CNS Labgrade Pre Workout
Don't be fooled by the low 180mg dose of caffeine.
This pre packs other stimulants that are rarely used in high dosages.
Labgrade packs 22.2g serving sizes with 17 ingredients. It doesn't only have VASO6 but it also has 300mg CoQ10, 175mg Eria Jarensis, 65mg hordenine, 40mg Dynamine and a whole lot more.
CNS proves that you can have the energized focus of stimulants with only a moderate dose of caffeine.
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Contains low caffeine, but also has stimulant/focus complex, excellent pump complex, ergogenic aids and unique ingredients.
Fully loaded and disclosed formula while containing unique ingredients.
You’ll pay a high end price for what’s being marketed as a high end product.
Right now, you can only get it from the CNS website.
We Don't Like
You've probably noticed the trend with pre workout formula's...
350mg to 450mg caffeine, 6g citrulline, agmatine, and maybe some theacrine.
Or the same formula but without the stimulants.
Where is the fun in that?
Caffeine is great but there are plenty of other stimulants that can be included and that's where the gap is filled with Labgrade.
Labgrade is a 1-scoop pre-workout that’s centered around a low caffeine dose yet well dosed with other stim/focus compounds - and it doesn’t forget about pumps or performance.
With VASO-6, CoQ10, and a whole bunch of other ingredients, this pre workout is pushing the bar higher for the golden standard of pre-formula's.
What's The Story Behind CNS?
CNS is a very unique company that was started by a young, hardly out of his teens guy that had a dream to create his own line of supplements.
What's unique about Robert Darcy (founder of CNS) is that he’s mainly someone motivated by his own health problems and his background of intensive research on supplement ingredients - but he does not have degrees or any of the usual things you might expect from someone launching a supplement company.
He is, however, someone with a lot of guts, determination and dedication.
With that said, let's dig deeper into Labgrade...
Let's Check Out The Ingredients:
Since the lower caffeine dose is one of the highlights of the Labgrade formula, we’ll tackle the stimulant/focus ingredients first.
Caffeine Anhydrous (180mg)
Right off the bat, those users that love caffeine are thinking 2-scoops.
Not a good idea, if for no other reason than the cost.
This is a low dose of caffeine, especially when compared to the 300-400mg monsters out there - but, what many of those high caffeine Pre’s don’t have is a solid stimulant complex like the one you’ll find in Labgrade.
While 180mg may seem low, you’ll start to feel it at this dosage,and caffeine does provide performance benefits (1).
However, it’s the total stimulant experience that will get you going, as we’ll see pretty soon.
Officially known as methylliberine, this is a trademarked energy compound that’s similar to theacrine, but it’s not the same thing.
Dynamine has a similar method of action and works quickly to increase energy, elevate mood, enhance focus - plus it lasts for up to 3 hours.
It works by activating neurotransmitters such as dopamine, this means you’ll get an energy experience with no increase in heart rate.
Here it’s a little underdosed, but you’ll still get some of the benefits even at a lower dosage.
Acetyl L Carnitine (500mg)
Typically when you think of carnitine, you think of fat loss - but this is a form that passes the blood-brain barrier and will enhance focus, memory, mood and even pumps, making it a perfect fit for Labgrade.
Of course, it has some fat loss effects too!
Tyrosine is a well known amino acid that acts as a cognitive enhancer due to its effect on the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
Tyrosine increases focus, enhances motivation and helps maintain mental capacity in times of stress (2).
This is a good dose of tyrosine, not as high as some cognitive and pre-workout formulas, but in the effective range and well balanced with the rest of the formula.
Hordenine is considered a natural MAO inhibitor that increases energy and focus mainly because of its adrenergic properties.
This means it stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are involved in the body’s the “fight or flight” response (3).
Since it acts as an MAO inhibitor, it promotes alertness, good response time and enhanced focus.
In fact one of the reasons hordenine is included in Labgrade is to work synergistically with PEA partially because of its short-lived effects.
Phenethyl Dimethylamine (175mg)
PEA is a powerful mood enhancer that stimulates a “feel-good” sensation because it increases levels of dopamine, also known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter.
As seen above, the effects of PEA typically do not last long (6).
But the version used here (phenethyl dimethylamine or Eria Jarensis) is designed to last a little longer, so all in all you’ll get a reasonable time-frame from it - like right during your workout when you need it the most!
When CNS decided to replace a lower caffeine content with other stimulants, they weren’t kidding!
We still have two more to go!
Higenamine has become pretty common in fat burners as well as many pre-workouts due to its similarities to ephedrine as well as caffeine (7).
It should be noted that this compound is banned by WADA, so if you compete in drug-tested events, it should be avoided.
Typically, this is dosed equal to or up to twice the amount of caffeine, here it’s a little less but it’s still enough to help smooth out the effects of caffeine (8) and the other stimulants in Labgrade.
