I recently finished a jar of NaNoVapor from MuscleTech (which I wasn’t really impressed by. You can read the review here) so it was time to get another PWO.
I went to the local supplement store and decided to go for Assault from MusclePharm.
I have seen this in several different stores, and mentioned over and over again on the net, but I only tried it once from a small sample pack. I remember it as being a good PWO, but I never had a chance to test it properly. Back then, I took it hours before hitting the gym, and I was just getting better from a cold (you can read my initial, and shorter review on it here – If you want all the details then you want to continue reading this post you are reading now).
So I decided to give it a go with a full jar. For some reason, my expectations weren’t that high. As you will see below, I was in for a very pleasant surprise.
I was lucky enough to have a flavor choice this time – fruit punch or pineapple / mango. I decided to go for the latter since I have had fruit punch flavored PWO’s too much lately.
First of all, here is what MusclePharm has to say about Assault:
[column size=one_half position=first ]
“Strength + Endurance
Changing the game
The Right Way.
MUSCLEPHARM® ASSAULT™ IS LEADING THE CHARGE AS THE ATHLETES’ CHOICE FOR A PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT THAT DELIVERS RESULTS — SAFELY.
Unlike “stimulant-concentrated” formulas that hit hard and then leave you hanging like you just got mugged in a dark alley…Assault™ is there from start to finish.
Developed at the state of the art MusclePharm® Sports Science Center, Assault™ is the most researched pre-workout product on the market today. As athletes ourselves, we wanted it to do more than pack serious muscle-building power. We set the safety bar sky-high so other athletes know that they’re supporting their bodies with a great supplement.”
[column size=one_half position=last ]Before I get to my experience with Assault, lets first take a closer look at the supplement facts in this pre workout supplement. Here goes:
Assault – MusclePharm
Serving Size 14.5g (1 scoop)
Servings Per Container:30
Total Carbohydrates 2 g
Sugars 2 g *
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 500 mg
Vitamin E (as Alpha Tocopherol Acetate) 200 IU
Niacin 60 mg
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 15 mg
Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) 90 mcg
Calcium (as Silicate, Phosphate and Citrate) 213 mg
Sodium 50 mg
Potassium 40 mg
ATP AMPLIFIER 3,500mg *
Carnosyn® Patented Beta-Alanine (2,000mg), L‐Tyrosine, L‐Aspartic Acid, Red Beet Extract High in Nitrates, (DMG) Dimethylglycine HCl.
CELLULAR TRANSPORT & INSULIN ACTIVATOR 2,952mg *
Dextrose, L-Glycine, Ribose, Cinnulin PF® (Cinnamomum burmannii) Bark Extract.[/column]
ATHLETE PERFORMANCE BLEND FEATURING “ION‐3 NITRATE TECHNOLOGY MATRIX” 2,000mg *
CreNitrate, ArgNitrate, BCAA Nitrate 3:1:2 Ratio (L‐Leucine,, L-Valine, L‐Isoleucine).
ENERGY & NEURO IGNITER 1,750mg *
Choline Bitartrate, Glucuronolactone, PurEnergy™ Matrix (Pterostilbene-Caffeine), Huperzine A.
HYDRATION SYSTEM 1,200mg *
Taurine, Coconut Water Powder, L-Glutamine
Note that I got the European version which is similar except that it does not contain Huperzine A, according to the label on the jar. However, the energy and neuro igniter blend is still listed as a 1,750 mg mix.
Unfortunately, Assault have substances listed in prob. blends so we won’t know how much of what are getting when taking a serving of this PWO. With that being said, lets dive in to the details of the substances used in Assault.
ATP AMPLIFIER 3,500mg
Beta-Alanine: With that being said, we do know that one serving will give us 2,000 mg of my favorite substance Beta-Alanine. Several studies have shown that a daily serving of 1.5 to 3 grams of beta-alanine will have a significant effect on increasing muscle Carnosine. A serving of Assault contains almost twice as much beta-alanine as a serving of MuscleTech’s NanoVapor, and the same amount as you would get from Pre JYM. 2,000mg seems to be my sweet spot, so this is a key factor in my book.
L-Tyrosine: I have mentioned this substance several times before here on muscles.zone. L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which produces noradrenaline and dopamine.
… While the conversion steps of L-tyrosine to dopamine occurs predominantly in the cytoplasm, the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine by dopamine β-hydroxylase occurs predominantly in the neurotransmitter vesicle…
There are several studies documenting the effects from L-Tyrosine, which include stress relief, cognitive enhancement, fat burning, mood improvement. It’s a typical substance in pre workout supplements, due to the above-listed benefits. The typical dosage is around 200 – 300mg. We don’t know how much we get from one serving of Assault, but the above-listed benefits have been seen with dosages significantly higher (around 2g). You clearly won’t get here since the blend is a total of 3,500 mg and 2,000mg of that goes is beta-alanine. But since this is the first substance on the list following beta-alanine, we know that we get more L-Tyrosine than any of the below listed substances used in the ATP AMPLIFIER mix.
