By Jose Antonie, Ph.D., CSCS
This amino acid is classified as ‘non-essential,’ but once you are aware of the science, you’ll realize that it is pretty important if your goal is to improve performance. So how does beta-alanine work? By buffering the build-up of what us science types call ‘hydrogen ions’ or H+. For instance, have you ever felt that nasty burn as you eek out the last few reps on the leg extension machine? Or have you ever tried a quarter-mile sprint? Or tried paddling in the open ocean for 2 hours? (Okay, yours truly did that and the beta-alanine I took really helped!). That pain is partly the result of the build up of H+ (i.e. hydrogen ions). Because acidic buildup occurs in all types of activity, in all muscle fiber types, and beta-alanine can buffer it, it makes sense that by supplementing with beta-alanine, your workouts become better, more intense, with the end result that you become bigger, faster, and stronger.
Beta-alanine is used to make something called carnosine. It is actually carnosine, in your muscles, that acts as a buffer. Carnosine is a dipeptide (i.e. two amino acids bound together) found primarily in fast-twitch muscle. With higher carnosine levels in muscle, however, you prevent the drop in pH. With H+ buffered, you continue to squeeze out reps, continue to run at a high intensity, or you simply lift heavier weights for more reps. In fact, according to the world’s expert on beta-alanine, “dietary supplementation with 3.2 grams and 6.4 grams per day of beta-alanine (as multiple doses of 400 or 800 mg) for 4 weeks resulted in significant increases in muscle carnosine of 42% and 64%.”(1) So taking the stuff does elevate muscle carnosine. Interestingly, athletes who do a lot of anaerobic exercise have high levels of carnosine in muscle. But taking beta-alanine makes the concentration of carnosine go up even further in the elite athlete.
It Does What?
First off, one of the interesting ‘other’ effects of carnosine and beta-alanine is that it exerts an immunoregulatory effect by activating cells of the immune system. Scientific research has indicated that carnosine and beta-alanine not only promote tissue repair but also help maintain homeostasis and accelerate spontaneous healing.(2) Another study found that the enhancement by carnosine of wound healing may be ascribed to “stimulation of early effusion by histamine and of collagen biosynthesis by beta-alanine.”(3) So beta-alanine helps your immune system and wound healing. Very interesting. Recently, a study in mice looked at supplementation with beta-alanine (3%) in drinking water for one week. Beta-alanine intake reduced hepatic taurine levels, but elevated cysteine levels significantly. Hepatotoxicity in mice fed with beta-alanine was decreased as determined by changes in serum enzyme activities. Therefore, the enhanced availability of cysteine for synthesis of glutathione and/or taurine appears to account for the hepatoprotective effects of beta-alanine against liver injury.(4) Here’s the best part though. Performance!
Unless you’ve been stuck in a cave or have your eyes glued on ‘The View’ waiting for Rosie to say something even dumber than a monkey born without a cortex, then you’ve certainly heard that beta-alanine is one remarkable performance aid. For instance, a recent study looked at the effect of beta-alanine (beta-Ala) alone or in combination with creatine monohydrate (Cr) on aerobic exercise performance. The study examined the effects of 4 weeks of beta-Ala and Cr supplementation on indices of endurance performance. Fifty-five men (average age 24.5 yrs) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study and randomly assigned to one of 4 groups; placebo (5), creatine (Cr), beta-alanine (beta-Ala), or beta-alanine plus creatine (CrBA). Prior to and following supplementation, participants performed a graded exercise test on a cycle ergometer to determine VO2 peak, time to exhaustion (TTE), and power output, VO2, and percent VO2 peak associated with ventilatory threshold and lactate threshold. According to the authors, “CrBA may potentially enhance endurance performance.”(6)
Another study had 13 male subjects who consumed beta-alanine for 4 weeks, 8 of these for 10 weeks. Muscle carnosine was significantly increased by 59% and 80% after 4 and 10 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation. Carnosine, initially 1.71 times higher in type IIa fibers (i.e. your fast twitch muscle fibers), increased equally in both type I and IIa fibers. No increase was seen in control subjects. Also, 4 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation resulted in a significant increase in total work done (+13.0%); with a further +3.2% increase at 10 weeks. TWD was unchanged at 4 and 10 wks in the control subjects. The increase in total work done with supplementation followed the increase in muscle carnosine.(7) But wait. There’s more.
