Struggling to motivate yourself for those gruelling sessions which are part and parcel of making the gains you want in the gym? Looking to change the way you fuel your body for training using a tried and tested pre-workout formula, but don’t know which brands can be trusted?
Then you’re in the right place.
This LIT pre-workout review will give you all the information you need to decide whether this product is right for you. Plus, it should help debunk some of the sciencey jargon, which most supplement brands like to hide behind when marketing their products.
The only ingredients we are going to discuss as part of our LIT pre-workout review and therefore the only ingredients you need to concern yourself with are: beta alanine, creatine monohydrate, caffeine, l-citrulline and arginine. Whilst there’s other stuff in LIT pre-workout, it is these ingredients, which are intended to have the most significant effect on your physiology, that are the most important for the brand to get right!
1. Beta alanine (3.2g):
One of the most scientifically proven nutritional supplements going and an absolute must in any pre-workout supplement worth its salt. Beta alanine is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid found in meat, fish and poultry.
Why so important you ask? Well, beta alanine helps your body to produce something called carnosine which reduces lactic acid build up in your muscles during anaerobic activity lasting 1-4 minutes, like weight lifting or sprinting.Seeing as it’s lactic acid, which causes that horrible burning feeling in your muscles when your working hard in the gym, anything which can reduce it’s build up is definitely going to help your performance
At 3.2g per scoop,LIT pre-workout is a little shy of the 4-6g daily dose recommended by a decent chunk of scientific research. Having said that, it isn’t far off and given that beta alanine is very much a long-game kind of supplement, provided you take it consistently at this dose then you’re going to see the benefits. It will just take a little longer.
2. Creatine monohydrate (1.5g):
If beta alanine is ONE of the most researched supplements out there, then creatine is definitely THE most researched.
Generally speaking, if you’re serious about training and looking to make tangible gains in the gym, or you’re trying to squeeze everything out of your physical performance on the sports field, then creatine supplementation should most definitely be on your radar.
Creatine is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid found mainly in red meat and seafood. 95% of your bodies stores can be found in skeletal muscle and it’s number one role is to help form phosphocreatine, which is used to provide energy to your working muscles.
This is really important when you want to perform short bouts of high intensity work, when your body makes use of something called the ATP-PC energy system. ATP is comfortably the quickest source of energy in your body, but you have a very limited supply, which tends to run out pretty quickly.
The phosphocreatine stored in your muscles essentially allows you to create more ATP to be used for energy.As a result, the more creatine you absorb, the more phosphocreatine you have stored in your muscles. This means you can generate more ATP and therefore have more energy available to exercise at high intensities Sounds useful right?!
Now, pretty much all of the scientific research points to an optimal dose of 5g per day after an initial week long loading phase of a whopping 20g a day. This is significantly higher than the rather stingy 1.5g per scoop offered by LIT pre-workout. It’s gonna take a hell of a long time to saturate your muscles taking this product, so if creatine intake is one of your main concerns, there’s little point in choosing LIT.
3. Caffeine Anhydrous (250 mg):
A 250 mg dosage of caffeine is very good going and will no doubt give even the most seasoned stimulant users a pretty good kick!
In addition to the energy boost, caffeine can also help you to burn more fat during your session. By stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, it increases adrenaline levels and in turn helps to make stores of fatty acids in your muscles available for use as fuel. Winner!
4. L-citrulline (3g):
Citrulline is a yet another non essential amino acid. It’s most significant benefit as far as exercise is concerned is in helping to delay fatigue. For the vain among you (let’s be honest you wouldn’t be going to the gym if you weren’t at least a little bit) it also helps you to get one hell of a pump on. It does this by increasing your nitric oxide levels and causing your veins and arteries to expand allowing more blood to flow through them.
Scientists suggest that 3-6g per day is an optimal dosage, which means that LIT pre-workout just creeps in at the lower limit of that range. Ideally it would contain a little more, but there should be enough for you to feel the effects. The only real negative is that citrulline malate is probably a better option than pure l-citrulline because it can help to improve endurance and energy production as well.
5. Arginine (1.5g):
Now funnily enough, citrulline is actually converted into arginine in the body and it is this process which has the circulatory effects described above. You might, therefore be wondering why you wouldn’t just supplement directly with arginine, rather than citrulline.
Well, strangely enough, this is because citrulline is actually far more effective at raising levels of arginine in the blood than arginine itself. This is because arginine is broken down rapidly by the liver, making it far less effective at getting the job done.
As a result, it’s inclusion in the LIT pre-workout formula is largely pointless, especially given it contains a pretty decent dose of the far superior citrulline.
Pros and cons
LIT pre-workout is listed on the official GNC website at $39.99, and that gets you 30 servings. That works out at approximately $1.30 per serving, which puts this product at the more expensive end of the market.
Overall, we can’t really argue with the key ingredients in LIT pre-workout. It contains two of the heavyweights of nutritional supplements in creatine and beta alanine alongside a great dose of caffeine and a solid amount of citrulline.
Unfortunately, it is hard for our LIT pre-workout review to look beyond the quite frankly laughable dosage of creatine, however. Add to that the suboptimal dose of it’s other key ingredient, beta alanine, and the inclusion of arginine, and things don’t get an awful lot better.
Having said that, If you’re new to the world of pre-workout supplements, then the caffeine content alone in this product makes it a viable starter option. If, on the other hand, you’re already well versed in this marketplace, then you can probably find a product with better quantities of the ingredients which are really going to help you make gains in the gym.
Our final verdict…? There are almost certainly better pre-workout products out there in this price range so be sure to shop around and do your research!
Does LIT pre-workout have caffeine?
In a word… yes! To be precise in contains a whopping 250 mg of the stuff, which is great news for anyone looking for a buzz during their workout. For more information on caffeine, it’s optimum dosage and why it’s such an important part of pretty much all pre-workouts, check out the rest of the article above.
How long does LIT pre-workout take to kick in?
As with the vast majority of pre-workout supplements on the market, LIT pre-workout should be taken somewhere between 30 and 90 mins before the start of your session. This gives plenty of time for the active ingredients, especially the caffeine, to reach optimum levels in your blood.
Because the vast majority of the caffeine you consume is metabolised, with only 1-3 % lost as part of your pee, it remains in your system for an incredibly long time (4-6 hours) which means you only really need to be worrying about taking your pre-workout too late.
How do you use LIT pre-workout?
Mix one scoop in 8 fl. oz. of cold water and consume pre-workout. You can also consume one serving on non-training days for additional energy and focus. Be sure to take on plenty of water whilst using this product as a result of the diuretic effect of ingredients such as caffeine.
1. Beta-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters- J Appl Physiol (1985). 2007 Nov;103(5)
2. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 201714:18
3. Francaux M, Poortmans J.R., Effects of training and creatine supplement on muscle strength and body mass. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1999 Jul;80(2):165-168
4. Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism- Obesity Reviews 2011