Effect of Multi-Ingredient Preworkout Supplementation on Repeated Sprint Performance in Recreationally Active Men and Women : The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research

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Effect of Multi-Ingredient Preworkout Supplementation on Repeated Sprint Performance in Recreationally Active Men and Women

Gonzalez, Adam M.1; Pinzone, Anthony G.1; Bram, Jonathan1; Salisbury, Jillian L.1; Lee, Sean1; Mangine, Gerald T.2

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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 34(4):p 918-923, April 2020. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003480
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Gonzalez, AM, Pinzone, AG, Bram, J, Salisbury, JL, Lee, S, and Mangine, GT. Effect of multi-ingredient preworkout supplementation on repeated sprint performance in recreationally active men and women. J Strength Cond Res 34(4): 918–923, 2020—The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of acute supplementation of a multi-ingredient preworkout supplement (MIPS), containing a proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts, creatine monohydrate, taurine, ribose, and magnesium, on sprint cycling performance. Seventeen recreationally active men and women (23.2 ± 5.9 years; 172.9 ± 14.3 cm; 82.4 ± 14.5 kg) underwent 2 testing sessions administered in a randomized, counterbalanced, double-blind fashion. Subjects were provided either MIPS or placebo (PL) one hour before performing a sprint cycling protocol, which consisted of ten 5-second “all-out” sprints interspersed by 55 seconds of unloaded pedaling. Average power (PAVG), peak power (PPK), average velocity (VAVG), and distance covered were recorded for each sprint. Separate linear mixed models revealed decrements (p < 0.05) compared to the first sprint in PAVG (75–229 W) and PPK (79–209 W) throughout all consecutive sprints after the initial sprint during PL. Likewise, diminished (p ≤ 0.029) VAVG (3.37–6.36 m·s−1) and distance covered (7.77–9.00 m) were noted after the third and fifth sprints, respectively, during PL. By contrast, during MIPS, only VAVG decreased (2.34–5.87 m·s−1, p ≤ 0.002) on consecutive sprints after the first sprint, whereas PAVG and PPK were maintained. In addition, a significant decrease (p = 0.045) in distance covered was only observed on the ninth sprint during MIPS. These data suggest that recreational athletes who consumed the MIPS formulation, one hour before a repeated sprinting session on a cycle ergometer, better maintained performance compared with PL.


Nutritional supplementation has become increasingly popular among recreational and competitive athletes to improve exercise performance (12). Of these, multi-ingredient preworkout supplements (MIPS) that contain various combinations of ingredients purported to improve performance are commonly ingested to simultaneously enhance strength and power, as well as delay fatigue (17). Although several MIPS formulations have been designed to enhance performance during high-intensity anaerobic exercise, their effectiveness remains unclear.

Skeletal muscle uses high-energy phosphate bonds present in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its metabolites to fuel muscular work during exercise. However, intense exercise will inevitably deplete the ATP supply of activated skeletal muscle fibers (3) due to their limited supply and the amount of ATP required for powerful muscular contractions. Thus, the inclusion of dietary ingredients purported to improve ATP production and resynthesis has been one strategy used to improve exercise performance. To this end, a novel, proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts may indirectly increase ATP levels and enhance performance during high-intensity exercise (31–33). Ancient peat and apple extract is a blend of plant bio-inorganic trace minerals and a polyphenol-rich apple extract (31,32). Oral supplementation with this blend has been shown to increase intracellular ATP levels in whole blood and muscle (32,33), which implies an improvement in endogenous ATP availability. In support, improved performance during a 20-minute stepping protocol has been documented after a single dose of ancient peat and apple extracts in untrained adults (31). Whether this formulation is also beneficial in active individuals during more intense exercise remains unknown.

