What sets people apart from animals is the ability to share ideas. However, sometimes that imagination that sets us apart from others causes us many problems. Mostly, the general population is insufficiently educated about supplements, and they gather their knowledge from various internet portals, YouTube channels, or forums. Scientific papers are not the literature that a novice gym buddies use when choosing pre-workout drinks, essential amino acids, or creatine to take at the beginning of their exercise. There is a gap between verified information and its distribution to the general population. Moreover, even most trainers and fitness instructors lack knowledge about supplements. This topic is significant because supplements on the market can often do more harm than good.
In 2004, the Doping Research Center in Cologne conducted a study examining the contamination of supplements.1 This study found as much as 15% of supplements had some illegal substances. This study was followed by further research in other countries that came to similar results. A study that performed a systematic analysis of previous studies examining the presence of prohormones or stimulants that are not allowed in supplements found 12% to 58% of the supplements were contaminated.2 Some of this contamination was found in energy drinks and pre-workout formulas. Here we will point out the potential damaging effects of energy drinks and introduce BOOST and show what sets it apart from the rest.
Energy Drinks: Maybe Not a Good Option
The first energy drink was made about 60 years ago. Since then, this industry has flourished. What makes energy drinks popular is likely their advertising. The absence of regulatory oversight has resulted in aggressive marketing of energy drinks, targeted primarily toward young adults. But are they safe, and will they actually fulfill marketing promises? Most energy drinks are composed of caffeine, guarana, sugar, vitamin B, ginseng, aspartame, etc. There is evidence that some of them can separately harm our health; for example, guarana or a high dose of caffeine can lead to anxiety and insomnia.3,4 However, it is interesting to see how energy drinks reflect our health. One systematic review evaluated the effects of energy drinks. In the sample of 32 studies and almost 100,000 participants, they found that ¼ of the participants frequently reported that they experienced adverse effects such as insomnia, restlessness, and gastrointestinal upsets.5 In addition to this is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statement that has a very critical opinion about energy drinks consumption, and even banned mixing these drinks with alcohol back in 2010. According to the FDA, there have been 34 deaths attributed to energy drinks.6 There is also some talk concerning energy drink consumption and cardiovascular risk. The American Heart Association states that energy drink consumption negatively affects blood pressure and can cause cardiovascular problems, even though there was no long-term study to confirm this statement completely.7 Similar findings were detected in a few other studies.8-10 Even though energy drinks are well accepted among the general population, one should be aware of possible adverse effects before taking these drinks, especially before exercise.
There are better ways to increase your energy levels and reduce fatigue without any adverse effects. BOOST is a powerful product that can change your training, and most importantly enhance your health. Here, we will explain how.
Molecular hydrogen (H2), the universe's oldest element, is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, and minimal molecule with high flammability.11 This molecule became extremely interesting after an article published in 2007 in Nature Medicine12 in which it was reported that H2 could selectively reduce oxygen species reactions (ROS). As a product of oxidative metabolism, we produce ROS. During exercise, free radical production is increased, and thus the athlete's immunity is weakened.13 Athletes are more susceptible to weaker immunity in that first hour after training. We often hear that athletes frequently get sick or injured, and these injuries are closely related to oxidative stress. Modern sports can often do more harm than good for an athlete’s health. However, not all reactive species are harmful; some have their role in our system and help to maintain homeostasis. This is why H2 is effective. H2 can selectively reduce hydroxyl radicals (⋅OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-), but not other reactive species such as superoxide (O2-⋅), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and nitric oxide (NO⋅).12 Among these functions, there is also some indication that H2, due to its small size, can penetrate the cell membrane and affect mitochondria bioenergetics.14 There are a lot of things that we still don't know about H2. It is like an iceberg; there is so much more under the surface waiting for us to discover. However, today's topic is what we do know about H2.
H2 Implication in Sports Science
Scientific research on hydrogen is in its infancy, especially in sports science. It is worthy of mentioning H2‘s effects as a medicine. Up to this point, H2 was scrutinized in more than 170 different disease models and pathologies, such as cancer,15 kidney diseases,16 Parkinson's disease,17 etc. (for more, see the website https://www.molecularhydrogenstudies.com/).18 However, there is limited research on the effect of H2 in sports science. How can H2 help us in everyday training?
