Let’s face it – you don’t always have the opportunity to work out when you feel energized, focused, and ready to tackle the world. I’m either an early-morning or after work person, and there are enough days when I feel not fully awake or worn down by the day’s tasks that I enjoy having a pre-workout something to give me energy and help me focus. That’s why, in my experimentation, I came across an interesting pre-workout powder from ErgoGenix. Its full name is the ErgoGenix Ergopre Intense pre-workout powder. Created because it looks like others share my needs. It’s supposed to get your heart pumping and your blood coursing, priming you for a determined and focused workout. It comes in a 345-gram container in several flavors – Apple Berry, Glacier, and Pineapple Mango. I tried Apple Berry, and that’s the one I’ll be reviewing.
First up is a little overview of the product based on the information provided by the manufacturers. The ErgoGenix pre-workout powder team promise that the ErgoPre will give you pump, focus, and energy. That’s a reference to the ingredients in the powder mix – citrulline malate for “pump”, Alpha-GPC and Choline bitartrate for “focus”, and good old caffeine and n-acetyl l-tyrosine for energy.
It’s an interesting cocktail for sure, so let’s go over how each ingredient can benefit your workout before we move on to other things.
First up, citrulline malate. This is a relatively new pre-workout supplement, but it has become popular quick because of it anti-fatigue properties. Citrulline malate is an amino acid. How it works is that through the supplementation of citrulline, it puts the body’s urea cycle into overdrive. The urea cycle is how the body disposes of nitrogen waste – basically, by urinating it out. Working muscles produce nitrogen, and the urea cycle – that the citrulline put into overdrive – sucks up the nitrogen produced by your muscles before it has a chance to produce fatigue.
Malate is a salt compound. In nature, contributes to the sour taste of apples. Some research indicates that it, too, can help fight fatigue, by helping your body recycle lactic acid and use it for energy. A 2010 study by Spanish scientists, for example, suggested that male strength athletes who used citrulline malate were able to squeeze out 50% more repetitions when exercising to the point of muscle failure. You read that right – 50 percent more reps. And the citrulline malate helped reduce muscular soreness after those high-intensity workouts.
On to the next performance booster pair – alpha-gpc and choline bitartrate. These two chemicals lead to the same endpoint – the brain’s production of a chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical prevents cognitive decline in seniors and boosts the brain function of healthy individuals. A Turkish study suggests that choline can also help regulate blood pressure and heart rate, leading to better cardiovascular health. The main benefit is for the brain, though – and every serious athlete or lifter knows that it’s so important to stay focused when working out. Focused, not absent-minded practice makes perfect.
The final pair – to keep your energy levels high during the workout – is caffeine and n-acetyl l-tyrosine. We all know about the effects of caffeine. N-acetyl l-tyrosine is a bit less well known. Basically, it’s an amino acid – a precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine. When the amount of these two chemicals released in the brain increases, it leads to increased energy and alertness, and improved moods. So this pair is meant to provide you with a positive energy boost.
My Experience with ErgoPre
With that said, let’s move on to my own experience with ErgoPre. What the manufacturer writes is one thing, but what do you get when you actually buy the product they’re selling? In my case, it was a bunch of positive things and a couple of negative ones. Here’s how it stacks up.
First of all, ErgoPre certainly gave me the kick that the product description implied. I tried a couple of doses – both full scoops and half-scoops. The full scoop worked better for me, but a lighter person might have the same effect with half a scoop or something in between – you’ll just have to fine-tune it for the best experience.
I work out in the early morning a couple of times a week and was wondering if ErgoPre could replace my morning cup of coffee. The answer is, without a doubt, YES. It definitely gave me a wake-up kick and the “pump” that it promises. I sweat a lot in general, and it felt like I sweated more after taking the ErgoPre, with no change to my usual workout routine. That may have been a side-effect of a big dose. I maybe overdid it a bit by taking a heaping scoop the first time, which might have caused mild jitters that I didn’t like. The following times I took it, though, I didn’t experience any jitters. I suppose it was either because I took less or because it was simply first-time jitters, whether real or due to a placebo effect. In any case, I certainly felt energized and eager to work out after drinking the mix.
I never drank ErgoPre long before a workout – whenever I consumed it, I was working out within 15 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it while sitting in traffic on the way to the gym, for example – it might be an unpleasant experience if you’re not ready to sweat out the energy boost it provides. And people who aren’t used to caffeine should probably start with smaller doses, and work their way up to a dose they’re comfortable with.
It also tastes pretty good – I tried the Apple Berry mix, but I’ve heard good things about the Glacier and Pineapple Mango tastes, too. It has a sweet and slightly sour taste – the sour is from the malate – but it’s nothing too overwhelming. Very “fresh.” Some people might not like that.
I never had a crash after using it – so even if you do get jitters, you won’t necessarily experience the annoying comedown some other pre-workout mixes cause. This is most likely due to the ingredients, which balance each other out. One final thing to be aware of is that the ErgoPre mix itself can be a bit clumpy – whether that’s because of the ingredients, the manufacturing process, or something else, I don’t know. It dissolves quickly enough with some good stirring and shaking, though, and shouldn’t stop you from drinking it normally. They could certainly improve this, though, because it’s easy to see how it could bother people who don’t want to spend time and effort trying to break apart clumps and hoping that they don’t get a piece of dry powder in their mouths.
Other than that, though, the EgroGenix EgroPre mix does exactly what it promises – it gives you a kick in the butt to get you sweating and feeling the pump, which in turn will help you maximize your effort in the gym, on the track, or wherever else you’re engaging in intense physical activity. Give it a shot!