AstroFlav PFP: Pump Focus Performance Stim-Free Pre-Workout

AstroFlav Stim-Free Pump, Focus, Performance

AstroFlav brings some not-as-popular ingredients into a popular product space.

AstroFlav is a company known for its astronomically good flavors.

We’ve been covering lots of capsule-based AstroFlav products lately, a category where, however, flavoring is obviously irrelevant.

But today, we’re announcing that you’ll get another chance at trying some amazing new AstroFlav flavors, as the company has launched its latest powder supplement.

AstroFlav PFP (Pump, Focus, Performance) – White Gummy Bear Flavored Non-Stim Pumps!

This formula comes in a White Gummy Bear flavor, and if AstroFlav’s track record is any indication, we’re sure it’s going to taste incredible.

But what’s really interesting about this formula is its use of two relatively obscure ingredients: Oligonol and PurpleForce. We’ve covered these ingredients before, but not in a pump-boosting context. As you’ll see, though, they have significant cardiovascular benefits, thanks to their impact on nitric oxide production.

Let’s get into it, but first, check The PricePlow news and deals:

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AstroFlav PFP Ingredients

In a single 1-scoop (15.9 gram) serving of Pump, Focus, and Performance from AstroFlav, you get the following:

Pump & Performance

    AstroFlav Pump, Focus, Performance Ingredients

  • L-Citrulline – 6,000 mg

    The amino acid citrulline is a precursor to nitric oxide,[1] a gaseous molecule whose presence in the blood triggers vasodilation, a mechanism that increases arterial diameter. However, citrulline isn’t the most direct precursor to NO – that would be another amino acid called arginine. Citrulline is an arginine precursor, so the full conversion pathway is as follows:

    Citrulline → Arginine → NO

    The reason we take citrulline instead of arginine is that even though arginine is the more direct precursor, citrulline’s bioavailability is so much higher that it ends up boosting NO more effectively.[2,3]

    Because of vasodilation, NO upregulation can help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently, pumping the same volume of blood at a lower blood pressure and heart rate.[4-6] For a lot of people, a drop in blood pressure can be a boon for health, but more generally, vasodilation can be an important aid in athletic performance and recovery – by improving circulation, vasodilation also improves cellular nutrient delivery and waste removal, making cellular function more efficient as well.

    Studies on citrulline consistently demonstrate that it can increase:

    • Power[7]
    • Endurance[8]
    • Muscle soreness[8]
    • Growth hormone (GH) response to workouts[9]
    • Protein sparing[10]
    • Anabolic response to workouts[11,12]

    Citrulline supplementation also increases the body’s production of an amino acid called ornithine, which is involved in ammonia detoxification.[13,14] Since ammonia buildup can cause mental and physical fatigue, getting rid of it faster can delay the onset of fatigue, effectively boosting endurance.

    Interestingly, citrulline supplementation can also increase the body’s DHEA-to-cortisol ratio,[14] which is an important marker of your body’s resilience to stress.

  • GlycerSize (Glycerol powder 65%) – 3,000 mg

    Glycerol, also known as glycerin,[15] is an osmolyte. This means that it affects the osmotic pressure around your body’s cells, which, in glycerol’s case, moves extra water into those cells.[16] The net effect of taking glycerol is a boost to the total amount of water in your body. In other words, an improvement in whole-body hydration at the cellular level.

    AstroFlav PFP Pre-Workout

    Most glycerol studies emphasize its ability to increase athletic endurance, as demonstrated in one study that found cyclists’ exercise time to exhaustion was substantially lengthened by glycerol ingestion.[17] Now, glycerol does contain a very small number of calories, but it’s too small of a factor to matter. The same study found that a glycerol+carb combination did better than glycerol and water.[17]

    Another study found that three weeks of glycerol supplementation can increase anaerobic power,[18] so this ingredient is definitely not only for endurance athletes.

    Glycerol works best when you drink it with plenty of water – if you’re worried about needing to use the bathroom too much, don’t be. Glycerol actually decreases urination frequency by improving water retention in the body.[19,20]

    While not an NO-boosting ingredient, glycerol does improve the body’s thermoregulation, decreasing cardiovascular strain during heat exposure.[21] Its ability to protect cells from heat shock makes it a great ingredient to take during outdoor summer workouts.[19,21]

  • Oligonol proprietary blend (Low-molecular-weight polyphenol from lychee fruit extract and green tea leaf extract) – 150 mg

    Oligonol is a patented mixture of high-polyphenol extracts from lychee fruit and green tea.

    High polyphenol intake is known to improve cardiovascular health by increasing NO bioavailability and inhibiting platelet aggregation.[22] Polyphenols in general inhibit a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa, which is a fibrinogen activator.[23] In other words, polyphenols have a fibrinolytic effect.[23]

    But what we’re really interested in here is Oligonol’s ability to increase vasodilation.

