Pure Nutrition Black Jack Pre-Workout — What’s Bitter Orange Extract?

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Pure Nutrition is a California-based supplement company that sells dozens of products that are variously aimed at bodybuilders, martial artists, and endurance athletes.

They’ve got several pre-workouts and pre-workout-like products (like testosterone boosters) but we wanted to try out their flagship pre-workout, Black Jack. It’s got 13 main ingredients and 300 milligrams of caffeine, about as much as you’ll find in 3 cups of coffee. So what else does it bring to the table?

Shop Pure Nutrition Black Jack.

Pure Nutrition Black Jack Nutrition & Ingredients

The ingredients are as follows. I’ll name them here, then discuss their benefits in the next section.

Caffeine (300mg)
Beta alanine (2g)
Creatine (1g)
Citrulline and citrulline malate (2.5g)
Tyrosine (750mg)
Arginine HCI and arginine AKG (500mg each)
Choline bitartrate (250mg)
B-Phenylethylalamine HCI (100mg)
Theanine (70mg)
Bitter orange fruit extract (70mg)
Theobromine (70mg)

Besides those there’s some Vitamin B6 (500% of the RDI) and niacin (125%), plus some natural and artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and anti-caking agents.

Pure Nutrition Black Jack Pre Workout Ingredients

Pure Nutrition Black Jack Benefits & Effectiveness

There’s a pretty large variety of ingredients here. The caffeine is linked to energy and power and theobromine has a similar effect, while the theanine helps to improve focus and reduce the jitteriness that can accompany a big dose of caffeine. (And remember, 300mg is a very big dose.)

The tyrosine is also linked to focus and the creatine to power output, while the choline bitartrate may help anaerobic capacity — that’s short, intense bursts of activity.

The beta alanine and arginine may improve endurance (or improve time to fatigue) and the citrulline is linked with better blood flow. The phenylethylalamine might help with blood flow too, though the evidence isn’t quite as strong.

The Vitamin B6 may help with muscle retention during a workout, and there’s evidence that we lose B6 when we exercise, so it’s always nice to see some in a pre-workout.

The bitter orange fruit extract, meanwhile, doesn’t have much evidence behind it. One study suggested it may boost the metabolism, but more research needs to be done.

Check Out Our Best Pre Workout Choices Here

The main issue I have with this product is that while the ingredients are linked to a variety of effects, some of the dosages aren’t totally supported by scientific consensus. Generally, if you want an acute effect for a workout, it’s recommended you consume twice the arginine, twice the choline bitartrate, twice the phenylethylamine, and three times the citrulline and creatine that you’ll find in one serving.

And consuming two scoops at once could be overpowering on the caffeine.

That said, I was happy with the amount of beta alanine, caffeine, tyrosine, theobromine, theanine, and bitter orange.

Pure Nutrition Black Jack Price

You can pick up 30 servings for $25, or 83 cents per serving. That’s pretty reasonably priced; most pre-workouts fall between 80 cents and a dollar per scoop.

Pure Nutrition Black Jack Taste

The Blue Raspberry flavor tasted like your standard raspberry candy, which was pleasant.

The Takeaway

While I think Black Jack felt a little low in certain ingredients, though there are enough effectively dosed ingredients to say that this is an inexpensive way to boost power, endurance, and focus.

Pure Nutrition Black Jack

Per Serving: $0.85
7

Ingredients

8.0/10

Effectiveness

7.5/10

Taste

7.5/10

Price

5.0/10

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Good source of Vitamin B6
  • Good source of caffeine, beta alanine, theanine, and tyrosine

Cons

  • Several ingredients aren't dosed highly
  • May not boost blood flow
  • Artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors

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I’m a journalist and content producer with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My resume includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first ever health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.