By: Robert A. Schinetsky Apollon Nutrition Hooligan is quite possible the most complete, hardcore pre workout on the market for athletes. Touting a full complement of ergogenics alongside a hefty 600mg of pure caffeine anhydrous, Hooligan has everything an athlete demands in their pre workout -- energy, focus, pumps, and endurance. But, not everyone can handle such a sizeable serving of pure energy, which leaves athletes faced with two options: ● ½ scoop Hooligan (thereby only getting ½ doses of the performance and focus-boosting ingredients, and not getting the maximum benefit) ● Go in search of another pre workout that contains less energy There’s a few problems with these two options. First, by only using a ½ scoop of Hooligan, you’re only getting ½ doses of all the other performance and focus-boosting ingredients. Sure, you’ll get a more manageable dose of caffeine, but you miss out on the real impact a properly formulated pre workout like Hooligan delivers. Second, if you do go in search of another pre workout with a lower dose of caffeine, chances are good you’re not going to find a product that contains everything Hooligan has to offer. There certainly are lower stimmed pre workouts out there, but none contain the comprehensive collection of performance boosters that Hooligan does. Well, now you have a third option thanks to Apollon Nutrition in Hooligan Bare Knuckle. What’s Hooligan Bare Knuckle? Hooligan Bare Knuckle is everything that the hard-hitting, original version of Hooligan is, but without the truckload of caffeine. Essentially, Hooligan Bare Knuckle is the premier stimulant-free pre workout on the market, bar none! While the stimulants have been removed in Bare Knuckle, Apollon Nutrition has incorporated even more ingredients to improve performance, support hydration, and prolong stamina. Additional components in Hooligan Bare Knuckle that you won’t get in the stimulant-based version of Hooligan include: - 2g of HydroMax Glycerol - 1.5g of Betaine - 1g of Taurine - 500mg Beet root powder - 250mg L-Norvaline Now, you’re probably wondering why anyone in their right mind would willingly forego all the wonders of caffeine, and stimulants in general. There’s no disputing that caffeine is awesome, and not just for increasing energy, alertness, and motivation (though that certainly helps). Caffeine is a proven ergogenic (performance-booster), nootropic, and neuroprotective, but there are times when you don’t want to be downing a boatload of caffeine. Plus, some people are hypersensitive to stimulants and simply can’t handle any caffeine whatsoever. That’s exactly why Apollon Nutrition created Hooligan Bare Knuckle, as a stimulant-free option that delivers increased performance, energy, and focus, but without the stimulants. Benefits of Stimulant Free Pre Workouts You’re probably wondering what other additional benefits there could be to not indulging in stimulants with your pre workout. Well, there’s quite a few honestly: ● NO jitters While everyone isn’t susceptible to feelings of anxiety or “being on edge” with pre workout, there is a fair portion of athletes that get more than a little “tweaked out” when taking in caffeine (no matter how little). Going stim-free allows you to bypass the jitters and anxiety that come with caffeine, yet still get the performance benefits of a properly dosed pre workout. ● NO crash Another unfortunate effect from high stimulant pre workouts is the horrendous energy crash that comes a couple hours after taking them. Sure, for 1-2 hours you’re feeling on top of the world, stronger than Superman, and ready to go toe-to-toe with Chuck Norris, but shortly thereafter, you energy levels are completely and utterly zapped. You don’t even have the energy to move from the sofa to the bedroom, and it’s not because you had a tough workout. Energy crashes aren’t too common, but they do happen for a fraction of consumers. By using a stimulant-free pre workout (like Bare Knuckle), you avoid the post workout energy crash. ● Better sleep Consuming stimulants too late in the day, no matter how few, can have a major impact on your ability to get a quality night’s sleep. For many people, ingesting any amount of caffeine after 2-3PM has them tossing and turning all night long. A bad night’s sleep does more than leave you feeling a little groggy and cranky in the morning. Poor sleep impairs recovery, increases cortisol production (promoting fat storage), and reduces cognitive function.[2,3] Sleep is crucial to an athlete’s performance, recovery, and growth, and if you’re training at night and want to use a pre workout, having a fully-dosed stimulant-free pre workout allows you to crush your workout without sacrificing your sleep. ● Avoid tolerance build up With regular caffeine use comes the inevitable tolerance build up. Basically, the more you use caffeine, the more your body becomes accustomed to it, and for you to get the same boost in energy and “pop” you’re used to getting, you have to continually up the dose. This is why you see people double, and even triple, scooping their pre workouts. Using stimulant-free pre workouts, or rotating between stim and stim-free pre workouts, helps avoid tolerance build up and enables you to still maintain a high level of performance and focus during your workout. ● No withdrawal headaches Caffeine is a drug, and like all drugs, once your body gets used to it and doesn’t have it for awhile, it goes through withdrawal. While the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal aren’t anywhere near as terrible as illegal street drugs, there still are headaches, lethargy, and irritability that can come with caffeine withdrawal. Rather than experience any side effects caffeine withdrawal, forego the experience altogether by using a properly formulated stimulant-free pre workout. The collection of nootropics in Hooligan Bare Knuckle with improve mental energy and combat the “brain fog” that sets in when you don’t have caffeine. Hooligan Bare Knuckle -- The BEST Stimulant-free Pre Workout There’s a reason Hooligan Bare Knuckle is the best stimulant-free pre workout on the market. It’s formulated to deliver everything you need in a well-dosed pre workout, without the stimulants. It’s ideal for morning, evening, or nighttime workouts. But, let’s say you do want a little bit of energy. Then, you can do the ultimate mash up of: -½ scoop Hooligan -½ scoop Hooligan Bare Knuckle This way you’re getting enough energy to get you motivated for your workout, without going overboard. Plus, by combining the two potent pre workouts, you’re getting the full benefit of all the ergogenics contained in the two products! References 1. Richards G, Smith A. Caffeine consumption and self-assessed stress, anxiety, and depression in secondary school children. Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). 2015;29(12):1236-1247. doi:10.1177/0269881115612404. 2. Leproult R, Copinschi G, Buxton O, Van Cauter E. Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. Sleep. 1997;20(10):865-870. 3. Alhola P, Polo-Kantola P. Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2007;3(5):553-567.