Knowledge

The Hammer Nutrition Daily Essentials Formula

 

By Steve Born

Steve Born, Hammer Nutrition's Fueling Expert
Steve Born
Steve's decade-plus of involvement in the sports nutrition industry, as well as nearly 15 years of independent research in nutritional fueling and supplementation, has given him unmatched familiarity with the myriad product choices available to athletes.

Updated 04/2010

While there are several products in the Hammer Nutrition line, all with specific benefits, fulfilling specific needs, I believe that with consistent use of three Hammer Nutrition products—Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and Mito Caps—athletes will derive exceptional benefits for both athletic performance enhancement and overall health. This does not suggest that other products in the line, or other nutrient supplements, would not be appropriate. What I am suggesting though is that these three products will provide an enormously wide range of benefits for both athletic performance and overall health purposes. These “Daily Essentials,” in my opinion, produce a most solid foundation from which any other supplement will yield even better benefits.

The Benefits These Supplements and Protocol Achieves:

  1. Provides replenishment of basic vitamins and minerals, which athletes deplete in greater volume than do sedentary people, to optimize overall health.

  2. Provides enhanced support for the immune system and cardiovascular system by supplying a wide range of antioxidants for the neutralization of free radicals and the cellular destruction they cause.

  3. Provides key substrates to enhance and ensure efficient production of energy.

  4. Provides support for mitochondrial health. In my view, the longer you can stimulate the lifespan or health of the mitochondria, the longer you will live and the better you will perform in endurance events. The athlete who has the most healthy/efficient active mitochondria is the athlete who performs at their best.

Premium Insurance Caps

Let’s start off by agreeing on one major thing: No supplement can, nor should, take priority over the consumption of a healthy diet. So yes, even though the information you’re going to read is about a supplement product, I cannot emphasize enough that the primary objective to be fulfilled if you want to improve your athletic performance and overall health is to consistently consume a healthy diet. What does that entail? It means eating whole (organic) foods as much as possible, while avoiding packaged/processed foods and junk foods at all times. Also avoid, as much as possible, the consumption of foods containing artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and preservatives. Additionally, you want to limit your intake of sodium; under 2300 mg/day is a good target to aim for. Lastly, you want to avoid all highly processed sugars (the “ose” sugars - sucrose, fructose, glucose, etc.) in your daily diet and especially during exercise. These sugars are not only inefficient fuels, they’re health hazards as well. A good thought to keep in mind regarding your diet is one we’re fond of saying: “The quality of the calories you consume ALWAYS matters.”

Even the best of diets is not enough!

Eating whole foods is by far the best way to supply your body with the myriad plant-derived, health-benefiting phytochemicals, but today’s food supply can’t provide all of the basic vitamins and minerals. Our food simply won’t even meet the nutrient needs of average people, let alone athletes. Dr. Bill Misner wrote this many years ago, and it’s something I’ve never forgotten (and neither should you) –

“Athletes today ingest only 11% of the organic nutrients from their food sources that the athletes of the 1940’s enjoyed.”

Even more sobering is the ever-increasing body of research that suggests that many people’s diets are insufficient in supplying enough nutrients to prevent a deficiency disease.

Did you get that? Forget about providing enough nutrients to promote optimal health, many people do not eat enough quality food to meet the minimal Reference Daily Intake (RDI) micronutrient requirements for preventing deficiency-related disorders. Misner’s hallmark paper, “Food May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients to Avoid Deficiency” (Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 261:49-52, April 2005, available at http://www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/diet_deficiencies.pdf) is but one effort to point out this startling problem.

Dr. Misner is not the only one who suggests that diet alone does not provide adequate disease-preventative micronutrients at the current RDI-level. The research of the distinguished nutritional scientist Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, also presents a hypothesis that implies micronutrient deficiency may eventually deteriorate the quality of whole human cell health. A portion of Professor Ames’ abstract reads as follows:

Inadequate dietary intakes of vitamins and minerals are widespread, most likely due to excessive consumption of energy-rich, micronutrient-poor, refined food. Inadequate intakes may result in chronic metabolic disruption, including mitochondrial decay. Deficiencies in many micronutrients cause DNA damage, such as chromosome breaks, in cultured human cells or in vivo. Some of these deficiencies also cause mitochondrial decay with oxidant leakage and cellular aging and are associated with late onset diseases such as cancer.

