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  • Creatine VS Beta-Alanine

    There are literally thousands of supplements out there suggesting to do much of the same thing -- get you strong, muscular, and lean as hell.

    And two of the most common are Creatine and Beta-Alanine.

    In fact, both of these compounds appear in a multitude of different pre-workout supplements because research indicates that they are both effective.

    Which begs the question -- do you really need them both, or is one better than the other?

    Creatine and Beta-alanine: What are they?

    To work out whether one of these common supplements is better than the other, it is first important to gain an understanding of what they actually are.

    And first up is creatine.

    Creatine is a compound found naturally occurring in the human body, where it is synthesised from small protein molecules called “amino acids”. Most of the creatine found in your body is stored within your muscle tissue. It is then released during exercise to produce energy during short, explosive efforts.

    One thing to note is that the amount of energy you can produce via creatine is limited, because it is dictated by the amount of creatine you have stored in your muscle tissue -- which is exactly where creatine supplements enter the equation.

    By increasing the amount of creatine you have stored in your muscle, they increase the amount of energy you can produce during intense exercise. This can lead to a couple of extra reps per set at a given weight, which has obvious benefits in the gym environment.

    Pretty cool, right?

    Next up we have beta-alanine.

    Beta-alanine is a unique amino acid that is naturally found in your muscles and brain. Under normal circumstances, it combines with another amino acid called “histidine” to form a compound called carnosine.

    And this is important, because carnosine helps reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles during exercise, which staves off fatigue.

    But much like creatine, the amount of beta-alanine stored in your muscle tissue is relatively small compared to the amount of histidine. This limits the production of carnosine, and puts a ceiling on your ability to buffer lactic acid during exercise.

    As a result, supplementing with beta-alanine can cause an immediate increase in carnosine production, which improves your fatigue resistance during exercise.

    Creatine and Beta-alanine: What are their benefits?

    So, we have two very different compounds that impact your body in two very different ways. Which really makes you wonder -- what are their benefits when it comes to boosting the results of your training?

    The Benefits of Creatine

    I mentioned above that creatine supplements ultimately saturate your muscle cells with creatine, which improves your energy production capabilities. I also went on to suggest that this could improve your gym performance acutely by allowing you to list more weight.

    Well, the research indicates that this is completely true.

    Evidence has repeatedly shown that supplementing with creatine can cause vast improvements in strength during your gym sessions [1] -- and while lifting more weight is cool itself, this has further benefits when taking a longer term perspective.

    Over the duration of a long term training program, lifting more weight every single session will place your muscular and nervous systems under more mechanical load. This stimulates greater training adaptations, leading to improvements in strength.

    In fact, in one study, individuals who supplement with creatine saw improvements in strength that were 8% greater than people not taking creatine -- despite performing the exact same training program [2].

    Moreover, this was just a short term study. When we extrapolate these effects over years of training, the results become astronomically larger.

    But wait, there's more.

    Because creatine allows you to lift more weight, it causes an immediate increase in the amount of total volume you lift per session (think of volume as sets x reps x load). This is important, because training volume has been shown to be one of the largest predictors of muscle growth.

    As a result (and much like strength), combining creatine supplementation with a longer term training program has been shown to cause larger improvements in muscle size than simply training alone [3].

    The Benefits of Beta-alanine

    Now, as discussed above, beta-alanine works in a very different manner to creatine, where it increases the production of carnosine within your muscle tissue. This, in turn, directly limits the build of lactic acid during exercise.

    As a result, it has been shown to improve muscular and aerobic endurance, while limiting fatigue during training [4].While having more energy during training is unquestionably a good thing, you should understand that the implications of this are quite large.

    Let's say that you can normally perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions on the bench press at 80kgs -- but, when you supplement with beta-alanine, you can do 3 sets of 10 reps.

    This can also cause large increases in volume load across the duration of a training session. In fact, it is for this reason that beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to enhance muscle growth and fat loss significantly when combined with training [5].

    Do Creatine and Beta-alanine Have any Side Effects?

    OK, so they both offer some pretty positive benefits -- but do they have any side effects?

    To keep consistent with the theme of this article, we will kick off creatine.

