For well over a decade, gamers and energy drinks have gone hand in hand. But have you ever asked yourself why?
Truth be told, the average energy drink is nothing but water, caffeine, and maybe some “focus ingredients” that are so under-dosed they will never elicit a measurable effect (we call this “pixie-dusting”). And maybe loads of completely unnecessary carbohydrates.
Your energy drinks are garbage for gaming. Here’s why.
There are three reasons these less-than-optimal drinks:
- The majority of energy drinks are sold by mega-corporations that work on nothing but profit
- It’s incredibly difficult (and thus not profitable) to get efficacious doses of quality ingredients suspended in a canned beverage.
- You keep buying them!
So along comes the sports nutrition industry, of which PricePlow here is a part. After all, if there’s one thing we know, it’s getting you energized, focused, and motivated for your mission. Unfortunately, some of the brands to jump in first were also the ones that do some of the same pixie-dusting, proprietary blend bullshit described above.
You don’t need a “bench press brand” to tell you how to game. You need an Outbreak.
A gaming supplement made by gamers… who also know supplements
I’d like to introduce you to Outbreak Nutrition. This most fascinating brand is technically in our “sports nutrition” space… but take a look at their website (warning: that’s an affiliate link). You won’t see a single nutrition or fitness article on it.
These guys are living in another world — literally. Instead of the same boring story we read every day here, Outbreak Nutrition is instead based upon an alternate future post-nuclear apocalyptic reality set in 2044. They are here to prepare you for survival. They train hard, but guess what – they also game hard too.
In short: This is the perfect brand to produce a gaming supplement. And finally, they did just that.
F.P.S (Focus & Performance Supplement) is what energy drinks were supposed to be. It brings an epic combination of energy, mood-enhancement, and focus-boosting ingredients (11 of them!) that combine forces to put you into the ultimate gaming combat mode.
And just wait until you see this flavor. Not only is it delicious, but it’s lightly carbonated too, so you have nothing to miss from your old underdosed friends discussed above.
Below in this post, we explain the ingredients and cite sources. But first, take a look at our coupon-driven price comparisons and sign up for our Outbreak Nutrition news alerts so you never miss a contest, new product / flavor, or deal:
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Are you prepared?
The Outbreak FPS Ingredients Explained
On their website, Outbreak says “Zero calories, zero sugar, 100% domination.”
Let’s see if their money is where their mouths are:
Caffeine Anhydrous – 200mg
Supplements are always listed in order of highest-dosed to lowest, but I’ve moved this one up so you can quickly determine how much you want to take.
Caffeine is obviously the tried-and-true stimulant that has more research on it than pretty much anything in the industry. 200mg in a full scoop of F.P.S. is a bit higher than your standard energy drink, yet very safe for any normal sized healthy person over the age of 18.
Think twice before two-scooping!
What’s great about a powder is that you can dose it exactly as you need it. If you’ve “leveled up” to the world of 300mg worth of caffeine, you can eventually do 1.5 scoops. That will get you more of the below ingredients but also cost you more over time as you run through your tub quicker.
But first, realize that you may not need 300mg caffeine anymore! Unlike those other drinks you’re used to, we have additional focus enhancers and some “amplification” ingredients discussed below. So before you go and make massive heaping scoops, start at a scoop or less to assess your tolerance.
There’s focused, there’s dialed-in, and then there’s flat-out jittery. Try to find one of the first two, not the latter, so start light. Remember, you can always add a dash more later on.
L-Citrulline Malate 2:1 – 2000mg
The name of the game here is blood flow. No, not the gory kind of blood flow you’re used to in your games, but the kind inside your body that gets nutrients delivered to where they need to go. In your case: your brain.
Citrulline malate is often used in “pre workout supplements” to increase blood flow. Athletes love it because when they are weight training, that flow brings blood and nutrients to the muscles they’re training, giving them that “pump” that Arnold used to talk about.
This ingredient is a combination of two parts L-Citrulline, one part malic acid, giving us about 1.4g of L-Citrulline. This amino acid works by converting into another amino acid named L-arginine, which then produces nitric oxide (NO).
A bit more NO then induces an effect known as vasodilation, or a slight widening of the veins. And that allows for more nutrients to get delivered where they’re being used up. And by nutrients, we also mean “better delivery of the other ingredients”, so everything else should work better with citrulline! It also reduces blood pressure, something most gamers will appreciate when things get intense.
