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JudoJosh

Proven Non-Hormonal Exercise Performance Boosting Agents

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Idea courtesy of Nightop

 

So far we have a Proven Non-Hormonal Anabolic Agents threads, but what about those supplements that don't fall into this category?

 

This thread is for those supplements that have no evidence for direct anabolic effects in humans but does have evidence for their efficacy in human exercise performance.

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Red Bull... it gives you wings :D

 

The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood.

 

Alford C, Cox H, Wescott R.

 

Source

Psychology Department, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom.

 

Abstract

 

The effects of Red Bull Energy Drink, which includes taurine, glucuronolactone, and caffeine amongst the ingredients, were examined over 3 studies in a total of 36 volunteers. Assessments included psychomotor performance (reaction time, concentration, memory), subjective alertness and physical endurance. When compared with control drinks, Red Bull Energy Drink significantly (P

 

PMID: 11665810 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

Actually, I was trying to find something on glucuronolactone... this study on Red Bull was the only thing I could find so far. Obviously this could have been a number of things.

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Red Bull... it gives you wings :D

 

Well, what do you know...it really does.

 

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007 Oct;17(5):433-44.

Effect of Red Bull energy drink on repeated Wingate cycle performance and bench-press muscle endurance.

Forbes SC, Candow DG, Little JP, Magnus C, Chilibeck PD.

Source

 

College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

Erratum in

 

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008 Oct;18(5):542.

 

Abstract

 

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Red Bull energy drink on Wingate cycle performance and muscle endurance. Healthy young adults (N = 15, 11 men, 4 women, 21 +/- 5 y old) participated in a crossover study in which they were randomized to supplement with Red Bull (2 mg/kg body mass of caffeine) or isoenergetic, isovolumetric, noncaffeinated placebo, separated by 7 d. Muscle endurance (bench press) was assessed by the maximum number of repetitions over 3 sets (separated by 1-min rest intervals) at an intensity corresponding to 70% of baseline 1-repetition maximum. Three 30-s Wingate cycling tests (load = 0.075 kp/kg body mass), with 2 min recovery between tests, were used to assess peak and average power output. Red Bull energy drink significantly increased total bench-press repetitions over 3 sets (Red Bull = 34 +/- 9 vs. placebo = 32 +/- 8, P %%%lt; 0.05) but had no effect on Wingate peak or average power (Red Bull = 701 +/- 124 W vs. placebo = 700 +/- 132 W, Red Bull = 479 +/- 74 W vs. placebo = 471 +/- 74 W, respectively). Red Bull energy drink significantly increased upper body muscle endurance but had no effect on anaerobic peak or average power during repeated Wingate cycling tests in young healthy adults.

 

PMID: 18046053

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Citrulline

Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle.

Bendahan D, Mattei JP, Ghattas B, Confort-Gouny S, Le Guern ME, Cozzone PJ.

Source

 

Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale, UMR CNRS 6612, Faculté de Médecine de la Timone, 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13005 Marseille, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

 

Previous studies have shown an antiasthenic effect of citrulline/malate (CM) but the mechanism of action at the muscular level remains unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

 

To investigate the effects of CM supplementation on muscle energetics.

METHODS:

 

Eighteen men complaining of fatigue but with no documented disease were included in the study. A rest-exercise (finger flexions)-recovery protocol was performed twice before (D-7 and D0), three times during (D3, D8, D15), and once after (D22) 15 days of oral supplementation with 6 g/day CM. Metabolism of the flexor digitorum superficialis was analysed by (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 4.7 T.

RESULTS:

 

Metabolic variables measured twice before CM ingestion showed no differences, indicating good reproducibility of measurements and no learning effect from repeating the exercise protocol. CM ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production. Considering subjects individually and variables characterising aerobic function, extrema were measured after either eight or 15 days of treatment, indicating chronological heterogeneity of treatment induced changes. One way analysis of variance confirmed improved aerobic function, which may be the result of an enhanced malate supply activating ATP production from the tricarboxylic acid cycle through anaplerotic reactions.

