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Tag Archives: BCAA

  • Scivation Xtend vs. Scivation Xtend GO

    What is Scivation Xtend?

    The science is in and amino acids have been shown time and time again to be effective at promoting a variety of fitness goals. Scivation Xtend is an effective amino acid supplement that contains the proven 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Used as directed, Scivation Xtend may be able to help with muscle recovery, protect from catabolism, and promote muscle growth.

     

    Highlights:

    • 7 grams of BCAAs (Xtend GO also has 7 grams per serving)
    • Also includes L-Glutamine and Citrulline Malate
    • Provides electrolyte blend, which is ideal for intra-workout consumption
    • Zero calories – You can use this during fasting

     

    Why You Should Use Scivation Xtend

    Scivation Xtend is the definition of an intra-workout supplement. Not only does it provide you with the ideal ratio for branched chain amino acids but you’ll also get L-glutamine, citrulline malate, and a powerful recovery electrolyte blend.

     

    Why are amino acids important? Amino acids are the ideal supplement to take during your workouts as they support your performance, improve your intra-workout strength, and protect muscle from catabolism or breakdown. Scivation Xtend contains the ideal balance of BCAAs but it also has citrulline malate, which may increase performance and promote nitric oxide production.

     

    Xtend GO contains these same ingredients but what sets it apart from the original is the addition of two powerful energy boosters: caffeine and L-theanine.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Scivation Xtend

    If you are taking a B-vitamin supplement, we’d recommend stopping before introducting Scivation Xtend in your supplement plan. Xtend contains B6 and more is not always better when it comes to vitamins. If you’re taking any other B-vitamin then you’ll be fine. It’s the B6 you have to watch out for.

     

    Other than the inclusion of vitamin B6, the only other issue would be artificial sweeteners and colouring but good luck finding a supplement that doesn’t have those.

     

    What is Scivation Xtend GO?

    For those who need to send their energy levels through the roof before a workout, Scivation Xtend GO will be your supplement of choice. Containing all of the amino acids, electrolytes, and vitamins as the original formula, Scivation Xtend GO sets itself apart with potent energy boosters.

     

    Highlights:

    • Contains the same levels of amino acids as the original formula including L-Glutamine and Citrulline Malate
    • Provides you with 200 mg of caffeine for energy and focus
    • L-theanine supports mood, natural energy, and helps to calm the anxiousness from caffeine
    • Zero calories – You can use this during fasting

     

    Why You Should Use Scivation Xtend GO

    When it comes to amino acids, both Scivation Xtend GO and Scivation Xtend are evenly matched because they contain the exact same ingredients. Scivation Xtend GO is going to be the superior supplement if you need a boost before and during your workout.

     

    Scivation Xtend GO contains 200 mg of caffeine, which may help to boost energy levels, improve focus, and increase alertness. Scivation Xtend GO also provides 200 mg of L-theanine, which may help to eliminate the jitters you get from caffeine while it supports your natural energy levels. In other words, caffeine and l-theanine complement one another to increase energy levels.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Scivation Xtend GO

    If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to use only half the dose of Scivation Xtend GO as it does contain 200 mg of caffeine. L-theanine will help with caffeine sensitivity but it’s always best to play it safe before taking a full dose of any energy booster.

     

    Scivation Xtend vs. Scivation Xtend GO: Which One to Buy?

    If you aren’t sure which one to buy, it all comes down to this question:

     

    Do you need to increase your energy levels during your workout?

     

    If the answer is no, then stick with the original Scivation Xtend formula. If the answer is yes, then give Scivation Xtend Go a try as it does contain caffeine and l-theanine in addition to the muscle building and recovery supporting amino acids that you find in the original formula.

     

    We’d recommend buying both as you’ll have both a pre-workout with amino acids and a recovery supplement without any stimulants that you can safely use before bedtime.

     

    References

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.

     

    1. Doi M, Yamaoka I, Nakayama M, Mochizuki S, Sugahara K, Yoshizawa F. Isoleucine, a blood glucose-lowering amino acid, increases glucose uptake in rat skeletal muscle in the absence of increases in AMP-activated protein kinase activity. J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2103-8.

     

    1. Daniel Borota, Elizabeth Murray, Gizem Keceli, Allen Chang, Joseph M Watabe, Maria Ly, John P Toscano, & Michael A Yassa. Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature Neuroscience 17, 201–203 (2014) doi:10.1038/nn.3623.

     

    1. Maridakis V, O'Connor PJ, Dudley GA, McCully KK. Caffeine attenuates delayed-onset muscle pain and force loss following eccentric exercise. J Pain. 2007 Mar;8(3):237-43. Epub 2006 Dec 11.

     

    1. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11.

     

    1. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97.

     

    1. Costill DL, Dalsky GP, Fink WJ. Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports [1978, 10(3):155-158].
  • EHP Labs Beyond BCAA vs. SciVation Xtend

    What is EHP Labs Beyond BCAA?

