It’s here, and it’s PricePlow-approved for aggressive, get-up-and-go workouts! The new MuscleTech pre workout, MuscleTech Anarchy, is out!
The idea behind Anarchy is that it’s going to be a high-energy pre workout supplement, with only ingredients that are going to enhance this workout.
There are no unnecessary ingredients, yet there are a few that have never been combined before, and one that’s not in many pre workouts that is going to be a potential difference-maker for some.
Plus, the watermelon flavor is spot on.
See the ingredients to the right – click it for a close-up.
Each scoop contains the following (a detailed ingredient analysis is below):
- Beta-alanine (CarnoSyn®) – 1.6g
- Arginine inositol silicate (Nitrosigine®) – 750mg
- Glycerol (HydroMax™) – 325mg
- Caffeine anhydrous – 190mg
- Choline bitartrate – 100mg
- L-theanine – 75mg
- Rhodiola extract (as Rhodiola Rosea) (root) – 50mg – Standardized for salidrosides and rosavins
- Yohimbe extract (as Pausinystalia yohimbe) (bark) – 20mg – Standardized for 6% yohimbine
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Now, for our detailed Anarchy ingredient analysis:
Beta Alanine (1.6g)
At this point, we’re confident that most of you know about beta alanine. This is the popular amino acid that increases endurance for nearly any athletic endeavor, but is most notorious for its tingling sensation (called paresthesia). Don’t worry, it’s incredibly safe and non-toxic.
When you take beta alanine, it boosts your muscle’s carnosine levels, which then works to buffer lactic acid and other nasty stuff that makes your muscles fatigue.
Over the course of time, it builds up, and then it works incredibly well – especially if you’re doing activities that last between 1 to 4 minutes long. Here are some of the sports that have beta alanine research behind them:
- American Football[4,5]
- Weightlifting (or any resistance training)
- General Exercise
And best of all, the research is done on both men and women.
The research is really quite thorough at this point. Put simply, if you’re the kind of person to be taking a pre workout, you’re the kind of person who should also be taking beta alanine – whether or not you like the tingles.
Arginine Silicate (750mg)
This is a trademarked ingredient from Nutrition21, named NitroSigine, and is the newest form of arginine.
At this point, you are probably aware of the fact that l-citrulline is actually a better arginine / nitric oxide booster than arginine itself![11,12]
But arginine isn’t dead yet! This “Inositol-stabilized” arginine silicate may change everything.
We looked at the research behind arginine inositol silicate in early 2013, and saw that this mixture of arginine, inositol, and potassium silicate actually had some impressive science to it.
First, silica has a few effects:
- It increases bone strength
- It is cardioprotective
The second of those two is the most important one for those of us looking for a nitric oxide boost.
In Nutrition21’s patent application, they show how it is more bioavailable, and include a chart alongside.
So the pieces are there: a way to boost the bioavailability of arginine. The next question is, will it be effective?
The new Nitrosigine study
A study was released in 2014 where this form of arginine was able to immediately boost nitric oxide levels after taking it, which is to be expected.
But what’s interesting is that Nitrosigine boosted baseline NO levels, which means it kept levels high throughout the two weeks and could potentially yield some incredible long-term effects.
No side effects were found, but the study only used four subjects, which isn’t exactly significant. We’re also not sure how it was funded or if it was peer reviewed, so take it with a grain of salt.
What about the other arginine silicate products?
So far, there only two other major products that are using the ingredient, but one of them is only using nearly half this dosage, and the other one is reviewing well but has too many other negatives alongside it.
Simply put, NitroSigine has not yet been given a decent shot.
Regardless, this still seems like an “energy-first, pump-second” type of pre workout, but if 750mg arginine silicate is the magic number, then we could be wrong with that statement.
HydroMax Glycerol (325mg)
Glycerol is an ingredient that acts as a “sponge” for the water in your muscles. For decades, it’s been used for things such as hyperhydration in extreme endurance athletes.[16,17]
As it turned out, those endurance athletes were getting crazy pumps from that water going into their muscle tissue. The bodybuilding companies found out, and glycerol made its way into popular pump supplements.
Monostearate out. HydroMax in.
