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When it comes to pre-workout supplements, you have a lot of choices. One of those choices is the Nutricost Pre-X Xtreme Pre-Workout Complex, a high-stim formula with a handful of active ingredients to help you live your best gym life.

Two of our GGR testers, both USA Weightlifting coaches, tried this pre-workout for two weeks, taking it before cardio and weightlifting sessions. It made our list of the best cheap pre-workouts thanks to its impressive formulation, taste, and results for a reasonable price.

In this Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout review, we’ll dive more into our experience with the supplement, and break down the product details so you can decide if it’s the right one for you.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

We’re Pre-Workout Experts

Our GGR testers include certified personal trainers, competitive athletes, nutrition coaches, and CrossFit coaches. Collectively, we’ve tested more than 70 pre-workout powders, putting each through our rigorous supplement testing methodology. We try the supplements ourselves, then rate them from 1 to 5 on factors like:

  • Formulation
  • Taste
  • Solubility
  • Third-party testing
  • Transparency
  • Customer service

In addition to firsthand testing, we rely heavily on registered dietitians and other subject-matter experts to assess formulation, dosages, and potential side effects. After the testing process, we share our honest findings with you. We never recommend supplements we wouldn’t take ourselves.

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Pre-workout formula with B vitamins
  • 300 mg of caffeine per serving
  • About $1 per serving
  • Third-party tested
  • 5 flavor options

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Contains B vitamins
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Affordable price per serving

Cons

  • Not enough research to support the ingredients that claim to support cognitive function
  • Caffeine content may be too much for some folks

Bottom Line

Nutricost Pre-X is an affordable pre-workout at about $1 per serving. There are five flavors to choose from, each with a light and refreshing taste. Each serving contains 300 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to about 3 cups of coffee.

A Quick Look at Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Nutricost is known for making budget-friendly supplements. While you sometimes have to be wary of cheaper products, that’s not the case here. The Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout still contains clinically-effective doses of a dozen ingredients, including 300 milligrams of caffeine.

It comes in two sizes: 30 or 60 servings. A single serving is one scoop (15 grams). It also comes in five flavors: Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, and Peach Mango.

Before You Buy

  • In addition to caffeine, Nutricost Pre-X contains l-citrulline, taurine, beta-alanine, and 11 other ingredients.
  • It’s made in a NSF-certified and GMP-compliant facility, but not tested for banned substances.
  • If you like it, you can get 20% off each delivery with a subscription through the brand’s website.

Is Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout Worth It?

At $0.92 to $1.10 per serving, Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout is worth it from a financial standpoint. It contains 300 milligrams of caffeine, plus a blend of other active ingredients that can help improve blood flow, reduce fatigue, and prolong muscle endurance. It also has artificial sweeteners and flavors.

Of course, whether or not it’s worth it for you specifically depends on what you’re looking for. If you prefer to spend a little more for a pre-workout with natural ingredients, you might not want to buy this one.

Here’s who we think should try it, and who should skip it.

Great for:

  • Anyone looking for a high-stim pre-workout
  • People who want a budget-friendly pre-workout
  • Those who don’t mind artificial ingredients

Not recommended for:

  • People who are sensitive to caffeine
  • Competitive athletes who need a pre-workout that’s tested for banned substances
  • Beginners

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout Specs

Price per serving$0.92 to $1.10
Serving size 1 scoop (15 g)
FlavorsBlue Raspberry, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, Peach Mango
Caffeine per serving300 mg
Beta-alanine per serving2,000 mg
Creatine per serving0 mg
L-citrulline per serving4,000 mg
Other key ingredientsTaurine, nitrosigine, betaine anhydrous, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, alpha GPC 50%, DMAE bitartrate, CDP choline, theobromine, huperzine A, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6
SweetenersSucralose
Third-party tested?Yes

Experience Using Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Two GGR testers tried this pre-workout:

  • Jacob Penner, USAW-L2, CPT
  • Micky, USAW-L1 coach and trainer and a member of GGR senior director of fitness content Kate Meier’s weightlifting team

Micky used it before his Olympic weightlifting workouts. Jacob also used it before his Olympic weightlifting sessions and took one to two scoops before several bodybuilding workouts as well.

Our tester smiles while shaking up a serving of Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout.

“I’d buy this as something to take if I just need a bit more energy but nothing insane. I wouldn’t use this on a max-out day, but it’s great for a regular training session,” Micky notes.

Jacob also enjoyed using Pre-X and said it’s “probably the best value pre-workout that’s on the market.”

Price Per Serving

The price is about $0.92 to $1.10 per serving, depending on whether you get the 30- or 60-serving tub. 

This is on the lower side of supplements we’ve tested, so we gave it a 4.5 out of 5 for price. If you sign up for a subscription on the brand’s website, you can also save 20% on recurring deliveries.

