The good people at Legion reached out to me and asked me to give their pre-workout supplement, Pulse, a try. While I work out regularly, I generally don’t use supplements of any kind. I tried protein powder in college and I felt like it was just making me heavy, and I’ve used deer antler velvet before for the hell of it, but that’s really it.
Side Effects: B
I generally don’t use supplements, pre-workout or post workout, but I’m always willing to try something new for the good of our readers. At $39.95 a tub, Legion Pulse is a little pricey, but if you use half the recommended dosage (which is really all you need), it’ll last twice as long as other pre-workout supplements of similar price and design. I liked the pick-me up it gave me before and during my workout. If you’re interested, you can buy it here: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/pulse/
Check out my full review for details.
Whenever you put anything into your body, it’s important to read the label and see what the active ingredients are, find out where they come from and what they do. This goes double for supplements. The active ingredients in Legion Pulse include L-Citrulline DL-Malate, Beta Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous, L-Ornithine HCL, Caffeine Anhydrous, and L-Theanine. I know what you’re thinking- what the fuck are those, right? Don’t worry, I did the research for you.
L-Citrulline DL-Malate is one of the three dietary amino acids in the urea cycle (the breaking down of the bad shit in your body/bloodstream for you to pee out), alongside L-arginine and L-Ornithine. It used as a sports performance and cardiovascular health supplement. L-Citrulline supplementation results in reduced fatigue and improved endurance for both aerobic and anaerobic prolonged exercise. There is not enough evidence to support the claim that L-citrulline supplementation improves power output during exercise.
Beta Alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine and has been shown to enhance muscular endurance. Many people report being able to perform one or two additional reps in the gym when training in sets of 8–15 repetitions. Beta-alanine supplementation can also improve moderate- to high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performance, like rowing or sprinting. Large doses of beta-alanine may cause a tingling feeling called paresthesia (umm, no thanks).
Betaine Anhydrous (trimethylglycine) is an active metabolite of Choline in the body and a component of beetroot. The Anhydrous part is a fancy way of saying powder. It serves a vital role in methylation in the body alongside folate, and is an osmoregulator like Creatine. Betaine is also a possible ergogenic aid. Betaine has been recommended as a performance enhancing compound, although with quite unreliable results. When taken at 1.25g twice daily, betaine has at times been linked to increased power output (only to fail in other instances) and minor increases in workout volume and endurance.
L-Ornithine HCL is a nonprotein amino acid (not used to create proteins) that is an intermediate of the urea cycle, and provision of ornithine to a cell is actually the rate limiting step of the cycle. Ornithine binds with a molecule known as carbamoyl phosphate which requires ammonia to be produced and then is converted into L-Citrulline giving off urea as a byproduct. Due to this, the conversion is one that reduces ammonia concentrations in the blood and concomitantly increases urea (basically this stuff makes you pee). They say Ornithine looks somewhat promising for reducing ammonia concentrations in the blood and thus enhancing performance of prolonged exercise (45 minutes or more) which is in part due to it being elevated in the blood for a few hours after ingestion despite exercise.
Caffeine Anhydrous is caffeine powder. I didn’t have to look this shit up.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is not common in the diet (not one of the essential amino acids or even one of the common nonessential amino acids), and is deemed a nondietary amino acid similar to L-Ornithine or L-Citrulline. L-Theanine has structural similarity to Glutamine and both neurotransmitters that are produced from it (GABA and glutamate) and is known to reach the brain and act in the brain following oral ingestion. L-Theanine, for the most part, is a relaxing but not sedating amino acid that is synergistic with stimulants such as caffeine as it can ‘take the edge off’. It is effective by itself in the standard supplemental dosages as well, and although it can be attained via a diet high in green tea ingestion that is the only dietary source of L-Theanine.
In addition to the active ingredients, Legion Pulse contains Erythritol, Maltodextrin, Silica, Natural Flavors, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Swerve (Erythritol, Oligosaccharides, Natrual Flavors), and Red Beet Juice Power for color (I assume they meant powder, but the label says power).
