Chris Bumstead’s CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout: A Pre Fit For Thavages

In Episode #052 of the PricePlow Podcast, we interviewed the leadership team at Raw Nutrition, which includes Matt Jansen, Dr. Domenic Iacovone, and their newest partner, Chris Bumstead. They detailed how Classic Physique Mr. Olympia was joining the team, and discussed the CBUM product line launch, which is starting with two products – CBUM Itholate Protein and CBUM Thavage Pre Workout.

Train like a “Thavage” with CBUM’s New Pre Workout

Raw Nutrition CBUM Thavage Pre Workout V2

Chris Bumstead’s Thavage Pre Workout has been updated in late 2021 with more tyrosine and a clinically-backed dose of Nitrosigine!

Thavage Pre Workout has 40 scoops with 20 full servings. If you two scoop it, you’ll get a blend of 305 milligrams caffeine alongside efficacious doses of numerous ingredients including Nitrosigine, citrulline, betaine, taurine, and of course, beta alanine.

Get after those beta alanine tingles

In the podcast linked above, we learn that Chris personally loves the beta alanine tingles, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see it in his pre. But what we’re also excited to see are some extra energy and focus ingredients from tyrosine, synephrine, and alpha-GPC — this is a very well-rounded pre workout, so we’ve got a lot of work to do below. This article has been updated for the second version of Thavage Pre, updated in late 2021, and it’s still going strong years later with many more flavors (including 3PEAT, 4PEAT, 5PEAT, and so on).

The ingredients are covered below, but first, sign up for PricePlow’s Raw Nutrition alerts so we hit you up as news develops:

RAW Nutrition CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Raw Nutrition CBUM Thavage Pre Workout Ingredients

Below we explain what we get in a two scoop serving of the Thavage – but with 16 well-dosed ingredients, we can’t go insanely deep on each one, so we briefly provide the main purpose of each ingredient first:

  • L-Citrulline – 6000 mg

    Raw Nutrition Thavage Pre-Workout Ingredients

    A pre fit for a Thavage – You’re two-scoopin it, right?

    Main Purpose: Nitric oxide pumps.

    It’s not a modern pre workout without an efficacious dose of L-Citrulline, which is used to produce more L-arginine, which then goes on to increase nitric oxide (NO) levels,[1] and it actually works better than supplementing arginine itself![2-4]

    With more NO production, we get a vasodilation effect (widened blood vessels), improving blood flow that not only improves nutrient delivery, but gives us pumps! It also helps us with better ATP production, leading to improved work output and improved recovery.[5-7] Athletes also notice lower perceived exertion and less soreness as well.[8]

    This is twice the clinical dose, where we normally want to see at least 3 grams of citrulline (or 6 grams of citrulline malate).[9]

    Off to a great start, as expected.

  • Beta Alanine – 3200 mg

    Main Purpose: Endurance.

    As we learned in our podcast with Chris, he’s all about the beta alanine tingles, and that’s a great thing, because if you can handle this ingredient, you’ll get improved production of carnosine when combined with the essential amino acid L-histidine (which is found in Raw EAA).[10,11] Carnosine then goes on to buffer lactic acid in muscles, and that prolongs muscular endurance.

    Beta Alanine Meta Analysis

    The 2016 meta analysis showed who beta alanine may work best for[12] – and it’s generally for endurance and mid-distance activities.

    This has all been demonstrated with numerous studies, and we have two large meta analyses (one published in 2012 on 360 participants[12] and the other published in 2016 on 1461 participants[13]) and the end result is that researchers believe that any exercise ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes long stands to benefit greatly from beta alanine.[13]

    Additionally, we like to point out some strong synergy with creatine,[14] which we also have in Thavage pre.

    On those tingles…

    The tingling sensation that Chris loves is known as paresthesia, but is known to be non-toxic — a 2019 safety study concluded that beta alanine “does not adversely affect those consuming it”.[15]

  • Betaine Anhydrous – 2500 mg

    Main Purpose: Ergogenic muscle builder.


