The glory days of the ultra-concentrate micro scoop pre workout are long over. Today, there is an arms race among supplement companies to make the biggest, baddest, most all-encompassing pre workout there is.
MaxQ Nutrition is a newer supplement company that may have just set the benchmark for single serving scoop size with their Maxed Out Pre Workout. The scoop size rivals that of most protein powders on the market and includes virtually every proven ergogenic you’d want (or need) to support your training efforts.
Yep, this one’s gonna get wild and we can’t wait to hear your comments.
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Pre Workout Ingredients
MaxQ has crafted quite the well-dosed pre workout. Each serving weighs in at a monstrous 30g and contains numerous clinically dosed ingredients to power a truly maxed out workout.
BCAA 2:1:1 (6g)
Kicking off this beefy pre workout is an equally beefy serving of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Dosed in the 2:1:1 ratio means that each serving provides you with 3g of Leucine, 1.5g of Isoleucine, and 1.5g of Valine.
The 3g of Leucine is really significant here, as it’s regarded as the primary stimulator of the mTOR pathway in the body. Stimulating mTOR allows you to stay in an anabolic state, even while working out, to keep building muscle and preventing it from breaking down too much during training sessions.
Furthermore, consuming BCAAs around the training window has been noted to speed recovery and reduce DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness.[2,3,4] This is especially good if you train on an empty stomach.
Citrulline Malate 1:1 (6g)
Time for some pumps!
Citrulline Malate is one of the best nitric oxide boosting supplements around. It’s superior to L-Arginine for increasing vasodilation, blood flow, and pumps due to its vastly greater bioavailability.
In addition to fueling some truly epic pumps, CitMal also supports better energy production, endurance, and all around athletic performance — plus alleviates soreness.[6,7] You’ve got a solid 6g dose of CitMal 1:1, which gives 3g of pure L-Citrulline to get the blood flowing and veins gorging.
Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate (3g)
Our first of two different forms of Arginine in MaxQ Pre Workout comes via Arginine AKG (AAKG). For a while, it was the go-to choice for boosting nitric oxide (and pumps), but has fallen out of favor due to poor bioavailability and superior ingredients like our previous ingredient Citrulline Malate.
So, we put the question to MaxQ HQ and asked why they included AAKG when Citrulline Malate is already here:
”Arginine has an increased intestinal uptake when paired with an anionic salt such as alpha-ketoglutarate. Therefore, adding AKG boosts arginine in the system. So, in order to maximum available arginine, we chose dosing for AAKG at moderate levels and added the recommended maximum per dose of Arginine. Now, with our pre-workout, we you have citrulline, arginine and increased bioavailable arginine working to get the vasodilation in order as well as extend the benefits offered by arginine.
Additionally, alpha-ketoglutarate is essential for optimal metabolism of certain amino acids. Thus, adding it to the mix boosts amino acid metabolism, thus we come full circle to our synergistic approach to the pairing of the nutrients in our formulas. Each ingredient is designed to work with other ingredients to maximize the utility and benefits of those aminos, minerals and nutrients.”
Well put. A few of our veteran users out there say they miss the effects from arginine, so if you’re one of them, then Maxed Out’s definitely for you… and we’re not even close to done yet!
Creatine MagnaPower® (3g)
Also known as Magnesium Creatine Chelate (MCC), Creatine MagnaPower is a patented, trademarked form of creatine developed by Albion Nutrition. With MagnaPower, creatine is chelate bonded to a magnesium salt to enhance absorption and bioavailability in the body.
Most current research indicates that MCC isn’t any better than creatine monohydrate in terms of boosting strength or power, but we’re ok with its inclusion due to the additional magnesium it contributes — since most of us are deficient in it to some extent.
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine (2.5g)
If creatine is the best known ergogenic in sports nutrition, beta alanine has a strong case as the second most well known and used. Beta alanine is a world-class endurance booster that increases serum carnosine levels in the body which increases lactic acid removal and helps delay, or offset, the “burning” sensation that hits your muscles during high rep work
Beta alanine is well documented across a wide range of sports and athletics to significantly improve power, strength, and endurance while at the same time reducing fatigue.
We’ve got another 2g of Arginine in MaxQ Pre Workout, and were really curious why we have not one, but two forms of this seemingly less effective N.O. booster. Againg, we reached out to MaxQ for their input and reasoning on the ingredients’s inclusion:
”Arginine is often equated with ‘pump’, and is a vasodilator. It opens up blood vessels and improves blood flow. The reason for this is that arginine is a precursor for nitric oxide (NO) synthesis—it is biosynthesized in the body from arginine, oxygen, and a phosphate called NADPH—which requires folic acid to work properly.
Arginine is absorbed in the intestines. During the NO production process, citrulline is a byproduct of this cycle, and the body simply recycles citrulline back into arginine in the kidneys.
So, you may ask why add both citrulline and arginine if they essentially convert back into each other in this endless cycle? That’s where we studied synergy for our formulation.
Our studies supported the theory that when our vessel cells are provided with more of the aminos and/or nutrients that produce NO, it has more resources to work with, and thusly will produce more NO.
Here’s why: Arginine supplementation increases plasma levels while citrulline extends the life of those plasma levels.
What this translates to is that citrulline improves the nitric oxide metabolism. Therefore, taking arginine directly spikes arginine in plasma while citrulline increases the plasma levels for a longer period of time. So, it stands to reason that they are codependent. They are better together than apart. It’s like an NO system for NO.”
High dose alert!
Tyrosine is a widely used focus and mood elevator in pre workouts, but rarely do we encounter it at a rather impressive 2g dose. If we’re lucky, we’ll get upwards of a full gram — it’s few and far between that we get into the clinical dosing range of 2g…wooo weee!
