HD Labs Calibrate Review: An Adequate Pre Workout, at Best.

Posted on July 12th, 2016 By Allie Lewis in Pre Workout Reviews Read Time: 12 mins.

Recently updated on September 26th, 2022 at 09:49 pm

Good freaking morning and welcome to my super duper amazingly incredibly HD Labs Calibrate pre workout review. Two pre workout reviews in a row? That’s a pretty ambitious little streak for me. Lately I feel like I’ve been doing so many protein reviews that my pre workout game has fallen by the wayside. But maybe that’s because I’ve reviewed over one hundred of the most popular pre workouts in the world. I kind of know what these products are all like before I even try them. In this HD Labs I’m going to give you tons of insight into the Calibrate pre workout. How it works, how it tastes, how the ingredient profile stacks up…and of course I’ll do a world-famous BPW packaging analysis. If that sounds like a good idea to you, why don’t we get things started with a really comprehensive look at HD Labs Calibrate from a packaging standpoint FIRST.

HD Labs Calibrate Pre Workout definitely downgraded in it’s appearance. There was a previous version that had a darker color them that I think was actually better than this new version. Don’t you hate when a brand does that? For whatEVER reason, they decide to switch things up, often for the worse. I don’t understand why they always feel a need to change how something looks when that something looks pretty good to begin with. 

But Calibrate now looks way to much like the new Scivation products, or even the AXIS Labs products that used to use the white and orange. Ugh. No. You know what it reminds me of now? Spark. I legitimately hate Advocare Spark as you know from my Advocare Spark review. It’s just SO plain and SO boring. I guess if I have to pick out one thing that Calibrate DOES have going for it, it’s that the new re-design does make you think that the product is just a touch more natural. Speaking of what’s in it…why don’t we get into the ingredients. I give the packaging a 7/10. 

HD Labs Calibrate Pre Workout Formula Grade: 8/10

I’m not really blown away by this product from a formulation standpoint. Although there definitely are a handful of things that I do like about it. Let me list out the ingredients for you, and then we’ll get into some of the main pros and cons. 

  • Vitamin D
  • Niacin
  • Magnesium
  • Beta Alanine
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Magnesium Creatine Chelate
  • Trmethylglycine
  • Taurine
  • Citrulline Malate
  • Hydromax
  • Inositol Hexanicotinate
  • Infinergy Dicaffeine Malate
  • Caffein
  • Citicoline
  • Higenamine HCI

So you have a pretty deep formula here. There are two different kinds of caffeine along with a high quality form of choline (citicoline) to keep you sharp between the ears while you work out. The ‘pump’ elements of HD Calibrate are much more subdued than some of the other brands that I’ve come across. There are only 1.3 grams of pump ingredients in each scoop, whereas many pre workouts (Kaged Muscle’s for example), will triple that amount with just their dosage of L-Citrulline Malate. So I didn’t expect much in the pump dept with Calibrate. Another thing to note is that your total caffeine content is just 175 mg, which isn’t going to really kick your butt if you’re a coffee drinker, or experienced pre workout pro.

So. To sum up the HD Labs Calibrate formula- it’s pretty straightforward. You have creatine, so ladies you’re GOING to swell up a bit with water. I wouldn’t expect anything crazy in terms of energy and focus, but there IS some higenamine in there which is a designer stimulant that might be able to get you some kick. I went into the performance test with an open mind. But first, let’s talk taste. 

HD Labs Calibrate Flavor Grade: 7/10

Eek. I don’t go into pre workout flavor grade without a very open mind, but I must say this pre workout is not one of my favorites from a flavor perspective. It just seems like there is a lot going on in here in terms of nasty-flavored ingredients that keep things from tasting very smooth. I thought the raspberry punch would be the better of the two flavors, and from what I’ve heard the tangerine lime is not very good either. The raspberry punch tasted very bitter and sour to me. While it WAS semi-sweet in an attempt to overcome some of that bitterness, it wasn’t nearly balanced enough in any way to make my taste buds happy.

Edit* I did try it with more liquid in today’s shake, and it came out a lot better. So if you do try Calibrate and hate the taste, just try diluting it. It changes the profile a great deal.

HD Labs Calibrate Pre Workout Performance Grade: 8/10

Despite the taste being sub-par, I did go into the gym both times I took HD Calibrate with a very open mind. I go into every workout with the mindset that I’m going to crush my workout no matter what. And did I? Not necessarily. I found that my energy was just ok to start, but actually started to get a little bit better with each passing minute which was interesting. I think there is some delayed release caffeine in here that makes it behave in that fashion. The things I liked best about the performance were the strength-boosting qualities. I really did feel stronger than the day before. That’s the beauty of fast-acting creatine magnapower. But the thing is that since I’m doing much more endurance-focused workouts now, I don’t care as much about how much weight I have on the bar. I let my boyfriend try it out too, and he said pretty much the same things. He didn’t like the taste very much, but said he did feel strong. I don’t think the pumps were very much an element of this pre workout at all. 

HD LABS Calibrate Pre Workout Review Summary:

  • HD Labs Calibrate Packaging Grade: 7/10
  • HD Labs Calibrate Formula Grade: 8/10
  • HD Labs Calibrate Flavor Grade: 7/10
  • HD Labs Calibrate Pre Workout Performance Grade: 8/10
  • HD Labs Calibrate Value Grade: 7/10

Everything about this pre workout seems to just be one tick short of ‘above average’. The formula is just ok. The packaging isn’t great. The performance is just ‘meh’. I think for the price point they charge for the 32 serving tub ($42), I would need a product that I really love- and HD Calibrate just isn’t that for me.*

HD Labs Calibrate Final Review Score: 7.5/10

Allie Lewis

By Allie Lewis

Hi, my name is Allie and reviewing products is my hobby. I am passionate about being fit and active, so making a blog about my experience with different products that help me stay healthy made sense to me. Please contact me at any time if you would like to guest post or advertise on-site.