Benefits of Increased Testosterone
• Increased Muscle Mass
• Increased Strength
• Reduced Soreness and Recovery Time
• Enhanced Sexual Function
• Reduced Body Fat
• Increased Energy Levels
D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the human reproductive organs, hypothalamus and pituitary gland. D-aspartic acid is formed when the enzyme aspartate racemase converts L-aspartic acid into D-aspartic acid in the testes and other glands within the body. D-aspartic acid plays a vital role in the manufacturing of sperm cells and sex hormone production. DAA is a very potent sexual performance stimulator, enhancing libido, erection quality, and heightening of orgasms and the quality of sexual activity.
Human studies have shown a correlation between a significant increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), a messenger hormone which signals the testes to produce more testosterone, and higher testosterone levels in men when supplementing D-aspartic Acid. DAA also induces potent elevation of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and GABA, which are responsible for its memory enhancing, anti-depressive and neurotropic effects.
The amino acid Sarcosine works synergistically with D-Aspartic Acid to greatly enhance its activity at the receptor site. The use of Sarcosine infused DAA leads to a greater elevation of testosterone peaks compared to the usage of DAA alone.
Ursolic acid is derived from the skin and tissues of many edible plants and fruits. Recent scientific studies have shown Ursolic acid to be a powerful anabolic substance. Recent research has suggested Ursolic acid can be a potent muscle builder and fat burner. Ursolic acid was shown to block muscle wasting caused by undernourishment. Ursolic acid was also shown to accelerate muscle growth by as much as 15% when fed to normal mice. Interestingly, fat loss occurred simultaneously and at a rate practically inversely proportional to muscle gain.
Ursolic acid’s anabolic mechanism is enhancing the expression of IGF-1. The local production of IGF-1 in muscle initiates the key steps of satellite cell recruitment into new myonuclei and protein synthesis; new muscle signaling.
Ursolic acid has been shown to shrink fat cells. It is believed that it achieves this by both enhancing lipolysis (fat burning) and blocking fatty acid synthesis. It may also affect fat stores by blocking cortisol activation. Ursolic acid is also an effective blocker of the enzyme aromatase, so it has the potential to control estrogen production while maximizing testosterone release.
Tribulus contains an extract of Tribulus terrestris herb (aerial parts – leaves and stems) and contains steroidal saponins, mainly furostanol glycosides (including protodioscin and protogracillin) and small quantities of spirostanol glycosides, sterols and other compounds. The compounds in Tribulus work together not to induce the production of testosterone but rather to increase luteinizing hormone (LH) which converts free testosterone into useable anabolic hormone.
Maca Root Extract contains plant sterols which can block and control the production of estrogen and boost testosterone levels. In studies, Maca increased total testosterone indirectly by increasing sex hormone binding globulin which increases free testosterone levels.
Testofen is an extract of fenugreek seed containing the steroidal saponins, sapogenins and furostanol saponins, which are important precursors for the synthesis of a number of sex hormones. The extract has been suggested in human studies to raise free testosterone, the only type of testosterone to actually enter the muscle cell and cause positive results in
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Creatine enables muscle cells to contract more often by providing the cells with more molecular energy. Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes lactic acid and delays the moment at which muscle cells start to function less efficiently as a result of a higher degree of acidity. Sports scientists have tested both substances exhaustively and demonstrated their effectiveness independantly.
It would seem obvious then that it’s worth combining sodium bicarbonate with creatine. The combined supplement was found to work better than creatine on its own. Peak power increased by a significant amount in the combined group but not in the creatine only group. The relative peak power [peak power per kg bodyweight] is maintained better in the combined group than in the other test groups as well.
Try Titan Nutrition’s Kre-Ex pre-workout which includes creatine and sodium bicarbonate as well as an array of other compounds designed to improve performance.
Endurance athletes who use creatine recover faster from their training efforts according to Sports scientists at the Graduate Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Education in Taiwan. Creatine supplementation reduces damage caused by endurance exertion to muscle fibers, write the Taiwanese.
Not an awful lot is known about the effect of creatine on the metabolism of endurance athletes, so the Taiwanese carried out an experiment with 12 well-trained male students. The students took 12 g creatine every day for 15 days and ran before and just after the supplementation period for 60 minutes at 65-70 percent of their maximal heart rate.
The researchers then repeated the procedure on another occasion, but gave the students a placebo.
Before, during and after the session the researchers analyzed the students’ urine and blood. This is how the Taiwanese discovered that creatine supplementation kept the concentration of 3-methylhistidine and urea nitrogen low. 3-Methylhistidine and urea are indicators of muscle breakdown.
If the body burns protein the concentration of ammonia in the blood rises. The body neutralizes this through a reaction in which glutamate is converted into glutamine. Because the researchers found less glutamine in the athletes, they suspect that creatine supplementation helps the muscles of endurance athletes to burn less protein during exercise.
“In terms of metabolism, creatine supplementation possessed the advantages of decreasing muscle glycogen and protein degradation, especially after endurance exercise”
For those worried about weight gain sticking to a low creatine dose will usually prevent any unwanted gain in body weight.