Recently, scientists examined the effects of 28 days of beta-alanine supplementation on the physical working capacity at fatigue threshold (PWC(FT)), ventilatory threshold (VT), maximal oxygen consumption and time-to-exhaustion (TTE) in women. Twenty-two women (age 27 years) participated and were randomly assigned to either the beta-alanine or Placebo (PL) group. Before (pre) and after (post) the supplementation period, participants performed a cycle ergometry test to exhaustion. Ouch! That’s a painful test. They found that beta-alanine supplementation delays the onset of neuromuscular fatigue and the ventilatory threshold (VT) at submaximal workloads, and increases the time to exhaustion during maximal cycle ergometry performance. Therefore, beta-alanine supplementation improves submaximal cycle ergometry performance and time to exhaustion in young women.(8)
How to Use it
The most effective way to consume beta-alanine is with food at a dose of three to six grams daily, divided into 4 to 8 doses, for at least two weeks to see its first effect. The minimal dose seems to be in the 3 gram range. But why take it in divided dose throughout the day? One, there is a slight flushing / tingling effect with high doses (at or greater than 1.6 grams) called paraesthesia. This is resolved by taking smaller doses 8 times per day instead of 4 or by mixing it with food. Most people, however, are not bothered by paraesthesia. The second reason for taking multiple doses is to ensure a constant presence of beta-alanine which helps drive it into the muscle cell where it synthesizes into carnosine.
If you are in a sport in which gaining body weight is a detriment (e.g. wrestling, boxing, paddling, running, etc), beta-alanine is superior to creatine in this regard. It is just one of a handful of ergogenic aids that will improve performance relatively quickly (i.e. after a couple weeks of loading) without any concomitant weight gain.
I have been supplementing with 2-3 grams daily of beta-alanine for 3 months now. As a ‘pseudo-competitive’ paddler (www.kanaluimiami.com), I’ve noticed that doing interval type exercise (i.e. high intensity paddling interspersed with lower intensity paddling for recovery) is somewhat easier. Also, my drop in body weight (subsequent to stopping creatine use and maintaining beta-alanine use) has helped my performance. In an outrigger canoe, carrying too much body weight (even if it’s muscle) can be detrimental to performance.
|What’s the difference between beta-alanine and L-alanine?|
beta-Alanine is the only naturally occurring beta amino acid; however, it is not used in the synthesis of any major proteins.
Also known as: 3-aminopropionic acid.
L-Alanine (Ala) is a non-essential-amino acid.
L-alanine is one of the 20 amino acids most widely used in protein synthesis, second to leucine
D-alanine occurs in bacterial cell walls and in some peptide antibiotics.
Also known as:2-aminopropanoic acid
Around the world there are small vibrating earthquakes surrounding millions of fitness facilities that have enough cardio equipment to cure the international obesity crisis … at least one would assume. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, and days eventually turn into years that have been accumulated pounding on treadmills or any other piece of machinery we adopt as our fat-burning buddy. But the majority of the time dieters are left scratching their heads or stressing that the time invested in exercise is taking its toll on the rest of their busy and hectic lifestyle. People fail to realize that the body can act as your best friend against breaking the barriers of fat accumulation only if they had a little faith in the body that they house and head that they control.
Through trial and error, most of us have experienced the one or two hours per day customary procedure of conducting cardiovascular exercise to lose the extra pounds that are hugging our physique like a long lost friend, but if we only had a little more faith in our own bodies’ thermogenic properties, then we could slash the above time on the treadmill in half.
Food can sometimes rear its ugly head as being our worst enemy if we allow it, but it can also work as our ally against destroying fat cells. Every time we consume food the body temperature raises to help digest nutrients much like a kettle element heats up to warm its surrounding water. In order for a kettle element to heat up, it requires energy from an energy source, in this case electricity. The same can be said for the human body, in order for the body to heat in order to digest food it must locate stored energy, in this case calorie dense fat cells. Every time we eat a portion of food we burn fat as an energy source to digest it. Now if you provide your body with foods that are lower in calories than your daily expenditure, you will lose fat, simple! Option 1 (the hard way) is to increase cardiovascular activity to momentarily burn fat stores as a requirement of energy. Option 2 (the easier way) is to allow your nutrition to increase the rate that calories are burnt throughout the entire day.
