In the pre-workout creatine market, there are many choices but the big four are Anadraulic State GT, Jack3d, NoXplode and Superpump 250. These are all solid choices for preworkout and will all give you extra pumps, stamina and focus in the gym. Now it’s time to look at each, discuss the advantages or disadvantages of each and how they might fit into your workout program.
The first contender is Anadraulic State GT from LG Sciences. It is a strong creatine-based product that has a great strawberry lemonade flavor and a mix of pretty cool new ingredients. Anadraulic State GT bills itself as a “creandro” product, meaning it has factors in it that may help men increase their testosterone, as shown in preliminary data. This is quite a difference because it can help really increase the anabolic environment and recovery. It is also the only product tested to contain hydrolyzed amino acids, which are very good for recovery and growth. They will be available to the muscles as an amino acid pool and because they are hydrolyzed (predigested) they don’t cause any bloat or discomfort, making them perfect right before the gym. Anadraulic State GT also contains a new form of synephrine and caffeine to give it a stimulant boost, which will help increase your performance. As a pre-workout creatine supplement, it contains all the aspects that you need like beta alanine, creatine monohydrate and targeted free form amino acids like Taurine. On the world’s top bodybuilding review site, Anadraulic State GT is holding a 9.5 out of 10 rating, making it a very popular product and a solid performer. It’s the only product that has the addition of these hydrolyzed amino acids, which were shown recently in a Dutch study to increase muscle growth 33% over a preworkout powder without hydrolyzed amino acids.
The second contender is USP Labs Jack3d. This is a relative newcomer in the preworkout market, and it promises a no-nonsense formula without fillers and colors. The USP Labs Jack3d claim to fame is that it doesn’t contain magnesium, which could cause you to hit the bathroom during your workout. I am not convinced of this, but it is a possibility I suppose. USP Labs Jack3d contains geranamine and caffeine to give it a stimulant boost, but earlier formula’s contained theophylline, which was removed from the formula. It contains very few ingredients, but they are effective and taste relatively good. Of all the preworkout creatine formula’s, USP Labs Jack3d the fewest ingredients, which is part of the sales pitch from USP. It is currently holding a very respectable 9.0 rating, making it a top product.
Gaspari Superpump 250 is a traditional “kitchen sink” formula that has a little of everything including maltodextrin, creatine, some free form amino acids and a host of other ingredients. To be honest there are so many ingredients, it’s tough to see how they could all interact. Still, Gaspari Superpump 250 has a good following and people seem to like it. It carries an 8.4 out of 10 rating and comes in the most variety of flavors. I’ve only personally had the orange and it tasted pretty good, no complaints for sure. It has some cool adaptogens like Bacopa and Rhodiola and a healthy dose of free form amino acids, including some of the branched chain amino acids. Overall, it is a solid performer with a good variety and a nice blend of carbs to amino acids and enough creatine and arginine to give good pumps. The only thing missing is beta alanine, which is a very key ingredient for performance and mixes well with creatine.
BSN NoXplode is the current king of preworkout formulae. Over the years it has changed up quite a few times in both ingredients and forms of creatine. It is another “kitchen sink” formula with everything just thrown together and even the excipients listed as “active” ingredients. Like Superpump 250 it does contain a mix of ingredients, but only contains creatine malate, no creatine monohydrate. This has some benefits, since creatine malate doesn’t seem to bloat you as much as other forms of creatine, but it doesn’t have the body of evidence like creatine monohydrate for increasing satellite cell production, reducing myostatin and performance. It does have some cool aspects like creatin-ol phosphate, which is a creatine like molecule that has some promise to help increase endurance, NAD which is great for energy, citrulline malate for endurance and beta alanine which is performance enhancing. There are just too many ingredients to see how they all fit together, so it is hard to give a comprehensive review of each ingredient. It has a 8.1 out of 10 rating on the top review site making it a very solid choice.
Side effects for each are pretty much the same. They all contain caffeine, which obviously make you feel focus however it can make you feel jittery if too much is consumed. Jack3d and Anadraulic State GT add in two additional stimulants, for you stim junkies, so if you like getting wired before the gym, these two are more your speed. They all also contain creatine, which has the potential to bloat you. With the inclusion of insulin like factors, LG Sciences Anadraulic State GT, BSN NOXplode and Gaspari Superpump 250 should cause less bloat since the creatine is “forced” into the muscle cells and not hanging around attracting extra water. Also, the ones that contain Beta Alanine, like Anadraulic State GT, USP Labs Jack3d and NOXplode may cause you to feel “tingles” or “itchy”, since that is a natural side effect of beta alanine. This usually wears off in 5-10 minutes and the benefits of Beta Alanine make this more than acceptable. Just don’t be alarmed when you feel it. USP Labs Jack3d’s write up claims that the magnesium containing pre-workout creatine blends like Superpump and NOXplode may make you use the bathroom and have the “runs”during your workout, since magnesium has a laxative effects, but I personally think this is over blown but you should know about it if you feel it might be an issue.
Of all the products reviewed, you can’t really make a bad choice. A good preworkout formula containing creatine is paramount for having a good workout, so try all of them and decide for yourself which one is right for you. All of them taste pretty good and have similar effects. The choice comes down to whether you want a more simple, effective formula like Anadraulic State GT or do you prefer the shotgun effect of everything in one powder. Do you want the testosterone boosting effects of Anadraulic State GT or the inclusion of arginine in the other products. All in all, these will help you transform your workout and give you increased focus, aggression, and attitude in the gym.
Street price for each formula is quite varied. NOXplode is about $35, Superpump 250 is $31.99, USP Labs Jack3d is $26.99 and Anadraulic State GT is $25.99, so they are all pretty close, but NOXplode is the highest price point, still only around 10 bucks separates the four of them.
Of all four, I would recommend Anadraulic State GT because it is the most complete formulation for my needs. The addition of hydrolyzed amino acids makes a huge difference in performance since hydrolyzed amino acids get immediately into the bloodstream and offer an energy and recovery pool while you are working out.