TruFierce Nutrition have arrived in the supplement world with PreFierce, a very solid product which you may have heard me refer to on social media as ‘the great white shark of pre workouts’.
If you think of being stuck in the ocean with a shark, you don’t need very much to make it scary. The dread, the hopelesness, the unknown… f**k that! In fact, it’s so scary that when screenwriters try to beef up their stories with unnecessary stuff (like two-heads, or rocket launchers, etc) it become less effective.
The world of pre workouts is very similar.
You see, it’s prety common to hear supplement companies boasting about having “27 active ingredients” in their pre workout formula, but the truth is we don’t need them – and in most cases it actually results in a poor pre workout. When we get down to the science (as shown below), there’s only a small handful of ingredients which are actually proven to boost physical performance in the gym, and TruFierce Nutrition decided to focus only on those ingredients when building PreFierce.
In doing so, this US-based manufacturer has created a product which is 10x more effective than many of its more illustrious household name brands.
Today I’m going to break it all down in my official PreFierce review.
(Remember, no product has ever received a full five stars from me… can this be the first to do so?)
PreFierce Review: The Good & The Bad
Look at that tiny formula!
I’ve reviewed a lot of supplements for the website, and I don’t remember the last time I saw a pre workout label this short yet so concise.
A 250mg dose of caffeine is enough to give you a kick up the a** prior to training, and it comes equipped with an equal 250mg dose of l-theanine (the “caffeine crash” killer), which means you won’t get the usual energy drop a few hours after training. PreFierce also packs a mighty 7 grams of citrulline malate, which will lead to some monstrous pumps in the gym alongside gradual improvements in recovery time and endurance.
Ther’s also a full clinical dose of betaine (2.5 grams) and an even higher than clinical dose of beta-alanine (3.5 grams).
Honestly, it’s like they read my article on how to make the perfect pre workout and just created it!
They also deserve praise for the ingredients they were brave enough to exclude, specifically taurine and BCAAs. (1, 2)
No supplement is perfect, of course.
The weak link of PreFierce is in the inclusion of a so-called “fat burning blend”, consisting of green tea extract, black pepper extract and acetyl l-carnitine. There is no scientific data to support TruFierce Nutrition’s claims that these ingredients are effective fat burners (because none exists), nor their claim that green tea extract can double up as an effective nitric oxide booster for improved training performance, and I feel these ingredients have only been thrown in from a marketing perspective.
Oh, and another negative is the product name:
TruFierce Nutrition PreFierce Pre Workout.
You need a sip of pre just to say the f**king thing!
PreFierce Pre Workout – Ingredient Breakdown
Now let’s delve a little bit deeper, as we look at each key ingredient and reveal what it does.
- 7g Citrulline Malate
Consider this the most important ingredient in your pre workout.
A clinical dose of citrulline malate (made up of two parts l-citrulline and one part malic acid) will significantly elevate your performance in the gym thanks to its ability to increase bood flow and nutrient delivery to working muscles. You can expect monstrous pumps, faster recovery betweem sets, and more reps to failure.
On that last point, a 2010 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that trainees supplementing with CitMal perform an average of one more rep on every single set. Over time, that’s some serious muscle building gains! (6)
If you’re an experienced pre workout user and those benefits sound famliiar to you, because years ago companies would use an ingredient called arginine to tap into the same process. CitMal is an upgraded version of that, because it’s broken down into arginine once it’s inside the body but it carries a much higher absorption rate so about 50% more of it reaches your muscles. That means that, strangely, CitMal is a better way of using arginine than using arginine itself! (3, 4, 5)
Dose: A clinical dose of citrulline malate is 6 grams. PreFierce goes above and beyond by providing you with 7 grams.
- 3.5g Beta-alanine
This amino acid is useful for increasing time to exhaustion by buffering against the build-up of waste product (metabolites) around working muscles.
With continued use this can lead to some spectacular improvements in pain tolerance and training endurance, with studies showing an increase in the number of reps to failure of almost 25%. Training benefits aside, it’s most famous for the skin-tinging feeling it causes during the first few weeks of use, and the dose here should be enoigh to make you pull your best Stallone face! (7)
Dose: A clinical dose of beta-alanine is 3.2 grams. PreFierce goes higher at 3.5 grams.
- 2.5g Betaine
This formula was already off to a good start, but the inclusion of betaine takes it to another level.
