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1.M.R. Vortex: An Evidence-Based Review

1.M.R. Vortex is BPI Sports‘ sequel to the once extremely popular pre-workout, 1.M.R. For this one, however, BPI has taken a different approach by dropping some standard pre-workout ingredients such as Creatine and Beta-Alanine and replacing them with Glycerol. Other than that, 1.M.R. Vortex is entirely stimulant-based…

1MR Vortex

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GLYCEROL

Glycerol is a colorless, odorless, syrup-like substance commonly used in industrial goods and cosmetics, mostly to increase viscosity. Glycerol, as a molecule, has a propensity for cellular water retention, and this property is what makes it of particular interest to bodybuilders and athletes.

A 1996 study, published in the “International Journal of Sports Medicine”, found that Glycerol supplementation prior to exercise increased endurance time in cyclists. These findings were replicated ina 1999 study from the “European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology” in which pre-exercise Glycerol supplementation enhanced time performance (also in cyclists).

However, a 2003 study, published in the “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise”, found that, while post-exercise Glycerol supplementation prevented exercise-induced dehydration, this had no impact on performance measures (compared to placebo).

Ultimately, the results of most of the research on Glycerol indicate that it can be an effective pump agent (due to water retention), but may only noticeably enhance performance (endurance not strength) during long-duration exercise where dehydration becomes a contributing factor.

INDIGOFERA PULCHRA

Indigofera pulchra is a plant which has a long history of use primarily as an analgesic (pain killer) with anti-inflammatory properties. Most studies have been conducted in mice, which makes it hard to determine the efficacy of this ingredient in humans. Furthermore, absolutely no studies have been conducted to investigate the potential workout enhancing effects of Indigofera pulchra supplementation. BPI has never been one to explain their use of such obscure herbal extracts, but in the case of Indigofera pulchra we assume it has to do with reducing inflammation which may decrease recovery time. Again, we want to make it abundantly clear that due to the lack of information available on Indigofera pulchra, we can only speculate about its efficacy.

CAFFEINE

Caffeine is central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. A CNS stimulant is any compound that speeds up mental or physical (or both) processes in the body. It is a popular belief that caffeine increases fat oxidation. However, several studies have shown that this is not the case. That being said, there is a vast multitude of studies which have documented the performance enhancing effects of caffeine supplementation before exercise. In fact, due to the overwhelming amount of scientific literature which clearly demonstrates the ergogenic properties of caffeine, it is difficult to find a pre-workout supplement that does not contain this ingredient.

WHITE LEADWORT

White Leadwort is shrub indigenous to India, the roots of which have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of ailments, the most relevant to pre-workout products of which is its possible role as a digestive stimulant. Unfortunately, very few scientific studies exist regarding the purported stimulant effects of White Leadwort, so for now we cannot comment on the efficacy in regards to exercise performance.

SECURINEGA SUFFRUTICOSA

Securinega suffruticosa contains securinine, a GABA receptor antagonist. GABA is what is known as an inhibitory neurotransmitter (meaning it inhibits the firing of neurons in the brain), as opposed to exititory neurotransmitters (which increase the firing of neurons in the brain). The term “antagonist”, in a physiological sense, means “blocks the action of”. By blocking the action of the GABA receptor, securinine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. CNS stimulants increase energy levels allowing for longer, and possibly more intense workouts.

YOHIMBE

Pausinystalia Yohimbe (A.K.A. Yohimbe) contains Yohimbine and Rauwolscine. Yohimbine acts as an alpha-2 receptor antagonist, meaning it inhibits the receptor. Alpha receptors are responsible for blocking lipolysis (fat burning). By blocking the action of this receptor, yohimbine essentially opens the gates for lipolysis to occur. A 2006 study showed that while there were no increases in strength supplementation “appears to be suitable as a fat loss strategy in elite athletes.” In addition to this property, Yohimbine has also been demonstrated to increase the action of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, resulting in increased mood and concentration. Rauwolscine is what is known as a stereoisomer of yohimbine, meaning it is chemically similar in structure. Because of this similarity, Rauwolscine produces similar effects, although perhaps to a milder degree.

THE BOTTOM LINE

1.M.R. Vortex is certainly a massive improvement over the original1.M.R. The blend is relatively simple, with only 6 ingredients, most of which are stimulants. For this reason, we would classify 1.M.R. Vortex in the stimulant based category of pre-workouts, and would not recommend it to those who are sensitive to stimulants. However, the addition of glycerol ads the “pump” dimension that some users of pre-workout products are after, thus setting it apart from other solely stimulant based blends.

If you’re still not sure which pre-workout is right for you, check out our Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements List!

References

  1. Beutler, J. A., et al. “Securinine alkaloids: a new class of GABA receptor antagonist.” Brain research 330.1 (1985): 135-140.
  2. Raj, D., and M. Łuczkiewicz. “< i> Securinega suffruticosa.” Fitoterapia79.6 (2008): 419-427.
  3. Zhang, Wen, et al. “Chemical synthesis and biological activities of Securinega alkaloids.” (2011).
  4. Arunachalam, Kantha D., P. Velmurugan, and R. Balaji Raja. “Anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic effects of extract from Plumbago zeylanica.” Afri. J. Micribiol. Res 4.12 (2010): 1239-1245.
  5. Montner, P., et al. “Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time.” International journal of sports medicine 17.01 (1996): 27-33.
  6. Magal, M. E. I. R., et al. “Comparison of glycerol and water hydration regimens on tennis-related performance.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise35.1 (2003): 150-156.
  7. Wingo, Jonathan E., et al. “Influence of a pre-exercise glycerol hydration beverage on performance and physiologic function during mountain-bike races in the heat.” Journal of athletic training 39.2 (2004): 169.
  8. Hitchins, S., et al. “Glycerol hyperhydration improves cycle time trial performance in hot humid conditions.” European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology 80.5 (1999): 494-501.
  9. Montner, P., et al. “Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time.” International journal of sports medicine 17.01 (1996): 27-33.
  10. Magal, M. E. I. R., et al. “Comparison of glycerol and water hydration regimens on tennis-related performance.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise35.1 (2003): 150-156.
  11. Wingo, Jonathan E., et al. “Influence of a pre-exercise glycerol hydration beverage on performance and physiologic function during mountain-bike races in the heat.” Journal of athletic training 39.2 (2004): 169.
  12. Hitchins, S., et al. “Glycerol hyperhydration improves cycle time trial performance in hot humid conditions.” European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology 80.5 (1999): 494-501

 

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