If you’re iffy about today’s pre-workout supplement ingredients, a non-traditional product such as ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT could be the solution. This review will give you the lowdown and more.
About ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT is “the clean way to boost energy, hydration levels, and muscle preparation for a better workout,” per its official website. Formula notes:
- Non-traditional pre-workout ingredients. Simply put, this isn’t your usual pre-workout supplement.
- 2.5 grams of l-leucine per serving. The most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process.
- No artificial ingredients. It’s not every day you find a supplement without sucralose and other artificial ingredients.
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT Supplement Facts (Raspberry Lemonade, 360 grams)
|Serving Size: 1 Rounded Scoop (12 g)
Servings Per Container: 30
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0 g||0%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||3 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g||0%|
|Total Sugars||0 g|
|Includes 0 g Added Sugars||0%|
|Vitamin D||5 mcg||25%|
|Ingredients: Whey Protein Isolate, Natural Flavors, Leucine, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Monk Fruit Extract, Coffee Fruit Extract, Vitamin D2, Sunflower Lecithin.|
|Directions: Mix one scoop into 8 oz. of water and gently shake to mix. Add additional water as desired for taste. Consume 20-30 min. before your workout.|
Pre-Workout Clean Energy And Hydration Fuel
Many top-notch pre-workout supplements feature the usual ingredients which help fire you up: betaine, beta-alanine, citrulline, caffeine, l-theanine, and the like. Here are some which quickly come to mind:
- Controlled Labs White Flash
- Optimum Nutrition PRO PRE
- MusclePharm Wreckage
- iSatori MORPH XTREME
- 4 Gauge
Take Controlled Labs White Flash, for example. If you’re craving for insane muscle pumps, this should fit the bill. We’re sure its l-citrulline, agmatine sulfate, VASO6 Green Tea Leaf Extract, and theobromine components will work synergistically to make your veins bulge out.
iSatori MORPH XTREME takes it to a different level – it has an incredible seven grams of citrulline malate per scoop. Many bodybuilding enthusiasts want muscle pumps and increase energy prior to their workout. iSatori MORPH XTREME’s citrulline malate content is up to the daunting task.
On the other hand, it’s about time we size up a non-traditional pre-workout supplement. We’re looking for a product which gives you that edge which doesn’t resort to the usual pre-workout ingredients. Let’s see if ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT exceeds everybody’s expectations.
The manufacturer describes this pre-workout as “the clean way to boost energy, hydration levels, and muscle preparation for a better workout,” per its official website. We like the use of the word “clean” in the product description. It’s one adjective many bodybuilding supplement manufacturers overlook. When you see all the filler-laden products on store shelves today, you’ll see what we mean.
We also like the comprehensiveness of the description. Any time a pre-workout helps ramp up energy levels, hydration, and muscle preparation before your first rep, it’s worth considering. If it can give you a solid mental boost, much better.
Whey Protein Isolate, 4 grams
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has four grams of whey protein isolate per 12-gram scoop. That means one-third of every serving is protein. That’s unusual for a pre-workout supplement.
Whey protein isolate (WPI) is the purer form of protein compared to whey protein concentrate (WPC). The former is 90 to 95 percent protein. In contrast, WPC is roughly 70 to 85 percent protein. Thus, WPI has lower fat, carb, and lactose content than WPC. If you have lactose issues, WPI is the better choice.
The downside: WPI has lower lactoferrin and immunoglobulin content than WPC due to the additional processing it undergoes. In other words, if you want better immune-system-boosting benefits, WPC gets the nod. WPI also tends to taste more bitter than WPC. Finally, WPI is more expensive.
Does that mean WPI is the better choice? Not necessarily. To each his own – if you’re serious about building lean muscle mass, go for WPI. If you want a bit more carbs and fats to balance your macros, WPC emerges victorious.
