The guys at Vitasport say their Erratic Pre-Workout supplement allows you to “step into the future” by deviating from “what is ordinary or standard.” Hmm…
Other than this definition of the word ‘erratic’, the brand doesn’t tell us much about what to expect from the product, which is certainly out of the ordinary. Here’s our Erratic Pre-Workout review…
About the Company
Vitasport, Inc was founded in 2009 and is now owned by Global Nutrition Group, Inc. In addition to the Vitasport brand, Global Nutrition also owns Nu-Tek, Hydro-Pro, Genetic Evolution Labs and Evochem.
According to the only sketchy info we can find online, the group is based in Henderson, Nevada and was established in 2013. Other than that, we can’t tell you much about Global Nutrition Group or Vitasport.
So all that’s left to do now is analyze Erratic’s ingredient list…
The Ingredients and How They Work
Apart from three standard dietary nutrients, Erratic Pre-Workout is made up of one large 4.8g proprietary blend.
While Vitasport markets Erratic as a step away from the norm and glimpse of the “future”, proprietary blends are sadly all too common – and we wish they were part of our past.
Note: Proprietary blends are sub-formulas that show you each of its ingredients, but not their doses. Fitness experts don’t like proprietary blends because they give consumers no way to tell how effective they are.
And in Beta-Alanine, Betaine and Citrus Aurantium, we find three of ingredients that can cause side effects.
See for yourself:
Beta-Alanine can improve muscular endurance and running capacity during intense workouts.
Despite this, we don’t like this modified amino acid – nor do many other gym goers. This is because it can cause paresthesia (also known as “Beta-Alanine itch”).
The condition is characterized by the itching, flushing, and tingling sensations that are so common in pre-workout supplements. And while paresthesia won’t do you any harm, we – and thousands of others – find Beta-Alanine can ruin our workouts.
Arginine is an amino acid that plays an important role in blood flow and the ability of different nutrients to travel to your muscles. This fact alone is enough for many brands include it in pre-workouts, supposedly as a way to enhance muscle pumps. But here’s the rub…
Arginine has a poor absorption rate and does not improve blood flow or athletic performance that well – Citrulline Malate (an Arginine precursor) does it much better.
Citrulline helps produce nitric oxide, which in turn widens the blood vessels for more satisfying muscle pumps. The amino acid also reduces muscle soreness and decreases fatigue – it can even help you train harder for longer.
However, Citrulline Nitrate isn’t the best form of Citrulline – L-Citrulline DL-Malate is. By blending Malic Acid with Citrulline, L-Citrulline DL-Malate boosts your energy and reduces ammonia levels to decrease muscle soreness even more.
As it derives from L-Arginine, Agmatine takes its place in many pre-workouts for its supposed ability to boost muscle pumps. But this just isn’t backed up by science.
In fact, there’s absolutely no evidence Agmatine can improve weight-room performance.
Leucine is the most important of three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) – the other two are Valine and Isoleucine. In fact, Leucine plays a key role in the body’s ability to synthesize the proteins that ensure your muscles grow larger as you lift weights.
However, it’s pretty easy to get plenty of Leucine in your diet – rich sources include parmesan cheese, beef, chicken and soybeans.
Even if you don’t get enough Leucine, it’s highly likely you’ll already be using protein powder if you lift weights. And as the best protein powders contain plenty of BCAA, there’s no reason to get more Leucine in a pre-workout.
Glycine is a neurotransmitter that’s often marketed as a cognition enhancer, while some also claim it can reduce fatigue. But the notion that it can improve focus comes from its apparent effects on the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Plus, research suggests Glycine’s ability to reduce fatigue is related to improvements in sleep quality (which was the focus of the research).
There’s no proof Glycine boosts focus or reduces fatigue in otherwise healthy people, or that it can improve athletic performance as a result.
Betaine is a molecule derived from Choline – and it’s also a useless pre-workout ingredient. Numerous studies failed to find any real links between Betaine and running capacity, muscular endurance, or power output.
But not only is Betaine useless – it can also make your breath and sweat smell like rotting fish (Fish Odor Syndrome).
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Kre-Alkalyn (Buffered Creatine Monohydrate)
Kre-Alkalyn is a patented ‘new’ version of Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine started being widely used by athletes in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s – and it went on to become perhaps the most well-researched ingredient in the fitness industry.
It’s proven to boost exercise performance in many different ways. In fact, Creatine supplementation increases strength and lean mass, while also reducing muscle damage and boosting muscular endurance.