L-aspartic acid: L-aspartic acid is another nonessential amino acid.
L-Aspartic Acid is often used in bodybuilding supplements, as studies have indicated increased performance and reduced fatigue as a result of supplementation with Aspartic Acid. It’s often used in pre-workout supplements as it stimulates a neural receptor called the NMDA, which plays a role in memory and cognition.
Note that L-aspartic acid and D-aspartic acid often gets listed together as aspartic acid. But L- and D-aspartic acid are structurally different, and each one fulfills different jobs. Assault contains L-aspartic Acid; D-Aspartic Acid tends to form part of test boosters and PCT supplements.
Red Beet Extract: Beet root Extract has become a common Nitrate source in pre-workout supplements typical with dosages between 300-600mg. Beet extract contains high levels of nitrates, a chemical compound which, when ingested, is converted nitrite which is then converted into Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide has been studied heavily from a bodybuilding perspective and primarily believed to increase muscle pumps, increase glucose use, enhance endurance, reduce fatigue and increase recovery rates.
Dimethylglycine HCl: Dimethylglycine is yet another amino acid; a building block for protein. In addition to being an anti-oxidant it is also believed to improve endurance performance, enhance oxygen utilisation, and improve the rate of recovery. However, I have not been able to find studies confirming these claims.
CELLULAR TRANSPORT & INSULIN ACTIVATOR 2,952mg
Dextrose and Ribose are simple sugars that will boost energy production.
L-Glycine: L-Glycine is an amino acid that assists in the regulation of blood sugars by converting glucose into energy.
Cinnamomum burmannii Bark Extract: Cinnamomum burmannii Bark Extract (listed as Cinnulin PF) is bark extract from the plant Cinnamomum burmannii which is a member of the genus Cinnamomum – traditionally used as a spice. It should supposedly help the body use insulin more effectively, along with a bunch of other benefits (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor).
ATHLETE PERFORMANCE BLEND FEATURING “ION‐3 NITRATE TECHNOLOGY MATRIX” 2,000mg
CreNitrate : CreNitrate is creatine bound to a nitrate salt and should dissociate upon ingestion. Creatine is probably one of the world’s most popular supplements and for good reason. Nitrates have already been covered above in the Red beet extract section, and the short version is that this is a wonder for bodybuilders looking for an edge. A combination of the two as CreNitrate is on my personal favorite list, and exceeds the benefits of the standard creatine monohydrate. I suspect this is because its a combo of two great substances and not due to any synergy from the two. There are however, studies suggesting that nitrates may work in synergy with creatine. I am personally a big fan of creatine nitrate, and the same is true for a lot of people over at the bodybuilding.com forum.
ArgNitrate is Arginine bound to a nitrate group. As mentioned above, nitrate itself, comes with a lot of benefits such as increased pump, enhanced endurance, increase recovery rates, etc. Opinions on supplementation with Arginine are very shattered. It is often promoted with abilities to increase muscle mass, increase recovery rates, and increasing GH output. Studies mostly indicate there might be some truth to these claims for untrained individuals, and less so for people who workout on a regular basis. But what Arginine has been shown to do, is to diminish / prevent nitrate tolerance building up, which makes it a perfect match to this nitrate stuffed PWO.
BCAA Nitrate 3:1:2 Ratio (L‐Leucine,, L-Valine, L‐Isoleucine) should not require any further introduction. BCAA’s bound to nitrates.
ENERGY & NEURO IGNITER 1,750mg
Choline Bitartrate is a substances often used in nootropic stacks, and sold as a brain boosting supplement. As it often forms part of pre workout supplements, I have covered it several times before here on this site. Choline Bitartrate is Choline merged with a chemical salt in order to increase absorption. It is mostly known to help with improved memory and learning abilities, along with improved focus. The recommended dose is around 500 mg.
Glucuronolactone: Glucuronolactone has also been covered earlier here on muscles.zone. This is a substance that is produced when glucose is converted in the liver. Glucuronolactone should supposedly be able to increase physical and mental performance, and have a synergy effect when combined with caffeine.
PurEnergy™ Matrix (Pterostilbene-Caffeine) is also included in the new NO Xplode. PurEnergy is a patented co-crystal ingredient comprised of caffeine and a synthetic pterostilbene ingredient pTeroPure which allegedly has 6 – 8 times longer half-life compared to caffeine alone.
Huperzine A is the substance that made Myokem’s Nitramine so popular. Huperzine A is, often used in nootropics, mainly as a memory-enhancing supplement which is also being investigated as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss. It is believed to promote better learning, focus and neuroplasticity, and now almost seen as a standard substance in pre workout supplements. As mentioned above, this is, unfortunately, not in the version I got.
