Cobra Labs Shadow-X Pre Workout Review
Cobra Labs Shadow-X Pre Workout Review First Look:
I had no plans to hit the gym today. I was lifting weights yesterday evening and tried another different pre workout to see what effects it would have.
Therefore today was for rest.
However, when I got home from work after a 2 hour commute and then eating my dinner and settling down in front of the PC to start working on this website I felt the tiredness set in.
I wasn’t feeling particularly creative nor in the mood to start researching ingredients or other products or even any studies on relevant material that would help any potential readers.
Then, with a pile of sachets in front of me I wondered whether or not taking a pre workout may help me.
It didn’t take me long to decide whether I should or not, so I ripped the nearest sachet open and poured it in to my shaker.
The taste of lemon was pleasant but not exciting or zingy with is a shame as the taste can be part of the overall frantic experience, or at least you would hope so.
Now the sachet reminded me of some of my old EDM clubbing clothing from many years ago when fluorescent materials, reflective highlights and futuristic images were the order of the day.
Olive – Olive oil is widely used in many foods and its ability, like avocado, to reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol is fairly well known. These are great to have in your diet.
Leucine – Leucine is an activator of the protein known as mTOR, which then induces muscle protein synthesis.
Folic Acid (Vit. B9) – There’s many benefits of Folic Acid, treating kidney problems is one of them. Folic acid can also help produce more testosterone along with B12 but also necessary to form red blood cells and is also necessary in the formation of DNA.
Taurine – It has been touted that Taurine can help mental performance.
Early clinical research suggested that taurine, in combination with caffeine, glucuronolactone, and B vitamins, can improve attention and reasoning in adolescents, but does not improve memory.
However, there is insufficient evidence to prove this is always the case.
L-Tyrosine – Tyrosine is taken for depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy), and improving alertness following sleep deprivation.
It is also used for stress, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS).
L-Citrulline – This is used as a sports performance and cardiovascular health supplement. L-Citrulline supplementation results in reduced fatigue and improved endurance for both aerobic and anaerobic prolonged exercise.
An increase in growth hormone has been noted with exercise, but not at rest.
L-citrulline boosts nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide helps your arteries relax and work better, which improves blood flow throughout your body.
Supplementing can help lower blood pressure in people with prehypertension.
This is often found in the best pre workouts.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) – Gives you more energy and boost your metabolism, helping you shed unwanted pounds. Ensure you are not deficient in Vitamin B12 so you can do that quick 10 miler at 5am…
Vitamin B6 – This helps the body use and store the energy from protein and carbohydrates.
Caffeine – It stimulates the central nervous system (CNS), heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure to give you an extra boost and hit that PB.
Caffeine Anhydrous is the purest form of caffeine so always look out for it.
This is found in 4 Gauge which is the best pre-workout.
Beta-alanine – Supplementation of this non essential amino acid aids the production of carnosine. That’s a compound that plays a role in muscle endurance in high-intensity exercise.
That said, studies have been small and not entirely conclusive.
Beta Alanine does give many users that tingly/itchy feeling. Some love it, others hate it.
I think it is best described at Chillblains – i.e when you go in to a warm room after your hands have been exposed to the cold and they start to feel itchy.
Betaine (trimethylglycine) – Betaine has been recommended as a performance enhancing compound, although with quite unreliable results.
When taken at 1.25g twice daily, betaine has at times been linked to increased power output (only to fail in other instances) and minor increases in workout volume and endurance (a bit more reliable than power output, but still not a consensus).
1 sachet with water is 9000mg.
This is not a particularly impressive nor competitive dose when you consider many pre workouts offer 14000+ mg.
The taste was a smooth, soft lemon (if that makes any sense?) but I would have preferred something a bit sharper and more tangy.
There’s 11 ingredients here which either gives us a great product or lots of reasons to be wrong.
I am pleased to say that 8 ingredients offer conclusive benefits.
- Olive extract is great to have in your diet even if it doesn’t directly increase or improve performance
- Caffeine is a great stimulant which can help exercise intensity
- B12 and B6 are great for energy
- L-Citrulline improves performance, reduces fatigue and helps with bllod flow for oxygen
- Tyrosine is great for attention, alertness and focus
- Folic acid can increase testosterone levels but also increase red blood cells which carry oxygen to the muscles
- Leucine induces muscle protein synthesis
So how did it feel?
I took this because of fatigue which had clearly set in after a full day of work and commuting plus I was probably still tired from last nights gym session.
The Caffeine certainly kicked in and so it should have done when 350mg is dosed per sachet. When you think about a can of Red Bull offering 80mg of Caffeine that 350mg seems quite a lot, which it is.
I didn’t really feel any more focused, nor pumped. Funnily enough I did not feel the Beta-Alanine which is the first noticeable effect usually.
This does raise an alarm bell.
Why couldn’t I feel it? Has it been properly dosed? Do they batch test products like some supplement companies do to ensure quality?
However, due to feeling a bit more awake I did go to the gym and did a very little bit of work.
Check out my thoughts in the video below.
I think the overall dose isn’t too effective.
Due to not feeling any of the effects of Beta-Alanine my concerns lay with batch quality…is this being checked? Are they churning out what is exactly on the ingredients panel? Or are we being short changed?
Beatine and Taurine do not offer reliable results for their effectiveness nor benefits in studies. That said, Beta-Alanine doesn’t seem to ffer much to the party apart from the tingly sensation.
It just did not seem strong enough to actually really offer what I would call a pre workout experience.
There was no excitement, no aggression, no real desire to go and smash up the gym, no real flood of energy or power.
It didn’t turn me in to a temporary incredible hulk basically and that’s what we want for 60 minutes.
Cobra Labs Shadow-X Pre Workout Review Conclusion:
The majority of the ingredients work…on paper.
However, it certainly was lacking.
While I could feel the Caffeine due to the strong amount I didn’t feel what I would normally associate with a good and effective pre workout. It just didn’t have that X factor.
Rather than use this for the gym when you want outrageous power, pumps and performance, this would be okay for those doing long distance driving or tedious jobs that are repetitive or it could help for when you are about to study or sit an exam.
I just would not use it to hit that PB in the gym when there are superior products available.