More Than Just Creatine!
Creatine is creatine, we all know what it does and chances are we have all used it at some point. But there are so many more ingredients out on the market that help boost your physical performance. Arms Race Nutrition have put together, what they believe, are the best performance-enhancing ingredients going around in their product Vigor.
Creatine Monohydrate is the most well-studied, researched, and, a proven form of creatine. Creatine has been shown to increase the amount of creatine and creatine phosphate in the body. The more creatine we have within the body, the more we have to utilise for energy. Creatine is used in our ‘explosive’ energy system, typically used when performing short duration, high-intensity movements such as lifting weight and sprinting.
Dose p/serve: 5,000 mg of Creatine Monohydrate
Recommended dosage: 5,000 – 10,000 mg of Creatine Monohydrate per day
Betaine Anhydrous, also known as Trimethylglycine, or TMG for short is a natural compound that is found in the body. Betaine plays a few roles in the body but is most known for providing similar benefits to Creatine. Muscular Power and Energy have been studied benefits of Betaine Anhydrous. On top of this, Betaine is known for its ability to reduce homocysteine levels dramatically, even from a single-serve. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to cardiovascular and other health complications.
Dose p/serve: 2,500 mg of Betaine Anhydrous
Recommended dosage: 2,500 – 5,000 mg Betaine Anhydrous per day
PeakO2™ [Cordyceps militaris (Cordyceps), Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), Pleurotus eryngii (King Trumpet), Lentinula edodes (Shiitake), Hericium erinaceus (Lions Mane), and Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)]
PeakO2™ is an organic-certified combination of six Ayurvedic mushroom strains. These mushrooms are powerful adaptogens, which allow athletes to “adapt” to and overcome physical and mental stress, giving you the extra edge you want to take your training to the next level. PeakO2™ is brought to us by the ingredient masterminds over at Compound Solutions. PeakO2™ has been shown to boost both endurance AND power, it’s a real powerhouse ingredient.
Dose p/serve: 2,000 mg of PeakO2™
Recommended dosage: 1,000 – 2,000 mg PeakO2™ per day
Coenzyme Q10, or also called CoQ10 for short, is a naturally occurring compound that assists in generating energy within the cells in the body. The body naturally produces CoQ10 but as we age the production of it also decreases. CoQ10 is stored within the mitochondria of the cells; the mitochondria being the ‘powerhouse’ of the cells responsible for the production of energy. The mitochondria also protect the cells from oxidative damage as well as viruses and bacteria that deteriorate health. CoQ10 supplementation can help support general day to day health but, more importantly, it can improve physical performance by supporting this powerhouse energy production system we use all day, every day!
Dose p/serve: 100 mg of Coenzyme Q10
Recommended dosage: 100 – 200 mg Coenzyme Q10 per day
AstraGin® (Astragalus membranaceous (root) and Panax notoginseng (root))
AstraGin® is a patented, 100% natural compound that increases absorption of many vital nutrients promoting a healthy gut environment. AstraGin® has been shown to increase the absorption of peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and phytonutrients by up-regulating the absorption specific mRNA and transporters, such as SGLT1, CAT1, and GLUT4. This makes it extremely valuable to almost all formulas and all products as upregulation of the absorption of these ingredients are key to maximise performance.
Dose p/serve: 50 mg of AstraGin®
Recommended dosage: 25 – 50 mg AstraGin® per day
One thing is for sure with the formula here in Vigor, it is a lot more than just creatine. So lets breakdown exactly what we have and what they provide for us…
Creatine – Muscular Power & Strength
Betaine – Muscular Power & Endurance
PeakO2™ – Muscular Power & Aerobic & Anaerobic Endurance
Coenzyme Q10 – Natural Energy Production
AstraGin® – Increased Uptake & Absorption
We’ve got strength, power and endurance being covered with a few different ingredients all utilising different pathways in the body. We won’t beat around the bush here, while the formula is based around 3 main ingredients, those 3 ingredients are possibly the 3 most effective ingredients they could have used here. Not too mention, they are all in full clinical dosages for all 3.
In fact, all 5 ingredients are in full clinical dosage in the single scoop serve of Arms Race Nutrition Vigor. The addition of the Coenzyme Q10 does provide a unique approach to your stimulant-free performance-enhancing supplements which we really like. Taking a step back from the typical ingredients and thinking how can we upregulate the bodies natural energy production through the mitochondria. Coenzyme Q10 is a product that a lot of supplement with year-round for general health benefits so we love the use of it here.
