Morphogen ALPHAGEN: High-Energy Pre-Workout Updated in 2023

Morphogen is easily one of PricePlow Nation’s favorite supplement brands – this can be seen by how frequently their incredible formulas are discussed in the PricePlow Discord.

Ben Hartman and his team are serious about supplement science and formulation – and it shows.

Morphogen Nutrition AlphaGen 2023

Morphogen Nutrition’s flagship pre-workout supplement, AlphaGen, has been updated for 2023. It’s a high-energy, efficacious blend with strong doses of key ingredients.

Morphogen’s well-known for many of their formulas like CALM (stress and anxiety support), SYNTHEGEN (advanced amino acid matrix), and PRIME (full spectrum organ health).

But when one really wants to push the limits, their AlphaGen pre-workout supplement steals the spotlight. Today, we’re proud to share with you the latest and greatest AlphaGen formula, re-designed in August of 2023.

Morphogen AlphaGen: The Alpha Of Pre-Workouts Updated in 2023

This one is a 19-gram scoop monster, with 400 milligrams of total caffeine but added stimulatory support from theobromine, PEA, and Advantra-Z (standardized for 50% synephrine).

This is a major change from the previous version, which had a whopping 10 grams of L-tyrosine, now brought back to earth with 2 grams. We discuss these changes and more, and think they’ll come with a more positive experience across the customer base – especially with a lower price!

So AlphaGen is definitely a bit different, but still has quite an edge, if not more so. Their ingredient choices are absolutely rock-solid, and nothing is underdosed.

Let’s get into the details of how AlphaGen’s ingredients fit together, from top to bottom. But first, check PricePlow for Morphogen news and deals:

Morphogen Nutrition AlphaGEN – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Biggest Differences from the Previous Formula

Morphogen Nutrition Alphagen 2023

  • Reduced price
  • Switch to L-citrulline from citrulline malate — yielding more citrulline
  • Lower tyrosine and Advantra-Z dosages
  • Addition of beta alanine, betaine, DMAE, and PEA
  • Elimination of velvet bean extract, alpha-GPC, eria jarensis extract, and huperzine A
  • Switch to 5x stronger Advantra-Z, but at 5x lower dosage

Morphogen AlphaGen 2023 Ingredients

In a single 1-scoop (19 gram) serving of Morphogen AlphaGen, you get the following:

  • L-Citrulline – 6,000mg

    L-Citrulline is a great nitric oxide (NO) boosting ingredient,[1] and is currently the industry’s standard choice for this purpose thanks to its low cost, high efficacy, and excellent safety profile.

    As a conditionally essential amino acid, citrulline is produced by the body, but only in limited quantities. Meaning supplementation with extra exogenous citrulline can yield benefits you wouldn’t see from normal endogenous citrulline synthesis.

    One interesting thing to note about citrulline is that it actually isn’t the most direct precursor to NO – that would be arginine, into which citrulline gets converted by the enzyme argininosuccinate. The arginine is then converted into NO.

    Before citrulline, arginine was the industry’s standard NO booster. But, as it turns out, the oral bioavailability of arginine is pretty bad, making citrulline supplementation a more effective strategy for boosting NO.[2,3]

    NO upregulation improves athletic performance

    Morphogen Nutrition Alphagen 2023 Ingredients

    As most readers probably already know, upregulating NO, i.e. through citrulline supplementation, can trigger a mechanism called vasodilation, in which your arteries expand in diameter. Bigger arteries means that blood flows more easily throughout the body, an effect called decreased cardiovascular resistance.

    As a result, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, leading to drops in blood pressure and heart rate.[4-6] This process has obvious benefits for most people, but there’s another reason NO boosters show up in pre-workouts, and that is increased athletic performance.

    Improved circulation means that the body can deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells more efficiently, and remove cellular waste more efficiently. Aerobic efficiency can also be improved.

    It can also lead to muscle swelling as blood and water are permitted to enter muscle tissue more easily – an effect most bodybuilders are familiar with. It’s known as the pump.

    Citrulline Arginine Nitric Oxide Reaction

    The Arginine Citrulline Cycle with a breakout showing the arginine-to-nitric oxide reaction. Image courtesy Wikimedia with added biochemistry sources.[7,8]

    These two things – decreased cardiovascular resistance, and improved metabolic efficiency – are the basic mechanisms underlying the following benefits of citrulline supplementation:

    • Increased oxygen utilization and power output[9]
    • Increased athletic endurance[10]
    • Reduced muscle soreness after exercise[10]
    • Growth hormone upregulation in response to exercise[11]
    • Reduced muscle catabolism[12]
    • Increased muscle protein synthesis[13,14]

    Citrulline, ornithine and ammonia

    There’s one more reason why citrulline is an excellent choice of NO-boosting ingredient: its impact on your body’s ability to detoxify ammonia.