REFERENCE: Ames BN, Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2006; 103 (47): 17589-94. (Address: Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94609, USA). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101959?dopt=AbstractPlus

Bottom Line: Our diets, no matter how good we think they may be, may not provide enough of the micronutrients needed to prevent a deficiency. That’s why taking supplements, especially a multivitamin/mineral supplement, is a wise strategy to employ; it helps bridge the gap between what you should be receiving and what you’re actually getting from your diet. Consuming the best possible diet as consistently as possible, and augmenting that with a multivitamin/mineral supplement plus additional antioxidants and auxiliary/complementary nutrients, is the best way to cover your nutritional bases.

Consistent high quality diet and high quality vitamin/mineral supplementation - The key for adequate nutrient support

It’s up to you to take care of the diet part, eating adequate amounts of high quality foods as consistently as possible, but as far as a high quality vitamin/mineral supplement is concerned, you need to look no further than Premium Insurance Caps. Unlike many vitamin/mineral supplements that contain inadequate Referenced Daily Intake (RDI) amounts of nutrients (keep in mind that the RDI is the minimal standard for preventing nutrient-deficiency diseases), Premium Insurance Caps is formulated with Optimum Daily Intake (ODI) amounts of the highest quality vitamins and minerals, which supplies your body with higher amounts of nutrients, the quantities it needs for optimal health. Also included in the formula is an impressive array of “super foods,” digestive enzymes, and amino acids. Needless to say, Premium Insurance Caps is an extremely complete formula.

Sadly, far too many athletes and active people discount the value of taking a vitamin/mineral supplement, instead putting their faith in the notion that “you can get all you need from your diet.” That, as emphasized from the earlier-listed information, is a major mistake. Additionally, many athletes don’t place much emphasis on taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement, perhaps because they don’t consider it to be as “glamorous” as other supplements, meaning that they may not feel that it will really have much of an impact on their athletic performance. This, of course, isn’t true and here’s why:

Providing the body with adequate supplies of vitamins and minerals is similar to pouring a strong foundation prior to building a house. Without this strong foundation in place, none of the other necessities of the house will have any structural integrity or be of much benefit. Similarly, without adequate replenishment of vitamins and minerals, many of your important bodily systems/functions (especially your immune system) will not be receiving the basic support they need. At the very least, this means you can’t get the full value out of all the hard work you put into your training. It could also very well mean compromised immune system function, which is definitely something you want to avoid.

I encourage you to not fall victim to the “you can get all you need from your diet” myth. Additionally, please don’t consider the use of a multivitamin/mineral supplement as being unnecessary. Remember, as an endurance athlete you place enormous physiological demands on your body so your nutrient requirements—just to maintain health—are much greater than the average person. As Dr. Misner states, “Endurance athletes require more minerals, antioxidant vitamins, and water-and fat-soluble vitamins, because exercise intensity or duration takes its toll, often depleting them faster than food can alone re-supply them.”

Your goal isn’t to just maintain health at a minimally acceptable standard; your goal is to achieve supreme health! In addition, you want to get the absolute most out of your body so that it can do what you want it to in your workouts and races, while you have more fun and achieve greater success in the process. That’s where an intelligent, high quality supplement program comes in; it plays an undeniably vital role in helping you achieve optimal athletic performance and overall health. Premium Insurance Caps is the foundation of that supplement program!

