NO Xplode 2014 New Formula (3.0) – Is change here?

Where is the new NO-Xplode heading in 2014?

Where is the new NO-Xplode heading in 2014?

About a month ago, the BSN hype machine turned up the volume: something big would be coming to the sports nutrition industry.

Teaser videos claimed that the next generation of sports supplements was on its way[1], featuring the following ad:

BSN - Change is Coming

Change is coming, they say. Sounds good, this industry could use some change.

This was great to see. After all, with the ongoing protein spiking issues and recent probable amphetamine adulterations[2,3], we figure we could use some change ’round these parts.

What kind of change could we expect?

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As is typical for us, this article got wildly out of control. So here are some quick bullet points:

We believe this product is going to sell just fine for its demographic: carb-friendly users who are bulking but still want energy.

Our Initial NO-Xplode New Formula Review

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The current trends and the Next Big Thing™

Table of Contents

Knowing that this was the 10th anniversary of NO-Xplode, everyone figured a new pre workout supplement was coming.

Lately, pre workouts have been going in two directions, so one of these two directions is what we forecasted:

  1. High-stimulant, focus-based products

    Right now, there’s a gap opening up at the top end of the concentrated pre-workout market, created by the absence Jack3d (which is still available… for now) and Driven Sports Craze (also still available somehow).

    Currently dominating this market is Cellucor C4 Extreme, but it’s getting a bit “old” and users are starting to look for something new. Pro Supps Mr. Hyde is also here, but at 417mg caffeine per serving, it’s a bit over the top, especially for BSN’s massive market.

    Meanwhile, we’re most excited about Myokem’s Nitramine in this category.

    Over the years, BSN has largely stayed away from this end of the pre workout market, with their NO-Xplode NT and Hyper FX products underperforming, so it was a possibility to see a C4 contender here….. but not likely.

  2. Big, anti-concentrated supplements with open labels

    This is where we get excited. You can see from our Top 10 Pre Workout Supplements list that it’s dominated by names such as Metabolic Bioshock, Pre-JYM, ANS Ritual, and others.

    These products are heavy, but aren’t heavy because of cheap fillers like maltodextrin (which is essentially sugar). They’re heavy because they have a ton of effective doses of effective ingredients.

    We call these anti-concentrates, and the best ones are those where the full ingredient label is listed – not just the caffeine number.

    This is where we thought BSN was heading.

    But there’s also a third, semi-unrelated trend happening:

  3. Flexible Dieting / “If it Fits your Macros” (IIFYM) / Dirty Carbs are Coming Back

    We won’t get into the details here, but a trend has developed amongst the bodybuilding and “build muscle” community that in order to make gains or losses, it doesn’t matter what exactly you eat — so long as you consistently get the right macros in.

    This has led to an increase in Pop Tart sales and more local gym bro’s posting pictures of said Pop Tarts to their Instagrams.

    It’s also led to a market that’s right in BSN’s wheelhouse – with just a few minor tweaks needed. Discussed all the way at the bottom of this post.

It turns out that it was indeed a new pre workout: the NO-Xplode Pre Workout Igniter of 2014.

So what’s in store for the new version? This is the image that leaked first:

NO Xplode Pre Workout Igniter 2014 / 3.0 Ingredients

The NO Xplode Pre Workout Igniter 2014 / 3.0 Ingredients

Below, we’ll take an objective look at the new formula, and compare it to the past versions and their ingredients. Then we’ll get into a little bit of marketing discussion, and talk about who benefits from this.

A quick trip down memory lane

First, we have to give full props and respect to BSN. In 2004, they they revolutionized the entire industry with NO-Xplode, creating the now-massive pre workout supplement category.

Not only that, but they absolutely dominated it for 6 years, until Jack3d and the concentrates showed up. In this business, that’s beyond impressive, and we salute BSN for making workouts 100X more fun and effective.

The different versions of NO-Xplode

Although BSN currently had “NO-Xplode 2.0” out before this year’s new version, it looks like that was actually the third version.

Take a look at the ingredient labels below:

NO-Xplode Original

This is the oldest label we can find, with a 40 serving, 20.5g scoop. In this one, the NO-Xplode Proprietary blend is 20.5g:

BSN NO-Xplode Original Ingredients

The oldest ingredient label we can find for NO-Xplode. If there’s an older one, add a comment to this post!

