By Dr. Michael Koskiniemi and Dawn Evans
The concept of stimulating your body and brain to improve performance is not a new concept. The Viking Berserker Tribe used hallucinogenic mushrooms before going into battle. Hence the phrase, “going berserk.”
Two ways to increase performance is through the adrenal or brain pathways. Adrenal stimulating supplements like ephedrine and ma huang beat up your adrenal glands by stealing the raw materials to build cortisol (that breaks down your body) instead of testosterone (that builds up your body) and they affect your sleep terribly. You may perform well in the gym, but your recovery is terrible. The alternative is brain stimulating supplements that enhance performance in the gym as well as every other activity of daily living without the need for caffeine or other adrenal-stressing compounds. The advantage of these brain stimulants is that they are actually nutrients that help regenerate the brain and body and they don’t interfere with sleep. They increase the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and dopamine, which increase drive and attention span. IGF is an instant formula used to increase power and strength, while at the same time, dramatically improving the body’s ability to regenerate.
IGF also promotes:
IGF utilizes 3 main ingredients (a phospholipid and two amino acids). These are the raw materials to increase acetylcholine and dopamine. We will individually explore each of these ingredients and explain their effects on the body and there is a list of references at the end for you if you would like to read more.
Alpha-GPC. Alpha-GPC is a phospholipid and precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Let’s back up a little – a neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that carries a signal between neurons and other cells in the body. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s are usually the result of a deficit in certain neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine (ACh) is the chemical that motor neurons release to activate muscle movement. Alpha-GPC is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, loss of cognitive function, and memory loss. It has also been shown to increase endurance and performance. It can also boost the production of growth hormone by stimulating the regeneration of pituitary gland functions.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid. It plays a role in the reaction of compounds such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and DOPA. It is also a precursor of melanin and thyroid hormones.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is a natural by-product of the lysine amino acid, it easily passes through the blood-brain barrier and is an antioxidant helpful in maintaining good health. Acetyl-L-carnitine plays a vital role in the stimulation of weight loss by contributing to the movement of fatty tissue toward the mitochondria, where they are burned for energy. This amino acid is also known for muscle growth, development, increased energy, and improved resistance to muscle fatigue.
The best way to take IGF is to take 6 capsules first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Wait approximately 30-45 minutes before eating. By taking the IGF first thing in the morning, you are allowing the brain nutrients to take full effect and to activate the proper neurotransmitters for your entire day.
If you have more questions about the IGF, or any of our other ATP supplements, please feel free to contact us.
You can only purchase IGF by visiting Motions Fitness at 910 Wright Street, Marquette, Michigan. By calling us at (906) 228-2233 or by visiting our website www.motionsfitness.com .
Smeland, O. B., Meisingset, T. W., Borges, K., & Sonnewald, U. (2012). Chronic acetyl-L-carnitine alters brain energy metabolism and increases noradrenaline and serotonin content in healthy mice. Neurochemistry international, 61(1), 100-107.
Sima, A. A., Calvani, M., Mehra, M., & Amato, A. (2005). Acetyl-l-Carnitine Improves Pain, Nerve Regeneration, and Vibratory Perception in Patients With Chronic Diabetic Neuropathy An analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials. Diabetes care, 28(1), 89-94.
Malaguarnera, M., Vacante, M., Motta, M., Giordano, M., Malaguarnera, G., Bella, R., ... & Pennisi, G. (2011). Acetyl-L-carnitine improves cognitive functions in severe hepatic encephalopathy: a randomized and controlled clinical trial. Metabolic brain disease, 26(4), 281-289.
Suchy, J., Chan, A., & Shea, T. B. (2009). Dietary supplementation with a combination of α-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, glycerophosphocoline, docosahexaenoic acid, and phosphatidylserine reduces oxidative damage to murine brain and improves cognitive performance. Nutrition research, 29(1), 70-74.
Soczynska, J. K., Kennedy, S. H., Chow, C. S., Woldeyohannes, H. O., Konarski, J. Z., & McIntyre, R. S. (2008). Acetyl-L-carnitine and α-lipoic acid: possible neurotherapeutic agents for mood disorders?.
White, H. L., & Scates, P. W. (1990). Acetyl-L-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine. Neurochemical research, 15(6), 597-601.
Parnetti, L., Mignini, F., Tomassoni, D., Traini, E., & Amenta, F. (2007). Cholinergic precursors in the treatment of cognitive impairment of vascular origin: ineffective approaches or need for re-evaluation?. Journal of the neurological sciences, 257(1), 264-269.
Amenta, F., & Tayebati, S. K. (2008). Pathways of acetylcholine synthesis, transport and release as targets for treatment of adult-onset cognitive dysfunction. Current medicinal chemistry, 15(5), 488-498.
