If you are putting in all that effort in the gym, it is only natural that you want to get the most for your money.
This is where a good pre-workout comes in. It allows you to get the maximum pump from your sessions, which will ultimately lead to better results.
And from Force Factor comes VolcaNO, a pre-workout nitric oxide booster that claims it “helps to turn your body into a muscle-building machine”.
It is the third nitric oxide booster capsule from the company, following on from Force Factor and Factor 2.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine hydrochloride) – This important nutrient helps speed up the body’s metabolism, converting carbohydrates and fat into energy.
Vein-Annihilating Energy Blend (L-Citrulline, Agmapure Agmatine Sulfate, L-Norvaline)
Citrulline is an amino acid, which has been shown in studies to increase endurance and reduce fatigue, while it can also lessen muscle soreness.
Agmatine Sulfate inhibits the enzyme that breaks down nitric oxide, while also stimulating the production of NO. However the cardiovascular interactions from combining citrulline and are unclear.
Norvaline inhibits the enzyme arginase, which breaks down the nitric oxide precurser arginine.
Creatine Strength Complex (CON-CRET Creatine HCl, L-Methionine, L-Glycine)
CON-CRET, produced by Promera Sports, is creatine hydrochloride.
It is claimed less HCl is needed to have the same benefits as other creatines, with the molecule helping increase power, strength and muscle size.
L-Methionine is an amino acid that is essential to muscle growth, while it has antioxidant properties.
L-Glycine is a non-essential amino acid which helps increase muscle growth and energy levels.
For the best ingredients to look out for in pre-workout, read our in-depth guide.
VolcaNO offers an “explosive nitric oxide boost with incredible energy” and it does a good job on delivering.
Although the “vein-annihilating energy blend” sounds like it will do more harm than good – and we do dislike proprietary blends – the amino acid combination does look impressive. The three ingredients have solid research behind them, although more studies are possibly needed into the effectiveness of citrulline and agmatine as a blend.
The inclusion of creatine is another positive for us and it is pleasing to see it in a pre-workout capsule. The amount of creatine needed for it to have an impact means it is normally a no-go for capsules however Force Factor have taken advantage of CON-CRET’s creatine hydrochloride formula – where far lower amounts are needed for it to be effective.
The notable absentee from the ingredients is a stimulant, like caffeine, which is normally the mainstay of pre-workout formulas. However although VolcaNO takes a little longer to erupt – the suggestion is to take 30 minutes before your session – it does so without the jitters or the post-workout crash associated to others on the market.
Up to eight capsules a day are needed (2-4 in the morning and another 2-4 pre-workout or with dinner on non-training days), so that may put some people off.
Overall the results are pretty promising with lots of good reviews from users of VolcaNO, however for that you do have to pay a premium price.