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Beast Sports Nutrition Beast Mode Review

Beast Mode

 

Beast Mode is Beast Sports Nutrition’s flagship pre-workout which contains a relatively diverse array of stimulants and non-stimulant ergogenics aids.

GLYCEROL MONOSTEARATE:

Glycerol is a colorless, odorless, syrup-like substance found in such household products as soap, cough syrup, and hair care products. However, Beast Mode contains a powdered form of the substance known as Glycerol Monostearate. Glycerol is also used by athletes for its ability to counter dehydration due to its propensity for cellular water retention. Originally, Glycerol was purported to enhance athletic/exercise performance. However, while several studies have demonstrated increased water retention as a result of pre-exercise Glycerol consumption , none have demonstrated performance enhancing benefits as a result of that. While the evidence is not in favor of Glycerol as a performance enhancer, Beast Sports is likely more interested in the “pump” aspect of the substance. Glycerol has been shown to increase cellular water uptake (similar to Creatine), which ultimately may result in a fuller muscle feel.

L-ARGININE AKG:

Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that acts as a precursor to Nitric Oxide. Supplement manufactures claim that, because Arginine is a precursor to Nitric Oxide, supplemental Arginine may boost Nitric Oxide levels, resulting in vasodilation. However, recent studies have found that Arginine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The human body is complex and, unfortunately for supplement companies, ingesting a precursor to a substance doesn’t necessarily increase the levels of that substance. A 2012 study, published in “Nutrition and Metabolism”, found that acute (one-time) L-Arginine supplementation with 6 grams did not increase plasma (blood) levels of Nitric Oxide in people with normal Asymmetric Dimethylarginine levels. Asymmetric Dimethylarginine is a compound that is chemically related to Arginine and directly interferes with the production of Nitric Oxide.

Furthermore, recent studies have questioned whether Arginine may in fact be counter-productive during exercise. A 2011, placebo controlled study, found that subjects performed worse after receiving 3700mg of Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate prior to resistance training. Due to the size of this study, it cannot be considered conclusive, but it certainly should warrant further studies. While most studies have failed to prove that L-Arginine supplementation increases strength, a 2012 double-blind placebo controlled study, found that supplementation with 6 grams of L-Arginine increased muscle blood volume post-workout, but did not increase intra-workout strength. While this may be disappointing for those looking to increase strength through supplementation, Arginine’s real benefits may lie in post-workout recovery, rather than intra-workout performance. More blood in the muscle’s after a workout means more nutrients to the muscle cells. However, this one study does offset the mostly negative results of multiple separate studies. Overall, we’re just not quite sure about Arginine, and though it may convey certain performance enhancement benefit, it just doesn’t show the same reliability as certain other substances (such as Citrulline).

BETA-ALANINE:

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. 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). 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. Beast Mode contains an undisclosed amount of Beta-Alanine, but given the entire blend is 4263mg, it is unlikely that it contains more than 1.6g if that.

AGMATINE SULFATE:

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).

CINNULIN PF:

Cinnulin is a patented form of Cinnamon Extract standardized for ‘active’ compounds and to remove the harmful compound Coumarin. Though referring to Cinnamon extract as an “insulin mimetic” may be an exaggeration, it has demonstrated the ability to lower blood glucose in several human studies, and has drastically potentiated the effects of insulin in vitro. As mentioned above, Cinnamon contains Coumarin, a potentially liver-toxic substance which severely limits the practical application of ordinary cinnamon extract. However, Cinnulin is processed to remove this toxin, thus making effective doses practical

CHOLINE BITARTRATE:

Choline, once inside the body, is converted into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is associated with many functions including (but not limited to) memory, attention, and muscle control. It is the neurotransmitter most closely associated with the “mind-muscle connection” (although this may be something of an over-simplification), and therefore of much interest to athletes and bodybuilders alike. While certain forms of choline may be associated with increased muscular power output (namely Alpha GPC), Choline Bitartrate is generally considered the least bioavailable choline source, though oral doses of 1000-2000mg have still been shown to increase serum choline levels significantly.

A 2012 study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” found that 1 gram of Choline Bitartrate was able to significantly increase, not only plasma choline levels, but also plasma Betaine levels. Betaine itself is commonly included in pre-workout formulas as it has been shown, in some cases, to increase power output. While Choline Bitartrate has not been studies in regards to performance enhancement, it is just as effective at increasing Betaine as supplemental Betaine, meaning it may very well convey the same performance enhancement benefits.

