Every once in awhile the supplement world is graced with a truly exceptional pre workout. One that contains proven ingredients in their efficacious doses proven in the lab. Today’s one of those lucky days, and the industry is a buzzin with this one!
Transparent Labs may be an unknown company to many of you, but they are on the rise, and look to be a major player in the supplement market going forward. PreSeries Bulk is one of their pre workout offerings that’s going to increase performance, stamina, and energy as well as help those looking to BULK.
PreSeries Bulk TL;DR
- Big doses of citrulline malate, beta alanine, and BCAAs
- 2:1 L-Theanine to Caffeine ratio (360mg to 180mg) for smooth focus
- Natural coloring and sweeteners (stevia)
- Testosterone support in a vitamin matrix
- Expensive! ($49 – we explain one reason below, but we negotiated a coupon to save you some cash!)
We’ll get to the details and our review in a bit, but first make sure to sign up for PricePlow alerts and check the best deal:
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Our PreSeries Bulk Review
Amin and CJ ran PreSeries Bulk for a week and absolutely loved it – Amin especially, who was really into the lower-caffeine / higher L-theanine dose!
PreSeries Bulk Ingredients
There’s no hiding behind a prop blend with a name like Transparent Labs. Every ingredient is listed in crystal clear detail, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. However, unlike NutraBio’s supplements (which are “110% transparent”), we still don’t know the doses of flavors, fillers, and emulsifiers here.
Be ready for some extra water in your shaker cup, each scoop weighs in at just under 22 grams of actives per serving!
Citrulline Malate (6g)
You want the perfect balance of pumps and endurance in your workout? Citrulline Malate is the answer. Not only is it more bioavailable and more effective than L-Arginine in the body, it also helps create a much better pump!
Citrulline Malate is much more than a pump booster, though. The increase in Nitric Oxide enhances endurance, athletic performance, and strength.[2,3] Most important of all though, is the role CitMal plays in the Krebs cycle helping to buffer ammonia and lactic acid from the body leading to greater endurance and stamina throughout your workouts.
Beta Alanine (4g)
Beta alanine is one of those staple ingredients, along with our next one, that we always like to have around. This powerful amino acid bind to histidine in the body and forms carnosine, a powerful intracellular buffer.
Carnosine helps to remove (“buffer”) the lactic acid that builds up in muscles during exercise, which not only hinders performance but also creates a burning sensation in the muscle belly. Ridding the body of this increases your workout capacity, as well as boosting strength and power output.[6,7,8]
Now, you’re getting a full 4g dose of BA here, so if you haven’t been using it regularly, be ready for a serious case of paresthesia, a.k.a. “the tingles.” This may turn some of you off to PreSeries Bulk, but the tingles eventually go away once your body is saturated with it.
BCAAs 2:1:1 (4g)
If you’re trying to bulk, you don’t want to go in a workout on an empty tank. To supply your muscles with the necessary building blocks to spark muscle protein synthesis,[9,10] PreSeries Bulk contains 4g of BCAAs. Transparent Labs uses the research proven 2:1:1 ratio, meaning each scoop contains 2g of Leucine, 1g of Isoleucine, and 1g of Valine.
In addition to stimulating protein synthesis, BCAAs also improve recovery and delay the onset of muscle soreness, also known as DOMS.[11,12] BCAAs will help stave off catabolism during your workout and you’ll be less sore the next day, so you can get back to the gym and keep the gains coming!
BetaPure™ Betaine Anhydrous (4g)
One of the headline ingredients of 2015 is showing up all over the place in 2016. It turns out Betaine is much more than a one hit wonder. Betaine is a derivative of choline that been documented across several clinical trials to enhance power, endurance, and muscle protein synthesis.[13,14,15]
You need to do some thinking to decide if a pre workout is worth nearly half a hundred dollars to you.
Additional research using betaine shows it reduces muscle soreness and works synergistically with creatine to improve the body’s production of it.
Studies using betaine show that the ideal dose is 2.5g, so here you’re getting that much and then some!
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid found predominantly in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle of the body. Taurine acts as a cell volumizer in the muscle helping pull water and nutrients into the muscle. Extra water stored in the muscle helps create “water-based” pumps, as opposed to the nitric oxide pumps created by Citrulline Malate.
Furthermore, taurine helps reduce the symptoms of DOMS when taken alongside BCAAs, also found in PreSeries Bulk. Lastly, taurine may improve mental focus based on the fact that large reserves of the amino acid are found in the brain.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (600mg)
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a more bioavailable, and more expensive, form of L-Tyrosine, an amino typically supplemented to enhance focus. Once again, we have a solid dose of a proven ergogen. Typically, you’ll see around 325mg of NALT used in pre workouts, here you’re getting nearly double that amount.
