MusclePharm Wreckage – Likely to Live Up to its Name

MusclePharm Wreckage

MusclePharm Wreckage is part of the soon-to-be-released Hardcore Series, which we expect to be a higher-end, higher-priced series aimed at experienced athletes and bodybuilders.

Looking at the non-proprietary label and doing some analysis, here’s our honest opinion:

The TL;DR

  • Wreckage is going to live up to its name, and its intended users are going to love the feel and effects from all sides.
  • Some of the dosing is a bit odd here.

    Some ingredients are fully dosed, but others aren’t – yet you cannot two-scoop it due to the high caffeine content.

  • The selection of focus boosters are both impressive and unique:

    While everyone’s talking about the energy and pumps, we’re most excited to discuss a cognitive enhancer that’s never before been used in a pre workout!

After doing our full analysis, the TL;DR is that this is a must-try pre workout supplement for 2015, but long-term value will depend on how far we can beat the costs down.

To stay on top of this one, you can sign up for MusclePharm updates and alerts below, or head over to our Muscle Pharm page and click monitor this brand.

After that, let’s get down to business because this is an interesting pre workout supplement.

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Haters gon’ hate, but not today

Right now within the online supplement community, hating on MusclePharm has been the cool thing to do lately. And we can’t say they don’t frequently deserve it.

But we’re going to give credit where credit is due – even if we haggle over some of the lower-dosed ingredients, this is going to provide for some aggressive workouts – just as hoped with the “Hardcore” series.

Let’s break it down one by one.

The MusclePharm Wreckage Ingredients

MusclePharm Wreckage Ingredients

The Wreckage Ingredients / Supplement Facts. All heil the open formula. We discuss each one below (minus the supporting vitamins and minerals).

Right off the bat, let us praise MusclePharm for the 100% open label – no prop blends here!

As a massive company with what seems to be an unlimited marketing budget, MusclePharm could probably sell this without doing that. But they’re clearly listening to their most informed fans, and for that we appreciate it.

By knowing what we’re getting, we can build solid, research-backed stacks using this product.

  • L-Citrulline DL-Malate (6g)

    Yes! Right off the bat, we know MusclePharm means business here with Wreckage. When using L-Citrulline, if you want a research-backed nitric oxide boost, you’re either going to want 3g of straight-up L-citrulline, or 6g of Citrulline Malate. We get the latter here.

    A popular study showed that trained athletes who took 6g of citrulline malate had boosted levels of both nitric oxide and growth hormone.[1]

    Citrulline works by converting to arginine and boosting nitric oxide levels better than arginine itself. Beyond the boosted NO and GH levels, you can also get increased training capacity[2] and reduced fatigue[3].

    What’s also great is that this isn’t the only nitric oxide booster either! We’ll talk about the 500mg agmatine later.

  • L-Leucine (4g)

    L-Leucine is everyone’s favorite branched-chain amino acid – it’s the “anabolic activator” that initiates the mTOR (or Mammalian Target of Rapamycin) signaling process which plays a pivotal role in muscle-building.[4]

    Seeing leucine here alone is a bit odd, some might argue that since it’s the most anabolic essential amino acid[5], we’d rather have say 4g of leucine than 5g of leucine/isoleucine/valine mixed. It’s essential meaning that your body cannot produce it on its own – you have to get it in via diet or supplementation.

    At the same time, given that this seems to be a supplement for those who are building muscle and bulking up, food and protein intake should always be high for those individuals, which might negate the need for all this extra leucine.

    But either way, we love this ingredient and will never complain about it being here. We just wonder if it would have been better to save some space and cost and get a full dose of creatine instead.

  • D-Aspartic Acid (3g)

    MusclePharm Wreckage

    The DAA and high-dose Citrulline is where the Wreckage begins… but definitely not where it ends

    This is where the wreckage really takes off.

    Let’s get the backstory on D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) first. In late 2009, a study was published showing significant increases in LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and natural testosterone synthesis and release.[6]

    Over the next few years, it was then hailed as the next big natural testosterone booster, and indeed, it makes you feel like a freakin’ champ.

    At least for a little while.

    The truth about DAA

    What the researchers “hid” in their 12 day study was the fact that within a month or so, your testosterone levels fall back to baseline. This was confirmed by another study published mid-2013.[7]

    Meanwhile, a study published in late 2012 showed that it significantly improved fertility, sperm quality, sperm count, and seminal motility.[8] All of this information effectively makes it more of a “sex supplement” than a “testosterone booster”.