CONCLUSION:

 

The changes in muscle metabolism produced by CM treatment indicate that CM may promote aerobic energy production.

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Cold gloves. (I'll have to see if I can find it again, special cooling gloves that lower core body temp and result in pretty impressive increases in work output to exhaustion.)

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Red Bull... it gives you wings :D

 

 

 

Actually, I was trying to find something on glucuronolactone... this study on Red Bull was the only thing I could find so far. Obviously this could have been a number of things.

I have been researching glucoronolactone in the past and there is little to no evidence that it is ergogenic. It does yet appear to have some interesting interactions with vitamin C metabolism, but exercise-wise I believe this >
he Japanese Journal of Pharmacology

Vol.18 , No.1(1968)pp.30-38

 

[ Full-text PDF (506K) ] [ References ]

 

EFFECTS OF GLUCURONOLACTONE AND THE OTHER CARBOHYDRATES ON THE BIOCHEMICAL CHANGES PRODUCED IN THE LIVING BODY OF RATS BY HARD EXERCISE

SHUNKICHI TAMURA1), SHOJI TSUTSUMI1), HIROO ITO1), KAZUHITO NAKAI1) and MICHIO MASUDA1)

 

1) Department of Pharmacology, Tokyo Dental College

[Received: 1967/07/03]

[Published: 1968/03/01]

[Released: 2007/02/02]

Abstract:

It has been generally recognized that in a living body various biochemical changes were induced as a consequence of hard physical exercise. In the previous paper (1), the authors reported on the metabolism of glucuronic acid in the case of fatigue by physical exercise. This report was summarized as follows: the toxic (amine-like) substance in a living body increased due to physical exercise, and resulted in fatigue. The glucuronic acid content of urine, serum, liver and kidney, and the hepatic glycogen content of a living body decreased. The activity of o-aminophenylglucuronide synthesis of rat's liver was inhibited after hard physical exercise. However, these phenomena were significantly blocked by the administration of glucuronolactone. The arrest of an isolated frog heart due to the accumulation of toxic substance was checked, both prophylactically and therapeutically, by the administration of glucuronolactone. Dutton et al. (2-8) have recently proved that glucuronic acid exerted its effect after it was converted into uridine-diphospho-glucuronic acid. It is therefore apparent that exogenous glucuronic acid cannot exert its effect unless it is changed into uridine-diphospho-glucuronic acid through the Xylulose pathway, or different pathway not yet known. Though the authors have no description of the mechanism of these pathway at present, it is a fact that glucuronolactone can inhibit the toxic substance which stopped the beating of a frog's heart. As well known, uridine-diphospho-glucuronic acid is converted from various kinds of carbohydrate, namely glucose, galactose, glycogen and sodium pyruvate. The authors therefore proceeded to ascertain the effects of these carbohydrates and glucuronolactone upon the swimming-record, o-aminophenylglucuronide synthesis, glucuronic acid content, ascorbic acid content, blood sugar content, hepatic glycogen content, and β-D-glucuronide glucuronohydolase activity in albino rats made to swim hard.

is the only pertinent study available online

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Isnt this mostly for libido? What performance benefits does it offer?

 

Just had a look around and it looks like you're right - my memory's playing tricks on me.

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Creatine

 

I presume all these threads on proven non-hormonal agents are actually referring to OTC agents. There are loads of RC agents that are in use for anabolics, performance and recovery, eg peptides, which whilst may not be analogues of endogenous hormones, but are things you won't buy in your local supermarket.

 

J

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Should we mention stimulants? Amphetamine?

 

Creatine

 

I presume all these threads on proven non-hormonal agents are actually referring to OTC agents. There are loads of RC agents that are in use for anabolics, performance and recovery, eg peptides, which whilst may not be analogues of endogenous hormones, but are things you won't buy in your local supermarket.

 

J

 

I'm not sure to what you are referring to exactly, but aren't "peptides" in this case just peptide hormones? (Steroid hormones are just one class of hormones (actually they belong to the larger group of lipid-derived hormones), the others being peptide and protein hormones, and monoamines.)

Sorry if I'm being pedantic.

