My Universal Amino Octane Pre Workout Review

My Universal Amino Octane Pre Workout Review First Look

I am absolutely shattered. Today has taken it out of me and later I need to cycle home and then pluck up the courage to hit some weights in the gym beneath my sitting room.

And, if I am honest it is not the most appealing place to go at the best of times, it is after all and old coal bunker that built in my basement to feed the fire in times when solid fossil fuels were an acceptable way to heat your home.

However, it is extremely convenient and cheap. No messing around getting in a car, or having to pay gym subscriptions.

Yet, that convenience can promote complacency.

Having the gym there, all the time means that you can easily talk yourself out of a workout session because you can quite as easily go tomorrow, or the next day or next week.

So, more often than not, it isn’t the physical issue, it is a mental state that needs to be overcome, and thankfully some supplements, and, in particular, pre workout supplements can help.

An effective pre workout supplement can get your mentally revved up and charged for a workout, and I find that this is sometimes necessary to ensure I get the best from my gym.

So, I am hoping that this pre workout from UNIVERSAL can do just that.

Let’s see…


What can a pre workout really do?

The use of a pre workout supplement is traditionally to provide a more explosive and focused workout when you hit the gym.

This is achieved by providing high levels of stimulants to fight fatigue as well as increase the blood flow to the muscles and organs.

They can also include other ingredients that are known to help increase cognitive function so you can effectively zero in on your goal and help smash it.

However, they are no commonly used by students looking to concentrate while stay up late as well as gamer’s and even machine operatives or long distance drivers.

The main key benefits are:

  • Increase energy – Smash your workout with more intensity
  • Motivation – Get straight out of bed for an early morning gym session
  • Improved focus – Zero in on your weights program or even revise harder
  • Alert – Stay alert and improve concentration

However, not all pre workout supplements are equal, and some are downright terrible or contain potentially dangerous ingredients in dangerous doses, or concealed doses.

We analyse each one with an in depth review.


Ingredients: The Science

Caffeine 

This can assist with endurance, tested athletes saw an edge from caffeine in scientific studies. In some trials, the stimulant boosted athletes’ speed.

In others, it helped them last longer before they spent all their energy.

Caffeine also raises the metabolism which means you burn more calories.

Some studies show that it can curb soreness after exercise, too. This means you could get back to your training sooner and training means more calories burnt.

This is present in all 3 of our Top Fat Burners.

Caffeine Anhydrous is the purest form so always look for that.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16076

Green Tea 

A well known to have many powerful health benefits. Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat.

One study found that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and maintenance in people who were overweight and moderately obese.

Some researchers think that substances in green tea known as catechins are responsible for the herb’s fat-burning effect.

It has been shown to help lose almost 5% body weight over a three month period.

Green tea extract is found in many a good fat burning supplement.

Not only that, but Green Tea has demonstrated its effects at suppressing cellulite.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11924761

http://news.psu.edu/story/310179/2014/04/02/research/research-suggests-green-tea-exercise-boost-weight-loss-health

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Jun;28(3):175-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00318.x

1, 3, 7, 9 Tetramethylpurine (Theacrine / Tetramethyluric acid)

An alkaloid molecule which can be seen as a structurally modified version of caffeine.

However, although it is similar to caffeine whereby it has a sedative effect at relatively low doses, but where this sedative effect with caffeine is at an impractically low dose with theacrine it is the dose normally consumed by tea.

Research on Theacrine is really too sparse though to cast any real assertions.

https://examine.com/supplements/theacrine/

BCAA

BCAAs (typically a combination of  L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine and L-Valine) play a critical role in muscle development because they are metabolized in the muscle rather than the liver.

Because BCAAs are metabolized in the muscle, they can be used for building new proteins or for energy.

However, Supplementation is not necessary if you eat eggs and meat regularly. However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, supplementation will be vital.

BCAA’s are often included in whey protein supplements, too.

https://examine.com/supplements/branched-chain-amino-acids/

Glutamine

It is generally touted as a Muscle Builder, but has not been proven to enhance muscle building in healthy individuals; only those suffering from physical trauma such as burns or muscular wounds (knife wounds) or in disease states in which muscle wasting occurs, such as AIDS.

Taking glutamine by mouth does not seem to improve athletic performance according to studies.

https://examine.com/supplements/glutamine/

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-878-glutamine.aspx?activeingredientid=878

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.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1222-beta-alanine.aspx?activeingredientid=1222&activeingredientname=beta-alanine

Taurine

It has been touted that Taurine can help mental performance and this is often found in cans of energy drinks that dilute your teeth in to a crumbly mess.

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.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1024-taurine.aspx?activeingredientid=1024

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).

https://examine.com/supplements/l-tyrosine/

Arginine

Arginine is present in many pre workout supplements or products designed to make you more vascular.

L-Arginine opens up the blood vessels and arteries to assist with blood flow, nothing really to do with testosterone but may assist with any impotency issues that are not helping you attain that hot chick in the gym who is 15 years your junior.

However, you will require 5g per day alone!

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-875-larginine.aspx?activeingredientid=875&

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/l-citrulline-uses-and-risks#1

DL-phenylalanine

Studies have shown that this can help with confusion, lack of energy, depression, decreased alertness and memory problems.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/phenylalanine

L-Threonine

Threonine is changed in the body to a chemical called glycine.