Aside from ancient peat and apple extracts, several other compounds (e.g., creatine monohydrate, taurine, ribose, and magnesium) have also been included in MIPS to enhance ATP availability and augment performance. Creatine monohydrate has been thoroughly documented to increase creatine phosphate stores and aid in the regeneration of ATP through the ATP-phosphocreatine energy system (23). However, the ergogenic effects of creatine monohydrate are typically observed after 7–28 days of supplementation when creatine and creatine phosphate concentrations saturate skeletal muscle (23). Taurine, a nonprotein amino acid, is also thought to delay fatigue and improve exercise performance by serving as an antioxidant, a neuromodulator, and a membrane stabilizer in the skeletal muscle fiber (37). Studies have demonstrated that acute taurine supplementation may improve endurance exercise performance (37) and repeated sprint cycling performance (38). Ribose, a pentose carbohydrate found in small quantities in food and synthesized endogenously through the pentose phosphate pathway, is involved in the synthesis of ATP and other adenine nucleotides. It too has been hypothesized to improve the replenishment of ATP stores and exercise performance through supplementation (9). Although clinical studies have shown that ribose supplementation can enhance de novo synthesis of purine nucleotides and increase exercise capacity in heart patients (28,30,35), ribose supplementation alone typically fails to improve measures of anaerobic capacity in trained individuals (3,21,24,27). Nevertheless, ribose supplementation may work synergistically with other ingredients to increase ATP stores and improve exercise performance (18). Finally, magnesium is a dietary mineral with proposed ergogenic value because it may activate enzymes that influence the availability of ATP (22). In humans, magnesium intake is often suboptimal (4) and thus, its supplementation may also work synergistically with other ingredients to increase athletic performance.

With nearly infinite possible ingredient combinations, extensive research is necessary to understand the potential benefits of various MIPS on high-intensity, anaerobic exercise. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to add to the existing literature on MIPS by examining the effects of a specific multi-ingredient supplement, containing ancient peat and apple extracts, creatine monohydrate, taurine, ribose, and magnesium, on repeated sprint performance in recreationally active men and women. Given the known effects and potential roles of these ingredients on ATP availability and resynthesis, we hypothesized that acute supplementation might promote modest improvements in markers of performance including power output and velocity during cycling sprints.


Experimental Approach to the Problem

Recreationally active men and women volunteered to participate in this crossover, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Subjects reported to the Human Performance Laboratory on 3 separate occasions. During the first visit, subjects' height (±0.01 m) and body mass (±0.1 kg) were recorded with a stadiometer and digital scale, respectively, followed by a familiarization session of the sprinting protocol on the cycle ergometer. During the following 2 visits, subjects were randomly assigned in a counterbalanced fashion to supplement with MIPS or placebo (PL) one hour before completing the same sprinting protocol. Subjects were randomly assigned following simple randomization procedures (computerized random numbers) to 1 of 2 treatment groups. Performance variables and blood lactate concentrations were monitored during each session. To control for potential diurnal variation, all subjects reported for their visits at the same time of day and trials were separated by approximately one week (i.e., 7–9 days). Subjects were asked to duplicate the content, quantity, and timing of their daily diet during the 24 hours before each trial. Subjects were also requested to refrain from any physical activity for 48 hours before each experimental trial. Subjects reported to the laboratory for each experimental trial after an overnight fast and were instructed not to eat or drink (except water) in the morning.


Seventeen recreationally active men (n = 15, age range: 19–43, 23.3 ± 6.0 years; 176.4 ± 5.9 cm; 83.4 ± 14.8 kg; mean ± SD) and women (n = 2, age range: 18–27, 22.5 ± 6.4 years; 146.5 ± 34.6 cm; 75.2 ± 12.9 kg; mean ± SD) were enrolled into this study. Before enrollment, all potential subjects completed a medical and health history questionnaire to determine their eligibility. To be included in the study, potential subjects had to be recreationally active (defined as performing structured physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day at moderate intensity on at least 3 days per week for at least the last 3 months), free of any physical limitations or chronic illness that may have affected performance, and not currently using any medications. Potential subjects were excluded if they did not meet all of these criteria. Subjects' regular exercise habits were reported as 3.7 ± 1.7 days per week of resistance training and 2.9 ± 1.3 days per week of cardiorespiratory endurance training or leisure sporting activity. After an explanation of all procedures, risks, and benefits, each subject provided his or her written informed consent before completing any study-related procedures. While enrolled in the study, subjects were required to abstain from consuming any other dietary supplements and to maintain their normal training, sleeping, and dietary habits. The research protocol was approved by the Hofstra University Institutional Review Board before subject enrollment.



