In 2021, the Dark Energy Pre-Workout may have (read: certainly has) contributed to the closing of the Magnitude Life Sciences' manufacturing facility (the company that produced Dark Energy), which led everyone to believe that the controversial pre-workout supplement is forever banned.

However, after a while, the Dark Energy Pre-Workout Supplement was back on shelves, only to be gone once again. 

So, is Dark Energy pre-workout banned or not, and should you experiment with it if you manage to get your hands on it?

Well, I tried it a few years ago, so here’s my Dark Energy Pre-Workout review.


  • Massive energy and endurance increase
  • Intense focus and mental clarity
  • One of the strongest pre-workouts


  • Contains banned substances
  • Basically a “stim junkie” formula
  • Can increase blood pressure and cause other health issues

Dark Energy Pre-Workout Review

To put it simply, Dark Energy is, or better yet was, a pre-workout supplement that would knock your socks off and put you into overdrive. It was a stim-junkie formula that would probably make the late Rich Piana feel the jitters.

Later on, Dark Energy pre-workout was rebranded as "not a dietary supplement" but a "research product not meant for human consumption," which is how it briefly got back on the shelves.

As for the Dark Energy review, think of this one as a trip down memory lane rather than “my experience for the past three weeks” because you can’t get your hands on Dark Matter anywhere nowadays.

Dark Energy pre-workout was available on the black market for a while, but since it isn’t produced anymore, that ship has sailed, too.

Dark Energy Pre-Workout Orange & Gummy Flavor

Key Details

Servings Per Container


Price Per Serving


Unit Count (Ounces)

13.4 oz



Calories (Per Serving)


Carbohydrates (Per Serving)


Calcium (Per Serving)


Sodium (Per Serving)


Potassium (Per Serving)


Will My Performance Increase?

Yes, if you were to take Dark Energy pre-workout, your performance would increase quite substantially. 

Back when I tried it, it wasn’t more than 15-20 minutes after taking it that I began to feel the effects.

Dark Energy Pre-Workout Performance Graph

My energy was rising, my heart rate went up, and I was feeling it. To say that my energy levels were through the moon is an understatement.

I was bouncing off the walls, felt like I could run a marathon, and just had this unending well of energy.

But quite frankly, it didn’t feel good. The energy was euphoric, dirty, and overwhelming to the point I felt like I was too jacked.

Some folks love this god-like mood elevation feeling - I don't. That's how you get injured.

But then again, I can't fault the product for doing what it's supposed to do. It did do better compared to some other pre-workout supplements.

All in all, I was able to get in a great workout, my stamina levels were up, I piled on a few extra pounds on the bar, and I did not absolutely dread the cardio in the end.

Additionally, my focus was incredible. 

I'd describe the focus as Adderall-like - if that makes sense. With all these stimulants, you just end up in a zone where you gain laser focus and tunnel vision. At least I did.

However, it could go the other way.

Essentially, if you're overly sensitive to stimulants, it's easy to get overwhelmed and end up anxious and scatterbrained by the Dark Energy ingredients and “mood-enhancing” effects.

As for the pump, it was there, but nothing too crazy. I can’t remember looking in the mirror and thinking, “Wow, I’m massive”. But then again, the pump wasn’t something that was on my mind at the moment, seeing how I was oozing power through my pores.

Still, here's the thing - it wasn't sustainable...

How Will I Feel Post-Workout?

If my experience is anything to go by, the worst part comes when the effects of Dark Energy high-stimulant pre-workout begin to wear off.

I was left feeling exhausted, run-down, and just all-around terrible. The crash from this pre-workout was more than noticeable. I recall just throwing myself on the bed and spending the rest of the day aimlessly scrolling through Instagram.

Thankfully, the Dark Energy Pre-Workout didn't affect my sleep, but then again, I worked out bright and early. 

I'm absolutely certain it would mess with your sleep if you were to take it late in the evening.

What Are The Possible Side Effects

The possible side-effects of taking Dark Energy pre-workout can be various - from arrhythmias to crashing. Thankfully, immediate side effects weren't too present for me. 

I didn't get any massive heart palpitations. My BMP was up, but I didn’t feel my heart pounding or beating out of my chest. That kind of stuff was quite similar to a high-stim “clean” pre-workout I’d sometimes use.

The skin-tingling was there, as beta-alanine and I really don’t get along. As for caffeine jitters, they were quite present for me, and my stomach was in knots for a quite bit.

Again, I'm very tolerant of stimulants, and if you do a little bit of reading, you'll soon find out this wasn't the case for everyone.

