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The Science

Rep Max

Peak O2

"Peak O2 is an organic-certified combination of six Ayurvedic mushroom strains grown and harvested right here in the U.S. These mushrooms are powerful adaptogens , which allow athletes to “adapt” to and overcome physical and mental stress, giving you the extra edge you  want to take your training to the next level.

In a recent study, athletes using PeakO2 for seven days improved their power output 17.6 over baseline. 

PeakO2 can boost your endurance like no other supplement. In a 21-day clinical study at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, PeakO2 users improved their time to exhaustion by 70 seconds from baseline."

L-Tyrosine

"Tyrosine is amongst a class of amino acids known as ‘non-essential’ amino acids, so called because the body can produce them endogenously, and it is therefore not essential to consume dietary tyrosine. That said, tyrosine is also what is known as a conditionally-essential amino acid; conditionally-essential because, along with glucose and ammonia, the synthesis of tyrosine additionally requires adequate levels of phenylalanine. Once synthesized, tyrosine is one of the most critical amino acids, given its prominent role as a substrate in the synthesis of the catecholamines dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, in addition to both T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) thyroid hormones.

In studies on stress modulation, tyrosine has been demonstrated to reverse stress-induced norepinephrine depletion and the depressant-behavioral effects normally associated with it. In simpler terms, tyrosine may, in certain conditions, dampen the extent to which norepinephrine is removed from the bloodstream during a stress event. In simpler terms still, tyrosine may help to mitigate the sense of depletion and fatigue felt at the end of a workout.

Tyrosine may also play important metabolic functions, mostly related to its role in synthesizing compounds which stimulate the nervous system. While not traditionally considered a sympathomimetic amine, studies which have coadministered tyrosine and stimulants demonstrate a synergistic effect. These studies suggest that tyrosine may potentiate the effects of both endogenous and supplemental norepinephrine and its mimetics (in the case of exogenous use) with respect to lipolysis, thermogenesis, and energy expenditure. Meaning that tyrosine may play a role in assisting norepinephrine to break up triglycerides and increase body heat transiently."

Caffeine Anhydrous

"Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed, and perhaps one of the most reviewed, psychoactive compounds. Its physiological effects in a range of areas have been well-documented, including exercise performance, information processing, alertness and mood enhancement, attention, and awareness, along with its anti-lipogenic and lipolytic abilities.

Caffeine has been shown to have significant effects on exercise performance, even with ingestion in servings as small 3 to 9mg/kg/bw/day (the equivalent of 2 cups of standard coffee, for a 170lb male). In endurance training, possible explanations for caffeine’s performance-enhancing effects lie in its metabolic effects on both lean and fat tissue. It is suggested that caffeine’s potent lipolytic (the breakdown of fat tissue into fatty acids) and oxidative (the actual ‘burning’ of fat) action allow the body to utilize these sources during prolonged submaximal exercise. As a consequence, muscle glycogen is spared and available for use later in the training session. Practically speaking, this means caffeine is forcing your body to preferentially use fat tissue as a fuel source, while sparing the glycogen which gives you the full-bodied look!

In short-term exercise, caffeine’sdemonstrated role in the inhibition of cyclic AMP- phosphodiesterases (PDE), adenosine receptor antagonism, and adrenoreceptor agonism come into play. These three pathways collectively stimulate lipolytic activity, boost fat metabolism, increase metabolic rate and energy expenditure, and regulate the body’s thermogenic activity. The practical results of activating these pathways are increases to the contractile force of both cardiac and skeletal muscle (harder flexion), an increase in energy expenditure (freeing up more caloric energy to be used in contraction), dilation of vasculature (better blood flow), and improvements to both nitrogen retention and skeletal muscle protein synthesis (key components to muscle building)."

