Anarchy by MuscleTech
Chances are you're familiar with pre-workout supplements. If you're not I suggest you take a moment and read this pre-workout supplement for beginners guide which will give you a better understanding.
Anarchy is a popular pre-workout supplement formulated by MuscleTech. Overall, it's a decent pre-workout but as I'll explain below it lacks a few key ingredients.
Anarchy Pre-Workout Supplement Quick Review
Price Per Serving (1 Scoop): ~$0.5/serving
Price Per Serving (2 Scoop): ~ $1/serving
Workout and Recover Review
- L-Theanine + Caffeine is a great combination to try for those who get jitters
- Nitrosigine & Hydro-Max Glycerol sound promising.
- It's not over the top with caffeine as some pre-workouts tend to do.
- They don't mask anything behind proprietary blends
- It doesn't contain Creatine or BCAAs
- Key ingredients are either under-dosed (one scoop serving size) or it's expensive (two scoop serving size).
- I think Choline is a useless pre-workout ingredient, unless you're ready to run a marathon.
- It doesn't come in unflavoured (for the purists). And the flavours are very medicore
Anarachy contains two important ingredients that aren't common in all pre-workout supplements: Hydro-Max Glycerol and Nitrosigine.
Let's start with Nitrosigine, what it is, what it's designed to do and why you should care.
Nitrosigine is a patented ingredient that is designed to increase Nitric Oxide. If you're not familiar with Nitric Oxide, it's a natural gas that's produce from amino acids. L-Arginine is a supplement that is supposedly designed to increase Nitric Oxide. In turn Nitric Oxide increases recovery rates, reduce fatigue and improve muscle pump.
Sounds pretty good. So what is Nitrosigine and how does it work?
"Nitrosigine bonds arginine and silicone to create a nitric oxide silicon blood level booster." 1
Some studies have shown that after introducing Nitrosigine both Nitric Oxide and Arginine levels improved. Which again, indirectly, eads to gains for bodybuilders, weight lifters and athletes in general.
Again, this all sounds awesome. The one drawback is that how much Nitric Oxide improves performance is up for debate.
So where does that leave Nitrosigine and Anarchy? If you're a believer Nitric Oxide helps to deliver better workouts and more gains then it's worth giving it a shot.
It'll be interesting to see, as more and more research comes out if science can reach some conclusion on just how effective Nitric Oxide is. We know that Creatine flat out works (which we'll get to later in this article) but until that evidence is rock solid for Nitric Oxide there will always be skeptics.
Hydro-max Glycerol is an improvement on a compound that is already found in a lot of other pre-workouts: Glycerol Monostearate. Glycerol is designed to prevent dehydration during exercise. This helps with endurance and Glycerol also increases muscle pumps.
Again, Hydro-Max is simply a more stable, concentrated version of Glycerol Monostearate.
Like with Nitric Oxide, the jury is still out if Glycerol is very effective. I think this is partly why pre-workouts contain so many supplements; if you throw enough of them at the wall one wills stick. Seems logical, right?
Aside from Nitrosigine and Hydro-Max Gylcerol what other ingredients are present in Anarchy?
As we discuss in our introduction to pre-workout's, we look for five ingredients:
- BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids
BCAAs provided increased protein synthesis, Creatine aids to build muscle mass and increased endurance, caffeine gives us an extra jump, Beta-Alanine decreases muscle fatigue and finally Citrulline does a better job of creating Argainine than just consuming Arginine alone. Earlier we discussed how Arginine then converts to Nitrc Oxide providing increased blood flow and endurance.
Anarchy contains the following:
Of my top five ingredients a pre-workout should contain it has three.
Beta-Alanine, Citrulline (Nitrosigine is designed to provide a similar benefit, and I doubt anyone can tell you which is more effective, let alone this average joe) and finally caffeine.
A Deeper Dive Into the Ingredients
I find it somewhat strange that they include Choline in their formulation. From what I understand, Choline has two benefits - it is a nootropic and it creates Acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter.
