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Tag Archives: best pre-workout ingredient

  • 5 Amazing Health and Fitness Benefits of Caffeine

    It’s in one of the most popular morning beverages.

    It’s in a variety of fitness supplements.

    It can even be found in over-the-counter medications.

     

    Caffeine is everywhere.

    It’s one of the most popular and widely used compounds in the entire world. In fact, there’s a good chance that you started your day with it.

     

    What’s so special about caffeine?

    Why is it so popular?

     

    Let’s take a look at the top 5 amazing health and fitness benefits that caffeine can provide you.

     

    1. Disease Prevention

    The mind is a terrible thing to waste and as we age, our minds become more susceptible to degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. Diseases of the brain rob people of who they are and while medical advancements have come a long way, there is something simple that you can do to protect yourself: drink more coffee.

     

    Studies show that consistent and moderate caffeine consumption plays an important role in protecting the mind from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. (1-2)

     

    1. Workout Recovery

    For anyone who has stepped into the weight room, you know only too well how it feels the next day when you wake up. That feeling of muscle soreness means you did a great job in the gym but now you have to heal up.

     

    Caffeine consumption, particularly coffee, has been shown to boost workout recovery and decrease the amount of soreness you feel. (3)

     

    1. Focus and Alertness

    Anyone who has ever tried a cup of coffee can attest to how quickly they feel more alert upon drinking it. What’s the secret? Caffeine.

     

    An average cup of coffee will contain around 100 mg of caffeine. Some brands of coffee may contain less and some may contain a lot more. Studies have proven how effective caffeine is at boosting your alertness and focus but you don’t need a study to prove that to be true. Try it for yourself. (4)

     

    1. Weight Loss

    Ever wonder why caffeine is present in so many weight loss supplements?

     

    First, caffeine is a proven thermogenic compound, which means that it directly promotes fat burning. It triggers the release of fatty acids into the blood stream to be used as a source of fuel.

     

    What’s more, caffeine is a potent energy booster, which supports you during physical activities. Once you drink coffee, for example, you’re more likely to get up, move about, and burn more calories. (5-6)

     

    1. Energy Booster

    Finally, we have caffeine’s most popular benefit: energy.

     

    It’s no wonder why so many people start their days off with a cup of coffee. Caffeine is one of the most popular ways to increase someone’s energy levels. Couple this with the benefits of alertness and focus and caffeine is the perfect tool for work or school. (4, 6)

     

    Conclusion

    Caffeine is an effective way to support overall health but it can also play an important role in your fitness goals.

     

    Caffeine can boost performance, increase intra-workout focus, and support recovery. If you aren’t already, you need to add Caffeine to your workout supplement list.

     

    Why not make your own Caffeine-focused workout supplement with the Amino Z Supplement Builder?

    Add Caffeine to dozens of other ingredients that fit your goals. Try it today!

     

    References

    1. Eskelinen MH, Kivipelto M. Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S167-74. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-1404.
    1. Daniel Borota, Elizabeth Murray, Gizem Keceli, Allen Chang, Joseph M Watabe, Maria Ly, John P Toscano, & Michael A Yassa. Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature Neuroscience 17, 201–203 (2014) doi:10.1038/nn.3623.
    1. Maridakis V, O'Connor PJ, Dudley GA, McCully KK. Caffeine attenuates delayed-onset muscle pain and force loss following eccentric exercise. J Pain. 2007 Mar;8(3):237-43. Epub 2006 Dec 11.
    1. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11.
    1. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97.
    1. Costill DL, Dalsky GP, Fink WJ. Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports [1978, 10(3):155-158]
  • GAT PMP vs. GAT Nitraflex

    Pre-workout supplements can potentially be the difference between owning your workouts and never showing up. After a long and busy day, it can be tough to muster up the motivation to crank out an hour session at the gym. This is why pre-workouts have become so immensely popular. One of the biggest names in the industry, German American Technologies, has produced two incredible, tried and true pre-workout supplements: GAT PMP vs. GAT Nitraflex. Let’s review these two products to see which is really worth having at home.

     

    GAT PMP

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of GAT PMP

    GAT’s Peak Muscle Performance (PMP) is the pre-workout that put the company on the map. It isn’t just a shot of caffeine with some random vitamin complex; this is a multi-level pre-workout that will deliver the energy you’re looking for.

     

    The team over at GAT has broken down what the supplement offers into four easy-to-understand categories:

     

    • Nitric Oxide Enhancers
    • Pump Accelerators
    • Focus & Cognition Modulators
    • Energetics

     

    The ingredients found in the first two categories, which include L-Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, and Calcium Lactate may help to increase nitric oxide production in the body allowing for insane pumps, more strength, better recovery, and faster removal of lactic acid build-up.

