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Black Powder Reviews



Overall Score   How is this Calculated?


Ranks #126 of 188 (better than 33%) in
Pre-Workout > Stimulant

Black Powder is a Pre-Workout manufactured by MRI. It is designed to help provide a pre-training advantage by increasing mental focus, muscle performance, endurance and blood flow. This creates an environment optimal for increasing muscle mass and losing body fat.

Amino acid that draws water into muscle cells which improves hydration, recovery, performance and pumps.

(Amount not disclosed)

A combination of arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate that boosts Nitric Oxide (NO) levels in the body while helping remove excess metabolic waste allowing you to workout longer and have better pumps.



Rep: +288
Trust: 100%
  February 5, 2011

Despite being on this site for a long time, I'm just writing my first review. Here we go.

Taste: This is not a big concern for me as I prefer effectiveness over taste but in my opinion the flavor is good. I like Fruit Punch more than Blue Raspberry but both are decent. BR can be a little sour but not too bad.

Pumps: Personally I'd say that this product gave me better pumps than most other PWOs. I've heard that it is on the lower end of caffeine (which is a vasoconstrictor, doing the opposite of what we want the NO to do) and that allows the pumps to be greater. So I really liked the pumps on this product. At 3 grams of arginine per scoop, you can choose to add additional A-AKG if you'd like but I did not find that necessary.

Energy: In terms of energy, this used to be my preference. It's a little lower on stimulants but still gave me enough energy to last through heavy lifts. I did not experience jitters or out of control energy.

Focus: I didn't find that I got a terribly great focus on this product but I was able to work through that aspect with a little bit of loud music.

Overall: I was really happy with the results I was getting with Black Powder. It provided me with great pumps and good energy. I would definitely recommend this to people who are not as tolerant to stimulants or for first time PWO users. You only need to use 1 scoop and you can take it immediately before your workout (as opposed to taking it 30-45 before your workout like many other PWOs). The 800 gram tub has 40 servings so it's a pretty good value at $37.99 on the internet.
  • Great Pump
  • Great Energy
  • Taste Pretty Good
    Rep: +186
    Trust: 100%
      September 26, 2010

    Black Powder was the absolute first supplement that I ever bought. I took Black Powder in the fall of my sophomore year of college. I went to GNC with a couple of buddies on the team and ended up getting talked in to making this purchase (at the time I had absolute NO clue about any of this stuff, which is why I was even in GNC in the first place). Anyways, not having a clue about supplements, I had seen a commercial for NO Explode and it looked awesome, and the guy at GNC told me this was better so of course I had to have it.

    The energy I got from Black Powder was actually prety/really good. I remember we used to do some extremely tough stuff for off-season workouts while I was taking this product. We used to run until someone puked, and then run more until someone else puked, and then run until the sun went down, and then run some more. One of the places we ran was on this steep dam. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Anyways, after I started taking Black Powder I can remember having really good energy and actually being pumped up to go the dam. Me and my buddy would take our Black Powder, go workout for 45 minutes, then head over the dam headbangin' to some Mudvayne (before Black Powder we were dead quiet like two men marching to their execution).

    Unfortunately, the energy is about the only thing I can say I remember being a positive about Black Powder. I can't say that it gave me any kind of great pump, that it helped me move any more weight, or gave me any extended endurance. The placebo effect from thinking I was basically putting steroids in to my body was I think what was actually attributing to a lot of the good energy boost I was feeling. I can't say that I noticed anymore vascularity or really any size or strength gains.

    For the price, as I said I purchased this at GNC so obviously it was way too expensive. I think I paid $60 for this haha!!

    Also, I had the fruit punch flavor and did not really like the taste that much. I know that taste is not what is supposed to matter for a pre-workout, but for those of you who want something to taste good I would not recommend this. By the same token though, I think I'm just about the only person that enjoys the taste of NO Shotgun so maybe my taste buds are just weird.

    Another thing I didn't like was how after I mixed BP in my Blender Bottle and took off the top, the top would almost blow off. I couldn't help but to think that putting that in to my body was absolutely not a good thing. And I do remember there always being some grit towards the end of it.

    All in all, I do not think I will ever make another purchase of Black Powder. Many of my buddies swear by this product, but I just did not see what all the hype was about. Aside from the energy I got I really did not notice much. I really do believe there are much better pre-workout supplements out there that are good for a lot more than just energy.

