Applied Nutrition Critical Mass Review

Critical Mass is a product from UK based company Applied Nutrition. This product states that it can help build body mass and help recover after exercise. This review will aim to examine the ingredients in this product to see if it can support the claims made.

Ingredients

Whey Protein

Whey, soy and milk protein helps aid muscle protein synthesis when combined with resistance training (1, 2). Other key features include increasing muscle mass (3), an increase in lean body mass (4) and greater recovery from exercise (5). Longer periods of supplementation have shown greater gains in fat free mass (6).

Muscle protein synthesis is increased due to high concentration of Leucine (BCAA) which is a signalling molecule needed to increase muscle protein synthesis (7). Consumption of whey protein helps increase muscle mass due to a greater amount of peripheral nitrogen retention whereas soy protein has been found to have a greater effect on splanchnic protein synthesis (8).

The reason for greater recovery of exercise can be due to a post exercise insulin response (9, 10) which means glycogen resynthesis occurs rapidly so exercise can be prolonged, with greater training volume increased hypertrophy and decreased muscle damage.

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide which is a complex carbohydrate. This ingredient is water soluble and unlike other carbohydrates, is easily digestible (11) and can give a quick release of energy without any spikes of glycaemia (12).

Fructose

Fructose is a simple carbohydrate and is an intermediary in the metabolism of glucose (13). It has a low caloric value, low glycemic index (14) and gives a sweeter taste (15).

Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder has been found to include flavonoids which are antioxidants, they can aid in the oxidation of LDL, (16,17) and augments the antioxidant defence system (18). Cocoa powder has also been found to stimulate nitric oxide production which can reduce oxidative stress and reduce the risk of heart attack (19).

MCT-powder

MCT is known as medium chain triglyceride. It has been suggested that it can aid fat burning which will help weight loss (20), however this has been disputed (21) and more research is needed to fully elucidate these findings.

Inulin

Inulin is a polysaccharide which is a complex carbohydrate. This ingredient is water soluble and unlike other carbohydrates, is easily digestible (22) and can give a quick release of energy without any spikes of glycaemia (23).

Calcium Caseinate

Calcium Caseinate is a derivative of skimmed milk, it has a thicker taste and is slow to digest. Calcium is a vital part of dietary consumption in order to aid growth and maintenance of bones (24). Other important benefits of calcium include helping blood clotting (25), heart contractions (26), lungs, (27) and muscles to function properly (28), this is due to calcium binding with phosphate to create calcium phosphate (29).

Tricalcium Phosphate

Calcium phosphate is formed from calcium and phosphorus properties. It can help to aid the growth and maintenance of bones (24). Other important benefits of calcium include helping blood clotting (25), heart contractions (26), lungs (27) and muscles to function properly (28), this is due to calcium binding with phosphate to create calcium phosphate (29).

Waxy Maize Starch

Maize Starch is used in supplement as a disintegrant and binder. This means that it can help a tablet to dissolve quicker so that it can be released for absorption (30). As well as this it is also a complex carbohydrate that replenishes glycogen stores which in turn can prolong exercise. (31)

Egg Albumen

Egg Albumen is the powder version of egg whites. This ingredient has several health properties including a high amount of protein which aids in the building and maintenance of muscles. Potassium is another property of egg albumen which has several function such as regulating water balance (32), central nervous system function (33) and helps convert glucose into glycogen which provides energy to the bodies muscles (34).

L-glutamine

Glutamine is a naturally non-essential neutral amino acid that helps with the transport of nitrogen between tissues. Heavy exercise has shown a reduction of glutamine in the blood (35). The amount of glutamine in the muscle is known to be related to the rate of protein synthesis (36) and glycogen synthesis (37) in the first few hours of recovery period of exercise.

Bromelain

Bromelain is a natural enzyme which is commonly found in pineapples. The benefits of this enzyme have been suggested to induce inflammation (38) as well as a digestive enzyme and with a wide PH range it can work within the stomach as well as the small intestine (39). More research is needed for this ingredient however as its full effects have not been fully tested.

