This is our complete Transparent Labs Bulk pre-workout review.
Transparent Labs came onto the supplement scene with a very clear goal in mind…
Their branding is clean, and so are their formulas. They stay away from using artificial sweeteners, colorings or additives, and provide 100% transparency on both their product labels and descriptions.
In this article we’re going to be reviewing one of their pre-workout supplements, ‘Bulk’.
Transparent Labs Bulk Review
The team over at Transparent Labs was kind enough to send us some products to review. As a reminder, whilst we often receive product samples, we never accept direct compensation for reviews and all opinions remain our own.
This is our complete review of the Transparent Labs Bulk pre-workout, where we will discuss the following:
- Important information
- Serving size
- Tub size/serving count
- Flavor options
- Where to buy
- Overall opinion
Before we get into the big stuff like the ingredients, prices, flavors, and effectiveness; let’s quickly cover some important information on servings, product weight, and potential supplement stacks.
A single tub of Bulk has a net weight of 687g and contains 30 servings.
A single scoop/serving of Bulk weighs 22.9g, which is impressive for a pre-workout. When you start getting into the 17-24g per serving, that’s when we start getting excited. Are all those ingredients necessary though? We’ll get into that a little later.
Whilst there is no official recommended product stacks from Transparent Labs, the Creatine HMB could be a good option. Creatine isn’t included in the Bulk’s ingredient profile, and the Creatine HMB is available as unflavored or in Blue Raspberry if you want to match the flavors.
Transparent Labs Bulk Ingredients/Supplement Facts
One thing we can appreciate from Transparent Labs is the 100% transparent product label. That should be a given considering it’s in the brand’s name. Still, every ingredient is listed with the exact dosage.
There are 22.9g of content per serving, which is very impressive for a pre-workout supplement. But what does the profile look like?
Here’s a full breakdown of Bulk’s ingredients and dosages:
Citrulline Malate 2:1 (6000mg)
Citrulline malate is the core ‘pump inducing’ ingredient included in Bulk, and at 6000mg, it provides 4000mg of pure l-citrulline. This is above the clinically effective dosage of 3500mg and should serve you well.
It’s not often that you see beta-alanine at a dosage of 4000mg in a pre-workout supplement. The common dosage is between 2000mg and 3200mg. Just bear in mind that beta-alanine requires a loading phase of 179g in a 28 day period or 6g per day.
If you’re a fan of beta-alanine and the notorious ‘tingle’, Bulk will definitely get you there. Yet it’s still not enough to produce the desired performance benefits. Additional beta-alanine supplementation would be required.
Although, for a pre-workout product alone, this is a great dosage.
BCAA 2:1:1 (4000mg)
Remember when I mentioned the 22.9g of content per serving, and whether all those ingredients were necessary?
BCAA is one ingredient this pre-workout could probably do without. Whilst there may be some small additional benefits to including it, BCAA’s don’t really belong in a pre-workout. You’d be better off taking an EAA supplement alongside a pre-workout.
BetaPure Betaine Anhydrous (2500mg)
Betaine is involved in liver function, cellular production, and the production of carnosine. During exercise, it may help increase levels of hydration, and boost endurance.
2500mg is a ‘clinically effective’ and typical dosage for a pre-workout.
Taurine is often considered a controversial ingredient to include inside a pre-workout supplement due to its anti-inflammatory properties. On the one hand, its ability to help regulate many functions of the body is a plus.
However, for those looking for a ‘pump-inducing’ pre-workout, this ingredient could work against you.
Taurine as an ingredient itself is beneficial in my eyes.
A dosage between 1000mg – 1500mg is considered standard.
L-tyrosine is used in pre-workouts for its potential cognitive enhancement benefits, which may help boost focus and concentration. This is an ingredient I love, and 1000mg is considered a ‘clinically effective’ dosage.
L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in green and black tea. It’s said to help regulate emotions and specific functions of the brain such as concentration, focus, and mood.
I love L-theanine as a general supplement, and a dosage of 360mg makes it the stand-out ingredient of this formula. You’ll normally only find small dosages between 50mg – 150mg in pre-workout supplements.
AlphaSize Alpha GPC (300mg)
Alpha GPC is popular for its cognitive enhancement properties. You’ll often see dosages considerably lower than 300mg in pre-workout supplements, but some studies suggest that you might need to ingest at least 600mg to see the full effects.
