Reviews

MuscleTech Vapor X5 Next Gen: An Evidence-Based Review

Vapor X5 Next Gen is a pre-workout supplement by MuscleTech which, like most MuscleTech supplements in the past few years, makes use of a the same basic combination of ingredients.

Vapor X5 Next Gen Pre-Workout

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Claims

The list of claims attached to Vapor X5 Next Gen is essentially the same as every other MuscleTech pre-workout released in recent years.  MuscleTech promises:

  • Energy/Focus
  • Performance (Endurance, Strength, etc.)
  • Muscle-Building
  • Solid Pumps
  • The “Ultimate Neurosensory Experience” (whatever that means)

So, does Vapor X5 Next Gen actually have what it takes to deliver on this long list of claims?  Needless to say, MuscleTech isn’t known as a particularly “cutting edge” brand at this point, but the use of research-backed ingredients at (semi) clinical doses has remained a part of the brand image.  So let’s take a look at Vapor X5 Next Gen and see what MuscleTech has tossed together here…

Vapor X5 Next Gen Ingredients

Vapor X5 Next Gen contains a pretty standard blend of ingredients…

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate is the most reliable form of Creatine.  It’s really all you need.  Other “designer” forms of Creatine have nothing more to offer, other than high prices and boarder-line unethical marketing.

Creatine Monohydrate is just as well absorbed as any other form and has been shown to:

  • Increase Strength
  • Increase Muscle Size
  • Reduce Soreness
  • Enhance Recovery

Creatine takes time to accumulate in muscle tissue and must be taken more or less daily for atleast a few weeks for the effects to become apparent.  So, should Creatine really be used in pre-workout supplements?  There’s no reason to take it pre-workout and, if anything, the research is leaning toward post-workout as the best time to take it…but it doesn’t hurt either.

MuscleTech is one of the few brands that hasn’t given up putting Creatine in pre-workout supplements, but with only 3g per serving, you’d have to take Vapor X5 Next Gen every single day to maintain high levels of Creatine in your muscle tissue.

Betaine Anhydrous

Betaine, also known as Trimethylglycine, is a compound which is naturally occuring in Beets.  It has been shown to increase strength and power output at doses of 2.5g/day throughout various studies.

While it’s mechanism of action is not entirely understood, it does appear to have atleast one characteristic in common with Creatine.  Both compounds are Osmolytic, meaning they regulate the amount of fluid (water) in cells.  By allowing more water into your muscle cells, Betaine induces a phenomenon known as “cellular swelling”, which Creatine is known to do as well.

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is a beta-amino acid which serves as a precursor to Carnosine, a  dipeptide (composed of Beta-Alanine and Histidine), higher muscular concentrations of which are associated with better muscular endurance.

Carnosine works by reducing Lactic Acid build-up in muscle tissue, effectively preserving muscle function and delaying fatigue.  In other words, it’ll make you train harder and longer, ultimately helping you build more muscle in a shorter amount of time.

Since Beta-Alanine is the rate-limiting factor in Carnosine synthesis, supplementing with Beta-Alanine alone is sufficient to boost muscle Carnosine levels.  Since Beta-Alanine has been extensively-researched at this point, a clinical range of 3-6g/day has been established but doses as low as 1.6g may still be effective in the longrun.  Like Creatine, Beta-Alanine takes time to accumulate in muscle so it’s important to take high doses if you’re only taking it on workout days vs. everyday.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid with potent anti-oxidant properties which underlie it’s ability to enhance aspects of exercise recovery and (sometimes, but not reliably) improve exercise performance.  Unfortunately, the clinical range for Taurine is 1-2g, meaning you’ll need 2 servings of Vapor X5 Next Gen to acheive the bare minimum.

Nitrosigine

Hawthorn Extract

Caffeine Anhydrous

Choline Bitartrate

L-Theanine

Galangal Extract

Yohimbe Extract

Vapor X5 Next Gen Ingredient Takeaway

In terms of ingredients, Vapor X5 Next Gen is super similar to many other MuscleTech (and related brands) pre-workout supplements.  It’s not a particularly ground-breaking formula, but it does contain several research-backed ingredients which can enhance physical performance and provide a bit of an energy/focus boost.

Dosing/Marketing Technique

MuscleTech pioneered one of the most widely used marketing tactics in the supplement industry today.  Take a look at the Supplement Facts panel and you’ll notice that it lists the amount of each ingredient for both 1 scoop and 2 scoops of Vapor X5 Next Gen.  This allows MuscleTech to market the doses of the ingredients in any given product as clinical, but really you need 2 scoops to acheive those doses.

Many brands have copied this approach, and it may very well be an effective marketing strategy because the average person just looks at the front of the packaging or accompanying marketing materials (online or in-store) and doesn’t scrutinize the Supplement Facts panel.

Of course, this is a bit of consumer trickery, which we always like to point out.  It’s not that MuscleTech makes bad products, it’s just that in order to get clinically effective doses of each ingredient you usually have to consume two servings, making it double as expensive as it seems.

Is Vapor X5 Next Gen Safe?

Yes, Vapor X5 Next Gen is safe.  In fact, that’s basically what MuscleTech has become…a safe brand.  You won’t find any hardcore stimulants in any MuscleTech pre-workouts anymore and even the Caffeine content is well within the range that most people can tolerate without any issues.  The only ingredient that might pose some issues is Yohimbe Extract.  For more on that, check out our article: Is Yohimbine Dangerous?

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for some sort of insanely powerful pre-workout phenomenon, you will almost certainly be dissappointed by Vapor X5 Next Gen.  Despite the name, it’s not much of a “Next Gen” supplement.  In fact, it’s almost exactly the same as every other recent MuscleTech pre-workout supplement.

However, if you’re looking for a moderate levels of focus and energy the along with some performance enhancement (better strength/endurance), and you don’t mind spending big bucks to get clinical doses of each ingredient, Vapor X5 Next Gen may be a good fit for you.

Still not sure which pre-workout is right for you?  Take a look at our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements list.  Every product on the list is clinically dosed, appropriately priced, and entirely safe.

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