Expect some cognitive benefits from theanine as well, such as improved concentration.
COP - Creatinol-O-Phosphate (2g)
This somewhat underused ingredient acts as an acid buffer, helping maintain the proper PH balance in the muscles and by doing so, increasing endurance.
This compound works similar to beta-alanine because they both reduce the “burn” and extend your training endurance.
The dose included in Labgrade is a serious dose, so while beta alanine is dosed a little light to offset the “tingling” sensation, the combination of the two will provide significant endurance - get ready for more sets and reps!
As we said above, this is dosed low - the full clinical dose is 3.2g.
At this amount, the tingling effect will be minimal and you’ll still experience some performance benefits (9).
Personally, we’d rather see the full clinical dose, after all, if you’re serious about your workouts, the tingles are minor - they only last a short time anyway and tend to become less of a problem as you use the product consistently.
Having said that, the combo of beta-alanine and COP are here to improve endurance tingle-free.
Betaine Anhydrous (1.5g)
This is another low yet a somewhat common dose of this impressive ingredient.
The full clinical dosing is 2.5g (10) and we’ve seen dosing as high as 4g, but this is enough to promote cell volume and some increased power.
Still, why not just go with the full 2.5g?
Maybe a cost issue?
Betaine is cheap to buy in bulk, so long you get your total daily in (2.5g) then you're good to go...
Finally, it’s time to talk about pumps!
Citrulline Malate (6g)
So far, it’s become clear why the serving size for Labgrade is so big - it’s definitely a complete pre-workout, unlike so many that are stim-heavy, or in some cases pump-heavy, but weak in everything else.
Labgrade is well-dosed and uses several effective ingredients in a synergistic manner to target a specific benefit, and the pump complex is no exception.
By now everyone knows how citrulline works, and it’s one of the best (many would say the best) pump ingredients you can use.
This is an average dose for this ingredient and includes malic acid (which is involved in the ATP system of energy) so you can expect increased performance as well as amazing pumps.
The first one is Vaso-6, a patented pump producer that may be even more effective than citrulline.
So what exactly is Vaso-6?
It is a proprietary green tea oligomer that contains several (6, to be exact) catechins which increase nitric oxide production for greater blood flow - this means increased pumps, increased oxygen delivery for greater ATP production and increased nutrient delivery to your muscles when they need it the most - during your workouts (11), (12).
Glycerol is known for producing huge water based pumps by pulling lots of water into the muscle cells for extreme muscle volume, and Labgrade goes after this kind of pump with several ingredients, beginning with betaine.
From there, CNS added GlycerPump, a trademarked form of glycerol that does not clump like other forms.
This is THE new glycerol King, and you can expect extreme hyper-hydration - as long as you drink plenty of water with it (13).
Taurine is commonly found in energy drinks but it’s also becoming common in pre-workouts.
It’s included here because of it’s cell volume properties, thereby creating a 3-ingredient complex that promotes water based pumps.
Labgrade is serious about pumps.
Here’s a heart-healthy compound that’s been around for decades - but not in a pre-workout!
CoQ10 (or, Co-enzyme Q10) is an antioxidant that most people use for heart health and high cholesterol, and if you make a trip to your local vitamin store, you’ll see it advertised that way.
So why is it in Labgrade?
Beyond the benefits mentioned above, it’s also involved in the conversion of food into energy - meaning ATP energy production.
Of course, ATP is what powers your muscles through your intense workouts (you didn’t think it was the stims, did you?).
The fact that it’s in Labgrade says a lot about the innovative thinking behind the product.
Magnesium Malate (300mg)
What may not be well-known about ATP is that it doesn’t become biologically active unless there’s a magnesium ion for it to attach to, yet many athletes - and nonathletes - are deficient.
Magnesium is another thoughtful addition to Labgrade and it’s here to avoid any potential deficiencies, not to mention the fact that magnesium is a very important mineral for any serious bodybuilder or athlete because it has key roles in such things as protein metabolism, muscular contraction and nerve transmission - sounds like pretty important stuff to us.
This absorption enhancer has become standard in pretty much everything, and it’s not hard to see why.
After all, if it doesn’t absorb, what’s the point, right?
Right now, there’s just one flavor:
We expect more flavors in the future, but for right now, this one will do.
Labgrade is a pre workout that is not only futureproof, but it's properly formulated for performance.
Although it has minimal caffeine, it packs other stimulants and performance enhancers that'll help you get the most out your training.
Make sure you take advantage of CNS's loyalty and reward points system for maximum savings.
Labgrade: Most Innovative Pre So Far
Labgrade breaks some new ground with the addition of CoQ10 and the use of several new, innovative ingredients all wrapped up in a low caffeine - but not low stim - formula.