Glycine works in the brain to reduce constant and unwanted muscle contractions (spasticity).

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1083-THREONINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=1083&activeIngredientName=THREONINE

L-Histidine

No conclusive evidence of testosterone being increased with supplementation.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-467-histidine.aspx?activeingredientid=467&activeingredientname=histidine

Lysine

It seems to have more effect at treating the spread of Herpes rather than offering any benefit whatsoever for athletic performance.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-237-LYSINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=237&activeIngredientName=LYSINE

L-Methionine

An amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks that our bodies use to make proteins.

Methionine is found in meat, fish, and dairy products, and it plays an important role in many cell functions.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-42-methionine.aspx?activeingredientid=42&


How To Take My My Universal Amino Octane Pre Workout

We are instructed to take one scoop per day.

This would provide us with a mere 5175mg .

That doesn’t compare very well to many of the best pre workout supplements which will offer over 15,000mg.


Price

$16.99 – 350 rebellious Streltsi executed in Moscow in 1699.


Pros

There’s quite a few ingredients included in this pre workout which can sometimes mean that it will be a big hitter and create some waves.

However, this is only true if those ingredients are relevant and proven to be effective.

Let’s see…

Caffeine is a biggie. Lots of pre workout supplements contain Caffeine for its widely praised stimulant effects that can help energise and focus.

Green Tea is often found in the best fat burners because of its metabolism boosting effects plus ability to treat cellulite. It also is able to increase energy slightly.

BCAA’s help with muscular recovery and development. They can also help with creating energy.

Tyrosine has a few areas whereby it can help a person overcome fatigue and increase alertness.

Arginine, when dosed correctly, is great to increase blood vessel dilation which will increase blood flow and get more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs.

Phenylalanine has demonstrated its ability to help prevent a lack of energy, increase alertness and prevent confusion.

Threonine helps prevent unwanted muscle contractions, useful after a long workout and when you are recovering in bed.

Methionine helps the body build proteins for muscle and contributes to many cell functions.

This is quite a long list of benefits. So, let’s see what the cons are with this pre workout.


Cons

It has to be said that this is a low overall dose that will have a limited effect on your performance, especially when you consider other pre workout supplements will offer over three times as much as this.

Then, before we even get on to the ingredients that are not beneficial it must be highlighted that this consists of a proprietary blend.

If you are not familiar with a proprietary blend, watch the video below of me in my old garage gym.

If you have skipped the video, a proprietary blend essentially means that although we know which ingredients are included in the supplement, we have no idea of the individual breakdown of each ingredient.

Legally, the supplement company could literally include just trace amounts per ingredient and the rest being a low cost filler.

Just to repeat that, this is completely legal.

So, always bear that in mind if you read an ingredients panel and those dreaded words appear.

You simply have no idea how much of each is included.

So, with this in mind, let’s see what the other ingredients do and do not do…

Theacrine is theoretically quite useful, offering similar effects to Caffeine. However, the effects and strength is so low that it really will not offer much benefit.

Glutamine is often found in a varying number of supplements with varying uses, yet, unless you have been stabbed or are coming from surgery this is not going to offer any benefit.

Beta-alanine is what makes your head and arms tingle. However, its actual benefits are not quite understood other than making you feel like you are turning in to a mutant.

Taurine is another ingredient so often included in supplements yet has very little proof that it is able to offer any benefit.

Histidine is another unproven ingredient that should probably be omitted.

Lysine could well be helpful if you have herpes. If you do not and you just want to perform better in the gym, it is not going to be much use according to the science.

We also need to appreciate that we have discussed Arginine in the Pro’s section, which it deserves to be in.

However, it is dose sensitive. This means that a dose of 5000mg is required to be effective and Arginine falls within the proprietary blend of 5000mg among the other ingredients.

This means we have no idea exactly how much Arginine is included. It is very unlikely that 5000mg of Arginine is in there.


What improvements could be made?

This pre workout from UNIVERSAL does include a number of proven and well regarded ingredients. This is must be applauded for.

However…

It is lacking the required doses to be effective.

It is also lacking transparency with that proprietary blend. This loses our trust and confidence.

There is also the additional ingredients that are included that do not seem to offer any proven benefit, either.

Plus, it is lacking many other ingredients that would also be really beneficial and really provide the energy and power to get your though that workout or even give you the extra focus you need.

Therefore, in essence, in terms of a pre workout supplement to increase physical performance it would have been beneficial if it included the ingredients below for more impact:

  • Beet
  • Coconut Water
  • Carnitine
  • B vitamins
  • Creatine
  • Citrulline
  • Theanine
  • Rhodiola
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C

My Universal Amino Octane Pre Workout Review Conclusion

I was hoping for a pre workout that could take our performance to new levels.

Something that could help us push harder in the gym and faster on the track.

However, while this does include some great ingredients, they are then hampered by low doses and that proprietary blend which conceals the exact ingredient breakdown.

This is not a product we can entirely trust.

As a result, there are better options that we can rely on to break new ground.

Any final word for this review?

This really requires extra research and development plus more transparency to be truly beneficial.

There is another product that will get you fired up and cause hell in your chosen sport.

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