Exactly how alpha is De Novos EPOCH!
A very straight forward and simple formula at first glance but take a closer look at the ingredients and their dosages and you will realise this is a lot more than just a straight forward pre-workout. The team at De Novo are known for being the creators of one of the best nootropics on the market, Utopia, have put together what they feel is the best performance pre-workout formula.
L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1
L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 is L-Citrulline with Malic Acid added to the Citrulline, in this case, at a 2:1 ratio. 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. Malic Acid enhances our aerobic (endurance) and anaerobic (explosive) energy production as it serves an essential role in the Krebs cycle which is the bodies process of converting the food we consume into energy. The combination of L-Citrulline and Malic Acid provides a one-two punch of blood flow, endurance and performance.
Dose p/serve: 6,0000 mg of L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1
Recommended dosage: 5,000 – 8,0000 mg of L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1
L-Leucine is an essential amino acid that is used in the synthesis of proteins. Being an essential amino acid, this means we need to consume L-Leucine through our diet and/ or supplements as the body cannot create it itself. L-Leucine is one of the 3 essential amino acids referred to as ‘Branched Chain Amino Acids’ (BCAA’s). Of the 3 BCAA’s, L-Leucine is often regarded as being the most important or most beneficial. L-Leucine has been shown to have a significant impact on increasing m-Tor signalling which is vital for the production of proteins in the body.
Dose p/serve: 4,000 mg of L-Leucine
Recommended dosage: 2,000 – 10,000 mg of L-Leucine
Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate
Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate or Sodium Citrate is the combination of the essential mineral Sodium with Citric Acid. Sodium is responsible for regulating blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium and also pH balance within the body. Citric Acid has been shown to provide the same acid buffering benefits as bicarbonate but given bicarbonate is not well tolerated by the gastrointestinal tract citric acid is a more tolerated ingredient to provide these benefits. The combination of Sodium and Citric Acid provides the best combination to provide hydration, endurance and peak performance benefits.
Dose p/serve: 3,750 mg of Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine
Beta Alanine is a non-essential acid; meaning we can synthesize this amino within the body and it is not essential 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: 3,000 mg of CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine
Recommended dosage: 3,200 – 6,400 mg of CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine
Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Monohydrate is the most well-studied, researched, and, proven form of creatine. Creatine has been shown to increase the amount of creatine and creatine phosphate in the body. The more creatine we have within the body, the more we have to utilise for energy. Creatine is used in our ‘explosive’ energy system, typically used when performing short duration, high-intensity movements such as lifting weight and sprinting. Creapure® is the most widely studied form of creatine and is proven to be safe and effective.
Dose p/serve: 2,500 mg of Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate
Recommended dosage: 5,000 – 10,000 mg Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate
L-Isoleucine is an essential amino acid that is used in the synthesis of proteins. Being an essential amino acid, this means we need to consume L-Isoleucine through our diet and/ or supplements as the body cannot create it itself. L-Isoleucine is one of the 3 essential amino acids referred to as ‘Branched Chain Amino Acids’ (BCAA’s). Isoleucine has very diverse functions within the body, ranging from stimulating immune function, detoxification of waste products and assisting with wound healing. L-Isoleucine also plays a vital role within the BCAA’s of supporting performance before, during and after training.
Dose p/serve: 2,000 mg of L-Isoleucine
Recommended dosage: 1,000 – 5,000 mg of L-Isoleucine
L-Valine is an essential amino acid that is used in the synthesis of proteins. Being an essential amino acid, this means we need to consume L-Valine through our diet and/ or supplements as the body cannot create it itself. L-Valine is one of the 3 essential amino acids referred to as ‘Branched Chain Amino Acids’ (BCAA’s). It is unknown if L-Valine possesses any unique and individual benefits in the body. L-Valine plays a vital role within the BCAA’s of supporting performance before, during and after training.
