DEMO DAY more than just carbs!
Better strength, better endurance, better hydration, better pumps, better recovery it all sounds a little too good to be true but thats what were told to expect from Axe & Sledges DEMO DAY. Carbohydrate supplements are anything but new but we have come a long way from just using pure maltodextrin. Axe & Sledge have come into the carbohydrate market with the plan of creating the one and only glycogen replenishment supplement you will ever need. So the question is, have they done it?
Carb10 (Legume-based starch derived from Pisum sativum (peas))
Carb10 is a legume-based starch that is derived from peas. It possesses some very unique properties when compared to other carbohydrate supplements on the market. It has a very low osmality which allows for incredibly fast gastric emptying, meaning you won’t have that full stomach sluggish feeling which training. Normally this fast gastric emptying comes with a large spike in blood sugar and insulin, however, Carb10 elicits almost no blood sugar and insulin response when consumed. This really provides the ‘best of both worlds’ with an easily digested carbohydrate that has minimal effect on blood sugar, therefore, providing consistent and long-lasting energy. Carb10 brought to us by Compound Solutions.
Dose p/serve: 15 grams of Carb10
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Carb10
Cluster Dextrin® (Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin)
Cluster Dextrin® is a patented version of Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD). HBCD is a unique variation of dextrin; compared to other carbohydrate supplements it has some very useful properties. Its super low osmality means it passes through the stomach very quickly and won’t give you that bloated feeling. But in comparison to similar fast digesting carbohydrates that provide a short-lived and sharp blood sugar and insulin spike, HBCD provides a sustained and extended release of energy for the body to utilise. It has a very minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels.
Dose p/serve: 11 grams of Cluster Dextrin®
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Cluster Dextrin®
L-Taurine is considered to be a ‘conditionally-essential amino acid’ meaning that our body can create Taurine but it can also be required to be consumed through diet and supplements for individuals that have certain conditions. Taurine is responsible for a number of processes within the body such as helping with electrolyte balance and hydration, playing an important role in digestion as it’s used to form bile salts, regulating minerals within our cells, supporting the function of our central nervous system (CNS) and finally, assisting our body in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Dose p/serve: 2 grams of L-Taurine
Recommended dosage: 500 mg – 4 grams of L-Taurine
GlycerPump® (Glycerol Powder (standardized to 65% Glycerol))
GlycerPump® is a glycerol powder standardized to yield 65% glycerol from each dose. Glycerol is referred to as a cell volumizer, which is actually a superficial benefit of increased water retention providing incredible pumps and fuller muscles. Glycerol, when consumed, is distributed throughout the body into various fluid compartments. When consumed with adequate fluids, glycerol will increase osmotic pressure which allows the body to retain more fluids and will lead to the expansion of various fluid compartments, a state referred to as hyperhydration. From a physiological and performance this hyperhydration, caused by glycerol, can result in greater endurance, longer time to exhaustion, reduced HR while exercising, improved aerobic and anaerobic performance and improved recovery from training.
Dose p/serve: 2,000 mg of GlycerPump®
Recommended dosage: 1,000 – 5,000 mg of GlycerPump®
Palatinose, also known as isomaltulose, comes from the sugar beet. Just like sucrose, Palatinose is made up of one glucose and one fructose unit. The difference is in the bond between those units. Unlike sucrose, Palatinose provides a much longer lasting energy supply while also causing a considerably smaller increase in blood sugar levels, therefore less insulin being released and all resulting in more stable blood sugar levels. Palatinose provides the same amount of energy as sucrose (4 cal per gram) but at a much more sustained rate.
Dose p/serve: 2,000 mg of Palatinose
Recommended dosage: There is no clinical dose for Palatinose
Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum Verum)
Cinnamon is made from the bark that comes from the Cinnamomum Verum plant. Studies have shown supplementing with cinnamon bark to have two main effects in the body. Cinnamon, when supplemented, has been shown to have an insulin-like response in the body, lowering blood sugar levels and assisting in the transport of glucose into cells. It has also been studied to have an effect on increasing insulin sensitivity from not only consistent supplementation but also immediately after a single dose.
