A brand new supplement line has just landed at BB.com and with it comes the guarantee of research-backed ingredients and non-proprietary blends. True GRIT is it’s name, and we’re going to see if their pre-workout, True Grit PRE has any game.
True Grit PRE’s Ingredients
True Grit’s commitment to fully disclosed and non-proprietary labels means it’s easy to get into the “scientifically-dosed” ingredients, and see if PRE puts its money where its mouth is. Does a single scoop satisfy all of our needs, or is this a 2-scooper?
What we love about True GRIT is that every supplement is bringing at least one new ingredient, so this isn’t the same ol’, same ol’. So that’s where we’ll start – with the new stuff.
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The long and short of it is that we love this formula’s batch of ingredients, but we wish there was a dash more creatine and betaine so that we didn’t need to use extra scoops or supplement it separately.
But overall, this looks like a great energy-based formula that nobody’s going to complain about and nearly everyone will get something new out of.
Arginine Silicate Inositol (750mg Nitrosigine)
In 2013, we wrote about arginine silicate, and we’re finally seeing more and more pre workouts use it with overall very positive reviews.
Developed by researchers at Nutrition21, arginine silicate inositol is a revamped version of arginine by combining it with inositol and potassium silicate. The bioavailability of both arginine and silicate is greatly improved by this newer formulation.
Nitrosigine’s main function is to increase Nitric Oxide (NO) production in the body and we all know what more NO leads to…PUMPS!!
You’ll be feeling the effects of Nitrosigine within 30 minutes and taking it and will still be riding the NO wave for the ensuing 3 hours!
What about the dosage?
Unlike the creatine and beta alanine ingredients discussed below, this is an ingredient that’s effectively dosed at 1 scoop!
The question is, will this be enough for a pump all on its own? There’s no other NO boosters, unless the next ingredient has some of its own. Because of that, this supplement is most likely going to be just a bit more on the “energy” side of the pre workout field.
Arjuna Extract, Terminalia arjuna, bark (250mg)
Another brand-spanking new ingredient that many of us have not seen used in any pre-workout to date. This extract comes from the bark of the Arjuna tree found in India. In addition to providing cardiac related benefits, clinical studies conducted showed substantial increases in overall power output and VO2 max.[21,22]
What about the dosage?
According to all the clinical trials, the administered dosage needed to reap the benefits of the Arjuna Extract was 500mg. Sorry to say that each scoop here has half of that amount, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you at a 1-1.5 scoop serving size.
We’re just happy to see some new stuff to tinker with here, and it’s clearly not pixie-dusted either, like many brands do with new herbs.
Beta-Alanine (1.6g CarnoSyn)
Now back to the top of the label.
A majority of supplement users know what beta-alanine is by now and are quite familiar with it. It’s that little amino acid that gives the “tingles” when we’re first exposed to it and has proven benefits in muscular endurance and can also aid in high intensity cardio such as sprinting or rowing.[1,2,3,4]
Beta-alanine binds to histidine in the muscle cells and forms carnosine which then acts as a “buffer” to hydronium ions. By creating this buffer, muscle cells can avoid fatigue and failure longer allowing you to train longer and harder.
What about the dosage?
A single scoop of True Grit PRE contains 1.6g- good enough to get us halfway to our recommended dosage of 3.2g. This is pretty common in the pre workout world.
Additionally, it’s generally recommended to split that daily 3.2g dosage into two, meaning for maximum endurance effects from BA, you’d want to supplement with additional raw beta-alanine or some other supplement that contains it (or just use two scoops if you can handle the stims).
Creatine HCl (1.5g)
Next to caffeine, creatine is the most studied supplement in the game today. Its benefits have been proven in countless areas, among those:
- Lean Mass[6,7]
- Power and Strength[8,9]
- Decreased Fatigue
The gold standard for creatine has always been creatine monohydrate, so you may be asking yourself, why is Creatine HCl used in this pre-workout if the studies are based on creatine monohydrate?
The answer is simple, Creatine HCl is a rather unique form of concentrated creatine that will not cause any bloating that past users of plain creatine mono may have experienced.
It has a lot of fans for this very reason, and if we were to use a form of creatine not named monohydrate, it would be this one.
What about the dosage?
