Review: Controlled Labs White Flood NO Supplement

Review: Controlled Labs White Flood NO Supplement

I have to admit, Controlled Labs’ White Flood was the first NO-booster that I ever trialled…and the only one I’ve ever re-ordered. So it’s definitely high time for a review. As they say, “better late than never.”

Why did I try White Flood first—ahead of all the other, better-known products like NO-Xplode or Superpump 250?

Two reasons: I rather liked the other Controlled Labs’ supplements I tried (Purple Wraath and Green Magnitude) and felt reasonably good about the brand; plus, I thought the formula looked interesting…it’s a little different than what you see in competing products.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 0
Calories From Fat 0
Potassium(as Gluconate) 36mg
Folate(as Folic Acid) 250mcg
Selenium(as Selenium Amino Acid Chelate) 100mcg

ENO Flood Complex™ 3000mg
Arginine AKG (2200 Mg), Ornithine AKG (800mg)

FlooDurance™ 2400mg
Beta Alanine (1700 Mg), L-Tyrosine (700 Mg)

Energy & Antioxidant Flood Complex 3825mg
Inosine, Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), Glucuronolactone, Natural Caffeine, Potassium Gluconate, Cocoa Bean (Extracted For 99% Theobromine), Evodia Rutaecarpa (95% Evodiamine Extract), L-Norvaline, Sugar Cane (Extracted For 60% Octacosanol), Coenzyme Q10, Vinpocetine, Alpha-Carotene, Zeaxanthin, Cryptoxanthin, Lutein, Folic Acid, Selenium, Huperzia Serrata (Extracted For 99% Huperzine A)

Like other NO/pre-workout products, White Flood has the usual arginine compounds, caffeine and nootropics. It does not contain creatine, however; and features ingredients such as inosine, GABA and carotenoids, which are a little unusual for this type of supplement.

These ingredients are divided between three proprietary blends. Let’s take a closer look at each one and see what they have to offer.

ENO Flood Complex: This consists or arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) and ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG). AKG is standard issue stuff for NO boosters, and is used in many popular brands. OKG, on the other hand, is not.

Like citrulline, however, ornithine is a urea cycle intermediate—so it can also be used to regenerate arginine and boost NO production. In addition, OKG has been used therapeutically to enhance wound healing and reduce post-burn catabolism.

FlooDurance: Beta-alanine is one-half of the naturally-occurring dipeptide carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine), which—among other functions—helps to buffer hydrogen ions produced during intense muscular contractions. As Paul explains in his review of iSatori’s H+Blocker:

“…carnosine is stored in muscle tissues, and one of its jobs is to neutralize the hydrogen ions which are the by-product of anaerobic glycolysis. This is the process by which the body creates energy without the presence of oxygen. When you lift weights, you require dramatic amounts of energy for those explosive, powerful movements. This energy is generated by anaerobic glycolysis, since the energy requirements are too extreme to be met by aerobic means.

As contractions continue, hydrogen ions build up in the muscle, lowering its pH level, and thus increasing its acidity. This is known as muscular acidosis—and its the reason for the increasing burn and the increased weakness you feel as you progress farther into the reps of your chosen exercise.

Beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to increase storage of muscle carnosine, reduce muscular fatigue, and improve high intensity athletic performance.

L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid and precursor for several important neurotransmitters: dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). In larger doses, it can improve cognitive performance and psychomotor skills under stress. In more moderate doses, it can provide a mood-energy boost—particularly in combination with caffeine.

Energy and Antioxidant Flood Complex: “Complex” is probably a good word to describe this blend, as it contains 18 different components. This may seem like a lot to pack into less than 4 grams, but it’s also true that some of them (folic acid and selenium, for example), are active in very small amounts.

Inosine is the first—and perhaps the most intriguing—ingredient in the blend. Inosine is a component of tRNA (transfer RNA) and is also a precursor to adenosine—a compound vital to energy production (as in ATP—adenosine triphosphate).

