Reviews

Blackstone Labs Dust V2 Review

Dust V2 is the sequel to Blackstone Labs’ original pre-workout, Angel Dust, which was discontinued when the FDA cracked down on AMP-Citrate. The formula is actually quite a bit different than the original with several ingredients being dropped and several new ones being added…

Blackstone Labs Dust V2

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Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine supplementation has been shown, throughout multiple studies, to be highly effective at increasing muscular Carnosine concentrations which is associated with reduced muscular fatigue during workouts.

Blackstone Labs does not disclose the exact dose of Beta-Alanine in Dust V2, but given that it’s the first ingredient listed, there is no obvious under-dosing.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid with antioxidant properties which give it a wide variety of implications pertaining to exercise.  It has been shown to reduce muscular oxidative stress resulting from exercise, making it an ideal recovery-aid.   Taurine has also been shown to improve performance in time-trial athletes which is thought to be related to a decrease in oxidative stress.

As with Beta-Alanine, we don’t know how much Taurine is present in Dust V2 but it doesn’t necessarily seem under-dosed, judging by its position in the prop blend.

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate

L-Carnitine, in various forms, has been studied extensively for a variety of implications. While results have been discouraging in the area of weight-loss, Carnitine is highly effective as a recovery agent.

Carnitine (as L-Tartrate) has been shown to significantly reduce markers of exercise-induced stressfollowing exercise in healthy subjects and this has been replicated using 1-2g daily.

Although uncertain, the most likely mechanism of action is enhanced muscle oxygenation, as demonstrated in a 2008 study from “The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research”.

Blackstone Labs doesn’t list the amount of Carnitine in Dust V2, but we’d estimate about 1g, a technically effective dose.

N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (the body can produce it from Phenylalanine) which serves a precursor to Dopamine (by first being converted into L-Dopa) and Noradrenaline.

Because of this relationship, Tyrosine is alleged to increase levels of these neurotransmitters, which would theoretically lead to performance enhancement. However, research has demonstrated that Tyrosine cannot outright raise Dopamine or Noradrenaline levels upon ingestion, though it can help maintain optimal levels when depletion might otherwise occur.

Upon ingestion, Tyrosine forms substrate pool, which can then be drawn from when an acute stressor (exercise, cold exposure, etc.) causes a temporary depletion of Dopamine/Noradrenaline. For this reason, Tyrosine can be useful for maintaining cognitive function during stressful activity.

It’s not clear how much NALT is present in Dust V2, but it’s also not a particularly important ingredient to us, so it may or may not function as a support ingredient.

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens contains L-Dopa, a direct precursor to the neurotransmitter Dopamine.  Although Mucuna Pruriens (assuming the right dose) may effective increase Dopamine levels in the brain, it remains unclear how this might impact exercise performance.  Certainly there are mechanisms by which Mucuna Pruriens could favorably impact exercise performance but without any studies on the topic, it’s tough to say for sure.

Betaine Anhydrous

Betaine (also known as Trimethylglycine) is the amino acid Glycine with the addition of three methyl groups attached. Betaine is alleged to increase power output and strength by increasing cellular swelling, a phenomenon well established with Creatine supplementation, which can drastically reduce the damaging effect of outside stimuli (such as exercise) on the working muscle. So far, Betaine has been investigated in several human studies, and has had some pretty encouraging results in most.

We discuss the strength/performance implications of Betaine in-depth in this article.  Dust V2 probably doesn’t contain a particularly effective dose of Betaine, but it’s possibly that there is some marginal benefit at whatever dose Blackstone Labs has elected to use.

Agmatine Sulfate

In the past few years, Agmatine has gone from a rare ingredient to a pre-workout staple, though it remains seriously under-researched relative to other popular pre-workout ingredients. Agmatine has been demonstrated to up-regulate Endothelial Nitric Oxide (eNOS), sometimes referred to as the “good” NOS, while inhibiting the other NOS enzymes (the “bad” NOS) in vitro, but human studies are non-existent.