As for WPI as a pre-workout supplement ingredient, it provides several crucial benefits:
- Provides energy for the muscles
- Increases muscle protein synthesis (MPS)
- Facilitates muscle tissue repair
- Increases the number of calories one burns
Here’s the key: whey protein contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are essential amino acids (which one must obtain from whole foods or supplements since the body doesn’t synthesize them) which serve as the building blocks of protein. These BCAAs fuel your muscles while you are exercising. Rigorous training oxidizes these BCAAs. Ergo, if you consume whey protein prior to a workout, it helps ward off muscle breakdown.
Some experts also believe pre-workout protein consumption complements a low-carb nutrition plan. If you are on a low-carb diet, and you consume whey before exercising, it results in increased fat burning. So, if chugging on a whey protein shake before training helps preserve muscle mass and torch fat, we’re all for it.
Unfortunately, four grams of whey protein isolate before training won’t cut it. To reap as many pre-workout benefits as possible, one must consume at least 20 grams of whey protein prior to a tough workout.
On the other hand, let’s not forget about the most anabolic amino acid, l-leucine. This takes up 2.5 grams per serving in ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT. Leucine helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process by signaling the release of a special protein (mTOR) from the hypothalamus (a part of the brain responsible for sensory information).
As for leucine’s role in pre-workout formulas, it helps preserve muscle mass. As hard evidence, the July 17, 2008 issue of Nutrition & Metabolism (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov) says, “The sparing protein effects of leucine supplementation have been known since the initial studies of Buse & Reid (1975). Due to its properties of isolated action, leucine is actually considered not only an AA constituting protein, but also a physiopharmacological entity, whose administration is capable of promoting anti-catabolic actions.”
On that note, we believe ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT’s 2.5 grams of l-leucine per serving should go a long way. In fact, you’ll find this much leucine in many BCAA supplements (such as EVLUTION NUTRITION LEAN BCAA and Bodybuilding.com Signature Amino Plus Energy).
Vitamin D2, 5 micrograms
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT also has five micrograms of vitamin D2 per serving. This is one of the most unusual pre-workout supplement ingredients (you’ll normally find vitamin D in many multivitamins). In fact, it’s the first pre-workout we’ve seen which has this component.
It turns out vitamin D helps in the muscle repair process. “Recently, on a basis of animal trials and in vitro basic biology studies, data have emerged suggestive of a beneficial role for vitamin D in skeletal muscle repair and remodeling,” per the January 24, 2018 issue of the New Zealand journal Sports Medicine (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).
Vitamin D also may have a positive impact on cardiovascular function. According to an April 2017 study which John Hopkins University’s official website cited, individuals with the highest vitamin D levels “had the lowest risk for future cardiovascular disease.” While questions on vitamin D’s impact on heart health still linger, this is a good sign of things to come.
A final key benefit of vitamin D for hard-training athletes is its ability to strengthen bones. Taking this vitamin before a training session should benefit the bones inasmuch as pre-workout whey protein supplementation preserves muscle mass. We say 5 micrograms of vitamin D2 (yielding a solid 25 percent of the daily value, a high level) should do the trick.
Magnesium, 95 milligrams
Another unusual pre-workout component is the mineral magnesium, which takes up 95 milligrams per serving in ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT. This is the second-most abundant mineral in cells after potassium. Its most important pre-workout benefit is its ability to metabolize adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy-carrying molecule.
Plus, “magnesium enhances exercise performance via increasing glucose availability in the blood, muscle, and brain during exercise,” per the January 20, 2014 issue of PLoS One (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov). It’s safe to say we shouldn’t underestimate the role of magnesium in pre-workout formulas ever again.
This is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Magnesium also has other vital health benefits:
- Promotes normal muscle and nerve function
- Helps the muscles relax
- Boosts heart health
- Regulates blood pressure levels and immunity
- Strengthens bones
- Improves sleep quality
- Increases testosterone levels
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT also has 25 percent of the daily value for magnesium. We say this much should help you achieve your pre-workout goals, and then some.
