Black Powder Ultra Reviews
Black Powder Ultra 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.
IntroductionMy name is Blake Pullen and I am an Exercise Science major at Kennesaw State University.My goal when posting a review is to post an unbiased informational guide to help other people make a better decision when purchasing a supplement. My current fitness goals involve a caloric surplus and "lean bulking" which is basically trying to put on about 1-2 pounds of lean muscle per month while limiting my fat gain as much as possible.
Ingredient Profile1 serving= 1/2 Scoop (6g)
PROP BLENDS: Black Powder Ultra contains 3 prop blends (my least favorite thing to see on an ingredient label)
"Prop Blend for Size and Strength" = 2,327.5mg of L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, Choline Bitartrate, Disodium Phosphate, Potassium Aspartate, ActiNOS CFM Nitro P (Whey Peptide fraction)
"Prop Blend for Stamina and Endurance" = 800mg of Potassium Bicarbonate, N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride, Sodium Bicarbonate
"Prop Blend of Neuro-Modulators for Focus and Intensity" = 485mg of L-Tyrosine, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Velvet Bean Extract, Vanadyl Sulfate
Just by looking at the size of the prop blends you can tell that this PRE is clearly underdosed. Ingredients in a prop blend are listed from largest to smallest so in a "Prop blend for Size and Strength" that only contains 2.3g to begin with I was disheartened to find that Beta-Alanine wasn't even first on that list.
It only contains 100mg of caffeine so if you are not very sensitive to the stimulant (or you are a religious coffee drinker like me) then you probably get much of a boost from a mere 100mg. Overall the profile list has some good things like Beta-Alanine and a from of L-Arginine, however the dosages are too small to make a serious impact on your workout.
Ingredient list: 5/10
Taste/Mixability/DosingI had the Blue raspberry flavor and the taste was surprisingly pleasant! Not overpowering by any means but definitely not anything that you have to hold your nose and force down. Taste: 7/10
Mixability was extremely effective. The powder would start dissolving into the water without me even shaking the bottle. Just a couple good shakes and it was 100% mixed in. Mixibility= 9/10
The dosage is obviously very underdosed just by looking at the size of the prop blends so I would normally take 1 full scoop (2 servings) before my workouts. Even then I still felt like I was missing that extra push.
EffectivenessLike I stated above I took 1 full scoop (2 servings) before every workout because I knew just by reading the label that one scoop wasn't going to come anywhere close to cutting it for me. Even at 2 servings this is not a very strong product.The slight energy boost I did get wouldn't even kick in until 30-45 mins after I took the scoop. In the pre-workout world that is a veryyyy long time. I was used to taking my Pre within 20 minutes of going to the gym and I had to completely change that while I was taking this product. I would describe it as an underwhelming product that isn't bad because once it FINALLY kicks in you'll definitely receive a little energy boost to help you get through the 2nd half of your workout.
Effectiveness: 1 Serving = 2/10 effectiveness 2 Servings= 5/10 effectiveness
ValueThis is the only bright spot of this product. It is extremely economical at only 5 DOLLARS PER 40 SERVINGS currently at Supplementhunt.com
The price is incredible for the amount of servings that you receieve.
Side EffectsNo side effects at all (it wasn't potant enought to produce any negative or Positive effects)
ConclusionIf you're being money savvy and your willing to double up on your servings for a little boost then this is what you're looking for. It is very laid back ad perhaps that makes it a good Pre-workout for beginners, BUT there are many many MANY better options out there
Vitamin Shoppe $37.99
I have to start out by saying that this will contrast COMPLETELY from the last review. (It is so strange how PWOs can be so hit and miss - blows one persons head off and turns their PBs into their warm up sets! And then makes the next person curl up and give up on life....)
I chose this one because I was looking for a PWO that was cheap (of course we scan the price tags immediately), had the ingredients that I knew had a high probability of 'hitting the spot' without high carbs or sugars and which came from a reputable and reliable source.
Well straight off the bat I saw 40 servings of Blue Raspberry for 14 - which is dirt cheap at UK pricing (reduce that further to trade rate for somebody like me in the industry and it becomes cheap as peanuts). MRI - used that company before (used black powder V1 which I loved and have a review on here for) and the ingredients all looked good to go (stuff that I have purchased in raw form before to form my own PWOs) - so I had a fairly good idea that this would be a pre work out that would in fact 'work out'.
40 Servings Fruit Punch
Serving Size 1/2 Scoop (6 g)
Servings Per Container40
Amount Per Serving % DV **
Sodium (From Disodium Phosphate & Sodium Bicarbonate) 65 mg 3%
Potassium (From Potassium Aspartate & Potassium Bicarbonate) 192.5 mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 1 g <1%
Phosphorus (From Disodium Phosphate) 25 mg 3%
Proprietary Blend For Size & Strength 2,327.5mg **
L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, Disodium Phosphate, Potassium Aspartate, Choline Bitartarate, ActiNOS CFM P
Proprietary Blend For Stamina And Endurance 800mg **
Potassium Bicarbonate, N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride, Sodium Bicarbonate
Proprietary Blend Of Neuro-Modulators For Focus & Intensity 587mg **
L-Tyrosine, L-Taurine, Caffeine Anhydrous, Glucuronolactone, Vanadyl Sulfate, Mucuna Pruriens Extract 10% (Seed), Advantra Z (Bitter Orange) (Fruit)
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
** Daily Value not established
Natural And Artificial Flavor (Fruit Punch), Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Silicon Dioxide, Sucralose, FD&C Red #40.