If you’re lost, our path basically goes like this:L-Citrulline → L-Arginine → Nitric Oxide → Better Blood flow → “Neuronal Modulation”
Athletes go for the blood flow to their biceps, but similar processes occur in the brain – so keep flexing it!
Why the long route?
At this point, you may ask, “why not just take more L-arginine?” and that would be a fantastic question. The reason is that L-Arginine is only absorbed well in low-doses, and mega-dosing it (say 10g or more) causes serious GI distress if you know what we mean. It turns out that supplemental citrulline actually increases your plasma arginine levels better than supplementing arginine itself, so Outbreak is avoiding that whole mess by doing a bit of both! (A gram of L-arginine is still added below).
The one rub here is that in the world of athletics, citrulline needs to be dosed at 3g or more to have “clinically proven” physical performance benefits. While we’re absolutely confident that this dose of citrulline malate will yield more plasma arginine and NO levels, we do need to disclaim that the clinical athletic benefits are at 3g or more.
Acetyl L-Carnitine – 1500mg
Acetyl L-Carnitine?! Sounds ferocious! Well, it’s not “ferocious”, but it’s definitely a very large dose of the best form of L-Carnitine for focus.
L-Carnitine is a compound heavily involved in getting fatty acids to your cells’ mitochondria, which are the “powerhouses” that then create your body’s true energy tokens — ATP (your cells don’t care about calories, they care about ATP and mitochondrial health).
For this reason, this ingredient is often marketed for weight loss and athletic purposes, as it’s all about getting fat to where it needs to go get “burnt”, but research on that type of supplementation works best for those who are carnitine deficient — vegans / vegetarians, elderly, and recovering athletes. If that’s you, then consider this a great bonus, but that’s not completely why we’re here.
Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier
Instead, Acetyl L-Carnitine (affectionately known as “ALCAR” in this biz) is the form of L-Carnitine that can cross the blood-brain-barrier! This means that it not only increases your body’s pool of carnitine for those fat-shuttling benefits — it now brings them to your brain for enhanced focus and cognition![6-8]
And 1500mg is a phenomenal dose. We usually start “feeling the flow” from this one at 1000mg (it’s not a stimulant but there’s still ‘kick’). Remember, Outbreak is the kind of brand that doesn’t do things weakly.
L-Tyrosine – 1000mg
L-Tyrosine is one of our favorite cognition-enhancing amino acids. It gets converted to two of our favorite “neurochemicals”, dopamine and noradrenaline. This helps “activate” you, and it turns out that it alleviates stress! Basically a perfect ingredient to have when things are getting a bit wild out there.
Once again, a very good dose – we normally start enjoying it at 500mg, but usually prefer a gram.
L-Arginine – 1000mg
Back to the blood flow situation as described above with L-Citrulline. This gives us a “best of both worlds” situation where we have increased plasma arginine levels yielding a nitric oxide boost for better blood flow to the brain.
Low-dose arginine like this is fine with us so long as it’s paired with something like citrulline. With that, you have one-two punch providing multiple ways to get things moving.
Taurine – 500mg
You’ve seen this one on energy drink cans, but the big difference here is that Outbreak Nutrition tells you exactly how much you get! (Remember when we were talking about those cans being ‘pixie-dusted’?)
Taurine isn’t bull’s piss. Instead, it’s an “organic acid” that does some awesome things in terms of water transfer amongst cells. It’s called an “osmolyte” because it regulates your hydration.
It turns out that endurance athletes love this for its anti-fatigue effects. A massive meta-analysis recently completed showed that taurine absolutely works for endurance, and it works from the first use!! Even better, 500mg was the minimum dose. For long-distance endurance athletics we usually take a gram, but for gaming, the 500mg clinical dose is fine by us!
Glucuronolactone – 500mg
Another one you’ve likely seen on those proprietary blend (*cough* pixie-dusted *cough*) energy drink cans.
Despite the near decades we’ve seen it on those cans, research is still admittedly a bit sparse, with most of our info coming out of Japan. It seems to improve exercise capacity, but the true mechanism of action is still not known. Right now, the main theory at the moment is that it may be synergistic with caffeine.[11,12] In addition, it may also be in those energy drinks because their studies show improvements to memory, reaction time, and heightened concentration,[13-16] although that’s confounded by all the other ingredients.
Truth be told, even though it is incredibly well-tolerated, this is an ingredient we want more research on. Outbreak is likely keeping it in F.P.S. because of the caffeine synergy effect as well as proving that they can’t be out-done by some can.
