Swole Sports has been around for a while, and recently the brand has been going through a major rebranding effort after being very quiet in 2015. This will culminate in a massive relaunching of many of their products which will boast shiny new labels and lots of new formulas for their line of products.
The first of these products to get a makeover is the brand’s pre workout, PreWrek. It’s not a complete reformulation as they’ve carried over 10 of the original ingredients from the original iteration of the product.
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It seems that the new tubs are the 30 serving ones, while the older formula is 50 servings.
PreWrek contains a semi-transparent label, unlike its predecessor which was 100% proprietary. The big thing to note is that we DO know the caffeine content along with a few of the power and strength boosters.
Usually we don’t touch on the vitamin or minerals contained in pre workouts, as they’re generally not at higher level doses. However, in this case, chromium is a rarity to see in pre workouts.
It’s an essential mineral in the body that’s responsible modulating insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Research has demonstrated chromium is especially effective in the area glucose disposal. Furthermore, animal trials have shown that chromium supplementation can enhance glycogen storage and production in skeletal muscle.
With this dose, we have to wonder why some amount of carbs weren’t included in the pre workout to help offset the drop in blood sugar that may occur when using this amount of chromium?
Beta Alanine (1.5g)
Beta Alanine is a proven workout booster most often associated with inducing the tingles when taken in higher doses (~3g worth). However, PreWrek includes roughly half the clinical dose (3.2g) so you might not have to worry about any burning or tingling sensations, depending on your sensitivity.
BA enhances endurance and power, thanks to its role in increasing carnosine levels (a powerful intracellular buffer).[3,4] That’s not all though, beta alanine also boosts muscle growth and reduce fatigue experienced during your workouts or athletic endeavors.
Betaine Anhydrous (1.25g)
Betaine, a.k.a. trimethylglycine, is a derivative of choline and another proven power booster. Betaine works synergistically with creatine to support the body’s natural production of creatine, which translates into increased power and strength in your workouts.[8,9]
Another great reason to include Betaine is that it can stimulate muscle protein synthesis as well as reduce soreness brought about by intense training.[10,11]
Just like our previous ingredient, we get half of the clinically recommended dose (2.5g). So you’ll need to invest in some bulk betaine if you want to get the full benefits of this powerful ingredient.
HydroMax® is a high-yield form of glycerol that contains 65% glycerol by weight. This is a big improvement over glycerol monostearate (GMS) that only contains 25% glycerol and 75% saturated fat!
Glycerol supplementation increases the muscle’s ability to absorb and store water. This will yield “water-based” pumps, as opposed to “nitric oxide” pumps seen with some other pump aid ingredients. Additionally, HydroMax® bolsters your workout endurance primarily due to its ability to induce a state of “hyper-hydration” in your body.[24,25]
Caffeine Anhydrous (250mg)
To get you ready to WREK the weights, PreWrek includes a 250mg dose of pure caffeine anhydrous. This is a great amount if you’re a fan of medium to higher stim pre workouts, given that so many products have over 300mg lately.
Little more needs to be explained about this pre workout staple other than the fact that we love it, and the numerous effects it imparts to supporting a great workout.
SWOLE Muscle Matrix(3,375mg)
Arginine is the amino acid used by the body to enhance blood flow and increase nitric oxide production in the body. Older pre workout formulas included arginine because it was thought that supplementing with oral arginine would further boost nitric oxide, yielding better pumps and vasodilation.
However, research has shown that arginine isn’t all the bioavailable in the body, and has actually has mixed results when it comes to increasing NO production in the body.[12,13]
In 2015/2016, seeing this first on the list of pump ingredients is a bit of a red flag for most of us.
Next to caffeine, creatine monohydrate is the most studied single ingredient in the world of sports supplementation. It’s been proven countless times to increase lean mass gains and strength, while also helping reduce fatigue.[14,15,16]
However, given the placement of this ingredient in the prop blend “Muscle Matrix,” there’s no way you’re getting the clinically recommended dose of 3-5g. Which makes us beg the question, why even include it in the product if it’s not fully dosed, or even disclosed so we can supplement with some bulk creatine?
Maybe it’s included to help work with betaine, but really, this doesn’t seem like a good use of space in the product.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid frequently supplemented to increase focus and cognition. It enhances the production of dopamine and noradrenaline in the body. Higher levels of these two powerful neurotransmitters improve concentration, lower anxiety, and help reduce stress.[17,18]
Typically, you need higher doses of L-Tyrosine (1-2g) to really feel the effects, so you may feel a bit of improved focus, but if you’re just going to include a bit of Tyrosine, we’d prefer to see N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine.
