Speed x3 is a pre-workout by Lecheek which, with the exception of Beta-Alanine, is entirely stimulant-based…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that serves as a precursor to the amino acid Carnosine, which acts as a lactic acid buffer, effectively reducing muscular fatigue. Like Creatine, Beta Alanine takes time to accumulate, but if taken over a sustained period of time, can also be an extremely effective performance enhancing supplement with a strong safety profile.
A study which measured the Carnosine levels of sprinters found that individuals with high muscular Carnosine levels exhibited higher power output in the latter half of a 30m sprint. Various studies have shown that Beta Alanine supplementation increases muscular Carnosine, which improves physical performance.
In particular, a 2012 study published in “Amino Acids” found that subjects who consumed 1.6 or 3.2 grams of Beta Alanine daily experienced significant increases in muscle carnosine in as little as two weeks, with the higher dose achieving a higher concentration of Carnosine. Speed x3 contains an undisclosed amount of Beta-Alanine, but given that it is listed first in the 1942mg we would estimate it contains anywhere from 500-1000 meaning that multiple servings may have to be consumed to reach a scientifically validated dose.
Very little is known about Agmatine, although it possesses a variety of implications. The proposed benefits include: Increased growth hormone production, anti-oxidant properties, increased Nitric Oxide (NO), and fat loss, though none of these claims have been completely substantiated. Recently, Agmatine has become quite pervasive in pre-workout supplements because of its alleged ability to inhibit Nitric Oxide Synthase (an enzyme that breaks down excess NO). However, lack of sufficient evidence makes us skeptical of this claim. In fact, Agmatine has been shown to do the opposite. A 2000 study, published in the “Journal of Brain Research”, found that Agmatine actually suppressed NO production in microglia (glial cells in the brain which mainly protect neurons). It should be noted that NO can be harmful to neurons, and the conclusion of the study was that Agmatine may support cognitive function. Furthermore, it is possible that Agmatine suppresses NO in microglia but not elsewhere. However, these findings certainly do not lend credibility to the notion that it increases NO. Further research should shed some light on the proposed benefits of Agmatine, but for now there is just not enough evidence for us to get behind it as a vasodilator (though cognitive benefits seem more likely).
Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world, and is a well-established ergogenic aid. Caffeine consumption causes an increase in Catecholamines (Adrenaline, Noradrenaline, and Dopamine), which tend to increase focus, concentration, and perceived energy while simultaneously promoting fat oxidation. However, the weight loss effects of caffeine tend to fade with prolonged use, so it does not appear as though caffeine is a long-term effective fat burner. While caffeine’s weight loss potential is negligible, it increases focus and perceived energy in most people, which generally leads to more intense workouts (thus burning more fat), and may act as a mild appetite suppressant in some.
Tyramine is a derivative of the amino acid Tyrosine, and has the ability to increase the level of the catecholamine neurotransmitters Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, and Dopamine. Tyramine is thought to act as a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), meaning it blocks the enzyme (Monoamine Oxidase) responsible for oxidizing the above mentioned neurotransmitters. The result is an elevation in levels of these neurotransmitters which generally results in increased focus, mood, and perceived energy. For this reason, it is recommended that people currently taking prescription MAOIs be careful not to consume too much dietary (or supplemental) Tyramine. While studies on Tyramine are scarce, Adrenaline and Noradrenaline induce lipolysis in humans via activation of beta-adrenergic receptors, which may result in increased fat loss especially when combined with rigorous regular exercise.
Phenylethylamines are a class of compound which cause an increase in the catecholamine neurotransmitters (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine) and as such, is a relatively potent (though short lived) central nervous system stimulant. While studies testing the effects of PEA supplementation on exercise performance are limited, a boost in catecholamines may certainly translate into more energy in the gym, resulting in a more intense workout. As far as direct effects on weight loss, studies are more or less non-existent. However, the generally physiological reaction to increases in epinephrine and norepinephrine is activation of the beta-adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis so the mechanisms by which PEA may induce weight loss is fairly straight-forward, just not documented. On its own, it is hardly a miracle weight loss ingredient, but combined with other stimulants, it may very well contribute to overall weight loss over a sustained period of time.
Picamilon (alternatively spelled ‘Pikamilon’) is formed by combining Niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA (the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammals). Picamilon is able to effectively cross the blood-brain-barrier where it is converted into GABA. Since GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter (as opposed to excitatory) it may produce anxiolytic effects when levels are increased beyond normal. For this reason, Picamilon is touted as an anxiolytic. However, it has also been demonstrated to increase cerebral blood flow in animals, due to its niacin component (niacin is a vasodilator). Despite a fair amount of efficacy demonstrated in animal studies for both cerebral vasodilation and as an anxiolytic, human studies remain scarce. This is likely because there are better (pharmaceutical grade) anxiolytic compounds as well as cerebral vasodilators. As far as a direct effect on exercise capacity, there are no studies but the theoretical mechanisms of action exist.
The primary active alkaloid of Yohimbe (Pausinystalia Yohimbe) is Yohimbine, which acts as an alpha-2 receptor antagonist, meaning it inhibits the receptor responsible for blocking lipolysis (fat burning). By blocking the action of this receptor Yohimbine essentially allows for more lipolysis to occur. A 2006 study showed that while there were no increases in strength, supplementation induced fat loss in athletes (soccer players). As previously stated, Yohimbine directly acts on alpha-2 receptors, but its fat loss capabilities may also be magnified by its ability to increase the catecholamine neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline which in turn activate beta-receptors to stimulate lipolysis. However, this increase in catecholamines may fade with prolonged use (more than 2 weeks). That being said, combined with exercise (exercise releases catecholamines itself) or other stimulants (like caffeine), Yohimbine’s fat burning effects can be quite significant.
Rauwolfia Vomitoria is generally standardized for Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine), which is chemically quite similar to Yohimbine. Because of this similarity, Rauwolscine produces similar effects, although perhaps to a milder degree. It is common for supplement companies to include both Rauwolscine and Yohimbine together since both compounds are naturally present in certain plants.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Speed x3 contains Beta-Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, and a host of stimulants both alpha-receptor antagonists and beta-receptor agonists. The combination of these stimulants may very well burn fat. While the amount of the first two ingredients are likely not enough to be particularly effective at one dose, Speed x3 is intended for multiple serving use, depending on tolerance. So, while we would definitely classify it as a stimulant-based fat-burner, at more than one serving, the formula may convey the benefits associated with Beta-Alanine. At about 75 cents per serving, Speed x3 is priced competitively as a pre-workout and much less than the average fat-burner containing a similar ingredient profile.
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