Athletic Edge kindly sent a couple of tubs of their brand new pre workout, Steel Edge to review, after we were incredibly excited about the fantastic-looking ingredient label on it.
We’ve spent the past month putting it through the paces and carefully gauging its effects on our workouts.
Does Steel Edge really give edgier workouts and could it possibly land on our soon-to-be-revised Best Pre Workouts?
You’ll find out down below, but first, be sure to sign up for PricePlow alerts and take a look at the best deal on Athletic Edge’s Steel Edge so that you can gauge worthiness:
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Robert’s Steel Edge Review
Editor’s Note: This is Robert’s Steel Edge review. Mike’s thoughts are at the bottom
Off to a good start, Steel Edge has a completely open label and uses nothing but proven ingredients to enhance your workout performance. Each single serving scoop, which is a hefty 20.2g, contains at least half of several proven ergogenic aids.
However, I would have like to have seen 6-8g of Citrulline Malate instead of 4g. I’d also get rid of the creatine monohydrate as that’s cheap enough to supplement in bulk and up the doses of some of the other ingredients in the product, namely Citrulline Malate, or possibly include Agmatine.
Here’s where things start to turn down for Steel Edge. The label says it contains 300mg of caffeine anhydrous and 50mg of “Sustained Release Caffeine” (which I assume to be dicaffeine malate but could be wrong?). So that makes each scoop weigh in around 320-330mg of total caffeine.
Normally, my sweet spot for caffeine in pre workouts is 250-300mg, so I was expecting a pretty decent surge of energy my first go round. Well, here is where Steel Edge really fails for me.
I really felt no kick at all from the caffeine at all through the course of a month’s workouts using Steel Edge, which was really disappointing. I have to wonder how much caffeine is actually in each scoop, as it couldn’t have been more than in a cup of green tea. Maybe it was due to the amount of Ashwagandha Root that nullified some of the caffeine jolt, but who knows.
I tried increasing the amount to 1.5 scoops and still didn’t really feel much of an energy surge during the workouts. During the workout, energy levels pretty much stayed the same throughout and didn’t really feel any increase or decrease. Sadly, Steel Edge doesn’t deliver for me in the energy department.
To help fuel pumps in Steel Edge, AE includes 6g of Waxy Maize, 4g of Citrulline Malate, and 1g of Taurine.
This is one of the few pre workouts I’ve used that includes carbs as part of the mix to assist in creating a pump. Pumps were decent using Steel Edge, nothing “skin-splitting” like you’ll get from Conqu3r or White Rapids, unfortunately.
I would have liked to have seen at least 6g of CM and possibly more taurine or the addition of Agmatine or HydroMax to create a more prolonged, stronger pump.
Coupled with the energy, Steel Edge really didn’t deliver much here either. I was rather surprised by this due to the mix of focus enhancers that is included (ALCAR, Choline Bitartrate, etc.). This may have something to do with the fact that there was next to no effects from the perceived amount of caffeine in the product, but I can’t be sure.
Focus was decent during the workouts, but far from tunnel-vision or being “in the zone” like I’ve experienced with several other pre workouts I’ve tested recently. Perhaps using Alpha GPC, CDP Choline, or N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine would deliver better focus or increase the amounts of ALCAR and Choline Bitartrate if you’re set on those ingredients.
Staying Power: 7/10
I do higher volume workouts that range between 24-30 sets on a given day, depending on energy and how the body is feeling. Here’s where Steel Edge probably had its best showing. The dose of carbs included in the formula does help with endurance compared to some of the other zero carb pre workouts I’ve used, but nothing earth shattering.
Stamina seemed to be good throughout the workout. From beginning to end, endurance seemed constant and I didn’t feel any premature fatigue set in. In terms of really getting some extra “push” from Steel Edge to go the extra mile on certain days, it was hit or miss with Steel Edge.
There were no issues with mixing the powder. As you can see in the photos, it dissolves perfectly in the shaker bottle using anywhere between 8-16 oz of water. There is no residue or clumping when mixed.
However, due to the inclusion of waxy maize, the powder gets EVERYWHERE when opening the tub. Measuring out each scoop for each workout usually resulted in having to wipe up renegade powder particulates all over the counter and scale.
While this didn’t affect the mixability of the product, I’ve never had a powder that gets all over the place as easily as this one does.
Athletic Edge sent me the Strawberry Margarita flavor of Steel Edge. This was a rather interesting flavor and it’s nice to see companies doing more interesting flavors that the same old Fruit Punch, Grape, Blue Raz, etc. Props to AE for doing something more inventive than flavor retreads!
The only other “margarita” flavored pre I’ve tried was MusclePharm’s Assault, which had more of a creamy strawberry flavor than a true margarita flavor.
Here, AE’s Strawberry Margarita doesn’t quite hit the margarita “tang” that you usually find when drinking an actual margarita. There were subtle hints of fruity, strawberry flavor, but not “bite” like I was hoping for.
The wife tried Steel Edge for a few of her workouts and described the taste as a strawberry limeade from Sonic. Thinking back on it, this is probably the best way to describe the flavor. Not so much margarita but a sweet strawberry drink with faint hints of lime.
Sadly, Steel Edge didn’t deliver for me in terms of energy or focus. I really, really wanted to like the pre workout as the profile intrigued me and I enjoyed the original AEN pre workout Pre-Surge.
Steel Edge is aiming to be one of the all-inclusive type of pre workouts where you’ll get most of your daily doses of ingredients like creatine, beta alanine, and betaine. Unfortunately, you’ll need to add some bulk of these ingredients to meet the clinically recommended doses.
In closing, Steel Edge looks good on the outside, but when put through the paces is doesn’t deliver. Lack of energy and focus dooms Steel Edge to the back of line in all the new pre workouts hitting the market.
Unfortunately, Steel Edge wasn’t a winner for me. This is one we’ll pass on when revamping our Top 10 Pre Workouts.
Yeah…… so knowing that I like my pre workouts in the 225mg caffeine range, I started at a solid ¾ scoop (weighed out about 15-16g using a food scale).
Felt nearly nothing.
Slowly inched up to a full scoop over the course of a week, and every single time… still very little energy!
I brushed it off but asked Robert how things were going for him, and got the same exact response (which he wrote about too).
What happened here guys?!
I hate to say this, but either there are too many adaptogens in here, or there is something seriously wrong with our tubs we were sent. I cannot in my mind believe that there is anywhere near 300mg caffeine in any of these scoops. Maybe all of the caffeine got stuck on the bottom of the tub, but I’ve shaken it up to no avail.
I was really excited for this profile. I’m a huge fan of both ALCAR and choline, especially at the solid doses they come in here, but they’re either offsetting the energy hit or they are not hitting me right.
Meanwhile, I’ve definitely become a fan of adding carbs in my pre workout, so that was a welcomed addition. However, waxy maize isn’t worth the mess — the powder simply gets everywhere! I’d literally rather have straight table sugar. But that’s a small issue that I’d gladly ignore if this product worked as well as I thought it would, but unfortunately it didn’t.
I really wanted to love this stuff, and was looking so forward to it. But for whatever reason, it’s just not working for me. I get more energy off of a single cup of coffee. The good news is that I can easily use it for a minor pick-me-up when my softball games are late at night.
I don’t understand what happened, and I’m sorry to have to agree with Robert, but AEN needs to send these back to the labs or get a second opinion. This one just didn’t live up to our own hype.
Sorry to disappoint, folks.
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