They say a sequel is never as good as the original.
I can think of a few exceptions to that rule (T2, Rocky IV, Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist) but on the whole it’s correct.
(Just joking on that last one!)
And it’s also true in the world of supplements, because let’s face it, when a company releases a so-called ‘new and improved version’ it usually means one of the ingredients has been flagged up by USADA and they’ve had to dial down the power.
Which makes Jim Stoppani’s decision to sequelize his ever-popular Pre JYM even more intruiging.
I mean, if you take a look at the top sellers list of most major retailers you’ll see that Pre JYM is still kicking butt despite being 9 years old and never having an update since its release.
So today we’ll see what all the fuss is about…
In my official Pre Jym X review I will determine whether it was worth the wait, and see if Pre Jym X is the NEW king of pre workout supplements.
Pre JYM X vs Pre JYM Classic
My guess is that half of you are here because you’ve already used Pre JYM and want to see if the new product is worth the price hike, so we’ll begin with a side by side comparison.
As you can see, there are significant changes to the formula.
Each scoop of Pre Jym X is a whopping 38 grams – that’s 12 grams heavier than Pre JYM Classic – and you’ll see all of your old favourite ingredients including caffeine, citrulline malate, betaine, and beta-alanine.
The doses of some of these ingredients have been notably raised to compete against the slew of top class pre workouts which have been released since the original formula hit the shelves. Citrulline malate climbs from 6g to 8g, creatine HCL (yup, he still refuses to use monohydrate!) has been boosted from 2g to 4g, betaine climbs from 1.5g to 3g and beta-alanine increases from 2g to 4g (expect tingles!).
This makes the new formula very, very solid.
But it also shows us something interesting…
You see, when the Doc first launched JYM Stupplement Science back in 2013, his brand did two noticeable things:
- They used a transparent label on their products (which was greatly appreciated at the time as most brands were still using dodgy proprietary blends).
- They started the trend for pre workout and post workout stacks.
With Pre JYM X it seems they are attempting to erase that second point, because in Stoppani’s own words:
“Someone using Pre JYM X doesn’t need to use Post JYM, because they’re already getting a full clinical dose of many of the ingredients right here.”
That goes a long way to explaining the massively inflated price of Pre JYM X ($64.99 for 20 servings), as it is essentially designed as a 2-in-1, so if you previously used Pre and Post you will in fact save money.
The new product does make some of the same annoying mistakes as the original (most notably the continued inclusion of BCAAs and taurine, which are both totally unnecessary in a pre workout), but on the whole it is a big step up! Of the new ingredients which have been included in Pre JYM X, the highlight is undoubtedly the 1-2-3 caffeine combination that’ll keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
The Doc has ditched the straightforward 300mg of caffeine in the old formula in favor of 300mg caffeine, 100mg Dynamine and 50mg TeaCrine.
More on these ingredients below, but basically they are slower release versions of caffeine, so not only has the overall caffeine dose been raised, it’s been staggered to provide you with prolonged energy and fewer side effects.
I like it.
Pre JYM X – Ingredient Breakdown
Okay, it’s time to break down the formula one by one.
I’ll show you what each individual ingredient is supposed to do, and reveal whether we have been provided with a sufficient dose to get those results.
Given that Pre JYM X contains nearly 40 grams of active ingredients, this will be FUN!
8g Citrulline Malate
A huge increase from the 6 grams which was included in the original formula, this brings Pre JYM X more in line with where we expect CitMal dosage to be nowadays (although there are still some that give you even more).
This ingredient is the “star of the show” here.
CitMal targets your body’s nitric oxide athways to enable greater delivery of key nutrients to muscles during exercise, and supplementation at a clinical dose has been shown to lead to a better pump, the ability to buffer against muscle failure, and faster recovery time between sets. (1, 2)
During a 2010 study which was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it was discovered that citrulline malate helped participants hit roughly one more rep per set (versus without it), so you can imagine the quality of gains on offer if you’re using this ingredient over days, weeks and months.
A clinical dose is 6 grams, so the original Pre JYM formula was just fine, but Pre JYM X generously bumps this up to 8 grams!
While the original Pre JYM and Post JYM provided you with 2 grams each, the new product gives you everything at once.
This is huge.
You see, many people will not like this because 4 grams of beta-alanine will be beyond their tolerance levels and they’ll have to endure some pretty arduous “tingles” (parasthesia; side effect of beta-alanine) until their body acclimatizes to it.
