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In a market that is currently dominated by brands trying to be either the highest-dosed/most intense product on the market or the cheapest possible cost per serving, Redcon1 Total War comes through with a great best-of-both-worlds option.
- Redcon1 Total War costs around $1.43 per serving. Out of the 50+ pre-workouts we’ve tested, the average cost is $1.61, making Total War a great value.
- Total War contains some plant-based ingredients that don’t have clinical doses established. However, for the ingredients that do have clinical doses established, Total War meets these standards with a full scoop serving.
- The current formula on the Redcon1 website has solved a lot of shortcomings of other versions, which included some under-dosed ingredients and a blend that some users felt (including me) contributed to a “post-workout crash.”
- Total War is a well-rounded pre-workout for anybody looking for increased energy, mental focus, and endurance.
A Quick Note About Varying Total War Formulas
This is the result of different regulations around which ingredients are allowed in pre-workouts, and in what kind of quantities.
The formula I received is one that is formulated to meet Canadian regulations and guidelines.
The formula available on the Redcon1 website for US consumers has resolved a lot of the shortcomings that will be discussed in this article.
I will explain in greater detail below where differences occur.
What Is Redcon1 Total War?
Total War is their caffeinated pre-workout that has high enough doses of ingredients to be effective but is a simple enough formula to be budget-friendly.
It contains 250mg of caffeine, with added green tea extract and theobromine to help provide longer energy without a crash afterward. (Theoretically, at least. However, this was not my personal experience as you’ll read below).
Total War offers clinical doses of citrulline (6g), beta-alanine (3.2g), taurine (1g), and agmatine (550mg), which will provide a good pump, endurance, and mental focus boost.
The formula I received has a total of 250mg of caffeine from a single source, whereas the US formula listed online has 250mg of caffeine anhydrous and 70mg of dicaffeine malate, plus higher doses of green tea extract and theobromine.
This means that the US formula is much stronger in the area of energy and mental focus.
To help you compare, here is the ingredient label for the version I bought (left) versus the one listed on the Redcon1 website (right).
Total War is available in 16 different flavors, with 3 more listed as “out of stock” at the time of writing. This makes it incredibly likely that you will be able to find a flavor that you like.
I personally tried the Sour Gummy Bear flavor, but others that caught my eye on the Redcon1 website include Peach Iced Tea, V-Trigger, Patriot, and Tiger’s Blood.
Claims vs Reality: How I Felt After Taking Redcon1 Total War?
I felt awesome in the gym while taking this pre-workout. The beta-alanine tingles were mild and short-lasting, and I felt like I got a really decent energy and pump.
I didn’t necessarily feel a big strength boost, but I did find that the mental focus allowed me to grind through my last few repetitions.
There is one key thing however that would give me hesitation to buy this product again.
I crashed. Hard.
The post-workout crash was so severe that I would get to work 30 minutes early and end up taking a nap at my desk until it was time to start.
I have been working out at 6 a.m. for more than six months now, and I have not experienced this kind of crash with any other pre-workout I’ve tested.
Despite feeling a good mental focus during my workout, I found that near the end of my workout (approx 90 minutes after taking the pre-workout), my energy levels started to drop drastically.
In comparing my formula to the one on the Redcon1 website, I am willing to bet that the addition of the second type of caffeine as well as the increase in theobromine and green tea extract might help solve the crash I experienced (it’s a slower release caffeine).
Since responses to caffeine are very individualized, I wouldn’t write this product off based solely on my experience with the crash. I think it’s still worth trying for yourself but maybe start with a half-scoop serving to assess your tolerance and reaction first.
Aside from the crash, the overall experience was very enjoyable. I thought Total War tasted great and mixed really well.
After testing several pre-workouts in a row that didn’t have clinical doses of most ingredients, it was a relief to take a pre-workout that had effective doses of performance-enhancing ingredients.
