Cost: £18.98 from www.etalsports.co.uk
Servings: 22 fifteen gram servings (3 scoops per dose)
BCAA drinks are nothing new, and there is an abundance of them out there with very similar profiles. What attracted me to this product, was that it is flavoured entirely from natural ingredients. I’ve recently begun to question the amount of artificial sweeteners I consume via protein shakes, pre work out drinks etc, and while the research on sucralose isn’t as bad as all the others, such as acesulfame K that you would find in diet coke, there still remains the question on whether concrete evidence will point to sucralose being detrimental in the coming years.
BCAAs are branched chain amino acids. They are available from foods, but with my current training protocol, which aims to reduced food consumption and train on an empty stomach, I feel BCAAs are a convenient way to ensure the body is not in a catabolic state while lifting. Catabolism = your muscle being used for fuel. Not ideal when you are lifting to gain muscle, or at least hold onto it while you shed fat for summer like me.
MRM reload contains the usual 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine. A total of 7.5 grams. It also provides a genourous dose of L-Glutamine, at 3g. L-Gluatmine is the most abundant amino acid and becomes depleted in times of hard training. Finally, there is 500mg of Carnosyn Beta-Alanine. Research shows Beta Alanine can delay the onset of fatigue during intense training. 500mg is a small dose, however higher doses do produce paraesthesia so i’m glad this isn’t much higher. Paraesthesia is a sensation of tingling, which can be quite annoying, and is more suited to a pre-workout supplement. I like that a small dose is provided to top up your stores. It also contains vitamin B6, which is involved in all kinds of energy pathways and neurotransmitter regulation.
The powder mixes quite easily, I prefer to use a shaker. Froth forms on the top but this quickly dissipates. There are no clumps, and while some contents will settle, in general just a quick shake then a gulp is all you need to do. The instructions are to mix with 10-14oz of water, this is about 300ml. I prefer to drink the whole thing pre-workout in one go, although you can sip it. The reason for this is, the flavour is not amazing. Stevia and Xylitol are the natural sweeteners used here. They are no where near as sweet as sucralose, and stevia dose have a bitter note, as well as a sweetness intensity that builds. The water melon flavour is quite weak in my opinion, and I think they could have used more citric acid or other acids to get more of an authentic fruit flavour. However, no one ever said going all natural was going to be free of any downsides.
I think as a drink you consume quickly, the flavour is tolerable, but even for an all natural beverage, I think they could have done better here.Its hard to comment on the direct training benefits of BCAAs, as its not really something you feel, its more a case of reading the research and the anecdotes and deciding for yourself if you can benefit. For me, this product is a viable all natural option. I may try the lemon flavour next, to decide whether or not the stevia is the main problem with the taste. I also intend to add other ingredients I see fit, as this could make a good all natural base for a pre-workout drink.