    From the MEN’s study: The arms don’t lie! Here’s one place where placebo doesn’t rule: arm size! Betaine built bigger arms… in trained subjects![16]

    Not to be outdone by creatine, we also have betaine, also known as trimethylglycine or TMG. It works like creatine, but whereas creatine is a phosphate donor, betaine is a methyl donor that can reduce homocysteine levels,[17] which means Thavage Pre can provide more of what your body may need when training hard.

    Betaine is also an osmolyte, helping to regulate cellular fluids, which bolsters their strength[16,18] and helps protect from heat shock.[19]

    After several years of research demonstrating performance-based benefits from betaine,[20-25] landmark studies were published in 2013 and 2014 showing that 2.5 grams of betaine per day led to 5.3 pounds of lean muscle mass gained and 6.4 pounds of fat mass lost, which meant a 3% body fat reduction in just six weeks![16,26] Arm size gains were made too!

    The same team of researchers also showed fat loss effects in a women-only study, once again at 2.5 grams per day,[27] the dosage we have here.

  • L-Tyrosine – 2000 mg

    Main Purpose: Focus.


    Long story short from our analysis — For the best effects from tyrosine, choose the regular L-Tyrosine version!

    Now we get into some focus and energy, starting with L-tyrosine, a precursor for some of our favorite neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, than then go on to increase focus and alertness.[28] By taking L-tyrosine, we drive the sympathetic nervous system with a few more of these neurotransmitters, igniting the fight in our “fight or flight” mode.

    If you’re training as hard as Chris, you know that sleep is critical, but sometimes we come in a bit deprived after a rough night. Good news is that researchers have repeatedly demonstrated how great L-Tyrosine works for cognitive improvements when in a sleep-deprived state![29,30]

    Here, we have a 2 gram dose (upgraded from 1 gram in the original formula), which is well above average and will be felt by nearly everyone. Even better, Chris is using straight L-tyrosine, our preferred form.

  • Taurine – 2000 mg

    Main Purpose: Hydration-driven endurance.

    Taurine is a great continuance for betaine, since it’s also an osmolyte ingredient shown to improve endurance as it can reduce oxidative stress, boost muscle contractions through improved calcium signaling, and even helps with better fat digestion.[31-34]

    We generally appreciate it most for its endurance boost, where a 2018 meta analysis showed that 1-6 gram doses help even on the first use.[33]

    CBUM Raw Series

    The CBUM Series at Raw Nutrition is off to a great start

    Additionally, there are some cognitive benefits[32] and taurine even helps with the nitric oxide system.[34] With all this included, it’s no surprise that it’s in most pre workouts anymore.

  • Nitrosigine (Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate) – 1500 mg

    Main Purpose: Enhanced nitric oxide pumps.

    Added to Thavage in April of 2022, we have a clinically-backed dose of Nutrition21’s Nitrosigine in the two-scoop serving.

    Nitrosigine Benefits

    Nitrosigine is research-backed and “gym backed” — Image courtesy Nutrition21

    Above in the L-citrulline analysis, we discuss how citrulline works better than standard L-arginine in terms of nitric oxide production.[2-4] However, Nutrition21’s researchers found a way to stabilize it so that it works as the industry originally hoped for, innovating and patenting inositol-stabilized arginine silicate, labeled as ASI in many studies.[35]

    Research shows that Nitrosigine outperforms L-arginine, providing greater plasma arginine levels for as many as six hours.[36,37] Like citrulline, it helps prevent arginase from breaking down too much arginine,[38] and this dose improves blood flow comparable to 8 grams of citrulline malate,[39] so we believe there will be some serious synergy in Thavage.

    Nitrosigine may also help reduce muscle damage and inflammation,[40] which you Thavages out there will greatly appreciate.

