I typically stay away from non-major brands of supplements. However, one of my teammates, Christina “Honey Badger” Armstrong (Death Race Finisher and 2xBFX winner) had been telling me I needed to try Bodyhacker pre-workout for several months. I finally relented….
I historically use caffeine or some sort of pre-workout for my 2nd workout of the day but I often have a couple of complaints about them. First, is the name pre-workout. This is actually a misnomer because most of the time they contain so many stimulants they are good for pre-anaerobic exercise only (strength training, lifting weights, obstacle only workouts) and terrible for anything cardio based (running, high intensity metabolic conditioning workouts or mixed obstacle/endurance workouts). Second many pre-workouts contain either fillers which do nothing or they contain the opposite, banned substances as defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Hence the skepticism…but I tried Bodyhacker Pre-Workout and here is what I found…
- Aegis Shield: Prior to taking anything I run it through Aegis Shield (although they do not test the actual substance they do conduct an extensive look at the label identifying acceptable, similar to banned substances and banned substances in each supplement). A quick run of Bodyhacker gave me a green outcome or not containing banned substances.
- Claims: The next thing I did was read the label extensively and noticed it is labeled Pre-Workout (reference the 2nd paragraph) and also says “Formulated for Endurance”. Now they had my attention. While small doses of caffeine improve performance by lowering rate of perceived exertion, high doses make you feel jittery or uncomfortable as your heart beats faster than normal (something that is not desirable when endurance training)
- Taste: Bodyhacker’s one flavor, Uber Berry, tastes good. It is 100% naturally flavored and sweetened, no issues there. I give in a 9/10 for flavor. (Note: I’m often skeptical of things I would rate as a 10/10 on flavor, because it typically means it contains a bunch of unnecessary ingredients.
- Ingredient List: While this is not an all-inclusive list, here are some of the major ingredients (full list available here). What I first noticed was the lack of caffeine and very strong stimulant as an additive. However, the caffeine was “disguised” as Yerba Mate Extract, providing the equivalent of “1/2 a cup of coffee” (which is probably around 50-80mg of caffeine depending on the brand of coffee). Many of the other ingredients are found in other popular pre-workout products from major brands sold at any major supplement retailer. Substances like beta alanine, L-arginine and l-citrulline are put in there to improve blood flow, nitric oxide production and vasodilation. Cordyceps sinesis also assist with this but it is one of the ingredients that makes Bodyhacker different from their competitors. Other useful ingredients include L-citrulline and ornithine, which are common products used by other endurance companies claiming it reduces fatigue by removing ammonia from muscles. If you want to full run down of benefits as promoted by Bodyhacker you can find it on their website here.
a. Cardio: Taking it before cardio made me feel more alert without going overboard. I felt like I performed at or slightly above average for the interval session that followed.
b. Strength: The moderate caffeine does was enough to get me up and moving without making me crazy. If you are looking for uncomfortable amounts of energy, then skip this product. Bodyhacker made me feel more alert and ready for exercise, but it did not make me “feel like I can throw a truck across a highway” (as the guy from GNC told me when he was trying sell me Jack3d with its old banned substance formula).
Overall Assessment: The strength of Bodyhacker is that it does as advertised by providing an actual pre-workout powder. The moderate dose of caffeine, the inclusion of other products to help with blood flow and the other substances designed to help reduce fatigue should help you perform better (Why Take a Pre-Workout?). They set themselves apart by including known effective products in the supplement world and adding in things not often included (cordyceps sinesis and rhodiola root) to make a one of a kind product.
If you are looking for a pre-workout product that can be used pre-cardio or pre-strength training Bodyhacker is for you. Or if you are looking for a pre-workout powder that avoids some of the stronger stimulants that often end up getting banned (ex. Ephedra, DMAA/Geranium Root Extract) then Bodyhacker is for you. Overall, I liked their product and thought it is well worth the purchase price. For those involved in the strength, speed and metabolic conditioning training required for OCR success, Bodyhacker may be the solution you are looking for.
Author using the Sinergy Sports Kimber after two scoops of Bodyhacker. The supplements ability to flush blood to working muscles is visible as his back turns red.
Pictures of Bodyhacker athletes from the Bodyhacker Facebook Page
Other pictures provided by Strength & Speed