Pro Pre Reviews
Pro Pre is a Pre-Workout manufactured by Optimum. It is designed to help provide a pre-training advantage by increasing mental focus, muscle performance, endurance and blood flow. This creates an environment optimal for increasing muscle mass and losing body fat.
Quick SummaryOptimum Nutrition's Pro Pre is one of its most negatively viewed products due to its "poor" taste. However, I personally find that its very effective, fully dosed formula gave me great workouts and that its okay taste can definitely be overlooked.
IntroductionInitially, I was not willing to pay for a PWO that costed over $1.50 per serving. However, I got ON's Pro Pre after finding it in a deal where you could get it for free upon purchasing 5 lbs of their classic Gold Standard Whey Protein. I had noticed their product before and saw that their ingredient label seemed very solid, but the price tag prevented me from wanting to buy it. The deal was a great time for me to finally try it out. Before receiving it, I've been using various underdosed PWOs, so it was exciting for me to finally use one that was not shortchanging me.
The only other PWO related product I have tried from ON was Amino Energy, but since it was more for its amino blend than the energy, focus, pump, and other components, I was excited to try one of their actual PWOs.
Ingredient ProfileThe ingredient profile is completely dosed. Some of its most important ingredients include...
L-Citrulline: 6g (Recommended is up to 6-8 grams). Citrulline raises the nitric oxide levels, which dilates blood vessels and allows oxygen/nutrients to deliver more effectively.
Beta-alanine: 3.2g (Recommended is up to 3-5 grams) In the skeletal muscle cell, beta-alanine binds to L-histidine to form dipeptide carnosine.Carnosine is a hydrogen ion buffer that reduces the lactic acid buildup that you obtain when working out.
Caffeine Anhydrous: 300mg (Equivalent to 3 cups of coffee; 300mg is usually the ideal amount for me, as this is on the higher end of the scale)
These ingredients are not exactly as crucial to a PWO as the ones above, as many of these are not included in other products.
L-Leucine: 2g (Recommended is 2-4g. This is definitely an important amino acid, but this is more essential for intra workout)
L-Theanine: 200mg (Recommended is 200mg)
Ashwagandha Extract: 300mg (Recommended is 300-500mg, though this is quite extra and I've rarely seen this in other products)
Rhodiola rosea L. Extract: 200mg (Recommended is at least 200mg)
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine: 1g (Recommended is 0.6-1g)
Trans-Resveratrol: 75mg (Recommended is 250-500mg)
L-Theanine, ashwagandha extract, Rhodiola rosea L. Extract and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine all serve as nootropics that reduce the amount of anxiety or stress you may be feeling. They work very well with stimulants since they reverse the slight feelings of anxiousness that you may experience, while leaving the benefits energy and focus. Pro Pre's use of nootropics in this formula is stellar, as that is likely to be the reason why I do not feel any sort of jittery feelings.
As you can see, all of Pro Pre's crucial ingredients hit the recommended dosage mark and includes a ton of extra ingredients that do have their own health, psychological, and bodybuilding benefits.
Taste/Mixability/DosingIts taste was fine. It was bitter, but it was not as nearly as bad as some members of the community claim for it to be. I am used to Optimum Nutrition coming out with stellar tasting products, so this one just barely missed that mark for me. I used the grape candy flavor, and while it may not be as good-tasting as some of their other products, it was fine overall and also mixed well. Only one scoop is needed pre workout, and outside of that, this product doesn't need to be used. I have used it in the morning before work once when I was extremely sleep deprived, and it worked well, but it was not worth the cost. I'd try my best to steer towards other lower cost caffeinated products for a pick me up.
The scoop included in the product was quite large, as each serving is 18 grams. This is due to the fact that all the ingredients were fully dosed, but this meant that the overall taste was stronger and I mixed it in more water than many of my other pre workouts.
EffectivenessThis PWO easily gave me some of my most energized and pumped workouts I've ever experienced. It gave me sharp focus, reduced fatigue, and very CLEAN energy, as I did not experience any jittery feelings. Further, one of the coolest aspects of this product is that I really felt psychologically amazing during my workouts after using this product. Even before I realized that Pro Pre was heavy on nootropics, it gave me this very distinct, euphoric feeling.
In terms of the other effects it had, it digested well and easily, but I did have to use the bathroom more frequently when taking it. In a workout that is an hour long or more, I need to go about 30 minutes after taking it, which is towards the beginning of my workout, once in the middle, and once after (I know... way too often). Without it, I usually only need to go about once merely due to the water that I drink throughout. The PWO shake did not fill me up at all other than the water consumption, so it did not interrupt my need to eat a lot in the off-season.
