Core Nutritionals is a company that time and time again introduces innovative formulas into an industry full of cookie cutter products. CEO Doug Miller created the brand behind the idea of offering fully transparent products at clinical dosages.
Core Nutritionals is coming off of a complete label rebrand alongside the reformulation of a few products. We are looking forward to the moves this brand makes throughout the rest of 2020.
Intra-workout supplementation is an area many people often overlook. Everyone is mostly worried about what is the most potent pre-workout product they can take to get them hyped up for their lifting session. What they fail to realize is that a pre-workout does very little to promote recovery and growth. The area they should actually be focused on is intra and post-workout supplementation and nutrition, which is where muscle growth and recovery really happens.
That’s where products like Core Intra comes in. Take a look at this intra-workout product, as it may just be something you should be adding to your daily workout stack.
Carbohydrate Blend – Cyclic Dextrin, Dextrose, Ribose
Core Intra utilizes three different carbohydrate sources that each have their individual characteristics. The idea behind carbohydrate supplementation as an intra-workout is to create an optimal environment for post-workout recovery. Fast digesting carbohydrate sources have been shown to promote endurance during exercise, as well as elevated levels of muscle protein synthesis following exercise.
We are getting a good combination of carbohydrate sources provided at a solid dose of 20 grams. Now let’s take a look at each of these carbohydrate sources individually.
Cyclic Dextrin – 10g
We start off with 10 grams of Highly-Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD). This carbohydrate is a relatively newer source, which is essentially a high molecular weight version of maltodextrin. This carb source has gained popularity due to manufactures claiming that the high molecular weight decreases the osmolarity of the HBCD molecule, which eliminates the potential for stomach bloating. Low osmolarity allows for the carb to be digested and absorbed quickly so it can be put to use in the blood stream and dumped in the muscle cell.
In one study from 2015, elite swimmers were given either HBCD, pure glucose or water (control group), and went through a series of endurance-based swimming events. It was found that the HBCD supplemented group’s time to fatigue was about 70% longer than those in the control and glucose groups. Plasma glucose levels were also more stable throughout the trials.
While studies are lacking to prove that HBCD is the superior carb source to the others included in this formula, the benefits you will receive from supplementation are obvious and significant. HBCD is a quality source that will provide benefit to your training as an intra supplement.
Dextrose – 6g
Dextrose is essentially blood glucose. It is a simple sugar that is made from corn and is chemically identical to pure glucose. Supplementation of pure glucose will rapidly increase insulin levels. We know that insulin is the molecule in the blood stream that shuttles glucose and amino acids into the muscle cell, which is why it is has been coined the “most anabolic hormone”.
When carbohydrates are ingested, they are immediately broken down during the digestion process into separate glucose molecules for transportation in the blood. Dextrose is able to bypass this lengthy process since it is already in the simplest form upon consumption. This allows for dextrose to be absorbed through the gut and directly replenish glycogen storages.
We like seeing dextrose included in intra-workout supplements for its fast-acting effect. It will provide an immediate spike in insulin levels and prolong endurance during your training session. 6 grams of Dextrose is a good addition to the carbohydrate blend.
D-Ribose – 5g
D-Ribose is a five-carbon sugar that serves as the backbone of RNA, which is responsible for genetic transcription. The bodies energy currency, ATP, is synthesized using D-ribose as it is combined with adenine. This is a very important process in the muscular contraction cycle.
As the muscular contraction cycle consumes ATP, more needs to be made. D-ribose supplementation is primarily responsible for refilling those ATP storages that are being depleted.
We see this illustrated in a study on a group of cyclists who trained twice daily for 1 week. The participants received either 17g of D-ribose or a placebo three times daily for three days. The researchers measured the participants pre-exercise ATP levels, before performing a series of intense cycling sprints. It was found that the groups who supplemented with D-ribose were successful at refilling their ATP storages while the placebo groups were not.
D-ribose is included in this product at 5 grams. When paired alongside the other sources of carbohydrates, you will receive a total of 21g. This is a solid amount to fuel and recover your muscle tissue.
BCAAs – 7g
Branched Chain Amino Acids include 3 of the 9 essential amino acids. Those three acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. One of the reasons for choosing to supplement with BCAAs is the claim that they can enhance muscle recovery and to increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS); however, research does not strongly support these claims.
BCAAs have many myths surrounding their use. It seems that many people use BCAAs alone thinking they will help them build more muscle, or in other words increase MPS. However, recent research shows that BCAAs alone have consistently failed to improve MPS. While it does not increase MPS, pure BCAA supplementation does show some benefit in reducing muscle protein breakdown. That categorizes BCAAs as more of an anti-catabolic supplement rather than anabolic.