In terms of performance benefits, beta-alanine is up there with the best. It helps shuttle away waste products (metabolites) while you train, resulting in prolonged bouts of high intensity exercise which would otherwise have left you beat.
So how much of an improvement are we talking about?
Well, a 2008 study from researchers in New York which used beta-alanine as part of a heavy squats program saw a remarkable 22% improvement in the number of reps participants could achieve before muscle failure arrived! And in the UK, researchers using beta-alanine during boxing saw a 2000% (not a typo) increase to punching power in the closing stages of three minute rounds. (3, 4)
A clinical dose of beta-alanine is 3.2 grams per day. Pre JYM X gives you 4 grams.
4g Creatine HCL
Here’s another ingredient which has doubled in size.
Instead of getting 2 grams from your PRE and another 2 grams from your POST, you will now get all of it right here. This makes sense, because there are no extra benefits to unlock by splitting your dose in half, all that matters is that you get your full dose per day.
Jim sticks with his tried and tested creatine hydrochloride, rather than opting for creatine monohydrate. Creatine HCL is capable of performing the exact same job as monohydrate (it’s not better) at a smaller dose, but the value for money of using a smaller dose is offset by the fact that creatine HCL is significantly more expensive than mono. (5)
The performance benefits of creatine are well documented.
In fact, it’s the most well-researched bodybuilding supplement of all time.
A review study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (which looked at 22 previous studies on creatine supplementation) concluded that participants see an average strength increase of 8% and an average increase in the number of reps they can perform to failure of 14%. (6)
A clinical dose of creatine HCL is 4 grams, and Pre JYM X gives you that.
If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
That’s the approach Pre JYM takes with caffeine, opting to leave the original 300mg dose untouched in the brand new product.
This is enough to unlock most of caffeine’s training benefits (increased energy output, mental focus, slight improvement in calorie burn) although it falls short of the “top end” 400mg dose which would unlock caffeine’s rather interesting strength training benefits. (12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
125mg Nootropic Blend
Sitting alongside caffeine, we get a blend of 100mg Dynamine and 25mg TeaCrine.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a MASSIVE fan of TeaCrine. This compound is essentially “slow release” caffeine, with studies showing it takes around 8 hours to burn through. Jim experimented with this in his SS8 Fat Burner by using ZumXR Caffeine (very similar to TeaCrine), and it’s good to see him pushing it further. (17, 18, 19)
Dynamine on the other hand is a nootropic which simulates caffeine’s effects on vigor and mental focus – but WITHOUT the effects it has on the cardiovascular system (it will not even impact sleep). You’ll feel like you’ve taken one of those Limitless pills.
In terms of dosage we want anywhere between 100-200mg Dynamine and 25-100mg TeaCrine. Pre JYM X provides you with 100mg Dynamine and 25mg TeaCrine.
This ingredient acts as a “crash mat” to prevent (or at least limit) the comedown which is associated with caffeine.
It’s a great inclusion, my only wish is that they added more of it!
The studies which show the most effectiveness used caffeine and l-theanine in a 1:1 ratio, but Pre JYM X gives you a 3:1 ratio in favor of caffeine so you may not unlock the full benefits it offers. That being said, this is a step in the right direction. (20)
Betaine is one of the unsung heroes of the pre workout world.
It’s been popular with athletes for decades, but only recently started receiving the credit it deserves from the bodybuilding community.
Interestingly, if we trace the rise of betaine as a bodybuilding supplement we will be led back to the moment Jim Stoppani included it in his original Pre JYM formula back in 2013! At that time, it was a somewhat unfancied performance booster. Jim was one of the few who saw the potential of betaine as a muscle building supplement, and he was dead right.
Like citrulline, betaine offers us a range of useful benefits in the gym, including greater explosive strength capacity, more endurance, and faster muscle recovery between workouts. It doesn’t take long to start seeing those results, either, with a 2012 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition noting that cyclists saw a 5% improvement in sprint performance within just one week! (7, 8, 9, 10)
A clinical dose of betaine is 2.5 grams, and Pre JYM X ticks this box by hitting you with 3 grams.
2g Citrulline Nitrate
Remember a few years ago when supplement companies started throwing agmatine sulfate into their formulas?
That’s kinda where we’re at with citrulline nitrate.