N,N-dimethylphenylethylamine Citrate

"N-N-dimethylphenylethylamine provides therapeutic mood boosting effects due to its ability increasse levels of Dopamine and Noradrenaline the body. Dopamine is the hormone responsible for ‘feeling good’, with Eria Jarensis Extract or N-N-dimethylphenylethylamine reported to give users a euphoric sensation. These hormones are also associated with enhancing concentration levels, alertness and focus, while others have also reported that Eria Jarensis Extract or N-N-dimethylphenylethylamine was associated with the reduction in appetite, acting as a bronchodilator and reducing feelings of anxiety! Therefore, supplementing with Eria Jarensis Extract or N-N-dimethylphenylethylamine  can increase the quality of one’s training, assist with fat loss and improve general concentration levels during the day."

Ampiberry

"Ampiberry is the replacement for DMHA and is a unique and highly effective ingredient that comes from the form of Juniperus communis (common juniper). When you pair Ampiberry with caffeine, you can expect help with smooth energy levels and prolong the life of the stimulants included in your pre workout of choice."

Higenamine HCL

"It has been found that higenamine produces cardio tonic, vascular relaxation, and positive bronchodilation. This makes Higenamine the “one hit wonder” for basically every facet of the Pre-Workout supplement.

1.) Neurological/Cardiovascular Stimulation
2.) Vasodilation (Relaxing/Enlargement of Veins.)
3.) Bronchodilation (Increased endurance/uptake of VO2.)

Bronchodilators are highly used and sought after in the world of bodybuilding and competitive athletics as a whole. This offers a new realm of attack for burning fat, and retaining muscle mass by doing so. Combining this new bullet point with the fact that Higenamine brings vascular relaxation and more neuro-cardio stimulation to the table makes this ingredient a major plus."

Hordenine HCL

"Hordenine HCl can help enhance muscular contractions (Barwell et al., 1989). This allows you to have intense contractions during resistance training, breaking down muscle fibers to be rebuilt stronger and larger. Hordenine HCl also has nootropic properties that can enhance mood and focus (Fisar et al., 2010). With Hordenine HCl’s ability to effect the adrenergic system, you can also find an increase in energy by boosting norepinephrine levels. In addition, supplementing with Hordenine HCl can aid in weight loss through increasing metabolism."

Theophylline

"Theophylline is a caffeine metabolite with a profound stimulant effect.

This chemical cousin to caffeine has a profound stimulant effect, especially noticeable at the cardiopulmonary level as well as in the CNS.

Theophylline is a natural metabolite of caffeine in humans, about 4% of the caffeine a healthy person ingests is metabolized into theophylline (theobromine and paraxanthine are other important stimulant metabolites of caffeine). Theophylline isnaturallyl found in cacao beans (Theobroma cacao) and in a variety of tea types (Camelia sinensis) at levels that would be extractable (close to 4mg/g naturally in the case of some types of cacao beans). In fact, various botanical extractions containing 30%-50% w/w of naturally occurring theophylline are readily available from several Asian countries at prices that make them feasible ingredients for dietary supplements (note - these teas likely contain high levels of other, stimulant methylxanthines like caffeine and theobromine too)."

Isopropylnorsynephrine

"Isopropylnorsynephrine is an extract of Citrus aurantium, also known as Bitter Orange. It is a stronger lipolytic agent than synephreine, and other extracts of Citrus aurantium. In other words, it is the best fat burning, and stimulant part of Bitter Orange."

Lion's Mane

"Working in conjunction with caffeine is Lion’s Mane extract which is an extremely powerful catalyst for brain cell regeneration and mental optimization. Long term, this highly advanced nootropic factor can stimulate the repair and creation of new brain cells. However, with an intense workout looming you need immediate mental energy. Lion’s Mane Extract readily assists by eliminating brain fog, decreasing anxiety, and increasing mental alertness. In one study, a group of Lion’s Mane extract subjects showed significantly increased scores on a cognitive scale compared to a placebo group.

L-Theanine

"Though the literature surrounding L-theanine is still emerging, the amino acid is slowly building a reputation as one of the most interesting and exciting compounds being targeted for therapeutic use. L-theanine is an amino acid found almost exclusively in tea, constituting approximately 1-2% of the dry weight of tea – resulting in a 25–60 mg theanine load per 200 ml serving of liquid tea.

