Reviews

MusclePharm Wreckage Review

Wreckage is MusclePharm’s upcoming pre-workout released as part of the Hardcore Series along with the post-workout supplement, Gainz, and the Whey supplement, Diesel. It features several effective, clinically-dosed ingredients including D-Aspartic Acid…

MusclePharm Wreckage

L-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.  Citrulline has also been shown to reduce muscle soreness.

Wreckage contains a clinically effective 6g dose of Citrulline Malate, indicating that MusclePharm has gotten the clinical-dosing memo and joined the rest of us here in 2015.

L-Leucine

Leucine’s primary mechanism of action is via activation of Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) which is a signaling molecule that signals the body to synthesize protein. To put it simply, Leucine activates mTOR which in turn stimulates protein synthesis.

One of the most commonly cites studies was published in the “International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance” and found that 12 weeks of Leucine supplementation (4g/day) significantly increased 5-rep max in previously untrained (but healthy) male subjects, compared to the placebo group.

Leucine has also been shown, in multiple studies, to preserve muscle mass in individuals with certain diseases characterized by muscular wasting, further establishing Leucine as a potent anti-catabolic agent, and indicating that it is particularly useful for those with inadequate protein intake (during fasting).

Just as with Citrulline, MusclePharm has included a clinically effective (4g) dose of Leucine in the Wreckage formula, meaning one serving will get the job done.

D-Aspartic Acid

D-Aspartic Acid has become quite popular as a test-booster in recent years because it is one of the few ingredients that has been shown to actually boost Testosterone beyond normal (albeit for a short period of time) in healthy individuals.

We discuss D-Aspartic Acid as a Test-booster in more detail in this article, but basically it may be effective in the short term (a few weeks).

Wreckage contains 3g of DAA per serving, a clinically effective dose.

Creatine HCL

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.

The various forms of Creatine are discussed in depth in this article, but to put it simply: Creatine HCL is no more effective than Creatine Monohydrate.  Wreckage contains an effective maintenance dose (2g), but one serving daily will not be enough to derive the full host of benefits that Creatine has to offer.

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 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.

Wreckage contains 1.6g of Beta-Alanine per serving, the lowest possible dose that can still be considered “clinical” if we’re talking about everyday use.

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.

The effective range (again, based on anecdotal reports) is 500-1500mg.  MusclePharm has opted for the low end of that range with Wreckage but including 500mg per serving.

Caffeine Anhydrous

Caffeine triggers the release of Catcholamines (Noradrenaline, Dopamine, Adrenaline, etc.), generally inducing a state of alertness and increased focus.

Caffeine also directly enhances 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 effective performance enhancer (and mental stimulator), but a tolerance is generally built-up with continuous use.

Wreckage contains 350mg of Caffeine per serving which may seem excessive to some, but given that it’s the only stimulant in a true “1-scoop-only” formula, that dose is perfectly appropriate.

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.

MusclePharm has opted for a moderately high 1.2g dose of Tyrosine per serving of Wreckage, more than we’re used to seeing, although still technically less than the clinical 2-5g range.

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid component of cell-membranes which is generally extracted from Soy for the purpose of supplementation.  It has been pretty extensively researched in the area of cognitive enhancement, though most studies have used subjects with some form of cognitive impairment, so the implications for healthy individuals are less clear.

A 2006 study from “Medicine and science in sports and exercise” found that Phopshatidylserine (750mg/day) increased time to exhaustion (cycling) in male subjects.  More studies assessing Phosphatidylserine as a performance enhancer but the preliminary findings indicate there is something to it.

MusclePharm lists the amount of Phosphatidylserine in Wreckage at 125mg, far less than what was shown to improve endurance in the above-mentioned study, but still possibly an effective dose in some regard.

Bioperine

Bioperine is patented form of Black Pepper extract, standardized for Piperine, which has been shown to enhance the absorption of other nutrients when co-ingested. This is due to Piperine’s ability to slow intestinal transit as well as inhibit certain enzymes that would normally break down nutrients too quickly.

In the context of Wreckage, BioPerine simply serves as a means of improving the absorption of the formula as a whole.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it blocks the enzyme that breaks down Acetylcholine, indirectly increasing levels in the brain. Acetylcholine controls skeletal muscle and is largely responsible for the ‘mind-muscle connection’. In addition to controlling the muscles, Acetylcholine is also involved in learning, memory, decision making, and various other cognitive functions.

Wreckage contains 100mcg of Huperzine A which is about average as far as most pre-workouts go.

The Bottom Line

We’re thrilled to see that MusclePharm has gotten the memo and switched over to a transparent label.  Furthermore, the ingredients are all, for the most part, clinically-dosed on a per serving basis.  Labeling and Dosing are two things that MusclePharm, as a brand, has been incredibly stubborn about changing despite the industry as a whole trending in that direction. That is why you don’t see many MusclePharm products rated highly on SuppWithThat.com  However, Wreckage is undeniably a highly effective pre-workout supplement which should appeal to anyone who values research-backed ingredients at effective doses.

Still not sure which pre-workout to go with?  Check out our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements List!

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