If CT Fletcher made a pre workout, you’d expect it to blow your head off with as much subtlety as an angry Oompa-Loompa with a sawn-off shotgun.
Well, now he has.
But does the appropriately named Sidewalk Kraka deliver?
Today, it becomes the latest product to go through my deliberately harsh supplement rating system…
As a guide, most pre workouts finish with 2 or 3 stars, and no supplement has ever achieved the golden five star review (yet).
Let’s see how good Sidewalk Kraka really is.
UPDATE: The new version of Sidewalk Kraka is now available. Click here for my comprehensive review.
Cometh The Hour…
Not all pre workouts are created equal.
If you’re a long-term reader, then we know that if a company truly has a great product they will not hide it behind a proprietary blend, because in an overcrowded industry, a strong formula is the best possible marketing tool.
And cometh the hour, cometh the man!
CT Fletcher has arrived on the supplement scene with a massive bang, his Iron Addicts supplements line dropping in the USA in 2016.
Not only does his pre workout have quite possibly the coolest name I’ve ever heard, but better still, it takes a very open approach to ingredient disclosure.
This means when reviewing a supplement I can tell you absolutely everything regarding the product, because there are no undisclosed dosages or hidden extras to worry about.
Props has to be given to CT and Iron Addicts here, because even though we’ve seen some positive changes in the last few years (thanks to the likes of Jim Stoppani, Adapt Nutrition, and Grenade), a full disclosure policy still rubs against the grain in the supplement industry.
This is a great start, but now let’s see how effective it is in the gym…
CT Fletcher Sidewalk Kraka Review
If you were one of the early adopters who tried ISYMFS, which CT released through iSatori a few years ago, you’ll know that his pre workouts are notoriously strong.
With it’s 2.4g beta-alanine, ISYMFS was designed to send you into the gym like Rambo in a field of Vietcong.
One glance at the Sidewalk Kraka formula above, however, and something becomes clear; Sidewalk Kraka is even stronger.
So strong, in fact, that if we were to pit ISYMFS vs Sidewalk Kraka we’d have a no contest on our hands!
As you can see, the label is much more transparent (no proprietary blends), and contains a far more potent combination of ingredients at full clinical doses.
Here’s a rundown of all the key ingredients inside Sidewalk Kraka.
This is one of the key ingredients inside Sidewalk Kraka.
Beta-alanine is perhaps best-known for the tingly, skin-crawling effect it creates when a user first begins supplementation. It’s one of the few ingredients we can actually feel working, and you’ll find it in most pre workout supplements nowadays.
The main benefit to regular beta-alanine intake is that it can help buffer against the build-up of lactic acid during tough exercise (a.k.a. “the burn”), helping you train beyond the point you would previously have quit.
A 2007 study from researchers at the University of Oklahoma discovered that 4 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation reduced fatigue and prolonged the length of time trainees could workout at peak exhaustion levels. This information was doubled-down in 2010, when a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that using beta-alanine had led to a 2.5% improvement in muscular endurance levels in a group of elite rowing athletes. (1, 2)
Interestingly, it was also shown to boost the performance of boxers in the closing stages of three minute rounds. (3)
Perhaps the info gym users will find most useful, however, comes from researchers at the College of New Jersey, where trainees supplementing a heavy squat program with beta-alanine increased their reps per set (to failure) by a massive 25%! (4)
Looking above, it’s easy to see why this is a popular ingredient.
Of course, it’s usually criminally under-dosed in terms of performance benefits and often just thrown in so people can feel the skin-tingling side effects (a.k.a. parasthesia). Supplement companies have even started to mask under-dosed beta-alanine by adding niacin (vitamin B) into the mix, as it yields a similar tingly effect.
If you read my comprehensive guide on how to make your own pre workout, we know that a full clinical dose of beta-alanine is 3.2 grams. In that article, I recommended splitting the serving across two halves in order to ensure the parasthesia isn’t too intense for some people.
However, when you buy a supplement with CT Fletcher’s name on it, you know exactly what you’re getting. CT comes at you with a full clinical 3.2 grams all at once.
If you can’t handle it, he doesn’t give a s**t.
After happiness, caffeine is the world’s most popular drug.
Its ability to give us a wake-up call is unrivaled, and it has been used by athletes for decades due to its effectiveness.
300mg is quite a large serving, and puts Sidewalk Kraka in the top echelons of the pre workout spectrum in terms of stimulant-powered pre workouts, making it a true “one scooper”.
I wouldn’t recommend consuming after 7 p.m., unless you’d like to lay in bed that evening doing a great impression of a Jackhammer.
What’s the biggest problem with caffeine?
