Alpha Lion’s SuperHuman pre workout guarantees you “the most anabolic workout of your life.”
These guys are not short on confidence in their product.
But how good is it really?
Once we dig past the hype (of which there is a lot!), are we going to see yet another poorly dosed pre workout which fails to deliver?
Or are we looking at the new king of the pre workout industry?
Alpha Lion are rising up the supplement ranks quickly, largely thanks to this pre workout, so I figured it was time to put them under my microscope and ask the question…
… how does it fare under my deliberately harsh supplement rating system?
(No product has received a full 5 star review, ever.)
Alpha Lion SuperHuman – The Good
That important question which ended the previous section will be fully answered today, as we get through my official Alpha Lion SuperHuman pre workout review.
First off, I love the hype on this pre workout.
The product name… the fact that flavors include ‘Godzilla Juice’ and ‘Kandy Kryptonite’… to their brilliantly blunt safety instructions (go read them)…
I can’t tell if the manufacturers are incredibly masculine, or insecure as f**k, but I dig the fact that they’ve committed to this hilariously over-the-top direction because it’s a lot of fun.
The good news is, once we open up that tub, the product doesn’t disappoint in terms of ingredients and overall formula.
There’s no proprietary blend (meaning we can see everything fully disclosed).
There’s a bunch of fully dosed ingredients, too.
Citrulline malate comes in at 7g, which is higher than 90% of pre workouts and fantastic for a great pump while you workout. 375mg caffeine puts it at the top end of the table for energy output. 3.5g beta-alanine is more than a full dose and will have your skin crawling. Betaine tops out at 2g and this will provide a great energy increase during lifting. The typical energy crash which is felt with high caffeine doses will be blunted significantly thanks to a generous 350mg dose of of l-theanine, too.
Bizarrely, this is all in one scoop of SuperHuman.
With most other pre workouts, you’re doubling up your scoop to achieve doses like this.
… or, worse still, manufacturers have taken to splitting their pre workout blend across two separate products (one “energy formula” and one “pump formula”, like the ever-popular RedCon1 Total War and RedCon1 Big Noise).
But this is an incredibly strong pre workout, and when we factor in that you don’t need to pay for two separate products, Alpha Lion actually provide decent value for money here.
Then there’s the inclusion of DMHA…
Alpha Lion SuperHuman – The Bad
No product is perfect.
(Although this one is pretty damn close.)
There are a few negative aspects with SuperHuman, but I’d like to start with DMHA.
Mainly because I want it to be written as close to the “good” section as I can, without it actually being in it…
You see, I personally love DMHA.
It’s a ridiculously effective stimulant which increases energy levels and has an almost euphoric mood lifting aspect to it which makes leg day even more enjoyable.
So why isn’t it in my “good” section?
Well, like all exotic stimulants, DMHA is slowly but surely being banned from use in competitive sports. It’s headed the exact same way as DMAA, the substance it was touted to replace back in 2016 when it first hit the supplement scene.
It’s already blacklisted in Australia, and the majority of big players in the supplement industry aren’t using it in their formulas anymore in order to avoid ingredients which throw their products into “grey areas” for serious athletes.
Aside from the inclusion of DMHA, which is a unmistakable red flag for any athlete considering using SuperHuman, we have another banned ingredient; NMT.
This substance produces more adrenaline, and was placed on USADAs prohibited list not long after DMHA started sinking.
Finally, we have the inclusion of couple of unnecessary ingredients which simply drag down the overall quality of the product…
They are taurine and arginine.
Both are completely unnecessary, although commonly included in pre workouts by manufacturers who need to move with the times.
(I’ll show you why below.)
We don’t have any potassium citrate. We don’t have any tyrosine. We don’t have any creatine (although this could be offset by supplementing it separately).
For those who really want to break this product down, I’m now going to walk you through each ingredient inside SuperHuman, and then I’ll hand it a score and show you where to get it….
7g Citrulline Malate
Citrulline malate is the star player of SuperHuman.
And rightly so.
If the ingredients list read like the cast of The Expendables, citrulline malate would be Sylvester Stallone.
I spoke about it in more depth in this post, but if you’re new here then listen up – any pre workout containing less than 6 grams of citrulline malate is not worth your time!
In the early 2000’s, supplements used to rely on arginine to increase training endurance and boost the “pump” during training, until we discovered that using citrulline malate will provide even more benefits and carries an absorption rate almost 50% greater than arginine! (1, 2, 3)
This is a mighty serving of beta-alanine.
The skin-tingling effect of this ingredient (parasthesia) is a necessary side effect in order to unlock to great enhancements beta-alanine can produce when applied to athletic performance.
This was expertly shown in a 2008 study from the College of New Jersey, where trainees noticed a 22% increase in the number of reps they could squeeze out before muscle failure occurred. (4)
A full clinical dose of beta-alanine is 3.2 grams.
There are no significant benefits to going higher than this, so I’m unconvinced by Alpha Lion’s “more is better” approach here. It’s not better.
However, it’s great that we’re talking about a company giving this much of a great ingredient per serving, rather than the majority of other retailers who under-dose the product!
Caffeine is everyone’s favorite stimulant for good reason; it works!
It will improve everything from mental focus to energy levels, and it’s perfectly safe, having been researched more than any other stimulant in history. (5, 6)
But what most people don’t know about caffeine is that it also carries some useful benefits to strength output. (7, 8, 9)
That’s right; it can actually make you lift heavier!
Unfortunately, we need a monstrous dose of around 400mg to see those strength benefits, so SuperHuman doesn’t quite make the cut in this regard.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course.
