Applied Nutrition ABE Review
ABE is a product from UK based company Applied Nutrition. This product states that it can reduce tiredness and increases physical performance. This review will aim to examine the ingredients in this product to see if it can support the claims made.
Citrulline malate is a combination of an amino acid (citrulline) and an organic salt (malate) which is a tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate. It’s noted effects include an increase in lactate metabolism and an antiasthenic effect (1). A major effect is an increase in aerobic capacity during exercise and greater recovery after exercise; this is due to the rate of muscle oxidative ATP production during exercise and the rate of PCr recovery after exercise (1).
Creatine monohydrate, (CM) is defined as a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in humans and aids in the supply of energy to cells in the body, (2). The majority of CM, 95%, can be located in the skeletal muscle with the rest distributed to the brain, heart and smooth muscles.
Creatine has been found to increase the replenishment of ATP stores in the skeletal muscles (3). It is attributed to a greater rate of phosphocreatine resynthesis during the rest periods. Higher sprint speeds reported (4). There have been numerous theories proposed as to why creatine is a benefit to short term high intensity exercise (5). One theory is that the increased amount of phosphocreatine, (PCr), can be used as an immediate buffer to ATP which reduces the dependence of glycolysis which delays the production of lactate and hydrogen ions during exercise thus prolonging the activity by delaying the onset of fatigue, (6).
Beta – Alanine is a non-essential amino acid. In a wide range of studies beta – alanine has been shown to have benefits to high intensity exercise (7). The reason behind this is that it has been found to increase muscle carnosine concentrations (8). Carnosine is key to the intracellular PH buffering of skeletal muscle (9). With an increase in clearance of H+ ions, it leads to high intensity exercise lasting for longer.
Sodium bicarbonate is a molecule which acts as a buffering agent against acidity within the muscle which is a factor of fatigue (10) this can enhance physical performance in elite and novice athletes by prolonging exercise and giving greater muscle force production (11). There are mechanisms in place for sodium bicarbonate to be a fat-burning agent (increasing ketone production and lipolysis and causing minor increases in metabolic rate) (12,13), but these have not yet been linked to actual weight loss in trials and further research is needed to elucidate these effects.
The main function of citric acid is the reduction of physical fatigue (14). The reason for this is due to citric acid being a major component of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. TCA cycle is the process of converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins into carbon dioxide and water (15). By increasing citric acid it activates the TCA cycle and in turn speeds up ATP production thus replenishing energy.
Taurine is a semi essential amino acid that has been found to increase endurance performance; this has been attributed to an increase in blood flow (16). Taurine has also been found to help protect against cell damage which will help recovery after exercise, decreased oxidative stress in cardiac tissue (17) and increased fat oxidation (18).
For many years caffeine has been widely used as an ergogenic aid. There have been many studies of caffeine’s effect of both the aerobic system, (19), and the anaerobic system, (20) on sporting performance. The suggested benefits of caffeine supplementation include the ability to attain greater use of fats as an energy source and sparing of muscle glycogen, (21). It has also been suggested that there is an increase of calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which can create a greater muscle force production, (22). It has also been theorised that the effects of caffeine are probably exerted through effects upon the central nervous system or skeletal muscle by greater motor unit recruitment and alterations in neurotransmitter function (23).
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.
Niacinamide is otherwise known as vitamin B3 and is an antioxidant. Research studies have shown that niacin supplementation increases growth hormones in response to anaerobic exercise (24) as well as a reduction in fasting triglycerides (25). An increase in fasting insulin has been found due to a decrease in insulin sensitivity (26). Further research is needed for this supplement in order to understand the mechanisms.
Research studies on vitamin B12 have found that it is required for red blood cell production (27), Protein synthesis and the repair and maintenance of tissue cells. (28).
This product contains ingredients that can reduce tiredness due to the effects of caffeine. This product should be consumed pre 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 – Balsom, P. D., Soderlund, K., & Ekblom, B. (1994). Creatine in humans with special reference to creatine supplementation. Sports Medicine. 18(4), 260 – 280.
3 – Greenhaff, P.L., Bodin, K., Soderlund, K., Hultrnan, E. (1994). The influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis following intense contraction in man. American Journal of Physiology, 266(5), 725-730.
4 – Jones, A. M., Atter, T., & Georg, K. P. (1999). Oral creatine supplementation improves multiple sprint performance in elite ice-hockey players. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 39, 189-196.
5 – Hultman, E., Soderland, K., Timmons, J. A., Cederblad, G. & Greenhaff, P. L. (1996). Muscle creatine loading in men. Journal of Apllied Physiology. 81(1), 232-237.