Creatine can also be combined with other supplements to increase its effect on performance. When combined with glycerol creatine boosts hydration levels, and that can help endurance athletes who have to perform at high temperatures. When combined with beta-alanine, creatine improves endurance capacity. Creatine can also enable muscle cells to absorb more glucose.
Recently more studies on the positive effects of beet root juice on exercise performance where published. Some scientists speculated that its positive effect on exercise performance is due to the high amount of dietary nitrate. A recent study by Lee, et.al. (Lee. 2010) found another plausible explanation for the performance boosting effects of beet root. Beet root is very high in betaine of which the researchers were able to show that following supplementation with 1.2g betaine twice a day test subjects improved bench press force, throwing force, and vertical jump power.
These results confirm those of a number of previous studies (Hoffmann. 2009; Armstrong, 2008), which found similar improvements in exercise performance.
Contains High Concentrations of L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, Beta-Alanine, D-Ribose, and L-Histidine. This isn’t your typical Glutamine or BCAA product as it also contains D-Ribose which enhances muscle glycogen stores and helps restore muscle ATP for greater energy and more productive workouts. Gluta R&R also contains Astragin which in pre-clinical studies has been shown to increase amino acid absorption by 66% and ATP production by 18%.
If you are tired of wimpy doses of active ingredients in your pre-workout give Creation 7 a try. Creation 7 uses tried and true ingredients including creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine and citrulline malate as a basis to improve workout productivity. The energy boost from this product is lasts without the crash and is intense enough to power through the toughest workouts. Creation 7 also includes TMG or betaine which is a natural nutrient that promotes hydration and performance, especially related to physical activity. More recently, betaine has been the subject of a range of studies indicating health and performance benefits. These human trials demonstrate a significant improvement in physical performance, especially in strength, power and endurance.
At first glance Amino Matrix may look like just another amino acid product however this is no ordinary amino product. The amino acid profile is similar to human muscle tissue creating the highest “net” nitrogen synthesis possible. To maintain and build muscle it is necessary to maintain a positive nitrogen balance a higher net rate of nitrogen synthesis sways the nitrogen balance in the right direction improving recovery and increases the possibility of keeping and building muscle. These free form amino acids absorb quickly speeding nutrients to the muscles more quickly than complete proteins for whole foods.
If you are looking to build strength and muscle there is no better way to do it than with proven ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine, and taurine. This product can be used as a creatine in your supplement regimen or double as a non-stimulant pre-workout. Expect to recover more quickly and be able to handle more work while using this product.
Many fat burners are long on promises and short on results. Keto Rips uses 7-Keto which is clinically suggested to help with weight loss. It works by stimulating thermogenic enzymes which promote thermogenesis or fat burning. 7-Keto has been awarded a US patent for weight loss.
N.O. Flex is a true pre-workout in a pill form providing and unparalleled burst of energy for improved endurance, recovery, power and speed. It instantly improves focus and blood flow for improved workout intensity.
Muscle contains a substance called carnosine, which acts to buffer acid and as a result may act to allow muscles to contract longer and harder. Beta-alanine is the rate-limiting component in the synthesis of carnosine levels in muscles. This means that beta-alanine consumption is necessary to maximize carnosine content in the muscle.
Researchers from the United Kingdom had healthy men supplement for four weeks with either 6.4 grams of beta-alanine per day or a placebo. Before and after supplementation, the men performed a cycling test to exhaustion at an intensity that caused them to fatigue in about two minutes.
Results showed that four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation allowed subjects to exercise for a longer period of time. Four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation increased performance by 15%, and ingesting sodium bicarbonate before an exercise challenge improved performance beyond that of beta-alanine, indicating a potential added effect. The effect of bicarbonate was found not to be significant but the authors noted that there was a 70% probability of a potential positive effect.
Reference: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Oct;43(10):1972-8. PubMed PMID: 21407127.
Using egg protein, one study showed that muscle protein synthesis reached a plateau when 20 grams of protein was consumed. When 40 grams was consumed, there was no further increase in muscle protein synthesis.
A similar study was conducted with whey protein isolate. Study participants consumed whey after a session of single leg knee extensions, using the non-exercised leg as a control.
After exercising one leg, they consumed a drink containing 0, 10, 20 or 40 grams of whey protein isolate. Measures of muscle protein synthesis were taken for 4 hours after exercise in the control (non-exercised) leg (to determine the effects of simply ingesting whey without exercise), and in the exercised leg (to determine the effects of whey plus resistance exercise). Muscle protein synthesis was higher in the exercised leg compared to the control leg at all doses of whey, consistent with the complimentary effect of whey and exercise.
In the non-exercised leg, there was a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis with the 20 gram dose, but no further increase with 40 grams. In the exercised leg, there was a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis with 20 grams of whey, and a further 32% increase with the 40 gram dose.
Research shows that individuals with a higher intake of BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) have lower rates of obesity, lower body weight, and better body composition. Researchers conclude that leucine increases energy expenditure and improves glucose tolerance.