As for late-onset side effects of this pre-workout, as I just said, I crashed harder than Mike Conway in 2010.

What Flavors Are Available And How Do They Taste?

Dark Energy Pre-Workout came in six different flavors:

  • Rocket
  • Blast
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Gummy
  • Tropical

I only tried the Blast as I only wanted to try it out, not use it, and honestly, it wasn’t too bad.

Dark Energy Blast pre-workout mixed well, it didn’t leave a bad aftertaste, and it tasted just fine. 

In all honesty, though, I didn’t really care for the flavor, nor did anyone else. No one was buying this hardcore pre-workout for the flavor.

Is It A Fair Price?

Back in 2021, Dark Energy pre-workout was priced at about $50, which was not exactly a good deal if you were to compare prices with competitors, but it also wasn’t too horrible. So, I guess you could argue Dark Energy was fairly priced at the time.

At $1.67 per serving, it was above average, but its stimulatory effects were also above average (by a much greater margin), so I don’t recall many people being upset about it.

Personally, I’d never pay as much (not even nowadays with pre-workout prices on the rise) for a product that’s essentially stimulant on top of stimulant, but to each their own.

Who Is It Best For?

If I'm being completely honest, there is no one who Dark Energy pre-workout is best for. No one should take this pre-workout. 

You could take it, as many did, but I wouldn't recommend it.

It is far too potent for the vast majority of people, it's potentially life-threatening, and if you’d allow me to come back to what I just said - it is nothing more than an overpriced stimulant bomb.

Who Is It Not Good For?

Generally speaking, Dark Energy pre-workout is not good for anyone as it is potentially life-threatening even for healthy adults.

Thankfully, none of you should be able to get your hands on this DMAA pre-workout, as it was discontinued and sold out a long time ago.

However, you should definitely avoid Dark Energy pre-workout and others like it if you're suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Glaucoma
  • Central nervous system issues
  • Bipolar disorder

And many others...

Tips For Increasing Performance Using Dark Energy Pre-Workout

Let me start by saying I have never, and I would never recommend Dark Energy Pre-Workout to anyone. If there's anything to take away from this Dark Energy Pre-Workout review, it's that.

Not only was Dark Energy formula potent as all hell but also because it was quite possibly one of the most dangerous pre-workout supplements on the market.[1]

That said, if you are, by chance, in possession of Dark Energy pre-workout to this day, the only tip I have for you is to load up on food and water before and after using it, and please - don’t ever double-scoop it!

Ingredients - Effectiveness & Amount

Key Ingredient


Clinically Effective Dose


Caffeine per serve


3-6 mg/kg

Very effective

Citrulline Malate per serve

6g (2:1)

6-8 g



0 mg

500-2000 mg


0 mg

100-200 mg


Caffeine anhydrous is one of the most potent stimulants and one of the most popular ingredients in many pre-workout supplements, so it's only natural you're getting this much in Dark Energy pre-workout supplement "not made for human consumption".

Dark Energy Pre Supplement Facts

At 400 mg, caffeine will certainly increase energy levels, alertness, and focus while also providing a small boost to thermogenesis - which could theoretically help you burn more calories.[2]

However, a caffeine content this high could also cause jitters, anxiety, upset stomach, or trouble sleeping, so keep that in mind.

Citrulline Malate

With 6 g at a 2:1 ratio, you were getting a semi-decent dose of this popular amino acid.

L-citrulline malate is a precursor to L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO) - a gas that helps dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow, resulting in a greater pump.

It is also proven that L-citrulline malate can enhance athletic performance and aid with post-workout recovery.[3]

However, at this ratio (and since I highly doubt this was nothing more but a mix of citrulline and malic acid), you were getting just 4g of citrulline, which isn’t exactly an efficacious dose, but it also wasn’t exactly bad.

To this day, 6g of citrulline malate is an industry-standard.




Clinically Effective Dose





Very effective




Very effective

Synephrine/Bitter Orange Extract





100-300 mg

Very effective

Apart from caffeine, we had three (well, two) other stimulants in this formula.

First up, we had DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine), an amphetamine derivative and an FDA-banned substance often used to aid sports performance.

In my opinion, it is one of the most hardcore stimulants that you should avoid.[4]

Unfortunately, DMAA was (and still is) a popular pre-workout ingredient often found in other pre-workouts, fat burners, and dietary supplements.

And sure, it is incredibly potent and will get you pumped for lifting and give you insane energy, but the cons far outweigh the pros, so I'd certainly advise against it.

Not to mention, 60mg of DMAA is essentially the maximum daily dose.