Dose p/serve: 2,000 mg of L-Valine
Recommended dosage: 1,000 – 5,000 mg of L-Valine
Tripotassium Citrate Monohydrate
Tripotassium Citrate Monohydrate or Potassium Citrate is the combination of the essential mineral Potassium with Citric Acid. Potassium is an electrolyte that counteracts the effects of sodium in the body, helping to maintain consistent blood pressure. Potassium also plays a vital role in assisting muscular contractions and nerve function. Citric Acid has been shown to provide the same acid buffering benefits as bicarbonate but given bicarbonate is not well tolerated by the gastrointestinal tract citric acid is a more tolerated ingredient to provide these benefits. The combination of Potassium and Citric Acid provides the best combination to provide hydration, endurance and peak performance benefits.
Dose p/serve: 1,250 mg of Tripotassium Citrate Monohydrate
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Tripotassium Citrate Monohydrate
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is commonly found in tea, as well as being found in some mushrooms. L-Theanine has a similar structure to glutamic acid which is another amino acid. It has been shown to help with the transmitting of nerve impulses in the brain. L-Theanine is often paired with caffeine in formulas as it appears to have a complementary effect to caffeine. The combination of L-Theanine and caffeine provides a smooth, long-lasting source of energy. It is great for ‘taking the edge’ off a high dose of stimulants in products. L-Theanine is often used alone to promote relaxation without the common side effect of drowsiness, this is why it pairs so well with caffeine.
Dose p/serve: 500 mg of L-Theanine
Recommended dosage: 200 – 500 mg per serve of L-Theanine
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: 250 mg of Caffeine
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Caffeine
We think the easiest way to summarise the formula in EPOCH Alpha is to call it tried and true. Ingredients we are generally familiar with in some pretty impressive dosages, but at the same time De Novo have thrown in a couple curveballs that made us thinks it’s got more than meets the eye.
Lets quickly breakdown the formula in EPOCH Alpha:
L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 – Amino Acid – Increases Blood Flow
L-Leucine (Instantized) – Amino Acid – Increases Protein Synthesis
Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate – Electrolyte – Regulates Hydration
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine – Amino Acid – Improves Endurance
Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate – Compound – Increases Explosive Energy
L-Isoleucine – Amino Acid – Increases Protein Synthesis
L-Valine – Amino Acid – Increases Protein Synthesis
Tripotassium Citrate Monohydrate – Electrolyte – Regulates Hydration
L-Theanine – Amino Acid – Promotes Relaxation
Caffeine – Stimulant – Increases Mental Energy & Alertness
Amino Acids, Electrolytes, Creatine and some Caffeine; all ingredients we have seen before but not put together like this. Lets start with the basics, Creatine Monohydrate, Beta Alanine & Citrulline Malate. We love the fact we are getting only the highest quality of these two ingredients, however, the dosing could be better. 2.5 grams of Creatine is only half of the minimum dose we would like to see and the 3 grams of Beta Alanine is literally 94% the clinical dose of 3.2 grams, so its close, so very close. The Citrulline Malate comes in to save the day, with a massive 6 gram dose per serve. This is the amount of Citrulline Malate we like to see, especially when used in a 2:1 ratio of Citrulline to Malic Acid. These 3 ingredients, regardless of dose, make for an impressive performance foundation for the rest of the formula to build on.
BCAAs in a pre-workout now were getting interesting. BCAAs are anything but new in the supplement industry but having them in a pre-workout is unique. BCAAs are the 3 Essential Amino Acids, Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, that share a branched chain bond. These 3 aminos have been shown to have the greatest impact on increasing muscle protein synthesis. Increased muscle protein synthesis is vital for recovery and repair which is why we consume BCAAs, typically, during and after training. Getting BCAAs in pre-workout is just priming our body with all the nutrients we need before we start training.
Caffeine and L-Theanine, the one-two energy punch. These two ingredients have been best buddies for as long as we can remember. Caffeine is one of the most popular and well-known stimulants in the world. Increasing mental energy, alertness, cognitive performance and sense of energy. L-Theanine, on the other hand, promotes relaxation and calmness BUT without the common side effect of drowsiness that other similar ingredients provide. This relaxing effect, when paired with caffeine, provides some of the cleanest energy we have experienced.