NO-Xplode AVPT

This version quietly seemed to replace the original one above. In it, you can see a proprietary blend of 18g, but a scoop of 20.5g still.

We’re not really sure what happened here. It might actually be the same product, but the label was juggled to include the maltodextrin in a different area:

NO-Xplode AVTP Ingredients

The NO-Xplode AVTP Ingredients. This might be the “same” as the one above, but there are some differences.

NO-Xplode 2.0

NO-Xplode 2.0 came out around 2011, and was the current version before this month:

NO-Xplode 2.0 Ingredients

Released sometime in 2011, NO-Xplode 2011 had a lot of hot concentrates to compete with

We’ll get into the differences in a table below.

Something awesome that we dug up were the European labels which have more specific dosages, but some different ingredients than the American versions.

A major difference from the US, for instance, is that the Euro version has no L-Citrulline for pumps. These labels just provide a rough estimate of what you’re getting in NO-Xplode 2.0.

Note: in the images below, it’s the second column you want to look at — the dosage per 20.5g (dosage per scoop).

NO Xplode European Label - 1 of 3

The European Label (1 of 3). We’re not sure if the American ingredients are the same, but they’re likely very similar. Image courtesy PIVHT

The NO-Xplode 2.0 European Label - 2 of 3

The European Label (1 of 3). We’re not sure if the American ingredients are the same, but they’re likely very similar. Image courtesy PIVHT

The NO-Xplode 2.0 European Label - 3 of 3

The European Label (3 of 3). We’re not sure if the American ingredients are the same, but they’re likely very similar. Image courtesy of PIVHT

Clearly there are some labeling differences, such as how protein is defined. The carb content is also 1g off, so the product is definitely a bit different.

The New 2014 Pre Workout Igniter Version

Again, here’s the new version’s first leaked image:

NO Xplode Pre Workout Igniter 2014 / 3.0 Ingredients

The NO Xplode Pre Workout Igniter 2014 / 3.0 Ingredients

The Differences

Below are some table covering the differences. Consider this an extension of SuppVersity’s older post when NO-Xplode 2.0 came out in 2011[4] but now updated with 2014’s new formula.

The Proprietary Blends

As you can see, this isn’t an open formula, but it is slightly more open than past versions. At least it’s a change in the right direction… but you still have a very large label that’s relatively difficult for us to decipher.

We’ll try to decipher it anyway:

The caffeine content

Typically, we recommend setting your pre workout dosage based upon your caffeine tolerance. Always start a bit lower than usual your first time.

Caffeine is not officially disclosed on the label, but BSN’s website claims the following on their “Recommended Use” tab.

Approximately 200mg of caffeine per serving.

So, for us, this makes it a ~1.5 scoop product, yielding an average of 24 solid workouts, since there’s 36 scoops per tub.

Back to the official label’s prop blending:

NO-Xplode AVPT NO-Xplode 2.0 NO-Xplode 2014
Total Proprietary blend weight: 18.0g 19.6g 10.6g

As you can see, the proprietary blend weight has shrunk by about 7.4g. The main reason is because the carbohydrates have been removed from the proprietary blend.

But this leads us to an interesting question/problem:

Where do these carbohydrates come from?!

Good question, and the answer is… we don’t know.

We assume this is a labeling/website error. On the leaked image, there’s no “Other Ingredients” section, so the carbs should probably end up there.

But on BSN’s website, it currently reads:

Other Ingredients: Natural and Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Calcium Silicate, Silicon Dioxide, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, FD&C Blue #1

No carbohydrates to be found!

We’re contacting BSN to find out about this. Until then, let’s just assume that it’s meant to be in the “other ingredients” area, and assume it’s ~7g of maltodextrin / glucose polymers (which essentially behave like sugar). We’ll update this when they clarify.

