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Branched-chain amino acids, commonly called BCAAs, are an important group of essential amino acids that play a critical role in muscle protein synthesis and energy production—two vital systems for efficient exercise. And since these amino acids aren’t produced in the body, we have to get them from our diet. Enter BCAA supplements.

RELATED: Best BCAA

BCAA supplements are popular among athletes for their effects on athletic training and recovery. XTEND BCAA powder is among the most concentrated BCAA supplements, providing 7 grams of BCAAs per serving. In this XTEND BCAA review, we’ll give you all the facts so you can make an informed decision before adding it to your supplement stack.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

We’re Here to XTEND Our Experience

XTEND BCAA

XTEND Original BCAA Powder

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 7 grams of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio
  • Helps muscle recovery and growth
  • May improve overall performance 
  • Contains zero sugar, calories, or carbs
  • Added electrolytes for improved hydration and recovery
  • Third-party tested
  • Free from banned substances
  • 8 flavors
  • 30- or 90-day supply

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 8 unique flavors
  • 7 grams of BCAAs per serving
  • Does not have a bitter taste
  • Electrolyte blend for hydration
  • Third-party tested and certified

Cons

  • Contains sucralose/artificial sweetener
  • Contains food dyes

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a boost of electrolytes and some high-quality BCAAs, Xtend may be a good choice for you. It contains artificial sweeteners, which do a great job at masking any bitter taste but may be a dealbreaker for some. Key ingredients include L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine, electrolyte blend, and citrulline malate.

Our testers at GGR take pride in our rigorous evaluation process, examining the product from all angles and giving it an unbiased look. Our expertise includes credentialed pros like registered dietitians, certified personal trainers, certified nutrition coaches, and professional athletes.

We take a comprehensive approach to testing products, leaving no stone unturned. We actually try the products ourselves and put them in real-world scenarios to provide our readers with the most authentic results we can. Plus, we rely on the expertise of the testing team to ensure the facts apply to the uniqueness of each reader. 

A Quick Look at XTEND Original BCAA Powder

Scivation is a North Carolina-based company whose workout supplements focus on improving athletic performance and recovery time. They offer a whey protein powder but may be most known for their BCAA product. Scivation XTEND BCAA is a zero-calorie, zero-sugar supplement.

XTEND BCAA container next to the mixed drink in a glass

XTEND BCAA provides a 2:1:1 ratio of L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine designed to support muscle building and recovery. BCAA supplementation can help sustain weight loss goals and improve athletic performance.

Most people take their BCAAs as a pre-workout supplement, but XTEND BCAA can also be a post-workout supplement. It is available in quite a few flavors: Blue Raspberry Ice, Orange Cream, Glacial Grape, Italian Blood Orange, Knockout Fruit Punch, Freedom Ice, Smash Apple, Mango Madness, Watermelon Explosion, Lemon-Lime Squeeze, and Strawberry Kiwi Splash.

RELATED: Best Pre-Workout Ingredients

Before You Buy

  • XTEND BCAA is a 2:1:1 formula with 7 grams of BCAAs per serving.
  • XTEND contains zero carbohydrates, making it a sugar-free formula.
  • XTEND contains artificial sweeteners.

Is XTEND BCAA Powder Worth It?

Dietary supplements are a personal choice based on workout demands and wellness goals. However, based on our XTEND BCAA review, we think the supplement can benefit many athletes. XTEND BCAA powder can help promote muscle recovery to maximize training potential and get you closer to your fitness goals. 

Great for:

  • Promoting muscle protein synthesis
  • Maintaining hydration before, during, and after workouts
  • Preventing excessive muscle soreness

Not recommended for:

  • Those who cannot tolerate artificial sweeteners
  • Those who need carbs before their workout
  • Those who prefer pre-workout with creatine

XTEND BCAA Specs

Price per serving$0.93
FlavorsBlue Raspberry Ice, Orange Cream, Glacial Grape, Italian Blood Orange, Knockout Fruit Punch, Freedom Ice, Smash Apple, Mango Madness, Watermelon Explosion, Lemon-Lime Squeeze, Strawberry Kiwi Splash
Calories per serving0
BCAAs per serving7 g
Other key ingredientsL-glutamine, malate, citric acid, sucralose, malic acid, artificial sweeteners and flavors, food dye #40
Sweeteners Sucralose

Experience Using XTEND BCAAs

You know we don’t give the facts without trying the product ourselves, and our review of XTEND BCAAs is no exception. Overall, our experience with XTEND BCAAs was positive. For the amount of amino acids provided, the cost was fair. Plus, our testers were generally satisfied with the taste and solubility of the formula.

