Prime Nutrition is relatively new to the supplement industry, yet they’ve already been making a lot of noise and have been moving away from their basic, single-ingredient supplements.
Their recent release of Intra-MD has been extremely popular, receiving nothing short of outstanding feedback.
Now, their newest pre-workout supplement Prime Nutrition Max-HP is available, and the question is – will it prove to be as great as Intra-MD?
Introducing Prime Max-HP
Max-HP is a stimulant based pre-workout which features six of the hottest ingredients on the market, and it’s a 100% open / non-proprietary formula, so right off the bat we’re excited.
But while this product has promising ingredients, the doses seem to be a bit “off” for most users. It’s generally going to come down to how much caffeine you want – no doubt, this is a product for the stimulant-tolerant.
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Unfortunately, the most interesting ingredient of them all (epicatechin) is wildly underdosed, leading to an overall disappointment that could have otherwise saved our opinions of this product.
Let’s take a quick look at what each ingredient’s got to offer and how they were dosed.
Prime Max-HP Ingredients
The first thing we have to note is that there are 30 servings per container, each at 400mg caffeine. That’s a strong dose of caffeine and may steer your purchasing decision.
Many users will be happy to have 400mg per scoop — if you find yourself tearing through tubs of other pre workouts because you need two of their ~200mg scoops to get going, then you’ll find decent value here.
But at the same time, if you’re like us and enjoy roughly 250mg caffeine per workout, then you’ll get more mileage out of this tub — but it will definitely underdose some of the ingredients, especially on the pump side of things.
The second thing to note is that that this is a creatine-free formula, which is better than seeing underdosed creatine – just get your 3-5g in every day with some low-cost bulk powder.
On to the actual list:
L-Citrulline Malate – 2.5g
One of the most effective pump ingredients to date, citrulline malate acts exceedingly well as a NO booster. It actually outperforms arginine in terms of increasing plasma arginine levels.
What’s even more impressive, is that citrulline has been proven to offer a couple of additional benefits that would pique the interest of nearly any fitness enthusiast.
- It brings pumps from its nitric oxide boost
- It improves recovery time and soreness
- It increases endurance and reduces fatigue
Now for the catch…
In order to experience the clinical benefits mentioned above, the average person would need to consume 3 – 6 grams. Unfortunately, Max-HP is relatively underdosed at a mere 2.5 grams.[1,2,3,4,5,6]
2.5g isn’t bad – you’ll get a pump here at full dose – but it’s not going to drop jaws either. The issue is, if you’re doing ¾ of a scoop to go easy on the caffeine content, the pump goes down even more.
The saving grace is that there are two other pump ingredients here, and one of them (agmatine) is well-dosed.
Beta Alanine – 2g
Within the last ten years, beta alanine has become a staple for thousands of athletes.
Why? The answer is simple. It’s ability to enhance muscular endurance is profound, which you can read on our beta alanine page.
The amount of research demonstrating its effectiveness is staggering to say the least.
3.2 grams daily is the typical dosing range that’s been found effective in human research. Max-HP clocks in at a standard two grams per serving.[7,8,9]
You might want to call that “underdosed”, but in this case, we’re on board – any more than this and the beta alanine tingles get overly annoying. If you want to complete your beta alanine dose, do it on the opposite end of your day with some bulk BA (and take it with food to avoid the tingles).
Glycerol “Mono” – 1.5g
Glycerol is classified as a hyperhydration agent, which in a nutshell, means that it’s effective for increasing pumps and improving endurance.[10,11,12,13]
One of it’s most useful features is it’s ability to ensure adequate hydration through intense workout sessions, and hours to follow. This provides the “water-based pump”, which gives a great “swollen” feeling.
The label haphazardly states “glycerol mono”, which we’re led to assume is glycerol monostearate.
The issue with glycerol mono is that it’s quickly falling out of favor in lieu of better options lately. Glycerol monostearate has glycerol bonded with stearic acid, a saturated fat, and unfortunately out of 1.5g here, only 25% is actual glycerol. Instead, the hot thing lately has been Glanbia’s HydroMax, where they bonded it with Silica, yielding a 65% (and saturated-fat-free) glycerol molecule.
So, while we still love glycerol monostearate here, we love products with HydroMax even more.
Max-HP’s 1.5 gram dose is extremely solid, but again will be reduced if you want a lower-stim workout.
Agmatine Sulfate – 750mg
Agmatine is one of the most diverse supplements identified thus far. It’s compatible with nearly any and every fitness goal imaginable.
Here are some of it’s most noteworthy effects:
- It increases NO levels
- It enhances cognitive function
- It benefits heart health
- It improves appetite
- It has a positive effect on mood
If you’re looking for more detailed info, take a look at this article, where we put together a thorough guide.
Max-HP offers a reasonable 750 mgs per serving, which is a nice medium between the typical recommended 500 to 1000mg. Right on point, especially when mixing with the other two pump ingredients.[14,15,16,17]
Caffeine Anhydrous – 400mg
Caffeine is the most popular drug on the planet. It’s benefits are well known, and people seem to either love it or hate it.