The issue was the type of glycerol used:
Many supplement users are familiar with glycerol monostearate, the glycerol ingredient most commonly used in pump pre workouts as of mid-2014. The issue, however, is that the glycerol monostearate compound is only 25% glycerol and 75% saturated fat!
The wise folks at dairy conglomerate, Glanbia, saw opportunity, and out came HydroMax: a compound that’s 65% glycerol.
So while 325mg of HydroMax seems small (and still possibly is – remember, this seems to be an energy-first kind of pre workout), the math shows that 325mg of HydroMax is equivalent to 845mg glycerol monostearate. Not a record breaking number, but not a weak dosage either.
Note that since this ingredient requires water to work, so if you’re not feeling it, use more water. It will give you a nice “swole” feeling.
Since MuscleTech is recommending 12 to 16oz water, those who follow the instructions should be pleased by the effects.
We’re not going to get into the science behind caffeine – you know what it does for you. But let’s talk about this dosage.
While it might seem like an odd number, we actually think that this is a very smart move for MuscleTech.
Reason being, there seems to be a psychological level at doses of 400mg caffeine or more. Some research backs that up to a degree, too (it still depends on your size, metabolism, and overall tolerance, but the study referenced actually quotes 400mg as a safe moderate upper intake limit).
400mg? No way! But 380mg? Sure thing.
This means that users are more likely to use two scoops, and get some incredible workouts in, without fearing the dreaded “400mg” psychological number.
As ridiculous as it sounds, this is how many of us think, despite those 20mg of caffeine pretty negligible.
30 servings may haunt Anarchy, depending on price
That’s great for MuscleTech’s bottom line, but what about us?
It’s ultimately going to end on the pricing, and how well PricePlow can wrangle the prices down with our price comparisons.
After all, this tub only has 30 servings. If you’re looking for a high-stim pre workout, and need at least 1.5 scoops of this, you’re already down to 20 workouts – less than a month’s supply.
So this product either needs to kick some serious ass at 1 to 1.5 scoops, or it needs to be priced well.
Of course MuscleTech is a major brand and has the power to price however they want, but we like to keep it reasonable around these parts – even with the biggest brands.
Choline bitartrate (100mg)
We’re massive fans of the focus-enhancing ingredient, choline. There are some great research studies backing its effects up with regards to mental cognition and its ability to boost levels of the “learning neurotransmitter”, acetylcholine.
The issue here, however, is the dosage and type of choline used. The most bioavailable (yet most expensive) form is citicoline, or Choline-CDP, not choline bitartrate. Further, we’re not certain if a 100mg dosage is going to be felt. Anecdotally, the typical daily dose for general health is 250 to 500mg, and some use even more. That’s simply not going to be achieved here.
All is not lost, though — the good news is that this isn’t the only focus ingredient, so we’ll have to see if this and the next two ingredients, L-theanine and rhodiola rosea, will combine to work for an all-encompassing focus system.
Quick time-out on our analysis
Before going any further, we can see that the Anarchy pre workout is quickly turning into a “we gotta try this before we really know” type of supplement.
That’s a good thing, too — it’s NOT the same ol’ same ol’ that other major companies have been putting out.
Interesting and unique play here, MuscleTech!
L-theanine is a very popular amino acid used by fans of cognitive boosters that contain a lot of caffeine. It provides relaxation without sedating you, reduces stress, and improves cognition and attention.
A couple of studies have shown a decrease in anxiety and stress.[22,23] The researchers were using higher dosages though, which is fine. We don’t want to be wimps when we’re working out – we just don’t want to be panicked by high amounts of caffeine and yohimbe.
Improved attention and reaction time
But the best study is how L-theanine had a “pronounced effect on attention performance and reaction time response in normal healthy subjects”. THAT is what we want in a pre workout!
We shall see…
As mentioned above, the science doesn’t matter so much at this point. We need to try this in the field.
So few pre workouts use it, we’re really interested to see how this performs for everyone.
Rhodiola Rosea (50mg)
Rhodiola is without a doubt our favorite herb out there. It’s an adaptogen, which means that it regulates things that need regulating.