Dose p/serve: 50 mg of Cinnamon Bark
Recommended dosage: 120 – 6,000 mg per day of Cinnamon Bark
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an organic compound that can be found in human cells. ALA has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity; with insulin resistant patients showing improvement after supplementation. In animals studies, ALA was shown to reduce blood sugar levels by as much as 64%.
Dose p/serve: 50 mg of Alpha-lipoic acid
Recommended dosage: 100 – 600 mg per day of Alpha-lipoic acid
Carbs, carbs and some more carbs, and some other ingredients too. Its safe to say this isnt your typical carbohydrate formula, Axe & Sledge have really put together a very unique formula.
Lets quickly breakdown the carbohydrates in DEMO DAY:
Carb10 – Fast digesting, minimal increase in blood sugar & insulin
Cluster Dextrin® – Fast digesting, minimal increase in blood sugar & insulin
Palatinose – Fast digesting, minimal increase in blood sugar & insulin
Hang on a second, we have 3 different carb sources that all react the same and provide similar benefits? Yes, thats pretty much spot on. It then begs the question of why? We can only speculate but we believe the reasoning is the greater the variety the better. Instead of providing all the carbohydrates from a single source; we are getting 3, very unique and high quality, sources of carbs.
While all 3 carbs sources do provide similar benefits in regards to digestion rates, blood sugar increases and also insulin responses similar is not the same as identical. Each source will be digested just that little bit slower or faster, provide that little bit less or more increase in blood sugar and insulin response and also provide that little bit shorter or longer duration of energy. In short, 3 sources of carbs are better than 1, especially when they are 3 very high-quality sources used in DEMO DAY.
To help our body utilise these carbohydrates better we then have Cinnamon Bark and Alpha Lipoic Acid. These two are thrown into the mix to help out with 2 main benefits; the first being increasing our bodies insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is the measure of our responsive our body is to the consumption of carbs. The more sensitive we are, the better our body will respond and then utilise the carbs. The other benefit is the improved ability to reduce blood sugar levels. When we consume carbs our blood sugar increases and our body does what it can to reduce this level back to what our body considers normal. The more efficient we are at reducing blood sugar levels back to normal the better utilised the consumed carbohydrates will be. We personally, would have loved to have a larger dose of these two in this formula, but you can argue, some is better than none.
Finally, we have GlycerPump® and L-Taurine; these 2 are used to help maintain and improve our hydration throughout our workout. L-Taurine has been used for years in intra-workout, hydration and even post-workout formulas for its benefits in electrolyte balance control as well as increasing hydration levels in the body. GlycerPump® is typically seen in pump and pre-workout formulas but this ingredient has some amazing endurance benefits. GlycerPump®, when consumed with adequate fluids, can cause a state of hyperhydration. It essentially forces our cells to open the gates and take in more than the usual amount of fluid. This increased hydration has incredible benefits for endurance, muscle pumps and recovery.
We’ve got some of the best quality carbohydrates on the market, ingredients to make our body utilise carbohydrates better and then ingredients to put us into a state of hyperhydration. We told you DEMO DAY wasnt your typical carbohydrate formula.
Taste & Consumability:
There are 2 flavours to choose from in DEMO DAY, Big Cherries & Big Melons. We were only able to try and taste the Big Cherries flavour, so we cannot comment on the Big Melons flavour. I can already imagine every Australian turning their nose up at the idea of a cherry flavoured supplement from an American based supplement company. Generally speaking, the taste pallet is very different from Americans to Australians and cherry flavours are the best example of this difference.
Thankfully, the team over at Axe & Sledge have done a great job on this cherry flavour. Big Cherries is NOT your typical, and often feared, sickly/ artificial/ medicine cherry flavour we have all too often had to endure. Its actually quite an enjoyable flavour that we didnt mind using for session after session. However, given the choice, we would definitely opt for trying to the Big Melons flavour if it were available.