Inosine was once promoted as a strength/power supplement by Dr. Fred Hatfield, otherwise known as “Dr. Squat.” Several studies on cyclists and runners, however, have concluded that inosine supplementation does not improve athletic performance.

Nonetheless, inosine may have a different role to play—especially in an NO supplement. As a purine nucleoside, inosine breaks down to uric acid. Uric acid is often viewed as a negative, since high levels are associated with gout.

There’s a positive side too, though, as uric acid is an important endogenous antioxidant. To be specific, uric acid scavenges peroxynitrite—a particularly destructive anion formed by the reaction between superoxide and nitric oxide radicals. Peroxynitrite has been implicated in the development of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Not coincidentally, inosine has been investigated as a potential treatment for both conditions.

To make a long story short, inosine—by stimulating the production of uric acid—may help reduce peroxynitrite radicals generated by the combination of increased nitric oxide + exercise-induced oxidative stress.

GABA is another interesting addition to the mix. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter often taken in supplemental form to aid in relaxation and sleep. This may seem like a bad fit for an “energy” blend, but recent research suggests that GABA ingestion can enhance both resting and post-exercise GH production.

Caffeine and theobromine (from cocoa bean extract) are closely related methylxanthines with well-known stimulant effects.

Evodiamine (Evodia rutaecarpa extract) is structurally similar to capsaicin (the compound that gives Jalapeños their “heat”) and is frequently used in weight loss supplements as a thermogenic.

Potassium (gluconate) is an electrolyte, but the 36 mg present in the blend is a nutritionally irrelevant amount.

L-Norvaline is another speculative addition to the formula. It’s an analog of the amino acid valine, and an inhibitor of the arginase enzyme. Arginase breaks arginine down to ornithine and urea, so inhibiting it leaves more arginine available for NO synthesis. L-Norvalline is included in several NO supps as a “nitric oxide amplifier.”

There are also a variety of different antioxidant compounds in the blend: octacosanol, Coenzyme Q10, selenium and the carotenoids alpha-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These have a variety of beneficial effects on health, and are included to reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress.

Folic acid is a B-vitamin that can help reduce homocysteine, a marker of cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine can impair nitric oxide production indirectly, by increasing levels of ADMA (asymmetric dimethyl arginine), an inhibitor of the enzyme that catalyzes NO production.

Lastly, vinpocetine and huperzine A (Huperzia serrata extract) are included for focus and concentration. Vinpocetine is an alkaloid derived from periwinkle that affects cerebral blood flow, and memory.

Huperzine A is an alkaloid isolated from a Chinese moss (Huperzia serrata) that has neuroprotective and cognitive effects.

So how does it all add up?

First of all, there are a few negatives…at 1700 mg and 800 mg, respectively, both the beta-alanine and tyrosine are a little underdosed. In addition, the evidence for both the inosine and L-norvaline is a little “softer” than I would like. Finally, although the antioxidant/nutrient combo looks good, it’s impossible to know how much of each compound is provided in the proprietary blend.

Nonetheless, White Flood works pretty well for me: I get decent pumps and a very smooth energy that seems to go on for hours—it keeps me on my feet and thinking clearly long after a grueling workout.

I like the effects well enough to give it a “pass” on one more negative: the taste. It comes in only one flavor: “Electric Lemonade,” which tastes a lot like Country Time Lemonade drink mix…laced with cyanide. Fortunately, Controlled Labs’ has just come out with a capsule form…when it comes time to order again, I think I’ll make the switch.

Now, I haven’t tried them all yet—not by a long shot—so one of these days, maybe I’ll find an NO supp I like better…but for now, I think White Flood’s a keeper.

White Flood is available at, our recommended online retailer. Click here to learn more about trying White Flood for yourself!

Summary of White Flood
  • Contains (mostly) useful ingredients.
  • Some scientific support for ingredients.
  • Works well for focus/concentration.
  • Some ingredients likely underdosed.
  • “Electric Lemonade” doesn’t taste particularly good.

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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