Red Bull before a race? Seen it. Gulping GU shots every 30 minutes? Standard for some. Sometimes less is more. That’s why we are taking a look at X2PERFORMANCE in this review. It’s a simple solution to an age old triathlete problem. The right stuff at the right time with the right ingredients.
We tried out a 4-pack of X2PERFORMANCE on some long runs leading up the LA Marathon and used it on race day. Check out our thoughts below on X2PERFORMANCE.
Packaging / Shelf Appeal / Marketing
X2 packaging is professional, glossy and appealing. It’s obviously not produced and packaged in someone’s garage and shipped using Fred’s delivery service.
Now, you won’t find X2 on the shelves of your tri shop or local GNC. You have to buy it exclusively through their website. That direct sales model cuts out the middle man and allows lower prices to cover less overheads.
With each order you get a few inserts about the products, company and recommended directions. Pretty standard there.
Form / Construction
You know what we like? We like bottles that are sealed with plastic and have a secured lid under the cap. Nothing’s more scary than looking at supplements that looked like someone tampered with them and threw them in a box.
The red bottles are interesting. DID YOU ORDER THE CODE RED!? YOU’RE DARN RIGHT I DID! It screams at you. You can’t ignore it, but they will go through TSA at the airport with no issues. Almost a little more subtleness would suit them for athletes that travel the airlines. But, you feel like you’re drinking something that’s for a double spy when you kick back the X2 red bottle. I got a few looks. Yes, I’m drinking rocket fuel, what’s it to you?
Fashion / Appearance
In line with the marketing and bottle appearance, the X2 makes a statement. We’re here and we’re going to kick butt. The lettering is stylish, the boxes are made to fit exactly the amount of bottles per order and they just appear to have it together. Nothing’s worse than getting a bag of chips with your sandwich only to open them up and find 4 chips and the rest was air. No waste here.
Fit / Function
So all the fluff about appeal and marketing is great, but what does it really do for you?
First of all, the taste is very unique. It can be bitter if not refrigerated, but tolerable if you have a sports drink handy to wash down the aftertaste. All of our testing was performed without refrigeration.
The fluid is somewhat milky in appearance, but is as fluid as water and goes down without an issue. This is in stark contrast to sports gels that ooze down your throat and sit in your gut waiting for digestion.
It wasn’t an instantaneous magical potion that instantly transformed the drinker into an invincible athlete. Honestly, it was like, “that’s it”? But, you do need to follow the directions and take 30 to 45 minutes before workouts. It’s a subtle feeling more akin to creatine. It may not make you feel superhuman, but it will allow you to do your workout with more intensity for longer periods of time. Maybe more akin to Viagra… working harder longer? Maybe not. At any rate, we half expected a rush type feeling that accompanies Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy. X2 was nothing like those sugar or B12 rush drinks. There were no jitters or increased heart rates to go along with the drink at any time. It was a steady energy output that we couldn’t really tell a start and end to. It came, it went, and we completed our workouts with vim and vigor.
We used it during marathon training and for the marathon. For the first 1:15 of the marathon, we had energy to spare and unfortunately did not plan ahead and only had one bottle left for race morning. Honestly, we could tell a difference around mile 12. Just a drain in energy. Before that we attacked the hills and kept pace with the goal pace group. Honestly we wish we had more. Might have to break down and buy some instead of using up the review supply!
Brace yourself, here’s where we talk about the mean green. Now, considering the competition such as GU, PowerBar, Gatorade the proliferation of hundreds of smaller supplement companies that litter the endurance world, X2 can pack a punch to the wallet. But, this is a complete system in one drink. There’s no prime, during workout, recovery or systems of multiple products to use here. You buy one product, and you use it once a day for recovery days or short workout days and possibly multiple times in longer training sessions.
X2 ranges from $3.99 to $4.99 depending on if you buy in bulk or not. Obviously they want you to buy more at a time and it’s less costly to produce and ship in bulk.
Your average GU shot or CLIF shot may run you $1.50 or maybe $2 at the most. And, some can use purely the sports gel for a race, but you need another product for recovery. With X2, it’s all there.
We found the angle of X2 unique. They go after the generation and regeneration of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and increase that instead of using stimulants like caffeine to get your heart rate up and leaving you vulnerable to the crash afterwards.
The initial taste might require some getting used to or at least having a sports drink chaser on hand. It’s a great alternative to the sports gels providing an increase in stamina to work at the same rate for extended periods of time. Do keep in mind that you need more than one serving of you are going long.
The price might be prohibitive, but people drink $5 macchiatos from Starbucks on a daily basis, so it’s a good substitute to a bad vice for endurance athletes. If you are in the market for something to keep you going without the stomach bomb, check out X2PERFORMANCE.
Writer’s Note – Ryan is participating in a sponsored campaign for X2PERFORMANCE. He received compensation for this post, but the opinions are his. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.