    Preliminary studies looking at Oligonol’s ability to do this have yielded promising results. For example, a Japanese study on middle-aged men and women (average age of 48) suffering from cold extremities – a sign of impaired peripheral artery function – found that Oligonol supplementation significantly increased surface skin temperature, which indicates an improvement in circulation.[24]

    Waki, et al., Oliginol, peripheral blood pressure

    Compared to a placebo, groups that took Oligonol saw significantly greater improvements in both peripheral blood flow and surface skin temperature, which were directly measured in the study. These two charts indicate subjects’ response to cold water exposure – post5 means 5 minutes after exposure, etc. Gray lines represent data collected on day 1 of the study period, while black lines are data from day 14. The Oligonol-only group is represented by circles, Oligonol+plant extracts by triangles, and placebo by squares.[24]

    As the study authors point out, previous research has indicated that oligomerized polyphenol extracts from lychee fruit can upregulate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), the enzyme responsible for NO production[25] – a mechanism that was undoubtedly at play in Oligonol’s improvement of peripheral blood flow and surface skin temperature.

    Kang, et al., Oliginol, OLFE

    30 days of Oligonol supplementation at 200 mg/day significantly improved running time to exhaustion in healthy young men. While groups taking vitamins C+E and a placebo also saw gains, the improvement experienced by the Oligonol group was much bigger.[26]

    A randomized controlled trial in healthy young men also found that Oligonol can significantly improve aerobic endurance as measured by time to exhaustion during a running test.[26] While the mechanism of action here isn’t certain, it seems obvious that NO-mediated vasodilation must be at play – vitamins C and E, both powerful antioxidants, didn’t cause nearly as much of an improvement in the same study, meaning it’s unlikely that the antioxidant effects of Oligonol were responsible for the endurance boost.

    Overall a very cool ingredient. It’s not at all surprising that it works to improve circulation, since, as we’ve discussed many times on The PricePlow blog (just search our archive), green tea extract, one half of the Oligonol formula, is known beyond any shadow of a doubt to increase NO activity.

  • Phyto-C (acerola juice concentrate, Strawberry, Green Coffee Bean Extract, Green Tea Extract, Maqui, Acai, Turmeric Extract, Kale, Tart Cherry, Broccoli, Blueberry) – 150 mg

    Phyto-C is a botanical extract blend that’s designed to provide natural vitamin C and 15% polyphenols by weight.

    Phyto-C Logo

    As we just discussed in the previous section, polyphenol antioxidants, in general, are fantastic nitric oxide boosters, and vitamin C has also been shown to increase NO bioavailability,[27] so Phyto-C is the perfect ingredient to include in this pump-focused formula.

    The vitamin C RDA is 90 milligrams, and a 150-milligram dose of Phyto-C delivers 20% of that,[28] so here we’re getting about 18 milligrams of vitamin C – not a huge amount, but definitely significant.

  • PurpleForce Purple Tea Extract (Camellia Sinensis) (Leaf) Standardized to 3% GHG) – 100 mg

    PurpleForce is a tea extract, but it’s not derived from the usual green tea or black tea – it comes from purple tea, a cross-bred variant of the Camellia sinensis (true tea) plant. Purple tea was bred to contain lots of anthocyanins, a group of red and blue polyphenol pigments that give famous superfoods like pomegranates, beets, and blueberries their signature colors.

    PurpleForce Logo

    Purple Tea’s cardiovascular benefits

    Ordinary tea has been shown to increase NO activity by stabilizing the NO molecule within endothelial tissue.[29] Since NO upregulation is, again, linked to better athletic performance,[30] we would expect to see the same result from purple tea consumption. After all, purple tea is tea plus anthocyanins, right? So if anything, it should be better.

    A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study from 2020 bears this notion out, finding that subjects who supplemented with PurpleForce completed significantly more leg extension reps than a placebo group.[31] They also had lower lactate dehydrogenase levels, which is significant because the body produces lactate dehydrogenase in reaction to increasing lactic acid levels. Thus, reduced levels of lactate dehydrogenase suggest a lesser accumulation of lactic acid in muscle tissue.

    Cesareo, et al., PurpleForce

    Subjects who supplemented with PurpleForce (PT) had significantly higher blood nitrate levels than the placebo group (PLA), indicating a rise in NO production.[31]

    But the really interesting thing, from a pump formula perspective, is that the PurpleTea group had higher serum nitrate levels, which indicates an increase in NO production.[31]

    Participants also reported more motivation to exercise,[31] which we think is something most readers will love to hear.

  • PurpleForce and GHG – effect on body composition

    AstroFlav PFP Pre-Workout Blue Raspberry

    While not strictly relevant to a pump formula, it’s worth mentioning that PurpleForce is standardized for a bioactive constituent called 1,2-di-Galloyl-4,6-Hexahydroxydiphenoyl–D-Glucose (GHG), which has powerful anti-obesity and anti-aging effects.[32]

    One study found that 100 milligrams of purple tea extract per day, taken for 30 days, significantly decreased subjects’ subcutaneous fat levels and increased lean body mass.[33]

    Other research has found that drinking purple tea every day is associated with lower BMI, body fat percentage and waist to hip ratio.[34,35]

    This is probably because purple tea can upregulate AMPK,[35,36] a mechanism that also has relevance to exercise performance.

