Supplement Review Editor
In an industry where copycat products flood the market, how many can say they were the first of its category to hit your shelf? Xtend by SciVation holds that distinction as the first branched-chain amino acid supplement to market.
If you missed my introduction to branched-chain amino acids where I provide a scientific, unbiased look at BCAAs, be sure to check it out here before going further. Now that that is out of the way, we can dive right into my product review!
First up is a 1,190mg Electrolyte Blend of Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate, Potassium Chloride, and Sodium Chloride. All of which are just chemical names for salt, a compound that helps maintain healthy cell, kidney and heart function.
Xtend contains Vitamin B6, in the form of Pyridoxine HCl, at a rather minimal dose of 640 mcg. SciVation recommends you begin sipping your amino acid cocktail 20-30 minutes prior to your workout because B vitamins give you energy. Granted, this is not enough energy to fully fuel your workout, but it will certainly give you a boost.
One scoop of the stuff yields 7g of amino acids from 3500mg L-Leucine; 2500mg L-Glutamine; 1750mg L-Isoleucine; 1750mg L-Valine; and 1000mg Citrulline Malate. Let’s take a look at how these amounts hold up with the recommended dosage.
L-Leucine – Xtend contains 3,500mg…recommended amount is 2,000-5,000mg
L-Isoleucine – Xtend contains 1,750mg…recommended amount is 1,500mg
L-Valine – Xtend contains 1,750mg …recommended amount is insufficient
L-Glutamine – Xtend contains 2,500mg…recommended amount is 5,000mg
Citrulline Malate – Xtend contains 1,000mg…recommended amount is 3,000mg
* – Recommended dosages taken from studies conducted by Examine.com
As you can see, Xtend leaves a bit to be desired in the Glutamine/Citrulline department, but knocks in a two-run triple with the incorporation of BCAA’s.
To reiterate, L-Leucine and L-Glutamine are utilized to minimize muscle breakdown and increase muscle protein synthesis whereas L-Isoleucine and L-Valine are gluconeogenic. This means they will convert to glucose, providing the body with a source of energy. Finally, Citrulline is the compound responsible for transporting these compounds throughout the bloodstream.
Safety of Product: Aside from whey protein powder, amino acid products are arguably the safest dietary supplements on the market. In fact, the Xtend blend will likely enhance your health as it contains essential BCAA’s for optimal muscle function. 25/25.
Quality of Ingredients: By my estimation, this carbohydrate-free, amino-packed supplement utilizes some of best ingredients around. But will they help or hinder the achievement of your fitness goals? This is a question I attempt to answer in the first part of my BCAA discussion, which you can access here. 20/25.
Effectiveness: The effects of branched-chain amino acids are not necessarily those that can be seen. Of course supplementing with BCAA’s, in addition to proper nutrition and hardcore training will yield noticeable gains. However, Xtend is a supplement that works from within to improve muscle protein synthesis and increase rate of recovery from muscle breakdown. Do we really know it works? I can say from personal experience that it does! In short, I notice a significant increase in energy when training with BCAA’s as compared to not. But I wouldn’t be a critical supplement review editor if I didn’t consider the placebo effect… 20/25.
Price: Xtend is a supplement that comes is many shapes and sizes, and by that I mean flavors and serving sizes. Pink Lemonade, Grape, Watermelon, Lemon Lime, Orange, Unflavored, Pineapple, Fruit Punch, Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Green Apple, Mango are all apart of SciVation’s repertoire to satisfy your taste buds and if you can’t find a flavor you enjoy, there’s something wrong with you! Priced at $6.99 for 5 servings, $33.99 for 30 servings, and $69.99 for 90 servings, Xtend is one of the more expensive BCAA supplements as compared to competitors BPI and Optimum Nutrition. But SciVation is transparent with the consumer and tells him/her exactly what is in the product, refraining from proprietary blends. Pay for quality, people! 20/25.
Overall: Every body reacts in a unique way to different supplements and for every study proving a theory correct, there will be two others refuting it. As a supplement review editor, my job is to present you with the facts and leave the final decision to you. Is Xtend a quality product that trainees can benefit from taking? Absolutely! Is it essential to breaking a plateau or achieving long-term fitness goals? I’m not so sure. 85/100.
What exciting supplements would you like to see me review? Shoot me a Facebook post, tweet, email, etc. and let me know! I will gladly give my unbiased (and critical) opinion.
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