Premium Insurance Caps Suggested Usage

Premium Insurance Caps Usage Chart

Race Caps Supreme

As most of us know, mitochondria are micro organelles ("little organs") found in virtually all cells in the human body, except red blood cells. The 20-2500 mitochondria per cell produce the majority of the body's energy (ATP) by means of an intricate and complex process called cellular respiration. The production of ATP within the mitochondria involves two metabolic cycles known as the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, which is also called the "Krebs" or "citric acid" cycle, and the oxidative phosphorylation electron transport chain, commonly abbreviated as ETC.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a main component of Race Caps Supreme is a vital catalyst, perhaps THE primary substrate involved in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Without going into the complexities of this process, which would take several pages, we can truly say that CoQ10's importance cannot be understated; without CoQ10 the chain of cellular energy production is broken. Needless to say, CoQ10 is a crucially important nutrient (a "spark plug," if you will) for the efficient production of energy from your food and oxygen intake. Exercise rapidly depletes these important nutrients, so taking Race Caps Supreme is like putting fresh spark plugs into your body, ensuring consistent, efficient energy production. This translates into higher energy levels, increased endurance, and improved recovery.

CoQ10's importance goes way beyond athletic performance enhancement, however, with one nutrition expert bluntly stating, "Without CoQ10, or a good substitute, human life quickly ends." Thus, CoQ10's role in maintaining clean and efficient energy production is obviously crucial for maintaining optimal health, especially in regards to cardiovascular and brain health and strong immunity. When it comes to cardiovascular health, one well-known cardiologist is quoted as saying, "I have long considered CoQ10 a wonder nutrient because of its ability to support heart health." In addition, CoQ10 has numerous other benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, aiding in the prevention of many forms of cancer, and playing a potentially key role in the prevention of Parkinson's disease. It even helps promote healthy teeth and gums, and supports healthy skin by providing protection against UV radiation. Wonder nutrient indeed!

As we age, both our endogenous (naturally produced by our body) supply of CoQ10 and our ability to synthesize this nutrient from our food diminishes. In fact, research has shown that CoQ10 levels in humans peak at around the age of 20, declining with every passing year. It is believed that by the age of 40, the body has 40% less CoQ10 than at age 20, and 60% less at age 70. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 75% of people over age 50 in the United States could be deficient in CoQ10. The body's need for CoQ10 never diminishes, however, which makes supplementation absolutely essential; it is the only way to maintain and restore adequate levels of this vital nutrient.

Bottom line: For both athletic performance and general health applications, there is simply no question that supplementing with CoQ10 is an extremely wise strategy. For athletes (all people, actually) in their 30's and older, supplementation with CoQ10 isn't just a good idea, it's essential!

Idebenone is an analogue of CoQ10 (the "good substitute" mentioned earlier) and the other primary ETC component in the Race Caps Supreme formula. A superb complement to CoQ10, some experts suggest it may be even more powerful than CoQ10. Dr. Bill Misner explains, "Idebenone supplies all of the same benefits as CoQ10 [acting as a "spark plug" for the production of energy (ATP) as well as being a potent antioxidant] plus some distinct advantages based on its more complex chemical structure."

While CoQ10 is perhaps the most important substance one can take for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, idebenone also provides superb nutritional support in those specific areas, while appearing to have even greater brain-specific benefits. Dr. Misner writes, "Idebenone protects the brain from the detrimental effects of serotonin deficiency and facilitates endogenous serotonin production. Serotonin deficiency compromises sleep and may contribute to chronic depression. Idebenone favorably affects blood flow in the brain, reproducing verbal fluency, creativity, and memory. Idebenone enhances endogenous norepinephrine production by facilitating cellular uptake of tyrosine. This suggests that idebenone may indirectly improve the uptake and reproductive role of tyrosine in thyroid hormone production. Thyroid hormone deficiency is a factor in performance and body mass index."

Other "brain benefits" attributed to idebenone include improved cognition and mood, reduced damage from Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and a role in the prevention of damage caused by excitotoxins (a class of substances produced from the consumption of substances such as MSG and some artificial sweeteners) which can impair neuronal functioning. On top of that, idebenone appears to positively affect liver mitochondrial function, which suggests that it would support and enhance the detoxification functions of the liver (NOTE: Another notable "liver health" nutrient is r-alpha lipoic acid, which is in Mito Caps).

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of idebenone is its unique ability to operate under hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions, helping to produce energy and maintain high energy levels without creating free radicals. In other words, under the same cellular low oxygen conditions that can cause CoQ10 to act as a pro-oxidant, idebenone helps prevent free radical damage while still supporting ATP production.

Why both CoQ10 and Idebenone?

If idebenone is supposedly a "better CoQ10," then why do we put both nutrients in Race Caps Supreme? I mentioned one reason earlier: while they are similar in chemical structure and provide some similar benefits, each nutrient also has its own specific benefits. Additionally, there's a synergistic process between them, as they enhance each other's effectiveness. Dr. Bill writes, "When idebenone is taken with Coenzyme Q10, each potentiates the other by a factor of nearly 10X." Dr. Bill further states, "Add to this the special antioxidant and performance-associated properties of vitamin E, trimethylglycine (TMG), and inosine (all three discussed later), the dosage from coenzyme Q10 and its ubiquinone synthetic, idebenone, is easily equivalent to a 300-400 mg dose of what each generates when taken alone."

Bottom line: Like CoQ10, idebenone provides a multitude of benefits that go well beyond athletic performance enhancement. Most sports nutrition companies have likely never even heard of idebenone, let alone know what it does, but Hammer Nutrition has provided this potent and highly beneficial nutrient to athletes for years. Not available in any endurance athlete-specific supplement, with Race Caps Supreme, you have the power of idebenone available to you.

If only because of the CoQ10 and idebenone components, Race Caps Supreme blows the doors off any other athlete-specific supplement, both in terms of athletic performance enhancement and overall health benefits. But there's a lot more to the Race Caps Supreme formula; a lot more...

Other powerfully beneficial components in the Race Caps Supreme formula

Vitamin E – The problem with energy production is that it's not a completely "clean" process; a naturally occurring and unavoidable metabolic by-product is the production of free radicals that can cause tissue and cellular damage. That's precisely why vitamin E, while not directly involved in the cellular respiration process, is a vital component in the Race Caps Supreme formula. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that, along with CoQ10 and idebenone, helps neutralize the free radicals naturally produced during energy production. Vitamin E has numerous general health benefits as well, especially in the areas of cardiovascular and circulatory system health.

Race Caps Supreme contains vitamin E in the easily assimilated succinate form, so not only do you receive the multiple benefits of vitamin E, the succinate component provides a key substrate for Krebs cycle energy production.

Oxy-Assist – This is a precise blend of the three nutrients that provide benefits for enhancing oxygen utilization, optimizing fats-for-fuels capabilities, and for providing additional support for energy production and acid buffering:

  • Trimethylglycine (TMG) – This nutrient helps with the utilization of fatty acids for energy production, has been used to treat muscular weakness and degeneration, is a powerful antioxidant, and primarily acts as a methyl donor, enhancing the transport of oxygen to muscle tissues. TMG is also noted for its beneficial effects at helping lower elevated levels of homocysteine, which is implicated in cardiovascular disease.
  • Inosine – Of the many roles this nutrient plays in the body, one of which is in the production of ATP, inosine helps increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to the muscles, thereby reducing fatigue.
  • Glycerol phosphate – Used in the muscle mitochondrial cells for the production of energy, phosphates are also beneficial for buffering excess acidity.

Krebs cycle intermediates – Earlier I mentioned that Race Caps Supreme's CoQ10/Idebenone combination fulfilled a major component for the ETC. For supporting the TCA cycle, the Race Caps Supreme formula supplies a precise amount of the Krebs cycle intermediates malate, citrate, aspartate, lysinate, glycinate, which are chelators for the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Another Krebs cycle intermediate, alpha ketoglutarate, is included as well.

Digestive aids – Hammer Nutrition takes seriously the oft-used saying, "It's not how much you eat, it's how much you absorb." If your body doesn't absorb adequate amounts of the nutrients-no matter how good they may be or how much we include in the formula-you won't receive all the benefits that you should. To ensure maximum nutrient absorption, Race Caps Supreme contains a potent blend of various digestive aids. One of these is a proprietary formula called the Enzyme Enhancement System(tm), which consists of no less than eight digestive enzymes, and the other is the well-researched standardized black pepper extract Bioperine™. The latter is of particular interest because it has been shown in reliable research to enhance the absorption rate of important nutrients such as CoQ10 by over 30%. That's huge!