Tayebati, S. K., Tomassoni, D., Di Stefano, A., Sozio, P., Cerasa, L. S., & Amenta, F. (2011). Effect of choline-containing phospholipids on brain cholinergic transporters in the rat. Journal of the neurological sciences, 302(1), 49-57.
Traini, E., Bramanti, V., & Amenta, F. (2013). Choline alphoscerate (alpha-glyceryl-phosphoryl-choline) an old choline-containing phospholipid with a still interesting profile as cognition enhancing agent. Current Alzheimer Research, 10(10), 1070-1079.
Kostenko, E. V., Petrova, L. V., Artemova, I., Vdovichenko, T. V., Ganzhula, P. A., Ismailov, A. M., ... & Khozova, A. A. (2011). [The use of cerepro (choline alfoscerate) in the treatment of outpatients with chronic progressive cerebrovascular disease]. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni SS Korsakova/Ministerstvo zdravookhraneniia i meditsinskoi promyshlennosti Rossiiskoi Federatsii, Vserossiiskoe obshchestvo nevrologov [i] Vserossiiskoe obshchestvo psikhiatrov, 112(3 Pt 1), 24-30.
Hinz, M., Stein, A., Neff, R., Weinberg, R., & Uncini, T. (2011). Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 7, 31.
Harmer, C. J., McTavish, S. F. B., Clark, L., Goodwin, G. M., & Cowen, P. J. (2001). Tyrosine depletion attenuates dopamine function in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 154(1), 105-111.
Young, S. N. (2007). L-Tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 32(3), 224.
Deijen, J. B., Wientjes, C. J. E., Vullinghs, H. F. M., Cloin, P. A., & Langefeld, J. J. (1999). Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course. Brain research bulletin, 48(2), 203-209.
Tumilty, L., Davison, G., Beckmann, M., & Thatcher, R. (2011). Oral tyrosine supplementation improves exercise capacity in the heat. European journal of applied physiology, 111(12), 2941-2950.
Tyrosine, an important amino acid you may not know about
Like almost any nutrient, be it a vitamin, mineral, or botanical extract, amino acids are best introduced to the body via whole foods. In this way, they typically come packaged along with complementary and accessory nutrients that facilitate their absorption and fulfillment of their biochemical destinies. (It’s so nice of nature to do that for us, isn’t it?) But in just the same way that certain disease states, both acute and chronic, can increase the body’s need for particular vitamins and minerals above the levels someone would reasonably get from food alone, certain conditions may warrant supplemental amounts of amino acids.
There’s branched chain amino acids for potential skeletal muscle growth, tryptophan (and its metabolite, 5-HTP) for lifting a low mood or helping to promote sleep, and glutamine for gut health and tissue healing and repair after trauma.
What about tyrosine?
Like its aromatic amino acid brethren (phenylalanine and tryptophan), tyrosine is a building block for neurotransmitter synthesis. Unlike phenylalanine and tryptophan, however, it is not technically an essential amino acid, since it can be synthesized from phenylalanine. (For individuals with phenylketonuria [PKU], tyrosine is essential, as they lack the enzyme that facilitates this conversion.)
Tyrosine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is the starting point for producing L-DOPA, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It is also the building block for thyroxine (a.k.a. T4, or thyroid hormone), but inadequate tyrosine is usually not the limiting factor in thyroxine synthesis. Individuals with suboptimal thyroid function might benefit from supplemental tyrosine, but likely only if hypothyroid symptoms are due primarily to insufficient tyrosine availability. Owing to its role in neurotransmitter and catecholamine synthesis, it has shown benefit for alleviating depression, acute stress, narcolepsy, and cocaine addiction. (With regard to cocaine addiction, tyrosine and tryptophan may be an effective combination, with these amino acids blunting the cocaine “high,” and reducing the depression that may result from drug withdrawal.)
Tyrosine competes with other large, neutral amino acids (phenylalanine, tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and methionine) for transport across the blood-brain barrier, so for optimal efficacy supplemental tyrosine is best taken on an empty stomach, or perhaps with a carbohydrate-containing meal or snack that is low in protein. Taking vitamin B6 along with it may facilitate the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine, as the vitamin is a cofactor for the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase enzyme that catalyzes the reaction.
The Brain and Mood Link
Considering tyrosine’s role as a precursor to dopamine and thyroid hormone, it would seem that tyrosine supplementation would be a slam dunk for improving depression. Yet, results are mixed . Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have failed to show efficacy for tyrosine with regard to depression ; nevertheless, anecdotal evidence indicates there may be a role, so it’s possible it depends on an individual patient’s presentation. Depression is multifactorial, so there may be cases where supplemental tyrosine will help alleviate symptoms, and others where the issue is unrelated to inadequate levels.