Caffeine, 150 milligrams
The final major ingredient of ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT is caffeine (from concentrated coffee fruit extract), which takes up 150 milligrams per 12-gram scoop.
Caffeine is arguably the most popular stimulant in the bodybuilding supplement industry. Nobody can argue it can increase energy levels. “Caffeine mobilizes fat stores and encourages working muscles to use fat as fuel. This delays the depletion of muscle glycogen and allows for a prolongation of exercise,” per Rice University’s official website.
Just like magnesium, caffeine also has a plethora of other health benefits:
- Increases fat burning
- Improves physical performance
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Boosts liver health
- Wards off free radicals
Please bear in mind caffeine is a double-edged sword: too much may result in a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness in some individuals. Supplementing with ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT is like consuming one cup of brewed coffee. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, better skip this product.
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
- Total fat, 0 g: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has no fat content whatsoever.
- Saturated fat, 0 g: The American Heart Association’s official website recommends limiting saturated fat intake because it increases bad cholesterol levels. This, in turn, may result in cardiovascular issues. We’re glad ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has no saturated fat content.
- Trans fat, 0 g: This pre-workout also has no trans fats, an ingredient which is detrimental to cardiovascular function.
- Cholesterol, 0 mg: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has not cholesterol content at all.
- Sodium, 250 mg: This pre-workout supplement has moderate amounts of sodium at 11 percent of the daily value. As a key electrolyte, sodium helps regulate fluid levels in the body. It also helps keep muscle cramps at bay. If you’re monitoring your salt intake, try a pre-workout supplement which has no more than five percent of the daily value for sodium (such as Infinite Labs Juggernaut X).
- Total carbohydrates, 3 g: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has a scant amount of carbs at just one percent of the daily value. This supplement should complement any low-carb nutrition plan perfectly.
- Dietary fiber, 0 g: This product has zero dietary fiber content.
- Total sugars (includes 0 g additional sugars), 0 g: We’re relieved to stumble upon a bodybuilding product which has no sucralose (an artificial sweetener which has links to obesity) for once. Even better, ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has zero sugar content. That’s amazing, to say the least. We’re stoked this supplement has monk fruit extract, a low-calorie natural sweetener which helps keep free radicals at bay, boost weight loss, and improve liver function.
- Protein, 4 g: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has four grams of whey protein isolate per serving. This is the purer form of protein (90 to 95 percent) compared to whey protein concentrate (70 to 85 percent). This much also yields 2.5 grams of l-leucine per serving. This is the most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process.
- Vitamin D, 5 mcg: This vitamin helps repair muscle tissue, boost cardiovascular function, strengthen bones, and ward off free radicals.
- Calcium, 23 mg: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT is not a significant source of calcium at a measly two percent of the daily value.
- Iron, 0 mg: This supplement has no iron content whatsoever.
- Potassium, 34 mg: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT’s 34 milligrams of potassium per scoop is equal to a paltry zero percent of the daily value.
- Magnesium, 95 mg: A versatile mineral which helps increase energy levels, improve exercise performance, promote normal muscle and nerve function, boost heart health, regulate blood pressure levels, strengthen bones, ramp up testosterone levels, and improve sleep quality.
Non-traditional pre-workout formulas have flown under the radar in recent past. Big-name pre-workout supplements feature the likes of betaine anhydrous, beta-alanine, caffeine, citrulline, citrulline malate, and the like. It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen one which defies the norm.
Enter ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT, the Pre-Workout Clean Energy & Hydration Fuel. It has one of the more unusual pre-workout formulations we’ve seen, but hey, it works. It turns out harnessing the powers of whey protein isolate (four grams), l-leucine (2.5 grams), vitamin D2 (five micrograms), magnesium (95 milligrams), and concentrated coffee fruit extract (150 milligrams) will help you crank out more reps at the gym.
While we’re not quite sold on the four grams of WPI per scoop (20 grams or so would’ve been more appropriate for better energy expenditure and increased muscle protein synthesis [MPS] prior to a tough workout), we’re pleased with the other ingredient amounts.