If you have made the simple decision to go with option two, here is how I outline your schedule for the day:
First of all almost everyone advocates conducting cardio in the morning before breakfast. From personal experience and from practical knowledge of working with 1000’s of clients in the past, conducting cardiovascular exercise before breakfast only seems to increase the likelihood of calories being stored as fat. When a person sleeps the metabolism is at its all time lowest, if you continue to do cardiovascular exercise fasting on an empty stomach when the body is screaming for food it will gorge itself on the available calories at its first meal. The body will hold onto many of the calories in its energy stores (fat deposits) fearing it will need to call on them if you should go another nine or so hours without food (it has no idea that food is readily available).
Following the average eight hour sleep my recommendation is to eat as soon as humanly possible. The metabolism has slowed right down at this time due to the eight hour fast so your priority is to speed it up immediately in order for it to work at a faster pace when you conduct your following cardio. If you give an adequate time frame of around 30mins for your food to digest, your metabolism should be increasing at such a rate that you will only need to conduct a minimal amount of cardiovascular exercise, I normally recommend only 20 minutes.
I’m going to throw another spanner in the works by telling you that if you take a thermogenic fat burner (I recommend that you do) then this should be used to further enhance the metabolism by taking it after your cardio. The key here is to keep the metabolism burning at optimal level throughout the day. It has been kick started with breakfast and has increased momentum via cardio; now let’s continue that peak by taking a fat metabolizer after your cardio to decrease the likelihood of the calories in the next meals being stored as fat. I strongly recommend Tetrazene ES-50 to take your metabolism to the next level.
Now to keep stoking our fat burning fire we must keep eating small meals at frequent intervals. A minimum of 6 meals per day is a perfect environment for a metabolism to fire on all cylinders. These meals should be made up of lean animal proteins such as chicken, steak, fish or egg whites combined with slow digesting carbohydrates such as brown rice, oatmeal and multigrain pasta. Fibrous carbohydrates such as broccoli, cabbage and asparagus are the perfect sources of carbs to be taken within the last 5 hours before sleep. The calories within these sources are so minimal that the chances of these being stored as fat whilst sleeping is next to nothing. For most of us, taking in 6 meals per day can be a very arduous task, so I recommend that a protein shake or protein bar should be taken advantage of. ProSource has the best tasting protein bar on the market, it is called the Supreme Protein bar, and for good reason. One taste of it and all of a sudden 6 meals doesn’t look too bad. A protein bar or shake can replace up to three meals per day. A good healthy source of fat like CLA or flaxseed is a great supplement to use to help minimize cravings and also slow the digestion of carbohydrates into the blood stream giving more chance of these calories to be used as available energy instead of stored energy.
A second bout of cardio should be conducted in the evening prior to your last one or two meals to kick start the fat burning process once again when the metabolism is normally at its slowest. Again I normally only recommend 20 minutes, this will be plenty of time to stoke that fat burning furnace that we all have inside
My last recommendation is intended for those of you who are really serious about your fitness goals. It is one that can make a huge difference in maintaining a fast metabolism. Set your alarm to wake you half way through your night’s sleep and drink a protein shake. This will split up your eight hour fast and have your metabolism to work for you during the night as you continue your sleep. A protein blend such as NytroPlex-GF is a first grade choice because it has not only fast digesting properties to place the body into an anabolic state but it also has slow digesting proteins to keep the body in an anti-catabolic state. This may seem like a chore at first but I guarantee that within a week or two of following this procedure you will no longer be setting your alarm as your metabolism speeds up. Your body will be waking you up to feed its hunger and soon you will see the results you craved when more attention is paid to nutrition than your normal never-ending daily cardio.
Research on caffeine shows effective doses in the range of 1.8mg to 4mg per pound of bodyweight, taken about 30 minutes prior to exercise.
Is it possible to develop the perfect workout and bottle it? Could you gather up all the intensity, the unexpected strength, the supercharged endurance, the freaky pumps, and guarantee it every time you step in the gym? Let’s face it, not every workout is what you hope it will be. It’s rarely as good as that nearly spiritual experience you have once in a blue moon. But maybe it can be. With the right pre-exercise nutrition and supplementation, every workout can be a masterpiece. A steady string of them, and you’ve got a new physique full of personal strength records and shirt-popping muscles.