ValueThis is definitely an expensive product. It's $32.99 for 20 servings on Bodybuilding.com, which is $1.65 per serving. However, when it is constantly used in deals and sales on that site; you can get it for buy one get one 50% off, which makes it about $1.24 per serving. Considering the fact that a ton of underdosed PWOs can ask up to that price per serving, Pro Pre's price is definitely reasonable but can make a dent in the wallet. I'd say that if I find a good deal for it (like how I got it for free along with ON's Whey Protein), I'd certainly go after it.
Side EffectsI did not experience any side effects that I had not already with other PWOs. There are, of course, feelings like the tingling from beta alanine and very mild jitters (for the most part, this product gave me by far the cleanest energy out of all of the fully dosed PWOs I've used), but nothing of actual concern. Also, I'm quite consistent on my pre workout meal and PWO drink timing, so I do not usually experience any headache or illness that a lot of people feel taking PWOs. However, if I'm really not feeling it that day and did not follow that timing at all, I did experience mild headaches upon starting my workout. Overall, nothing much to be worried about.
ConclusionCosts aside, this is legitimately one of my favorite pre-workouts. Of course, since it is somewhat pricey (though justified), and the taste is pretty subpar, I will continue to experiment with other products, while keeping this around for occasional use. I have seen that this product is slammed for its "terrible taste" and therefore gets terrible reviews online, but I truly enjoyed this product and and would recommend people to try it out if they could afford it.
Introduction38 years old and currently rehabbing from major ankle surgery. I was working out 4 days a week and following the GZCL Jacked n Tan 2.0 program prior to my surgery (and while taking this) and this was given to me free through the Bounty Program here on SR, so thank you to Clipper and Tommy for that. Like most of us, I always like a good PWO, and when deciding my bounty product I looked at this profile and was pretty impressed, and then Clipper asked if I wanted to give it a go, so could not pass up the opportunity. I have never tried any of ON's PWOs out there, so lets see how this did.
Ingredient ProfileFully transparent label, and a pretty loaded profile as you will see. Of all the supplements out there, I think its most important for PWOs to be fully transparent to kudos to ON for that. Since this is the first review of this guy, lets break down the label:
Citrulline (6g): Citrulline is an amino acid that turns into Arginine in the kidneys after supplementation. Citrulline raises NO levels in the body, dosage to enhance sports performance are 6-8g an hour prior to exercise, here we get 6g so well dosed.
Beta-Alanine (as CarnoSyn) (3.2g): Building block of carnosine, a molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, increasing physical performance in the 60-240 second range. It can also aid in lean mass gain. Typically you want 2-5g daily of Beta Alanine. This bad boy is dosed with the industry "standard".
Caffiene Anhydrous (300mg): We all know what caffiene does for you, here you are getting a pretty health dose of it. In regards to fatigue, rhodiola appears to be able to significantly reduce the effects of prolonged and minor physical exhaustion that results in fatigue. This is more related to stress and the 'burnout' effect, or prolonged but low intensity physical exercise. There is some limited evidence that parameters of physical exercise can be improved with rhodiola, but this appears to be limited to untrained persons with numerous studies on trained athletes suggesting that rhodiola does not have an acute ergogenic effect. Despite this, rhodiola appears to be highly reliable in reducing fatigue symptoms and improving symptoms of stress (and secondary to that, well-being) in persons fatigued from non-exercise related stressors. (Examine.com) Doses as low as 50g appear to work but common doses are between 288-680mg for use as a fatigue and stress reducer.
Rhodiola rosea L. Extract (200mg): This is used to promote physical and cognitive vitality.
Theanine (200mg): Theanine is a relaxing and nondietary amino acid found pretty much exclusively in teas from Camellia sinensis (alongside green tea catechins and caffeine) and is known to promote relaxation without sedation. It appears to be effective at this as well as reducing stress at standard dosages. 100-200mg alongside caffeine is the typical dose, so good to go here.
KSM-66 Ashwagandha (300mg): Some of the benefits here are help to promote a healthy response to everyday stress, over-work and fatigue, support normal levels of mental clarity, concentration, and alertness, helps support normal levels of vigor and performance, and finally helps to enhance sports performance. I could not find recommended dosage here either. This is the second PWO I have found this ingerdient in and appears 300mg is the common dose.