Formulation

Our testers gave the Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout a 4 out of 5 for formulation. It’s vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and has 12 active ingredients. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Caffeine anhydrous: 300 mg
  • L-citrulline: 4,000 mg
  • Beta-alanine: 2,000 mg
  • Taurine: 2,000 mg
  • Nitrosigine (a nitric oxide booster): 1,500 mg
  • Betaine anhydrous: 1,500 mg
  • N-acetyl L-tyrosine: 250 mg
  • Alpha GPC 50%: 200 mg
  • DMAE bitartrate: 150 mg
  • CDP choline: 100 mg
  • Theobromine: 100 mg
  • Huperzine A: 200 mcg

This covers most of the bases for the best pre-workout ingredients, and the doses are pretty much spot on. However, we’d like to see the beta-alanine closer to a clinically-recommended dose of 4,000 milligrams1.

Supplement Facts label on a container of Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout.

In our opinion, Nutricost Pre-X is only missing creatine monohydrate and BCAAs, but you can get these in other dedicated supplements (and they’re not needed in a pre-workout formula as much as the others).

RELATED: Best Creatine Supplements

It also lacks electrolytes, so you’ll have to be more intentional about proper hydration, especially during lengthy or intense workouts.

Another thing to note is that it does have artificial flavors and sweeteners and some preservatives and filler ingredients. If you prefer to avoid these things, you may need to look for another pre-workout. A good choice is Transparent Labs BULK, which has a super-clean ingredient list and earned the top spot in our best pre-workout guide.

Taste and Solubility 

Both testers tried the Blue Raspberry flavor and gave this pre-workout a 4.5 out of 5 for taste. Micky took it cold and at room temperature and said he liked the taste at both temperatures, adding that it’s very easy to drink and he actually looks forward to taking it.

Jacob also really enjoyed it.

A container of Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout.

“I have always liked the Nutricost pre-workout for the taste, they do a really good job. Even with the reformulation, the taste is really good. I remember liking the watermelon a lot as well,” he says.

There were no major issues with solubility. Micky noticed some sediment at the bottom of his water bottle and Jacob said it dissolved almost all the way, but left behind some “little beads” of clumped powder. 

They both rated it a 4 out of 5 for solubility.

Side Effects

Side effects were kind of a mixed bag, but our testers gave it a 4 out of 5.

The 300 milligrams of caffeine hit Micky fast, especially on an empty stomach. Still, he said his energy levels remained steady once things settled after the initial rush.

“With most pre-workouts, I feel a peak then go numb to it after 45 minutes. With this one, even two hours after taking it, I didn’t have a comedown or feel tired. I could still work really hard through my sessions. I feel a bit more focused and like I have sustainable energy,” he says.

On the other hand, Jacob, who has a high tolerance to caffeine and has used high-stim pre-workouts in the past, didn’t feel the effects as much. 

Man mixing a scoop of Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout in water

“I took just one scoop the first time, and it didn’t have a huge energy effect on me. So the next time, I took a scoop and a half. With this, I felt motivated and focused to finish my workout, but I wasn’t stimulated very much,” he said.

One thing to note is that beta-alanine causes the tingling sensation you get with pre-workouts. Nutricost Pre-X contains 2,000 milligrams of beta-alanine. While we consider this a relatively small dose, you might notice that prickly feeling if you’re new to pre-workouts. A pre-workout without beta-alanine may be a better option if you wish to avoid that sensation.

Third-Party Testing 

Nutricost supplements are third-party tested to ensure they’re free from heavy metals and other potential contaminants. However, they’re not tested for banned substances. Because of this, this pre-workout may or may not be okay for competitive athletes—there’s no way to know. 

In addition to third-party testing, the supplements are manufactured in a cGMP-certified factory, which means the FDA oversees the production process (although they don’t regulate it).

Because of this, our testers gave Pre-X a 3 out of 5 for third-party testing.

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout vs Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout

Nitrosurge Pre-Workout

Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout Powder

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Vegan pre-workout 
  • 180 mg of caffeine per scoop 
  • Manufactured in USA in cGMP certified facility

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Available in multiple sizes: 30 or 60 servings
  • Subscribe and save 15%
  • Available in 11 flavors
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Manufactured in USA in cGMP certified facility
  • Vegan
  • Affordable at under $1 per serving (1 scoop serving)

Cons

  • Mixed reviews on taste
  • Mixed reviews on effectiveness
  • Contains sucralose

Bottom Line

Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout is a generally positively reviewed pre-workout with 180 milligrams of caffeine and a large variety of flavor options.

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout and the Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout are two budget supplements with a similar price per serving. 

When comparing them gram for gram, Nitrosurge is higher in caffeine, beta-alanine, and l-citrulline. However, the scoop size is smaller, so it’s a good option for beginners since you can control your dosage and ease your way into it.

Neither supplement contains creatine, but the Nutricost pre-workout contains more active ingredients. It could be a better option for those looking for more of a supplement blend.

Check out our side-by-side comparison below, or read through our full Nitrosurge Pre-Workout review if you want more information.

