Reviews

MuscleTech Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx: An Evidence-Based Review

Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx is a pre-workout by MuscleTech belonging to the SX-7 Black Onyx line along with Hydroxycut SX-7 Black Onyx and Phosphagrow SX-7 Black Onyx, and contains many of the same ingredients found in earlier MuscleTech supplemetns such as Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen and Shatter SX-7

Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx

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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.

Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx contains 1.6g of Beta-Alanine per serving, technically a clinical dose, but the effects will be much more apparent at two servings (3.2g).

Peak ATP

Peak ATP is a relatively new entrant, with most of the research being published within the past few years. That beings said, the research that has been conducted indicates Peak ATP has some definite performance enhancement implications.

We discuss the implications of Peak ATP for performance enhancement and recovery in this article.  The 200mg dose of Peak ATP found in Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx may be somewhat effective but 400mg is ideal.

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.

Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx contains a moderate 200mg dose of Caffeine, more than enough for the average non-Caffeine drinking individual to feel noticeably more alert and focused, but probably not enough for the stim-lovers.

Myristica Fragrans

Myristica fragrans seed extract, also known as Nutmeg, is common household spice which is generally used in small amounts. However, larger doses of Nutmeg can have psychoactive effects.

Nutmeg contains myristicin, which has been demonstrated to act as a Monoamine Oxidase inhibitor in mice. By inhibiting Monoamine Oxidase, levels of monoamine neurotransmitters (such as Noradrenaline) may remain elevated for longer.

So, Myristica Fragrans may enhance the effects of Caffeine, but we’d consider it one of the more speculative ingredients in Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx.

Blue Skullcap

Blue Skullcap has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood without decreasing energy of cognitive ability.  This unique quality makes it perfect for combating potential stimulant-induced anxiety brought on by other ingredients in Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx (like Yohimbine).

Yohimbine

Yohimbe Bark is standardized for Yohimbine, which is an alpha(2) receptor antagonist, meaning it inhibits the receptor responsible for blocking lipolysis. By blocking the action of this receptor, Yohimbine increases the amount of fat that is burned during exercise.

We discuss the fat-loss implications of Yohimbine in this article.  As for its effects on working out: since it increases the amount of fat burned during exercise, it can increase energy levels, but such an effect has not been studied directly at this time.

Satsuma Orange

Satsuma Orange contains Beta-Cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid which has long been believed to encourage weight-loss and/or prevent weight-gain, with recent studies indicating there may be something to it afterall.

A 2011 study from “Frontiers in Neurology” found that Beta-Cryptoxanthin administration repressed body weight and abdominal fat-tissue in male mice, and improved libid metabolism and energy consumption.

These results were replicated in another 2011 study, published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”, which attributed the effects to Beta-Cryptoxanthin’s ability to prevent adipocyte (fat-cell) hypertrophy (growth).

As a pre-workout ingredient, Satsuma Orange doesn’t really have any significance but it does help round out the Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx formula by offering some weight-loss (and that’s never a bad thing).

The Bottom Line

Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx has what it takes to enhance strength and muscular endurance with one serving, but those effects will be more apparent at two servings.  The emphasis, however, is clearly on the “Extreme Neuro-Sensory Matrix” which may enhance focus, alertness, and perceived energy, as well as encourage some fat-loss during exercise.

Overall, Shatter SX-7 Black Onyx is an effective pre-workout, but leaves something to be desired when it comes to building muscle/strength.  If you’re interested in an effective muscle-building supplement that actually works, check out our Best Muscle Builders List

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

REFERENCES
  1. Hoffman J, et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. (2008)
  2. Stellingwerff, Trent, et al. “Effect of two β-alanine dosing protocols on muscle carnosine synthesis and washout.” Amino Acids 42.6 (2012): 2461-2472.
  3. Wilson, Jacob M., et al. “Beta-alanine supplementation improves aerobic and anaerobic indices of performance.” Strength & Conditioning Journal 32.1 (2010): 71-78
  4. Sale, Craig, Bryan Saunders, and Roger C. Harris. “Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance.” Amino acids 39.2 (2010): 321-33
  5. Suzuki, Yasuhiro, Osamu Ito, Naoki Mukai, Hideyuki Takahashi, and Kaoru Takamatsu. “High Level of Skeletal Muscle Carnosine Contributes to the Latter Half of Exercise Performance during 30-s Maximal Cycle Ergometer Sprinting.” The Japanese Journal of Physiology 52.2 (2002): 199-20
  6. Rathmacher, John A., et al. “Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) supplementation improves low peak muscle torque and torque fatigue during repeated high intensity exercise sets.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition9.1 (2012): 48.
  7. Wilson, Jacob M., et al. “Effects of oral adenosine-5′-triphosphate supplementation on athletic performance, skeletal muscle hypertrophy and recovery in resistance-trained men.” Nutrition & metabolism 10.1 (2013): 57.
  8. Brock, Christine, et al. “American Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora): A Randomised, Double‐Blind Placebo‐Controlled

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