LIT AF Nootropic Pre-Workout Review

LIT AF Nootropic Pre-Workout Review

LIT AF Pre-Workout Overview

Developed by Das Labs, LIT AF is a nootropic inspired high-stimulant pre-workout. What interests us most is that it provides key ingredients like beta-alanine and citrulline malate at clinically effective dosages. While good, it should be noted early on that its best suited for those who demand high amounts of energy while building muscle. Here’s what it can offer:

  • 30 servings per canister
  • 6 grams of 2:1 Citrulline Malate
  • Quickly increases focus and energy
  • Moderately dosed ingredients
  • High caffeine dosage
  • Provides quality ingredients
  • Mostly transparent formula

LIT AF Ingredients and Their Functions

1. Citrulline Malate 2:1, 6000mg

Citrulline Malate is a precursor to nitric-oxide and can greatly improve maximal strength [1]. At a clinically effective dose of 6 grams per serving, citrulline malate is used to help fight fatigue, increase repetitions and enhance energy levels [2, 3, 4]. This ingredient is largely responsible for that unstoppable ‘pump’ feeling you get during your workout.

2. Beta-Alanine, 3200mg

Known for its signature ‘tingles’ effect on the body, beta-alanine may help increase exercise duration and reduce short-term fatigue [5]. This is thought to be achieved by providing your body with more fuel (beta-alanine) to synthesize additional carnosine. Carnosine works by regulating muscular p.H and prolongs the time it takes for your muscles to fatigued (acidic).

3. Caffeine Anhydrous, 333mg

Caffeine anhydrous is the pure, dehydrated form of caffeine and is very stimulative. At mild dosages, caffeine is known to enhance cognition and improve reaction times in both auditory and visual choice tasks [6], especially under suboptimal conditions [7]. It’s also been found to increase wakefulness [8].

LIT AF contains high levels of caffeine.

Without L-Theanine to smooth it over, you might feel jitters fairly quickly. This is because LIT AF provides 333mg of caffeine, which is more than you’d get from 3 cups of coffee. Because there’s so much, don’t take it in the evening if you plan on sleeping before midnight.

4. AlphaSize Alpha GPC, 200mg

Alpha GPC is designed to enhance mental and physical performance. Once ingested, A-GPC is converted into phosphatidylcholine and can safely act as a source of choline for acetylcholine synthesis and release [9].

A-GPC is ergogenic and may improve cognition

While higher dosages of 600mg or greater appear to provide more results [10], Alpha GPC might still maintain some ergonomic effects in doses around 250 mg, like the one in LIT AF. Some studies suggest A-GPC can help effectively improve cognitive function and possibly counteract hypothyroidism [11].

5. Taurine, 100mg

Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids found in the human body. It helps support proper cardiovascular function, lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and is naturally antioxidative [12, [13]. What’s more, some studies have shown taurine to help regulate oxygen use and decrease certain negative pyruvate precursors which might help enhance athletic performance [14, 15].

6. Himalayan Rock Salt (Trace Minerals), 100mg

Made up of sodium and chloride, salt is a key electrolyte required for optimal cellular function. As you exercise, your body sweats out trace nutrients like vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and especially salt.

Replenishing salt helps maintain performance.

LIT AF provides 100mg of sodium to help support hydration and regular physiological activity [16]. Salt also functions as a major electrolyte which helps ensure continued homeostasis [17]. It should be noted that while Himalayan rock salt is believed to supply more trace nutrients over refined table salt, we couldn’t find any clinical studies to support this claim.

7. Deer Antler Velvet Extract, 50mg

Das Labs’ deer antler velvet extract, or DAVE, is sourced from red stag deer farms in New Zealand. They claim DAVE can provide benefits like an accelerated recovery and increased strength, to name a few.

While more research is needed, these claims appear to be true.

One clinical study involving mice found it could in fact help decrease fatigue, improve energy metabolism and may possibly increase muscle strength by upregulating genes associated with muscular contraction [18].

8. Hordenine, 40mg

Hordenine helps promote increased energy. It does this by stimulating the release of hormonal neurotransmitters like norepinephrine [19]. High norepinephrine levels are responsible for inducing an internal fight-or-flight response. As a result, your body’s heart rate, breathing rate, blood flow, focus, and glucose (energy) metabolism are temporarily raised [20]. It might also help elevate your mood [21].

9. AstraGin, 25mg

Developed by nulivscience, AstraGin is a patented herbal blend consisting of the two highly fractionated plants Panax notoginseng and Astragalus membranaceous. It’s claimed benefits are extensive and is known to enhance the overall absorption of other ingredients, according to its product dossier.

Unfortunately, many of its claimed benefits are linked to and reference a clinical study done by nulivscience that we simply cannot find anywhere. While we aren’t discounting the potential health benefits of AstraGin, we simply can’t say for certain whether or not it’s able to deliver on its claims.

What we can say for sure is that nulivscience recommends AstraGin be dosed at 50 mg, likely determined for optimal product effectivity [22]. LIT AF only has 25 mg.

10. ActiGin, 25mg

Also developed by nulivscience, ActiGin is a proprietary ingredient that consists of fractionated Panax notoginseng (similar to AstraGin’s ginseng) and Rosa roxburghii. This ingredient is said to aid athletic performance by improving endurance, supporting senescent cell clearance, reducing exercise-induced inflammation and accelerating recovery [23]. Question is, can ActiGin really provide these benefits?