     

    As for energy and intense focus, that’s exactly what you’ll be getting from the latter categories. Each serving hits you with 325 mg of caffeine. Mix that with N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine and what you have is laser sharp focus and an unstoppable amount of energy.

     

    Working together, all of these ingredients are going to help you crush your workout and have plenty of energy leftover. (1-3)

     

    Cons of GAT PMP

    Outside of artificial sweeteners and flavouring, the only issue we had with GAT’s PMP is the fact that you aren’t sure exactly how much of each ingredient you are getting. You get the grams for each blend but that could mean one ingredient far outweighs the others. This is important as each of these ingredients dose have a recommended dose for maximum benefits but you’ll never know if you’re getting it.

     

     

    GAT Nitraflex

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of GAT Nitraflex

    GAT seems to be a fan of breaking down each ingredient into a quick category and Nitraflex is no exception. Nitraflex has three ingredient categories:

     

    • Vascoactive Arginase-Regulating NO Precursor Complex
    • Acute Energy, Focus, Intensity, Neuromodulating, Endurance Complex
    • Clinically-Studied Testosterone-Enhancing Complex

     

    Just like with PMP, Nitraflex offers you an N.O. boosting blend. The difference is that Nitraflex has the upper hand here. It offers you AAKG and L-Arginine, both of which are the top N.O. boosters in the industry.

     

    Moving on to energy and focus, Nitraflex is ready to deliver. It offers you a really intense blend of energy boosters, thermogenics, and nootropics including DMAE Bitrartrate, Theanine, and Rauwolscine. DMAE has been shown to be a powerful focus enhancer. Combine that with Rauwolscine, an energy booster related to Yohimbine, and caffeine are you’re looking at an elite pre-workout supplement.

     

    Lastly, GAT threw in a Clinically-Studied Testosterone-Enhancing Complex featuring the ingredient Calcium fructopyranose borate, which may be able to support natural production of testosterone. (3-5)

     

    Cons of GAT Nitraflex

    Downsides to Nitraflex are twofold:

     

    First, with its testosterone support ingredient, the supplement is limiting its market to a male audience (Women use pre-workouts too, guys).

     

    Second, Nitraflex has a stimulant packed energy blend. For some, this will be exactly what the supplement guru ordered. For others who are not accustomed to using energy boosters, these stimulants can put a serious hurt on the body. You may want to assess your tolerance with half a serving then build up accordingly.

     

    Which One Should You Choose?

    Both of these pre-workouts are top notch. The difference really comes down to two things:

     

    Are you a woman? If so, you’ll want to go with PMP as it’s free of testosterone boosters.

     

    Do you have a high caffeine / stimulant tolerance? If so, Nitraflex is going to be able to deliver hardcore energy with intense focus. PMP has plenty of caffeine but Nitraflex has the better nootropic blend.

     

    References

    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.
    1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.
    1. F. L. Dodd, D. O. Kennedy, L. M. Riby, and C. F. Haskell-Ramsay. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology. 2015; 232(14): 2563–2576. Published online 2015 Mar 13.
    1. Caille E.-J. Study concerning the bisorcate demanol effects upon quantified EEG, cortical vigilance and mood. Comparative double-blind, cross-over balanced design versus pirisudanol. Psychol Med. 1986;18:2069-2086.
    1. Ostojic SM. Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Res Sports Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;14(4):289-99.
  • Cellucor CN3 vs. Cellucor C4

    With pre-workouts leading the way in the supplement industry, some of you may be surprised to learn that the term “pre-workout” encompasses more than just a simple caffeine product. Pre-workout is used to describe any supplement that is taken before your workout to improve your overall performance and results. Energy boosting pre-workouts are just one facet of a huge category.

     

    Cellucor is one of the top contenders in the pre-workout industry as it has several pre-workout products, all of which promise to boost your workout in different ways. Today, let’s take a look at two extremely popular pre-workouts from the brand, Cellucor CN3 and Cellucor C4, to see which one is worth buying.

     

    Cellucor CN3

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Cellucor CN3

    Cellucor CN3 is commonly referred to as a N.O. Booster. Nitric Oxide boosters are used to promote blood flow and oxygen uptake into muscle tissue. Benefits from this may include better performance and strength as tissue is able to capitalize on the increased nutrient delivery and blood flow. When you use an N.O. booster, you may experience “the pump.” This is when blood swells in the muscle being worked. It’s a feeling that most serious lifters strive to accomplish each workout.

     

    Cellucor CN3 contains Creatine Nitrate, the result of bonding nitrate with creatine monohydrate. Studies show that using 3 grams of Creatine Nitrate each day is safe, well tolerated by most, and may result in boosting your performance. Subjects saw a significant improvement in their bench press results, suggesting that Creatine Nitrate may also increase strength levels as well. This is very important if your goals include strength gains and lean muscle mass. (1, 2)

     

    Cons of Cellucor CN3

    There are no downsides to using Cellucor CN3. The only two ingredients are Creatine Nitrate and Vitamin C. Most importantly, the Creatine Nitrate has been dosed at 3 grams per serving, which was the ideal range as shown in the studies. This is a solid pre-workout product.

