In a world where many pre-workout supplements hide behind "proprietary formulas" and junk science, it's no surprise people are skeptical of their benefits. We've even heard of companies selling bottles of useless filler at $30 each, so finding a high-quality supplement you can trust isn't always easy.
Legion Pulse aims to tackle the issues surrounding sketchy PWOs. It's a pricey creatine-free product, but claims to have an ingredients list backed by science rather than anecdotes. It also aims to provide a reliable boost to your mental focus, strength, endurance and mood.
Does this pre-workout live up to the hype though? Does it really have a more effective ingredients list? And is it worth the money? Keep reading our Legion Pulse pre workout review to find out.
Basic Overview of Legion Pulse Pre-Workout
Legion Pulse is a popular pre-workout supplement that's made with natural ingredients. It's suitable for both men and women, and is designed to provide a clean energy rush without the crash.
What makes this different from the hundreds of other pre-workout supplements on the market though?
The main difference is the ingredients and doses are based on scientific study. We were excited to review this product, as Legion has gone to great lengths to ensure all ingredients provide full benefit by avoiding under-dosing.
As you've probably guessed, the downside is that Pulse is one of the most expensive pre-workouts on the market per serving. This is to be expected, but means Pulse needs to be significantly better than the average PWO to provide value for money.
With that in mind, the goal of this review is to find out whether Pulse's performance boost justifies the cost.
What Does Legion Pulse Do?
Legion has put together Pulse preworkout with two main goals in mind:
- To provide a sustained and reliable boost to energy, physical performance and focus.
- To provide this without causing common side effects such as post-workout crashes, nausea or upset stomachs.
This is great news if you're sick of dealing with the side effects of lower quality pre-workouts. Many PWOs also make you feel great to start with, but quickly fall away as your body runs out of its short-term energy source. Pulse is designed to avoid this problem.
With this in mind, the supplement is relatively light on stimulants. It still contains caffeine, but is combined with L-Theanine at a 1:1 ratio to enhance the effects (more on that in a minute).
Instead of loading you up with other stimulants, Pulse contains a range of ingredients that are backed by science.
None of these are ground-breaking - many PWOs contain citrulline, betaine and beta-alanine, for example - but Legion has ensured each is included at scientifically-backed doses. Compared to the under-dosed ingredients profile of many pre-workouts, we were pleased to see a lot of research has gone into the dosing of Pulse.
Legion has also cut out many "non-essential" ingredients that either aren't proven to work. This helps keep the cost down without clogging up the ingredients list with pointless supplements.
Legion Pulse has a relatively short ingredient list. There are only 6 ingredients, compared to some pre-workouts that have 20 or more.
This isn't a downside though. In fact, it's a positive.
It's far better to have fewer ingredients at the correct dose, than lots of ingredients that are so under-dosed they don't provide any benefit.
Like ALTIUS by Jacked Factory and 4 Gauge, Legion Pulse includes ingredients at clinically-backed levels. This is vital for a preworkout, as under-dosing is a common way brands save money at the expense of your workout.
There are also no proprietary blends. You know exactly what you're putting in your body with each serving.
Here's a list of the most important ingredients in Pulse:
- Citrulline Malate (8000mg). Citrulline is an amino acid that provides a number of benefits if taken before a bodybuilding or athletic workout. These include reduced muscle soreness, improved aerobic performance and enhanced endurance. It also increases nitric oxide production leading to a stronger pump. Pulse contains a huge 8g of L-citrulline, so you get the full benefit of this important ingredient.
- Beta-Alanine (4800mg). Pulse has one of the largest doses of Beta-Alanine we've seen in a pre-workout supplement. This is an amino acid that can reduce muscle fatigue, allowing you to work out heavier for longer. The result is the formation of more lean muscle mass. There is a downside to the larger dose though. Beta-Alanine is likely to cause tingling in the skin during your workout, which is harmless but can be annoying.
- Betaine (2500mg). Betaine is derived from beets and has been shown to boost strength and muscle endurance. The clinically effective dose for this ingredient is 1.25-2.5g, so Legion Pulse is dosed to provide the full benefit.
- L-Ornithine (2200mg). One of the more interesting ingredients included with Legion Pulse is L-Ornithine. It's an amino acid that can increase lipid oxidation in the body, which causes the burning of fat rather than carbs. It may also reduce fatigue, so it's a great ingredient to have. The 2200mg dose is within the clinically effective range for this ingredient.
