Does this science hold water?
Heya! I am considering a pre-workout suplement, but I am not educated in biology so I can't tell if the claims made about how the supplement work actually make sense. This may be a bit long, but if anyone has more experience in this, perhaps you can advise me if this is a reasonable supplement. If it helps to know, my goal in exercising is primarily to lose weight and secondarily to build muscle, and I am considering taking this before my boxing class which has a significant cardio component, but lots of strength building too. Thanks!
First of all - this is a Melaleuca product. I know Melaluecua is a total pyramid scheme, and I am not involved in the business practices, but I am a happy customer of theirs. I prefer to use low-toxin cleaners and personal care products especially for my kids, and theirs are pretty good.
So, here are the deets on the Melaleuca Access Bar:
This weblink should give you the info the company puts out about the product:
When I asked for more information, I was sent a document that explains the science in more detail. This is what I got:
Converting Fat to Energy
Whenever you’re exercising and you perform a muscle contraction, fuel must be supplied to that muscle. Your muscles run on two main types of fuel: glucose and free fatty acids. Glucose is created from a sugar called glycogen, which is stored in limited quantities in your liver and in your muscle tissue. Free fatty acids are formed from the fat that is stored in your fat cells.
Your body is constantly using both kinds of fuel to accomplish daily tasks – though in different amounts. Typically, glucose provides all the energy you need for quick, high-energy activities. For example, if you sprint for a a\departing bus, glucose is giving you most of the energy required to move your legs and pump your arms. If, however, you’re going for a jog – or any other sustained aerobic activity – fatty acids are the preferred fuel. Even then, glucose is used in a joint effort as well.
When the glycogen stored in your muscles is reduced to about 50% of maximum storage, further depletion directly affects high-intensity exercise and speeds up the onset of fatigue. But if using your fat stores for fuel could be enhanced, the glycogen in your muscles would be spared – and muscle fatigue could be delayed.
Unfortunately, your body cannot simply put stored fat into immediate use. It must first convert your fat into the more user-friendly fatty acids. This complicate conversion requires a chain reaction involving nerve impulses and enzymes. As long as this process is allowed to proceed unhindered, your muscles have a ready supply of fat fuel and can continue to work. However, during increased physical activity, the body also produces adenosine -- a natural byproduct of energy use.
Dr. Lawrence C.H. Wang -- the inventor of the Access Bar – discovered that it is adenosine that hinders our ability to continue to use fat efficiently, and it is one of the reasons why we cannot use our stored fat on command.
Adenosine: Trouble from Our Past
Adenosine throws a wrench in the process of converting stored fat to fatty acids – essentially shutting down your body’s ability to keep going and exercise effectively. First, it inhibits the nerve impulse involved, and second, it inhibits the activity of the enzyme required for fat deployment. As a result, the conversion of fat to fatty acids is reduces and your muscles are without a sufficient supply of this vital fuel. In addition, adenosine also inhibits the nerve impulses required to stimulate muscle contraction. And finally, adenosine inhibits the full utilization of glucose. Instead, adenosine favors the conversion glucose into lactic acid – the substance left over from exercise that often builds up in your muscles, causing soreness. The combined effects of adenosine are, therefore, totally counterproductive to sustaining ongoing physical activity. You simply can’t continue exercising – you can’t keep going – you “bonk!”
Why would adenosine work against your fat-burning efforts? Centuries ago, when primitive man continually fought nature’s challenges to find food, adenosine served as a valuable regulator to prevent wasted energy. It promoted fatigue, thereby ensuring energy conservation. Its presence ensured that we would not use all our fat stores so we s\could keep some in reserve for future needs like during periods of food shortages or famines.
The importance of this protective mechanism is still evident today in societies where food availability remains unpredictable. However, in highly develop societies, where food is as close as the nearest grocery store or corner café, getting enough energy is not a problem. Using it all up is. Yet, adenosine continues on as if nothing has changed. Unfortunately, adenosine is most active when our activity levels are the highest, such as during intense exercise. In other words, just when you’re working your hardest to get rid of excess fat, adenosine is working just as hard to keep it stored away!
Access Minimizes the Impact of Adenosine
The patented food ingredients in the Access Bar contain “adenosine receptor antagonists” which can minimize the impact of adenosine, and thereby reduce its inhibitory effect on fat use. This release of adenosine’s inhibitory properties is compared by Dr. Wang to the release of a hand brake in a fast-moving car.
To understand how the natural food blend of the Access Bar works, think of your car driving down the highway with the hand brake on. Granted, the car still moves – but the brake forces it to travel more slowly and saps the engine’s full potential. The Access Bar released your body’s hand brake, allowing your fat-burning engine to fully exert its power and achieve full throttle performance!
When eaten fifteen minutes before engaging in any sustained exercise or activity, the Access Bar
·overrides the energy-sapping effects of adenosine so you burn more fat,
·boosts your energy levels,
·reduces lactic acid build-up, and
·increases muscle fiber recruitment
for a more efficient workout. After all, with greater “access” to the fuel that makes your muscles work better, you’ll naturally burn more fat and get much more out of your efforts!
So what do you think - total BS, grain of truth, or solid science?
Now, I am well aware that there is no quick fix when it comes to fitness, and there is no substitute for hard work. That being said - if there is something that can help me get the most out of my workout, I can use all the help I can get!