Supplementing with 2.5 grams of l-leucine per serving should help maintain an anabolic environment in the body before your workout. Studies suggest this BCAA helps preserve muscle mass, increase fat loss, and keep inflammation at bay.
As for the five micrograms of vitamin D2 and 95 milligrams of magnesium per scoop, they should go a long way. Their combined pre-workout benefits include improved muscle repair and exercise performance, better heart health, stronger bones, and increased energy levels. You don’t want to miss out on these, for sure.
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT’s 150 milligrams of caffeine (from concentrated coffee fruit extract) per serving should help rev up your engine before a grueling workout. This much should also help you torch fat, improve physical performance, regulate blood sugar levels, and boost liver health.
It bears repeating: caffeine is a double-edged sword. Too much may result in a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness in some individuals. ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT’s 150 milligrams of caffeine per scoop is like sipping on one cup of brewed coffee.
With the exception of its moderate sodium levels (11 percent of the daily value), none of the other ingredient amounts in ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT alarmed us. You can’t pass up on a pre-workout with zero fat, cholesterol, sugar, (the inclusion of the low-calorie natural sweetener monk fruit extract is a major plus), and sucralose content (which is a rarity nowadays).
For the most part, the manufacturer displays great transparency. We just find it a bit odd it didn’t divulge ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT’s daily value for protein (most bodybuilding supplements do). That’s a bit of a head-scratcher.
Nevertheless, ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT enjoys a tremendous reputation among customers. They say it helps them achieve their fitness goals, and then some. We’re confident you will, too.
Make no mistake about it: ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT is one pre-workout supplement which will exceed your expectations. If you’re iffy about the traditional pre-workout ingredients, buy this one. It should help you crank out more reps at the gym than you ever imagined.
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT Benefits
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT has the following benefits, per its official website:
- No sugar content
- No artificial ingredients
- One hundred fifty milligrams of caffeine per scoop
- Gluten-free and sports-certified
We agree with all of these claims. ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT should help you achieve your long-term pre-workout goals.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT for healthy and active individuals who are at least 18 years of age who want to increase energy, endurance, and muscle mass; improve exercise performance, boost their long-term health, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT contains 150 milligrams of caffeine (from concentrated coffee fruit extract), an ingredient which may cause a spike-crash effect, jitters, nervousness, and sleeplessness when one takes it in excess.
The manufacturer also issues a warning:
ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT Review Summary
- Non-traditional pre-workout formulation. Defies the norm, but it works. That’s what counts.
- 2.5 grams of l-leucine per scoop. The most anabolic amino acid which helps kickstart the muscle protein synthesis process.
- Vitamin D2 content. Helps repair muscle mass, boost heart health, strengthen bones, and keep free radicals at bay.
- Magnesium. Versatile mineral which helps increase energy levels, improve exercise performance, and improve cardiovascular function.
- No artificial ingredients. This is always a major plus for any bodybuilding supplement.
- Low in fats, cholesterol, carbs, and sugar. These bode well for long-term health.
- Great reputation. Customers have given this pre-workout high marks online.
- Flavor options. Comes in Raspberry Lemonade and Watermelon flavors.
- Caffeine content. Bona fide double-edged sword.
- Mediocre protein levels. We doubt a measly four grams of WPI per scoop will ramp up energy levels and muscle protein synthesis.
- Inconsistent transparency. Manufacturer doesn’t reveal daily value of protein content.
Pricing & Where to Buy
- 1 360-gram container (30-Day Supply): $34.99
- Available online and in retail
Final Word on ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT
After a thorough analysis, we say the so-called “Pre-Workout Clean Energy & Hydration Fuel” emerges victorious. You can’t pass up on its impressive formulation and clean ingredients. When you put its non-traditional components together, they should give you a fast return on your investment.
On that note, we highly recommend you buy ASCENT PRE-WORKOUT. It may have a few minor chinks, but it’s still a worthy addition to your bodybuilding supplement stack.