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.
Phenylethylamines are a class of compound which cause an increase in the catecholamine neurotransmitters (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine) and as such, is a relatively potent (though short lived) central nervous system stimulant. While studies testing the effects of PEA supplementation on exercise performance are limited, a boost in catecholamines may certainly translate into more energy in the gym, resulting in a more intense workout. As far as direct effects on weight loss, studies are more or less non-existent. However, the general physiological reaction to increases in epinephrine and norepinephrine is activation of the beta-adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis, so the mechanism by which PEA may induce weight loss is theoretically solid, just not documented. Because the effects are generally short-lived, it is hardly a miracle weight-loss supplement on its own, but combined with other beta-agonists/alpha-antagonists, will likely contribute to the overall effect.
Coffea Robusta is a specific type of coffee bean commonly used to make expresso. Like all coffee beans, this particular bean contains caffeine and its inclusion in the Beast Mode formula is to simply to supply caffeine in a “natural” form. Caffeine is a well-established ergogenic aid/cognitive enhancer and is the most commonly consumed psychoactive stimulant in the world. Caffeine causes an increase in catecholamines, resulting in increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy. These neurotransmitters tend to be pro-lipolytic, so it is commonly assumed that caffeine is a fat-burner. While the mechanisms of caffeine are certainly pro-fat-burner, the effects tend to fade with prolonged use, rendering caffeine ineffective as a long-term weight loss solution. However, it is a highly effective ergogenic aid and will certainly enhance performance when taken pre-workout.
Higenamine, commonly reffered to as Norcoclaurine, is the active compound found in Nelumbo Nucifera and has gained some traction in the supplement industry as a stimulant fat-burner because of the chemical similarities it shares with ephedrine (now banned). Like Ephedrine, Higenamine acts as Beta(2)adrenergic agonist, meaning it stimulates the beta(2) adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis (fat breakdown). In addition to its fat-burning potential, Higenamine has also been demonstrated in vitro to increase acetylcholine levels, though these findings have not yet been replicated in humans. Overall, there is certainly preliminary support for Higenamine as a fat-burner and potential ergogenic aid, but because no human studies exist there is no recommended effective dose.
Raspberry Ketone, a molecular constituent of Raspberries, have become a popular weight-loss additive in dietary supplements. However, the evidence for raspberry ketone as a fat-burning ingredient is extremely limited and there is actually no direct evidence the ingredient is effective in oral, supplemental doses. In vitro studies using very high concentrations have shown positive results, but human studies are non-existent. The only human study that exists grouped RK in with several other popular weight loss ingredients so the effects cannot be attributed to raspberry ketone. Even in rat studies, RK fail to show any significant fat-burning effects. The overall consensus of the scientific community is that raspberry ketone are nothing more than industry hype.
Gingko is an herb, the primary historical use of which has been as a nootropic. The cognitive enhancement effects noted with Gingko supplementation are generally alleged to be the result of acetylcholinesterase inhibition. Acetylcholinesterase is the enzyme responsible for the degredation of acetylcholine in the brain. As mentioned above, acetylcholinesterase is associated with overall cognition, memory, and the mind-muscle connection. However, the effects of Gingko on these parameters is somewhat unreliable. A 2007 systematic review, published in “Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental” concluded that Gingko supplementation was not statistically more effective in healthy humans than placebo overall.
Evodiamine is a plant extract which appears to mimic the thermogenic effects of Capsaicin in rats. However, no human studies have been published at this time testing the effects of the extract on humans. Due to the lack of human studies available, we cannot determine with any considerable degree of certainty, the efficacy of Evodiamine.
Tyramine is a derivative of the amino acid Tyrosine, and has the ability to increase the level of the catecholamine neurotransmitters Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, and Dopamine. Tyramine is thought to act as a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), meaning it blocks the enzyme (Monoamine Oxidase) responsible for oxidizing the above mentioned neurotransmitters. The result is an elevation in levels of these neurotransmitters which generally results in increased focus, mood, and perceived energy. For this reason, it is recommended that people currently taking prescription MAOIs be careful not to consume too much dietary (or supplemental) Tyramine. While studies on Tyramine are scarce, Adrenaline and Noradrenaline induce lipolysis in humans via activation of beta-adrenergic receptors, which may result in increased fat loss especially when combined with rigorous regular exercise, so the claims regarding Tyramine’s fat-burning potential definitely hold some weight.
Cyclic Adenosine-3′-5′-Monophosphate (cAMP) is a signaling molecule (released by cells to signal physiological changes) derived from Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), required for a wide variety of biological processes. An increase in cAMP is associated with a wide variety of physiological changes, including increased Testosterone, fat-loss, and lean muscle mass. So, while increasing cAMP is certainly of interest to those seeking to lose fat and build muscle, there is no evidence that supplemental cAMP is effective for raising intracellular cAMP. Generally, supplements like Forskohlin are used to increase cAMP, but Beast Sports Nutrition appears to be taking a direct approach by including cAMP itself. Whether this is effective remains to be seen.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The Amphetalean formula contains several of the same ingredients found in Beast Mode, Beast Sports Nutrition’s Pre-Workout, some of which are aimed at cognitive enhancement and some aimed at direct fat-loss. Though the exact levels of each ingredient are uncertain, the weight of the blend leads us to to believe that some of the ingredients (particularly those aimed at cognitive enhancement) are at-least somewhat under-dosed. Beast recommends taking 1-2 scoops twice daily, and while 66 cents per dose seems cheap, that quickly adds up when consuming multiple doses. Ultimately, Amphetalean may certainly induce weight-loss especially when combined with a rigorous exercise regimen. This fat-burning potential can be attributed to the various stimulants, each with some degree of beta-receptor agonism.
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