Flax Seed Oil Powder

Flaxseed has several health properties including being an antioxidant (40), the ability to lower blood pressure (41) and consists of Omega 3 fatty acids which include numerous health benefits such as lowering cholesterol (42) and also plays a role in reducing oxidative stress which leads to reducing cardiovascular disease (43).

CLA Powder

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) has been shown to have weight loss properties (44); there are several reasons for this which includes an increase in energy metabolism (45), insulin resistance (46), stimulation of lipolysis, which is due to an impaired signalling which reduces triglyceride synthesis and releases free fatty acid which normally occurs when energy demand rises (47). Other mechanisms include a suppression of appetite (48), induced adipocyte apoptosis which decreases body fat mass and increased energy expenditure (49).  

Summary

This product contains a vast array of ingredients which can help build muscle mass and provide energy during an intense workout. This product can be consumed pre, during and post workout. This product has no banned substances when referring to the WADA prohibited list when observing the label / ingredients posted on the website.

*NOTE – This product has not been tested in a laboratory and may contain other substances that may not appear on the label

References

1 – Coker, R. H., Miller, S., Schutzler, S., Deutz, N., & Wolfe, R. R. (2012). Whey protein and essential amino acids promote the reduction of adipose tissue and increased muscle protein synthesis during caloric restriction-induced weight loss in elderly, obese individuals. Nutr J, 11(1), 105.

2 – Hulmi, J. J., Lockwood, C. M., & Stout, J. R. (2010). Review Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein.

3 – Pasiakos, S. M., McLellan, T. M., & Lieberman, H. R. (2015). The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 45(1), 111-131.

4 – Volek, J. S., Volk, B. M., Gómez, A. L., Kunces, L. J., Kupchak, B. R., Freidenreich, D. J., … & Kraemer, W. J. (2013). Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(2), 122-135.

5 – Hansen, M., Bangsbo, J., Jensen, J., Bibby, B. M., & Madsen, K. (2014). Effect of Whey Protein Hydrolysate on Performance and Recovery of Top-Class Orienteering Runners. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism.

6 – Hartman, J. W., Tang, J. E., Wilkinson, S. B., Tarnopolsky, M. A., Lawrence, R. L., Fullerton, A. V., & Phillips, S. M. (2007). Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 86(2), 373-381.

7- Atherton, P. J., Smith, K., Etheridge, T., Rankin, D., & Rennie, M. J. (2010). Distinct anabolic signalling responses to amino acids in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. Amino acids, 38(5), 1533-1539.

8 – Fouillet, H., Mariotti, F., Gaudichon, C., Bos, C., & Tomé, D. (2002). Peripheral and splanchnic metabolism of dietary nitrogen are differently affected by the protein source in humans as assessed by compartmental modeling. The Journal of nutrition, 132(1), 125-133.

9- Hulmi, J. J., Volek, J. S., Selänne, H. A. R. R. I., & Mero, A. A. (2005). Protein ingestion prior to strength exercise affects blood hormones and metabolism. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 37(11), 1990-1997.

10 – Power, O., Hallihan, A., & Jakeman, P. (2009). Human insulinotropic response to oral ingestion of native and hydrolysed whey protein. Amino acids, 37(2), 333-339.

11 – Haralampu, S. G. (2000). Resistant starch—a review of the physical properties and biological impact of RS< sub> 3. Carbohydrate polymers, 41(3), 285-292.

12 – Roberts, M., Lockwood, C., Dalbo, V. J., Tucker, P., Frye, A., Polk, R., … & Kerksick, C. (2009). Ingestion of a high molecular weight modified waxy maize starch alters metabolic responses to prolonged exercise in trained cyclists. In FASEB abstract.

13 – Racker, E. (2009). Alternate pathways of glucose and fructose metabolism.Advances in Enzymology and Related Areas of Molecular Biology, 15, 141.

14 – White, J. S. (2008). Straight talk about high-fructose corn syrup: what it is and what it ain’t. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 88(6), 1716S-1721S.

15 – Kyriazis, G. A., Soundarapandian, M. M., & Tyrberg, B. (2012). Sweet taste receptor signaling in beta cells mediates fructose-induced potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(8), E524-E532.

