Bucked Up Reviews
By: DAS Labs
IntroductionI used this product both as a preworkout and also as a coffee substitute, since it is way too hot outside for me to drink coffee for now. My workouts consisted of strength training 4 days per week, with little to no cardio. I also used this at work which usually consists of sitting at a desk for most of the day, but I also worked some 8 hour days landscaping in southern Mississippi heat and humidity. Sometimes I would mix this in a water bottle, and sometimes I would put the powder straight into my mouth and chase it with water. It seemed to work equally with both methods, so I did whatever was convenient at the time. Overall, this product did what I needed it to do for the most part, which was to give me energy and endurance for my workouts and daily activities, but I tended to need more than the recommended dosage more often than not, especially before workouts.
Ingredient ProfileI really like the fact that this has no proprietary blends, which is always the first thing I look for when I am choosing a product. I don't necessarily discount a product if it has prop blends, but it was certainly a good first impression to see that this had a fully-disclosed label. I had mixed feelings about the ingredients, though, as some appeared to be underdosed, but I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt considering the AstraGin was in there to increase bioavailability. Here is a quick rundown on the ingredients for reference:
Citrulline Malate: Promotes endurance by helping get rid of ammonia produced during exercise, and increases bloodflow as your body converts it to L-Arginine and then nitric oxide. At 6g per scoop, you've got a good dose here.
Beta-Alanine: Promotes endurance by making the body less acidic. At 2g, this product falls short of having the standard 3.2g per serving, but this may be mitigated by the AstraGin contained in this as well.
Caffeine Anhydrous: Good 'ol caffeine. Energy, power, and endurance booster, as well as a cognitive enhancer. You have 200 mg in here, which is about the same as a couple cups of coffee, or your average energy drink.
AlphaSize Alpha GPC: Nootropic containing choline. This is meant to improve cognition and focus. Standard dose is between 300-600mg, so this seems underdosed at 200mg, unless the Astragin is meant to increase its absorption.
Taurine: Used for a myriad of purposes such as reducing anxiety, reducing cramping, and promoting hydration. Standard dose tend to be between 500mg at the very low end up to 2000+ mg. This contains 100mg.
Himalayan Rock Salt: Contains trace minerals, I'm assuming it's in here to help replace electrolytes lost while exercising.
Deer Antler Velvet Extract: This is in here to support accelerated recovery. I admittedly know little about this ingredient, but a quick look on examine.com suggests that most if not all claims about this product enhancing athletic performance and recovery are exaggerated at best.
AstraGin: Increases absorption of the other ingredients; the label specifically mentions citrulline.
ActiGin: In here to increase VO2 Max and boost athletic performance.
I had the Blood Raz flavor, and it was very tasty. It had a slight initial tartness with a sweet orange-y finish. It mixed well with minimal sediment in my water bottle using roughly 10oz of water and anywhere between 1-2 scoops. The tartness was much more pronounced when putting the powder directly in my mouth and chasing with water, but it wasn't overpowering and was tasty using this method as well.
EffectivenessWith one scoop, the results for me were just kind of "meh". I could tell it was working because of the familiar beta alanine tingles and I usually got a decent pump, but I always found myself reaching for an additional caffeine source such as a Bang energy drink or some kind of RTD like Speed Stack to give a little extra energy. With two scoops, the results were very good, and more in line with what I expect from a preworkout. I'll break down my experience into some typical preworkout categories. These values are based on me taking 2 scoops.
Energy and Endurance: 7/10
The beta alanine tingles were always the first sign it was starting to kick in for me, followed by a gradual increase in alertness. This product never gave me a sudden jolt of energy upon kicking in, but instead gradually increased, plateaued at a moderate intensity, and then gradually wore off without me really even noticing. I never had a problem completing my workouts, which typically take about an hour, so I feel like it did what I needed it to do. I personally prefer a quick hit followed by a slow tapering off with energy, but this would be a good option for someone looking for something on the lighter side stimulant-wise.
I never got "tunnel vision" focus while using this, but I could tell I was slightly less distracted. It felt like the slight boost in focus I get from energy drinks that contain caffeine, but have no additional focus-oriented ingredients.
This is where this product really shined for me. I always got a pump no matter what part of my body I worked out. The pumps were what I would consider a "wet" pump I typically get while taking bulk citrulline malate, where the muscles look and feel inflated rather than more dense. This is my favorite kind of pump as clothes felt smaller, especially when working shoulders/arms, and deadlifts seemed to inflate almost every part of my body. Even walking upstairs on days I took this at work made my quads feel bigger. Very solid here.
ValueHere is where this product takes a hit for me, since I had to take more than 1 scoop to get the effects I wanted, but your mileage may vary. The cheapest I've found this online is $42.95, which comes out to $1.43 per serving assuming free shipping. That's really not too bad, but it's still a little pricey in my opinion considering there are other options out there within or below this price point that work as well or better. However, if you need to take two servings like me, then you're looking at double that, which is too steep for me considering there are other, cheaper and more effective options.
Side EffectsI experienced no side effects while using this product.
ConclusionIn conclusion, I'm glad I tried this, but I know now that I prefer something more energy and focus oriented. I would recommend this to someone looking for a low-stim preworkout option, though, especially if they enjoy having a good pump and respond well to citrulline malate. I'd try to find it on sale, though, or use some kind of deal to lower the price a little.