There are many types of pre-workout supplements out there; some are designed to stimulate your central nervous system (these are almost always ridiculously high in caffeine).
Some are designed to be completely stimulant free, while others tend to be a mix of the two (some stimulants, but they aren’t massively high in dosage).
Recently, there has been an increase in pre-workouts that include certain amino acids and ingredients that can increase blood flow to the muscles.
Pump by Beyond Raw is one of these pre-workouts.
But is a pre-workout that focuses almost entirely on increasing blood flow and creating a muscle pump going to cut it?
Most pre-workouts offer a pump as well as a host of other benefits.
It would have to be a seriously impressive pump pre-workout to stand out from the crowd.
So, is “Pump” going to manage it?
In this article we will be taking an in-depth look at Pump, analyzing the ingredients list, assessing the claims made, and helping you to decide whether Pump is the pre-workout supplement for you.
About Pump by Beyond Raw
Beyond Raw is an in-house supplement company for General Nutrition Centre (GNC), one of the largest Health Stores in the world.
Pump is not the first pre-workout to come out of Beyond Raw. There is LIT and LIT AF which are both stimulant pre-workouts (LIT AF contains 300mg of caffeine!).
But Pump is their first stimulant-free pre-workout.
And the first one to concentrate mostly on increasing blood flow during a workout.
Pump is labelled as a nitric oxide enhancer. But it still needs to be taken pre-workout so calling it one is not particularly controversial.
Interestingly, Beyond Raw have not written any claims or mentioned any benefits of taking their Pump pre-workout.
Which is odd, usually supplement companies fill every inch of space with claims ranging from reasonable to outlandish.
Not so here. We can’t help but feel that Beyond Raw are missing a trick.
There are legitimate benefits to taking a nitric oxide enhancing supplement, but your average man or woman on the street is not going to know any of them. It’s a little surprising to be honest.
Serving Size: 1 scoop
Servings per Container: 20
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Directions for Use
The directions for this supplement are very simple. Combine one scoop of pump pre-workout with 8 fl. oz of water. The directions say that it should be taken before a workout rather than during a workout (which a lot of nitric oxide supplements recommend).
Pump Formula Analysis
Beyond Raw has split up its ingredients into two sections: N.O. Intensifier is the first section, which contains ingredients that are designed to increase blood flow by boosting nitric oxide production.
The second section is labelled “Muscle & Mitochondrial Energy Matrix” and is designed to banish fatigue and increase your energy levels during a workout. We will look at the two sections separately.
The goal of the N.O. Intensifier is to increase nitric oxide production which leads to a widening of blood vessels and an increase in blood flow.
This will make you look more vascular during a workout, but it also has the benefit of increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles which can help with protein synthesis and growth
L-Citrulline Malate (6g):
L-citrulline is an amino acid that is crucial for nitric oxide metabolism. Studies have shown that citrulline can massively increase nitric oxide production .
It is often added to pre-workouts because it is very effective at reducing fatigue which means that you can exercise harder and for longer.
A 2010 study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning found that citrulline malate increased anaerobic performance and relieved muscle soreness .
The dosage of 6g is perfectly within the guideline target of between 6g and 8g per day.
Glycerol is a sugar-alcohol that is found in pre-workouts due to its ability to increase water retention in the blood.
This combines well with nitric oxide-boosting ingredients such as citrulline malate. You get an increase in vascularity, a lot of blood flow to the muscles (so a bigger pump) and you can even see aerobic performance benefits.
Until 2018, glycerol was a banned substance due to it being used as a masking agent (you can use it to hide certain drugs).
But it is now off the banned list and can be taken without worry.
Nitrosigine® is a combination of inositol and l-arginine that is used by many supplement companies.
Arginine is an amino acid that is great at increasing blood flow while nitrosigine® is an excellent nitric oxide booster.
Oxyjun® is a proprietary formula of terminalia arjuna bark extract. TA bark has been shown to improve anaerobic performance, and increase power output .
The dosage is again, ideal.
This supplement ingredient is made up of three ingredients: moringa oleifera leaf extract, pomegranate extract, and black garlic extract.
The supplement has been shown to help increase nitric oxide levels, reduce muscle fatigue, and increase endurance.
Muscle & Mitochondrial Energy Matrix
This next section is designed to increase the amount of energy you have during a workout; it is a much smaller section than the previous N.O. Intensifier section.
- Taurine (1g): This ingredient is common in pre-workouts and is very effective at increasing exercise capacity as well as blood flow. The dosage is ideal, with an advised range of between 500mg and 2g.
- CoQ10 (50mg): Just like taurine, CoQ10 is a supplement that can increase exercise capacity as well as blood flow. It also appears to reduce fatigue, reduce exercise-induced oxidation, and can reduce muscle damage. The dosage is a little low, standard dosage is between 90mg and 200mg.