When you run a marathon you deplete a significant portion of the Choline Plasma. According to this study, 40% is the approximate amount. I could see Choline being extremely beneficial if you're running a marathon or you're an ultra-endurance athlete however for the average guy or gal lifting weights? It seems like a waste of time.
In addition to this, most Choline supplements are 500mg. I'm not suggesting that supplement companies always have our best interests in mind but it seems strange that Anarchy would have 100mg of Choline. A supplement (some refer to it as a vitamin) that is typically abundant in our bodies and provide a rather low dose of it.
L-Theanine is a supplement I haven't talked at great lengths about, but it's starting to become more and more popular in pre-workouts. The idea is that L-Theanine will help counteract some those jitters to provide an optimal workout.
For those who get the jitters you might want to try a pre-workout such as Anarchy, with L-Theanine in it. It's certainly not a must in a pre-workout but I can understand how it can improve workouts.
L-Theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier which impacts Alpha Waves. It's thought that L-Theanine helps to regulate neuron activity. It also causes dopamine to be released.
As far as lifting more weight goes, L-Theanine isn't going to directly impact that. However, if it can help to calm your jitters you may find your workout to be more enjoyable and ultimately better.
Like so many other nootropics, there needs to be a lot more research before we can begin to fully understand L-Theanine and it's overall impact it has on our central nervous system.
It's also worth mentioning that 75mg is on the low end of the suggested dose for L-Theanine, 200mg is a fairly standard dosage.
Rhobidola extract is a herb that has been used for thousands years by a range of different civilizations. The Vikings, for one, were said to believe it increased their strength.
Not surprisingly, the jury is still out! Imagine that, a supplement, much less a herbal supplement lacks sufficient scientific data that it has the reported benefits!
Kidding aside, this study, studied 206 articles that examined Rhodiola's impact on physical performance. A number of the articles indicated, that indeed it did have a positive impact. Personally, I'm a big believer in eastern medicine and am usually inclined to believe that if populations have been using it for thousands of years there must be something to it.
But of course that's anecdotal.
Originally Yohimbe was originally touted to increase male testosterone. I haven't been able to find any evidence that this is actually true - typically we'll at least find some studies that support the claim and then others that don't. In this case all I could find were studies that didn't support the claim. 2
However, there is some evidence that it can help burn fat. 2
And to that end it becomes a useful ingredient to have in a pre-workout supplement.
Anarchy Missing Ingredients: Creatine & BCAAs
Of my five top ingredients that pre-workouts should have, Anarchy is missing two; Creatine and Branched Chain Amino Acids.
There aren't many pre-workouts on the market without Creatine, so if you're looking for one Anarchy would be a good choice.
Creatine is one the best understood supplements and it's hard to refute that it increases strength, endurance and recovery. Why you wouldn't make it one of the primary ingredients in a pre-workout stack is beyond me.
BCAA's are also a relatively known commodity. Of the twenty amino acids, the three branched chain amino acid's make up a third of all amino acids within muscle protein. It's understandable why you'd want to provide an additional source of these amino acids. That being said, I still don't believe it's as important to a pre-workout as Creatine is.
Muscletech produces Anarchy in five different flavours: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Icy Rocket Freeze, Pink Lemonade and Watermelon.
Of the five flavours, Fruit Punch probably tastes the best. That being said, if you're a big taste guy this product probably won't be for you.
Final Review: Anarchy by Muscle Tech
If you're looking for a pre-workout without Creatine this isn't a bad option. Plenty of customers complain about the lack of results. I'd chalk this up to having the most potent pre-workout ingredient, Creatine, being left out of the formulation.
This pre-workout wouldn't crack my top ten list, it may not even be on my top twenty list. Basically I don't think much of it. Aside from missing critical ingredients it seems like a number of the ingredients are under-dosed. The argument to this, is they offer a two scoop dosage and even recommend it once you get used to this.
If you're using two scoops it goes from very cheap to on the more expensive end. I would compare it to Muscle Pharm's pre-workout (I have it listed as 4th on my top pre-workout 5 list) but Muscle Pharm's blend contains Creatine and it's ~$0.6 per serving versus Anarchy which is ~$1 per serving.
Workout And Recover: Anarchy Muscle Tech Review