Update: PRE Extreme has made it into our 2016 Best Pre Workout Supplement List! Read on to see why!
Recently, the fitness world’s prayers have been answered as we’ve had a round of quality pre workouts flooding the market lately, such as Jacked Factory’s Altius and Controlled Labs White Rapids. Here we are again with another stellar contributor to the market with NutraBio’s PRE Extreme V4.0.
We got a hold of the label as well as got some inside info that went into the formulation of this behemoth and can’t wait to give you the inside story, but first, take a second to sign up below for PricePlow alerts or to check the best deal, because NutraBio will soon be in stores everywhere:
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Our Pre Extreme Review
CJ and Amin tried the new v4 Green Apple flavor, and unsurprisingly, it really did them well (you’ll realize why after seeing the label). Watch how swole Amin gets!
The Quick NutraBio Story
If you haven’t heard of NutraBio, then get ready – these guys have been “lurking in the shadows” for nineteen years, building a massive brand outside of the typical retailer network that we deal with.
We started talking to them when their founder and CEO began commenting on our amino acid spiking articles — it turns out, they’ve been creating 100% open, non-proprietary formulas and railing against non-compliance and spiked products since way before it was cool. They’re now perfectly poised to launch into the forefront with their message.
But more on that later – let’s introduce to you PRE Extreme first, so you get an idea of what they’re up to:
PRE Extreme’s Ingredients
Just take a peek to the right at the picture and look really, really close at the serving size. One scoop is a whopping 39g! Thats huge! There are a TON of actives in here and this looks to be one hell of a formula.
There are two most important things to note:
This version has 15g carbohydrates
This is discussed in detail below, and they come in an ultra-quick digesting form, but there is a carb-free version simply named “NutraBio PRE” (not extreme).
There is 350mg caffeine per serving
This is also discussed in detail below, because it’s a mix of caffeine types to prolong the release. But once again, there’s also a caffeine-free version.
Point being… NutraBio has something for practically everyone, and many of their products are like this. But today, we’re talking about the stims and the carbs, and that’s what we’ll be reviewing.
So, hold on tight and let’s get right to it.
Rapid Glycogen Pre-load System
Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (15g)
Carbs fuel performance — that goes without saying — but they are also great a creating a spike in insulin. This spike makes for an ideal way to transport nutrients into muscle cells. Many people have used dextrose, maltodextrin or waxy maize as their fast-acting carb of choice, but the problem with all of these is their high osmolality which slows down the gastric emptying and absorption in the small intestines.
The answer to this problem is Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin, a.k.a. HBCD.
It’s formed from the breakdown of a low osmolality, high molecular weight molecule called amylopectin. Once this enters the stomach, if shuttles right through and onto the intestines for rapid absorption.
This is ideal in a pre workout carb! Passing through the stomach quickly to get absorbed by the small intestine and then onto your muscles supplying they with the necessary fuel and helping to shuttle in all of the other ergogenics we’re about to get into.[2,3]
Athletic Endurance & Performance Complex
L-Citrulline Malate 2:1 (6g)
L-Arginine was once the standard “pump” ingredient in bodybuilding world. Citrulline Malate,however, is more bioavailable than L-Arginine and increases levels of arginine in the body more than L-Arginine does. This leads to increased nitric oxide (NO) production in the body leading to more blood flowing into the muscles and yielding a tremendous PUMP!
Citrulline malate also exhibits buffering properties by removing lactic acid build up and ammonia which increases and ATP production and endurance.[5,6,7,8] This results in enhanced energy production and better workout performance…and we’re just getting started!
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine (2.5g)
Beta-alanine is a proven powerhouse in the supplement industry as it increases power output and reduces muscle fatigue.[9,10] Similar to citrulline it usually not dosed well in most pre workouts. PRE Extreme contains 2.5g, which is below the typically recommended dosage of 3.2g. Given the full doses of most of the other ingredients in PRE Extreme, this one makes us scratch our heads.
To make sure you’re getting your daily fill of BA, you may want to add some bulk to this to get the clinically studied dose of 3.2g.
ATP Power, Strength, & Recovery Complex
Leucine, the most studied and important of the 3 Branched Chain Amino Acids, works on the mTOR pathway in the body. As you know, this activation stimulates muscle protein synthesis, but it can also stimulate insulin secretion.
Betaine Anhydrous (2.5g)
Betaine is an awesome ingredient that has been making its way into nearly all new pre workouts hitting the market. It has multiple studies backing it up as a way to increase power, endurance, and creatine production while decreasing soreness.[12,13,14,15]
The clinical dosage is 2.5g, which is precisely the amount used in the clinical trials. No need to add any bulks here!
