Reviews

EPIQ Stryke Review

Stryke is the most recent pre-workout by EPIQ, makers of Rush and Power SF, which features some rather unique ingredients in addition to some more commonplace ones such as Beta-Alanine and Taurine…

EPIQ Stryke

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BETA-ALANINE

Beta-Alanine is a precursor to the peptide Carnosine which acts as a lactic acid buffer in muscle tissue. This means higher muscle Carnosine levels can increase muscular endurance.

Beta-Alanine is considered the rate-limiting amino acid in the synthesis of Carnosine and supplementation has been shown to significantly increase muscular Carnosine levels, leading to performance enhancement.

EPIQ Stryke contains an undisclosed amount of Beta-Alanine per serving, though given a 2630mg proprietary blend, it is potentially a clinical dose, albeit towards the lower end of the clinical range.

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, it’s difficult to determine the exact dose of Taurine present in EPIQ Stryke because of the proprietary blend, but there could be a pretty solid dose (1g or so).

GLUTATHIONE

Glutathione is a versatile anti-oxidant compound, often referred to as the body’s “master antioxidant”, involved in many physiological bodily functions pertaining to detoxification.  It has never been studied as a performance enhancement supplement since oral Glutathione is considered ineffective due to rapid metabolism.

Instead, the amino acid Cysteine is often supplemented to increase Glutathione because Cystine is a direct precursor involved in Glutathione synthesis.  It looks like EPIQ tried to skip a step by just adding Glutathione in Stryke, but this is an example of when that rationale breaks down.  Cysteine would have been a better way to go.

ORNITHINE

Ornithine is an amino acid used alongside Arginine and Citrulline in the Urea Cycle, the process by which Ammonia is metabolized into the harmless substance Urea. Prolonged exercise generally brings about increases in Ammonia, which causes fatigue in the working muscle after enough has built up.

As evidenced in a 2010 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, supplemental Ornithine, at a dose of 100mg/kg, has failed to influence fatigue in short duration exercise.

However, a 2008 study from “Nutrition Research” noted a significant reduction in fatigue during prolonged exercise in healthy volunteers who consumed 2g Ornithine daily for 6 days and 6g prior to testing.

Stryke contains an unknown amount of Ornithine HCL, but we’d estimate the dose is pretty low and not too effective (based on the proprietary blend).

FREE ACID ARGININE

Stryke contains free-acid Arginine, a novel form that we haven’t actually seen before in any pre-workout supplements.  Is it more effective than ordinary L-Arginine?  We sure hope so because L-Arginine is not very effective at all as a performance enhancer, but free-acid Arginine has not be extensively researched (especially not for performance enhancement) so we really have no way of knowing.

The use of the free acid form in Stryke seems like EPIQ just trying to be different.  It’s not clear if there is really anything special about it.

ASHWAGANDHA

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb with an extremely wide variety of benefits ranging from cognitive support and stress relief to performance enhancement.  It has been shown to increase endurance in cyclists with some evidence for increasing power output during resistance training.

EPIQ Stryke contains an undisclosed dose of Ashwagandha.

JAPANESE RAISIN TREE (HOVENIA DULCIS):

Why EPIQ opted to include Japanese Raisin Tree in Stryke is unclear.  It has been shown to exert certain anti-inflammatory effects as well as protect against alcohol to some degree, but it has virtually no known implications for performance enhancement.  Seems like a reach but we’ll give EPIQ the benefit of the doubt and just think of it as a bonus.

CORDYCEPS SINENSIS

Cordyceps is a mushroom which has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety purposes.  Preliminary evidence (in mice) suggests that Cordyceps may enhance endurance, though human studies are non-existent.  For that reason, we’d consider Cordyceps a speculative but potentially useful addition to the Stryke formula.  Nothing to get too excited over, but it may contribute to the overall endurance-enhancing effects.

RHODIOLA ROSEA

Rhodiola Rosea is yet another adaptogenic herb but has been studied much more extensively with regards to performance enhancement than the others in the Stryke formula.

It has been shown to reduce the heart response to exercise and significantly reduce perceived exertion, effectively increasing endurance in human subjects.  These results have been replicated elsewhere, ultimately making Rhodiola an ingredient of interest in pre-workout supplements.

EPIQ does not list the actual amount of Rhodiola present in Stryke, but it would need to be atleast 200mg or so to be considered in the clinical range.

CAFFEINE ANHYDROUS

Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world, and for good reason: it works! Caffeine can enhance focus, increase perceived energy, cause greater muscle contractions, and encourage fat-oxidation, though individual tolerance tends to vary pretty considerably from person to person.

EPIQ Stryke contains 175mg  of Caffeine per serving, not a particularly high dose for most pre-workout users, but still potentially enough to increase mental alertness and perceived energy in non-habitual Caffeine users.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Stryke contains a rather unusual blend of performance enhancing ingredients and adaptogenic herbs, the cumulative effect of which should be a notable increase in muscular endurance, strength, and perceived ability to push through a workout.   Unfortunately, since EPIQ has opted for a proprietary blend style label for Stryke, we don’t really know if the claims of being “clinically-dosed” are true.  It seems odd to make a claim like that but not actually prove it…

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

REFERENCES
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