If you’ve read my Top 10 Supplements for Crossfit you’ll find number 9 is caffeine. Most of the pre-workout’s on the market have it, as well as a plethora of other random shit. Most of it is largely unproven and might even given you heart palpitations. I do use them, but I use them sparingly and with some reservations.
Before we get going – full disclosure – I received this sample for free, I did not buy it, but I’m still going to evaluate it based on whether or not its worth the purchase price.
Let’s start by going through the information from the Xwerks website and the ingredients list. Their claims are…
- Explosive Energy
- Laser Focus
- Increased Stamina
Provided by… Caffeine, Citrus Aurantium (Synephrine), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12
Provided by… Rhodiola Rosea, DMAE, L-Tyrosine
Provided by… Beta Alanine, Calcium & Magnesium Lactate
So let’s break this down. First explosive energy. This will largely depend on your caffeine tolerance, if you drink a lot of coffee, or have a lot of experience with preworkouts, the 150mg of caffeine won’t likely “hit” you that hard. The B vitamins are marketed as metabolism enhancers because they’re used in the mitochondria as part of energy production, though if you’re eating well, you’re probably already getting well over 100% of these. They are water soluble so you can’t have too much, so these don’t hurt but probably won’t do much unless you’re deficient. The final ingredient, Synephrine has a large amount of support as a fat burner, its related to energy production so that’s a good thing. It’s related to the banned substance ephedrine but much less potent, so don’t be worried, and will passed WADA substance tests.
Number two, laser focus. DMAE is a compound that is largely supported as a protective substance, and an anti-aging type of substance, but rather than fixing wrinkles, it serves to help the mind from aging. Helping reduce oxidative stress and clear age pigment. It is mildly stimulatory, but no where near a substance like caffeine. Rhodiola Rosea is a chinese herb used to promotive cognitive vitality. More recently, it appears to be proven for reducing fatigue and exhaustion in prolonged stressful situations, good marks there. L-Tyrosine is an amino acid, and is used to produce noradrenaline and dopamine; supplementation appears to be anti-stress for acute stressors (which tend to deplete noradrenaline).
Number three, increased stamina. I’m going to skip beta alanine because it’s fully written up in my Supplement Guide and is a low cost, quality supplement. The second two are basic minerals, magnesium is also in my Supplement Guide so I won’t go through that one again. That leaves Calcium which doesn’t have a ton of support for anything other than being a essential mineral for hormone production and bone health. Calcium and Magnesium both form ions and can thus help as electrolytes and are used for neuronal signaling, so having the proper amounts of them in circulation is vital to performance. Secondly, magnesium lactate and calcium lactate are the vehicles for delivering lactate to the body. Lactate is used in similar endurance products like Xendurance Hydro-X. You can read more on the importance of lactate in a quick pubmed search, largely science is behind practice here. Though the perceived effects seem quite strong. You can read more about the biochemistry involved in lactate on Xwerks blog.
All in all I’m happy to say that Xwerks Ignite reads well as far as ingredients and dosing goes. There is a lot of well researched, supported compounds in adequate but not absurd levels. Quite often preworkouts rely heavily on a strong dose of caffeine and a lot of marketing. I was pleasantly surprised by this ingredient list. The other consideration is that Crossfit is not powerlifting or bodybuilding, the conditioning component makes dosing stimulants like caffeine rather difficult. The last thing we need is to inflate our heart rates with stimulants before we even start the workout. I found the 150mg serving was enough to get me through the strength and gymnastics part but not so much that I’d be hyped up before my conditioning. If you are pretty caffeine sensitive, I think even a half scoop would do you just fine.
Alright, so the bottom line comes down to, whether or not $49.99 for 30 servings is worth it. Considering most people will probably use this about 5 times a week, thats a 6 week supply. That’s about $1.67 a serving, which is pretty steep, a lot of these preworkouts you can find on places like bodybuilding.com for about $1 a serving. So given that, its on the more expensive side. The bright side is that its probably more effectively dosed for Crossfit than most if not all of those options, many of which focus so heavily on stimulants they would be almost useless for us. The decision really is yours, I would definitely recommend this to anyone with the caveat that there are cheaper but a little less well suited options out there. My experience with Ignite was 100% positive, it did everything it said it would, though narrowing an increase in stamina or performance to strictly a preworkout would largely require me to do nothing else but supplement with this product, which frankly I’m just not willing to do. Sorry internet, this isn’t science. If this was the difference between a productive training session and a nap though, I’ll take this any day.
Grade: 88/100 B+
TL:DR A well formulated and researched product that is expensive, but if used 4-6 times a week, possibly worth the money. While cheaper options exist, they are mostly less suited for Crossfit, but suitable options do exist. It’s a niche supplement but definitely has its place in my cupboard.