Update: After trying CRZ a couple times, we recommend skipping this one as it is slightly better than Craze V2 but no where close to Craze V1 but....
Way back in 2013, energy and euphoria from the original Craze was ridiculously unmatched by any other pre workout.
CRZ was inspired by the original, that should mean tons of energy and focus, and it should mean that it is the next best pre workout since the original Craze.
Crz OG has ok energy and focus, barely acceptable for its title.
Knowing Driven Sports, it shouldn't matter what their profile says.
Price has matched the hype, but not the pre workout.
Not hard to find.
We Don't Like
Update: If you want something as strong as the original Craze back in 2013, try Excelsior. You will not find anything better. Next best thing is Hydrazine. Both are expensive options with no deals ever going on for them but nothing else comes close.
With Crz, Driven Sports is trying to recapture the success of the original Craze in all its stim-heavy glory.
They’re making a comeback from a couple of years of legal and FDA problems regarding the original formula.
This is the pre-workout that they hope will put them right back in the game (along with the aggressive pre workout, Rize).
However you should know that Rize will be different than Crz OG.
Rize is more geared towards having more focus, energy and intensity, while Crz OG is described to have less aggressive for energy and intensity.
We’ll have to see how hard it hits when it comes out, in the meantime let’s dive into the ingredients:
Kinesis Prop Blend
This is a good start because betaine is excellent for promoting strength, power and acting as a cell volumizer, however, that effect depends on the dose - and of course we have no way of knowing what the dose is.
Nonetheless, betaine is considered to be similar to creatine because it’s an osmolyte, which basically means it helps preserve water balance in the cells, in this sense it can act as a cell volumizer.
The fact that it increases strength and power has made it a standard in most pre-workouts (1).
So far so good.
Here’s an amino acid you don’t always see in a pre-workout, but glycine offers some very impressive benefits.
What benefits, you might ask?
For starters, it can inhibit muscle protein breakdown and improve recovery.
Glycine is also one of three amino acids that’s responsible for the synthesis of creatine, helping to maintain an adequate level of creatine in the body (4).
One of the main functions of creatine is to replenish ATP as the body is using it up, so you can train a little harder and longer.
That sounds good to us!
PEA (B-Phenylethylamine HCL)
Crz is mainly a focus and energy pre-workout.
Simply put, if you want pumps and performance, this isn’t the pre for you.
PEA has become very popular with users that look for focus, mood elevation and the mental stamina to drive through workouts.
PEA does this by stimulating the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.
There’s nothing quite like walking into the gym with the concentration, focus and mental stamina it takes to have great workouts - and PEA, when dosed effectively, does it very well.. (5).
This is not something you see in a lot of products.
It contains a form of PEA known as N-Benzyl-2-PEA which allows a greater amount of PEA to reach the brain.
So with two forms of PEA, you can see that Crz is going for extreme cognitive enhancement and mood elevation.
Yep, the electrolyte mineral potassium is next on the list.
This version is a potassium salt derived from citric acid.
Potassium is essential for heart health, nerve function and muscle control.
Does it seem weird to see this so far up in the prop blend?
One reason it’s here is because potassium promotes cell volume by helping to pull water into the muscle cells - or, water based pumps.
This traditional herb has a long history of use as an antidepressant and stress reliever.
More recently, it’s been shown to stimulate the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline which means it will act as a stimulant and a cognitive enhancer (6).
As you can see, the stim/focus ingredients aren’t quite like what you find in most pre-workouts.
Will they produce better results?
They will if they’re dosed high enough.
Most pre-workouts and fat burners that contain caffeine state the caffeine content, even in a prop blend.
Not so here, as Crz is one of a very few prop-based products that does not reveal how much caffeine you’re getting.
Of course, caffeine is the ever popular stimulant that’s used in countless products across several categories - and it does more than just give you energy.
Caffeine also improves focus, alertness, increases thermogenesis and improves performance - not bad, right?
It’d be even better if we knew that we were getting an amount effective enough to do all these things.
