Much can be debated about the health benefits or detriments of popularized Nootropic drugs. Whether you want to call them a brain supplement, memory enhancer, cognitive reasoning booster, or whatever popularized term you can throw our way…. the question still remains. Do they work? When we sought out the scientific research and studies to determine the viability of improving brain reasoning power by taking a simple pill, we were skeptical. Fortunately, we don’t rely on reviews for our official assessments… we stick to the cold hard science.
What are Nootropics?
They are brain improvement supplements or vitamins, or food that is designed to increase focus, concentration, and memory. They are commonly referred to as “smart drugs”. Regardless of their name, they are intended to use scientific ingredients to support better brain strength.
Supplements are more commonly used to build bigger muscles…. but what about building a bigger brain. According to Einstein Brain Supplements, the practice of using brain boosting drugs dates back several thousand years. The research has recently improved and more people are offering their products to market, though under less than scrutunized FDA standards.
In the coming years, regulation will likely improve in the murky industry of mental health supplements and the underground community of self testers creating their own nootropic stacks will likely persist.
L-phenylalanine is an amino acid (building blocks of proteins) which belongs to the larger group phenylalanine. Being the most important of the other forms of phenylalanine, L-phenylalanine is the only form which is found in proteins. Research shows that this amino acid is used by the body to make chemical messengers but it’s still not vivid how it works. The other forms of phenylalanine include the synthetic phenylalanine and DL-Phenylalanine. Studies carried by UMMC shows that L-Phenylalanine helps in alleviating various diseases and conditions by producing the required neurotransmitters. 50% to 75% of L-Phenylalanine is converted to L-Tyrosine in your liver. The rest of it which include is converted to L-dopa, norepinephrine and epinephrine. The other product is the phenylethylamine (PEA) (a neurotransmitter) which has amphetamine-like effects, meaning it’s mentally and physically stimulating. Physical and mental stimulation means to a lot for those working out. Various studies show tremendous growth of muscles in people with huge amounts of this chemical in their bodies.
Sources Of Phenylalanine
People don’t produce L-Phenylalanine in their bodies, instead they must get this vital amino acid from external sources. The prime sources are high protein foods like beef, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy, soy products and pork. You can as well acquire it from legumes, avocados, seeds, nuts, sea food, bananas, whole grains and sea food.
Importance in Muscle Growth and Workouts
L-Phenylalanine (C9H11NO2) assists the brain in producing neurotransmitters; very important chemicals in the nervous system. Neurotransmitters are known for delivering messages to the brain. Most studies have indicated that this amino acid helps to stimulate your muscles. Alongside muscle growth, according to University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) research, with these chemicals, you’ll be able to reduce hunger pangs, improve memory, ease chronic pains and lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease ad ADHD. Few other studies adds that L-Phenylalanine eases PMS symptoms and helps in managing alcohol withdrawal.
This chemical fosters the functioning of the endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers meaning that you’ll be able to workout for longer without feeling tired. Clinical research conducted by VitaSouth indicates that L-Phenylalanine suppresses appetite and assists in burning excess fat. This allows your body to build muscles with ease and faster. It also helps in controlling the appetite because of its cholecystokinin effect. When converted to phenylethylamine, L-Phenylalanine tends to elevate one’s mood. All of these have a positive effect on muscle growth and the time of workouts.
It’s not recommended for people with Phenylketonuria (PKU) to take L-Phenylalanine based supplements and the same applies to people with high blood pressure, melanomas and diabetes. Also, L-Phenylalanine isn’t recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women. For those taking MAOI antidepressants and certain antipsychotic medications, they risk getting stroke and heart attack if they use L-Phenylalanine supplements. People taking Baclofen for muscle spasms and those taking Sinemet for Parkinson’s disease should not take L-Phenylalanine as it decreases the effectiveness of the medicine. Lastly, people with sleep and anxiety disorders should avoid supplements containing this amino acid.
Since this type of amino acid competes with other amino acids for attachment on a common amino acid carrier, when taking a supplement, don’t take it with protein containing foods. Supplements containing L-Phenylalanine should always be taken under medical supervision because of it is a very powerful physical stimulant.
Few will argue that bone strength is one of the most important components of a healthy body. Being the structure of the human body, bones comprise the base of a functional, lean and balanced body structure. It is unsurprising, therefore, that calcium supplements form a major part of most fitness drinks, shakes and bars. In this article we look at some of the benefits of calcium hydorxyapatite as a calcium supplement. Benefits of Calcium Hydorxyapatite
Some of the major benefits of supplementing with calcium, apart from bone strength, is increased fat loss, optimal metabolism and reduced infections. In this section we examine in detail what some of the benefits of calcium hydorxyapatite supplements are.
1. Perfect Proportions: One of the golden rules of supplements is that it should be administered in optimal doses that do not affect the body in a negative way. Since supplements are not a part of the natural system of the body, only those medications are recommended that mimic the proportions naturally found in your system. Calcium hydroxyapatite has the perfect balance of calcium to phosphorus. This aids in bone growth and minimizes the adverse effects that supplements might pose.