Flavours aside, the texture & mixability are the next aspects to consider here. Mixability is superb; we have used too many carbohydrates in the past where if you didnt pour the water into your shaker at the right temperature, or chuck your shaker into a paint mixer you would end up with clump after lump of gloopy carbs as you drank it. Whereas with DEMO DAY, we found the mixability was fantastic. As for texture, this was a more noticeable factor in its consumability. Were not sure exactly what ingredient (or ingredients) are responsible for it but, regardless of the amount of water we used, we always had a slightly grainy texture to the drink.
Its not a deal breaker for us, as it is much more enjoyable than drinking clumps of carbohydrates throughout your workout but you definitely notice the graininess with each sip you take. Of course, we understand it’s not going to be the same as just drinking water or pure aminos, but it’s worth noting.
Does DEMO DAY deliver? At the start of this review we mentioned what Axe & Sledge wanted to deliver with this product; so let’s go through and see how it went.
Strength is always a hard performance factor to comment on. One day you might feel strong but the numbers dont reflect that feeling, and on the flip side, you could be having an absolute rubbish day but get a new PR in the gym. What we can say is that our strength from the start of the session was able to be carried through the entire workout. We noticed we were able to move some weights that would normally be used for our 1st or 2nd exercise when we were 4 – 5 exercises deep.
Tieing into the strength factor, endurance was dramatically improved. The combination of the 3 different sources of carbs, all being able to be digested rapidly with no bloating and heavy feeling in the stomach meant they are able to utilised very quickly. There is no doubt we noticed a significant increase in energy being carried through each session. It was a very enjoyable benefit of using DEMO DAY.
Once again, not the easiest factor to comment on but we believe the combination of GlycerPump® and L-Taurine along with the carbs had us keeping our muscle cells well hydrated, granted we drank enough fluids. We would typically mix 1 – 2 servings of DEMO DAY into a TMJApparel 1 litre shaker and it would be finished within an hour of training. We would then refill with water and keep sipping until we finished training. While we cannot confirm the increased hydration we know for sure we were never dehydrated using DEMO DAY.
Easily the most enjoyable benefit of DEMO DAY is the muscle pumps. The combination of rapidly digesting carbs and the GlycerPump® and L-Taurine putting ourselves into a state of hyperhydration, the muscle pumps were something else. So much so, we would happily say you won’t need to use a pump supplement when using DEMO DAY intra-workout. But theres more to it than just physical pumps, we know that a full and pumped muscle is a hydrated and nutrient filled muscle; this ties into a lot of the other performance benefits weve spoken about with this product.
I take it back, this is the most enjoyable benefit of DEMO DAY. The combination of additional carbohydrates, increased muscle pumps and hydration together really puts your body in the best position to kickstart that recovery process as soon as you finish training. We were genuinely surprised at how much better we were recovering from each session even as we were able to train harder and heavier for longer. This improved recovery then comes back around to then improve our performance in the next session as we come into it feeling fresher and not to forget, feeling fuller too!
Axe & Sledge have intended this product to be used either pre-workout, intra-workout and/or post-workout and the formula has been designed with this in mind. It is very unlikely you will stack DEMO DAY with a product that would contain any of these ingredients in dosages that would need to be careful about. GlycerPump® and L-Taurine may be found in your pre-workout formula but you can comfortably have double, if not more, the dose that is found in one serving of DEMO DAY. Cinnamon Bark and Alpha Lipoic Acid definitely have an upper range to stay within but given they are both underdosed in DEMO DAY, it’s unlikely you will run into any issues with incorporating this product into your daily supplement routine. Axe & Sledge have done a very good job at making this formula versatile.
What’s The Verdict:
Does DEMO DAY deliver? Yes, it does and it does so spectacularly. Axe & Sledge have put together a premium stand-alone carbohydrate supplement that will be hard to beat. If you are serious about your workout performance, this is something you need to try. If you are serious about your workout recovery, this is something you need to try. DEMO DAY is a very versatile carbohydrate supplement that has performance benefits that go well beyond your typical carb supplement.