The keystone benefits:
- Decrease fatigue and improve endurance / performance[25,26,27]
- Improve overall well-being[26,28]
- Boost cognitive abilities[26,28,29]
- Reduce stress
Anytime things are “off” for you, rhodiola is typically the first suggestion. Its been making its way into some other pre workouts, and the worst case scenario is that you don’t feel it.
However, once again, we have to question the dosage. This is a very, very minor dosage – 1/10 of what another popular pre workout supplement is using.
Is 50mg enough to get the benefits above? Quite honestly, probably not. At least not the full benefits.
It will likely come down to extract strength – something that isn’t shown on this label! Typically, rhodiola extracts state the percentage of rosavins and salidrosides. Here, we don’t know.
So, once again, the best we can say is “we’ll have to see for ourselves”.
20mg of yohimbe standardized for 6% yohimbine means we’re getting 1.2mg yohimbine per scoop. This is a fairly light dosage, which is a good thing for a mass market product like Anarchy.
Ever since the banning of DMAA, yohimbe has been used in more and more pre workouts. It brings a great deal of stimulatory benefits – especially for fat loss. Yohimbe is…
- A great stimulatory compound[30,31]
- Incredible at reducing fat (it actually blocks fat storage, especially in trouble areas, due to being an alpha-2 adrenoreceptor antagonist)[32,33]
- An appetite suppressant when used on an empty stomach
- Even an aphrodisiac in both sexes that increases men’s girth (srs)
The issue with adding yohimbe to a mass-market product is that some users are sensitive to it and get anxious. However, the two ingredients above yield anti-anxiety benefits, so they might be enough to counter any potential negative effects of yohimbe (for all but the most sensitive users).
Only about 1% of users really react poorly to yohimbe – the benefits are worth the risk, especially when that risk can be mitigated with L-theanine and rhodiola.
Ingredient Summary – Excited to Try
In the end, we like the fact that it’s a different kind of high-energy pre workout from a major player. We like that we really don’t know what’s going to happen until we take it.
We don’t like that the HydroMax dosage seems a bit small, the choline dosage is definitely small, and that there’s only 30 servings per tub. But if MuscleTech is willing to play the BOGO / “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” game that they so often do, it might change our opinions on the serving size.
We can’t wait to review it. Only one way to find out.
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The full label
Creatine should be all or none in a pre workout
We appreciate that it’s creatine-free. The amount of “creatine pixie dusting” has gotten out of control in some pre workouts, and it is confusing novice users, since some of them don’t think they need more, when in fact they aren’t getting 3-5g per day via pre workout alone.
In our opinion, it’s all or none — we don’t care which one — but when you have 1g of creatine in a pre workout, it just leads to confusion. Plus, there’s the question of what to do on off-days, so users probably want separate creatine anyway.
With the new Anarchy pre workout supplement, MuscleTech is avoiding that mess, and focusing on what’s needed for this workout.
Update: This argument is now discussed in greater detail on our post titled Creatine is BROKEN… and Your Pre Workout is to Blame.
Other Iovate Pre Workouts
The Iovate family has been very busy lately. MuscleTech’s has had the #Shatter SX-7 pre workout in GNC stores, and it has some interesting natural herbal ingredients, including nutmeg extract that might give you quite a rush.
What about current MuscleTech pre workouts
Take a look at fuel:one 6th Gear
Don’t forget about Six Star
Meanwhile, the Six Star brand has both Pre Workout Ignition and NO Fury, which function as lower-cost options, but seem to be underrated. Just because they’re at Wal-Mart doesn’t mean they’re not good, especially at those prices we have.
This post will get all of the updates as they roll in, so stay tuned. When the product is actually available from stores, those who are signed up for notifications here or on our MuscleTech page.
Doesn’t VPX have an Anarchy supplement?
This was our question, but that product was named “Anarchy Covalex” and seems to have been discontinued. Searching our data for Anarchy, none of our stores have had it in stock for a while, so MuscleTech looks safe here.
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- It will contain HydroMax brand Glycerol and NitroSigine brand arginine silicate.
- (Update on this: A MuscleTech rep posted on our Facebook that this will be the first product to use max clinical doses of both of these ingredients together)
- There will be no creatine inside.
- Every ingredient will have a purpose for a better workout.
- Fruit Punch is a definite flavor (see image above)
- The entire tub is 10.91oz (309g)
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