There has been some hype recently surrounding the pre workout Dark Energy (great name, btw), so we asked the experts at 4 Gauge Fitness to take a look at its ingredients to see if they could break down its potential benefits and perhaps take a look at why it might have some potential drawbacks.
What is the ingredient profile of Dark Energy, and how does it compare to other pre workouts?
Dark Energy is interesting. It isn’t being sold hardly anywhere, but it still kind of has a cult following. Virtually everyday someone is searching online for it because of the reputation it has as being a bit edgy. A look at its ingredients shows
Ok, let’s start with what is good about the formula.
Yes, at first glance it is a no brainer with L-Citrulline. It has been shown over and over again to be the right vasodilator; that’s what dilates those veins to get more nutrients to growing muscles. Not only that, but what’s noticeable here is that they are going with the correct form of Citrulline as well, which is the 2:1 version. This means that there are two parts citrulline to one part Malic Acid. This particular combo has been shown over and over again to be both safest and most bioavailable nitric oxide booster on the market. They hit it out of the ballpark with this one.
Caffeine and Taurine
These are both great ingredients, though they might have opposite effects. While caffeine has a long history of providing safe and effective stimulation, L-taurine has a decent following as having a calming effect. Together it might be true that they have the same effect as Caffeine and L-theanine, though that combo hasn’t had deep research to back it up.
This one has also been shown to have nootropic effects and potentially lowering blood pressure and burning fat. But this one is a bit more edgy than L-Taurine. GABA is actually so new that we might be really playing human guinea pigs before the real science is done in the labs. Especially if you have underlying conditions, like heart disease or if you're pregnant. I might sit this one out if you are in any of those risk categories.
What’s perhaps most risky here?
One of the reasons it comes off as an edgy pre workout is because of those DMs in there. There's a lot to be concerned about when it comes to DMAE, DMHA and DMAA, which have all had a serious lack of research.
What are concerns regarding DMAE and DMAA?
Sometimes mistaken for each other, DMAE and DMAA originated as drugs after World War II. DMAE was used as a potential drug to help with learning and behavioral problems in children during the 1970s. It was withdrawn, however, from the market in the 1980s because of some controversy over its negative side effects and overall effectiveness.
Why should I be particularly concerned about DMAA?
It really is a substance that was targeting focus, euphoria and other positive nootropic effects. The problem is that the research is very inconclusive about its effectiveness and efficacy. Dark Energy seems to be trying to fly under the radar here to get these ingredients in their pre workout because there have been multiple bans on pre workouts using DMAA.
Last thoughts on Dark Energy Pre Workout?
Really, I get what they are doing. The workout world has always been one where athletes are scratching for an edge and a way to get more gains, but we can’t recommend these ingredients, however, without having more studies done on their safety and effectiveness. Particularly when it comes to safety.
For more information on the ingredients we would recommend for a great pre workout click here.
And if you’re interested in our pre workout, take a look at 4Gauge.com to see what we think is the most scientifically based formula.