    • Great Energy
    • Good Focus
    • Cost Too Much
    • Not Much Of A Pump
    • Mixability
    • Top Pop After Mixing
    Rep: +33
    Trust: 48%
      March 11, 2011

    I was turned to MRI by my brother a few years back. Their products are a bit pricey so I never cared to spend the cash on them. A buddy of mine bought a tub of fruit punch from TF for 20 bucks, but he didn't like it because of his sensitivity to caffeine. He passed it on to me since I don't have that problem. it's definitely the best tasting preworkout I've tried (fruit punch) Orange is ok. Since than I have gone through 2 tubs and I'm on the 3rd. I cycle my preworkout supps by taking a month off after I finish the tub of whatever it is I'm trying. I keep going back to this one due to it's price and effectiveness. Can't beat $20 on TF. It gets me through my tough workouts without hitting a low and also getting jittery. If i'm going to workout later than usual I lower the dosage to half a scoop and it still works pretty decent. I get a good pump and I'm down to business in the gym. Recovery between sets is also pretty good. I know this works because I can tell the difference in intensity when I don't take it. Overall I recommended. I've tried several preworkout supps and this one works for me. It's not a 10, but definitly one I will cycle. Profile is good and easy on the wallet. Which is why I gave it a 9 if you buy from TF. Overall an 8 since I've tried stronger Preworkouts that I will review in the near future. Trying out one right now that I will review when I'm done with it.
    • Great Focus
    • Taste Pretty Good
    • Good Focus
    • Awesome Taste
    • Steady Energy When Needed And Good Pump
      Rep: +22
      Trust: 12%
        August 16, 2011

      Black Powder is one of the supplements I always keep in mind just because it's so reliable in my opinion. It was the first PWO I ever tried (this was a couple years ago) and have now just finished a tub for the 3rd time. The pumps and energy are definitely substantial, especially when cycling back onto PWO's. That said, here's my full review:

      Energy (8.5/10)- I would highly recommend Black Powder as a supplement to use when cycling back onto PWO's. My body usually builds up a tolerance pretty quickly unfortunately, but after taking about a month off of PWO's I felt explosive in my lifts when I added this back in. I'd add in a Beta-Alinine with this supp just to push your energy levels to the next level, though.

      Focus (7/10)- Maybe I'm just disillusioned after trying several other PWO's, but I remembered the focus being much better the first couple times I'd tried this out. Probably the weakest aspect of this particular supplement, but by no means a dealbreaker. If you've got the personal motivation to get your lifts in, you'll be just fine.

      Pump (9/10)- GREAT pumps almost every time I worked out, even the occasional days where I had to struggle to make it through. Definitely improved vascularity as well. Overall, the top area for this PWO.

      Taste (7/10)- Not bad, not great. I don't like spending too much time worrying about taste since I'm just downing this before I hit the weights, but I wouldn't complain if MRI re-tooled the Fruit Punch flavor a little.

      Value (7/10) - This is a product I'd highly recommend if you ever find it on sale anywhere. Full price is a little steep for what it delivers, but not horrible. Like I said, if you find a sale or a deal online then I'd vouch for it.

      All in all, more than a decent product I'd say is definitely worthy of giving a try.
      • Works Great. Pumped Up For Hours
      • Great Pump
      • Great Energy
      • Sleep-deprivation
      • Little Pricy
      Rep: +280
      Trust: 100%
        October 28, 2010

      Good old Black Powder.

      I was first put onto this when i just started training and it was a great pre-workout choice for a beginner as it didnt have a real *boot* to it so to speak. So anyone who has never tried a Pre-Workout formula i would recomend this ( you can buy it in single sticks too so its even easier to try it out )

      Flavour: Well i never strayed from Blue Raspberry, thats what i used when i first started training, and its what i am using now, it actualy tastes pretty good i would have to say, but what do you expect for 2g of sugar per serv.

      Energy: This is where this product let me down after a week or so of useage, it really just doesnt give you that rage anymore and the pumps begin to fade after a while also, however for the ocasional useage this product really does do a good job. I think the reason why it looses its effectiveness is because it relys on the sugar to push it into your system faster and after a while of useage your body gets used to that sugar hit.

      Effectiveness: It works great but as i said earlier only if you use it ocasionaly/or for someone who isnt used to Pre-Workout supp.

      Value: well when i first bort this they only had the sachet version in the hexagonal box thing and that was a rip off, but this time when i bort it i got it in a tub and honestly, i am double dosing it and it has lasted over a month +

      Additional Notes:

      Green Tea Extract in this supp did get me sweating alot i'll give it that.

      Actinos Whey peptide fractions For all i no doesnt exist in this supp as all the other ingredients have a mg dosage next to them where as This ingredient has nothing whatsoever - so dont believe it haha.