Redcon1 Total War Ingredients
|Ingredient||Dose||Clinical Effective Dose||Meets Clinical Dose|
|Citrulline Malate||6000 mg||6000-8000 mg||✅|
|Beta-alanine||3200 mg||3000-6000 mg||✅|
|Taurine||1000 mg||1000-3000 mg||✅|
|Agmatine Sulfate||1000 mg (550mg)||n/a||n/a|
|Juniper extract||150 mg||n/a||n/a|
|Green Tea Extract||25mg||n/a||n/a|
|Bioperine ™||9.5 mg||5-10mg||✅|
Citrulline is an amino acid that acts as a Nitric Oxide enhancer, which helps improve blood flow to the muscles.
When taken before exercise, citrulline may help delay fatigue, increase strength and endurance, and improve recovery.
The current literature on citrulline as a pre-workout supplement is inconsistent so more research is needed. Citrulline does show a lot of potential as an effective ergogenic aid, though.
The optimal dose based on current research appears to be 6-8g of citrulline taken approximately 1 hour prior to exercise.
Total War contains 6g of citrulline, hitting clinical dose standards.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that plays a key part in creating carnosine in the body.
Carnosine acts as a buffer in the body, buffering the hydrogen ions that can build up in muscle tissue causing fatigue.
More beta-alanine in the body means more carnosine in the body, which means muscle fatigue can be delayed. The end result is you are able to work out longer at higher intensities before fatigue sets in.
Beta-alanine should be taken daily over the long term in order to see the full benefit. The optimal dose appears to be 3-6g daily taken for 4-10 weeks to saturate the body’s levels, with a maintenance dose of 1.2g daily afterward.
Total War contains 3.2g of beta-alanine, meeting clinical dose standards for both saturation and maintenance. If you don’t take pre-workout every day, you might want to supplement with additional beta-alanine on the side.
Taurine plays a key role in energy metabolism as well as glucose and fat regulation. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
When taken before exercise, taurine can increase aerobic performance, increase strength and power, and enhance recovery via reduced feelings of muscle soreness.
There is limited research available, but so far the ideal dosing strategy for taurine appears to be 1-3g taken at least an hour prior to exercise.
With 1g per serving, Total War meets clinical dose standards for taurine.
Agmatine is a chemical made from the amino acid, arginine.
Arginine acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and can stimulate the release of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in the body (the hormone that can stimulate the testes to produce testosterone and helps to control the menstrual cycle).
Due to agmatine’s role as a neurotransmitter, it’s thought to improve mental focus and mood when taken as a supplement.
Additionally, because of its effects on LH, it may positively impact testosterone levels leading to increases in recovery and muscle growth.
One thing to note is that most of the studies done on agmatine have been done on rats, so more human clinical trials are needed to definitively prove its benefits.
For this reason, there is no clinically accepted dose of agmatine. It’s currently estimated that to increase cognitive performance, the dose should be between 1.6-6.4 mg/kg of body weight daily.
For a 150lb individual, this works out to be between around 100mg and 430mg daily.
With 550mg of agmatine per serving, Total War falls within a range that is expected to be effective for humans.
Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up the central nervous system, increases alertness and mood, and delays time to exhaustion.
There is no clinical dose for caffeine, and every person’s tolerance will be different based on factors like size, age, and frequency/experience of ingestion.
Total War contains 250mg of caffeine (350mg if you get the formula from the Redcon1 website). This is equal to roughly a large (20oz) and extra large (24oz) coffee, respectively.
Juniper berries can increase the uptake of caffeine in the body, making the caffeine more effective. It is also high in vitamins and minerals, with antioxidant properties that can support muscle recovery.
There is limited research available for assessing juniper berry extract as an ergogenic aid, so there is no currently established dose.
Total War contains 150mg of Juniper Berry extract, which is a lower dose than what is sold and recommended as a stand-alone product.