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-WorkoutJacked Factory Nitrosurge Pre-Workout
Price per serving$0.92 to $1.10$1.00
Serving size 1 scoop (15 g)1 to 2 scoops (8.4 or 16.8 g)
FlavorsBlue Raspberry, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, Peach MangoSwoleberry, Green Apple, Cherry Bomb, Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Arctic White, Pineapple, Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, Sour Peach Rings, Blue Lemonade, Black Cherry, Cotton Candy 
Caffeine per serving300 mg180 mg (1 scoop) to 360 mg (2 scoops)
Beta-alanine per serving2,000 mg1,600 mg (1 scoop) to 3,200 mg (2 scoops)
Creatine per servingN/AN/A
L-citrulline per serving4,000 mg3,000 mg (1 scoop) to 6,000 mg (2 scoops)
Other key ingredientsTaurine, nitrosigine, betaine anhydrous, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, alpha GPC 50%, DMAE bitartrate, CDP choline, theobromine, huperzine A, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6Betaine anhydrous, L-theanine, theobromine, AstraGin
SweetenersSucraloseSucralose
Third-party tested?YesNo

Customer Experience 

Our testers gave Nutricost a 5 out of 5 for customer experience. The company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. You can try the pre-workout for 60 days and if you don’t like it, you can send it back for a refund or exchange.

We just wish there was a chat feature on the website. You can contact customer service via phone or email, though.

Ordering Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Orders from Nutricost’s website process quickly. The company sends them in 1 to 2 business days and shipping is free when you spend at least $59. You can also sign up for a subscription at checkout. If you do, you’ll save 20% on recurring shipments. You can cancel anytime.

Nutricost supplements are also available on Amazon. If you purchase through Amazon, you’ll be subject to their return policy and shipping times.

Customer Reviews

The Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout powder has an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon from almost 2,000 reviews.

Overall, customers like the formulation and say it really gets them going in the gym. 

“I love the pump I get when I take it. I’m able to workout longer and I’m able to push harder on every workout I do. The energy boost is there as well. I felt the stim, and didn’t feel a crash after the workout either. I feel good after every intense workout,” writes one 5-star reviewer.

Another says, “I’ve slowly transitioned all my overpriced supplements from one of the leading manufacturers to the Nutricost brand. With every new supplement purchase from Nutricost, I wish I had made the change much sooner. The latest purchase is Nutricost Pre-X in grape flavor. It is fantastic and with many, or more, of the same ingredients of the very well-known brands for nearly half the price. If nothing else, it’s worth trying.”

The biggest complaints are the flavor and the side effects. Some think the flavors are way too strong and sweet. One customer writes, “I purchased the blueberry flavor, and I have to say it is easily the worst thing I have ever tasted. It’s so sour and it’s straight-up awful. I literally have nightmares about the flavor.”

While our testers didn’t agree, the TL;DR is that the taste may not be for everyone.

And several reviewers said they got a tingle from the pre-workout, which you either love or hate.

Final Verdict of Our Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout Review

Overall, this is a good pre-workout powder. Our testers enjoyed the taste and liked that it has clinically effective doses of most key ingredients. They also liked the sustained energy they felt, which allowed them to power through tough workouts. 

Some downsides? It has artificial flavors and sweeteners and is missing creatine and BCAAs. The higher caffeine content may also be too much for pre-workout newbies, but that’s not a knock on the supplement itself—it’s more of a head’s up if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

Full Rating

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout

Nutricost Pre-X is an affordable pre-workout at about $1 per serving. There are five flavors to choose from, each with a light and refreshing taste. Each serving contains 300 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to about 3 cups of coffee.

Product Brand: Nutricost

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 24.95

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.1

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout Rating

Price per serving – 4.5
Formulation – 4
Taste – 4.5
Solubility – 4
Side effects – 4
Third-party testing – 3
Customer service – 5
Customer reviews – 4.1
Buy Now

Nutricost Pre-X Pre-Workout: FAQs

Does Nutricost pre-workout have caffeine?

Yes, Nutricost pre-workout has 300 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to just over three cups of brewed coffee2.

Is Nutricost FDA-approved?

No supplements are FDA-approved, or even closely regulated by the FDA. However, Nutricost manufactures their products in a GMP-certified factory and has their supplements third-party tested for toxic substances. The supplements aren’t tested for banned substances though, so you may want to consider another pre-workout if you’re a competitive athlete.

Does pre-workout actually work?

Yes, studies show that pre-workout can act as an ergogenic aid3, improving maximal force during some movements4 and enhancing performance during resistance training5. Of course, as with all supplements, you need to make sure you’re choosing a high-quality (ideally third-party tested) product with scientifically backed doses of active ingredients.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

1. Trexler, ET, Smith-Ryan, AE, Stout, JR, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:30. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y

2. Mayo Clinic. Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more. Published April 26, 2022.

3. Harty, PS, Zabriskie, HA, Erickson, JL, Molling, PE, Kerksick, CM, Jagim, AR. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15(1):41. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0247-6

4. Stratton, MT, Siedler, MR, Harty, PS, et al. The influence of caffeinated and non-caffeinated multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements on resistance exercise performance and subjective outcomes. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2022;19(1):126-149. doi:10.1080/15502783.2022.2060048

5. Beyer, KS, Gadsden, M, Patterson-Zuber, P, Gonzalez, AM. A single dose multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement enhances upper body resistance exercise performance. Front Nutr. 2024;11:1323408. doi:10.3389/fnut.2024.1323408

Further reading

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