- Caffeine & L-Theanine Stack (350mg & 350mg). One of our favorite parts of Pulse is the caffeine/theanine stack. Aside from giving you a strong energy boost, caffeine helps you lose weight by increasing metabolic rate, enhances strength and improves endurance. The most impressive thing is that Pulse also comes with L-Theanine in a 1:1 ratio. When combined with caffeine, this amino acid provides a variety of cognitive benefits, including reduced stress and improved attention, focus and mood. It can also smooth the effects of the large dose of caffeine. If you need a rapid boost to mood and focus without the harsh jitters usually associated with caffeine, Legion Pulse is a great choice.
As you might have guessed, we're impressed by Pulse's formulation. It contains all the ingredients we would expect from a high-quality PWO, at generous and clinically backed doses.
The result is that it provides a strong all-round performance boost. With ingredients to enhance blood flow, endurance and energy, it allows you to push through a grueling workout with strong performance. It can also help burn extra fat, reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
A bonus is that Pulse doesn't include artificial dyes, flavorings or sweeteners. The jury is still out on how harmful these actually are, but it's probably best to avoid them.
One of the few extra ingredients that concerned us was maltodextrin. This is included in many pre-workouts to "bulk out" the formula and make it taste better. Fortunately, Pulse only includes 1g of maltodextrin compared to 20g of active ingredients per serving, as this helps prevent clumping.
Where's the Creatine?
An obvious omission from the ingredients list is creatine. Considering this is one of the few supplements that's shown to increase muscle growth, it might seem strange that Pulse doesn't include it.
Legion has their reasons though (explained here). There is some evidence to suggest taking creatine after your workout makes it more effective, so Legion has included it in their post-workout recovery supplement instead. There is also evidence that taking creatine with caffeine may reduce its effects - although this isn't conclusively proven.
We're not convinced that taking a pre-workout dose of creatine makes it less effective. It could be the case, but there needs to be more research. Not everyone wants creatine in their workout anyway though (check out our page creatine-free PWOs here), and it's relatively cheap to take separately, so we haven't marked Pulse harshly for not including it.
Taste, Dosing & Mixability
The taste of Pulse is fairly standard for a pre-workout supplement. It doesn't taste great, but it doesn't have the synthetic taste of others on the market. This is probably due to the lack of artificial flavorings.
There are five flavors currently available. These are Fruit Punch, Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Green Apple and Grape. Our favorite flavor is Fruit Punch, but it's great to have a few options so you can find one you like the best.
It's also easy to mix. The citrulline causes foaming if you shake it, but this goes down after a few minutes (or you can just drink it). Stirring doesn't cause it to foam up, but you might notice white sediment settling at the bottom if it's not fully mixed.
Legion recommends assessing your tolerance by taking a single scoop of powder the first time you use Pulse. This is mixed with 10-12 ounces of water and taken around 30 minutes before exercise. If you don't notice any side effects, the label recommends increasing to two scoops for intense cardio or weight lifting, but remaining at one scoop for less intense workouts.
How Effective Is This Pre Workout?
We think Pulse is one of the most effective preworkouts on the market. It provides a steady boost in energy without the mid-workout crash, which is vital for grueling gym sessions. It can also enhance your endurance, strength, recovery time and even help trigger the formation of more lean muscle mass.
When you first take the pre-workout, the most noticeable effects are from the beta-alanine and caffeine. These combine to provide more energy and focus during your session, but without the jittery feelings associated with over-stimulated PWOs. This effect should last anywhere up to 2 hours, which is enough for a long and muscle-destroying workout.
Pulse can also provide a great pump. The huge dose of L-Citrulline increases nitric oxide production, which opens up the blood vessels and leads to enhanced muscle fullness.
In short, you won't be disappointed by the performance boost provided by Pulse.
Value for Money
Legion Pulse is one of the most expensive pre-workouts on the market. You also don't get many servings in a tub - especially if you're following the label by taking two scoops per workout.
Even so, we still think it provides value for money. This is a highly effective pre-workout supplement that can enhance almost every aspect of performance without causing nasty side effects.
The fact is, if you want an effective pre-workout supplement with generous doses and that doesn't hide behind "proprietary blends," you need to be willing to pay more. Legion Pulse ticks all these boxes, yet is still reasonably priced.