First identified in green tea and in the mushroom Xerocomus badius, L-theanine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier in a dose-dependent manner, and it is thought to influence the central nervous system (CNS) through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • Increasing the release and concentration of dopamine.
  • Inhibiting glutamate reuptake and blockade of glutamate receptors in the hippocampus.
  • Increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA – a neurotransmitter associated with the regulation of responses) concentrations.
  • Increasing levels of serotonin.

In addition to these more well-demonstrated effects, emerging electroencephalography trials on theanine suggest that the amino acid may exert a positive effect on alpha waves – a type of brain wave implicated in restful relaxation. Alpha activity has also been associated with increased creativity, increased performance under stress, and improved learning and concentration, as well as decreased anxiety."

Theobromine

"Theobromine is commonly found in chocolate (cacao). The energy boost you get from chocolate is actually coming from Theobromine itself – dark chocolate having the highest concentrations. Along with the energy boost, expect to feel nootropic effects where you attain a feeling of relaxation (Mitchell et al., 2011). Due to the vasodilation properties found in Theobromine (Martinez-Pinilla et al., 2015), it can also help attain a pump during workouts. The dilation of blood vessels can help increase blood flow to working muscles as well as transport nutrients more easily throughout the body. In addition, Theobromine has a diuretic effect, pulling water out of the body (Eteng et al., 2006). Lastly, as an added bonus, Theobromine may help with weight reduction as well thanks to its ability to reduce hunger and help prevent overeating (Khazan et al., 2014)."

Huperzine A 1%

"Huperzine A increases acetylcholine production indirectly by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. Huperzine works to promote long-lasting focus, concentration, and alertness during training."

Citrulline Malate

"Citrulline is a non-essential, non-protein amino acid that forms during the urea cycle and forms ornithine when combined with carbon dioxide. Citrulline is also a critical source of endogenous (natural) arginine, as it is rapidly and efficiently converted to arginine in the vascular endothelium and other tissues.

Citrulline’s benefits have been shown to be greater than its parent compound. While arginine undergoes direct hepatic (liver) metabolism through the enzyme arginase, citrulline bypasses hepatic metabolism entirely and it is delivered straight to the bloodstream. The result is that gut absorption and plasma (blood) bioavailability studies comparing citrulline and arginine have shown two things. First, that citrulline is less readily destroyed and has greater absorption than arginine. Second, that citrulline supplementation increases arginine levels more effectively than arginine supplementation itself.

This translates to promising results. For example, animal studies show a significant increase in anaerobic performance at a 250mg/kg/day serving of citrulline, while studies in humans implicate citrulline in both aerobic and anaerobic performance increases. As a critical part of the urea cycle, citrulline’s performance benefits are thought to be a result of its role in ammonia clearance. Citrulline is implicated in reducing the oxygen cost of muscle processes, along with increasing the rate of post-exercise ATP and phosphocreatine replenishment. As ATP and phosphocreatine are the body’s ‘exercise fuel,’ this may result in citrulline delaying time to exhaustion in aerobic and anaerobic exercise."

Agmatine Sulfate

"Familiar with L-Arginine? It’s used in many pre-workout products to aid in providing a pump/vasodilation. Agmatine, is a metabolite of L-Arginine and has many benefits which is why you can find Agmatine in many pre-workouts as well as nootropic supplements. Agmatine is great for mental functioning such as mental health, stress management, and mental clarity (Examine). Agmatine has the ability to aid in increasing insulin response which can improve body composition (Hwang et al., 2005). With the help of Agmatine, you can reduce perceived pain, allowing you to push harder and longer during workouts (Keynan et al., 2010). In order to build quality lean muscle mass, you also need to increase protein synthesis while shuttling nutrients to the muscles to help them rebuild and recover. Agmatine aids in regulating nitric oxide synthase to help produce nitric oxide which can then cause a vasodilation effect of the blood vessels to help transport nutrients throughout the body and into working muscles (Biolo, 1997). Another key benefit of Agmatine is it’s potential to affect testosterone levels. When there is a higher level of testosterone present, it primes the body to build muscle. Agmatine can also increase the secretion of luteinizing hormone, which is vital in testosterone production (Kalra et al., 1995)."