Focus and cognition will be greatly improved during your workouts and you’ll also experience less stress and anxiety as well.[21,22]
Choline Bitartrate (500mg)
Much like the previous ingredient, choline supplements are routinely used in pre workouts to improve focus, cognition, and memory. Choline helps you to feel more centered or “locked in” during your workout, creating a stronger “mind-muscle” connection while lifting.
However, Choline bitartrate is one of cheaper forms of choline and not as readily absorbed by the body as Citicoline, a.k.a. Choline CDP. You’ll need a higher dose of this than citicoline to really feel its effects. Still, in conjunction with the other cognitive enhancers in PreSeries Bulk, 500mg should be more than enough to establish the mind-muscle connection.
This is the ingredient that threw us off, and we’re wondering if it’s the primary reason for such positive reviews!
L-Theanine is an amino acid that helps smooth out the stim kick from caffeine as well as enhance focus and mental performance.[24,25] It’s been popping up in pre workouts more frequently since the recent FDA ban on picamilon and vinpocetine.
What’s really noteworthy here is the dose, a whopping 360mg of L-Theanine used in a 2:1 ratio with caffeine. Typically, we’ll see the opposite of this, where caffeine is double the theanine content, so we reached out to Transparent Labs for clarification:
“We included 360mg of L-Theanine because of the research available to us that shows that it’s most effective when used in a 2:1 ratio with caffeine (we included 180mg). L-Theanine serves as a sort of nootropic/mood booster, which helps yield positive effects on focus, mental performance, and curbing over stimulation often associated with pre-workout consumption. The L-Theanine is what allows us to have such a powerful formula, without any crashes, or jitters.” — Transparent Labs
Normally we see this in the 50-100mg range. This is far more than that – and there’s no safety concerns, we just thought it would be too “chillax”. Given the reviews — apparently not — but we’ll have our own review too.
Caffeine Anhydrous (180mg)
There’s not much to be said about caffeine that you don’t already know, so we won’t waste a lot of space on excess detail. We’ll just highlight that caffeine is great for all sorts of things when it comes to working out, namely: endurance, focus, and energy.[26,27]
Some of you may be questioning the amount of caffeine here, only 180mg, and that it may not get you crazy jacked up. Remember, the point of a pre workout isn’t to having you running through walls, but to set your body up with what it needs to make the most of each and every workout.
Moderate doses of caffeine are great for performance, excessive doses hinder it.
Mucuna Pruriens (70mg)
Mucuna Pruriens comes from the Velvet bean plant. Mucuna extracts come in various grades, but PreSeries Bulk uses the good stuff that’s been standardized for 98% L-Dopa.
L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine in the body, and supplementing with it, increases dopamine production in the body, leading to better mood and less stress.
More important to your bulking goals, L-Dopa also boosts growth hormone levels, decreases cortisol, and promotes healthy testosterone levels[29,30]
L-Norvaline is a derivative L-Valine, one of the BCAAs, that improves blood flow and overall cardiovascular function. It’s also a nitric-oxide “extender.”
See, Norvaline inhibits Arginase, the enzyme responsible for arginine’s breakdown. Keeping arginine around your body longer, means more nitric oxide around, leading to greater blood flow, nutrient transport, and better pumps!
Synephrine is one of the main alkaloids found in Citrus Aurantium, a.k.a. bitter orange. It’s also chemically similar to ephedrine, which has been banned for used in dietary supplements. However, unlike ephedrine, Synephrine has been to be both safe and effective for human consumption.
Synephrine is a potent Beta-2 and Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist[32,33] increases energy, performance, and cognitive function.[34,35] Additionally, synephrine also stimulates lipolysis which enables your body to burn fat for fuel during high intensity exercise.
Hordenine is another of the many bioactive alkaloids contained in Bitter Orange. Much like synephrine, hordenine also functions as a beta-2 adrenergic agonist in the body.
Aside from its stimulatory effects, Hordenine behaves as a noradrenaline reuptake modulator.[37,38] This means that noradrenaline stays around longer in your system and yields greater energy, focus, and alertness.
BioPerine® is the well-known black pepper extract used improve the bioavailability of the other ingredients in PreSeries Bulk. Black pepper extends the life of other ingredients by preventing their premature breakdown in the body. Given the tremendous number of actives you’re ingesting, you’ll need some extra help absorbing all of them.
