The “pump” or vasodilator category needed serious refinement. While we appreciate the aesthetics and ego-boosting of a solid pump as much as anyone, we also recognize that the physiological mechanisms behind the ingredients that “induce” the pump can be harnessed for more – harnessed into a product that achieves both the pump and creates a metabolic environment underneath it primed for performance increases.
That refinement has arrived in the form of PEAK X: a comprehensive performance and pump product that delivers all the above. We named the product PEAK X to capture the dual meanings of peak. Not only does PEAK X deliver the kind of pump that achieves “the peak,” but it also describes the feeling of reaching your maximum performance. PEAK X helps you set new PRs and knockdown previous barriers to your performance in the form of fatigue.
And when we say “comprehensive,” we mean comprehensive. PEAK X isn’t a mish-mash of ingredients with potentially redundant MOAs (Mechanism of Actions), at who knows which levels of purity. PEAK X contains four patented, well-researched ingredients with demonstrable results in increasing human performance. Vasodilation is an amazing – and highly obvious – side effect in this product, whereas increases to aerobic and anaerobic capacity, peak power, and endurance are the primary purpose. When you combine the two, you have the perfect combination of performance and pump!
Carnosine is a bit of an odd duck: we know that it is crucial for muscle function, and that dietary sources of caronsine are essential, but we don’t know precisely how it’s working. Moreover, for decades, we had no idea how to increase intramuscular concentrations, as exogenous carnosine sources degraded in the body so fast as to be effectively useless.
Enter beta-alanine. Simply a different iteration of one of the amino acids that comprises carnosine itself (alanine), beta-alanine has proven to be the most effective means of significantly increasing intramuscular concentrations of carnosine – and therefore of promoting all of carnosine’s various beneficial effects on muscle performance. If that weren’t enough, beta-alanine has also demonstrated beneficial physiological effects independent of its parent compound. In order to understand why, though, we need to first understand some of the basics behind carnosine itself.
Carnosine, a cytoplasmic dipeptide synthesized from the precursors L-histidine and l-alanine, is present in high concentrations in skeletal muscle and plays a pivotal role as a, “chemical buffer” in myocytes (muscle cells). It has long been known that carnosine concentrations are highest in glycolytic, rather than oxidative muscle fibers (roughly speaking, explosive vs., endurance muscle fibers, respectively), and thus long hypothesized that this amino acid is required for sustained performance during supramaximal exercise. Recent research demonstrates that carnosine exerts its physiological effects in long hypoxic (low oxygen) drives by functioning as a high-capacity pH buffer in skeletal muscle, preventing the pH ratio of plasma from dropping too low – and therefore preventing crucial pH-dependent processes such as protein synthesis from being inhibited by acidosis.
Despite its critical role in skeletal muscle anaerobic performance, intramyocellular synthesis of carnosine is rate-limited by the availability of l-alanine. Unfortunately, the majority of literature demonstrates that attempting to increase intramuscular levels of carnosine via either direct carnosine or alanine supplementation is largely ineffective due to carnosine/alanine pharmacokinetics. Enter beta-alanine. Research with beta-alanine demonstrates consistent and dose-dependent increases to intramuscular carnosine concentrations with beta-alanine supplementation, with certain studies showing an increase of 40-60% with chronic administration. These same literature reveal a synergistic effect of exercise on beta-alanine supplementation, whereby the muscle adaptive changes associated with resistance training promote further intramuscular carnosine production in response to beta-alanine supplementation.
In simpler language, this essentially means that beta-alanine is a dietary supplement that promotes its own effects in combination with exercise. As you exercise, you simultaneously intensify beta-alanine’s physiological actions – both directly, as well as in the production of intramuscular carnosine. Once ingested, beta-alanine’s exercise-specific beneficial activity is well-established. Elevation of intramuscular caronsine content via beta-alanine supplementation has been show to improve performance in the following ways.
- Both acute and chronic increases in total work capacity, measured by total volume during exercise sessions.
- Highly significant increases to TTE (total time to exhaustion), one of the most accurate and comprehensive measures of endurance. In various trials, beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to increase TTE by upwards of 20%.
- Increases to total muscle power output in both acute and chronic trials, suggesting that beta-alanine’s most significant benefit is to those engaging in power-dependent resistance training.
In total, a significant body of research exists to suggest that beta-alanine may significantly increase muscle power output, strength, training volume and output, overall performance in hypoxic (oxygen-deprived) conditions and peak VO2 max (oxygen holding capacity).
These myriad benefits make beta-alanine both one of the most-studied, and most well-rounded dietary supplements. Beta-alanine not only has direct, actionable physiological effects, but also promotes critical muscle physiologic adaptations that promote its own effects.
PeakO2™ is an organic-certified combination of six Ayurvedic mushroom strains extracted for their principal bioactives (Cordyceps militaris (Cordyceps), Ganoderma lucidim (Reishi), Pleurotus eryngii (King Trumpet), Lentinula edodes (Shiitake), Hericium erinaceus (Lions Mane), and Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail).