Mixing XTEND BCAAs in a glass

Price Per Serving

You can grab 30 servings of BCAA powder for $28, or 93 cents per serving, on the brand’s website. You can also find it a bit cheaper on Amazon, at around $24, or 80 cents per serving. While that may seem more expensive than other brands, XTEND provides more amino acids per serving than most. Where other brands provide 5 grams of BCAAs, XTEND provides 7 grams—more bang for your buck.

Formulation

XTEND BCAA earned a 4.5-out-of-5-star score for its formulation because it is designed with a 2:1:1 ratio of the essential amino acids L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine. Each serving provides 7 grams of BCAAs, meaning you get 3,500 milligrams of L-leucine and 1750 milligrams of both L-isoleucine and L-valine. XTEND also provides 2,500 milligrams of l-glutamine1, another amino acid essential for metabolism and immune function, and 1 gram of citrulline malate. Evidence is limited2, but citrulline malate may help promote blood circulation and improve endurance.

RELATED: What Is the Best Ratio for BCAAs?

XTEND also contains an electrolyte blend, each serving providing 220 milligrams of sodium and 170 milligrams of potassium. Additionally, each serving provides a hefty portion of vitamin B6, which has been linked3 to muscle growth and repair.

Lastly, XTEND BCAA powder does not contain any carbohydrates, making it a zero-sugar, zero-calorie formula. XTEND focuses on amino acids and electrolytes, but it does contain an artificial sweetener in place of carbohydrates. XTEND BCAA powder contains sucralose, which has been shown4 to change the composition of the gut microbiota.  

Taste and Solubility 

GGR senior editor Nicole Davis tried Strawberry Lemonade and said that the taste wasn’t her favorite. “It tastes a bit bitter with a weird aftertaste,” she says. “Most reviewers liked the flavor, so maybe I’m in the minority? However, since my first experience with XTEND, I’ve tried Watermelon Explosion and enjoyed that flavor.” 

GGR senior editor Erin Chancer has also tried Watermelon Explosion. “I only used half the scoop, and there was plenty of flavor (like watermelon-infused water). I think a full scoop might be too sweet. I really liked the taste and found the mixture pleasant and refreshing.”

There is some flexibility in taste through its preparation, earning it a score of 4 out of 5 in the taste category. It’s recommended to mix one serving of XTEND BCAA with 10-14 ounces of water, however you can adjust the amount of water based on taste preferences. Both Nicole and Erin agree that the solubility of this product is great—it dissolves completely. 

A glass of mixed XTEND BCAAs

Side Effects

Branched-chain amino acids are generally considered safe, but as with any supplement, they don’t come without the risk of potential side effects5. BCAA supplements may cause nausea, diarrhea, and bloating. More concerning side effects, although usually uncommon, include fatigue and loss of coordination. Since our testers didn’t experience any side effects, and we didn’t see a trend of online reviews complaining of negative effects, XTEND BCAA scored a 5 out of 5 in this category.

Third-Party Testing 

XTEND BCAA supplements have undergone extensive third-party testing. XTEND BCAAs are NSF and Informed-Choice Certified, meaning the supplement adheres to strict standards in product development, testing, and quality. It is also advertised as a safe supplement for athletes, free of banned substances prohibited in sports.

Comparison to Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine 

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Available in 4 flavors, BCAA Glutamine supports post-workout recovery and a reduction of muscle breakdown
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners, or coloring
  • Sweetened with stevia
  • Each serving has 5 active ingredients designed to promote protein synthesis, reduce muscle fatigue, improve post-workout muscle growth, and enhance performance
  • Ingredients include vitamin C, fermented vegan BCAA 2:1:1 (L-leucine, L-valine, and L-isoleucine), and glutamine

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Transparent ingredient list
  • 4 flavor options
  • Uses fermented vegan BCAAs
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
  • 60-day money-back assurance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains stevia, which can cause digestive issues
  • Taste is not appreciated by all

Bottom Line

If stevia does not cause you any stomach issues, Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine is a well-formulated supplement worth considering.

In our search for the best BCAA supplement, we were pretty fond of Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine. So, how does XTEND BCAA powder compare?

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine provides 8 grams of BCAAs, which is more than XTEND BCAA provides, and 5 grams of glutamine per serving. Glutamine is an amino acid known for it’s metabolism and immune boosting benefits. Additionally, Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine does not contain artificial ingredients like XTEND BCAA powder.

Still, these preferable factors don’t come cheap. Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine is the more expensive option; one serving of XTEND BCAA costs approximately $0.93, whereas Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine costs $1.33 per serving.