Bulksupplements.com, for instance, sells Juniper Berry Extract in a 10:1 extract in a 500mg dose and recommends it to be taken 1-3 times daily. (Total War is only a 4:1 extract at 150mg).
Still, the dose found in Total War may be enough to provide some extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support overall well-being and digestive health.
Naringin is another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that may support the heart and cardiovascular system.
Some preliminary research shows that naringin supplementation may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.
Most of this research has been done on rats and not in proper human clinical trials, so more research is needed.
For that reason, there is no clinical dose of naringin established for use as an ergogenic aid.
The amount found in Total War (150mg) may still provide antioxidant support and support general well-being and digestive health.
Green Tea Extract
Green Tea Extract is rich in phytochemicals and contains caffeine. The amount of caffeine found in green tea extracts can vary greatly, ranging from small doses (below 10mg) to high doses above 200mg.
Because Total War does not list the caffeine content found in the Green Tea extract, it stands to reason that the amount of caffeine their extract provides is negligible.
One specific chemical found in green tea extract, called EGCG, works well with caffeine to improve body composition and increase energy.
In human research trials looking specifically at body composition outcomes (like fat oxidation), significant effects are only noted at high doses around 400-500mg per day.
The dose of green tea extract found in Total War (25mg in the international formula, 45mg in the US formula) is unlikely to provide a substantial performance benefit.
However, since no clinical dose has been established, we can’t technically say it doesn’t meet a standard.
Theobromine is in the same class of stimulants as caffeine.
While it is similar to caffeine, theobromine offers longer-lasting and calmer energy without the intense spike and subsequent crash that can be experienced from regular caffeine.
While research is mixed in regards to theobromine’s effectiveness as a pre-workout supplement, studies done so far indicate that it may increase cardiovascular and strength performance as well as boost cognitive function.
Due to the limited research, there is no clinically established dose of theobromine but one study noted that there were some positive mood effects experienced at a 250mg dose. (This same study found that doses above 250mg produced negative effects).
Bioperine ™ is a patented form of piperine or black pepper extract.
In clinical trials, BioPerine ™ was found to increase nutrient absorption by up to 30%. This makes it a popular addition to pre-workout supplements to help boost the absorption rate of the other ingredients in the product.
The clinical dose of BioPerine ™ is 5-10mg daily. At 9.5mg per serving, Total War meets clinical dosing standards.
Highlights: What I Like About Redcon1 Total War
Total War comes in more than 15 different flavor options, both sweet and sour, making it incredibly likely that you will be able to find a flavor that you like.
Total War is available in some more traditional flavors like grape and blue raspberry, as well as some unique flavors like Baja Bomb, Patriot, and Cali Splash.
I personally tried the sour gummy bear flavor and found it enjoyable without being too sour.
The combination of caffeine (250mg in the international formula, 320mg in the US one) and agmatine sulfate provides good energy and mental focus that hits quickly.
While Total War does also contain green tea extract and theobromine, two ingredients that can increase energy, the doses are very small and unlikely to provide a significant boost to energy.
Meets Many Clinical Dosing Standards
Most of the ingredients found in Total War do not have clinical doses established. Of the ingredients that do have scientifically proven clinical doses, Total War meets the dosing standards.
Total War contains clinical doses of citrulline, beta-alanine, and taurine. These three ingredients have been shown to be beneficial for increasing blood flow and pump, strength, endurance, and recovery.
The combination makes a versatile, well-rounded pre-workout.
Drawbacks What I Did Not Like About Redcon1 Total War
Bad Post-workout Crash
I experienced an incredibly strong crash approximately 2 hours after taking Total War.
It’s possible that this crash is just a personal reaction to the specific caffeine source or energy blend found in Total War, but the intensity of the crash makes it unlikely that I will ever use this pre-workout again.
I always recommend trying a product for yourself first though. Total War is an incredibly popular product with lots of positive reviews, so obviously there are people out there who really enjoy it.