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Just had a look around and it looks like you're right - my memory's playing tricks on me.

 

Well, if it increases libido, maybe it does increase performance... in a manner of speaking. lol

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Betaine as JJ noted:

 

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jul 19;7:27.

Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance.

Lee EC, Maresh CM, Kraemer WJ, Yamamoto LM, Hatfield DL, Bailey BL, Armstrong LE, Volek JS, McDermott BP, Craig SA.

Source

 

Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. carl.maresh@uconn.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We investigated the ergogenic effects of betaine (B) supplementation on strength and power performance.

 

METHODS:

Twelve men (mean +/- SD age, 21 +/- 3 yr; mass, 79.1 +/- 10.7 kg) with a minimum of 3 months resistance training completed two 14-day experimental trials separated by a 14-day washout period, in a balanced, randomized, double-blind, repeated measures, crossover design. Prior to and following 14 days of twice daily B or placebo (P) supplementation, subjects completed two consecutive days (D1 and D2) of a standardized high intensity strength/power resistance exercise challenge (REC). Performance included bench, squat, and jump tests.

 

RESULTS:

Following 14-days of B supplementation, D1 and D2 bench throw power (1779 +/- 90 and 1788 +/- 34 W, respectively) and isometric bench press force (2922 +/- 297 and 2503 +/- 28 N, respectively) were increased (p

 

CONCLUSION:

B supplementation increased power, force and maintenance of these measures in selected performance measures, and these were more apparent in the smaller upper-body muscle groups.

 

PMID: 20642826

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2915951/?tool=pubmed

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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):3461-71.

The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation and associated biochemical parameters in resistance trained men.

Trepanowski JF, Farney TM, McCarthy CG, Schilling BK, Craig SA, Bloomer RJ.

Source

 

Cardiorespiratory/Metabolic Laboratory, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Abstract

 

Trepanowski, JF, Farney, TM, McCarthy, CG, Schilling, BK, Craig, SA, and Bloomer, RJ. The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation, and associated biochemical parameters in resistance trained men. J Strength Cond Res 25(12): 3461-3471, 2011-We examined the effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance and associated parameters in resistance trained men. Men were randomly assigned in a double-blind manner using a crossover design to consume betaine (2.5 g of betaine mixed in 500 ml of Gatorade®) or a placebo (500 ml of Gatorade®) for 14 days, with a 21-day washout period. Before and after each treatment period, tests of lower- and upper-body muscular power and isometric force were conducted, including a test of upper-body muscular endurance (10 sets of bench press exercise to failure). Muscle tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) during the bench press protocol was measured via near infrared spectroscopy. Blood samples were collected before and after the exercise test protocol for analysis of lactate, nitrate/nitrite (NOx), and malondialdehyde (MDA). When analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance, no significant differences were noted between conditions for exercise performance variables (p > 0.05). However, an increase in total repetitions (p = 0.01) and total volume load (p = 0.02) in the 10-set bench press protocol was noted with betaine supplementation (paired t-tests), with values increasing approximately 6.5% from preintervention to postintervention. Although not of statistical significance (p = 0.14), postexercise blood lactate increased to a lesser extent with betaine supplementation (210%) compared with placebo administration (270%). NOx was lower postintervention as compared with preintervention (p = 0.06), and MDA was relatively unchanged. The decrease in StO2 during the bench press protocol was greater with betaine vs. placebo (p = 0.01), possibly suggesting enhanced muscle oxygen consumption. These findings indicate that betaine supplementation results in a moderate increase in total repetitions and volume load in the bench press exercise, without favorably impacting other performance measures.

 

PMID: 22080324

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Electrostatic shielding?

 

Clin J Sport Med. 2000 Jan;10(1):15-21.

The efficacy of Farabloc, an electromagnetic shield, in attenuating delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Zhang J, Clement D, Taunton J.

Source

 

Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

 

To assess the hypothesis that Farabloc, a fabric with electromagnetic shielding properties, would attenuate the symptoms, signs, and muscular strength deficit secondary to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) induced by two exposures to eccentric exercise in humans.