Coffee Fruit Concentrate (Neurofactor) (100mg): Neurofactor is designed for brain health according to the site. Its a patent made by Future Ceuticals and is said to replace green coffee beans and traditional coffee.
Trans-Resveratol (resVida) (75mg): This has many benefits and comes from the skin of grapes, and the reason people say one glass of red wine a day is good for you. The benefits here are as an anti-oxidant, heart disease prevention, anti-cancer, neuroprotection, and aging. Unsure of exact dosage, but interesting ingredient to have in here for overall health.
Black Pepper Extract (BioPerine) (5mg): This is commonly found at this dose in most supplements and is our absorption agent.
Leucine (2g): Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis. This is kind of a cool addition to have here, instead of including the BCAAs, the most important one is included. Not a bad dose here either.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (1g): Amino Acid that is used to produce noradrenaline and dopamine. 500mg-2g approximately 30-60 minutes prior to working out is the optimal dose, so we are covered.
As you can see you have some nice ingredients here and all of them are well dosed. ON did not skimp on this one. I am pretty happy and impressed with this profile and good to see ON stepping up their game to enter the crazy PWO market, without any exotic stims.
Taste/Mixability/DosingTaste: I received the Strawberry Burst Flavor. I really was not a fan. The first sip tastes good, and has a nice hint of strawberry in it but that after taste after is god awful. I would just slam this and move on, but that after taste would linger for a few minutes. Its drinkable though just not my favorite. There are other flavors available such as Fruit Fusion and Grape Candy.
Mixability: No issues here, nor did I have any sedementation on the bottom after drinking this.
Dosing: One scoop 30 minutes prior to my workout. I would not suggest much more than a scoop since this does contain 300mg of Caffiene.
EffectivenessEasiest way to break this down is by the label claims, which are typically how PWOs are gauged.
Energy: This definitely got me going. On my way to the gym this would start to kick in and not only wake me up, but put me in that good mood to start working out. Nothing crazy like the jitters just a nice simple energy boost. The last 3-4 scoops on this, I felt my energy levels drop a bit, but it was still enough to be effective to get me through my lifts. Like anything else your body will start to adapt to it anyways, but it worked as needed from start to finish.
Focus: I would say this gave me a minor boost. I am currently taking a Nootropic, but this was not even close to that level of focus. I would still be distracted by all the beautiful ladies in the gym, but the minor boost was enough to keep me on track.
Pump: I got a pretty decent pump from this. Doing GZCL J&T 2.0 you really are getting your pump on, while taking this I had a couple gym buddies be impressed with how pumped my Tri's were getting. They started to call me Tri-rannasorous Rex. Not as good of a pump as I have had in pump products, but for a stim PWO this was above average.
Endurance: I did not get too much of an endurance boost here. Right around the 45-60 minute mark, this would start to wear off. The Carnosyn did help me in taking the minimal rest in between sets though.
Overall, this was a decent PWO and I had a good run with it. It felt to me like what you would expect in a PWO with maybe a slight bit more pump. Nothing really stood out here to me, so I chalk this up as a slightly above average PWO in todays market. It was a clean energy all the way through with no crash, so thats another plus.
ValueCurrently the best deal on this is $32.99 for 20 scoops from bodybuilding.com. That comes out to $1.65 a serving. I amo not exactly psyched about this value, but it is a very well dosed PWO, so I say its an average deal. Currently BB.com has a buy 1 get the second for 50% off deal. You can prob find this on a special all the time, so that raises the value a bit.
Side EffectsA few times taking this I experienced a bad headache after taking it and throughout my workout. I attribute this to the high level of caffiene if I was not hydrated enough. It happened three times in 20 scoops, so just ensure you drink a lot of water prior to and while taking this. I workout first thing so my water intake may have been slacking on those days.
Also typical bathroom run after taking this. Its not the product, but my bodies reaction to caffeine. So if you are like me, make sure you make time for the pit stop.
ConclusionI was happy with my run of Pro Pre. Its good to see ON step up their game and come out with a very well dosed, fully transparent stim PWO. I think the price point could be a bit lower, but this would be a decent deal on a sale. If you are looking for a PWO with a little more caffeine than usual, but do not want any exotic stims or a crazy caffiene heavy PWO, then give this a shot. It does what a PWO should and gets you to the gym and through your lift. I would highly recommend this one, and will try again in the future if I see it on sale, but a different flavor for sure. Good job ON.