Just like DMAA, DMHA is another powerful stimulant added to the Dark Energy "supplement" to aid muscle growth and increase endurance and energy.

Even its chemical structure is similar to DMAA.

DMHA is often marketed as a "safe" alternative to ephedrine (and DMAA), but as you'd expect - there is no scientific evidence to back that claim up.

Also, at 200 mg per scoop - this is another high dose. While there is no actual dosing guidance, most people recommend 100-150 mg per day.

And finally, we have DMAE - a common ingredient believed to help improve cognitive performance and mental focus, has some neuroprotective and antioxidative properties, and is often considered to be a mild mood stimulant.

However, its effects and benefits haven't been scientifically proven, documented, or even extensively tested.




Clinically Effective Dose



3.2 mg

3.2-6.4 g/day

Conditionally effective

L-Arginine AKG


3-6 g



1.5 g



1.6-6.4 mg/kg



300-500 mg



300–600 mg

Huperzine A


50-200 mcg

Choline Bitartrate


500-3000 mg



3-5 g/day



1-10 g

Moderately effective



5-10 mg



500-2000 mg



3-6 g










Not effective

As you can see, Dark Energy pre-workout is mostly focused on stimulants, so it only contains three additional ingredients - beta-alanine, taurine, and GABA.

Now, there is a lot of debate in the fitness world when it comes to beta-alanine, but the facts speak for themselves.

The only immediate effect is the tingles. And if you ask me, the only reason we saw beta-alanine in here was that it could tingle, as that would “mean” that it’s working.

However, if you want to listen to actual science as opposed to bro science, here's the harsh truth - beta-alanine doesn't belong in this kind of pre-workout.

Its performance-boosting effects are minor; 3.2g isn’t enough, and the only performance benefits appear when exercises last one to four minutes, which is a very uncommon scenario in the gym for someone taking this many stimulants.[5]

They usually engage in high-intensity training sessions with loads of heavy lifting and less cardio.

Now, beta-alanine is beneficial to a degree, but you must take 6.4 grams of it for at least 28 days for it to work properly.

Next up, if you see Taurine labeled as L-Taurine (as it was on this label), that should be a red flag. Without getting too technical, that is just not the correct term.

Other than that, Taurine is a relaxant amino acid that should help with muscular fatigue and aid with muscle recovery.[6]

It doesn't really belong in a pre-workout (rather a post-workout), but still, it was properly dosed, and it does yield some benefits.

Finally, we have GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) - one of those "feel-good productivity booster" ingredients.

Truth be told, GABA is a chemical naturally produced in our brains, and it does bring some anti-anxiety benefits.

However, when taken orally, it likely does not cross the blood-brain barrier, which means that, in this case, it is probably useless.[7]

How I Felt When I Took Dark Energy Pre-Workout

To give you a comprehensive insight into the effects of this potent blend, let's go through my timeline after ingesting the Dark Energy pre-workout.

Within 15 Minutes

Soon after taking Dark Energy pre-workout, I was hit with the tingles from the beta-alanine. 

It wasn't unbearably itchy, but it was definitely annoying, especially once I started feeling the stirring rush of energy afterward. The combined effects of the two made me feel like I was burning from the inside out.

While it did make me want to move around, lift, run, and just do whatever it takes to get this energy out of me, I can’t sit here and lie to you and tell you it felt amazing.

It felt dirty and wrong, but at the same time, it was impossible to ignore.

However... It did get a bit better as time went on.

Within 60 Minutes

Dirty build-up aside, I don’t think it took a whole hour for me to feel like Kratos. It took less than half an hour for me to feel bizarrely energized. I remember going into the first exercise, jokingly telling my buddy I could bend the bar. 

From that point on, for the next hour and a half - it felt like I was at peak at all times.

The amalgamation of caffeine, DMAA, and DMHA meant I was not only bursting with power but also zoned in, hyper-focused, and incredibly motivated. 

It felt as if I had broken through some sort of barrier, reaching levels of endurance and power I thought could only be achieved in life-or-death situations. 

All of this was so intense and intoxicating, and I was kind of beginning to understand why people loved DMAA and Dark Energy so much.

I just felt mean and strong, and I’m sure this was one of my most “hype” workouts, as the kids would say.

After 6+ Hours

The aftermath of Dark Energy pre-workout wasn’t interesting. 

While I remember feeling alert a few hours after taking it, it was about 6 hours in that I completely crashed.

It felt like I was run over by a car, a train, and a tank - one by one. My whole body felt heavy, my mind was foggy, and I couldn’t focus or think clearly, or do anything useful at all.

