Here comes Primal, the newest, special edition of Crack by Dark Labs, featuring some of the heaviest and highest-dosed elicit stimulants!
This product is not for lightweight users, only for experienced pre-workout consumers. This features 250 mg DMHA, 537 mg caffeine, and 30 mg noopept, just to name a few. I recommend this for the high-stimulant-loving junkies out there, but ease into taking a whole serving!
Thank you, Jake with Nutricartel, for sending this full product for review!
Not for the faint of heart! Recommended for advanced users only. One of the strongest pre-workouts in 2024.
LIFTVAULT15 = 15% off at Supps Central
Table of Contents
- 1 Where to Buy Crack Primal by Dark Labs
- 2 Experience
- 3 Ingredients
- 3.1 L-Citrulline – 6 g
- 3.2 Beta-Alanine – 3.2 g
- 3.3 Agmatine – 1 g
- 3.4 Beta Phenylethlamine HCl – 500 mg
- 3.5 Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC) – 500 mg
- 3.6 L-Tyrosine – 500 mg
- 3.7 N-Phenethyldimethylaminecitrate (Eria Jarensis) – 300 mg
- 3.8 Caffeine Anhydrous – 300 mg
- 3.9 2-Aminoisoheptane – 250 mg
- 3.10 Dicaffeine Malate – 200 mg
- 3.11 Caffeine Citrate – 175 mg
- 3.12 Halostachine HCl – 150 mg
- 3.13 Noopept – 30 mg
- 3.14 Isopropylnorsynephrine – 25 mg
- 3.15 Naringin – 12.5 mg
- 3.16 Bioperine – 10 mg
- 3.17 Rauwolfia Vomitoria Root Extract (90% Alpha Yohimbine) – 1.75 mg
Where to Buy Crack Primal by Dark Labs
You can buy Crack Primal by Dark Labs from the following retailers:
- Nutri Cartel
- LIFTVAULT = 15% off
- Supps Central
- LIFTVAULT15 = 15% off
- Muscle Factory SC
- LV15 = 15% off
The first 20 minutes were uneventful, and then a smooth energy increase started to come into play. As the time hit 25 minutes, everything started to compound. The alpha yohimbine kicked in, which would typically feel like a heart rate increase, but it was not. Most likely, it is blood pressure related, but nothing overly drastic.
I review most of my products on a fasted stomach, and reading this label suggests doing so for maximum effects. I started to get flushed in my face around 35 minutes in, and eager to get to the gym. Initially, my breathing felt affected negatively, as it was slightly more challenging to breathe, but it improved as I got closer to 40 minutes.
At 45 minutes, I felt an increased heart rate of 20 beats above baseline, which was more apparent when doing cardio. My voice trembled with intense energy around a 9/10. At the same time, my head started to feel buzzed with slight, beta-alanine tingles across my chest eventually taking over my entire head at 7/10 for tingling sensations.
Depending on your typical training intensity, this might be doable for HIIT (high-intensity interval training), as my heart rate was around 140 with a steady-state inclined treadmill and 120 resting. At 50 minutes, I felt the thermogenic effects and increased heart rate making for an enjoyable, high intensity perfect for my working sets. Tingles throughout my body, sweats, and chills came on and off as I continued. Jitters worked through my hands as I recorded the effects between my working sets.
The following 20 minutes were concerning, as my heart rate increased to around 145 bpm, above the normal high range. If I pushed too hard or the weights were heavy, I got light-headed and my vision became affected, even with focused breathing. During this window, I had some coughing due to a lack of deep breathing, where the lung sacs (alveoli) need quick expansion. Additionally, when the heart rate becomes too high, the body can produce a cough to slow it down.
I have had many products with higher amounts of eria, DMHA, caffeine, and fat-burning ingredients that didn’t hit this strongly. In my experience, while working out, it was counterproductive as it inhibited my training. If you have a pre-existing heart condition, you don’t want to test the waters on this, as it has potential to put you into AFIB (atrial fibrillation).
Once the jittery feelings subsided, I could train as usual but with crack-level intensity. The focus made its presence around the 45-minute mark with a level of 8/10. My training was in full effect, a bit flat in the pump and vascularity, as expected with these high levels of stimulants. I had strength, but my endurance level was low, as my muscles would feel heavily exhausted rapidly.
Hours later, energy levels remained topped off with no crash. I had intense and sustained appetite suppression, which I enjoy, but others might not. Dark Labs products are more high energy stim heavy, like crack OG than recent releases. I have taken the serving size down to ¾ a serving with similar results, except the extremeness of side effects lasted less long.