With the right pre-exercise nutrition, you can expect increased strength, energy, and mental focus and stimulation. Because there are so many beneficial metabolic responses occurring during exercise that don’t occur at any other time during the day, it is absolutely crucial to ingest the right blend of pre-workout nutrients to take full advantage of this window of opportunity. By taking these nutrients in the right doses and ratios, you maximize exercise-induced reactions, such as improving the absorption of nutrients, stimulating hormones that build muscle and burn fat, and increasing blood flow, leading to increased strength and pumps. At the same time, there are many potential negative stresses your body undergoes during exercise. Fortunately, pre-workout supplementation can also protect your body against many of these stresses, including the increased free radical production and catabolic hormone release that can hinder your progress and compromise your immune system.
Regardless of your training goals, the type of workout you perform, or your sport, effective pre-exercise nutrition and hydration is an absolute must. We can look at the pre-workout timeframe as a two-hour period of time prior to your training session. Using this model, we can follow simple rules for nutrient and water intake. For your food intake, we’ll follow the “one to two” rule. This refers to the amount of time before your workout and also the amount of carbohydrates, in grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, if your workout is two hours away, you should ingest two grams of carbohydrates for each kilogram of body weight. (To determine your weight in kilograms, just take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2.) If you weigh 200 lbs., that’s 90 kilograms. Multiply that by two and you get 180 grams of carbohydrates. If your workout is one hour away, ingest one gram of carbs for every kilogram you weigh (90 grams in this case). Now, just to be clear, you’ll be eating once. You don’t need to eat two hours prior to your workout and then again one hour before it. Just pick one time and eat once.
That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But to maximize both performance and recovery, as well as subsequent strength and mass gains, your pre and post-exercise meals are your most important of the day. What’s just as important, however, is what you’re putting in your mouth. The type of carbohydrate you ingest in this pre-workout period is absolutely crucial. We want “slow-release,” high-energy, most bang-for-your-buck carbohydrates. Here’s a quick list of the types of carbohydrates you should be proud to ingest: whole-grain breads, wheat pasta, oranges, peaches, grapes, whole-grain cereal, barley, lentils, yams, vegetables (minus potatoes, carrots, and corn), almonds, walnuts, and oatmeal.
Stay away from simple carbohydrates, excess sugars and fats, processed foods, anything with high-fructose corn syrup, and heavy, slow-digesting meals. You’re not going to need a lot of protein and fat in the pre-exercise window. Limit your protein to one-fourth the amount of carbohydrates. For example, if you take in 90 grams of carbohydrates one hour prior to training, you can have up to 22.5 grams of protein. You should have no more than half that amount in fat.
Let’s not forget proper fluid consumption in the hour prior to your workout, either. The lack of it, more importantly, is what leads to poor muscle contraction, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Sometimes you have a poor workout and just don’t know why. Suspect dehydration. To ward it off and maximize workout potential, consume at least 16-20oz. of cold water two hours prior to exercise. Do it again one hour before. Then, fifteen minutes prior to exercise, drink another 16oz. of cold water. This is important. First of all, cold water (59-70o F) empties the stomach at a faster rate, and secondly, maintaining an elevated stomach fluid volume allows those fluids to empty at a faster rate. If that sounds redundant, it is. It’s doubly important. The faster those fluids get out of the stomach and eventually into the bloodstream, the faster you can cool the body during exercise, allowing it to focus solely on optimum performance.
Okay, so what about using supplements in the pre-exercising window? There are several that can kick-start your workout, increase strength and endurance, limit fatigue, and even improve recovery. Here’s a quick list of difference-makers:
1.Alpha-GPC and Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Muscle contraction is a complex process, but one of the major components is a chemical called acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates muscles to contract. During workouts, it becomes depleted, leading to fatigue and weaker contractions. However, if you have more available prior to and during your training session, you’ll be stronger and have greater muscular endurance. L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, or alpha-GPC for short, is a nutritional precursor to acetylcholine, providing the choline component. It alone can stimulate the cascade of muscular events that lead to stronger, more powerful contractions. With Acetyl-L-Carnitine, a substance with a large range of neurological and potentially hormonal effects, the results are also prolific. This unique form of carnitine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and act as an acetycholine precursor by donating its acetyl group. Combine a deliverable form of choline from Alpha-GPC with an acetyl donor from Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and you create the ultimate combination in precursors for acetylcholine synthesis.
