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Vaxxen Labs Fulcrum: A Strong Stimulant-Centered Pre Workout

What’s in a word? A fulcrum is an object that plays an essential role in an activity or event. By naming a supplement Fulcrum, Vaxxen Labs is trying to form the essential pre workout product. Does it live up to its own name? Or does the Fulcrum fall flat?

Vaxxen Labs Fulcrum

You want to try 200mg of real-deal Dynamine and a ton of other stims? Then Make FULCRUM the center of your workout stack.

We have some news for you: If you’re a stimulant-lover, then you better get in here. There’s very few stims that aren’t inside of this beast!

A One-Stop Solution with every stim you can imagine

The long and short is that Fulcrum brings you:

  • 287mg caffeine across two sources
  • The potent Theacrine + Dynamine combo (not watered-down “tasteless” forms!)
  • Supporting stims in halostachine, a bit of rauwolscine, and even rhodiola
  • Citrulline-driven nitric oxide pumps with agmatine support
  • A high but not absurd dose of beta alanine for endurance
  • Clinically-dosed elevATP for strength
  • Creatine-free, but some betaine

What’s this mean? It means you’re looking at a strong pre workout, with a few ingredients we downright love, and a couple that we need to watch the dosing on.

So let’s check in, but first, take a look at PricePlow’s price listings and sign up for Vaxxen Labs alerts, because there are some crazy interesting KETO-1 flavors coming too:

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Vaxxen Labs’ Fulcrum Pre Workout Ingredients

For a pre-workout product to live up to the name “Fulcrum”, it must play an essential role in an exercise and diet program. We’ll approach Fulcrum as a “one-scoop stimulant load”. Given what we’ve listed above, if we need to take more than that, we’re disappointed.

We also must see a quality formulation that will cover our bases. We want to see energy ingredients, pump ingredients, ergogenic aids, and everything that makes a preworkout a preworkout.

Here’s what we’re getting in a single 15g scoop (note: this glorious open formula label is out of order, and so is our write-up here:

  • Citrulline Malate (6,000mg)

    Vaxxen Labs Fulcrum Ingredients

    No prop blend, no artificial colors… just a massively unordered list of ingredients wel ove

    Citrulline has long become an essential ingredient in any performance-based pre workout supplement. It actually draws more questions when we don’t see it!

    Citrulline converts to the amino acid arginine upon digestion. Arginine, in turns, heightens the amount of nitric oxide that your body can produce. So why not just take arginine straight? Because your gut destroys it before it can get to its destination. Citrulline, however, makes it further down the line, getting the arginine — and thus the nitric oxide — when we need it.

    Nitric oxide has plenty of ergogenic benefits associated with its ability to widen blood vessels, including massive pumps and heightened nutrient delivery.[1-3]

    Remember, we’re playing hardball with Fulcrum. Six grams of citrulline malate yields 3g of actual citrulline (the rest is malic acid) — which is relatively standard in in today’s day and age, and is our bare minimum when going after pumps. When we see six grams of citrulline malate (or 3g of L-citrulline), we usually want to see more pump supplements, and we do indeed get a bit of that later on, so you should be ‘mirin your own pump.

  • Beta Alanine (2,500mg)

    Does Vaxxen Labs read PricePlow!? While 2.5g is under the typical “clinical” daily dose of 3.2g that is see with beta-alanine, this is closer to where we like it, but still strong!

    When taking a full 3.2g per day (typically with doses split around), beta alanine improves muscular endurance in higher repetition sets, letting you go harder longer — especially in the 1-4 minute time ranges. It’s one of the gold-standards of endurance supplementation, thanks to its ability to boost your carnosine stores.[4-5]

    Beta Alanine Boosts Exercise Performance

    Beta Alanine Boosts Exercise Performance when taken 3.2g per day (but that was split amongst four separate doses)

    Now the dose. The full 3.2g clinical dose taken all at once has gotten a bit annoying for some of us, given the tingling sensory sensation that beta alanine can leave you stuck with during a workout. This is a bit off that, but still deep enough into the “tingle territory” where those who are sensitive may not appreciate it. But to us, it will get “felt”, but not necessarily become overwhelming.

