Reflex Nutrition The Edge Review
The Edge is a sports supplement from UK brand, Reflex Nutrition. It is claimed that this supplement can increase endurance and improve training. This review will look at each of the ingredients listed within the product to see whether they can back these claims.
Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide which is a complex carbohydrate. This ingredient is water soluble and unlike other carbohydrates, is easily digestible (1) and can give a quick release of energy without any spikes of glycaemia (2).
Fructose is a simple carbohydrate and is an intermediary in the metabolism of glucose (3). It has a low caloric value, low glycemic index (4) and gives a sweeter taste (5).
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein helps aid muscle protein synthesis when combined with resistance training (6, 7). Other key features include increasing muscle mass (8), an increase in lean body mass (9) and greater recovery from exercise (10). Longer periods of supplementation have shown greater gains in fat free mass (11).
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 (12).
The reason for greater recovery of exercise can be due to a post exercise insulin response (13, 14) which means glycogen resynthesis occurs rapidly so exercise can be prolonged, with greater training volume increased hypertrophy and decreased muscle damage.
Malic Acid is an organic compound that is naturally created within the body. The benefits of this ingredient have been suggested to include a lowering in blood pressure, helping against pre – exhaustion which will prolong exercise and reduce fatigue. There is a lack of research for this ingredient and more is needed to fully understand the benefits of this ingredients.
Sodium Citrate is the sodium salt of citric acid. The benefits of this ingredient that have been observed are mainly for short term high intensity exercise (15). During high intensity exercise performance is limited due to an increase of pH within the muscle and the bodies inability to counteract this from buffering systems (16). Sodium Citrate can help aid this by helping to neutralize and offset these hydrogen ions and decreasing the pH level, this means that the body can perform short term, high – intensity exercise for longer periods of time (17).
Sodium chloride is otherwise known as salt. It is theorised that sodium chloride can help prevent cramps as the key mechanism in muscle contraction is the flooding of the action potential in the muscle membrane, and so if there is a sodium deficiency it may cause the muscle to cramp (18).
Potassium citrate is a form of potassium which has several function such as regulating water balance (19), central nervous system function (20) and helps convert glucose into glycogen which provides energy to the bodies muscles (21).
Magnesium Citrate has been found to be effective against muscle cramps (22), however a side effect that has been discovered is diarrhea (23), however this can be avoided by slowly increasing the dosage (24).
Zinc has been identified as a factor for many enzymes responsible for the synthesis, storage and release of insulin (25), with increases in lean body mass while fat mass either remains stable or decreases, depending on the degree of baseline zinc deficiency (26). With this evidence is has been shown that this ingredient is important for the growth and development of body tissues as well as this a variety of biological processes including wound healing and muscle cramps (27) have been found.
Manganese Aspartate is a mineral that has been found to activate enzymes that are vital for such other ingredients including Biotin, Thiamine and Ascorbic Acid (28). Manganese Aspartate has also been found to help synthesis fatty acid and cholesterol (29), whilst playing a key role in skeletal maintenance however more research is needed to fully elucidate these effects.
L-Selenomethionine is the non essential amino acid of selenium. Selenium is a chemical element that is best known for its antioxidant properties as it is the component of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase (30). Selenium also plays a role in the functioning of the thyroid gland and in every cell that uses thyroid hormone (31). The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.
No nutritional benefit.
Beta Carotene is a red / orange pigment that is derived from root vegetables such as carrots. Beta Carotene has been found to convert into Vitamin A (36). Vitamin A is a diverse vitamin that has a wide range of functions. Vision improvement is one positive aspect of vitamin A supplementation (32), another is bone and body growth which can be improved (33). Immune function is boosted by an increase in white blood cells which can destroy harmful bacteria (34). Epithelial cells require Vitamin A in order to function properly, these cells serve as barriers to infection by bacteria and other sources (35). An advantage of Beta Carotene is that the body only converts as much as is required.
SOYA Lecithin is an emulsifier which means that it helps aid the ingredients to disperse in water rather than separate into oily droplets and water.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea supplementation has been shown to have several health properties including an increase in plasma antioxidant which will lead to a lowering of oxidative damage (37, 38), decreased blood pressure (39, 40) and it can protect against coronary atherosclerosis (41). Other health effects that green tea can have includes a lowering of cholesterol, an increase of insulin activity (42) and a regulation of blood glucose levels which can help reduce body fat.
Sucralose is a sweetener that is calorie free. This ingredient is used in many products and is used to make the product taste sweeter and does not have any nutritional benefit.
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Vitamin C is known to be a powerful antioxidant (43). Studies have suggested that it can increase endothelial nitric oxide by protecting it from oxidation and increase synthesis, another function that Vitamin C has suggested includes reducing blood pressure (44), however the only proven function of vitamin C is the prevention of scurvy (45).
Tocotrienols is otherwise known as Vitamin E. Vitamin E has several important functions within the body. Firstly it acts as an antioxidant (46) particularly helping with chronic conditions associated with oxidative stress (47), this is due to its functions of being a chain-breaking antioxidant that prevents the propagation of free radical reactions (48) and also helps protect the body’s cell membranes (49). As well as this it can help maintain healthy skin and eyes (50) and gives a boost to the immune system (51).
Bacillus Coagulans is a probiotic meaning that it is a form of good bacteria, Its’ features include heat stability and the ability to survive in the stomach (52). There are several functions of this ingredient including immune stimulation(53, 54) and antimicrobial stimulation (55). In a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study it was found that it had significant effects for people with rheumatoid arthritis (56), however more research is needed to fully establish this (57).
Based on a review of the ingredients, this supplement can help with prolonging exercise and increase endurance. It can also help build muscle and can act as an antioxidant. It is recommended that this supplement is taken pre-workout. This supplement 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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