    But with that said, if you’re in a bit of a slump, or you have a competition coming up, and you run Wreckage for a month, you’re going to feel like a damned hero with this stuff. Exactly as planned from the name of the product.

    Just don’t expect “steroid-like gains” from DAA and everyone goes home happy.

  • Caffeine (350mg)

    We’re skipping to caffeine here because this dose is worth noting — this almost definitely makes the product a one-scooper unless you have some serious caffeine tolerance. In fact, many people can get away with ⅔ to ¾ scoop, which will make your tub last longer.

    MusclePharm Beast Mode

    350mg caffeine should be more than enough to feel something like this dude. You can probably even be able to get away with less than a full scoop

    A full scoop of Wreckage works with the two ingredients above — they are fully dosed — but the creatine and beta alanine below are not fully dosed… yet taking more than one scoop (maybe a slightly heaping scoop) is not recommended because you’ll be brushing up on caffeine’s safety limits.[9]

    So, a lot of this product’s feasibility is going to come down to your caffeine tolerance. If you’re the kind of person who just wants 100-150mg caffeine, this likely isn’t the perfect blend for you.

    But at the same time, most of you reading this who do indeed want to make some wreckage in the gym do want doses like this, and that’s why we think these top three ingredients are all going to play very well together for you.

  • Creatine Hydrochloride (2g)

    Creatine HCl’s promise is that it leads to increased bioavailability and uptake in comparison to creatine monohydrate. Because of that, it’s claimed that you don’t need as much to get the same effect. Many users, especially those who dislike monohydrate, swear by it.

    MusclePharm Hardcore Series

    We fully expect to see additional creatine somewhere else in a Hardcore series product, but you can also just get some cheap creatine mono and call it a day.

    However, there’s no serious research to back up any of these claims (which have been made for long enough that we’d expect a quality study out at this point).

    Typically, you want to hydrochloride salt (the HCl part) to a molecule if that molecule has low bioavailability to begin with, and that may increase absorption / bioavailability. But creatine has great bioavailability – close to 100%![10]

    So with that in mind, we’d much rather see 3-5g creatine monohydrate or anhydrous than 2g of creatine HCl, despite the hype.

    This is close, and obviously better than nothing, but leads us to believe that you’ll also be pitched a creatine-infused post-workout to go along with this, something that we typically frown upon.

    Either way, 2g isn’t bad, but to be sure, you’ll want to find 1-3g extra creatine elsewhere in your day just to be safe.

  • Carnosyn® Beta Alanine (1.6g)

    This is the muscular endurance boosting amino acid that we all know and love at this point.

    Beta alanine boosts how long athletes last, which then turns into more overall workload... which, if you eat right, means more gains!

    Beta alanine boosts how long athletes last, which then turns into more overall workload… which, if you eat right, means more gains!

    It doesn’t matter what sport it is, if you’re repeatedly performing activities with your muscles – especially if they’re 1 to 4 minutes long – beta alanine is going to make you last longer and work more effectively/comfortably.[11,12,13,14]

    The ideal dose that everyone (and the research) agrees upon is 3.2g per day, so you might think this is half-dosed, but in this case, that’s a good thing. If you’ve ever taken 3.2g in one sitting – especially if it wasn’t taken with food – the tingling effect becomes borderline aggravating.

    So, 1.6g is fine here, and you might even get less if you don’t take a full serving (due to the high caffeine content).

    So once again, if you want the full effects, you’ll need to grab some bulk beta alanine (it’s cheap) for the opposite end of your day, or you just might find it in a complementary MusclePharm product.

  • L-Tyrosine (1.2g)

    Back to Wreckage mode! L-Tyrosine is a favorite focus booster, and this here is basically 4-6x the dose that you normally get in other pre workouts! (Save for one comparable product, discussed below)

    The most interesting studies were performed on various military units, and all of them had cognitive focus enhancement, reduced stress, and less fatigue when taken.[15,16,17]

    Unfortunately, the piddly 200mg doses in other pre workouts simply aren’t even close to the doses used in those studies – 2g and up.

    This one actually gets close.

    So compared to other pre workouts, you might feel something a bit more wild here, just as planned by MusclePharm. And to be quite honest, most of the PricePlow team member has never taken a dose this high at once, so we’re interested in this one.

    Note that those higher doses were still safe in case you’re worried about the 1.2g being too much.

    And it’s not the only cognitive booster….