    Those who are serious about endurance will want to find just a smidge more BA elsewhere in the day, but for the average Joe who’s here for the stimulants, this is likely good enough.

  • Betaine Anhydrous (1,000mg)

    Betaine is a good-sister ingredient to (and sometimes replacement for) creatine. It’s an osmolyte that assists with water transfer amongst cells.

    In athletes, betaine improves power output and exercise endurance in clinical settings.[6,7] However, for those claims to be justified, 2.5g needs to be taken across the day. This means that Fulcrum’s dose here at 1g is low for this ingredient.

    Fulcrum Pre Workout

    Be like this guy and get FULCRUM-powered!

    While some may see this as an excuse to double-scoop Fulcrum… it’s just not reasonable with the product only containing twenty servings and this many stimulants.

    We’ll never complain about some betaine, but those who are serious about gains will want to find another ~1.5g somewhere else. In future versions, we’d like to see this dose bumped up or completely replaced with more nootropics.

  • Agmatine Sulfate (500mg)

    When we looked at the 6g citrulline malate dose, we stated that we’d like some support for the nitric oxide pumps. In comes it’s usual pre workout teammate, agmatine. We find these two ingredients to be synergistic, since agmatine works its ‘magic’ by inhibiting enzymes responsible for nitric oxide removal in the body (nitric oxide synthase or NOS).[8] Stopping breakdown of a substance is one of the best ways to drive up its concentration in the body – playing “defense” so to speak.

    Much of agmatine’s mechanism is neuronal, and interesting things happen at higher doses, including an increased pain threshold in far higher doses (like 2.6g per day).

    Agmatine and Arginine

    Agmatine is similar to arginine, but WAY better, in our opinions!

    Dose-wise, 500mg is the starting point when assisting with citrulline for nitric oxide retention purposes.

  • Caffeine Anhydrous (250mg)

    Yes, the most exotic pre-workout ingredient of all. Just kidding – we know you’ve seen this, so just get familiar with the dose and realize that there’s about 37mg more coming down the pipe, so the true total will be 286.5mg.

    As we know, caffeine wakes your ass up and helps you become a Greek God while you’re in the gym. We like that Vaxxen Labs stuck with a modest dose in the world of 400mg plus pre workout supplements.[9,10]

    And this will work plenty well, since we have a bunch more bonus stimulants on their way:

  • Theacrine (50mg as TeaCrine)

    Sold by Compound Solutions as TeaCrine, we like to think of theacrine as caffeine’s less popular — but still fun — brother that drives everyone home at the end of the movie. Theacrine is a xanthine-based “neuroactivator” like caffeine, but doesn’t let the human body build up much of a tolerance.[11] This means it’ll keep on working even if you take it for days on end.

    It seems to enhance the things that its paired with, so in this case that’d be stimulatory enhancement. 50mg is a little low, but there’s a reason for that — it tastes terrible, and the next ingredient is where the real fun is at!

  • Dynamine (200mg)

    Make room, Theacrine. Pre workouts just got a whole lot better!

    Dynamine, also known as methylliberine, is a new and exciting ingredient that functions as a “fact-acting theacrine,” so to speak. It will give you a stimulatory effect you can feel without interfering with your cardiovascular functioning.

    Dynamine

    Dynamine (methylliberine) is a caffeine derivative developed by Compound Solutions that’s touted to be a faster-acting theacrine (TeaCrine).

    We consider Dynamine as another neuroactivator that is best paired with its xanthine brethren, caffeine and theacrine. Expect heightened focus and mental clarity, and expect it a bit quicker than normal.

    Full dose alert!

    Note that this is not the “tasteless” stuff that’s 40% strength, yielding some smaller number. Nope, this is 100% strength 200mg Dynamine, confirmed by Vaxxen Labs themselves.

    So right away, we can confidently predict two things:

    1. Given the Theacrine and Dynamine, this is probably not going to be the best-tasting pre workout

    2. There’s a bit more leeway with that taste, because we’ve been looking for a true 200mg Dynamine based pre workout with enough support stimulants.

    So if you’ve been looking for a strong Dynamine-based pre, your search may be over!

