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Hemavo2 Max Review

Hemavo2 Max is iForce Nutrition’s sequel to the popular pump-based pre-workout, Hemavol. It features a variety of effective pump-enhancers as well as some ingredients that can directly increase strength and power…

iForce Nutrition Hemavo2 Max

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AGMATINE SULFATE

In 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.

The industry standard for Agmatine is roughly 500mg per serving, but iForce Nutrition has elected to use 1000mg for Hemavo2 Max.

L-CITRULLINE

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.

Most studies have used Citrulline Malate, generally in a 1:1 ratio, meaning 6g yields 3g of Citrulline.  Hemavo2 Max contains 2g of L-Citrulline per serving, less than what could be considered “clinical” but still potentially effective.

GLYCEROL

Glycerol has become pretty popular in pump-based pre-workouts, so it comes as no surprise that it is a key ingredient in Hemavo2 Max.  Glycerol’s mechanism of action is simple: it draws water into cells which can directly enhance what we all know as “The Pump”. Beyond that, Glycerol has been alleged to have actual performance enhancement implications as well.

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).

The research as a whole indicates that Glycerol can be an effective pump agent (due to water retention), but may only noticeably enhance performance (endurance not strength) during long-duration exercise when dehydration becomes a contributing factor to fatigue.

iForce has bet big on Glycerol by dosing Hemavo2 Max at 2g HydroMax (65% Glycerol) per serving.  This is in contrast to many other pump-based PWOs which contain 1000-2000mg of standard Glycerol Monostearate which contains much less actual Glycerol than HydroMax  .

CREATINE NITRATE & HCL

Creatine is the most extensively studied ergogenic aid currently available and, consequently, it is also one of the most reliable for increasing strength and size.

iForce Nutrition has used two forms of Creatine for Hemavo2 Max: Creatine Nitrate and Creatine HCL.  Creatine Nitrate is simply Creatine bound to Nitric Acid (Nitrate).  Most of our readers are familiar with Creatine HCL.

Both forms are touted to be better absorbed, but these claims remain unsubstantiated.  Creatine Nitrate may convey some additional benefit because it contains Nitrate, but with only a gram of total Creatine Nitrate per serving, it’s tough to say how beneficial it really is in the context of Hemavo2 Max.

At the very least, the 2g of total Creatine in Hemavo2 Max should serve as a maintenance dose.

BETAINE ANHYDROUS (BETAPOWER™)

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, and has had some pretty encouraging results in most.

Feel free to read this article on Betaine, as it covers all the studies regarding performance enhancement.

Hemavo2 Max contains a clinically effective dose of 2.5g per serving.

CHOLINE

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 studied 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.

Hemavo2 Max contains 1g of Choline Bitartrate per serving, enough to increase plasma Betaine levels as well as potentially (but not definitely) provide some subtle nootropic benefit when combined with DMAE (discussed below).

DMAE

Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE for short, is a cholinergic compound which is generally used as a cognitive enhancement agent.  It has been shown to improve certain aspects of cognitive function in older subjects with mild cognitive impairment, but has not been studied much in healthy individuals, let alone athletes.

Since DMAE is included Hemavo2 Max’s “Nootropic Mind & Focus Boost” blend along with Choline Bitartrate, we know that iForce does indeed intend for it to enhance the mental aspect of the formula, though whether it actually does is up for debate.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Hemavo2 Max is undoubtedly pretty effective when it comes to inducing pumps.  Although we’d like to see some more Citrulline in there, the 2g dose of HydroMax Glycerol is hard to disagree with.  We appreciate the fact that Hemavo2 Max also contains ingredients like Creatine (albeit a maintenance dose) and Betaine (a clinical dose) which can directly increase strength and power, rather than just superficially pump you up.

Still not sure which non-stimulant pre-workout is right for you? Check out our Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout Supplements List!

References

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