Scivation Xtend & Optimum Nutrition Train & Sustain are two of the worlds most renowned BCAA powders. But which one is best?
]This time in our comparison series it’s the battle of the BCAA’s. Branched-Chain Amino Acids, commonly referred to as BCAA’s are a group of three essential amino acids. Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine all make up the trifecta of BCAA’s.
What Are BCAA’s?
Most people supplement these amino acids because they are widely researched to be shown as helping to boost muscle growth. Not only are they good for muscle growth, but they also help enhance athletic performance.
As well as the muscle-building side, they can help with weight loss as well as reducing fatigue. This in turn enables you to undertake extended training sessions. They do this by helping the muscles stay at their top-level longer and decrease muscle breakdown.
Your body uses BCAA’s to build muscle proteins and produce energy. This is said to have an effect on your brain which in turn reduces the effects of fatigue. Thanks to this, you’re able to undertake intensive training for a longer period of time.
Scivation’s Xtend BCAA is a market-leading product. It contains 7g of BCAA’s – with 2:1:1 ratio – along with Glutamine and Citrulline Malate. Plus, with a proprietary blend of hydration-promoting electrolytes.
But as well as that. Optimum Nutrition’s Train + Sustain is built on a foundation of Branched Chain Amino Acids prized by athletes for their ability to spare muscle during endurance training. This is because it has a whopping 5 g of BCAA’s per serving.
Scivation Xtend comes in two different sizes, 30 & 90 servings. We currently only stock one size of Train + Sustain, 28 servings. So for this comparison, we’re going to be focusing on the 30 servings variant of Xtend, as when you’d compare the 90 servings, it would be unfair on the pricing aspect.
When comparing the dosage between the two, we need to first compare the ratio. Both BCAA’s come in a 2:1:1 ratio which means that they have double the amount of Leucine than Isoleucine and Valine.
Train + Sustain has 5 g of BCAA per serving whilst Xtend has 7 g. Whilst it may seem that you’re getting more bang for your buck on dosage with Xtend, you may not be right. Sports Supplements these days come with more than just their intended purpose.
As well as the 5 g of BCAA’s, Train + Sustain also contains a high dose of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin C to reduce tiredness – as well as a sweetener to help improve the taste you get. Unfortunately for Train + Sustain though, it works both ways. As well as the 7 g of BCAA, you get another 2.5 g of L-Glutamine and 1 g of Citrulline Malate in your mix of Scivation Xtend.
Thankfully, BCAA’s don’t have many calories at all. However, it’s important that you track every calorie on your fitness journey so you know where your energy is coming from.
Optimum Nutrition’s Train + Sustain comes in at 32 kcal per serving whilst Scivation Xtend has 0 kcal. Whilst there is only a 32 calorie difference between the two, Healthline says that athletes benefit from between 10-20 g of BCAA’s per day. If you were to scale it up to 20 g of BCAA per day then you would be looking at 128 kcal for Train + Sustain and 0 kcal for Xtend. It appears we have a clear winner here.
As mentioned previously, we’re going to be compared the 30 servings of Scivation Xtend. This is because in retail, the higher the volume you buy, the cheaper the product actually is. This is the closest we could get with Optimum Nutrition Train + Sustain’s 28 servings.
Scivation Xtend 30 Servings is currently on offer for £19.75, which means that it works out at 66p per serving. Optimum Nutrition’s Train and Sustain 28 Servings is currently sold for £17.95 and per serving, that works out at 64p.
This means that statistically that if you scaled Train + Sustain up to 30 servings, then it would work out at £19.23. Making it cheaper by over 40p.
The Winner Is…
Scivation Xtend! Although we believe that Train + Sustain is a high-quality BCAA powder, we think that Xtend is the best BCAA powder available in the world right now. Whilst we decided that using the 90 servings version was unfair, we can share the details on the price now. Per serving, Scivation Xtend 90 Servings is only 42p per serving! Making it almost 20% cheaper than its 30 servings counterpart and Train + Sustain!