As each week passes, it seems a new pre workout enters the fray to compete for the title of Best Pre Workout. MuscleSport is the latest company to submit an entry to the rather crowded field of well-dosed, open label pre workouts we’ve seen so far in 2015.
Rhino Black is the next evolution of their popular pre workout Rhino 2.0 which previously contained the now “banned” stimulant, AMP Citrate.
The quick bullet points on Rhino Black:
- 400mg caffeine per serving (may want to use less than a full scoop)
- Several extremely well-dosed pump ingredients
- High quality blend of focus enhancers
- Ergogenics (betaine and creatine) are a dash on the light side
- Mostly open formula
To say we’re excited would be an understatement.
We’ll get to the goods in Rhino Black in one second, but first make sure to check the best deal and sign up for alerts from PricePlow:
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Rhino Black Ingredients
Rhino Black sports a 98% open label with the remaining 2% being “complexes” that list the dosage but not individual amounts of each ingredient. Let’s see what Rhino Black is packing to help create “razor sharp mental focus” and “ skin splitting muscle pumps”!
Nitric Oxide Recycling Complex
Citrulline Malate (6g)
Now this is how you start a supplement.
Rhino Black gets things rolling with the popular nitric oxide booster Citrulline Malate (CM). This combination of L-Citrulline and Malic Acid has become the most popular pump aid in pre workouts this year, mostly due to its superior bioavailability compared to L-Arginine. Citrulline increases nitric oxide production better than arginine based pump products and leads to better vascularity and blood flow to foster those “skin splitting pumps.”
CM also improves ATP production and exercise endurance.[2,3,4,5] Citrulline helps remove ammonia and lactic acid accumulation in the body by acting as a buffer. The result is better workout performance and enhanced energy production.
Commonly referred to as TMG (trimethylglycine, betaine anhydrous is an excellent amino acid to include in pre workouts. There’s a solid body of research behind it demonstrating it’s effective for improving power, endurance, and creatine production.[6,7,8]
That’s not all though, betaine also helps you recover from your workouts faster as it decreases muscle soreness, allowing you to exercise more frequently without needing to take a “rest” day.
The clinical dose needed for betaine is 2.5g, generally recommended to be split into 2 doses for better absorption. To reap the full benefits of betaine, you could try to get another 1.5g at some other point in the day.
Agmatine Sulfate (1g)
Agmatine is another nitric oxide boosting ingredient in Rhino Black. In contrast to CM which directly boosts NO levels, agmatine actually prevents its breakdown. This helps to create a stronger, longer lasting pump in your work.
Agmatine also functions as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in the body. In addition to pumps, you’ll also experience enhanced cognition and memory formation helping to foster better focus during your workouts.
500mg is the standard dose seen in most pre workouts, but that amount simply wouldn’t work for Rhino Black. You’re getting a full 1g to improve pumps and focus!
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid mostly found in the muscles, heart, and brain. As such, taurine acts as a cell volumizer, helping to pull water and nutrients in the muscle cells. This helps create “water-based” pumps to go along with the nitric oxide induced ones, as well as improve endurance..
Taurine doesn’t just act as a sponge in your muscles, it also helps increase your focus and delay the onset of muscle soreness.[13,14]
Nitrosigine® is a trademarked form of L-arginine produced by Nutrition21. Rather than leave arginine by itself, where it would do nothing to help nitric oxide production, this unique form of Arginine bonds it to silicate to increase its bioavailability.
What makes this form of Arginine-based ingredients effective is that research shows it increases baseline nitric oxide levels. Basically, it boosts nitric oxide levels in the body and keeps them elevated for as long as two weeks after regular use.
Ornithine, along with Arginine and Citrulline, are the three amino acids primarily involved in the Urea Cycle in the body which is responsible for removing the accumulation of ammonia in the body.
When ammonia builds up in the muscle and brain, it can impair muscle contractility and increased perceived amounts of fatigue.[17,18] Preventing ammonia build up will go a long way to improving your endurance and the quality of your workout as you won’t succumb to fatigue prematurely.
Beta Vulgaris (200mg)
Beta Vulgaris, also known as beet root, is a rich source of nitrates for the body. With beet root, we have yet another nitric oxide boosting compound in Rhino Black.
Nitrates improve nitric oxide production, vasodilation, and blood flow in the body.[21,22,23] Combined with Citrulline Malate, Agmatine, and Taurine, Rhino Black definitely is not lacking in the pump department!
Cellular Energy Complex
Beta Alanine (3.2g)
When looking to improve endurance or power, there’s not a better option on the market then CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine. This powerful amino binds to histidine in the body to increase serum concentrations of carnosine in the muscle.
This creates a buffering effect in the body, helping to remove the buildup of lactic acid which causes the “burning” sensation many feel when doing high volume sets. Tons of studies have shown that beta alanine helps improve power and endurance among a wide span of athletic endeavors including swimming, rowing, weight lifting, and football.[24,25]
Rhino Black packs in the full clinical dose of 3.2g which may cause paresthesia for the few of you who are not already saturated with this potent ergogenic aid. But fear not, with continual use, those “tingles” go away once you’ve reached saturation.
The one argument some may have on this is that beta alanine doses should be split up throughout the day. However, too many of us simply forget to do that, so we don’t have a huge problem with 3.2g all at once. But if you want to really split hairs, then yes, you “should” be taking 1.6g twice per day, or even 0.8g 4x/day, if you want to get the maximum effect. We don’t really notice a difference when dosing like that, though.
