Reviews

Vizinx B4Gym Pre-Workout: An Evidence-Based Review

First there was Pre JYM, then there was B4Gym…Seriously though, B4Gym is almost an exact clone of Jim Stoppani’s Pre JYM formula.  What’s even more hilarious is that since Stoppani is all wrapped up in a lawsuit with BodyBuilding.com, B4Gym can be sold everywhere!  Sorry Jim…it was bound to happen.

B4Gym Pre-Workout

FIND IT HERE

Claims

Vizinx claims that B4Gym will provide:

  • Massive Pumps
  • Lazer Focus
  • Insane Energy

But we think such a short list of claims is actually under-selling the product a little.  Really, B4Gym is designed to aid in virtually every aspect of exercise and exercise recovery.  It contain the exact same ingredient (almost) as Pre JYM, Jim Stoppani’s all-encompassing pre-workout that some people call “the best”.

B4Gym Ingredients

As stated above, B4Gym is almost an exact clone of Pre JYM.  The only difference is that instead of 300mg of Alpha GPC, B4Gym contains 150mg of Alpha GPC and 500mg of Agmatine.  Both of these ingredients are expensive so it makes sense why there would be a tradeoff, but it’s tough to say which one is “better”.  They’re almost exactly the same and the slight difference isn’t really enough to state that one is “better” than the other.

Creatine

Creatine is by far the most exstensively researched performance enhancing substance known to man.  Countless studies have demonstrated that Creatine is not only extremely safe and well-tolerated by all, but also pretty damn effective for increasing muscle mass, strength, and power output.

Creatine works by increasing the amount of ATP (cellular) energy your muscles have access to during your workouts.  Over time, this will make you stronger and more powerful.  However, Creatine is also osymolytic, meaning it draws water into cells.  This is the mechanism by which Creatine actually increases the size of the muscle.

Both of these mechanisms combined make Creatine an essential supplement for anyone who wants to be bigger AND stronger.

Unfortunately, B4Jym contains only 2g of Creatine HCL per serving, not enough to meaninfully increase muscle mass or strength to a particularly noticeable degree.  That’s the problem with blindly copying Stoppani…He’s not always right!

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is a precursor to the depeptide Carnosine, higher muscular concentrations of which are associated with greater muscular endurance.  This has been noted throughout various studies and at this point, there’s really no doubt about it.

Beta-Alanine, despite not being the only precursor to Carnosine (the other being Histidine), is all you need to increase muscle Carnosine levels.  The reason is simply that Beta-Alanine is the rate limiting amino acid, so unless you’re Histidine deficient, you don’t need to supplement with Histidine.

At doses of 3-6g/day, Beta-Alanine has been shown to significantly increase muscle Carnosine levels and boost muscular endurance.  It is extremely reliable and very effective when used correctly, it’s just that most of the time it’s under-dosed and people don’t realize they need to take it regularly to get the results.

1.6g/day is the absolute lowest dose shown to still increase Carnosine levels, but if you don’t workout everyday (and thus don’t take your pre-workout everyday), you should be taking more.  3-6g is the ideal range.

B4Gym contains 2g, same as Pre JYM.  Not exactly a super solid dose, but still technically within the clinical range.

Betaine

Betaine, also known as Trimethylglycine, is similar to Creatine in that it is osmolytic (remember, that means it can draw water into muscle cells and increase their size).  This property is thought to underlie the benefits of Betaine on exercise performance.  It has been shown to increase strength, power output, and muscle size (like Creatine).

We could spend all day talking about the research behind Betaine…or you could just read the article Increase Strength And Power With Betaine, which covers everything.

Almost all studies have used 2500mg daily, but B4Gym only contains 1.5g.  This is just another problem with copying somebody else’s formula.  Stoppani messed up on Pre JYM by under-dosing the first three ingredients, so copying him doesn’t make for a great product necessarily.

Taurine

Taurine is a unique amino acid with antioxidant properties which is found throughout various tissues in the body and many animals we humans tend to eat.  It is not likely that you’re Taurine deficient, but Taurine supplementation does have it’s benefits.