Next up:

The AVPT / ASPM / Myogenic Matrix

NO-Xplode AVPT NO-Xplode 2.0 NO-Xplode 2014
Proprietary blend weight: N/A N/A 5.5g
Modified Glucose Polymers (Maltodextrin), Di-Creatine Malate, Trimethylglycine, Creatine Ethyl Ester -Beta-Alanine Dual Action Composite (CarnoSyn), Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Creatine Phosphate Matrix, Creatinol-O-Phosphate-Malic Acid Interfusion, Glycocyamine, Guanidino Proplonic Acid, Cinnulin PF (Aqueous Cinnamon Extract) (Bark), Ketoisocaproate Potassium, Creatine AAB (Creatine Alpha-Amino-N-Butyrate) Modified Glucose Polymers (Maltodextrin), Beta-Alanine (CarnoSyn), Di-Creatine-Malic Acid Interfusion, Betaine HCL, Sodium Bicarbonate, Creatine-Sodium Phosphate Matrix, Creatinol-O-Phosphate-Malic Acid Interfusion, Glycocyamine, Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL, Guanidino Propionic Acid, Cinnamon Extract (Bark) (Cinnulin PF), Ketoisocaproate Potassium, Creatine-Alpha-Aminobutyric Acid Matrix (Creatine AAB) Creatine Blend (Creatine Monohydrate, Creatine Anhydrous, Creatine Peptides [Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate, Creatine Monohydrate] (CREActivate)), Taurine, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Di-Sodium Phosphate, AstraGIN Proprietary Blend [Astragalus membranaceus Extract (root), Panax notoginseng Extract (root)]

The good news is that we’re getting a bit more information – there’s less stuff to analyze, and we now know that there’s 5.5g of it to break down. Note that the beta-alanine has been moved to the “Endura Shot” section below.

Our comments:

  1. A move to creatine monohydrate is the smart play.

    The entire time, everyone has known that this is the most effective and well-researched ingredient. It’s nice that BSN is being slightly less confusing here.

  2. Check out our colors added above for clarity.

    The entire creatine blend is the first ingredient, meaning that the total amount of creatine is larger or equal to the amount of taurine. We highlighted the parenthesis for you.

  3. The “creatine peptides”, composed of Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate and Creatine Monohydrate, must feature less than 1g, since the label does not claim any protein in it. At >= 0.5g, you’d need to label that as protein.
  4. There is going to be less than 305mg of di-calcium phosphate, since we know that di-calcium phosphate is 29.5% calcium, and there’s a total of 90mg calcium. There are two other ingredients on the label containing calcium.
  5. Similarly, there is going to be less than 524mg of disodium phosphate, since sodium is 32.4% of disodium phosphate.

    But since it definitely must be less than or equal to 305mg (it’s after di-calcium phosphate on the label), most of the sodium content in this product is likely coming from the other sodium source (sodium bicarbonate – discussed below).

  6. What is AstraGin really amplifying here? We're not completely sure

    What is AstraGin really amplifying here? Most likely the lower citrulline dosage, according to AstraGin’s rep in the comments below!

    The final ingredient, AstraGIN, is used to amplify other ingredients. However, the placement in this section of the label is odd.

    Update, July 15, 2014: In the comments section at the bottom of this post, a representative of AstraGin tells us the following:

    Hello, I work for the company that manufactures AstraGin. Excellent dissection of BSN’s latest PWO iteration.

    Just wanted to point out AstraGin has NOT been studied for creatine absorption. In our multiple cell & animal studies, it has demonstrated enhanced bioavailability in the bloodstream of certain amino acids & vitamins/minerals.

    Can’t speak for BSN but a lot of our customers incorporate our ingredient to compensate for lower citrulline/arginine doses

    –Richard at AstraGin

    Emphasis ours above.

    You don’t need to “amplify” your creatine absorption. If you’re taking between 1-2 scoops of this per day, you’ll saturate your muscles’ creatine stores just fine.

    Adding AstraGin to creatine is like building bigger entrance doors on a theater. You’re not going to be able to seat any more people – you just might fill it up a bit faster. It’s likely negligible alongside creatine, but could potentially help with some of the other ingredients. So we’re not sure why it’s in this section.

The point being? ~5g split somewhere between creatine and taurine

So long story short, you have roughly 5g split between creatine and taurine. It’s probably around 2.5g of each, but we can’t tell you for certain. At 1-2 scoops per day, that’s pretty good on creatine.

After doing the research above, all we can say is that this labeling feels very complex and unnecessary. Why not just use creatine mono, taurine, and call it a day?

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The Endura Shot Complex

NO-Xplode AVPT NO-Xplode 2.0 NO-Xplode 3.0 / 2014
Proprietary blend weight: N/A N/A 2.8g
N/A – this was in the AVPT blend above N/A – This was in the ASPM blend above BETA Composite (CARN+ Blend [Beta-Alanine (as CarnoSyn) & Beta-Alanine HCl], Betaine Anhydrous (BetaPower)), Potassium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Cholecalciferol

In the new formula, this section has been broken off of the previous AVPT / ASPM blends shown above, so BSN is slightly more transparent on their dosages.

