The Chemix pre-workout is an unusual approach to the pre-workout market – it offers some interesting new approaches we aren’t seeing everywhere. The question is – do they work?
There are some concerns for the involvement of so many proprietary blends, but there’s no doubt it’s going to be an interesting one to analyze. So let’s dig in…
About Chemix Pre-Workout
The Chemix brand has gained a lot of attention since it launched earlier this year, mostly due to the man behind the brand, Bryan Moskow, also known as the infamous Guerrilla Chemist. Its pre-workout was the first product to be launched.
The main point of this product is to utilize some lesser-known compounds to improve workout performance across a number of different areas. This is a bit of a gamble compared to the more predictable products on the market, but also offers something totally unique in many ways.
Note that this is a stim-heavy product, which some users will love but it won’t be suitable for everyone.
Let’s look at the label so you can get an idea of just how unusual this product is and what you’re going to get if you buy Chemix’s Pre-Workout…
Chemix Pre-Workout Supplement Facts
Directions for Use
There are no easily available directions for use on the Chemix website, but one scoop (7.5g) seems to be a standard serving, to take pre-workout.
Note, however, that some reviewers and customers complain of feeling ill after just one scoop of this product, so you may want to start with a smaller amount – say three-quarters of a scoop – until you assess your tolerance.
Chemix Pre-Workout Ingredient Analysis
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Peak02 Performance Blend
This just doesn’t work the way that people seem to think. It’s regarded well for regulating testicular testosterone but it’s not clear how. As a result, it’s not clear just how well this is going to work for almost anything else – including workout performance.
The majority of evidence on this compound is unclear and we’re not sure this has much benefit other than a nominal increase in lactate threshold. It could help your endurance performance if this is true, but it’s a big ‘if’ still!
This is a good immune support compound that has a long and storied history in traditional medicine. Again, there is some concern for the amount of evidence available, but Reishi is great for immune health at the very least.
It is considered promising and interesting regarding applications to anti-cancer effects and stress regulation. However, these are big claims and the evidence isn’t there just yet, but it’s a good supplementary compound just in case!
Also known as Pleurotus, this has a number of phytochemicals in it, but the actual intended usage is really unclear. There’s not much research that presents this compound as an ergogenic supplement: it’s just probably good for health.
That’s not a big scientific benefit, so we’re still skeptical. We’re not seeing much performance in this performance blend yet!
Yes, the same one you cook with. There’s nothing special about this, it’s just more mushrooms without any significant evidence that they improve performance.
Calling it a performance blend does not make it performance-enhancing. We’re unimpressed at this point.
Another mushroom, another set of unconfirmed effects. The benefits of this product do seem to include immune system regulation and cognitive performance. However, you’ll note that neither of these is ‘performance enhancing’ in a way comparable to other pre-workouts.
Improved cognitive performance is cool but there are tons of ingredients that could do this at least as well as Lion’s Mane. ALCAR, NALT, Choline, a-GPC. The list goes on.
This is a pretty cool supplementary ingredient for anti-cancer benefits, which are always good. However, as with everything else in this ‘performance blend’, there are no real performance benefits. It’s good to be healthy, but it’s not worth paying for a pre-workout that doesn’t improve your workouts very well.
This product seems to fit that bill exactly – we’re hoping that the rest of the product has more going for it…
Glycerol is a pretty cool compound – primarily for the benefits it has to hydration. Obviously, water is important – without it you will die.
The importance of proper hydration during training, however, is much greater. The muscles, organs, and even the brain require proper hydration during a workout for optimal function. Osmolytes are compounds that draw water into these tissues – and glycerol is one.
The problem here, however, is that it works best in combination with Creatine. The combination of these compounds is shown to be one of the most effective hydrating synergies around – but this product doesn’t use any creatine.
This is an easy change and would produce a much better product, for hydration as well as other benefits. Sadly, Chemix just doesn’t bother.
This can mildly reduce anxiety but doesn’t seem to have significant effects on performance outside of this context. It’s also totally reliant on high stress levels, since regular levels of anxiety/stress weren’t reduced.
This effectively caps stress but doesn’t fight it in any significant way. This can be beneficial if you’re really stressed during a workout, but we don’t think this has much value for most people – since it’s not like an Olympic training session.
We’re just not sure what the intended purpose of this ingredient is.
This is a well-proven compound for regulating mood and supporting better fatigue-management. Benefits from these primary effects include reduced anxiety, improved blood pressure, and reduced overall workout fatigue.
This can contribute to better health, longevity, and results in better overall recovery. These are significant contributors to your overall progress, so they’re great to see.
Once again, however, this is a secondary compound and not an active ‘prime mover’ in the pre-workout sphere. Tyrosine is good but it’s not making up for the lack of other active ingredients in this product so far.
