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MAN Sports NOOPump Review

NOOPump is one of the most recent innovations from MAN Sports which essentially combines pump-based pre-workout ingredients with several non-stimulant Nootropics…

MAN Sports NOOPump

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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.

NOOPump contains 750mg of Agmatine Sulfate per serving, slightly above average when it comes to pump-based pre-workouts.

BETAINE ANHYDROUS

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.

NOOPump packs 1500mg of Glycine Betaine (also known as Betaine Anhydrous) per serving, meaning two scoops would yield a highly effective 3000mg.

GLYCEROL

Glycerol has become pretty popular in pump-based pre-workouts, so it comes as no surprise the MAN Sports has included 1g of Glycerol Monostearate in the NOOPump formula.  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.

As stated above, NOOPump contains 1g of Glycerol per serving, more than enough to induce a noticeable pump, especially at two servings.

NORVALINE

Norvaline is a close chemical relative of the popular amino acid Valine, though its effects are different. Norvaline has been shown to inhibit Arginase, the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of Arginine both in vitro and in vivo (rats). The result would theoretically be an increase in Arginine, which would result in more Nitric Oxide. However, Norvaline has never been studied in humans as it relates to performance enhancement, so for now we are left with only a theoretical mechanism of action. Given a lack of human studies, an optimal dose has not been established for Norvaline.

NOOPump contains an industry standard 125mg per serving.

ICARIIN

Icariin in the primary bioactive found in Horny Goat Weed, and is primarily used for treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED). For this purpose, it is actually pretty effective and works via inhibition of the enzyme PDE5. However, since its secondary mechanism of action is Nitric Oxide related, it makes sense that Epimedium is starting to pop up in performance enhancement supplements as well.

While there haven’t been any studies directly tested the effects of Horny Goat Weed on measures of physical performance, several preliminary studies have been conducted specifically to determine the effects of Icariin on Nitric Oxide Synthase enzymes (needed to synthesis Nitric Oxide).

A 2007 in vitro study from “Vascular Pharmacology” found that Icariin was able to increase the expression of Endothelial Nitric Oxide (eNOS) in human endothelial cells. Studies involving rats have yielded similar results, lending further credibility to the notion that Icariin may be useful for increasing NO levels in humans.

NOOPump contains 53mg of Icariin and Rutaecarpine combined, so we’d estimate the dose of Icariin is 25-35mg or so.

RUTAECARPINE

Rutaecarpine is a primary bioactive found in Evodia rutaecarpa. In vitro, Rutaecarpine has been shown to elevate Nitric Oxide levels and induce vaso-relaxation, but it has never been studied in humans, let alone with regards to performance enhancement. For that reason, no optimal dosage has been established so even if MAN Sports disclosed the amount of Rutaecarpine in NOOPump, it would be difficult to interpret.

ALCAR

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) has been pretty extensively researched for a variety of purposes relating to physical performance and cognition, but given that it’s included in NOOPump’s mental domination blend, we’ll focus on the cognitive implications.

A 2001 study from the “Journal of Neuroscience Research” found that ALCAR supplementation was able to improve indications of learning in older mice at a dose that would translate into a 200lb human consuming about 1g.

In humans, ALCAR has been demonstrated to reduce the severity of cognitive decline in elderly dementia patients, as well as in older subjects with general cognitive decline (not any particular cognitive disease).

Unfortunately, studies regarding the effects of ALCAR in healthy individuals are limited, and at this time there is insufficient evidence to suggest it is particularly effective as a nootropic. That said, clearly ALCAR possess pro-cognitive properties so it makes perfect sense in the context of NOOPump.

N-ACETYL-L-TYROSINE

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (the body can produce it from Phenylalanine) which serves a precursor to Dopamine (by first being converted into L-Dopa) and Noradrenaline.

Because of this relationship, Tyrosine is alleged to increase levels of these neurotransmitters, which would theoretically lead to performance enhancement. However, research has demonstrated that Tyrosine cannot outright raise Dopamine or Noradrenaline levels upon ingestion, though it can help maintain optimal levels when depletion might otherwise occur.

Upon ingestion, Tyrosine forms substrate pool, which can then be drawn from when an acute stressor (exercise, cold exposure, etc.) causes a temporary depletion of Dopamine/Noradrenaline. For this reason, Tyrosine can be useful for maintaining cognitive function during stressful activity.

NOOPump contains an undisclosed amount of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine but, given its position in the 652mg proprietary blend, it’s likely no more than a few hundred mg.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Green Tea contains a catechin known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and is generally standardized to a specific concentration. EGCG is a moderately potent anti-oxidant, but can also inhibit Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT), the enzyme responsible for the degradation of catecholamine neurotransmitters (Noradrenaline, Dopamine, etc.).

By inhibiting COMT, EGCG can potoentiate the effects of other stimulants (there are none in NOOPump) as well as endogenously produced Noradrenaline.

COCOA PLANT

MAN Sports makes no mention of Cocoa extract in any of the NOOpump literature we’ve reviewed, so we’re not really sure what the proposed benefit is in this instance. Generally speaking, Cocoa is standardized for xanthines such as Theobromine and Theophylline.

SCELETIUM TORTUOSUM

Sceletium tortuosum, also known as Kanna, is an herb mostly indigenous to South Africa which has a long history of use as a mood elevator/anxiolytic. Kanna contains two types of alkaloids, mesembrine tortuosamine, which are alleged to convey the psychoactive effects.

A 2011 study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that Sceletium tortuosum extract had limited anxiolytic effects in rats subjected to psychological stress (in the form of restraint). While no mechanism of action has been established, the results of the study indicated that the herb does not act as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

There are currently no human studies, just anecdotal evidence which does seem to suggest a noticeable psychoactive effect. This is certainly one of the ingredients that sets NOOPump apart.

COLEUS FORSKOHLII

Coleus Forskohlii is relatively well-known in the fat-burner/testosterone-booster category because one of its components, Forskolin, has proven effective as both. However, a lesser known characteristic of Coleus Forskohlii is its ability to function as an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.

This effect is believed to be due to Rosmaric Acid content, and has been demonstrated both in vitro and in mice.

MAN Sports does not disclose the amount of Coleus Forskohlii extract present in NOOPump, but given no optimal dose has been established with regards to cognitive enhancement, it would be difficult to interpret anyway. For now, we wouldn’t consider it a key ingredient in NOOPump, but it may contribute to the overall efficacy.

THE BOTTOM LINE

NOOPump is a unique take on pump-based pre-workouts which should appeal to anyone who’s into Nootropics but not so much stimulants. From a pump-perspective, NOOPump is one of the most comprehensive, and at one-two servings the pump may be quite noticeable. At about $1.40 per serving, NOOPump may seem a bit pricey, but it’s tough to even compare it to other pump-based pre-workouts that lack the Nootropic dimension.

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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