2. Calcium Bioavailability: Many nutrition experts will tell you that bioavailability is one of the key problems of dietary supplements. The reason for this is that the supplements tend to have chemical binders and fillers that make it a stable compound. As a result of these additions, the bioavailability of calcium is lost and the dose taken is effectively weaker than recommended. Calcium hydroxyapatite is one such component that yields itself entirely to absorption. There is minimal degradation of the compound and in its recommended dosage it is both effective and entirely bio-available. The only thing that one must keep in mind while buying supplements is that there is no added sugar or starch that can limit its action.
3. Bone Strength: It is a commonly acknowledged fact that calcium hydroxyapatite increases bone strength. By fixing the bone matrix, the compound aids in reduction of osteoporosis rates and prevention of bone decay. The reason for this is that the structural nature of hydorxyapatite is such that it’s surface is free to bind elements such as phosphorus, boron and zinc. All of these work in tandem to create the perfect bone strength and prevent osteoporosis or related diseases.
4. Faster Fat Loss: One of the added benefits that calcium hydroxyapatite exhibits is added fat loss. For a long time, scientists have studied the positive correlation between dietary calcium and low weight. Calcium, in these studies, seems to affect the rate of fat absorption by the body. Due to its inhibitory effect, many experts believe that calcium is one of the crucial elements that could result in lower body fat levels.
While the best source of vitamins and minerals is whole, organic food stuff; there is a unique conundrum faced by fitness enthusiasts in today’s world. The rapid increase in levels of adulteration, pesticide use and unnatural breeding techniques has resulted in the severe loss of nutrients from natural foods such as milk, cheese or eggs- all of which are primary sources of calcium. In order to assist in bone strength and overall health, it is important to supplement with calcium in its safest and most effective form, ie. calcium hydroxyapatite.
Proteins comprise a significant percentage of body structures in all living organisms on Earth. Proteins make up various structures of the human body, from the smallest like hair and nails to the more complex ones like muscles. Proteins are made of sequences of molecules known as amino acids. Amino acids are divided into two groups: non-essential amino acids, which the body is able to synthesize and essential amino acids, which the body has to obtain from dietary sources since we cannot make them naturally.
BCAAS is one of the nine groups of essential proteins in humans that make up to 35% of the amino acids required for the synthesis of muscle proteins. BCAAs refer to Branched Amino Acids, that is a group of amino acids comprising of Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine in the ratio of 2:1:1 respectively. They are called branched as they are the only amino acids with a branched side chain. BCAAs are essential in the body as they help stimulate the synthesis of protein in muscle, act as an energy source and also reduce muscle protein breakdown.
So how do BCAAs do it? The activity of BCAAs 2:1:1 and protein synthesis depends primarily on Leucine. Leucine is a vital component of the muscle protein synthesis process and works by enhancing anabolic signaling through directly or indirectly (via insulin) activating a protein known as Target of Rapamycin (TOR). The TOR pathway once activated by dietary Leucine induces the synthesis of muscle proteins. Isoleucine increases the body’s ability to uptake glucose, which, when broken down acts as a source of energy.
Exercise leads to a decline in serum levels, causing an influx of the amino acid tryptophan into the brain and a subsequent increase in serotonin levels. According to scientists, the upsurge of serotonin levels is thought to cause fatigue. BCAAs reduce fatigue and improve performance through preventing serum decline and consequently reducing serotonin levels. Although the ability of BCAAs to enhance performance is contested by some groups of scientists, their ability to reduce muscle breakdown is an accepted fact among medics and scientists alike.
When metabolized, BCAA protein supplements promote anabolic hormone profile that causes muscle repairs after intense workouts. Scientific studies show that taking BCAA supplements recovers peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation in addition to producing plasma glutamine concentration after an exercise. Scientists also believe that the ingestion of BCAA supplements after exercise suppresses the proteins involved in muscle atrophy or breakdown. Subsequently, athletes and sports people who take BCAAs do not experience much of the post-workout soreness associated with muscle wastage and repair.
Consequently, Branched Amino Acids have numerous applications in medicine and sports science. They are used to treat slow muscle wasting and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among others. Most importantly, BCAAs are used in sports nutrition to develop mass, especially when on a calorie deficit diet. In addition, they help with muscle building and repair, enhance performance and reduce fatigue. It is important to note that the metabolism of Branched Chain Amino Acids takes place in the skeletal muscles, a contrast to other amino acids whose breakdown occurs in the liver. Hence, metabolism of BCAAs is quick and efficient, a characteristic that favors anyone in an intense exercise program.
Betaine Anhydrous (Trimethylglycine) is a naturally occurring amino acid type vitamin in the human body. It is also abundant in plant sources such as beetroot, spinach, broccoli, some wheat sources, and also in shellfish. Its primary purpose in the body is to regulate the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid useful in cellular metabolism and protein synthesis. However, its elevated concentrations in the body can result in conditions such as cardiovascular thrombosis, ocular deformities, osteoporosis, skeletal abnormalities, and atherosclerosis. Betaine Anhydrous is taken orally in the form of a powder and is more effective when combined with other compounds such as vitamin B12, choline, and folic acid.
