Gold Standard Pre-Workout is Here from Optimum Nutrition!

Optimum Nutrition has recently confirmed and released one of the biggest things to hit the market all year:

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout is here!

Could this finally be a pre workout supplement worthy of the ON Gold Standard?

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Our Gold Standard Pre Workout Summary

Gold Standard Pre Workout

Is the new Gold Standard of Pre Workouts here?

Looking at the label below, you can see that we have relatively tempered enthusiasm.

While we’re extremely happy that it’s an open label, and there’s nothing bad in here by any means…. there’s also nothing that’s going to blow anyone’s mind. A pretty decent formula that will work well at 1.5 scoops, and should be priced accordingly.

It’s the safe bet. Everyone will “like” it – there’s nothing to hate here – but it won’t be the talk of the town either.

In short, if Optimum Nutrition can bring this one in at a low enough price level ($15-20), we’ll be happy. But if this is selling for $30, we’ll gladly pass.

Things can change, but we just don’t see it cracking our Top 10 pre workouts list.

Below, we analyze each of the ingredients and discuss the most important part: dosage.

Gold Standard Pre Workout Ingredients

Gold Standard Pre Workout Ingredients

The Gold Standard Pre Workout Ingredients. This tub will need to be about $15 or less for us to get excited here.

With an open formula, we’re able to give this a great bit of analysis. After that, our biggest concern, especially when buying from a top-notch value brand, is overall value.

Below, we’ll explain why this is likely a 1.5+ scoop product, so that needs to be factored into the cost.

  • Caffeine (175mg)

    The amount of caffeine is going to be the primary driver of your dosage of Gold Standard Pre. For us, we’d be at ~1.5 scoops, but many others will want two scoops, which brings the product cost into question.

    The extreme people who need more than two scoops are unlikely to be interested in this supplement unless there’s a really good price drop (get signed up above!)

    Beginners should start at 1 scoop or less to assess tolerance.

    We’re not going to get into the benefits of caffeine – it works for energy, focus, mood, etc – let’s save the science for the other ingredients:

  • Creatine Monohydrate (3g CreaPure)

    All systems go here. At this point, creatine monohydrate is nothing fancy, and it really shouldn’t be: it’s the most tested ergogenic in history, and has numerous studies for the following benefits when taken at 3-5g per day in both men and women (with benefits showing up quickly):

    • Creatine VO2 Max

      Over the course of two weeks, creatine increases VO2 Max in HIIT (high intensity interval training)[13]

    • Lean Mass[5,6,7]
    • Weight[2,8]
    • Hydration[9]
    • Sprinting Capacity[2,4]
    • Minor Testosterone Increase[10,11]
    • Overall Well-Being[12]
    • Better Oxygen utilization[13]
    • Decreased Soreness (minor)[14]
    • Increased Endurance (minor)
    • Decreased Fatigue[15]

    There are studies done on nearly every sport, and we’re only citing a small fraction of them (15 out of 700!)

    Note that even more studies show efficacy when using more creatine (up to 20g per day), but none using less, which leads us to a small rant below.

    Creatine is SAFE!

    It’s also ridiculously safe, so if you’re still “afraid” of creatine, you need to look at the research above that cites no side effects.

    Perfect Dosage: A switch from C4 will yield results

    3g per scoop is great, since we’re thinking this is a 1.5 scoop product and most studies have at least 5g used.

    A serious issue we have with other popular pre workouts is that they “dust” creatine just so that it’s on the label, and then the more inexperienced users think that they’re getting the benefits listed above, when they’re really not.

    This is not the case with Gold Standard Pre, and if you’re switching from something like Cellucor C4 Extreme (an offender of the above ‘dusting’ issue), and you never supplemented extra creatine on top of C4, you will get results here.

    We’re at the point in thinking that pre workout manufacturers should either do creatine right, or they shouldn’t use it at all. ON did it right here.

    On long-term safety and the fear of kidney damage

    Every year, there are also more long-term safety studies published, in which users continuously take creatine for years, reap the benefits, and have no side effects – especially not in the kidneys. Researchers have known this and had this data for over a decade![20,21,22]

  • L-Citrulline Malate (1.5g)

    The Citrulline Pathway

    The Citrulline Pathway… works best when you have more, though

    This is where the formula falls on its face.

    L-Citrulline is an incredible amino acid that gets converted to L-arginine, and then goes on to boost nitric oxide levels better than arginine.[16,17]

    This L-Citrulline-induced nitric oxide level boost leads to all sorts of impressive benefits, including

    • Increased training capacity / volume[18]
    • A minor boost to growth hormone levels[16,17]
    • Reduced Fatigue[19]
    • Less Soreness[18]

    This is all great, except for two things:

    1. ON is using Citrulline Malate, not L-Citrulline

      By using the cheaper malate form, you are effectively cutting your L-citrulline dosage in half.

      This is going to get far less of the nitric oxide benefits listed above (yet will provide for a few extra endurance benefits thanks to the malic acid).

      While AstraGin might help amplify these effects, this product is essentially not going to be as good as our other favorites in the weightroom.

