Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout is the most potent and comprehensive pre-workout on the market in ALL aspects.
Pump, strength, endurance, cognitive enhancement, and overall performance.
Gorilla Mode Supplement Facts
Per Full Daily Dose:
- L-Citrulline – 9000 mg
- Creatine Monohydrate – 5000 mg
- GlycerPump™ (65% Glycerol Powder) – 3000 mg
- Malic Acid – 3000 mg
- Betaine Anhydrous – 2500 mg
- L-Tyrosine – 1500 mg
- Agmatine Sulfate – 1000 mg
- Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) – 500 mg
- Caffeine Anhydrous – 350 mg
- N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate – 350 mg
- BioPerine® (Black Pepper Fruit Extract) (standardized to 95% Piperine) – 10 mg
- Huperzine A – 400 mcg
Gorilla Mode Vs. Other Pre-Workouts On The Market
This is the most maxed out formula on the market in all aspects.
The full daily dose is 2 scoops.
Even a half dose (1 scoop) is still far more potent than the majority of other pre-workouts out there at their max dosages.
Basically, I just included exactly what I would want to see in a pre-workout, even at the obvious detriment of our margins.
I’ve talked about how this is going to be an industry disruptor quality product.
I shake my head every time I see some massive fitness influencer launch their own supplement company and then talk about why their company is better and different than the rest.
The reality is, they don't even know what they're selling half the time.
They employ others to manufacture their products, or use a pre-made formula their manufacturer uses for every company where they just slap a different label on it and sell it for a huge margin.
At the end of the day, most fitness influencers have no idea what goes into making an effective product.
They don't know how their products work, they probably wouldn’t even use them if they didn’t sell them, they didn't formulate them, and they have to pay the overhead involved with having a team under them who is responsible for all of that.
As you’ve already experienced with Gorilla Mind Nootropics, it is me formulating the products, and they work because I actually put in them what I would want in a product and buy myself if I didn’t have a company.
The same applies with Gorilla Mode.
If I didn’t have this product, I would be using a pre-workout with a fat dose of L-Citrulline, a solid hit of stims, a saturation dose of Creatine, and all of the standard ingredients that you and I both know work, but companies will still skimp out on so then you either have to buy more, or buy their other “stacks” that will only yield an effective dose if you combine them.
For example, why is it that pre-workouts never just have 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate per serving?
It’s not hard to do, and it is actually pretty cheap to put in there.
The reason is, they want you to go buy their creatine product, and will intentionally manipulate their ingredient profile to be deficient in several areas to make you buy more stuff from them.
With my products, everything is turnkey.
You don’t need to go buy a separate creatine product from us, you don’t need to go buy our pump product (which I will probably eventually make because I want a stimulant-free pre-workout) to get a maxed out dose of L-Citrulline, you don’t need to stack extra stims on top of it, everything you need is in this one product for you.
Flavor And Mixability
The flavor we chose to start with was Tiger’s Blood, which is a mixture of watermelon, strawberry and coconut.
We also developed a fruit punch flavor and a mango peach flavor, both of which were very good.
We might add these flavor options to the Gorilla Mode product line in the future as they were probably more mainstream appealing flavor choices.
*January, 2020 Update: We now have Mango Peach available.
The branding for Tiger’s Blood was just too good for us to pass up though, and the flavor is still probably a 7 or 8/10 so we ran with it.
Mango Peach is easily a 9 or 10/10 flavor, even for the pickiest of tongues.
As there’s such a high concentration of ingredients in this formula we were really happy with how the flavor systems turned out.
We were expecting something this potent to be nearly impossible to avoid tasting like ass.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.
It also mixes very well considering the concentration of L-Citrulline, GlycerPump, and all of the other ingredients in this product.
You will just have to use a bit more water than you would with your standard pre-workout because there are simply more active ingredients in this product that will require more liquid to mix well.
How To Dose Gorilla Mode:
Mix 1-2 scoops of Gorilla Mode in 12-14 ounces of water and consume 30 minutes prior to training.
Vary the amount of water to achieve your desired flavor level.
First time users should begin use with 1/2-1 scoop or less to evaluate tolerance.
DO NOT EXCEED 2 SCOOPS IN ANY 24 HOUR PERIOD.
Just like with other stimulant based products, if you want to really feel the stimulants hit hard, the less food in your stomach the better.
The difference between using stimulants on an empty stomach vs. a full stomach is night and day.
You will still get the performance enhancing benefits from the ingredients in the formula if you take Gorilla Mode on a full stomach, but you will almost undoubtedly feel less cognitive enhancement the more food is in your stomach.
That’s just how stimulants work and applies to any stimulant based product, not just Gorilla Mode.
Gorilla Mode Ingredients Breakdown
L-Citrulline – 9000 mg
L-Citrulline is the most effective supplement you can use to boost nitric oxide (NO) in the body.
Why Nitric Oxide (NO) Is Important
Nitric oxide (NO) is made naturally in our bodies and plays a significant role in cardiovascular health.