Milk, Eggs,Wheat, Soy, Gluten, Fish, Shell Fish, Nuts, Tree Nuts
Now your Sodium and Potassium etc are all your electrolytes for hydration (which is important for both blood flow and performance - pump and effective training)
Your Bicarbonate etc - these are fatigue buffers (they are actually banned in many sports such as NFL - thats an idea of how strong and effective they can be for performance)
Your AAKG - again same kind of theme as the above along with the rest of the prop-blend - all designed to facilitate NOS delivery product - enhancing nutrient delivery including glucose, oxygen, water and blood volume, enhancing endurance, volumising muscles, extenuating the venous system and increasing power output.
Reasons why these effects may be reduced in some cases ^:
Adding too much caffeine elsewhere in the diet (caffeine can restrict veins rather than dilate them which has a negative and opposite effect to a NOS enhancer)
Inadequate hydration - lack of water reduces BP and reduces absorption and volumisation of cells
Consuming with solid food - this allows PWO formulations to mix with food - become absorbed by food and taken into the bowel AWAY from the stomach and away from the bloodstream and thus excreted = money down the toilet LITERALLY.
Interesting that the product has NO CREATINE (would like to see Ethyl ester or Kre-alkalyn in there which is why I cannot rate 9)
As always I mix with BCAA's, L-Glutamine and Ethyl Esther (I do this with EVERY PWO so it is always a fair test). However I mixed these in a separate glass as BCAAs taste like Paracetamol, Ethyl Esther tastes like battery acid and glutamine tastes like a badger **** and I didnt want to adulterate the taste of the black powder.
The Blue raspberry looked quite colourful atop the ICE in the glass and made it look quite noticeably similar to one of Heisenburg's concoctions with an Aqua Blue tint to it....
Taste wise - not the best, but then again with salt and Bicarb it is difficult for a PWO to taste great as they tend to make the solution quite Alkaline and chalky like a smooth, milky toothpaste solution (not that it tasted really bad - the taste was still pleasant - but the ingredients dictate a great deal of the consistency and taste). Then again as you will find with all of my reviews Effect + Ingredients >>>> Taste. I Pay for results NOT taste that's what a cheat meal is for...
Granted if you can find a product at the same price, yielding the same results with the same ingredients + superior taste - then yes it is going to score higher.
Overall I experienced precisely what I anticipated + a great deal more.
The energy boost was enough to appreciate and respect without becoming some kind of amphetamine trip followed by the hard crash (ie the caffeine dose is effective, but not overkill like some of the ephedrine derived stims out there going under fancy names). The strength and endurance boost was considerable to say the least - When I was EXPECTING to be weak or beaten by optimistic goals for my lifts I was actually excelling - kind of like a reverse placebo - your mind expects failure - your body proves otherwise. I loved that.
I had come off some strong PHs in which I made considerable gains in mass and strength and put this in alongside the PCT to provide some 'back-up' to stop my workouts suffering now that the cycle had ended. I should note that this was in there alongside SNS reduce XT (cortisol supressor) and BOOM - lifts on most exercises WENT UP not down. Post cycle you expect to see your workouts suffer... NOT MINE. The idea is always to cycle things effectively so that your body has something new to use in its arsenal. Yes I was hormonally lower after ceasing the cycle - but I was higher in other values once this product went in so thus this product compensated well. (I am not advocating this as a PCT supplement it is not a replacement for healthy hormone levels - I am purely pointing out that ALONGSIDE a PCT it had great effects and really proved its worth under the circumstances by facilitating STRONGER workouts when I expected WEAKER ones).
Of course PWOs are hit and miss - but for me the products are a 'hit' based on trial and reasearch and the product is a hit for me personally.
Great price, great ingredients, great effects. 8 Overall. Would have had 9 if it included creatine EE and a further 10 if it had that along with superior taste.
Vitamin Shoppe $37.99
I love the beta alanine tingle in most PWO's and BCAA's but could barely feel a thing on the recommended dosage, much less a double or triple dose.
Taste : 5/10 - I ordered the watermelon flavor since I was taking Cellucor's BCAA's at the time in watermelon flavor as well. It wasn't bad, but about 2/3's of the way through the shaker it became a little much. It had a weird after taste that kind of made me twinge.
Value - 8/10 : Not a terribly priced product. I think I got 40 servings for about $34, so roughly $.85 a serving which is just slightly more than what most people pay for Cellucor's C4.
Effectiveness : 2/10 - As stated earlier, I never felt anything while taking this even when I doubled or tripled the dose. Often times, in order to pretend I would feel something, I would mix it with my BCAA's. Never noticed any increase in energy or pump ever while taking this product. I don't know what the "ultra" stands form, but it clearly doesn't mean ultra strong or effective
Overall : 2/10 - Average priced PWO with little to no effect whatsoever. If you are looking for a good kool-aid alternative and want to spend a pretty penny this is for you