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Adapt Nutrition return with a sequel to their popular 2015 pre-workout. Here’s the official Pre Train v2 review.


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10 min read

Adapt Nutrition first landed on the supplement scene back in 2015, when they introduced their flagship pre-workout, Pre Train.

Now they’re back with an updated formula, and a promise that their new product (the aptly named Pre Train v2) is superior to the original in every way.

In this comprehensive Pre Train v2 review, I’ll be breaking down every aspect of the product to see what improvements have been made, and determine whether Adapt Nutrition can now compete against the fitness industry’s top dogs.

Table of Contents

Adapt Nutrition Pre Train V2: The Good & The Bad

adapt nutrition pre train v2 review

I savaged the original product with a 1-star review when it launched, so the first thing I’d like to do is give some almighty credit to Adapt Nutrition for wanting to have another shot.

And you’ll immediately notice that there’s more green spots on the formula this time around!

It’s not perfect (and we’ll get to why), but this is a marked improvement over the original, and I beileve this brand will establish itself as a force in future, because they do not rest of their laurels.

Like the original, Pre Train v2 is built around an impressive serving of caffeine. This has been boosted to 350mg now, which is enough to give a small rhinoceros an energy kick! Elsewhere in the formula, we see that Adapt have ditched their old approach of combining arginine and citrulline (a silly error which dogged the original product), now opting for a clinical dose of 4.5g l-citrulline.

These are the highlights of the formula, but it could have been much better.

For example, Adapt have boosted the dose of betaine from the original product from 1g to 1.5g, which is a fantastic improvement, but why not go all-in and give us a clinical dose of 2.5 grams? This problem appears multiple times throughout the Pre Train v2 formula (betaine, beta-alanine, l-theanine), and prevents their new pre workout from being a top contender.

Adapt Nutrition Pre Train v2: Ingredient Breakdown


Now let’s look at each ingredient in the formula 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.

  • 350mg Caffeine

Adapt Nutrition love caffeine. It was the star attraction of the original product, and it remains center stage in v2.

The original 300mg dose was already pretty hefty, but that’s now been raised to 350mg, which is easily enough to unlock most of the benefits it offers (increased energy output, better mental focus, improved alertness, and a slight boost to calorie expenditure). (1, 2, 3, 4)

It will be interesting to see how Adapt Nutrition continue to improve in this area with regards to any future iterations of Pre Train (if there are any), because 350mg is near the top-end of usage recommendations. One avenue they could potentially explore is the inclusion of TeaCrine. This long distance relative of caffeine appears to provide many of the same training benefits, without the adaptation (tolerance), and I expect they’ll want to tap into that. (5, 6, 7)

  • 4.5g l-citrulline

The biggest mis-step of the original Pre Train formula was the inclusion of an awkward combination of l-arginine and citrulline malate.

Not only was it under-dosed, but there was simply no need for l-arginine to be there (citrulline is a superior version of the same ingredient). With a correct dose of citrulline you can expect better pumps, more endurance, and faster recovery between sets, thanks to its ability to provide a steady supply of nutrients to your muscles via your body’s nitric oxide pathways. (9, 10, 11, 12)

They’ve also taken the innovative step of using pure l-citrulline, instead of the more traditionally used citrulline malate. If you’re wondering what the difference is, this is the exact same ingredient without the attached malic acid compound. Studies show that pure l-citrulline is superior to CitMal when it comes to aerobic performance, so this could be a niche which Pre Train v2 sets out to target. (23, 24)

A clinical dose of l-citrulline is 4 grams, and you’ll get 4.5 grams here.

  • 2g Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is best-known for the tingling sensation it produces (parasthesia), but there’s a lot of training benefits on offer here.

Most notably, it’ll increase your ability to train harder for longer. In fact, a 2008 study from researchers at the College of New Jersey discovered that just four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation led to an impressive 22% improvement in the number of reps to failure on heavy barbell squats. (17)

This is one of the most frustrating aspects of Pre Train v2, because Adapt Nutrition have done well to increase the dose from 1.5 grams to 2 grams, but I’m puzzled why they didn’t just give you a full clinical dose of 3.2 grams so you could reap all of the benefits.

  • 50mg l-theanine

The fact that this ingredient is included in the formula shows me that Adapt Nutrition stay up to date with the latest supplement industry research (you’d be shocked how many companies do not!).

This amino acid has a rather unique skill; it can Nerf the commonly experienced “caffeine crash”! (8)

Studies show that the best results are achieved with a 1:1 ratio of caffeine and l-theanine, but only a small selection of companies get this balance right. Adapt Nutrition have gone with a top heavy 7:1 ratio, so you probably won’t feel this ingredient at all.