It dilates blood vessels (vasodilation), which lowers blood pressure and increases oxygen in the blood.
Nitric oxide (NO) acts as a messenger to signal blood vessels to dilate, or contract and relax.
Sufficient nitric oxide is needed to signal blood vessels to contract or relax to ensure blood is able to flow to and from the heart effectively.
Nitric oxide production decreases with age, consequently reducing the elasticity of the cardiovascular system, and impairing the body's ability to ensure sufficient amounts of oxygenated blood are reaching vital organs.
Eating enough nitrates and/or supplementing with nitric oxide precursors is very important to ensure that your cardiovascular system maintains optimized function as you get older.
In addition, maintaining optimal nitric oxide levels will make you more vascular, allow you to get a much better pump, and improve physical performance.
Increased Muscular Endurance
Citrulline has also shown to significantly increase muscular endurance, with one study finding that compared to placebo, a single 8000 mg dose of Citrulline Malate increased the number of reps performed per set, on every set after set 2 [R].
The impact Citrulline had on performance increased the more sets were performed.
During the last set performed, the group that took Citrulline had a 52.92% increase in the number of reps they could perform relative to placebo.
It also decreased muscle soreness by 40% at 24 and 48 hours after the training session compared to placebo.
Effect On Body Composition
There isn’t much data on the direct effect Citrulline has on muscle growth and fat loss in humans.
However, a rodent model assessed the effect Citrulline had on body composition and found that 20 month old rats that were given a diet that included the human equivalent dose of 160 mg/kg per day for 12 weeks had 13% less body fat and 9% more lean body mass relative to the rats fed a standard diet without Citrulline supplementation [R].
Visceral fat mass was also reduced by 32%.
The mortality rate of the rats taking Citrulline was 0%, while the standard diet fed rats had a mortality rate of 20%.
L-Citrulline is one of the most promising supplements on the market and has significantly more upside above and beyond its increase in vascularity and pumps in the gym.
The Maximum Effective Dose Of L-Citrulline
Citrulline is found in watermelons.
You would need to eat 1.5 kg of watermelon every day to get 3 grams of L-Citrulline though, which is the minimum effective dose [R].
To get the maximum effective dose of L-Citrulline from your diet, you would need to eat 5.0 kg of watermelon per day to get 10 grams of L-Citrulline [R].
Obviously, nobody is going to eat that much watermelon, nor is it a good idea to begin with in my opinion when there are far better ways to allocate your macronutrient/micronutrient intake allotments.
This is why L-Citrulline supplementation could actually be worthwhile.
The Problem With Citrulline Malate In The Supplement Industry
While L-Citrulline is a great supplement to have in your daily regimen, there is a red flag around L-Citrulline supplementation that you need to know about.
I'm sure you've seen that some supplements have L-Citrulline in them, and some have Citrulline Malate.
Some even say “L-Citrulline Malate”.
This is a cheap trick companies use to deceive customers.
Citrulline Malate is composed of 50% Malic Acid, unless the ratio states otherwise.
Authentic Citrulline Malate is produced by chemically bonding free-form L-Citrulline to DL-Malic Acid.
When L-Citrulline is chemically bonded to DL-Malic Acid, the end result is Citrulline Malate, which has unique properties.
But the problem with the Citrulline Malate in the supplement industry is that it doesn't have this chemical reaction.
It's just Citrulline mixed with malic acid in a big mixing vat in the manufacturing facility.
There is no chemical bond like there should be to create authentic Citrulline Malate.
It's just the two ingredients being mixed together in a cheap blend, and it's sold as “Citrulline Malate”, or “L-Citrulline Malate”.
The reality is that it's just Citrulline stirred up with malic acid.
While this isn't a huge deal in itself, the problem lies in the labeling practices companies use to artificially inflate the perceived potency of their product.
6-8 grams is seen as the max clinically proven efficacious dosage in the supplement industry in general.
At least, that's what companies will tell you in their marketing.
First of all, we already know that the actual maximum efficacious dosage of L-Citrulline is 10 grams per day [R].
In addition, the main issue is that the “L-Citrulline” in their product is actually as low as half of the stated label claim.
As mentioned, Citrulline Malate is just a mixture of Citrulline and malic acid.
Somehow, companies are getting away with labeling their products with the chemically bonded form Citrulline Malate and claiming they have 6-8 grams per serving in their pre-workout, when they actually just have 3-4 grams of Citrulline and 3-4 grams of malic acid per serving.
Instead of labeling the following:
- L-Citrulline – 3 grams
- Malic Acid – 3 grams
These companies are labeling their products like this:
- Citrulline Malate – 6 grams
Or like this:
- L-Citrulline Malate – 6 grams
Making you think you are getting a high dose, when in reality you are getting the bare minimum efficacious dose per serving of 3 grams.
Sometimes, companies will tweak the ratio to be a bit more in favor of a higher Citrulline content relative to malic acid, but this is rarely higher than a 2:1 ratio.
So, if you see the following:
- Citrulline Malate (2:1) – 6 grams
That just means that the company has 4 grams of L-Citrulline and 2 grams of malic acid per serving.