Bottom line: Race Caps Supreme, in addition to its main components, CoQ10 and idebenone, contains key auxiliary components to complement those two powerhouse nutrients, while providing specific benefits of their own. Race Caps Supreme also supplies a variety of digestive aids to ensure you get the most out of the product, allowing you to receive maximal benefits. The combination of nutrients in Race Caps Supreme works synergistically to provide you with numerous athletic and general health benefits, unmatched by any other athlete-specific supplement.

A long time ago Dr. Misner wrote, "The objective in formulating the original Race Caps was to provide the ultimate ergogenic aid not only for improved cardiovascular-musculoskeletal performance on the field of competition, but also to benefit the overall health of the athlete." This is still the objective of the Race Caps formula only now, with Race Caps Supreme, the desired outcome of this objective has been realized to its fullest.

The extraordinary combination of "super nutrients" found in Race Caps Supreme works powerfully and synergistically to cover a wide range of requirements for maintaining consistent and efficient energy production. Perhaps even more impressive are the overall health benefits that may be derived from this product. For enhancing both athletic performance AND overall health consistent supplementation with Race Caps Supreme is a wise strategy. I believe all people would benefit from this product and it's an absolute essential for athletes.

Race Caps Supreme Suggested Usage

Race Caps Supreme Usage Chart

Mito Caps

Time and space limit what could take thousands upon thousands of pages to fill describing the actions and benefits of the nutrients contained in this product. I'll go out on a limb and say that this product is arguably the most important one Hammer Nutrition has ever introduced for promoting enhanced athletic performance and overall health. The Mito Caps formula is based on the studies of Dr. Bruce Ames regarding mitochondrial functioning, aging, deterioration, and regeneration. Mito Caps contains the two nutrients used in this landmark study: acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) and r-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA).

Mitochondria, the energy producing organelles of the cell, need certain substrates to maintain efficient energy production; that's where the nutrients in Race Caps Supreme, along with some of the B vitamins in Premium Insurance Caps, come in. However, energy production has a "dark side" as well in that it generates literally millions of free radicals. A free radical is an extremely reactive molecule carrying an impaired electron. Because of their reactive nature, all free radicals seek out and acquire an electron in whatever way possible. When free radicals steal electrons from "healthy" molecules they convert these formerly healthy molecules into free radicals themselves, or break down or alter their chemical structure. Needless to say, free radicals have a destructive, damaging trait, and excess amounts are extremely harmful. Free radicals, or perhaps more appropriately excess free radicals, are the basis behind the theory suggesting they play a key role in aging and many age-related diseases.

Certain antioxidants such as vitamins beta carotene, C and E, and the minerals manganese, zinc, and selenium in Premium Insurance Caps—along with the CoQ10, Idebenone, and vitamin E component of Race Caps Supreme—help protect cells from the continuous onslaught of free radicals, which is one reason why regular consumption of these two products is highly recommended for everyone, athletes especially.

But what about literally delaying, or even reversing, mitochondrial aging? What about restoring capabilities to more youthful levels? Antioxidants such as the ones mentioned above help protect cells, but can't do the whole job. What if there were nutrients available that would not only complement, enhance, and extend the capabilities of those nutrients, but also provide extraordinary benefits of their own? Ames' extraordinary studies have identified just such nutrients: acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) and r-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA). Ames' studies found that ALC and r-ALA each had a role in improving mitochondrial activity and cellular metabolism. significantly and positively influenced mitochondrial function in mice.

In fact, when Ames and his researchers fed older rats these two nutrients the results surprised even them. Not only did the older rats perform better on memory tests, they had more vigor and the mitochondria in the cells worked better. Dr. Ames is even quoted as saying, “With the two supplements together, these old rats got up and did the Macarena.” He went on to say, “The brain looks better, they are full of energy – everything we looked at looks more like a young animal.” Another researcher commented, “The animals seem to have much more vigor than animals not on this diet, signaling massive improvement to these animals’ health and well being.”