Two studies with different exercise protocols examined and proved the effects of H2 bathing on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).19,20 Interestingly, one of the studies used the HRW drinking tablets, which are also part of the BOOST formulation.19 Further, in the Aoki and coworkers' study,21 drinking H2 water decreased lactate production and increased peak torque during 30 minutes of cycling at 75% of VO2max followed by 100 repetitions of maximal isokinetic knee extension. Recent findings indicate that H2 can increase endurance performance. Drinking H2 increased endurance and diminished fatigue by significantly improved maximal oxygen consumption and a lower rating of perceived exertion in cycle ergometer testing.22
One more study demonstrates the effects of drinking H2 water.23 The study proves that acute supplementation of DrinkHRW tablets may benefit submaximal aerobic exercise performance by lowering exercising heart rate. There is evidence of H2 on effects of alertness and fatigue perception in sleep-deprived subjects.24 There are some ongoing trials regarding these specific H2 effects.
Finally, let's summarize the H2 benefits: H2 can reduce fatigue and DOMS after exercise, reduce inflammation, and possibly target mitochondria energy production and brain function. Molecular hydrogen is undoubtedly one of the most important substances in supplements on the market., BOOST formulation has also incorporated this molecule with two other effective exercise stimulators: caffeine and nitrosigine.
Caffeine is widely accepted among both general and athletic populations. However, in the past, there were some controversies about caffeine. Since 2004, when caffeine was removed from the list of banned substances, caffeine usage has skyrocketed among athletes. Almost 80% of athletes use caffeine supplements. How does caffeine work, and why is it so important? There are three main reasons:
First, caffeine's ergogenic potential is explained by its blocking effect on adenosine receptors.25 Adenosine inhibits the excitation of dopamine and noradrenaline. Because of a similar structure, caffeine inhibits adenosine receptors and enhances neuromuscular recruitment by releasing the above-mentioned excitatory neurotransmitters.26,27 Second, caffeine can potentiate Na+-K+ pump and increase Ca+ bioavailability, resulting in greater translocation of glycogen phosphorylase-b into isoform-a,28 which can enhance endurance performance. Third, caffeine can increase the activity of the enzyme phosphofructokinase and increase glycolytic activity.29 This could be specifically important for activities that exceed 60 minutes.
Caffeine Applications on Exercise Performance
When we are familiar with caffeine's basic mechanisms, we can talk in more detail about its potential effects on sports performance and training. Caffeine is undoubtedly one of the most tested supplements in sports science. It seems that caffeine supplementation has the greatest impact on activities lasting up to 1 hour. Caffeine can enhance cycling time trial performance,30,31 finish time on the cross-country race,32 performance on ergometer rowing,33 8 km race time among distance runners,29 1500 m freestyle race time,34 and performance in sports such as rugby35 and tennis.36 There were also some anecdotal stories about caffeine effects in soccer. For example, an interesting anecdote happened recently in the final of the World Cup. The public in Croatia accused the French of cheating because of caffeine-based chewing gums used at the halftime of the game. We will never know whether that brought an advantage in the match. However, is there any use for the general population? For example, if we go to the gym and use caffeine-based supplements, will we be stronger? There are mixed results concerning this topic.
In one of the trials, there were no effects of ingestion of 6 mg per 1 kg, 60 minutes pre-exercise on 1 RM bench press performance.37 However, Beck and co-workers38 used a similar protocol and had an increase of 2% (2 kg) on the bench press and upper body strength, but there was no change in lower body strength. Further, in one meta-analysis,39 researchers found significant effects of caffeine on upper body strength and power. Caffeine also increased peak power and sprinting performance,40 and total weight lifted during a training session.41 Overall, caffeine enhances multiple aspects of exercise performance in many, but not all, studies. Slight to moderate benefits of caffeine use encompass muscular endurance, muscular strength, sprinting, jumping, and throwing performance, as well as an extensive range of aerobic and anaerobic sports-specific actions.42 Also, because of its primary ability to impact the brain, caffeine can improve mood, energy, and concentration.