This is the exact manufacturing process involved in producing the L-Citrulline and “Citrulline Malate” you get in pre-workouts in the supplement industry:
As you can see, the Citrulline Malate manufacturing flowchart on the right literally just says, “mix”.
If this was authentic Citrulline Malate, you wouldn't need to mix L-Citrulline with malic acid, it would be chemically bonded together by the end of the manufacturing process.
You're not really getting what you're paying for, and most don't realize this is a tactic in the industry to get better margins and artificially inflate a products perceived efficacy.
Even if a pre-workout had what on paper appears to be a top end efficacious dose of 8 grams per serving, how much L-Citrulline are you actually getting out of that serving?
4-6 grams at most.
I have yet to see a pre-workout formula actually hit a top end L-Citrulline dosage, and of the ones that get close, they use Citrulline Malate to inflate their label.
In addition, even if you had the bonded version (which supplements don't), reacted Citrulline Malate will break apart into L-Citrulline and malic acid right away after its mixed in water.
It's all just a trick to artificially inflate a products perceived potency on a label, as each ingredient should be listed separately.
Most supplements have malic acid anyways in the “other ingredients” section, which is still an active ingredient that does have some potential performance benefits that you would get from the “Malate” portion of Citrulline Malate.
L-Citrulline and malic acid work via a different mechanism of action.
Citrulline bypasses the liver and gets converted to arginine, which increases NO levels in the body.
Malic acid is a Krebs cycle intermediary that counters lactic acid buildup.
How much do you need of each though?
With Citrulline, we know where the top end data lies.
Malic acid, we don't.
There is research on Citrulline and Citrulline Malate, but not much data on supplementing with malic acid to replenish depleted levels as a Krebs cycle intermediary.
I don't think we can make a generalized overview on how effective the malic acid component was in the Citrulline Malate research either because we can't determine if the results were derived from the malic acid, the L-Citrulline, or both.
After giving this some consideration, I ended up tweaking the Gorilla Mode formula after the first batch and including enough malic acid that I felt was more than justified to include it as a separate active ingredient in the main ingredients panel.
As mentioned, malic acid is most commonly used as a filler in supplements, and will be found in small amounts in many product “other ingredients” sections.
The only other time it is used is by companies artificially inflating their perceived L-Citrulline dosage.
After our initial product launch I started to consider what potential benefit malic acid may have in the gym.
If there was some sort of benefit to having a high dose of malic acid, I didn't want to be missing out on that.
Considering this, I added 3000 mg of malic acid per full dose to Gorilla Mode.
At the end of the day, for vasodilation you should concern yourself with is how much pure L-Citrulline is in your pre-workout supplement.
I have yet to see a product with more than 6000 mg of PURE L-Citrulline.
I have only seen a handful of products with 6 grams of L-Citrulline, and another handful of products with 8 grams of Citrulline Malate (which only yields 4-5 grams of actual L-Citrulline, with the remainder as malic acid).
I put 9 grams of pure L-Citrulline in Gorilla Mode, as well as 3 grams of malic acid separately, so you can get the full benefits of the max dosage of each ingredient and transparently see exactly what you are actually getting in the product.
Even if you decide to only use a half dose of this product you will still get 4500 mg of pure L-Citrulline, and the formula is still top notch even when cut in half.
Once we put out our stim-free pump pre-workout I will probably put 10 grams of L-Citrulline in that one because I will be able to shave a bit of the manufacturing price off from the stims we won’t be including in that formula.
Citrulline Vs Arginine
One of the most well-known pump ingredients is Arginine.
The problem with L-Arginine is that it is very ineffective at increasing Nitric Oxide synthesis.
Logically, you would assume that taking Arginine would be the most effective way to increase Arginine levels in the body.
However, this is not the case.
Oral L-Arginine is taken up and metabolized by the liver so much that it does not actually effectively increase Arginine levels, and it may even be unsafe to use because of how much excessive urea it yields [R].
L-Citrulline bypasses the liver and passes freely to the kidneys where it is metabolized to Arginine [R].
The most effective supplement that can be used to increase Arginine levels in the body to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health outcomes is L-Citrulline [R].
L-Citrulline supplementation has shown to lower blood pressure and provide atherogenic-endothelial protection [R].
When it comes to NO precursors that significantly improve pumps, nothing beats an efficacious dose of pure L-Citrulline.
Creatine Monohydrate – 5000 mg
Creatine is the best studied and most effective performance enhancing supplement outside of exogenous hormones and drugs.
Creatine’s Effect On Muscle Size And Strength
Supplementing with creatine has shown time and time again to significantly improve strength, power output and muscle size [R].
Creatine’s effect on strength is facilitated by increasing the body’s stores of phosphocreatine, which is then used during high intensity exercise to produce ATP [R, R].
Creatine’s effect on muscle size is facilitated by drawing water into the muscle via osmosis, consequently increasing body weight and muscle size.