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This is a compound that doesn’t actually improve brain power, but prevents long-term cognitive decline. Again, this is healthy in the long-term but doesn’t provide a significant boost to your workouts in the short-term.
This means that you’re effectively taking an ingredient that isn’t going to provide huge amounts of benefits to the workout. Which is the point of a pre-workout.
So far, this product just isn’t working for the goal it set itself. Maybe these would be better results for a general mental support supplement, but it’s being sold as a pre-workout, so we’d expect performance boosts and muscular support.
Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom
We’ve already covered this product because it’s in the performance blend, so we’re confused why it’s listed twice. This doesn’t add much to the product and we’re not convinced it’s the best addition, since it’s a huge amount of not-very-effective mushroom extract.
This is just more space that would be better filled with ingredients that actually improve your workouts!
Exothermic Energy Amalgam
The name of this blend is abrasive. However, what’s more abrasive is the fact that there are no individual dosages listed on this product (save the total 1,300+mg dosage of the blend as a whole) and its make-up could be almost anything. There’s no idea about how effective any of the ingredients might be, since the dose is going to be crucial to their effectiveness.
This is also a concern for the overall caffeine load of the product. Since there are two forms of caffeine and some other stimulants, the 1323.5mg total dosage is concerning. The amount of this that is caffeine (either citrate or anhydrous), or other stimulants, is information you need to know.
There’s nothing about this proprietary blend that justifies it being secretive: It’s not effective enough to need to be hidden. The stimulant load of a supplement is very important to both its effectiveness and safety, however, so this is a huge disappointment. Let’s examine the individual ingredients in this blend.
Caffeine (citrate and anhydrous)
Good compounds for a pre-workout, but they’re not listed effectively, and we can’t say how much there is. The two types are useful, but the content could be absolutely anything.
This is unacceptable since there’s a hard limit on the amount of caffeine each individual can/should consume in a day. Chemix isn’t making it easy to take control over your caffeine intake and thus it becomes far harder to evaluate the product.
If we can’t tell how much caffeine is in your product because you’re intentionally hiding it, we’re unimpressed. This is a nonsense habit that has no place in the modern food/nutrition/supplement industry.
This compound is primarily designed to interact with the chemicals associated with good mood, such as serotonin and dopamine. It’s a useful cognitive performance and mood enhancer but it’s also not clear how much is in this product.
It’s also decidedly not a performance-booster so we’re still on the lookout for anything in this product that would actually improve a workout. Phenylethylamine is cool, but it’s slightly underwhelming when it comes to making you bigger, stronger, faster, or more durable.
It might help mood, but so does a better workout.
We’re almost sick of saying the same things about the ingredients in this product. Rhodiola, as almost everything else here, is primarily useful for regulating mood. That’s great, we like it, but it’s not going to revolutionize your workouts.
Equally, the secondary benefits of cognitive performance and brain health are great, but they’re not going to improve your workouts. They can support a good pre-workout, but they’re adjuncts: they’re only really useful if they’re combined with something more deliberate.
So far, this blend is just secondary ingredients and ambiguous amounts of stimulants.
This is effectively a low-level stimulant that works like ephedrine. It’s considered by some to be an effective fat burner, but we’re not convinced, since the evidence just doesn’t exist to support these claims.
The overall benefits are more likely to be related to the dilation of the bronchioles in the lungs, supporting better breathing quality. This is cool if you’re into endurance and repeated bout training, but without something like Beta-Alanine or Carnosine, it’s not a huge benefit alone.
This is a form of drug that is most often used in alleviating symptoms of asthma – also used in dogs for the same purpose.
The problem here is that dosage is everything and we don’t know the dosages because of proprietary blends. The difference between 100mg and 1000mg is night and day: the former will help you breathe, while the latter could give you seizures.
This is not an appropriate ingredient for a proprietary blend. We can’t stress enough that this is an irresponsible use of secretive dosages. We’re not a fan of this kind of practice.
This is a fat burner in some pretty interesting ways but only contributes to the overall focus on stimulants and anxiety in this product. It comes with fat-burning benefits, which are a bonus, but it’s still another form of synephrine – banned by the National Collegiate Athletics Association – though this derivative might be a little safer. It’s yet more stimulant, however and in-depth research is lacking.
This is basically a secondary version of Yohimbine which may be more potent, but the evidence is nowhere near conclusive. It could be a good fat burner as a result but has been significantly associated with anxiety increases.
We don’t feel like this is a reasonable trade for the benefit you’re getting – especially since burning fat doesn’t actually help your workout. It has some mental performance changes that could be good, but they’re offset against legitimately pro-stress concerns.
This would be a great ingredient in a fat burner with anti-anxiety compounds, but this isn’t going to be the best thing to improve your workout.