Again, we see that to get the efficacious dosage of creatine (3-5g), True Grit’s PRE will need to be a 1.5 to 2-scooper (again, beware the caffeine dose) OR you’ll have to add in a scoop of creatine to get your daily needs met (recommended).
Some people claim that you don’t need as much of a dose of Creatine HCl, but there is no research-based proof to those claims. We still like 3-5g of total creatine daily.
Betaine, aka trimethylglycine, is an the amino acid glycine with 3 methyl groups bonded (tri-methyl) to it. This little amino acid experienced a rebirth of sorts during 2014 and looks to be a major player in pre-workouts heading into the new year.
It’s been shown to help with:
- Cell Hydration
- Reduced Soreness
- Increased Power Output
- Cortisol level reduction
- Increased IGF-1 levels
What about the dosage?
Yet again, all the studies indicate that a dosage of 2.5g of betaine was needed to reap the research-backed benefits of its supplementation. This means that we’ll be doubling our scoops again for PRE…starting to see a theme here, yet?
With regards to creatine and betaine, however, True GRIT’s POST workout supplement fills that gap. But as we discussed in our creatine is broken article, we’re not huge fans of forcing people to buy multiple branded products just to get efficacious doses of cheap stuff like creatine or betaine.
If you like this pre workout, you can just add a touch more cheap bulk betaine if you want.
Caffeine Anhydrous (175mg)
The caffeine content will be the main driver for users in determining whether you’re a 1, 1.5, or 2 scooper. At 175mg/scoop, you’re getting a decent hit of caffeine that is sure to boost energy, mood, focus, etc.
At 2 scoops (350mg of caffeine), you’ll either be ready to run through walls or be on your way to a bit too anxious of a time if you’re stim-sensitive.
Newbies to the pre-workout market should start with 1 scoop and assess tolerance from there. We’d more likely be in the ~1.5 scoop group of users.
Theanine is a non-protein amino acid and is also a non-dietary (not required) amino acid most commonly associated with green tea. It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in clinical trials.
When combined with caffeine, the two show improvements in reaction time and focus and a decrease in fatigue.[24,25]
It’s more and more popular in pre workouts, and for good reason – it works quite well with caffeine as shown above.
What about the dosage?
Clinical trials used varying levels of theanine ranging from 100mg to 250mg (way more that you’ll get in a single scoop of PRE). In our opinions, True GRIT Pre has a good dose — too much L-theanine (like the 200mg level) is too calming, and we want to get up and go for our workouts.
So far in early 2015… (see the PricePlow widgets above and below to have an updated list)
- Fruit Punch
Overall, True Grit’s PRE uses research-backed ingredients to formulate their pre-workout. HOWEVER, you’ll need 2 scoops of the product to reach efficacious doses of most ingredients, but you should follow your caffeine tolerance first and foremost – 1-1.5 scoops will work best for most users.
It seems that this is a product geared towards pushing the PRE-POST combination. That’s fine if you have the budget, but if not, we’d recommend just taking some bulk creatine monohydrate alongside this to save a few bucks.
Pricing with BB.com
Being as this is an exclusive to Bodybuilding.com, price can become something of an issue. We like to stay in the realm of $1/serving for an effectively dosed pre-workout. True Grit’s PRE is retailing normally for $33.99 for 30 1-scoop servings, but was launched at 20% off (to bring it to $27.19) and we expect to see that deal come frequently – that’s the one to get.
So, it’s going to depend on your caffeine tolerance and whether or not you can add a bit of creatine and beta alanine post-workout.
You can also sign up for deal alerts above or below to get contacted when it goes on sale below.
Meanwhile, if you’re stimulant-tolerant and need to take two scoops, doing the math, you’re looking at over $2/serving to get the research-backed benefits from the ingredients listed on the label, unless you add the ingredients elsewhere, which is what we normally do with other pre workouts.
Early reviews coming in on True Grit PRE seem to indicate good focus and energy during the workout, but this is going to work best for someone who likes < 200mg caffeine and already has some extra creatine in the house.[priceplow brand="True GRIT" product="PRE" category="Pre Workout Supplements" brand_id="2138" category_id="18" product_id="55188"]
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- Tallon MJ, et al. The carnosine content of vastus lateralis is elevated in resistance-trained bodybuilders. J Strength Cond Res. (2005)
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