    The effects of ammonia resemble those of lactic acid (lactate) – it’s a metabolic waste product that creates physical and mental fatigue as it builds up in neural and muscular tissues.[15,16] Improving your body’s ability to remove ammonia is yet another strategy for increasing athletic and mental endurance.

    Citrulline does exactly that, by increasing your body’s levels of ornithine, the amino acid responsible for driving ammonia detox.[17,18]

    Ornithine and Ammonia in the Nitric Oxide Cycle

    Citrulline’s role in the urea and the nitric oxide cycles make it important for performance and recovery.[19]

    Refer to the diagram above – you can see that arginine gets converted into ornithine as part of the urea cycle.[19]

    Ornithine and hormones

    Ornithine has also been shown to decrease the body’s production of cortisol, thus improving cortisol-to-DHEA ratio that’s often used as one measure of overall hormonal health. This can lead to improvements in feelings of stress and fatigue, but more importantly, it seems to improve sleep quality.[18]

    If you want even more ornithine, check out Morphogen Synthegen – incredible amino acid supplement. But it’s time to keep moving:

  • Beta-Alanine – 3,200mg

    Can’t have a pre-workout with beta alanine, can you?! Apparently not, as Morphogen decided!

    Many of us know beta alanine first from its tingle-producing effect that they use to motivate them to start training, so let’s quickly cover that first. The “beta alanine tingles” are known as paresthesia,[20] but are nothing to be worried about, since a major safety analysis has shown that beta alanine is safe and doesn’t adversely affect its users.[21]

    Morphogen Nutrition Alphagen 2023 Bottles

    So aside from its novelty as an experiential kickstarter, why would we use beta-alanine? The answer is muscular endurance.

    Reason being, beta alanine combines with another amino acid commonly found in the diet, L-histidine, to form carnosine, which is heavily stored in the muscle tissue.[22,23] And with increased carnosine concentrations come improved muscular endurance and reduced muscular fatigue, because carnosine is a proton buffer, which means it can help remove fatigue-inducing acidic waste products from muscle tissue.[23]

    We don’t take carnosine itself, however, because it’s not orally bioavailable.[24] So instead, we take its rate-limiting precursor, beta-alanine.

    And it works. Over the past couple of decades, two meta-analyses have been performed on beta-alanine consumption, both showing that it increases working capacity, especially in exercises lasting 30 seconds to 10 minutes long.[25,26]

    Beta-alanine isn’t new, and it isn’t even new to the AlphaGen series (it was here in the 2021 version)… but it wasn’t in the 2022 version, and is back in 2023!

  • Betaine Anhydrous – 2,500mg

    New to Alphagen, but not new to dietary supplements is betaine, also known as trimethylglycine.

    Betaine Muscle

    A landmark 2013 study showed that 2.5 grams of betaine every day can have profound effects on body mass and strength[27,28]

    We love this ingredient for many reasons, but the biggest is thanks to a series of body composition experiments performed in 2013 and 2018 by a team of researchers who showed that using betaine alongside a serious training program can significantly help increase lean mass and support fat loss when using 2.5 grams per day,[27-29] the dose we have here.

    Before those studies were conducted, most betaine research was based upon performance, where it assists as well.[30-35]

    How is this ingredient so effective? Two main reasons:

    1. It’s a methyl donor, providing critical methyl groups for various physical / biochemical processes.[36,37]
    2. It’s an osmolyte, meaning it can support healthy fluid levels across cells and protect them from heat shock.[38]

    Thanks to these effects, betaine supports increased cellular strength, and with the combined forces of all of these effects, we can get performance and body composition gains.

    And given that the ingredient tastes good and isn’t expensive, it only makes sense to add it to a pre-workout!

  • L-Tyrosine (HPLC) – 2,000mg

    As mentioned in the introduction, Morphogen has come back down to earth with a still-very-impressive 2 grams of L-Tyrosine, which is down from their insane 10-gram dose in the previous version.

    L-tyrosine is a great pre-workout ingredient for three reasons. The first is that it helps the body produce neurotransmitters, the second is that it can support your thyroid gland, and finally, during sleep deprivation, it can help restore cognitive performance back to baseline.