16 – Bearden MM, Pearson DA, Rein D, et al. Potential cardiovascular health benefits of procyanidins present in chocolate and cocoa. In: Parliment TH, Ho C-T, Schieberle P, eds. Caffeinated beverages: health benefits, physiological effects, and chemistry. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 2000:177–186

17 – Pearson DA, Schmitz HH, Lazarus SA, Keen CL. Inhibition of in vitro low-density lipoprotein oxidation by oligomeric procyanidins present in chocolate and cocoas. In: Packer L, ed. Methods in enzymology. Vol. 335. New York: Academic Press, 2001:350–60.

18 – Keen, C. L., Holt, R. R., Oteiza, P. I., Fraga, C. G., & Schmitz, H. H. (2005). Cocoa antioxidants and cardiovascular health. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(1), 298S-303S.

19 – Osakabe N, Sanbongi C, Yamagishi M, Takizawa T, Osawa T. Effects of polyphenol substances derived from Theobroma cacao on gastric mucosal lesion induced by ethanol. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1998;62:1535–8.

20 – Clegg, M. E. (2010). Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 61(7), 653-679.

21 – Goedecke, J. H., Clark, V. R., Noakes, T. D., & Lambert, E. V. (2005). The effects of medium-chain triacylglycerol and carbohydrate ingestion on ultra-endurance exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 15(1), 15-27.

22 – Holscher, H. D., Doligale, J. L., Bauer, L. L., Gourineni, V., Pelkman, C. L., Fahey, G. C., & Swanson, K. S. (2014). Gastrointestinal tolerance and utilization of agave inulin by healthy adults. Food & function, 5(6), 1142-1149.

23 – Harrold, J. A., Hughes, G. M., O’Shiel, K., Quinn, E., Boyland, E. J., Williams, N. J., & Halford, J. C. G. (2013). Acute effects of a herb extract formulation and inulin fibre on appetite, energy intake and food choice. Appetite, 62, 84-90.

24 – Harada, S. I., & Rodan, G. A. (2003). Control of osteoblast function and regulation of bone mass. Nature, 423(6937), 349-355.

25 – Bogdanova, A., Makhro, A., Wang, J., Lipp, P., & Kaestner, L. (2013). Calcium in Red Blood Cells—A Perilous Balance. International journal of molecular sciences, 14(5), 9848-9872.

26 – Dhalla, N. S., Pierce, G. N., Panagia, V., Singal, P. K., & Beamish, R. E. (1982). Calcium movements in relation to heart function. Basic research in cardiology, 77(2), 117-139.

27 – Hawgood, S., Benson, B. J., & Hamilton Jr, R. L. (1985). Effects of a surfactant-associated protein and calcium ions on the structure and surface activity of lung surfactant lipids. Biochemistry, 24(1), 184-190.

28 – Berchtold, M. W., Brinkmeier, H., & Müntener, M. (2000). Calcium ion in skeletal muscle: its crucial role for muscle function, plasticity, and disease.Physiological reviews, 80(3), 1215-1265.

29 – Shanahan, C. M., Crouthamel, M. H., Kapustin, A., & Giachelli, C. M. (2011). Arterial calcification in chronic kidney disease: key roles for calcium and phosphate. Circulation research, 109(6), 697-711.

30 – Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008; http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drugtopics/Top+News/Overview-of-pharmaceutical-excipients-used-intabl/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/561047. Accessed 08/19/2011

31 – Roberts, M. D., Lockwood, C., Dalbo, V. J., Volek, J., & Kerksick, C. M. (2011). Ingestion of a high-molecular-weight hydrothermally modified waxy maize starch alters metabolic responses to prolonged exercise in trained cyclists. Nutrition, 27(6), 659-665.

32 – Lemann Jr, J., Pleuss, J. A., Gray, R. W., & Hoffmann, R. G. (1991). Potassium administration increases and potassium deprivation reduces urinary calcium excretion in healthy adults. Kidney Int, 39(5), 973-983.

