PRO, Platinum, Gold Standard… Optimum Nutrition has a way with words and branding. However when you look at their formulas, they are surprisingly average.
What is unique about Optimum Nutrition is their dedication to safety.
This dedication to safety paired with quite frankly economy-level formulas has given us some pretty lame pre workouts in the past.
Optimum Nutrition’s new ‘PRO PRE’ though, now that’s a pre workout worth taking…
After taking PRO PRE you’ll never reach for their Gold Standard PRE or Platinum PRE again.
But before we get you overhyped, remember – this all comes down to your body, desired stims, exercise routine, and experience.
If you’re a DMAA stim-junky… You aren’t going to like this. If you’re a fully dosed complete pre workout lover who wants a 20+ gram serving pre workout… You’re not going to like this.
But if you’re tired of taking the same old C4, Ghost Legend, or other generic PWO on the GNC shelf… Then this is going to be a little bit of magic in a can that’ll keep you on track.
ON PRO PRE Quick Review:
Jym Supplements, Transparent Labs, Kaged Muscle, Legion, and Cellucor have all successfully released large-serving clinically inspired pre workouts… Now it’s Optimum Nutrition’s turn with PRO PRE. In our opinion, this is the only Optimum Nutrition pre workout worth taking… How’s it stack up? It’s pretty awesome compared to the mainstreamers. However, it doesn’t deliver that niche super-stim feel that some want, and it also skimps on many ingredients that other large-serving pre workouts deliver.
Quick Strengths: No double scooping required. Six grams L-citrulline, 3.2 grams beta-alanine, and 300 mg of the almighty caffeine! Ours tasted pretty great too (despite some negative reviews we’ve read).
Quick Weaknesses: Only 20 servings per container, a bit pricey, and could really use a BCAA matrix.
How to take PRO PRE: This pre workout kicks in relatively fast. Ten to twenty minutes before training is perfect. If you’re not used to 300 mg of caffeine, then start with half a scoop!
How we ranked Optimum’s PRO pre workout
Energy Effects: 8.5/10 – Highest caffeine from Optimum Nutrition thus far.
Three hundred milligrams of caffeine is no joke. Go back ten years, and that kind of dosing would be unheard of! But, previous pre workouts like Pre-Jym and others have proven this to be quite the sweet-spot for a large crowd. Especially when caffeine is the primary stimulant source. Overall, the energy experience we got from PRO PRE didn’t leave us feeling like anything was lacking. Yes, the nootropic / feel-good portion was a bit lacking, in comparison to other juggernaut pre workouts… But overall it was seriously good.
Strength Effects: 7.5/10 – Not bad, but you’ll still want to take creatine.
There isn’t any secret strength sauce ingredients in Optimum’s PRO PRE, but the ingredients at hand are effective all around and a good staple-point of pre workout supplementation.
Endurance Effects: 7.5/10 – Good for an Optimum Nutrition product.
The citrulline paired with beta-alanine does provide endurance perks. However, opting for straight leucine instead of a BCAA keeps this pre workout from ranking awesome in the endurance department.
Crash / Aftermath Effects: 7.5/10 – Industry average.
The lack of questionable stimulants and inclusion of ashwagandha, l-theanine, and citrulline make this a pretty easy come-down. Well done.
Taste: 8.5/10 – Never disappointing.
There are several reports on other websites about this pre workout tasting really bad. We didn’t experience that in the slightest, in fact it tasted good and had a great composition. What flavor did we try? The strawberry burst.
Price / Value: 7/10 – Standard.
This is in fact their best pre workout yet, but its too expensive for what you get… Compared to industry averages.
- PES Prolific – Hands down the closest match-up to Optimum Nutrition’s PRO pre workout. Between the two, Prolific has a superior taste and overall more flexible formula for high stim and low stim days (1 or 2 scoops).
- PRE-Kaged – The stimulants in PRO PRE feel better, but the comparison must be made. Optimum’s Pro pre workout will often be cheaper which gives it a significant edge… But if you can get Pre-Kaged for a comparable price, dive in! We loved it.
- C4 Ultimate – Extremely comparable formula, though Optimum Nutrition makes it feel better, and for a much better price. Between the two we don’t feel there is competition, ON wins.
- Beyond Raw Lit – Lit actually feels better stimulants wise, but slacks on the other key ingredients. If you prefer a haymaker of a caffeine rush, then LIT is the preferred choice. But if you want a truly safe higher-caffeine pre workout, then lean towards Optimum’s pre workout.
Optimum PRO Pre Review Conclusion: 7.75/10
Compared to previous Optimum Nutrition pre workouts, we’ve got nothing but love for the new PRO PRE! However, in comparison to what pre workouts are best right now, it isn’t a star child like you’d expect from a brand so serious about their reputation. Will you be disappointed with PRO PRE? Likely not! It could always be worse, but hey, it could also always be better.
Ingredients in ON PRO PRE
The ingredients in this pre workout are pretty straight forward and without surprises. Here is a short discussion/explanation for each.
- L-Citrulline 6 g – Instead of using l-citrulline malate, ON uses straight l-citrulline at the powerful 6 gram dosage. While we like good old malate, most companies use a smaller dosage when opting for straight l-citrulline. Optimum Nutrition didn’t. Good for them!
- Beta-Alanine 3.2 g – Three and a fifth grams is the lowest clinical dosage for beta-alanine, but it IS A CLINICAL DOSAGE! Which, is something that most pre workouts miss out on!
- Caffeine 300 mg – This is a large dosage of caffeine, however they saved it and made it mega-effective with some of the ingredients below. ON uses caffeine anhydrous in this pre workout, you can learn about the different forms of caffeine here.
- Rhodiola rosea 200 mg – Rhodiola is an exotic name for an herb that helps the body cope with stress. This is called an adaptogen.
- L-Theanine 200 mg – L-theanine is one of the key ingredients that smooth’s over the 300 mg caffeine anhydrous dosage.
- KSM-66 300 mg – This patented form of ashwagandha acts similar to Rhodiola but a bit more.
- NeuroFactor 100 mg – Common in a few fat burners and pre workouts, this is a specific type of coffee extract.
- Trans-Resveratrol 75 mg – Powerful anti-oxidant. Well, the synthetic version at least.
- L-Leucine 2 g – An anabolic amino acid.
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine 1 g – Neuro transmitter, smooth’s over caffeine and aids focus + mood.
- Magnesium 220 mg – Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral. However, there are two flaws in the ON pre workout. First, magnesium isn’t an ingredient for pre workout; its best taken at night. Second, they use the oxide version of magnesium which is a laxative. For lighter users, this might get-ya while you squat!
PRO PRE compared to other Optimum Nutrition pre workouts
As you can see, PRO PRE brings forward the best-dosed formula to date (of their pre workouts at least).
- PRO PRE – Actually contains some clinical dosages. Wide-band formula. Modern.
- Gold Standard PRE –Mildly dosed creatine and caffeine pre workout.
- Platinum PRE – DMAE and Caffeine focused pre workout.
Final verdict on the new PRO PRE
Optimum Nutrition as a brand was never built up upon their pre workout supplements. Instead, its been their protein supplements and other ingredients.
Yes, we’re basically saying their pre workouts have always sucked.
However, now with PRO PRE, they are entering the game for real. Who knows what their next formulation will bring…
Let us know what you think…