Adapt by name, adapt by nature.
This is the third iteration of Adapt Nutrition’s popular Pre Train, and they say it’s the best version yet.
Now, I cannot fault this company’s dedication to continually improving their product line. They deserve huge praise here, because while several bigger manufacturers have produced below par pre-workouts and left them on sale for years, these guys are always striving to innovate and improve.
With that being said, how does Pre Train X stack up against the other versions? And is it good enough to help Adapt Nutrition finally compete against the big dogs of the fitness industry?
You’ll find out right here, in my official Pre Train X review.
Table of Contents
- Adapt Nutrition Pre Train X: The Good & The Bad
- Adapt Nutrition Pre Train X: Ingredient Breakdown
- Adapt Nutrition Pre Train X: Russ’ Rating
- Who Is Russ Howe PTI?
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train X: The Good & The Bad
Adapt Nutrition were correct – this is the best version of Pre Train yet!
This pre workout has been on quite a journey since its first release in 2015. Despite having a great look, the original formula was not very solid at all, and I savaged it with a 1-star review. The guys at Adapt Nutrition were not done, though, updating the formula in 2018 for the slightly better Pre Train v2, which received a 2-star review from me.
Now if you take a lok at the graphic above, you can see that the newly-released Pre Train X has raised the bar.
The highlights include a 350mg dose of caffeine, which is enough to push you towards Jack Black energy levels, plus a full dose of l-citrulline, so you’ll experience noticeable improvements with regards to both training endurance and recovery speed. There are drastic changes from previous versions of Pre Train elsewhere in the formula, with Adapt Nutrition opting to include a hefty dose of stimulants this time around (hence the warning on the label; “not for tested athletes”).
Make no mistake, this is a real powerhouse of a pre-workout!
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train X: 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
Caffeine took center stage in the previous versions, and that remains the case here.
A dose of 350mg is no joke, and will help you to unlock the majority of caffeine’s training-related benefits, which include higher energy levels, better mental focus, increased alertness, and even a slight boost to total calorie expenditure. This will be enough to help you power through even the toughest of workouts, but I woudn’t recommend taking it after 6pm. (1, 2, 3, 4)
- 4.5g l-citrulline
This was the standout ingredient of Pre Train v2, because it gave Adapt Nutrition a unique niche to target with the product.
Unlike the more commonly used citrulline malate, pure l-citrulline has been shown to be more effective for aerobic-based training. It uses the body’s nitric oxide pathways to provide your muscles with a greater delivery of nutrients, prolonging time to exhaustion, leading to more repetitions/bursts being performed (5, 6, 7, 8)
You get a full clinical dose here.
- 3.2g Beta-alanine
Beta-alanine is best-known for the tingling sensation it creates (parasthesia), but it also offers some unique training benefits.
Most notably, it can significantly improve pain tolerance. A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine showed that trainees achieved an average of 22% more reps per set after just four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation. (9)
When I reviewed Pre Train v2 back in 2018 I criticized Adapt Nutrition for increasing the dose from 1.5 grams to 2 grams, questioning why they didn’t just go all in and provide a full clinical dose of 3.2 grams. That’s something they have done here, Pre Train X hits the mark!
- 550mg Stimulant blend
This stimulant blend consists of 300mg Kigelia Africana and 250mg Juniper berry.
The incusion of these exotic stimulants means Pre Train is no longer an automatic green tick for competitive sports, which is something Adapt Nutrition are clearly aware of as they advise that it is “not for tested athletes” in the nutritional panel of Pre Train X.
Kigelia Africana is derived from a plant of the same name, and is otherwise known as the controversial stimulant DMHA. Studies show it has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, pain-relieving properties, which is nice, but the real reason bodybuilders like it is because it creates a very intense, almost euphoric, energy boost during training. This thing will make you feel like Rambo in a field of Vietcong. (10)
Juniper berry, also known as Juniperus communis, first landed on the bodybuilding scene back in 2018, when some countries began cracking down on the use of DMHA. It was originally billed as an eventual successor, but research now shows that it’s not quite as effective (although it does work well alongside both caffeine and Kigelia Africana, so it will kick your butt here!). Nowadays, you’ll typically see this ingredient in “fat burner” products, because it has a diuretic effect which may help trainees to shed unwanted water weight. (11)
Both of these doses are high enough to yield the desired effects.