DMAE – 150mg
DMAE stands for dimethylaminoethanol, and it’s a compound naturally-produced in the brain but also found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
When supplemented, DMAE gets taken up into the brain, and the brain’s levels of the vital nutrient choline are then increased. Choline is important because it raises levels of acetylcholine in the brain, which we call the “learning neurotransmitter” as it allows your nerve cells to transmit signals.
But how DMAE works is a bit different than just supplementing choline.
Rather than directly increase choline or acetylcholine, DMAE seems to inhibit choline metabolism, thus keeping choline levels high in the bloodstream.
Keeping your choline and acetylcholine around is hugely important because neurons thrive on it, and research has demonstrated memory improvements, better concentration, and potentially better mood with supplementation!
For the record, we suggest everyone eat egg yolks, as they’re the best source of choline to get your levels up.
Methyliberine (as Dynamine®) – Yielding 50mg
Now this is an ingredient you’re not going to find in your gas station energy drink right now.
Dynamine is a new “stimulant” that’s a bit similar to caffeine, only it doesn’t elevate heart rate or blood pressure.
We put “stimulant” up above in quotes because it’s not actually a stim — it gives a neurological “tickle” without actually affecting the central nervous system! For this reason, it’s better known as a neuromodulator.
Dynamine is the latest and greatest energy booster and if you’ve tried some of the ingredients above but are still feeling something “awesomely different”, then this is why.
L-Theanine – 100mg
Concerned about too much stim-rush? Don’t worry, because theanine is the ingredient that levels off any potential jitters and smoothes the whole situation out.
It’s an expensive ingredient, which is probably why it’s not in the competition, but it’s amazingly synergistic with caffeine, providing many cognitive benefits. It effectively allows users to enjoy the pros of caffeine without any of the cons.
Now, this is often a relaxing ingredient at certain doses. We like it best when it’s dosed at less than caffeine, and the 2:1 ratio of caffeine:theanine here is our preference! When we try 200mg L-Theanine taken solo, it’s not for us — too “chillax”. But with caffeine at half its dose? Abso-fricken-lutely, smooth out that strike and let us stay in the zone, not trip out of it.
Huperzine A – 100mcg
Remember when discussing acetylcholine (the “learning neurotransmitter”) up above? Well, this ingredient keeps it around even longer! Huperzine A prevents it from being broken down by your brain and body (it inhibits the enzyme that breaks acetylcholine down).
This means more of the neurotransmitter hanging around longer, giving your neurons the benefits for longer periods of time.
As you can see, only miniscule doses of it are needed – we usually see 50mcg to 200mcg, so this is right in the middle and should pair excellently with DMAE.
The flavors… and carbonation?!
Now let’s get down to the real business. How’s this stuff taste?
Well if you couldn’t tell by the name Devastated Dew, Outbreak Nutrition’s going after a certain citrus-flavored soda.
And I’ll be damned if they didn’t nail it! Truth be told, the “mouthfeel” actually somewhere in between Diet Mountain Dew and regular Mountain Dew. F.P.S isn’t as “syrupy” as the regular corn syrup drink, but also isn’t as “thin” as Diet Mountain Dew due to being made from a powder. This is actually a very happy compromise.
As opposed to the two cans, which are either sweetened with nasty high fructose corn syrup or aspartame, F.P.S. is sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame K, a standard combo in the supplement industry.
You mentioned bubbles?
Yes, it’s slightly carbonated and will fizz just a bit when you pour it into water! Take a look at the “Other Ingredients” on the label, you’ll see potassium bicarbonate. That bicarbonate adds some carbonation!
It’s not a massively overwhelming amount so it doesn’t “hurt” if you chug it fast, and it doesn’t last more than a few minutes, but it will help you forget your old sodas as you drink away.
F.P.S is your next Focus and Performance Supplement
What a cool ass product from the coolest non-sports-nutrition brand in the sports nutrition industry. Founded by athletic gamers (their Pathogen pre workout supplement has a new flavor named “Nuka Colada” for instance), these guys know how to formulate cool, interesting, and efficacious stuff.
If you’re tired of killing your body with sugary energy drinks or slowly killing your wallet with the zero-carb ones, then it’s time to take a look at a powder.
But not just any powder. A powder that fizzes and tastes like your favorite drink. A powder that brings knowledge from the most pioneering sector of supplements (sports performance enhancement) and brings it to gaming – open formula and all. A powder from the nuclear holocaust of the year 2044.
A powder that’s all out of bubble gum.