You’re probably already well aware of it’s effects. If you are interested in learning more about it though, you can check out our caffeine page to see a bit more information.
With that being said, this is probably the most important ingredient to take note of in Max-HP, due to its dosage. With each serving, you’re slamming down 400 mgs of caffeine.
Now, to some of us that may actually sound attractive – but for many folks, that dosage is simply too high.
If you’re looking for a high-caffeine product with no other stimulants (like yohimbe, synephrine, higenamine, or even PEA analogues), this could be for you.
Epi-Strong™ (Epicatechin) – 25mg
Epi-strong™ is a brand name for epicatechin. When we heard this was a component of Max-HP, we were very excited, since we recently wrote the the long post about it linked above.
After all, epicatechin is one of the most potent, cutting edge, natural ingredients legally available.
A bit about Epicatechin
Its grocery list of benefits almost sounds too good to be true, but the results have been replicated through various studies and more are ongoing.[18,19,20,21]
Here’s what it’s got to offer:
- Increased blood flow and nitric oxide production
- Anabolic, myostatin inhibiting effects
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Regulatory effect on blood pressure
- Enhanced cognitive function
This stuff is amazing, and we’ve given it the attention it deserves with a full fledged analysis in our epicatechin post.
But this dosage…
But as that post shows, in terms of effective dosing, you should aim for at least 100 to 200mg per day. Max-HP unfortunately falls very very short with 25mg.
It’s better than nothing, but the dose used here isn’t enough to truthfully make the claims listed above. You can nearly get this much epicatechin from eating a large apple.
Note that this is a creatine-free product, which falls in line with our philosophy of “do it right or don’t do it at all”.
The bottom line – Our Max-HP Pre-Review
As much as we wanted to love Max-HP, it seems to be catered only to someone who wants a relatively basic, high-caffeine pre workout with no other stimulants.
It’s underdosed in nearly every area, with the main exception being agmatine and caffeine.
It’s not going to be bad – if you dig the high-energy you’ll dig this product. But we’ve seen so many better products roll through lately, this is just another one to throw in the pile and forget about.
All would have been forgiven if there was a serious dose of epicatechin — which would have brought this potentially game-changing ingredient to the masses — but that unfortunately faltered as well.
Prime fans should check it out if the stim dosing looks right, but we believe there are plenty of better options available for the vast majority of users.
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- Sureda A., et. al.; European Journal of Applied Physiology “L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise;;” September 2010
- Curis E., et. al; Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care; “Citrulline and the gut;” September 2007
- Giannesini B., et. al.; European Journal of Pharmacology; “Citrulline malate supplementation increases muscle efficiency in rat skeletal muscle;” September 2011
- Perez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM; Journal of Strength and Conditioning; “Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness;” May 2010
- Hickner RC. et. al.; Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; “L-citrulline reduces time to exhaustion and insulin response to a graded exercise test;“
- Moinard C., et. al.; The British Journal of Nutrition; “Dose-ranging effects of citrulline administration on plasma amino acids and hormonal patterns in healthy subjects: the Citrudose pharmacokinetic study;” April 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“
- Hill, CA et al.; Amino Acids; “Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity;” February 2007
- Koenigsberg PS., et al.; Life science; “Sustained hyperhydration with glycerol ingestion;” 1995
- Montner P., et al.; International journal of sports medicine; “Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time;” January 1996
- Riedesel ML., et al.; Journal of Applied Physiology; “Hyperhydration with glycerol solutions;” December 1987
- Robergs RA., Griffin SE.; Sports Medicine; “Glycerol. Biochemistry, pharmacokinetics and clinical and practical applications;” September 1998
- Bernstein HG., et al.; Neuropharmacology; “Agmatinase, an inactivator of the putative endogenous antidepressant agmatine, is strongly upregulated in hippocampal interneurons of subjects with mood disorders;” January 2012
- Hawkins RD., et al.; Progress in brain research; “Nitric oxide as a retrograde messenger during long-term potentiation in hippocampus;” 1998
- Hwang SL., et al.; Diabetologia; “Activation of imidazoline receptors in adrenal gland to lower plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats;” April 2005
- Rushaidhi M., et al.; Neuropharmacology; “Participation of hippocampal agmatine in spatial learning: an in vivo microdialysis study;” February 2013
- Barnett, C; University of California; “Pharmacokinetic, partial pharmacodynamic and initial safety analysis of (-)-epicatechin in healthy volunteers;” 2015
- Shroeter.; University of California – Davis; “Heart-healthy Compound in Chocolate Identified;” 2006
- Gutierrez-Salmean G.; School of Medicine of the National Polytechnic Institute; “Effects of (-)-epicatechin on molecular modulators of skeletal muscle growth and differentiation;” 2014
- Nogueira L.; Department of Medicine School of Medicine University of California; “(-)-Epicatechin enhances fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle;” 2011