KAGED MUSCLE IN-KAGED Intra-Workout Fuel Review— Fermented BCAAs?

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Made in a Good Manufacturing Practices-certified facility in Idaho, the supplements from KAGED MUSCLE include citrulline, carnitine, creatine, and a wide variety of other powders. When we eyed their product line, our attention was immediately drawn to their branch chain amino acids. Why? They’re fermented.

We ordered IN-KAGED, their intra-workout blend, which has a lot more than just fermented BCAAs. Here’s what we learned when we uncaged the watermelon flavor.

KAGED MUSCLE In-Kaged
KAGED MUSCLE In-Kaged
A BCAA product that's well dosed in ingredients linked to blood flow and focus.MoreLess

IN-KAGED Nutrition and Ingredients

One scoop has 10 calories (two grams of carbs) and 5 grams of fermented leucine, isoleucine, and valine in a 2:1:1 ratio.

Then there’s the “Endura-Pump Matrix” with 3 grams of fermented citrulline, 1.6 grams of beta alanine (as CarnoSyn), and half a gram of coconut water powder.

After that there’s the “Neuro-Energy Matrix,” made of 1 gram of taurine, half a gram of l-tyrosine, and 124 milligrams of caffeine from green coffee beans. I’ll discuss the effects of all these ingredients in the next section.

Finally, there’s the miscellaneous ingredients: citric acid for flavoring, natural flavors, beet root extract for color, sea salt, silicon dioxide and calcium silicate (anti-caking agents), stevia (a natural sweetener), sucralose (an artificial sweetener), and sunflower lecithin (for mixability).

It’s definitely worth pointing out that there’s no soy and no artificial flavors or colors, though it does contain sucralose.

Kaged Muscle In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel Ingredients

IN-KAGED Benefits and Effectiveness

The BCAAs themselves are linked to improved muscle retention, focus, and endurance during a workout. So, why are they fermented? It turns out that this may improve the BCAAs’ dissolution and result in fewer small peptides, which some people worry may elicit an immune response when consumed.

The citrulline is also significant, and not just because it’s also fermented. Citrulline is linked to circulatory health and perhaps increased endurance, and in my experience the average BCAA with citrulline contains just one gram — but IN-KAGED has three grams. Now, studies usually show the most benefit with six grams, but this is nonetheless one of the most effective doses of citrulline I’ve seen in a BCAA.

The beta-alanine may improve endurance too, and some link it to hypertrophy, though this may just be because people who take it tend to grind out more reps than they would otherwise.

The coconut water powder is a source of potassium and magnesium, and while 500mg provides less than 1 percent of the RDI of either mineral, it’s still about half the amount you’ll find in a bottle of Gatorade.

[See our best BCAA picks]

Kaged Muscle In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel Nutrition

Then there’s the “Neuro-Energy Matrix.” The caffeine, of course, provides energy — there’s as much caffeine here as you’ll find in 1.5 cups of coffee. What’s cool is that it also contains a gram of taurine, which helps reduce the jitteriness and lack of focus that can come with a hit of caffeine. Taurine may also improve blood flow and exercise capacity.

Finally, the l-tyrosine is also a stimulant. Studies suggest it may help the body handle stress and improve cognition and focus, and there’s 500mg of the stuff, which research shows is probably an effective dose.

IN-Kaged Price

It costs $26 for 20 servings, which comes to $1.30 per serving or 26 cents per gram of BCAAs.

That’s pricy, as the average competitor is closer to 11 cents per gram of BCAAs, but then again the average BCAA doesn’t contain all these extra ingredients or caffeine, plus the fermentation presumably adds to the labor involved. All in all, I didn’t consider this to be unreasonably overpriced.

Kaged Muscle In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel Price

IN-KAGED Taste

I tried the Watermelon flavor, which unsurprisingly tasted like watermelon-flavored candy, but it also tasted like a strawberry Starburst. Not as “pure” a watermelon flavor as most BCAAs but it was definitely pleasant.

Note that the tub recommends you mix it with 2 to 4 cups of water (500ml to 1 liter) and I think that’s a good idea. When mixed with just 1.5 cups of water as I did, it was a little strong.

The Takeaway

There’s a lot to like here. While I’m not totally sold on the necessity of fermenting them, KAGED MUSCLE picked ingredients with a good reputation — there’s none of the iffy supplements like glutamine that don’t have much evidence behind them.

The BCAAs and the compounds that accompany them have a lot of interesting research supporting them and they’re present in what appear to be effective dosages, too. Add all that to the fact that it’s extremely low in artificial ingredients and you get a nice hit of caffeine (with taurine to make it a smoother ride) and you’ve got one of my favorite BCAAs.

KAGED MUSCLE IN-KAGED Intra-Workout Fuel

Per Serving: $1.30
8

Ingredients

10.0/10

Effectiveness

8.5/10

Price

5.5/10

Taste

8.0/10

Other Ingredients

8.0/10

Pros

  • Well-researched ingredients
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • High in citrulline

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains sucralose
  • Contains caffeine, so you may not want to take it throughout the day

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.