If you’ve been following along on the blog lately, you’ve more than likely seen us discuss the up and coming brand, Northbound Nutrition. Northbound is a young upstart that’s doing things the right way in regards to formulating products — clinically dosed, open label formulas.
We’ve previously covered the brand’s pre workout, Pinnacle, as well as their brain-boosting supplement, Blend. Today, we take a look at their intra workout, titled BCAA2. It’s just as well dosed as the others we’ve discussed, and then some!
But it’s tough to put a unique spin on BCAAs, so what did Northbound do to set themselves from the pack?
The breakdown is just ahead, but first, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:
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As you would expect, Northbound’s BCAA supplement is incredibly well dosed starting with a heaping helping of branched chain amino. BCAA2 also includes the proper ingredients you need to sustain performance and focus throughout your workout.
BCAAs 2:1:1 (8g)
We weren’t kidding when we said there was a massive dose of BCAAs to start the ingredient rundown on Northbound’s intra workout supplement. BCAA2 incorporates a whopping 8g dose of BCAAs in the research-backed 2:1:1 ratio, meaning each serving contains 4g Leucine and 2g each of Isoleucine and Valine.
BCAAs provide numerous benefits to weightlifters and athletes alike, the most notable of which is their ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.[1,2] Additionally, these three prominent aminos help quicken recovery and offset muscle soreness, a better known as DOMS.[3,4]
Most BCAA supplements strive for 5, maybe 6 grams of BCAAs. Some only provide 3 or 4. BCAA2 has twice those amounts, and gets to the point where this will put a small dent in your protein numbers for the day, since BCAAs do in fact count as protein and calories.
Of course, there’s a trade-off: just 20 servings per tub. So ultimately, the effective price turns out to be about the same as many other popular intra workouts… the only difference is this is a bigger scooper!!
Coconut water fans rejoice – a supplement’s finally bringing a big dose of the powder behind your favorite beverage:
CocOrganic® is patented form of organic coconut water powder we’re starting to see pop up in several pre / intra workouts on the market. Coconut water is naturally rich in potassium and has been shown to not only improve hydration levels, but also restore electrolyte balance.
Seeing it added to an intra workout supplement like Northbound BCAA2 is a no-brainer, as copious amounts of water and electrolytes are lost via sweat during high intensity exercise. The longer you workout, the more these vital stores get depleted and it’s of the utmost importance to keep them adequately filled to ensure optimal performance as well as avoid unpleasant side effects such as dehydration and muscle cramping.
We’ve encountered this ingredient before in various other pre / intra workouts, but never at this dose. Usually we see 250-500mg, but Northbound clearly has done their homework and seriously amped up the dose for their intra workout.
Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body with large amounts residing in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle. Taurine’s primary role is that of a cell volumizer where it draws water into the muscles. This provides some “water-based” pumps in addition to supporting adequate hydration.
It’s also important to note that taurine can also improve focus, since a considerable amount of the amino are stored in the brain. Lastly, when combined with BCAAs, as we have here, taurine also has been shown to reduce muscle soreness.
SPECTRA™ Total Orac Blend (100mg)
SPECTRA™ is a patented combination of powdered fruits, veggies, and assorted botanicals formulated to support the body’s immune system and antioxidant defense mechanisms. Physical and psychological stresses play a prominent role in the proliferation of free radicals in the body that creates all sorts of oxidative stress, ultimately resulting in inflammation and other health complications. Antioxidants, like those contained in SPECTRA™, keep this spread of oxidative stress at bay, preserving health and vitality.
Is this enough to be considered a serving of fruits / vegetables on your way to 4-5 per day? We’re not so sure about that, but it most definitely cannot hurt. For some who don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, it will be the first feel-good difference-maker in this product, but the real one is coming next:
Also appearing in Pinnacle is the amino acid L-Tyrosine. As was the case with the brand’s pre workout, tyrosine is again included here for its focus-enhancing properties.
Namely, tyrosine increases the production of two very important neurotransmitters in the brain, noradrenaline and dopamine. In addition to improving focus, tyrosine also cognition and helps lower stress.[9,10] Coupled with the 1.5g contained in the brand’s pre workout, you’ll top out at 3g of this powerful nootropic leading to some of the most “locked-in” workouts you’ll ever experience!
This is a big difference-maker in BCAAs – most companies don’t put focus agents in theirs, and when they do, it’s definitely not at this dose. This makes BCAA2 a far more feel-good intra workout than the competition!
Last, but not least, we have the go-to absorption optimizer BioPerine®. This patented black pepper extract is widely used throughout the industry in all sorts of pre workouts, intra workouts, as well as fat burners for its ability to prolong the life of the other active ingredients in supplements, thereby increasing their bioavailability and ultimately ensuring you make the most of all the ingredients included.
As we’ve seen with Northbound’s previous products, flavor selection is somewhat limited as it only comes in one flavor: Citrus Blast.
However, the flavoring that we have tried so far in their pre workout Pinnacle was spot on, and done incredibly well for our tastes. So, we foresee this being equally tasty as it provides a central focus for the flavor development team.
What else is there left to say? It’s a heavily-dosed BCAA with some cool goodies added that nobody else is adding.
BCAA2 is another product from Northbound Nutrition that hits all the right notes at the right doses for what you’d look for — in this case, a well-crafted intra workout supplement. A large serving of BCAAs, plus added hydration and focus agents make this a can’t miss product if you’re in the market for a new intra workout.
Northbound is now 3 for 3 by our count, and we look forward to seeing what future products could possibly be in the works for the young brand.
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- Norton LE, Layman DK. Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):533S-537S.
- 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
- Howatson G, Hoad M, Goodall S, Tallent J, Bell PG, French DN. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 12;9:20.
- Sharp CP, Pearson DR. Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1125-30.
- M. Saat, R. Singh, R. Sirisinghe, and M. Nawawi, Rehydration After Exercise With Fresh Coconut Water, Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Beverage and Plain Water, Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science, 21 no. 2 (2002)
- Hoffmann, E.K., I.H. Lambert, and S.F. Pedersen, Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates. Physiol Rev, 2009. 89(1)
- Alford, C., H. Cox, and R. Wescott, The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids, 2001. 21(2)
- Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF; Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress . Brain Res Bull. (1994)
- Dollins AB, et al; L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress . Physiol Behav. (1995)