Swole Max

Beta Alanine

"When muscle growth and strength are your goals, this is a must have ingredient in your formulation. Beta alanine has been shown to not only improve recovery time and muscle endurance (Smith et al., 2009), but also delay fatigue to allow you to push harder every workout (Derave et al., 2007). As a result of being able to increase your workload each workout, you can notice significant increases in overall muscle strength (Hoffman et al., 2006). Beta Alanine is so potent and beneficial, that it has been granted 14 global patents as a result. 

  • Increased Peak Performance
  • Faster Muscle Recovery
  • Better Training Sessions with Better Results."

Betaine Anhydrous

"Betaine Anhydrous, also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), is a component of beetroot. Supplementing with Betaine can help improve vasodilation by increasing nitric oxide levels in the blood (Iqbal et al., 2006). This can aid in providing a pump during exercise, as well as improving blood flow and nutrient transport. Betaine is also able to help improve endurance where more work is able to be completed prior to fatigue (Trepanowski et al., 2011). Additionally, when it comes to overall muscle growth and size, Betaine is able to support growth hormone levels by increasing IGF-1 in the body and was also found to reduce cortisol levels (Apicella et al., 2013)."

Sodium Bicarbonate

"The American College of Sports Medicine describes sodium bicarbonate as one of the leading ergogenic aids and that has a lot to do with the fact that it acts as a buffer: it neutralizes acid.

During high intensity exercise, metabolic byproducts like lactate and hydrogen form in the muscle cells and are the primary contributors to that burning sensation (metabolic acidosis) you feel in your muscles. (Research is still a little inconclusive and they may not be the only cause of burning muscles, but it appears they probably have a lot to do with it.)

Some of these byproducts can linger in the muscles and make for a more acidic environment, which can contribute to fatigue. Baking soda seems to help flush them from the muscle tissue and make a more alkaline environment, helping you to perform better for longer.

See, bicarbonate is found on grocery shelves but also inside the body. It’s produced by the kidneys and the intestinal tract and it helps eliminate hydrogen ions and reduce acidity in the blood. Take some as a supplement and an hour later you can expect to find more of it in the blood, so you’re less acidic during your WOD.

The sweet spot is high intensity intervals: a number of studies have found ingesting baking soda can improve anaerobic capacity along with power output and, to a lesser extent, aerobic capacity. Some of the best known research has shown sprinters improving power, tennis players and boxers improving both accuracy and endurance, and swimmers increasing endurance."

Glycerpump

Glycerol has been and continues to be a popular ingredient in pre workout supplements. It’s been shown to offer a slew of benefits, some which you may not have ever heard mentioned:

  • Improves hydration
  • Decreases urine output and free-water clearance
  • Greater endurance (up to 24% improvement!) 
  • Reduces “thermal burden” of exercise in heat
  • Decreases heart rate during exercise
  • Longer time to exhaustion
  • Improves aerobic and anaerobic power and performance

There’s also another more superficial benefit to the increased water retention from glycerol supplementation — more shapely muscles and massive water pumps!

Coconut Water Powder

  • "Coconut water powder is high in natural electrolytes - The high mineral content of coconut water powder makes more hydrating than plain water. Minerals, such as magnesium, also make it a beverage that helps with nerve function too, and this is something that any athlete benefits from during high intensity workouts or events. Muscles fire harder for longer.
  • High levels of potassium - Let's also not overlook that a lot of potassium is going to prevent the muscles of the body from cramping, and if you are running or doing something like a Crossfit WOD or a GRID race, you cannot afford a cramp to prevent you from going on or performing at your best.
  • Natural enzymes – The natural enzymes in coconut water powder also protect the digestive tract, preventing any sort of pain or spasms as food and beverages are digested. This is of the utmost importance when doing any sort of strength or high intensity exercise. After all, cramps in the stomach or gastrointestinal system are a common reason for runners or anyone in the midst of high-energy cardiovascular workouts to stop or be unable to perform."