    If you have been around the traps for a while then it is highly likely that you have heard some anecdotal reports that creatine can cause some nasty side effects, including kidney damage, muscle cramps, dehydration, and even diarrhea.

    However, evidence would suggest that this is not really the case [6].

    A previous study in athletes has shown that up to 5 years of creatine supplementation does not have any adverse effects on renal function. Now, I must admit that while we do not have any idea what happens after 5 years of supplementation, it is likely to be pretty safe. Nonetheless, we encourage you to check with your medical practitioner before supplementing with creatine.

    Moreover, while some people may experience some symptoms of dry mouth and increased thirst during the first week or so, that tends to disappear pretty quickly.

    In short, creatine is one of the safest supplements on the planet.

    And beta-alanine?

    Well, much like creatine it appears to be very well tolerated in humans.

    In fact, the only notable side effect that people experience is something called “paraesthesia”, which describes the “tingling” sensation that occurs on the face, neck and back of the hands after taking beta-alanine [7].

    While this may be slightly odd, it is something that normally disappears pretty quickly, and only occurs with higher dosages.

    Creatine VS Beta-Alanine: Who Wins?

    And the winner is.... *drumroll please*... both and neither.

    Evidence has shown time and time again that both of these compounds have the ability to improve the results of your training. However, because they work through very different mechanisms, they are hard to compare directly.

    I mean, creatine helps you lift more weight, and beta-alanine helps you perform more reps -- both of which will improve muscle growth and strength development in a big way.

    In fact, because they do improve gym performance by two very different mechanisms, I would argue that they both complement each other perfectly. As a result, it is probably in your best interest to take both of them if you want to optimise the results of your training.

    And look, no one is saying that you can only have one -- so why not take both?

    Key Points

    Both creatine and beta-alanine are some of the safest supplements that you can get your hands on. And given that they have both been shown to help improve muscle strength and size, they both deserve a place in your supplement regime.

    So what are you waiting for? Give them a go and let us know what you think.

     

    References

    1. Mills S, Candow DG, Forbes SC, Neary JP, Ormsbee MJ, Antonio J. Effects of Creatine Supplementation during Resistance Training Sessions in Physically Active Young Adults. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1880.
    2. Rawson ES, Volek JS. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(4):822-831.
    3. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):33.
    4. Hobson, R. M., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R. C., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino acids, 43(1), 25-37.
    5. Kern, B. D., & Robinson, T. L. (2011). Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(7), 1804-1815.
    6. Poortmans, Jacques R., and Marc Francaux. "Adverse effects of creatine supplementation." Sports Medicine 30.3 (2000): 155-170.
    7. Trexler, Eric T., et al. "International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 12.1 (2015): 1-14.
  • The True Benefits of Creatine

    Creatine is the most well researched supplement on the planet. Used by athletes for decades to improve the results of their training, it has since become a staple in many gym-goers daily routine.

    But how does it work, and what are its true benefits?

    What Does Taking Creatine Do?

    Creatine is produced naturally in your body from individual amino acids. Most of this creatine is stored in your muscle cells, where it is broken down and used for energy when you undertake intense or explosive exercise.

    With this in mind, taking a creatine supplement simply increases the amount of creatine stored in your muscle tissue. This provides an additional ‘reserve’ of energy, which can improve your exercise performance.

    Interestingly, small amounts of creatine are also stored in your brain, suggesting that the benefits of creatine supplements are not only limited to exercise performance.

    Which leads us to our next section quite nicely…

    What are the True Benefits of Creatine?

    Because creatine can have a number of benefits in the body, it has become somewhat overhyped in the supplement industry, suggested to do everything from build muscle to cure male pattern baldness.

    But which of these claims are true?

    1.   Increased Strength

    Creatine is predominantly used for energy during short, intense, and explosive muscle actions. As a result, supplementing with creatine has been shown to cause notable increases in muscle strength on a per-session basis [1].

    This means that if you were to take creatine before a weight training session, you will be able to lift more weight than you could without it. While this has obvious implications for things like strength testing, it also has long-term benefits.