We can see that we’re going to get roughly ~2.4g of beta alanine and betaine. Both great ingredients with awesome research, but the best studies show that you need more of both to get the guaranteed gains – such as a clinical dose of 2.5g betaine.[5,6]

The parenthesis are marked up again to show that beta alanine in total is more than the betaine.

Unfortunately, we can’t guess at the dosages — except 2 scoops of this will probably be a pretty solid dose of at least beta alanine – but beware on a 2-scoop dosage since ~400mg of caffeine might hit you (and your wallet) too hard.

If you usually get the ‘tingles’ from beta alanine, we’re guessing that this will be enough for you to get them here, even at 1 scoop.

As for the other ingredients:

  1. Potassium Bicarbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate

    These are typically used as a source of carbonation. As mentioned above, sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda.

    Why has NO-Xplode always had sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in it?  Turns out, it improves sprint performance.

    Why has NO-Xplode always had sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in it? Turns out, it improves sprint performance.[7,8]

    The carbonation provided by these is why NO Xplode’s instructions say to stir, not shake, the product.

    Besides the electrolyte benefits, a small study performed on women showed that sodium bicarbonate improved sprint performance and total work accomplished.[7]

    Another study backs this up for longer-duration periods (120 and 240 seconds of cycling), and notes that pH levels fell significantly in the athletes.[8]

    It’s up to the user to determine if the performance enhancement is worth the “bubbliness” that these two ingredients provide, but one thing is for certain: most pre workouts don’t have this, so it is a differentiator that the product has always had. BSN’s sticking with what’s worked so well here.

  2. Magnesium Oxide – Let the debate rage on!

    The magnesium content in the original NO-Xplode got strongly attacked by competitors, and with good reason — too much of it functions as a laxative.[9]

    So in NO-Xplode 2.0, they responded by dropping it from a rather large 360mg (90% RDA) to 60mg (15% RDA) per serving.

    In this new version, it creeps back up at to 125mg (31% RDA) per scoop.

    This one is debatable. If you and your diet are magnesium-deficient, then your athletic performance will suffer[10] and this will help. But at the same time, most studies based upon athletic performance indicate no effect.[11]

    The magnesium-in-your-preworkout debate will continue on, and BSN has obviously chosen to stick to their guns.

  3. Cholecalciferol

    Don’t get scared by the big word here. This means Vitamin D, and we are happy with the extra 500IU that is provided here.

    When it comes to building supplement stacks, Vitamin D is extremely cheap, so it’s worth throwing an extra 2000-5000IU if you don’t get much of it. Of course, always check your multivitamin’s dosage and consult with your doctor first.

N.O. Alpha Fusion

The pump complex. Compare this to the N.O. Meta-Fusion formulas from past labels:

NO-Xplode AVPT NO-Xplode 2.0 NO-Xplode 3.0 / 2014
Proprietary blend weight: N/A N/A 850mg
L-Arginine AKG, L-Citrulline Malate, RC-NOS (Rutacarpine 95%), L-Citrulline AKG, L-Histidine AKG, NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), Gynostemma Pentaphyllum (Leaves & Stem) (Gypenosides 95%) L-Arginine-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, L-Citrulline-Malic Acid Interfusion, L-Citrulline-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, L-Histidine-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), Gynostemma (90% Gypenosides) (Leaves & Stem) L-Citrulline Malate, Danshen Extract (Salvia miltiorrhiza) (root), Grape Skin Extract, Phyllanthus emblica Extract (fruit) (CAPROS), Hawthorn Extract (aerial parts) (1% Flavonoids), Folate

This one has left many followers completely bewildered. The dosages just seem too small. And they most likely are, until you realize that BSN isn’t trying to create an all-world pump supplement here. They’re going after energy.

We discuss that later – let’s talk about this blend at hand now:

Where’s the pumps?
  1. Less than 850mg of L-Citrulline

    Looking at the European labels shown above, each scoop of NO-Xplode 2.0 had 1.3g of L-arginine but no L-citrulline. We’re not sure what Americans got, but at 2 scoops, Europeans would at least feel something there at over 2 and a half grams+.

