Hammer Nutrition is probably one of the most well-known names in the runner/fitness world, and has a fairly extensive vegan line. They sent me their "Pre-Exercise Ignitor" (pre-workout powder), Fully Charged to test out, so I put it through nearly every workout at every time of day to see just how it handles!
Price: $34.95 USD
Servings: 30 per container
Calories: 8kcal perscoop
Flavors: Tart Cherry
Gluten free, vegan, USA made
Helps increase energy and endurance
Aids in reducing fatigue
Promotes mental alertness
Helps alleviate muscle soreness
Provides antioxidant support
(source: Hammer Nutrition )
-Taurine has shown to increase VO2 max, help electrolyte function (avoid cramping) in the cell, supports the central nervous system (to include acting as an anti-anxiety aid), and is necessary in proper skeletal function. It should be noted that vegans are often significantly lower in taurine than meat-eaters.
- L-Carnitine, necessary for energy production in the body
- Beta-alanine & Tyrosine, both help alleviate fatigue and stress
Flavor is a home run. Tart Cherry is not normally a flavor I would gravitate towards, but this has a great taste. It's natural cherry flavor (contains cherry extract which helps muscle function and recovery) without being sugary.
Can you FEEL it?
What Fully Charged prides itself on is that, unlike most pre workouts, it doesn't rely on copious amounts of caffeine or central nervous system stimulants.
What does this mean? No jitters or difficulty winding down if taken in the evening. This is a major concern for me, as caffeine keeps my brain far too active in the evenings. If you like that intense tingle that Pre workouts like C4 can give, this isn't the powder for you. If you are indifferent or hate that feeling, keep reading.
It DOES contain Green Tea leaf extract, so if you are TRULY sensitive to caffeine, tha tmay or may not affect you.
What I did noticeably feel? An easy test for muscle fatigue/stress for me is squatting, as the legs are usually left a mess if I take nothing pre or intra workout. Heavy squatting and hypertrophy squatting didn't leave me in the usual twitchy shakes, leading me to believe that the added antioxidants and amino acids were doing their jobs.
Long runs and rides went as usual with no side stitches (an easy result of sugar alcohols or fructose for me. Thanks for not adding those, Hammer Nutrition!) or cramping.
If you are an endurance junkie or lifter that struggles with muscle fatigue, this may be the powder for you. I haven't race-tested this yet, but I feel confident that it would keep the legs happy under the adrenaline stress of race nerves and work.
I didn't notice an instant perk up to get myself "ready" for a training session, but it was obvious that is certainly helped DURING the training. Tested on a 5 hour power hike (steep inclines and declines), I never felt a leg burn, which was a clear indicator that the stuff works.
Hammer asked me to test out their Fully Charged, but it should be noted that they have a fairly large line of vegan-friendly items. Their chocolate protein bar in particular is delicious! It's not shown in this photo, however, because I ate it. Because it was delicious.