Conqu3r Demigod Edition is Olympus Labs’ sequel pre-workout (the first being the original Conqu3r) and, as with the original formula, Olympus has taken a comprehensive, research-based approach…
Creatinol-O-Phosphate remains a very under-researched an ingredient given the preliminary findings which suggest it could be quite effective as an ergogenic.
Creatinol-O-Phosphate is alleged to counter fatigue by increasing cellular glycolysis in the presence of lactic acid. Of course, this is solely based on rat studies, with no published human research to date. If the effects noted in rodents held true in humans, Creatinol-O-Phosphate would function similarly to Beta-Alanine in the context of pre-workout supplements.
Olympus Labs makes no claims about Creatinol-O-Phosphate, but it does appear to be a featured ingredient in the Conqu3r Demigod Edition formula. Most pre-workouts we’ve reviewed contain roughly 500mg of Creatinol-O-Phosphate but Olympus has loaded Conqu3r Demigod Edition up with a whopping 2000mg. Clearly there is some emphasis being placed on this ingredient.
Amentoflavone is a compound which can be found in such plants as Gingko and St. John’s Wort which has recently earned some recognition in the supplement community as a vasodilator and potential ergogenic.
Indeed, Amentoflavone has been shown, in vitro, to be a relatively potent vasodilator, with one study demonstrating that it can reduce noradrenaline-induced vasoconstriction by 35%.
Aside from being a potentially effective vasodilator, Amentoflavone has also been shown, in one study, to be 20 times more potent with Caffeine at causing Ca2+ (Calcium ion) release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of rabbit skeletal muscle. The SR releases Calcium ions during muscle contraction, then absorbs them during muscle relaxation. Ultimately, quicker release of Ca2+ means quicker muscle contraction, a mechanism well-established with Caffeine at this point.
Currently, however, Amentoflavone remains under-researched in humans and until more research is conducted, it’s difficult to estimate the magnitude of these effects. For now we’d consider Amentoflavone a speculative, but very intriguing, addition to the Conqu3r Demigod Edition formula.
Citrulline is a precursor to the amino acid Arginine, which is a precursor to Nitric Oxide (NO). As demonstrated in a 2007 study, supplemental Citrulline is significantly more effective at raising plasma Arginine than supplemental Arginine itself, and while results with Arginine are mixed, Citrulline has demonstrated clear efficacy as a performance enhancer. A 2002 study, published in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” found that Citrulline Malate supplementation (6g/day for 15 days) significantly increased ATP production during exercise in healthy adult males.
A 2009 study, published in the “Journal of Free Radical Research”, found that 6 grams of Citrulline Malate given to male cyclists before a race increased “plasma Arginine availability for NO synthesis and PMNs priming for oxidative burst without oxidative damage”.
A 2010 study from “The Journal of Strength & Conditioning” found that 8g of Citrulline Malate was able to progressively increase the amount of reps performed later in the workout (by as much as 52%) and significantly reduced muscle soreness.
A 2011 study, the subjects of which were rats, found that supplemental Citrulline increased muscular contraction efficiency (less ATP was required for the same amount of power), in-line with the findings of the above-mentioned human study.
Most recently, a 2014 study from the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” found that subjects who received 8g Citrulline prior to resistance training were able to perform more reps later in the workout, thus replicating the results of the prior 2010 study. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this study was that the subjects were all advanced weight-lifters, meaning the benefits of Citrulline apply to everyone, not just beginners. Like the original Conqu3r formula, Olympus Labs has opted for a clinical 6g dose of Citrulline in Conqu3r Demigod Edition, and is one of the few brands to do so.
On a cellular level, Glycerol has a propensity for water retention, and this is the property that underlies its performance implications.
A 1996 study, published in the “International Journal of Sports Medicine”, found that Glycerol supplementation prior to exercise increased endurance in cyclists. These findings were replicated in a 1999 study from the “European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology” in which pre-exercise Glycerol supplementation enhanced time performance (also in cyclists).
A 2003 study, published in the “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise”, found that, while post-exercise Glycerol supplementation prevented exercise-induced dehydration, this had no impact on performance measures (compared to placebo).
