There are few things more frustrating for regular gym goers than putting in the hard graft week in week out but failing to see the results you really want! You’ve got your training regime down, your nutrition is on point, but there is one final ingredient missing from your routine… Pre-workout.
If you’ve heard of these mysterious game changers but you’re not quite sure what they are, what they do and why exactly you need them in your life, then you my friend are in exactly the right place!
Our DSN pre-workout review is here to give you all the answers to those many questions, whilst helping you to cut through the marketing bullshit and decide whether this is the right product for you!
Dyna Storm Nutrition or Dark Storm Nutrition: which is it?!
Now, it can never be a good thing when you’re questioning whether DSN pre-workout refers to Dyna Storm Nutrition or Dark Storm Nutrition. Are they the same company, is it the same product and if not, why does their respective supplement packaging look so similar and their name look and sound almost identical…?
According to the official website of each ‘brand’ their supplements do contain a very similar concoction of ingredients so perhaps they are the same, or at least a rebrand of the same product.
Either way not a great start to our DSN pre-workout review.
For the purposes of this review, and because of the availability of information regarding exact ingredients and their quantities, from this point forward, we will focus on the Dyna Storm Nutrition pre-workout.
Let’s move on to the all important ingredients and see whether it packs a punch worth writing home about!
The active ingredients of DSN pre-workout are a fairly standard mix when it comes to the world of performance supplements. Along with a multitude of vitamins and minerals which are included to keep you in good health more generally, DSN contains creatine, caffeine, l-arginine and cayenne to help boost your physical performance.
1. Creatine (3g):
The holy grail of nutritional supplements, creatine is probably the most widely included ingredient in pre and post-workout formulas. And there is a reason for that. It is by far the most effective, scientifically supported and most importantly, legal supplement on the market.
Creatine helps to fuel your muscles more effectively during very short bursts of high intensity exercise such as weightlifting and sprinting. Consequently you can train your muscles harder for longer, which helps to promote increases in lean muscle mass. Yes please!
The wealth of research on creatine indicates that a 1 week loading phase of 20g per day in order to saturate muscle stores followed by long term supplementation at 5g per day is the most effective means of dosing.
The 3g dosage per serving in DSN pre-workout falls a little short of this long term 5g per day protocol, which means you’re going to struggle to increase your stores of creatine at the rate required to see the benefits in the gym.
2. Caffeine (100 mg):
Responsible for that all important buzz which can help you navigate the toughest of gym sessions, caffeine is pretty much a standard component of any stimulant based pre-workout.
At 100 mg per serving, DSN pre-workout comes in way under our preferred and recommended 250 mg dosage. Put it like this, if you enjoy a coffee regularly, or even every now and then for that matter, 100 mg of caffeine just isn’t going to cut it!
3. L-arginine (75 mg):
Arginine is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide, which in turn causes blood vessels to expand and more blood to flow through them. Not only can this help your body transport much needed oxygen and fuel to working muscles but it also helps create a generous muscle pump! Double whammy!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of ingested arginine is broken down in the liver before it gets a chance to do any of this, which means it’s inclusion in DSN pre-workout, in any quantity, is largely irrelevant!
4. Cayenne (15 mg):
Cayenne is included because of the thermogenic (heat producing) properties of it’s key compound capsaicin. It has been shown to increase thermogenesis by enhancing the release of adrenaline and is also capable of suppressing your appetite. A pretty effective double benefit when it comes to losing weight and burning fat.
Studies have shown that doses as low as 2.5 mg, three times a day, have demonstrated benefits to metabolism. As a result, the 15 mg serving in DSN pre-workout should be more than enough to help you become that lean, mean, weightlifting machine you’ve always wanted to be!
Pros and cons
|● No proprietary blends, which means you know exactly how much of each key ingredient you’re putting into your body.|
● A solid dose of cayenne will help to boost your metabolism and burn extra calories and fat during your session.
|● Caffeine dose is way too low in our opinion, especially if you already drink caffeinated products regularly in your day to day lives.|
● Creatine is below the optimum dose per scoop.
● Inclusion of arginine is a waste of time.
● Lack of clarity over which ingredients are in the product and in what quantities on the official Dyna Storm Nutrition website. You have to really hunt around for this information, with Amazon the only place we could find a photo of the product’s supplement label.
● We came across a number of customer complaints in relation to DSN products during our research into this pre-workout.
● Where’s the beta alanine?!
At a whopping $100 a pot and $3.33 per serving, DSN pre-workout is comfortably the most expensive pre-workout we’ve ever come across.
Given the issues we addressed at the beginning of this DSN pre-workout review in relation to the lack of clarity surrounding the brand, which ingredients are actually in this product and in what quantities, DSN pre-workout doesn’t exactly cover itself it glory.
Add to that, a lack of meaningful doses of the most important ingredients, a price tag which is quite frankly ridiculous as well as a multitude of customer complaints and we would suggest avoiding this product like the plague!
1. Are pre-workout supplements bad?
In a word no. Provided a pre-workout has good quality ingredients in the right quantities then they can be a great way of taking your training to the next level.
There are plenty of bad pre-workout supplements out there though, which means you need to do plenty of research and make sure you know exactly what you’re putting in your body at all times.
If you suffer from any kind of preexisting health conditions, especially those related to your heart, we would definitely recommend consulting your doctor before taking any kind of nutritional supplement.
2. Is a pre-workout supplement necessary?
Not necessarily no. There are multiple ways in which you can fuel your body for training sessions using natural foods and beverages. Any meal or snack which is high in simple carbohydrates and a little protein, such as peanut butter spread on a bagel, can be the perfect pre-workout for you.
A 12 oz brewed cup of coffee contains about 120 mg of caffeine, which could also be a decent enough replacement for the dose you find in many pre-workout supplements.
Having said that, a pre-workout supplement is an accurate and convenient way of making sure your body and mind is optimally fuelled for your session, so by no means should they be discounted completely!
3. What is best for pre-workout?
There are a huge range of ingredients that go into producing a successful pre-workout supplement. Most of the major brands, however, focus on a few, well researched and proven compounds.
The ingredients you really want to be looking out for when browsing the pre-workout market are: creatine, beta alanine, caffeine, and BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids).
4. Pre-workout powder or pills?
Generally this is all about personal preference as normally the actual ingredients and quantities don’t vary a whole lot between pre-workout pills and powders.
Having said that, a pre-workout powder will normally come in a variety of appealing flavours and also probably allows for slightly faster absorption of the key ingredients.
5. Is Dyna Storm Nutrition legit?
DSN do seem to be a legitimate supplement company but there is certainly something a little suspect going on. The lack of clarity around what goes into their products on the official website, as well as the confusion between Dyna Storm Nutrition and Dark Storm Nutrition, certainly concerns us.
Add to that a load of unhappy customer reviews and things don’t look so good for DSN. They may be a legit business but that doesn’t mean they’re any good at what they do!
1. Grindstaff PD, et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on repetitive sprint performance and body composition in competitive swimmers. Int J Sport Nutr. 1997;7(4):330–46.
2. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update- journal of international sports science and nutrition.
4. Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin and green tea