In addition, with the increased strength creatine provides, heavier weights can be used in the gym which provide more stimulus for growth, consequently increasing muscle accrual in the long-term.
Creatine supplementation also appears to increase the number of myonuclei that satellite cells will donate to damaged muscle fibers, which increases the potential for growth of those fibers [R].
A typical omnivorous diet provides about 1 gram of creatine per day, which isn’t enough to get the benefits you would from supplementation, and also isn’t nearly enough to support health status and methylation in those with genetic polymorphisms.
Creatine’s Effect On Methylation And Health Status
About 1 gram of creatine is endogenously produced in the body naturally in young healthy adults [R].
Most of the human body's total creatine and phosphocreatine stores are found in skeletal muscle, while the remainder is distributed in the blood, brain, and other tissues [R].
While there are a host of processes in the body that rely on creatine to be carried out optimally (and are often completely neglected), one of the most notable functions of creatine is neurological support [R].
In addition, the endogenous synthesis of creatine relies on a process called methylation.
Arginine and Glycine are combined by an enzyme to form guanidinoacetate, which is then methylated into creatine.
The problem is that this process is dependent on a mechanism of action that is commonly inhibited in the general population via endogenous Arginine deficiency, Glycine deficiency, or MTHFR polymorphisms.
The MTHFR gene codes for an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase or MTHFR.
This enzyme is needed for the production of DNA and methylation pathways that are essential for all bodily functions.
Genetic variations in this gene results in reduced activity of the enzyme and has been associated with cardiovascular disease, neurological defects, some forms of cancer, and a myriad of other diseases and disorders [R, R].
Personally, I am homozygous for C677T of MTHFR, which results in a 80-90% decrease in my efficiency in processing folic acid.
The direct reflection of that in blood biomarkers can be high homocysteine and low B12 and folate levels.
I determined this via a simple 23andMe genetics test.
Upwards of 45% of your body’s methylation demands are used to synthesize creatine.
For someone with a MTHFR polymorphism, you can put a significant amount of stress on your methylation pathway and deplete far more methyl groups than you should be just to create the 1 gram per day that you endogenously synthesize.
We lose up to 2-3 grams of creatine per day because it converts to creatinine and is then passed out of the body via urine.
As you can see, adequate replenishment of creatine is probably not being accomplished if you aren’t consistently eating a fair bit of meat or fish.
And for those with impaired methylation pathways, supplementing with exogenous creatine is likely the only way creatine replenishment can be achieved.
One study found that supplementing with 5 grams of creatine per day lowered plasma homocysteine levels by almost 50% in the subject who is homozygous for C677T of MTHFR [R].
Creatine supplementation can significantly lower the body’s demands for methylation and prevent the depletion of methyl groups.
This is why I personally supplement with 5 grams of creatine per day.
Do You Need To Cycle Off Of Creatine?
No, you do not need to cycle off of creatine.
Your body does not get used to it, and long-term use has shown to be safe in healthy adults [R].
GlycerPump™ (65% Glycerol Powder) – 3000 mg
Glycerol significantly enhances pumps and performance by hyper-hydrating the muscle with water.
Glycerol’s Effect On Hydration, Pumps And Endurance
If you drink a lot of water with nothing else in hopes of hyper-hydrating your muscles, the fall in osmolarity in your body stimulates the kidneys to remove most of the excess water within an hour.
If you add glycerol to the water, this prevents the drop in osmolarity and can extend the hyper-hydration of your muscles by up to four hours.
By adding Glycerol to your pre-workout, you can hold upwards of an extra liter of water via this hyper-hydrating effect.
Hydration is one of the most critical factors when it comes to performance.
Aside from massive pumps, Glycerol use has shown to increase endurance by as much as 24%, as well as improve aerobic and anaerobic power and performance [R, R].
Only a 2% loss in fluids can result in as much as a 20% decrease in exercise performance.
GlycerPump™ Vs Other Forms Of Glycerol
We chose the trademarked GlycerPump because it doesn’t clump up nearly as much as other forms of Glycerol powder and it’s more stable.
Glycerol is normally a liquid at standard temperature and pressure, and many supplement companies have attempted to create a powder form of Glycerol that is stable.
Glycerol products get clumpy, have horrible viscosity and have a short shelf life.
Because of this, most companies avoid this ingredient entirely, as it can cause severe clumping within just a couple months of being manufactured.
Regular glycerol containing products only yield as low as 10% glycerol, which makes them ineffective, and higher yielding glycerol products can be unstable within complex formulas like ours and result in a clumpy product, or complete product failure.
GlycerPump™ is created using unique spray drying technology, yielding a stable powder form of glycerol standardized to 65%.
With that being said, I’ve seen firsthand that even GlycerPump isn’t clump-free in high doses when mixed with high concentrations of other ingredients.
However, it is MUCH better than other alternatives, and that is why I was able to include it in my formula, albeit with hesitation.
Keep in mind, while it is manageable, this is not a clump-free product, and there’s nothing I could do about that if I wanted to include the high concentration of ingredients that I did in Gorilla Mode.