Ultimately, the results of most of the research on Glycerol indicate that it can be an effective pump agent (due to water retention), but may only noticeably enhance performance (endurance not strength) during long-duration exercise where dehydration becomes a contributing factor.
Conqu3r Demigod Edition contains 2000mg of High-Yield Glycerol, a highly effective dose as far as most pre-workouts are concerned.
The past few years, Agmatine has gone from a rare ingredient to pre-workout staple, though it remains seriously under-researched relative to other popular pre-workout ingredients. Agmatine has been demonstrated to up-regulate Endothelial Nitric Oxide (eNOS), sometimes referred to as the “good” NOS, while inhibiting the other NOS enzymes (the “bad” NOS) in vitro, but human studies are non-existent.
Standard doses of Agmatine range from 500-1000mg, with Conqu3r Demigod Edition coming in at the high end of that range.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which serves as a precursor to Dopamine and Noradrenaline (Catecholamines). Because of this relationship, it is commonly alleged (mostly by supplement companies) to increase levels of these neurotransmitters, which would ultimately convey some performance enhancement benefits. However, supplemental Tyrosine has failed to provide any noticeable performance enhancement when studied.
While Tyrosine may not increase workout performance directly, it has been shown to preserve cognitive function in the presence of an acute stressor, such as noise, cold exposure, and potentially, exercise. This is because, upon ingestion, Tyrosine forms a pool of substrate which can then be drawn from to produce more Dopamine/Noradrenaline when depletion occurs (in times of stress).
Given this role, we’d consider Tyrosine more of a “support” ingredient then a key ingredient, though it has become something of a pre-workouts staple itself. Conqu3r Demigod Edition contains 2g per serving, technically a clinical dose.
Carnitine has been the subject of numerous studies regarding its potential as both a performance enhancer and recovery agent.
A 2002 study, published in the “American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism”, found that 2 grams of L-Carnitine (as L-Tartrate) significantly reduced markers of exercise-induced stress following squats in healthy adult males.
A 2007 study, published in the “Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research”, found that 1 and 2 grams of supplemental L-Carnitine (as L-Tartrate) effectively reduced markers of muscular damage following exercise in healthy humans. While the previously mentioned studies were unable to identify an exact mechanism of action, a 2008 study noted enhanced muscle oxygenation, citing this as a possible mechanism of action.
Carnitine, as either Acetyl-L-Carnitine or Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (GPLC) has been shown to increase Nitric Oxide and plasma Nitrate levels at 1-3 grams, meaning Conqu3r Demigod Edition contains an effective dose. It’s not clear why Olympus chose to list Carnitine in the “Focus Intensifying Matrix” because, while it does have implications for cognitive enhancement as well, it is much more proven in the areas of physical performance.
Alpha GPC is considered one of the most bioavailable Choline sources and is generally used to increase Acetylcholine levels in the brain, which can enhance cognitive ability. However, it also has some direct (though under-researched) physical performance enhancement implications as well.
A 2008 study, published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition”, found that oral supplementation of 600mg of Alpha GPC (as AlphaSize) increased power output by an average of 14% in resistance trained males, measured by bench throws.
Although Alpha GPC is present in the original Conqu3r formula, Olympus Labs has added 100mg more (a 66% increase) in the Conqu3r Demigod Edition. Alpha GPC is, in our view, a highly under-utilized ingredient in pre-workout supplements, probably because it tends to be quite expensive.
Huperzine A is an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it blocks the enzyme that breaks down the Acetylcholine, indirectly increasing levels in the brain. Acetylcholine controls skeletal muscle and is largely responsible for the ‘mind-muscle connection’. In addition to controlling the muscles, Acetylcholine is also involved in learning, memory, decision making, and various other cognitive functions. The combination of Alpha GPC (mentioned above) and Huperzine-A makes adds a cholinergic-signaling dimension to Conqu3r Demigod Edition that is generally lacking in pre-workouts today.
Caffeine is one of the most heavily researched ergogenic aid, probably because it is also happens to be Planet Earth’s favorite drug (most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world), and all the research indicates it is one of the most effective.
Caffeine triggers the release of Noradrenaline which directly increases perceived energy, focus, and mood. As mentioned in the Amentoflavone section, Caffeine can enhance muscle contractibility quite significantly, offering a physical mechanism by which it can directly increase strength.