Nitrosigine

"Nitrosigine encourages increases in blood flow and nitric oxide levels. Specifically, the bonded arginine promotes the relaxation of smooth muscles in blood vessels to help increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to working muscles. In addition the Silicon found in Nitrosigine aids in providing flexibility and strength to arterial walls to further increase blood flow.

Supplementing with Nitrosigine enhances blood flow to encourage better "muscle pumps" and vascularity during and after your workouts, while also promoting more efficient oxygen delivery to muscles resulting in reduced fatigue and increased recovery from workouts."   

Agmatine Sulfate

"Familiar with L-Arginine? It’s used in many pre-workout products to aid in providing a pump/vasodilation. Agmatine, is a metabolite of L-Arginine and has many benefits which is why you can find Agmatine in many pre-workouts as well as nootropic supplements. Agmatine is great for mental functioning such as mental health, stress management, and mental clarity (Examine). Agmatine has the ability to aid in increasing insulin response which can improve body composition (Hwang et al., 2005). With the help of Agmatine, you can reduce perceived pain, allowing you to push harder and longer during workouts (Keynan et al., 2010). In order to build quality lean muscle mass, you also need to increase protein synthesis while shuttling nutrients to the muscles to help them rebuild and recover. Agmatine aids in regulating nitric oxide synthase to help produce nitric oxide which can then cause a vasodilation effect of the blood vessels to help transport nutrients throughout the body and into working muscles (Biolo, 1997). Another key benefit of Agmatine is it’s potential to affect testosterone levels. When there is a higher level of testosterone present, it primes the body to build muscle. Agmatine can also increase the secretion of luteinizing hormone, which is vital in testosterone production (Kalra et al., 1995)."

Potassium Chloride

"Along with chloride and sodium, potassium is one of your body’s most important electrolytes, which are minerals in your blood, urine, and bodily fluids that contain an electric charge. Your body’s cells use electrolytes to carry electrical impulses throughout your body. These charges help your cells communicate with each other and give you the ability to taste, see, smell, touch, and hear. Nearly 70% of the potassium in your body is found in bodily fluids like plasma, blood, and sweat, while the rest is stored in your bones. So, if you sweat heavily during intense exercise, you actually lose potassium through your sweat!

In addition to helping to maintain a proper fluid balance in your body, potassium also performs the following functions:

Keeps the blood from clotting, maintains the body’s pH balance, carries nutrients to the cells, protects the stomach lining from the damage that could be caused by stomach acids, maintains healthy blood pressure, promotes heart health, and preserves bone health.

 Athletes should be especially concerned with their potassium intake; potassium is involved in the storage of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles. Specifically, potassium works to regulate the muscles and nerves. The frequency and degree to which your muscles contract is heavily dependent on the right amount of potassium in the body. When potassium is deficient in the diet, or when the movement of potassium through the body is blocked, your nervous and muscular systems can become compromised. A sufficient amount of potassium is essential for keeping your muscular system running smoothly, so make sure you’re getting enough! The Adequate Intake (AI) for potassium is 4.7 grams per day, but most Americans don’t get enough potassium in their diets.

However, because you lose potassium through sweat and urination, you need to be consuming potassium-rich foods each day, especially if you’re an athlete. Low potassium levels can reduce your energy and endurance. A recent Australian study with highly trained athletes showed that drinking a caffeinated beverage immediately before exercise can help to maintain adequate potassium levels in your blood and delay fatigue during your workout."

Sodium Chloride

"For individuals who are highly active, sodium is a crucial electrolyte that helps maintain intracellular and extracellular fluids in the right balance. It also helps maintain electrical gradients across cell membranes, which is crucial for nerve transmission and muscle contraction. In athletes, a low sodium intake can cause muscle cramps, and in more serious cases can cause hyponatremia, a sodium deficiency that can be very dangerous."

