True GRIT Pre is one of six products released by True GRIT. It features a variety of effective performance enhancing ingredients including Beta-Alanine, Creatine, and Betaine…
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 outputin 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.
True GRIT lists the amount of Beta-Alanine in Pre at 1.6g per serving, a dose that is technically effective for increasing muscle Carnosine but may take much longer. In order to derive significantly benefit from Beta-Alanine, two servings of True GRIT Pre is ideal.
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.
True GRIT (unfortunately) makes the claim that Creatine HCL is superior to Creatine Monohydrate in terms of absorption. This is incorrect. Creatine HCL is just as effective as Creatine Monohydrate, but not more. That being said, it may be a little easier on the stomach for people who don’t do well with Creatine Mono. The various forms of Creatine are discussed in depth in this article.
True GRIT lists the amount of Creatine HCL in Pre at 1.5g per serving, meaning at least two servings is needed to obtain a maintenance dose and added Creatine is likely needed to derive much benefit in the longer-term.
Betaine (also known as Trimethylglycine) is the amino acid Glycine with the addition of three methyl groups attached. It has been studied pretty extensively at this point with regards to exercise and has consistently demonstrated benefit
True GRIT references one particular study in which 2.5g of Betaine/daily for two weeks favorably influenced the anabolic hormone profile of resistance trained male subjects, specifically by increasing IGF-1.
If anything though, True GRIT is downplaying the efficacy of Betaine, as it has been shown to directly increase power output as well as favorably influence body composition.
Feel free to read this article on Betaine, which covers this seemingly incredible ingredient in depth
True GRIT lists the amount of Betaine in Pre at 1.25g per serving, exactly half of what has been used clinically. This further supports the use of two servings of Pre, rather than one, to derive significant benefit
Taurine is relatively pervasive as a pre-workout/recovery ingredient at this point because it has consistently been demonstrated to reduce oxidative damage in muscle tissue.
In a 2011 study from “Cell Biochemistry and Function” Taurine was shown to significantly reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress in skeletal muscle.
These findings were consistent with those of an earlier (2004) study, published in “Amino Acids” which showed that Taurine may decrease exercise induced DNA damage, as well as “enhance the capacity of exercise due to its cellular protective properties”.
A recent 2013 study, also from “Amino Acids” noted a 1.7% improvement in 3k-time trial of runnersafter supplementing with Taurine, and these findings were further corroborated in a 2013 study from “Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism “ in which Taurine supplementation was able to decrease muscle damage and increase strength (slightly).
The clinical range for Taurine ranges from 1-2g, usually taken prior to exercise, so Pre does contain an effective dose which may be more effective when doubled.
NITROSIGINE™ (INOSITOL STABILIZED ARGININE SILICATE)
True GRIT places some added emphasis on the fact that Pre contains Nitrosigine (Arginine Silicate), a combination of Arginine and Silicon which appears to be superior to other forms of Arginine.
A 2005 study noted that Arginine Silicate induced greater vasodilation and increase blood flow in mice, as compared to Arginine HCl.
Similar results were achieved in a later (2007) study published in “Metabolism” and it was concluded that Arginine Silicate was more effective at raising plasma Arginine levels than Arginine HCl.
True GRIT lists the amount of Nitrosigine at 750mg which seems to be the new industry standard.
A 2010 study from “International journal of Ayurveda research” found that Terminalia arjuna increased maximal oxygen consumption capacity (the amount of oxygen that can be used) as well as average power output during aerobic exercise in healthy individuals. This study also tested the effects in combination with Ashwagandha (found in True Grit Post) and noted an additive benefit.
Since then, no studies have been conducted, but there is certainly strong preliminary support for Terminalia arjuna as performance enhancer.
Caffeine is a well-established ergogenic aid, oral consumption of which triggers the release of Catcholamines (Noradrenaline, Dopamine, Adrenaline, etc.), generally inducing a state of increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy.
Additionally, Caffeine can directly enhance calcium-ion release in muscle tissue, which directly increases muscle contraction force. Rather than discuss dozens of studies, we’ll leave it at this: Caffeine is an extremely effective ergogenic aid, though tolerance build-up is certainly an issue to keep in mind.
True GRIT has placed a moderate dose (175mg) to the Pre formula which is still low enough to permit 2 servings at a time.
Trut GRIT ‘s use of Theanine indicates that at least the brand is up on the current research. Will the overwhelming amount of evidence indicating that Theanine enhances the positive effects of Caffeine AND reduces the negative effects, it amazes us that more brands don’t use it. Theanine and Caffeine is one of the few combinations that can actually be considered synergistic, rather than merely additive.
The clinically effective range for Theanine is 50-200mg, meaning True GRIT Pre contains a technically effective dose.
THE BOTTOM LINE
True Grit Pre has a strong ingredient profile, although given the doses of individual ingredients, two servings is ideal. It’s certainly not a “break-through” formula, but two servings provide clinically effective doses of extensively-researched ingredients.
Still not sure which pre-workout is right for you? Check out our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements List!
- 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
- Stellingwerff, Trent, et al. “Effect of two β-alanine dosing protocols on muscle carnosine synthesis and washout.” Amino Acids 42.6 (2012): 2461-2472.