Erythritol is a sugar-like sweetener without the calories.
Silica is found in just about everything. It supposedly enhances the flow of powders and prevents material from forming clumps for an even distribution of nutrient components throughout the batch.
I’m not going to explain Natural Flavors.
Swerve is another “natural” sweetener.
Stevia Rebaudiana Extract is also a natural sweetener (it comes from a leaf).
Red Beet Juice Powder (I’m 99.99% certain they meant powder, not power) is what gives the solution its pinkish-red color.
Huge hat-tip to examine.com for most the information gathered on these ingredients, minus caffeine and natural flavors. If you don’t know what caffeine does, you’re an idiot.
In summation, I’m cool with everything in Legion Pulse, although I’m weary of overdoing it with the Beta Alanine. Being the 2nd most active ingredient, I’m more apt to use less than the recommended serving side of 2 scoops. I’m trying to get my swole on, and would prefer to avoid any tingling sensation.
As recommended on the label, I went with one scoop (give or take) of Legion Pulse powder mixed with approximately 12 ounces of water. The pinkish-red solution looked like Kool-Aid, but definitely didn’t taste like it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible, but the chalky taste had me forcing it down as opposed to something that I’d enjoy drinking. I’d compare it to one of those Vitamin C booster packets a lot of people take during the winter to avoid getting sick. You don’t drink it because you like it, you drink it because of what it does for you.
It probably took me about 10 minutes of casually sipping to get the drink down. About 5 minutes in I felt incredibly alert. My mind was going a mile a minute. It definitely got me ready for my workout.
I didn’t go too crazy at the gym, but I felt great during the entirety of my weight lifting session. I did 8 different upper body exercises with ease. I finished off my workout with a light 4.5 mile run/walk. As this being my first time using Legion Pulse, I didn’t want to go too crazy, but I definitely felt an impact.
I actually took a couple of days off before trying Legion Pulse again. I was curious how my workout without it would be. It was clear that I didn’t have the same pep in my step without it.
So for the 2nd day of use, I didn’t give myself the half hour buffer between drinking it and working out as recommended. I pretty much chugged it in the elevator before entering the locker room and getting changed for my workout. This was a mistake. Legion Pulse tasted a little better this time around, but I could feel the liquid in my gut as I lifted. After about 30 minutes of lifting, I hit the elliptical. I still didn’t feel great. After about 15 minutes, I got off, went to the bathroom (washed my hands afterwards, of course), and then came back and hit the treadmill. I finally started to feel that pick-me-up I felt the first day using Legion Pulse.
Lesson here? Make sure to give yourself a buffer in between drinking the magic potion and starting your workout.
I gave myself ample time between drinking the Legion Pulse solution and my next workout, but I stepped my game up to the recommended 2 scoops. I don’t think anyone should use 2 full scoops of this stuff. I was wired to the extent where I felt like I had ADHD. My heart wasn’t racing, but I just felt weird. I couldn’t wait to sweat it out and finish my workout. This wasn’t a boost feeling. This was a “I’ve had too much caffeine and feel like the crash afterwards is going to be terrible” feeling. It was. Never again will I use 2 scoops.
DAYS 4 & 5
I went back to one scoop(ish) for days 4 and 5, and gave myself a little time before working out after drinking the potion. This was ideal, and I felt great. Lifting was easier. Running was easier. On day 5 I lost track of time on the elliptical and next thing I knew my hour was up and I had burned a ton of calories. 1 scoop is all you need. Added bonus, each tub of Legion Pulse will last longer.
Legion Pulse gives you a nice little pick-me-up, doesn’t taste great, but is effective. If you use about 1 scoop, you shouldn’t see any negative side effects and you’ll power through your workout with ease. I recommend Legion Pulse to anyone looking for a pre-workout supplement. You can learn more about Legion Pulse and purchase it here: https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/pulse/