If the makers of B4Gym (or Jim Stoppani) were writing this, they’d probably tell you that Taurine will make you perform better during exercise, but that’s not really accurate.  Only one study showed a tiny, tiny enhancements and other studies have failed, so Taurine just isn’t too reliable as a performance enhnacer.  So what are the benefits?

Well, Taurine has actually been shown to significantly reduce exercise-induced oxidative damage to muscle tissue and is therefore an effective recovery aid.  It has also been shown to reduce muscle soreness in combination with BCAAs, although neither supplement did by itself.

B4Gym contains 1g of Taurine per serving, an effective dose with regards to enhnacing recovery from exercise.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine

Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid which has antioxidant and detoxification properties.  We’re really not quite sure why Stoppani threw it in the original Pre JYM formula because it’s not really an effective performance enhancer at low doses, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

If you read our article 3 Supplements For Optimizing Liver Health, NAC should be familiar to you.  If you didn’t, check it out.

In the context of B4Gym, it may be somewhat useful but it’s definitely not one of the more important ingredients.  You’d perform just as well without it most likely.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is most bioavailable source of Choline available in supplement form.  Choline is integral for optimal brain function because it is required for the syntheis of Acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter most closely associated with memory, learning, and muscle control (among other things).

At 600mg (daily or acute), Alpha GPC has been shown to increase peak force production, but like most pre-workout supplements, B4Gym contains just 1/4th of that dose.  Even Pre JYM only contains 300mg, half a clinical dose.  The only pre-workout we’re aware of that contains a clinical 600mg dose of Alpha GPC in each serving is Catalyst by Momentum Nutrition.

So is Alpha GPC a worthwhile ingredient in B4Gym?  Maybe, maybe not.  That’s the problem with not using clinical doses.  We just don’t know…

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline Malate is comprised of the amino acid L-Citrulline and Malic Acid, both of which support a wide range of bodily processes, but the key player here is Citrulline.

Citrulline is a precursor to Arginine which is then used in Nitric Oxide production.  Increasing Arginine levels can increase Nitric Oxide, ultimately making for better pumps and better recovery.

Arginine itself is ineffective as a performance enhancing supplement (because it is subject to breakdown upon ingestion), but Citrulline has been studied just as extensively with nothing but success.

Citrulline also has an alternative mechanism by which it can enhance exercise performance.  Because of it’s role in the Urea Cycle–the process by which toxic byproducts  such as Ammonia are converted to harmless Urea, then excreted–Citrulline is capable of reducing Ammonia build-up in working muscle tissue, manifesting itself in greater muscular endurance.

Specifically, Citrulline (as Citrulline Malate) has been shown to increase the amount of reps performed later on in the workout when fatigue would normally set in.

Beta Vulgaris

Beta Vulgaris refers to Beets which contain organic Nitrates.  Nitrate can be converted in Nitric Oxide so Beets have been studied pretty extensively in the area of performance enhancement.  At this point, the research on Nitrates is pretty clear.  Consuming Beet Juice, Whole Beets, or some other source of Nitrates is absolutely an effective means of increasing stamina and exercise capacity.

However, Beet Extract has never been shown to do so.  You need 300-600mg of Nitrate per day to experience any performance enhancement, so the Beet Extract used in B4Gym would have to be more than 50% Nitrates.  In reality, it probably contains less than 1%, or not Nitrates at all.  This is the problem with all Beet Extracts.  They don’t contain enough Nitrates to do anything.

This goes for Stoppani’s Pre JYM as well.  Not enough Nitrates.  Probably not any!

Agmatine

Agmatine, which we discuss in more depth here, is metabolite of Arginine which activates Nitric Oxide Synthase in Endothelial cells.  If it’s pumps your after, this sounds like good news, but there’s a problem…

Agmatine has never actually been studied in humans for performance enhancement so we have no idea how much is needed to trigger a powerful increase in Nitric Oxide production.  The mechanism is there, we just don’t know enough about dosing to determine a clinical range.

Most supplement companies dose Agmatine at 500-1000mg, with B4Gym opting for the lower end of the range. 500mg…

BCAAs

The Branched Chain Amino Acids include Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.  All three of these amino acids are unique in that they are metabolized in muscle tissue as opposed to the liver, but Leucine is the only one which can profoundly impact muscle protein synthesis.