DESIGN:

 

Randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with two testing stages of 5 days duration separated by a washout period of more than 8 weeks.

SETTING:

 

University-based sports medicine center.

PARTICIPANTS:

 

Twenty volunteers equally representing untrained male and female subjects.

INTERVENTIONS:

 

20 sets of 10 repetitions of single-leg eccentric knee extensions for 37 minutes with the Biodex dynamometer set at 30 degrees per second were performed on the first day of stage one and stage two to induce DOMS in the quadriceps muscle. Double layers of fabric, either Farabloc or placebo, were wrapped around the thigh of each participant during each stage for 5 days.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

 

Perception of muscle pain, as measured by a visual analog scale (VAS), and strength, as measured by knee extensor torque (EST) with the Biodex dynamometer, were evaluated at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours. Serum inflammatory markers of muscle damage, including malondialdehyde. creatine phosphokinase, myoglobin, leukocytes, and neutrophils, were assayed at 0, 2, 6, 24, and 48 hours.

RESULTS:

 

Repeated-measures analysis of variance was carried out for each of the seven variables to assess differences for fabric, order of treatment, time, and all combinations. Results of VAS and EST and levels of malondialdehyde, creatine phosphokinase, myoglobin, leukocytes, and neutrophils all showed a highly significant effect of Farabloc compared with placebo. This analysis shows that the order of Farabloc or placebo fabric use in stage I and 2 produces different results. This may be caused by a learning effect, but did not alter the overall influence of Farabloc.

CONCLUSION:

 

The data indicate that double layers of Farabloc fabric wrapped around the thigh reduces pain and strength loss and serum levels of malondialdehyde, creatine phosphokinase, myoglobin, leukocytes, and neutrophils when untrained human subjects are exposed to eccentric exercise to produce DOMS in the quadriceps. Farabloc shields high-frequency electromagnetic fields, although the results do not indicate how these changes are mediated. Further research is needed to determine the mechanism.

 

PMID:10695845

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Cold gloves. (I'll have to see if I can find it again' date=' special cooling gloves that lower core body temp and result in pretty impressive increases in work output to exhaustion.)[/quote']

 

I recall this study although the attempt at a commercial product based on this idea was a bust.

 

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Dec;23(9):2666-72.

Is performance of intermittent intense exercise enhanced by use of a commercial palm cooling device?

Walker TB, Zupan MF, McGregor JN, Cantwell AR, Norris TD.

Source

 

Air Force Research Laboratory, Brooks City-Base, Texas, USA. Thomas.walker@brooks.af.mil

Abstract

 

The purpose of this study was to determine if using the CoreControl Rapid Thermal Exchange (RTX), a commercial palm cooling device, during active rest periods of multiple set training is an effective means to increase performance. Ten volunteers (5 men, 5 women) completed a VO2max test on a motorized treadmill and 3 interval running tests on a human powered treadmill. This treadmill allowed the subjects to quickly reach their running speed while allowing for measurement of distance, speed, and force. During the interval running tests the subjects completed eight 30-second intervals at a hard/fast pace followed by a 90-second walking or light jogging recovery period. During the recovery period, the subjects placed their left hand on 1 of 3 media: the RTX held at 15 degrees C ®, a 15 degrees C standard refrigerant gel pack (P), or nothing at all ©. Although there were differences in core temperature (Tc), subjective heat stress ratings, distance, and power generated between intervals, there were no significant differences (p

 

PMID:19910808

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@Benson: N=1 says betaine = 100% useless; took about 1kg (in different dosages) and did notice absolutely nothing

 

Yeah. There is something about its MOA that makes some of us non-responders IMO...I've never noticed that much from betaine myself either but remember Mitosis on MM? He swore by the stuff for aerobic performance...

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Yeah. There is something about its MOA that makes some of us non-responders IMO...I've never noticed that much from betaine myself either but remember Mitosis on MM? He swore by the stuff for aerobic performance...

 

I have a hypothesis for the MOA that I'm testing in my dissertation study based on methylation capacity and dietary habits. Ben, I would assume you consume adequate greens and folate rich foods, and thus the added methylation capacity provided by betaine does little. But, for your typical chicken and rice bodybuilder...the methylation capacity may be ergogenic.

