SPS Precursor from Science Powered Supplements and sold by GNC Nutrition is a supplement that promises to give you huge gains in your workout without using hazardous stimulants. They state SPS Precursor has been scientifically formulated and if you take it before going to the gym you will maximize cellular energy, have more powerful pumps as you lift, and get ripped faster than ever.

What’s in SPS Precursor that makes it so great to take before a workout?

SPS is said to contain a patented, concentrated form of beta-alanine called CarnoSyn; beta-alanine is the precursor to carsonine, an amino acid in our system that is said to neutralize hydronium ions, which cause our muscles to get sore and fatigued. What this means in English is: if you have more carsonine in your system, you’ll be less tired and be able to work out longer and harder.

WebMD agrees that beta-alanine/CarnoSyn may be possibly effective in enhancing physical performance and delay muscle fatigue. However, they note that these benefits are modest, and clinical studies have been very small.

CarnoSyn side effects: Safe for short-term use but may cause a tingly sensation, even if you’re not in love.

L-Citrulline Malate: This is an amino acid found in our bodies (as well as in watermelon), which they claim helps relax blood vessels, reduce fatigue and promote endurance. WebMD notes there is insufficient evidence that it has any enhancing effect on workouts and points out that one study that showed those who took L-Citrulline actually became exhausted more quickly.

L-Citrulline Malate side effects: Upset stomach.

L-Tyrosine: An important amino acid that our body makes that helps us deal with stress. There is a small amount of evidence that it can improve memory and performance under psychological stress, but the University of Michigan notes there is no proof it helps improve physical performance.

L-Tyrosine side effects: Nausea, joint pain, headache, fatigue

ElevATP: They state (with a straight face, even) this is a clinically researched blend of fossilized plants and apple extract that works with your body to produce more ATP, or what makes us “go”.

But in spite of the fact that they claim 2 clinical studies show an increase in cellular energy, they don’t give the actual study information so there’s no way to know if it’s true. Apple extracts have been used in anti-aging creams, but as we exposed in our search for the Fountain of Youth, there is no evidence they interact with the human body as they describe.

Conclusion: CarnoSyn may help you (modestly) recover from workouts and give you more energy. It could also give you a tingly sensation and upset your stomach and its long-term effects are not known.

How much is a bottle of SPS Precursor

SPS Precursor is sold either by the bottle for $64.99 plus $4.99 shipping each, or if you land on one of their trial offer pages, they’ll send you a sample bottle of SPS Precursor for just the $4.99 shipping charge.

BUT: You have 18 days from date of order (not when it arrives in the mail) to call and cancel. If you don’t they’ll send you a full bottle of SPS Precursor, charge you $64.99, and keep billing and sending you more every month until you scream at them to stop.

a man yelling on the phone
Dramatization: Yelling is not recommended

SPS Precursor Refund Information

SPS Precursor Customer Service: 1-800-206-4071.

SPS Precursor states you can return 1 opened bottle for a full refund, minus shipping, so long as you postmark it within 30 days of purchase. In order to cancel the auto-ship, you must call them 1 day before the product ships and return the unused, unopened bottles within 30 days of receipt.

Bottom Line: Is SPS Precursor a great way to get more ripped muscles?

As we illustrated above, Science Based Supplements, in spite of its name, has little science to back up its claims. While CarnoSyn may help you bulk up, beta-alanine is available in many other muscle building formulas, often for much cheaper.

About Science Powered Supplements

Science Powered Supplements says they are the same people behind Instaflex, and claim it’s the #1 selling joint support supplement on GNC. Instaflex has an A+ rating from the BBB, but this doesn’t seem to take into account the 3 negative reviews left by customers on the business’ complaint page.

“I sent for the "free" 14 day sample and paid a shipping fee by which they had my cc number and in 18 days from the first time I sent for the sample I found a charge on my cc for a one month supply of 30 pills for 74.98 which I did not authorize. I told them I didn't want it and asked them to reserse (sic) the charge. They said I agreed to the shipment,” begins one complaint from Lye S. on 4/24/2015; the other two reviews express similar frustrations, but the BBB says complaints have been satisfactorily resolved.

Supplement ingredients questioned

In addition, how do you really know what’s on the label is really in the bottle? In 2014, the supplement industry came under fire when the NY attorney general found that a DNA sampling of many supplements, including those sold by GNC, Target, and Walgreens did not have what they claimed, and often substituted fillers like rice flour.

GNC settled the lawsuit, removed certain products from their shelves and promised more testing for their Herbal Plus brand; however, Herbal Plus only accounts for 10% of their sales and this labeling would not affect other products sold by them. SPS Precursor has no information that they have been inspected by an independent laboratory.

Because of all these factors, we recommend being cautious when buying SPS Precursor.

How do I maximize my workout?

Time and energy are precious, so there are a few ways to make sure your gym routine is at its fullest potential. They are:

  • Eat slow-digesting carbs like whole wheat bread before workouts
  • Chomp on a few leafy greens
  • Have 200 – 400 mg caffeine
  • Mix up your workout and vary your rep speed

You can read 16 tips to triple your workout effectiveness here.

Caution: It’s never a good idea to begin an intense workout plan without first consulting a doctor to see if you are in good enough health.

Let us know your experience with SPS Precursor below!

You may also want to read: 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying ANY Supplement Online