Getting up in the mornings can be rather difficult. Getting up in the mornings and going to gym even more so. So, if you are like me, you need a little extra vooma in the mornings to get going and achieve a decent 8 – 10 km run. And while a strong cuppa java may get you out of bed, it takes a serious energy supplement to get your running shoes on and get you on the treadmill with the ability to outrun Francois Hougaard, all the while solving world hunger and making a 100 item action list that you intend to get done by 11:00. Now there are hundreds of these miracle energy supplements on the market, but after years and years of testing these out, I have managed to narrow it down to these two: Jack 3D and Berserker. 

Jack3D vs Berserker!

Jack3D vs Berserker!

For me, an energy supplement should meet the specific requirements of your workout, but regardless of what your workout entails, if it requires high energy, then a energy supplement could be your best friend. While running has taken up most of my training routine for a number of years now, previous to the treadmill fanaticism, the swimming lanes were my best friend for a number of years ( and probably will make a return soon ), and before that I was one of those weird-ass lycra-clad spinners that shout out “WOOT-WOOT” from the techno-engulfed cycle class, followed by cries of jubilation from the rest of the class – akin to some strange religious cult. So? Well, for 12 years I have been in the high-energy classes, and I have been exposed to every manner of energy boosting supplement, from the dreaded HEAT pill, to the craze-inducing Nano-Vapour and its close cousin NO-xplode.

Of all of the supplements that I have tried and survived, I can recommend Jack 3D as the one that gave the boost when you needed it, and once you used the energy, it didn’t leave you wired and shaking. I was happy to continue using Jack 3D, regardless of the few reports of a few military recruits in the US falling dead from heart-attacks after using Jack3D when going through basic training. My feeling – these are probably due to underlying medical conditions, which – before I recommend any supplement – I recommend you get a full physical and doc’s clearance before you hit the long road to intensive energy-burning training.

Packing a punch!

Packing a punch!

So, what’s the story behind Jack3D? Well, its been getting some negative press at the moment, and the UK medical authority has even gone as far as to ban it from shelves due to it containing a stimulant – DMAA or dimethlamylamine  (norepinephrine releasing agent) which has been linked to increasing blood pressure – so if you have any heart or blood pressure issues, be very careful about taking any energy supplement. But compared to the variety of other high performance supplements on the market, Jack 3D may be one of the best in terms of energy delivery and recover. Also, in terms of the taste, its is not that bad actually, and the varieties available through Dischem are less (marginally though) chemical than others. Having said that, still be prepared to suffer a nasty shock as the aftertaste is something you would image a radio-active lollypop would leave behind. 

Once you have administered the dose, a single scoop of the powder dissolved in a cold glass of water, Jack 3D gets right to work, giving you a serious kick in the ass within approx 5 minutes, so best you get moving to gym, and for goodness sake, do not take this after 13:00 as you will probably never get to sleep. As for the duration, Jack 3D promises energy and endurance, and this is exactly what it delivers. An interesting experiment I conducted gave surprising results. I usually run in Johannesburg, and average about 05:43 per km while on Jack, however, I decided not to take it while running in Cape Town and achieved a similar, albeit a slightly slower pace of 05:57 per km. Anyone who has trained in both cities can tell you that the altitude difference and resulting oxygen difference has a massive impact on performance and endurance. So, by taking Jack 3D in Johannesburg, I am kinda just decreasing the altitude and increasing the oxygen intake.

Going wild!

Going wild!

Berserker on the other hand is a different story altogether. Berserker was recommended to me by my brother, who uses it to get his ass out of bed and onto his bike. He swears by it, telling me that the energy leaves it gives is incredible and that it doesn’t give you the body tingling sensation (the same tingling sensation that I have come to love, as I know that my energy supplement it kicking in).  Berserker is another energy supplement that uses DDMA as one of its main ingredients, but also includes Arginine (nitric oxide converter) and Beta-alanine (muscle acid inhibitor) and creatine monohydrate muscle fuel). My experience, meh. Its good and yes, it does give you good energy levels, but nothing close to Jack 3D. Also, the concentration or focus effects are less so that Jack3D, leaving my mind to wonder well into the 3rd kilometer. Regardless of what I think, it has been awarded product of the year within its category – so it must be good. Having said that, not for me.

But perhaps the cost would be of particular concern to you. Jack 3D 230 grams retails for R579.95 at Springbok Pharmacy, and would probably last you about a month and a bit, while Berserker 250 grams retails for R299 (currently on a secial offer until 23 September) from Springbok Pharmacy, and would last about 2 months.