     

    Cellucor C4

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Cellucor C4

    Cellucor C4 has been around the pre-workout circuit for a long time. As one of the pioneers of next level pre-workouts, C4 has gained a massive following and it’s not hard to see why. It contains a variety of energy boosters such as Caffeine Anhydrous, Velvet Bean, and Theacrine but it also has a nitric oxide boosting blend featuring Creatine Nitrate and AAK (Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate).

     

    The energy boosting formula contains caffeine and theacrine, which is an amazing blend. Studies show that pairing these two together results in higher energy levels without the anxiousness associated with caffeine use. Also, the use of Beta Alanine may be a great way to boost strength and performance. (2-4)

     

    Cons of Cellucor C4

    While it does have Creatine Nitrate (the main ingredient in CN3), it is only dosed at one gram, making it essentially ineffective compared to the proper dose of 3 grams. This can be remedied by pairing up C4 with CN3, as I talk about below. (1)

     

    The only other issue we have with C4 is the use of the proprietary blend, which makes it impossible to know exactly how much of each ingredient you are getting in the energy blend. Still, this isn’t a huge issue because you can assess your tolerance with C4 using a single serving, making it obvious that the dose is high enough to work.

     

    Conclusion

    Cellucor CN3 and Cellucor C4 are both fantastic products in the same category but they couldn’t be further apart in terms of functionality. CN3 is a nitric oxide booster that may be able to increase strength levels, overall performance, and that pump you feel during the workout. Cellucor C4, on the other hand, is used to increase energy, boost focus, and promote performance. If you’re serious about your workouts, then ideally you should be getting both of these products as they may have a significant impact on your gains.

     

    References

    1. Elfego Galvan, Dillon K. Walker, Sunday Y. Simbo, Ryan Dalton, Kyle Levers, Abigail O’Connor, Chelsea Goodenough, Nicholas D. Barringer, Mike Greenwood, Christopher Rasmussen, Stephen B. Smith, Steven E. Riechman, James D. Fluckey, Peter S. Murano, Conrad P. Earnest and Richard B. Kreider. Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition201613:12. DOI: 10.1186/s12970-016-0124-0.
    1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.
    1. Daniel J. Kuhman, Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9618–9632.
    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.
  • The Top 3 Pre-Workout Ingredients Experts Are Using in 2017

    Pre-workout supplements are one of the most popular categories in the industry. Right alongside protein and fat burners, pre-workouts are considered a critical part of any successful workout. We all lead crazy lives. Each day our energy is zapped from work, school, and our home lives. Still, we need to press on to get to the gym. This is where a pre-workout supplement comes into play. The most successful pre-workouts are equipped with energy boosters, thermogenics, and nootropics. 2017 marks a year when the pre-workout industry is going to see some big players stepping into the arena. Let’s take a look at the top 3 pre-workout ingredients that you’ll want to be using in 2017.

     

    1. Theacrine

    Let’s start our list with an ingredient that has been getting a lot of attention: Theacrine. Often referred to as the easy going relative of caffeine, Theacrine has been in the spotlight due to the benefits it provides in relation to exercise. Theacrine has an effect similar to caffeine in that it can boost your energy levels and amplify focus. The difference between the two is that Theacrine does not promote the anxiousness that is related to caffeine use.

     

    Best of all, if you don’t get the jitters from caffeine, you can pair the two together. Studies show that the nootropic and energy boosting effects of caffeine are amplified when paired with Theacrine. (1)

     

    Click here to try Muscle Pharm Assault Black, which contains the effective dose of Theacrine and caffeine!

     

    1. Guarana Extract

    Guarana has been actively used as an herbal health remedy for a very long time. Native to the Amazonian rainforest, many tribes in the Amazon used Guarana on a regular basis. It was considered essential to well-being. In this modern day, Guarana can be found in several types of supplements including thermogenics and pre-workouts. Studies suggest that Guarana can help to boost your energy and focus while promoting a healthy weight. (2)

     

    Want a pre-workout that contains Guarana? Check out Cobra Laps The Ripper.

     

    1. Yerba Mate Extract

    Finally, we have Yerba Mate Extract. You’ll start to see this one popping up in plenty of pre-workouts and fat burners in the coming year (assuming your favourite brands haven’t already thrown this one in). Yerba Mate is made from the Holly tree and it possesses a number of energy boosting and fat burning benefits. Just like Guarana, it was considered an overall health remedy for tribes in the Amazon. It was also shared as a communal drink, being passed around the tribe. Recent studies have highlighted Yerba Mate Extract as a natural way to promote energy levels, making it ideal for pre-workouts. (3)

     

    Looking for an excellent pre-workout that contains Yerba Mate Extract? Click here to check out Stacker 2 Rush Enraged.

