Alpha Helix Voltagen
FUEL • FOCUS • FIRST
What makes a workout a GREAT workout? You WANT to be there, and into it. That's your brain telling you, "I want more than I have now, and this is how I get it." Ok. You're training hard, and you're into it, but is that all there is? You want to feel the connection to your constellation of muscles, the synergy, the morphing, the awakening from a dormant state into a flowing, full, and ultra performance machine that doesn't need to stop. You endure—the resistance, gravity, and your brain's voice saying, "This hurts" and "I'm getting tired."
What fuels intense training? If you've ever tried to train during a low carb diet cycle—or even after one day of low carb eating—you likely know it's like dragging a heavy suitcase without wheels across concrete... and you are the suitcase. Part of the drag may be due to lower muscle carb (glycogen) stores.1,2 High-maximal intensity resistance training, in well-trained athletes, uses up as much muscle glycogen in a muscle with low glycogen as a muscle with normal glycogen content—with the same workout1. But the other drag may be your brain in a relatively glucose deprived state. Attempts to perform long term studies comparing low vs. high carb diets with high intensity resistance training have failed, simply because the subjects on the low carb diet couldn't sustain hard training (relative to those on the higher carb diet).2 Carbohydrate is the substrate that fuels high intensity training. Period.
One common, "conventional" approach is to take a pre-workout supplement sporting a hefty dose of "combination chemistry" stimulants. Sure, you can take an exotic stimulant cocktail, which will jack you up as if you'd swallowed a handful of lit Ground Bloom Flowers, but then what? Stimulants (for example caffeine) do not provide energy in the form of fuel—they do increase alertness, reduce the perception of fatigue, and elevate adrenaline in the blood (more on caffeine below).
During intense exercise the brain uses lactate as a fuel, while it still uses glucose—blood sugar. But before and at the beginning of exercise your brain on relatively low glucose (read low carb status) may be less alert and "motivated." Entering a high intensity training session in a low carb state can mean less work output,3 and therefore less of a training stimulus—the single most important factor to augmenting body composition and performance. In addition to using carbs as a brain activator, a sufficient dose of the right carbs elevates insulin into the range of a physiological "smart phone," influencing cell communications in potent ways. Before you run scared from spikes of the most potent, natural anti-catabolic hormone your muscles know and love, know this: sufficient increases in insulin alone support increases in muscle blood flow, via nitric oxide (NO).4,5 No supplemental arginines, citrullines, or nitrates needed. Insulin recruits muscle capillaries like a downpour opens a storm drain, increasing flow and the experience of muscle fullness. Ever notice your shirt or pants feeling more snug 30-45 minutes into a larger meal (even a pure protein meal)? That's insulin sending a group text message, recruiting "choked off" muscle-feeding blood capillaries to deliver high nutrient flow, like removing a kink from a garden hose cranked all the way up.
VITARGO®—A Super Substrate and Insulin Spearhead
Voltagen™ is the first and only pre-workout to harness the superfast, university tested speed of Vitargo®, a multi-patented, sugar-free, starch extract. Vitargo has been compared to another sugar-free carb, maltodextrin (a "homopolysaccharide," also known as glucose polymers), in university studies with humans. Maltodextrin is the fastest digesting and absorbing "generic" carb.6,7 In one comparison study Vitargo (a 100 gram dose) was suggested to support a rise in blood glucose and insulin 2x and 1.8x higher and faster, respectively, compared to a mixture of maltodextrin plus a small amount of sugars, within ten minutes after drinking.*8 The exceptional speed and magnitude of Vitargo's insulin spike appears to be partly due to its ability to "empty" from the stomach into the small intestine—the key region of the gut where carb digestion and absorption happen—2.3 x faster (75 gram dose) than maltodextrin (plus a small amount of sugars—75 grams of total carbs).9 Pumping race fuel into a tank may mean little if the fuel delivery to the engine is slow or "bloated." Before a carb source can deliver its fuel to the body it must transit through the stomach and then to the intestines. Even if you are tenaciously adhering to a low carb diet, two scoops of Voltagen pre-workout can transform your training experience without insulting your carb-deprived lifestyle.