As I said earlier, I spent the rest of the day scrolling through social media like a parasite.

Thankfully, I managed to fall asleep quite easily, and I think I slept well, but I can’t quite recall.

How Does It Compare To Other Pre-Workouts?

Let’s take a look at how Dark Energy pre-workout compares to other pre-workouts.

Dark Energy Vs Dark Labs Crack Pre-Workout

If you thought it couldn't get more hard-hitting than Dark Energy - you were mistaken. The infamous Crack Pre-Workout is one of the most popular DMAA pre-workout supplements, and it is incredibly stimulating. It'll give you a massive energy rush, just like other DMAA pre-workouts and Dark Energy pre-workout alternatives.

However, it is far from good. Not only is nearly every ingredient (other than caffeine and DMAA) underdosed, but it's also filled with cheap, overall worthless ingredients, which is often the case with hardcore pre-workouts.

Sure, it will increase your energy substantially, but other than that, this formula is just plain bad and potentially harmful.

Dark Energy Vs Transparent Labs Bulk Pre-Workout

If you're not about wasting money, I'd suggest going with simple yet effective pre-workouts with safe and natural stimulants like Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout.

You'll get enough caffeine to feel the energy boost and even mood elevation; you'll get properly dosed Citrulline malate, and you'll even get enough beta-alanine if tingles are what get your workout intensity up. You'll also get L-tyrosine and L-theanine, two of the "essential" pre-workout ingredients, in my opinion, so that's another advantage BULK offers.

Finally, you will never have to worry about the availability of Transparent Labs BULK pre-workout because this one won't be banned. Yes, it's DMAA-free - as all formulas should be.


Transparent Labs BULK

  • Better all-around formula
  • No banned ingredients

Dark Energy

  • More caffeine
  • Stim-head formula

What We Have Taken Into Consideration For Giving You A Final Verdict

Before we move on to my final verdict, let me tell you a bit about myself.

My Expertise In Supplements

Though I am not a doctor, I did study pharmacology, and my desire to work out, stimulate muscle growth, and become healthier has propelled me into the vast world of supplements a long, long time ago. 

Over the years, I've done a ton of research on my own, with a sole goal in mind - to understand the intricate dynamics between different supplements and their effects on the human body. Along the way, I also became a certified sports nutritionist.

But despite all that, what I feel sets me apart is that my knowledge is rooted in both evidence-based findings and personal experience. I pride myself on being able to see past marketing hype, which, unfortunately, is most of what the supplement industry offers nowadays. 

So, if you, too, would like to see past the hype and actually get supplements that work - I’m your guy.

Reviewing Other Products

As I just said, I’ve dabbled with other products, not just pre-workouts, so if from time to time you see my reviewing another supplement, don’t be surprised.

I also like to think I can confidently discern a good protein powder from bad, explain why creatine monohydrate is the only one that you actually need, and also why you shouldn’t spend your money on a fat burner if your goal is to lose 40 pounds.

Related Article - CBUM’s Thavage Pre-Workout Review

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Related Article - Alpha Lion Pre-Workout Review

Frequently Asked Dark Energy Pre-Workout Questions

Is Dark Energy pre-workout illegal?

Dark Energy isn't technically illegal. However, the FDA banned DMAA, an ingredient found in this product.

What is wrong with Dark Energy pre-workout?

Dark Energy Pre-Workout contains powerful, banned stimulant DMAA, which makes Dark Energy dangerous for human use.

Was Dark Energy reformulated?

No, Dark Energy wasn't reformulated. It was the same formula, just rebranded as a "research product" instead of a "pre-workout."

The Best Dark Energy Alternative

So, is Dark Energy banned? Yes, Dark Energy pre-workout is banned and no longer available.

Should you take Dark Energy pre-workout if you happen to still have it? No, you shouldn't.

There are tons of equally popular pre-workouts that are similarly effective - like the C4 Ultimate pre-workout, which is one of the best Dark Energy alternative options out there.

With 300 mg of caffeine and nearly 6 grams of citrulline, C4 will deliver a similar boost of energy and strength, as well as better muscular endurance and more prominent pumps compared to Dark Energy.

And as a cherry on top, you won't get banned from competitions, you won't risk your health, and you won't crash afterward.

we recommend this instead!

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Pre Workout







Overall Rating




Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Meet Miloš, a certified sports nutritionist and self-taught supplement expert whose pharmacological background and nearly a decade of gym experience make him the perfect guide for optimizing your health and athletic performance through supplement reviews and practical advice rooted in factual, science-backed information.