Beet Root Extract

"Supplementing with nitrates, usually by consuming beet juice or taking a beet (beta vulgaris) extract, has been suggested in numerous studies to enhance exercise performance. The purported benefits include greater exercise endurance, greater power output, and less fatigue. This means that during a typical weightlifting workout, it could improve your strength, allow you to complete more reps with a given weight, and allow you to better maintain rep ranges and strength toward the end of the workout. All of this can help increase muscle strength, muscle growth, and muscle endurance."

Pegapump

 

"PegaPump is an aqueous extract of Peganum Harmala standardized for the specific alkaloids that promote vasorelaxant and cardiovascular benefits, including the beta-carbolines Harmine, Harmaline and Harmalol.

Peganum Harmala is used extensively around the world in the treatment of a number of cardiovascular disorders including hypertension and heart disease.[8] In fact, various studies have noted that the alkaloids present in PegaPump:

  • Decrease systemic arterial blood pressure
  • Reduce total peripheral vascular resistance
  • Increase peak aortic flow
  • Exert vasorelaxant effects (making blood vessels more “flexible”)
  • Angiogenic inhibitory effects
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial

This makes Pegapump not only a great ingredient for muscle pumps, but also for cardiovascular health and performance."

Choline Bitartrate

"Choline is an essential nutrient involved in numerous metabolic pathways, including DNA regulation and repair, protein function, and metabolism. Perhaps most importantly, the critical neurotransmitter acetylcholine is produced directly from free choline via cholinergic neurons. Acetylcholine is then responsible for a number of functions itself, most crucially as the compound which induces muscular contraction, and as the neuromodulator partially responsible for modulating risk/reward, arousal, and enhancing memory.

Choline’s essential role as a substrate for acetylcholine, and therefore brain development, is well documented in animal models. These studies demonstrate that levels of free maternal choline have a direct and fundamental impact on prenatal brain development, with the enhancements or deficits lasting into adulthood. Choline’s enhancing effect is particularly prominent in the hippocampus. In humans, the hippocampus is primarily involved in the consolidation of memory (taking short, episodic memory and translating it into long-term memory) and the learning of new information. Acetylcholine is a critical component in these processes, as mentioned above, and choline may therefore play a potential role in these processes as well by providing the substrate for acetylcholine synthesis.

Tartaric acid occurs naturally in the food source, while its salt derivatives (tartrate, for example) have been used as acidulants, antioxidant synergists, buffers and sequestrants. As free base choline is rapidly destroyed in metabolism, attaching a salt to enhance absorption is necessary. The bitartrate salt addition preserves choline from being destroyed during metabolism."

Alpha GPC

"Alpha GPC quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier where it protects neurons and improves brain function and learning processes. Specifically by mechanism of action Alpha GPC directly increases the synthesis and secretion of acetylcholine better than any other choline related compound, influencing both system-wide and brain concentrations of choline.

Alpha GPC is effective for enhancing mental performance and improving memory and learning ability by counteracting the age-related loss of nerve cells and fibers in the brain.

In addition some preliminary evidence suggests that Alpha GPC has the ability to enhance acute growth hormone production and power output during exercise. An increase in growth hormone production and power output has the ability to increase muscle mass and improve overall metabolic activity resulting in improved body composition."

Rhodiola Rosea

"Rhodiola Rosea is known for its ability to help combat stress and combat fatigue. It has been shown in studies to produce anti-fatigue effects, enhance sleep patterns, as well as demonstrate potential to combat signs of physical and mental stress and combat depression. There remains a clear need for further research especially for longer time periods but the evidence that Rhodiola Rosea has some cognitive benefit for users does consist of improvements across a range of markers which would be consistent with adaptogenic properties."

Panax Ginseng Extract

"A recent scientific assessment of all human studies on the use of ginseng concluded the herb can improve fatigue, energy, and motivation."