    But now we’re getting less than 850mg of L-citrulline? Perhaps 600mg?

    That number is a complete guess, but compare this to Jim Stoppani’s Pre-JYM pre workout in our Top 10, which has literally 7-10 times as much. You can imagine which one will give a better pump.

    We know that moving a similar dosage of L-arginine to L-citrulline is definitely better, but the dosage of even 800mg of L-citrulline is questionable.

    Because of that, we don’t believe this is going to be marketed as much of a pump supplement. Turns out, that’s okay — as we discuss below in our marketing discussion.

    The citrulline studies

    The Citrulline Pathway

    The Citrulline Pathway

    One of the best studies on citrulline involved 6g of citrulline-malate (which is ~3g of citrulline). In the study, arginine concentrations doubled, more branched-chain amino acids were used as fuel, growth hormone levels were 66.8% higher, and nitric oxide production was ultimately improved in extremely well-trained cyclists.[12]

    But can less citrulline get you a nasty pump from an arginine-derived nitric oxide boost?

    Other studies have shown 5.6g helping to lower blood pressure[13], as did 3g/day of citrulline malate.[14]

    The last study is the closest to what we have – 3g of citrulline malate is roughly 1.5g of citrulline, which is in the range of what you’d get in two scoops of this new NO-Xplode. If it lowers blood pressure, it’s likely going to induce a pump through vasodilation. But can you handle that much caffeine (~400mg)?

    However, at the end of the day, there are no well-performed studies on exercise/workout performance with such small doses of L-Citrulline.

    We need more data. This is why to get “clinical doses”, competitors are using far more.

  2. Danshen Extract (Salvia miltiorrhiza) (root)

    When it comes to Salvia miltiorrhiza, don’t confuse this with the street drug (that would be Salvia Divinorum).

    It turns out that this traditional Chinese herb is actually quite positive when it comes to improving heart health.

    It’s been used to dilate coronary arteries, so it may have some vasodilation effects to work alongside L-Citrulline.[15]

  3. Grape Skin Extract

    Grape seed extract is well known for lowering blood pressure, but it took 150mg-300mg for the results in one popular study.[16]

    We’re unsure what the dosage is here, or if the skin extract will perform differently. One study shows that they work best together than separately[17], though, and the new NO-Xplode formula only has the skin.

  4. Phyllanthus emblica Extract (fruit) (CAPROS)

    This is Amla fruit extract. It’s used for cardiac health and supporting your blood glucose levels, but the dosages are tough to discuss here. 1-3g of raw powder is beneficial, but CAPROS is a trademarked extract and we’re not sure what they’re doing with it.

    One study showed that “lower” dosages were ineffective for nitric oxide production, so you just have to hope that there’s enough froom left for this one to pitch in on your pumps.[17]

  5. Hawthorn Extract (aerial parts) (1% Flavonoids)

    Yet another Chinese cardiac protector, but there turns out to be very little well-performed research promoting this. Most research is done on certain flavonoids that come from it, and unfortunately, we don’t have enough information on what this is extracted for.

In conclusion, the ingredients are good, but there’s probably just not enough of them for “skin splitting”, “muscle gorging”, “t-shirt devastating” pumps, or whatever goofy phrases other companies love to claim.

And guess what – BSN isn’t making those claims. They say “the right level of energy, endurance, and muscle pumps.”

Fair enough.

Thermic Energy (Previously Ener-Tropic Xplosion)

NO-Xplode AVPT NO-Xplode 2.0 NO-Xplode 3.0 / 2014
Proprietary blend weight: N/A N/A 745mg
L-Tyrosine, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Methylxanthine (Caffeine), L-Tyrosine AKG, MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides)[Coconut], Common Periwinkle Vinpocetine 99%, Vincamine 99%, Vinburnine 99% (Whole Plant) L-Tyrosine, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Methylxanthine (Caffeine), L-Tyrosine-Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid, MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides), Lesser Periwinkle (95% Vinpocetine, 98% Vincamine, 98% Vinburnine [Whole Plant]) N-Acetyl-Tyrosine, Caffeine Anhydrous, Grapefruit Bioflavonoids, Pterostilbene:Caffeine Cocrystal (PURENERGY)

Our comments:

  1. Glucoronolactone, MCTs, and Vinpocetine/Vincamine/Vinburnine have been removed.

    Glucoronolactone is the stuff that so many energy drinks have. There’s some good theory behind it providing energy, but there’s an appalling lack of actual research as to what this stuff does. Because of that, we don’t mind this move.

