Pump Freak, as the name implies, is a pump-inducing pre-workout supplement by PharmaFreak. It is non-stimulant, and can be taken by itself or in conjunction with stimulant pre-workouts…
Citrulline Malate is an amino acid involved in Nitric Oxide production which is actually far more effective for raising plasma Arginine levels than Arginine. Basically, Citrulline is what Arginine is “supposed to” be.
At doses of 6-8g/daily, Citrulline Malate has been shown to improve exercise performance and reduce muscle soreness. Because of its reliable track record, Citrulline Malate commonly forms the basis for pump-inducing pre-workouts so it should come as no surprise that it is the first ingredient listed in Pump Freak.
Although the 3g dose is about half of what has been used clinically for the above-mentioned benefit, it is also about 2-3 more than most pump pre-workout use so good job PharmaFreak (sort of).
Betaine, like Citrulline, is pretty well-established as an ergogenic aid, with several studies now demonstrating performance benefits.
Betaine is an osmolyte, meaning it can draw water into muscle cells, creating a better environment for dealing with physical stressors such as exercise.
In the context of Pump Freak, Glycerol functions similarly to Betaine in that it can increase the amount of water in the cell, thereby preserving hydration status during long-duration exercise, although no strength or power improvements have been noted (so it isn’t exactly like Betaine).
Common doses range from 1-2g per serving with Pump Freak coming in at the higher end of that range (2g).
Beets are high in naturally occurring Nitrate, the chemical precursor to Nitric Oxide. Nitrate consumption, in the form of Beet juice, whole Beets, or Nitrate salts (like sodium Nitrate), has been shown to enhance exercise endurance.
This benefit is considered extremely reliable at doses of 300mg/day, but unfortunately most Beet Root extracts contain nowhere near that amount. Pump Freak contains 1000mg of Beet Root but does not list the amount of actual Nitrate present. This is probably because the Nitrate content is remarkably low…like probably a couple mg at most.
So, in the context of Pump Freak, Beet Root doesn’t really do much…but it also doesn’t hurt and is extremely inexpensive.
Pomegranate is widely considered to be a “super food” because it is high in antioxidant and other nutrients that may have long-term health benefits. As far as Pump Freak is concerned, Pomgranate may encourage better cardiovascular health and may potentially improve blood flow.
Unfortunately, since Pomegranate Extracts vary pretty significantly in terms of nutrient profiles, it’s tough to determine just how effective this ingredient is in Pump Freak. Ultimately, we wouldn’t considered it a primary ingredient, but one that may offer some sort of support.
Agmatine has quickly gained a reputation as a Nitric Oxide booster because of preliminary evidence that suggests it can enhance the activity of Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase, an enzyme that catalyzes the production of N.O. in the first place.
Unfortunately, human studies are still lacking at this time. That said, the preliminary research is pretty encouraging and we expect to see a lot more of this ingredient in the future.
Amentoflavone, which we discuss in depth in this article, came on the scene late last year in such products as ANS Dilate and PES High Volume.
Amentoflavone has been shown, in vitro, to be a relatively potent vasodilator, with one study demonstrating that it can reduce noradrenaline-induced vasoconstriction by 35%.
Again, these benefits were observed in vitro so no human-equivalent dose has been established at this time nor can we be sure just how it effective it is in humans.
Pump Freak contains 10mg of Amentoflavone.
Red Wine contains naturally occurring polyphenols that may encourage cardiovascular health. As an actual “pump” agent, it remains unexplored but in the context of Pump Freak it may offer some support similar to Pomegranate Extract.
Hesperidin is a compound found in Citrus fruits such as grapefruit. It does possess mechanisms by which it may favorably influence blood flow, but this hasn’t been too extensively researched at this time.
In the context of Pump Freak we’d consider it on the same level as Amentoflavone. Possibly effective, but not definitely for now.
Astragin is a patented combination of Astragalus and Ginseng which is purported to increase absorption of other nutrients when co-ingested. In the context of Pump Freak it is not a “key” ingredient but may improve the bioavailability of some of the less bioavailable ingredients (though we can’t say which ones might benefit).
The Bottom Line
We’re actually pretty impressed with Pump Freak. PharmaFreak, as a brand, was starting to worry us but we view this formula as a massive step in the right direction. No long, drawn-out scientific names meant to confuse consumers. No under-dosed ingredients. This is definitely one to consider if you’re looking for a non-stimulant, pump-inducing pre-workout supplement.
Looking for a non-stimulant pre-workout supplement? Check out this list of the Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout Supplements!
- Morita, Masahiko, et al. “Oral supplementation with a combination of l-citrulline and l-arginine rapidly increases plasma l-arginine concentration and enhances NO bioavailability.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications454.1 (2014): 53-57.
- Cholewa, Jason M., et al. “Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.” J Int Soc. Sports Nutr 10.1 (2013): 39.
- Pérez-Guisado, Joaquín, and Philip M. Jakeman. “Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.5 (2010): 1215-1222.
- Anderson, M. J., et al. “Effect of glycerol-induced hyperhydration on thermoregulation and metabolism during exercise in heat.” International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 11.3 (2001): 315-333.
- Ferguson, Scott K., et al. “Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice on exercising muscle vascular control in rats.” The Journal of physiology 591.2 (2013): 547-557.
- de Nigris, Filomena, et al. “Beneficial effects of pomegranate juice on oxidation-sensitive genes and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity at sites of perturbed shear stress.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102.13 (2005): 4896-4901.
- Morrissey, Jeremiah J., and Saulo Klahr. “Agmatine activation of nitric oxide synthase in endothelial cells.” Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians 109.1 (1997): 51-57.
- Wallerath, Thomas, et al. “Red wine increases the expression of human endothelial nitric oxide synthase: a mechanism that may contribute to its beneficial cardiovascular effects.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 41.3 (2003): 471-478.
- Orallo, Francisco, et al. “Comparative study of the vasorelaxant activity, superoxide-scavenging ability and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-inhibitory effects of hesperetin and hesperidin.” Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology 370.6 (2004): 452-463.