     

    Conclusion

    If you’re trying to get ahead of the curve with pre-workouts, be on the lookout for these three ingredients that have been shown to boost energy and promote a healthy weight loss.

     

    References

    1. Daniel J. Kuhman, Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9618–9632.
    1. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11.
    1. Young-Rye Kang, Hak-Yong Lee, Jung-Hoon Kim, Dea-In Moon, Min-Young Seo, Sang-Hoon Park, Kwang-Ho Choi, Chang-Ryong Kim, Sang-Hyun Kim, Ji-Hyun Oh, Seong-Wan Cho, Sun-Young Kim, Min-Gul Kim, Soo-Wan Chae, Okjin Kim, and Hong-Geun Oh. Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. Lab Anim Res. 2012 Mar; 28(1): 23–29.
  • GAT Nitraflex vs. Cellucor C4

    In the supplement market, there are great pre-workouts and there are the best pre-workouts. If you’ve been using supplements for a while, German American Training and Cellucor are no stranger to your ear. These two giants have two of the best-selling products but are Nitraflex and C4 really all they’re cracked up to be? Let’s review these two supplements to see which one is worth picking up.

     

    GAT Nitraflex

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of GAT Nitraflex

    Right away, you can see that GAT’s Nitraflex is geared towards a male audience and this has everything to do with the fact that there is a testosterone support agent inside of this pre-workout. I’ll speak more on that below.

     

    As to the pre-workout itself, Nitraflex hosts an impressive combination of ingredients that combine stimulants and nootropics, or “brain boosting” compounds. Ingredients of note are the following:

    Raulwolfia

    • Similar to Yohimbe in structure and function
    • Supports weight loss
    • May trigger boost in norepinephrine (energy) without an increase in blood pressure (1)

    Caffeine

    • Famous stimulant
    • May significantly boost your energy levels
    • May increase mental focus and alertness (2)

    DMAE Bitartrate

    • May be beneficial for neuromuscular health
    • May boost focus and memory
    • May prevent feeling of anxiousness, which is common feeling with stimulants (3)

     

    Cons of GAT Nitraflex

    There are two concerns with Nitraflex that I have: First, GAT uses a proprietary blend. This is frustrating because you don’t know exactly how much of a certain ingredient you’re getting in this blend. With the blend being 7.2 grams, you have to wonder just how effective the pre-workout can be. For example, elite pre-workouts use 2 to 3 grams of Beta Alanine alone. With that said, this is an impressive line-up and at 7 grams, there should be a decent amount of everything in there. As always you can double the dose.

    The only other issue we have is with marketing. By adding the unproven testosterone booster into the pre-workout, GAT is losing out on a potential female market. I’d say ditch the unproven t-booster and market to everyone.

     

    Cellucor C4

     

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of Cellucor C4

    C4 by Cellucor has been dominating the pre-workout market for a long time. User reviews report that C4 gives them the energy they need without the crash that comes with caffeine-dominant supplements. This may be directly related to the use of Theacrine, which is considered a softer cousin of caffeine. One study revealed that taking a mixture of both caffeine and Theacrine resulted in an increase in cognitive function and energy without the rise in blood pressure associated with other stimulants. (4)

    Cellucor C4 is also backed by Beta Alanine, Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate, and Creatine Nitrate. Again, you’re looking a solid line-up of ingredients that have all been the subject of research, study, and fanfare.

     

    Cons of Cellucor C4

    Like GAT, Cellucor uses a proprietary blend when it matters most. They do reveal that C4 only has 150 mg of caffeine per serving but you’re left in the dark with the other 275 mg of the blend. With that said Cellucor does provide the information for most of the other ingredients, which is helpful. As I mentioned above, you could double the dose, if need be, but I feel as if one serving will be plenty considering ingredients like Beta Alanine are dosed appropriately.

     

    Conclusion

    You have two industry giants with two amazing products. It’s impossible to choose between them because both have so much to offer. Despite relying on proprietary blends, GAT and Cellucor are providing products that are sure to get you through your workouts. I really like the addition of Theacrine in C4 but I’m also a huge fan of the Raulwolfia in Nitraflex. I’d suggest buying both and see which one is better for your body type.

     

    References

    1. Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Alpha Blockers." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.
    1. Costill DL, Dalsky GP, Fink WJ. Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports [1978, 10(3):155-158]
    1. Caille E.-J. Study concerning the bisorcate demanol effects upon quantified EEG, cortical vigilance and mood. Comparative double-blind, cross-over balanced design versus pirisudanol. Psychol Med. 1986;18:2069-2086.
    1. Daniel J. Kuhman, Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9618–9632.
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