Game Day is MAN Sports’ original pre-workout supplement which features a pretty unique blend of ingredients, both stimulant and non-stimulant…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Due to its propensity for water-retention, Glycerol Monostearate is used by athletes to counter dehydration during extended exercise as well as increase the “pump” aspect of weight lifting.
Originally, Glycerol was purported to enhance athletic/exercise performance. However, while several studies have demonstrated increased water retention as a result of pre-exercise Glycerol consumption, none have demonstrated a clear performance enhancing effect as a result of that. Despite not possessing any inherent performance enhancing benefit, Glycerol may be useful for those who seek a fuller muscle feel while lifting (A.K.A. The Pump).
Average doses of Glyerol range from 1-2g, and given that MAN lists it first in a proprietary blend of 2135, the dose present in Game Day may very well fall in this range.
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. The exact dose of GPLC in Game Day is undisclosed, but given its position (second) in the 2135 proprietary blend, there is likely no more than 1g. So, in order to derive the full benefit two servings may be necessary.
Norvalin is chemically related to the branched chain amino acid Valine, though the potential benefits are much different. In vitro studies and rat studies have demonstrated that Norvaline is able to inhibit Arginase, the enzyme that breaks down Arginine. The (theoretical) result is that more Arginine is able to convert into 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, but common doses range from 125-250mg. The amount of Norvaline present in one serving of Game Day is most likely towards the lower end of this range.
Rutaecarpine is a primary bioactive found in Evodia rutaecarpa. A 1999 study, published in “Cardiovascular Drug Reviews”, found that Rutaecarpine acted as an effective vasodilator in rats and “may increase Nitric Oxide”. Two separate studies, one in 2005 and one in 2011, found that Rutaecarpine supplementation in rats effectively reduced the effects of caffeine when taken at doses of 20mg/kg or 80mg/kg. While human studies are lacking, these studies indicate that there is a significant antagonistic interaction between Rutaecarpine and caffeine, so ideally we only like to see Rutaecarpine in supplements that do not contain Caffeine. That being said, the dose of Rutaecarpine found in Game Day is likely too low to interfere with the effects of the Caffeine.
Pure PF3, also known as Serum Protein Isolate, contains concentrated doses of growth factors and protein fractions which are alleged to be a much more bioavailable and dose-effective version of regular protein isolate. MAN makes several claims regarding this substance’s ability to enhance recover, nutrient absorption, and protein synthesis. However, at this time there are no studies to corroborate these claims and, while they are entirely plausible, we’re reluctant to pass judgment either way.
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.
Since habitual Caffeine consumption often leads to tolerance build-up, those seeking to get the most out of their Caffeine-containing pre-workout should limit Caffeine throughout other parts of the day. Game Day most likely contains 150-200mg of Caffeine, though this is just our own estimation.
DENDROBIUM (1% ALKALOIDS):
Dendrobium, made popular by its inclusion in DS Craze, has become relatively pervasive in the pre-workout/fat-burner category because of its alleged stimulant properties. The original claim was that Dendrobium contained several Phenylethylamine alkaloids which were responsible for the focus and mood enhancement being reported by many users. However, studies investigating the chemical constituents have failed to isolate Phenylethylamine, and have shown that different species of Dendrobium tend to vary considerably in terms of their alkaloid composition. Ultimately, the jury is still out on Dendrobium, though rat studies have confirmed some cognitive benefit which may underlie some of the subjective reports of mental stimulation and enhanced focus.
Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine) is chemically similar to Yohimbine and produces similar effects with regards to catecholamine release and lipolysis. Though it is commonly used in fat-burners, in the context of Game Day it functions as a mental stimulant which may increase focus, perceived energy, and mood. Rauwolscine is believed to be synergistic with Caffeine in this regard and although there are no studies directly testing these effects, such a relationship would is perfectly plausible.
The term “Theaflavins” refers to a group of compounds found almost exclusively in Black Tea which are created during the fermentation process by which Green Tea is turned into Black Tea.
A 2005 study, published in “Life Sciences”, found that Theaflavins were able to poteniate muscle contraction in mice via Nitric Oxide and calcium dependent pathways. Though this was the only study investigating the effects of Theaflavins specifically on muscle contraction, the results are in line with those of earlier studies in which Theaflavins were shown to increase Nitric Oxide. This increase in Nitric Oxide was further replicated in a 2008 study from the “British Journal of Nutrition”, as well as a 2009 study from “Basic Research and Cardiology”.
A 2010 study from the “Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition” demonstrated that 1760mg of Black Tea Extract (40% Theaflavins) was able to reduce muscle soreness and slightly increase peak power output in trained men. This was the first study to demonstrate a clear performance enhancement effect in humans, but the results are in-line with the preliminary in vitro and mice studies. Unfortunately, the dose of Theaflavins present in the Game Day blend is far less than what was used in this study, but since lower doses have not been tested, some benefit cannot be ruled out.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which serves as a precursor to the neurotransmitters Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine, the three of which are collectively referred to as ‘Catecholamines’. A 1981 study found that subjects who consumed 100mg/kg of Tyrosine experienced a significant increase in urinary Catecholamine levels, but supplemental Tyrosine has failed to produce the performance enhancing effects commonly associated with increased release of Catecholamines. This is because Tyrosine does not instantly get converted into noradrenaline, dopamine, or adrenaline. It forms a pool, and when there is a deficit of Catecholamines, the pool is drawn from to create more. So, the claim that Tyrosine outright “increases Dopamine” is off base.
Rather than directly increasing Catecholamines and improving physical performance, Tyrosine has demonstrated the ability to restore levels of these neurotransmitters to base-line, thereby improving aspects of cognitive function in the presence of an acute stressor (sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, and possibly exercise). To put it simply, Tyrosine may restore levels of Dopamine, Noradrenaline, and Adrenaline when necessary, but does not increase them beyond normal levels. Unfortunately, the dose of Tyrosine presnt in Game Day is likely pretty negligible as far as cognitive benefits.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Game Day contains a relatively balanced mixed of pump-based ingredients and focus enhancing stimulants, as well as a scarcely used ingredient, PF3. Although we’re not quite sold on the long list of claims that MAN attaches to PF3, it does have a fair amount of potential. Ultimately, given the lack of published research, whether this ingredient is a game changer is for the individual consumer to decide. At about 65 cents per serving, Game Day is appropriately priced and allows the option of multiple servings without breaking the bank.
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