Welcome to the most comprehensive Black Powder pre-workout review on the internet!
Everything you need to know about this MRI produced supplement from where to buy it and how much it costs to a detailed breakdown of the ingredients and dosages based on the latest scientific research.
Nutritional supplements are playing an increasingly important role in the training goals of even everyday gym goers, with pre-workouts achieving notoriety for their advertised ability to maximise your physical gains, and more likely as a result of endorsements from influential and successful professional athletes!
As a result, if you take your training regime even remotely serious, chances are you’ve not only heard of pre-workout supplements but probably given at least one product a go.
We can see it now… Hours of online research, painstaking back and forths between multiple different product choices unclear on which could be the best option for your training needs, and confused as to what is actually required for you to make those all important leaps forward.
If you’ve felt like this and find yourself becoming increasingly annoyed with brand sales pitches and marketing jargon then you’re in the right place.
This MRI Black Powder pre-workout review offers nothing but the cold hard facts about this product so that you can make the most informed decisions as to whether it’s right for you. No bullshit, and no ulterior motives!
MRI was founded in 1997 to develop functional foods that combine proven active ingredients with cutting edge delivery technology. According to MRI, their products only make it to consumers if they have been shown to help alter human metabolism and affect positive transformations in body composition and athletic performance.
“All MRI products are in keeping with our industry leading standards for quality and safety. Products are manufactured at audited facilities that adhere to the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines. All products pass tests for ingredient purity and integrity. We have relationships with NSF and the Banned Substances Control Group, non-profit agencies that test random lots of certain products and/or certify our manufacturing facilities.”
The only way our MRI pre-workout review can put this theory to the test is by taking a closer look at the ingredients included in their Black Powder product and how the dosages compare to the latest scientific research.
Black Powder pre-workout ingredients
There are two bits of information which go a long way to determining my initial assessment of any pre-workout and both can be found with a quick look at the Supplement Facts Label.
The first thing to consider is the total weight of one scoop vs the weight of the active ingredients which help make up that scoop.
In the case of this Black Powder pre-workout, one scoop weighs 20g which is a pretty significant serving, so a good start at least!
Unfortunately, according to our quick calculations, only 7.7g of this 20g is actually active ingredients, which leaves a significant amount of space to be taken up with flavorings, preservatives and other fillers! Not such a good effort from MRI here if you ask this Black Powder pre-workout review!
The second point to consider is whether the product contains any proprietary blends… For those not already aware of what that actually means, here goes… A proprietary blend is a mixture of ingredients where the total weight of the blend is disclosed but the precise quantities of each individual component ingredient is not.
That means you as the consumer have no idea how much of any of the key ingredients you are taking on board per serving. NOT a great place to be when it comes to a nutritional supplement.
If you are in any doubt as to why a manufacturer might make use of a proprietary blend, we can categorically tell you that it’s not because they are trying to prevent competitors from stealing their patented formulas.
There is one reason and one reason only, and that’s to hide underdosed ingredients from YOU, the customer!
Unfortunately for this product, there isn’t just one proprietary blend in sight, but SIX! The ingredients section of this MRI pre-workout review seems to be going from bad to worse.
Let’s take a closer look at the specifics and see if there is anything that can turn this Black Powder pre-workout review around!
Proprietary blend for size and recovery (3g)
The first of this products proprietary blends is made up of 2 forms of l-arginine. Now, raising arginine levels in the blood has been demonstrated to help increase nitric oxide production which leads to greater vasodilation, improved circulation and therefore increased blood flow to muscles.
Not only can this help you achieve a pretty aesthetic muscle ‘pump’, but it is also pretty useful for fighting fatigue!
Unfortunately for this product, oral supplementation directly with arginine has been shown to be largely ineffective at raising blood levels of arginine and thus fails to have the desired effects on nitric oxide production. This is because the vast majority of ingested arginine is broken down in the liver before ever reaching the bloodstream!
As a result, arginines inclusion in this product, irrespective of its precise dose, is irrelevant!
Proprietary blend for strength and power (2g)
This blend is made up of 2 varieties of creatine (hydrochloride and anhydrous), and a number of other ingredients which we consider irrelevant to our discussion!
Creatine is the most widely researched and clinically effective nutritional supplement on the market, capable of helping you to increase both strength and lean muscle mass gains, in particular.
Most, if not all of the most comprehensive studies have been undertaken using the monohydrate form of creatine, which is proven to be effective at daily doses of 5g over a period of a number of weeks.
The limited research into creatine hydrochloride, which makes up part of this blends creatine dose, suggests that it can be consumed at a lower dose of 1-2g per day and achieve the same ergogenic benefits as the monohydrate variety. Given that the total blend weight in this instance is 2g, and creatine hydrochloride is the least prevalent ingredient to appear, it seems very unlikely that there is anywhere near this kind of dose!
This is another huge disappointment for our Black Powder pre-workout review!
If you’re serious about the potential benefits of creatine supplementation and you want guaranteed results, we would advise sourcing a pure creatine monohydrate supplement. That way you are in complete control of your daily dosing of a product which thousands of studies have proven to be effective.
Proprietary blend for stamina and endurance (1.1g)
The two ingredients of note within this 3rd proprietary blend are sodium bicarbonate and beta alanine, both of which have evidence to support their efficacy for exercise performance, and in particular for fighting fatigue.
Beta alanine supplementation increases your muscle stores of something called carnosine which is directly involved in the buffering of lactic acid in your muscles during short bursts of intense anaerobic activity.
In order to achieve these benefits, however, it must be dosed at 4-6g per day for a period of at least 2 weeks. Consequently, given that the total blend weight is only 1.1g, it is impossible for there to be a meaningful, let alone optimal, dose of beta alanine in this product!
Most studies agree that sodium bicarbonate is beneficial for exercise performance, and the mechanism in which it does so is very similar to the effects of beta alanine. By helping you to buffer lactic acid and maintaining the pH levels within your muscles, it also helps to fight fatigue.
As with all nutritional supplements, however, it must be taken in the correct quantity in order to have this effect. Most studies agree that 200-300 mg per kg of body weight taken 60-90 minutes is sufficient to produce the above benefits. That means there simply isn’t enough room in a 1.1g proprietary blend for anywhere near enough sodium bicarbonate to be of benefit to your training!
Proprietary blend for muscle energy metabolism (879 mg)
We’re gonna go ahead and skip right passed this blend. There really is nothing of note to consider, so we’re not going to waste our time, or your time, saying anything more than this blend is a waste of time!
Proprietary blend of neuromodulators for focus and intensity (202 mg)
This blend contains three ingredients, the most important of which is caffeine. Without doubt the most widely used stimulant ingredient in the nutritional supplement market, caffeine has proven benefits for your exercise performance. Capable of increasing energy levels and helping you to burn more fat during training sessions, it has become a stalwart ingredient of pre-workouts!
Most of the scientific research suggests that caffeine is effective in quantities as low as 100 mg, whilst it is safe to consume at levels as high as 400 mg per day.
Whilst we don’t know exactly how much caffeine is included in this product, due to the nature of proprietary blends, it is possible for there to be at least 100 mg present.
Having said that, given the total blend weighs just 202 mg, and we consider 250 mg an optimal serving, it is impossible for their to be an ideal serving, in our eyes at least!
Proprietary blend of insulin sensitisers (500 mg)
With only one ingredient included, at least we know exactly how much taurine is in this final blend. Unfortunately, whilst there are suggestions that taurine can help improve endurance, the evidence to support such claims is far from unequivocal. Our Black Powder pre-workout review verdict…? It’s inclusion is irrelevant and will remain so until there is corroborative evidence of taurines benefits for exercise performance!
Side effects of Black Powder pre-workout
Creatine, beta alanine and caffeine are all ingredients with the potential to cause minor side effects including gastrointestinal discomfort, a mild tingling sensation on the surface of the skin, and even anxiety.
Having said that, not a single on of these ingredients is dosed anywhere near highly enough to elicit such symptoms so you really have nothing to worry about!
Pros and cons of MRI Black Powder pre-workout
Where can I buy Black Powder pre-workout?
Available for purchase at global online retail giant Amazon for $19.99, Black Powder pre-workout comes in at a very reasonable $0.50 per serving, making it one of the cheaper pre-workout supplements we’ve reviewed!
There only seems to be two flavor options to choose from and both are typically pre-workout in Fruit Explosion and Blue Raspberry, which means if you are a little fussy about the taste of your supplements then you may struggle to find a flavor to your liking!
The only place we could find this product for sale outside of Amazon, as highlighted above, is iherb.com, but even then the website says it has been discontinued!
Summary: Black Powder pre-workout review conclusion
There is only one way of summarising this MRI Black Powder pre-workout review and that’s HUGELY DISAPPOINTING!
For such a significant one scoop serving (20g) to contain such a low weight of active ingredients (7.7g) is a terrible start and means a large proportion of your money is being wasted on flavorings, preservatives and other fillers which simply aren’t going to help you achieve anything!
Add to that the fact the active ingredients which are included have their precise dosages hidden in a number of proprietary blends and things go from bad to worse. Whilst it is impossible for us to determine the exact quantities of the vast majority of this products key ingredients, the blend weights at least indicate that it is mathematically impossible for there to be meaningful, let alone optimal servings of all of the most important ingredients present, including beta alanine, creatine, sodium bicarbonate and caffeine!
The price per serving of $ 0.50 is at least one redeeming feature, and makes this product one of the cheaper pre-workouts we’ve reviewed. But let’s be honest, you’re still not getting an awful lot for your money!
Our final verdict? If you’re looking for a pre-workout which is going to help you take your training to the next level produced by a manufacturer who understands the importance of ingredient transparency, then this is absolutely NOT the right choice for you!
 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.
 Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update- journal of international sports science and nutrition.
 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
 Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism- Obesity Reviews 2011