Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review [Is It Safe?]

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout


CleanLeanMachine Rating



  • Sensible Caffeine content
  • Some useful ingredients


  • Underdosed ingredients
  • Beta-alanine can cause paresthesia
  • Ineffective ingredients

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review

With so many products on the market, it is hard to tell what is worth buying. Our Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review gives you the chance to see if it is one such product.

We‘ve seen it all before though. Every supplement talks up their benefits and promises the world, but a look under the label and it can reveal a lot. It’s not always pretty but thats how the industry is a lot of the time.

Still, we approach every review with an open mind.

In order to do well, this pre-workout needs to give us the following:

  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced focus
  • Greater muscle pumps
  • Big gains!

Anything less than this and we won’t be impressed.

Time to get to know them a little better first.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review: Who Makes This Product?

Here we have the UK based company behind the product.

They are one of the big guns in the industry and make some of the best sellers in different niches.

The advice is that this has been tested to be free of banned substances. The Gold standard version of this product refers the to the flavors. Optimum Nutrition claims that these are enhanced and better than the competition in this sense.

The label does say both natural and artificial flavors which is a shame to see. They say they have been part of the industry for over 30 years so you would expect a great product.

Optimum Nutrition uses GMP certified facilities but although we found several reassurances on their about us page regarding quality, we couldn’t see anything about a money back guarantee.

They sell on Amazon which although it seems to be going well for them, it isn’t an approach favored by everyone. A lot of supplement companies see the use of Amazon as negative as it lists their products alongside a lot of low quality supplements.

Still, this appears to sell well. Since we have reviewed a lot of products that shift a lot but are dangerous or ineffective, the next section is where you really want to pay attention.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout IngredientsOptimum Nutrition Gold Standard PreWorkout

This is where we can really get to know this product and see if it will work.

The good signs start with the fact that they don’t include any major proprietary blends. This means almost every ingredient has dosage information included. Because of this, we can see how useful each one can be.

So, what does it have on the label?

Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin certainly has a place in a lot of supplements.

It isn’t something our bodies can produce naturally so to avoid being deficient (and so many of us are), supplementing it is a good idea.

It has links to increase testosterone and fat burning but for a pre-workout, we’re not so convinced. Not the best of starts to this product.


Ok, this is basically just Vitamin B1 and to be honest it’s not the smartest inclusion.

Examine.com says that it has limited benefits when taken by a healthy subject and that deficiencies are not common.

Not a great ingredient for what we are after and not one found in our top recommended pre workouts.

It is only really beneficial for those who have high blood glucose. Some say that Vitamin B1 is able to help regulate appetite but deficiencies are only really relevant to those who have a poor diet or who abuse alcohol.

It can help with energy metabolism like other B-Vitamins but we’re not that impressed so far.

At 2 mg you aren’t getting too much anyway.


A more common ingredient and known as Vitamin B3.

Again, it can help with the way our bodies break down carbs and use them for energy. This way of creating fuel can help get you shredded as well so we see the sense behind it.

Still, when the body takes on excess amounts, Niacin passes through your urine and Examine.com does advise that for B3 to be effective you need around a gram of it.

17 mg falls well short of that.

Vitamin B6

A useful ingredient in that it can help the body to create energy.

By turning glucose into fuel it has its place as it will help you to get more out of your workout. The B-Vitamins often work in similar ways.

The 2 mg included isn’t the biggest amount though so it will just serve as a bit of a top up.

Folic Acid

This might be a good ingredient for a pre-workout although there are better options for what it does.

It is commonly found in pregnancy supplements for people trying to conceive but in a pre-workout, it can help to produce nitric oxide. This, in turn, promotes muscle mass.

Sometimes known as Vitamin B9, it at least has some benefits relevant to a pre-workout.

Vitamin B12

More of the same really.

This works in a similar way to B6 as it can aid energy metabolism. It isn’t something our bodies can create naturally. Since prominent sources are dairy, meat, and fish, supplementing can be a good idea for vegans and vegetarians.

Time for this product to step it up a little.

Pantothenic Acid

Otherwise known as vitamin B5 this water-soluble ingredient isn’t the best of inclusions.

Examine.com says that it is rare to be deficient and supplementing it does not appear to give you much of a boost.

This makes the dosage of 10 mg a bit of a waste.

Creatine Monohydrate

A great ingredient to include.

It feels like a long time coming but Examine.com advises that it is often used by athletes to increase power output and lean mass.

