Can You Harness The Energy?
The no BS approach continues with Harness. The high stimulant pre-workout from Arms Race Nutrition certainly has a big name to live up to after the impressive pump formula Daily Pump. On paper we have a formula that takes a unique approach to delivering everything we would want from a pre-workout, the real question is how does it all stack up together?
L-Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that gets converted into the amino acid L-Arginine by the kidneys. Once converted into L-Arginine which then goes on to increase nitric oxide (NO) levels in the blood. Increased nitric oxide has a vasodilation effect on blood vessels, allowing them to relax and open up which results in increased blood flow. Increased blood flow then results in increased oxygen and nutrient delivery within the blood to the working muscles which can improve endurance, power and recovery.
Dose p/serve: 5,000 mg of L-Citrulline
Recommended dosage: 3,000 – 4,000 mg of L-Citrulline per serve
Beta Alanine is a non essential acid; meaning we can synthesize this amino within the body and it is not essentially to consume from our diet. Beta Alanine is the precursor to carnosine which is a molecule we store within our muscles to help flush out acids, such as lactic acid, when required. This flushing of acids prevents their build up which therefore delays the onset of muscular fatigue and increasing muscular endurance. Beta Alanine is most known for the ‘tingling’ sensation users get, known as paresthesia. This sensation is perfectly normal and does lessen with consistent use.
Dose p/serve: 3,200 mg of Beta Alanine
Recommended dosage: 3,200 – 6,400 mg of Beta Alanine per day
L-Tyrosine is an non essential amino acid that is produced in the body from another amino acid called phenylalanine. L-Tyrosine is used by the body to create some very important hormones.
Dopamine – the feel good hormone
Adrenaline and Noradrenaline – responsible for managing our fight or flight response
Thyroid Hormones – responsible for regulating metabolism
All of these are produced and regulated by tyrosine in the body. L-Tyrosine is a big player in creating a good mood, focus and mental alertness.
Dose p/serve: 1,000 mg of L-Tyrosine
Recommended dosage: 500 – 2,000 mg L-Tyrosine per day
ViNitrox [Grape (Vitis vinifera) and Apple (Malus pumila) Extracts]
ViNitrox is a trademarked ingredient that is made up of unique apple and grape extracts. These apple and grape extracts have been specifically selected and utilised for their polyphenol content. Polyphenols are compounds we get through certain foods in our diet and, of course, through supplements. They are packed with antioxidants and are always associated with providing general health benefits to humans. The polyphenols contained ViNitrox have been chosen for their ability to increase blood flow, enhance nutrient and oxygen delivery through the blood. A 500 mg dose of ViNitrox pre-exercise found a 13% increase in physical training time with a 10% boost in time before athletes reached their fatigue barrier.
Dose p/serve: 500 mg of ViNitrox
Recommended dosage: 500 mg of ViNitrox per day
Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Caffeine is a stimulant which means it speeds up the communication of messages between the brain and body. Caffeine is found in a variety of products such as Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks, Energy Drinks and Energy Supplements. Caffeine hits the adenosine receptor so it can no longer fire the fatigue signal in the body.
Dose p/serve: 350 mg of Caffeine Anhydrous
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Caffeine Anhydrous
Citicoline (Cytidine 5-diphosphocholine)
Citicoline or CDP Choline, when consumed, is converted into two compounds, Choline and Cytidine. Choline is an essential nutrient that is required by the body to maintain our health. Cytidine is converted in the body into Uridine. Uridine is a naturally occurring substance that plays a key role in many neurological processes. CDP Choline is one of the best forms of Choline supplementation due to its bioavailability and absorption by the body. CDP Choline has been shown to help improve reaction time, concentration, attention, short and long term memory forming and recall as well as increased mental alertness. CDP Choline also has a positive effect on dopamine levels in the body, which is our ‘feel good hormone’.
Dose p/serve: 250 mg of Citicoline per serve
Recommended dosage: 250 – 500 mg of Citicoline per serve
ElevATP (Ancient Peat & Apple Extract)
ElevATP is a combination of a water extract of ancient peat (fossilised plants) and apple extract that works with our natural energy-producing mechanisms to stimulate production of ATP. Studies have shown a 150mg dose of elevATP to increased cellular levels of ATP in the body which has then resulted in increased strength, increased power output, improved performance & training volume in resistance trained athletes.
Dose p/serve: 150 mg of ElevATP per serve
Recommended dosage: 150 mg of ElevATP per day
zümXR XR Caffeine
zümXR XR Caffeine is a special form of a targeted-release caffeine product designed to mitigate the crash normally associated with caffeine consumption and deliver a more sustained and smooth caffeine experience. The XR Caffeine is the extended release form of caffeine that has been shown to provide no more than 20% of the total caffeine content within the 1st hour but then no less than 80% of the total caffeine content by 4-5 hours after consumption.
Dose p/serve: 75 mg of zümXR XR Caffeine per serve
Recommended dosage: 50 – 100 mg of zümXR XR Caffeine per serve
Huperzia Serrata Extract (leaf & stem)(1% Huperzine A)
Huperzine A is a compound that is found in the plant toothed club moss. Huperzine A is an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor meaning it has an effect of stopping the breakdown of acetylcholine thereby increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter used at the neuromuscular junction, meaning it is the chemical that the motor neurons of our nervous system release in order to activate muscles. Huperzine A, by increasing levels of acetylcholine, improves nerve and brain function while also improving the signalling of muscular contractions.
