Few characters in the fitness space have as much exposure and distinctive personality as CT Fletcher. Built on big bench, biceps, and curse words, CT Fletcher’s success spawned its own supplement line – because there aren’t enough of those out there already!
Today we’re looking at Sidewalk Kraka – a pre-workout supplement of sorts whose main selling point is its affiliation with CT Fletcher. Does the product live up to the ‘hardcore’ branding and character you’d expect from CT?
Let’s see what to expect…
About Sidewalk Kraka
This is a supplement that is billed as a pre-workout but has some very narrow uses. It’s not quite the same as a general-use pre-workout, which makes it an interesting one to look at.
Here’s what the label has to say:
Directions for Use
Take a single scoop before working out. Don’t take any more than that, however, as we’re going to discuss some of the possible problems with this product. You’re going to want to stick with the recommended single-scoop recommendation.
What Is in Sidewalk Kraka?
Beta-alanine is an endurance compound that improves your time to exhaustion. This isn’t quite what we expected from Sidewalk Kraka since CT Fletcher is all about getting great pumps, not setting PBs on the treadmill.
You’ll experience better performance when you’re dragging ass through a long or high-paced endurance workout. However, it’s not very impressive alone, as there is no creatine or other compounds to support strength or power performance.
Beta-alanine is good, but it’s not in-line with the idea of this product or what it should do for you. Not the intuitive first choice of ingredient – especially since this is the main compound in the product.
Agmatine is a mood-supporting compound that doesn’t have any proven benefits for performance. It might be a good secondary compound to the various forms of caffeine, but it’s not going to improve your workout performance.
There’s something to be said for feeling better and the psychological benefits, but we’re not convinced this is the best choice. It combines well with other ingredients in this product like Choline and Theobromine, but we’re still not sold.
Arginine supplementation is the inferior cousin of Citrulline Malate. This compound is meant to improve your nitric oxide levels and boost pumps. Sadly, Arginine is poorly digested, and evidence tells us that oral Arginine doesn’t improve serum Arginine or nitric oxide.
This is an easy replacement if you get Citrulline instead, and it’s an easy switch to make. Even so, the dose of arginine in this product is tiny so that even if you were taking Citrulline instead, it wouldn’t be enough for performance.
Overall, this is a second-rate ingredient choice at a tiny dose. This is the first example of the sheer quantity of ingredients diluting the benefits of any single ingredient – something we’ll be touching on repeatedly.
The building block of crucial neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which is key for things like perception of fatigue, mood, and overall mental performance.
Choline supplementation is hit and miss from the start, but the dose here is actually pretty good. We like the combination of Choline with other compounds in this product, however, so it’s redeeming itself somewhat.
Overall, supplementation of choline seems promising for improvements at a mental performance and mood level. However, choline is not a performance compound for workouts, recovery, or pumps, which is a persistent trend with Sidewalk Kraka.
Sidewalk Kraka doesn’t just use one, but three forms of caffeine. Caffeine is the most well-studied and commonly-used ergogenic drug, so this is a pretty good choice. The amount of caffeine in this product is oddly high considering how little of anything else useful you’re going to get.
Caffeine Anhydrous (300mg)
The main form of caffeine is the standard kind you’ll get from most supplements: anhydrous.
This is an effective dose of caffeine, sitting well within the 250-400mg range you’d need for optimal performance without serious risks. This carries improvements to mental and physical performance, which is great – especially when combined with carbohydrates.
The problem is that caffeine is such a common compound on the market and this product relies too heavily on it. There’s nothing wrong with this, but caffeine/stimulants aren’t suitable for everyone, and its main performance-enhancing compound isn’t unique in any way.
Dicaffeine Malate (50mg)
A proprietary form of caffeine with a bound chemical structure, it offers an interesting choice. This is a pretty promising form of caffeine, but it is also interesting just how much actual caffeine you’re getting from this product.
Dicaffeine malate at 50mg is okay, but the Malic acid is going to take up a significant quantity of those 50mg. It’s a great compound for reducing the digestive burden of caffeine, which is pretty much the main benefit of this ingredient.
It could balance the digestive burden, but at the cost of even more caffeine – making double-scooping a real risk.
Caffeine Citrate (20mg)
This is a pretty cool form of caffeine since it helps improve lung function – albeit mildly. It’s a good choice for improving performance in exercise that requires better respiratory exchange (cardio and HIIT).
However, at half the potency of anhydrous caffeine, it doesn’t do much since there is only 20mg of CafCit in this product. It’s something we think has potential but would make more sense if it replaced more of the Caffeine Anhydrous content.