Creatine MagnaPower® (2g)
Manufactured by Albion Human Nutrition, Creatine MagnaPower® is a trademarked form of creatine sometimes seen as magnesium creatine chelate. This unique form of creatine is creatine monohydrate chelate bonded to magnesium.
There is some research showing it is better absorbed by the body, but this was funded by the manufacturer so it may be a bit biased. Independent research has shown that it is in fact no better than monohydrate in terms of effectiveness or bioavailability.
Bottom line is, don’t count on this to entirely cover your creatine bases for the day. You’ll still want to add some bulk monohydrate to ensure you’re getting your daily 3-5g.
Mental Stimulation & Focus Complex
You can have all the power and endurance you could ask for, but unless you are focused during your workout, it’s all for naught. L-Tyrosine is a proven focus enhancer that boosts the production of two important neurotransmitters, dopamine and noradrenaline. Not only does this improve concentration during your workouts, it also goes a long way to reducing stress and anxiety as well.[28,29]
Tri-Caffeine Matrix (400mg)
To give you the kick in the pants you need sometimes to get in the gym and wreak havoc, Rhino Black sports three different forms of caffeine in caffeine anhydrous, dicaffeine malate, and caffeine citrate (a.k.a. Cafcit).
The combination of these three forms of caffeine will provide an instant surge of energy from the anhydrous and a prolonged smooth energy allowing you to keep pushing through longer workouts.
We reached out to MuscleSport for clarification on the exact make up of the caffeine matrix and they gladly responded!
Each scoop of Rhino Black contains: 200mg caffeine Anhydrous, 100mg dicaffeine malate, and 100mg caffeine citrate.
Since dicaffeine malate and caffeine citrate are not 100% caffeine due to their bonds with other compounds, you’ll end up with a total caffeine dose of 325-350mg.
Choline Complex (300mg)
Rhino Black’s Choline Complex includes our two preferred forms of choline supplements: CDP-Choline and Choline Bitartrate. While we’d prefer to have just CDP-Choline, that can get rather expensive (and hardly any pre workouts are using it lately), so the combination of the two forms should do a lot in terms of increasing focus and the “mind-muscle” connection during your workout.
Hordenine is another stimulant found as a constituent of the plant Citrus Aurantium. It is a beta-2 adrenergic agonist that also acts as a noradrenaline reuptake modulator.[30,31] This ensures noradrenaline stay in your system longer helping the increase and sustain your energy, focus, and alertness.
All we can say is FINALLY when looking at the flavors of Rhino Black. And we say finally with much appreciation as we have two unique flavors to try when deciding which way to go with Rhino Black. Currently the two options are Black Cherry Lemonade and Jungle Juice.
This is a welcome change from all the fruit punch and blue raz flavors we’ve seen lately. Props to MuscleSport for going outside the box with flavorings! Although… jungle juice might just be fruit punch in disguise. We’ll have to find out from MuscleSport themselves.
MuscleSport’s latest pre workout offering is one serious pre workout intended for those looking for a high-energy, pump heavy product. Rhino Black uses a combination of proven NO boosters along with several other ergogenics to present a comprehensive pre workout formula that should take care of any and all of your wants and desires.
Overall, the only issue is that creatine and betaine are not “fully” dosed, but the stuff that matters for your immediate workout sure as are! And for that reason, we’re excited. It’s cheap and easy to find some extra creatine to take later on.
Also, if you have a very low stimulant tolerance, this one might not be for you, but even at half a scoop you’ll still get very good pumps – more so than a lot of other stuff out there!
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- Curis E., et. al; “Citrulline and the gut;”; Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care; September 2007
- Giannesini B., et. al.; European Journal of Pharmacology; “Citrulline malate supplementation increases muscle efficiency in rat skeletal muscle;” September 2011
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- 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
- Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010)
- holewa, J; Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013
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- Kalman, D; A clinical evaluation to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of an inositol-stabilized arginine silicate dietary supplement in healthy adult males.; Nutrition & Endocrinology Miami Research Associates; 2014
- Brusilow SW, Maestri NE; Urea cycle disorders: diagnosis, pathophysiology, and therapy . Adv Pediatr. (1996)
- MacLean DA, et al; Plasma and muscle amino acid and ammonia responses during prolonged exercise in humans . J Appl Physiol. (1991)
- Nybo L, et al; Cerebral ammonia uptake and accumulation during prolonged exercise in humans . J Physiol. (2005)
- Lidder S, Webb AJ Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway . Br J Clin Pharmacol. (2013)
- Palmer RM, Ashton DS, Moncada S Vascular endothelial cells synthesize nitric oxide from L-arginine . Nature. (1988)
- Cosby K, et al; Nitrite reduction to nitric oxide by deoxyhemoglobin vasodilates the human circulation . Nat Med. (2003)
- Modin A, et al; Nitrite-derived nitric oxide: a possible mediator of ‘acidic-metabolic’ vasodilation . Acta Physiol Scand. (2001)
- Baguet, A et al.; Journal of Applied Physiology; “Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance;” July 2010;” 2005
- Roger C. Harris; et al.; “The effect of a supplement containing β-alanine on muscle carnosine synthesis, ventilatory threshold and exercise capacity in Korean cyclists, during 12 weeks combined endurance and weight training“
- Kendrick IP, et al. The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with beta-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition. Amino Acids. (2008)
- 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)
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