So this is the current situation, a sit-rep if you will.

I have come home from work and fed the cat. I am very conscious that it is now 20:49 and I need to get in the gym quickly to get some weights done.

I’ve just eaten a toasted cheese sandwich and Moroccan humus, probably a bit too much because I feel a bit bloated. I should know better considering I posted the best pre workout meal not too long go, you can read it here.

The said cat is now sat on my lap and making it fucking difficult to type, so apologies if this all sounds a bit spazzy.

I have, before me a sachet of BSN’s N.O.-Xplode XE Edge pre workout urging me to mix it with water and chug the fucker down, which I will do in a short while.

It’s funny because the first ever pre workout I used as from BSN’s range and I felt like the man. It felt hardcore, raw and edgy. Everything a guy wants to feel from taking a supplement. As if they are bordering the realms of legality.

The reality is that I was being more edgy getting drunk with my friends aged 12 on a local park. At least that was illegal.

So what is this like?

It looks a bit ‘extreme’ with its bright red foil packet and plenty of large, italic typeface.

It also tastes pretty good, almost like Lilt, and unlike some pre workouts I have tried the consistency of the liquid when mixed with water seems a bit more substantial and less watery.

It does look like a 12 years puke though after the said drinking session on the park. Pity my parents.


Lindera Aggregata – 4 alkaloids can be found in this herbal plant. Boldine is one such alkaloid which is seen as a powerful antioxidant.

Further studies seem to show that it has stimulation effects similar to Yohimbe yet minus the high blood pressure and anxiety. Yohimbe is also illegal in a number of Western countries.

Panex (Korean) Ginseng – This form of Ginseng is the most highly researched. There’s lots of evidence which suggest cognitive function, mood and immunity is increased, however, although there is evidence for better erections and an increase in testosterone production for infertile men there is also evidence contradictory evidence also.

Glycerol – Seems to be most effective when administered rectally (in your ass) as a laxative.

Cognizin (citicoline) –  Studies have shown that it can have beneficial effects both in degenerative and in vascular cognitive decline.

Euphoria Longana (Dimocarpus Longan) – There’s not enough evidence to suggest Longan fruit as a recommended option for anything although it might be a useful functional food to ingest for cognitive purposes.

Calcium Glycerophosphate – A study on rats concludes that it is of considerable importance of greater disposition of calcium in the skeleton.

Therefore, it is good for bone and teeth development. However, this was tested on rats and injected, not an oral dose.

Choline BiTartrate – Choline is mostly used for either its cognitive boosting properties or as a liver health agent, able to reduce fatty liver buildup.

It may also be a stimulant although this is based on anecdote. Requires around 250-500mg per day for cognitive benefits. Choline does not offer any significant benefits for aerobic capacity, fatigue or training capacity.

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – Great for people with liver, heart and kidney problems but no evidence for boosting testosterone.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – One of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy.

These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver.

They also help the nervous system function properly and is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells.

Vitamin B6 – This helps the body use and store the energy from protein and carbohydrates.

L-Theanine –  Beneficial for stress reduction, decreasing generalized anxiety, and reducing the severity of insomnia. If caffeine is present too, IQ scores have known to increase – so grab a cup of coffee, quick.

Rhodiola rosea – Can protect against cognitive deficits, neuronal injury and oxidative stress, can also be used as a potential agent in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. This is found in our favorite Nootropic.

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) – Gives you more energy and boost your metabolism, helping you shed unwanted pounds. Ensure you are not deficient in Vitamin B12 so you can do that quick 10 miler at 5am…

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) – Thiamine is required by our bodies to properly use carbohydrates.

Some research suggests that taking thiamine together with pantethine and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) does not improve muscle strength or endurance in athletes.

Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D is a great Testosterone boosting vitamin that must be taken advantage of to trigger further production of Testosterone in your body.

However, there are two types of Vitamin D. There’s calciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) – we are only interested in cholecalciferol which is D3; this is the type our skin synthesizes from the sun and becomes a hormone which results in the increases in our testosterone.

Research by the US Library of Medicine has shown that testosterone productions are increased with Vitamin D3 supplementation.

L-carnitine – Acetyl-L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes.

L-Tyrosine – Tyrosine is taken for depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy), and improving alertness following sleep deprivation.

It is also used for stress, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS).

Magnesium – Research into magnesium supplementation also increased testosterone production in men.

Yet, taking oral Magnesium Glycerophosphate In all of these patients was not enough to maintain normal magnesium levels in their blood.

Folic Acid (Vit. B9) – There’s many benefits of Folic Acid, treating kidney problems is one of them. Folic acid can also help produce more testosterone along with B12 but also necessary to form red blood cells and is also necessary in the formation of DNA.

Niacinamide (Vit B3) –  Higher amounts of niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risks and maybe symptoms for Alzheimer’s . However, the jury is out on these real benefits.

Beta-alanine  – Supplementation of this non essential amino acid aids the production of carnosine. That’s a compound that plays a role in muscle endurance in high-intensity exercise.

That said, studies have been small and not entirely conclusive.