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The active ingredient in cocoa, this is a stimulant that has some similarities to caffeine. As before, this does raise some questions about the stimulant load of a single scoop of this product. It certainly makes us even more clear that you shouldn’t double scoop this product.
100mg of theobromine on top of the 370mg of caffeine we’re already looking at puts the stimulant load of this product somewhere in the .5g region, which is significant. Clearly, there’s a concerted effort to use stimulants instead of targeted, performance-boosting ingredients.
Guess what? Another stimulant.
Hordenine is interesting from a nutritional perspective because of the metabolic effects. Comparable to caffeine, it seems to act in similar ways and effects noradrenaline, potentially increasing metabolic rate.
The problem for Sidewalk Kraka is that this is still very early into clinical research and the FDA has suggested avoiding Hordenine due to its unknown effects. If you’re slapping 75mg of extra stimulant on top of the existing caffeine and theobromine, this risk seems more pronounced.
Speaking of stimulants, CT has one more in the bag for us before we’re done discussing the immense stimulant burden of this product…
A less potent form of ephedrine, and primarily used as a fat burner (despite not being very good at that), this is the final stimulant on the list.
It’s a compound that has very little actual nutritional value outside of its stimulant effects: it doesn’t boost performance or positively effect recovery/growth. It’s entirely designed and included for the sake of trying to get you more alert and upping your heart rate.
You know, in case the 0.55g of stimulants weren’t enough already.
The 60mg of synephrine brings the total stimulant burden to 0.61g per serving, of which 370mg are caffeine. This is a bit crazy, since the recommended upper limit for daily caffeine consumption alone is 400mg.
Theanine is – in our opinion – the best compound to stack caffeine with. It improves alertness from Caffeine while also combatting side effects like headaches or jitters. This is great most of the time, though in this product we suspect it might be a bit weak to make it safe.
It’s a good compound for the effects it has but it’s like trying to put a band-aid on a bullet hole: it’s not sufficient to deal with this much caffeine and other stimulants.
We do love Theanine though: this should be with your caffeine wherever it is possible to get it in.
This is a grapefruit extract that is primarily useful as a strong antioxidant, as well as some suspected complimentary effects with Caffeine.
We’re not entirely convinced of this, since the evidence is scant, but it could be cool if it works. It’s currently under investigation for its influence on diabetes and bone health in rodent studies.
Pretty interesting at a health level, but nowhere near clinical doses, and not a pre-workout winner.
This is a mental performance compound – as with almost everything else in this product. It’s another low-potency stimulant, adding yet more reason to be concerned about the adrenal and heart implications of this product.
The problems with this ingredient are how it doesn’t have much human evidence for its benefits, and rodent studies suggest problems. For example, rodent studies on N-Methyltyramine (NMT) suggest that it reduces fat-burning – not looking good.
It would have been easy to not include this product, and replace it with anything useful, even if it was just vitamins and minerals.
Alpha-yohimbine or isoyohimbine is a form of yohimbine that is theorized to be more potent. On the other hand, that’s all theory since it has even less conclusive evidence than regular yohimbine.
Yohimbine is a fat burner with pro-anxiety effects, so it’s already a mixed bag. A more potent form of yohimbine would improve fat-burning and mood but may also have pronounced anxiety effects.
Obviously, increased anxiety while heavily stimulated is a concern for mental wellbeing and is likely to make your total recovery (psychological and physical) more difficult.
This pairs well with choline since it combats the breakdown of AcH – the neurotransmitter we discussed earlier. This makes it a great secondary compound and synergist. However, it’s a pretty minor inclusion and doesn’t redeem the shortcomings of this product.
It also helps support memory and overall mental performance, which is also clearly good news!
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Sidewalk Kraka Formula Analysis
Does Sidewalk Kraka work? This is an unusually hard one to answer. In some ways this product and formula work, but in many others they’re not up to par or simply ask too much for the modest benefits.
The crucial issue is what you want a pre-workout for. We’ve mentioned in some of our other pre-workout reviews that we like performance improvements, mental performance boosts, and great pumps.
These are the key benefits of a pre-workout formula and Sidewalk Kraka doesn’t really live up to the market alternatives on these. There’s a huge quantity of stimulants in this product, which provide some mental and physical performance boosts, but at a huge cost.
Good luck with that.
There are physical benefits to stimulants – they tend to improve strength and power, or at least strength-endurance – but not much else.
