If I had to choose my favorite bodybuilding supplement, Scivation Xtend would be it. Until recently, I had never heard of this supplement and I did not understand its value. Now that I have used it, I will never stop. What sets Xtend apart from all other BCAA supplements is the taste. I have tried a few others and they do not compare. Xtend is not chalky, it has a light, fruity flavor, and I never get bored of it. I have tried six different flavors of Xtend and I have never been disappointed. I drink Xtend all day long, it is a perfect replacement for calorie packed beverages like pop and juice, and it is easy to drink. Right now I have a collection of four Xtend flavors that I mix up so I never get bored. I also keep Xtend at work, because having it on hand is just that important. If you have never heard of Xtend or BCAA’s read on.
What are BCAA’s?
Aside from protein, BCAA’s are probably the most important supplement you can add to your regime. BCAA’s primary function is to help build, protect, and repair your muscles. I always tell people that my water is amazing because it prevents my muscles from eating themselves, which sounds stupid, but that is basically what it comes down to. BCAA’s, or Branched Chain Amino Acids are essential amino acids that account for about 35-40% of your overall amino acid count. The body is able to produce the other 60-65% but without proper nutrition and supplementation it will not be able to benefit from the essential amino acids. The amino acids that make up BCAA’s are leucine, isoleucine and valine. Leucine is particularly beneficial for people who weight lift or are training due to the increased anti-catabolic effects this amino acid can offer.
Why Should I Take BCAA’s?
BCAA’s are an extremely important supplement to take as part of a weight lifting program because of their ability to increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle protein breakdown. BCAAs are metabolised in the muscle and as a result the body is able to utilise the essential amino acids to build new proteins within the muscle. As a direct result the risk of catabolism is significantly reduced. More than this, your ability to increase lean muscle tissue is drastically increased. BCAAs are also known for their great ability to prolong the onset of muscle fatigue whilst training which not only allows you to train with more intensity; it also helps you to sustain good strength levels. (Thank you Monstersupplements.com for the great explanation!)
BCAA’s can be taken as an intraworkout supplement, and Bodybuilding.com also suggests taking them before and after workouts. I am addicted to Xtend, and drink it all day long. I seriously picture it protecting my muscles as I drink it, and it makes me feel amazing. You can take Xtend in a double dose during your workouts as well, for added protection against muscle loss. We have all worked so hard to build our muscles, taking Xtend is like muscle life insurance. I mix it into this giant 2.2L bottle and just go crazy. I drink 2-3 of these a day, depending on if it is workout day, and each bottle contains one scoop of Xtend.
What Makes Xtend Special?
Supplement stores offer a wide array of BCAA products, so what makes Xtend so special? I currently have Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA supplement, AmiN.O. Energy, which is also a very good choice, as all Optimum Nutrition supplements are, but there is just something incredible about Scivation Xtend. Xtend is sugar-free, which is great if you are watching your calories. It is like crystal lite, but it actually does good things for your body. Seriously, Xtend tastes amazing. I was the happiest person on the planet when they came out with new flavors, and I have tried Mango and Strawberry Kiwi so far and have loved them both. The first flavor of Xtend that I tried was Grape because Kris Gethin suggested it. It really is amazing, but I would definitely say that Mango is my favorite. It tastes like a glass of fresh mango juice (a more artificial version) and that is something you can get excited about if you are eating a very bland diet.
Xtend helps me to fight sugar cravings because it is sweet, and it makes me feel like I am drinking something totally different. It doesn’t have an aftertaste, doesn’t taste like chalk, doesn’t have a crazy amount of coloring that makes you question what you are doing to your body. It is just incredible. Other BCAA supplements tend to taste very strange because BCAAs are hard to disguise. It anyone has had a glass of glutamine (amino acid) straight, you know exactly what I mean. It is vomit inducing, and very chalky. Even glutamine mixes in with Xtend and you can’t taste it! I have noticed that a lot of other BCAA supplements have not been able to disguise the amino acid taste, which makes them very difficult to drink. If they have, they are much less flavorful and thus difficult to consume all day long, every day, for life.
In a 12 week period I went through two and a half containers. It was just that good.
Here are my ratings of the flavors I have tried:
Grape Escape: 4 – this has the perfect amount of sweetness. Grape can often be really artificial and difficult to enjoy, but this flavor does not have that typical artificial taste. It is a great choice, I bought two containers of it and loved them both.
Green Apple Explosion: 4.5 – until I tried Mango Nectar, this was my favorite flavor. It is genuinely delicious. It has a little bit of a sour kick to it, which makes it even more interesting. I absolutely love it and highly suggest it.
Lemon Lime Sour: 3 – this flavor is good, but it was a little bit strange. It didn’t appeal to me as much as the others, but it was still great and I would get it again.
Mango Nectar: 5 – this is my current favorite flavor. It tastes like mango juice, and is absolutely amazing. I even like to mix it with vanilla protein, it makes it taste like an orange creamsicle. You cannot go wrong with this flavor if you are a mango lover.
Raspberry Blue: 4 – this flavor is very good as well, great flavor combination that reminds me of Gatorade. It has the highest ratings on bb.com!
Strawberry Kiwi: 4.5 – this is part of their new collection of flavors. It is a great combination of two of my favorite fruits and I was dying to try it. It is light and fruity and tastes a lot like crystal lite.
Where to Buy Xtend?
You can buy Xtend at any supplement store. I have been buying it off bodybuilding.com because Canadian supplement stores have insane prices and I would much rather wait for a package than pay those kinds of insane prices. You can get it at Popeye’s if you want to, but I suggest ordering it online. It is a way better deal. It comes in four different sizes: 5, 15, 30 and 90 servings.
Visit bb.com to check out prices and more reviews and be sure to add BCAA’s to your supplement program!