How Does Redcon1 Total War Stack Up Against Our Criteria For Pre Workouts
Our rating: 4/5
Redcon1 Total War comes in at around $1.43 per serving, below the average cost for pre-workout which is around $1.61. Since Total War does contain clinical doses of a lot of performance-enhancing ingredients, this makes it a good value.
There are products that are technically cheaper than Total War but contain no clinical doses of any ingredients.
There are also products that are slightly more expensive than Total War that offer advantages like fully disclosed third-party testing and the use of no artificial flavors or sweeteners for those who prioritize the highest quality and company transparency.
Ultimately, Total War meets right in the middle of quality and quantity.
Our rating: 5/5
Total War tastes great and comes in nearly twenty flavors. With so many flavors to choose from, you are likely to find one that you enjoy. I found the taste to be strong without being excessively sweet or sour.
The only potential downside is that since some of the flavors have unique names, it might be difficult to know exactly what flavor you are getting.
With the old labeling, flavors like Tiger’s Blood, Wolverine, and Sabretooth gave no indication of what they actually tasted like.
The updated labels have graphics to provide some insight into what you are getting.
Here you can compare the old label to the new one to see the difference.
Our rating: 4/5
Total War dissolves almost entirely with little to no leftover residue in the bottom. Swirling your pre-workout between sips helps the product dissolve entirely.
This is a great option for anybody who is sensitive to texture and grittiness.
Our rating: 4/5
Total War does provide a great energy to power you through your workouts. The formula available on the Redcon1 website has 320mg of caffeine, from two separate caffeine sources to provide a more sustained energy.
There have been a lot of improvements to the updated formula, and I hope it hits international shelves soon. It has more caffeine, but that caffeine now comes from two different sources: caffeine anhydrous and di-caffeine malate.
The benefit of having 2 separate sources of caffeine is prolonged energy with a reduced likelihood of a crash.
The US formula also has higher amounts of theobromine compared to the international formula (50mg vs 25mg), which can also help to provide longer-lasting energy.
Our rating: 3.5/5
With a full 6g of Citrulline Malate, Total War provides a decent muscle pump. The pump provided by Total War isn’t quite as intense as products that offer multiple pump-enhancing ingredients like glycerol, betaine, and beetroot.
Overall though, for users who want a combination of energy and pump, Total War is a suitable option.
Our rating: 3/5
Total War contains ingredients that can lead to indirect increases in strength, via increasing energy, mental focus, and blood flow. It does not contain ingredients that directly support increasing strength, like creatine.
As mentioned, I found that the energy and focus from Total War was enough to help me grind through my last few reps.
With some other products, like Swolverine and Transparent Labs Bulk (click to read my reviews), I felt almost immediate increases in strength whereby my usual prescribed weights and reps felt much easier.
With Total War, those final repetitions were still a grind but I had the focus and drive to push through.
Who Should Take Redcon1 Total War?
Redcon1 Total War is for:
- People who are looking for a well-rounded product that provides good energy and pump through clinically dosed ingredients
- People who get bored of flavors easily and want a great-tasting product with lots of variety
Who Should Not Take Redcon1 Total War?
I would not recommend Redcon1 Total War for:
- People who are sensitive to caffeine
- Individuals looking to avoid artificial flavors and sweeteners
- People who work out late in the evening/close to bedtime, since the caffeine is likely to negatively affect their sleep
What Are Other Customers Saying About Redcon1 Total War?
Redcon1 has a strong fanbase. They have a very strong social media presence and some perks and initiatives around military support that increase their fandom.
On the Redcon1 website, Total War has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating based on over 8500 reviews.
I stuck to the most recent reviews since those will be most reflective of the new formula and probably the more accurate ones for the product you would receive if you ordered from the website.
Many of the reviews are very generic, with comments like “love it”, “good product”, and “great taste”.