HYDRATION SYSTEM 1,200mg *
Taurine: Widely known as its used in lots and lots of PWOs but also in typical energy drinks. Taurine helps to prevent cramps, increases fluid retention within your muscles and works in synergy with creatine.
Coconut Water Powder:
L-Glutamine: L-Glutamine has been linked to protein synthesis and shown to prevents your muscle from being catabolized, help increase growth hormone levels and maintain cell volume and hydration.
Glutamine helps maintain cell volume and hydration, speeding up wound and burn healing and recovery.
That should cover it for all the substances used in Assault from MusclePharm. Let’s continue with my own experience using this PWO.
Assault – MusclePharm
Taste and Mixability
Assault comes in eight different flavors! This is actually pretty rare, specially for pre workout supplements. I cant remember any other supplement that came in eight different flavors. usually there are three to four different ones, and five at the most. But here is truly something for everyone.
The eight different flavors are the following: BLUE ARCTIC RASPBERRY, FRUIT PUNCH, LEMON LIME, PINEAPPLE MANGO, RASPBERRY LEMONADE, STRAWBERRY, MARGARITA, WATERMELON and CANDY APPLE
I always favor lemon, lime, lemondae or anything sour if available. When I went to the local store, they only had two jar’s left; a fruit punch and a pineapple mango. As mentioned above, I chose pineapple mango as I had too much fruit punched supplements lately.
The pineapple mango flavored Assault has a really good taste. It is a tiny bit too sweet for me (which easily could be solved by mixing it with more water), but compared to lots of other PWO’s I have tested, this is definitely some of the best I have tried. It doesn’t have that typical artificial taste to it, that majority of other pre-workout supplements have.
In addition to this, it mixes perfectly. I mix one scoop with water in my shaker which leaves close to no sediment and it doesn’t give you that baking powder foam you get from say NO Xplode. I cant complain about anything here, really. Flavor is top notch and it mixed perfectly.
Pump, Focus, Energy and Endurance
The short version is, that Assault is really good! I was surprised just how well this stuff works! Pump, focus, energy and endurance levels are through the roof (for me at least), but in a very controlled manner.
I get no jitters but very clean energy, along with a good beta-alanine tingle. If I have to highlight one aspect above the others, it would be the focus I get from a serving of Assault, which is really good. But then again, the same is true for the pump, energy and endurance.
One thing to note here is that this is even without Huperzine A, so if you get the version that contains Huperzine A, you can expect even more of a focus boost, which is just crazy!
Personally, I would not take more than one scoop of Assault for my workout session, and I would prefer to take the serving before five – six o’clock in the evening as I could see this causing sleepless nights when ingested after said time.
Nothing much to list here. In my review of the new NO Xplode I highlighted how it caused quite the crash a couple of hours after ingestion. This is, fortunately, not the case with Assault. I basically dont get any crash from this whatsoever. The energy from Assault builds up steadily and releases slowly which is exactly how a PWO should function, in my book.
I have experience a bit of headache which I assume might be related to the nitrates, but I cant say for sure. This is however, a minor detail compared to the benefits from a scoop of assault, and I cannot say for sure they are related. When I have been running Assault for a week or two, I should be able to share some more details on this point.
Besides from this, I think the only thing worth mentioning is the possible insomnia you might experience if ingested too late at night. I guess some people will see this as a desired effect. It depends on how you look at it.
Price per Serving
I have seen people complain about the price for a jar of Assault, but I think this was mostly related to the former version, as the current one seems to be priced at a very fair level.
Your can get a jar on Amazon with 30 servings for just around $30 (get it here: MusclePharm Assault) which will give you a price per serving of $1 – and I have definitely seen lots of PWO’s priced higher than this. But it naturally comes down to the vendor you chose, as prices do vary quite about from shop to shop (GNC for one, will charge you a whopping $42 for the same jar!)
Personally, I think it’s a very fair price per serving when you consider what you get. Its a really good pre workout supplement and the taste is way better than most other PWO’s I have tried. So yeah…
Assault from MusclePharm has been rated 8.3 out of 10 on bodybuiding.com and 7.9 out of 10 on supplementreviews.com. There are lots and lots of good reviews, but keep in mind some of them might be referring to the old version.
Assault from MusclePharm is hands down, one of the best, if not the best pre workout supplement I have ever tested. The price is fair, the taste is really good and the effect I get from a single scoop is second to none. I highly recommend this PWO, for anyone looking to get an edge in the gym.
If you have tested Assault from MusclePharm, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. What did you like and what didnt you like?
I really like it. Energy, focus and pumps are getting a good boost and the taste is simply delicious! Price and transparency could have been better but it's still a very solid PWO in my opinion.