We’re always on the search for new products to review, and we found a popular product in France – N.O Shox Xtreme.
Claimed to promote:
- Muscle pumps
- Strength & Endurance
From the claims of XCore Nutrition, N.O Shox Xtreme sounds like the perfect pre workout supplement; it’s advertised to deliver all of the key benefits we look for in these types of products.
However, one way to find out whether it actually works, is by checking out its nutrient profile. Which is exactly what we’ll do further down in this review.
About The Company
XCore Nutrition are a USA based supplements company. They market a range of products, with their ‘Xtreme’ series of products being one of their most popular (which N.O Shox is part of).
However, we couldn’t find out much more about the company, as their description page lacked useful information.
The Ingredients and How They Work
One thing that we spotted immediately, is that every ingredient inside N.O Shox is part of a massive proprietary blend.
What’s a proprietary blend? It’s a mixture of numerous ingredients that’re shown to you under 1 quantity, which can be seen under the title ‘N.O Shox Proprietary Blend’.
This is bad thing, as it’s important to know the exact dosage of nutrients, to examine whether the product is actually likely to work. Ultimately, you need to know that companies use proprietary blends to hide ineffective dosages into their products (cutting costs while fooling you into thinking it’s effective).
Anyway, we’ll examine the most important nutrients inside N.O Shox Xtreme – to give you a feel for how good this pre workout really is.
See for yourself:
The best form of creatine, this has been a staple in bodybuilders’ diets for decades now. In fact, creatine first gained attention after it was used by Olympic athletes in the 1980’s, which shows you how effective it will be.
However, you need to consume at least 1,00mg for it to work in a pre workout. As we mentioned before, creatine monohydrate is inside a proprietary blend, so no-one knows the exact dosage inside N.O Shox Xtreme.
Ultimately, this is a great example of why these blends shouldn’t be used in supplements.
Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate
More commonly known as AAKG, this is the salt of the amino acid, arginine.
As a result, it’s thought to be able to raise your nitric oxide levels, which would enhance your muscle pumps. However, studies haven’t shown AAKG to be reliable at delivering this benefit.
The worrying thing is that AAKG is inside a proprietary blend, so it might be filling most of it; this would mean that most of the proprietary blend would be ineffective.
But again, you’ll never know the exact dosage of AAKG inside N.O Shox Xtreme.
You might have heard about taurine before, but you might not know exactly what it is.
It’s basically an organic acid that’s shown to help reduce cramping. However, the problem is that this isn’t exactly a key benefit (you can achieve this by simply keeping yourself hydrated too).
Saying that, it can be a great bonus ingredient. But there’s simply no need to add this into a proprietary blend.
This ingredient always causes controversy. It’s added into some pre workouts, as it’s shown to be able to improve your muscular endurance.
However, beta-alanine is also known for causing a side effect known as paresthesia; this is a tingling on the skin of your face, chest, hands and extremities.
As a result, we prefer pre workouts that don’t contain beta-alanine. This is especially because there are many other ingredients that can enhance your endurance without causing side effects.
– Highest Rated Pre Workout Supplements –
In theory, l-arginine seems like a great ingredient. This is because arginine plays an important role in boosting nitric oxide levels in your body.
However, remember when you consume ingredients, that a big factor is their absorption rates. Well, l-arginine has a bad absorption rate, so it’s not fully utilized by your body when consumed in supplements.
This is why we prefer citrulline or citrulline malate.
We just mentioned that l-citrulline is our preferred choice of ingredient when it comes to pre workout supplements.
Well, this is because it converts into arginine once in your kidneys; this takes away the problem with l-arginine and its bad absorption rate.
However, studies have shown that you need a 3,000mg dosage for l-citrulline to actually work (6,000mg for citrulline malate).
You already know that l-citrulline is inside the ‘N.O Shox Proprietary Blend’, so you know the rest…
L-tyrosine is an amino acid that’s known for being able to enhance your cognition.
However, this isn’t an essential addition to any pre workout, as caffeine offers enough of a ‘boost’ to your focus to improve your gym session.
But there’s also no negatives to having l-tyrosine in N.O Shox Xtreme either.
If you’ve ever experienced fishy breath after taking a supplement before, then it’s because it contained either betaine or choline; both of these ingredients have proven to cause this side effect in numerous studies.
Not only that, the worst part is that betaine hasn’t shown to deliver any useful benefits. As a result, we prefer to avoid supplements containing betaine.
The worrying thing is that betaine might be filling most of this proprietary blend, which would mean most of the product is ineffective. But the main point is that you’ll never know.
Caffeine is a great ingredient that’s perfectly suited to a pre workout supplement.
The main reason for taking these products are to experience that ‘boost’ in energy levels. Well, caffeine does exactly that, while also improving your strength, endurance and focus in the gym.
However, one thing you need to remember is to look out for the serving size of caffeine. But as you already know, as caffeine is inside a proprietary blend, you’re not given this information.
Everyone knows that consuming too much caffeine can cause jitters. How much is too much? Over 200mg per serving.
As a result, we can never recommend a pre workout that contains caffeine in a proprietary blend.
We just told you that it’s not a good idea to add caffeine into a proprietary blend. Well, as guarana extract is also a stimulant, this is also capable of causing jittery side effects too.
Just to illustrate how much caffeine guarana contains, it has more caffeine than coffee beans.
As you’re not shown the exact dosage of guarana extract in N.O Shox Xtreme, you’re at risk from side effects here.
Ginkgo Biloba Extract
If you’ve not heard about this ingredient before, then it’s known for being able to improve your brain health.
However, the first problem is that ginkgo biloba extract has only shown to be reliable in older people. The second problem is that improvements in brain health aren’t necessary in N.O Shox Xtreme.
Cinnamon Bark Powder
We’re not sure why cinnamon bark powder is inside N.O Shox Xtreme. It’s thought to be able to reduce the ‘bad’ effects from consuming carbs (preventing you from experiencing big insulin spikes).
However, this benefit is more suited to a fat burner supplement. As a result, cinnamon bark extract is an unnecessary addition here.
– Highest Rated Pre Workout Supplements –
Pros and Cons
- Creatine Monohydrate shown to boost strength & endurance
- Caffeine can boost energy levels
- Every ingredient inside a proprietary blend
- Increased risk of causing side effects
- Missing key pre workout ingredients
As N.O Shox Xtreme contains 2 stimulants in a proprietary blends, you don’t know the exact dosage of them. As a result, you’re at increased risk from suffering jitters and energy crashes.
But that’s not all; beta-alanine has shown to cause paresthesia, while betaine can make your breath smell fishy.
See the possible side effects here:
- Fishy body odor
- Energy crashes
– Highest Rated Pre Workout Supplements –
As soon as we realized that every ingredient was part of a proprietary blend, it didn’t sound like good news.
More people need to become aware why proprietary blends are a bad thing. This is especially true when they contain stimulants like caffeine; these can cause jittery side effects when consumed in large dosages, so it’s important to know the exact dosage you consume per serving.
But we won’t ignore the positives. N.O Shox Xtreme contains some great nutrients like creatine monohydrate and citrulline. It’s just a shame that they’ve been hidden inside a massive blend.