The crux of these studies (and yes, this is in very basic terms) is that the combination of these two nutrients “tunes up” the mitochondria. Tuning up human metabolism is likely a major way to minimize DNA damage, improve health (not to mention athletic performance), and prolong a healthy lifespan. Ames’ studies found that ALC and r-ALA did this “tune up” by improving mitochondria activity and cellular metabolism.

The unique & potent Mito Caps formula

Mito Caps incorporates the same nutrients used in Ames’ studies, and more&

Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) – L-Carnitine is a derivative of the amino acid lysine and is synthesized in the body by five different enzymes involving the amino acids lysine and methione, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and the reduced form of niacin (NAD). Small amounts—roughly 10-50 mg—of l-carnitine are synthesized daily, which is adequate for preventing deficiency problems. However, these amounts are most likely insufficient for athletes. One nutritional scientist writes, “Although the body makes l-carnitine, it may not make an optimum amount for athletes, because muscle carnitine levels are rapidly depleted even during moderate exercise.”

This would make supplemental l-carnitine essential for endurance athletes. Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) is arguably the premier form of this nutrient for two reasons:

  1. It provides l-carnitine, which is the key nutrient involved in the shuttling of fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy production.
  2. It also provides acetyl groups, which may be used in the formation of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is involved in cognitive function.

In addition to its crucial role in how the body uses fatty acids for fuels, l-carnitine directly impacts energy production and the health of the mitochondria in other ways&

It is believed that the performance of the mitochondria to produce energy is largely dependent upon the composition and functionality of the lipids that make up the mitochondrial membrane. It is also believed that the decrease in cellular energy production that comes from the aging process is at least partially due to the alteration of the lipid composition and content of the mitochondrial membranes. There are a variety of phospholipids that are biosynthesized and make up the membrane of the mitochondria; cardiolipin is one of them and when scientists studied the membrane makeup of old rats versus young rats, they found no significant changes in the other phospholipids but they did see a one-third decline in the concentration of cardiolipin.

The significance of this is that the optimal activity of Cytochrome C oxidase, which is a key enzyme complex in mitochondrial energy production (via the oxidative phosphorylation, a.k.a. electron transport chain cycle), is dependent on adequate levels of cardiolipin. When researchers gave the rats doses of acetyl l-carnitine they found an increase in cardiolipin levels and that the activity of the Cytochrome c oxidase enzyme system was restored to that of the younger rats.

Scientists also discovered that the activity of another enzyme—adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT)—also decreases with age. ANT is a carrier protein that exchanges Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) for Adenosine Disphosphate (ADP) across the inner mitochondrial membrane from inside the mitochondria to the cytosol (outside of the mitochondria, but inside the cell). When ANT activity decreases it results in reduced ATP available for cellular energy production. When the aged rats where fed acetyl l-carnitine the activity of ANT was increased and thus energy production was increased.

Acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) also boosts the activity of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase, which plays a vital role in mitochondria fuel burning and energy production. ALC also boosts neurological functioning, which would support concentration and mental focus (a major benefit for ultra-endurance events). ALC is also believed to help preserve lean muscle tissue by decreasing excess levels of cortisol. Lastly, ALC seems to reduce the depletion of ATP by forming acetyl-CoA, which one nutritional expert states, “[is] the most important intermediary in the generation of energy from amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates.”

R-alpha lipoic acid (r-ALA or R-ALA) – R-ALA is intimately involved in the complex process of energy production. It is an essential cofactor for several multi-enzyme complexes (primarily the dehydrogenase complexes) that catalyze (increase the speed of a chemical reaction) critical energy metabolism reactions inside the mitochondria. It’s safe to say that the combination of r-ALA and acetyl l-carnitine dynamically influences energy production.