  • Agmatine Sulfate (500mg)

    Agmatine is an awesome compound, and is primarily used as a “nitric oxide booster” in supplements. It doesn’t directly boost NO levels though – it does so by inhibiting NO breakdown.[18]

    Agmatine Pathway

    The Agmatine Pathway is complex, but that’s because it’s really more of a neurotransmitter / neuromodulator than just a “nitric oxide booster”

    Anecdotally, it gives a very strong, hard pump – and provides an “inner strength” kind of feeling.

    500mg is the standard dose, but products that use this as a sole pump ingredient usually need to include more. Since this is a supporting ingredient for the 6g citrulline malate, 500mg should do quite well.

    But did you know that agmatine is actually a neurotransmitter?[19] This is because it works on the neuron level and is stored in synapse terminals.[20]

    Anyway, the point is that it’s not just a pump ingredient – beyond the cardiovascular benefits, there are also cognitive benefits to having more agmatine around, at least so far demonstrated in rats.[21,22]

    Put simply, we never say no to 250-1500mg agmatine, especially when combined with another NO booster like citrulline.

  • Phosphatidylserine (125mg)

    Frequently shortened to PS for obvious reasons, there’s a nice love-hate relationship with phosphatidylserine in the online nootropics community (nootropics are essentially a class of cognitive enhancers).

    The pros are that it works quite well in promoting mental focus enhancement and the ability to perform tests, as we’ll see below.

    The cons are that it’s expensive, and that’s possibly why it’s never been used in a pre workout from what we can see.

    So right off the bat, we’re excited to say that unless you’re a nootropics junkie, Wreckage is going to have something different than anything you’ve ever tried before.

    Let’s take a look at some specific research:

    Phosphatidylserine in humans

    Phosphatidylserine Benefits

    Simple chart showing that golfers hit balls better with PS, albeit at a higher dosage.[27]

    • 400mg was given to runners, golfers, and cyclists in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over study where the supplementation lasted for 14 days.

      In that time, the subjects on PS were 20% faster in their mental calculations![23] They weren’t just faster though – they were also more accurate.

    • PS and DHA (the most important fatty acid in fish oil) combined on elderly patients (without dementia) significantly improved their verbal recall in memory tests. Dosage is unfortunately not stated, and is confounded by the fact that the PS was compounded with the DHA.[24]

    • 200mg PS reduced symptoms of ADHD in children[25] as did 300mg when compounded with DHA[26]

    • Golfers significantly hit the ball better with PS and had a slightly less perceived stress during tee-off time![27] Awesome study, by the way, but they were using at least 300mg once again.

    So you essentially have better attention, better memory, improved cognitive speed, and can hit things better when using PS (albeit in slightly higher doses than what we have in Muscle Pharm Wreckage).

    So why in the hell has this never been in a pre workout? We need to try this stuff – maybe even trying some bulk phosphatidylserine standalone while we’re at it.

  • Bioperine Black Pepper Extract (5mg)

    Bioperine

    Bioperine: Nature’s Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient

    Black pepper extract, known as piperine,  has been added to more and more supplements over the past couple of years because it can enhance the absorption of certain ingredients (by preventing their early breakdown in your system).

    It doesn’t work for everything, but when it works, it works really well (2000% increased bioavailability for curcumin, for example!)[28]

    Bioperine is the trademarked brand that is most popular – they guarantee at least 95% piperine.

    A note is that it also may work with prescription drugs[29], so as always, see your doctor before taking this or any other new supplement.

  • Huperzine A (100mcg)

    Huperzine A is yet another focus booster in Wreckage, and is indeed our final ingredient (beyond the supporting vitamins, minerals).

    It works by slowing your brain’s breakdown of acetylcholine[30], which is also known as the “learning neurotransmitter”, thus indirectly increasing levels.

    It’s also neuroprotective against glutamine, the “neuron death molecule”[31]

    But beyond preventing neuron cell death, it’s even shown promise as being neurodegenerative — huperzine has helped create new brain cells![32]

    If this seems like a small dose – it is to a degree – but that’s standard. Very few supplements go too much further than this because of the cost.

    In fact, this is twice the dosage of a very popular competing pre workout discussed below.

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Feeling a bit like Pre-JYM?

If you haven’t noticed, this formula seems to be slightly inspired by JYM’s Pre-JYM formula. And not that that’s a bad thing – Pre-JYM is currently a top-seller and users are loving it.

