nooLVL in a Pre Workout? Unbound UNLOAD’s Unconventional Focus Strategy

Since its launch, we’ve been tracking Nutrition21’s nooLVL, a clinically-tested gaming supplement that’s been shown to increase blood flow and enhance performance in fast-paced gaming competitions, even without stimulants. Several gaming supplements have used the full clinical doses of nooLVL, most notably Ghost Gamer, which has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity and now has several collaborative flavors.

Seeing the success of the ingredient from the sidelines, supplement industry pioneer Mark Glazier and his team at NutraBio decided to do something different with their new cutting-edge brand, Unbound: they put nooLVL into their pre workout!

Unbound Unload nooLVL

An efficacious dose of the gaming supplement ingredient nooLVL in a pre workout?! When trying to maximize blood flow and focus, absolutely!

nooLVL in a Pre Workout? Meet Unbound’s UNLOAD

When envisioning their pre workout stack, Glazier and his Unbound formulation team wanted two different pre workouts that could be stacked together with no overlap: one for energy and focus, and one for pumps. In the case of Unbound, UNLOAD is the energy/focus/stim pre workout, and UNBENT is the stim-free pump pre workout.

We often see similar pre workout stacks, where both of them contain a few of the same ingredients (often L-citrulline). But the Unbound initiative is about doing things differently and more aggressively. Their solution? Put a blood flow enhancing focus ingredient into the focus-based pre workout — and that ingredient is nooLVL!

In this article, we discuss the research behind nooLVL, then get into the Unbound pre workout stack and discuss how it all fits together. First, check to see when UNLOAD is available:

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Below is a quick look at the Unbound pre workout stack:

NutraBio Unbound Pre Workout Stack

The Unbound Pre Workout Stack, fronted with nooLVL in the UNLOAD high-energy and stim pre workout supplement, manufactured at NutraBio Headquarters

As you can see, this stack is no joke, with the UNLOAD pre workout delivering 450 milligrams total caffeine in two scoops on top of the plethora of other stimulatory and nootropic ingredients. Unload has several industry-firsts in this supplement, but noteworthy are two ingredients not included: beta alanine or citrulline.

This pre workout is all about focus and energy – and that’s why we see nooLVL here instead:

What is nooLVL?


nooLVLis has been dominating the gaming supplement scene since its inception – but now it’s in a very intense pre workout!

nooLVL is a patented, non-stimulatory dietary supplement ingredient developed by the industry-leading researchers at Nutrition21. It has two primary components: bonded arginine silicate and inositol. This is a similar strategy to Nutrition21’s other blood flow boosting ingredient, Nitrosigine, but nooLVL has more inositol. Below we go over this strategy and what the inositol is for, but first let’s get into the arginine silicate.

Boosting blood flow with Bonded Arginine Silicate

Workout enthusiasts have long been educated on L-arginine, an amino acid that’s responsible for boosting nitric oxide (NO) levels in the body.[1] By relaxing smooth muscle tissue around blood vessels, nitric oxide initiates vasodilation, or a dilating of the blood vessels — and that leads to increased blood flow, nutrient delivery, and even better metabolic waste disposal.[2]

This is worth exploring, because improved blood flow should affect the brain as well as the body, as research on L-arginine’s signaling pathways indicates.[3] We’re looking for energy and focus improvements, and a moderate blood flow boost to the brain is a good way to initiate that.

The first pass effect: why l-arginine supplements of old didn’t play out as intended

Nutrition21 NooLVL

Learn more in our NooLVL explainer

For a long time, we were treated to L-arginine ingredients in pre workout supplements, but more often than not, they didn’t work as intended. This is mainly because L-arginine gets metabolized too early in the digestive process due to the first pass effect, where intestinal bacteria break it down before it gets to the point where it can generate significant nitric oxide production.[4,5]

Fixing the arginine problem with nooLVL

However, with some help from silica and inositol, the aforementioned problems with arginine greatly diminish. Research has shown that when the arginine is bonded with silicate and taken alongside inositol, there are significant improvements to nitric oxide production and perceived energy levels.[6] That ultimately led to increased blood flow, as measured by Doppler ultrasound[6] — and that’s great to have in a pre workout situation that calls for focus.