One hour before beginning the standardized warm-up and sprint cycling protocol, subjects ingested either MIPS or PL mixed with 10 fl. oz. water. MIPS is a commercially available multi-ingredient preworkout supplement (RiboForce ATP; InnovaPharm, Freeport, NY) containing 150-mg proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts (elevATP), 5-g creatine monohydrate (Creapure), 1-g taurine, 3-g ribose (Bioenergy Ribose), 150-mg benfotiamine (B-Ribose), and 200-mg magnesium. The PL consisted of a noncaloric-flavored water and was like MIPS in taste and appearance. An outside researcher mixed all supplements in disposable white plastic bottles to be provided to the subjects. After consuming the supplement, subjects rested quietly in the laboratory for one hour. The timing of acute supplementation was based on previously published work showing benefit on physical performance after administration of ancient peat and apple extract (31). The chemical composition (i.e., mineral and polyphenol analysis) of the proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts has been previously reported (31).

Sprint Cycling Protocol

After the 1-hour resting period, subjects completed a standardized warm-up protocol consisting of a series of dynamic exercises (10 dynamic walking hamstring stretches, 10 dynamic walking quadriceps stretches, 10 body weight squats, and 10 body weight walking lunges). Subsequently, subjects completed the sprint cycling protocol, which consisted of ten 5-second “all-out” sprints interspersed by 55 seconds of unloaded pedaling. The computer system in the stationary cycle (Wattbike; Woodway, Waukesha, WI) recorded average power (PAVG; W), peak power (PPK; W), average velocity (VAVG; m·s−1), and distance covered (m) during each sprint. The air resistance setting on the stationary cycle was individualized for each subject based on sex and body weight according to the manufacturer's recommendations. The Wattbike has been shown to be a reliable method for monitoring cycling performance, and has been described as suitable assessment for detecting “real” changes in performance (2,10). Previously, our laboratory assessed the reliability of the Wattbike for measuring kinetics in recreationally trained men (n = 9, 22.2 ± 3.8 years; 176.2 ± 5.2 cm; 85.0 ± 12.2 kg) and women (n = 8, 22.8 ± 3.5 years; 160.4 ± 3.9 cm; 63.5 ± 5.1 kg). The ICCs2,1 were 0.94 for power, 0.95 for velocity, and 0.96 for the time required to complete a specific distance.

Lactate Testing

The subjects' blood lactate (mM) was assessed using a portable blood lactate analyzer (Lactate Scout; SensLab GmbH, Leipzig, Germany) before supplementation and exercise (PRE) and immediately after the sprint cycling protocol (POST). Blood was obtained using a single-use disposable lancet to pierce the side of the fingertip. A small aliquot of this blood was transferred to single-use lactate strips for analysis. The average coefficient of variation for lactate testing was 15.5%.

Statistical Analyses

An a priori power analysis indicated that for a repeated-measures design, a sample size of 13 subjects would provide sufficient power (ß ≥ 0.95) to observe differences between each sprint, assuming a moderate effect size. Before performing statistical comparisons, the Shapiro-Wilk test indicated that the assumption of normal distribution had been violated for each dependent variable. Consequently, changes in power, velocity, and distance were separately examined across time using a linear mixed model with maximum likelihood estimation and an autoregressive-heterogenous repeated covariance to account for the dependent relationships existing between time points (i.e., each sprint). Following a significant F-ratio, specific differences were further assessed by applying adjustments to confidence intervals according to Bonferroni. Specifically, comparisons were made between the first sprint and all subsequent sprints within each trial (e.g., sprint 1 of MIPS to sprints 2–10 of MIPS), as well as between associated sprint sets from each trial (e.g., sprint 1 of MIPS to sprint 1 of PL). Furthermore, all within- and between-trial differences were further analyzed by effect sizes calculated according to Cohen's dz (8). As previously suggested for recreationally trained individuals (34), interpretations of effect size were evaluated at the following levels: trivial (<0.35), small (0.35–0.80), moderate (0.80–1.50), and large (>1.50). All data are reported as mean ± standard error. SPSS statistical software (v.25; SPSS, Chicago, IL) was used for all analyses with statistical significance set at α < 0.05.