Store Gorilla Mode in a cool dry place, and if it clumps, that’s just what comes with the territory with a product dosed like this.
I was considering including a complementary Gorilla Mind mini pickaxe with this product partially as a joke and partially being completely serious that you might need it if you don’t finish the product quick enough and it ends up clumping.
If it clumps, just get out a knife or spoon and chop it up, and it will still mix fine once it hits the water in your cup.
Betaine Anhydrous – 2500 mg
Betaine, also called Trimethylglycine, acts as a methyl donor and an osmolyte in the body.
Earlier in the creatine breakdown, I briefly outlined the importance of having a sufficient amount of methyl donors available for methylation processes in the body, including the endogenous synthesis of creatine.
For some individuals (depending on PEMT gene variations) Betaine can substitute for folate and B12 in the regeneration of methionine and can be choline sparing via this mechanism.
It can also provide additional needed methyl donors when over-depletion occurs in genetically predisposed individuals that do not supplement with creatine, or have other deficiencies.
As an osmolyte, Betaine helps balance fluid levels inside and outside of cells.
The main reason I included Betaine in this formula is for its ability to induce intracellular hyper-hydration.
By improving hydration status in cells, Betaine increases the pump you get in the gym, and can help prevent dehydration during exercise.
Research has also shown that Betaine supplementation may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as improve digestion and liver function [R, R, R, R].
In a performance enhancing context, Betaine supplementation has also shown to increase power, endurance, muscle growth and fat loss [R, R, R].
How significant will this effect on body composition be in practical application?
Negligible in my honest opinion, but the enhanced pump made this ingredient worthwhile to add into the formula.
L-Tyrosine – 1500 mg
L-Tyrosine is an amazing cognitive enhancing amino acid that acts by balancing neurotransmitter levels in the brain.
Its primary role is as the direct precursor to thyroxine and to the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
L-Tyrosine shines in its ability to improve mental sharpness, focus, energy levels, and cause mood elevation [R, R].
L-Tyrosine Vs N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine
L-Tyrosine is the most bioavailable form of Tyrosine.
In short, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is very inefficiently converted by the body to Tyrosine [R].
Even IV’ing N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine can’t elevate plasma Tyrosine levels to a significant degree, let alone via oral ingestion.
Claims of increased water solubility are all marketing hype and were disproved easily by showing just how poorly N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is at converting to Tyrosine in the body.
The graph above depicts arterial concentrations of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NAT) and Tyrosine (Tyr) during intravenous infusion of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine.
As you can see, Tyrosine levels barely even budge.
This is the same kind of tactic used to try and market new and “improved” forms of creatine that at the end of the day do not yield any additional benefit, and just feature an inflated price tag.
In our first batch of Gorilla Mind, we actually had N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine in the formulas based on these claims of improved water solubility by our manufacturer at the time.
After delving into the data further, I realized the massive difference in bioavailability and swapped out the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine for straight L-Tyrosine, found a better manufacturing facility, and all batches of Gorilla Mind products since then have featured L-Tyrosine instead.
Agmatine Sulfate – 1000 mg
Agmatine has shown to induce NO production more effectively than Arginine [R].
Agmatine has also shown to be neuroprotective against excitotoxicity and stroke, and also has anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects that may enhance state of well-being and mood elevation with supplementation.
Agmatine has also shown to manipulate pain receptors, which may result in an increased pain tolerance during intense training.
Agmatine is a very misunderstood compound and is believed by some to antagonize other vasodilators.
Agmatine works in a more selective way than other vasodilators, as it only increases one of the three Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms.
It also decreases the other two NOS isoforms, which is where the hypothesis about it being vasoconstricting was raised as a concern.
The three NOS isoforms include iNOS, nNOS and eNOS.
They each play their own role in certain tissues to regulate vasodilation.
- iNOS (inducible) produces high concentrations of NO via an immune system response to kill harmful bacteria. In excess, iNOS can be inflammatory.
- nNOS (neuronal) regulates neurological health and facilitates communication in the brain across neurons. In excess, nNOS can inhibit the growth and repair of neurons.
- eNOS (endothelial) facilitates vasodilation in the lining of blood vessels to improve blood flow.
eNOS is the main isoform that most are familiar with that increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
It is also the main isoform that facilitates massive pumps in the gym.
While NO is great for the gym and vascular health, it can be inflammatory in excess.
NO production by eNOS has shown to play a protective role in cerebral ischemia by maintaining vascular permeability, whereas NO derived from nNOS and iNOS is neurotoxic and can enhance the neuronal damage occurring in ischemia [R].
This is where the selective activity of Agmatine shines, as data suggests that Agmatine's mechanism of action is facilitated by inhibiting iNOS and nNOS and increasing eNOS [R, R].
Agmatine has shown to selectively increase eNOS levels while simultaneously decreasing iNOS and MMP-9 protein expression [R, R].
Data suggests that Agmatine may also be an inhibitor of the enzyme Arginase [R].