This is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine because it contains more than 20 active compounds that provide a wide range of benefits, from antioxidant protection to liver health to acting as a sleep aid.
It’s purpose here is to act as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with physical and mental stress, in this case the stress of frequent, intense workouts.
One of the active compounds is berberine, which is partially responsible for phellodendron’s liver health benefits.
Berberine also supports mood elevation (7).
We bet you haven’t seen this in very many pre-workouts - neither have we.
We’ve seen Grape Seed Extract but not this...
It’s in Crz to help reduce insulin resistance, which can lead to such things as fatigue and weight gain (8).
The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: Relationship to the metabolic syndrome.
Here’s another ingredient you won’t find in that many pre-workouts.
This herb has a traditional use in Africa as an aphrodisiac, and in ritualistic ceremonies due to its mood altering abilities, as well as its ability to create a high level of enthusiasm. (9).
That kind of benefit can take a good workout and make it a great one, and combines with the rest of the blend to increase energy, focus and mood.
DHEA (10 mg)
Besides Vitamins B3, B6 and potassium, this is the only other ingredient that’s in Crz at a fully disclosed amount.
This is also not that common in many pre-workouts, but reminds us of another company that always adds deer velvet extract to all their pre-workouts, touting its GH benefits.
So, this is an interesting addition to a somewhat unusual pre-workout formula.
However, at just 10 mg, it’s a little underdosed considering you can get it in strengths from 25 mg up to 100 mg.
So far, we know of just one flavor, Berry Lemonade - which sounds delicious.
We think they’ll bring back all the original flavors that the original Craze had.
Apparently this is causing a delay in releasing it since they are working hard to mask the flavor of the ingredients.
Does Crz Live Up To The Hype?
We have to say this is a unique formula in many ways with several somewhat unusual ingredients.
Chances are, you’ll experience some level of energy and focus, but nothing and no where like their original Craze.
The bottom line?
As long as you’re away of the company’s history, and understand that the supplement industry is generally a gray area, then go ahead, try it, especially if you’re a fan of the original Craze and understand there was a possible spike of amphetamines. (Ahem... check out Hydrazine)
Meanwhile, there are still some pre workouts that are quite similar to Craze in regards to focus and energy.
1. C., & AS, S. (2004, September 01) Betaine in human nutrition | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/3/539/4690529
2.Ham, D. J., Murphy, K. T., Chee, A., Lynch, G. S., & Koopman, R. (2014, June). Glycine administration attenuates skeletal muscle wasting in a mouse model of cancer cachexia. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23835111)
3. Bannai, M., Kawai, N., Ono, K., Nakahara, K., & Murakami, N. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328957/).
4. Brosnan, J. T., Da, R. P., & Brosnan, M. E. (2011, May). The metabolic burden of creatine synthesis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21387089).
5. Mesfioui, A., Math, F., Jmari, K., Hessni, A. E., & Davrainville, M. K. (1998, September 02). Effects of Amphetamine and Phenylethylamine on Catecholamine Release in the Glomerular Layer of the Rat Olfactory Bulb. Retrieved from https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/14548)
6. Khushboo, P. S., Jadhav, V. M., Kadam, V. J., & Sathe, N. S. (2010). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249905/)
7. SK, K., & A, D. (n.d.). Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. [email protected] Retrieved from https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/18585703)
8. Fujioka, K., Greenway, F., Sheard, J., & Ying, Y. (2006). The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: Relationship to the metabolic syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16579728)
9. Voogelbreinder, S. (2009), p76. Garden of Eden: The shamanic use of psychoactive flora and fauna, and the study of consciousness. Place of publication not identified: Snu Voogelbreinder.)
10.http://www.ncaa.org/2018-19-ncaa-banned-drugs-list) DHEA also reduces levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol, making it anti-catabolic..
11. Buoso, E., Lanni, C., Molteni, E., Rousset, F., Corsini, E., & Racchi, M. (2011, November). Opposing effects of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone on the expression of the receptor for Activated C Kinase 1: Implications in immunosenescence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21820043)