Edge Pro is Nvie Nutrition’s pre-workout which consist of a combination of stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients.
Beta-Alanine is the rate-limiting precursor to the amino acid Carnosine, which acts as a Lactic Acid buffer, capable of reducing fatigue in the working muscle. In recent years, Beta-Alanine has become a true pre-workout staple, as all the research indicates it is highly effective at increasing muscular Carnosine and enhancing aspects of physical performance.
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”.
Edge Pro contains 2500mg of Beta-Alanine per serving, a technically effective dose, and slightly above average compared to the majority of pre-workouts these days.
CREATINE MAGNESIUM CHELATE:
Creatine Magnesium Chelate is Creatine bonded to Magnesium, and was originally invented because of Magnesium’s crucial role in Creatine metabolism. Few studies have been conducted to compare Creatine Magnesium Chelate to other forms of Creatine, but the research that has been conducted indicates it is roughly as effective as Creatine Monohydrate, but not more.
A 2004 study, published in “The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research”, found that 2.5mg of Creatine Magnesium Chelate was equivalent to the same dose of Creatine Monohydrate with regards to increasing 1 rep max in trained men.
Although Creatine Magnesium Chelate appears no more effective than Monohydrate in terms of physical performance enhancement, a 2003 study published in “Metabolism” did note that Creatine Magnesium Chelate may result in less water retention. However, more studies are needed for a more direct comparison.
Because Creatine Magnesium Chelate is roughly equivalent to Creatine Monohydrate in terms of performance enhancement, the recommended dose is the same. Unfortunately, Nvie seems to have under-dosed it in the Edge Pro formula by only including 1g per serving. At this dose, about 3 servings would be needed just to achieve a marginally effective dose.
Recently, Agmatine has become quite pervasive in pre-workout supplements because of its alleged ability to regulate Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS), an enzyme that catalyzes the production of Nitric Oxide (NO) from Arginine, and either elevate or reduce its presence, depending on the type of NOS.
There are several types of NOS, all which are required for the production of NO. Inducible NOS (iNOS) and Neuronal NOS (nNOS) are considered harmful because they elevate NO in immune cells (causing inflammation) and the brain (causing neuronal damage), while Endothelial NOS (eNOS) is considered beneficial as this is the kind which increases Nitric Oxide in the blood vessels, resulting in vasodilation. Agmatine has been demonstrated, in vitro, to up-regulate eNOS (the “good” NOS) while inhibiting the other NOS enzymes (the “bad” NOS). However, as mentioned above, Agmatine remains under-researched because it is a relatively new entrant in the supplement industry and it has actually never been studied in humans.
Because of the lack of human-based research, no optimal dose has been identified, leaving supplement companies to set the trend. Typically, pre-workouts contains between 500 and 1000mg Agmatine. Nvie has opted for the midpoint of this range by including 750mg of Agmatine in the Edge Pro formula.
GLYCINE PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE (GLYCOCARN):
Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine (GPLC) is Carnitine attached to the amino acid Glycine, and has been demonstrated to reliably increase Nitric Oxide through oral supplementation.
A 2007 study, published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” found that 3 grams of GPLC was able to increase Nitric Oxide in resistance trained men. These findings were replicated in a 2009 study published in the “International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research”, but 1 gram was seen as ineffective.
Unfortunately, Nvie has failed to provide a clinical dose of GPLC in Edge Pro. With only 225mg per serving, it is highly unlikely that users will receive the same magnitude of benefit seen in clinical settings at more than ten times that dose.
Histidine is the other precursor besides Beta-Alanine necessary for Carnosine synthesis. However, while Histidine deficiency can certainly lead to Carnosine deficiency, supplemental with excess Histidine has proved ineffective at boosting muscle Carnosine above baseline, whereas Beta-Alanine is quite effective at doing so.
Although Histidine supplementation certainly won’t hinder the process, it is pretty unnecessary. Furthermore, Nvie has dosed Edge Pro with only 50mg per serving so, even it was important, the dose provided in Edge Pro would be negligible.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which serves as a precursor to Dopamine and Norepinephrine (Catecholamines). Because of this relationship, it is commonly alleged (mostly by supplement companies) that Tyrosine can increase levels of these neurotransmitters, which would ultimately convey some performance enhancement benefits. However, supplemental Tyrosine has failed to produce any noticeable performance enhancement benefit in multiple studies.
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 Tyrosine, upon ingestion, forms a pool which is then drawn from to create more Dopamine and Norepinephrine when depletion occurs. To put it simply, Tyrosine will not increase Dopamine and Noradrenaline, but can help ensure optimal levels are maintained during/after exercise.
The N-Acetyl form of Tyrosine is generally believed to be better absorbed, though to what degree remains unclear (no comparison studies in humans). Nvie has included 250mg of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine in Edge Pro which is more or less average compared to other pre-workouts and may subtly improve aspects of cognitive performance during high intensity, long duration exercise.
Caffeine is a well-established ergogenic aid, oral consumption of which triggers the release of Catcholamines (Noradrenaline, Dopamine, Adrenaline, etc.), generally inducing a state of increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy. A vast multitude of studies have concluded that Caffeine consumption prior to exercise can favorably impact performance and enhance muscle contractibility.
With 200mg per serving, Edge Pro provides a reasonable, yet not overwhelming, capable of enhancing alertness and focus in the average individual. Given that the only other stimulant is Tyramine (which is pretty ineffective without Caffeine), Caffeine is the primary driving force behind the cognitive effects of Edge Pro.
Pikamilon (alternatively spelled ‘Picamilon’) is formed by combining Niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA (the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammals). Pikamilon is able to effectively cross the blood-brain-barrier where it is converted into GABA. Since GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter (as opposed to excitatory) it may produce anxiolytic effects when levels are increased beyond normal. However, Picamilon does not produce the sedative like effects of other GABA pro-drugs and instead is commonly used as a nootropic (cognitive enhancer) because it has also been demonstrated to increase cerebral blood flow due to its Niacin component (Niacin is a vasodilator). Despite a fair amount of efficacy demonstrated in animal studies for both cerebral vasodilation and as a non-sedative anxiolytic, human studies remain scarce. However, the mechanisms by which Pikamilon can enhance performance do exist, and may be further potentiated by the other cognitive enhancement ingredients found in the Edge Pro formula.
Tyramine is a derivative of the amino acid Tyrosine which is thought to act as a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), meaning it blocks the enzyme (Monoamine Oxidase) responsible for the breakdown of certain neurotransmitter (Noradrenaline, Adrenaline, Dopamine, etc.). The result is an increase in levels of these neurotransmitters which can induce a state of increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy.
Human research on Tyramine is somewhat scarce but the preliminary research, combined with an overwhelming number of anecdotal reports, indicate that it can potentiate the effects of Caffeine. Edge Pro contains 20mg of Tyramine per serving, a relatively modest, but moderately effective dose.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The Edge Pro formula starts out as promising, with 2500mg of Beta-Alanine per serving, but quickly disappoints as we move down the ingredient list. With subpar doses of Creatine Magnesium Chelate and GlycoCarn, two “would be” key ingredients, it appears as though Nvie has under-delivered with this one. Even the stimulant blend isn’t something to get excited over, with just Caffeine and Tyramine being the driving forces. At a little over $1 per serving, the price of Edge Pro is far from justified, especially since multiple servings may be needed which would bring the cost up to over $2.
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