Bang is one of the few notable energy drinks that supposedly contains most of the same ingredients as traditional pre-workout. Here, we'll answer a couple of questions you need to know: Is Bang A Pre Workout? Does that make it a good substitute?
Bang is the lone energy drink has most of the requisite ingredients you would find in a pre-workout powder. This makes it a decent pre workout substitute when a pre workout powder is not an option. The amount of nutrients for muscle-building aren't enough to make a difference in the long run.
However, you should know that Bang recently lost a class action lawsuit brought by Monster, claiming that at least some of the ingredients were missing in Bang energy drinks. Also, its super creatine may not be the creatine you’re used to and understand.
What Makes Bang Energy Drinks a Pre-Workout?
It starts with the ingredients. Bang includes many of the ingredients you normally find in pre-workout and some Bang energy drinks also contain a “proprietary” creatine (more on that below).
- L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, L-lysine, L-threonine, L-tryptophan, L-phenylalanine, L-Histidine, and L-methionine
- Super Creatine (Creatyl-L-Leucine)
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Caffeine (300+ mg)
For the most part, your BCAAs are here, which are protein building blocks, along with a traditional blend of caffeine, electrolytes, and creatine. Other energy drinks lack most of the ingredients here while touting the benefits of things like guarana and taurine.
In terms of electrolytes, Bang includes sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which you will typically find in other energy drink brands as well. While taurine is found in a lot of energy drinks, Bang drops Taurine and sticks with a higher caffeine content than most.
There are several things to look for in a pre-workout—a good energy boost, BCAAs and EAAs, Creatine, electrolytes, focus, and a general avoidance of high sugar content. The only one that Bang distinctly lacks is on the focus front, which is the Taurine.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids encompass a series of 20 different amino acids of which nine are needed through nutrition and diet—meaning your body doesn’t manufacture them on its own and you need to consume them.
Bang energy drinks include all of the nine BCAAs your body needs for sufficient protein and muscle repair, otherwise known as EAAs or Essential Amino Acids.
Most energy drinks contain taurine but, since that’s something you don’t normally find in pre-workouts, there wasn’t any reason to add it to Bang energy drinks either. Instead, Bang includes exactly what a pre-workout includes, which is a large dose of caffeine.
Of course, Bang goes a little on the high side with a caffeine intake of 300 to 350mg. For that reason, Bang advises consumers to avoid additional beverages that also contain caffeine to avoid consuming too much on accident.
Exceeds Other Energy Drinks
When you compare Bang to other energy drinks, the differences are surprising, especially since energy drinks are often compared to pre-workouts. Redbull, NOS, and Monster are the most common energy drinks you will see on a list of pre-workout alternatives.
Why? Who knows. The best thing that all three really have going for them is they have decent flavors and a ton of sugar content if that’s your thing. The closest comparison you can make with Bang (in terms of pre-workout material) is Xtend and Reign.
The problem with Xtend is you need to have some really good luck to find an Xtend energy drink anywhere. Apparently, they can replicate their marketing success with their regular pre-workout powder. So, we’re left with Reign.
|EAAs||3 of the 9||Includes all 9|
|Creatine||No||Super Creatine bonded|
|Caffeine||300mg||300 to 350mg|
Reign, the closest competition to Bang, contains only 3 of the 9 EAAs and is missing the all-important creatine found in most pre-workout formulations. The debate here is whether or not Bang is the same thing as pre-workout in a can. The answer is a definitive yes.
However, energy drinks like Reign would be considered a pre-workout alternative. If you’re out of pre-workout or cycling off of it for one reason or another, Reign is a decent alternative.
Is Bang Better Than Regular Pre-Workout Supplements?
While Bang should be considered a pre-workout, it shouldn’t be declared as “better.” The reason behind that is Bang doesn’t list the amount of individual EAAs in its cans. We know they're there because you can count all nine on the ingredients label.
Bang also doesn’t list the amount of creatine in their Bang energy drinks (we’ll get to that—promise) nor do they list the amount of CoQ10. It's often difficult to find supplements that are third-party certified, even though many brands actively do that. Those brands just don’t market it that often.
Bang doesn’t market it either, so unless you have a lab at home and you know how to break a liquid down into its molecular components, there’s really no way of knowing how much of each ingredient is in there.
Also, most of the top pre-workout supplements include extra ingredients that aren’t found in Bang energy drinks.
Bang Pre-Workout Master Blaster
It's interesting that Bang chooses not to disclose the amount of certain ingredients in its energy drinks because Bang also sells its own pre-workout, known as Bang Pre-Workout Master Blaster.
Master Blaster does list the amount of its individual ingredients, including 6000mg BCAAs, 1500mg EAAs, 2400mg of Beta-Alanine, 250mg of super creatine, 1990mg of RS5, and 350mg of caffeine anhydrous.
Interestingly enough, Bang is currently involved in a class action lawsuit over their “super creatine,” and that’s what brings everything back into focus or, potentially, crashing down.