On the other hand, tyrosine may be helpful for supporting cognitive function in acutely stressful situations. A review looking at the effects of tyrosine on behavior and cognition found that “tyrosine loading acutely counteracts decrements in working memory and information processing that are induced by demanding situational conditions such as extreme weather or cognitive load.” Most likely this is due to the influence of tyrosine on restoring healthy brain catecholamine levels. Other researchers had similar findings—that it does enhance cognitive performance, particularly in short-term stressful and cognitively demanding situations. One study’s authors caveated this by saying that it “is an effective enhancer of cognition, but only when neurotransmitter function is intact and DA [dopamine] and/or NE [norepinephrine] is temporarily depleted.”
Fortunately, it is an inexpensive compound to supplement with, so patients may be inclined to give it a try if their health care professionals suspect some of the symptoms they present with may be related to suboptimal tyrosine and/or reduced levels of hormones and neurotransmitters that come from tyrosine.
Note that tyrosine should not be supplemented in pregnant or lactating women, nor in individuals taking MAOIs for depression. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from supplemental tyrosine, for the production of dopamine, but it should not be taken at the same time as levodopa, due to possible reduction in the drug’s efficacy.
Weight lifting is important to begin to building muscle mass and size, however it isn’t the only key element of shoulder training.
Posture is essential if you want to be injury free and want to start adding serious size to your shoulders.
Visual feedback and equal weight distribution are important to ensure that your muscles contract accurately.
New study demonstrates omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to regions of the brain associated with cognition
According to a new study published last Thursday in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, by using neuroimaging, researchers were able to demonstrate increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning in individuals with higher omega-3 levels.
Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start , just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.
This new study included 166 individuals from a psychiatric clinic in which Omega-3 Index results were available. These patients were categorized into two groups: higher EPA and DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 128 regions of their brains and each individual completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.
SPECT can measure blood perfusion in the brain. In addition, performing various mentally stimulating cognitive tasks will show increased blood flow to specific brain regions. (Previous research has demonstrated that mentally stimulating activities reduce the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment even when performed later in life.) As a result, researchers identified significant relationships between the Omega-3 Index and regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas that are involved with memory and neurocognitive testing.
This study demonstrated the positive relationships between omega-3 EPA and DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. This is significant because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS
See Strength Sensei for more information.
Fix Your Knee Pain in 2 Easy Steps
Tip Number 1 – Fix Your Feet Fix Your Knee
The movement of the knee joint is influenced by the movement of the ankle joint. To make sure you have proper biomechanics of your knee, you should first ensure that your foot has optimal movement. Start by testing your shoes. Position your foot on top of your shoe. You’ll want to make sure that the width and length of the shoe is big enough to accommodate the size of your foot and toes. If your toes are sticking out, then the shoe is too small. Change shoes.
Fix Your Low Back Pain (Two Tips)
When talking about lower back pain, we’re not inclined to think that the clenching of our teeth could have a negative repercussion. Our jaws (maxillary and mandible) is linked to our anterior and posterior muscular chains. As such, it would be impossible to display an outburst of strength without having our jawbones in contact.
Tip Number 1 – Red Dots
Use six red dots that you will alternate every six weeks. Position them in different areas of your house and working area at the level of your eyes. The red dots are meant to be used as a visual cue, so that when you see the dot, you become aware that your teeth are in contact. Immediately stop and move on to tip number two.
Is magnesium deficiency halting your gains?
To be valid, every hormone or mineral evaluation must be tested in the right compartment. Even if it is commonly prescribed, the serum magnesium test is a poor indicator of magnesium levels as serum magnesium represents only 1% of the body’s stores . Low serum magnesium indicates severe deficiency.
Red blood cell magnesium is the way to go. The optimal range is 6.8-7.2 mg/dL .
Most people hover around 2 mg/dL. Magnesium deficiency is a concern for 50-80% of the population depending on the source.
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Here’s what you need to know…
1. Bad posture increases muscle strain and tension, as muscles that are not aligned are forced to work harder to fight gravity.
2. Bad posture increases risk of back pain, nerve impingement and slipped disks, because the spine does not have the right curves and balance. While training, this imbalance of curves could lead to injury.
3. Bad posture increases the wear and tear of all joints because they are not moving in the way they are designed to and because the muscles stabilizing the joints do not receive the correct activation from the brain. This breaks down the cartilage and weakens ligaments leading to increased risk of injury such as ligament tears and muscle pulls.
4. Bad posture (and the above mentioned factors) can increase the production of stress hormones and inflammation in your body. This can lead to lowered immune system function, decreased sleep quality, digestion and energy levels.
The Brain Muscle Connection
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