2. Beta-alanine. When you’re weight training and you just have to end your set, whether it’s due to fatigue or a “burning” in your muscles, it’s most likely due to the buildup of hydrogen ions (H+), which in turn increase acidity in muscle. This is precisely what you don’t want when training. Simply put, this acidic buildup stops muscle contraction cold. That’s where beta-alanine comes in. It kicks off the processes that halt the growth-killing upsurge of hydrogen ions. Because acidic buildup occurs in all types of activity, in all muscle fiber types, and beta-alanine can absorb it, it?s rapidly becoming the premiere training supplement for anyone looking to get stronger, leaner, and more muscular.
3. Creatine. No stranger to the nutrition world, creatine has perhaps the best reputation of any strength/power supplement. As stated above, there are many factors that contribute to muscle fatigue, most notably acetylcholine depletion and the build-up of hydrogen ions. Another contributor to fatigue during exercise is the depletion of ATP, our most readily available and usable source of energy. Creatine is the substance that replenishes the loss of the phosphate group that’s pulled off an ATP molecule to release energy. Creatine essentially puts the ATP back together, to be used once again for energy. Since high-strength and power activities (i.e., weight training) deplete ATP the quickest, creatine is most beneficial for anyone engaging in them – anyone trying to get bigger and stronger.
4. BCAAs. Branched-chain amino acids have been around forever, but they never seem to be short on new benefits. The latest? The ability to reduce central fatigue, the type of fatigue that results from a tired brain. Sometimes you just feel sluggish and bored prior to and during workouts, and often it’s a result of depleted brain neurotransmitters. BCAAs work to combat this by reducing the brain’s uptake of tryptophan, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy. BCAAs also work in muscles themselves, increasing energy output and strength.
5. Tyrosine. The powerful neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine are all derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine, underscoring the importance of tyrosine for optimal neurological function. Tyrosine at the proper dose has been shown in human studies to improve performance, mood, and psychological function under stressful physiological conditions such as exercise. It can also improve cognitive function, improving focus and concentration. Many of these positive attributes of tyrosine are believed to come from its ability to manufacture these neurotransmitters and prevent their depletion during exercise. This makes tyrosine an ideal pre-workout compound, but only in the proper dosage (2-3 grams) and timing (prior to exercise).
6. Caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system by triggering the release of epinephrine from the adrenal glands and by indirectly blocking a chemical in the body called adenosine, which has calming effects on the central nervous system. There is what’s considered an “optimal” level of nervous system stimulation, so taking too much of a stimulant such as caffeine can actually worsen performance. Finding the correct dose and ingesting it with proper timing can aid greatly in helping you achieve the optimal state for the most intense and focused training sessions. What’s the most effective dose
The combination of proper nutrition and effective supplementation is the key to consistently intense, focused training sessions – the type that lead to personal records in strength and muscular endurance. Remember, your workout truly begins in the crucial two-hour window prior to entering the gym. Plan accordingly, and every workout will be a growth session leading to new muscle and strength gains. Good luck.
May 11, 2007 Product Reviews
Comparison of Ingredients and Claims:
Active Ingredients: Proprietary Formula 3520 mg:
- xanthinol nicotinate
- L-arginine-ketoisocaproic acid
- yohimbine HCL
Directions: Beginners should start with one serving (3 caplets) with an 8 oz. glass of water, twice daily. Intermediate and advanced bodybuilders should refer to the dosing chart. On days of your workout, take 1 of these servings before your workout. Do not exceed 10 caplets in a 24-hour period. Consume ten 8 oz. glasses of water daily for general good health. Read the entire label before use and follow the directions carefully.