The results of several human clinical trials on this compound suggest that it may meaningfully and dose-dependently impact several key metrics in exercise performance and physiology. A recent trial on 13 healthy, exercising adults consuming either 1.3 grams of PeakO2 or placebo, for example, demonstrated significant increases to oxygen kinetics, aerobic power and time to fatigue. In the adults receiving the 1.3g of PeakO2 for three weeks, VO2max (a measure of aerobic capacity) increased by 11% as compared to 1.8% in placebo; TTE (total time to exhaustion) increased by 8.2%; and peak power increased by 10%.
The results were similar in an additional study with 40 healthy adults, provided both low and high-dose PeakO2 for 28 days and compared with placebo. In this trial, participants receiving the mushroom extract experienced statistically significant increases to both VO2max and heart-rate economy – suggesting that PeakO2’s effects are both systemic and cumulative. That is, not only does PeakO2 exert its effects on the entirety of the human cardiovascular system – likely due to the multiple mechanisms of action in the mushroom blend – but these effects accumulate over time.
These results suggest that PeakO2 may have beneficial effects on:
- Workout duration
- Time to exhaustion
- Maximum power output
- Peak strength
- Anaerobic peak power
- Oxygen utilization during exercise
- Ability to uptake oxygen
- Exercise capacity
As the mushrooms contained in this compound are also adaptagens, they will also increase the efficacy of the other ingredients in PEAK X. Making the addition of PeakO2 both a physiological and economical decision!
Nitrosigine® (Inositol arginine silicate)
Along with creatine, arginine is perhaps the most well-known, and most well-understood, workout supplement. Its role in the classical NO-synthase-pathway of nitric oxide production has been meticulously studied, and as a consequence, the compound enjoys wide and constant use within the industry.
With familiarity comes complacency, however; as a consequence, legitimate breakthroughs with respect to novel and (more effective) forms of arginine have been infrequent. Though the attachments of various salts and/or other organic compounds to arginine have purportedly increased its rates of absorption and effectiveness, clinical research into these alternatives has been relatively sparse.
Enter Nitrosigine®. Nitrosigine® is a uniquely bonded complex of arginine and silica that possesses synergistic effects – translating to physiologic benefits that are greater than the sum of arginine and silica alone. The secret lies in Nitrosigine®’s highly unique and highly patented chemical structure. Nitrosigine® is produced by synthesizing potassium silicate and arginine together with an inositol base. The resultant complex, inositol arginine silicate, possesses significantly greater nutritional availability than its parent compounds, as the inositol base increases the solubility of both the typically water-insoluble potassium silicate and arginine.
The positive results of this synergy have been well-documented in both pre-clinical and human clinical trials. For example, a human clinical study, using healthy males ages 18-40, found that Nitrosigine® not only rapidly and substantially elevated plasma arginine (40% increase), but that plasma elevations persisted for approximately three hours. In comparison to arginine, another pre-clinical trial using animal subjects found that Nitrosigine®-induced blood vessel relaxation was five-fold greater, and vasodilation and localized blood flow levels were approximately double.
These acute effects are of course in addition to what is perhaps Nitrosigine®’s greatest benefit: prolonged and chronic plasma nitric oxide level increases. These same trials found that baseline nitric oxide levels – as measured by salivary nitrites, byproducts in the production of endothelial NO – were found to be increased after 14 consecutive days of product consumption. In practical terms, these results suggest that Nitrosigine® continues to be an effective, “NO-enhancer” after the acute effects of the compound dissipate.
Overall, studies on Nitrosigine® have shown:
- Nitrosigine® to be more biologically effective than arginine hydrochloride (HCl)
- Enhanced blood flow during and after exercise, helping with muscle growth and recovery.
- Blood vessel relaxation almost 5x greater than Arginine HCl.
- Higher nitric oxide related maximum blood flow and vessel relaxation.
Vaso6 is a novel Gallate Enhanced Oligomer™ extract containing a proprietary mixture of polyphenolic compounds. The emerging evidence on this compound suggests it possesses an extreme propensity for NO (nitric oxide) production, with a mouse macrophage cell study demonstrating that NO-production capacity was several times higher than citrulline and arginine.
As a result of its effect on iNOS, Vaso6 may result in: more efficient blood flow for ATP production and muscle recovery, increased nitric oxide production, vasodilation, superior nutrient delivery to muscles, and an antioxidant effect.
Vaso6 may also:
- Elevate maximum power output and peak strength
- Improve “anaerobic peak power” by optimizing oxygen utilization
- Maximize exercise duration by extending time-to-exhaustion.
- Enhance workout effectiveness by increasing exercise capacity.
elevATP® is a proprietary, clinically researched combination of a water extract of “ancient peat” (fossilized plants) and apple extract that works with the body’s natural energy-producing mechanisms to stimulate production of ATP, the energy currency of the body.
In a clinical trial featuring twenty-five healthy, resistance-trained, male subjects, elevATP induced an increase in total strength as compared to PLA. 1RM (one repetition maximum) in the back squat and deadlift increased significantly, as did overall peak power output:
The authors offered two hypotheses to explain the physiological effects of elevATP. The first is an increase to intracellular ATP and therefore increased levels of substrate for the phosphagen energy system – the same mechanism mediated by creatine, well known to increase measures of exercise performance. The second is related to the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), the measure of a compound’s ability to absorb radical oxygen species in the body. It is well-established that reducing radical oxygen species production or mitigating their effects increases athletic performance, and compounds with similar molecular structures to elevATP are potent anti-oxidants.