Not long ago, I heard about a pre-workout called Dark Energy that got banned in the USA because of its potential harmful ingredients.
Checking the data, I came across claims that Dark Labs Crack pre-workout is a disguised Dark Energy, so I decided to investigate.
I did an intensive study with my team and examined this Crack formula to explore its effectiveness, benefits, and potential side effects.
We gathered one experienced gym fanatic and two novices to help us get a hands-on approach to support our one-month evaluation of this product.
Here is our Crack Pre-workout review.
What is Dark Labs Crack Pre-workout?
Crack Pre-workout is a formula developed by Polish supplement company Dark Labs in 2019.
From 2019. to 2022. it went through some modification regarding their highlighted ingredient DMAA, probably because of FDA regulations.
Regardless of the modifications, the company claims this product blocks noradrenaline's reuptake, which may lead to more energy and mood elevation and focus.
The company also states it brings numerous benefits:
- Increase Muscularity and Definition
- More Speed, Power, and Endurance
- High Energy and Motivation
- Insane Muscle Pumps
- Explosive Strength and Pumps
- Laser Focus
Dark Labs Crack Benefits
We made a practical approach to check these claims and used Dark Labs pre-workout (Dark berry flavor) but only three times a week, knowing it's high in stimulants. We took one scoop in the first week and two scoops in the second week.
This is what our Crack pre-workout review revealed.
We noticed that the powder didn't completely dissolve and left small sediments after mixing it with water.
After drinking it, we waited for approximately fifteen minutes, and then Beta-alanine kicked in with tingling sensations.
After some twenty minutes, the energy starts to lift, drives you throughout the workout, and lasts for roughly three hours. Two of my inexperienced clients didn't like that feeling, and it was a bit strange and scary for them.
I also noticed that no PRs were broken, and it gave me a noticeable energy crush with a strange mood afterward.
It gave us a good concentration on the session and muscle-mind connection, which led to better muscle contractions.
However, I can't say it gave me tunnel vision as written on the product's label.
The Dark Labs Crack solidly improves mental focus and gives good mood elevation, even though one client recorded mood switches feeling 'happy and angry at the same time,' while the other one said he got a euphoric feeling.
The Dark Labs Crack pre-workout provides a valid vascular pump that two clients noted as 'painful pumps.'
However, the pump feeling was not as impressive as the energy boost since it provides, in our opinion, a usual pump expected from serious formulas.
Before testing this product, we had our two nutritionists look at the pre-workout ingredients and doses to check their scientific background.
- Geranium Extract - contains potent central nervous system stimulant DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine), an amphetamine derivative. It's known for increasing the concentrations of neurotransmitters dopamine and epinephrine, leading to improved focus, euphoria, and energy boost . A dosage of 120 grams per serving may be too much for some, as most pumping pre-workouts have about 75 grams tops.
- Citrulline Malate - a pump ingredient helping boost nitric oxide production, widen blood vessels and increase blood flow . Its benefits can aid in muscle tissue oxygen uptake leading to better endurance . This ingredient is in excellent dosage as it contains optimal 8 grams .
- Caffeine Anhydrous - Another potent stimulant almost mandatory in every pre-workout review. Many studies support caffeine anhydrous as a cognition booster and enhancer of athletic performances and concentration . This formula contains 400 mg of caffeine; the clinical dosage FDA cited as safe .
Except for these ingredients, it also contains some aimed at providing a massive pump (Beet root powder, Arginine silicate, VASO6, Agmatine sulfate) and others to regulate mood (Sceletium tortuosum extract and Choline bitartrate).
It also has Grains of paradise extract as a non-stimulant fat burner and the typical daily dose of Beta-alanine for power output.
- Great energy boost
- Long-lasting energy
- Improves focus
- Contains FDA-banned ingredient and high stimulant dosages
- High price
Does It Have Any Shortfalls?
Yes, Crack pre-workout has some shortfalls regarding ingredients and dosages.
First of all, we would like to mention Crack's highlighted ingredient - DMAA, in the form of Geranium Extract or 2-aminoisoheptane, which the FDA banned because of its potential side effects .
The second thing is besides a very high dosage of harmful DMAA, it contains high doses of caffeine as well, making it strong for even advanced users and stim junkies.
And we also must mention the price, which is expensive.
How Does it Compare to Other Products?
To form unbiased opinions about this product, we compared it to some of the best pre-workouts for men.
Compared to Dark Labs Crack, Gorilla Mode has a more common formula for pre-workouts, without any questionable and potentially harmful ingredients.
Gorilla Mode also has more scientifically-backed ingredients, such as L-Tyrosine, for cognitive improvement instead of Choline bitartrate .
Compared to the Crack, 4 Gauge has natural ingredients that make it suitable for an average gym-goer and not a stim junkie.
It has a moderate dose of caffeine and L-Citrulline, and unlike the Crack, it has a Creatine monohydrate for muscle recovery and strength .
Transparent Labs Bulk pre-workout also has stimulant ingredients like Caffeine and Theobromine but combined with L-Theanine and Dicaffeine Malate to prolong effects and prevent energy crashes.
The Bulk has smarter formula combinations such as Taurine and BCAA combo to ensure faster muscle recovery .
Who Should Take Crack Pre-workout?
Gym-goers that are experienced or consider themselves stim junkies with higher tolerance to heavy hitter pre-workouts could take Crack pre-workout.
It will give a good pump and energy that lasts for a few hours.
However, we do think there are much safer and more balanced formulas on the market to consider instead.
Who Shouldn't Take Crack Pre-workout?
Anyone who has a low tolerance to stimulants, beginners, and people who are prone to anxiety.
If you are in this group, then it is not suitable for you, especially as a first pre-workout, because it has high doses of several stimulant ingredients.
Because of its ingredients, this Dark Labs pre-workout should be considered only if you are sure you don't have any underlying health conditions or have previous experience with similar pre-workouts.
Other pre-workouts reviewed:
Other Users Testimonials
To gain more information about this Dark Labs pre-workout, we took a look at Youtube comments.
"Tried this stuff for the first time yesterday 2.5 scoops felt insanely euphoric for 4 hours but felt like shit the rest of the day, it felt a little bit like mdma"
- Pyro snol, YoutubeUser
"hey!!!! Awesome honest review. This pre is really smooth to me with incredible focus. I do agree it is inconsistent !! Sometimes it hits really hard and sometimes just right! Let's go!!"
- Garage Gym Homie, Youtube User
"I do agree with the people saying this one is inconsistent. Sometimes I feel great, sometimes I feel ill, and some of the times, I'll get post workout rage. It's strange."
- Jackob M, Youtube User
How Long Does the Crack Pre-Workout Take to Kick-In?
It takes about 30 minutes for the pre-workout to kick in at its full potential. Firstly you will probably feel itching from Beta-alanine, and 10 to 20 minutes later, the other ingredients will reach full lift-off.
What are Crack Pre-workout Side Effects?
The Crack pre-workout side effects may include rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. These potential side effects can arise from high stimulant ingredient doses, mostly DMAA.
Is Dark Labs Pre-workout Worth The Hype?
After evaluating the data we collected for this Dark Labs Crack pre-workout review, we concluded this product is not something we can recommend to our readers as we are always skeptical about products that have barely legal ingredients like DMAA.
What we usually recommend to most of our clients is Gorilla Mode, which is a pre-workout with a good dose of caffeine as the only stimulant ingredient and a much more well-balanced formula.
It's our favorite pre-workout because it has the right dosage of scientifically-proven ingredients and gives us consistent results - improved cardiovascular capacity, great pump, and positive mood.
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