N.O. Xplode by BSN has become one of the most popular pre-workout drinks on the market. But does it actually work? And is it worth the money? In our review we give you the pros and cons, and we also dive into the ingredients.
To understand the product, you first need to understand the ingredients. If you read the label then you will see a lot of different ingredients. But most of them aren’t scientifically proven to be effective, and they were probably added in as filler ingredients to bump up the price. There are a few core ingredients in N.O. Xplode, and we will review them below.
The main ingredient, caffeine has been proven to increase concentration which can definitely help you in a workout. In one serving there is 275mg of caffeine, which is equal to about three cups of coffee. So there is a lot of caffeine in this product. There is a caffeine-free version of the product, but it’s more expensive and the only flavor is fruit punch.
Note: Caffeine is a powerful drug. If you are not used to drinking coffee then I suggest taking half the normal serving of N.O. Xplode to start with. This will allow you body to gradually adjust to the caffeine. Over time you will be able to take a full serving. I wouldn’t ever recommend going over a full serving.
Beta Alanine delays muscle fatigue so it will improve your endurance. This ingredient is good for athletes who do interval training, or for anyone doing intense exercise for 60-240 seconds. If you do powerlifting or HIT then Beta Alanine will be of little use to you. But you will however feel its side effect, paresthesia, which is a tingling in your ears that can get annoying and even a bit painful.
This is a curious ingredient to add to a pre-workout powder because it takes time for Beta Alanine to work for you. It needs time to accumulate in your system, so you will need to take it for consecutive days to get the effect. Most people don’t take their pre-workout every day.
This is another ingredient that you don’t need to take pre-workout. Like Beta Alanine, it needs to accumulate in your body to get the effects. If your body responds well to creatine then you will get more power output because creatine is a source of ATP. Some people (around 25%) are non-responders to creatine. For them, creatine is never able to pass from the blood to the muscles. Click here to read our article on creatine.
There are other secondary ingredients in the formula that will have a minor effect on performance. These ingredients include: Baking Soda, Taurine, B Vitamins.
Let’s now dive into the pros of using this brand:
This stuff works. If you are looking to have more energy and focus in the gym, then it’s a good product to take. After you drink it, you only need to wait about five minutes to start feeling the effects. I personally like to take it right before I leave for the gym, so that way I am focused on the way over and my mind will be thinking about the upcoming workout.
I don’t recommend taking it as your only source of fuel for a morning workout. You should eat some vegetables and some light carbs to have more sustainable energy.
Note: You don’t have to limit N.O. Xplode to workouts. You can use it in place of coffee to start your work day off and help you focus. So this product is pretty versatile.
I had the watermelon flavor and it tasted good, I actually looked forward to taking it. It tastes a little sour, but overall it’s tough to describe the taste. There are six flavors available so there will probably be one that you’ll like. Grape is the most popular. You can also choose from blue raz, cherry limeade, fruit punch, green apple, and watermelon.
The powder is really easy to mix which is a huge plus. There is nothing worse than a powder that takes forever to mix. This powder mixes in water almost instantly, and you can also add it to juice or whatever liquid you want.
This product isn’t perfect, here are the cons:
You want to make sure that you store the powder in a cool and dark place. You should also consume the product quickly after purchase. This is important. I left the powder out for a while in a warm environment and the powder ended up getting hard— this made it difficult to scoop out.
At around $16 a pound, this is an expensive product. There are different prices for different flavors. The cheapest flavor right now is Grape at $16 a pound, and other flavors can be as much as $19 a pound. All of these prices are for a 60 serving container, so we are talking $40 per container at the cheapest price.
There are also 30 serving containers available, but the price is more expensive. However if you are just looking to try the product out, then this is probably your best option. You will have to shell out about $30. Please note that the caffeine-free version is only available in 30 serving containers.
I recommend buying N.O. Xplode on Amazon. You can get the cheapest price, and also free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime. BSN also sells it on their website, but they actually charge more and you will have to pay $8 for shipping.
Overall I would rate this product a 7 out of 10. This brand works, but it’s expensive. Who is this brand for? It’s for someone who wants convenience. If you are on a budget then I wouldn’t recommend buying it. The core group of ingredients can be bought for a cheaper price, especially if you buy in bulk. To boost your focus you can drink a few cups of coffee before a workout, and buy creatine in bulk to get more energy to your muscles.