Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Pre-Workout is designed as a beginner pre-workout supplement when taken at the single scoop dose.
The product is branded to capitalise on the massive popularity of Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder.
In each 10-gram (one scoop) serving size, you get 5 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate.
The ingredient label also lists the two scoop ingredient amounts. The website refers to a one scoop dose as ‘intense’ and a two scoop dose as ‘extreme’.
There are 500 IU of Vitamin D in the product. Coupled with this is a full spectrum of B vitamins (Thiamin, Niacin, B6, Folic Acid, B12, Pantothenic Acid). All of these are dosed at over 100% of the US recommended daily allowance. The B Vitamins are provided to flatten out the stimulant crash that you get with any stimulant product following an energy high.
Creatine monohydrate is dosed at 3 grams per serving.
Optimum Nutrition source their creatine from German manufacturer Creapure, who create the cleanest, most powerful creatine available.
There have been over 700 studies done to prove the benefits of using creatine to increase strength, power, muscular weight and training endurance (1). Studies show that a dosage of 3-5 grams per serving will give the best results (2).
Astragin is a proprietary blend designed to increase nutrient absorption in the small intestine.
In doing so, it acts as an ingredient amplifier. It has been shown in clinical studies to increase the absorption of ATP by 18% (3). Astragin is made up of astragalus membraeceus extract and panax notoginseng extract.
A Performance Composite blend of Beta-Alanine and L-Citrulline Malate is designed to buffer acid in the muscles. This allows you to extend your set beyond normal fatigue (4).
You get 1.5 grams each of beta-alanine and L-Citrulline malate at a single scoop serve. This is quite low and will not have an appreciable effect. Most studies used a dosage of around 3 grams of each for best results (5).
Energy And Focus Complex
The stimulant part of the product features Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL at 375 mg.
This is a fat metaboliser, which helps transport fatty acids into the bloodstream and then to cell mitochondria to be burnt for energy. It also helps with mental focus (6).
N-Acteyl-L-Tyrosine is dosed at 250 mg. This compound crosses the blood-brain barrier to improve mental focus (7).
Each scoop supplies you with 175 mg of natural caffeine. However, 175 mg is a little on the low side to provide a noticeable stimulant effect. It would have been better at around 250 mg.
There are also some artificial flavours and colours in the product.
How Does ON Gold Standard Pre-Workout Taste?
The product comes in 4 flavours:
- Blueberry lemonade
- Fruit punch
- Green apple
It mixes well in a shaker bottle. The taste is really good, being one of the best tasting pre-workouts we have come across.
How Effective is it?
Gold Standard will provide you with a natural energy boost.
You will not get the jittery effect that comes with products that overdose on caffeine. It will provide a strong energy lift, especially if you take two scoops. After about 90 minutes of training you will get a reduction in energy.
If you take two scoops, you will have a noticeable increase in muscle power. This is mainly due to the 6 grams of creatine that are included. There is also a strong anti-fatigue element.
You won’t get much of a pump with ON Gold Standard Pre-Workout. If you want to achieve a full pump you should stack it with a glycerol and nitrate supplement.
When Should I Take it?
As a pre-workout, you should take this product 15-20 minutes before your workout.
Beginners should take one scoop, mixed with water. For a more potent effect, more experienced trainers should take two scoops.
Are There Any Side Effects?
There have been no serious side effects associated with this product.
Some users have experienced itchiness resulting from the beta-alanine. To avoid caffeine overload, you should avoid consuming products with caffeine in them on the days that you are taking this supplement.
- B Vitamins to avoid energy crash
- Strong natural energy
- Creatine to promote strength
- Lists ingredients quantities
- Weak pump effect
- Expensive if you take 2 scoops per serving
- Low amounts of beta alanine and L-Citrulline at single serve dose
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout is quite a simple formulation.
It contains a full complement of B vitamins to prevent a post energy crash, but the only actual stimulant is caffeine.
Serious trainers will benefit by taking two scoops per serving. Unfortunately this makes the product quite expensive, with the 30 dose tub lasting for just 15 days.
Truth is, there are several important pre-workout ingredients missing in this Gold Standard product.