Right at the bottom of the list for this blend, you’ll find one of the best compounds. Huperzine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It helps support acetylcholine levels in the brain – which are tied to everything from fatigue to mood to sports performance.
This is a great step in the right direction for a product that had – thus far – done very little to improve performance. It’s too little too late, but we do like Huperzine and we’re glad there are some redeeming qualities to this product. Of course, being at the bottom of the list usually means it has the smallest dosage. The good news is that Huperzine is usually super concentrated, so a daily dose of 50-200mcg might be enough to be effective. Let’s hope this blend contains at least that.
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Chemix Pre-Workout Formula analysis: Does it Work?
If we’re judging this product by its stated role as a pre-workout, it’s horrible. It’s not got anything to compare with other products on the market for actual performance enhancements. It’s a mental support compound that isn’t even that good, stuffed full of stimulants.
There are redeeming factors for this product, but we have to judge it by the standard it sets for itself – and it’s called a pre-workout. This falls far short of both premium pre-workout products and the entry-level products that can do a ton of good work for you with a small number of basic ingredients.
A mixture of creatine, caffeine, and theanine would be a more effective pre-workout than this product. It’s not well-suited to its intended purpose and the use of proprietary blends only disguises the serious flaws with the product.
Any Potential Side Effects with Chemix Pre-Workout?
There are some significant concerns for side-effects in this product since it contains serious stimulant load and some pro-anxiety compounds. The combination of Rauwolscine and other stimulants can make for serious anxiety effects.
It could also be a real concern for your sleep habits and quality, with the increased heart rate and anxiety adding up towards serious sleep quality disturbances. This is a concern – especially since we can’t get at the specific dosages of each compound.
If you have any prior conditions that make this a concern, you should give this product a wide berth. We think this is a serious problem and we can’t recommend this product as a result.
Chemix Pre-Workout Benefits
The benefits are almost entirely tied up with the psychological performance changes. There are no real performance-boosting ingredients, so you’d need to specifically be looking for the psychological benefits from Cordyceps and other stimulants.
The benefits are tied up with the secondary effects – even the negative ones – of these compounds. This really mars the product as a whole.
Of course, a pre-workout stuffed full of (potentially dangerous) stimulants might well give you an energy boost, but overall, this product contains a lot of fluff for not much additional benefit.
Who Takes It?
The question should probably be, who should take it? And the answer is – anyone who doesn’t have a problem with anxiety and jitters. This really narrows the field of who should use this product and we think the use of proprietary blends makes it very hard to recommend this product to anyone.
If you’re really in the market for a hard-edged stimulant-packed, ambiguous-dosage product this could be the one for you. However, don’t expect any actual benefits to the workout itself – this isn’t the product for you if you want to boost performance.
Chemix Pre-Workout Summary
- If you’re really into mushroom-based mental performance, this could be your jam
- Caffeine is a solid pre-workout ingredient, but we can’t tell how much (too little, or way too much) is included in this product.
- Proprietary blends are bullshit
- There are no actual performance boosting compounds in this product
- The mental performance compounds could give you severe anxiety
- Mushroom supplements are for hipsters; there are better alternatives
- Compounds in the proprietary blend are legitimate medical drugs and you don’t know how much you’re getting
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Chemix Pre-Workout Price & Where to Buy
The Chemix website itself is probably the place to go – but even then, the premium price point is ridiculous for what it is.
This is a $50 product that offers $10 of value, so we’re really not fans – and we don’t think you should put your money into this product when it asks so much for so little.
Chemix Pre-Workout Review: Final Word
We want to get behind a product from the Guerilla Chemist, we really do. If for no other reason than his alter ego sounds kick-ass, and his story is impressive.
At 26-years-old and fascinated by the supplement industry, the man behind Chemix went back to university to alter his career trajectory and earn his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. A long six or seven years in study, and he did just that. Props to him. We also note that the man behind the product claims he’s taken a ‘very long time’ to get his product right, hence wants to keep his formula secret (and the blend proprietary).
But unfortunately, we can’t just take his word for it that every ingredient is ‘an exact dose for maximum synergy and effect’— that doesn’t tell us anything.
In our opinion, this product is an example of all the things that are wrong with the supplement industry: ambiguous dosages, poorly thought-out ingredient choices, lack of synergists, and the odd insistence of hiding poor ingredients behind proprietary and ‘performance’ blends.
It doesn’t fit the point of a pre-workout, but it could’ve been a decent focus and fat-burner. After all, it’s basically just a combination of nootropics and stimulants. However, it’s billed as a pre-workout so we must judge it as such, and it does very little to convince us of its value in that field.
We don’t like the performance blend or the proprietary blends, and for $50 you’d be better off buying two containers of an entry-level pre-workout – or a premium pre-workout that actually does what it says.
We don’t like it.