- Hoffman J, et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. (2008)
- Wilson, Jacob M., et al. “Beta-alanine supplementation improves aerobic and anaerobic indices of performance.” Strength & Conditioning Journal 32.1 (2010): 71-78
- 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
- Casey, Anna, and Paul L. Greenhaff. “Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance?.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 72.2 (2000).
- Kraemer, William J., and Jeff S. Volek. “Creatine supplementation: its role in human performance.” Clinics in sports medicine 18.3 (1999): 651-666.
- Thompson, C. H., et al. “Effect of creatine on aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in skeletal muscle in swimmers.” British journal of sports medicine 30.3 (1996): 222-225.
- Cheng, Masao Shinohara, John Kuhlenkamp, Christine Chan, and Neil Kaplowitz. “Mechanisms of Protection by the Betaine-homocysteine Methyltransferase/betaine System in HepG2 Cells and Primary Mouse Hepatocytes.” Hepatology 46.5 (2007): 1586-596.
- Hoffman, Jay R., et al. “Effect of 15 days of betaine ingestion on concentric and eccentric force outputs during isokinetic exercise.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25.8 (2011): 2235-2241
- Hoffman, Jay R., et al. “Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 6.1 (2009): 1-10.
- Trepanowski, John F., et al. “The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation and associated biochemical parameters in resistance trained men.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25.12 (2011): 3461-3471.
- Cholewa, Jason M., et al. “Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 10.1 (2013): 39.
- Lee, Elaine C., et al. “Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7 (2010): 27.
- Matsuzaki, Yasushi., et al. “Decreased taurine concentration in skeletal muscles after exercise for various durations.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 34.5 (2002): 793-797.
- Balshaw, Thomas G., et al. “The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners.” Amino acids 44.2 (2013): 555-561
- Matsuzaki, Yasushi, Teruo Miyazaki, Syunpei Miyakawa, Bernard Bouscarel, Tadashi Ikegami, and Naomi Tanaka. “Decreased Taurine Concentration in Skeletal Muscles after Exercise for Various Durations.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise34.5 (2002): 793-97.
- Huxtable, R. J. “Physiological actions of taurine.” Physiological reviews 72.1 (1992): 101-163
- da Silva, Luciano A., et al. “Effects of taurine supplementation following eccentric exercise in young adults.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 39.1 (2013): 101-104
- Beyranvand, Mohamad Reza, et al. “Effect of taurine supplementation on exercise capacity of patients with heart failure.” Journal of cardiology 57.3 (2011): 333-337
- Yatabe, Yoshihisa, et al. “Effects of taurine administration on exercise.” Taurine 7. Springer New York, 2009. 245-252
- Zhang, M., et al. “Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men.” Amino acids 26.2 (2004): 203-207.
- Silva, Luciano A., et al. “Taurine supplementation decreases oxidative stress in skeletal muscle after eccentric exercise.” Cell biochemistry and function 29.1 (2011): 43-49.
- Proctor, S. D., S. E. Kelly, and J. C. Russell. “A novel complex of arginine–silicate improves micro-and macrovascular function and inhibits glomerular sclerosis in insulin-resistant JCR: LA-cp rats.” Diabetologia 48.9 (2005): 1925-1932.
- Kalman, Douglas, et al. “A clinical evaluation to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of an inositol-stabilized arginine silicate dietary supplement in healthy adult males.(LB418).” The FASEB Journal 28.1 Supplement (2014): LB418.
- Proctor, Spencer D., et al. “Metabolic effects of a novel silicate inositol complex of the nitric oxide precursor arginine in the obese insulin-resistant JCR: LA-< i> cp rat.” Metabolism 56.10 (2007): 1318-1325.
- Sandhu, Jaspal Singh, et al. “Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults.” International journal of Ayurveda research1.3 (2010): 144.
- Haskell, Crystal F., et al. “The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood.” Biological psychology 77.2 (2008): 113-122.
- Owen, Gail N., et al. “The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood.” Nutritional neuroscience 11.4 (2008): 193-19
- Einöther, Suzanne JL, et al. “L-theanine and caffeine improve task switching but not intersensory attention or subjective alertness.” Appetite 54.2 (2010): 406-409.
- Giesbrecht, Timo, et al. “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness.” Nutritional neuroscience 13.6 (2010): 283-290.
- Ebashi, S., and Mi Endo. “Calcium and muscle contraction.” Progress in biophysics and molecular biology 18 (1968): 123-183.
- Kraemer Graham, T. E., and L. L. Spriet. “Metabolic, catecholamine, and exercise performance responses to various doses of caffeine.” Journal of Applied Physiology 78.3 (1995): 867-874.
- Kraemer Graham, Terry E. “Caffeine and exercise.” Sports medicine 31.11 (2001): 785-807.
- Kraemer Graham, Terry E., Danielle S. Battram, Flemming Dela, Ahmed El-Sohemy, and Farah S.L. Thong. “Does Caffeine Alter Muscle Carbohydrate and Fat Metabolism during Exercise?” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 33.6 (2008): 1311-31
- Poisner, Alan M. “Caffeine–Induced Catecholamine Secretion: Similarity to Caffeine–Induced Muscle Contraction.” Experimental Biology and Medicine142.1 (1973): 103-105.