Jack3d Pre-Workout Review

USP Labs has had its ups and downs, but there’s no denying their Jack3d pre-workout was one of the most popular products ever on the market. Until “the unpleasantness” anyway. So what about the new, reformulated Jack3d? Does this “Intense Training Aid” live up to the legend? 

Our reviews are based on testing with our unique, multi-point methodology. We may earn commission on your purchase of some products.

FunctionPrimary Ingredient(s)Score
EnergyCaffeine, geranium extract, 2-aminoisoheptane HCI90
FocusYohimbe extract, Schisandra berry extract70
PumpArginine alpha-ketoglutarate60
MoodYohimbe extract, Schisandra berry extract70
Strength & Body CompCreatine monohydrate70
Flavors7 flavors as of this review80
Ingredient QualityNot totally transparent60
Feel/VibeStrong beta-alanine tingles, extremely revved-up, high endurance75
Overall Score74
USP Labs Jack3d Pre-Workout Ingredients.

Without the DMAA that got the original Jack3d taken off the market, Jack3d is still a solid product. I’m not a fan of proprietary blends, but whatever proportion of ingredients USP Labs put in the new Jack3d, they did a great job. This is a satisfying, high-stim pre-workout that does what you need.  

Pre-Workout World reviews are based on three key factors:

  • Ingredients: scientifically-tested, optimally-dosed ingredients 
  • Flavors: a variety of enjoyable flavor choices
  • Overall Effect: clear performance enhancement

The Pre-Workout World team includes amateur athletes, fitness professionals, and nutrition researchers to help you find the pre-workout supplements that help you achieve your fitness goals.

Medical Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Its sole purpose is to educate and inform. Consult a licensed healthcare provider before beginning any fitness or nutritional program. 


One thing I like about USP Labs – their labeling. They go the smart route with a neat, clinical-looking label. The marketing style makes you think “medicine,” which creates a level of trust (whether you should trust that or not). 

USP Labs is asking you to trust them, though, because they don’t have a fully disclosed label. It’s a proprietary blend, and they tell you what ingredients are in Jack3d, but not how much of any. They just give you a vague 4145mg.

They also give three different serving amounts – 1, 2, or 3 scoops. Not helpful! Just tell me how much to take. Don’t play games with me, Jack3d!

Now, I have very mixed feelings about proprietary blends. I think consumers have a right to know what they’re putting in their body. On the other hand, we’ve seen plenty of lessons in the supplement world that just because a company claims to have “full disclosure,” they might not necessarily be telling the truth. 

USP Labs is a very big company, and they’ve taken some knocks in the last few years over not being totally transparent. Can we trust them now? I like their products, and they’d be pretty stupid to lie with all the attention on them. I’m no lawyer though! 


All that said, I tried it. I specifically requested this review from Pre-Workout World, because I never got to try the original Jack3d. For this trial, I chose the Pineapple flavor. 

You can’t really go wrong with pineapple. It’s a distinct flavor that can generally overpower anything else. Jack3d tastes pretty good, but I did get a little bitter aftertaste. 

I tried both 2 scoop and 3 scoop servings.



In Pre-Workout World reviews, the Big 3 ingredients are the basics:

  • Caffeine
  • Beta-Alanine 
  • Citrulline

We care a lot about nootropics for focus and mood, strength support, and all of that. But for Pre-Workout World the Big 3 are rock-solid foundational to the best pre-workout supplements. Without all three, it’s not a pre-workout. 


The biggest of the Big 3 is caffeine, because there’s no better source of energy to my mind. Caffeine is the one ingredient that USP Labs does disclose – probably to keep within FDA regulations. 

So 1 scoop of Jack3d has 135mg of caffeine, and 3 scoops has 405mg. Doing a little gym math, that means 2 scoops – which is what I imagine most people will go for – should have 270mg of caffeine

Now, as pre-workout formulas go, 270mg isn’t at the top end. I typically see over 300mg, and even 400mg like the 3-scoop serving. 

Having tried 2 scoops and 3 scoops, I can’t say I could tell much of a difference in performance between the two. I feel like 1 scoop would definitely be too little, but 2 is probably just right for most users. 

So let’s talk about the other energy ingredients. The one on the front of the label is geranium extract. I know what they’re doing here, and if you think about it, you will too. The big draw for the original Jack3d was DMAA, which is, of course, a banned substance. There’s a common misconception that DMAA is derived from geraniums, but big shocker – it’s not. It’s synthetic. And actual geranium extract does not have the stimulant methylhexaneamine. 

So does geranium extract give you energy? Who knows. There are no scientific studies proving or disproving it. If it makes you feel good, believe it. Go harvest granny’s flower bed. 

The other is 2-aminoisoheptane HCI. It’s not DMAA either – but nobody really knows quite what it is. Researchers say it’s a stimulant. Supplement companies say it’s derived from plants and all-natural, but the smart money is on synthetic. 

Come on, did you ever hear of supplement companies trying to get one over on the FDA? 

Whatever USP Labs put Jack3d for energy, it’s not the kind of over-the-top barn-burner stim that people talk about getting from the original Jack3d. It was a nice, positive experience, not world-changing but satisfying. If you’re looking for the kind of experience that got the original Jack3d pulled off the market, you’re not going to find it here. 


Big 3 ingredient #2 – beta-alanine. I love some beta-alanine, and if you’re here at Pre-Workout World, I bet you do too. Of course, we don’t know how much is in Jack3d’s proprietary blend, but whatever the dose, it must be somewhere around the optimal, scientifically backed dose

I felt the tingles come on quick, and the effect lasted all the way through an hour workout. It wasn’t itchy, skin-crawling strong, but I noticed a strong sense of urgency and great endurance. 


For the pump, we usually like to see some form of citrulline, like L-citrulline, citrulline malate, or citruline nitrate. There’s a reason citrulline is the third of our Big 3. 

But instead, USP Labs is giving us arginine alpha-ketoglutarate for the pump. Scientific studies have shown citrulline increases blood flow and vasodilation, but AAKG? Not so much

Just like I would expect, the pump was nothing to write home about. You can get more out of the experience by stacking a pump formula, and Jack3d seems well-suited for stacking. If you keep your serving light (like 1 or 2 scoops), a little additional pump supplement with citrulline or nitrates won’t seem too filling. 


Not all pre-workouts include creatine, but I happen to appreciate when a pre-workout includes some strength support. Creatine monohydrate is the go-to for most products, so it’s no surprise to see it here. 

There’s no way to know how much USP Labs is including in Jack3d, so it’s hard to know whether it’s effective. There’s also debate over whether creatine only works over the long term, or whether it has any immediate effects. So is it there? Yeah. Would you miss it if it wasn’t? Probably not. 


Jack3d includes two other extracts that supposedly have all kinds of uses: endurance, recovery, focus, you name it. Those are: 

  • Yohimbe extract
  • Schisandra berry extract

Do they do the things supplement companies say they do? Who knows? At Pre-Workout World, we like ingredients that have some scientific backing. With these extracts, there’s a lot of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo and a lot of anecdotal evidence. But I like to see evidence backed up by controlled studies, and that’s what we don’t have. 


There are no electrolytes in Jack3d. That’s not surprising – as pre-workouts go, it’s kind of a 50-50 proposition whether they’ll have electrolytes or not. You know your body. Hydrate after your workout and take care of yourself, people! 


As of this review, USP Labs offer Jack3d in 7 flavors: 

  • Rocket Pop
  • Pineapple
  • Snowcone
  • Grape
  • Watermelon
  • Dragonfruit
  • Fruit Punch 

The Pineapple flavor I tried was decent. I wouldn’t drink it for my own enjoyment, but it’s not bad enough to keep me away. It’s all about the effects anyway, right? 


You know what’s coming if you know pre-workout supplements. All the top pre-workouts keep the calories down with artificial sweeteners, and 9 times out of 10 they’re good old sucralose and Ace K (acesulfame potassium).

A lot of users think these are bitter. Everybody experiences things differently, and some people actually enjoy them. For me, I’m drinking a pre-workout for a purpose, and I don’t let things like a bitter aftertaste get to me. 


I have to say, given the reputation of the original Jack3d, I did not experience any serious side effects. Obviously, if you’re sensitive to stimulants, you should tread cautiously. Jack3d does have one unambiguous stimulant – caffeine – and a couple of ingredients that may or may not function as stimulants. 

But the middle-of-the-road 2-scoop serving is a moderate amount of caffeine (at least by pre-workout standards), so it might be a safer way for users to try a higher-stim product than they’re used to. 

The other main ingredient that may have side effects is beta-alanine, but I didn’t really experience a strong tingle effect. Again, if you know you don’t like it, it can’t hurt to stay away from it.


When it comes to the stories of people taking the OG Jack3d and pumping iron for 2 hours like it was 20 minutes, I can’t comment. I wasn’t there. The new-school Jack3d isn’t that, though. 

What it is, is a solid, effective pre-workout supplement. It’s simple formula without too many bells and whistles, but it gets the job done. I would say it gave me all the benefits of a high-stim product, without the negative side effects. It wasn’t a euphoric experience like some extreme stim-junkie pres. I didn’t feel high, just positive, focused, alert, and driven. Jack3d, I would say, it more for the head than the body. It was a good vibe. 


  • Great focus and alertness
  • Smooth, lasting energy 
  • Increased endurance 
  • Good vibe


  • Stop hiding behind the proprietary formula – be transparent!
  • More effective pump ingredients like citrulline
  • Scientifically-proven focus and mood ingredients 


  • All-around fitness lovers and athletes 
  • Users looking for a higher-stim product that isn’t excessive 
  • Users nostalgic for a lost product


  • Hard-core stim junkies
  • Users who want full disclosure of ingredients 

Scientific Studies

  1. A Lisi, N Hasick, R Kazlauskas, C Goebel. Studies of methylhexaneamine in supplements and geranium oil
  2. Pieter A. Cohen, John C. Travis, Peter H. J. Keizers, Patricia Deuster, and Bastiaan J. Venhuis. Four experimental stimulants found in sports and weight loss supplements: 2-amino-6-methylheptane (octodrine), 1,4-dimethylamylamine (1,4-DMAA), 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) and 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (1,3-DMBA).
  3. Eric T. Trexler, Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Jeffrey R. Stout, Jay R. Hoffman, Colin D. Wilborn, Craig Sale, Richard B. Kreider, Ralf Jäger, Conrad P. Earnest, Laurent Bannock, Bill Campbell, Douglas Kalman, Tim N. Ziegenfuss, and Jose Antonio. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine
  4. Darryn S Willoughby,, Tony Boucher, Jeremy Reid, Garson Skelton, Mandy Clark. Effects of 7 days of arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation on blood flow, plasma L-arginine, nitric oxide metabolites, and asymmetric dimethyl arginine after resistance exercise
  5. Christina Kuhn, Bernd Bufe, Marcel Winnig, Thomas Hofmann, Oliver Frank, Maik Behrens, Tatjana Lewtschenko, Jay P. Slack, Cynthia D. Ward, and Wolfgang Meyerhof. Bitter Taste Receptors for Saccharin and Acesulfame K