Overview of Sparta Nutrition Kraken (Reformulated 2018 Version w/out DMHA)
Sparta Nutrition is one of the hottest brands in the industry. The brothers behind the brand are evolving the brand into a world-wide phenomena. Kraken, with DMHA, really helped Sparta Nutrition get their name on the map. Since then they’ve released amazing protein powders, pumps and more.
The previous version of Kraken (with DMHA) was our #1 rated pre-workout for a long time. In fact, it won the 2017 Supplement Award for Best Pre-Workout with DMAA or DMHA. Due to pressure from the FDA, supplement companies had to reformulate their products to remove DMAA and DMHA.
Kraken’s reformulated 2018 version is good, it just doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor. Some have called the new version “garbage,” but that is not even close to the case. Kraken’s reformulated version is still very good. It’s a fully disclosed label that still gives you the option between 40 and 20 servings. It leverages new ingredients and still provides a nice workout for the investment. I would still buy this Kraken – but I will miss the real OG.
Testing Results and Ratings
We reviewed Sparta Nutrition Kraken on five categories. We first start by looking at it’s ingredient profile. This portion of the review looks at the different ingredients used in the pre-workout, what their intention is and how effectively dosed are each ingredient.
We then look at effectiveness. An effective pre-workout will use high quality, proven ingredients, at clinically backed dosages. This is generally an extension of the profile section. The higher quality ingredients used at proper dosages, the more effective that product will be.
Then we move into the taste of the different flavors we’ve tried. We grade each flavor separately and average the scores for their overall taste rating. We were able to test out the following flavors: Cola Pop.
Mixability refers to how well the powder mixes in 12oz of water. We use the shaker bottle test. This would be your typical Blender Bottle with the spiral chrome ball.
Finally, we talk about value. Value is the combination of profile, effectiveness, taste and mixability in relation to cost. Another part of value are the competitors and other versions of pre-workout products on the market. By the way, make sure to check out our pre workout supplement rankings here.
Sparta Nutrition had to reformulate Kraken to remove DMHA due to pressure from the FDA. The 2018 reformulated version Kraken utilizes a fully transparent label, which makes it awesome to breakdown for all of you.
Kraken gives you the option for one or two scoops. A one scoop serving, which may be sufficient for many lifters, yields 40 servings. A double scoop, what we took, yields 20 servings. For the purpose of the profile breakdown we are going to look at the two scoop fact panel.
Kraken starts with 4mg of L-Citrulline. This has been shown to help with pumps. Per Examine.com, L-Citrulline taken at 6-8g one hour prior to exercise is best (this is actually for Citrulline Malate, pure Citrulline can be dosed at 3-5mg). Kraken gives you 4g. This is in the range for effectively dosed.
Then Kraken gives us the clinically backed 3.2g of Beta Alanine which has been shown to increase muscle endurance. Then we’re given 2g of HydroMax (Glycerol Powder) which aids in hydration. We get 1g of Taurine. Taurine aids in performance and strength output. The effective dosage of Taurine is 500-2,000mg. Along with Taurine you’re getting 500mg of N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, which aids in cognitive enhancing. This is dosed on the lower end of the effective dose (500-2,000mg).
A new ingredient found in the reformulated version is Vaso6. Vaso6 is a hot new ingredient shown to drastically improve pumps in your body. It is dosed at 300mg. This is a typical dosage of Vaso6. Another new ingredient you will find is TeaCrine at 250mg. This is combined with 250mg of Caffeine Anhydrous. This combination was set to replace the DMHA feel from the previous version. These are both dosed nicely.
Theobromine is used to help enhance the pump. This is a great ingredient dosed at 50mg. I would like to see this around 100mg with Vaso6 to see what it can do for you. Yet another new ingredient used is N-Methyl-Tyramine HCl. This is dosed at 30mg. This is sufficient. This stim gives you an extra burst of energy and can aid in fat burning. Finally, the last new ingredient used is Cocoabuterol at 15mg. This is a dietary weight loss supplement that will aid in energy production as well. This is dosed fairly although we’ve seen it as high as 30mg.
Overall, this profile is still VERY good. We get effective doses of proven ingredients, along with new ingredients that aid in energy and fat loss. Compared to the real OG, this is on the same playing field in terms of quality.
Maybe it is just me, but DMHA really worked well for me. The previous version of Kraken with DMHA received a 10 in effectiveness. The reformulated version of Kraken that doesn’t include DMHA takes a small step back in terms of effectiveness.
I think this new version takes a small step back in energy and focus. With the previous version I felt more energized and more ready to kill the weights. Don’t get me wrong, I still can get through a tough workout and stay focused, I just felt that the previous version did it better. You will, trust me, get a great workout with this version of Kraken, and if you’ve never had the real OG, you won’t even know what the hell I am talking about.
The area in which got better was the pump. We are getting Vaso6 which is a great addition. Theobromine is also a very nice addition. I felt I had better pumps with the mix of Vaso6 and HydroMax.
Endurance and strength were consistent from the previous version.
Overall, I miss the DMHA, but this will still provide a really nice workout. This is in no way shape or form “garbage.” If you think this is “garbage” then you don’t know supplements.
Let me ask you a quick question, do you like Coke? No, not the drug, but the soda (it’s soda, not pop). If you do then this is your jam. Cola Pop tastes like Coca Cola without the carbonation. So, it’s essentially flat Coca Cola, but it is still very good.
A lot of companies are coming out with unique flavors. This is one of them. We’ve had other “cola” powders before that are good too. This one is right up there with them.
Like the original version of Kraken, the mixability remained consistent. This mixed very well with some particles that remained elevated in the water, but not too bad at all. I like to chug my pre-workout so it’s hard for me to tell if it mixes poorly at times. I don’t want to waste time sipping, I want to spend time clanging and banging.
I still think this version of Kraken is very valuable. The going rate on highly effective pre-workouts today is $2/serving. This is where this comes in. Just because I thought the previous version was more effective (that was also $40 and ranked a 10) I took a point away.
If you’re looking for a formula without shady ingredients then this version of Kraken will be it. There isn’t too many stims in it, but you’ll still get a great energy, pump and workout for $2/serving.