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Pre-Workout Supplements are a huge niche. With the chest-pounding promises of “crazy vascodilation”, freaky, set-crushing power the likes of which no mortal man has ever seen and muscle growth that would make the Hulk cry to his Mama, it’s easy to see why. But how do they work for the average guy/gal? I’ve sampled two over the last six months or so… BSN’s N.O.-XPLODE and USP Labs Jack3d. So what’s the deal with ’em? To find out more about NO-XPLODE, read on. My Jack3d review can be found here.


As noted in my previous Jack3d Review, I was very, very, very cautious and leery before taking these products. With stories about increased heart rate, jitters and crashes– plus stories of heart problems, sexual dysfunction, etc.– I was a little nervous. No short-term vanity gain is worth long-term damage.

Still, with some input and a “nuts and bolts” nutritional breakdown of major ingredients from an educated nutritionist/trainer I trust, I took the plunge.


Spot It:

The expensive stuff in the BSN trade-marked silver-lettered red tub.

The expensive stuff in the BSN trade-marked silver-lettered red tub.


After using Jack3d, I gave NO-Xplode a shot… and after the clean taste of Jack3d, NO-Xplode’s taste took some getting used to. While there’s a few different flavorsĀ (Orange, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Line and Lemonade) NO-Xplode does taste a little chalky and stale– the stuff tastes like you’re taking down an additive-filled concoction masked in sucralose– and gives out a bitter taste as you get to the last swig. NO-Xplode is effervescent, which means it tastes like it has a little carbonation to it. I got used to the taste after a while (I prefer Orange) but the bitter taste of the last swig never went away.


A NO-XPLODE single serving is decently sized (about 20g) and packs 25 calories per scoop for a recommended dose of three scoops max. NO-Xplode mixed decently in a shaker bottle but kept hard, white granules that settled to the bottom. This is what gave the bitter taste on the last swig. Since NO-Xplode is effervescent, if you mix it in a shaker bottle, it’s going to “Pop” when you open it back up.


I’m not sure if I’d been on a pre-supplement too long before I tried NO-Xplode but I wasn’t bowled over by an energy surge equal to a thousand nuclear power plants or a tingling tidal wave of alanine rush like most users claim. I wasn’t sure if it was “placebo” in that I focused hard during my chest and back workout but I was definitely focused and willing to push ’til failure and a few more after that jsut for fun. I did notice a vascular pump in my biceps but wasn’t sure to attribute that to the product or just because I was working. I didn’t feel a crash or the need to stay up late into the night. The effects were pretty mild. Still, just like any other caffeine-enhanced pre-supplement, the dosage increases as your body adjusts. Just as with Jack3d, I never took more than 2 scoops at a time.


I definitely noticed some side effects with NO-Xplode after a while. When taking deep breaths, I felt I had pressure in my chest for most of the day in addition to a low-level buzz. After a few weeks, my lower teeth became sensitive whenever I’d use it. I skipped using it a few days and these sensations went away. Since there’s so much caffeine, you’ll also need to pee frequently in the hours after use.

The Verdict:

I know this is heresy as NO-Xplode is all over UFC and a huge player int he market– and I can’t say I don’t like NO-Xplode– but the taste isn’t anything to write home about and I wasn’t going crazy-out-of-my-head with energy and the need to bench press semi trucks for added strip-set fun. I didn’t go to the 3-serving max as I didn’t want to overdo it and two scoops gave me a feeling of prolonged “buzz” that wasn’t uncomfortable but I didn’t like. I did experience some side effects from the product but nothing I was freaked out over. Still, I’d go with the products that wouldn’t give me the side effects before trying NO-Xplode again.

As always, there’s different roads to get the same result in your workouts. Test what works for you, start slowly and follow the consumption label. 

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