We get not one but TWO forms of arginine in PreWrek. Arginine AKG, or AAKG, was another popular ingredient used in pre workouts from yesterday. Due to the AKG salt it’s bound to, the thinking process was that the improved bioavailability would lead to better nitric oxide production that using plain arginine.
AAKG has been helpful in boosting nitric oxide levels a bit and reducing the cost of oxygen use during exercise. We’re just not sure how much is included, and if that amount will really contribute to increase N.O. production.
Creatine Alpha Amino Butyrate 2:1 (Creatine AAB)
Not many of you have probably come across this variant of creatine. It’s not nearly as popular or used as frequently as Creatine HCl or Magnesium Creatine Chelate (MCC).
Here, creatine is bonded to the amino acid leucine. The thinking here is that the combination will increase muscle protein synthesis and decrease muscle breakdown, due to the inclusion of leucine (the primary catalyst when it comes to stimulating muscle protein synthesis).
Not much research has been published on Creatine AAB though especially in terms if it really is more effective than monohydrate.
Theomine is another xanthine molecule similar to caffeine that stimulates the CNS, as is even sometimes called caffeine’s “younger brother.” Like all other methylxanthines, theobromine increases energy and alertness, but not nearly as strong as caffeine.
While the energy boost might not be as great, theobromine does provide a smoother, longer-lasting energy than pure caffeine. Another perk to using theobromine is that it smooths out any potential crash that may come from using higher amounts of caffeine.
Histidine is an amino acid used by the body to form the other half of the potent lactic acid buffer, carnosine. Deficiency of Histidine negatively impacts muscle carnosine levels, so you can understand the importance of keeping both at higher levels if you’re doing intense workouts. The combination of this and BA will go a long way to ensuring you have high carnosine levels and thus greater endurance and power.
PreWrek comes in two tub sizes: 30 servings and 50 servings. If you opt for the new 30 serving tub, you’ll get to choose from four flavors including:
- Blueberry Pomegranate
- Fruit Punch
- Green Apple
However, if you opt for the bigger size tub, you only get to choose between Fruit Punch and Green Apple.
PreWrek offers mixed emotions when looking at it. Sure it contains some decent amounts of good ingredients, but along with those comes a dusting of other ingredients we’re not all that nuts about (and they’re cheap ingredients to boot). With the current crop of well-dosed pre workouts on the market, this one is probably best left on the shelf unless a big sale comes around.
Meh. Hopefully the other new products Swole Sports has in store for the rebranding pack more of a unique punch than PreWrek does.
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- Frauchiger MT, Wenk C, Colombani PC; Effects of acute chromium supplementation on postprandial metabolism in healthy young men . J Am Coll Nutr. (2004)
- oginski EE, Mertz W; Effects of Chromium (III) Supplementation on Glucose and Amino Acid Metabolism in Rats Fed a Low Protein Diet . J Nutr. ()
- Baguet, A et al.; Journal of Applied Physiology; “Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance;” July 2010;” 2005
- Kendrick IP, et al. The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with beta-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition. Amino Acids. (2008)
- 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
- del Favero S, et al Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performance . Amino Acids. (2012)
- Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue
- Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010)
- Cholewa, J; Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013
- Betaine supplementation enhances anabolic endocrine and Akt signaling in response to acute bouts of exercise.
- Fahs CA, Heffernan KS, Fernhall B; Hemodynamic and vascular response to resistance exercise with L-arginine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2009)
- Tang JE, et al; Bolus arginine supplementation affects neither muscle blood flow nor muscle protein synthesis in young men at rest or after resistance exercise . J Nutr. (2011)
- Bemben, M; The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men.; Neuromuscular Lab, Dept. Health & Exercise Science, U. Oklahoma; 2010
- Chilibeck, P; Effect of creatine ingestion after exercise on muscle thickness in males and females.; College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan; 2004
- Anomasiri, W; Low dose creatine supplementation enhances sprint phase of 400 meters swimming performance.; Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University; 2004
- Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF; Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress . Brain Res Bull. (1994)
- Dollins AB, et al; L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress . Physiol Behav. (1995)
- Bailey, S; Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance; School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter; 2010
- Resistance exercise increases AMPK activity and reduces 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle; Department of Physical Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch; 2006
- Jager R, Purpura M, Shao A, Inoue T, Kreider RB. Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine. Amino Acids 2011;40:1369-1383
- Glanbia Nutritionals, Inc; HydroMax: a better glycerol for sports nutrition; NewHope360; 2014
- van Rosendal, S; Guidelines for glycerol use in hyperhydration and rehydration associated with exercise.; School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland; 2010
- Wingo, J; Influence of a Pre-Exercise Glycerol Hydration Beverage on Performance and Physiologic Function During Mountain-Bike Races in the Heat; University of Connecticut, Department of Sport, Leisure, & Exercise Science; 2004