Articles on Merica Labz F'n Pump'd:
Dec 27, 2022 ‘Merica Labz F’N PUMP’D: Get Ready to Get F’n Pumped!
'Merica Labz just keeps coming out with insanely awesome products -- their newest is F'n Pump'd, a non-stim pre-workout deserving of its name.
- Increase in blood flow †
- Increase in muscle power output †
- Increase in muscular endurance †
The age of small weapons warfare is over. No longer will we tolerate over-hyped products based on pathetic formulas equivalent to a carrot stick, half a pack of gum, and a single piece of Lego. This is 'Merica! Our identity as a nation is built on the concepts of exceptionalism and excess - something we wholeheartedly embrace as a company.
So, we've delivered the ultimate stim-free pump formula. This F'N PUMP'D product will make your arms look like a NYC subway map and force you to bring an extra pair of gym clothes to every workout as your pumps tear through fabric like the OG Real American, Hulk Hogan, throwing down at Summer Slam.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnore, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
L-Citrulline Malate (2:1)
Citrulline is a non-essential, non-protein amino acid that forms during the urea cycle and forms ornithine when combined with carbon dioxide. Citrulline is also a critical source of endogenous (natural) arginine, as it is rapidly and efficiently converted to arginine in the vascular endothelium and other tissues.
Citrulline’s benefits have been shown to be greater than its parent compound. While arginine undergoes direct hepatic (liver) metabolism through the enzyme arginase, citrulline bypasses hepatic metabolism entirely and it is delivered straight to the bloodstream. The result is that gut absorption and plasma (blood) bioavailability studies comparing citrulline and arginine have shown two things. First, that citrulline is less readily destroyed and has greater absorption than arginine. Second, that citrulline supplementation increases arginine levels more effectively than arginine supplementation itself.
This translates to promising results. For example, animal studies show a significant increase in anaerobic performance at a 250mg/kg/day serving of citrulline, while studies in humans implicate citrulline in both aerobic and anaerobic performance increases. As a critical part of the urea cycle, citrulline’s performance benefits are thought to be a result of its role in ammonia clearance. Citrulline is implicated in reducing the oxygen cost of muscle processes, along with increasing the rate of post-exercise ATP and phosphocreatine replenishment. As ATP and phosphocreatine are the body’s ‘exercise fuel,’ this may result in citrulline delaying time to exhaustion in aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
In combination with the HydroPrime found in F’n Pumped, citrulline’s potential endurance applications are significant.
The body naturally produces citrulline but consuming extra can have significant performance benefits. Converts to arginine and plays a major part in two processes. One it can help boost nitric oxide levels, which can help dilate blood vessels and allow for more nutrient delivery to muscles. It can also help remove ammonia from the blood, which has been known to cause exercise related fatigue.
Citrulline Malate is all the benefits of citrulline with the addition of Malic Acid. Malate serves an important component in the tricarboxylic cycle, which is one way the body produces energy. So with this, when your increase malate levels, you can increase your bodies ability to produce energy.
Carnosine is a bit of an odd duck: we know that it is crucial for muscle function, and that dietary sources of carosine 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. 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 literatures 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 shown 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.
Arginine Nitrate (N03-T)
Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in many vascular and cellular functions as a signaling molecule for cellular respiration, vasodilation, and angiogenesis. NO is produced through both endogenous and exogenous pathways through dietary nitrate ingestion. Nitrates are converted to nitrite, which is then converted to nitric oxide. Found naturally in many foods such as leafy greens and beets, NO has a long history of scientific literature to back its potential effects as an ergogenic aid and other health-promoting effects. In terms of athletic performance, NO typically will make an impact through a few different mechanisms, such as:
- Delayed onset of fatigue
- Increased nutrient and oxygen delivery to working muscles via increased vasodilation
- Increased loss of metabolic by-products as a result of high intense exercise
However, when it comes to exercise and utilizing NO for its benefits in athletic performance, consuming whole foods is not always the most optimal form, so dietary supplemental forms of nitrates are often used to help provide this benefit. There are several forms of supplemental nitrates on the market today but for Core PEAK we are utilizing arginine nitrate (NO3-T). Arginine nitrate is a salt that is synthesized from adding nitric acid to arginine. Arginine is classically utilized for its blood flow and vasodilation improving benefits and when combined with a nitrate, these benefits get exponentially elevated. As discussed above, the pathways with which NO is produced are of the importance. Pairing arginine with the patented nitrate (N03-T) enhances nitric oxide production via the nitrate-nitrite pathway. Organic nitrate esters have a direct relaxant effect on vascular smooth muscles through non-nitric oxide synthase pathways, being directly converted first to nitrites and then to nitric oxide itself. (With attendant increases to guanylyl cyclase and then cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which relax the vasculature.) Pairing both nitric oxide synthase and non-nitric oxide synthase-dependent mechanisms of actions theoretically enhances total NO production, given that rate-limiting enzymatic pathways in either mechanism do not determine total NO production.
In an absolute sense, both inorganic and organic nitrates also possess benefits beyond a secondary NO-production pathway. Studies in athletes have demonstrated that nitrate ingestion prior to both aerobic and anaerobic exercise meaningfully increases both delay to fatigue and total work capacity – likely a consequence of nitrate’s activation in hypoxic (oxygen-deprived tissues). Nitrate effectively reduces the oxygen cost of muscular activity, making contractions more efficient.
