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Purus Labs Condense Review

condense

 

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Condense is a concise, straight-forward blend of some effective ergogenic aids and moderate dose of Caffeine.

BETAINE:

Betaine (also known as Trimethylglycine) is the amino acid Glycine with the addition of three methyl groups attached. Betaine is alleged to increase power output and strength by increasing cellular swelling, a phenomenon well established with Creatine supplementation, which can drastically reduce the damaging effect of outside stimuli (such as exercise) on the working muscle. So far, Betaine has been investigated in several human studies, most of which have had pretty encouraging results.

A 2009 study, published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition”, found that 2.5g Betaine (split into two 1.25mg doses) over the course of 15 days increased muscle endurance during squats and appeared to improve the quality of each rep (likely because they were easier).

A 2010 study, again from the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition”, found that the same supplementation protocol (2.5g daily in two equal doses) effectively increased isometric bench press and squat force as well as bench throw and vertical jump power.

A 2011 study, published in “The Journal of Strength & Condition Research” noted improvements in number of bench press repetitions and total volume load with same 2.5g dosing protocol for 14 days. However, another 2011 study from the same journal noted no such improvements in power output or number of reps performed, though there were subjective reports of fatigue reduction.

A 2012 study from the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” noted improvements in cycling sprint power after just one week of supplementation at the standard 2.5g dose.

Most recently, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” noted increases in arm size, bench press work capacity, overall body composition, and a trend toward increased power (but not strength). This was the first study to specifically measure the effects of Betaine supplementation on body composition, so further study is needed to corroborate these findings.

Condense contains the standard 2.5g of Betaine per serving, yes another optimally dosed ingredient.

BETA-ALANINE:

Beta-Alanine is a precursor to the amino acid Carnosine, which functions as a lactic acid buffer capable of reducing fatigue in the working muscle. Though it takes time to accumulate in muscle tissue, Beta-Alanine supplementation is a highly effective way of increasing muscle Carnosine levels which has clear implications for performance enhancement.

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 in a dose dependent manner. 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. The doses used in this study, 1.6 and 3.2g, are the most common doses seen in supplements.

A 2008 study, published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, noted improvements in power in resistance trained males using 4.8g daily for 30 days. This same 4.8 gram dose was also shown to increase muscular endurance in sprinters in a 2007 study from the “Journal of Applied Physiology”. Condense contains 2g of Beta-Alanine per serving, an effective dose, though two servings would be even more effective.

NITRATENE:

Nitratene is a patented high-yield Nitrate source, excusive to Purus Labs products. Nitrate, once inside the body is converted, first into Nitrite, then into Nitric Oxide, the cardiovascular health implications of which have been known for some time. Recent research, however, has focused on the performance enhancement implications.

A 2012 study, published in “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics”, found that increased dietary nitrate intake (in the form of Nitrate-rich whole Beetroot) improved running performance in healthy adults. A 2013 study, published in the “European Journal of Applied Physiology”, found that Nitrate supplementation (from beetroot juice) effectively elevated plasma Nitrate levels which translated to improved performance during high-intensity exercise in athletes. A 2013 Meta-Analysis, which looked specifically at 17 separate studies using doses of 300-600mg Nitrate from various sources, concluded that supplementation is associated with a moderate improvement in time to exhaustion at a given work load.

Purus Labs discloses the amount of Nitrate (from Nitratene) in the Condense blend is 480mg, certainly an effectively dose, capable of increasing Nitric Oxide to a noticeable degree.

CAFFEINE:

Caffeine has become a staple in any stimulant-containing pre-workout, simply because its safe (in average doses) and highly effective. Caffeine is able to boost alertness, focus, and muscle contractibility via the release of Catecholamines (primarily Noradrenaline) almost instantly upon oral ingestion.