Tyrosine is a potent nootropic that boosts cognition and focus while also alleviating signs of stress and anxiety.[13,14] If you’ve never felt much from Tyrosine before, get ready, you’re going to feel this one!
Betaine Anhydrous (1.5g)
The ergogenics in MaxQ’s Pre Workout keep rolling in with our next one — Betaine anhydrous, a.k.a. trimethylglycine (TMG). Derived from sugar beets, betaine has a proven track record of enhancing power, strength, and endurance.[15,16,17] It also helps reduce soreness and supports the body’s own production of creatine too!
The clinical dose is 2.5g, which we’re short of here, but may show up in MaxQ Nutrition’s soon to be released Post Workout supplement.
Agmatine Sulfate (1g)
Even more pumps?! You bet your sweet baby biceps there’s more pumps coming!
While Citrulline Malate provides the initial boost in N.O. for your workout, Agmatine keeps it going all throughout your workout, ensuring your pumps never deflate! Agmatine inhibits arginase, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of arginine in the body. It also functions as a neurotransmitter / neuromodulator too, which gives some added focus boosting properties to Agmatine!
The Agmatine + Citrulline combo used here is one we’ve experienced before, and quite honestly love for the dense and powerful pumps it provides throughout the workout. The 1g dose is impressive and on the higher side of pre workout supplements — often times, brands will only include 500g or so, which is “decent”, but 1g really shines.
Choline Bitartrate (750mg)
Choline bitartrate is another proven focus aide in pre workouts that’s best known for its ability to strengthen the ever-important “mind-muscle” connections. The bitartrate form has lower bioavailability and absorption compared to more bioavailable choline forms, such as Alpha GPC, meaning you’ll probably need a higher dose of the bitartrate form to really notice its effects.
The 750mg dose here is one of the higher doses we’ve seen lately when bitartrate is used in supplements. More and more though, we’re noticing companies opting for the superior Alpha GPC, but we’ve also never compared it to a dose this high of the bitartrate form.
Caffeine Anhydrous (250mg)
We’ve got not one, not two, but THREE forms of caffeine in MaxQ Pre Workout, led off by the fast acting caffeine anhydrous. 250mg is no minor dose, and will provide a steady kick in the pants to get going for your workout, but we’ve still got two more forms to go!
Caffeine Citrate (50mg)
Next up is caffeine citrate — a combination of pure caffeine and citric acid (citrate). Caffeine citrate is a smoother form of caffeine that also only packs 50% caffeine by mass, which means that you’ll get an additional 25mg caffeine here. So far that adds up to 275mg caffeine per serving, but we’re not quite done with the energy component yet!
Di-caffeine Malate (25mg)
Our third and final form of caffeine is dicaffeine malate. It’s formed from a combination of malic acid (malate) and caffeine. It yields roughly 73% caffeine by mass. Here, that adds up to another, which adds an additional 18.25mg caffeine.
For those of you playing along at home, that means our grand total of caffeine comes to 293.25mg per serving. The combination of all three forms will give an immediate surge of energy to get out to a fast start and have the long-lasting energy to sustain you throughout the duration of even your toughest workouts.
There’s a TON of actives in MaxQ’s pre workout, and to ensure that your body will put it to good use, MaxQ Nutrition has included 10mg of the nutrient absorption enhancer BioPerine. This patented black pepper extract prolongs the lifespan and boosts bioavailability of the other ingredients here by inhibiting enzymes that would otherwise prematurely breakdown the useful ergogenics.
Huperzine A (100mcg)
Finally, we have the acetylcholine-sustaining nootropic Huperzine A. Also known as Toothed Club Moss, Huperzine sustains acetylcholine levels in the body by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that degrades acetylcholine.
Huperzine prevents acetylcholinesterase from kicking into action, resulting in more available acetylcholine. The takeaway is that Huperzine is an indirect booster of acetylcholine that yielder vastly improved focus.
One last thing to mention is that huperzine protects the brain from the “neuron death molecule” glutamine, and can possibly help create new brain cells thereby making it “neurogenerative”.
On the Formula
As you can see, this is quite the monster pre workout formula, and wondering just how it came to be and who these MaxQ guys are anyway:
”The MaxQ Nutrition founders have worked with countless professionals in diverse athletic fields–from the IFBB Pros and NFL to the NHL and Ironman competitors. They also have their own backgrounds in competing and training. The formulation of the products relied heavily on professional athlete input and professional sports approved ingredient compliance. That’s why you won’t find a ton of “smoke and mirrors” stimulants. They aren’t necessary for a preworkout—feeling “insane” isn’t the purpose of a preworkout—its boost intensity, performance and strength. Not many stims are approved by pro sports for that reason.
We are professional sports compliant in formulation, internationally approved and distributed and the recipients of consistent feedback on the product from the pros. They are wowed by the panels, ecstatic about the results and grateful for the ‘one stop shop’ formulation that combines everything they need in one bottle so they aren’t dropping hundreds on separate supplements to achieve their training and competition goals.”
MaxQ currently only has one flavor available for their Maxed Out Pre Workout — Fruit Punch. Hopefully, as the brand continues to grow, so will the number of flavors.
It truly is a golden era in the pre workout landscape. The number of transparently labeled, clinically dosed products is higher than ever before, and from our view, will only keep increasing. The big decision for you, the consumer, is going to be the stimulant load in each one. Those that like the “cleaner” feel of just caffeine will find a bonafide winner in MaxQ’s Pre Workout. Those of you that want to “crazier, more exotic” stim kick can check out our Best Pre Workout Guide to choose your pleasure!
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