    Neurotransmitter (catecholamine) synthesis

    Tyrosine is also a necessary precursor for synthesizing dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline[39-41] three catecholamine neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in focus, motivation, and energy.

    These catecholamines are needed to initiate and regulate various aspects of the stress response, which is crucial for peak performance in the gym.

    Adrenaline and noradrenaline are also great for body composition, as both can decrease appetite and increase the body’s rate of fat oxidation (burning).[42]

    Sleep deprivation

    High-Dose Tyrosine Environmental Stress

    High-dose tyrosine (100 mg/kg) can greatly reduce environmental stress in humans when exposed to cold.[43] Note, however, that Morphogen has reduced the dose back to 2 grams, so if you want to stick with higher-dose, you’ll need to add Cognigen or straight L-tyrosine on your own

    Militaries around the world have studied tyrosine extensively for its anti-stress and wakefulness-promoting effects. According to one study carried out by the United States military, tyrosine is actually better than caffeine at increasing alertness in sleep-deprived persons.[44,45]

    Thyroid

    Your thyroid is arguably the master gland of the metabolism – proper thyroid function is indispensable for athletic and cognitive performance, fat loss, and muscle building.

    It produces two hormones that are active in tissues all over the body – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). In order to produce these hormones, the gland needs an adequate supply of tyrosine.[1,46]

    Thyroid support is a special concern for the pre-workout target market. Gym goers typically work out hard, and they periodically restrict calories to improve body composition. As it turns out, both of these behaviors can significantly downregulate thyroid function by raising cortisol.[47-49]

    The harder you work out and the more you restrict calories, the more you increase the risk of developing thyroid problems.

    So, under these conditions, a little supplemental tyrosine can help.

    The dose – 2 grams down from 10

    Morphogen went big with the 10 gram dose, and in previous versions of this article, we discussed how research showed improved cold altitude tolerance[43] and reduced blood pressure during stress[50] from high-dose L-tyrosine. These are great benefits — but the stress reduction may have also taken some of the edge off of the stimulants in AlphaGen’s previous version!

    While L-tyrosine is a precursor for some “energetic” catecholamines, the feel-good boost may have led to too much stress reduction, and quite frankly, athletes taking high-end pre-workouts want to feel the pop.

    10 grams was a gamble, and one we’re happy Morphogen did for everyone’s sake, but we think the industry is landing at a sweet spot of 2-3 grams of this ingredient. This also allows for a reduced price.

    But if you want more L-Tyrosine, there’s a large 3 gram dose in the Cognigen nootropic, which only has 100 milligrams of caffeine. Stack the two and you’re well on your way back to those high-dose L-tyrosine research studies cited above.

  • DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol Bitartrate) – 750mg

    In short, DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, is a close structural analog of choline. It potentially increases the amount of acetylcholine that is usable by the nervous system by inhibiting its breakdown[51,52] while sparing some choline from being metabolized in tissue.[51]

    Recent preclinical research showed that a large dose of DMAE (500 mg/kg) increased serum choline levels by 35% within an hour (from 17 ng/mL to 23 ng/mL), and remained elevated for 12 hours.[53]

    This replaces alpha-GPC, which has been under international scrutiny.[54,55] DMAE does not share the same concerns.[53]

  • PEA (β-Phenylethylamine) – 500mg

    Beta-phenylethylamine (known as β-PEA or simply PEA) is a trace amine produced naturally in the central nervous system[56] that enhances dopamine signaling and neurotransmission.[57] It leads to effects on feel-good rewarding / reinforcing behaviors, psychomotor abilities, and affective state.[57]

    PEA (β-Phenylethylamine) 2D Structure Receptor with PEA Backbone Highlighted

    PEA (β-Phenylethylamine) 2D Structure Receptor with PEA Backbone Highlighted

    Because of these rewarding and reinforcing effects, PEA and its various analogs are often used as a motivation component in pre-workout supplements. It acts quickly and can get you going – this is what you want to take as you get up off of the couch. One study even stated that PEA “has been characterised as an endogenous amphetamine”.[58]

    However, it also has a very short half-life — estimated to be just around 5-10 minutes in dogs[59] — so this is really used to kickstart AlphaGen before the caffeine really gets going.