Because Caffeine is so popular outside of the supplement industry (Coffee, Tea, Soda, etc.), tolerance levels fluctuate from person to person. Conqu3r Demigod Edition contains 200mg per serving which, for the average (non-caffeine drinking) person to feel noticeable more alert and focused. However, individuals who consume large amounts of Caffeine on regular basis may not feel much at all.
Higenamine has been shown (in vitro) to be a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist as well as a weak alpha-adrenergic receptor antagonist, the same basic mechanisms of action by which Synephrine and Ephedrine work. By activating beta-receptors while simultaneously (albeit weakly) blocking alpha-receptors, Higenamine can potentiate the effects of Noradrenaline-releasing agents such as Caffeine.
Common doses are anywhere from 20-40mg with Olympus electing to use the high-end of that range (40mg) in the Conqu3r Demigod Edition formula.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Conqu3r Demigod Edition contains nothing but highly effective doses of well-established ergogenic aids as well as a pretty comprehensive focus/stimulant blend. Olympus has done a great job of bridging the gap between pump-based/physically effective PWOs and those that are more psychoactive/stimulant-based. Conqu3r retails for just under $1.50 per serving (give or take) which is more than fairly priced relative to both competing pre-workouts and estimated reconstruction cost.
- Kang, Dae Gill, et al. “Vasorelaxation by Amentoflavone Isolated from< EM EMTYPE=.” Planta medica 70.08 (2004): 718-722.
- Azebaze, A. G. B., et al. “Antimalarial and vasorelaxant constituents of the leaves of Allanblackia monticola (Guttiferae).” Annals of tropical medicine and parasitology 101.1 (2007): 23-30.
- Suzuki, Atsuko, et al. “Properties of amentoflavone, a potent caffeine-like Ca< sup> 2+ releaser in skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum.” European journal of pharmacology 372.1 (1999): 97-102.
- Godfraind, Theophile, and M. M. Saleh. “Action of creatinol-O-phosphate on the contractility changes evoked by hypoxia and ischemia in rat isolated heart.” Arzneimittel-Forschung 34.9 (1983): 968-972.
- Godfraind, T., and X. Sturbois. “An analysis of the reduction by creatinol O-phosphate of the myocardial lesions evoked by isoprenaline in the rat.” Arzneimittel-Forschung 29.9a (1978): 1457-1464.
- Bendahan, D., et al. “Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle.” British journal of sports medicine 36.4 (2002): 282-289.7.
- Giannesini, Benoît, et al. “Citrulline malate supplementation increases muscle efficiency in rat skeletal muscle.” European journal of pharmacology 667.1 (2011): 100-104.
- Sureda, Antoni, et al. “Effects of L-citrulline oral supplementation on polymorphonuclear neutrophils oxidative burst and nitric oxide production after exercise.” Free radical research 43.9 (2009): 828-835.
- Pérez-Guisado, Joaquín, and Philip M. Jakeman. “Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.5 (2010): 1215-1222.
- Mun, Chin Hee, et al. “Regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase by agmatine after transient global cerebral ischemia in rat brain.” Anatomy & cell biology 43.3 (2010): 230-240.
- Morrissey, Jeremiah J., and Saulo Klahr. “Agmatine activation of nitric oxide synthase in endothelial cells.” Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians 109.1 (1997): 51-57.
- Abe, Kazuho, Yuzuru Abe, and Hiroshi Saito. “Agmatine suppresses nitric oxide production in microglia.” Brain research 872.1 (2000): 141-148.
- Montner, P., et al. “Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time.” International journal of sports medicine 17.01 (1996): 27-33.
- Magal, M. E. I. R., et al. “Comparison of glycerol and water hydration regimens on tennis-related performance.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise35.1 (2003): 150-156.
- Wingo, Jonathan E., et al. “Influence of a pre-exercise glycerol hydration beverage on performance and physiologic function during mountain-bike races in the heat.” Journal of athletic training 39.2 (2004): 169.
- Hitchins, S., et al. “Glycerol hyperhydration improves cycle time trial performance in hot humid conditions.” European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology 80.5 (1999): 494-501
- Fernstrom, John D., and Madelyn H. Fernstrom. “Tyrosine, phenylalanine, and catecholamine synthesis and function in the brain.” The Journal of nutrition137.6 (2007): 1539S-1547S.