However, energy production, especially increased energy production, comes at a cost: more free radical production. Fortunately, the body has a variety of antioxidant mechanisms that counteract and neutralize the negative effects of free radicals. Increased energy production, as well as longer-term, high-level energy production (such as what endurance athletes do), increases the volume of free radicals that are produced, which can easily overwhelm the body’s built-in antioxidant defenses. This is the reason why the consumption of a variety of antioxidants is recommended and perhaps none are stronger or provide a wider range of benefits than r-alpha lipoic acid. R-ALA is commonly known as the “universal antioxidant” because it functions as both a water and fat-soluble antioxidant, with the ability to neutralize several different types of free radicals, perhaps more than any other antioxidant known to man.

In addition, a portion of r-ALA is reduced to a substance called Alpha-dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), which functions directly as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitrogen oxygen species (NOS) free radicals. Just as impressive as its antioxidant capabilities is DHLA’s ability to help regenerate “used up” or oxidized antioxidants such as vitamins C & E, CoQ10, and glutathione. One nutritional scientist wrote, “When an antioxidant like vitamin C neutralizes a free radical, it becomes oxidized itself, and is not able to neutralize other free radicals until it has been reduced or regenerated. DHLA is a potent reducing agent, and has the capacity to regenerate a number of oxidized antioxidants to their active antioxidant forms. DHLA can be regenerated from alpha-lipoic acid through the activity of enzymes present in cells."

So by taking r-ALA, energy production is optimized (especially when combined with acetyl l-carnitine) and the enormous amounts of free radicals produced from mitochondrial energy production are effectively neutralized, via both r-ALA itself as well as through the other antioxidants that it regenerates.

R-ALA also binds with excess free metal ions such as iron and copper, both of which can trigger a number of reactions that generate free radicals. R-ALA chelates (binds) with these ions in a way that prevents them from generating free radicals.

As mentioned earlier, r-ALA is involved in the regeneration of glutathione, which is arguably the most important antioxidant we have in our bodies. In addition to regenerating oxidized glutahione, R-ALA has been found to increase intercellular glutathione levels by increasing the uptake of cysteine by cells. In other words, r-ALA plays a vital role in the body’s production of glutathione, while also helping to regenerating already-existing glutathione.

Lastly, r-ALA is also believed to be involved in maintaining proper glucose metabolism by improving insulin sensitivity.

Note that many alpha lipoic acid supplements available today are a 50/50 mixture of two forms: the “R” form, which is the natural form, and the “S” form, which is synthetic. The “S” form of alpha lipoic acid, which is reduced in the cytoplasm, is inactive. The “R” form, the natural coenzyme, which is reduced in the mitochondria, is active. In other words, the r-lipoic isomer is the only active form in mitochondria cells. It was once thought that synthetic alpha lipoic acid, which contains both s- & r-isomers, would work within human cellular straits, but research showed that at mitochondria cell level only the r-isomer form made it though& IF the s-isomer form was not present to inhibit its transition. What this means is that the synthetic form of alpha-lipoic acid has NO effects inside mitochondria cells (it may actually have inhibiting effects that are potentially derogatory), in spite of half of it being composed of r-alpha lipoic acid.

DMAE and PABA – Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in fish. It stimulates the production of choline, which in turn allows the brain to optimize production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory. DMAE has been reported to inhibit the formation of the pigment lipofuscin, which is formed by the inefficient metabolism of fatty acids. Lipofuscin accumulates with age in all body tissues; in the skin it appears as liver spots. DMAE not only prevents the formation of lipofuscin, but has also been observed to remove liver spots completely. This may be equated with internal removal of aging cells by long-term supplementation with DMAE. One study evaluated the life extension effect of DMAE on old mice. Oral DMAE administration in the drinking water resulted in a reduction of mortality rate and an increase in both mean and maximum survival time in rats.

Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA) is a B-complex vitamin that acts in a structural role with folic acid and also functions in the formation of red blood cells. It is also a potent neutralizer of singlet molecular oxygen, a free radical that is a common by-product of metabolism. PABA’s free radical neutralization is a most powerful effect because it retards collagen cross-linking, promotes flexibility, and promotes healthy cell structures and membranes. Glycosylation (or glycation) is a process where glucose molecules attach themselves to proteins, eventually resulting in protein binding, or cross-linking, which alters their biological and structural roles. Cross-links, also known as advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), have been linked to the loss of flexibility and deterioration of connective tissue associated with aging.

All that said, and taking absolutely nothing away from the multiple benefits both DMAE and PAPA provide, the primary reason why theyexist in Mito Caps is to amplify and potentiate the ALC and r-ALA components. The amounts of ACL and r-ALA used in Ames’ studies are extremely high and supplementation with those amounts is not only impractical, but would be unbelievably expensive. DMAE and PABA are a nutrient substitute for the anti-aging “drug” GH-3 and mimic its effects, while providing substantial benefits of their own. Dr. Misner writes, “By adding essentially what is a GH-3 formula, the resulting effects of ALC and r-ALA are remarkably multiplied.” In other words, thanks to the combined effects of DMAE and PABA, less ALC and r-ALA are required to achieve noticeable benefits.

Vitamin E & Vitamin B6 – Vitamin E is a well-known fat-soluble antioxidant, which is one of the reasons for its inclusion in the Mito Caps formula. However, the primary reason that both vitamin E and vitamin B6 are in the product is because, in the words of Dr. Misner, “in order for the GH-3-like effect to be secure, these two nutrients must be present and available.” Put another way, for DMAE and PABA to yield their benefits, adequate amounts of both vitamin E and vitamin B-6 are necessary.

Ascorbyl palmitate – We all know the antioxidant benefits of vitamin C, the most common form of this vitamin being known as ascorbic acid. In addition to its many benefits, vitamin C enhances the bioavailability of carnitine, one of the key nutrients in Mito Caps, which results in greater fat utilization capabilities. Vitamin C is also available in a variety of other forms – one is ascorbic acid chemically bonded (chelated) to specific minerals such as calcium (calcium ascorbate). Another is the fat-soluble form known as ascorbyl palmitate.

Ascorbyl palmitate is a non-acidic form of vitamin C that, due to its lipid (fat)-soluble nature, has the ability to reach specific areas of tissue that ascorbic acid—an acidic, water-soluble form of the vitamin—cannot. In other words, ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbic acid work in entirely separate areas of the body and only ascorbyl palmitate—the fat-soluble form of vitamin C—is beneficial for aiding in the prevention of peroxidation of the lipid areas of the body.

Enzyme Enhancement System™ (a proprietary blend of Amylase, Lipase, and Protease) – The saying, “It’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb” is the rationale behind the inclusion of this trademarked blend of digestive enzymes. Simply put having these enzymes in Mito Caps helps maximize absorption of the nutrients in the product.

Bottom line: It would be hard, if not impossible, to find any product that contains a variety of nutrients that have so many benefits, both singularly and synergistically. No other product, in my opinion, has so many benefits that apply to both enhanced athletic performance and overall health. That’s why I consider Mito Caps to be such an important product, one that every person—athlete and non-athlete—should take every day for life.

I’ve taken to heart the words of Dr. Bill Misner, and I hope you do as well: “Mito Caps is a plausible and safe supplemental intervention that may reduce mitochondria substrate depletion imposed by age and endurance exercise stress. I have taken these substrates without any known side effects&except less fatigue, better endurance performance, and less required sleep. Very few substrate molecules function biochemically inside mitochondria cells. Endurance athletes should realize how incredibly important it is to effect mitochondria and that everything formulated in this compound influences mitochondria cell biochemistry function synergistically and remarkably. Mito Caps is a product that I recommend to be taken year-round.”

Mito Caps Suggested Usage

Mito Caps Usage Chart

Summary of the consistent use of the Daily Essentials

The combination of the above three products, while certainly not eliminating the possibility or probability for the need of other supplements, will provide a tremendous range of benefits for enhancing both athletic performance and overall health. Providing the body with these nutrients will in essence build a strong foundation from which any other nutrient can realize its full value.


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