While BCAAs alone cannot induce the desired increase on MPS, when they are paired alongside EAAs this effect can be achieved. Core Nutritionals gives us a total of 3 grams of EAAs.
We are getting a 2:1:1 ratio here with a total of 7 grams of BCAAs.
EAAs – 3g
Essential amino acids are comprised of 9 out of the 20 amino acids in the body. These amino acids are needed by the body to synthesize things like neurotransmitters and hormones. These acids are considered “essential” because they cannot be made within the body, and must be consumed through diet or supplementation. The three BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine and valine – make up 3 of the 9 EAAs. All nine of the essential amino acids must be present in order for MPS to take place. Many researchers believe that is why BCAAs do not consistently show an increase in MPS.
The nine essential amino acids include:
Research shows that the presence of essential amino acids is the primary factor of whether or not MPS is activated. A baseline standard of how much of the EAAs needed to increase MPS has yet to be established. This value is likely to be largely dependent upon the size of the individual and the size of the muscle tissue. By including these amino acids in an intra workout formula, they can work to play a role to increase MPS post-workout. This would be beneficial to you in several ways, including: reducing total muscle soreness, decreasing recovery time and increasing lean body mass. We are getting 3 grams of the remaining six essential amino acids here with Core Intra.
Beta-Alanine – 3,200mg
Beta-Alanine is the ingredient that is typically characterized by many gym-goers as what gives them the “itchy” or “tingly” feeling. This feeling is known as paresthesia, and unfortunately is one of the most common methods people use to determine a pre-workouts effectiveness.
It is the building block of carnosine, which is a molecule that helps buffer acid buildup in muscle tissue. This mechanism allows for prolonged endurance, typically in bouts that last longer than 60 seconds. Some people report that beta-alanine supplementation has allowed for them to achieve an extra rep or two in the gym, but the most benefit is given to those in moderate to high intensity cardiovascular exercise.
Upon ingestion of beta-alanine, it is turned into carnosine by the body. This acid is stored in cells and is released as the hypothalamus detects dropping levels of pH in the tissue, indicating acid buildup. Carnosine acts to prevent lactic-acid buildup, which possibly could help prevent delayed onset muscle fatigue.
One double blind study included 22 women who were assigned either a daily dose of beta-alanine or its placebo and were asked to perform a cycle of tasks to exhaustion. Researchers found that with beta-alanine supplementation, the women were able to achieve and average of 2.9% increase in muscular endurance while also reducing fatigue. No effects on VO2 max were observed.
It is important to note that beta-alanine supplementation is not timing-dependent. This means it does not have to be taken pre-workout. The effects are not acute, as it requires a loading period within the body. You should primarily be concerned with getting your recommended dose in at some point during the day, rather than ensuring it is consumed pre-workout. Many pre-workout supplements include beta-alanine for added convenience.
It is recommended that you supplement with above 2 grams of beta-alanine daily. The most common dosage we see that is supported by literature is 3.2 grams. That is exactly what we are getting here with Core Intra.
GlycerSize™ (Glycerol Powder 65%) – 2,000mg
Glycerol is a sugar alcohol which is an intermediate between carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Glycerol powder is included in this intra-workout formula for its ability to aid in getting a pump. When used it has effects on hydration and endurance. Core Nutritionals uses a high-quality, patented form of glycerol powder known as GlycerSize™.
It is nice to see a pump inducing ingredient added to this formula, especially with-it being glycerol. What I mean by this is that glycerol does not act as a vasodilator, but as a hydrator which is important for long and gruesome training sessions. Its primary mechanism is to positively affect blood osmolality. Because of this action, it has been called a “hyperhydrating agent”. Therefore, it is important to combine glycerol with copious amounts of water, as it relies on fluid to be present in order to work properly within the body. Glycerol induces intracellular retention of water that would otherwise be excreted.
Through sufficient pre-exercise supplementation, glycerol has been shown to provide improvements in endurance athletes. The researchers in this study even found that the average heartrate of the cyclists was slightly lowered following pre-exercise supplementation. We also see many studies supporting the ability of glycerol to place the body in a “hyperhydrated” state, which involves retaining more fluid intracellularly than when using water alone.
Many studies throughout literature use dosages around the 1g/kg mark. You will not find any supplements in the industry using dosages that high. We typically see products using between 2-5g of glycerol, and we are getting 2 grams here.
There are several components to intra-workout supplementation. Core Nutritionals covers each area here with this product. Core Intra is a comprehensive intra workout supplement that promises to supercharge your workout. It provides a full spectrum of aminos at a solid dose, 21 grams of quality carbohydrate sources as well as endurance and pump enhancing ingredients.
If you are one of those people who allocates all of your attention and money to the pre-workout market, it may be time to invest in something that will give you a different type of benefit. Core Intra may be just what you need.
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