Uses and Benefits of Betaine Anhydrous
· Bodybuilding and Composition (workout)
The bodybuilding Trimethylglycine function occurs through the methylation of homocysteine to form methionine. Methylation is the process where a methyl group combines with adenine or cytosine in DNA nucleotides. Human body requires methionine to produce creatine, an amino acid that boosts muscle strength and size. This action helps to increase the overall workout intensity and ensure you achieve a higher level of muscle mass. Betaine Anhydrous is of great benefit to individuals who find it a challenge to maintain enough volume in their workout plan.
This supplement will also help you to train in your bodybuilding program at a higher frequency, meaning more muscular gains at a very short time. The more frequent you stimulate your muscle, the faster they will grow. In addition, this action increases the muscle recovery rates, which means you will not need much time to rest in between your workout program.
Betaine Anhydrous also helps in improving strength in individuals suffering from muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is a collection of genetic diseases characterized by weakness and degeneration of voluntary or skeletal muscles, which controls movement.
· Helpful in weight loss
Studies indicate that Betaine Anhydrous is lipotropic, which means that it promotes the oxidation of lipids. This action helps your body to utilize the already stored fat in the production of energy and other bodily functions. It also boosts the metabolism, which is vital for muscle formation and body fat burning.
· Mental health
This supplement is also beneficial for mental function and mood enhancement through balancing the levels of cortisol, the hormone that is responsible for stress. It also helps in the production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These are essential neurotransmitters in the brain and responsible for depression, sleep and proper functioning of the central nervous system.
· Other functions
In human body, Betaine Anhydrous is essential in maintaining the digestive system, protecting the kidney from damage, facilitating cell production, and helps in DNA formation. These roles facilitate proper digestion and absorption of food in the alimentary canal, removal of wastes products from the body, and transmission of genetic information to various parts of the body.
Other additional information
People of all ages, who are free of medical complications and are of good health can benefit from what this supplement offers. It is recommended to take it mainly during stressful moments since this is the time its levels in the body may be insufficient. Symptoms of Betaine Anhydrous deficiencies include impaired cell production, unstable homocysteine levels, decreased immunity and compromised liver and gastrointestinal function. The dosage depends on your health conditions and age. It is best to follow your doctor’s prescription.
Creatine is a molecule in the creatine phosphate system which assists in rapid production of ATP (energy molecules) in order to support cellular function of the body. A documented and researched supplement for muscle mass development, creatine has been regarded clinically safe for most people.
What Is Creatine Supplement Used For?
One of the most popular physical performance supplements, creatine has been used extensively for muscle development and increasing the power output of the skeletal muscles. Generally speaking, creatine not only helps you increase your muscle mass, but also gives you the more strength to work out.
Apart from the muscle mass development and energy boosting properties, athletes and physical fitness enthusiasts choose creatine supplements for properties of neuro-protection, anti-depressant properties in females and cognitive enhancer. Apart from these proven health benefits of creatine, creatine supplementation may also benefit in reducing the rate of cellular apoptosis, thus directly increasing longevity.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is an essential part of the creatine phosphate system in which creatine phosphate and creatine accept and donate a phosphate group. The phosphate group is able to replenish other molecules that need a replacement, for example the replenishment of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which are the main sources of energy.
Hence creatine allows replenishing of ATP directly, without breaking down other molecules. Consuming creatine supplementation increases the creatine pool in the system, adding to higher rate of phosphate donation and thus aiding in replenishing the ATP molecules. This results in increased energy in the system with compromising any of the other nutrients in the body.
Are Creatine Supplements Safe?
There are no clinically proven harmful effects related to consumption of creatine supplements. Consumption of creatine has been considered safe it has no adverse effect on vital organs such as kidneys or the liver, but consumption of creatine supplements in large quantities has been regarded with a few side effects.
Since the intestinal absorption of creatine in the body is limited, consuming a large amount of creatine supplement at once can result in diarrhea. Creatine has water drawing properties which can additionally result in nausea or an upset stomach. These side effects can be easily averted by drinking ample of water when consuming creatine supplements and not consuming large amounts of creatine supplements at once.
How Much Creatine Supplement Should Be Taken?
For a person who is not very athletic or work out just a little, creatine supplement in the dosage of 2 to 3 grams daily should suffice. Professional athletes and body building enthusiasts require a higher rate of creatine turnover in the muscle tissues. Thus a minimum of 5 grams of creatine supplement every day is the requirement for muscle mass development. While many fitness supplements try and avoid the full amount of recommended creatine supplement to cut costs, DarkOPS PreOPS supplement (seen above) is one of the newer higher end supplements to hit the market with adequate dosage.
Although loading period is not necessarily required for creatine supplement consumption, it might be a useful practice if your body responds well to the creatine supplements. Once you start consuming creatine supplements, you may also experience gain in water weight. However, you must only follow the creatine supplement loading if your body is acceptable to it and does not result in any side effects.