What about the inositol?


Inositol is a beautiful carbocyclic sugar that is abundant in brain, and amongst other tasks, it mediates cell signal transduction in response to a variety of neurotransmitters. Image courtesy Wikimedia

Inositol is an essential carbohydrate that’s highly concentrated in the brain. Amongst its various physiological jobs, it supports neurotransmitter activity and helps maintain the integrity of cell membrane.[7,8] Studies have shown that low amounts of inositol can lead to poor mental states,[9] but supplementation of inositol can enhance both dopamine and serotonin production.[8]

This is an ingredient that hasn’t received enough attention in the nootropic space, but is exactly what we’re looking for when provoking any intense activity. It was a great addition when Nutrition21 first added it to Nitrosigine, but an even greater addition when they added even more to nooLVL!

We dig even deeper into its science in our article titled Inositol: Why It’s Added to nooLVL For Increased Gaming Performance, if you care to learn more. But now it’s time to get into the data published on nooLVL:

The science of nooLVL: driving high-focus competition

nooLVL Research 1: TMT-A Time

TMT-A is a test where the subject is asked to connect an ascending sequence of 25 numbers as quickly as possible. An improvement indicates enhanced motor and visual search speed. Image courtesy Nutrition 21.

Few things require as much intense concentration and focus as gaming – and the rise of the competitive e-sports movement has demonstrated that. While UNLOAD is a pre workout supplement, it’s worth looking at nooLVL’s gaming research.

In a study published in 2019, researchers recruited 60 gamers (both men and women) who played video games for at least five hours per week.[10] The participants were split into two groups: one given a placebo, and the other given 1.6 grams of nooLVL.

Over the course of seven days, the researchers determined that nooLVL significantly increased accuracy, reaction time, speed, decision-making, and perceived energy compared to placebo.[10] It’s worth noting that they were playing modern and intense games, too: Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Madden were part of the study.

You can read more details in our article titled nooLVL: Next-Gen Focus Ingredient for Gaming Supplements. While some of the above benefits may not directly correlate with all workouts, some may – and the general idea is that we’re going to get more blood flow to the brain so that the rest of the ingredients can work even better.

The rest of UNLOAD

So what are the ingredients to mix with nooLVL-driven blood flow boost from UNLOAD? Let’s take a quick look at each one, and give a very quick synopsis:

NutraBio Unbound Unload

Looking for something different in a high-energy pre workout. Then it’s time to UNLOAD.

  • L-Tyrosine: Improved focus through catecholamine production (most dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine).
  • Alpha GPC: Improved focus and strength through acetylcholine production
  • Zynamite: Boosts cognition and synergizes with caffeine via long-term potentiation
  • Caffeine Anhydrous: Energy!
  • RhodioPrime 6X: Mood and focus enhancement with serotonin production
  • enXtra: Increased alertness that synergizes with caffeine
  • Mucuna pruriens: Added relaxation and euphoria through dopamine production
  • Zum XR: Delayed-release caffeine for a hit of energy mid-workout
  • AstraGin: Ingredient amplification
  • Rauwolscine: Ultra intensity through alpha-2 adrenergic antagonism
  • Yohimbine: Added intensity and fat storage blocking via alpha-2 antagonism
  • Huperzine A: Acetylcholine protection for prolonged focus effects

You can read the full story in our article titled Unbound UNLOAD Pre Workout: Prepare to Unload on the Weights. In that article, we cite the research behind this breakthrough pre workout supplement, which includes several industry firsts on top of its efficacious dosage of nooLVL.

Just remember, if you take the full two scoop serving, you’re going to be flying high with a total of 450 milligrams of caffeine spaced out over time.

