Physiological Properties and Effects:
The carbohydrate blend in Core GROW is composed of four sources: barley flour, oatmeal flour, sweet potato flour, and quinoa flour. As individual plants and food products, a very large and robust amount of literature exists to support the roles of oats, sweet potato, and quinoa in achieving and maintaining a healthy life.
Oats (Avena sativa) have been cultivated and used for either human sustenance or animal feed for at least 2,000 years. Oats – along with other cereals – have been regarded as an important source of nutrition or a dietary staple on a global scale during most of that period. Recent research into the plant has established the scientific consensus that oats are a “health food” for a myriad of reasons.
The United States Food and Drug Administration, for example, ruled that consuming a 3g serving of oat fiber daily had been shown to reduce both total and LDL cholesterol in 1997. In the nearly twenty years since that ruling, significant scientific consensus has emerged that oat fiber, consumed in at least 3g per day, play a role in the regulation of lipoprotein levels.
Studies on other oat benefits have demonstrated similar results. Studies conducted since 1992 have demonstrated the regular consumption of oats is positively associated with the regulation of satiety through appetite-controlling hormones, maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and assisting in the healthy production and regulation of glucose.
Research on barley has shown similar effects. For example, in a study with 25 hypercholesterolemic patients (a mixture of women and men), adding barley to a diet specifically-tailored to reduce cholesterol demonstrated ever further reduced LDL and helped to balance the LDL:HDL ratio.
The other carbohydrate sources in Core GROW, sweet potato and quinoa, also have growing bodies of data to support their role as “health foods.”
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, contains all the essential amino acids needed for bodily function, has more than double the fiber mg-for-mg as most grains, and has been shown in clinical trials to assist in the healthy management of triglycerides, LDL, and glucose. These benefits are in addition to quinoa’s well-established micro-nutrient, vitamin, and mineral profile: the plant contains high levels of bioactive flavonoids, antioxidants, in addition to high levels of iron, magnesium, and vitamin B-2.
Sweet potato, like quinoa, is also gluten-free. The plant contains more than 100% of the daily-recommended value of vitamin A, and is also high in vitamins B5 and B6, niacin and riboflavin. Sweet potato is also a rich source of antioxidants.
In total, the carbohydrates found in the BRO-Carb blend are useful for not only their caloric value, but maybe more importantly, their roles as well-established “health foods.”
Cold-Processed Undenatured Whey Protein Concentrate
When you vigorously train or exert yourself, a process called protein degradation (the breakdown of muscle protein) begins so that the body can fuel itself, and a process called muscle protein synthesis (the creation of muscle protein) slows down. Think of this like shutting off your engine (protein synthesis), in order to fuel your car (muscle protein breakdown). As this entire process plays out, the available pool of amino acids in skeletal muscle depletes, as they too are drawn in and broken down in the natural, catabolic process during exercise.
While this situation is quite adequate during a training session, it’s precisely the opposite of what we want afterwards. At that point, we want the available pool of amino acids to increase, protein degradation to slow or stop, and muscle protein synthesis to increase. Enter protein supplements. Protein powders are a quick, convenient way to rapidly increase the available pool of amino acids in skeletal muscle.
However, not all proteins are created equal when assessed within the matrix of molecular triggers, enzymes, and amino acids that constitute skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Low quality blends, fillers, masking agents, and the like reduce the net protein content of many protein products, ultimately reducing lean muscle impact.
A quality protein supplement not only contains a high amount of protein, but the protein sources from which it draws need to be themselves high quality – and the benefit a particular protein source has can be assessed by analyzing its amino acid profile. Human skeletal muscle makes the most use out of a few, particular amino acids (the BCAAs among them), and so a quality protein needs to have an amino acid profile that is optimal for this context.
We chose the protein blend for Core GROW with optimization in mind. Our cold-processed undenatured whey protein concentrate has a robust and complete amino acid profile that has been shown in research to increase nitrogen retention, lean muscle impact, and satiating ability (the feeling of fullness).
Like our BRO-Carb Blend, our PHAT Blend is whole-food derived in order to deliver fats that not only provides calories, but are additionally healthy on a more substantive level. We deliver this through the use of coconut oil powder and avocado powder as the primary ingredients, with the addition of MCT oil powder.
Coconut oil is incredibly high in a specific form of saturated fatty acids known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs – the oil from which is the final ingredient in our fat blend. While saturated fatty acids were typically demonized in both the scientific and popular literature, recent research has revealed this characterization as false. Saturated acids, and particularly MCTs, have been demonstrated as conferring various metabolic benefits when eaten in substantial enough servings.
Medium chain triglycerides are a form of fat with 6-12 carbon fatty acid esters, a chemical structure that allows them to effectively bypass gastric uptake for transport directly to the liver for oxidation. Their unusual chemical structure and metabolic process has resulted in MCTs being a focus for a wide range of therapeutic and exercise supplement uses.
In the context of exercise science, recent research has shown that MCTs significantly (up to 65%) increase resting energy expenditure, along with dose-dependently reducing fatty acid deposition in adipose tissue. These results suggest that MCTs are effectively increasing the body’s metabolic response to food intake.
Avocado, on the other hand, is composed principally of monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid. Like MCTs, oleic acid has been positively associated with promoting the maintenance of healthy weight in populations whose diet contains significant amounts of oleic acid.
Digestive Enzyme Blend, Antioxidants, and Spectra™
One can easily make the argument that dietary enzymes – and in particular, digestive enzymes – are the most consistently underrated and overlooked component to a supplementation regimen. These powerful little protein structures influence or outright control a vast, complex network of bodily functions. In a fitness-specific context, digestive enzymes play an absolutely crucial role in the breaking down of dietary carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into their constitutive parts, and therefore allow your body to use them in various processes (glycogenesis, protein synthesis, etc).
Despite their critical function, many supplement companies overlook the necessity of digestive enzymes and do not include sufficient levels (and kinds) of enzymes in their products. For a whey product, in particular – a compound that requires significant digestion and breakdown – this is madness.
As usual, we take a much more comprehensive, clinical approach than the average. In Core GROW, we have included a digestive enzyme blend comprised by five of the most clinically-researched, critical function enzymes available. We have chosen them strategically and synergistically, ensuring they fulfill multiple functions, including, though not limited to: aiding in the breakdown of milk proteins and sugars, supporting healthy carbohydrate and fat metabolism and breakdown, and assisting in the metabolism of carbohydrates and starch.
In addition to the specific focus on digestion in GROW, we have added in a potent antioxidant in the form of pomegranate powder. Emerging data has begun to suggest that pomegranate, long a staple of tropical diets, has potent free-radical scavenging ability – scientific parlance for the ability to reduce damage from unchecked oxidation. In both cell cultures and animal models – the gold-standards for anti-oxidant assessment – pomegranate has demonstrated one of the highest per-gram, standardized ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) values on record. These results suggest that even small amounts of pomegranates, its peels, and its powder (which is derived from its fruit and peels) may have beneficial effects in the reduction of harmful oxygen species.
Finally, we added 100mg of Spectra Greens™, a dietary supplement to support detoxification functions. Spectra is a combination of nutrient rich vegetables, fruits, herbs, herbal extracts, Chlorella, Soy Lecithin, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen, enzymes and probiotic cultures designed to support your bodys ability to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate.