USP Labs is supposedly on the verge of releasing Modern Pre, a pre-workout supplement which marks a transition for the once extremely popular brand away from under-dosed, proprietary blend-bearing products and towards a more modern (pun intended) formulation.
L-Citrulline has become one of the most pervasive ingredients found in pre-workout supplements and for good reason. It has been shown to enhance muscular endurance, reduce muscle soreness, and may also positively influence muscle protein synthesis.
Citrulline is most commonly found in the form of Citrulline Malate and this is the form that has primarily been used throughout the human studies regarding performance enhancement.
USP Labs lists the amount of Citrulline Malate in Modern Pre at 4g per serving, meaning 2 scoops yields a true clinical dose (8g). However, it’s worth noting that even one serving provides more Citrulline than most Citrulline-containing pre-workout supplements.
Beta-Alanine is a precursor to the dipeptide Carnosine which functions as a Lactic Acid buffer in muscle tissue, effectively delaying fatigue during exercise. It has been studied extensively at doses ranging from 3-6g with doses as low as 1.6g showing some efficacy.
Modern Pre contains 1g of Beta-Alanine per serving, far less than what can be considered a “clinical dose” but still potentially somewhat effective in the longterm.
Arginine is perhaps the most pointless ingredient in Modern Pre. It seems USP Labs is reluctant to get rid of this ingredient, but that would probably be for the best.
Although very high doses of Arginine may effectively increase Nitric Oxide production, many studies have failed to find any sort of significant benefit using standard doses 1-3g. Since Modern Pre contains a pretty low dose (1g per serving), any benefits pertaining to Nitric Oxide boosting are likely to be minor.
Creatine Anhydrous is the same as Creatine Monohydrate, but with the H2O molecule removed, making it 100% Creatine by weight. In terms of efficacy, it is the same as Creatine Monohydrate but, technically speaking, 1.5g of Creatine Anhydrous (100% Creatine) goes a slightly further way than 1.5g of Creatine Monohydrate (about 88% Creatine).
Unfortunately, Modern Pre still contains a relatively low dose of Creatine Anhydrous per serving so users will likely need atleast 2 scoops to derive real benefit.
Similar to Creatine, Betaine is capable of increasing the amount of water inside muscle cells and inducing a phenomenon known as “cellular swelling”. This is the mechanism allegedly responsible for the increased strength and power noted in several human studies.
We dig much deeper into Betaine as a performance enhancement supplement in this article for those who are interested.
USP Labs lists the amount of Betaine in Modern Pre at 1.25g per serving, roughly half a clinical dose.
Carb 10, also known as High Amylose Polysaccharide, is a quick digesting carbohydrate that has a relatively low impact on Insulin. This makes it ideal for pre-workout use when providing muscles with a quick glycogen source is the goal, but keeping Insulin levels as low as possible is also the goal.
It seems USP Labs is jumping on the pre-workout carb trend with this one, an approach which a few brands have recently taken (think Muscle Elements PreCre).
Caffeine triggers the release of Noradrenaline which can enhance alertness, perceived energy, and focus. Additionally, Caffeine has some inherent fat-burning implications, but that isn’t necessarily its primarily function in Modern Pre.
USP Labs lists the amount of Caffeine in Modern Pre at 175mg per serving, a moderate dose which becomes much more powerful at 2 servings (350mg per serving).
Citicoline, also known as CDP Choline, is a highly bioavailable form of Choline which is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier with relative ease. It may be used for the production of Acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter in the brain primarily responsible for the mind muscle connection as well as supporting general cognitive function.
Alpha GPC is the most potent form of Choline, but Citicoline is a close second.
Modern Pre contains 125mg of Citicoline per serving, not necessarily a “highly effective” dose but still potentially meaningful. Two servings of Modern Pre yields a standard 250mg dose.
The Bottom Line
Modern Pre is certainly more of a two-serving pre-workout and is effective all around (muscular endurance, strength, energy) at that dose. Individuals who are particularly sensitive to Caffeine probably won’t be able to handle two servings though and should look for a pre-workout that provides clinical doses of similar key ingredients but with less Caffeine. For those people, our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements list would be a great place to start.