A significant main effect for time was observed for blood lactate (F = 148.27, p < 0.001), where blood lactate was elevated (p < 0.001) after both PL (mean difference = 7.94 ± 0.70 mM, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.94–9.95 mM, dz = 3.13) and MIPS (mean difference = 8.63 ± 0.69 mM, 95% CI = 6.60–10.66 mM, dz = 3.06) with no between-trial differences at PRE or POST being found. Changes in blood lactate are illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1.:
Between-trial comparisons for changes in blood lactate (mean ± SE). *Significantly (p < 0.05) different from PRE.

Significant main effects for time were found for PAVG (F = 7.78, p < 0.001), PPK (F = 5.81, p < 0.001), VAVG (F = 14.09, p < 0.001), and distance covered (F = 9.68, p < 0.001). Although no specific between-trial differences were observed for any set of time points (i.e., between sprint 1 on MIPS and sprint 1 on PL), several decrements were seen across each sprint during PL whereas MIPS remained relatively consistent. Compared to the first sprint during PL, moderate-to-large decreases in PAVG (mean difference range = 75–236 W, dz = 0.88–2.75, p < 0.05) and PPK (mean difference range = 79–234 W, dz = 1.03–1.67, p < 0.015) occurred on each subsequent sprint, whereas VAVG (mean difference range = 3.37–6.60 m·s−1, dz = 0.92–1.60, p ≤ 0.009) and distance covered (mean difference range = 7.77–9.24 m, dz = 1.40–1.69, p ≤ 0.029) began to diminish after the third and fifth sprints, respectively. By contrast, compared to the first sprint, PAVG and PPK did not change throughout the MIPS trial, and distance covered only dropped on the ninth sprint (mean difference = 8.88 ± 2.10 m, 95% CI = 0.09–17.68 m, dz = 1.90, p = 0.045). During MIPS, only VAVG diminished (mean difference range = 2.34–6.31 m·s−1, dz = 1.15–1.88, p ≤ 0.002) on each consecutive sprint after the first sprint. Changes in sprinting performance variables are illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2.:
Between-trial comparisons for changes in (A) average power; (B) peak power; (C) average velocity; and (D) distance covered across 10 maximal 5-second cycling sprints. *Significant (p < 0.05) difference from the first sprint during PL trial. #Significant (p < 0.05) difference from the first sprint during MIPS trial. MIPS = Multi-ingredient preworkout supplement; PL = placebo.


The objective of the current study was to examine the acute effects of a commercially available preworkout supplement containing ancient peat and apple extracts, creatine monohydrate, taurine, ribose, and magnesium on multiple sprint cycling performance in recreationally active men and women. Currently, the benefit of acute MIPS supplementation to improve short-duration, high-intensity anaerobic power performance is unclear (1,5–7,11,13,16,19,26). In part, the inclusion of caffeine and other stimulants in the various formulations studied may be responsible for these conflicting conclusions. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that acts by blocking central and peripheral adenosine receptors, which has been shown to improve several components that positively influence exercise performance (14,15). Therefore, any observed performance benefits seen in supplements containing caffeine or similar ingredients may be attributable to their presence. However, caffeine and other stimulants are also known to produce several undesirable side effects, including insomnia, elevated heart rate, headache, and gastrointestinal discomfort (15). Consequently, supplement companies have worked to develop nonstimulant MIPS formulations to increase energy, delay fatigue, and improve overall exercise performance. Our findings suggest that the specific stimulant-free multi-ingredient supplement used in this investigation better maintained performance across 10 maximal 5-second sprints on a cycle ergometer compared with placebo. Although velocity consistently declined across the 10 sprints during both trials, sprinting power and distance covered were maintained with MIPS. By contrast, power and distance covered (after the fifth sprint) decreased without supplementation. Furthermore, performance was better maintained with MIPS despite the supplement not having any observable effect on the accumulation of blood lactate.