The vast majority of reviewers praise the good taste of the product, exclaiming that it’s the best-tasting product they’ve had, across a variety of flavors.
Similar to my experience, the majority of customers praise the energy that the product provides with a few people mentioning the pump, and very few commenters mentioning aspects like strength or power.
The consensus seems to be that this is the ideal product for anybody looking for a great tasting energy boost.
For a complete picture, I searched for 1 and 2 star reviews to see what people didn’t like about Total War.
Of the 6 most recent 1-star reviews, 4 of them related to negative shipping experiences and poor customer service.
The first outlier expressed that the product made their face feel weird, which is the common side effect of beta-alanine and not a knock of the product, necessarily.
The second outlier was very passionate in their hate for this product (for the record, I take overly dramatic reviews both positive and negative with a grain of salt). This person expressed that a full scoop gave them really bad tingles, but that a ¼ or ½ scoop did nothing for them, which makes sense since the clinical dose is a full scoop.
Total War has a slightly lower rating on Amazon, with 4.2/5 stars based on over 19,000 reviews.
This is potentially a more reliable sample for Total War, since it has more than twice the amount of reviews as the website, and people commenting directly on Redcon1’s website are more likely to be fans of the brand as opposed to shop-around consumers.
It seems like a lot of users are particularly sensitive to the beta-alanine that is used in Total War, since a higher-than-average number of reviewers mention the strong tingling sensation.
Redcon1 Total War Alternatives?
Redcon1 Total War Black Ops
If you are an experienced pre-workout user and you want the strongest combination of pump, strength, energy, and endurance ingredients, Redcon1 has created Total War Black Ops.
With more than 16 ingredients, the majority of which are clinically dosed, this product hits hard.
It has 400mg of caffeine from a variety of sources to ensure that your energy lasts and you don’t experience a crash afterward (in theory).
On top of the caffeine, this product contains a variety of stimulants and nootropics like theobromine, Dynamine ®, Teacrine ®, Huperzine, Alpha-GPC, and Yohimbe.
Total War Black Ops also has a patented product, NO3-T ® to support maximum strength and muscle pump.
This product comes at a premium price. At $3.00 per serving, Total War Black Ops is at the highest end of the average cost of pre-workout.
Total War Black Ops is available in 3 flavors: Tigers Blood, Blue Lemonade, and Sour Gummy Bear.
Redcon1 Big Noise
On the complete opposite end of the stimulant spectrum to Black Ops, Redcon1 has a non-stimulant pre-workout called Big Noise.
This product contains no caffeine or stimulants, making it suitable for use at any time of day.
Despite not having any stimulants, it does contain some nootropics like Acetyl L-Carnitine and L-Theanine that can help promote mental focus so that you can squeeze the most out of each workout.
The combination of betaine anhydrous and CitraPeak™, both in clinical doses, provides a great combination of strength and pump.
This pre-workout can be taken on its own, or stacked with Total War to enhance mental focus and deliver a more significant muscle pump compared to taking Total War alone.
Big Noise costs the same as Total War, at $1.43 per serving.
It comes in 5 different flavors: Watermelon, Sour Gummy Bear, Rainbow Candy, Tigers Blood, and Strawberry Kiwi. Big Noise is also available in an unflavored option for easy stacking with other products.
Are There Any Promos or Discounts For Redcon1 Total War?
Redcon1 has a reward points system whereby you earn points by buying products. They have 4 different tiers, where the more you spend over a calendar year, the faster your points accumulate. They also provide points on your birthday.
Here is a breakdown of their reward tiers
Clicking on the “Deals” tab on their website takes you to their general supplement page, where they have a banner indicating what promotion or sale they have active.
I will also mention here that Redcon1 has a foundation that aims to provide financial support to United States military families. You can find all of the details here.
Redcon1 offers a subscribe and save feature on their supplements, which allows you to save an incredible 30% off of your products with orders shipping every 1 month. You can cancel or change your subscription at any time.
