Calibrate V2 Reviews
Quick SummaryNot a bad experience for me, but under-dosed in most supportive capacities and far too expensive.
IntroductionAfter some poor experiences with stim-heavy pre-workouts, I've been sticking to lower-stim products with fully disclosed profiles. I'd no experience with HD Labs Nutrition before and thus decided to grab Calibrate, which met the aforementioned criteria, when it became available to the Troopers.
Ingredient ProfileThus far all the reviews of Calibrate are in consensus - most of the ingredient profile is significantly under-dosed at one scoop. The actual profile isn't bad; it's comprised of most of the usual players for improved energy, endurance, and vasodilation it's just lacking across the board. A few examples:
Beta-Alanine - recommended dose of 2-5g - Calibrate serves up 1.6g per scoop
L-Citrulline Malate - recommended dose 6-8g for sports performance - Calibrate serves up 500mg per scoop
Citicoline - standard therapeutic dose 500mg-2g daily - Calibrate contains a measly 12.5mg per scoop
Truly, the one bright spot for me was the stim profile, which is the reason I grabbed this product in the first place. At a somewhat low ~225mg of two types of caffeine per scoop and lacking any other ancillary stimulants, I figured Calibrate would provide just the right amount of clean, sustained energy for a 30 minute lifting session
Taste/Mixability/DosingI received the Raspberry Punch flavor which I very much enjoyed. A good, balanced red raspberry flavor that wasn't overly sweet or tart, and didn't have a lingering aftertaste.
No issues at all with clumping or foaming. One scoop dissolves quickly and easily in 12 oz. ice water. I drank down each dose about 20 minutes pre-workout on my way to the gym
EffectivenessAll in all I had a decent experience with Calibrate despite the under-dosed profile.
The stimulants worked well for me and were exactly what I expected in terms of effectiveness. I noticed the boost in energy pretty swiftly after each dose and had no issues with cold sweats, jitters, or anything along those lines. A good kick that lasted me through most of my workout, and I felt comfortable grabbing my usual large iced coffee afterward. Certainly not as powerful as other products, but that was not what I was after. Also worth noting that I lift for maintenance and my workouts are just not that intense. I'm a father of two - I'm not looking to compete and get hooooooge. I'm fighting the dad bod with conservative workouts that minimize injury risk.
I did still feel the Beta Alanine tingles slightly, despite the fact the dose is just below the recommended threshold of 2g. No noticeable differences in strength as a direct result of this product, however my workouts are hypertrophy focused and if you've read any of my recent past pre-workout reviews, you'll note I generally am not looking for a product to provide strength increases. Same deal for endurance, though I'm always running an intra-workout BCAA that usually contains electrolytes for this exact type of support.
ValueThe industry average for preworkouts, from my research, is right around $1.00 per serving. If you want to go for a product that touts high quality, clinically dosed ingredients (Outlift for example) you can expect to pay closer to $1.50 per scoop.
Calibrate is only available on the vendor's own website at a STEEP price of $50 for 32 scoops / $1.56 per serving. Unfortunately this is really where Calibrate lands in the "would not recommend" category for me. There's too many basic products out there with similar stim profiles that can be purchased for FAR cheaper. And the rest of the profile is just too under-dosed to warrant this price point, especially considering most hardcore pre-workout junkies are going to want to double-scoop this supplement. No, unfortunately I can't swallow this price point for this product.
ConclusionI didn't hate Calibrate or find it to be a bad product, it's just far too expensive and needs a lot of tweaking to the ingredient profile to make it a true contender. If this was way less expensive, say .80c per scoop, I'd change my ranking to Would Recommend as I think it's a good, moderate-stim pre-workout that would work well for supplement noobies. If the dosages were fixed and actually hit the daily recommended levels (again, see Outlift) then yeah, I might think again about grabbing this product. For now though, this is just not a viable option in the hyper-competitive landscape of pre-workout supplements.