Maybe you’re pushing for your next PR, maybe you’re getting in shape for summer, or maybe you’re prepping for an arduous outdoor adventure ahead. Whatever your case may be, you’re going to get thirsty – and you’re going to get tired. From water to sports drinks, your options are limitless when it comes to hydration. But when it comes to hydrating while fighting fatigue, enhancing endurance, improving performance, and seriously intensifying focus without the use of stimulants, there’s only one delicious drink from a fitness supplement brand you’ve come to trust. There’s only PROGENEX Hype.
PROGENEX Hype is a daily or in-sport hydration supplement formulated to fight both thirst and fatigue associated with physical activity.
The Science of Fatigue
We’ve all been there. We’ve pushed ourselves to the “limits” and simply can’t seem to lift another barbell, run another step, or swim another lap. Because stores of energy within our bodies are finite, it makes sense that fatigue will set in at some point – no matter how elite an athlete we may be. When we work hard, we get worn out.
Perhaps you’ve studied effective ways to increase available energy for elevated and sustained physical performance – you know which foods to eat, what supplements to take (see Build, Burn, and Amplitude ) – but you may be surprised to discover that loading up on energy stores to combat fatigue is only part of the equation. Get hyped, because we’re about to reveal to you the second part of the fatigue equation that, when solved, will have you going longer and harder than you’ve ever gone before.
If you’re an athlete or active individual, you may typically think of fatigue in relation to muscle function. When you engage in prolonged periods of physical activity, chemical alterations occur within your muscles, depleting energy substrates and building up metabolites. This reduction in your muscles’ capacity for exercise is known as “peripheral fatigue.” However, there is more to the feeling of tiredness and exhaustion you feel after lifting, running, climbing, or swimming. Termed “central fatigue,” changes in function also occur within your central nervous system, resulting in a gradual reduction in your ability to sustain exercise “despite no evidence that the maximal contractile force of the muscle has diminished.” In other words, your brain may make you feel physically exhausted even if your muscles aren’t yet entirely spent.
So what causes central fatigue? When you exercise, increased levels of fatty acids in your blood (which your muscles use for energy during exercise) raise the concentrations of circulating tryptophan (displaced from albumin). With a rise in tryptophan concentrations, serotonin synthesis within the brain accelerates. Because serotonin is linked to sleep and drowsiness, you can see how elevated levels when you exercise can precipitate your perception of fatigue.
To illustrate the effects of prolonged exercise, a study by E. Blomstrand measured concentrations of free tryptophan, free fatty acids, and BCAAs during and after prolonged exercise. Notice the increase in tryptophan levels:
SUMMARY: Exercise increases levels of free tryptophan within your blood which, when transported to the brain, accelerate neuronal serotonin synthesis. The result: You feel fatigued even if your muscles still have sufficient energy stores to carry on.
LNAAs: Tryptophan Meets Its Match
Left unchecked, exercise-induced tryptophan levels will make you feel fatigue. The solution then, is to check tryptophan levels – and as it turns out, we know exactly how to do so.
Large neutral amino acids (or LNAAs which include tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are known to compete with one another for transport into the brain. According to Carlsson and Lindqvist,
...raising the blood concentration of one LNAA raises the brain uptake of that LNAA, and reduces those of the others. For example, tryptophan uptake into brain and brain tryptophan concentrations fall within 60 min of an injection of leucine, isoleucine or valine.
While it’s no secret that BCAAs can aid in muscle endurance and energy, LNAAs effectively reduce tryptophan concentrations in your brain and, consequently, serotonin synthesis, thus reducing perceived exertion and mental fatigue during exercise while improving cognitive performance afterward. Additionally, ingesting these LNAAs has also shown to significantly improve physical performance.
What the Studies Show
In two double-blind experiments, LNAAs were supplied to subjects during prolonged exercise. Both their physical performance as well as their perceived effort were compared to those who took a placebo. In the first experiment,
...seven young cyclists rated their perceived exertion and mental fatigue during 60min of standardised ergometer cycle exercise at 70% of the maximal oxygen uptake, followed by another 20min at their maximum. On the evening before the exercise the subjects had performed an exercise bout to reduce the muscle glycogen level with the purpose of achieving a more rapid increase in free tryptophan and reaching fatigue at an earlier stage in the exercise test the following morning. The results showed that the subjects’ ratings of perceived exertion and mental fatigue on two different Borgscales were lower during the exercise when they received the solution containing BCAA [including the LNAA variety] during exercise as compared to when they were given the placebo. (Blomstrand et al., 1997).
In the second study, men and women performed cycle exercise in the heat. According to the authors, the heat was intended to increase the central component of fatigue. The result? Those who ingested the specific LNAA blend performed significantly better than the placebo group:
...the average exercise time to exhaustion during ergometer cycle exercise at 40% of the maximal oxygen uptake increased from 137 to 153min when the subjects received BCAA [including the LNAA variety] as compared with the placebo. (Mittleman et al., 1998).
More Than BCAAs
So can you grab any BCAA blend and expect marked improvement to endurance? Unfortunately, no. As mentioned above, it’s LNAAs that compete with one another (one of them being tryptophan). But there’s more to it than that. Even ingesting the BCAAs categorized as LNAAs may not be sufficient to make significant difference in your perception of fatigue. Why? Administration of BCAAs has shown to not only reduce levels of tryptophan, but to also reduce tyrosine uptake into the brain along with the synthesis and release of catecholamines, especially dopamine. This is an important recognition as dopamine has shown to enhance aspects of physical performance – thus, a decrease in brain serotonin and the benefits thereof may simply be offset by the reduction in dopamine.
Because of the potential neutralizing effect of BCAAs alone, it’s important an LNAA blend includes an effective amount of tyrosine and phenylalanine.
Get Hyped to Go Longer
PROGENEX Hype is formulated to both quench thirst and fight fatigue at the source. A deliciously hydrating fruit and coconut water drink, Hype’s Fatigue Fighter Peptides counter fatigue in two ways: 1) providing valuable energy to muscles and 2) preventing central fatigue in the nervous system.
Including BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, valine as well as tyrosine and phenylalanine. PROGENEX Hype is a complete LNAA blend that competes with tryptophan concentrations and, thus, brain serotonin synthesis. In short, Hype can help you fight the fatigue that’s been holding you back while increasing mental clarity and sharpening focus – all without the use stimulants.
Take PROGENEX Hype and fight fatigue at the source.
Now that you know how to fight central fatigue, don’t forget to counter peripheral fatigue by supplying your muscles with everything they’ll need to keep up! Increase endurance with Build, boost metabolism and access fat for fuel with Burn, and power your muscles with Amplitude.
- Davis JM, Bailey SP (1997) Possible mechanisms of central nervous system fatigue during exercise. Med Sci Sports Exer 29:45–57
- Curzon G, Friedel J, Knott PJ (1973) The effect of fatty acids on the binding of tryptophan to plasma protein. Nature 242: 198–200
- Blomstrand E (2001) Amino acids and central fatigue. Amino Acids 20:25–34
- Carlsson A, Lindqvist M (1978) Dependence of 5-HT and catecholamine synthesis on concentrations of precursor amino acids in rat brain. Naunyn Schmied Arch Pharmacol 303:157–164
- Mittleman KD, Ricci MR, Bailey SP (1998) Branched-chain amino acids prolong exercise during heat stress in men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 30: 83–91
- Bouchard R, Weber AR, Geiger JD (2002) Informed decision-making on sympathomimetic use in sport and health. Clin J Sport Med 12:209–224