    Nitrosigine and cognition – three studies to explore

    In addition, it’s worth discussing Nitrosigine’s nootropic potential:

    1. Nitrosigine Study to Evaluate Cognitive Effects in Healthy Physically Active Adults

      One of the original studies demonstrating cognitive improvements from Nitrosigine use was published in Nutrients in 2016.[41,42] In the placebo-controlled trial, sixteen young and healthy males were given 1500 milligrams of Nitrosigine in two trials – one for 3 days, and one for 14 days.

      The researchers found that Nitrosigine led to a significant decrease in the time it took to complete a trail-making test (TMT) compared to placebo. The study was repeated 15 minutes after dosing and another one after an hour, while under fatigue, demonstrated improved cognitive flexibility.[41,42]

      This study is covered in depth in our main Nitrosigine article.

    2. Nitrosigine Study on Cognition in Athletes

      In another study published in 2020, when young athletes were given Nitrosigine 30 minutes before strenuous exercise, the researchers observed that it reduced the temporary decline in cognitive function that typically follows hard workouts.[43,44]

      This study is published in our article titled Nitrosigine: The Nitric Oxide Booster That Enhances Brain Function.

    3. Nitrosigine Study in Healthy Young Adults
      Nitrosigine vs. Arginine HCl

      With Arginine HCl, plasma arginine drops off a cliff. With Nitrosigine (ASI), it keeps on ticking. The uptick at hour 4 seems to be due to arginase inhibition![37]

      The next question, obviously, is whether it could help non-athletes as well.

      To answer that question, another study was recently done in 2021, this time in young adults – the emphasis being on young, as the average age in this study was 21 years old.[45] Crucially, at this age, we do not expect to see any signs of age-related cognitive decline. By studying subjects who are at their lifetime cognitive peak, we can eliminate the variable of age-related senescence (or mental deterioration), and more definitively answer whether Nitrosigine can improve cognition above an individual’s ordinary level of ability.

      In their double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, researchers at the University of Arkansas, gave these college-aged students either 8 grams of dextrose (the placebo group) or 8 grams of dextrose plus 1,500 milligrams of Nitrosigine.

      The result?

      Compared to their scores at baseline, the experimental group (the one that got Nitrosigine) experienced a whopping 27% improvement on a memory subtest.[45]

      Nitrosigine Working Memory Study RBANS

      Subjects taking Nitrosigine (ASI) scored significantly higher overall on the RBANS, compared to placebo (PLA).[45]

      This study is further explored in our article titled New Study: Improved Working Memory from Nitrosigine in Healthy Young Adults.

    So yes, there is some evidence showing that Nitrosigine/ASI has activity as a nootropic that’s capable of improving healthy cognition, and pushing it over baseline, going above and beyond merely helping elderly people.

    This is why we’re so excited to see Nitrosigine in Thavage now — but let’s be honest, most of us are here for those nitric oxide pumps!

  • Agmatine Sulfate – 1000 mg

    Main Purpose: Pumps.

    Chris Bumstead Thavage Pre Workout Rocket Candy

    The v2 Rocket Candy tub has a purple label and and blue/green writing

    Not as many pre-workouts use this nitric oxide amplifying ingredient anymore, and that’s a shame because it’s one we love. CBUM knows better though — agmatine sulfate is a metabolite of L-arginine that functions as an arginase inhibitor.[46] This means it prevents arginase from breaking down our arginine (which was boosted by L-citrulline above), keeping more arginine and thus more nitric oxide around longer.

    We consider this a “defensive” ingredient, and love to have a few of them in the stack alongside the primary components. However, it’s not all defensive — agmatine can also boost nitric oxide synthase,[47] so we do get a bit of nitric oxide production as well.

    Even better, this is one of those ingredients that will be amplified by AstraGin below (36% in the case of agmatine), so Chris and Raw Nutrition found a way to make it even better. More on that below.

  • Coconut Fruit Water Powder – 500 mg

    Main Purpose: Hydration.

    A fourth hydration agent (behind betaine, taurine, and glycerol), coconut water powder has been shown to help improve total body hydration and help the body retain more water with its electrolyte components.[48] When comparing it to carbohydrate-based electrolyte beverages, researchers showed that coconut water restores hydration just as well.[49] Here, we’re stealing the coconut from those products, but you’ll be adding your own water!