Arginase inhibits the production of NO through several mechanisms, but mainly by competing with NO synthase (NOS) for the substrate Arginine and uncoupling of NOS [R].
Thus, the inhibition of Arginase can effectively enhance the amount of NO produced through a different vector than most NO precursors upstream.
Anecdotally, Agmatine does not seem to inhibit any of the positive effects of L-Citrulline or other vasodilators.
On the contrary, it seems to complement other “pump” compounds very effectively.
On paper, Agmatine sounds like the perfect ancillary compound to add to a pre-workout as it increases expression of the NOS isoform we want, while simultaneously inhibiting the isoforms that can be more inflammatory in excess.
Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) – 500 mg
I’ve had a fair bit of experience with Kanna as one of my business partners Chris has had it available for sale via Happy Hippo Herbals for years now.
Kanna supplementation has been found to effectively lower stress, elevate mood and increase focus.
I noticed it had started to make its way into the pre-workout industry within the past year or so, and I thought it was an excellent idea to add in as a complementary cognitive aid.
Kanna is not the same as Kratom, despite being commonly lumped into the same category.
Kanna works mainly via increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain, and is typically utilized for its anti-anxiety and mood elevating effects [R].
Anecdotally, a dose between 200-500 mg of Kanna has shown to be ideal for oral ingestion in a mixed drink.
Higher dosages between 1-2 grams have been associated with unwanted side effects like dizziness.
Kanna has no addictive properties, and it is not hallucinogenic [R, R].
One thing to keep in mind with Kanna use is that it has a high affinity for the serotonin transporter.
Therefore, it is plausible that Kanna can interfere with SSRI pharmaceuticals.
Caffeine Anhydrous – 350 mg
Caffeine is the most well-known central nervous system stimulant on earth.
Aside from the obvious cognitive benefits of Caffeine, it also has shown to increase power output and training volume, as well as lower fatigue.
How Much Can Caffeine Increase Workload, Even When Sleep Deprived?
In a double-blind, crossover study, 16 professional rugby players ingested either a placebo or 4 mg/kg caffeine 1 hr before exercise [R].
The effects of caffeine were assessed on well slept (8 hours or more) and sleep-deprived athletes (6 hours or less).
Athletes were asked to perform as many repetitions on each set as possible without failure.
Sleep deprivation produced a very large decrease in total load in the placebo group, but caffeine ingestion in the sleep deprived group was able to completely offset that loss of performance.
Caffeine also resulted in a moderate increase in total load in the well slept group.
Notably, Testosterone response to exercise increased with caffeine compared with placebo.
Caffeine Increases Energy Expenditure (Calories Burned) Per Day
Single-dose oral administration of 100 mg caffeine increased the resting metabolic rate of both lean and post-obese human volunteers by 3-4% over 150 minutes [R].
Repeated caffeine administration of 100 mg every 2 hours over a 12 hour span increased energy expenditure of both subject groups by 8-11%.
The net effect was a significant increase in daily energy expenditure of 150 calories in lean volunteers and 79 calories in post-obese subjects.
Commonly consumed doses of caffeine can have a significant impact on energy balance and staying lean.
Stacking Caffeine With L-Theanine To Help You Get To Sleep And Smooth Out The Jitters
If you get jitters even with low doses of caffeine, L-Theanine is definitely worth looking into.
L-Theanine works by targeting four key neurotransmitters: GABA, Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine.
These neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of attention, stress, arousal, and pleasure.
By mitigating the over-activity of neurons, L-Theanine helps to calm down the brain, reduce stress, and get rid of anxiety.
This is why L-Theanine complements stimulants like caffeine so well, as it takes the edge off of stimulants that can cause jitters and over-stimulation in some individuals.
One notable rodent model even showed that L-theanine can partially counteract caffeine-induced sleep disturbances [R].
L-Theanine can also significantly improve memory, focus and attention to detail [R].
Stacking Gorilla Mind Smooth with Gorilla Mode will provide you with a large dose of L-Theanine that will take the edge off of the stims in the pre-workout if you are very stimulant sensitive.
In general, healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day [R].
However, that doesn’t mean that you should use that high of a dosage.
Use caffeine as needed relative to your individual tolerance.
For some, starting with as low as half a scoop of Gorilla Mode (87.5 mg caffeine) may be more than enough to achieve topped out cognitive stimulation without getting jitters and other caffeine induced side effects.
For those with a much higher caffeine tolerance, the maximum daily dose of Gorilla Mode includes 350 mg of caffeine.
If that isn’t enough caffeine for you to feel it pre-workout, you probably need to cycle off of stimulants for a week or two.
N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate – 350 mg
Phenylethylamine (PEA) is popularly known as the “love drug” in the brain.
PEA increases the release of serotonin, adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
These neurotransmitters can significantly impact cognitive function, state of well-being, energy levels and overall mood [R, R].
PEA is called the love drug because it promotes the same feelings of infatuation experienced during the early phases of love.
Exhilarating things like skydiving, using certain psychoactive drugs, and eating large amounts of chocolate also raise PEA levels.