PharmaPure™ Creatine Monohydrate (2g)
The “gold standard” when it comes to forms of creatine supplementation is the monohydrate variant. Next to caffeine, no single ingredient has been studied more than simple creatine mono.
It’s proven time and again to boost power, strength, endurance, and lean mass.[31,32,33,34]
Upon first glance, it would seen that creatine is underdosed here, but we’ve got a little more coming in our next ingredient…
Creatine HCl (1g)
Creatine HCl’s claim to fame is its increased bioavailability and absorption compared to creatine monohydrate. Due to this, it’s purported that you don’t need as much to elicit the same benefits. Many users, especially those who dislike monohydrate, swear by it as it’s supposed to not create the “bloat” that many attribute to mono.
However, there’s no clear cut research to support any of these claims which we would have expected by now given how long these claims have been made.
Either way, it’s an additional gram of creatine which when combined with the 2g of monohydrate puts us at the clinical dose of 3g that we want to get in everyday.
Electrolyte and Hydration Optimizer
A conditionally essential amino acid that is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body with large stores in the muscles, heart, and brain. The reason it’s “conditionally” essential is that during periods of physical exertion, the body can’t make enough to meet the body’s demands.
Taurine functions as a cell volumizer which helps draw water and nutrients into muscle cells. Additionally, taurine also increases focus and reduces the symptoms of delayed muscle onset soreness.[19,20]
TRAACS® Calci K (525mg)
Another ingredient from the makers at Albion Human Nutrition, this specialized form of two crucial electrolytes calcium and potassium. Electrolytes help maintain proper hydration levels in the body and ensure optimal muscle contraction
Sodium Phosphate (189mg)
Much like the previous ingredient, sodium is another crucial electrolyte necessary for ensuring adequate hydration in the body as we lose tons of sodium when we sweat during physical activity, at least you should be if you’re really pushing the envelope!
Focus & Drive Stimulation Complex
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (1.2g)
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a more bioavailable (and more expensive) form of L-Tyrosine. This amino increases the production of noradrenaline and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters in the body. Its included due to its ability to boost mood and focus, while reducing stress levels.[23,24]
One thing to note here, is that a 1.2g dose of NALT is HUGE compared to nearly all other pre workouts on the market. Usually, you’re lucky to get 500-750mg of regular L-Tyrosine. This sizeable dose which definitely have a strong focus-enhancing effect on your workout!
Note that the total caffeine content of PRE Extreme is 350mg as we are rewarded with two forms of the stimulant. First, PRE contains 250mg of caffeine anhydrous for that instant stim kick to make you feel alive and get you into gear.
The second form of caffeine is Infinergy™ Dicaffeine Malate. Developed by Creative Compounds, there is 133mg of Infinergy™ in PRE Extreme, but due to its bonding to malic acid, it only yields 100mg of caffeine. This bonding also makes it easier on the stomach due to the buffering properties associated with malic acid. Malic acid is also purported to restore the energy produced by the caffeine in the body.
We reached out to the founder of NutraBio for some clarification on the use of two forms of caffeine, and here’s what he had to say,
“With regard to the caffeine anhydrous & di-caffeine malate (DCM) combination: we ran qualitative research over 6 months experimenting with various combinations to come up with this formula. We found that DCM on its own didn’t give enough of the initial energy spike that’s needed in a pre-workout while too much caffeine anhydrous (more than 250mg) caused jitters and bonking in longer intense workouts.
However, by combining them together in this ratio, the anhydrous kicks in hard and the DCM takes over to even it out and give a longer stimulatory effect resulting in increased exercise capacity without hitting the wall mid-workout.” — NutraBio CEO So, we’re left we a combination that will give you the initial boost to get in the weight room and then give a long smooth energy ride throughout your entire workout!
TheaPure™ L-Theanine (300mg)
L-theanine is an analogue of the amino acid glutamine predominantly found in tea leaves. It’s also been increasingly included in pre workouts to help smooth out the harsh kick from high doses of caffeine and other stimulants, like you’ll find in PRE Extreme. However, theanine also performs several other functions.
Theanine also enhances the cognitive focus effects of caffeine, and helps reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and fatigue.[40,41]. Typically, we see a 3:1 caffeine:theanine ratio or thereabout, but this is substantially more! Lately, we’ve also experimented with 300+mg doses of Theanine in Transparent Lab’s PreSeries Bulk and love the focus and smooth feel it gives to the product.
We imagine much the same here. Have an almost 1:1 ratio of caffeine to theanine should do wonders for those who usually get jittery with higher doses of caffeine and substantially reduce any sort of “crash” that may happen in the after hours of your consuming PRE Extreme.