Should I Be Concerned About Side Effects?
As we say in most of our reviews, any preworkout supplement can potentially cause side effects. You should always talk to your doctor before starting to take a new supplement and monitor the effects closely. It's also a good idea to start at a low dose to assess your tolerance.
If you notice any side effects of a pre-workout, you should stop taking it until you've talked to a medical professional for your own safety. This includes a sore throat, headache or anything else. That's just common sense.
With that said, the all-natural ingredients list and clinically-backed doses mean Legion Pulse is unlikely to cause side-effects. It has a relatively large dose of caffeine, which may cause a jittery feeling or post-workout slump - but the L-Theanine should help prevent this.
The beta-alanine is the most likely culprit. It's known to cause tingling in the skin, especially as it's included at a relatively high dose. Some people enjoy this sensation as it can add a sense of urgency and energy to a workout, while others find it annoying. The tingling is harmless either way.
It's worth noting that you should always read the label carefully before you take a pre-workout supplement. Legion Pulse, for example, is labelled as not suitable for people under the age of 18, women who are pregnant or nursing, or those with existing medical conditions. You should also talk to your doctor if you are taking prescription medication.
Can I Take it for Running or Other Types of Cardio?
Yes, Pulse is great for cardio workouts and athletics.
This is because it contains ingredients that boost both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. You'll notice you can workout for longer and withou more intensity, regardless of whether you're doing weight lifting/bodybuilding or cardio.
Do I Need to Cycle It?
We couldn't find any recommendations from Legion about whether Pulse needs to be cycled. But we usually recommend cycling pre-workouts for around a week every couple of months to avoid building a tolerance.
Legion does provide some advice about avoiding caffeine tolerance though. They recommend having 1-2 low-caffeine days and 1 no-caffeine day per week. You can easily fit these around your off days.
On a side note, Pulse is suitable for women, but the caffeine dose may be too high. For this reason, women may want to stick with a smaller dose.
Where Can I Buy Pulse? Is it Ever on Sale?
Unlike some pre-workouts, such as 4 Gauge, Legion Pulse isn't just available to buy on the official website. You can find it on sale at Amazon, GNC, Walmart and various other online stores (although we couldn't see it on Vitamin Shoppe).
It's also available in a variety of countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and India.
Nutrition Facts: Is Pulse Suitable for "X" Diet?
- Gluten-Free. Yes. Pulse is gluten-free so it's suitable for people with an intolerance.
- Vegetarian. Yes. None of the ingredients are meat-derived, so Pulse is suitable for vegetarians.
- Vegan. No. Some of the amino acids in Pulse are derived from animal products, so it's not suitable for vegans.
Legion Pulse Vs. Pre Jym Vs. C4 - Which is Best?
Two popular pre workout supplements that are often compared to Pulse are Pre Jym and C4.
It's difficult to compare Pulse and Pre Jym, as they are very different pre-workouts. We prefer the stripped-back ingredients list and high doses of Pulse though. Pulse, for example, has a larger dose of citrulline, beta-alanine, betaine and caffeine, while Pre Jym contains many more ingredients but at lower doses. Pre Jym also has more filler and higher calories, although we like that it includes Alpha-GPC and creatine.
Comparing Pulse to C4 is even more difficult, as there are many versions of C4 on the market. It's best to compare the ingredients of a specific version to see how Pulse matches up - although we recommend Pulse in most cases, as C4 contains proprietary mixes and generally lower doses.
For a more in-depth comparison of pre workout supplements, check out our homepage: https://beastworkouts.com
Legion Pulse pre workout is one of the best supplements on the market. It provides a clean energy boost and laser-like focus, along with a noticeable increase in strength and endurance. Best of all, all the ingredients are clinically-dosed and backed by scientific studies, so you know it's not just a placebo.
There are some drawbacks though. The biggest is the price, as this is an expensive pre-workout (especially if you're taking two scoops per session).
It also doesn't include creatine. Even though Legion has solid reasons for not including it, you'll need to factor in the cost of supplementing it separately (unless you want to avoid the extra water retention).
Even after accounting for the high price, however, Pulse provides outstanding value for money and a great performance boost. If you're looking for a PWO that's transparent, clinically dosed and enhances almost every area of your workout, Pulse is one of our top recommendations.
We hope this Legion Pulse review has helped you decide whether it's the right supplement for your goals. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section.