Ingestion: powdered drink (mix with water)
- Calories 40
- Total Carbohydrates 10 g
- Sugars 4 g
- Calcium 100 mg
- Sodium 220 mg
Active Ingredients: naNo Vapor Proprietary Blend 22,031 mg: Intravol (Muscle Cell Volumizing Complex), Maltodeztrin, Creatine monohydrate, Taurine, Creatine anhydrous, Creatine malate, Creatine alpha-ketoglutarate, Tricreatine HCA, Creatine l-pyroglutamate, Glycocyamine, Cinnamon extract (as Cinnamomum cassia blume( (bark) Standardized to 40% polyphenols, Taurine ethyl ester HCl, Taurine alpha-ketoglutarate, 18 beta glycrrhetinic acid, Coriolus versicolor powder (plant), Vasoprime (Nitric Oxide Amplification Matrix), D-glucose monosaccharide, L-arginine, L-aspartic acid, Disodium phosphate, Dipotassium phosphate, Dicalcium phosphate, Xanthinol nicotinate, L-arginine ketoisocaproic acid, L-arginine ethyl ester HCl, Norvaline, L-norvaline ethyl ester HCl, Asian ginseng extract (as Panax ginseng) (plant) Standardized to 25% ginsenosides, L-citrulline, Citrulline malate, L-citrulline malate, L-citulline ethyl ester, L-histidine alpha ketoglutarate, Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract (root) Standardized to 85% gypenosides, Acetyl-l-carnitine l-arginine dihydrochloride, Salvia miltiorrhiza bunge powder (Cryptotanshinone) Artichoke flavonoids (as Cynara scolymus L.) (root) Crataegus pinnauficia bunge extract (berry) NeuroAMP (Psychoactive Signaling Intensity Catalyst), L-tyrosine, N-acetyl-l-tyrosine, Sulbutiamine, Vinpocetine, Alpha-glycerophosphocholine, Cis-9, 10-octadecenoamide, Huperzine-A (as Huperzia serrata), Anaphex (Anabolic/Anti-Catabolic Signaling Complex), Glycine, Beta-alanine, L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, Beta-alanine ethyl ester HCl, L-leucine methyl ester HCl, L-leucine alpha ketoglutarate, L-leucine isovaleric acid, L-isoleucine ethyl ester HCl, L-isoleucine methyl ester HClm, L-valine ethyl ester HCl, L-valine alpha ketoglutarate, Alpha amino l-butyrate, Infernogen (Lipid Inferno Fusion) Caffeine anhydrous, Standardized for 117 mg caffeine, Yerba mate powder, (as llex paraguariensis) (leaf) N-acetyl-l-carnitine HCl, Yohimbine HCl (Pausinystalia yohimbe) (bark) Evodia rutaecarpa extract (as Tetradium ruticarpum)(fruit) Standardized for 10% evodiamine, Black tea extract (as Camellia sinensis) (leaf) Standardized for 70% polyphenols, 50% catechins, 25% EGCG, Theobroma cacao extract (seed) Standardized for 6% theobromine, White tea extract (as Camellia sinensis) (leaf) Standardized for 50% polyphenols, 35% catechins, 15% EGCG, White willow extract (as Salix alba)(bark) Standardized for 25% salicin, 11-hydroxy yohimbine, MyoGF (Growth Complex) Fenugreek extract (as Trigonella foenum-gracum)(seed) Standardized to 20% 4-hydroxyisoleucine Quercetin dihydrate (citrus bioflavonoid) Dihydroxy-diosgenin (25R-5 alpha-spirostan-2-alpha, 3-beta) Acetyl-l-cysteine amide, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamin).
Recommended Usage: Start off by mixing 1 scoop (1 serving) with 3 to 4 oz. of cold water and downing it about 15 minutes before hitting the weights. Then, grab something heavy. As you develop respect for, and understand the power of naNO Vapor, you can gradually increase the dosage to 2 to 3 scoops (2 to 3 servings) mixed in 8 to 12 oz. of cold water before working out.
For maximum results, consume on an empty stomach. Do not exceed 3 scoops (servings) in a 24-hour period. Due to the extreme reactivity of the naNO Vapor formula, made sure the container is stabilized for at least 10 to 15 seconds before opening the lid. Otherwise, nanoparticulated particles invisible to the naked eye may escape the confines of the container. Do not leave the container open for more than 30 seconds. Due to the unbridled power of naNO Vapor, make absolutely certain that you have read the entire label before using naNO Vapor. You must precisely follow the directions provided. http://www.vaporexperience.com/product/vapor_info.shtml
- Immediately Floods Muscles with Pump-Inducing Vascular Expanders
- Forces Rapid Increases in Muscle Size and Maximum Pumps
- Unique Dual-Effect Formula
- Superior to Regular Nitric Oxide Products
- Hardest Hitting Formulation Legally Available
Claims naNO Vapor:
- Nanomolecular Vascular Expanders for Immediate Vaso-Muscular Pumps
- Â Psychoactive Pre-Workout Matrix Ignites White-Hot IntensityÂ & Explosive Strength
- Anabolic Factors Force Extreme Muscle GainsÂ
- Zero Wait-Time Pre-Workout Formula
How naNO vapor Works:
NeuroAMP:Psychoactive signaling intensity catalyst design to ignite white hot intensity and extreme focus
Vasoprime: Nitric Oxide amplification matrix engineered to force virtually instant vasodilation for mind-blowing muscle pumps and increase in size.