Still, anecdotal reports of Agmatine improving the “pump” are as pervasive as the ingredient itself at this point, so there is something to it.

Average doses of Agmatine range from 500-1000mg, the lower end of which could potentially be what Blackstone Labs used for Dust V2, but because of the proprietary blend we just don’t know.

Norvaline

Norvaline is a close chemical relative of the popular amino acid Valine, though its effects are different. Norvaline has been shown to inhibit Arginase, the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of Arginine both in vitro and in vivo (rats). The result would theoretically be an increase in Arginine, which would result in more Nitric Oxide.

However, Norvaline has never been studied in humans as it relates to performance enhancement, so for now we are left with only a theoretical mechanism of action. Given a lack of human studies, an optimal dose has not been established for Norvaline so it doesn’t really matter how much is in Dust V2.

DiCaffeine Malate

Dicaffeine Malate is simply a combination of Caffeine and Malic Acid which is alleged to have longer-lasting effects and a smoother overall transition (no crash).  To be fair, these claims have not been substantiated at this time, but, at the very least, Dicaffeine Malate serves as another source of Caffeine in Dust V2.

Caffeine Anhydrous

Caffeine releases Noradrenaline which is increases perceived energy and focus in most individuals.  The effects tend to vary depending on tolerance, but combined with the range of stimulants found in Dust V2, it should provide a serious kick.

Hordenine

Hordenine is included in many fat-burners because of its ability to amplify the effects of Caffeine. Preliminary studies indicate that its primary mechanism of action is via Momoamine Oxidase inhibition, with oral doses being shown to augment Noradrenaline-induced muscle contraction while not directly inducing contractions itself.

So, rather than acting as a stand-alone stimulant, Hordenine can amplify/extend the effects of other stimulants by blocking the reuptake of Noradrenaline (and other Monoamines).

N-Methyl-Tyramine

N-Methyl-Tyramine (NMT) is a Tyramine which, as mentioned above, can inhibit the reuptake of monoamines (specifically Noradrenaline), thereby amplifying and/or extending the effects of Noradrenaline releasing stimulants such as Caffeine.

In the context of Dust V2, the benefits of NMT mostly pertain to focus and mood enhancement.

Stearoyl Vanillylamide

Stearoyl Vanillylamide is a non-pungent analog of Capsaicin, the primary bioactive generally extracted from Cayenne Pepper and usually found in fat-burners.  Blackstone Labs, however, has included Stearoyl Vanillylamide in the Dust V2 formula because of its performance enhancing implications.

Indeed, Stearoyl Vanillylamide has been shown to increase swimming capacity of mice, with the mechanism of action being related to Noradrenaline release.  Blackstone Labs is definitely a first-mover on this one, as we haven’t seen it in any other pre-workouts as of the writing of this.

Noopept

Noopept is the brand name for N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine, a nootropic compound which is generally used for cognitive enhancement.  In the context of Dust V2, we assume the function is the same, although Noopept is not likely to have an immediate effect and must be consumed regularly for nootropic benefits to be obtained.

Still, we must give Blackstone Labs some points for originality as we haven’t seen NooPept in any pre-workouts.

Yohimbe

Pausinystalia yohimbe is generally standardized for the alkaloid, Yohimbine HCl, which is an alpha(2) receptor antagonist, meaning it inhibits the receptor responsible for blocking lipolysis (breakdown of fat). By blocking the action of this receptor Yohimbine allows for more lipolysis than would otherwise be possible from exercise.

Yohimbine may also enhance the effects of other stimulants such as Caffeine, though the degree of efficacy there really depends on individual stimulant tolerance.  It’s not clear how much Yohimbine is present in Dust V2.

The Bottom Line

Blackstone Labs has certainly changed it up a bit with Dust V2, though if anything, the focus/energy dimension of the product is an improvement over the original Angel Dust.  Those who enjoyed the original due to the heavy stimulant-nature of the formula will most likely enjoy Dust V2 even more, despite Blackstone dropping AMP Citrate.

Still don’t know which pre-workout is right for you? Check out our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements list for some recommendations.

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