N-Methyl Tyramine (50mg)
NMT acts as mild beta 2 adrenergic agonist, meaning it stimulates the “flight or fight” response that mobilizes fatty acids for energy, and giving you a bit of an adrenaline boost. This allows you to burn fat while working out. Studies have also shown that it’s 1/140th the strength of adrenaline, so you’ll also get a decent boost to go with the other stimulants in PRE Extreme.
Hordenine HCl (50mg)
Hordenine is a component of Bitter Orange, where you’ll also find synephrine. Just like our previous ingredient, Hordenine is a beta-2 adrenergic agonist, meaning it stimulates the brain to release noradrenaline and adrenaline. This increases both heart rate and breathing.
Yohimbe HCl (4mg)
As if there weren’t enough stims in PRE Exteme already, we’ve got some Yohimbe to top things off. Yohimbe is an incredibly effective appetite suppressant, as well as a fat storage blocker.
Yohimbe also helps to increase focus, cognition, and energy during your workouts.[36,37,38] One thing we’re not sure is what standardization NutraBio is extracting for. This could give some insight into how hard this particular Y extract will affect users.
Huperzine A (100mcg)
Another focus boosting ingredient in PRE Extreme, Huperzine A delays the brain’s breakdown of acetylcholine, a.k.a. the “learning neurotransmitter”, thereby indirectly increasing its levels.
Additionally, huperzine might be neurogenerative in helping to create new brain cells.
Nitric Oxide Performance Matrix
Agmatine Sulfate (1g)
Agmatine is another NO boosting compound. However, won’t directly boost nitric oxide levels though it prevents NO breakdown.
500mg is the dose most other pre’s use, but products that use this as a sole pump ingredient usually need to include more. However, we’ve got a full 1g dose here and coupled with the 6g of citrulline malate and our next ingredient, you’ll be well on your way to PUMP CITY!
Nitrosigine™ is a trademarked ingredient from Nutrition21, and is a unique form of the old old standard pump inducer Arginine, where its bonded to silicate to increase the bioavailability its bioavailability.
What sets Nitrosigine apart from other pump supplements is that it increases baseline N.O. levels, meaning it keeps levels boosted for a period of up to two weeks and leads to further benefits down the line.
Nutrient Absorption Enhancer
Bioperine is the incredibly popular patented form of black pepper extract used to increase absorption of other nutrients included in the pre workout.
Well that’s one solid effort from a company that’s really going to be storming the stores soon. We have ours on the way, and are pretty confident it’s going to work extremely well.
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PRE Extreme is currently available in 4 options: Watermelon, Raspberry Lemonade, Green Apple, and Unflavored. Although we can’t imagine this many ingredients tasting very good without the addition of some kind of flavoring component.
Additionally, there is also as stimulant-free option for those that are on a stim break or prefer not to ingest this much caffeine.
Carbs or No Carbs…
NutraBio does offer a carb-free version of PRE Extreme, aptly dubbed PRE. Most pre workouts on the market are carb-free concentrates made up of stims and other various ergogenics designed to enhance performance. Additionally, most people in today’s day and age are carb-phobic and will shun the precious energy source for fear of getting fat.
We went to the source again to find out why they are offering a version with carbs, and here’s what he had to say,
“Personally, if it were up to me I would only offer the PRE Extreme with carbs. Unfortunately, too many people hit their workout with insufficient nutrition, burn through glycogen and go catabolic too quickly. But there are a lot of carbo-phobes still out there that will be against it.
I add carbs to every pre-workout shake, and drink them intra workout as well. That’s what motivated me to make this version. I was mixing them myself and said why not offer it together, it will help more people stay in an anabolic mode.” –NutraBio CEO
So there you have it! If you’re really wanting to maximize your performance in the weight room, don’t fret over the carbs in PRE Extreme. You’ll be well rewarded for including them pre workout.
And if you are worried about carbs, your best bet is to track them in a calorie counting app, and adjust them elsewhere in the day. Low-carb or not, it’s tough to argue with the platitudes of research that show carbohydrates helping with workout performance for most people!
Insanely Open Formula
Take a look at the bottom of the ingredient label. NutraBio even tells you how much sweetener, color, and emulsifier is in there! There for anyone, including you, to copy. That’s how confident they are in their brand. How can you not love that?
Whew, that was a lot to go through, and hopefully you hung with us through everything. PRE Extreme V3 holds nothing back in creating one robust formula that will cover every single base you could hope to address in a pre workout.
Sure, a few of the ingredients are technically slightly “underdosed”, but they are easy enough (and cheap enough) to get bulk versions of to add or take at any other point in the day, and may not truly be underdosed depending on how betaine and creatine actually combine.
We’ve got a tub of this on the way and will be back soon will a full in-depth review once we’ve had a chance to run the entire tub.
Until then, grab a tub yourself and let us know if it takes your workouts from regular to EXTREME!
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