TYROSINE:

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which serves as a precursor to the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, the three of which are collectively referred to as ‘catecholamines’. A 1981 study found that subjects who consumed 100mg/kg of Tyrosine experienced a significant increase in urinary catecholamine levels, but supplemental Tyrosine has failed to produce the performance enhancing effects commonly associated with increased release of catecholamine. This is because Tyrosine does not instantly get converted into noradrenaline, dopamine, or adrenaline. It forms a pool, and when there is a deficit of catecholamines, the pool is drawn from to create more. So rather than directly improving physical performance, Tyrosine has demonstrated the ability to improve aspects of cognitive function in the presence of an acute stressor (sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, and possibly exercise). In other words, Tyrosine may restore levels of dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline when necessary, but does not increase them beyond normal levels.

BACOPA MONNIERI:

Bacopa monnieri is an herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine as a nootropic/adaptogen. A 2013 study from “Phytotherapy Research” noted that Bacopa monnieri increased cerebral blood flow in rats (similar to Vinpocetine). These findings were consistent with those of a 2011 study in which Bacopa acted as a vasodilator in rats which appeared to be nitric oxide related. While Bacopa has failed to enhance cognition in human subjects in some studies, a 2014 meta-analysis compiling data from nine separate trials concluded that overall Bacopa appears to be able to improve aspects of cognition in humans. It has been shown to reduce biomarkers of stress, thought to be related to the stabilization of Serotonin and Dopamine which explains its history of use as an Adaptogen.

GINGKO BILOBA:

Gingko is an herb, the primary historical use of which has been as a nootropic. The cognitive enhancement effects noted with Gingko supplementation are generally alleged to be the result of acetylcholinesterase inhibition. Acetylcholinesterase is the enzyme responsible for the degredation of acetylcholine in the brain. As mentioned above, acetylcholinesterase is associated with overall cognition, memory, and the mind-muscle connection. However, the effects of Gingko on these parameters is somewhat unreliable. A 2007 systematic review, published in “Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental” concluded that Gingko supplementation was not statistically more effective in healthy humans than placebo overall.

COFFEA ROBUSTA:

Coffea Robusta is a specific type of coffee bean commonly used to make expresso. Like all coffee beans, this particular bean contains caffeine and its inclusion in the Beast Mode formula is to simply to supply caffeine in a “natural” form. Caffeine is a well-established ergogenic aid/cognitive enhancer and is the most commonly consumed psychoactive stimulant in the world. Caffeine causes an increase in catecholamines, resulting in increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy. These neurotransmitters tend to be pro-lipolytic, so it is commonly assumed that caffeine is a fat-burner. While the mechanisms of caffeine are certainly pro-fat-burner, the effects tend to fade with prolonged use, rendering caffeine ineffective as a long-term weight loss solution. However, it is a highly effective ergogenic aid and will certainly enhance performance when taken pre-workout.

NELUMBO NUCIFERA:

Higenamine, commonly reffered to as norcoclaurine, is the active compound found in Nelumbo Nucifera and has gained some traction in the supplement industry as a stimulant fat-burner because of the chemical similarities it shares with ephedrine (now banned). Like Ephedrine, Higenamine acts as Beta(2)adrenergic agonist, meaning it stimulates the beta(2) adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis (fat breakdown). In addition to its fat-burning potential, Higenamine has also been demonstrated in vitro to increase acetylcholine levels, though these findings have not yet been replicated in humans. Overall, there is certainly preliminary support for Higenamine as a fat-burner and potential ergogenic aid, but because no human studies exist there is no recommended effective dose. Given that Higenamine is a stimulant, those sensitive to stimulants may react poorly.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Beast Mode’s profile is solid, with several effective pre-workout ingredients. However, the amounts of those ingredients may leave something to be desired. Since the exact amounts are undisclosed, we’re forced to do some guess work, but given the weight of the over-all blend, it’s clear some of these ingredients are at less than optimal doses. However, at a price of about 65 cents per serving, cosuming multiple doses is not out of the question. Overall, Beast Mode doesn’t jump out as a particularly incredible pre-workout formula, but may be worth a shot if the price is right.

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