Counting the ways, both have:

  • 20 servings
  • 6g citrulline + 500mg supporting NO booster (beet root for JYM vs. Agmatine for Wreckage)
  • BCAAs (6g in JYM vs 4g leucine in Wreckage)
  • 2g Creatine HCl
  • High-dose L-Tyrosine (1.5g in Pre JYM vs 1.2g here)
  • Huperzine A (Pre-JYM’s 50mcg vs 100mcg here)
  • 5mg Bioperine
  • open formula, etc…

If someone were going to mimick a supplement yet improve upon it, like we feel MuscePharm did here, there’s absolutely no shame in starting with a product like Pre-JYM.

What about Assault?

Assault is still very popular and is likely going nowhere. But in all honesty, Wreckage looks a lot more appealing. As mentioned, both of them could use more creatine, although Wreckage wins in that department as well.

To conclude our pre-review…

Arguments could be made regarding some of the dosages, but at the end of the day, this product is going to live up to its name, and will definitely provide some new effects thanks to the focus enhancers.

It’s going to be a must-try supplement for 2015, and we’ll see where the reviews take us from there.

Be sure to sign up for alerts here on PricePlow. We’ll have more information on Wreckage as soon as it becomes available, and we’ll have the best possible prices and sales for you as soon as it’s released.

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References

  1. Sureda, A; L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise.; The European Journal of Applied Physiology; 2010
  2. Perez-Guisado; Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.; Department of Medicine, University of Córdoba; 2010
  3. Hickner, R; L-citrulline reduces time to exhaustion and insulin response to a graded exercise test.; Human Performance Laboratory, East Carolina University; 2006
  4. 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
  5. Blomstrand, E; Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise.; The Journal of Nutrition; 2006
  6. Topo, E; The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats.; Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology; 2009
  7. Willoughby, D; d-Aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men; Department of Health, Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Lab, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University; 2013
  8. D’Aniello, G; D-Aspartate, a Key Element for the Improvement of Sperm Quality; Advances in Sexual Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 4; 2012
  9. Nawrot, P; Effects of caffeine on human health.; Toxicological Evaluation Section, Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division, Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Health Canada; 2003
  10. Jager, R; Comparison of new forms of creatine in raising plasma creatine levels.; Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition; 2007
  11. Baguet, A; Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance.; Dept. of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University; 2010
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Hoffman, J; Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise.; Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey; 2008
  15. Magnusson, I; N-acetyl-L-tyrosine and N-acetyl-L-cysteine as tyrosine and cysteine precursors during intravenous infusion in humans.; Department of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital; 1998
  16. Deijen, J; Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course.; Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, Vrije Universiteit; 1999
  17. Neri, D; The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness.; Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory; 1995
  18. Demady, D; Agmatine enhances the NADPH oxidase activity of neuronal NO synthase and leads to oxidative inactivation of the enzyme.; Department of Pharmacology, The University of Michigan Medical School; 2001
  19. Reis, D; Agmatine: a novel neurotransmitter?; Division of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College; 1998
  20. Goracke-Postle, C; Release of tritiated agmatine from spinal synaptosomes.; Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Minnesota; 2006
  21. Seo, S; Spatial learning-induced accumulation of agmatine and glutamate at hippocampal CA1 synaptic terminals.; Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology, Otago School of Medical Sciences, Brain Health Research Centre; 2011
  22. Arteni, N; Agmatine facilitates memory of an inhibitory avoidance task in adult rats.; Neurobiology of Learning and Memory; 2002
  23. Parker, A; The effects of IQPLUS Focus on cognitive function, mood and endocrine response before and following acute exercise.; Department of Kinesiology, Angelo State University; 2011
  24. Vakhapova, V; Phosphatidylserine containing omega-3 fatty acids may improve memory abilities in non-demented elderly with memory complaints: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial.; Neurology Department, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; 2010
  25. Hirayama, S; The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.; Department of Early Childhood Education and Care, Kurashiki City College; 2014
  26. Manor, I; The effect of phosphatidylserine containing Omega3 fatty-acids on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, followed by an open-label extension.; 1ADHD Unit, Geha Mental Health Center; 2012
  27. Jager, R; The effect of phosphatidylserine on golf performance; International Journal of Sports Nutrition; 2007
  28. Shoba, G; Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.; Department of Pharmacology, St. John’s Medical College; 1998
  29. Han, H; The effects of black pepper on the intestinal absorption and hepatic metabolism of drugs.; Dongguk University, College of Pharmacy; 2011
  30. Zhao, Q; Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine.; State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 2002
  31. Ved, H; Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for dementia, reduces neuronal cell death caused by glutamate.; Division of Biochemistry, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; 1997
  32. Ma, T; Huperzine A promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo.; State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University; 2013
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