    Thankfully, AlphaGen has a blend of fast caffeines, so you won’t be waiting too long:

  • Caffeine (as Caffeine Anhydrous USP 300mg and Caffeine Citrate 200mg) – 400mg total caffeine yield

    Caffeine is the most widely used legal stimulant in the world. An overwhelming majority of American adults consume caffeine in some form on a daily basis, mostly because of the substance’s ability to ward off fatigue, which helps us get through jam-packed days without missing a step.

    Caffeine Sports Performance: 3mg/kg

    Even a moderate dose of caffeine (3mg/kg, which is about 240 milligrams caffeine for a 175 pound person) can lead to improvements in performance, reaction time, and fewer errors in sports like tennis.[60]

    One thing that makes caffeine stand out is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This is something most nutritional supplements can’t do, and it’s what gives caffeine such a powerful ability to influence the workings of the central nervous system.[61]

    Similarly to its fellow methylxanthine and close cousin theobromine, which is also present in Morphogen AlphaGen, caffeine blocks the action of adenosine, a nucleotide that builds up in the brain during wakefulness, progressively worsening mental fatigue.[62]

    Fatigue is often a big issue for anyone trying to lose weight, since caloric restriction can put a big dent in energy levels. That’s one reason why dieters often drink liberal amounts of tea or coffee.i It’s also one reason why we like to see caffeine in fat-burning supplements.

    Caffeine burns fat and calories – cAMP and cellular metabolism

    But caffeine can help you burn fat more directly too, by upregulating cellular energy production. This translates into increased daily calorie burn.

    The mechanism of action is inhibition of phosphodiesterase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down the hormone-like messenger molecule, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).

    Since cAMP signals cells to burn more glucose and fatty acids for energy, raising cAMP levels through phosphodiesterase inhibition ultimately means a faster metabolism – more calories burned in a day.[63-65]

    Upregulating cAMP through caffeine use is particularly good at speeding up the body’s rate of fat burning. Animal studies on caffeine have found that supplementation can increase it by as much as 50%.[66]

    Caffeine improves exercise performance – additional calorie burn

    Of course, burning more fat at rest is a great way to accelerate fat loss – assuming you hold your calorie intake constant, and don’t eat more to cover any deficit.

    Most of us know that exercise is a great way to burn more calories. And, as it turns out, caffeine can help us do that too.

    Due to how it ramps up cellular metabolism, caffeine can improve multiple dimensions of physical performance, including strength, speed, and endurance.[67]

    Cognitive and mental benefits

    Another New Morphogen Nutrition Product is their COGNIGEN

    Another New Morphogen Nutrition product is their brain-boosting COGNIGEN

    Caffeine can also increase attentiveness, alertness, reaction times, and working memory.[68-70]

    Although it might seem counterintuitive, mental and cognitive benefits are a welcome addition to fat-burning supplements. Plenty of research actually indicates that caloric restriction does not significantly impair cognition,[71] or, perhaps, it may improve it.[72] But, anecdotally, a lot of people report feeling low on mental energy when they reduce food intake. Caffeine can potentially help compensate for that.

    Ultimately, we have 300 milligrams of caffeine anhydrous and 200 milligrams of fast-acting caffeine citrate (which is 50% yield), leaving us with 400 milligrams of total caffeine. This is a unique blend — normally brands are mixing in slower caffeine molecules… but Morphogen took the fast path!

  • Theobromine (from Cocoa extract) (Theobroma cacao L.) (seed) (std. min. 99%) – 200mg

    Theobromine belongs to the methylxanthine class, which also includes caffeine. It has stimulant, bronchodilatory, and vasodilatory effects.[73]

    Morphogen Nutrition AlphaGen 2023

    Like caffeine, theobromine is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, which, again, has the effect of increasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels[74] and increasing the rate of caloric expenditure by upregulating mitochondrial function and increasing cellular energy production.[75,76]

    So what’s the difference between caffeine and theobromine? In a nutshell, caffeine is primarily a central nervous system stimulant, while theobromine is much more focused on relaxing smooth muscle.[77]

    Smooth muscle lines the inside of blood vessels, so theobromine can actually reduce blood pressure, whereas caffeine is known for increasing it.[78]

    In fact, stacking theobromine with caffeine can actually negate caffeine’s effect on blood pressure,[78] which makes this a smart ingredient combination. With both of these methylxanthines in the same formula, you’re getting the upside of caffeine with less downside.

    Theobromine can also benefit cardiovascular health by optimizing nitric oxide production and function.[79]

  • Advantra Z Bitter Orange Extract (Citrus aurantium) (fruit) (Std. min. 50% synephrine) – 100mg

    Bitter orange extract is standardized for an alkaloid called synephrine, which is a great fat burning and performance boosting ingredient.