This is a hardcore pre-workout you should avoid abuse or overuse. While using this product, I experienced lightheadedness during the whole serving. I never repeated the same serving amount on consecutive days. I would only use this once in a while or every two weeks max, but I wanted to have this review ready sooner as this product won’t be around for long if the FDA has its way.
“Dragon Fruit” was the flavor I was sent for review. It was a surprisingly tasty flavor for a Dark Labs product, smooth with no tart, just a slight tang. The flavor desirability was about 7/10. There wasn’t a suggested amount of water, but 8-10 ounces would be fine. I enjoyed around 10 ounces of water most, as it is a bit too tart otherwise.
The serving size is 17.3 grams for a whole serving, which is a rounded scoop. I shake my supplements before using them, especially the first time. This product didn’t give a fluffiness, so I feel the rounded scoop I had will be the same as anyone else’s.
Since this is a highly stimulant-based product, you should weigh your scoops out when first using until you assess your tolerance. I used a whole serving twice before using ¾ of it, which hit precisely how I needed it. Dark Labs gives a great 25 servings, above the industry standard. The mixability was good, with a minimal amount of sediment toward the end of the shaker.
It would be partially correct to say this label is similar to other Dark Lab products, as they share similar bases, but this is a different stimulant style.
I would suggest running ¾ a serving, and if Dark Labs added breathing support like mullein leaf extract (which is contained in SKALD fat burner by Beldt Labs), this might be top tier.
L-Citrulline – 6 g
L-citrulline is one of the most common pre-workout ingredients. Extensive evidence supports its ability to increase nitric oxide production, power output, pumps, blood flow, and endurance. It is typical for this ingredient to contain malic acid mixed in a 2:1 ratio per the clinical studies. Malic acid has some benefits similar to beta-alanine, and these ingredients aren’t in a chemical bond, some products may list malic acid as a separate ingredient.
You want four to six grams of pure L-citrulline for proper clinical dosage, dosed here in a primal. If the ratio on the label is 2:1, a 6-gram dose would contain close to 3.96 grams. Per the clinical trials, daily supplementation is required to obtain the full benefits.
Some critical points are amino acid precursors, enhanced nitric oxide production, improved endurance, reduced muscle fatigue, cardiovascular health, and erectile dysfunction.
Beta-Alanine – 3.2 g
Beta-alanine has been shown to support muscular endurance and act as a lactic acid buffer. Depending on the source of this ingredient, you may feel the paresthesias tingling effect. This feeling is often desirable in the sports community, as it makes you feel the intensity after ingestion. This may be negated by diet and intake of beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine requires regular intake to be effective, akin to creatine. Daily beta-alanine supplementation is recommended to become effective, with a three to five-week loading period. Three to four grams is the recommended daily dosage for beta-alanine, putting face/off in the standard clinical dose range.
When you consume beta-alanine, it combines with another amino acid called histidine to form carnosine. Carnosine is found in high muscle concentrations and is a buffer against lactic acid buildup during intense exercise. This buffering effect can delay the onset of muscle fatigue and improve exercise capacity.
By increasing carnosine levels in muscles, beta-alanine helps reduce the accumulation of hydrogen ions, contributing to muscle acidity and fatigue. This allows athletes to perform at a high intensity slightly longer before experiencing fatigue.
It is not abundantly found in typical dietary sources, so it’s challenging to obtain the required amounts solely through diet. However, it is naturally present in small amounts in certain animal products like meat and fish.
Agmatine – 1 g
Agmatine is often included in pre-workout supplements as a pump ingredient, but more research is needed to understand how reliable these claims are. Theoretically, since agmatine can increase endothelial nitric oxide, it can help boost nitric oxide in the body and improve circulation.
Improving circulation can help with more than achieving a pump; it instead helps the distribution and saturation of ingredients. This is especially important with high and hard stimulants. A comparable dose in similar product categories would be 750-1,000 mg putting wildfire on the high end.
Beta Phenylethlamine HCl – 500 mg
B-phenylethylamine (Beta PEA) is a neurotransmitter that inhibits uptake and efflux (i.e., removal) of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels (2008 study). It is included in Timecop to increase focus and motivation.
This ingredient needs to be better understood and requires additional research. 500 mg is a solid dose; below, It is important to note that WADA bans it.
Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC) – 500 mg
Alpha GPC is a cholinergic compound that is produced within the body. It is used for enhancing cognition and increasing power output. Based on several studies, Alpha GPC dosages should be between 300 and 600 mg. At 800 mg, this is above the top end of the efficient dosage range.
Some key benefits include choline source, cognitive enhancement, acetylcholine precursor, neuroprotective properties, and athletic performance.
When alpha-gpc is combined with other nootropic compounds, it can enhance the cognitive effects. Common combinations include racetams (like piracetam) and other brain-boosting supplements.
