Adapt Nutrition are hoping to dominate the supplement industry with their flagship product; Pre Train!
This explosive pre workout supplement is designed to take your workouts up a notch, and these UK-based supplement manufacturers believe it can hold its own against any of the top pre workouts currently available.
Today we find out if that’s true.
In my comprehensive Adapt Nutrition Pre Train review, I’ll be breaking down every aspect of the formula and then putting it through my deliberately harsh supplement rating system to see if it really is as good as they say it is!
NOTE: Since this review was published, Adapt Nutrition have released Pre Train v2. Click here to see that review.
Table of Contents
- Adapt Nutrition Pre Train Review: The Good & The Bad
- Adapt Nutrition Pre Train: Ingredient Breakdown
- Adapt Nutrition Pre Train: Russ’ Rating
- Who Is Russ Howe PTI?
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train Review: The Good & The Bad
The first thing we can see here is that Adapt Nutrition have chosen to use a clear label.
That means there are no hidden ingredients contained within Pre Train, which already moves it ahead of the gazillions of pre workouts which hide their formulas behind bullshit proprietary blends. It’s a move which was first popularized by Jim Stoppani and it’s great to see more brands following suit because, as I alway say, the best way to market your pre workout is to show a solid formula.
Unfortunately, things aren’t so promising once we get into the formula itself.
The standout ingredient is 300mg caffeine, which is enough to give almost everyone a kick up the butt before training, but this is combined with a series of either under-dosed ingredients (beta-alanine, betaine, citrulline malate) or ineffective ingredients (arginine, niacin, taurine).
This is sad news, becaus I had genuine hope for Adapt Nutrition. The company’s branding is spot on and they looked capable of doing some great things.
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train: Ingredient Breakdown
Now let’s break down all of the ingredients on the Pre Train label one-by-one.
I’ll show you what each ingredient is supposed to do, whether it can do it, and compare the dose we get here against the dose we’d need for maximum results.
- 300mg Caffeine
As mentioned earlier, caffeine is the star attraction here.
Each scoop of Pre Train contains a monstrous 300mg, and this is enough to unlock the vast majority of the benefits it offers, including increased energy levels, better mental focus, and ever-so-slight fat loss beneifts. The industry standard is 180-250mg, so at 300mg, Pre Train is ahead of the game. (8)
- 1.5g Beta-alanine
Beta-alanine is perhaps best-known for the tingling effect it produces (parasthesia), but there’s a lot of training-related benefits to be had from this one.
A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine showed that regular use of beta-alanine can lead to significant improvements in training endurance (your ability to push past “the burn”), with most trainees seeing an average increase of 22% more reps to failure. (7)
Research shows that a clinical dose is 3.2 grams, so Pre Train is well below the mark.
- 140mg Bitter orange peel extract
If you’ve ever tried a “fat burner” supplement before then you’ll aleady know about BOPE.
This substance is basically a much less potent form of the now-banned ephedrine. Its benefits include a slight increase in daily calorie burn and improved mental focus, which allows Adapt Nutrition to make some pretty nice marketing claims on the tub, but it’s also worth knowing that BOPE is only effective if you are caffeine naive. (6)
- 1g Betaine anhydrous
Consider this the one that got away.
You see, betaine is a fantastic pre workout ingredient which is pretty difficult to find, because most supplement manufacturers are not up to date on sports research as they claim to be, so the fact that Adapt Nutrition included it meant that Pre Train had an opportunity to position itself as a market leader here.
Unfortunately, they missed it.
Betaine has been a popular choice with swimmers, cyclists, and track athletes for decades because of the effect it can have on explosive strength output. One study from the University of Connecticut showed showed a massive 25% improvement. Given that weightlifting uses the same energy system as all of the activities listed above, it should come as no surprise to see that it is now growing in popularity with bodybuilders, too. (4, 5)
Sadly, a clinical dose of betaine is 2.5 grams, but Pre Train only contains 1 gram. We could argue that one of the other ingredients (choline) is broken down by the body to derive more betaine, but it’s still not enough.
- 1g Taurine
Taurine should not be in your pre workout. It’s as simple as that.
This ingredient is the darling of the energy drinks industry because it’s very cheap, and it has links to improved mental focus and increased blood flow to working muscles. (9)
But sometimes it’s not about the ingredient itself, rather the ingredients around it. You see, when taurine and caffeine are consumed together they clash. A 2012 study from Tufts University, Medford, showed that this caused trainees to feel sluggish, and went as far as to declare taurine the enemy of caffeine. (10)
A full clinical dose of taurine is 2 grams, so Pre Train falls short anyway, but it makes zero sense to include it all when we consider the fact that Adapt Nutritoin have built their product around caffeine.
- 3g Arginine + 1.5g Citrulline malate
This is essentially two ingredients which do the same thing, because citrulline is broken down into arginine once it’s inside the body.
The goal is to create better delivery of nutrients to your muscles during training, leading to greater performance, more reps, and better pumps. (1)
Unfortunately, Pre Train gives you an awkward combination of arginine and citrulline when it would be much better to remove arginine entirely and deliver a full clinical dose of citrulline on its own due to its far superior absorption rate. That dose would be 6-8 grams. (2, 3)
- 125mg Vitamin blend
This vitamin blend contains 100mg vitamin C, 14mg vitamin B6, 10mg niacin, and 85mcg vitamin B12.
It doesn’t really add anything to the formula as the doses are so low, but it enables Adapt Nutrition to make a few extra marketing claims on their sales page about increased energy, etc. The inclusion of niacin is a red flag, too, because this ingredient serves no nutritional purpose at all. It’s thrown into products because it’s dirt cheap and creates a similar tingling effect to that of beta-alanine, so companies can mask under-dosed key ingredients with stuff like this, by tricking the consumer into believing they can still feel it working.
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train: Russ’ Rating
I genuinely wanted to like this product, but I can’t argue with the facts.
I praise Adapt Nutrition for their bold decision to use a transparent label, but if you go down this road then you must back it up with a solid formula, and that’s where they come unstuck.
Pre Train is essentially just a high caffeine energy drink, and if Adapt Nutrition are to make the kind of dent in the supplement industry which I know they were hoping to do with this, they’ll need to step it up in future. Pre Train will not be troubling the likes of Elite and Pre JYM for the “best pre workout” crown. It receives just one star from my official review.
- Alvares T. S., et al. Acute l-arginine supplementation increases muscle blood volume but not strength performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab (2012).
- Castillo L., et al. Splanchnic metabolism of dietary arginine in relation to nitric oxide synthesis in normal adult man. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1993).
- Sureda A., et al. Arginine and citrulline supplementation in sports and exercise: ergogenic nutrients? Med Sport Sci (2012).
- Lee E. C., et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2010).
- Armstrong L. E., et al. Influence of betaine consumption on strenuous running and sprinting in a hot environment. J Strength Cond Res (2008).
- Stohs S. J., et al. Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes. Int J Med Sci (2011).
- Hoffman J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med (2008).
- Beaven C. M., et al. Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab (2008).
- Kim S., et al. Taurine Induces Anti-Anxiety by Activating Strychnine-Sensitive Glycine Receptor in Vivo. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (2009).
- Giles G. E., et al. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav (2012).
Who Is Russ Howe PTI?
Russ has been a personal trainer in the UK since 2002, and provided both training advice and full programs on this website since 2011.
His work has been featured in Men’s Fitness magazine, and the content on this website led to him being voted one of the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost.
Russ’ days are spent coaching men and women in the legendary Powerhouse Gym, and creating new content for the 109,246 followers of his popular free weekly e-mail, which you can join below!