USPLabs Jack3d in Brief
USPlabs Jack3d is an extremely popular and well known concentrated pre-workout supplement which is touted to help with increasing focus, attention and energy. So how does Jack3d compare with other pre-workout supplements and is its popularity justified in terms of effectiveness?
USPLabs Jack3d - First Impressions
USPlabs Jack3d comes in a 250g tub, which may seem quite small, but due to a smaller serving size, the product actually provides 45 serves. On the labelling, Jack3d is promoted as being University studied and as being extremely beneficial for workouts in conjunction with proper training and diet. Besides the front panel is a panel of supplement facts providing a comprehensive listing of ingredients used in the supplement followed by detailed directions on usage. There are a few warnings on the labelling mentioning that this supplement is not suitable for people under 18 years of age. The powder itself has an extremely fine consistency and a very pleasant fruity smell (flavour tested was Grape). A scoop is included which when level provides the recommended dosage.
USPLabs Jack3d - Taste
USPlabs Jack3d comes in a variety of natural flavours, which will cater to a wide crowd including: lemon lime, grape, raspberry lemonade, white blue raspberry and tropical. All of the flavours are quite pleasant in taste and when mixed with water as directed, tasting similar to a less sweet version of cordial or flavoured water. For a less sweet product, it is advisable to mix with additional water. There is no significant aftertaste or grittiness when mixed as directed. Jack3d combines well with standard carbohydrate drinks to offer some additional sugar to your system. However, mixing Jack3d with protein may not be ideal simply due to contrasting fruit and milky flavours. Overall, USPlabs have provided a generous selection of flavoured concentrated pre-workout supplements which are easy on the palate and no aftertaste.
USPLabs Jack3d - Mixability
All of USPlabs Jack3d products mix extremely well with either a spoon, shaker or blender with no residue, grittiness or clumps when made as directed in 100-200mL of water. The water however will go slightly opaque as a result of the powder, which is said to be free of artificial dyes or colorants. The ease of mixability of the product comes from the fact that the amount used is small compared with other products.
USPLabs Jack3d - Value
USPlabs Jack3d is promoted to have 45 serves per product, but this is dependent on how many scoops that you use (maximum suggested = 3 scoops). At this amount, USPlabs Jack3d works out roughly to be around $1-$3 per serve. In comparison, non-concentrated pre-workout formulas have around 40-50 serves (again dependent on dosage) and work out roughly to be approximately $1.50-$5 per serve depending on the brand.
USPLabs Jack3d - Pro’s
Five of the six ingredients in the active proprietary blend of USPlabs Jack3d have been shown to be beneficial in delaying fatigue and in helping with exercise performance. Creatine monohydrate is a well known supplement which has been shown in several studies and reviews to be beneficial in increasing muscle creatine stores and promoting improved exercise performance. Beta-alanine and schisandra chinensis are both ingredients capable of delaying fatigue, while caffeine and 1,3 dimethylamylamine have known stimulant and thermogenic properties. Stimulants are also capable of reducing fatigue and increasing energy. In addition, thermogenic properties of the last two ingredients can enhance fat utilisation as a fuel source.
USPLabs Jack3d - Cons
Although USPlabs Jack3d lists all their ingredients in the supplement facts panel, there is however no indication of amounts used, which makes analysis of potential ergogenic effects difficult when comparing to amounts used in studies. In addition, due to the small dosages recommended by the supplement, there may not be adequate amounts of creatine monohydrate necessary in this product alone to affect creatine storage substantially. Because this product does contain stimulants, it is important to know that you will experience increased tolerance to the ingredients. That is, over time, more of the product is necessary to sustain the original beneficial effects, however excess stimulant intake can be associated with negative symptoms such as heart palpitations, insomnia and shaky movements. As such, it is crucial to cycle this product on a regular basis.
USPLabs Jack3d - Active Ingredients
- Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG) – A combination of arginine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid, both of which are involved in nitric oxide metabolism. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator or in other words will help improve blood flow dynamics. AAKG has been shown to also offer anti-catabolic effects in specific clinical populations.
- Creatine Monohydrate – A well known ergogenic compound which can facilitate greater storage of phosphocreatine stores in our muscles which are involved in the anaerobic system of energy production, often used in weightlifting and power exercises and events. Creatine has been shown to help with carbohydrate loading, endurance, high intensity and interval activities.
- Beta-Alanine – A naturally occurring beta amino acid and one of the two amino acids making up carnosine. Carnosine is an important compound in our muscles with high buffering capacity and thus able to protect against changes in pH levels – resulting in improved performance and less fatigue. The amount of beta-alanine is the primary determinant of how much carnosine we have.
- Caffeine – A natural stimulant found in teas, coffees and energy drinks which has the ability to help aid with fat loss and weight management as well as endurance performance. Caffeine is believed to help with sparing carbohydrates by increasing the utilisation of fat as a fuel.
- 1,3 Dimethylamylamine* – Also know as geranium or geranamine, and DMAA, the compound is usually used as a nasal decongestant. It has stimulatory and thermogenic properties similar to that of caffeine. DMAA is now banned in Australia, as well as some other countries.
- Schisandra Chinensis – A woody vine native to North China and East Russia. The berry’s of Schisanda Chinensis are used in traditional eastern medicine for its liver protecting properties and is also known in alternative medicine communities as an ‘adaptogen’ or a compound capable of increasing resilience against stress, trauma, fatigue and anxiety.
- Citric Acid – A weak acid found commonly in citrus fruits and often used as a preservative in certain products. It is also used to add sour of acidic flavours to certain food and drink products.
- Acesulfame Potassium – A zero calorie sweetener used often in conjunction with other sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame to produce a better sugar taste and to mask any undesirable aftertastes.
- Sucralose – A very sweet artificial sweetener.
- Silicon Dioxide – A compound used commonly in food products as an anti-caking agent. Anti-caking agents are used in powdered or granulated products to prevent formation of lumps and to help with ease of packing, transportation and consumption as it promotes better mixing.
- Vegetable Stearate – A compound used commonly in dietary supplement production to promote ease of production. Contains stearic acid, a saturated acid found in products such as cocoa butter and shea butter.
- Grape Skin Extract – A natural food colourant derived from grape skins.
USPLabs Jack3d - Overall Review
Overall, USPlabs Jack3d is a concentrated pre-workout supplement containing several ingredients which have been shown to help with focus, concentration, increasing energy levels, decreasing fatigue levels, thermogenesis and improved exercise performance. As a pre-workout supplement, it may help in sustaining and even boosting performance in the gym throughout your workout, however, due to the presence of some powerful stimulants should be cycled frequently to maintain effectiveness and lessen any risks of negative symptoms.
This version of Jack3d is now currently unavailable for use as a result of DMAA being banned by many countries, including Australia. USP Labs are therefore soon to release an updated, DMAA-free version called Jack3d Micro.
* 1,3 Dimethyamylamine is banned by Australia the World Anti Doping Agency.
1 Kreider RB et al. ‘ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: research & recommendations.’ J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010; 7: 7.
2 http://www.wada-ama.org/. Last Accessed 29th July 2011
3 Panossian A. Wikman G."Pharmacology of Schisandra chinensis Bail.: an overview of Russian research and uses in medicine." Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 118(2):183-212.