According to researchers, completely.

This is apparent in a recent human clinical trial published in the Journal of Ginseng Research [24]. In this trial, ActiGin supplementation was found to significantly increase cycling time before exhaustion by 12% and raise power output by 13% in participants compared to placebo.

ActiGin was also shown to support an increase in leukocytes after exercise which is believed to enhance physical recovery [25].

11. Huperzine A, 50mcg

Isolated from the Chinese herb ‘huperzia Serrata’, this compound is best known for its potent yet highly specific neuroprotective qualities [26]. Among its many supportive health benefits, Huperzine A has been seen to improve cognitive function in AD patients and show positive effects in many patients with Dementia [27].

Huperzine A protects neurons against oxidative stress.

Many neurodegenerative problems are associated with heightened levels of oxidative stress [28]. Hupa A has been directly observed to significantly attenuate oxidative stress by protecting neurons from Abeta25-35 (stress protein) induced cell death by inhibiting ROS formation and caspase-3 activity [29].

In addition, according to one study, Huperzine A might further improve cognitive function by reducing high levels of iron in the brain, which is closely linked to neurodegeneration [30].

12. Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin), 100mcg

Also known as Methyl-B12, this micronutrient is vital for helping regulate a number of bodily functions.  It’s a highly bioavailable form of vitamin B12 and is an important cofactor of methionine synthase, which recycles high levels of homocysteine into a building block of muscle (amino acid) called methionine [31].

Methyl-B12 also helps improve sleep quality and is vital for maintaining a healthy overall cognitive (brain) function [32, 33].

Is LIT AF Safe?

This isn’t a supplement you’d let your grandma take by any means. LIT AF contains a high number of stimulants like caffeine, so it’d be wise to take some caution. For that same reason, LIT AF isn’t making our best rated pre-workout supplements yearly review.

LIT AF may cause caffeine related jitters.

There are no ingredients like l-theanine to smooth over the effects of too much caffeine, so jitters are possible. Shaky hands are usually a direct result of too much caffeine. This shouldn’t be an issue as long as you’re used to high stim pre-workouts, otherwise, we recommend lowering the serving size.

Stimulants aside, LIT AF doesn’t contain any illegal or banned substances, which is great.

How Well Does LIT AF Mix?

Definitely somewhere in the middle. It isn’t bad per se, but it’s not total assimilation either. We found that no matter what volume of water we used, tiny granules of powder would always accumulate towards the bottom of our glass. The best way to negate this is to use a dedicated shaker cup. This provided a good workaround for the most part.

How Good Does LIT AF Taste?

Absolutely delicious. At this time, LIT AF is only available in one flavor: Grapefruit Orange. It tastes just slightly bitter at first but it grows on you and becomes sweet after the first couple sips. This great taste is largely achieved by its use of Artificial & Natural Sweeteners.

Where Can I Get It?

The best way is to purchase it directly through the brand’s site. It typically has a promotional deal going on and will cost somewhere between $55 – $60. The same goes for other similar pre-workout supplements by Das Labs, like WOKE AF.

LIT AF and WOKE AF Compared

LIT AF vs WOKE AF – What’s different?

Formulated by Das Labs, LIT AF and WOKE AF are two very similar supplements. They both offer the same total serving size, same dosages and *almost* the same identical ingredients.

Each supplement has 10 identical and 2 unique ingredients added to their respective blends. LIT AF’s unique ingredients are Huperzine A and Hordenine. As noted above, these two ingredients are used to enhance LIT AF’s nootropic effect (improve cognition).

WOKE AF includes the same highly stimulative blend with the exception of Huperzine A and Hordenine. Instead, it opts to use Synephrine HCl and Dendrobium (4:1). Here’s how they work:

Synephrine HCl, 40mg

Derived from bitter orange extract, synephrine is commonly used to aid weight management, improve exercise performance, increase energy and enhance cognition [34]. One human clinical trial involving 12 college-aged men found synephrine worked synergistically with caffeine to help safely increase total repetitions and load volume with resistance-based exercise [35].

Dendrobium (4:1), 100mg

Dendrobium is a species of orchid native to some tropical Asian regions. This ingredient has been mainly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Since the ban of DMAA however, it’s begun to show up in some pre-workout supplements as a replacement of sorts.

Das Labs claims it’s used as an “energy boosting agent”, however, there doesn’t appear to be sufficient clinical evidence or any human trials to support this. Because of that, we aren’t able to confirm whether or not it can even provide any sort of sports performance enhancing benefits. We simply don’t know.

If you’d like to learn more about nootropic supplements check this out.

The Bottom Line on LIT AF

At the end of the day, LIT AF is a good pre-workout supplement, but it isn’t much more than that. It’s priced at a premium but doesn’t provide nearly the same premium amount of powder as other similarly priced supplements do. Some of its ingredients, like beta-alanine, are dosed just barely enough to be technically considered clinically effective. Other ingredients, like AstraGin, are even underdosed.

We also think it could benefit from reducing its total amount of caffeine per serving. While we get it’s intended to be taken as a high stimulant (and it is), 333mg just seems a little overkill to us. That said, its formula is still better than many and something we’ll continue to watch looking into the future.