The more you use it, the better your tolerance becomes…
Meaning someone who drinks 10 cups of coffee per day won’t feel the same “kick” as a user who is caffeine naive. (7)
Theacrine is possibly the answer we’ve all been looking for.
Yes, while most people look at the huge servings of caffeine, beta-alanine and DMHA in Sidewalk Kraka, the inclusion of theacrine is the one which actually excites me the most!
You see, theacrine (a.k.a. TeaCrine) is an altered form of caffeine and one study suggested that it was basically caffeine supplementation without the adaptations, i.e. you never get used to it. (8)
In many ways, theacrine is potentially superior to caffeine, given that it can also reduce inflammation (alongside all of the regular benefits we’d draw from caffeine, too). (9)
More research is being done on this ingredient as we speak, but I fully expect theacrine to become a major player in the pre workout industry over the next five years.
Well done to Iron Addicts Brand for spotting this right out the gates and including it inside Sidewalk Kraka!
Remember the “I wanna headbutt everything” feeling you used to get from pre workout supplements?
That came from a substance known as DMAA, which was banned a few years ago.
DMHA is the supplement industry’s choice as the “next big thing” in this area, providing a watered down version of the same type of effects you’d expect from DMAA.
It’s still a very strong exotic stimulant, and I would advise against using Sidewalk Kraka or any other pre workout if either a) you also use prescription drugs, or b) you compete in a sport.
The inclusion of DMHA throws Sidewalk Kraka into a grey area regarding competitive legality, as exotic stimulants have a history of being banned out of the blue. Athletes should always play it safe and opt for a pre workout that doesn’t contain any exotic stims, such as AML Pre Workout.
Case in point; In 2008, Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt famously had one of his Olympic gold medals stripped, after relay teammate Nesta Carter was found to have used DMAA (the predecessor to DMHA, mentioned above) in his preparations for the Games.
200mg Eria Jarensis
Sticking with the exotic stimulants, Sidewalk Kraka brings us a whopping 200mg of Eria Jarensis.
N-phenethyl dimethylamine citrate (its science name) mimics the brain’s neurotransmitters to increase production of dopamine, creating a euphoric-like feeling of high energy levels during intense exercise.
Again, it’s going to draw inevitable comparisons to DMAA, as this was one of the features it offered, but before supplement industry clowns throw tons of marketing hype at you about “the new kid on the block,” allow me to confirm that Eria Jarensis is not as strong as DMAA.
That doesn’t mean it’s useless, by any means. It’s just not going to rip your face off.
After all, there was a f**king reason DMAA got banned.
The one-two combo of DMHA and Eria Jarensis makes Sidewalk Kraka one of the (maybe even the undisputed) strongest stimulant-based pre workouts to ever exist. It’s most certainly not for the feint-hearted.
… but would you expect anything less from CT Fletcher?
1g Agmatine Sulfate
Agmatine has been growing in popularity over the last five years.
It is typically used due to its link between boosting pain tolerance and increasing nitric oxide levels, allowing for greater delivery of nutrients to working muscles. (5)
However, more research is definitely needed before agmatine can justify the hype it’s been given in the bodybuilding community.
You see, most of the available body of research uses agmatine via injection, not orally, and a 2014 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food concluded that it serves no purpose for bodybuilding. (10)
“That agmatine is touted for bodybuilding purposes, is completely unsubstantiated, and backed by outright false claims.”– Dr. Gad Gilad, head researcher.
This makes agmatine a trendy yet puzzling choice…
Because by using agmatine, Iron Addicts are unable to use another key pre workout ingredient; citrulline malate.
Citrulline malate is 100x more useful than anything we can draw from agmatine, and it would have made a lot more sense to add this to Sidewalk Kraka, but it doesn’t bond well with agmatine sulfate.
However, you will find citrulline in Iron Addicts’ stim-free pre workout, Sleeve Buster. You could combine Sleeve Buster with Sidewalk Kraka for a truly magnificent stack, but this would drive the price of your pre workout through the f**king roof.
That’s the first red flag with Sidewalk Kraka.
Choline can be used to boost the nerve signals to muscles, which many can lead to greater muscle contractions while lifting weights.
It isn’t going to make or break your session, but it’s a useful ingredient nonetheless.
An interesting study from researchers at the University of Granada also discovered that choline can increase brain function, leading to it’s reputation as a focus boosting supplement. (6)
Otherwise known as glycerol, HydroMax is touted as a pump enhancer.