- Agharanya, Julius C., Raphael Alonso, and Richard J. Wurtman. “Changes in catecholamine excretion after short-term tyrosine ingestion in normally fed human subjects.”The American journal of clinical nutrition 34.1 (1981): 82-87.
- Banderet, Louis E., and Harris R. Lieberman. “Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans.” Brain research bulletin 22.4 (1989): 759-762.
- Yeghiayan, Sylva K., et al. “Tyrosine improves behavioral and neurochemical deficits caused by cold exposure.” Physiology & behavior 72.3 (2001): 311-316.
- Shurtleff, David, et al. “Tyrosine reverses a cold-induced working memory deficit in humans.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 47.4 (1994): 935-941.
- Shurtleff, David, et al. “Tyrosine reverses a cold-induced working memory deficit in humans.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 47.4 (1994): 935-941
- Volek, Jeff S., et al. “L-Carnitine L-tartrate supplementation favorably affects markers of recovery from exercise stress.” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 282.2 (2002): E474-E482.
- Bloomer, Richard J., Kelsey H. Fisher-Wellman, and Patrick S. Tucker. “Effect of oral acetyl L-carnitine arginate on resting and postprandial blood biomarkers in pre-diabetics.” Nutrition & metabolism 6.1 (2009): 25.
- Spiering, Barry A., et al. “Responses of criterion variables to different supplemental doses of L-carnitine L-tartrate.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 21.1 (2007): 259-264.
- Spiering, Barry A., et al. “Effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on muscle oxygenation responses to resistance exercise.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 22.4 (2008): 1130-1135.
- Brass, Eric P. “Supplemental carnitine and exercise.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 72.2 (2000): 618s-623s.
- Brass, Eric P. “Carnitine and sports medicine: use or abuse?.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1033.1 (2004): 67-78.
- Bloomer, Richard J., Lesley C. Tschume, and Webb A. Smith. “Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine modulates lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide in human subjects.” International journal for vitamin and nutrition research 79.3 (2009): 131-141.
- Sugino, Tomohiro, et al. “Effects of citric acid and L-carnitine on physical fatigue.” Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition 41.3 (2007): 224.
- Ziegenfuss, T. Landis, J. Hofheins, J. “Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise”Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5(Suppl 1):P15
- Kawamura, Takashi, et al. “Glycerophosphocholine enhances growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in young adults.” Nutrition 28.11 (2012): 1122-1126.
- Liu, Jia-Sen, Yuan-Long Zhu, Chao-Mei Yu, You-Zuo Zhou, Yan-Yi Han, Feng-Wu Wu, and Bao-Feng Qi. “The Structures of Huperzine A and B, Two New Alkaloids Exhibiting Marked Anticholinesterase Activity.” Canadian Journal of Chemistry64.4 (1986): 837-39.
- “Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
- Costill, D. L., Gl P. Dalsky, and W. J. Fink. “Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance.” Medicine and science in sports 10.3 (1977): 155-158.
- Nojima, Hiroshi, Mari Okazaki, and Ikuko Kimura. “Counter effects of higenamine and coryneine, components of aconite root, on acetylcholine release from motor nerve terminal in mice.” Journal of Asian natural products research 2.3 (2000): 195-203.
- Bai, Gang, et al. “Identification of higenamine in Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata as a beta2‐adrenergic receptor agonist1.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 29.10 (2008): 1187-1194.
- Liu, Xiu-jie, Henry N. Wagner Jr, and Shouchi Tao. “Measurement of effects of the Chinese herbal medicine higenamine on left ventricular function using a cardiac probe.” European journal of nuclear medicine 8.6 (1983): 233-236.
- Ebashi, S., and Mi Endo. “Calcium and muscle contraction.” Progress in biophysics and molecular biology 18 (1968): 123-183.
- Poisner, Alan M. “Caffeine–Induced Catecholamine Secretion: Similarity to Caffeine–Induced Muscle Contraction.” Experimental Biology and Medicine142.1 (1973): 103-105.
- Wax, Benjamin, et al. “Effects of Supplemental Citrulline Malate Ingestion During Repeated Bouts of Lower-body Exercise in Advanced Weight Lifters.”Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).