your muscles a much more rounded, full shape.
AgmaPure™ Agmatine (500mg)
We love agmatine in pre workouts for its ability to “extend” pumps. See, agmatine prevents the breakdown of L-Arginine. the amino acid responsible for nitric oxide production in the body, by inhibiting the enzyme Arginase.
The longer arginine stays active in your body, the longer it will be converted into nitric oxide, meaning more vasodilation and stronger pumps. 500mg is a great amount for a single scoop, but if you choose 2 scoops, you’ll notice some of the hardest and strongest pumps ever. Don’t say we didn’t warn you….
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a more bioavailable form of the amino acid L-Carnitine that possess unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. It’s also one of the PricePlow staff’s favorite focus and concentration boosters, especially in the 1-2g range.
Additionally, ALCAR works synergistically with caffeine (another ingredient in Katana) to increase “fatty acid dumping.” Basically, fatty acids are eliminated from the body when it enters “fat burning” mode.
Another incredibly popular mental aid, L-Tyrosine is another amino acid shown to improve focus. Tyrosine increases the production of noradrenaline and dopamine in the body, two big time neurotransmitters. These two neurotransmitters help support a healthy overall mood and reduce anxiety and stress,[12,13] in addition to enhancing concentration during workouts.
Cognizin™ Citicoline (250mg)
Still need more focus boost?
Perfect! Choline supplements are far and away the most widely used ingredients to help improve concentration and overall cognition. Citicoline is also the best form of choline, as it is taken up by the body much better than other forms like choline bitartrate or citrate.
If you’ve never tried citicoline before, you’ll definitely feel something here. For starters, you’ll notice a heightened sense of focus during your workouts and very strong “mind-muscle” connection.
Caffeine Anhydrous (115mg)
To provide the energy boost you’ll need to get into the weight room, Katana includes 115mg per scoop. While this may seem like a paltry amount to the majority of you, keep in mind that most users will likely be using at least 1.5-2 scoops of this to take full advantage of the pump aids described above.
Therefore, if you end up using 2 scoops regularly, you’ll be getting 230mg of caffeine which puts this right in our sweet spot for medium-stim pre workouts. Also, if you have a late night lift session and don’t want to go crazy, 115mg is more than enough to get you through a quick workout without messing with your sleep too much.
Vitamin B-12 (2500mcg)
Vitamin B-12, a.k.a. Cobalamin, is a member of the B family of water-soluble vitamins. It’s also an essential vitamin used by the body for hundreds of different processes.
Deficiencies in Vitamin B-12 are a rarity, but some of the side effects associated with a severe lack of B-12 can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, depression, confusion, memory loss, and moodiness.
Another consideration is that since B-12 is water-soluble, your body doesn’t store it like Vitamins A, D, E, and K (the fat-soluble vitamins). Therefore, it needs to be constantly replenished as it can be depleted by high intensity exercise.
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid largely stored in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles of the body. During high intensity exercise, it gets depleted rather quickly and changes from “conditional” to essential.
Much like glycerol, taurine acts as a cell volumizer in the body that helps pull water into muscles. This enhances the water-based pumps mentioned above with glycerol and improves overall hydration. Other clinical studies show that taurine can reduce symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) as well as enhance focus.
Sustamine may seem like a new ingredient to some of you, but it’s just another name for the combination amino acid L-Alanyl L-Glutamine. This is a pairing of the two amino acids L-Glutamine and L-Alanine.
Often times we see this included in post workout formulas due to Glutamine’s ability to speed recovery and offset muscular soreness. As for Alanine, it’s added to improve the bioavailability and absorption of Glutamine,[21,22] which otherwise would be broken down prematurely in the stomach, thereby negating its recovery benefits.
However, you’d usually need 2-3g of Sustamine to see improved recovery, which you’re not getting here.
Sustamine is also good at improving cellular hydration and electrolyte levels, which can lead to improved endurance and time to exhaustion,[23,24] allowing you to get more work done before you succumb to fatigue.
Flavors are on the short side here, as Katana will only be available in two options: Green Apple and Cherry Lime.
As always, Katana is sure to deliver on some serious pumps. Most users will default to using two scoops though as that’s what it’ll require to get the most out of ingredients like Citrulline, Agmatine, and Tyrosine.
But low-stim users are definitely going to feel some great effects too – 1g ALCAR + 250mg citicoline is enough to make a low-stim product feel very, very clean. For that, we love this product’s label.
This is an ideal choice for someone who likes to keep their pre workouts predominantly about pumps, but don’t want to go completely stim free. At 2 scoops, you’ll get 230mg of caffeine which puts Katana right in the middle of the medium stim category. It’s also great for those who don’t want to mess around with some of the other more fringe stimulants like DMAA or DMHA.
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- Moinard, C; Laboratoire de Biologie de la Nutrition, Université Paris Descartes; “Dose-ranging effects of citrulline administration on plasma amino acids and hormonal patterns in healthy subjects: the Citrudose pharmacokinetic study;” 2008
- Ochiai, M; Healthcare Products Development Center, Kyowa Hakko Bio; “Short-term effects of L-citrulline supplementation on arterial stiffness in middle-aged men.;” 2012
- Windmueller, H; American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism; “Source and fate of circulating citrulline;” 1981
- 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
- Glanbia Nutritionals, Inc; HydroMax: a better glycerol for sports nutrition; NewHope360; 2014
- van Rosendal, S; Guidelines for glycerol use in hyperhydration and rehydration associated with exercise.; School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland; 2010
- Wingo, J; Influence of a Pre-Exercise Glycerol Hydration Beverage on Performance and Physiologic Function During Mountain-Bike Races in the Heat; University of Connecticut, Department of Sport, Leisure, & Exercise Science; 2004
- Demady DR, et al. “Agmatine Enhances The NADPH Oxidase Activity Of Neuronal NO Synthase And Leads To Oxidative Inactivation Of The Enzyme. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
- 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)
- 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)
- Hoffmann, E.K., I.H. Lambert, and S.F. Pedersen, Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates. Physiol Rev, 2009. 89(1)
- Harris, R; L-glutamine Absorption Is Enhanced after Ingestion of L-alanylglutamine Compared with the Free Amino Acid or Wheat Protein. Nutrition Research 32.4 (2012).
- Hoffman, J; L-alanyl-L-glutamine Ingestion Maintains Performance during a Competitive Basketball Game. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9.1 (2012)
- Bowtell JL, et al. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol. (1999)
- Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Kang J, et al. Examination of the efficacy of acute L-alanyl-L-glutamine ingestion during hydration stress in endurance exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010;7:8. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-8.
- McCormack WP, Hoffman JR, Pruna GJ, Jajtner AR, Townsend JR, Stout JR, Fragala MS, Fukuda DH. Effects of l-Alanyl-l-Glutamine Ingestion on One-Hour Run Performance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Jun 22:1-9