      It has a pretty high sodium level aswell per serving its over 200mg

      And although it does contain creatine ethyl ester which requires lesser dosages to be effective i still feel it doesnt deliver enough so you still have to supp with creatine.

      and ofcourse the 2g of sugar isnt exactly its strongpoint.
      • Taste Pretty Good
      • Great Introductory Pre-workout Supp
      • Restlessness
      • Inconsistent
      • Not Much Of A Pump
      • 2g Sugar Per Serv
      • Over 200mg Sodium Per Serv
      Rep: +146
      Trust: 100%
        February 16, 2010

      Taste - The taste and texture of this drink is very good. I got blue raspberry the first time and bought a double-size container of the same flavor just yesterday. It tastes almost like soda, not too strong or sweet and not odd tasting at all and is not thick or chalky at all. Almost as clean feeling to drink as kool-aid.
      Side Effects - I notice it makes me have to use the bathroom once or twice after using it but Im guessing thats due to the nitric oxide rushing nutrients through the bloodstream to the muscles (creating the pump) and thats a side effect to be expected with almost any NO product.
      Effects - Great explosive energy and still has enough kick after the initial explosion to finish your workout. Great pumps especially if taken right after a run right before your lift. (My observations) Focus is good if you are trying to focus, you cant expect to take this and just have magical motivation, the energy will help you get to that mental state but you need to help it along obviously.
      Supplements I took it with - I took this with BSN True mass, BSN CellMass, and Monster Amino. Not sure on the inter-chemistry between them other than the fact that if you take this near the time you take true mass you will *** your brains out.
      Workout/diet - My workout is a very intense running and lifting/calisthenic routine. I run 10 miles every workout day before I lift, then end with a calisthenic workout. I am a training boxer/MMA fighter and currently wanting to go to Ranger school when I join the Army. I eat mostly complex carbs, and omega fats and Proteins mostly from nuts. This supplement gives me energy to finish my workouts so if it powered me through that, it should work for you, but everyones body reacts differently to different supplements, so you may just need to try it for yourself.
      So hopefully this helped you decide if you want to try MRI Black Powder, personally it is the best NO supplement Ive ever tried, and I have tried BSN N.O Xplode, Monster Pump, and Jack3d. Currently sitting on some new tubs of NO Shotgun, CYTONOX, and plasmajet, but so far the only NO products Ive found to be tried and true FOR ME are no xplode and Black Powder.
      Black Powder is by far the best so far though.
      • Really Works
      • Great Pump
      • Great Energy
      • Great Focus
      • Awesome Taste
      • Expensive And Explosive
      • Restlessness
      • Sleep-deprivation
      • Cost Too Much
      Rep: +254
      Trust: 100%
        April 5, 2014

      Hi guys -

      I know this one has been covered extensively - however I know there are a few guys now who like to take a look at what I have tried and what I think - and sometimes it is good to have your own review to stack up against other products that have not been as extensively covered...

      With that said I will get straight on the ingredients so that I can chip in with my opinion on what this stuff contains and what I think to it.

      Total Calories: 45
      Protein: 0 g
      Total Carbohydrates: 11 g
      Sugars: 0 g
      Dietary Fiber: 0 g
      Fat: 0 g
      Saturates: 0 g
      Sodium: 230 mg
      Magnesium: 350 mg
      Proprietary Blend For Size & Recovery: 3000 mg
      L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate
      L-Arginine HCL
      Proprietary Blend For Strength & Power: 2000 mg
      Disodium Phosphate
      Potassium Aspartate
      Dicalcium Phosphate
      Creatine Anhydrous
      Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL
      Proprietary Blend For Stamina And Endurance: 1101 mg
      Potassium Bicarbonate
      Sodium Bicarbonate
      CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine
      Proprietary Blend For Muscle Energy Metabolism: 879 mg
      Magnesium Oxide
      Medium Chain Triglyceride Blend
      Potassium Alpha-Ketoisocaproate
      Potassium Glycerophosphate
      Magnesium Glycerophosphate
      Vitamin B Complex
      Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6)
      Cyanocobalamin (B12)
      Riboflavin (B2)
      Folic Acid
      Malic Acid
      Proprietary Blend Of Neuro-Modulators For Focus & Intensity: 202 mg
      Green Tea Extract
      Betaine Anhydrous
      Proprietary Blend Of Insulin Sensitizers: 520 mg
      Alpha-Lipoic Acid
      Cell-Signalling Amplifier
      ACTINOS 2 IRâ„¢ Whey Peptide Fraction
      Other Ingredients
      Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sucralose, Silicon Dioxide, FD&C Blue #1

      The first thing that sticks out to me is the 11g of carbs per serving.
      For me that is a little high when I am cutting (which is often when I need a pre workout to lend a hand energy wise)
      That's just the labelled technical carbs too - maltodextrin is in this powder and maltodextrin often remains un-checked as carbohydrate - despite it acting as a more aggressive insulin spiker than straight glucose....