    See, if you are undertaking a long term strength training program while taking creatine, you will be able to lift more weight every single session. This can lead to greater training adaptations, and significant improvements in strength over time.

    In fact, research has shown that supplementing with creatine can increase strength gains by about 8% more compared to those who are not taking creatine [2].

    And when we compound this effect over the course of months or years, this increase becomes huge.

    2.   Greater Muscle Growth

    In conjunction to improvements in muscle strength, creatine has also been shown to improve weight training performance at lower loads. It does this by increasing the number of repetitions you can do at a given weight.

    For example, without creatine you might be able to bench press 80kg for 8 repetitions. However, when supplementing with creatine, you might be able to bench press the same weight for 10 repetitions.

    This directly increases the amount of volume you perform each training session, which has shown to cause larger improvements in muscle size over the total course of a training program [3].

    So, when it comes to creatine you can expect to see some serious results for both strength and size.

    3.   Enhanced Cognitive Function

    Remember when I mentioned that creatine might also have some positive effects on the brain -- well, research would suggest that is the case.

    In fact, studies have shown that creatine supplementation can reverse some of the negative cognitive effects that come from a lack of sleep. In this manner, individuals in a sleep deprived state who take creatine appear to function better at cognitively demanding tasks than those who do not [4].

    Similarly, when people who get insufficient amounts of creatine in their diet (those who follow vegan and vegetarian diets, for example) take a creatine supplement, they see improvements in cognitive capabilities related to reaction time, memory, and decision making [5].

    All of which suggests that supplementing with creatine may improve mental function by facilitating the production of energy in the brain.

    Linking this back to training in the gym, it is not unrealistic to think that improved mental performance could further contribute to better physical performance, and a better workout. Moreover, taking creatine after a bad night sleep might help you train hard, even if you are feeling a little flat.

    4.   Increased Testosterone

    Finally, on top of all of the above, there is also research demonstrating that creatine supplements can increase testosterone levels, which may have additional benefits when it comes to training [6].

    However, it is important to note that this research is only in males, and may only occur to those individuals who already have low testosterone levels.

    As such, this effect may not be applicable to all of you.

    What Doesn’t Creatine Do?

    It is hard to argue against the fact that creatine is a super supplement -- but one thing it cannot really do is help with fat loss.

    As creatine does allow you to do more total work in the gym, it could cause a slight increase in energy expenditure per workout. If this was extrapolated over the course of a training year, it might result in some additional fat loss.

    However, this impact would be relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.

    Additionally, there is no evidence to suggest that creatine supplements can enhance fat loss by any other means -- which would indicate that it probably isn't a particularly effective fat loss supplement.

    Although I should note that, practically speaking, taking creatine during a cutting phase is probably a good idea because it will help you retain strength. This is integral if you want to maintain as much muscle as possible while shedding weight.

    Just don't expect any fat loss miracles here.

    How to Take Creatine?

    When commencing creatine supplementation, most studies use a loading phase, which is then followed by a maintenance phase [7].

    This appears to be the fastest way to get the benefits of creatine, where it essentially requires you to take a higher dose of creatine for a few days.  After this loading phase, you transition to a lower ‘maintenance dose’ for however long you decide to take the supplement for.

    This typically looks something like this:

    • Loading Phase: Take 20 grams of creatine per day for about 7 days. This should be spread out evenly throughout the day (i.e. take 5 grams four times a day)
    • Maintenance Phase: Take about 5 grams of creatine per day, once per day, indefinitely.

    It is worth highlighting that you can commence creatine supplementation without a loading phase. In fact, over the long term, this will result in similar long term training adaptations -- but your acute strength gains might take a little longer to come in.

    Finally, some people suggest that you should ‘cycle off’ creatine at regular intervals because it might be bad for your kidneys.

    While this suggestion is made with good intentions, research in athletes has shown that taking creatine for up to 5 years straight does not appear to have any negative implications for kidney health and function [8].

    So really, ‘cycling off’ probably is not necessary.

    What is the Best Type of Creatine?

    Since its inception, a number of different types of creatine have appeared on the market, each suggested to be better than the one that came before it. But to be completely honest, none of them are any better than the OG of creatine supplements, ‘creatine monohydrate’.

