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Xtend Elite Supplement Review
What does the world’s #1 BCAA brand do after they’ve mastered the art of creating the perfect BCAA formula? They take things to the elite level which is exactly what Nutrabolt (makers of Xtend) did with their new Xtend Elite supplement. What’s different about Xtend Elite from ordinary Xtend or the Xtend Natural Zero which we reviewed earlier this summer? Xtend Elite is a BCAA supplement that has everything to the max. Not only is it absolutely packed with the branched-chain amino acids you’d expect from any Xtend formula, but their formulators also added mega doses of other ergogenic aids proven to take your performance and recovery to an elite level!
The History of Xtend
Xtend was originally founded in 2004 with a vision to innovate using sound scientific research. Xtend formulators essentially created the whole intra-workout nutrition category with their original Xtend brand which contained seven grams of BCAAs (in a 2:1:1 ratio), 2.5 grams of Glutamine, one gram of Citrulline Malate plus electrolytes for hydration. Xtend went beyond just the formula. Xtend created an entirely new category of supplements by popularizing intra-workout nutrition. That is the whole practice of taking BCAAs before, during, after training and anytime you need an anti-catabolic flavoured drink mix. As is always the case, many companies tried to knock off Xtend but had little success as it is still the #1 BCAA brand in the world of when you look at cumulative sales amongst the different versions of Xtend sold globally.
The Xtend Family
Xtend Original is the original gangster whereas Xtend Ripped has a formula that’s almost identical except it also contains CLA, L-Carntine Tartrate and CapsiMax Cayenne for added fat-loss support. Xtend Natural Zero is also very similar to Xtend Original but it’s made without the use of artificial sweeteners, flavours or dyes. It’s also NSF Certified for Sport® and Informed Choice certified to be banned substance free, which is their second independent testing program for added quality assurance.
Xtend® Sport is very similar to Xtend Original in that there are seven grams BCAA dose and most electrolytes, but it doesn’t contain Glutamine or Citrulline Malate. Instead, they’ve included BetaPower® Betaine Anhydrous. In 2010, researchers at the University of Connecticut and found that athletes taking 1.25 grams of betaine twice per day increased their muscle strength by 25% and their power by 20%. See study here. Xtend® Sport is also NSF Certified for Sport®.
Xtend Elite includes the signature seven grams of BCAAs in almost all versions of Xtend but it also contains 1.6 grams of Beta-Alanine (CarnoSyn®), two grams of PeakO2® (a patent-pending blend that maximizes power output and oxygen uptake) and three grams of Citrulline Nitrate (NO3-T®) for pumps. The offshoot of this product is their "pre-workout" version known as Xtend Elite Pre. This is dosed with 200 mg of caffeine, seven grams of BCAAs, 1.6 grams of Beta-Alanine (CarnoSyn®), one gram of Citrulline Nitrate (NO3-T®) to support better pumps, and a hydrating electrolyte blend.
Xtend Gummies combine 3.5 grams of BCAAs with 29 grams of carbohydrates from cane sugar and tapioca syrup to accelerate glycogen replenishment and help support muscle recovery. Xtend Energy provides the typical seven grams of BCAAs, plus citrulline malate and electrolytes, but the twist on this one is it also has 125 mg of caffeine per serving! But unlike typical caffeine spiked BCAA formulas, the caffeine used in this version of Xtend is a mix of free-form caffeine anhydrous and a portion of caffeine bound to ZümXR® MICRO-SPHERES that time-releases over six hours! This is great for ultra-endurance exercise or to keep you energized all day long.
Xtend RTDs come in the carbonated version: Xtend Carbonated and Xtend Energy. Both are very similar in formulas with delicious fizzy BCAAs with added ingredients for higher performance. Xtend Energy has a slightly different set of ingredients but the major different is the inclusion of 125 mg of caffeine for an energy kick! Xtend’s original RTD (known as Xtend Still) is not carbonated but features seven grams of BCAAs plus Citrulline Malate and Electrolytes. We have tried all three and prefer the taste of the carbonated versions and the energy kick from Xtend Energy is outstanding. We expect many companies south of the Canadian border to knock off this formula because it’s really that good. Why buy an energy drink when you can get one with seven grams of BCAAs added? The new Xtend RTDs are a huge hit in the U.S. and we can’t wait for them to come to Canada!
The Next Evolution of Xtend
As you can see by how many different versions of Xtend exist, they have covered all bets by providing different formulas for different individual’s needs. But Xtend Elite is the most loaded BCAA formula of the bunch. A quick look at the ingredient list may cause you to do a double-take because it’s so long. Our team of experts were definitely impressed by the quality of the additional ingredients and the doses used.
Xtend Elite Formula Review
Xtend Elite is dosed in the research proven 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine to trigger muscle protein synthesis for superior recovery. The nearly 20 g scoop yields the industry standard seven grams of BCAAs with only two grams of carbs and zero sugar.