  • Alpha-GPC (Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline 50%) – 400 mg

    Main Purpose: Focus.

    Thavage Pre Workout

    Thtop. Thavage Time. We love Chris’ down-to-earth sense of humor.

    We’ve added focus by boosting neurotransmitters through L-Tyrosine, but now it’s time to augment the brain by increasing choline — and one of the best ways to do that is with Alpha-GPC.

    When we add a high-quality choline source like Alpha-GPC, we provide our brains and bodies more substrate to produce acetylcholine, which we refer to as “the learning neurotransmitter”. Acetylcholine is active in numerous functions, many of which are athletic-related. For instance, it’s used for both muscle contractions and for learning, and we’ve seen improved muscle output and focus from it.[50,51]

    Because of this, many will often report a better “mind-muscle connection” with alpha-GPC – so focus on those contractions, nice and slow.

    This is another one of those ingredients that plays “offense”, but it’s also boosted with Huperzine A (the “defensive” play) in this formula too.

  • Caffeine Anhydrous – 260 mg (of 305 milligrams total)

    Main Purpose: Energy.

    CBUM Thavage Pre brings 305 milligrams of total caffeine in two scoops, and 260 grams comes in the straight anhydrous form. You should know your caffeine tolerance at this point, and can decide how to scoop accordingly.

    Caffeine works by inhibiting adenosine and phosphodiesterase,[52] which will ultimately wake you up. Keeping it diet-friendly, caffeine can also boost fat oxidation a bit, providing you some fatty acids to use for energy.[53-55]

    In a little bit, we’ll detail the added 45 milligrams of caffeine that comes in a slower-release form, so you can ride the wave a bit longer.

  • L-Theanine – 150 mg

    Main Purpose: Anxiety-reducing focus.

    Raw Nutrition CBUM Itholate Protein Cinnamon Crunch

    Cbum’s ISO-Protein has been renamed to Itholate

    With everything going on, it’s important to keep ourselves relatively calm in the wake of our ferocious caffeine-induced workouts. That’s where L-theanine comes in, a tea-based amino acid that’s well-known for its nootropic abilities that can lower anxiety and keep things a bit calmer.[56]

    But even better, research has demonstrated that theanine and caffeine are synergistic — together, they can improve focus and cognition more than either one can do separately.[57-59] Theanine is a great way to “take the edge off” of the caffeine, in case you’re new to a 300+ milligram dosed pre workout.

  • Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium) Fruit Extract (6% Synephrine) – 100 mg

    Main Purpose: Energy and fat oxidation.

    Need a bit more on top of your caffeine? You’ve come to the right place, the Thavage also includes citrus aurantium standardized for a bit of synephrine.

    With this, we get a unique beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist[60] that can increase the body’s ability to burn fat.[61,62] It increases metabolic rate and can suppress appetite, but without a blood pressure spike or heart rate increase.[60] This yields more energy for your workout.

    In addition, synephrine’s fat oxidation benefits have been shown to be synergistic with caffeine.[63]

    There are other incredible constituents inside of citrus aurantium as well,[64] such as hordenine, but we’re not sure if they’re going to be found here or not. Either way, we love this ingredient for a bit more energy on top of our caffeine.

  • Di-Caffeine Malate – 64 mg (delivering 45 mg caffeine out of 305 milligrams total)

    Chris Bumstead Raw Nutrition Ownership

    Chris Bumstead is now a partner at Raw Nutrition! Learn what’s coming back with PricePlow Podcast Episode #052.

    Main Purpose: Longer-lasting energy.

    As mentioned above, we have our second form of caffeine that brings the total dosage up to 305 milligrams. Dicaffeine malate is caffeine bound to malic acid, which takes a touch longer to metabolize, leaving a longer “energy curve” in the process.