  • 1.5g Betaine anhydrous

This ingredient has been popular with sprinters, cyclists and swimmers for a long time due to its capacity for improving explosive strength, muscle recovery time, and training endurance. (13, 14, 15, 16)

I criticized the original Pre Train formula because it showed promise by being one of the few bodybuilding supplements to include this great ingredient, only to under-dosed it and render it useless. Sadly, the new formula makes the same mistake – a dose of 1.5g is better than the 1g we got before, but it’s still some way off a 2.5g clinical dose.

  • 1g Taurine

This ingredient is the darling of the energy drinks industry, because it’s dirt cheap and has some solid links to improved mental focus and increased blood flow to working muscles. (20, 21)

However, it should not be in your pre workout.

Taurine is an antagonist of caffeine, meaning that when these two ingredients are consumed together it literally stops caffeine from doing its job properly. If you’ve ever felt sluggish after drinking a pre-workout, this combo is the prime suspect! (22)

It makes no sense to include taurine in Pre Train v2, a product which is built around high caffeine content.

  • 140mg Bitter Orange Powder

If you’ve ever tried a “fat burner” supplement before (or if you used the original Pre Train), you’ve probably encountered bitter orange peel extract (BOPE for short) before.

Consider this a much less potent version of the now-banned ephedrine. It can lead to very slight improvements in calorie expenditure. (19)

  • 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 v2 – Russ’ Verdict

adapt nutrition pre train v2 review

There are definite improvements here since the original, but it’s still not good enough to trouble the products which currently sit at the top of the pre-workout industry.

Adapt Nutrition should be praised for their continued use of clear and transparent labels (no hidden ingredients), and I’m looking forward to seeing if they update this formula again in a few years.

For the most part, though, Pre Train v2 is dogged by the same errors which surfaced in the original product. Too many ingredients are under-dosed. It receives two stars from my official review.

You can get Pre Train v2 here.



  1. Duncan M. J., et al. The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure. J Strength Cond Res (2011).
  2. Childs E., et al. Subjective, behavioral, and physiological effects of acute caffeine in light, nondependent caffeine users. Psychopharmacology (Berl) (2006).
  3. Holtzman S. G., et al. CGS 15943, a nonxanthine adenosine receptor antagonist: effects on locomotor activity of nontolerant and caffeine-tolerant rats. Life Sci (1991).
  4. Kim T. W., et al. Caffeine increases sweating sensitivity via changes in sudomotor activity during physical loading. J Med Food (2011).
  5. Feduccia A., et al. Locomotor activation by theacrine, a purine alkaloid structurally similar to caffeine: Involvement of adenosine and dopamine receptors. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior (2012).
  6. Hayward S., et al., Safety of TeaCrine®, a non-habituating, naturally-occurring purine alkaloid over eight weeks of continuous use. ISSN Poster Presentation (2015).
  7. Habowski S. M., et al. The effects of TeacrineTM, a nature-identical purine alkaloid, on subjective measures of cognitive function, psychometric and hemodynamic indices in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blinded crossover pilot trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2014).
  8. Haskell CF, et al The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biol Psychol (2008).
  9. Pérez-Guisado J., et al. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res (2010).
  10. Alvares T. S., et al. Acute l-arginine supplementation increases muscle blood volume but not strength performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab (2012).
  11. 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).
  12. Schwedhelm E., et al. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine: impact on nitric oxide metabolism. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2008).
  13. Hoffman J.R., et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2009).
  14. Lee E. C., et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2010).
  15. Holewa J., et al. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University (2013).
  16. Pryor J. L., et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2012).
  17. Hoffman J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med (2008).
  18. Artioli G. G., et al. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2010).
  19. 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).
  20. Kim S., et al. Taurine Induces Anti-Anxiety by Activating Strychnine-Sensitive Glycine Receptor in Vivo. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (2009).
  21. Moloney M. A., et al. Two weeks taurine supplementation reverses endothelial dysfunction in young male type 1 diabetics. Diab Vasc Dis Res (2010).
  22. Giles G. E., et al. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav (2012).
  23. Suzuki T., et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2016).
  24. Bailey S. J., et al. l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. J Appl Physiol (2015).

Who Is Russ Howe PTI?

russ howe pti

Featured in Men’s Fitness magazine and voted in the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost, Russ is among the UK’s most subscribed personal trainers with 104,357 people getting his free weekly fitness tips e-mail.

In the gym, clients range from busy parents, to models, to athletes and actresses. Russ also worked alongside the UK government for 8 years in a venture combating childhood obesity in England.

Outside of the gym, he’s a proud Dad to three young boys.

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