    Creatine monohydrate is the most well-researched version of the supplement. It is also the most readily available, cheapest, and arguably the most effective.

    All of which makes it the perfect choice if you are looking for an evidence based training supplement.

    Take Home Message

    Creatine has become one of the most popular supplements on the planet -- and for very good reason too.

    With evidence demonstrating that it can improve gym performance, enhance strength adaptations, boost muscle growth, and even increase cognitive function, it is one extremely effective supplement.

    More importantly, it is cheap, easily accessible, and extremely safe.

    Really, what more could you want?

     

    References

    1. Mills S, Candow DG, Forbes SC, Neary JP, Ormsbee MJ, Antonio J. Effects of Creatine Supplementation during Resistance Training Sessions in Physically Active Young Adults. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1880. Published 2020 Jun 24. doi:10.3390/nu12061880
    2. Rawson ES, Volek JS. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(4):822-831. doi:10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0822:eocsar>2.0.co;2
    3. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):33. Published 2012 Jul 20. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33
    4. McMorris T, Harris RC, Howard AN, et al. Creatine supplementation, sleep deprivation, cortisol, melatonin and behavior. Physiol Behav. 2007;90(1):21-28. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.08.024
    5. Benton D, Donohoe R. The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores. Br J Nutr. 2011;105(7):1100-1105. doi:10.1017/S0007114510004733
    6. Vatani, D. S., Faraji, H., Soori, R., & Mogharnasi, M. (2011). The effects of creatine supplementation on performance and hormonal response in amateur swimmers. Science & sports, 26(5), 272-277.
    7. Buford TW, Kreider RB, Stout JR, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:6. Published 2007 Aug 30. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-6
    8. Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999;31(8):1108-1110. doi:10.1097/00005768-199908000-00005

     

  • Top 3 Ingredients You Must Use for Muscle Mass

    Have you been pushing yourself in the gym to gain muscle without success?

    Is your dietary program lacking in proven supplements to support muscle?

    Ready to arm yourself with three scientifically-backed ingredients for muscle mass?

     

    Successful supplementation can feel like a game of chance. When you want to build muscle mass, you need to give your body every advantage you can. That's where scientifically proven supplement ingredients can help.

     

    Let's review the top 3 ingredients you must use for muscle mass. We'll even show you how you can make your own supplement.

     

    Whey Isolate

    First and foremost, when you want to build serious muscle mass, you NEED protein. Why? Protein breaks down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Not only do amino acids help to build lean muscle tissue but they also protect the muscle you already have.

     

    Whey isolate is a unique type of protein in that it is filtered to the point where it is 99% protein. What's more, it is the most bioavailable type of protein. This is important as the higher the rate of bioavailability, the better your body can absorb and assimilate the protein. (1-4)

     

    Whey isolate is fast digesting with a bioavailability of 101 out of 100! This makes it ideal for a post-workout supplement when your muscles require immediate amino acids.

     

    Casein

    Whey isolate isn't the only protein you should consider using. While whey isolate is ideal for a post-workout meal, it is rapidly digested, meaning your body gets a giant shot of amino acids all at once and that's it.

     

    When you want to build muscle, you need to ensure that your body is in a steady state of anabolism. The way to do that is with protein-focused whole foods and a slow digesting protein supplement. The way to do this is with casein protein.

     

    Casein protein is a very slow digesting protein that releases a steady stream of amino acids. One unique feature of amino acids is that they may be able to trigger protein synthesis and promote a higher level of anabolism. Due to the steady stream of amino acids, your muscles will be in an ideal environment to grow. What's more, casein protein may help protect you from protein catabolism, or breakdown.

     

    Creatine

    Last but not least, we have creatine monohydrate. Creatine has long been used in the bodybuilding world to ensure maximum muscle growth.

     

    Once ingested, creatine provides the muscle tissue with its preferred source of fuel in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Creatine monohydrate is known for being quick to absorb and extremely bioavailable.

     

    Once creatine gets to work in the body, it may be able to boost your performance during your workouts. That may mean extra repetitions and sets. This additional workload may help push your muscles into the ideal range for hypertrophy. Creatine may also be able to support your recovery post-workout.

