Muscletech’s SX-7 Black Onyx Series currently has three members with Test 3X, PhosphaGrow SX-7, and the original Hydroxycut SX-7 Black Onyx. The latest addition to the line is a new pre workout called #Shatter Black Onyx. It’s an upgrade of Muscletech’s SX-7 Series formula by the same first name, #Shatter, but like the others in this series, is a GNC-exclusive product (at least for now).
We’ve already poked fun at MuscleTech’s hashtag symbol in our original breakdown of #Shatter, but the fact is that these products aren’t the same ol’ proprietary blend formulations that we get so tired of seeing — they bring originality to the table instead.
The short story is that this is a hybrid of a few of MuscleTech’s other new products, and it uses a lot of really interesting “new” natural extracts that you most likely haven’t tried yet, yet have some decent research behind them.
If you’ve been bored with the same mix of pre workout ingredients, this could definitely bring a whole new feel to your workout game.
Let’s get to the ingredient breakdown and see how much of a step up from the original this is! But first, make sure to sign up below for deal alerts or where to get the best price on #Shatter Black Onyx when it’s released:
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SX-7 Black Onyx’s Ingredients
On the surface, this latest pre workout offering from MT looks like an amped up version of the SX-7 series’ pre workout #Shatter. Taking a look at the Black Onyx version of SX-7 reveals it to be a combination of ingredients seen in the original and their latest fat burner Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen. (Have we thrown enough product names at you yet?)
Clinical Strength Performance Blend
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine (1.6g)
Our first ingredient is a carryover from the original #Shatter. Beta alanine is as common in pre workouts nowadays as caffeine it seems, and for good reason. This popular amino acid is proven across a wide variety of athletic endeavors for boosting endurance, power, strength, and blunting fatigue.[1,2,3,4]
It accomplishes this by increasing your muscle’s carnosine levels, which then helps to buffer lactic acid within the muscle that makes your muscles fatigue.
Peak ATP® (200mg)
Also carried over from Shatter is the MT-exclusive ingredient, PeakATP®. Chemically, it’s known as Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) disodium salt. PeakATP® is touted to activate the mTOR pathway in the body but also increase calcium intake in skeletal muscle. This would help create stronger, more powerful muscle contractions.One of PeakATP®’s other strengths is its ability it offers to delay fatigue during a workout, and possibly even increase blood flow afterwards to fuel the recovery and rebuilding of muscles.
Much like the original Shatter, the dose here is 200 mg.This works against the original and the SX-7 Black Onyx version because it’s only half of the dose used in the studies that validate the claims attributed to Peak ATP.. This means you’ll need two servings to get the most out of this supplement.
Extreme Neuro-Sensory Matrix
Caffeine Anhydrous (200mg)
Kicking off the focus and energy blend in SX-7 Black Onyx is yet another ingredient from the original #Shatter, caffeine. However, instead of using the same dosage (160mg) as the original, the Black Onyx version turns things up to 11 with 200mg per scoop.This should provide a decent boost in focus, motivation, and energy for the majority of users, especially when combined with the other ingredients in the Extreme Neuro-Sensory Matrix, but other users may need more of a kick requiring 1.5-2 scoops.
Myristica fragrans Extract (100mg)
Our first ingredient borrowed from Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen is Myristica fragrans extract. This is a really fancy name for nutmeg seed extract, and it is likely here as a potent focus booster.
It comes from an evergreen tree indigenous but it has been shown to be an effective of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that leads to the breakdown of acetylcholine.
By preventing its degradation, acetylcholine levels are indirectly elevated and more will be available for use by the brain.
Why is this important? Acetylcholine is a potent neurotransmitter also known as the “learning neurotransmitter” which will help you generate focus during your workouts and help to foster a stronger “mind-muscle connection.”
Blue Skullcap Extract (37.5mg)
Also carried over from Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen is Blue Skullcap Extract. It’s a member of the mint family and also known as Scutellaria lateriflora. The dose here though is half of what was contained in the fat burner.