Orally ingested PEA only has a half-life of 5-10 minutes, which is why it is nearly useless in most supplements.
This is because Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) quickly breaks it down.
MAO is an enzyme in the body that breaks down PEA, dopamine, as well as other neurotransmitters.
This is why effective PEA based products almost always feature some sort of MAO inhibitor.
By using MAO inhibitors like Hordenine with PEA, you can effectively prevent MAO from breaking down PEA as quickly, consequently allowing PEA to exert its full effects in the body and significantly increasing its active life.
The PEA + Hordenine stack is one of the components of the Gorilla Mind Smooth formula.
I wanted to go in another direction with this pre-workout formula and include a compound that is harder hitting, as the effects of the PEA and Hordenine combo are a bit subtle for a pre-workout, hence why it is in our Smooth (less aggressive) Nootropic formula.
This is why I decided to include a very high dose of N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate in Gorilla Mode.
N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate mimics the actions of adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin and keeps levels elevated throughout the duration of a full workout.
The reason it lasts longer than PEA is that it has 2 methyl groups connected to the Nitrogen in the molecule, which acts as a safeguard to prevent it from being broken down by MAO as quickly as PEA, and doesn’t require a MAO inhibitor to be stacked with it to last throughout a workout.
This is the chemical structure of Phenylethylamine (PEA).
The nitrogen atom in PEA is known as the amine, and needs to be protected from MAO in order to prolong its effects in the brain.
As you can see, there is nothing attached to the Nitrogen atom to protect it from being cleaved by the MAO enzyme.
This is the chemical structure of N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate.
The 2 methyl groups attached to the Nitrogen atom prevent MAO from cleaving the amine as quickly, consequently increasing the duration of its cognitive enhancing effects for the majority of your workout.
In conjunction with the 350 mg dose of caffeine, the high dose of N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate in this formula can significantly increase focus, intensity, energy levels, and overall performance.
BioPerine® (Black Pepper Fruit Extract) (standardized to 95% Piperine) – 10 mg
Bioperine is a trademarked form of black pepper extract standardized to 95% Piperine.
Black pepper extract is a very effective CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein inhibitor [R].
These enzymes break down molecules like caffeine and noradrenaline in the body.
By prolonging the breakdown of the cognitive enhancing ingredients in this formula, Bioperine extends how long they work for, and can also significantly increase their bioavailability.
Basically, Bioperine makes the stimulants hit harder and last longer.
In addition, Bioperine has MAO inhibiting properties, thus further potentiating the effects of N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate.
Huperzine A – 400 mcg
Huperzine A works by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase in the brain, which is an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is not only a major regulator of cognitive performance, but it is also an important neurotransmitter needed for optimal muscular contractions during exercise.
Huperzine A has shown to promote neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons in the brain) and act as a neuroprotective agent for existing neurons in the brain.
In turn, Huperzine A has shown to enhance memory, focus and overall cognitive function [R, R].
Huperzine A is one of the most potent Nootropics that you can really “feel” and it complements the other stimulants and Nootropics in this formula perfectly.
Ingredients I Didn’t Include In The Formula And Why
Beta Alanine is the ingredient that makes your skin itchy and has you sitting there scratching your face between sets.
I assume it is included in pre-workouts because you can blatantly feel something when you take it, so people associate feeling something with the product being potent.
Personally, I can’t stand the itchy skin effect it has, and it can be bad enough that it ruins a pre-workout just based on that.
In addition, it doesn’t have more than a negligible effect on performance at best.
Acute sporadic bumps in Beta Alanine will do next to nothing if you are only getting your Beta Alanine dosage from your pre workout supplement a few times per week.
If you were to take it correctly, dosing it multiple times per day, for weeks on end, at a high enough dosage, the impact on performance is notable, although still fairly insignificant at the end of the day.
“The median effect of β-alanine supplementation is a 2.85% (-0.37 to 10.49%) improvement in the outcome of an exercise measure, when a median total of 179 g of β-alanine is supplemented” [R].
179 grams (an amount nobody would end up getting in) for a 2.85% improvement in performance, and a ton of itchiness…
“Although some laboratory-based studies show an ergogenic effect with beta-alanine supplementation, there is a lack of field-based research in training and competition settings.”
“There was an unclear effect (0.4%; ± 0.8%, mean, ± 90% confidence limits) of beta-alanine on competition performance compared to placebo with no meaningful changes in blood chemistry. While there was a transient improvement on training performance after 4 weeks with beta-alanine (-1.3%; ± 1.0%), there was an unclear effect at ten weeks (-0.2%; ± 1.5%) and no meaningful changes in blood chemistry. Beta-alanine supplementation appears to have minimal effect on swimming performance in non-laboratory controlled real-world training and competition settings” [R].
Taking Leucine post-workout promotes muscle growth.
However, taking Leucine in your pre-workout has shown to diminish muscular performance via the inhibition of glycogen to glucose conversion within muscle cells and insulin signaling.
