- Contains Citrulline Malate
- Creatine Monohydrate shown to enhance strength & endurance
- Beetroot Powder & Rhodiola Rosea are key pre-workout ingredients
- Coconut Water is useful for keeping you hydrated
- Every ingredient inside proprietary blend
- Caffeine likely to cause jitters and energy crashes in blends
- Can't see the dosages of each ingredient (not sure whether they're optimally dosed)
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- Top 3 Pre-Workouts Page -
About The Product
Smokin Guns is a pre-workout supplement made by Caliber Nutrition. It costs $44.99 for 30 servings, and comes in 1 flavor - Bullet Punch.
On first glance, this product looks like it contains some great ingredients. So we'll analyze its nutrient profile after telling you about this company below.
Who Are Caliber Nutrition?
Caliber Nutrition is a supplements company founded in 2017 - which makes them one of the 'new kids on the block' (not Jenny though).
However, we'll still be giving you our honest opinion on Smokin Guns (we don't give out free-passes on LeanBulking, especially when your safety is at risk).
Anyway, as Caliber Nutrition is a new company; there wasn't much info on them, so we'll move onto analyzing Smokin Gun's ingredient list below.
Smokin Guns Ingredients Explained
The first thing we noticed about Smokin Guns by Caliber Nutrition; every ingredient inside this pre-workout is part of proprietary blends (we'll explain why this is bad below)...
However, on a positive note; Smokin Guns contains some of our favorite pre-workout ingredients too. So let's get to the main event...
We'll take you through the main ingredients inside this pre-workout - so you can see how good Smokin Guns really is.
Here's Everything You Need To Know:
Citrulline Malate is one of our favorite pre-workout ingredients; it's proven to enhance your muscle pumps when consumed in 6,000mg dosages.
But here's the problem - Citrulline Malate is inside a proprietary blend. This means no-one knows whether it's been dosed optimally in Smokin Guns (making it likely to be ineffective).
Think about it; if a company spends more money to dose ingredients properly, then they'll make sure to include it in their advertisement. So it's not good news when they hide dosages in these blends.
Beta-Alanine is always controversial; some like it, as it can enhance your muscular endurance. But others don't like it because it causes a side effect called paresthesia.
What's paresthesia? Well, it's a tingling and itching sensation on the skin of your face and body.
Personally, we don't like this side effect as it distracts us from lifting weights. However, we know others that don't mind it.
Ultimately, as we're not fans of paresthesia, we choose to avoid pre-workouts containing Beta-Alanine. And as Creatine Monohydrate offers the same benefit without causing side effects, we prefer that (we'll expand on this below).
Creatine Monohydrate has been used by bodybuilders for decades now. In fact, creatine in general hit the spotlight when athletes used it during the Barcelona Olympic games in 1992.
Ever since then, no-one could argue with the effectiveness of Creatine. And studies show that Creatine Monohydrate is the most effective form.
What does it do? Answer: it's proven to boost your strength and endurance in the gym - great benefits for a pre-workout supplement.
For this reason, Creatine Monohydrate is a key pre-workout ingredient. But again, the problem is - it's part of a proprietary blend (so there might not be enough in Smokin Guns to work).
This is a patented ingredient and is a mix of Creatine and Malic Acid. But as it's part of a proprietary blend, this isn't a good thing.
Why? Because consuming too much Creatine can cause stomach aches and diarrhea (you don't want to suffer that while squatting in the gym...).
But don't get us wrong; as we mentioned, Creatine Monohydrate is the best form of creatine that hasn't shown to cause any side effects. There's no need to fix something that isn't broken, so we'll be sticking with the tried-and-tested Creatine Monohydrate - instead of risking side effects with the unproven DiCreatine DiMalate.
Beetroot Powder is another key ingredient; it works well with Citrulline Malate to further enhance your muscle pumps.
How does it work? Well, as it contains high amounts of nitrate - it's able to boost your nitric oxide levels (leading to increased blood flow and muscle pumps).
We probably sound like a broken record player; but as it's in a proprietary blend, it might not work.
Taurine is an organic acid containing sulfur. But it's not able to boost energy levels like some think.
However, studies have shown that Taurine can help reduce cramping - this can be useful, but you can achieve the same benefit by keeping yourself hydrated.
For this reason, we believe there's more benefits to consuming coconut water in pre-workouts. So Caliber Nutrition has done a good job by adding this in (we'll expand on coconut water below).
Coconut Water Powder
As we just mentioned, Coconut Water Powder helps keep you hydrated due to containing high amounts of electrolytes.
In fact, Coconut Water is known as 'nature's sport drink' for this reason. Ultiamtely, this isn't going to help you smash your PB's on its own - but it'll help you perform at your best.