Vitamin D3 (1,000IU)
Vitamin D, the “sunlight vitamin”, is a fat-soluble vitamins that supports cognition, mood, and bone health. It’s also one of the vitamins we’re chronically deficient in, due to long hours spent indoors, whether working or sitting in front of the tv.[40,41]
Supplementing with extra Vitamin D has been shown to improve sleep quality in groups, which indirectly helps increase GH production, since GH is released in greatest amounts while we sleep.
Plus, Vitamin D3 is the more bioavailable form of Vitamin D and will ensure maximum absorption by the body when used in supplement form.
Boron is an essential mineral that helps support optimal bone growth. Studies using boron found that it significantly decrease in sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that ties up testosterone in the blood. Decreasing SHBG means more testosterone floating around to help you bulk and make gains in the gym.anything that can lower SHBG will boost testosterone.
Zinc is another essential mineral the body involved in numerous physiological processes as well as immune system functioning. Recent research has looked into zinc supplementation with elite athletes.
Extensive exercise has been found to negatively impact thyroid and testosterone levels. Researchers found that zinc supplementation inhibited this from happening, thus indirectly boosting free testosterone levels, endurance, and supporting healthy thyroid levels,
This is another of those minerals that we probably don’t get enough of on a daily basis, especially those of you working hard in the gym to make gains.
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PreSeries Bulk is naturally sweetened and contains no artificial colors. As such, there’s only one flavor that’s currently available: Blue Raspberry.
This flavor is hit or miss for a lot of companies and with consumers. It’ll be interesting to see how the flavoring is on this using only stevia.
What’s the drawback?
At this point, you have to be thinking… where’s the catch? This sounds awesome!
True, it does seem awesome, but the catch is the price. It’s $49. But, as we’ll explain below… we’ve negotiated the largest coupon online so that you can save more on Transparent Labs Supplements!
You need to do some thinking to decide if a pre workout is worth nearly half a hundred dollars to you. The coupon helps though. After all, there are plenty of fantastic options in the $30 range.
PreSeries Bulk Review Now Up
The entire PricePlow team got tubs to review, including CJ and Amin for YouTube. Their 100% unabashed review is below. Our personal feeling was that Amin (who loves lower-stim, high pump bodybuilding workouts) is going to love it, but we’re really not sure where CJ lies. (Update: This was true! Amin Loved it!)
Transparent Labs has asked what it will take to get onto our best pre workout list, where we can see this working in the lower-stim “One Scoop Wonder” section. But the only real answer to a question like that is that it will take a great review from our team, so stay tuned!
Transparent Labs: The Next Big Thing?!
We’ve been asked about this company several times in the past week. It’s enough to realize that there’s a trend forming:
Transparent Labs has a lot of good things going for it, all of which are trending:
- Proper Dosing
- Natural Sweetener
- New ways of getting you focused
But in the name of transparency, there may also be one additional reason: Transparent Labs has quite a generous affiliate program, offering up to 25-30% commission on sales.
Offering 25% sales commissions to online affiliates… or more?!
Now for the full disclosure: Since we originally wrote this post, we’ve affiliated with Transparent Labs. This is normally against our policy, but what we’ve done to stay unbiased and good to our fans is to lower our commissions to our standard 12-15% range, and pushed that into the best coupon you can find on Transparent Labs’ products!
Meanwhile, CJ and Amin are not part of the business end, so their review was completely unbiased.
If you don’t like this, then let us know. But we’re fully disclosing our affiliations, and none of us have any reason to lie because the stuff is admittedly very solid but expensive. Hopefully our coupon helps with the expensive part.
Update: Coupons are now live!
UPDATE: Our coupons are now live. You can see them by clicking on the price widgets above or below.
If you’re crazy enough not to use a coupon, you’ll now see why this is so expensive: it’s a different business model than what most of the sports nutrition industry is used to, and a lot of affiliates are potentially going to be spreading the gospel, so be cautious of those reviews. Whether you want to pay for that or not is up to you.
Also note that this is also how Cellucor got a huge online boost when they moved into mainstream products. Different marketing message, same medium. But it worked there….
If you’ve tried all of the big name pre workouts that have been released in the past year and looking for something new and fresh, PreSeries Bulk is definitely worth a look.
It contains everything you’d want to have a great workout. Better energy, strength, endurance, and pumps all transparently dosed in efficacious amounts results in a product we’re really looking forward to testing. But also a bigger price tag.
Make sure to stay tuned to PP over the coming weeks as we put it through the paces and see how it performs!
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