- PureQQ® Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (10mg): An interesting ingredient here, Quinone has many benefits but is rarely used in supplements. It has been shown to reduce pain, reduce fatigue, and reduce C-reactive protein .
There are numerous benefits to taking Pump by Beyond Raw. The most obvious is the increase in blood flow, nitric oxide production, and therefore a “pump”.
This will lead to you looking better during a workout and having more oxygen and nutrients delivered to your muscles – which can help with muscle protein synthesis, and an improvement in aerobic and anaerobic performance.
There are several ingredients that can help reduce fatigue. This is ideal for anyone taking a non-stim pre-workout, as it will help you train harder even if you’re suffering from a lack of sleep.
Many of the ingredients also appear to reduce muscle soreness or pain, which is something that you want in a pre-workout too.
This supplement should help you to train the day after a tough session; it should allow you to lift heavier weights, for more reps, and see an improvement in your cardio performance too.
All of this is achieved without any stimulatory ingredients.
The added blood flow that many of these ingredients cause will also help with recovery the next day.
Who Takes it?
Pump is aimed at a younger audience, ones who like to train hard but also want the best opportunity to recover afterwards.
The packaging is clearly aimed at the “hardcore training” demographic.
But anyone can take it really, the ingredients are non-stimulatory, they will benefit young and old, male and female, gym noob and experienced lifter alike.
Obviously, a supplement that increases blood flow should be avoided by people with high blood pressure or similar issues.
Talk to your doctor before purchasing.
Any Potential Side Effects with Beyond Raw Pump?
Beyond Raw Pump is stimulant-free which helps to make it much safer. You shouldn’t experience any significant side effects with this product.
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- Ingredients are well-dosed across the board
- Increased nitric oxide production
- Increased blood flow
- Reduction in fatigue
- Improved performance in aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Improved muscle protein synthesis and recovery
- No ingredient really stands out
- Fairly bland benefits
- Quite expensive per serving
- Very difficult to purchase outside of US
Pump Price and Where to Buy
Beyond Raw is a GNC exclusive supplement, meaning that it cannot be bought anywhere other than in a GNC store or via their website.
This is fine if you live in the US, but it can be very difficult to find internationally.
We couldn’t find any Beyond Raw supplements available in the UK for example (except for one whey protein supplement that was about four times the price).
The price is $39.99 for 20 servings, which works out at almost $2 per serving. This is quite steep for a pre-workout, though not unheard of.
For that price we’d be expecting one of the best pre-workouts on the market, and this isn’t quite there.
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Beyond Raw Pump Review
To stand out from the crowd, a pre-workout supplement needs to really do something special…
…And we’re not sure that Pump does that.
Don’t get us wrong, there is a lot to like about this product. The dosage of nearly every ingredient is spot on, which is rare for a pre workout!
Usually, you’ll find at least a few of the ingredients are at around half dosage. But aside from CoQ10 which is a little low, every single ingredient in Pump is fully dosed to be effective.
There are a lot of nitric oxide boosting ingredients too, and you’ll definitely see a big muscle pump during your workout (provided you’re exercising hard enough).
But vanity aside, there aren’t that many benefits to a good pump.
Sure, the extra blood flow can help you grind out a couple more reps. But there are many ingredients (such as creatine or betaine) that can do a better job of that.
Pump as a supplement doesn’t put a foot wrong really.
It’s a solid pre-workout, but there are so many more creative supplements out there.
Getting a pump is fine, increased blood flow is fine, but this is not going to compete with a highly caffeinated pre-workout – which the good stim-free pre-workouts can do.
What ingredients are going to massively help improve your cognitive functions? Which ones are going to allow you to focus more?
Where is that euphoric feeling that allows you to attack your workout going to come from? Pump doesn’t provide any of that.
As we mentioned earlier, ingredients such as betaine, beta-alanine, creatine etc. … are obviously missing here.
To be fair to Beyond Raw, they’ve marketed this as a nitric oxide boosting pre-workout, and it does a very good job at that. But most people who take a pre-workout are looking for more than a pump!
If you already have a good pre-workout routine and all you want is a supplement that is dedicated to increasing blood flow to the muscles, then Pump by Beyond Raw is a phenomenal supplement.
Cleverly chosen ingredients that are perfectly dosed, ingredients such as glycerol that compliment nitric oxide boosting ingredients such as citrulline malate.
But if you are looking for an excellent pre-workout supplement, then Pump is probably not going to cut it.
There just isn’t that X-factor ingredient that helps Pump stand out from the crowd and justify its price.
You won’t notice a massive increase in energy, you will get an average drop in fatigue (but you’ll find that in almost any pre-workout) and there are no mental benefits to help keep you motivated and sharp during your workout.