    As for the rest, while we love these ingredients, they were likely in such small doses in NO-Xplode 2.0 that their effects were negligible. If MCTs weren’t adding any fats to the label, then there was less than half of a gram.

    We could only guess how much of the rest was there, but no matter – they’re gone now, and a more trusted cognitive booster is used below:

  2. L-Tyrosine has been replaced by N-Acetyl Tyrosine

    This is a cognitive focus booster and endurance enhancer that we definitely like.

    N-Acetyl Tyrosine is more expensive, but more effective, so a move to this will be better. It’s better because its more soluble.[18]

    Since we know that there’s ~200mg of caffeine, there’s at least ~200mg of NAT here. But this is tough to determine because there’s two caffeine-containing ingredients on this line.

    Given the size of this blend, it’s probably around 400-450mg, which will probably work for mental cognition at 1.5-2 scoops.

    Unfortunately, most research studies use such massive doses of this ingredient (like 100mg per kg of bodyweight) that it would take up nearly half of the scoop.[19]

    We need better research for cognition and exercise endurance at the lower dosages that supplement companies typically use.

  3. Total caffeine is estimated at 200mg/scoop
  4. Grapefruit Bioflavonoids

    Grapefruit bioflavonoids have various benefits, but it’s not helpful when we don’t know what’s being extracted. Would like more information here.

  5. Pterostilbene: Caffeine Cocrystal (PURENERGY)

    The Pterostilbene-Caffeine Bond from the Patent

    The Pterostilbene-Caffeine Bond from the Patent

    Finally! This is where we actually figure out what BSN is up to in this formula.

    PURENERGY’s pterostilbene is actually a combination of ~43% Caffeine, ~57% pTeroPure, which is a 99% pure nature-identical all-trans pterostilbene with seven patents issued or pending.

    The idea behind pterostilbene is that it’s a caffeine-enhancer – its manufacturer, ChromaDex, claims that 30% more caffeine gets delivered into the blood[20], which will suit BSN’s targeted customers well.

    On top of that, they claim it lengthens the half-life of caffeine, so it lasts far longer than having caffeine alone.

    We don’t have any good double-blinded research on these claims. ChromaDex was awarded a patent for it, but just because it’s patented doesn’t mean it works. At a glance, the science does indeed look good though.[21]

Summary: BSN upgraded the tyrosine and is amplifying the caffeine, which should cater to many of their fans.

Shock Composite

NO-Xplode AVPT NO-Xplode 2.0 NO-Xplode 3.0 / 2014
Proprietary blend weight: N/A N/A 680mg
N/A N/A DMAE Bitartrate (2-Dimethylaminoethanol), L-Lysine HCl, DL-Phenylalanine, Niacin, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Toothed Clubmoss Extract (aerial parts) (1% Huperzine A), Pyridoxine HCl, Thiamin HCl, Cyanocobalamin.

This Shock Composite section is all-new. Commentary and research:

  1. DMAE

    Not to be confused with the stim that goes by a similar name, DMAE is similar to choline, a cognitive focus enhancer. It can stop brain deterioration, and is a bit stimulatory.

    Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of well-performed research on DMAE. Anecdotally, some people love it, others can’t really feel it.

    Note: This has been removed from the European version, lowering the complex from 680mg to 375mg. So one can assume there’s 305mg DMAE per scoop here.

    Note 2: One reason it could be banned in Europe is due to the possibility that it causes neural tube defect in very young embryos.[22] This means that women who are attempting to have children should not take this.

  2. L-Lysine HCl

    This could be potentially beneficial for athletic performance, but we cannot find any sources to cite that show this.

  3. DL-Phenylalanine

    Otherwise known as DLPA, this is a mix of D-phenylalanine and L-phenylalanine. The L-form is commonly used to provide mood-boosting effects since it is a precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine (tyrosine also boosts dopamine – shock and awe indeed).[23]

  4. Toothed Clubmoss Extract (aerial parts) (1% Huperzine A)

    Huperzine A is an incredibly effective cholinergenic nootropic that boosts acetylcholine levels through your blood-brain barrier. There’s no debating its awesomeness – the question is what kind of dosage you get here.

