Although a regular diet can be sufficient to power your workouts and support recovery from them, consuming dietary supplements may enhance or accelerate your progress. Two supplements commonly used by strength-training athletes include creatine and BSN No-Xplode. While each may aid in boosting strength, they do have significant differences. Consult a doctor prior to using any supplement or starting a workout plan.
Creatine is an amino acid, a building block of protein, does not provide any calories. Each scoop of No-Xplode provides 25 calories, and BSN suggests consuming up to three servings daily, for a total calorie count of 75. Even if you are dieting, the difference of 75 calories is unlikely to affect your results, as you could burn off 75 calories through eight minutes of jogging or nine minutes of swimming laps.
Creatine does not provide any caffeine, but No-Xplode is caffeinated. BSN does not reveal how much caffeine is in each serving of No-Xplode. Still, the manufacturer suggests assessing your tolerance with just one scoop before trying larger doses as it may be more caffeine than you are accustomed to consuming. According to research from the October 2010 edition of the journal "Nutrition," caffeine can be beneficial for training and exercise, as it promotes increased alertness and energy, improved cognition and reaction time and enhanced physical performance.
Amino Acid Content
The amino acid creatine is used to produce cellular energy, so it can help increase your strength and muscle gains. No-Xplode contains creatine as well as several other amino acids, including taurine, tyrosine and arginine. According to a study from the April 2010 edition of the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research," arginine supplementation may help increase levels of growth hormone, which is involved in muscle gain.
No-Xplode contains 6 g of carbohydrates per serving, so you'd consume 18 g total if you consumed the maximum recommended dose of three scoops. Creatine does not contain any carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your body's primary source of energy, so you may find No-Xplode better suited to pre-workout use due to the carbohydrate content. If you use just one or two servings, however, you may still be able to use No-Xplode on your low-carbohydrate diet.
Creatine does not contain any fats, but No-Xplode contains a specific type of fat known as medium-chain triglycerides. These fats may help encourage you to expend more calories and eat less throughout the day, according to research published in the November 2010 issue of "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition." This data suggests that No-Xplode and other supplements containing medium-chain triglycerides may help you stay lean, but that also depends on your activity level and calorie intake.
- BSN Online: N.O.-Xplode
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Creatine Powder
- MayoClinic.com; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- "Nutrition"; Caffeine - Not Just a Stimulant; M.J. Glade; October 2010
- "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research"; Arginine and Ornithine Supplementation Increases Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Serum Levels After Heavy-Resistance Exercise in Strength-Trained Athletes; A. Zajac et al.; April 2010
- "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition"; Medium-Chain Triglycerides are Advantageous in Promoting Weight Loss Although Not Beneficial to Exercise Performance; M.E. Clegg; November 2010