 

In very short terms it goes like this.

 

Average bodybuilder/weight lifter consumes an excessive amount of methionine (high protein). As the methionine is used, homocysteine is the biproduct; however, said group does not consume enough vegetables (inadequate betaine and folate consumption) and thus the Hcy cannot be transmethylated. As a result, some Hcy-thiolactone is formed. Hcy-thiol has been shown to do a number of negative things, including upregulating resistin production by adipocytes (Li et al., 2008) and inhibiting insulin mediated DNA and protein synthesis via inhibiting P70 S6K (Najib & Sánchez-Margalet 2005).

 

My first hypothesis is that in this group (based on diets) that increasing methylation capacity will reduce Hcy-Thiol and improve protein synthesis. Betaine has been shown to improve insulin receptor substrate 1 and Akt signalling, in vitro (Kathrivel et al., 2010)

 

I also hypothesize that with an increase in methyl donors, there will be an increase in SAM, which will further improve insulin sensitivity...this has been shown in rats to improve whole body insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial biogenesis (Jin et al, 2007).

 

Another MOA (which I'm not testing) is that it may improve GH secretion. It was shown in several animal studies to build up in the hypothalamus and increase GH pulse and baseline levels (Huang et al., 2008). And also increased GH, IGF1, and Akt in humans in a thesis done at UCONN (Apicella, 2011).

 

Next, betaine appears to suppress lipogenic enzyme activation and gene expression...at least in animals (Xing et al., 2011). Which may provide some use as a nutrient partitioner.

 

I can post the full ROL or the abbreviated into if anyone is interested.

 

Br

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I have a hypothesis for the MOA that I'm testing in my dissertation study based on methylation capacity and dietary habits. Ben, I would assume you consume adequate greens and folate rich foods, and thus the added methylation capacity provided by betaine does little. But, for your typical chicken and rice bodybuilder...the methylation capacity may be ergogenic.

 

In very short terms it goes like this.

 

Average bodybuilder/weight lifter consumes an excessive amount of methionine (high protein). As the methionine is used, homocysteine is the biproduct; however, said group does not consume enough vegetables (inadequate betaine and folate consumption) and thus the Hcy cannot be transmethylated. As a result, some Hcy-thiolactone is formed. Hcy-thiol has been shown to do a number of negative things, including upregulating resistin production by adipocytes (Li et al., 2008) and inhibiting insulin mediated DNA and protein synthesis via inhibiting P70 S6K (Najib & Sánchez-Margalet 2005).

 

My first hypothesis is that in this group (based on diets) that increasing methylation capacity will reduce Hcy-Thiol and improve protein synthesis. Betaine has been shown to improve insulin receptor substrate 1 and Akt signalling, in vitro (Kathrivel et al., 2010)

 

I also hypothesize that with an increase in methyl donors, there will be an increase in SAM, which will further improve insulin sensitivity...this has been shown in rats to improve whole body insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial biogenesis (Jin et al, 2007).

 

Another MOA (which I'm not testing) is that it may improve GH secretion. It was shown in several animal studies to build up in the hypothalamus and increase GH pulse and baseline levels (Huang et al., 2008). And also increased GH, IGF1, and Akt in humans in a thesis done at UCONN (Apicella, 2011).

 

Next, betaine appears to suppress lipogenic enzyme activation and gene expression...at least in animals (Xing et al., 2011). Which may provide some use as a nutrient partitioner.

 

I can post the full ROL or the abbreviated into if anyone is interested.

 

Br

ignore my question in the other thread (where you posted the excel file) ^ this is what I wanted to hear ;)

 

I 100% agree with your first hypothesis;

 

I am 90% unsold on the GH hypothesis, as its (natural increases in the normal range) effects are largely overrated and mostly transient increases at T1 are compensated for at T2, so that the increase in AUC is sometimes stat. sign. but physiologically insignificant

 

and I will have to read up on the lipogenesis hypothesis before I comment on that

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