In clinical trials, Blue Skullcap Extract has been useful in reducing symptoms of anxiety.[9,10] This should help to smooth out the stimulant kick from the caffeine and yohimbe extract, especially if you’re using two scoops of this product, which you’ll need to get efficacious doses of some of the ergogenic compounds contained in Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx.
Yohimbe Extract (20mg)
Widely used in a number of MT’s pre workouts and fat burners, Yohimbe Extract is a naturally occurring alkaloid that comes from the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree and the Rauwolfia Serpentina plant. It’s standardized for 6% which means in a 20mg dose, you’re getting 1.2mg of yohimbe.This is a fairly tame dose as the clinical dose for yohimbine is 0.2mg/kg of bodyweight. So even with 2 scoops, you’re getting at most 2.4mg of yohimbine.
This is good, though, as this is marketed to the masses and first time users of any Y-products are usually hesitant to try them based on bad previous experiences with poorer quality extracts.Yohimbe Extract will help with focus and cognition, and provide a great stimulatory boost for your workouts.[11,12,13]
The ingredient above yields anti-anxiety benefits, so if you’re worried about the combo of caffeine and yohimbe or are two-scooping this product, this should help counter any potential effects most attribute to yohimbe.
Satsuma Orange Concentrate (2mg)
Our last ingredient was also seen in the exact same dosage in Hydroxycut Black Onyx. It is supplying a compound called beta-cryptoxanthin which is a class of carotenoids, more specifically the xanthophylls. In the human body, beta-cryptoxanthin is converted to vitamin A and acts as a potent antioxidant and free radical destroyer.
It is gaining traction in some circles for its ability to help prevent abdominal obesity. Additionally, it has been shown to improve bone and lipid metabolism. Granted, these are in animal studies, but the outlook is promising on this rather novel ingredient.
Currently, there are only two flavors available for Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx. The first a rather standard pre workout flavor in fruit punch explosion. Things get more enticing though with the second option, also seen in MT’s Anarchy, icy rocket freeze.
Each tub of SX-7 Black Onyx comes with 60 servings, 10 more than the largest size available for the regular Shatter SX-7 currently available.
MT’s latest pre workout does improve on several aspects of the original #Shatter, and makes a very unique pre workout formula that has at least one ingredient you’ve probably never tried — but probably more! Additionally, to get full doses of beta alanine and PeakATP®, you’ll need to two scoop this product which will up the price per serving and lead to some serious stim kicks to go with your BA tingles.
The crux will come down to price and your willingness to get a touch experimental with the natural extracts. Since most people will end up using more than a single scoop of this pre workout (1.25 scoops, or a heaping scoop, would likely be optimal for our average reader), it effectively increases the price per serving. Additionally, the SX-7 series of products is exclusive to GNC which will further limit its market reach, although many of these products often end up on Amazon Prime.
Overall, MT made some slight improvements with this upgrade, but we need to try some of these new extracts to really see if they’re worth the added cost – it seems they’re using GNC as a “testing ground” for new ingredients, and if they work out, they’ll likely end up in other core MuscleTech products in the future… but you can try these new ingredients first here – just at the price premium!
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- Hill, CA et al.; Amino Acids; “Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity ;” February 2007
- 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)
- 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“
- Drozak, J; Molecular identification of carnosine synthase as ATP-grasp domain-containing protein 1 (ATPGD1).; Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, Université Catholique de Louvain; 2010
- Hipkiss, A; On the enigma of carnosine’s anti-ageing actions.; School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, The University of Birmingham; 2009
- Mizuki Y, et al. Differential effects of noradrenergic drugs on anxiety and arousal in healthy volunteers with high and low anxiety. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. (1996)
- Szemeredi, K; Simultaneous measurement of plasma and brain extracellular fluid concentrations of catechols after yohimbine administration in rats.; Hypertensive-Endocrine Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 1991
- Cameron, O; Effects of yohimbine on cerebral blood flow, symptoms, and physiological functions in humans.; Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical Center; 2000