MusclePharm Gainz: Post-Workout Partner to Wreckage!

MusclePharm Gainz

It’s here, and it’s open label. If you like your aminos, you’re going to like this one. But is it too much like JYM’s?

We already covered MP’s Hardcore Series debut with their pre workout Wreckage. Now we’re back to give you the breakdown on their 2nd offering in the new series with their intra / post workout, aptly dubbed, Gainz.

Looking at the fully disclosed, non-proprietary ingredient label and stacking this with Wreckage all our concerns about weird half-doses are solved! Gainz is the perfect “cross” to follow the “jab” you get from Wreckage.

But it’s eerily similar to another Bodybuilding.com exclusive product, which has made a few people unhappy, to say the least. Let’s see how it stacks up for you, though.

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Gainz Ingredient Profile:

MusclePharm Gainz Ingredients

The MusclePharm Gainz Ingredients / Supplement Facts

Following in the footsteps of Hardcore Series counterpart, Wreckage, Gainz brings with it a 100% open label, void of any prop blends!

Now that we have the profiles of both this and Wreckage, the strange dosing protocols we saw with Wreckage have been answered, so without further ado…

  • BCAA 4:1:1 (6g)

    Wreckage fired up the engine of our anabolic train with 4 grams of L-Leucine. Whereas leucine is vital to initiating our mTOR signaling process[1], these hefty dose of branched-chain amino acids stokes the fire and keeps our anabolic train on a one-way course to Gainz-ville!

    Dosed in a 4:1:1 ratio means you’ll be fueling your muscles with 4g of L-Leucine, 1g of Iso-Leucine, and 1g of L-Valine.

    You may wonder why you want to consume BCAAs after training in addition to before/during training? Well… BCAAs in addition to stimulating muscle protein synthesis also reduce soreness and enhance recovery.[2,3]

    This could be used intra workout

    If you’re a fan of BCAAs, then you’re going to like this product. This is especially good if you’re dieting and need to keep the aminos flowing to maintain muscle tissue while on a caloric deficit. You can even sip on this during your workout if that’s your thing.

    If you’re less of a believer, clearly you won’t really want this, as it’s a big dose and a major selling point.

    Let’s see what else awaits us on our train…

  • L-Glutamine (3g)

    Gainz is part of MP’s Hardcore series, and if you’re truly bringing it “hardcore” every workout, you are going to be sore, tired, achy, and grumpy (occasionally on this last point). Glutamine has long been heralded for its benefits in terms of muscle recovery following intense bouts of exercise.[4]

    The issue is that glutamine is that our stomach is greedy and any glutamine we supplement with will be taken up there instead of making its way to the intestines (and later our muscles) for absorption and soreness relief. Including L-alanine would solve this issue as taking the two together guarantees glutamine passes through the stomach intact and makes it way to your muscles.[5]

    While the hefty 3g dose of L-Glutamine is admirable, and provides a healthy dose of our recovery supplement needs, this just isn’t that necessary for the intended muscle-building purposes, especially given the price tag.

    Put simply, despite all of the broscience behind glutamine supplementation, it’s just not that great of a muscle builder, and is more or less cheap filler for most users here.

  • Carnosyn® Beta Alanine (2g)

    We covered beta alanine benefits pretty thoroughly in our Wreckage post, so we won’t waste the space here expounding any further.

    What we will say is that Gainz provides the rest of our daily needs of this favorite muscle endurance enhancing amino acid. The ideal dose of beta alanine is 3.2g per day as covered in numerous studies.[6,7,8]

    Coupled with the 1.6g dose in Wreckage, Gainz brings our total of BA supplementation to 3.6g. So, even if you’re not doing a full scoop of Wreckage, you can rest assured you’ll still reap the benefits of BA by getting your full daily dose in. Another perk is that by splitting the doses pre and post is that you avoid the dreading “tingling” sensation that so many people seem to dislike when taking a full 3.2g at one time (some of us like this tingling though…)

    Beta Alanine Boosts Exercise Performance

    Beta Alanine Boosts Exercise Performance… but the best studies use at least 3.2g spread across the day

  • Creatine Hydrochloride (2g)

    Confirming our suspicions that we alluded to in our breakdown of Wreckage, you get the other half of your daily creatine dose (3-5g) with Gainz. As we already stated, there’s no need to divide the doses as MP did here.

    We’d rather have seen a full dose of creatine administered at one time or, frankly, not at all. Creatine is a cheap enough supplement on its own and isn’t required to be taken at any specific time. Including it in Gainz just necessitates our earlier thoughts that this post workout was concocted strictly for some marketing ploy.

  • Bioperine® Black Pepper Extract (5mg)

    Nothing novel or new here, but we have been seeing black pepper extract popping up in more and more supplements. This is due to the fact that Bioperine enhances the absorption of ingredient by the body when taken together.

    This may help to increase the bioavailability of L-Glutamine that we touched on above, but no studies have been completed to date on glutamine’s uptake by the body in the presence of black pepper extract.

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Definitely riffing on Post-JYM

Just as we mentioned in our Wreckage coverage, this formula does tend to follow in the steps of Post-JYM. As this is also exclusive to BB.com, it makes sense, since the JYM line of products are selling very well on the site.

In case you’re not familiar with Post-JYM, both products contain:

  • 30 servings per tub
  • 6g of BCAAs (Gainz uses a 4:1:1 ratio, Post-JYM uses a 3:1:1 ratio)
  • 2g of Creatine HCl
  • 5mg of Bioperine
  • $34 price tag

Takeaway

We nit-picked on a few of the doses included in Gainz, but let’s be honest, just about every supplement line you see can have its quibbles. MusclePharm is a huge company and as such this product will garner a bunch of attention and will sell like hotcakes.

We do praise MP for its commitment to 100% open label and non-prop blends with the new Hardcore series and hopefully they will continue this trend in the future with other new products. Perhaps they may even apply this to some of their old favorites like Assault?

Cost is a concern

The biggest issue right now is cost. When a company “forces” you to buy two products to get a truly efficacious dose of creatine, it leads us to believe that there’s better ways.

For instance, if you’re on a budget, we’d much rather you get Wreckage on its own, and then just add a couple of grams of raw creatine monohydrate powder to save money. Same goes for adding some raw beta alanine. But if you’re a MusclePharm fan, this is definitely a solid pre/post combination to make life easy.

Either way, be sure to sign up below for the latest deals and alerts on PricePlow. We’ll always alert you to the best available prices as soon as they hit the market!

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MusclePharm Gainz Review

Gainz is open formula, which is always nice. But does that make it worth the money? We await price drops.

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References

  1. Dreyer, H; Resistance exercise increases AMPK activity and reduces 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle; Department of Physical Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch; 2006
  2. Nutraceutical Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Skeletal Muscle
  3. Blomstrand, E; Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise.; The Journal of Nutrition; 2006
  4. Bowtell JL, et al. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol. (1999)
  5. 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)
  6. Hoffman, J; Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise.; Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey; 2008
  7. Kern, B; Effects of β-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players.; Human Performance and Physical Education Department, Adams State College; 2011
  8. Hoffman J; Short-duration beta-alanine supplementation increases training volume and reduces subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players.; Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey; 2008
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