About SPs Precursor
SPS Precursor claims to be a scientifically formulated, all-natural pre-workout powder that can provide you with better workouts and maximized gains by increasing cellular energy, without any hazardous stimulants. On top of this, SPS Precursor is also claimed to boost your pumps and power.
According to the company, SPS Precursor accomplishes this using a core blend of all-natural ingredients, including l-citrulline malate, beta-alanine, l-tyrosine, and elevATP.
Whether you just started working out or have been at it for years, you want to get the most from your time in the gym. Will SPS Precursor help you accomplish this, or will you just end up feeling scammed?
First, let’s review the anatomy of your muscles.
What Causes Muscle Growth?
The human body contains about 650 muscles, which are elastic, fibrous tissues that primarily provide power and move you from place to place. In the case of pre-workout supplements like SPS Precursor, these products are specifically intended to address skeletal (versus other types, such as heart) muscle.
When you work out or undergo any other type of strenuous physical activity, the fibers in your skeletal muscles actually become damaged, or split (a process known as hyperplasia).
Immediately after this occurs, your body begins repairing these “damaged” muscles by fusing their fibers together at the cellular level, thereby increasing muscle size and/or density. At this same time, your muscles will also fill up with blood (known as pumping) in order to provide the nutrients they need to quickly repair.
Considering all of this, will SPS Precursor’s ingredients boost the muscle building process in any way?
Is SPS Precursor Really “Powered by Science?”
According to the product label on SPS Precursor’s website, the supplement contains the following ingredients:
- Advanced Pump Matrix 5,100mg: L-Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, L-Ornithine HCL, Agmatine Sulfate, and L-Norvaline.
- SPS Energy Complex 1,100mg: L-Tyrosine, Grape Seed Extract (95% polyphenols), and elevATP ancient peat and apple extract.
According to WebMD, “Some research shows that taking beta-alanine modestly improves some measures of physical performance, especially during high-intensity exercise and strength training … However, not all research shows beneficial effects of beta-alanine on physical performance.”
In addition, l-tyrosine is listed as “possibly effective” for improving mental performance under stressful conditions and improving alertness following the loss of sleep.
Finally, agmatine and norvaline convert into nitric oxide (NO) inside your body, although there isn’t enough data to say whether or not this translates into any real-world benefits.
Outside of this, there appears to be insufficient clinical evidence showing that any of SPS Precursor’s other ingredients can provide any benefits for humans, whether related to Precursor’s claims or otherwise.
Pro tip: The appropriate beta alanine dosing appears to range between 3.2g and 6.4g, and 150mg per day for tyrosine. Remember though, because all ingredients are part of proprietary blends, we’re not informed how much of each is contained in SPS Precursor, or whether or not this is enough to benefit you.
Despite this fact, can you expect to experience any side effects with SPS Precursor?
SPS Precursor Side Effects
The most common side effect related to Precursor’s ingredients is digestive upset, although the majority of users probably won’t experience anything at all.
With this said, a well-known side effect of beta-alanine is flushing and tingling, although this usually only occurs in doses greater than about 3.2g. On the other hand, some of SPS Precursor’s ingredients are new and largely unstudied, such as l-citrulline and l-tyrosine, so common side effects are currently unknown.
Perhaps in order to reduce any instances of unwanted side effects though, the supplement’s manufacturer recommends beginning with one serving (1 scoop) mixed with 6-10oz of water, 30-45 minutes before training. Then, “after tolerance has been assessed, take one to two servings (1-2 scoops) 30-45 minutes before training.”
Given all of this, are there any other methods of boosting muscle growth, pumps, or cellular energy?
Effective Methods of Maximizing Your Workouts
As we’ve mentioned in some of our other muscle growth supplement reviews, attaining bigger, stronger muscles follows the 80/20 rule. In this instance, it means 80% of your gains will come from nutrition (i.e. what you eat), and only 20% will be attributed to your workouts.
Given this, one of the most important things you can do to boost muscle growth is eat quality food, get plenty of protein (about 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight, per day)—including lean meats, choose only healthy fats (often found in avocado, fish, nuts and nut butters, and olives/olive oil), and more.
Then, once you have your nutrition in check, you’ll want to focus on perfecting your muscle-building workouts to maximize your gains.
At this point, you might be on the fence about SPS Precursor. To help you make your decision, let’s now talk about 1) the company behind the supplement, and 2) the price you’ll pay.
Who’s the Company Behind SPS Precursor?
Precursor is manufactured by Science Powered Supplements based out of Salt Lake City, UT.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the company has been in business since October, 2014. In that time, they’ve garnered one closed complaint (as of 8/18/15), which referenced problems with the free trial and automatic shipments (more about this in the Pricing section).
However, Science Powered Supplements appears to be a division of Direct Digital LLC, who also makes Instaflex Advanced. Similar to SPS, Direct Digital had a B- rating with the BBBB, based on 6 closed complaints, most of which also referenced problems with the trial.
What’s up with this free trial, anyway?
SPS Precursor Pricing & Refund Policy
SPS Advanced is available in fruit punch and blackberry flavors, and can be purchased via the following:
- A one-time purchase of $64.98, plus $4.99 S&H, or
- A 14-day trial for $4.99 S&H
If you choose the trial option, you’ll be billed $64.98 for the full price of the supplement after 18 days (14 for trial + 4 days to account for shipping), and will also be enrolled in the company’s autoship program. As such, you’ll receive regular shipments of SPS Precursor once per month, and your credit card will be billed $64.98 each time.
It’s not made clear how large your container of SPS Precursor will be, other than that it’s a “30-day supply.” However, we’re not informed if this is based on using 1 or 2 scoops daily.
SPS Precursor comes with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges.
In order to cancel your trial, request a refund, or stop your automatic shipments, you’ll need to contact customer service at 800-206-4071
Note: Keep in mind that SPS Precursor can also be purchased at your local GNC, which could help you save money on S&H charges and make the return process easier, all while avoiding autoship enrollment.
SPS Precursor’s Arbitration Agreement
It’s important to mention that all SPS Precursor orders are subject to an arbitration agreement, which means you’ll be waiving your right to a trial by jury or becoming part of a class action lawsuit should you experience any damages.
Can SPS Precursor Help You Achieve Bigger Muscles?
When it comes down to it, we know that—without the possible exception of beta-alanine—none of SPS Precursor’s ingredients will provide any of the benefits claimed by the manufacturer.
Add to this the supplement’s largely unknown side effects, as well as the fact that nutrition makes up about 80% of increased muscle mass, and it’s our opinion that SPS Precursor probably won’t provide you with a solid value for your hard-earned money.