  • Taurine (500mg)

    Keto-1

    Might as well get your energy while adding exogenous ketones! See prices on Vaxxen Labs Keto-1 on PricePlow

    Taurine is really enjoying a moment in the spotlight in 2018. To find out why, check out our awesome article on the recent research on taurine that got published recently. Taurine can indeed make you a better aerobic athlete, at least based upon a meta-analysis of several taurine studies on endurance.

    So our take is that it may be one of the most underrated endurance ingredients out there,[12] and you don’t even need a huge dose!! It turns out for endurance, 500mg will give you as much benefits as a sky-high dose. Taurine can also help with hydration and focus as well,[13] although they’re normally used in higher doses for that. Consider this a bit of help with the betaine.

  • Dicaffeine Malate (50mg as Infinergy)

    Dicaffeine malate is another form of caffeine – caffeine bound to malic acid. Dicaffeine malate takes longer to break down and get absorbed, so it overall sticks around the body longer and has a longer energy curve.

    Chemically, di-caffeine malate is 73% caffeine and 27% malic acid. The presence of caffeine malate in the formula brings up the total caffeine content to 287mg.

    Vaxxen Labs uses the popular trademarked form, Infinergy.

  • Capsorb™ (20mg)

    Capsorb a trademarked version of sodium caprate that does exactly what it tries to advertise: Sodium caprate helps improve absorption of certain compounds across the gut wall. It’ll help some of the ingredients here in Fulcrum get used by the body better.[14]

    Capsorb

    Capsorb is trademarked sodium caprate

    Note that in the study cited above, the researchers were using the potent herb berberine, but that’s not in here, so Capsorb is not proven to work on all ingredients, but the theory is quite sound.

  • L-Tyrosine (500mg)

    Tyrosine is a precursor to catecholamines,[15] the “fun” neurotransmitters we love to stir up. These catecholamines are instantly recognizable: dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Having more catecholamines than usual will force the body into a minor “fight or flight” state. This translates into a deeper focus. You’ll feel every rep in your set.

    Against all logic, Tyrosine is also wonderful for stress.[15]

    500mg is the “minimum” dose here, but we’ve seen some far higher ones.

  • Rhodiola Rosea (125mg)

    Rhodiola Rosea

    Rhodiola Rosea: Our favorite feel-good herb with some additional workout boosting properties

    Yasss! Rhodiola Rosea is perhaps the most underrated herbal ingredient in existence. Rhodiola has an incredible amount of benefits associated with daily doses. It’ll lower your fatigue, improve your quality of life, and can even grant caffeine-like busts of energy.[16] It feels damn good. Take enough and it may even help you live longer![17,18]

    While we never hide our love for the herb, we don’t see it in that many pre workout products, and that’s a shame. It shouldn’t be relied upon on its own, but alongside everything else here, it makes sense to have an adaptogen keep cortisol at bay.

  • Rauwolscine (1mg)

    Rauwolscline, or Alpha Yohimbine, is like yohimbine on steroids. Rauwolscline is a different orientation of the yohimbine molecule that seems to work “better” than typical yohimbine,[19] but that’s not always a good thing for everyone. It acts as an alpha-2 ANTAGONIST. By blocking alpha two receptors, it’ll help you lose fat by improving your body’s ability to remove fat from adipocytes. [20] However, like yohimbbine, Rauwolscine can bring some real anxiety. Those with anxiety or yohimbe sensitivity should be careful.

    But the dose is so “small”…

    Only 1mg? GOOD!

    Vaxxen Labs

    Finally, someone puts in a reasonable amount of rauwolscine / alpha yohimbine! But you know for a fact we’re sticking at or below one scoop!

    This ingredient has been ruffling our feathers way too much lately, with high doses giving too much anxiety and weird side effects like cold sweats.

    1mg is right where we like it though – enough to feel, but not so much to overwhelm.

    It’s a very personal thing, but we have no problem with 1mg of “Alpha Yo”, as it’s called. It makes sense in Vaxxen Labs Fulcrum, which is going after a healthy stim load. But if you can’t even handle one small milligram of the ingredient, you may need to pass or half-scoop it.