Alright, that’s a lot of positivity for the formula, would we change anything? Yeah, of course, we would. If we were to have our way with the formula, there would be two changes we would look at trying, testing and comparing to the original formula. The first being a different form of creatine being used, we love Creatine Monohydrate… good ol’ faithful Creatine Monohydrate BUT it can cause some stomach issues for people. Swapping it for maybe Creatine Hydrochloride or even the branded MagnaPower Creatine would be worth a try.
The second possible change we would consider would be swapping the regular Betaine Anhydrous for something a little more exciting like Betaine Nitrate. Of course, this would require a larger serving size of Betaine Nitrate to ensure we still got the 2.5g of Betaine but the addition of Nitrates could provide that extra edge on this formula with increased blood flow for oxygen delivery and muscle pumps.
Taste & Consumability:
You’ve got 3 flavours to pick with Vigor and they are:
The flavours are great! Simple as that. However… yeah, unfortunately, we do have a ‘however’ here… the ingredients and the dosages of the ingredients do leave you with a rather grainy/gritty texture with each sip of Vigor.
Going back to our first point, the flavours are great. Especially with the large dose of PeakO2, the flavour does cover it very well. But as with most clinically dosed formulas, somethings gotta give and with Arms Race Nutritions Vigor, it’s the grittiness that comes through. If we had to pick ourselves a favourite flavour, it would have to be Sweet Geeks (Grape)!
And here we are, the actual effects, after all, this is a stimulant-free performance-enhancing supplement and we’re sure the one you want to know is…”Does it work?”
We used Vigor in two different ways through this testing phase:
Weeks 1 & 2 – Was our loading phase
Week 3 – Serve was taken daily (anytime)
Week 4 – Serve was taken daily (pre-workout)
Weeks 1 & 2 were treated as a loading phase as despite us already taking creatine religiously we had not been supplementing with PeakO2 consistently for a few months. Studies show PeakO2 has a loading phase of 14 days with a 2g daily serve before full effects can be expected. Not to say we weren’t noting any effects but we knew full effects would come in week 3.
Week 3 we took our serve of Vigor at a time throughout the day, no specific time, it was typically in the morning but nowhere near ‘pre-workout time’. The tubs guidelines for consumption is simply, 1 scoop daily, with no reference to time. The way we look at it, Creatine Monohydrate we prefer to consume post-workout, whereas Betaine Anhydrous and PeakO2 have been shown to have a positive effect on performance when consumed pre-training.
So how did it go? Well, the single-serve daily definitely provided some noticeable effects. Given this is in Week 3, we know all the ingredients should be doing their thing by now. The most noticeable feeling was just of increased well-being daily. Almost as if we had up’d our calories, gotten a good nights sleep and our gym crush said hey to us… you know what we mean. In the gym, this translated into two effects: Increased Power and Muscular Endurance.
While we don’t track every weight we lift for every rep we have a sound understanding of our strength, without a doubt we were lifting heavier with each working set, session after session. It was quite intriguing as we wondered how much heavier could we keep going before we hit the wall again. Meanwhile, those sets were not only heavier but longer as well. Especially towards the end of a workout when you start reaching for dropsets and giant sets… they lasted waaay too long in some situations.
What about Week 4? We changed it up and took our daily serve of Vigor pre-workout, this would allow us to notice any differences from the 3 weeks of ‘inconsistent’ non-pre-workout serves. And to be completely honest we didn’t actually notice any improvements over what we were already experiencing by simply taking Vigor daily.
Of course, this is only one person’s experience with Vigor but the science on these ingredients does point to consistent daily consumption to ensure the full benefits are experienced. And we do agree with that, it is more beneficial to get your daily serve of Vigor consumed rather than worrying about trying to take it pre-workout. We would almost suggest adding Vigor to your daily morning supplement stack, but that’s entirely up to you.
What’s The Verdict?
Would we choose Vigor over just pure Creatine? Heck yes, we would! But that’s a bit of no brainer. If you take your physical performance seriously, this is your kind of product. If you want to perform consistently day-in, day-out in the gym, this is your kind of product. If you want to ensure you a giving your body studied ingredients that will help you perform at a higher level, this you kind of product. Give Arms Race Nutrition Vigor a try!