On top of that, Leucine can prevent the uptake of Tyrosine into the brain, consequently inhibiting dopamine production, which is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish via our cognitive enhancing Nootropics.
One of the worst things you can do is take antioxidants before your workout.
The stress and damage induced by weightlifting or exercise is needed to facilitate muscular recovery and progress.
The reactive oxygen species produced during intense training assists with that process, and is also why drugs like Ibuprofen can inhibit muscle growth so severely.
The inflammatory response to training is what we want in order to recover, and by inhibiting that with antioxidants or anti-inflammatory drugs, you prevent your body from breaking down and recovering the way it needs to in order to grow.
A pre-workout formula with a bunch of vitamins in it is more likely to hinder your gains than help.
Sodium is one of the most critical and overlooked components of a diet designed to optimize exercise performance.
But, keep in mind, you’re not going to get enough sodium in a pre-workout without it tasting terrible, and I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by putting a suboptimal amount in this pre-workout.
Toss and wash a half-teaspoon of salt pre-workout alongside Gorilla Mode, and another half teaspoon post-workout.
If I ever put out a product with sodium in it, it will be in a high enough dose to actually be beneficial for you, and it will very negatively impact the taste of the product.
But, I will be transparent about why my product tastes like sh*t, unlike other companies who will put a tiny dose of sodium in their product and then claim you will get all of the benefits of it.
Yohimbine And Rauwolscine
Both of these stimulants are great fat burning agents, and you can definitely feel them hit hard.
But, the way they hit doesn’t feel good at all in my opinion, and both of these stimulants can easily ruin an otherwise good pre-workout formula.
Every time I take Yohimbine or Rauwolscine, I feel like I’m hypoglycemic mid-workout, and it actually negatively impacts my performance.
The only time I’ll use Yohimbine or Rauwolscine is on their own fasted before low intensity cardio.
Pre-workout I steer clear of these ingredients.
Oral L-Carnitine is useless.
It is not bioavailable, and using it orally is a waste of money in my opinion [R].
This is a newer stimulant that hits hard.
The problem is that it feels like you’re going to have a heart attack whenever you use it.
Even at moderate doses, Isopropylnorsynephrine literally just jacks my heart rate through the roof to the point where I’m actually worried, and it doesn’t improve my focus or energy very much at all.
Should You Ever Cycle Off Of Gorilla Mode?
I advise that you always cycle off of stimulant based products for at least 5-7 days straight every month.
During this time, you can use Nootropics (or a stimulant-free Nootropic formula) to support enhanced cognitive function in the absence of your standard stimulant cocktail.
How To Combine Gorilla Mode With Gorilla Mind Rush
If you use the maximum daily dose of Gorilla Mind Rush or Gorilla Mode on any given day, do not use the other product at all.
However, the formulas are designed in a way that you can stack them together if you wish for an enhanced level of focus.
The only way you can do that though is if you keep your total daily dosage no higher than what would equate to the max total daily stimulant dosage provided by either product.
To simplify things, in terms of a stimulant strength context, treat 3 capsules of Gorilla Mind Rush like 1 scoop of Gorilla Mode.
If you can handle 6 capsules of Gorilla Mind Rush or 2 scoops of Gorilla Mode, on days where you want to combine them, you can use 3 capsules of Gorilla Mind Rush with 1 scoop of Gorilla Mode.
Or, 1.5 scoops of Gorilla Mode with 1-2 capsules of Gorilla Mind Rush.
Or, a half scoop of Gorilla Mode with 4-5 capsules of Gorilla Mind Rush.
And so on.
In general, look at the caffeine content of the amount of Gorilla Mind Rush you want to use, and the caffeine content of the amount of Gorilla Mode you want to use, and ensure that your total combined dosage does not exceed 350 mg per day, regardless of how you combine them together.
The combination of stimulants in Gorilla Mind Rush results in a bit more tunnel vision-like focus, but can be more vasoconstrictive than the stimulants in Gorilla Mode.
So, if you are willing to compromise a little bit of pump in order to mix Rush with Mode to get a deeper level of laser focus, then by all means you can do that as long as you don’t exceed a total combined dosage of over 350 mg of caffeine per day between the two products.
Conclusion – What To Expect From Gorilla Mode
In general, you can expect a massive increase in nitric oxide (NO) levels, intramuscular hydration, energy, focus and as significant of a boost in muscle strength and endurance as you can get from a legal non-hormonal pre-workout.
This product is maxed out in the pump and performance category, as well as in the cognitive enhancing category.
It has a massive dose of L-Citrulline, GlycerPump, Agmatine, Creatine and Betaine to saturate your muscles with blood and intracellular hydration.
It also has a potent stimulant complex comprised of a high dose of Caffeine and N-Phenethyl Dimethylamine Citrate.
The high dosed Nootropics L-Tyrosine, Kanna and Huperzine A top off the cognitive enhancing component of Gorilla Mode and contribute to a significant increase in energy, focus and overall mental sharpness.
Try Gorilla Mode for yourself here and let me know what you think.