    EHP Labs Beyond BCAA is an exclusive branched chain amino acid supplement that features a 2:1:1 ratio of the proven amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, respectively. It’s also packed with a unique vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte blend to support intra-workout performance and post-workout recovery.

     

    Highlights:

    • Provides 5 grams of BCAAs for muscle building and recovery
    • Includes B-vitamin complex
    • Citrulline Malate has been added to support athletic performance
    • Electrolyte blend helps to replenish nutrients lost during exercise (1-6)

     

    Why You Should Use EHP Labs Beyond BCAA

    Branched chain amino acids are critical if you want to trigger protein synthesis, increase muscle growth, and support rapid recovery. EHP Labs Beyond BCAA is a unique blend of the most important amino acids along with proven ingredients for recovery and performance.

     

    At 5 grams of BCAAs per serving, EHP Labs holds a firm command as a strong industry average. In fact, many studies recommend the 5-gram dosage. SciVation Xtend BCAAs pulls ahead of EHP Labs in this area as it provides 7 grams of BCAAs per serving without the need to double the dose as you do with Beyond BCAAs. More on that below.

     

    EHP Labs Beyond BCAAs is built to support intra-workout performance and it shows with the inclusion of B-vitamins, electrolytes, and endurance supporting non-essential amino acids.

     

    Things to Watch Out for with EHP Labs Beyond BCAA

    The advertising of the EHP Labs Beyond BCAA claims the product contains 10 grams of BCAAs per serving. They are basing this on you doubling the dose, which would cut the product life in half. Keep in mind that per serving, you’re only getting 5 grams of BCAAs. However, this should be more than enough, of course, especially if you’re using protein supplement in addition to BCAAs.

     

    What is SciVation Xtend BCAAs?

    SciVation Xtend BCAAs is a high level branched chain amino acid supplement providing you with 7 grams of the essential amino acids per serving. Used as directed, Xtend BCAAs may promote muscle building and recovery.

     

    Highlights:

    • Provides 7 grams of BCAAs for performance and muscle building
    • Includes Vitamin B-6
    • Electrolyte blend supports intra-workout performance
    • Citrulline Malate boosts recovery and performance (1-6)

     

    Why You Should Use SciVation Xtend BCAAs

    At 7 grams of BCAAs per serving, SciVation Xtend BCAAs is an above-average amino acid supplement that has been dosed with the top performers in mind. Maintaining the proven 2:1:1 ratio, SciVation Xtend BCAAs out performs EHP Labs for total BCAA content without the need for a second scoop of the product.

     

    Just like Beyond BCAAs, SciVation Xtend BCAAs contains other ingredients including an electrolyte blend and Citrulline Malate. The two are neck and neck in this category except that EHP Labs has included a B-vitamin complex. This can be a pro or a con, depending on what other supplements you’re taking.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With SciVation Xtend BCAAs

    SciVation Xtend BCAAs is an excellent recovery and performance product and the only thing you would need to watch out for would be if you’re living a lifestyle that is free of artificial sweeteners and flavours because this product has both.

     

    Conclusion

    There is no denying that both of these products are top-notch. It really comes down to whether you want or need all of the extras that EHP Labs provides. If you are looking for a straight BCAA-focused supplement dosed at the highest level then SciVation Xtend BCAAs may be your best bet. We’d recommend trying both to see which one you see better results with.

     

    References

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
    1. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0.
  • BSN Amino X vs. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

    What is BSN Amino X?

    BSN Amino X is the amino acid supplement from a company you know and trust. Featuring 10 grams of BCAAs per serving, Amino X is one of the best in the industry.

     

    Highlights of BSN Amino X

    • The 10 grams of BCAAs included in this blend is double the dose of what you’ll find in Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy. While Amino X may have a higher dosage, it’s important to remember that Amino Energy is a pre-workout AND amino acid supplement. Amino X is ONLY for amino acid supplementation.
    • Amino X uses fewer amino acid types, deciding to focus on the amino acids that have been the subject of the most scientific studies: leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
    • Amino X also includes Vitamin D, which is key for muscle recovery and hormone support. (1-10)

     

    Why You Should Use BSN Amino X

    Per serving, Amino X provides 10 grams of the following BCAAs:

    • L-Leucine
    • L-Valine
    • L-Isoleucine
    • L-Alanine
    • Micronized Taurine
    • Micronized L-Citrulline

     

    Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy may have more types of amino acids; however, the essential amino acids that have been proven for fitness results such as leucine and valine are in smaller quantities. That means you may have to double or triple the dose to get the same dosage as Amino X.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With BSN Amino X

    Amino X is a proprietary blend of amino acids. This can be problematic as you don’t know exactly how much of each ingredient you are receiving with every serving. However, considering that each serving provides 10 grams of the amino acid blend and there are only six BCAAs within, you can rest assured that you’re most likely getting the scientifically verified dosage that was used in several of the amino acid studies. (1-6)

     

     

    What is Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy?

    Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy is the super charged BCAA supplement from O.N. Amino Energy is a pre-workout first and an amino acid supplement second. While it does have a lower dosage of amino acids per serving than Amino X, Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy makes up for this with a potent energy blend.

     

    Highlights of Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

    • Provides a greater number of amino acid types compared to BSN Amino X.
    • Its provides a unique energy blend sourcing the caffeine from green tea and green coffee bean, which may support fat loss.

     

    Why You Should Use Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

    Optimum Nutrition delivers an impressive product that captures both the muscle support benefits of amino acid supplementation and the energy amplifying effects of its energy blend.

     

    Amino Energy features 14 amino acids, all of which can help to play an important role in helping you with recovery, muscle building, and fat loss. Amino X, on the other hand, only has six amino acid types. With that said, with fewer amino acid types, the dosage for each will be higher, ensuring you are getting the levels you need for results. (1-6)

     

    Amino Energy provides you with 160 mg of caffeine, which is slightly more than most big-name brands in the industry. The caffeine content is coming from green tea and green coffee bean extract, which suggests a metabolic benefit as well.

     

    Things to Watch Out for With Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy

    While Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy does contain more amino acid types than BSN Amino X, the dosage is only half. If you are someone who wants muscle support and doesn’t need the energy boost, then Amino Energy may not be the supplement for you.

     

    Conclusion

    Both of these products are fantastic in their respective categories. Amino X from BSN is an amazing amino acid supplement. It delivers a high dose of proven BCAAs. Amino Energy is a unique pre-workout and energy supplement in that it delivers both a hard-hitting energy blend AND a variety of amino acids.

     

    If you’re focus is on heavy duty muscle building and recovery, go with Amino X from BSN.

     

    If you want energy AND muscle support, then Amino Energy is perfect for you.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
    1. Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jul 19;357(3):266-81.
    1. Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreier J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1269854. Epub 2010 Dec 10.
    1. Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, Mary Byrn, BSN, RN, and Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN. Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Jun; 31(6): 385–393.
    1. Lars Rejnmark, PhD. Effects of Vitamin D on Muscle Function and Performance: A Review of Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2011 Jan; 2(1): 25–37.
  • 4 Things You Must Know About BCAAs

    If you’ve ever walked into a supplement store or if you’ve ever browsed fitness websites, you have certainly seen the acronym “BCAA”. Short for branched chain amino acids, BCAAs are one of the most important supplements you should be using if your goal is muscle building or weight loss. Let’s take a look at the 4 things you need to know about BCAAs and why you should take them.

     

    1. BCAAs Come from Protein

     

    You sit down to a plate of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. When you eat that piece of chicken, your body takes the protein and starts to break it down. It’s trying to get to the thing that counts: amino acids. BCAAs come from protein-based sources. What’s more, there are two types of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Your body can actually make non-essential amino acids from different vitamin, minerals, and other compounds. Essential amino acids must be ingested through whole foods or supplements.

     

    1. The Essential Amino Acids

     

    There are a total of nine essential amino acids.

     

    • Histidine
    • Lysine
    • Methionine
    • Phenylalanine
    • Threonine
    • Tryptophan
    • Isoleucine
    • Leucine
    • Valine

     

    Even though there are nine, only three are focused on for the purposes of fitness. When you’re goals are muscle building and fat loss, the three essential amino acids to focus on are…

     

    • Isoleucine
    • Leucine
    • Valine

     

     

    1. The Benefits of Taking Amino Acids

     

    As mentioned above, amino acids are very important if you want to build solid lean muscle mass, support fat burning goals, or simply maintain your weight. Each of the amino acids supports one another in a large list of fitness related benefits including the following:

     

    • Promotes protein synthesis
    • Supports post-workout recovery
    • Helps to avoid muscle breakdown
    • Enhances fat oxidation
    • Promotes lean muscle tissue development
    • Boosts the immune system (1-4)

     

    1. The Best Sources of Amino Acids

     

    You always want to strive to reach your daily protein intake via whole foods. It is through eating whole foods that your body will respond the best to ingestion, digestion, and assimilation. Here are some of the best whole food sources for amino acids:

     

    • Eggs
    • Chicken
    • Salmon
    • Beef
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Greek yogurt

     

    With that said, supplementation has come a long way and there are many excellent supplements with a high rate of bioavailability. You can purchase a whey protein or plant-based protein supplement but if you want to skip the middle man, just buy BCAAs directly. It saves your body the process of breaking down the protein.

     

     

    Conclusion

     

    On par with whey protein, amino acids have cemented their importance in the world of health and fitness for years to come. Able to promote fat burning and muscle recovery, amino acids are easily one of the best supplements to invest in. Just remember that they are a supplement. You should be striving to get your dietary protein from whole food sources. A supplement is just that: supplementary.
    REFERENCES

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
  • Go For A Much-Needed BCAA Boost!

    Branch-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks of muscle. Supplementing with them can give you immense benefits!
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