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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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).
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 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).
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 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).
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).
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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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|Use for||Muscle Gain|