What are the other key factors that can morph a workout from monotonous to memorable? Focus and alertness, and the desire to train harder. What ingredient has more pre-workout evidence to achieve this? Caffeine.* Nothing exotic, no designer chemical group "attachments" to the caffeine molecule, and NOT in combination with any other stimulants. Caffeine is the only supplement stimulant repeatedly shown to enhance performance, endurance, and strength.*
CAFFEINE—Teaching an Old Stimulant New Tricks
Pre-workout doses of caffeine (doses of ≈ 11 mg/lb. body weight: about 2.75 scoops for a 175 pound person, and about 3.3 scoops for a 220 pound person) can increase selective body part resistance training performance in resistance trained males10-13 and females (doses of ≈ 13.2 mg/lb. body weight: a pinch more than 2.0 scoops for a 125 pound female, and about 2.75 scoops for a 150 pound female).14 If you sacrificed sleep for extracurricular activities or just had a crappy night of sleep, caffeine (at a dose of 8.8 mg/lb. body weight: a pinch more than 2.0 scoops for a 175 pound person, and about 2.75 scoops for a 220 pound person) may "motivate" you to choose more weight and reps, producing a greater workload and muscle adaptation stimulus.*15
Two scoops of Voltagen deliver 295 mg of caffeine like a two-staged rocket—a first stage, rapid release form, and then a second stage, modified (delayed) release form. But Voltagen doesn't stop there. Ever wonder why the "Big G" ingredient—(D-) glucuronolactone—is in energy drinks and pills? Ever look for the answer?? Good luck finding it. HERE may be why—and WHY we put it into Voltagen: caffeine's main "deactivation" pathway is in the liver, through a complex, multi-headed metabolic monster enzyme system.16 Big G, when it undergoes metabolism in the body, can influence liver and intestinal inactivation pathways.17,18 If Big G turns down liver inactivation of caffeine the effective end result may be caffeine hanging around longer, to extend and/or support its performance- (mental and physical) enhancing effects.* Big G alone could also slow or alter caffeine detox—we don't know.*
CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine—Daily Load Vehicle
Voltagen also sports the CarnoSyn® brand of beta-alanine, pioneered by Dr. Roger Harris,19 one of the pioneers of creatine monohydrate back in the late 80's - early 90's. Beta-alanine is often in pre-workout products for a silly reason: the skin tingling and "prickly" sensation that often begins within 15-45 minutes after taking it. This short-lived "side effect" has NOTHING to do with how beta-alanine works. Unlike caffeine, beta-alanine (and creatine, any form) do NOT work within minutes or even hours. They need to load into muscle, which takes days to weeks. For beta-alanine, it takes several weeks to load into muscle and provide support for high-maximal intensity performance.*20,21
Numerous studies suggest that beta-alanine loading can promote high intensity work performance in trained and untrained athletes.*20,21 Also, beta-alanine loading can support maximal performance following a bout of prolonged endurance exercise, as seen with elite cyclists who completed a varying intensity cycling bout for 110 minutes and then performed a 10 minute near maximal time trial, followed by a 5 minute rest period and then a 30 second all out sprint.*22
Voltagen includes CarnoSyn beta-alanine for this practical reason: a pre-workout product that you want to use is one that you will use (pretty much) every day before you train (we bet you'll curse the days you don't use Voltagen, once you've used it...). Each serving of Voltagen delivers a hefty 2,000 mg of CarnoSyn beta-alanine—a daily loading dose alone. Very new research suggests that the TOTAL dose taken, not the daily amount, is the factor that governs ultimate muscle beta-alanine loading over a 2-month period.*23 Thus, Voltagen can become your sole loading and dosing source of CarnoSyn beta-alanine.
L-Leucine—Muscle's Minority Fuel Substrate
Leucine alone is the sole branched chain amino acid (BCAA) found in Voltagen. When it comes to muscle fuel, BCAAs, or protein, are the loud, whining siblings who complain about not getting nearly as much attention as the sibling who is the super successful attorney, artist, musician, actor, or athlete. Simply stated, BCAAs, and leucine, have a "non-speaking" part in the movie you watch several times a week, "Train to Gain." BCAA's represent a tiny amount of the fuel being burned during exercise (less than 5%).24,25 It remains unknown as to what percent of fuel use during high intensity training calls upon BCAAs. Throw in some carbs during exercise (while following a high protein diet) and leucine's burn rate falls to an even lower level,26 effectively leaving BCAAs on the cutting room floor. At Alpha Helix we inserted 1 gram of L-leucine into Voltagen, to provide an amount that is representative of the importance of this muscle fuel substrate in a pre-workout supplement like Voltagen (for a post-workout supplement the movie is very different).
Gluten and Banned Substances—What You Don't Want, and How We Prove It
Each batch of Voltagen undergoes rigorous, independent testing for two lightning rod ingredients: banned substances, and gluten—AFTER they have been manufactured into Voltagen, not the starting ingredients. Given the option to go to a number of independent testing labs for banned substances, our choice was EASY: BSCG.org. Founded and led by the man that Lance Armstrong described as among the ten most influential men in sport, Dr. Don Catlin.27 No commercial laboratory has more experience and pioneering expertise. Dr. Catlin founded (in 1982) the US Olympic Drug Testing Lab out of UCLA, the only lab accredited by the International Olympic Committee. His lab threw a giant Molotov cocktail into the world of sport, decoding "The Clear" and opening up the BALCO scandal. Other labs started testing for banned substances when Dr. Catlin already had a few decades under his belt.
Gluten has been painted as the demon of grains and foods, with the vast majority of opponents and avoiders having ZERO definitive evidence that they are "gluten sensitive." Nevertheless, if you want to buy a gluten-free product the only way to confirm it's not in the finished product is to TEST THE FINISHED PRODUCT. We do just that, relying upon a premier food testing lab that uses a super-sensitive, state of the art method to detect glutens: ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay).28 Even though Voltagen has no protein (glutens are proteins) we test for ultra trace quantities of glutens, down to as low as a few milligrams per kilogram of Voltagen powder. Every batch.
BioPerine®—Pass the Bioenhancer, Please
The humble peppercorn harnesses inside its spicy capsule a pharmacologic secret agent/"mule," capable of supporting the transport of precious molecular cargo across high security borders, while silencing and handcuffing border patrol proteins that aim to deport the cargo back to where it came from. The prime agent is called piperine, and BioPerine® is a standardized extract form with multiple patents and tested-in-humans bioenhancer performance.* Piperine, and its cousins that coexist in pepper, may promote the passage of a wide variety of substrates (nutrients and food factors) across the intestines into the blood, decelerate their metabolic inactivation, and decrease their reverse transport back into the gut (and down the toilet).*29-33 BioPerine, as the pivotal bioenhancer in Voltagen, is a key component of Voltagen's SubstraStim metabolic engineering platform.
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