33 – Goto, A. T. S. U. O., Tobian, L., & Iwai, J. (1981). Potassium feeding reduces hyperactive central nervous system pressor responses in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Hypertension, 3(3 Pt 2), I128.

34 – Brady, R. O., Mamoon, A. M., & Stadtman, E. R. (1956). The effects of citrate and coenzyme A on fatty acid metabolism. Journal of Biological Chemistry,222(2), 795-802.

35 – Parry-Billings, M., Budgett, R., Koutedakis, Y., Blomstrand, E., Brooks, S.., Williams, C.,  & Newsholme, E. A. (1992). Plasma amino acid concentrations in the overtraining syndrome: possible effects on the immune system. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 24(12), 1353-1358.

36 – Rennie, M. J., Edwards, R. H. T., Krywawych, S., Davies, C. T., Halliday, D., Waterlow, J. C., & Millward, D. J. (1981). Effect of exercise on protein turnover in man. Clin Sci, 61(5), 627-639.

37 – Bowtell, J. L., Gelly, K., Jackman, M. L., Patel, A., Simeoni, M., & Rennie, M. J. (1999). Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 86(6), 1770-1777.

38 – Seligman, B. (1962). Bromelain: an anti-inflammatory agent. Angiology, 13(11), 508-510.

39 – Castell, J. V., Friedrich, G. E. R. H. A. R. D., Kuhn, C. S., & Poppe, G. E. (1997). Intestinal absorption of undegraded proteins in men: presence of bromelain in plasma after oral intake. American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 273(1), G139-G146.

40 – Kitts, D. D., Yuan, Y. V., Wijewickreme, A. N., & Thompson, L. U. (1999). Antioxidant activity of the flaxseed lignan secoisolariciresinol diglycoside and its mammalian lignan metabolites enterodiol and enterolactone. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 202(1-2), 91-100.

41 – Paschos, G. K., Magkos, F., Panagiotakos, D. B., Votteas, V., & Zampelas, A. (2007). Dietary supplementation with flaxseed oil lowers blood pressure in dyslipidaemic patients. European journal of clinical nutrition, 61(10), 1201-1206.

42 – Savinova, O. V., Fillaus, K., Harris, W. S., & Shearer, G. C. (2015). Effects of niacin and omega-3 fatty acids on the apolipoproteins in overweight patients with elevated triglycerides and reduced HDL cholesterol. Atherosclerosis,240(2), 520-525.

43 –  Rangel-Huerta, O. D., Aguilera, C. M., Mesa, M. D., & Gil, A. (2012). Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation on inflammatory biomakers: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 107(S2), S159-S170.

44 – Blankson, H., Stakkestad, J. A., Fagertun, H., Thom, E., Wadstein, J., & Gudmundsen, O. (2000). Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. The Journal of nutrition, 130(12), 2943-2948.

45 – House, R. L., Cassady, J. P., Eisen, E. J., McIntosh, M. K., & Odle, J. (2005). Conjugated linoleic acid evokes de‐lipidation through the regulation of genes controlling lipid metabolism in adipose and liver tissue. obesity reviews, 6(3), 247-258.

46 – Chung, S., Brown, J. M., Provo, J. N., Hopkins, R., & McIntosh, M. K. (2005). Conjugated linoleic acid promotes human adipocyte insulin resistance through NFκB-dependent cytokine production. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(46), 38445-38456.

47 – Evans, M., Lin, X., Odle, J., & McIntosh, M. (2002). Trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid increases fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. The Journal of nutrition, 132(3), 450-455.

48 – Medina, E. A., Horn, W. F., Keim, N. L., Havel, P. J., Benito, P., Kelley, D. S., … & Erickson, K. L. (2000). Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans: effects on circulating leptin concentrations and appetite. Lipids, 35(7), 783-788.

49 – Zambell, K. L., Keim, N. L., Van Loan, M. D., Gale, B., Benito, P., Kelley, D. S., & Nelson, G. J. (2000). Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans: effects on body composition and energy expenditure. Lipids, 35(7), 777-782.

Use for  Muscle Gain
Website  appliednutrition.uk
Price  £49.99