Dose p/serve: 20 mg of Huperzia Serrata Extract (1% Huperzine A) per serve
Recommended dosage: 10 – 20 mg of Huperzia Serrata Extract (1% Huperzine A) per serve
Lets jump straight into it and break down the formula of Harness and see what its bringing to the table.
Muscular Endurance – Beta Alanine & ViNitrox
Muscular Power – ElevATP
Muscle Pumps – L-Citrulline & ViNitrox
Mental Focus – Caffeine, Citicoline, L-Tyrosine & Huperzine A
Energy – Caffeine & zümXR
Not bad not bad at all actually scrap that, its an impressive formula and here is why!
Firstly, every single ingredient is in this formula within a clinical dose range and in some cases above. So straight away we know whatever ingredients we get, we are getting the perfect amount of them in each serve.
Secondly, go back and take a look at the ingredients that are being used to address each effect we look for in a pre-workout. Beta Alanine & ViNitrox for your endurance, both clinically shown to improve endurance significantly and both at clinical dose. You might be concerned by muscular power only being covered by ElevATP but rest assured, you are in good hands. ElevATP has been studied to raise blood levels of ATP (the fuel for explosive movements) by 40% in 60 minutes after consumption.
Muscle pumps are well and truly covered with an above clinical dose of L-Citrulline which is then paired up with the impressive ViNitrox. ViNitrox has been making some big waves in the pump and performance area of supplements and we are loving the effects from it. To round out the formula we come to the good stuff… the stimulants and nootropics of course. A combination of Caffeine, Citicoline, L-Tyrosine, Huperzine A and zümXRprovides us with all the energy, focus & mood enhancement we could hope for.
Caffeine to provide the rapid onset energy paired with the zümXR to provide us with up to 5 hours of long lasting energy and no crashing! Then you have L-Tyrosine to provide an uplift in mood thanks to our good pal dopamine. Citicoline to provide us with the choline to then produce more acetylcholine for enhanced cognition, alertness and concentration and then huperzine A to stop the breakdown of the increased acetylcholine levels to keep them high for our body to utilise.
Like we said earlier, it’s an impressive formula Arms Race Nutrition have put together for Harness. All bases covered, with strong dosing and some good synergism across all ingredients, the real question comes as how does it feel though ?
Taste & Consumability:
You have 3 flavours to enjoy here with Harness:
Tart Candy Strings
The flavours of Harness are delicious, to say the least. The Tart Candy Strings brings a unique approach to the every popular sour candy flavour we are seeing almost every company produce these days. Its really like no other flavour out there! As for the Pineapple Mango and Lemon Rush, just like the Candy Strings, they are both on point and just as delicious as the Candy Strings.
The only thing we will say is the flavours are strong! If youre someone who enjoys mixing their pre-workout in minimal water then youre in for a very strong hit of a delicious flavour. Whereas if you are someone who enjoys a full shaker of water with their pre-workout then you are in for a delicious beverage.
So, how does the formula stack up? We know how it looks on paper, we know how it tastes but the real test is how does it actually work?
Lets tackle the energy first because there is a lot of it. I dont just mean in the formula, there is a serious amount of energy from a single serve of Harness! The interesting thing is how balanced that energy feels, especially given the caffeine level. Normally a pre-workout with 350mg+ of caffeine anhydrous would pick you up and then drop you so very hard. Thanks to the zümXR extended-release caffeine it really takes away the harshness of the caffeine anhydrous but leaves you with all the energy to just go and go and well . Go!
This amazingly balanced energy is then able to be dialled into some seriously impressive mental focus. The whopping dose of L-Tyrosine paired with the Citicoline and Huperzine A provides a noticeable uplift in mood but with a sense of dialled in focus that will have you staring at the next set of dumbbells youre going to grab. The energy and focus blend of Harness is a perfect example of how more is not always best and a well thought out & balanced formula will always triumph.
Now onto the fun stuff muscle pumps! Were not exactly sure how but Harness packs a lot more pump than you would expect. Given weve only got L-Citrulline and ViNitrox working together and while they are in both full or above clinical dosages the pumps you get are still more impressive than you would expect. Just to be clear, this is a good thing! It actually had us dialling back to only stacking 2 scoops of Harness with 1 scoop of Daily Pump (Arms Race Nutritions pump formula).
Muscle power and endurance are covered by 3 ingredients. All 3 ingredients have studies showing they provide a significant benefit in either power or endurance or both. And those studied effects are exactly what you get from Harness! The muscular endurance is the real stand out here, we found ourselves POWERING through each and every drop-set, giant-set or superset we could throw into our session. Thats not to say muscular power isnt impressive, because it certainly is. The enhanced endurance is something we noticed from the very first session and it was something we noticed every session we used Harness for!
What’s The Verdict?
The no BS approach Arms Race Nutrition brings to their supplements has come through with the good yet again. Harness is an impressive pre-workout on paper but an even more impressive pre-workout when you put it to the test. With endless energy that comes on strong and stays strong, paired with some out of this world muscular endurance well, lets just say you better be ready to keep throwing extra exercises onto the end of your workouts!