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Protocol V2

The Evolution of Recovery The Sirens’ song of peak performance… We’re all drawn to it. But, with every stride, with every repetition, with every added pound, we move farther from it. We tire because we’re human… But, because we’re human, we recover. And as that song swells, we want to recover quickly. PROTOCOL dictates exactly that. A quality recovery formula, with a combination of ingredients that are clinically proven to reduce muscle tissue damage, and induce endurance and peak performance… We’re all drawn to it. It’s OUR protocol. Protocol You push your body to its limits day in and day out and sometimes it seems like you’re going nowhere. Physical adaptation to training requires more than just an incredible work ethic; however, the body needs time to recover. The so often underestimated recovery period after training can leave many athletes beaten and tired. Protocol was designed as a pre-workout to help your body adapt and recover faster than before; and will also help you push through your physical limits by protecting your body at the cellular level, keeping cell membranes intact under the stressful conditions of intense exercise. Protocol should be taken 15-30 minutes before training to capitalize on the cascade of effects from Leucine and Agmatine. The formula’s ability to enhance performance may even lead to an increase in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) due to an increase in the number of activated muscle fibers. Overview of ingredients and function L-Leucine Leucine is a Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) concentrated highly in eggs, milk, beef, chicken and fish. Since Leucine is one of the few amino acids not metabolized by the liver, intake directly affects cellular concentrations (1). Numerous studies have looked at the ability of Leucine to prevent muscle protein breakdown and increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) rates with promising results (1-13). It seems that Leucine acts as a primary signal, alerting the body of amino acid availability for protein synthesis. This signaling causes an up-regulation of relevant muscle building machinery, especially in conjunction with insulin (2). While insulin seems to enhance the effect of Leucine, multiple studies have proposed an additional non-insulin dependent effect of Leucine on MPS, which most discussions on the topic have overlooked (2,3,11). The relevant message is that Leucine will cause an anti-catabolic and/or myotropic effect on its own through non-insulin dependent mechanisms, and will also have an additional effect when coupled with insulin from concurrent carbohydrate ingestion. While all of the mechanisms Leucine uses to deliver its effects on muscle tissue have yet to be elucidated, we know that it has a profound effect on mTOR activation, a key regulator of MPS (1,7,9). Aside from the well documented mTOR effect, Leucine may also have muscle building effects unrelated to this pathway, as noted by Kimball and Jefferson in a 2001 study which found elevated muscle protein synthesis with no significant increase in mTOR signaling proteins (4). Another way Leucine exhibits its beneficial effect on body composition is through its lesser known ability to increase muscle cell insulin sensitivity (2). It seems that available Leucine directly translates to increased uptake of all nutrients at the muscle cell, therefore creating an immediate increase in muscle building. Resistance training alone has been shown to upregulate MPS when adequate calories are supplied, yet the addition of Essential Amino Acids (EAA, which include Leucine) causes a much greater elevation (8). While initial studies on post workout MPS focused on BCAA and EAA, later studies have shown that Leucine is the primary contributor to accelerated muscle tissue accretion, having the same or greater effect when taken alone vs. conjunction with the other BCAA/EAA (2,8,10). Leucine is truly a wonder supplement when trying to retain lean body mass on a calorie restricted diet. Studies have shown supplemental Leucine to retain LBM in a hypocaloric state and even suppress protein breakdown after 18 hours of starvation (1,5,6). While most weight training aficionados have known for some time that the RDA for protein is far from optimal when trying to change body composition, new research has confirmed that during caloric restriction, daily requirements of certain amino acids, particularly Leucine, are drastically understated. In a 2008 review titled “Leucine for retention of lean mass on a hypocaloric diet”, researchers looked at a study that put various subjects on a 500 calorie/day deficit with various macronutrient intakes. The