Anaphex: Anabolic/Anti-catabolic signaling complex designed to trigger immediate anabolism and help shield off catabolism for unrestricted growth.
Infernogen: Lipid inferno fusion matrix engineered with thermogenic compounds to immediately crank up the body metabolism.
MyoGF: Cutting Edge growth complex designed to rapidly boost anabolic hormone production to trigger muscle growth.
Intavol: Muscle cell volumizing complex saturates cells with growth inducing compounds for explosive gains in muscle mass.
In addition to many other vaso-anabolic ingredients, naNO Vapor contains the same active ingredients as naNO X9.
Suggested retail price:
naNO Vapor: $74.91 Prosource Price: $37.89
naNOX9: $79.99 Prosource Price: $49.95
Getting enough fiber in our diet has always been a critical component for good overall health. Of the two types of plant fiber: soluble and insoluble, both offer differing and unique benefits, but it is the former that is of key interest here. Soluble fiber exists in foods such as oats, beans, barley, certain fruits and vegetables, and of course, the most powerful of them all? glucomannan!
The fact that soluble fibers can form a viscous (gel-like) solution when mixed with water results in several very beneficial effects1-3, such as lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, decreasing appetite and promoting fat loss. The health benefits are so impressive that the Food and Drug Administration has approved specific fiber claims that can be used on food and supplement product labels.
This article is designed to explore the science, bioactivity and numerous benefits behind this remarkable soluble fiber. In fact, Glucomannan, in its purest, most potent form, delivers a greater array of health benefits than nearly any other single compound available today.
What is Glucomannan?
Glucomannan (Amorphophallus konjac) is unique among soluble fibers. Its most notable characteristic is its tremendous water-holding capacity, up to 105 times its own weight and 200 times its volume. This amazing gel-forming property is due to its large molecular weight, which can be as high as 2 million Daltons, the largest of any soluble fiber in nature.
Water-holding capacity is a function of soluble fiber’s viscosity, which is commonly perceived as “thickness,” or resistance to pouring. Glucomannan has the highest viscosity of any known soluble fiber. And that water-holding, gel-forming power is the key to its unprecedented success as a health promoter.
The Importance of High-Viscosity Glucomannan
One of the most pivotal distinctions to know and understand about this compound is that glucomannan works physically (by forming a gel) not enzymatically or chemically like other nutrients and drugs that promote weight loss. It delays stomach emptying, triggering satiety (a feeling of fullness) that can be helpful in trying to lose and maintain weight. The viscosity of glucomannan is magnitudes higher than all other soluble fibers, including guar gum and pectin. Research has shown that in head-to-head comparisons, glucomannan has greater gel volume and viscosity properties compared to other soluble fibers4, and therefore appears to be the ideal soluble fiber for promoting weight and fat loss, suppressing appetite, controlling glucose and insulin surges, and lowering cholesterol.
But be advised, there are glaringly different qualities of glucomannan, with varying levels of viscosity. Researchers in Japan have clearly shown that high-viscosity glucomannan is much more effective at reducing the increase in blood sugar to a meal compared to low-viscosity glucomannan5. This particular effect is due to a decrease in gastric emptying time. Other experiments clearly showed that glucomannan reduced cholesterol levels by increasing cholesterol excretion lost though bile.
Small Amounts Lead to Big Health Benefits
A number of placebo-controlled studies have shown that relatively small amounts of glucomannan (1 to 4 grams per day) enhances weight loss6-11. These effects are seen in studies that involved diets that were either calorically restricted or free-living where no guidance to restrict calories was provided. In a landmark study published over two decades ago, it was shown that obese subjects who were provided 3 grams of highly purified glucomannan per day for 8 weeks lost a significant amount of weight and experienced significant improvements in total and LDL cholesterol6. All the subjects in this study were specifically instructed not to change their normal eating and exercise patterns and so it was not surprising that the placebo group experienced no changes in weight or cholesterol.