In the case of agmatine sulfate companies were impatiently trying to discover ‘the next big thing’, then scrambled to remove it from their formulas when research began showing it did f**k all.
Let’s hope citrulline nitrate doesn’t go the same way.
It offers some potentially useful benefits – one being that it can possibly “switch off” the body’s tolerance level for nitrates, and another being that it could lead to greater blood levels of nitric oxide – but there’s not a lot of research to support it just now.
Given that Pre JYM has always been big on solid science, this one’s a risk.
180mg Pine Bark Extract
Also known as Chinese red pine, this ingredient has a strong antioxidant profile.
However, it is included in this product because it has links (albeit quite weak ones) to increased nitric oxide production, sitting nicely alongside betaine and citrulline nitrate. (21)
This amino acid is a precursor to dopamine.
It makes a very good ‘tag team’ with caffeine, and has been shown to increase performance during endurance training. (11)
The dose included here is sufficient to unlock those results, but the inclusion of leucine will likely prevent you from experiencing its full effects (more on that in a moment…).
This is where things go a little bit off track for Pre JYM X…
The original product included 3 grams of leucine, 1.5 grams of isoleucine, and 1.5 grams of valine and they’ve left this intact. The problem is this was one of the original formulas WEAK POINTS.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with BCAAs (although you probably don’t need them if you eat a high protein diet), it’s just that when we take them before training (leucine in particular) this can inhibit dopamine production by preventing l-tyrosine from entering the brain. That’s a bad thing, because it can leave you feeling sluggish and sometimes cause early CNS fatigue. You simply don’t need them in a pre workout. (22, 23)
This was publicly pointed out to the Doc by Advanced Molecular Labs founder Steve Blechman way back in 2017, so it’s disappointing to see they doubled down rather than removing this ingredient – especially given that l-tyrosine is another of Pre JYM X’s ingredients.
However, it could’ve been worse, at least there’s no t-
I’ve long been advising supplement companies to remove this ingredient from pre workout formulas, but its inclusion is still common because it allows them to make some nifty claims about increased mental focus and it’s cheap as hell. (24)
The problem is it’s a caffeine antagonist, so it quite literally prevents caffeine from doing its job. (25)
A study published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior (2012) concluded that:
“When taurine and caffeine are consumed simultaneously, taurine appears to reverse caffeine’s effects on vigor.”
This was re-confirmed in further studies performed in 2013 and 2014. (26, 27)
This means not only can taurine undo the effects of caffeine, but these two clashing ingredients can leave the trainee (you) feeling sluggish and fatigued rather than energized.
F**k that with a five-sided fistagon.
300mg Choline & 50mcg Huperzine A
We end the ingredient breakdown with this 1-2 combo which promises to improve mental focus.
Choline does offer some potential as a cognitive booster, but despite its popularity there isn’t a lot of research to back up the claims being made. Heck, a 2018 review paper on optimal nutrition supplements for the brain didn’t even consider it as a potential option. (28)
The reason it’s so popular is because it increases the production of acetylcholine (the “learning” neurotransmitter), which can lead to improved muscle contraction force (the mind/muscle connection). And while huperzine A offers no training benefits of its own, it makes a potentially useful tag team partner for choline because it slows the breakdown of acetylcholine. (29, 30)
Optimal dosage is 500-1500mg.
Pre JYM X Review – The Final Verdict
That’s probably the lengthiest ingredient breakdown section I’ve ever written, which is testament to how much is going on inside Pre JYM X.
I really wanted to give this four and a half stars to make it the joint highest rated pre workout on the whole website (alongside this one), but I cannot do that because there are some missteps which prevent it from claiming ‘legendary’ status.
Most notably, the inclusion of BCAAs and taurine, and the under-dosing of l-theanine.
However, big forward strides have definitely been made here and it’s going to be interesting to see how the original Pre JYM and Post JYM fare now that we have one product which can essentially do both jobs.
Pre JYM X gets 4 stars from me (which ain’t easy!) and I expect to see it sell f**kloads of units in the next twelve months because it is a very good product. I commend Dr. Stoppani and his JYM Supplement Science team for taking the time to develop a sequel that’s every bit as good as the original, and it was even worth the 9 year wait.
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- Alvares T. S., et al. Acute l-arginine supplementation increases muscle blood volume but not strength performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab (2012).
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