L-Tyrosine – 500 mg
L-tyrosine boosts cognitive performance in stressful environments. Pre-workouts include it as a focus ingredient and help achieve anti-stress effects. The typical dosage range is 500 mg to 2,000 mg for exercise, where the 3 grams we have here is a hefty, efficient dose.
L-tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid and a precursor to several important neurotransmitters and hormones in the body. It plays a significant role in producing dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, which regulate mood, stress response, physical performance, and cognitive function.
N-Phenethyldimethylaminecitrate (Eria Jarensis) – 300 mg
Eria Jarensis is a stimulant frequently seen alongside DMHA in high-stim pre-workouts.
400 mg is a massive dosage for this ingredient; being an exotic stimulant and others found in this product, it isn’t clinically studied but isn’t currently the highest on the market. The most eria jarensis I’ve ever seen in a pre-workout is 500 mg with Flame Pre-Workout (which is fantastic).
Eria Jarensis is an orchid plant native to Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand. This plant has gained attention in the dietary supplement and nootropic (cognitive-enhancing) communities due to its potential psychoactive properties and the presence of certain alkaloids.
Caffeine Anhydrous – 300 mg
Caffeine anhydrous is the standard form for increasing energy, alertness, motivation, and mood. The caffeine content varies for each product. The 350-450 range is the typical dosage for sports supplements and around 200 mg for fat burners. Some products may contain other caffeine or stimulants, which give you less need for more such as below.
Less is more, as your dependency will lead to diminishing returns as you increase your intake. The overall combination of many factors, such as sleep, caffeine timing, diet, and nutrition, affects how much you will need. The dosage doesn’t always indicate how strong a product is, so look for other stimulants below.
2-Aminoisoheptane – 250 mg
This is DMHA, a stimulant similar to DMAA, which boosts energy, focus, and mood. DMHA shares similar effects as DMAA but requires a larger dosage. This made it a popular pre-workout ingredient for replacing DMAA in DMHA pre-workout supplements.
It comes in many different forms: juglans regia extract, English walnut extract, 2-aminoisoheptane, kigelia africana, octodrine, 2-amino-5-methylhexane, 2-amino-6-methylheptane, 6-amino-2-methylheptane, 2-isooctyl amine, 2-heptylamine, 6-methyl-, 2-metil-6-amino-eptano, amidrine, vaporpac, 1,5-DMHA, and 1,5-dimethylhexylamine. Read about the comparison of DMAA vs. DMHA here.
The industry standard is around 150-250 mg. However, just because it says something on the label doesn’t necessarily mean you will always “feel” it due to different sourcing purities or counteracting ingredients. This is a potent source, so tread lightly if you are not used to hardcore supplements like this.
Dicaffeine Malate – 200 mg
Di-caffeine malate is the extended-release version of caffeine, which usually slowly releases and adds to energy/focus later in the workout, delaying or preventing a crash depending on the formulation of stimulants in the pre-workout. Typically, 75% caffeine anhydrous and 25% malic acid, meaning 200 mg, would yield 150 mg of actual caffeine.
This represents a precise combination of caffeine and malic acid into an ionic-bonded compound by combining the well-established properties of caffeine and malic acid, which offers a multi-dimensional ingredient that optimizes energy levels and stimulates thermogenesis while promoting mental focus.
Caffeine Citrate – 175 mg
Caffeine citrate is a faster-acting version of caffeine when compared to caffeine anhydrous. It’s not very common in supplements. Some popular pre-workouts, like Wrecked Extreme and M2, include this ingredient.
Caffeine Citrate is usually 50% Caffeine and 50% Citric Acid, meaning the 175 mg included yields 87.5 mg of actual caffeine, which brings the total caffeine content to 537.5 mg.
Halostachine HCl – 150 mg
Halostachine or n-methylphenylethanolamine is an alkaloid with a very similar structure to ephedrine. It is also a phenylethylamine (PEA) metabolite, a compound found in cocoa beans known for its “feel-good effects.” Halostachine acts as a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist similar to ephedrine and DMAA but has a tone-down potency.
That being said, you need to respect its power. It is adrenergic, meaning it causes brain cells to release the neurotransmitters epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). These neurotransmitters increase energy and focus and are part of the “fight-or-flight” response.
It is classified as a sympathomimetic amine with stimulant properties. It acts on the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and bronchodilation (widening of the airways). Halostachine is structurally similar to ephedrine, a powerful and decongestant stimulant.
Noopept – 30 mg
Noopept, known as N-Phenylacetyl-L-prolyglycine ethyl ester, is a synthetic nootropic ingredient with cognitive boosting and psychostimulatory effects. 10 mg is a decent dose of noopept, but the range is typically upwards of 30 mg.