     

    Conclusion

    Tired of not being able to find a supplement that has what YOU need?

    Finished with wasting money on supplements that are under-dosed?

    Why not create your own supplement?

     

    Now you can with the Amino Z Supplement Builder. With this revolutionary supplement builder, you control what goes into the supplement down to the dosage. If you're a beginner and you're not sure what you'd like to include, we're here to help. We have a variety of pre-made supplements that feature scientifically verifided AND dosed ingredients for your specific goal.

     

    Check out the Amino Z Supplement Builder now to get started!

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.
    1. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. "Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation." Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan; 136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis GA, Gijsen AP, Senden JM, VAN Loon LJ. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1560-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363.
    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
    2. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi:  10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.
  • BSN Cellmass 2.0 vs MuscleTech Cell Tech

    There is no doubt that the nutrients that you put into your body immediately following a workout are going to play a huge role in the results that you see in the mirror. Post-workout nutrition has been the center of attention for supplement companies, resulting in some of the biggest brands dishing out incredibly popular products. When recovery is your goal, you need a supplement designed specifically for repair. Let's review two of the biggest names in the industry, BSN Cellmass 2.0 vs MuscleTech Cell Tech, to see which one is worth the buy.

     

    BSN Cellmass 2.0

    Where can I buy it?BSN Cellmass 2.0

     

    Pros of BSN Cellmass 2.0

    BSN offers an impressive line-up of pre-workout, intra-workout, protein, and many other categories of supplements but what about post-workout? BSN's response to the post-workout need is Cellmass 2.0. This amino-acid focused recovery drink is broken down into three major categories.

     

    Recovery Composite

    • Whey Protein Hydrolysate
    • L-Glutamine
    • Glutamine Peptides

     

    Myogenic Matrix

    • Creatine Monohydrate
    • Creatine HCL
    • Creatine Anhydrous

     

    Insulino Interfusion

    • Taurine
    • Banaba Extract

     

    Your body loves amino acids before, during, and especially following a workout. BSN provides you with a unique amino acid blend from whey protein and glutamine peptides. These amino acids may be able to help support recovery and lean muscle growth. Cellmass 2.0 also has three types of creatine. Creatine is an industry classic that may be able to support cellular energy levels, reduce muscle soreness, and boost performance. (1-7)

     

    Cons of BSN Cellmass 2.0

    Like many companies, BSN uses a proprietary blend. That means, you know what ingredients you're getting but you're not filled in on the dosage of each. This can be problematic because some ingredients only work at a specific dosage and if you're getting less than that dosage, you may not notice any benefit.

     

    The other issue we have with Cellmass 2.0 is the lack of amino acids. Sure, you're getting some whey protein and glutamine peptides but there is a large spectrum of amino acids that BSN could take advantage of and they don't.

     

    MuscleTech Cell Tech

    Where can I buy it?

     

    Pros of MuscleTech Cell Tech

    Cell Tech is an excellent post-workout supplement that has been specifically designed to be used following a workout. First up, you're getting important vitamins along with an electrolyte blend to support recovery. More importantly, Cell Tech gives you the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine, which have been suggested in numerous studies to boost recovery, trigger protein synthesis, and support muscle building. Finally, just like with Cellmass, you'll also be getting creatine and taurine. (1-7)

     

    Cons of MuscleTech Cell Tech

    The only issue with Cell Tech is that we would like to see the amount of essential amino acids be higher. You're getting 2 grams of BCAAs, which isn't bad but it could be a lot better for a recovery drink. One simple solution is to double the dose.

     

    Other than the amino acids, the only other issue is the artificial flavouring and colouring but if you're no stranger to supplements, you know it's easier said than done getting away from this.

     

    Conclusion

    Both of these supplements are good but for completely different reasons. Cellmass 2.0 from BSN is more of an intra-workout supplement. Sure, you can definitely benefit from it post-workout but given the formula, we'd suggest using this as an intra-workout supplement. Cell Tech from MuscleTech, on the other hand, is the perfect post-workout drink. It contains the right amino acids, electrolytes, and vitamins for recovery. MuscleTech even threw in Alpha Lipoic Acid as a way to increase fat burning and support your fitness goals.