So it’s good to find Creatine in Erratic Pre-Workout. But we’re disappointed that it’s Buffered Creatine Monohydrate, which is nowhere near as well-researched as the ‘older’ version.
Vanadyl Sulfate is an inorganic compound that’s said to increase insulin sensitivity. In theory, it could also improve recovery times after exercise.
Its active ingredient is Vanadium, deficiencies of which can stunt growth in rodents. This has led marketers to the illogical conclusion that Vanadyl Sulfate can aid muscle growth. But there’s very little proof of this.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a great brain booster that’s shown to improve focus and lift the moods of users.
But since Erratic Pre-Workout already contains an awesome mood and focus-boosting combo in Caffeine/L-Theanine, NALT may be redundant here.
Caffeine Anhydrous and L-Theanine
The blend of Caffeine (a stimulant) and L-Theanine (a calming agent) is also known as Smart Caffeine. This is because they work synergistically to give you all the benefits of Caffeine, without the jittery feelings.
To take full advantage of Smart Caffeine during your workout, the ideal dose of Caffeine is 150-200mg, and the perfect amount of L-Theanine is 200-300mg.
But as both of these ingredients are cloaked in a proprietary blend, there’s no telling whether there’s enough here to enhance your workout.
Advantra-Z (Citrus Aurantium Extract)
Advantra-Z is a trademarked name for Citrus Aurantium. This ingredient also goes by the names ‘Bitter Orange’, ‘Bitter Orange Peel’, and Synephrine – and we advise staying well away from it.
While there’s some evidence Synephrine can induce minimal fat loss, it’s also linked with a number of moderate to severe side effects. These include rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure and even heart attacks.
As a result, Citrus Aurantium is banned in the UK, Canada, and several countries around the world.
Hordenine is a compound with a similar structure to Citrus Aurantium. This alone is a cause for concern, as it could cause similar side effects. For this reason, WebMD describes Hordenine as “POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth.”
But when you also consider that Hordenine is understudied and not shown to work, that becomes even more worrying – both for your health and your bank balance.
And it gets worse…
Yohimbine is also widely described as possibly unsafe.
Some limited early studies suggest Yohimbine can reduce fat mass in both lean and obese subjects.
However, it also has links with a number of side effects, which range from the moderate (anxiety, rapid heart rate) to the severe (seizure, heart attacks).
See SupplementTester’s Highest Rated
Highest-Rated Pre-Workouts Here
Erratic Pre-Workout Side Effects
Erratic Pre-Workout uses ingredients which have been linked to a number of side effects. These include:
- Paresthesia (Beta-Alanine)
- Fish Odor Syndrome (Betaine)
- Rapid heartbeat (Citrus Aurantium, Hordenine, Yohimbine)
- High blood pressure (Citrus Aurantium, Hordenine, Yohimbine)
- Anxiety (Citrus Aurantium, Yohimbine)
- Seizures (Citrus Aurantium, Yohimbine)
- Heart attacks (Citrus Aurantium, Yohimbine)
Pros and Cons
- Beta-Alanine can improve gym performance
- Smart Caffeine makes you more focused, but without energy crashes
- Creatine increases strength and lean mass
- Beta-Alanine can cause unpleasant itching and tingling sensations
- Proprietary blend gives you no way of knowing what you’re paying for
- Citrus Aurantium and Yohimbine linked with harmful side effects
- Hordenine is similar to Citrus Aurantium and is undertested (no proof it works and may be unsafe)
- Betaine can make your breath and sweat smell fishy
- No proof Vanadyl Sulfate aids muscle growth
SupplementTester’s Highest Rated
Highest-Rated Pre-Workouts Here
Erratic Pre-Workout Review Conclusion
To us, the word ‘erratic’ means inconsistent. And that’s the definition which sums up Erratic Pre-Workout.
This Vitasport product does contain some awesome ingredients – we don’t tend to trust any pre-workout without Smart Caffeine (Caffeine + L-Theanine), or Creatine Monohydrate.
However, we also don’t advise you go near any pre-workout containing Citrus Aurantium or Yohimbine, both of which have links to severe side effects (see above), and which are banned in several countries all over the world.
Erratic also contains Beta-Alanine and Betaine, both of cause harmless, but still unpleasant, side effects.
Erratic Pre-Workout is not a supplement we can recommend.
While Erratic Pre-Workout uses some useful ingredients, it also contains some that don’t work, are undertested, or are potentially unsafe.
Luckily though, there are some safe and effective pre-workouts out there – and we strongly recommend you go for one of those instead.