Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc (BSN) is one of the biggest and best-known names in the sports nutrition marketplace. Since 2001 BSN has been growing and building mass appeal, creating products that reach not only bodybuilders and gym rats, but ordinary joes who want to get in shape.
Initial Impressions of N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
N.O.-Xplode comes in a bright red package that definitely stands out from the standard black packaging of most pre-workout supplements. But when we take a deep look at the packaging, we see red flags on the red tub.
Instead of breaking down each ingredient in their Supplement Facts, N.O.-Xplode groups ingredients in proprietary blends with names like “Myogenic Matrix” and “Endura Shot.” Aside from the 275mg of caffeine specified on the package, there are no solid numbers for any of the ingredients. They could be in optimal doses, they could be barely present.
Honestly, that requires a lot of trust on the consumer’s part, and trusting brands at their word isn’t the Brainz way. We like to be able to evaluate what we’re using, and transparent dosing is central to that.
Energy Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
- Caffeine Anhydrous 275mg
We expect pre-workouts to have some kind of stimulant, and 9 times out of 10, it’s caffeine. So we’re glad that, out of all of its vaguely-defined ingredients, N.O.-Xplode does specify that they have 275mg of caffeine anhydrous.
That’s a respectably strong concentration of caffeine, though for users who have a high tolerance, there’s a good chance that caffeine anhydrous will run out and lead to a caffeine crash before your workout is through. The nootropic ingredients included in the “Thermic Energy” complex may have some effect on lengthening out the energy over a longer term, though.
Nootropic (Focus and Mood) Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
N.O.-Xplode includes two forms of tyrosine – N-Acetyl-Tyrosine and L-Tyrosine. Both of these forms have a good reputation as a nootropic. Tyrosine is essential for brain function, as it is fundamental to several chemicals like dopamine. The acetylated form is generally understood to be more absorbent and more easily broken down by the body, so it has a higher level of bio-availability.
However, as we wil continue to remind consumers here, there is no clear dosage given for tyrosine in N.O.-Xplode. Generally, 1.5g is considered an optimal dose, and there is 1.3g of all ingredients in the Thermic Energy complex, it’s probably underdosed.
Anti-Fatigue Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
Beta-alanine stands at the top of the heap when it comes to anti-fatigue ingredients, and it shows up in many a pre-workout formula. There are plenty of competitors out there who think if they don’t feel the skin tingling sensation of beta-alanine, they’re not getting a good workout.
As with the other ingredients in N.O.-Xplode, there’s no specific amount of beta-alanine listed. It’s part of the 2.9g Endura Shot complex. Considering 2.5g of beta alanine is considered an optimal dose, and there are four other ingredients in that 2.9g, we would suspect beta alanine is underdosed.
Pump and Blood Flow Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
- L-Citrulline Malate
Citrulline is one of the best supplements for blood flow support. It’s a know vasodilator that has been demonstrated again and again in studies. L-Citrulline Malate – a form that is more easily absorbed by the body than L-Citrulline alone – appears in the N.O. Alpha Fusion complex, which makes up 1g of N.O.-Xplode. Keep in mind, an optimal dose of L-Citrulline comes to 8g, meaning there is no way for there to be enough to be effective – the numbers just don’t add up.
Strength Support & Body Composition Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
- Creatine Blend (Creatine monohydrate, Creatine Anhydrous)
Anyone on a weight lifting regiment knows creatine, uses creatine, and trusts creatine. You may not be looking for creatine in your pre-workout – not all formulas have it – but N.O.-Xplode does. There are two forms – creatine monohydrate and creatine anhydrous – included in the Myogenic Matrix. That complex makes up 5.1g of N.O.-Explode, so there’s reason to think there may be a good dose of creatine in there, but again, it’s impossible for anyone but BSN to know.
Electrolyte Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
- Potassium Bicarbonate
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Magnesium Oxide
N.O.-Xplode includes potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and magnesium oxide, all valuable supplements for electrolyte, hydration support, and muscle contraction. And they actually include some numbers – there’s 125mg of magnesium, 140mg of sodium, and 270mg of potassium.
In all, those are respectable doses of essential components that can help prevent loss of essential minerals during your workout.
The Extra Mile? Additional Pre-Workout Ingredients in N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
N.O.-Xplode has a frankly ridiculous number of additional ingredients, and that’s not even including the vitamins and minerals:
- Calcium – D-Pantothenate
- D-Calcium Phosphate
- DMAE Bitartrate
- Danshen Extract
- Di-Sodium Phosphate
- Grape Skin Extract
- Grapefruit Biofavonoid Complex
- Hawthorn Extract
- Nicotinic Acid
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Thiamin Hydrochloride
- Toothed Clubmoss Extract
Of these, only a few have a real track record of value for sports nutrition. Some, like Taurine, are well-known and trusted by athletes for anti-inflammatory and recovery benefits. Others, like Clubmoss extract, have some true believers, but haven’t been borne out by sufficient studies. And some, like AstraGin ginseng extract, may help your body make use of the functional ingredients.
It’s a “more is more” approach to supplements that strikes us as unscientific and suspect.
Taste & Flavors
N.O.-Xplode comes in 5 flavors:
- Blue Raz
- Fruit Punch
- Green Apple
We tried watermelon. At the concentration indicated by the serving size, the flavor was weak, with just a hint of watermelon. There was also a dry, chalky aftertaste.
Who N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout is For
N.O.-Xplode is marketed to bodybuilders who want extreme pumps, energy and gains. It is also for those who are ok with proprietary blends a lot of ingredients that are not well studied, and may or may not have benefits.
Who N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout is Not For
N.O.-Xplode is not for anyone with a stimulant sensitivity or skepticism about dosage. It’s also not for those who want full label transparency and don’t like proprietary blends.
Potential Side Effects of N.O.-Xplode Pre-Workout
- Users report headache, shaking, dizziness, dehydration, and other side effects of stimulant overload
The fact of the matter is, we don’t really trust proprietary blends, for the simple fact that they are basically secret. At Brainz, we like to know what we’re putting into our bodies, and in what amounts. So N.O.-Xplode sets off our skeptical side, regardless of the glowing recommendations on Amazon.