The benefit from ingredients included in the MIPS formulation used in this study may be related to ATP availability. Supplementation with a proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts has been shown to elevate intracellular ATP levels in whole blood and muscle (32,33), and a single dose of this blend (i.e., 150 mg of ancient peat and apple extracts) has been documented to improve the number of steps and calories burned during a 20-minute stepping protocol in healthy but inactive men and women (31). Interestingly, unlike the protocol used in this study, the stepping protocol did not elevate blood lactate levels and yet, performance was improved in both studies. Lane and Byrd (25) also induced elevated blood lactate using the same cycling protocol (as the present study) and a bench press protocol (i.e., 10 sets of 3 maximal-velocity repetitions at 80% of 1-repetition maximum), but found a varied benefit from supplementation with a caffeine-containing MIPS that included 100 mg of ancient peat and apple extracts. Supplementation improved barbell velocity during the bench press but had no effect on cycling performance. Although it is noteworthy that our findings regarding sprint performance conflict with those of Lane and Byrd (25), they might be explained by differences in our statistical analyses (along with differing ingredient profiles). Whereas Lane and Byrd (25) selected the best sprint (of each session) to use for between-trial comparisons, our statistical comparison used more available data by considering all 10 sprints of each trial. Collectively, it seems that supplementation with the proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts may improve performance during bouts of exercise that primarily rely on different energy systems [as indicated by elevated (or lack of) blood lactate] (25,31).

Other dietary ingredients found in MIPS that may have also impacted our findings include taurine and ribose. A recent meta-analysis evaluating the effects of isolated taurine supplementation showed a slight improvement in endurance performance after a single dose (1–6 g) (37). However, the evidence supporting the supplementation of taurine to improve repeated sprint cycling performance is equivocal (20,36,38). Warnock et al. (36) reported greater power with taurine supplementation (50 mg·kg body mass−1) before 3 repeated 30-second sprints at the expense of also elevating intrasprint fatigue index. Taurine ingestion (50 mg·kg body mass−1) has also been shown to elevate end-test power, and consequently blood lactate, during an incremental ramp test to volitional exhaustion but to the detriment of peak sprinting power during a subsequent cycle sprint protocol (i.e., six 10-second sprints) (36). Similarly, Jeffries et al. (20) showed that taurine (1 g) and caffeine (80 mg) ingestion did not alter power performance during repeated sprint cycling performance (i.e., ten 6-second sprints), yet may have imposed a negative effect on intrasprint fatigue within selected sprints, potentially due to elevated blood lactate. Although ultimately unclear, taurine ingestion does seem to facilitate initial performance but also leads to greater fatigue (36). By contrast, ribose supplementation alone does not seem to significantly impact repeated sprint cycling performance (3,21,24,29,39). Nevertheless, it has been purported to improve ATP replenishment and anaerobic capacity due to its role in adenine nucleotide synthesis (9,27). Our data suggest taurine and ribose supplementation, as part of an MIPS formulation, may be beneficial to repeated anaerobic sprinting performance.

The limitations of the current study include the relatively small sample size of recreationally active subjects, and the subjects' sleep and dietary intake were not strictly enforced or monitored before each trial. In addition, performance testing was conducted in a fasted state. It is also possible that the inclusion of a small sample of women (n = 2) may have impacted our findings. Nevertheless, exclusion of the 2 female subjects from our data set did not alter the general conclusions of the current study (data not shown). Further research is needed to elucidate the effects of the MIPS formulation used in the current study, along with the potential synergistic and isolated effects of each dietary ingredient. In the current study design, it is difficult to discern the impact of each ingredient contained in MIPS. It is also possible that the synergistic effect of the ingredients found in MIPS allowed for the observed favorable outcomes on performance maintenance. Therefore, the mechanisms underlying the effects of each dietary ingredient cannot be delineated, and future research is encouraged to further investigate the efficacy of the ingredients found in MIPS using both absolute and relative dosing strategies. Further research is also warranted in competitive strength and power athletes during upper-body and lower-body performance.

Practical Applications

Overall, the findings of the current study suggest that the ingestion of the stimulant-free multi-ingredient supplement used in this investigation better maintained performance across 10 maximal 5-second sprints on a cycle ergometer compared with a placebo. Several decrements were observed across each sprint during PL, whereas MIPS remained relatively consistent. Further research should examine the combined and isolated effects of the ingredients found in MIPS.


The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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ancient peat and apple extract; elevATP; taurine; ribose; creatine monohydrate

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