Purus Labs has dosed Condense at 200mg of Caffeine per serving, a low enough dose to be perfectly safe, but high enough to noticeably influence the average (non-caffeine-tolerant) individual. A 200mg dose also allows for the possibility of two servings of Condense at a time, since highly Caffeine tolerant individuals may handle 400mg at a time without any problems.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Condense is a concise, properly dosed blend of some proven, effective performance enhancing ingredients. Though the physical strength and endurance benefits will take time to fully manifest, the moderate (200mg) dose of Caffeine offers users the instantaneous benefit of increased alertness/focus/etc. At about 70 cents per serving, Condense is more or less appropriately priced.

REFERENCES
  1. Hoffman J, et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. (2008)
  2. Stellingwerff, Trent, et al. “Effect of two β-alanine dosing protocols on muscle carnosine synthesis and washout.” Amino Acids 42.6 (2012): 2461-2472.
  3. erave, Wim, et al. “β-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters.” Journal of applied physiology 103.5 (2007): 1736-1743.
  4. Wilson, Jacob M., et al. “Beta-alanine supplementation improves aerobic and anaerobic indices of performance.” Strength & Conditioning Journal 32.1 (2010): 71-78.
  5. Sale, Craig, Bryan Saunders, and Roger C. Harris. “Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance.” Amino acids 39.2 (2010): 321-333.
  6. Suzuki, Yasuhiro, Osamu Ito, Naoki Mukai, Hideyuki Takahashi, and Kaoru Takamatsu. “High Level of Skeletal Muscle Carnosine Contributes to the Latter Half of Exercise Performance during 30-s Maximal Cycle Ergometer Sprinting.” The Japanese Journal of Physiology 52.2 (2002): 199-205.
  7. Hoffman, Jay R., et al. “Effect of 15 days of betaine ingestion on concentric and eccentric force outputs during isokinetic exercise.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25.8 (2011): 2235-2241.
  8. i, Cheng, Masao Shinohara, John Kuhlenkamp, Christine Chan, and Neil Kaplowitz. “Mechanisms of Protection by the Betaine-homocysteine Methyltransferase/betaine System in HepG2 Cells and Primary Mouse Hepatocytes.” Hepatology 46.5 (2007): 1586-596
  9. Cholewa, Jason M., et al. “Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 10.1 (2013): 39.
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  12. Hoffman, Jay R., et al. “Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 6.1 (2009): 1-10.
  13. Hoffman, Jay R., et al. “Effect of 15 days of betaine ingestion on concentric and eccentric force outputs during isokinetic exercise.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25.8 (2011): 2235-2241.
  14. Bailey, Stephen J., et al. “Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans.” Journal of Applied Physiology 107.4 (2009): 1144-1155.
  15. Lansley, Katherine E., et al. “Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance.” Med Sci Sports Exerc 43.6 (2011): 1125-1131.
  16. Larsen, Filip J., et al. “Dietary nitrate reduces maximal oxygen consumption while maintaining work performance in maximal exercise.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine 48.2 (2010): 342-347.
  17. Vanhatalo, Anni, et al. “Acute and chronic effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on blood pressure and the physiological responses to moderate-intensity and incremental exercise.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 299.4 (2010): R1121-R1131.
  18. Cohen, Bruce M., et al. “Decreased brain choline uptake in older adults: an in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.” Jama 274.11 (1995): 902-907.
  19. Hoon, Matthew W., et al. “The effect of nitrate supplementation on exercise performance in healthy individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis.”International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism 23.5 (2013).
  20. Wallace, Julie MW, et al. “Choline supplementation and measures of choline and betaine status: a randomised, controlled trial in postmenopausal women.”British Journal of Nutrition 108.07 (2012): 1264-1271.
  21. Graham, T. E., and L. L. Spriet. “Metabolic, catecholamine, and exercise performance responses to various doses of caffeine.” Journal of Applied Physiology 78.3 (1995): 867-874.
  22. Graham, Terry E. “Caffeine and exercise.” Sports medicine 31.11 (2001): 785-807.

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