Reviews

Gaspari SP250 Review

SP250 is a pre-workout by the recently re-vamped Gaspari Nutrition. It combines several well known pre-workout ingredients with some unique ingredients that are specific to Gaspari…

Gaspari SP250

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BETA-ALANINE

Beta-Alanine is the rate limiting amino acid in the synthesis of the dipeptide, Carnosine, which acts as a lactic acid buffer in muscle tissue.  Reducing the build-up of lactic acid can directly enhance muscular endurance, and this has been demonstrated throughout multiple studies in both athletes and non-athletes alike.

A 2002 study from the “Japanese Journal of Physiology” which measured the Carnosine levels of sprinters found that individuals with higher muscular Carnosine levels exhibited higher power output in the latter half of a 30m sprint (due to less lactic acid build-up).

Multiple studies have confirmed that Beta Alanine supplementation increases muscular Carnosine in a dose dependent manner. In particular, a 2012 study published in “Amino Acids” found that subjects who consumed 1.6 or 3.2 grams of Beta Alanine daily experienced significant increases in muscle Carnosine in as little as two weeks, with the higher dose achieving a higher concentration of Carnosine.

SP250 contains 3.2g of Beta-Alanine per serving, a clinically effective dose.

CREATINE

Creatine is the most extensively studied ergogenic aid currently available, and by far one of the most effective at increasing both strength and muscle mass. Its primary mechanism of action is its ability to rapidly produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to support cellular energy, thereby directly increasing strength and power output.

Additionally, during high intensity exercise, Creatine is used for energy which tends to spare the glycogen that would normally be used. Since lactic acid is a by-product created when glucose is burned for energy, Creatine may also indirectly reduce lactic acid build-up which poses a secondary mechanism by which Creatine can potentially enhance performance.

CITRULLINE MALATE

Citrulline is an amino acid which serves as a precursor to Arginine, and therefore is directly involved in the production of Nitric Oxide.  Unlike supplemental Arginine, however, Citrulline is quite reliable at increasing plasma Arginine and ultimately enhancing performance.

Citrulline has been shown to increase muscular contraction efficiency, meaning less ATP is required for a given workload.  This mechanism explains why subjects who consumed Citrulline were able to perform more reps later on in the workout compared to subjects who consumed a placebo.

Additionally, Citrulline has been shown to reduce muscle soreness effectively making it both a performance enhancing ingredient as well a recovery agent.

SP250 contains 1g of Citrulline Malate, a pretty low dose compared to what can be considered “clinical”.

S-(2-BORONETHYL)-L-CYSTEINE

S-(2-boronoethyl)-l-cysteine is an ingredient we have definitely never seen before in any pre-workout supplement.  Preliminary evidence suggests S-(2-boronoethyl)-l-cystine is an Arginase inhibitor, meaning it blocks the enzyme responsible for the degradation of Arginine.  The result would theoretically be an increase in circulating Arginine levels.

S-(2-boronoethyl)-l-cystine hasn’t been studied in humans with regards to exercise performance so it’s tough to say how effective it is for performance or pump.  That said, it’s certainly an interesting and unique ingredient which Gaspari is clearly looking to be a first-mover on.

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.

It’s unclear how much Taurine is present in SP250, but given a 3000mg prop blend, there could theoretically be a clinical dose…theoretically.

N-ACETYL-L-TYROSINE

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (the body can produce it from Phenylalanine) which serves aprecursor 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 thatTyrosine 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.

GLUCURONOLACTONE

Glucuronolactone has become a popular additive in energy drinks as well as “detox” supplements which claim cellular protective benefits. Despite being included in various energy products, it has not been studied in isolation in regards to any claims made by these companies. For now, there is absolutely no evidence that Glucuronolactone has any effective on fat-loss.

DMAE

Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE for short, is a cholinergic compound which is generally used as a cognitive enhancement agent.  It has been shown to improve certain aspects of cognitive function in older subjects with mild cognitive impairment, but has not been studied much in healthy individuals, let alone athletes.

CHOLINE

Choline is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, so it is commonly included in products aimed at boosting cognitive function.  Choline can become depleted by rigorous exercise so, in the context of SP250, Choline Bitartrate serves as a way of maintaining optimal circulating Choline levels.

GLYCEROL

As mentioned in the Taurine section, Glycerol is osmolytic, meaning it draws water into the cell. It is by this mechanism that Glycerol can preserve hydration status in the cell which explains why it has also been shown to enhance performance during extended exercise where dehydration would be a contributing factor.

So, as a performance enhancer, Glycerol may only induce noticeable enhancements during extended exercise (2 hours or more usually).

It’s unclear how much Glycerol is present in SP250.

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.

ERIA JARENSIS

Eria Jarensis is a type of Orchid which, unlike so many other types of Orchid, is alleged to actually contain Phenylethylamine (PEA) and PEA derivatives.  Is there any solid data?  No.  In fact, we’ve heard this exact claim used time and time again, mostly by companies using Dendrobium.

However, Gaspari does appear to be a first-mover with regards to Eria Jarnesis, so we can’t say with any certainty that this isn’t a source of PEA.  We’d just consider it more of a speculative ingredient at this time.

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 SP250, it should provide a serious kick.

THEOBROMA COCOA

Theobroma Cocoa is generally standardized for Caffeine and/or Theobromine, both members of the Xanthine family which have been shown to enhance alertness and improve cognitive function.  Does Gaspari SP250 contain enough Theobroma Cocoa to elicit some noticeable effects?  We have no idea since the dose is concealed within a proprietary blend.

CITRUS RX

Citrus Rx is a blend of various Citrus extracts including Citrus Natsudaidai Hyata, Citrus Junos Sieb ex Tanaka, Citrus natsudaidai, and Citrus Aurantium.  Each of these extracts contain various polyphenols which have been shown to do things like enhance lipolysis, increase energy/mood, and provide antioxidant protection.

THEACRINE

Theacrine is an alkaloid found almost exclusively in Camellia Assamica, also known as Kucha tea. In terms of its chemical structure, Theacrine (1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid) is very similar to Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine), so its physiological effects are alleged to be similar as well.

We discuss the research behind Theacrine in this article but, to make a long story short, it appears to increase perceived energy levels in humans.

THE BOTTOM LINE

SP250 is pretty solid for the most part, but some ingredients are under-dosed. That said, it still has what it takes to increase muscular endurance and strength as well as noticeably increase energy and focus during exercise.

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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