      There are benefits to having some carbs packed in there - for nutrient shuttling, nutrient delivery (including Glucose, BCAAS, Glutamine and all of your NOS components) - carbs particularly fast releasing carbs are efficient as a NOS booster/amplifier - so I am not denying that the carbs in there will have a positive effect on the performance of the pre workout for fuelling a higher powered workout (which is exactly what some people want and need).

      Its just for me - I like to have the OPTION of having a carbbed up pre workout - or taking it lean. 11g carbs might not sound like much - but if your total carb intake is 100g for the day for example - thats 10% and if it is insulin spiking carbs - it may make a fat loss workout or cardio session much less effective. Just something to note.

      Your blend for strength and power contains Creatine Ethyl Ester - I am happy with that since studies show that it is the most effective and efficient form of creatine for delivering power/stamina without the need for load up or unwanted bloat - however I appreciate that many studies in house in the industry are unreliable and there are the arguments there to suggest that creatine is creatine pure and simple..... so take that as you like - but I see it as no coincidence that my favourite pre workouts often contain ethyl ester .....

      The blend for stamina and endurance - there are tried and tested components in that bracket. The beta alanine is often a must component for the more effective PWO formulations and many people tell the benefit from Beta Alanine for increasing endurance and energy output by the muscle tissue. The bicarbonates are actually banned in some sports because under some rulings they are classed as performance enhancers because they buffer out lactic acid and defy fatigue like Captain America .... of course this is potentially a contributing factor as to why endurance on this stuff is higher than less comprehensive formulas....

      Your vitamin B complex: a good bunch of components there to help you release energy and get blood flowing! I am suprised however that Niacin (B3) is not among that stack - as most pre workouts and energy drinks and even Supermarket CEREALS contain Niacin for energy release and blood vessel dilation ........ but I guess it is effective enough without it judging by my scores....

      Pump stack:

      AAKG and L-Arganine HCL - tried and tested - if a pre workout that is aimed at stamina, pump and endurance does not include these I am often disappointed and either avoid it or add it myself from raw source......... lets just leave it at that.

      Your stim stack relying mainly on caffeine and green tea looks a little weak and generic - Caffeine is basically just in anything nowadays and most of us will be to some extent resisant - but for some people who are sensitive it might be enough to get a good buzz going. On one hand however, it might be the weakness of the stim stack that actually helps this product maintain efficiency throughout a workout - products with heavy fast punching stims can often have us reaching an energy peak very quickly and end up zapping it out so quickly that we end up like flat batteries ..... so I am not necessarily knocking this product too hard for this - it has its pros and cons - and depending on your goal or what you want out of a PWO - More potent or Milder stims are likely to be favoured or required by different people

      The blend for muscle energy and metabolism looks like a hefty electrolyte blend - which of course helps fuel and hydrate us and helps our energy conversion and muscle contraction - it is all beneficial in a NOS supplement for fuelling a gruelling workout session.

      One thing I will say about all this stuff is ^ expect a bloat - I would really not advise these types of ingredients for people overly concerned with keeping dry and hard - it might make you look fuller and pumped up - but it might also make somebody who is sensetive to sodium etc etc bloat out at least to a moderate degree - this is not a pre contest supp...

      Now for me personally - I used this when I needed to keep myself feeling like I had something 'NEW' to keep my workouts intense - since I wasnt on any test boosters or hormonal boosters etc I needed to keep my strength gains up and my focus and state of mind in the zone....

      Performance wise - this stuff did exactly that and did not let me down.

      What I noticed about this stuff was that you started off strong with stamina and energy and you finished strong - there was no premature peak and then an anti climax. Some PWOs have a tendency to either peak too quickly and then the workout declines in intensity or power/focus - or the opposite happens and the PWO doesnt kick in fast enough to get the full benefit - and then you're tweaked at home for a while wanting it to wear off.

      Black powder for me like I said kicked in well meaning you start in the zone - and remained at a nice consistent level - without wearing down - the pump was decent and stuck with me. What that gives is a nice level of proportionate training - each set gets the energy, power and focus it deserves - and thus each muscle or muscle group you hit - gets attention and gets worked equally as hard......