HydroPrime (Glycerol Powder)
Glycerol is a fascinating and highly useful compound that has achieved a somewhat cult status in the fitness community – while both peer-reviewed research and anecdotal reports centered on the endurance functions of glycerol are plentiful, its bodybuilding applications are not as widely lauded. Those who do use glycerol, however, are persistent in their belief that it provides some of the most noticeable, and effective, engorging (“pump”) effects possible.
Glycerol has been well-established as a so-called, “hyperhydrating agent” because of its ability to affect plasma (blood) osmolality potently and positively. As an incredibly powerful osmotic agent, and when combined with large quantities of water, glycerol induces the intracellular retention of fluid (not the extracellular kind, you do not want) that would otherwise be renally excreted. Various research has shown that glycerol’s capacity to positively affect osmolality and expand fluid volume (an increase in total body water) has beneficial effects on performance and physiologic function.
Studies that administered glycerol before both moderate and high endurance fitness tests found that glycerol reduced increases to core temperature, caused athletes to exercise significantly longer before fatigue, reduced urinary elimination of water and increased total body water content, and, in several studies, significantly improved intramuscular water expansion. In less complex terms, this means glycerol has been demonstrated to keep your muscles hydrated, significantly increase the ever-desired, “pump effect” of muscle engorgement, and, maybe most importantly when it comes to a supplement formulation, deliver and keep more nutrients where they are needed (inside the muscle).
Until recently, however, most of these studies noted a significant drawback: the low glycerol concentration of market-available glycerol products forced researchers to test glycerol loads that were significantly higher than average use cases. F’n Pumped uses HydroPrime to overcome precisely this problem.
HydroPrime, from NNB Nutrition, is a highly-concentrated (65%) form of glycerol that offers greater water stability, and therefore potency, as compared to standard GMS (glycerol monostearate). Of particular interest to bodybuilders, HydroPrime’s greater potency translates to even greater levels of intramuscular water retention – keyword, intramuscular, and therefore no bloat – over GMS.
Overall, supplementation with HydroPrime has been shown to:
- Keep athletes hyperhydrated for extended periods of time.
- Reduce post-workout urine volume (more efficient fluid use).
- Lower heart rate and improve endurance time.
- Enhance plasma and intramuscular volume expansion.
Tyrosine is amongst a class of amino acids known as ‘non-essential’ amino acids, so called because the body can produce them endogenously, and it is therefore not essential to consume dietary tyrosine. That said, tyrosine is also what is known as a conditionally-essential amino acid; conditionally-essential because, along with glucose and ammonia, the synthesis of tyrosine additionally requires adequate levels of phenylalanine. Once synthesized, tyrosine is one of the most critical amino acids, given its prominent role as a substrate in the synthesis of the catecholamines dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, in addition to both T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) thyroid hormones.
In studies on stress modulation, tyrosine has been demonstrated to reverse stress-induced norepinephrine depletion and the depressant-behavioral effects normally associated with it. In simpler terms, tyrosine may, in certain conditions, dampen the extent to which norepinephrine is removed from the bloodstream during a stress event. In simpler terms still, tyrosine may help to mitigate the sense of depletion and fatigue felt at the end of a workout.
mitigate the sense of depletion and fatigue felt at the end of a workout. Tyrosine may also play important metabolic functions, mostly related to its role in synthesizing compounds which stimulate the nervous system. While not traditionally considered a sympathomimetic amine, studies which have coadministered tyrosine and stimulants demonstrate a synergistic effect. These studies suggest that tyrosine may potentiate the effects of both endogenous and supplemental norepinephrine and its mimetics (in the case of exogenous use) with respect to lipolysis, thermogenesis, and energy expenditure. Meaning that tyrosine may play a role in assisting norepinephrine to break up triglycerides and increase body heat transiently.
Norvaline is an amino acid that is used for the primary achievement of increasing muscle strength and endurance in athletic events. It can help in the production of NO and can thus aid in the increase of muscular pumps and overall vasodilation leading to greater blood flow to the working muscle, increased nutrient delivery, as well as reduced time to muscle fatigue. It does this through the promoted suppression of activity of arginase enzyme, which allows for a raise in endogenous L-Arginine stocks. Arginine is an enzyme that is essential for forming nitric oxide, a key component in increased blood vessel vasodilation. Arginine alone can benefit increased nitric oxide levels but with the addition of Norvaline, it can allow for more nitric oxide to be released into the blood stream, prolonging muscle pumps as well as enhancing muscle recovery and overall sports performance.
Pine Bark Extract - Pine bark extract can have an impact on nitric oxide (NO) levels in the body, which are responsible for vasodilation and improving blood flow. It can also control oxidative stress by scavenging reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and suppressing production of peroxides thus improving recovery rates. Pine bark contains bioflavonoids that act as antioxidants, which help protect the body from oxygen waste and other biproducts that can cause cell damage. A 2020 study examined the impact of pine bark extract on exercise performance and recovery in test subjects over the span of 14 days. Metrics included presence of muscle damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Results in the 20 test subjects revealed that pine bark extract may help protect the muscle from negative effects of free radicals. With the dual benefits of increased nitric oxide and improvements in recovery muscle health, pine bark extract can be a useful addition to any preworkout formula, which is why we included it in ‘Merica Labz F’n Pumped.