    All of the rules of caffeine still apply,[52-55] they will just have a longer half-life so that you don’t have a “pump and dump” from standard anhydrous. Dicaffeine malate will keep the effects coming a bit longer.

  • AstraGin (Astragalus membranaceus & Panax notoginseng) Root extracts – 25 mg

    Main Purpose: Ingredient amplification.

    With so many ingredients, we have to tie them all together, and a fantastic way to do that is with the absorption amplifier AstraGin, a bioavailability-increasing ingredient made by NuLiv Science. AstraGin increases uptake of the other ingredients by upregulating various transporters and improving gut permeability.[65]

    NuLiv Science’s research has demonstrated it to improve uptake of numerous ingredients, including (but definitely not limited to) agmatine and citrulline — both of which are in CBUM Thavage Pre — as shown below:

    • AstraGin and Creatine:

      AstraGin Creatine

      AstraGin amplifies tons of ingredients, but we rarely talk about how it boosts absorption of creatine![65]

    • AstraGin and Citrulline:

      AstraGin Citrulline

      One of AstraGin’s most popular use-cases is its ability to enhance citrulline absorption – especially right when we’d want it: during our workout![65]

    • AstraGin and Agmatine:

      AstraGin Agmatine

      On top of its creatine boosting abilities, agmatine can enhance agmatine’s absorption as well.[65]

    With a formula like this, you’d be crazy not to include AstraGin to ramp it up further. Just too many synergies to ignore.

  • Huperzine A (H. serrata) (whole herb) Extract – 100 mcg

    Main Purpose: Longer-lasting focus.

    Finally, one last ingredient to keep that focus going. Above, we mentioned that alpha-GPC is “playing offense” in boosting acetylcholine levels around. Now it’s time to play defense, just like we did with agmatine. Only this time, we’re defending acetylcholine instead of arginine.

    CBUM Thavage Pre Workout

    Read the label! It’s transcribed below

    Huperzine A is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, meaning that it inhibits the enzyme that breaks acetylcholine down.[66] This allows us to keep our alpha-GPC-boosted acetylcholine longer, which should allow for longer, better focus.

    Because of this effect, we’ve seen it increase cognitive function and boost learning abilities,[67] but we’ve even seen it stimulate neurogenesis,[68] which means it may help with the growth of new neurons! A perfect way to close this formula down.

Flavors available

    Read the label!

    Don’t be a bum. Train hard. Sleep harder. Don’t be a pu**y. Take two scoops. Add another plate. Love your mom. No regrets. Stay hungry. Drink your water. Fall in love. Saturdays are for the boys. Dream big. Never quit. Be honest. Take responsibility. Take risks. Dare to lead. Own your sh*t. Get Huge. Get Shredded. Lift more. Run further. Jump higher. Remember to live, laugh, and all that bullsh*t.
    Get Raw.
    Be a Thavage.

    A pre workout fit for Mr. Olympia

    Chris Bumstead Pre Workout Updated

    What a way to launch a lineup. Up next, CBUM’s ‘Itholate’!

    Now that’s how you formulate a Thavage Pre Workout. There isn’t much more to say about this — we’ve long been fans of Chris Bumstead (learn more about him in our article titled Chris Bumstead: “The Comeback Kid”) — and this formula simply rocks.

    With so many clinically dosed ingredients, and the fact that they’re all within reach without overdoing the caffeine, we couldn’t be more proud to see Chris’ partnerships blossom. Joining the dynamic duo of Matt Jansen and Dr. Dom Iacovone, now making it a trio at Raw Nutrition, tells us everything we need to know about Chris’ future in supplements: it’s bright. These formulas will not let you down.

    Check it out in our prices below, and get those Raw Nutrition news alerts from PricePlow, since we’re still yet to cover CBUM Itholate next!

    RAW Nutrition CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

    Get Price Alerts

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    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    Note: This article was originally published on October 24, 2021 and last updated on April 28, 2022 with the addition of Nitrosigine.

    About the Author: Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

    Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public. Mike is currently experimenting with a low Vitamin A diet.

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