By activating the signaling molecule, mTOR, Leucine directly stimulates muscle protein synthesis.  It has been shown to help maintain muscle mass in intances of low protein intake (Leucine is found in protein along with all the other amino acids) so it may be useful for anyone who:

  • Trains Fasted
  • Doesn’t Get Enough Protein

If those don’t fit you, then you probably don’t need to supplement with Leucine.  The other two BCAAs won’t help you build any additional muscle, though Isoleucine may help regulate blood sugar to some degree.

Whether or not you should take BCAAs depends on a few factors, all of which are discussed in our article Are BCAA Supplements Overrated, but we question their use in pre-workout supplements.

Tyrosine

Tyrosine is a precursor the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Noradrenaline, both heavily involved in focus, perceived energy, and motivation.  Tyrosine doesn’t increase levels of these neurotransmitters directly but can help restore them in instances of decline.

Tyrosine has been shown to preserve cognitive function (by preserving these neurotransmitters) in situations where cognitive function would otherwise be compromised.  Exercise certainly qualifies as this type of situation so Tyrosine may ultimately help preserve cognitive function when you would otherwise be exausted.

B4Gym contains 1.5g of Tyrosine, slightly below what is considered a true clinical dose (2g).

Caffeine

Caffeine triggers the release of Catecholamines (including Noradrenaline and Dopamine) which are the chemical messengers responsible for the alertness and focus that Caffeine brings about.  In the context of B4Gym, it’s the only stimulannt so the energy/focus/motivation aspect of the formula is essentially dependent on Caffeine.

Luckily, 300mg of Caffeine per serving is enough to give the average person a nice boost of energy and focus.  This is the same dose found in Pre JYM.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, meaning it blocks the enzyme (Acetylcholinesterase) which breaks down Acetylcholine.  Acetycholine is the same neurotransmitter we discussed in the Alpha GPC section which controls memory, learnings, and the mind muscle connection.

Although Huperzine A hasn’t been studied specifically in the area of performance enhancement, it is a potent and reliable Acetycholinesterase inhibitor and the mechanism definitely exists by which it may enhance performance and cognitive function (similar to Alpha GPC).

Black Pepper Extract

Black Pepper Extract contains a unique molecule called Pipperine which effectively slows down intestinal transport and increases the bioavailability and absorption of other nutrients when consumed alongside them.  In the context of B4Gym, it’s something of an insurance policy.  A simple way of making sure the other nutrients are well-absorbed.

B4Gym Ingredient Takeaway

B4Gym is almost exactly the same as Pre JYM, but contains less Alpha GPC and 500mg of Agmatine.  Pre JYM on the other hand contains 300mg of Alpha GPC and no Agmatine.  Pre JYM still doesn’t contain a clinical dose of Alpha GPC and Agmatine isn’t that great either (in the eyes of science, atleast) so both formulas are still about even.

So, if you liked Pre JYM you’ll almost definitely love B4Gym.

Is B4Gym Safe?

B4Gym is entirely safe.  The only stimulant is Caffeine and 300mg isn’t enough to cause any harm assuming your a healthy individual.

Are “Me Too” Products A Problem?

The only problem we forsee for B4Gym is the fact that it is quite clearly a Pre JYM copycat.  Here’s the thing about supplements…everyone copies everyone.  If you come up with a good formula (or in Jim Stoppani’s case, if people THINK you’ve come up with a good formula), you can expect to be copied.

Really, it has more to do with popularity then whether the formula is any good because, in all honesty, Pre JYM is FAR from the best pre-workout supplement.

For that reason, B4Gym is also far from the best pre-workout supplement…but it’s not bad.  The first few ingredients are under-dosed.

The Bottom Line

B4Gym is about as good as Pre JYM.  The differences are too slight to really matter so, we’ll leave it at this.  If you love Pre JYM, you’ll love B4Gym.  If you have an issue with copycat products, or are one of the many blind supports of Jim Stoppani (despite the fact that he’s kind of a fraud and isn’t nearly as knowledgable as he claims to be) then you’ll probably want to stick with Pre JYM.

If you 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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