group on a high protein/high Leucine diet lost more weight, more fat, and showed greater LBM retention. Leucine supplemented groups have also shown more visceral fat loss than controls, which aside from being unsightly, is the deep abdominal fat known for wreaking havoc on the entire body. This review also covered Leucine’s ability to control appetite through hypothalamic regulation, truly pointing to leucine as a dieter’s best friend (1). Whether using leucine to accelerate protein synthesis during a muscle gaining phase or minimize muscle loss and accelerate fat loss while dieting, it should certainly hold a place in any physique enthusiast’s repertoire and represents a crucial component in the Protocol formula. Leucine Review: Activates mTOR Significantly elevates muscle protein synthesis Reduces muscle protein breakdown Reduces muscle loss on hypocaloric diet Increases muscle cell insulin sensitivity Provides a muscle building effect in conjunction with insulin Increases muscle growth through insulin-independent mechanisms The only amino acid to independently switch on muscle building cascade L-carnatine L-Tartrate L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is a combination of the amino acid L-Carnitine and the salt of tartaric acid, with numerous potential benefits for those looking to improve body composition, performance and overall health. One of LCLT’s major benefits stems from its ability to directly enhance recovery from exercise, allowing for faster muscle building and fat loss. Studies have shown supplementation with LCLT can reduce the metabolic stress of exercise, enhance ammonia clearance at the muscle causing a favorable shift in pH, speed recovery, and even reduce muscle soreness (15,17,19,21). Reduced soreness may not be a big seller for some people that don’t mind a little post training pain, but looking at it in big picture terms, this may allow you to train again sooner and get more effective and frequent training sessions in throughout the week, month, or year leading to accelerated progress. In a placebo controlled study published in 2008 by the big dogs William Kraemer and Jeff Volek (among others), the researchers found that ingestion of 2g/day of LCLT favorably shifted muscle cell oxygenation, (the balance between oxygen delivery and oxygen consumption) by enhancing oxygen consumption at the muscle cell (16). This can have favorable effects in anaerobic as well as aerobic training. LCLT has also gained recent attention due to its ability to favorably affect muscle building hormone signaling through multiple mechanisms. In a groundbreaking study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise researchers found LCLT was able to increase muscle cell androgen receptor density which gives testosterone more sites to “dock”, and therefore could potentially kick start a large muscle building cascade (18). This is extremely beneficial for athletes choosing to use exogenous sources of testosterone as well as natural trainees. Aside from optimizing endogenous and exogenous testosterone binding ability, ingestion of 2g/day of LCLT for 3 weeks also significantly elevated IGF-1 levels in study subjects, another key muscle building hormone which aids in muscle gain (19). Aside from the numerous exciting benefits, LCLT has also been deemed to be safe, researchers finding no adverse effects from daily supplementation (20). L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Review: Increases androgen receptor density Elevates IGF-1 levels Reduces markers of metabolic stress to exercise Decreases post workout soreness Speeds recovery from training Enhances muscle cell oxygen consumption Agamtine Sulfate Arginine is an amino acid that has made its way into countless bodybuilding supplements in the past few years, surrounded by endless promises about enhanced muscle pumps and heightened nutrient delivery. Most people have realized the incredulous amount of hyperbole involved in these claims and have begun to accept its muscle building potential to be far less than originally theorized. What does arginine have to do with agmatine? Once arginine is decarboxylated, it becomes agmatine. This decarboxylation entirely changes the nature of the compound in the body, so much so that agmatine is involved with even more metabolic processes than arginine itself. Agmatine takes a two pronged attack at nitric oxide elevation, by increasing NO synthesis as well as being an irreversible inhibitor of Nitric Oxide Synthase, which is the enzyme responsible for degradation of NO (24,27,28). By effectively elevating NO and decreasing its breakdown, the much sought after effects of increased vasodilatation and nutrient delivery to the muscle cells can be