Finally... A Game Changer in Pre-workouts
It seems every month, some company comes out with a new pre-workout product claiming to be the "ultimate", "brand new", "best thing since sliced bread", pre-workout formula for "maximum gains!". Yet it seems every product is the same old recycled formula of fruity flavoured caffeine powder and sprinkles of other near useless ingredients.
Finally though, after years of the same re-hashed pres, there is a new kid on the block that truly is a game changer in terms of pre-workout ingredients and it's name is Peak-ATP®.
There are a lot of options when it comes to pre-workout supplements. The traditional concept is roughly based on large quantities of stimulants, like caffeine, combined with other ingredients with potentially minimal to zero scientific merit. Although, up to recently, stimulants were the best you could ask for when trying to amplify the performance output in an acute period of time. Sure, credible data has been established for creatine, carnitine and beta-alanine supplementation as ergonomic aids. However, chronic supplementation is required before exhibiting those advantageous effects. While this does not prohibit their inclusion into pre-workout products, much of the immediate effects of such products are mostly driven by the stimulants, rather than anything else. As of now, stimulants are not the only thing to hang your hat on to get the most out of a workout. The arrival of Peak-ATP® by TSI USA Inc. has changed the world of pre-workout supplements adding another component that is beneficial either with or without stimulants.
Peak-ATP® is an ingestible disodium salt of ATP. ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate, and it is the raw endpoint molecule that contributes energy for all cellular activities. It essentially is the currency of energy in all of biological activity. For instance, the energy that is extracted from all the macronutrients in all the food from the diet is eventually expressed in the form of ATP, which can then be used to power anything in the body. Although, in addition to being used as an energy source, ATP is involved in multiple other processes including neurotransmission (the connection of the mind to muscles), and vasodilation (the increase in blood flow to working muscles). It is in these latter effects that supplemental ATP can have a dramatic effect on exercise performance.
For quite sometime, it was overwhelmingly believed that ATP is not bioavailable from oral ingestion. In fact, a 2012 paper determined that as ATP transits into the small intestine, a variety of enzymes degrade ATP down into its constituents. Currently, it is now understood that red blood cells can use these constituents for the resynthesis of ATP. The mystery until very recently was when the red blood cells would synthesize ATP. Recent data published in 2017 confirm that blood ATP levels remain unchanged with ATP ingestion in the rested state, but surprisingly during a bout of exercise, red blood cells are stimulated to significantly increase the synthesis of ATP above basal levels (see figure below). This is the first evidence that explains the discrepancy of ATP bioavailability and lays the foundation for the mechanism of how oral ATP ingestion can impact exercise performance.
More Blood Flow Means Bigger Pumps
Red blood cells play a regulatory role in affecting blood flow as they sense areas of low oxygen and respond by increasing blood flow (vasodilation). During intense exercise, muscles consume large quantities of oxygen and thus the resulting increase in blood flow enhances oxygen delivery to the active muscles. The mechanism in which this operates is through the release of ATP from red blood cells. Once released, ATP molecules bind receptors on the endothelial wall of the blood vessel which then triggers a cascade of reactions that cause the release of several vasodilatory factors such as endothelial derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF), prostaglandin-I2 (PGI2) and the well-known nitric oxide (NO). These factors diffuse out of the endothelial cells and act on the vascular smooth muscle to induce relaxation causing the vasodilation.
By augmenting the amount of blood-ATP, through the ingestion of Peak ATP®, vasodilation will occur to a greater extent leading to greater “muscle pumps”. In fact, a recent clinical report showed that while the ingestion of 400 mg of Peak ATP®, does not affect blood flow at rest, during a bout of exercise, it was associated with a 54% greater increase in the rate of blood flow than the exact same exercise with a placebo alone. The significance of improved muscle blood flow is greater than simply swollen feeling muscles that feels good. Enhanced blood flow is responsible for more effective oxygen delivery to the muscle and also the removal of metabolic waste products. Both of these effects are critical for muscle endurance during each set of exercise and also can shorten recovery time between sets. The net result is a decrease in fatigue allowing for greater levels of intensity.
More Power with Less Effort = Muscle Excitability
The benefits of Peak-ATP® goes beyond blood flow. If it is not yet convincing that ATP is bioavailable, or if blood ATP levels are actually augmented, or if improved blood flow actually makes any bit of difference to exercise, then the scientific functional data should convert any skeptics. The most exciting data with Peak ATP® is from the analysis of power output with repeated sets of exercise. As illustrated from the graph below, muscle power follows a steep decline from one consecutive set to the next as muscle fatigue sets in. However, when compared to a placebo group, the ingestion of 400 mg of Peak ATP® was associated with a less dramatic decline in muscle power. What makes this particularly fascinating is that this significant relationship occurred without any difference with muscle activation. Meaning, that even though both groups put forth the same level of effort, the Peak ATP® group achieved higher power outputs for a given set of exercise. This phenomenon is the improvement of something called muscle excitability. Muscles contract because the brain tells them, via transmitting a signal through the nerves that connect to those muscles to excite them. ATP plays a supporting role with the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in exciting muscles when stimulated to do so. An increased ATP concentration in the nerve terminals is believed to expedite the excitation process and allow for the muscle to contract with less central effort. By analyzing the ratio between muscle power output and muscle activation, it was revealed that ingestion of Peak ATP® is in fact associated with increased muscle excitability during early sets as well as prevents the decrease in muscle excitability observed during later sets.
Real Long-term Gains
If the improved quality of each workout still isn’t enough, nothing can be more convincing than the endpoint benefits with chronic supplementation. Multiple recent studies have focused on the long-term benefits of Peak ATP® supplementation when combined with a 12 week progressive resistance training intervention. The collective results show significant improvements in muscle strength, muscle size, lean body mass and even vertical jump performance. Obviously, a high-intensity, progressive resistance-training program by itself is associated with significant improvements in all of these variables. Although, when compared to a placebo group, Peak ATP® was associated with the following greater improvements beyond the exercise training alone:
- Squat strength increase - 215%
- Bench press strength increase - 71%
- Deadlift strength increase - 138%
- Aggregate strength increase - 147%
- Wingate power increase - 36%
- Vertical jump power increase - 30%
- Lean body mass increase - 100%
- Fat percentage decrease - 46%
The above data provides more than sufficient evidence for the ergonomic benefit of Peak ATP® supplementation. When collectively considering the data on its synthesis in the red blood cells, the scientific mechanisms behind how ATP affects vasodilation and muscle excitability, the real effects of acute muscle power, the long term muscle strength, hypertrophy, and fat loss, the research on Peak ATP® runs the full gamut and leaves very little left for questioning. Other ingredients may claim to boost ATP levels, but doesn’t nearly have the same clinical, mechanistic or physiological evidence as provided with the research on Peak ATP®. To date, this is one of the most effective ingredients to be included in a pre-workout supplement.
This is why, for the first time ever, Blue Star Nutraceuticals™ flagship pre-workout P.P.K.™ has been formulated with the full 400mg clinical dosage of Peak-ATP® in every single scoop; along with the research backed, clinical dosages of all the other ingredients in the formula.
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