      Taste and texture wise: it was a while ago now I think mine was Fruit Punch - it was pink - and mixed easily and turned into a juicy drink - slightly like bubblegum.... I recently tried HYDE by Pro Supps and was thinking for ages that it reminded me of something to taste that I had had before - now I remember what it tasted like!

      The Black Powder scoops are large so you get a large drink out of it (which is what I like - I dont like a pint of water to make a massively watered down version of cranberry cordial) - I like to be able to have a nice protein shaker full of juicy PWO....

      Cost wise - it was quite dear at the time when it was an IN product - but then again for the efficiency of the product and the effort that has clearly gone into the formulation - and what we are offered for our money ingredient wise - now I realise that it was still decent value at that time....

      Now I can find it at a more reasonable rate - and I think it is now even better value since it is an older generation supplement.

      Looking at the ingredients and judging by the effects it had for me - I would say by no means is it an obsolete product - I think some of the new generation pre workouts are becoming a lot more advanced (though many aren't getting much more advanced at all - just the labelling!) - however like Metrx Amped - I think Black Powder still holds it own against these newer advanced formulas - it was ahead of its time in a way when I used it and since the powder is so COMPREHENSIVE with its ingredients - I have to say that I Profess that it still beats a lot of what you will find on the shelves performance wise and will still contend with some of the new favourites......
      • Works Great. Pumped Up For Hours
      • Great Pump
      • Good Focus
      • Awesome Taste
      • Good Pumps The Nitric Oxide Really Kicks In Big Time!
      • Endurance Lasts
      • No Peak And Crash
      • Maltodextrin
      • High Carb
      • Little Pricy
      • Potential For Bloat
      Rep: +32
      Trust: 65%
        January 31, 2011

      I have tried probably 10 different preworkouts and this is the only bottle I couldn't wait to complete. I took it on empty and full stomaches. I felt sick to my stomach and usually made a couple trips to the bathroom during my workout. I used anywhere from 1-2 scoops and had the same negative effects with both. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this product. I believe there are better options out there. However, at $15-20 a bottle if your stomach can handle it, I think it maybe a solid buy for you. BP is not for me though. Also, I couldn't sleep on the product. These negative effects occured every time I used BP
        • Restlessness
        • Sleep-deprivation
        • Feel A Little Dizzy After Workout
        • Bad Taste
        • Bothered Stomach
        Rep: +794
        Trust: 100%
          September 21, 2010

        i gave this a shot after some great reviews and a buddy of mine moving and gave his tub.

        taste 7: i had the orange flavor which was a great change of pace from the normal fruit punch and bluerass. but it went down fizzy like noxplode and very tart.

        pump 8: a nice pump, i have had better but compared to the new trend of pwo spuer stims it was great to have any pump at all.

        energy 7: again nice amount here, nothing to wright home about but it got the job done.

        price 7: i got this for free but after looking at the price this was a little to pricey for what it does.

        overall an ok product that is decent in all areas but doesnt excel or fail in any. the one thing i noticed a lot about this product was that i didnt lose the energy or pump for awhile it stayed a nice pace.

        • Taste Pretty Good
        • Good Focus
        • Little Pricy
        Rep: +10
        Trust: 0%
          September 20, 2010

        Tried my first Black Powder after a GNC friend recommended it. Orange flavor is what I got. Tasted like orange cream-sicle. Effervesces when you add water so don't use in a sealed container.

        I'm a big guy so I had to do more than the recommended dose to get a feeling from the stuff but I did feel more focused. Don't know about more energetic, though. The effects seemed to last about a week and a half at double doses, then waned. After almost a full can I wasn't noticing much each day so I tried Jack3d. That was a bust completely. I had about 2 days left in the bottom of the BP can so I went back to finish that off. I did notice that old "focus" I got from the first week on BP so I suppose it's doing something. Maybe you should cycle this every other week with something else just to keep your body sharp with pre-workout drinks? I dunno. But for 2 more days I did get more of a reaction than before.

        Now I'm trying Muscle Pharm's Assault. Just started so no review yet. But the Black Powder did have SOME effect...just not a big one. Maybe someone smaller than me will feel more but I didn't really get what I was hoping for out of this. I won't call it a complete waste but it's not above a 7 for my grading.
        • Taste Pretty Good
        • Good Focus
        • Inconsistent
        • Little Pricy
        • Not Much Of A Pump
        • Not Much Energy

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