6 – Casey, A., Constantin – Teodosiu, D., Howell, S., Hultman, E., & Greenhaff, P. L,. (1996). Creatine ingestion favourably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise in humans. American Journal of Physiology. 271(1), 31-37.
7 – Baguet, A., Koppo, K., Pottier, A., & Derave, W. (2010). β-Alanine supplementation reduces acidosis but not oxygen uptake response during high-intensity cycling exercise. European journal of applied physiology, 108(3), 495-503.
8 – Sale, C., Saunders, B., & Harris, R. C. (2010). Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance. Amino acids, 39(2), 321-333.
9 – Parkhouse, W. S., McKenzie, D. C., Hochachka, P. W., & Ovalle, W. K. (1985). Buffering capacity of deproteinized human vastus lateralis muscle. J Appl Physiol, 58(1), 14-7.
10 – Verbitsky, O., Mizrahi, J., Levin, M., & Isakov, E. (1997). Effect of ingested sodium bicarbonate on muscle force, fatigue, and recovery. Journal of Applied Physiology, 83(2), 333-337.
11 – Linderman, J. K., & Gosselink, K. L. (1994). The effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on exercise performance. Sports Medicine, 18(2), 75-80.
12 – Galloway, S. D. R., & Maughan, R. J. (1996). The effects of induced alkalosis on the metabolic response to prolonged exercise in humans. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 74(4), 384-389.
13 – Smith, G. I., Jeukendrup, A. E., & Ball, D. (2007). Sodium acetate induces a metabolic alkalosis but not the increase in fatty acid oxidation observed following bicarbonate ingestion in humans. The Journal of nutrition, 137(7), 1750-1756.
14 – Sugino, T., Aoyagi, S., Shirai, T., Kajimoto, Y., & Kajimoto, O. (2007). Effects of citric acid and L-carnitine on physical fatigue. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 41(3), 224.
15 – Baldwin, J. E., & Krebs, H. (1981). The evolution of metabolic cycles.
16 – Rutherford, J. A., Spriet, L. L., & Stellingwerff, T. (2010). The effect of acute taurine ingestion on endurance performance and metabolism in well-trained cyclists. International journal of sport nutrition, 20(4), 322.
17 – Kingston, R., Kelly, C. J., & Murray, P. (2004). The therapeutic role of taurine in ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Current pharmaceutical design, 10(19), 2401-2410.
18 – Zhang, M., Izumi, I., Kagamimori, S., Sokejima, S., Yamagami, T., Liu, Z., & Qi, B. (2004). Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino acids, 26(2), 203-207.
19 – Wiles, J. D, Bird, S. R, Hopkins, J. & Riley, M. (1992). Effect of caffeinated coffee on running speed, respiratory factors, blood lactate and perceived exertion during 1500-m treadmill running. British journal of sports medicine, 26 (11), 116-120.
20 – Kalmar, J. M & Cafarelli. E. (1998). Effects of caffeine on neuromuscular function. Journal of Applied Physiology, 87(2), 801-808.
21 – Costill, D. L., Dalasky, G. & Fink, W. (1978) Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Journal of Medicinal Science and sports exercise, 10 (3), 155–158.
22 – Tarnopolsky, M. A. (1994). Caffeine and endurance performance. Journal of Sports Medicine, 18(2), 109–125
23 – Bruce, C. R., Anderson, M. E. & Fraser, S. F. (2000). Enhancement of 2000-m rowing performance after caffeine ingestion. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32 (11), 1958–1963.
24 – Stokes, K. A., Tyler, C., & Gilbert, K. L. (2008). The growth hormone response to repeated bouts of sprint exercise with and without suppression of lipolysis in men. Journal of Applied Physiology, 104(3), 724-728.
25 – Plaisance, E. P., Mestek, M. L., Mahurin, A. J., Taylor, J. K., Moncada-Jimenez, J., & Grandjean, P. W. (2008). Postprandial triglyceride responses to aerobic exercise and extended-release niacin. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 88(1), 30-37.
26 – Vega, G. L., Cater, N. B., Meguro, S., & Grundy, S. M. (2005). Influence of extended-release nicotinic acid on nonesterified fatty acid flux in the metabolic syndrome with atherogenic dyslipidemia. The American journal of cardiology, 95(11), 1309-1313.
27 – d’Onofrio, G., Chirillo, R., Zini, G., Caenaro, G., Tommasi, M., & Micciulli, G. (1995). Simultaneous measurement of reticulocyte and red blood cell indices in healthy subjects and patients with microcytic and macrocytic anemia. Blood,85(3), 818-823.
28 – Fenech, M. (2001). The role of folic acid and vitamin B12 in genomic stability of human cells. Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, 475(1), 57-67.