BCAA’s cause cells to absorb and burn more fatty acids. High levels of BCAA’s in the blood stream usually mean excessive muscle breakdown. In order to stop muscle breakdown the body will adapt by using more fat for fuel. You can trick your body into triggering this process by consuming supplemental BCAA’s. Significant amounts of BCAA’s also trigger an increase in leptin emission. This is the hormone that tells the body that it has consumed enough energy; it also increases energy burning and helps control appetite.
Supplemental BCAA’s can improve cognitive function by increasing production of neurotransmitters. BCAA’s have been shown to play a role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, which help generate energy when needed and can have a calming effect when you don’t.
BCAA’s can accelerate gains in strength from resistance training and reduce muscle damage.
BCAA consumption results in a better testosterone to cortisol ratio and can improve muscle building. BCAA’s will minimize the cortisol response that results from the stress of exercise. Lower cortisol means a more favorable testosterone to cortisol ratio that will result in faster recovery while making it easier to build muscle.
There are a lot of products that focus specifically on muscle building or fat loss, but not many that can effectively assist with both. ANS Muscle Up was designed to help promote changes in body composition by promoting fat loss and muscle building.
One of the more interesting new supplements available is called ursolic acid, which also goes by the shorter name of malol. In tests on mice, the compound caused their muscles to grow and fat mass to shrink. Researchers suspect that ursolic acid’s prime target is the IGF-1 receptor. This becomes more sensitive when Ursolic Acid is consumed and as a result the IGF-1 that is present in the body works better.
Ursolic Acid seems to increase the amount of muscle and brown fat, two tissues recognized for their calorie-burning properties. Some studies have linked increased levels of brown fat with lower levels of obesity and healthier levels of blood sugar and blood lipid, leading to the suggestion that brown fat may be helpful in preventing obesity and diabetes. Further study showed that ursolic acid consumption increased skeletal muscle, increasing strength and endurance. Because both muscle and brown fat burn calories, the researchers investigated energy expenditure which showed that ursolic acid-fed mice burned more calories than mice that didn’t get the supplement.
Muscle Up also contains the combination of protodioscin, maca, and Acetyl L-Carnitine to support testosterone levels. Protodioscin and maca work to increase the natural production of androgen levels. These compounds can help bring an individuals natural testosterone levels up to a high normal level. Acetyl L-Carnitine also works to increase the expression of androgen receptors. With more androgen receptors you have more places for testosterone to bind which can lead to greater effects from circulating testosterone.
Another component of Muscle Up is N-Coumarolydopamine a naturally occurring beta 2 agonist which has the ability to promote protein synthesis as well as having a thermogenic effect.
Muscle Up also uses Brassaiopsis glomerulata a shrub found in the Far East, extracts of the leaves have an anti-estrogenic effect. By helping to reduce estrogen it can create a more favorable hormone profile and aid in changing body composition.
The basic concept of a high calorie weight gain supplement is to provide your body with extra calories to help you put on weight. They can be helpful for people who have trouble consuming enough calories and individuals with a fast metabolism. The calories in these products will come from the three main macronutrient sources which are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. There are a few brands which advertise some other components like extra amino acids, creatine or insulin mimickers. Typically these added components are not worth it and increase the cost of the product without providing enough benefit to justify the cost. Many will not result in any additional gains beyond what the macronutrients will provide.
As mentioned above high calorie weight gain products are primarily a source of concentrated carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You should be taking a close look at the sources and quality of each of the three macronutrients. Carbohydrates should come from sources other than sugar. Often the better products will use maltodextrin from either corn or rice or a waxy maize starch. Typically these products use protein blends which is fine as long as the blend consists primarily of whey protein isolate, concentrate (80%), and casein. It is generally a good idea to avoid ones with soy protein or the lower quality concentrates. The ideal source of fat will be either flax, or sunflower oils.
The amount and quality of calories play a major role in whether you will gain fat or muscle. Higher quality calories like the ones listed above will give you a better chance of adding muscle to your physique vs. adding weight as fat. A quality high calorie supplement is like eating quality foods and the low quality ones are the equivalent to eating fast food.
We usually recommend consuming no more than 400-600 calories in any one shake. Any more than that and you will overload your digestive system and are much more likely to be adding weight as fat. Also keep in mind that when it comes to calories more is not better. As we mentioned above quality is important. Also keep in mind that in order to get more calories companies simply increase the serving size. For example if you take a look at Mass 600 which provides 600 calories including 50 grams of protein in a 150 gram serving and compare that to Real Mass from Gaspari which provides 1230 calories in a 325 gram serving with 50 grams of protein. You notice Real Mass has double the calories but it is also twice the serving size. What most people miss is that Real Mass has only HALF the protein of the Mass 600. You must consume 325 grams of powder to get 50 grams of protein while 150 grams of the Mass 600 will yield the same 50 grams of protein.
From a usage standpoint we recommend starting out by consuming 400 calories post workout and doing a second serving in either the morning or at night. Use this dosing strategy for 10 days before making any adjustments. If you find that you are adding weight too quickly you can adjust the serving downward or if you are not making gains you can adjust upward. Adjustments should be relatively small, ideally in no more than 200 calorie increments.