  • AstraGin [Panax notoginseng Extract (root) & Astragalus membranaceus Extract (root)] – 50 mg

    AstraGin, a patented ingredient from NuLiv Science, is designed to increase the bioavailability of whatever else you take it with. In other words, AstraGin makes every other ingredient in this product more effective! The mechanism of action is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) upregulation, which enables your intestinal cells to do more work absorbing ingested nutrients.[37-41]

    Because of its positive effect on intestinal function, taking AstraGin long-term can even improve digestive health.[42]

Focus Blend

  • CognatiQ (Coffea arabica Fruit Extract) – 100 mg

    AstroFlav GlucoDrive

    AstroFlav GlucoDrive is a glucose disposal agent (GDA) with some tried-and-true ingredients like GlucoVantage dihydroberberine combined with a couple new ingredients like CyaniMAX to drive improved insulin sensitivity!

    CognatiQ is a coffee cherry extract engineered to possess high concentrations of bioactive constituents that increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).[43] BDNF is like fertilizer for neurons, helping them survive, grow and differentiate, even in adult brains.[44,45] Since exercise has a profound and positive impact on BDNF levels, putting CognatiQ in pre-workout formulas is a great strategy for synergistic effects on BDNF production.[46]

    A 2022 research review on BDNF points out that “during exercise stimuli the BDNF contributes directly to strengthening neuromuscular junctions, muscle regeneration, insulin-regulated glucose uptake and β-oxidation processes in muscle tissue.”[47]

    BDNF can also help your cells switch between fat and glucose burning to meet their energy needs.[47]

    One study found that 100 milligrams of CognatiQ can increase BDNF by 150%.[43]

  • L-Tyrosine – 1,000 mg

    Tyrosine plays a crucial role as a precursor to catecholamine neurotransmitters, including dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which are essential for focus, motivation, and energy.[48-50] Supporting the production of these neurotransmitters through tyrosine supplementation helps cognitive function during stressful situations.

    AstroFlav PFP Pre-Workout White Gummy Bear

    One really interesting illustration of tyrosine’s significance is the fact that it’s been studied by militaries worldwide for its anti-stress and wakefulness-promoting properties. Studies conducted by the United States military have revealed that tyrosine actually surpasses caffeine in enhancing alertness among sleep-deprived soldiers.[51,52]

    Additionally, tyrosine serves as a precursor to the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Sufficient tyrosine is essential for the production of these hormones in significant quantities.[53,54] Given that PricePlow readers typically embrace physical activity and a fitness-oriented lifestyle, it’s noteworthy that intense exercise and caloric restriction can both negatively impact thyroid function.[53-55] For individuals engaging in such behaviors, incorporating supplemental tyrosine can contribute to maintaining hormonal health.

  • Other Ingredients

    • Calcium (as calcium potassium phosphate citrate (Calci-K)) — 90 mg (7% DV)

    • Phosphorus (as calcium potassium phosphate citrate (Calci-K), Dipotassium phosphate) – 46 mg (4% DV)

    • Magnesium (from Magnesium Bisglycinate chelate) – 34 mg (8% DV)

    • Sodium (as sodium chloride) – 312 mg (14% DV)

    • Potassium (from Calci-K, Tri-potassium citrate, Dipotassium phosphate) — 114 mg (2% DV)

Currently Available Flavors

    Conclusion

    AstroFlav One Scoop Only Fruit Snacks

    Stacking One Scoop Only with their new PFP non-stim pre-workout looks like a ton of fun!

    Definitely an interesting and powerful little formula – it kicks off with generous doses of heavy-hitter pump ingredients citrulline and glycerol, and then adds some relative newcomers in the form of Oligonol and PurpleForce.

    Those last two ingredients seem to represent the next generation of polyphenol supplements. You can think of both as polyphenol diversification, taking tea extract as a solid baseline and then layering polyphenols from more exotic sources on top of that.

    Given that PurpleForce has awesome metabolic benefits as well, it’s an ingredient we’re really hoping to see more of in 2024.

    Finally, we appreciate the inclusion of vitamin C – its role in stabilizing NO remains generally underappreciated, and we think it should show up in way more pump formulas than it does right now.

    AstroFlav PFP – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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    Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

    Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

    About the Author: PricePlow Staff

    PricePlow Staff

    PricePlow is a team of supplement industry veterans that include medical students, competitive strength athletes, and scientific researchers who all became involved with dieting and supplements out of personal need.

    The team's collective experiences and research target athletic performance and body composition goals, relying on low-toxicity meat-based diets.

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    References

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