Inositol-stabilized arginine silicate (Nitrosigine) is a stable nutritional complex providing enhanced bioavailable sources of arginine, silicon, and inositol.43 Arginine is one of the most metabolically versatile amino acids. One of arginine's main functions is as a precursor for the synthesis of nitrox oxide, but it also serves as a precursor for urea, polyamines, proline, glutamate, creatine, and agmatine.44 Silicon is one of the trace elements in our body, and there is more and more talk today about its building role. Even though there is a substantial amount of silicon in plants, it has low bioavailability, so there may be a deficiency. It is essential for strengthening the connective tissue; healthy and strong hair, skin, and nails; and expelling heavy metals from the body. By strengthening the connective tissue, collagen--the primary structural protein of the connective and supporting tissues--Iis strengthened. The third component, inositol, is involved in lipid signaling, osmolarity, glucose, and insulin metabolism.45 It represents the binding element between arginine and silicate. Nitrosigine is of particular interest to us because of its ability to increase the production of nitrox oxide. This gives us what we call a "pump" in everyday practice. It increases blood flow. Vasodilation results in increased oxygen and nutrient delivery to active muscles and waste product removal during exercise, which further improves training and enhances recovery. Interestingly, some studies have confirmed that Nitrosigine is much more effective than arginine, so it is slowly taking precedence among pre-workout supplements.46
Nitrosigine as an Effective Pre-WorkOut Drink
Nitrosigine is a relatively new supplement on the market. It has not been examined as much as caffeine or H2, but the first studies show promising results. For example, a short-term supplementation (4 days) with 1500 mg of Nitrosigine increased pre-workout energy levels, boosted muscle pump, and reduced muscle damage biomarkers immediately after a workout and during recovery.47 The same findings were also observed after 2 weeks of supplementation.48 Interestingly, the study of Evans and coworkers49 showed that acute Nitrosigine supplementation could significantly increase cognitive functioning after strenuous exercise. Concerning the dosage, all evaluated studies used 1500 mg of Nitrosigine, which equates to 600 mg of arginine and 120 mg of silicon. Also, Nitrosigine acts in 15–30 minutes after consumption, and levels of arginine and silicate stay increased up to 6 hours.
Safety of H2, Caffeine, and Nitrosigine
It is very important to study the benefits of supplements we take and the potential side effects they can produce. Many combinations that are advertised as pre-workout supplements are harmful and untested, as we mention in the introduction. That is why we strive for the truth and objectively write about each ingredient's effects in studies conducted by experts in those fields and published in world-renowned scientific journals.
H2 is generally considered to be safe, with most clinical trials revealing no adverse events after H2 administration,50 and the fact that it is used as a medicine also supports that. A number of medical conditions are treated with H2, and that is something that cannot be stated for any other pre-workout supplement or energy drink. When it comes to caffeine, the situation becomes a little more complicated. If we take caffeine in substantial doses, we can have problems with insomnia, anxiety, etc. Doses up to 400 mg per day are considered safe without any severe side effects.51 It is recommended that we do not take it in the evening hours because it blocks the adenosine responsible for our sleep and can cause insomnia. Finally, although the least-tested, Nitrosigine is considered a safe supplement. The only thing important to mention is that people who take medicine to lower blood pressure should talk to a doctor before supplementing Nitrosigine, because it also tends to lower blood pressure.
BOOST with its combination of three super-effective substances has strong, proven (supplement) potential. It can enhance your energy levels, concentration, and awareness; increase nutrient delivery to muscles; and reduce waste bioproducts that exercise causes. It can also help you decrease inflammation and maintain your body in an optimal state. What is very important to note is that it seems this pre-exercise formulation is safe to use without any adverse effects. It is unthinkable to compere BOOST with any other product on the market. It’s simply too big of a difference. If you wonder what pre-workout supplements should look like, it doesn't get any better than this.
