“We always want to be on the leading edge. In the case of N.O. XPLODE XE EDGE, that meant searching the globe for unique ingredients to help support athletic performance,” Cindy Blum, director of marketing for BSN, told NutraIngredients-USA.
Along with N.O.-XPLODE XE EDGE, the company also recently released Syntha-6 EDGE protein. The products were launched in May and hit sports nutrition retailers nationwide, including giants like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, online portals like Amazon and Bodybuilding.com, as well as gyms and specialty shops. Suggested retail price is around $32.99.
Guayusa, Yohimbe, Mucuna
The product, “N.O.-Xplode XE Edge” contains three plants which BSN calls “super leaf extracts”: Guayusa, a plant from the Amazonian rain forest which BSN said is regularly eaten by the indigenous Kichwa tribe during night-time hunting; Yohimbe, the popular botanical extract from the bark of an evergreen tree in West Africa traditionally used in aphrodisiacs; and Mucuna, a legume that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine.
There has been some scrutiny of one of the line’s main ingredients, yohimbe. In the US, the bark extract is under the FDA radar, and several warning letters have been issued to companies marketing yohimbe bark products over the year. Some parties are blaming the bad rap to adulteration in the ingredient’s supply chain, and some labs are developing a method to test yohimbe bark extracts to assure its quality.
The other two, Mucuna and Guayusa, appear here and there in energy products. Though literature on their function and efficacy are not yet abundant, their use among communities where the plants are native have been well documented. Guayusa, for example, is a popular energy tea ingredient passing down from Ecuador's Kichwa people, as documented in a reportage by National Geographic.
Meeting the target
The so-called “super leaf extracts” only make up a part of the entire formulation. “What’s unique about [the products] is not just the inclusion of these ingredients, but the combination of botanical and more traditional sports nutrition ingredients,” Blum said.
The formulation includes caffeine and beta-alanine, common ingredients in pre-workout supplements. “Our products are designed with a variety of athletes in mind – while each are supremely competitive and consistently push boundaries in and out of the gym, we know they encompass a range of fitness disciplines and physique types,” Blum added.
Because of that, BSN hopes to lure an especially active type of consumer, ones that are “supremely competitive and consistently push boundaries in and out of the gym.”