    Morphogen Nutrition CALM

    Morphogen Nutrition CALM is a premium stress-relief supplement, and the first to use RhodioPrime 6X in this type of an application!

    Research has shown that taking synephrine can increase the body’s daily caloric expenditure by as much as 183 calories,[80] which is definitely nothing to sneeze at for a low-effort calorie burn. a 183 calorie deficit translates into about 1.5 pounds of fat loss per month.

    One study found that the combination of synephrine and caffeine (a combination we have in Morphogen AlphaGen) increased college-aged men’s weightlifting volume by 10% in a single session.[81] Synephrine alone also caused an increase.

    Synephrine works because it’s a beta agonist,[82] the same mechanism of action behind the infamous stimulant ephedrine. Don’t worry though – synephrine is much less intense than ephedrine,[82] with little to no effect on heart rate or blood pressure.[83]

    The change-up in 2023 is that we now have a 50% synephrine standardization, which is up from the previous version’s 10%. With this, the dose is now 5x less — meaning we still have the same amount of synephrine yield.

  • L-Theanine (HPLC) – 100mg

    Theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in Camellia sinensis, the plant from which we get white, green, oolong, and black teas.

    In the human brain, theanine acts like a neurotransmitter[84] and has relaxing, anti-anxiety effects related to its inhibitory effect on neurotransmission.[85-87]

    L-Theanine Attention

    L-Theanine increases attention and reduces reaction time — especially in stressed individuals![88]

    What makes theanine such an awesome supplement is that it does all of this without causing sedation, providing the best of both worlds.

    Theanine is also ultra safe and dirt cheap. This combination of efficacy, safety, and inexpensiveness has made theanine a mainstay nootropic ingredient since the biohacking craze of the early 2010s.

    Caffeine + theanine: match made in heaven

    It was back in the good old days when people looking for a competitive edge discovered theanine’s ability to synergize with caffeine (another ingredient in Morphogen AlphaGen).

    The combination of theanine and caffeine has positive effects on mood and cognition that outperform the effects of either ingredient alone.[89]

    In a landmark 2008 study, researchers who tested the effects of caffeine, theanine, and the combination of both discovered that the combination was better than either ingredient alone at improving mental accuracy, reducing feelings of fatigue, speeding up reaction times, and increasing numerical working memory. The combination was also better at improving the ability to judge written texts, and at increasing alertness.[89]

    Speaking more anecdotally and subjectively, veteran biohackers can tell you that theanine really takes the edge off caffeine, providing a calm, focused feeling without the dirty, jittery anxiety that usually comes with caffeine use.

    Theanine is also great for improving sleep quality and reducing resting heart rate.[90]

    One of the big mechanisms behind all of these effects is theanine’s ability to upregulate GABA,[91] a calming neurotransmitter that exerts inhibitory effects on neurotransmission.

Flavors Available

Morphogen Nutrition Alphagen 2023

Morphogen’s AlphaGen comes in several awesome flavors — the first two of the new 2023 formula are Cancun (Strawberry Margarita), Candeez (Tart Candy Blast), and Remix (Watermelon Grape Candy):

    Conclusion

    AlphaGen is still the real deal – one of the most powerful formulas we’ve seen in a long time. L-Tyrosine may no longer be 10 grams, but we actually think it’ll feel stronger because of that. With synephrine still at 50 milligrams yield, caffeine still at 400 milligrams, a large dose of theobromine, and some PEA to get you up and going fast, Morphogen is very serious about workout energy.

    At first glance, it may seem stim-heavy, but don’t get scared off by that. We think using theanine and theobromine, thanks to their anxiolytic, vasodilatory and antihypertensive effects, can go a long way toward smoothing out the experience for most users. Plus, there’s no yohimbe/yohimbine type ingredients in here!

    Still though, 400 milligrams of caffeine and the extra goodies are nothing to sneeze at. If you have any doubts about whether you can handle these ingredients, consider assessing your tolerance by starting with a partial scoop before graduating to a full dose.

    Morphogen Nutrition AlphaGEN – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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    About the Author: PricePlow Staff

    PricePlow Staff

    PricePlow is a team of supplement industry veterans that include medical students, competitve strength athletes, and scientific researchers who all became involved with dieting and supplements out of personal need.

    The team's collective experiences and research target athletic performance and body composition goals, relying on low-toxicity meat-based diets.

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