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study, overweight subjects who were provided 3 grams of highly purified glucomannan per day for 8 weeks lost more than 8 pounds without any instructions to modify their diet7. That’s a pound a week, without changing their diet–simply remarkable! This notable clinical trial had the strength of using a cross-over study design (all subjects participated in both the glucomannan and a placebo trial), which removes the problem of potential differences between groups because each subject serves as their own control.
In yet another key study, this time of overweight patients with high blood pressure, glucomannan (3 grams per day) was provided to a group that restricted calories and a group with no caloric restriction, both lost more weight than a placebo group8. Weight loss after 4 weeks was slightly higher in the glucomannan group that also restricted calories (-5.3 pounds) compared to the unrestricted group (-3 pounds). In a follow-up study, these authors again showed superior weight loss and decreased cholesterol levels after 8 weeks of glucomannan combined with a caloric restriction9. Furthe-rmore, in a study of obese children provided highly-purified Shimizu glucomannan from Japan and prescribed a balanced diet, experienced weight loss, and cholesterol and triglyceride decreases that were significantly greater than a control group10. Other studies testing the combination of glucomannan with a reduced calorie diet show greater weight loss than even caloric restriction alone11,12.
These, and other equally extraordinary studies clearly show the potential of high-quality glucomannan to cause a spontaneous decrease in food consumption and accompanying weight loss and drops in cholesterol levels. Considering that most people regain weight because they cannot maintain caloric restriction over the long-term, the fact that glucomannan reduces food intake on the subject’s own volition is a major advantage over other diet approaches that rely on will power. Further, glucomannan works through its high viscosity and gel-forming properties, not the sympathetic nervous system like other weight loss stimulants. Glucomannan is believed to promote feelings of fullness by forming a gel in the stomach, which in turn sends signals to the appetite center in the brain that control hunger and satiation.
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Glucomannan has other major health benefits that are independent of its potent effects on weight loss. A large number of studies have consistently shown that glucomannan taken prior to, or with a meal, significantly reduces the glucose and insulin response by as much as one-half 5,12-17. This again is due to its powerful bulk-forming properties in the stomach, a function of the viscosity of the glucomannan product. Only high-viscosity glucomannan, however, has the potent glucose-lowering effects with less-viscous versions having less of an effect or no effect at all5.
In addition to effecting weight loss and glucose and insulin levels, glucomannan has been shown to have significant and consistent cholesterol-lowering effects in numerous clinical studies18-25. The effects are potent even with small doses (<4 grams per day). For example, in a recent randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over clinical trial in diabetic subjects, glucomannan (3.6 grams per day) decreased LDL-cholesterol by 21%, improved the total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol ration by 16%, and decreased the fasting and 2-hour glucose levels by 23% and 28%, respectively24. The mechanism of this potent lipid-lowering effect of glucomannan has been investigated in some eloquent animal and human studies. Most evidence indicates that glucomannan interferes with cholesterol absorption or enhances cholesterol excretion lost through bile. This loss of cholesterol in bile would in turn need to be replaced by cholesterol from the blood and therefore results in decreased blood cholesterol levels. Importantly, glucomannan does not decrease fat absorption22, which is a positive aspect because malabsorption of fat would be associated with potential undesired side effects.
Glucomannan is a highly viscous soluble fiber that has been widely used in the Orient for hundreds of years. An impressive amount of research has shown that small amounts of glucomannan administered before or during meals leads to significant weight loss and consistent reductions in appetite, cholesterol, glucose, and insulin. These effects have been observed in a variety of healthy and clinical populations. No serious side effects have been documented in any of the studies of glucomannan. It is evidence-based, well-tolerated, stimulant-free, and easy to incorporate into the diet.
Although glucomannan has been shown to effectively enhance weight loss, the beneficial effects on glucose and insulin and its lipid-lowering properties are not dependent on losing weight. Thus the therapeutic applications of glucomannan extend well beyond weight loss to include individuals with glucose and insulin disturbances (e.g., insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and type II diabetes), cholesterol and other lipid disorders, and those with combinations of these disorders such as metabolic syndrome. Of course, anyone suffering from any of these disorders or any other medical conditions should consult with their physician prior to using glucomannan or any other dietary supplement.
The weight loss and health-promoting effects of glucomannan are directly coupled to its viscosity. The superiority of highly viscous glucomannan over less viscous and less pure products is clear.