Beta Alanine does give many users that tingly/itchy feeling. Some love it, others hate it.

I think it is best described at Chillblains – i.e when you go in to a warm room after your hands have been exposed to the cold and they start to feel itchy.

L-Citrulline – This is used as a sports performance and cardiovascular health supplement. L-Citrulline supplementation results in reduced fatigue and improved endurance for both aerobic and anaerobic prolonged exercise.

An increase in growth hormone has been noted with exercise, but not at rest.

L-citrulline boosts nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide helps your arteries relax and work better, which improves blood flow throughout your body.

Supplementing can help lower blood pressure in people with prehypertension.

Caffeine – It stimulates the central nervous system (CNS), heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure to give you an extra boost and hit that PB.

Caffeine Anhydrous is the purest form of caffeine so always look out for it.

This is found in 4 Gauge which is the best pre-workout.

Grape Seed Extract (Vitis Vinifera) – Grapes, or the chemicals within them, especially oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), have been touted as powerful antioxidants yet in humans there is a real lack of clear evidence that there are any real benefits.

Grapefruit – Appears to be effective at reducing fat mass when a mixture of polyphenols are used, and may work nicely with Caffeine.


1 serving is 10500mg. That isn’t the largest amount so as a result I took 2 servings which amounted to 21000mg.

This is tropical burst flavor which I liked and reminded e of  a soft drink. It also felt like a good, thicker consistency as opposed to the thin, watery pre workouts often tested.

It just seemed full of ingredients.


There’s a lot of ingredients included in this pre workout, 25 to be exact.

This means that at least 1 if not many more are present in every pre workout i have tried and tested.

Beta-Alanine can help with muscle endurance, although not entirely proven. It does feel a little that the tingly sensation from beta-Alanine does take over and become a diversionary tactic.

Citrulline is great because it helps the body produce more nitric oxide. It is also good for performance, warding off fatigue and increase growth hormone while exercising.

Arginine is great for blood flow, however, we need 5000mg for it to be effective…we’re not told how much is included with this.

Carnitine is great for producing energy or it can increased insulin like growth hormone, but this is dose dependent.

Caffeine is an extremely popular stimulant which can help provide the energy to get out there running, cycling or just head over to the gym.

Grapefruit is known to work in conjunction with Caffeine and helps with fat loss. Let’s face it, we all want to lose a bit of fat here and there.

D3 is great for testosterone production and many people just do not get enough (safe) exposure to the sun. It is great for mood as well.

There’s also a good number of ingredients which are good for improving cognitive function as well as some antioxidants too.

There’s a number of B vitamins included which all have a wealth of benefits notwithstanding processing carbohydrates, boost energy, testosterone and your metabolism let alone the cardiovascular benefits.

So how did it feel?

Good actually, it wasn’t the same kick in the balls feeling of urgency as experienced with C4 by Cellucor. The C4 was a bit too dramatic, whereas this got me focused, in the gym and eager to hit the weights.

I wasn’t yawning either which has been the case so many times.

This does feel like a proper pre workout. One that can help you achieve more in the gym or your chosen sport, or if I dare say it help recover from a hangover or just give you a boost if you are tired after work and have another job to go to.

The caffeine definitely worked in this whereas it was really lacking in past pre workouts. I was feeling energized for a good amount of time after my gym session.

I have recently been doing 185kg/407lbs on my isolateral Powertec bench and the 3rd rep of each set has been a killer. However, tonight I did 4 reps per set which I was pleased about.

Bizarrely my buttocks were tingling.

In short, I think it is effective without being too intense. That said I did have a double dose.

READ: Read about our favorite pre workout that turned me in to a beast on the rugby pitch



As already mentioned I had a double dose, the dose felt about right if I am honest, I think if I had had just the 1 serving as instructed I personally may not have found it to be so useful.

There’s also a number of ingredients that are not quite conclusive for their claimed benefits.

Or they have not been tested on humans or their oral doses did not appear to offer benefits compared to injected administration which renders it useless in this situation.

Another gripe is why they would include Magnesium Glycerophosphate which isn’t as effective as just normal Magnesium?

Although I appreciate this is laden with ingredients it would have been nice to see Beet or Sodium and Coconut which have all been noted as proven and are included in other pre workouts.

BSN XTREME ENERGY N.O-XPLODE XE EDGE Pre Workout Review Conclusion:

Overall this is a good and proper pre workout formula.

it does what you would hope for and expect. So many pre workouts that I have tried really have not lived up to the hype or provided and real world benefits. Not to mention all hiding their exact ingredient content behind proprietary blends which this does not.

However, let’s not get too carried away, I double dosed this and had a good experience using it including increasing the number of reps on my bench press.

So as a double dose this is good, as a single and recommended dose I don’t think it would hold up quite as well.

So, in short, this contains some excellent ingredients and they are all disclosed.

There isn’t a rude awakening smack in the face like some other and it kept me going in the gym late at night after a full day of work.

It would have been good to see a few of the ineffective, unproven ingredients swapped for a few other I am fond of, but overall it’s a good product.


Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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