If you want a more standard, affordable BCAA supplement, then XTEND may be the better choice for you. However, if you are an athlete, particularly an endurance athlete, who could benefit from additional glutamine, or someone who prefers to avoid artificial ingredients, then Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine may be the better option.

Customer Experience 

XTEND customers have access to a care team equipped to help them choose the right products for their training needs. Furthermore, XTEND BCAA is covered under the company’s 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with the product for any reason, you can request a refund or replacement up to 90 days after purchase.

Ordering XTEND BCAA Powder

Ordering XTEND BCAA is simple. You can order the powder as a one-time purchase or set up a delivery subscription for a small cost savings. XTEND BCAA is available in tubs of 30 or 90 servings. The larger quantities cost a little less per serving.

Inside a container of XTEND BCAAs

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews, both on the brand’s website and on Amazon, are largely positive. Most people seem to really like the taste, although some do admit that not all flavors are as good and that flavor is highly subjective.

“It’s so hard to find flavors that aren’t cloyingly sweet or have that chemical soapy taste but this goes down so easy and tastes just like watermelon jolly ranchers. I can’t speak to its effects because I don’t feel any different after drinking it, but I’m hoping and assuming it’s doing its thing while tasting delicious.”

-Nela, customer review from Amazon

“This tastes just like watermelon starburst! It’s a little too much like candy for me! But with the right amount of water, I guzzled it right down! It’s great after a workout or while working out to feel more hydrated! I like to incorporate it into my daily water intake because it helps me get down the ounces I am aiming for! I highly recommend it for someone looking to up their water intake!”

-Tammy, customer review from Amazon

“XTEND BCAA is great tasting and definitely helps you to recovery faster. My favorite flavors are Mango and Strawberry Kiwi so I’m sticking with those. Thought I would like grape but nope, tastes too artificial so it really depends on the flavor and your own flavor preference. I wish they had samples so you can try other flavors before buying.”

-Dana, customer review from the product website

Final Verdict of Our XTEND BCAA Review

Branched-chain amino acid supplements aren’t just for bodybuilding anymore. BCAAs have been shown to support muscle protein synthesis for maximum muscle recovery and training potential. Plus, BCAA supplements that contain electrolyte blends, like XTEND BCAA powder, can support hydration before, during, and after your workout.

  • XTEND BCAA powder provides 7 grams of BCAAs per serving
  • XTEND BCAA is designed with a 2:1:1 ratio of the essential amino acids L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine
  • XTEND uses artificial sweeteners, which can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people
  • Each serving of XTEND costs approximately $0.93
  • XTEND BCAA is NSF and Informed-Choice Certified

Full Rating

XTEND BCAA

XTEND BCAA is a great product for those looking for a 2:1:1 BCAA formula with additional ingredients and lots of flavors.

Product Brand: Cellucor

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 27.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.3

XTEND BCAA Rating

Price per serving – 4
Formulation – 4.5
Taste – 4
Solubility – 5
Side Effects – 5
Third-Party Testing – 5
Customer Service – 3
Customer Reviews – 4.6
Check Price

XTEND BCAA Review: FAQs

Why take BCAAs?

Branched-chain amino acids can help maximize training sessions to help you reach your weight loss, muscle gain, and wellness goals. BCAAs can support muscle protein synthesis.

When should you take Xtend BCAA?

XTEND BCAAs can be taken before or after your workout and on rest days.

Can you take XTEND BCAA with other supplements?

Yes, you can combine BCAAs with other supplements. However, being mindful of your electrolyte intake is important, as excess electrolytes can have adverse health implications.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Cruzat V, Macedo Rogero M, Noel Keane K, Curi R, Newsholme P. Glutamine: Metabolism and Immune Function, Supplementation and Clinical Translation. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1564. Published 2018 Oct 23. doi:10.3390/nu10111564
  2. Gonzalez AM, Trexler ET. Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature. J Strength Cond Res. 2020;34(5):1480-1495. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003426
  3. Suidasari S, Uragami S, Yanaka N, Kato N. Dietary vitamin B6 modulates the gene expression of myokines, Nrf2-related factors, myogenin and HSP60 in the skeletal muscle of rats. Exp Ther Med. 2017;14(4):3239-3246. doi:10.3892/etm.2017.4879
  4. Ruiz-Ojeda FJ, Plaza-Díaz J, Sáez-Lara MJ, Gil A. Effects of Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiota: A Review of Experimental Studies and Clinical Trials [published correction appears in Adv Nutr. 2020 Mar 1;11(2):468]. Adv Nutr. 2019;10(suppl_1):S31-S48. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy037
  5. Holeček M. Side effects of amino acid supplements. Physiol Res. 2022;71(1):29-45. doi:10.33549/physiolres.934790

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