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- Martínez-Sanz, J. M., Sospedra, I., Ortiz, C. M., Baladía, E., Gil-Izquierdo, A., & Ortiz-Moncada, R. (2017). Intended or unintended doping? A review of the presence of doping substances in dietary supplements used in sports. Nutrients, 9(10), 1093
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- Nadeem, I. M., Shanmugaraj, A., Sakha, S., Horner, N. S., Ayeni, O. R., & Khan, M. (2020). Energy drinks and their adverse health effects: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Health, 1941738120949181.
- Documents link more deaths to energy drinks. Center for Science in the Public Interest. June 25, 2014. Available at: https://cspinet.org/news/documents-link-more-deaths-energy-drinks-20140625.
- Shah, S. A., Szeto, A. H., Farewell, R., Shek, A., Fan, D., Quach, K. N., Bhattacharyya, M., Elmiari, J., Chan, W., O'Dell, K., & Nguyen, N. (2019). Impact of high volume energy drink consumption on electrocardiographic and blood pressure parameters: A randomized trial. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(11), e011318.
- Fletcher, E. A., Lacey, C. S., Aaron, M., Kolasa, M., Occiano, A., & Shah, S. A. (2017). Randomized controlled trial of high‐volume energy drink versus caffeine consumption on ECG and hemodynamic parameters. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(5), e004448.
- Rottlaender, D., Motloch, L. J., Reda, S., Larbig, R., & Hoppe, U. C. (2012). Cardiac arrest due to long QT syndrome associated with excessive consumption of energy drinks. International Journal of Cardiology, 158(3), e51–e52.
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- Ostojic, S. M. (2017). Does H2 alter mitochondrial bioenergetics via GHS-R1α activation? Theranostics, 7(5), 1330.
- Chen, J. B., Kong, X. F., Lv, Y. Y., Qin, S. C., Sun, X. J., Mu, F., Lu, T. Y., & Xu, K. C. (2019). “Real world survey” of hydrogen-controlled cancer: A follow-up report of 82 advanced cancer patients. Medical Gas Research, 9(3), 115.
- Terawaki, H., Hayashi, Y., Zhu, W. J., Matsuyama, Y., Terada, T., Kabayama, S., Watanabe, T., Era, S., Sato, B., & Nakayama, M. (2013). Transperitoneal administration of dissolved hydrogen for peritoneal dialysis patients: A novel approach to suppress oxidative stress in the peritoneal cavity. Medical Gas Research, 3(1), 1–7.
- Hirayama, M., Ito, M., Minato, T., Yoritaka, A., LeBaron, T. W., & Ohno, K. (2018). Inhalation of hydrogen gas elevates urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanine in Parkinson’s disease. Medical Gas Research, 8(4), 144.
- Todorovic, N., Javorac, D., Stajer, V., & Ostojic, S. M. (2020). The effects of supersaturated hydrogen-rich water bathing on biomarkers of muscular damage and soreness perception in young men subjected to high-intensity eccentric exercise. Journal of Sports Medicine, 2020.
- Kawamura, T., Gando, Y., Takahashi, M., Hara, R., Suzuki, K., & Muraoka, I. (2016). Effects of hydrogen bathing on exercise-induced oxidative stress and delayed-onset muscle soreness. Japanese Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine, 65(3), 297–305.
- Aoki, K., Nakao, A., Adachi, T., Matsui, Y., & Miyakawa, S. (2012). Pilot study: Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on muscle fatigue caused by acute exercise in elite athletes. Medical Gas Research, 2(1), 1–6.
- Mikami, T., Tano, K., Lee, H., Lee, H., Park, J., Ohta, F., LeBaron, T. W., & Ohta, S. (2019). Drinking hydrogen water enhances endurance and relieves psychometric fatigue: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 97(9), 857–862.
- LeBaron, T. W., Larson, A. J., Ohta, S., Mikami, T., Barlow, J., Bulloch, J., & DeBeliso, M. (2019). Acute supplementation with molecular hydrogen benefits submaximal exercise indices. Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover pilot study. Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 9(1), 36.
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