Caffeine Anhydrous (180mg)
Caffeine Anhydrous is the most common form of caffeine used in pre-workout supplements. Whilst 180mg might seem low to some, don’t forget it’s coupled with other ingredients such as L-theanine, Theobromine, and Di-Caffeine Malate.
Theobromine is found in cocoa and chocolate products. It’s a natural stimulant, however, even though it’s in the same class of stimulants as caffeine it acts differently.
Research has shown that theobromine isn’t a central nervous system stimulant, which makes it non-addictive. It also won’t result in the common ‘jittery’ feeling that caffeine use induces.
Infinergy Di-Caffeine Malate (30mg)
Infinergy is a patented version of di-caffeine malate.
AstraGin is a patented, 100% naturally formulated compound, that helps improve absorption of other ingredients.
Its use in supplements is to help do exactly that, to try and ensure you’re getting the most out of the ingredients you’re ingesting.
- Vitamin D (75mcg)
- Vitamin B6 (5mg)
- Vitamin B12 (100mcg)
- Zinc (30mg)
- Sodium (150mg)
- Potassium (100mg)
- Boron (3mg)
Transparent Labs like to stick to core flavors, and not go too outside the box. Throughout their entire range, I believe they have roughly 9 different flavors available (excluding protein powders). Many of those flavors tend to be available for multiple products.
They were kind enough to send us three powder-based supplements, all in different flavors, which gives us the ability to at least review three different flavors. Whilst the overall flavor will likely differ from product to product, it still gives us a rough idea.
For the Bulk pre-workout, we were sent the Blue Raspberry flavor, which we’ll get into in a minute.
Here’s a list of all the current flavor options for Transparent Labs Bulk:
- Blue Raspberry
- Green Apple
- Sour Grape
- Tropical Punch
And the complete list of Transparent Labs flavors is as follows:
- Black Cherry
- Blue Raspberry
- Fruit Punch
- Green Apple
- Peach Mango
- Sour Grape
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Tropical Punch
This is a classic example of why all flavor reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt. For one, supplements that focus on natural flavorings, and skip on artificial sweeteners and colorings will always have a different overall taste.
Second, one flavor could be great, and another could be not so great.
Third, everybody has a different taste palette.
When I started sipping on the blue raspberry flavor, it was surprisingly pleasant. The reason I say “surprisingly” is because the night before, I tasted the tropical punch BCAA Glutamine.
The tropical punch had a very sour and tangy taste to it, whereas the blue raspberry didn’t have that same sting. I enjoyed the blue raspberry but didn’t enjoy the tropical punch.
As for the other flavors available, I’m unable to give an opinion.
Now we’ve covered all the important information about the product itself, let’s talk about the cost.
The price of Bulk is $49.00 per tub on the official Transparent Labs website. Each tub contains 30 servings, which works out to be $1.63 per serving.
Where can you buy Bulk?
You can buy Bulk directly on Transparent Labs’ website. They also offer small discounts for multiple tub purchases. This only applies to the same flavor purchases though.
Whilst the caffeine content would be considered low-stim in comparison to most pre-workouts, I’m certain that the high L-theanine dosage combined with L-tyrosine and Alpha GPC helped me lock it in focus-wise.
The pump wasn’t the best, but certainly not the worst.
For a clean and transparent formula, Bulk did the trick for an afternoon workout.
I generally don’t like taking high-stim pre-workouts late in the afternoon, as my concentration also dwindles as the day goes on. Bulk helped me get in a solid workout with full concentration, without ruining my sleep during the night.
So where does Bulk stack up as a pre-workout?
Overall, Bulk is a very good contender for a clean and low-stim pre-workout.
It definitely has its place in a potential regular rotation.
The biggest advantages of Bulk are the 100% label transparency, the natural targeted formula, and the high L-theanine dosage.
A couple of things that might be considered disadvantages are the inclusion of BCAA’s. It won’t be a disadvantage to the end-user of course, but they could have been left out to make way for increased dosages of other ingredients, or an additional ingredient.
Lastly, the flavor might be hit and miss for some. The blue raspberry flavor left me pleasantly surprised, but the tropical punch flavor for the BCAA was too sharp. Flavor profiles do differ per product as well due to the different ingredient profiles, so take that with a pinch of salt.