You’ll be more fatigue resistant and perform well, but they work best with reliable performance improving compounds. Things like Creatine and Citrulline. While this product does include Beta-alanine, the benefits are restricted primarily to cardio and endurance.
That’s fine if you’re trying to improve endurance, but it’s not what you’d expect from the product or its figurehead, CT Fletcher.
Mental Performance Boosts
You’ll feel more awake at the end of a long day when using this product. However, you may never sleep again due to the ridiculous number of stimulants and the sheer burden of over 0.6g of stimulant burden.
You also don’t get to double scoop this product, which is a concern since other compounds are under-dosed per serving.
We should be fair to Sidewalk Kraka; there are some good compounds in here. We like a 3-caffeine approach if it was better dosed, and the combination with Theanine and other compounds is good for supporting overall mental performance.
We just wish it wasn’t chocked full of stimulants! This product just isn’t good enough to justify this kind of huge stimulant content and it lacks actual performance-boosting ingredients.
Pumps and Wellbeing
Muscle pumps are one of the main aspects of a pre-workout that physique enthusiasts look for. You won’t find any significant benefits here since the Arginine is ineffective compared to Citrulline.
This would be an easy switch that also brings improved fatigue-resistance without stimulants. Using a hefty dose of citrulline instead of the unnecessary adrenal stimulants, Arginine, or Agmatine would make this product so much better!
It’s also missing out on other cool secondary ingredients like Piperine (for absorption), any vitamins or minerals, and even Creatine. There’s just not much semblance of purpose or careful design in this product.
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Our Verdict of Sidewalk Kraka
Honestly, it’s hard to make a case for this product. It does some things effectively but at a huge cost, and in ways that are clearly inferior to other products on the market.
There’s not much to commend this product over other pre-workout supplements that we’ve looked at. It’s lacking in performance-enhancing compounds, the mental benefits are marred by a huge amount of heartrate busting stimulants, and there’s not much of a coherent design about it.
Overall, we’re underwhelmed at best!
Sidewalk Kraka Benefits
The benefits of this product are best described as ‘caffeination’. It’s a strong stimulant so if you’re falling asleep at your desk it will help, but in the bigger picture it’s not tremendously beneficial.
The ingredients are poorly chosen for the tone and intention of the product, while the stimulant load might be effective but no more than competitors. It falls short on the performance enhancing compounds, which are all that really separates a pre-workout from caffeine powder/tablets!
Who Takes It?
Absolutely nobody with a heart condition or stimulant sensitivity! We wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending this product due to the significant stimulant load and the total lack of comparable benefits.
It’s a high risk, low reward product and we don’t think this should be anyone’s go-to pre-workout supplement. Maybe nobody should use this product, if they have a decent alternative!
Any Potential Sidewalk Kraka Side Effects?
In case we hadn’t mentioned it, this product is very likely to come with side-effects from the variety and quantity of stimulants. Not only does it contain tons of them, but there are things like Theobromine you probably don’t have any tolerance to.
If you’ve experienced heart problems, elevated heart rate, excessive blood pressure, are prone to headaches, or are using prescription medicines do not use this product.
Sidewalk Kraka Summary
It’s bad: it has too many side effects for a product this underwhelming. We recommend avoiding this product.
- Don’t need to take much for it to wake you up
- Some good synergists for caffeine/mental alertness (e.g. theanine, choline, Huperzine)
- Stimulants everywhere! Far more than necessary or useful
- Doesn’t provide many ingredients to support performance or results
- The performance boosters it does have aren’t for size or strength
- Most other pre-workouts do most things better than this product
- Some compounds are still treated with serious skepticism by the FDAs
Yeah – don’t buy this product if you have any decent alternatives.
- below the 75kg serving recommendation for clinical effectiveness
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Sidewalk Kraka Price & Buying Info
So, is Sidewalk Kraka worth the money? You probably already know our answer to that.
No, this product isn’t worth the $35 price tag in our honest opinion – and we’re not super trusting of the Iron Addicts site which also sells music about CT Fletcher. From a usefulness perspective it’s lacking as a pre-workout and mainly provides some stimulant-based mental performance benefits.
You’d do well to get a cheaper, more well-thought out pre-workout. There are tons on the market that perform better and often with a better price.
Sidewalk Kraka Review: Final Word
It works if all you’re looking for is a hefty dose of caffeine and other stimulants. However, nutritional science around pre-workouts has come along significantly and this product doesn’t convince us at all.
We recommend giving this one a miss. We recommend checking out our #1 pre-workout this year, which costs less and packs better ingredients (in our honest opinion).