Craze V2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the once extremely popular pre-workout, Craze, by Driven Sports. The ingredient profile is similar to the original in terms of the ergogenics used and their respective doses, but Driven Sports has included some obscure herbal extracts as well (hopefully no amphetamines though)…
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.
We discuss the various forms of Creatine in this article.
Like the original Craze, Craze V2 contains an undisclosed amount of Creatine. Based on the weight of the proprietary blend as a whole, we know it’s short of what can be considered “clinically-dosed”.
Betaine (also known as Trimethylglycine) is the amino acid Glycine with the addition of three methyl groups attached. Betaine is alleged to increase power output and strength by increasing cellular swelling, a phenomenon well established with Creatine supplementation, which can drastically reduce the damaging effect of outside stimuli (such as exercise) on the working muscle.
So far, Betaine has been investigated in several human studies, and has had some pretty encouraging results in most.
Feel free to read this article on Betaine, as it covers all the studies regarding performance enhancement.
Like Creatine, the amount of Betaine present in Craze V2 is probably pretty negligible compared to what has been used in studies.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (the body can produce it from Phenylalanine) which serves a precursor 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.
In the context of Craze V2, Tyrosine may function the smooth out the stimulant-effects, but it’s not a particularly important ingredients is likely pretty under-dosed.
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.
Additionally, Citrulline has been shown to reduce muscle soreness effectively making it both a performance enhancing ingredient as well a recovery agent.
Driven Sports doesn’t give us many clues about how much Citrulline is present in Craze V2, but its undoubtedly a pretty low dose. Although Citrulline can be extremely effective if dosed correctly, at such as low dose it won’t enhance the physical effects of Craze V2 much.
Choline is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, so it is commonly included in products aimed at boosting cognitive function. However, as ANS points out, it has performance implications as well. Choline can become depleted by rigorous exercise, so Choline Bitartrate serves as a way of maintaining optimal circulating Choline levels.
It has also been shown to reduce bodyweight while preserving strength in female martial arts athletes, but results like this need some replication before we can really draw conclusions there.
Greater Galangal Extract
Alpinia Galanga, also known as Greater Galangal, is a relative of Ginger often used in Thai cooking which may have mild psychoactive/stimulant effects when consumed in larger doses than what is traditionally used in cooking.
Driven Sports is definitely a first-mover on this one and, while we can’t look to any studies for indications of what Greater Galangal really does, it may add to the stimulant/sensory effects of Craze V2.
Little Clubmoss Extract
Lycopodium Selago, more commonly known as Little Clubmoss, is a yet another obscure herbal extract which may have psychoactive properties. Huperzine A, which is relatively common in pre-workout supplements these days, is generally extracted from certain types of Clubmoss, but it’s unclear whether that is the case is Craze V2.
It seems more likely that Driven Sports is banking on some additional psychoactive effects, beyond would could be achieved with Huperzine-A (which is not a stimulant).
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 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.
Driven Sports provides absolutely no indication about how much Caffeine is present in Craze V2. We couldn’t even begin to guess. Could be anywhere from 150-400mg for all we know!
Green Coffee Extract
It’s actually not clear why Driven Sports threw Green Coffee Extract into the Craze V2 formula. While GCE does have implications for weight-loss, its function in a pre-workout would likely be limited to the amount of Caffeine which his typically pretty low (compared to regular coffee bean).
Mucuna Pruriens contains L-Dopa, a direct precursor to the neurotransmitter Dopamine. Although Mucuna Pruriens (assuming the right dose) may effective increase Dopamine levels in the brain, it remains unclear how this might impact exercise performance.
Certainly there are mechanisms by which Mucuna Pruriens could favorably impact exercise performance but without any studies on the topic, it’s tough to say for sure.
In the context of Craze V2, we wouldn’t consider Mucuna Pruriens a particularly important ingredient.
The Bottom Line
Most of the ergogenics (Creatine, Betaine, Citrulline, etc.) in Craze V2 are under-dosed on a per serving (and even per two servings) basis…but then again that’s not what most Driven Sports fans really care about is it? Aside from an unknown dose of Caffeine, Driven Sports has elected to use some highly speculative/under-researched ingredients to round out the stimulant blend. We can’t say exactly what these ingredients are doing or how they work, so for now, Craze V2 is really a “try and see” pre-workout.
Still not sure which pre-workout is right for you? Check out our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements List!
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