      It will likely function great on the playing field or in endurance workouts, but this isn’t a heavy weightlifter’s product because of this dosage (unless you feel like adding more bulk citrulline / agmatine / nitrate).

    2. The dosage is not enough.

      The studies cited above use 6g of citrulline malate or 3g of L-citrulline. You’re simply not going to get those dosages in with this product without getting a relatively hazardous amount of caffeine (and then it would cost a lot of money).

    Ultimately, this is the area where we believe ON went soft for weightlifters.

    But maybe they’re not planning on marketing Gold Standard PreWorkout to the guys and gals in the gym…

  • Beta Alanine (1.5g)

    By now, most supplement users should be familiar with beta alanine. It’s the amino acid that boosts endurance, but also gives many users a tingling sensation in the skin (known as a paresthesia) that is very safe.

    Beta alanine boosts how long athletes last, which then turns into more overall workload... which, if you eat right, means more gains!

    Beta alanine boosts how long athletes last, which then turns into more overall workload… which, if you eat right, means more gains!

    Taking beta alanine keeps your muscles loaded with more carnosine[23], which then helps your muscles buffer acids such as lactic acid.[24] It actually works in a way familiar to antioxidants.[25]

    Does it work? Definitely – especially if your performance is between 1 and 4 minutes.

    In fact, there is research for all of the following sports, with studies on both males and females:

    • Rowing[26]
    • Wrestling[27]
    • Football[27,28]
    • Weight lifting / resistance training[29]
    • Cycling (studies on both males and females)[30,31]
    • Overall exercise[32]
    • Running[33]

    Simply put, if you’re an athlete, you’re stupid not to use the stuff. We say that with love, but at this point with all the research cited above, it’s the truth.

    What about dosage?

    Gold Standard Pre has 1.5g per scoop – pretty good. Most studies have the best success at 3.2g per day, so this is going to fall just a touch short, especially if using under 2 scoops.

    If you need to, you can see PricePlow’s beta alanine page to get additional BA for off-days and to add another gram sometime outside of your workout if using 1.5 scoops of this.

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine (375mg)

    This is our favorite form of L-Carnitine – also known as ALCAR – it’s the cognitive-boosting form of carnitine that will give you a good bump in focus.[34]

    Once again, though, dosage is of concern: the study cited above used 1500mg/day, which you won’t get here. However, anecdotally, 500mg is where things start feeling pretty good with ALCAR, so 1.5 scoops might do the trick.

    Don’t expect weight loss from L-Carnitine Supplements, unless…

    Note that L-Carnitine does not promote fat loss or weight loss, except for individuals who are carnitine-deficient.

    That is typically only the case in vegans / vegetarians and the elderly. We discuss this further in a few different places in our Best Fat Burner buyer’s guide (there is a “scams” section, but note that ALCAR is not a scam in terms of focus and other benefits).

  • N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (250mg)

    Another focus booster, and potential endurance enhancer as well.

    Most research is done on L-Tyrosine, but N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is our favorite form – it’s the most stable form.[35]

    There are a few good studies on cognition, all done by military units.[36,37] It works well even when you’re low on sleep.

    However, once again, they were using higher dosages, so the benefits may be less here. However, this is a pretty standard supplemental dosage of L-Tyorsine here – 250-500mg is great for starters.

    If you’re more interested in focus, then you’ll need to buy separate products.

  • AstraGIN (25mg)

    AstraGIN is a proprietary blend of astragalus and panax notoginseng, and has been shown to be an ingredient amplifier.

    If there’s one ingredient that’s going to save the day here, it’s going to be this one. Reason being, it could potentially enhance the nitric oxide boosting abilities of the lower dosage of L-Citrulline Malate.[38]

    However, every supplement we’ve tried that went this route didn’t really work out – it might help, but you still need serious amounts of citrulline for a pump and gym-time strength boost.

  • Supporting Vitamins and Nutrients

    Finally, Gold Standard Pre will provide you with:

    • 100mg citrus bioflavonoids
    • Vitamin D, which we always recommend
    • Niacin
    • Vitamin B6
    • Folic Acid
    • Vitamin B12
    • Pantothenic Acid
    • 1 Carbohydrate (not sure what from)

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

Overall, it’s a good-but-not-great formula. The creatine dose is appreciated, but the citrulline dose is not.

Once again, since we want our standard pre workouts to cost less than $1/workout, and this is a 1.5 scooper for most, we’re going to want to see it closer to $15, not $30. We just don’t know if we’ll see that happen, so for now, our wallets are on the sidelines.

The flavors

The initial flavors were pretty standard, with one interesting twist:

    Blueberry lemonade is the one we rarely see, and is the one we’d most like to try because of that!

    Will this replace Platinum Pre?

    Alex Carneiro of Optimum Nutrition has confirmed that this will not replace Platinum PRE-, so both will be available.

    Get the best deal on PricePlow

    In the meantime, you can sign up for release updates below, or go to our Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout page and click Get Price Alerts.

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

    Get Price Alerts

    No spam, no scams.

    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    About the Author: Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto

    Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

    Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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