The Unbound Unload + Unbent Stack

NutraBio Unbound Unbent

UNBENT brings relentlessly unequaled pumps to the platform. Just wait until you stack it with UNLOAD

Need to add pumps? Still want citrulline? UNBENT is where you’ll get even more nitric oxide production through a combination of L-citrulline and nitrates.

There are also cellular hydration ingredients like HydroPrime glycerol powder, taurine, and betaine added, and betaine has added ergogenic effects as well.

Each supplement makes the other one better

What’s great is that outside of the AstraGin for increased absorption, there are no overlapping ingredients, so you’re going to get an extremely unique experience with each supplement, but a monstrous experience when taking both. Even better is that the enhanced blood flow from nooLVL should synergize with everything else in Unbent when taking both together!

Watch the video about this stack

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Get ready to Unload with nooLVL?

Our readers have seen numerous articles discussing Nutrition21’s nooLVL, but many of them are not gamers. While anyone can take a gaming supplement, what most of our readers want are high-intensity pre workout supplements… and we haven’t seen many that are more intense than UNLOAD.

nooLVL Research Stroop Test

The Stroop test is a neurocognitive test where subjects must read aloud the color of the text that is printed rather than the actual text! It evaluates selective attention, response inhibition, and reaction time. Fewer errors are better!

The biggest issue is that if you want to feel the full clinical 1,600 milligram dosage of nooLVL in the two scoops of UNLOAD, it’s going to come with a massive heap of stimulants, which includes a total of 450 milligrams of caffeine (350 milligrams up front, and then another 100 milligrams that will hit you later). This is not a beginner’s pre workout supplement, and it’s not a beginner’s pre workout stack. It’s for those who want something stronger and different.

If that sounds like too much, then you’re free to use a single scoop and perhaps drop in an extra scoop of the flavorful Ghost Gamer to keep nooLVL at 1,600 milligrams. But many of our readers have been asking for more intensity, and Mark Glazier and his team at NutraBio built it with UNBOUND.

Even though it’s a gaming supplement ingredient, you can expect to see more pre workouts using nooLVL – and you can sign up for our Nutrition21 alerts below so that you don’t miss a single one.

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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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  1. Barassi, A., et al; “Levels of l‐Arginine and l‐Citrulline in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction of Different Etiology.”; Wiley Online Library; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111); 8 Feb. 2017;
  2. Wu, G, and S M Morris Jr; “Arginine metabolism: nitric oxide and beyond.”; The Biochemical journal; vol. 336; Pt 1; 1998; 1-17;
  3. Lameu, C, et al; “L-arginine signalling potential in the brain: the peripheral gets central”; Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery; 2009; Jun;4(2):137-42;
  4. Castillo, L, et al. “Splanchnic Metabolism of Dietary Arginine in Relation to Nitric Oxide Synthesis in Normal Adult Man.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 90, no. 1, 1 Jan. 1993, pp. 193–197;
  5. Wu, Guoyao. “Intestinal Mucosal Amino Acid Catabolism.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 128, no. 8, 1 Aug. 1998, pp. 1249–1252, 10.1093/jn/128.8.1249;
  6. Komorowski1, J; “The Benefits of Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate as a Workout Ingredient.”; Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BioMed Central; 21 Sept. 2015;
  7. Michell, R H; “Inositol Phospholipids and Cell Surface Receptor Function.”; Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta; U.S. National Library of Medicine; 25 Mar. 1975;
  8. Levine, J; “Controlled Trials of Inositol in Psychiatry.”; European Neuropsychopharmacology : the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology; U.S. National Library of Medicine; May 1997;
  9. Barkai, A I, et al; “Reduced Myo-Inositol Levels in Cerebrospinal Fluid from Patients with Affective Disorder.”; Biological Psychiatry; U.S. National Library of Medicine; Feb. 1978;
  10. Tartar, J. L., et al; “A Prospective Study Evaluating the Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Intervention on Cognition, Mood States, and Mental Performance in Video Gamers.”; Nutrients – MDPI Open Access Journals; 11, 2326; Oct. 1, 2019;

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