Stimul8 is FinaFlex’s pre-workout which, as the name implies, is heavily stimulant-based. The formula does contain Beta-Alanine as well, but Lecheek does not disclose the exact dose…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Most people are aware that Caffeine is a psycho active stimulant, capable of increasing “energy”, though few understand how it works. Caffeine causes an increase in catecholamine neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, dopamine, etc.), resulting in a state of increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy. These neurotransmitters, particularly noradrenaline, tend to induce lipolysis so it is commonly alleged that Caffeine is a fat-burner as well. This is true, though when consumed in isolation the fat-burning effects of Caffeine tend to fade (as tolerance builds), though in the presence of other stimulant fat-burners these effects may be magnified.
Phenylethylamines are a class of compounds which cause an increase in the catecholamine neurotransmitters (mentioned above) and as such, are relatively potent (though short lived) central nervous system stimulants. 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, and while B-PEA has a very short half-life on its own, compounds such as Hordenine (explained below) may allow the effects to last longer.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT:
Green Tea contains a catechin known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and is generally standardized to a specific concentration. EGCG is a moderately potent anti-oxidant, but can also inhibit the enzyme Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT), the enzyme responsible for the degradation of catecholamine neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, dopamine, etc.). This COMT inhibition makes EGCG very synergistic with stimulants such as Caffeine and the below mentioned N-Coumaroyldopamine, which increase levels of catecholamines. By inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down these neurotransmitters, EGCG effectively potentiates the effects of these stimulant compounds.
A 2005 study from the “British Journal of Nutrition” found that 200mg of caffeine alongside variable doses of EGCG was able to significantly increase 24 hour energy expenditure (calories burned) compared to placebo. Yet another 2005 study, from the “International Journal of Obesity”, noted the ability of EGCG to reduce the action of beta-blockers, indicating that EGCG also has beta-adrenergic agonist mechanisms as well. Ultimately, the weight-loss benefits of EGCG are mostly dependent upon the release of catecholamines (from stimulants or endogenously), so individual tolerance to the accompanying substance (like caffeine) is generally the deciding factor. Individuals who consume caffeine on a regular basis are not likely to benefit from a combination of EGCG and Caffeine as individuals who never consume caffeine.
N-Coumaroyldopamine is a compound found in several species of plant, but most commonly extracted from Cocao. A 2005 study, published in “The FASEB Journal”, found that N-Coumaroyldopamine was able to increase cAMP via beta-adrenoceptor agonsim, in vitro. Although these findings should be viewed as strictly preliminary, they do suggest that N-coumaroyldopamine has the potential to be used as a fat-burner in humans, sharing the same mechanism of action as such compounds as Synephrine.
Hordenine (chemical name N, N-dimethyltyramine) is chemically related to the monoamine, Tyramine, and likewise, is used in dietary supplements as a fat-burner as well as for increased energy. Hordenine has been shown in animals to augment adrenaline induced muscle contraction while not directly inducing contractions itself, which indicates it works as a catecholamine (Adrenaline) reuptake inhibitor and can potentiate the effects of stimulants which increase catecholamines. However, due to a complete lack of human studies, no “optimal dosage” has been identified.
Syneprhine became popular after the FDA banned Ephedra as a dietary supplement for weight loss, because they share a similar mechanism of action. While Synephrine has been touted as a replacement for Ephedra, it is important to understand that it is significantly less potent (which is why it is not banned). However, that’s not to say it is completely useless. A 2011 study, published in the “International Journal of Medicinal Sciences”, found that supplementation of 50mg Syneprhine increased the metabolic rate in human subjects without affecting blood pressure or heart rate. Similarly to Ephedrine, Synephrine is a beta-receptor agonist and an alpha-receptor antagonist, the net effect of which is an increase in lipolysis, though it is much safer.
RAUWOLFIA VOMITORIA (ALPHA YOHIMBINE):
Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine) 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. In the context of the Stimul8 formula, Rauwolscine functions as an alpha-receptor antagonist which may effectively enhance the fat-burning induced by the other stimulants in the formula. For individuals who do not regularly consume Rauwolscine, it may also increase focus/intensity/perceived energy via release of noradrenaline.
Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that, along with Histidine, serves as a precursor to the amino acid Carnosine. Carnosine acts a lactic acid buffer, effectively delaying fatigue in the working muscle, higher levels of which are associated with increased performance. Beta-Alanine takes time to accumulate, but when taken over a sustained period of time (a few weeks), can be an extremely effective performance enhancing supplement with a strong safety profile.
One study in particular that measured the carnosine levels of sprinters found that individuals with higher muscular Carnosine levels exhibited higher power output in the latter half of a 30m sprint (because they had less lactic acid build-up). Multiple studies have confirmed 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. Unfortunately, Pump HD contains just 1g of Beta-Alanine, short of the minimally validated dose of 1.6g. It is certainly possible that this dose conveys some performance enhancement benefit, but not definitively proven.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
STIMUL8 is almost entirely stimulant-based pre-workout with moderate/high fat-burning potential as well. The blend consists of energy enhancing stimulants with direct fat-burning properties, as well as a few “support” ingredients which may certainly enhance the effects of the other ingredients. The only “physical” pre-workout ingredient is Beta-Alanine, but Beta-Alanine also happens to be one of the most effective commonplace pre-workout ingredients. At about 50 cents a dose, STIMUL8 is certainly a product to consider for those who prefer stimulant-based pre-workouts and may be looking to drop some fat as well.
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