    If you’re feeling some intense focus, you’re probably feeling a good dosage of Huperzine. It’s what’s making Myokem’s Nitramine so popular, as discussed in our review here.

    But if you’re not feeling the focus, then there might not be enough. It’s a very expensive ingredient, and seeing it above a couple of the other ingredients is at least promising.

The other ingredients, Niacin, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, Thiamin HCl, and Cyanocobalamin are vitamins and minerals.

Meanwhile, the old “Glycerol Polymer Complex” from the last two versions is gone (and nobody will notice their absence).

The Nutrients and Macronutrients

Sodium has been lowered, potassium is up, magnesium is up from NO-Xplode 2.0, and the B vitamins and folate are down.

We’re not going to bother with a table, but it’s interesting to see us back at ~100% RDAs on the B-vitamins down from percentages like 1200%.

It seems that everything we eat and drink these days has so many B-vitamins, we honestly don’t believe you’ll notice them missing. The only thing you’ll probably notice is that your pee isn’t as bright orange.

Energy, carbs, and the BSN Marketing Machine

BSN - Finish First

Finish first? It feels like we’ll NEVER finish this blog post!

Initially, BSN disappointed a few people with their massive “CHANGE IS COMING” ads, and then releasing yet another proprietary blend. There is definitely some great change here, as noted in the ingredient analysis abov, but we wouldn’t go so far to say that anything has been re-revolutionized.

But hey, marketers are gonna market, and we’ll take any change for the better that we can get.

Our final review

Update: Our overall NO-Xplode New Formula Review is finally up. Long story short… it falls short for experienced users.

Where BSN nails the research

A few years ago, we developed a small web app that surveyed users on what they wanted from a pre workout supplement.

There were two major things that we discovered (which BSN likely already knew):

  1. Most users want that crazy stimulant energy
  2. Most users are in “bulking” mode and are cool with the carbs

This is actually not surprising. Despite “low carb” being all the rage when the survey was live, most users still wanted them carbs. Because forever bulking, right?

So here’s what’s interesting:

There is a lack of carb-based products that are also stimulant/focus heavy.

Most of the carb-based products (NO-Xplode and NO-Xplode 2.0 included) were just in the middle of the road when it came to stimulants and focus boosters. By the time you took 3 scoops to get crazy energy, you were either bloated or broke.

Meanwhile, nearly all of the high stim products were in concentrate form! This trend continues to this day.

This gap represents a major opportunity for someone, and if the focus and stim blend was properly done in this new 2014 version of NO-Xplode, BSN is very likely on to something!

“If it fits your macros, brah!”

Meanwhile, carbs are making a comeback. To many flexible dieters, “dirty” carbs like maltodextrin / glucose polymers that have always been in the NO-Xplode product line are just fine, especially pre workout, as long as you don’t eat too much of them throughout your entire day.

One can argue about fasted workouts (especially when trying to stay lean), but bulkers (BSN’s main demographic here) don’t care about any of that. Having an empty stomach is lost opportunity for them.

So, while everyone else has been riding the low carb wave — even MusclePharm, who ditched the carbs in their Assault pre workout — BSN has stood relatively consistent with their strategy. They marketed heavily, and they sold big. Other products have come and gone, but you can’t argue with the success of these red tubs.

Where is the new NO-Xplode heading in 2014?

Where is the new NO-Xplode heading in 2014?

Their userbase – young gym bro’s who are bulking – want exactly the product provided here. To them, “skin blistering” pumps are secondary if you can bring the energy, focus, and ultimately some gains from creatine and carbs.

It took me literally 5 hours of writing and ingredient research to finally figure out what BSN was up to and how it lined up with our previous research.

They’ve never really amplified their energy like they are with pterostilbene and the dopamine boosters. The energy side was always just a bit neglected in the NO-Xplode series.

That all said…. despite being less confusing, this label still seems overly complex.

When, at the end of the day, it seems that all BSN had to say was something along the lines of “Low carb is crap. Eat your damned carbs, get big, and blow it up with NO-Xplode 3.0”

BSN will continue to do just fine here. It’s not revolutionary change, but they know what they’re doing, and we look forward to trying this new stim blend out.

BSN The New NO-Xplode – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public. Mike is currently experimenting with a low Vitamin A diet.

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