     

    If you can, we'd suggest buying both. If you have to choose one, think about what's more important to you: intra-workout or post-workout.

     

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
  • Product Review: Platinum Labs DEFCON1

    Pre-workout supplements are one of the most popular and purchased product next to whey protein and fat burners. We all know the feeling of waking up early, battling through a long 8 to 10 hour day then coming home to be reminded that it's Leg Day. This is where a pre-workout comes in handy. A quality pre-workout is packed with more than just a little bit of caffeine. It should contain a variety of energy boosters and nootropics so that both your mind and body are revitalized.

     

    Platinum Labs DEFCON1 is said to be one of the most popular pre-workouts in the industry. Check out its ratings around the internet and it's a universally well liked product. Let's take a look to see if Platinum Labs DEFCON1 can hold up to its reputation.

     

    PROS OF PLATINUM LABS DEFCON1

     

    As soon as you turn the bottle around to face the label, you can already see the decent sized list that Platinum Labs DEFCON1 offers in the way of ingredients. As you scroll down, you'll see that all of the ingredients found within are popular and proven. Right away, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 has a great formula. At the top, it features Beta Alanine at 2 grams, L-Taurine at 1 gram, and Agmatine Sulfate at 750 mg per serving. These three ingredients are an excellent addition to any pre-workout formula. What's more, these are the ideal dosages for these ingredients.

     

    Studies suggest that those three ingredients may be able to promote the following benefits:

    • May help to boost energy
    • May support intra-workout strength increases
    • May help to reduce muscle fatigue
    • May promote lean muscle mass gains (1-3)

     

    Naturally, as a pre-workout, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 contains caffeine; however, it doesn't contain an obnoxious amount such as a supplement like Pro Supps' Mr. Hyde does, for example. (Click here to read more about and buy Mr. Hyde from Pro Supps) At 180 mg of caffeine per serving, that's a nice middle ground for those who are caffeine sensitive and for those who double up their pre-workout servings.

     

    CONS OF PLATINUM LABS DEFCON1

     

    While some ingredients have an ideal dosage per serving, others are lacking a bit. Creatine HCl for example is only provided at 750 mg per serving. While this may be a pre-workout, creatine is a vital part of the energy conversion process, supplying your muscles with ATP for fuel. (4) 750 mg isn't terrible but it's not even close to the standard 5 gram dosage. This same issue can be seen with Betaine Anhydrous and Choline Bitartrate. Again, we're happy they are in there but disappointed at the low dose.

     

    With that said, these are the only ingredients that have a lower than normal dose. Everything else is great. An easy remedy would be to supplement with creatine in addition to DEFCON1. As a side note to Platinum Labs, the addition of Alpha GPC would make this a perfect pre-workout supplement.

     

    The only other issue that may be a problem for some is the fact that Platinum Labs DEFCON1 contains artificial sweeteners and colouring. If you aren't too concerned about that, then you have nothing else to worry about.

     

    SHOULD YOU BUY PLATINUM LABS DEFCON1?

     

    Platinum Labs DEFCON1 is a very worthwhile buy and it's no surprise why it's a fan favourite. It contains a variety of well-chosen energy boosters, thermogenics, and nootropics, most of which have been provided to you at their ideal dosage per serving. Taken as a part of any disciplined training program, Platinum Labs DEFCON1 may be able to give you the energy you need to succeed. Click here to buy Platinum Labs DEFCON1.

     

    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. Yatabe Y, Miyakawa S, Ohmori H, Mishima H, Adachi T. Effects of taurine administration on exercise. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:245-52.

     

    1. Ryan P Lowery, Jordan M Joy, Joshua E Dudeck, Eduardo Oliveira de Souza, Sean A McCleary, Shawn Wells, Robert Wildman, and Jacob M Wilson. Effects of 8 weeks of Xpand® 2X pre workout supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, lean body mass, and strength in resistance trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 44. Published online 2013 Oct 9. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-44.

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
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