Supplementing with these amino acids is critical for those who regularly hit the gym. The body doesn’t produce them on its own, making them essential to consume through your diet or products like BCAAs. Fueling your body with these free-form aminos provides the support it needs to continuing performing at its best, all year long.
Xtend Elite for Hydration
In order to call itself “elite”, a product must rise to an elevated level by offering something unlike others on the market. Xtend’s newest hit does just that. The addition of an electrolyte blend ensures your hydration stays on point, aiding both performance and recovery. A dehydrated body is unable to perform at an elite level (did you know that being dehydrated by even two percent can cause a noticeable drop in performance?). When the optimal balance of electrolytes is maintained while you sweat, the muscles can continue to function as you need them to. The blend of sodium citrate, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride replaces the minerals you lose via sweat as you power through your sets or miles.
Xtend Elite for Muscle Pumps
Another surprising addition to is L-Citrulline Malate as this ingredient is not often found in a BCAA supplement, it’s commonly found in pre-workouts. This ingredient improves blood flow – often known as a “pump inducer”. However, it makes sense to include this in a product containing ingredients aimed at supporting performance. With better blood flow, the other ingredients (as well as oxygen) are sure to be delivered to the working muscles more efficiently to keep you pushing out your sets. While the dose is on the lower end, if you use a high-quality pre-workout, this dose will compliment it.
Xtend Elite Contains Patented Ingredients
Most notable on the ingredient list is the inclusion of three patented items – Peak O2® Performance Blend, CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine, and Sensoril® Ashwagandha. Patented ingredients are a gold-standard due to the continuous research conducted on them. Patented ingredients can confidently make performance claims knowing that their ingredients are dosed effectively to deliver the desired outcome. When you see patented ingredients, rest assured that the product is of high quality, produced by a company invested in their customers.
Peak O2® Performance Blend is a standout ingredient in Xtend Elite. This patent-pending blend of mushrooms is gaining attention in the supplement world for its ability to maximize power output as well as support oxygen uptake – both critical components for any athletic performance. With seemingly very lofty claims, a quick scan of the research supports them. While some studies utilized a higher dose of Peak O2®, Elite’s dose of two grams has been found effective in increasing VO2 Max and delaying fatigue.
To continue the theme of endurance, the inclusion of CarnoSyn® branded beta-alanine to protect your muscles from the build-up of lactic acid. This by-product occurs naturally during training, but can cause you to cut your set short due to the feeling it causes. Warding it off can enable you to hit every last rep you have planned. While a single dose of Xtend Elite delivers 1.6 g of beta-alanine, as opposed to the scientifically supported 3.2 or more grams, the suggested use of Elite calls for two servings daily. When this is employed, the full 3.2 g dose will be obtained, yielding the best results possible.
Xtend Elite Fights Stress
Training puts our body under stress and triggers catabolism (a metabolic process where your body literally “eats” its own muscle tissue). Compounded with our usual and unavoidable life stress can make a harsh environment for our body to fight through. Ashwagandha is an herb recognized for its ability to reduce cortisol levels. Mitigating stress, especially around your training session, is always beneficial for long-term health as well as your performance. While the dose in Elite isn’t on the high end, any inclusion of ashwagandha is helpful, and we have to commend Xtend for including it in Xtend Elite.
Taste Test: Pass
Xtend Elite is available in two equally enjoyable flavours: Island Punch and Sour Gummy. While the team here thought Sour Gummy would be the easy winner in the taste-test, Island Punch was the unanimous favourite. This flavour conjures up thoughts of a refreshing tropical blend of fruit juice with hints of pineapple. Reminds us of the delicious Hawaiian Punch drinks you had as a kid! We couldn’t help but think of how refreshing an Elite slushy would be following a particularly sweaty workout. For those who are simpler, don’t worry, one scoop mixed with 12 oz of water and some ice cubes is equally as good (and doesn’t require you to wash a blender later).
Your Health Matters
Xtend prides itself on offering products which not only improve your performance, but also prioritize your health. For this reason, they go the extra mile to be certified by Informed-Choice, showing that their products are free of banned substances to give athletes the peace of mind they want when picking a supplement. Additionally, Xtend employs NSF Certified for Sport® on their products and manufacturing facilities. This third-party testing ensures that strict standards for health and safety are met. This means it’s been tested for over 270 banned substances and recommended by the NFL, PGA, LPGA, CCES, CPSDA and many other sports organizations as being truly banned substance free.
Whether you’re an elite-level athlete or a weekend warrior, you want to put your best into your workouts. With this solid combination of performance enhancing and recovery supporting ingredients, Xtend Elite is a stand-out product. Don’t just take our word for it though, give it a try for four weeks and experience the difference yourself. From needing less rest time between sets, to feeling stronger and more energetic even after the most grueling sessions, the physical results speak for themselves. Pair that with great taste as well as health benefits, and Xtend Elite is definitely a supplement we highly recommend.
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