You see, despite the fact this ingredient has been hugely popular with track athletes for decades, and has been shown in studies to boost high intensity training endurance, recovery speed, and explosive strength output, it’s still pretty hard to find a pre workout which includes it – let alone at a sufficient dose! (8, 9, 10, 11)
That’s mostly because it isn’t cheap, and TruFierce Nutrition deserve lots of praise for avoiding the beaten path of using crappy alternatives, opting instead to give you the real thing.
Dose: A clinical dose is 2.5 grams, which is the dose you get here.
- 250mg Caffeine
Caffeine is among the most researched supplements in the world, and it probably needs no introduction.
A sufficient dose will help you unlock a plethora of training benefits including increased calorie burn, mental focus, energy output, and even strength gains. (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
Dose: A clinical dose of caffeine is between 167mg-400mg depending on the user’s tolerance levels. PreFierce lands in the sweet spot here with 250mg per serving.
- 250mg l-Theanine
This amino acid is used to offset the caffeine crash.
PreFierce is one of the few pre workout supplements to get the ratio correct, too, going with the 1:1 ratio which has been shown to be most effective in studies. Usually when you this combo in pre workouts you get significantly more caffeine than l-theanine, so you barely feel its effects. (19)
Dose: A 1:1 ratio against the caffeine in the prouct is ideal, so PreFierce hits the nail on the head with 250mg.
- 1g Fat Burning Blend
This is the weak link in the formula.
Adding these ingredients to PreFierce allows the manufacturer to exploit supplement industry rules in order to use words like “fat burning” in their marketing efforts to sell the product, but any links to actual fat burning are weak to say the least. (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)
The blend consists of:
- 500mg acetyl-l-carnitine
- 300mg coconut water powder
- 150mg green tea extract
- black pepper extract
Quite frankly, I’d rather they deleted this whole blend and replaced it with acetyl-l-tyrosine and potassium citrate.
TruFierce Nutrition PreFierce Review – Russ’ Rating
This is an incredibly good pre workout, and it gets a solid 4 stars from me today.
It’s quite astonishing to think that it’s their first product, and it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on these guys.
By sticking to the proven basics, TruFierce Nutrition have made a pre workout supplement which leaves most of its big-name competitors in the dust, and it should be no surprise that it made a dent in my end of year awards list.
Seeing as the formula contains no exotic stimulants, this will allow them to market the product without fear of any ingredients being banned by USADA, or the product being deemed unsafe for athletes. This is an excellent move, and the bulk buying feature on their website is also pretty neat.
Youll find the best price for PreFierce here.
- Giles G. E., et al. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav (2012).
- Walker, D.K., et al. Exercise, amino acids, and aging in the control of human muscle protein synthesis. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2011).
- 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).
- Castillo L., et al. Splanchnic metabolism of dietary arginine in relation to nitric oxide synthesis in normal adult man. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1993).
- Sureda A., et al. Arginine and citrulline supplementation in sports and exercise: ergogenic nutrients? Med Sport Sci (2012).
- Pérez-Guisado J., et al. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res (2010).
- Hoffman J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med (2008).
- Hoffman J.R., et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2009).
- Lee E. C., et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2010).
- 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).
- Pryor J. L., et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2012).
- 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).
- Kim T. W., et al. Caffeine increases sweating sensitivity via changes in sudomotor activity during physical loading. J Med Food (2011).
- 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).
- McCormack, W. P., et al. Caffeine, Energy Drinks, and Strength-Power Performance. Str Con J (2012).
- Haskell C. F., et al The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biol Psychol (2008).
- Decombaz J., et al. Effect of L-carnitine on submaximal exercise metabolism after depletion of muscle glycogen. Med Sci Sports Exerc (1993).
- Hursel R., et al. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond) (2009).
- Westerterp-Plantenga M.S. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiol Behav (2010).
- Diepvens K., et al. Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol (2007).
- Belza A., et al. The effect of caffeine, green tea and tyrosine on thermogenesis and energy intake. Eur J Clin Nutr (2009).
- Peart D. J., et al. Coconut Water Does Not Improve Markers of Hydration During Sub-maximal Exercise and Performance in a Subsequent Time Trial Compared with Water Alone. Human Kinetics Journals (2017).
Who Is Russ Howe PTI?
Russ has been a personal trainer in the UK since 2002, and provided both training advice and full programs on this website since 2011.
His work has been featured in Men’s Fitness magazine, and the content on this website led to him being voted one of the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost.
Russ’ days are spent coaching men and women in the legendary Powerhouse Gym, and creating new content for the 109,246 followers of his popular free weekly e-mail, which you can join below!