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If you're a regular gym-goer and on your way to the gym today, you know what you'll see when you get there. The regular ranks of machines, a couple of classroom areas, the free-weight area. You'll also see many of the people you usually see there, who have looked much the same every day, sometimes going back years.

If you were to ask them (we don't suggest this), how hard they're working, they'd say "very, very hard." And then you'll go to the locker room, change into your gym clothes, and do what almost everyone else is doing: working very hard to get mostly nowhere in particular. This is the life of many, many long-term fitness-conscious people. If you're lucky, you're maintaining the fat loss and muscle gains you attained years ago, and you're content with that. (Hey, there are worse things!) Others, however, desire something more, but appear to have reached a hard limit with regard to workout productivity and physique enhancement.

What can you do? If you can afford the expense, we suggest you invest in a personal trainer. A trainer can shake up your workout in unexpected ways, introduce new, more productive movements, perhaps shorten your rest intervals, and maybe even help you inch upward your number of reps and amount of weight volume.

We also strongly suggest that you either consider taking a pre-workout supplement or take a closer look at the ingredients panel of the pre-workout supplement you're already taking. In recent years, the science of pre-workout supplementation has advanced by leaps and bounds, resulting in a product marketplace consisting of a majority of outmoded, under-dosed "old school" pre-workout formulas and an elite minority of formulas that have incorporated the latest scientific research into formulas that can make a distinct and immediately recognizable difference in your workout productivity and performance.

So what are the ingredients in this second group of cutting edge pre-workout supplement that can help you increase workout productivity and performance? Let's take a closer look.

Beta Alanine

Beta alanine is the ultimate "can do" amino acid. A naturally occurring beta amino acid, beta alanine plays a rate-limiting role in carnosine production by interacting with histidine. High muscle carnosine improves muscle performance through its ability to buffer skeletal muscle pH (acidity) during high intensity, fatiguing exercise.

In a macro-summary of existing published clinical studies involving beta alanine supplementation, recently published in the journal Amino Acids, researchers considered several different patterns of supplementation that involved over 350 research subjects. When all of these measures were considered, the authors concluded that beta alanine significantly improved outcomes when compared to a placebo. In particular, beta alanine improved and maximized the capacity to perform exercise. Thus, it should come as no surprise that beta alanine supplementation and subsequent increased muscle carnosine levels would help to support increased workout volume and intensity.

 


Caffeine

Caffeine isn't necessarily your Dad's cup of Joe anymore. Raw forms of caffeine that once generated a rough, jittery ride followed by an abrupt energy crash have given way, in recent years, to more sophisticated forms that deliver up to 90% pure organic, non-GMO-sourced caffeine derived from green coffee beans. This advanced form of caffeine is specifically designed to deliver a clean, powerful boost of energy, mental alertness and performance without the energy crash.

Supplementing with this caffeine before you hit the gym can decrease your rate of perceived exertion and decrease exercise induced muscle pain so you can grind out more reps. The levels of caffeine used to elicit different physiological responses differs according to individual tolerance, so start with a lower dose.

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

Once largely dismissed by researchers, ATP supplementation is now having its moment in the spotlight with the arrival on the scene of Peak ATP®, a patented form of adenosine 5*-triphosphate disodium, identical to actual human ATP, that has been linked in clinical studies to a whole host of performance and physique benefits.

Naturally synthesized ATP is broken down in the cell, unleashing energy to transport protein and fats into and out of cells, support intercellular communication, facilitate DNA and RNA synthesis, and trigger muscular contraction. Because muscle cells actually keep very little ATP in reserve, it was believed that little could be done to optimize its function. And then scientists began to look at the benefits to be accrued by increasing ATP availability outside the cell via precisely timed dosing of ATP before workouts. This research led to the creation of Peak ATP®, which has been associated with some astonishing results.

In a landmark double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by researchers at the University of Tampa, twenty-one resistance trained males took either 400 mg of Peak ATP® or placebo. Muscle mass, strength and power were measured at baseline and at weeks 4, 8, and 12. The results were dramatic. Test subjects who supplemented with Peak ATP® experienced an average of 147% increase in strength compared to placebo (55.3 kg vs. 22.4 kg), as well as a 30% increase in power (796 vs. 614 watts), a 100% increase in lean body mass (4.0 kg vs. 2.1 kg), and a 96% increase in muscle thickness (4.9 mm vs. 2.5 mm). The authors speculated that supplemental ATP may provide cumulative benefits in strenuous, repetitive, and exhaustive exercise activities, which could lead to improved strength and lean body mass gains.

Creatine Monohydrate

Yes, the one and only. By now, you should know that if you're not supplementing with creatine, you're sacrificing a good deal of potential strength and size gains. Creatine, especially in its monohydrate form, has been associated with positive effects on strength and endurance increase, training capacity, muscle mass, and overall cell hydration and volumization in literally hundreds of clinically studies conducted all around the world.

In fact, a comprehensive review article published in 2015 in the journal Sports Medicine offered a meta-analysis of over 60 clinical studies devoted to creatine’s impact on physique and performance. It concluded that creatine not only increased strength across the board for test subjects receiving creatine, but it did so irrespective of training background, training protocol, dose taken or duration. Sounds definitive to us.