I also got offered a few freebies (a 30-serving BCAA and a bag of protein cookies) when I got to the checkout. This could change based on your order and the current promotions they have since there was no indication as to why I got these freebies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Redcon1 Total War The Best Pre Workout?
Redcon1 Total War is a versatile and well-rounded pre-workout suitable for anybody looking for increased energy and moderate pump. It’s a great alternative to some other pre-workouts like C4 which are underdosed in a lot of areas.
Is Redcon1 Total War Third Party Tested?
Redcon1 products are manufactured in GMP compliant facilities and are third party tested for ingredient level verification (i.e. do the products in the bottle match the label). They are tested for heavy metals and prop 65 compliance.
Is Redcon1 Total War Good For Weight Loss?
Redcon1 Total War has ingredients to help support energy metabolism and overall energy production. This can help you complete more intense workouts which can accelerate your fat loss results when combined with diet and exercise. It is not designed for weight loss.
Is Redcon1 Total War Safe For Women?
Redcon1 Total War is a safe pre-workout option for women. It should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
How Much Caffeine Does Redcon1 Total War Have?
The formula listed on the Redcon1 website has 320mg of caffeine. International users and individuals buying from third party retailers may receive a formula with only 250mg of caffeine.
Does Redcon1 Total War Have Creatine?
Redcon1 Total War does not contain any creatine. You can buy unflavored creatine monohydrate directly from Redcon1 if you want to supplement with creatine.
How Long Does Redcon1 Total War Last For?
I found the energy boost from Redcon1 Total War lasted for around 2 hours after taking the product.
I personally felt a crash from the international formula, but it looks like they made some changes to the new formula to increase the longevity of the energy and reduce the crash.
Does Redcon1 Total War Need To Be Cycled?
Redcon1 Total War does not technically need to be cycled, but it’s recommended to take a few (2-4) weeks off after several months of continuous use. This is to ensure that the product doesn’t lose its effectiveness as you build up a tolerance to the caffeine.
Will Redcon1 Total War Make Me Jittery?
Redcon1 Total War does contain caffeine, but myself and many reviewers remark not experiencing anxiety or jitteriness with this pre-workout.
It is always recommended to start with a half scoop serving first to assess your personal tolerance, especially if you consider yourself sensitive to caffeine.
What Flavors Are Available For Redcon1 Total War?
Redcon1 Total War is currently available in 19 different flavors. Some of their longest-standing flavors include Sour Gummy Bear, Rainbow Candy, and Tiger’s Blood. Some of their unique trademark flavors include Patriot, V-Trigger, and Baja Bomb.
Where Is Redcon1 Total War Made?
Redcon1 Total War is made in the USA in a cGMP compliant facility.
What Is Redcon1’s Shipping Policy?
Redcon1 orders are processed Monday through Friday. In the US, orders are shipped via USPS or UPS. International orders are shipped via DHL or UPS.
Orders are typically processed within 2-4 business days, with an extra 5-7 days added for shipping. Currently Redcon is offering free shipping on orders over $85.
What Is Redcon1’s Return Policy?
Returns and exchanges must be done within 30 days of receiving the item. Refunds are only issued after the items are returned in their original package, including any free promotional items.
You must contact Redcon1 within 3 days of receiving your shipment if you are missing an item or if something arrives damaged.
How To Contact Redcon1 Total War ?
Redcon1’s office address is listed as 701 Park of Commerce Blvd in Boca Raton, FL 33487.
They have a chat feature active on their website with support staff available 7 days per week. They have one of the most comprehensive contact pages I have come across.
You can reach them by phone at 1-855-733-2661 or get directed through their contact page.
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About The Author
Jennifer Vibert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and supplement store manager. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle and a minor in Psychology from the University of Regina. She is a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition, with a passion for helping clients learn the fundamentals of nutrition and supplementation in order to build healthy, sustainable habits.