A safe and common ingredient in pre-workouts and for plenty of good reasons.

Creatine benefits not only your muscles but your performance levels. It provides muscles with added strength and ensures they still have energy after training.

It gives them the nutrients they need to recover faster which is great as it also means greater gains. Another positive is that Growth Factor 1 in your muscle tissue will be increased.

There is one study that shows how Creatine can benefit the body at any time. This discusses supplementing it during arm flexor strength training led to greater increases in arm flexor muscle strength, upper arm muscle area, and fat-free mass than strength training alone.

The dosage here is 3.4 g which is a very good amount.

Astragalus Extract

To start with, Examine.com says that in terms of muscle protein synthesis and T, it is an unexplored ingredient.

Without the relevant studies to back it, we find it hard to get behind its inclusion. Most studies seem to be injected into the subject and oral consumption needs more evidence to back it.

Astragalus does have benefits for your immune system but this isn’t what we are after anyway.


This might be a common pre-workout ingredient, but we don’t like to see it.

It has been shown to cause paresthesia. This is a tingling sensation of the skin but it does pass before too long (see WebMD).

There also aren’t a lot of studies to back it up. It has links to fighting fatigue and increasing the body’s production of Carnosine. If this was to be true then it would result in longer peak levels of performance for your muscles.

Still, an ingredient that distract you from your workout which is the opposite of what a pre-workout should be doing.

The 1.5 g included might be high enough to cause paresthesia.


A good ingredient and another common one.

This is because it can improve blood flow to the muscles. Increased nitric oxide levels are good news. It is derived from the likes of watermelon. An amino acid that converts into Arginine in the body. This helps with creatine synthesis.

At 750 mg, it isn’t the highest amount but it is a good ingredient.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

A good ingredient and another that works in energy production.

By burning fat to fuel your energy it will help to get you shredded which is a nice side attribute of any product.

The 375 mg isn’t the highest dosage once again but will be useful.

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine

A good inclusion because of the stimulant levels in this product.

Basically, it counterbalances the effects of stimulants to make sure the user can remain calm. L-Tyrosine also has been found to promote focus as well as reduce stress.

At 250 mg, it is a good amount.


A popular ingredient in just about every type of supplement.

It has benefits in nootropics, fat burners, and T boosters.

The energy increase is a good place to start. Caffeine consumption allows the user to operate at a higher level and for longer periods when it comes to the gym.

By increasing focus, you can see why it is included in nootropics.

The dosage of 175 mg is a very sensible one. Too many supplements include excess amounts of Caffeine, masking a poor supplement.

This amount allows you to not feel like it is taking over, but still receive the benefits.

Grapefruit Bioflavonoids Complex

Often included to support blood circulation.

Citrus bioflavonoids are also linked to antioxidant protection. Also, it is thought to be useful for weight loss but this isn’t what we are after here.

A bit of a limp ending to their ingredients, just like the start was!

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Side Effects

This is where we usually say there is nothing to worry about.

To be honest, Beta-Alanine is the only ingredient that you should notice any difference with.  It causes paresthesia, a tingling sensation on that skin that passes within a couple of hours.

Still, it can be annoying.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review Pros and Cons

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Pros

  • Sensible Caffeine content
  • Some useful ingredients

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Cons

  • Underdosed ingredients
  • Beta-alanine can cause paresthesia
  • Ineffective ingredients

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout Review Conclusion

This isn’t the worst product out there, but it certainly isn’t one we would recommend.

It ticks a lot of boxes, there are some top pre-workout ingredients including the likes of Creatine, L-Citrulline, and Caffeine.

The problem is, there is far too much filler.

They could get rid of half of the ingredients and increase the dosage of a couple of the others and they would be leaving us with a far better product. Optimum Nutrition didn’t though.

Also, there is the inclusion of Beta-Alanine. This could have you itching in the gym, not only does this look a bit suspect – not everyone knows about what goes into a lot of pre workouts. Sure it passes, but who wants that every time they step into the gym?

It is a bit of a mix of a few different types of supplements. There are some common fat burner ingredients in there, as well as some T booster ingredients.

This is unnecessary – all we want is bigger muscle pumps and the chance to get huge gains. If this is you, then Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre Workout isn’t the product you are looking for.

With far better options on the market, you don’t have to settle for anything almost good enough, only go for something that will really work.

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If you’re looking for a better alternative, check out our top pre workout supplement guide to find a product that gets you pumped and is free from side effects!

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