My article about Bang's Super Creatine formula goes into the details about the pros and cons of their proprietary blend.
Bang and its Super Creatine
Remember when we mentioned having your own lab and breaking down the ingredients? As it turns out, an independent lab did just that. What the independent lab found wasn’t the same thing that Monster claimed in their lawsuit, however, so it's something you will have to make your own decision on.
According to Monster
In their lawsuit, Monster claimed that Bang falsely advertised their BCAAs, CoQ10, and Creatine content. Monster claimed that Bang energy drinks had zero amounts of any of the above, including all nine EAAs.
Independent Lab Results
Lab results, posted by an energy drink ingredient and reviews site, showed that at least three of the nine BCAAs were present, refuting Monster’s claim of none. The results also showed amounts of Bang’s proprietary creatine and CoQ10, again refuting claims made by Monster in court.
However, it's telling that there were 6 of the 9 BCAAs missing, which puts Bang more in line with Reign. The testing was apparently conducted by Alpha Testing Labs in Malaysia and the second round by Chemlab—also in Malaysia.
The independent testing is thrown up in screenshots, with “energy drink” in place of Bang, so you have to take these things with a grain of salt. Also, the judgment of the court, in the Monster vs Bang lawsuit, has not been released, so Monster’s claims are unverifiable at the moment.
Monster did prevail in its lawsuit against Bang, but since the judgment is not yet available and there were also other mitigating factors, the truth of what is and what is not in a can of Bang is up in the air. If we accept Bang’s claims at face value, then Bang does indeed offer a pre-workout energy drink.
If we go with what Alpha Testing Lab and Chemlab are “supposed” to represent an independent lab analysis, then we at least know that some of Monster’s claims are disingenuous.
Bang’s “Super Creatine”
There is no consensus on what exactly super creatine is. We know that independent lab results from above attest that it's there, in the Bang energy drinks. Monster claims that there is no creatine in Bang energy drinks.
However, judging by what super creatine is, sheds light on Monster’s claim. Monster can get away with making that claim because technically, super creatine isn’t the creatine found in most pre-workouts.
Super creatine is a proprietary ingredient in Bang energy drinks. According to Bang, they figured out a way to bond creatine to L-Leucine. Under normal circumstances, creatine is difficult to dissolve in cold water. Everyone knows that when you purchase a Bang energy drink, you have to grab it out of the store refrigerator first.
This bonding process not only makes creatine more soluble in water but also improves the bulking and recovery process post-workout. Bang promotes it as the only water-stable creatine on the market today.
Unfortunately, Bang didn’t do itself any favors by not listing the amount of super creatine contained in each can. You can find super creatine in the ingredients box but there is no milligram amount like you see with most ingredients in pre-workout, including Bang’s Master Blaster pre-workout formula.
So Monster’s claim that there is no creatine in Bang energy drinks is correct. However, Bang never made such a claim. Nowhere on the can or in any of Bang’s marketing is the word “creatine” used alone. It's always Super Creatine, which actually exists, according to Sage Journal’s Toxicology Assessment.
My article about the pros and cons of Bang's Super Creatine goes into all the details about their proprietary blend.
Super Creatine is Creatyl-L-leucine
Sage Journal did a toxicology assessment on Creatyl-L-leucine because that’s what they do—determine the toxicology of various substances. While Sage Journal holds no opinion on whether or not there is any creatine in Bang energy drinks, they do show that Bang’s proprietary super creatine does exist.
The claim that Monster is making, that there is no creatine in Bang at all, is kind of disingenuous in light of the toxicology report conducted by Sage Journal. The only drawback of super creatine is the lack of knowledge about it.
If Bang’s claims are true, it's a faster and more streamlined version of creatine. Of course, if that’s true, it's a pretty incredible ingredient that will probably start showing up on store shelves all over the place in due time. If not, then everyone will have a better understanding of what super creatine’s benefits truly are.
Even without traditional creatine in their energy drinks, you will definitely find it in Master Blaster, or you can purchase creatine supplements separately if it's that important to you.
All Things Considered
Even if some of the allegations against Bang energy drinks are true, it still makes for a decent pre-workout that you can supplement with anything you feel is missing. In my opinion that alone answers the question: Is Bang a Pre Workout?
No, at least not the best choice. You are better off using a supplement specifically designed to be one. It's highly unlikely that most bodybuilders will rely solely on Bang energy drinks for their pre-workout needs anyway. Bang simply does not have enough of the right nutrients (or right amount) to make a difference.
References and Citations
Reddeman RA, Glávits R, Endres JR, et al. A Toxicological Assessment of Creatyl-l-Leucine. International Journal of Toxicology. 2018;37(2):171-187. doi:10.1177/1091581817751142 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1091581817751142
Jackson, I. (October 22, 2018). Bang Energy Drink Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over False Statements
Retrieved from: https://www.aboutlawsuits.com/bang-class-action-150640/
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