  • Ancient Peat Apple Extract (elevATP) (150mg)

    elevATP® comes from freakin fossils! What more could you want!?

    elevATP

    A new study on elevATP confirms initial projections of the ingredient as a true all-natural athletic performance enhancer, and it does so… by elevating ATP levels!

    By fusing peat (fossilized plants), with extracts from the common apple, FutureCeuticals created a bombshell ingredient that actually has some research behind it. elevATP increases the production of ATP in the body. More ATP = more cellular energy = more potential gains.

    150mg is a perfect dose, right where the research has gone.[21] Well done, Vaxxen Labs – this makes up for underdosed betaine or having zero creatine.

  • Halostachine

    A stimulant that’s catching back on lately, Halostachine is the ‘runt’ of the ephedrine family as it may only be 19% as effective as epinephrine in interacting with the beta-2 receptor.[22] And that’s another good thing, since we’re only looking for a boost, not an epi-shot!

    So while it may not be the best beta-2 agonist, it’ll add to the stimulatory experience of Fulcrum. Halostachine amy also help raise the body temperature due to some decent alpha-receptor affinity.

  • Pink Himalayan Salt (100mg)

    elevATP Strength Study

    This graph shows the increases in strength for the group receiving elevATP (TRT) and the placebo (PLC) group.

    Fancy name for salt, right? Pink Himalayan salt is 98% sodium chloride. It’s literally just salt that may have more bonus minerals than usual. Sodium is a great thing to have before a workout, especially if you’re deficient. However, since most Americans get a ton of sodium in their diet anyway[23, 24]… we think the 100mg here was likely to assist with flavor and was thrown in as an active ingredient instead of the “other ingredients” area.

    If it gives us a couple more milligrams of trace minerals, why not?

Now that’s a label, no? (No clue why it was out of order, but we kept it the way they had it).

The Flavors

We’re going to be honest here: given the high number of stimulants, and the fact that we have full-strength 200mg Dynamine and 50mg Theacrine (not the “tasteless” stuff), we’re going to state that you shouldn’t expect this to be the best tasting pre workout, not by a long shot.

Fulcrum

Note that this image is from the old formula. Can they ever bring back bombsicle with this crazy stim load?!

This is for the stim lovers.

So the two flavors currently out at time of press:

  • Sour Apple
  • Tropical Tart

If the stimulants provide bitter taste, you might as well go with them.

While Vaxxen Labs does a fantastic job with their naturally-sweetened Sour Apple Keto-1 BHB supplement, but this one definitely requires some sucralose for help.

The center of a stim-heavy workout stack

Let’s finish this crazy thing. Is Fulcrum an essential aspect of an exercise routine? In terms of pleasing stimulant-lovers, yes. In terms of all muscle-builders, no, since we could use more betaine and still suggest 5g creatine at some point in the day.

Outside of that, Fulcrum is an aggressive play. We know it’s not going to taste great. And honestly, we don’t care, because we know we’re in for a high ride full of the latest and greatest stims, Dynamine included.

This product will have you stimmed, pumped, and focused for hours.

But as always, we have to provide our typical Alpha-Y warning. The 1mg dose is truly where we like it, but those with anxiety amongst our fan base may want to look elsewhere.

As for the rest of you looking to try a 2018-era stimulant pre workout, Vaxxen Labs Fulcrum has arrived.