For this reason, we always consider Coconut Water Powder as a great 'bonus' to consume alongside other key nutrients.
This is a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine (found in Scandinavia); it's proven to reduce fatigue while improving your focus in the gym.
As these are great benefits to improve your session, we believe Rhodiola Rosea is a key pre-workout ingredient. But as it's part of a proprietary blend, it might not work in Smokin Guns.
Again, this is a great example of why we don't like proprietary blends.
While you might not have heard of L-Phenylalaline, it's shown to be dangerous to those with a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria.
This won't affect many people. But we still don't believe an ingredient harmful in any situation should be used in supplements.
For this reason, we recommend avoiding products containing L-Phenylalaline.
Again, this is another worrying ingredient; Glucuronolactone hasn't been researched enough to state it's 100% safe.
However, it's still used in a energy drinks (and as you can see, pre-workout supplements). Personally, we always avoid ingredients that aren't proven to be safe - so we'll be staying away from Glucuronolactone.
L-Carnitine is one of our favorite ingredients in pre-workouts. So great job by Caliber Nutrition here.
Why? Because it's shown to reduce fatigue while improving focus in the gym (which are great benefits to get from taking a pre-workout supplement).
But as it's part of a proprietary blend, it might not be contained in Smokin Guns in a high enough dosage to actually work. Again, this highlights the problem with proprietary blends.
Green Coffee Extract
We're not sure why Caliber Nutrition has added Green Coffee Bean into Smokin Guns pre-workout; while it's a great fat burning ingredient, it's not needed here.
Chocolate Bean Extract
Also known as Theobromine, this is another stimulant (which isn't good, as Smokin Guns already contains Caffeine).
Not only that - as it's part of a proprietary blend, you don't know whether it's been dosed sensibly (meaning it's likely to cause side effects such as jitters and energy crashes).
Again, this is a great example of why we don't like proprietary blends in supplements.
When consumed with Caffeine, L-Theanine can enhance the stimulant's benefits, without increasing the risk of jitters. However, as Smokin Guns pre-workout contains 2 stimulants, you can't escape the risk of side effects here.
Velvet Bean Seed Extract
Also known as Mucuna Pruriens, it's shown to positively affect your testosterone levels in studies. However, this is a pre-workout supplement - not a testosterone booster.
For this reason, Velvet Bean Seed Extract isn't needed here.
You might not have heard about Inositol, for good reason...it's not needed in Smokin Guns (or any pre-workout).
Basically, it's believed to calm you down and help improve sleep quality; as this is the opposite of what you want when taking a pre-workout, we stay away from Inositol.
Ultimately, you want improved energy levels with pre-workouts - not to be ready for bed.
Phosphatidyl Serine is actually a key ingredient when added to Nootropic supplements. However, as Smokin Guns pre-workout already contains Caffeine & L-Carnitine to improve your focus - there's no need for Phosphatidyl Serine here.
See Your Best Options In Our
- Top 3 Pre-Workouts Page -
There are 3 things that can cause side effects in Smokin Guns - Beta-Alanine, L-Phenylalaline, and the overdose of stimulants.
In quick summary; Beta-Alanine causes paresthesia (a tingling and itching sensation on the skin of your face and body). L-Phenylalaline is seriously dangerous to those with phenylketonuria - and finally, as Smokin Guns contains more than 1 stimulant, it can cause jitters and energy crashes.
Here's the potential side effects from taking Smokin Guns:
- Paresthesia (Beta-Alanine)
- Anxiety (L-Phenylalaline)
- Jitters (L-Phenylalaline & Overdosage of stimulants)
- Toxicity (L-Phenylalaline)
- Energy Crashes (Overdosage of stimulants)
Smokin Guns Review Conclusion
Even though Caliber Nutrition was founded in 2017, they should have researched more before creating Smokin Guns pre-workout.
There's really no need to add over 10 ingredients into 1 pre-workout supplement; this is bad, as Smokin Guns contains almost 20 different ingredients.
What makes this even worse is that every ingredient is part of proprietary blends (meaning their dosages are hidden - so you can't see exactly how effective this supplement is).
We never take risks when it comes to supplements; for this reason, we only recommend supplements containing tried-and-tested ingredients that don't cause side effects.
But one positive of Smokin Guns is that it contains some key pre-workout ingredients. But it's just a shame they included them in proprietary blends.
Caliber Nutrition Smokin Guns Review
You can see that Caliber Nutrition are a new company, as they should have done more research before creating Smokin Guns.
They should’ve not included any proprietary blends, and chosen 5-8 ingredients to dose optimally.
Hopefully they will learn from this when formulating their next supplement.