Betaine

Investigations into the cellular mechanics of hydration, waste removal and the postponement of fatigue have led researchers to betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, a nutrient that helps support cell hydration and volume during the dehydration, stress, and metabolite accumulation associated with high-intensity exercise.

Early evidence of positive outcomes of betaine supplementation collected from clinical studies has been encouraging. For instance, in a published College of New Jersey study, athletes supplementing with this osmolytic agent experienced an increase of 30% in squat repetitions after 7 days of supplementation and 60% after 14 days, as well as significant increases in the quality of repetitions performed. Betaine also works in combination with other strength and power-enhancing factors to support performance. In a recent study published in the journal Amino Acids, study participants supplemented with placebo, creatine, or a combination of betaine and creatine over a period of 10 days. The creatine/betaine supplemented subjects experienced significant increases in power output during squat exercises when compared to the placebo group. Creatine/betaine supplementation led to significantly greater increases in maximal upper-body and lower-body strength as well.

 

 

Citrulline Malate

A powerful muscle pump is a potent force to be reckoned with on the gym floor. Citrulline Malate is an amino acid precursor to arginine that increases blood arginine levels, which in turn facilitates enhanced muscular vasodilation. As a result, citrulline malate can up-regulate energy delivery and increase the clearance of metabolic waste that leads to the onset of fatigue and degrades performance. Research generally indicates that supplementing with citrulline malate prior to a workout allows participants to crank out more reps with less fatigue, while experiencing less soreness 24 and 48 hours after workouts, compared to the people who trained without citrulline malate.

Carbohydrate

Carbs often get a bad rap, but athletes know that carb intake is critical to performance, particularly just before high-intensity, long-duration exercise. During exercise, fatigue is a sign that your body is rapidly depleting available glycogen stores. Restoring those levels via carbohydrate supplementation pre-exercise will ensure that you have the energy to go the distance, while also kickstarting protein synthesis after exercise to enable the muscle growth that will support future increases in muscle capacity and endurance. The bottom line? Grab a nutritious high-carb energy bar before you hit the gym floor!

Clinically Validated Dosages, Highest-Quality Ingredients

Now that we have a better feel for the existing and emerging technologies that offer the greatest promise when it comes to taking your workout performance and productivity to the next level, let's look at how we can best assimilate them into our supplement regimens. While you could choose to supplement individually with several of the above options, your best bet is to find a single pre-workout that best incorporates most of these technologies into a true, multi-pathway, comprehensive formulation.

VyoCore: State-Of-The-Art Pre-Workout Supplementation

VyoCore from CellDyne is on the vanguard of an exciting evolution in the science of performance enhancement, featuring precision-targeted, clinically indicated dosages of the performance co-factors highlighted above, particularly Peak ATP®. Indeed, Peak ATP is VyoCore's key active ingredient, the same patented form of adenosine 5*-triphosphate disodium that has been linked in clinical studies to increases in strength, power, and muscle thickness. And it is provided in the exact same 440 mg dosage used in that study.

VyoCore also contains an advanced osmolytic agent that hydrates cells in order to increase strength and endurance, a muscle-carnosine supporting mechanism that optimizes lactic-acid buffering in muscle to increase endurance, plus state-of-the-art cell volumizers, recovery aminos, and organic energy and focus factors designed to provide a clean, powerful boost. Incorporating the widest array of cutting-edge pre-workout science, VyoCore represents the absolute state-of-the-art in performance and physique enhancement supplement technology.

Fusion Force: A Truly Comprehensive, Multi-Pathway Pre-Workout

On a tighter budget, but still unwilling to compromise when it comes to performance enhancement? Fusion Force by BioQuest is your ideal option. Fusion Force contains clinically indicated dosages of beta alanine, citrulline malate, BCAAs, and betaine that have been shown to support muscular endurance, lean muscle accretion, blood flow and power when consumed individually and together. Its comprehensive formula also contains the highest-quality form of Creapure® creatine monohydrate, plus caffeine, green tea extract, L-carnitine and green coffee extract, each of which may exhibit properties that can support fat mobilization, while increasing energy expenditure. Fusion Force raised the bar for manufacturing protocols and sheer efficacy upon its introduction and it still has multitudes of fitness-conscious fans to this day.

Whether you’re looking for a boost in energy, an increased pump during the workout, a higher training volume or growth promoting ingredients, these pre-workout supplements have it all covered for you!


Scientific References

Baguet A. et al., 2009. Carnosine loading and washout in human skeletal muscles. J Appl Physiol, 106: 837-842. And Harris RC, et al., 2006. The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids, 30(3): 279-289.

Wilson JM, et al. Effects of oral adenosine-5’-triphosphate supplementation on athletic performance, skeletal muscle hypertrophy and recovery in resistance-trained men. Nutrition and Metabolism. 2013, 10:57.

Lanhers, C., B. Pereira, G. Naughton, M. Trousselard, F. X. Lesage, and F. Dutheil. 2015. "Creatine Supplementation and Lower Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses." Sports Med 45 (9):1285-94. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0337-4.

Baguet A. et al., 2009. Carnosine loading and washout in human skeletal muscles. J Appl Physiol, 106: 837-842. And Harris RC, et al., 2006. The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids, 30(3): 279-289.

Stout JR, et al., 2006. Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at the neuromuscular fatigue threshold. J Strngth & Cond. Rsrch, 20(4): 928-931.


Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.