Build HD is BPI Sports’ non-stimulant pre-workout supplement which features Creatine as well as a few nootropic ingredients.
Creatine assists the body in producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which acts as cellular energy. This increases the amount of force your muscles can put forth. Countless studies have showed the benefits of creatine supplementation in regards to strength and muscle-mass increase. However, most studies have used doses ranging from 5-20 daily. We certainly appreciate BPI disclosing the exact amount of creatine in the formula, but ideally we’d like to see at least 5 grams. 3 grams of Creatine is certainly not an excessive dose, but taken over an extended period of time may be effective.
Aspartic Acid has been touted as a performance enhancer for decades, but unfortunately, more and more studies have shown that it is far from a miracle. Preliminary evidence suggested that aspartic acid may increase the rate of ammonia removal from the blood during exercise which may allow athletes to go on for longer. However, the more recent studies have shown minimal results. Safety-wise, there is nothing to suggest that this compound could be harmful in anyway (it is just an amino acid) but the science says it doesn’t do much good either. The fact that Muscle Tech doesn’t even try to defend this ingredient on their website sends up an immediate red flag that it probably isn’t of much significance.
Carnitine is yet another amino acid of interest. Carnitine is directly involved in the burning of fat for energy and it is posited by supplement companies that increasing muscular carnitine levels may be an effective way to burn fat. However, not many studies have shown results and those that have may be flawed. However, BPI doesn’t seem to focus on the potential weight-loss implications of the ingredient. Acetyl-L-Carnitine has recently been studied for its possible nootropic effects. To be fair, human studies are still limited. In rats, however, it was shown that Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplementation “decreased glucose metabolism to lactate, resulted in increased energy metabolite and altered monoamine neurotransmitter levels in the mouse brain.”
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant compound that has been under investigation for a lot of potential benefits. So far, studies have indicated neuro-protective properties as well as some cardiovascular benefits. However, regarding performance enhancement, there is little evidence. It is possible that CoQ10 may decrease the amount of oxidative damage which occurs during exercise, but there is no reason to suspect this effect would be particularly significant compared to other antioxidant compounds.
Glycerophosphatidylcholine aka Alpha GPC is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Recently, it has gained a lot of attention in the bodybuilding/weight lifting community because its alleged ability to boost HGH (Human Growth Hormone) secretion with just a single dose. Indeed one study found that after ingesting a dose of 1000mg of Alpha GPC, HGH levels in the blood were significantly higher than the placebo group. In addition, it was noted that supplementation also resulted in increased “hepatic fat oxidation” (in the liver). However, it should be noted that the dose present in the Build HD formula cannot possible be this high and is most likely no more than 350mg or so. Alpha GPC is widely considered the most bioavailable form of choline, although studies comparing the bioavailability of various forms are scarce. Over time, alpha GPC may increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Increased acetylcholine levels are associated with better concentration, memory, and reaction time.
Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid that is a major component of all cell membranes. Phosphatidylcholine supplementation has resulted in an increase in brain acetylcholine levels in multiple studies. This may have similar effects to Alpha GPC.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The concept behind Build HD is somewhat unclear. It is marketed as a Creatine supplement with added “Neuro Cognitive” benefits. BPI does not elaborate on what this term means to them, but we can assume that the ingredients are meant to ehance brain function, which generally translates to better workouts. Compared to other preworkout supplements, Build HD stands out in that it does not contain any stimulants. So, the product certainly has a well-established safety profile, the efficacy is more difficult to determine. As far as substantiated claims, we feel the product needs work, and could definitely be improved by adding more creatine (5 grams would be ideal). Given the dosages of the ingredients, Build HD is overpriced at best. At $1 a serving, Build HD is only for those who, either don’t want the stimulation generally provided by preworkouts, or can afford to stack it with something else.
- Maughan*, R., and D. Sadler. “The Effects of Oral Administration of Salts of Aspartic Acid on the Metabolic Response to Prolonged Exhausting Exercise in Man.” International Journal of Sports Medicine 04.02 (1983): 119-23.
- Yang, L., NY Calingasan, EG Wille, K. Cormier, K. Smith, RJ Ferrante, and MF Beal. “Combination Therapy with Coenzyme Q10 and Creatine Produces Additive Neuroprotective Effects in Models of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases.” Journal of Neurochemistry (2009)
- Sarter, Barbara. “Coenzyme Q10 and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review.” Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 16.4 (2002): 9-20.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013. Glycerophosphocholine enhances growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in young adults.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of MedicineChronic acetyl-L-carnitine alters brain energy metabolism and increases noradrenaline and serotonin content in healthy mice