- 1g l-tyrosine
We have another newcomer to the formula here.
The amino acid l-tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, which you’ll know as the excitement hormone. It forms a useful tag team with caffeine, the two ingredients combining to increase both energy and endurance. Although a clinical dose of l-tyrosine is 1.5 grams, the one gram included here will be enough to claim most of the benefits it offers with long-term usage. (12)
- 1g Taurine
The inclusion of taurine is the first red blotch on Pre Train X’s report card.
This ingredient can be used to increase mental focus and improve blood flow during exercise, and it’s dirt cheap, so it’s no surprise that it’s very popular with companies who make pre-workouts and/or energy drinks. (13, 14)
However, taurine is the arch nemesis of caffeine, and the two ingredients should NEVER be consumed together. A 2012 study from researchers at Tufts University, Medford, showed that when we consume both ingredients together, taurine actually works against caffeine, preventing it from doing its job, and this clash of the titans can even leave the trainee feeling somewhat sluggish during exercise. It ceases to amaze me why supplement brands continue to make this mistake (it’s not just Adapt Nutrition, you’ll find it in over 80% of pre workouts!). (15)
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train X: Russ’ Rating
There’s a lot to enjoy here.
Adapt Nutrition have created a solid pre workout, and I expect this brand will continue making waves in the supplement industry over the next few years if they persist with this innovative self-improvement approach.
With full clinical doses of beta-alanine and l-citrulline to improve training enduracnce, and generous helpings of caffeine, l-tyrosine, kigelia africana, and juniper berry for a big energy boost, you can expect to perform at close to your maximum ability in the gym. The downside to going down a stimulant-based route is that there’s no betaine anhydrous (an ingredient which was included, albeit under-dosed, in the previous versions of Pre Train). On the flipside, though, they’ve also removed vitamin B3, making this one of the few pre workouts on the market which doesn’t include the ineffective bullshit ingredient niacin.
Overall, not only is Pre Train X superior to both previous versions developed by Adapt Nutrition, it’s actually better than most of the flagship products from significantly larger supplement brands. It receives a very high three-and-a-half stars from me today.
- Duncan M. J., et al. The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure. J Strength Cond Res (2011).
- Childs E., et al. Subjective, behavioral, and physiological effects of acute caffeine in light, nondependent caffeine users. Psychopharmacology (Berl) (2006).
- 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).
- Kim T. W., et al. Caffeine increases sweating sensitivity via changes in sudomotor activity during physical loading. J Med Food (2011).
- Pérez-Guisado J., et al. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res (2010).
- Alvares T. S., et al. Acute l-arginine supplementation increases muscle blood volume but not strength performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab (2012).
- 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).
- Bailey S. J., et al. l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. J Appl Physiol (2015).
- Hoffman J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med (2008).
- Arkhipov A, et al. Metabolomic Profiling of Kigelia africana Extracts with Anti-Cancer Activity by High Resolution Tandem Mass Spectroscopy. Pharmacognosy Communications (2014).
- Raina R., et al. Potential of Juniperus communis L as a nutraceutical in human and veterinary medicine. Heliyon (2019).
- Tumilty L., et al. Oral tyrosine supplementation improves exercise capacity in the heat. Eur J Appl Physiol (2011).
- Kim S., et al. Taurine Induces Anti-Anxiety by Activating Strychnine-Sensitive Glycine Receptor in Vivo. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (2009).
- Moloney M. A., et al. Two weeks taurine supplementation reverses endothelial dysfunction in young male type 1 diabetics. Diab Vasc Dis Res (2010).
- 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!