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References

  1. Moinard, C; Laboratoire de Biologie de la Nutrition, Université Paris Descartes; “Dose-ranging effects of citrulline administration on plasma amino acids and hormonal patterns in healthy subjects: the Citrudose pharmacokinetic study”; 2008; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17953788
  2. Ochiai, M; Healthcare Products Development Center, Kyowa Hakko Bio; “Short-term effects of L-citrulline supplementation on arterial stiffness in middle-aged men”; 2012; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21067832
  3. Windmueller, H; American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism; “Source and fate of circulating citrulline”; 1981; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7325229
  4. Hobson, R. M., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R. C., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: A meta-analysis. Amino Acids, 43(1), 25-37; https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00726-011-1200-z.pdf
  5. Walter, A. A., Smith, A. E., Kendall, K. L., Stout, J. R., & Cramer, J. T. (2010). Six Weeks of High-Intensity Interval Training With and Without β-Alanine Supplementation for Improving Cardiovascular Fitness in Women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(5), 1199-1207; https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00124278-201005000-00007
  6. Lee EC, et al; “Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance”; J Int Soc Sports Nutr; 2010; https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-7-27
  7. Cholewa, J; “Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone”; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013; https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-39
  8. Demady, D; “Agmatine enhances the NADPH oxidase activity of neuronal NO synthase and leads to oxidative inactivation of the enzyme”; Department of Pharmacology, The University of Michigan Medical School; 2001; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11125020
  9. Coso, J. D., Salinero, J., González-Millán, C., Abián-Vicén, J., & Pérez-González, B. (2012). Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: A repeated measures design. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 21; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3461468/
  10. McCormack, William P, and Hoffman, Jay R; “Caffeine, Energy Drinks, and Strength-Power Performance”; Strength and Conditioning Journal; August 2012; Volume 34, Issue 4, 11–16; https://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2012/08000/Caffeine,_Energy_Drinks,_and_Strength_Power.3.aspx,%20full-text%20at
  11. He Hui, Ma Dejian, Crone Laura Brooks, Butawan Matthew, Meibohm Bernd, Bloomer Richard J., and Yates Charles R.. Assessment of the Drug–Drug Interaction Potential Between Theacrine and Caffeine in Humans. Journal of Caffeine Research. September 2017, 7(3): 95-102; https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jcr.2017.0006
  12. Waldron, M., Patterson, S. D., Tallent, J., & Jeffries, O. (2018). The Effects of an Oral Taurine Dose and Supplementation Period on Endurance Exercise Performance in Humans: A Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29546641
  13. Zhang, M., Izumi, I., Kagamimori, S., Sokejima, S., Yamagami, T., Liu, Z., & Qi, B. (2004). Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino acids, 26(2), 203-207; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15042451
  14. Lv, X.-Y., Li, J., Zhang, M., Wang, C.-M., Fan, Z., Wang, C., & Chen, L. (2010). Enhancement of Sodium Caprate on Intestine Absorption and Antidiabetic Action of Berberine. AAPS PharmSciTech, 11(1), 372–382; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850468/
  15. Pietz J, Landwehr R, Kutscha A, Schmidt H, de Sonneville L, Trefz FK. Effect of high-dose tyrosine supplementation on brain function in adults with phenylketonuria. J Pediatr. 1995; 127(6):936-943; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8523192
  16. Edwards, D., Heufelder, A., & Zimmermann, A. (2012). Therapeutic Effects and Safety of Rhodiola rosea Extract WS® 1375 in Subjects with Life-stress Symptoms – Results of an Open-label Study. Phytotherapy Research, 26(8), 1220-1225; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22228617
  17. Wiegant FA, et al. “Plant adaptogens increase lifespan and stress resistance in C. elegans”; Biogerontology; 2009; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18536978
  18. Spasov, A., Wikman, G., Mandrikov, V., Mironova, I., & Neumoin, V. (2000). A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine, 7(2), 85-89; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10839209
  19. Rockhold, R. W., & Gross, F. (1981). “Yohimbine diastereoisomers: Cardiovascular effects after central and peripheral application in the rat”; Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Archives of Pharmacology, 315(3), 227-231; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00499839
  20. Perry BD, U’Prichard DC; “(3H)rauwolscine (alpha-yohimbine): a specific antagonist radioligand for brain alpha 2-adrenergic receptors”; Eur J Pharmacol; 1981; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6276200
  21. Joy JM et al., “Ancient peat and apple extracts supplementation may improve strength and power adaptations in resistance trained men,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 16, no. 1 (July 2016): 224; https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-016-1222-x
  22. Liapakis, G. (2004). Synergistic Contributions of the Functional Groups of Epinephrine to Its Affinity and Efficacy at the  2 Adrenergic Receptor. Molecular Pharmacology,65(5), 1181-1190; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15102946
  23. Himalayan Pink Salt. (2017, November 17). Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-and-nutrition-quackery-you-asked/himalayan-pink-salt
  24. CDC. (n.d.). GET THE FACTS: Sodium and the Dietary Guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_dietary_guidelines.pdf
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