Performance Lab makes a variety of nutritional supplements for sports as well as every day life. They were nice enough to send me two of their products for review: their stimulant-free pre workout and an energy supplement simply called “Stim.”
I gave these a go and wanted to let you know my experience as well as where you can purchase these products for yourself if you’re interested.
All in all, I was not impressed with these products and I would not recommend them.
For non-stimulant pre workouts I would recommend, check out my list of the Best Caffeine Free Pre Workouts (Stim Free Pre Workout).
I also have a list of the best pre workouts for beginners if you’re not adverse to caffeinated supplements.
Stim is way too expensive for what you’re getting, which is a B vitamin complex, caffeine, L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine. It is simply not a good value for your money in my opinion.
Pre, their non-stimulant pre workout, is a bit better but still leaves a lot of room for improvement. Many of the included ingredients are not included at clinical dosages, which is frustrating.
My Experience with Performance Labs
I took the maximum recommended dosage of Stim (5 capsules) and the standard dosage of Pre (6 pills). Taking 11 capsules was annoying, but it was easy enough.
My Experience with Pre
Again, Pre is the non-stimulant pre workout supplement from Performance Labs.
One thing that is interesting about Pre is that it contains a combination of L-Citrulline and L-Glutathione. L-Glutathione is an amino acid that can help cells make nitric oxide and faciliate the creation of nitric oxide from arginine.
And indeed, I got an okay pump in my training session with Pre. So what’s the issue?
Normally when I take a pump supplement with a stimulant supplement (i.e. a typical pre workout), that pre workout will also have pump ingredients like Citrulline Malate, often at a clinical dose, so the combined stack creates an excellent pump.
Since this was the only pump ingredient I took before my training session (Stim has no pump ingredients), the result was pretty standard. I would have liked to see 3 to 4 grams of L-Citrulline in a serving instead of 2 grams, but just 2 grams of L-Citrulline has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels in the blood when combined with L-Glutathione, we just do not know if it would be more beneficial if the L-Citrulline dosage was increased. There is not enough evidence available.
And while L-Citrulline combined with L-Glutathione was shown in one study to significantly increase the amount of lean muscle mass compared to Citrulline Malate after 4 weeks of resistance training, this difference subsided by week 8.
My Experience with Stim
Energy-wise, I think I would have been just as well off with making myself a pint of coffee. Given that it was only 250 mg of caffeine I wasn’t expecting much. It is interesting that L-Theanine is included at a 2:1 ratio (approximately, but it can vary quite a bit) to caffeine anhydrous in Pre, as usually it’s flipped in favor of caffeine. I honestly can’t say one way or the other how this effected me.
I felt fine, but not charged up, dialed in, or any other phrase like that. I got through my workout, but there wasn’t the normal urgency or mood elevation I’m used to from other pre workouts.
I suppose this could be appealing to someone who is sensitive to caffeine and prefers lower dosages, but if that’s the case I’d recommend starting out with simple caffeine pills (I use Jet Alert). They’re dirt cheap and Stim didn’t seem to offer any advantage over them.
Below you’ll find the full ingredient labels for both products and some quick notes on each.
Pre Ingredient Labels
Overall, Pre has a stronger ingredient label than Stim, with a few ingredients coming in at clinical dosages.
To be fair, Pre does not market itself as a pump supplement. It markets itself as a general non-stim pre workout. So to judge it solely on its pump ingredients would be a bit unfair.
I’ve already discussed the L-Citrulline and L-Glutathione combination above, but my assessment is that I wish they included a little more L-Citrulline.
I don’t know why they included 1.25 grams of creatine monohydrate, as the clinical dosage is 5 grams and you can take it any time – it’s not necessary to take it as a pre workout supplement.
The beta alanine is very low, clocking in at 800 mg instead of the recommended 3 to 4 gram range.
The Pine Bark Extract is dosed at 100 mg, which is solid and exceeds a clinical dose.
Finally, the 350 mg of Himalayan Pink Salt should be plenty. This is well above what is often seen in top of the line pump enhancing pre workouts, so kudos there.
Stim Ingredients Labels
Again, the 2:1 L-Theanine to caffeine ratio is odd, but it didn’t feel all that different than 250 mg of caffeine to me (I took 5 pills), so I wouldn’t be concerned about it.
For L-Tyrosine, the 1.25 grams in 5 pills falls within clinical range, but it’s just not enough ingredients to deliver anything impressive to anyone that is not a beginner when it comes to pre workouts and stimulants. Frankly, I’d prefer to just drink an energy drink like Monster vs. taking Stim, as the liquid definitely hits harder and faster vs. the pills.
Finally, and I think this is what bothered me more than anything else, to say Stim contains 30 servings is just silly. Anyone putting 50 mg of caffeine, 100 mg of L-Theanine, and 250 mg of L-Tyrosine in a pill with some B-Vitamins, calling it “Stim” and charging over $1/serving immediately gives me pause. It is overpriced, plain and simple.
I’m not here to trash Performance Labs, but that is just a ridiculous label and price tag.
Performance Lab: Stim and Pre Review
Generally speaking, Stim is completely overpriced and not worth your time. Pre is close to being a decent product, but does not fare well when looking at the value equation; it simply has competitors that deliver more at a similar price point.
- If you prefer pills to powders, these are pills.
- Poor value
- Many ingredients are underdosed