maximized. While it is debatable whether an increase in NO pre-workout is beneficial, most experts agree that a post workout elevation of NO can be highly useful for muscle recovery and enhancing the muscle building signal cascade. Agmatine is normally released endogenously in response to stress and inflammation, by supplementing with an exogenous source one can maximize its effect on recovery (27). When using agmatine immediately after workouts, the nutrients digested in a post workout meal or shake can be more effectively delivered to the muscle cells for enhanced recovery and muscle growth. In addition to increased nutrient delivery to muscle cells, agmatine also acts to aid nutrient uptake by increasing muscle cell insulin sensitivity through activation of I(2)-imidazoline receptors (25). So agmatine not only helps you get the glucose and amino acids to the right place, it also opens the door and drives them right inside the muscle cell to enhance protein synthesis. Aside from the potent effects at the muscle cell, agmatine also possesses some interesting psychological effects. Studies have shown it to be neuroprotective by blocking the damaging effects of excessive glutamate, act as an anti-depressant and MAOb inhibitor, and even modulate and reverse opiate tolerance (22,26,27,28). Agmatine also has a beneficial effect on calcium homeostasis by reducing cellular calcium overload, lowers blood pressure, and has various beneficial effects on the heart (23,24). Agmatine Sulfate Review: Increases Nitric Oxide synthesis Inhibits Nitric Oxide breakdown Enhances nutrient delivery to muscle cells Raises muscle cell insulin sensitivity Neuro-protective Mood elevating Creatinol-o-Phosphate Protocol’s recent upgrade may surprise some as they’ll see the familiar ingredient beta-alanine become replaced by a lesser known, but arguably more beneficial ingredient known as creatinol-O-phosphate (COP). COP is not to be confused with creatine. Despite the nomenclature, COP’s functions are entirely different. Italian studies have shown it to be rather effective in improving cardiac function in patients and that it also appears to be very well tolerated (29,30). COP’s primary benefit appears to be through acting as an intramuscular buffer, not limited to improving anaerobic glycolysis (34). It has also been shown to have cell membrane protecting effects (31) and has been proven to reduce serum creatine phosphokinase activity (32), preventing a reverse reaction. Creatine phosphokinase is normally located within the cell membrane and is important in the conversion process of ATP to phosphocreatine (33). In this way COP may actually enhance the effects of creatine supplementation. The end result of supplementation with COP is that when you begin training to failure you can train beyond the normal threshold and achieve greater total activation of muscle fibers. It is actually very commonly reported that when users begin to dose it properly, at approximately 2 grams daily, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is increased likely due to an activation of muscle fibers as workload capacity rises. This makes COP a useful performance aid through the enhancement of endurance, hypertrophy, and cardio-protection. Creatinol-o-Phosphate Review: Improves anaerobic glycolysis Protects cell membranes from structural damage May increase production of ATP from phosphocreatine Cardioprotective Protocol Overview: Protocol will greatly enhance the beneficial muscle building effects of exercise by allowing you to go harder longer and recover faster. Most users will notice a definite increase in muscle soreness in the first few weeks of proper pre-workout supplementation due to an increase in muscle fiber recruitment. The synergy of the ingredients will aid greatly in recovery from training and users will be able to discern rapid changes in muscle mass and fat loss as Protocol accelerates your training to the next level. Protocol Mechanisms of Action: Activates mTOR Elevates muscle protein synthesis Reduces muscle protein breakdown Reduces muscle loss on hypocaloric diet Increases muscle cell insulin sensitivity through multiple angles Provides an muscle building effect with our without insulin Reduces markers of metabolic stress to exercise and speeds recovery from training Increases androgen receptor density Elevates IGF-1 levels Increases Nitric Oxide synthesis Inhibits Nitric Oxide breakdown Enhances nutrient delivery to muscle cells Buffers hydrogen ions Increases muscular endurance Allows for increased training volume and muscle fiber activation Cell membrane protective Neuro-protective Mood elevating Cardioprotective Improves anaerobic glycolysis
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