Noopept, also known by its generic name N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester, is a synthetic nootropic compound. It is structurally related to the racetam class of nootropics and is known for its potential cognitive-enhancing effects. Noopept is primarily used as a cognitive enhancer and is available as a dietary supplement in some countries.
The exact mechanisms of how Noopept works have yet to be fully understood, but it is believed to modulate neurotransmitter systems in the brain. It may influence acetylcholine, glutamate, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, all of which play roles in learning and memory.
Isopropylnorsynephrine – 25 mg
Synephrine is a well-researched ingredient shown to aid in weight loss. It is a common ingredient in many reputable weight loss supplements. It may also appear on ingredient labels as bitter orange extract. You may also see iso-norsynephrine, which is also a lipolytic agent and is generally considered to be a more robust version of synephrine.
“In general, bitter orange extract alone (p-synephrine) or in combination with other herbal ingredients did not produce significant adverse events as an increase in heart rate or blood pressure or alter electrocardiographic data, serum chemistry, blood cell counts or urinalysis. p-Synephrine alone and in combination products were shown to increase resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, and modest increases in weight loss were observed with bitter orange extract/p-synephrine-containing products when given for six to 12 weeks.” Synephrine Meta-Analysis
Synephrine also increases energy and controls appetite. A standard dosage for this ingredient would be around 50mg, which is exceeded here with a highly efficient dosage.
Naringin – 12.5 mg
Grapefruit seed extract is made from grapefruit seeds (Citrus x paradisi). This popular product is a natural remedy for several health problems, including infections and other skin concerns. Also known as GSE, grapefruit seed extract is often used in personal-care products. It is sold as a liquid and dietary supplement (tablet or capsule).
From Examine.com, there appears to be a weight-reducing effect of grapefruit consumption relative to isocaloric controls, so it may do well with appetite suppression, which I felt.
It is a potent antioxidant, helping protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules associated with various health problems, including aging and chronic diseases. Naringin is naturally present in varying amounts in citrus fruits, with higher concentrations in grapefruits. The bitterness in grapefruit is partly due to the presence of naringin.
Bioperine – 10 mg
Black pepper extract, or bioperine, is a patented ingredient that increases the bioavailability of nutritional supplements. In other words, it helps your body absorb more of the ingredients in the product, which helps the effectiveness of the ingredients. As the serving size increases, so does the need for a digestion aid. Typically, you only find it dosed at 5 mg, but we are oddly given double the dosage, which can only be good.
Bioperine is a trademarked name for a patented extract of black pepper (Piper nigrum) standardized to contain a high concentration of piperine. Piperine is the active component responsible for black pepper’s intense and spicy flavor. It primarily enhances the body’s bioavailability of various nutrients and substances. It achieves this by inhibiting certain digestive and liver enzymes that break down these compounds, allowing them to remain in the bloodstream for extended periods and be more effectively absorbed.
Rauwolfia Vomitoria Root Extract (90% Alpha Yohimbine) – 1.75 mg
Rauwolfia Vomitoria Extract, or Alpha Yohimbine, or simply “alpha yo,” is a “love it or hate it” stimulant. Some individuals are susceptible to alpha yohimbine and avoid any pre-workout with it outright. Common adverse side effects include anxiety, headaches, sweating, frequent urination, and increased blood pressure.
If you are sensitive to the effects of Alpha Yo, I’d suggest starting with one capsule to assess if the effects are too strong for you. Dosages can range from 0.5 to 3 mg, with the ladder being very potent.
Rauwolfia vomitoria is a plant native to West and Central Africa. It is a member of the Apocynaceae family and has a long history of traditional medicinal use by indigenous peoples in the regions where it grows. The plant is also known by various names, including “African serpentwood” and “kouayang.”
The plant contains several alkaloids, including reserpine, ajmaline, and serpentine. Reserpine, in particular, is a well-known compound found in Rauwolfia vomitoria and has been used to treat high blood pressure and certain mental disorders. The alkaloids in Rauwolfia vomitoria have been investigated for their potential antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, among other effects.
Crack Primal Edition Pre-Workout Review
I was surprised by how strong this edition was, as it hit almost as strongly as Crack OG but with the effects of Gold as well. I didn’t have a perfect time with one serving, but ¾ a scoop was a better, highly effective sweet spot. I can’t recommend this for everyone since it made me lightheaded, but it might be easier for those with even better fitness levels.
- Crack OG effectiveness
- Crack Gold effects
- High intensity
- Euphoric tingles
- Solid focus
- All day energy
- All-day appetite suppression
- Highly potent ingredients
- Great strength
- Great tasting flavor
- Too strong at one serving
- Needs a breathing support supplement