There are only a few supplement manufacturers who dare dosing their product with a full 400mg per serving, as it greatly limits the potential audience of the supplement (not many gym users can handle that much in one go).
This is a great inclusion in SuperHuman.
With 375mg caffeine per serving, most people are going to crash harder than a Buzz Lightyear jumping off a staircase.
Thanks to l-theanine, that crash will be significantly lessened.
Further still, Alpha Lion have used an almost 1:1 ratio of caffeine to l-theanine; the same shown most effective in studies so far. (10)
Betaine is a sprinters best friend.
That’s because it has been shown to improve recovery speed, explosiveness, and effort level. It’s fast acting, too, with results beginning to show after just one week. (11, 12, 13)
The clinical dose is 2.5 grams, so SuperHuman comes up short.
However, it’s close enough to still yield some positive results.
When DMAA was banned, the supplement industry was on the lookout for a new substance which could create a similar effect.
DMHA was born, and quickly hailed as “the next big thing”.
However, that was back in 2016…
Since then, DMHA has gone the way of all exotic stimulants before it. It’s currently in the process of being taken down by anti-doping governing bodies around the world.
This throws SuperHuman into a grey area for the user, because although DMHA isn’t illegal to use (yet), it is already banned in sports.
100mg isn’t enough to yield the maximum effects DMHA offers, but you’ll definitely feel the euphoria-like boost in mood, and an improvement in energy levels. (14)
Many of the strongest DMHA supplements on the market opt for doses of 150-200mg.
Perhaps the dose was kept at this level due to the inclusion of the next ingredient…
75mg N-Methyl Tyramine
Also known as NMT, this popular stimulant is also prohibited from use in sports.
It’s found in trace amounts in alcohol, and often touted as a fat burner although this reputation isn’t deserved.
NMT is only around 0.7% as strong as the world’s most famous illegal fat burner, ephedrine.
However, that’s not really why it’s included anyway.
The real reason it’s here is because it’s able to help the body produce more adrenaline, ergo making you work harder in the gym. (15)
Sure, the product is pretty good so far.
But this is where Russ truly loses his s**t…
Because ONCE AGAIN, taurine has been included in a pre workout formula.
I’ll say this again for anyone who hasn’t heard me in the past; taurine should NEVER be in your pre workout. Period.
Sure, it has some nice potential benefits to focus. But the huge downside is taurine acts as an antagonist of caffeine. (16, 17)
It literally prevents caffeine from doing its job properly!
Ever felt sluggish after a bulls**t “energy drink” from a supermarket? Say hello to taurine, my friend…
But supplement companies continue to throw taurine in their formulas because a) it allows them to make claims of “improved focus” on the packaging, and b) it’s cheap as a motherf**ker.
The Best Of The Rest
We’ve rounded up the main players in the SuperHuman formula, but here’s the undercard.
10mg Black pepper extract is here to increase the absorption of other ingredients in the product. You’ll find this in every pre workout (also known as bioperine).
Arginine comes in a 750mg and literally serves no purpose.
With 7g citrulline malate, you’re already getting the full benefits offered by arginine, so there is no need to add arginine silicate to the product because it’s not improving anything at all.
There’s a 100mg blend of green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, turmeric and a few other “fat burners” which will do very little to improve the formula but, once again, allows manufacturers to say the product can improve fat loss.
We also have 100mg sodium and 500mcg vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is a good energy booster, but providing you’re getting enough in your diet overall you don’t really need this prior to training.
Alpha Lion SuperHuman Review – The Final Verdict
Alpha Lion are a company to watch.
Sure, they won’t be troubling Advanced Molecular Labs for the moniker of “best pre workout in the world”. And yes, their inclusion of a couple of ingredients which are already banned in sports will limit their potential audience.
But here’s the thing…
They only started this company in 2017, and SuperHuman was their first product!
They’ve hit the ground running very fast, and it’s good to see a new company disrupting the fitness industry by opting to create one super-powerful pre workout as opposed to two separate “pump formulas” and “stim formulas”.
All-in-all, Alpha Lion SuperHuman comes through my review with a very respectable 3.5 stars.
- Pérez-Guisado J., et al. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. (2010)
- Alvares T. S., et al. Acute l-arginine supplementation increases muscle blood volume but not strength performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. (2012)
- Schwedhelm, E., et al. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine: impact on nitric oxide metabolism. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. (2008)
- Hoffman J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. (2008)
- Duncan M. J., et al. The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure. J Strength Cond Res. (2011)
- Childs E., et al. Subjective, behavioral, and physiological effects of acute caffeine in light, nondependent caffeine users. Psychopharmacology. (2006)
- Cook C., et al. Acute caffeine ingestion increases voluntarily chosen resistance training load following limited sleep. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2012)
- Del Coso J., et al. Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: a repeated measures design. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2012)
- Mora-Rodríguez R., et al. Caffeine ingestion reverses the circadian rhythm effects on neuromuscular performance in highly resistance-trained men. PLoS One. (2012)
- Haskell, CF, et al The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biol Psychol. (2008)
- Holewa J., et al. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University. (2013)
- Hoffman, J.R., et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2009)
- Pryor, J. L., et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2012)
- Catalani, V., et al. Octodrine: New Questions and Challenges in Sport Supplements. Brain Sci. (2018)
- Tsutsumi, E., et al. Stimulatory effect of N-methyltyramine, a congener of beer, on pancreatic secretion in conscious rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. (2010)
- Kim, S., et al. Taurine Induces Anti-Anxiety by Activating Strychnine-Sensitive Glycine Receptor in Vivo. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. (2009)
- Giles G. E., et al. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (2012)