We have saved the best for last Electrolytes! No, were not making a joke here, probably one of the most underrated but most impressive features of EPOCH Alphas formula are the electrolytes. Hydration is so vital for not just health and wellbeing but performance; so much so that as little as 1-2% decrease in hydration can have drastic effects on performance. Commonly seen in intra-workout formulas, we love the idea of getting in electrolytes before you train. Using the same theory as BCAAs; you are priming the body with the nutrients it needs to perform at it’s highest while we exercise. Not only that but the increased hydration from these electrolytes provide a very impressive pump while training.
While there is no clinical dose for electrolytes as their dosing is dependant on so many other factors. The amount you are getting in each serve of EPOCH Alpha is nothing short of impressive! Like we said at the beginning, the formula may appear very standard but it’s really anything but when you break it down.
Taste & Consumability:
Theres really not a whole lot to say here. EPOCH Alpha comes in one flavour, Green Apple, and that flavour tastes amazing! Really, that is all we can say about it. It mixes well in a shaker, there are minimal sinkers and minimal graininess. The flavour is very tasty, in our opinion, and we enjoyed it each and every time we had it. The only criticism we do have is that there is only one flavour available. If youre not a fan of Green Apple flavours, unfortunately, you only have the one option.
The most important part, because this is why you are taking a pre-workout, you want to feel it, you want it to work. EPOCH works, in fact, EPOCH works really well! It actually worked exactly how we thought it would but then it delivered just a little bit more.
Energy – Clean, Smooth & Long Lasting
Muscular Endurance – Great
Explosive Power – Good
Mental Alertness – Good & Clear
Pumps – Very Impressive
Consistency – Incredible
The energy and mental alertness comes on fast but not in a sharp spike, it surges as you start training, or as youre sitting in the car getting yourself into the zone. The pairing of the Caffeine and Theanine really does delivery in EPOCH, the guys at De Novo have nailed the right balance of these two ingredients. Smooth energy that just goes and goes and goes until you run out of exercises to do.
From a performance standpoint, the increase in muscular endurance definitely outperforms the increase in explosive power, but we did assume that from the formula. The combination of smooth energy, beta alanine and electrolytes really support the bodies ability to push our some long burning sets as well as being able to perform, set after set after set. Not to say we were let down by our explosive power for big lifts, we felt strong, very strong, the endurance just stole the show for EPOCH Alpha.
To be completely honest, we were not expecting much from EPOCH Alpha in the way of muscle pumps man were we surprised! We have used tonnes of formulas using the same dose of Citrulline Malate but none have paired that up with such a large dose of electrolytes. It may seem odd to be giving electrolytes so much credit for muscle pump but really it’s what made the difference to other formulas. The increased hydration, better nutrient delivery, increased blood flow from these two ingredients just came together and provided some of the nicest muscle pumps we have had from a stand-alone pre-workout.
The best feature is one we have barely even touched on, consistency. Day after day, session after session EPOCH Alpha delivered. Never missing a beat, it was like clockwork every session we trained with it. The same feeling of energy surging on, the same clarity as we trained, the same endurance and the same long-lasting ability to perform. We never felt the need to reach for a 2nd scoop, we knew exactly how 1 scoop was going to perform no matter how many times we used it. Honestly one it’s best features.
From a formula glance, the first thing people will reach for is a pump formula and thats a fair assumption to make. But use EPOCH alone and you will be as surprised as we were at how well it delivers on all aspects of a pre-workout. Because of this, we feel there really is no need to mess around with stacking this with anything else. Of course, people will still want to, and the good news is you don’t have to worry about stacking EPOCH Alpha with most pump formulas on the market. There is no upper limit to the amount of Citrulline you can have and none of the other ingredients would be commonly found in a stimulant free pump formula. So you should be all good to stack away, you pump addict!
What’s The Verdict:
We said it before. EPOCH performs beautifully session after session after session, no matter what we threw at it, it was able to deliver the energy and performance we needed to get some of the most decent workouts in. If youre looking for your new old faithful stand-alone pre-workout you can reach for and know exactly how good your workout is going to be, then De Novos EPOCH Alpha is the pre for you!