Today I’m reviewing “Xtend” by Scivation – a BCAA supplement labeled as “supporting muscle growth”, “supporting recovery” and “replenishing electrolytes”.
What’s in it?
So are those ingredients any good?
I’ve conveniently highlighted the most important stuff for you, being the kind guy that I am.
BCAAs [Used during exercise to reduce fatigue, accelerate recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and improve the use of fat for energy. Of particular benefit when doing fasted training]
The BCAAs – Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine – are the most important for muscle growth. Of those, Leucine is considered the most important, and the recommended dose of Leucine would be around 3 or 3.5g. The recommended ratio of BCAAs (i.e. the only one supported by research) is 2:1:1.
Xtend gives you L-Leucine: 3500mg + L-Valine: 1750mg + L-Isoleucine: 1750mg per serve. This is the ideal serve based on research. It compares favorably with Purple Wraath which is a little underdosed [L-Leucine: 2300mg + L-Valine: 1700mg + L-Isoleucine: 900mg per serve]
Citrulline malate [Decreases muscle fatigue. Also increases the amount of arginine in your blood, which leads to production of nitric oxide, which leads to fully siiiick pumps bro].
The recommended dosage is 6-8g. In Xtend you only get 1g.
Glutamine [Studies have shown that L-Glutamine supplementation can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism. In reality, though, it has not been proven to enhance muscle building in healthy individuals, only those suffering from physical trauma. Some people swear it helps recovery, however].
A commonly used dosage is 5-10g a day. In Xtend you only get 2.5g.
Electrolyte Blend [Electrolytes are tiny particles that carry electrical charges, they serve many roles to help the body maintain proper function. When you sweat, electrolytes play key roles in keeping water balanced both inside & outside of cells so that your muscles and organs can continue to serve you properly]
In Xtend you get 1190 mg – this aids in hydration during your workout. [Compare this with something like Gatorade Perform. It contains about 110 mg of sodium in an 8 oz serving and about 30 mg of potassium]
What did it cost me?
As a digital nomad, I use All Star Health and iHerb for supplement purchases while traveling. All Star Health tends to be slightly cheaper with most items but has more expensive postage, while the opposite applies for iHerb. Both offer fast, international shipping. Bodybuilding.com charges crazy amounts for postage, so I never order from them.
If you are in the US, I’d go for All Star Health. If you are in Asia, Australia or the like, then maybe iHerb will be cheaper depending on how much you are purchasing at once.
You can get Xtend (1200~g / 90 servings) for $48.99 from All Star Health or $58.14 from iHerb.
Assuming you get from ASH (and not including postage costs), it works out to around 54 cents per serve.
How does it taste / mix?
(Green Apple flavor): The main selling point of Xtend is the great taste! The green apple flavor tastes like apple jolly ranchers. I would sip on this flavor all day as a replacement to water, even if it had no beneficial effect whatsoever! I consider any recovery effect to be just a bonus. It also mixes pretty well with just a few shakes in the shaker – no clumpy powder.
What effects did I notice personally?
I don’t write much here. For any supplement, someone will tell you it had a great effect while someone else will tell you otherwise. Personally, it helps me slightly with DOMS and recovery (although my diet will have a greater effect) and might give me an extra rep on longer sets. The effects are subtle; don’t expect to start taking it and add 10kg to your bench that day. You might notice this is basically a cut & paste from my Purple Wraath review – that’s because the effects are basically the same.
Compared with Purple Wraath, which is kind of a cross between a pure BCAA and pre-workout, Xtend is closer to a pure BCAA supplement. It has the optimal dosage and ratio of BCAAs. The added Glutamine and citrulline malate are a bonus, though not particularly necessary to include (particularly given the low dosage of CM.) The electrolyte blend is also another bonus.
Think of it as pure BCAAs that taste amazing and have a hydrating effect. Basically the extra price you pay for Xtend (compared to plain, flavorless BCAAs) is worth it for the taste.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. The opinions presented are, as stated, simply my opinions – I recommend you read up on things, do some research and check references yourself.
This review is not sponsored by any supplement brand.