It is often also claimed that glycerol can greatly improve hydration of muscle cells during training, but this isn’t the case. At least, it is incredibly difficult to draw these results without a monstrous serving size…
In fact, a 2012 study clearly showed that we’d need a huge 80g glycerol per day (!!!) to see these benefits. (12)
However, given that Sidewalk Kraka is a bodybuilding supplement aimed at a bodybuilding audience, the main reason glycerol is included is to improve “the pump” during your time in the gym, and that’s something it will do quite nicely. (13)
You’ll need plenty of water while you train to maximize this, and it’s a completely superficial ingredient without any real performance benefits, but it is pleasing on the eye.
Theobromine provides a lighter version of the effects of caffeine.
The main difference between the two is that theobromine will give a more sustained release. (11)
Sidewalk Kraka Review – The Final Verdict
Heading into this Sidewalk Kraka review, I had one worry:
Will Iron Addicts produce a cheap, run-of-the-mill supplement to cash in on the CT Fletcher name?
Allow me to put that worry to bed.
Instead, they have produced a supplement which is based on CT FLetcher’s reputation.
Sidewalk Kraka is as hard as they come. It’s heavy on stimulants, loud, angry, and everything you’d expect from the Superman from Compton.
It’ll power you through your workouts like very few other supplements are able to do.
If you have ever uttered the phrase, “If CT Fletcher could bottle one of his motivational speeches as a pre workout, I’d buy that!”, Sidewalk Kraka is waiting for you.
Where To Buy Sidewalk Kraka?
You can pick up Sidewalk Kraka directly from CT Fletcher and Iron Addicts here.
For maximum effectiveness, try combining it with Sleeve Buster (from the same brand).
Here’s an update I just received from the big man himself:
2019 UPDATE! Sidewalk Kraka Is No Longer Available… Or Is It?
In early 2018, we got some bad news…
It was reported that CT Fletcher’s Iron Addicts Brand was going out of business.
CT also uploaded a series of short videos to his YouTube channel (which have since been deleted) explaining that he’d started the business with some partners, felt like he’d been misled and ultimately taken advantage of, then left hanging out to dry as his now ex-partners cleaned out the company and moved onto new projects of their own.
The fitness community is rife with rumors that company is RedCon1, and one look at the formula for their great Total War pre workout and its stim-free companion Big Noise does conjure stark similarities to Sidewalk Kraka and Sleeve Buster, but this has yet to be confirmed 100%.
Awful news though, right?
In its short life span, Iron Addicts Brand was a quite remarkable company with some truly great products, Sidewalk Kraka being the pick of the whole bunch.
However, it’s not all bad news…
Shortly after Iron Addicts was confirmed to be going out of business in early 2018, CT announced that the company would eventually “rise like a motherf**king Phoenix!”
He briefly hinted at the creation of a new pre workout supplement, called Swoliosis, which is yet to see the light of day.
And then, we got this…
True to his word, it appears CT is reformulating and relaunching his Iron Addicts supplement line, and this time he states he’ll have full creative control over the business.
A release date is being touted as 8th June, 2019. I’ll update the website with my official review of Swoliosis and any new version of Sidewalk Kraka when it drops.
UPDATE: The new version of Sidewalk Kraka is now available. Click here for my comprehensive review.
If you’ve enjoyed the CT Fletcher Sidewalk Kraka review (what a great supplement!), jump on my email list below for future articles and reviews when they’re released.
- Stout, J. R., et al. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on the onset of neuromuscular fatigue and ventilatory threshold in women. Amino Acids. (2007)
- Baguet, A., et al. Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. J Appl Physiol. (1985)
- Donovan, T., et al. Beta-alanine improves punch force and frequency in amateur boxers during a simulated contest. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2012)
- Hoffman, J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. (2008)
- Keynan, O., et al. Safety and Efficacy of Dietary Agmatine Sulfate in Lumbar Disc-associated Radiculopathy. An Open-label, Dose-escalating Study Followed by a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial. Pain Med. (2010)
- Moreno, H., et al. Chronic dietary choline supplementation modulates attentional change in adult rats. Behavioral Brain Research. (2013)
- Beaven, C. M., et al. Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2008)
- Ball, K. T., et al. Low-dose oral caffeine induces a specific form of behavioral sensitization in rats. Pharmacol Rep. (2011)
- Wang, Y., et al. Theacrine, a purine alkaloid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. Fitoterapia. (2010)
- Gilad, G. M., et al. Long-term (5 years), high daily dosage of dietary agmatine – evidence of safety: a case report. J Med Food. (2014)
- Baggott, M, et. al; Psychopharmacology of theobromine in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology. (2013)
- Patlar, S., et al. The Effect of Glycerol Supplements on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects. J Hum Kinet. (2012)
- Bartos, J., et al. HydroMax Glycerol Powder 65%. Glanbia Nutritionals. (2014)