BCAA products are a dime-a-dozen in the supplement industry. Every company that formulates a pre workout no doubt has its own unique amino acid product to be used in conjunction with the pre.
While the vast majority of these intra workout supplements wouldn’t garner any more or less attention than the other, one in particular caught our eye.
Gym Juice from Athletic Xtreme is a unique intra workout product based mainly on PeptoPro, but with the addition of more BCAAs to get you to the 5g dose that most users like. A slew of other goodies have been added that makes this quite a unique intra workout supplement.
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Gym Juice Ingredients
Gym Juice uses a prop blend, but does divulge the contents of a few of the important ingredients, namely the amount of BCAAs and the cognitive booster, L-Tyrosine. As for the rest, they’re shrouded in mystery, but let’s see what we’ve got:
Juiced Up Blend (7,265mg)
PeptoPro® is a patented formulation of protein peptides manufactured by DSM that contains all 20 amino acids required by the body for muscle protein synthesis. Here, the amino acids have been instantized so they are rapidly digested and then passed on to the muscles where they can start their anabolic duties.[2,3]
DSM claims that this will not only improve recovery times for athletes, but also improves overall athletic performance and endurance.
Although this is one of the newer forms of BCAA delivery on the market, there is some solid research backing it. A 2008 study found that PeptoPro® was able to successfully stimulate muscle protein synthesis during resistance exercise.
This early research is promising and indicates that these hydrolyzed peptides seem to do the job. Hopefully, more research will continue to be published, specifically centered around athletic populations and its effect on muscle protein synthesis.
Bitter taste to be masked
The issue is that plagues most PeptoPro based supplements is that it’s quite bitter to taste. We’ve had the “Juicy Melons” (watermelon) flavor of Gym Juice, and Athletic Xtreme does a great job of making it work well, although it’s not as delicious as the best BCAAs out there.
The trade-off is that this product is extremely helpful and “energetic”. We definitely think that it’s worth trying a PeptoPro product like Gym Juice when you’re really dialed into a diet or a bulk. Fine-tuned bodybuilders typically love it, so long as they find a product like Gym Juice that tastes good.
Added BCAAs (to get to a total of 5g BCAA)
Gym Juice contains the 2:1:1 research-backed ratio of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). This means each serving of Gym Juice yields: 1,500mg of Leucine,750mg of Iso-Leucine, and 750mg of Valine. Coupled with the added aminos from PeptoPro, we have a grand total of 5g of BCAA in each scoop of Gym Juice.
The numerous benefits of BCAA supplementation really need little explanation, but it’s worth mentioning a few of the more important benefits, which include:
- Stimulating muscle protein synthesis[5,6]
- Speed Recovery
- Reduce Soreness/DOMS
This is a pretty smart play by AX. PeptoPro is great, but it’s a hydrolyzed casein protein, meaning it’s lowish on leucine. Simple solution… add more leucine! (and the other two BCAAs while you’re at it)
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid most often used to enhance focus and cognition. Tyrosine increases the production of noradrenaline and dopamine in the body. Greater amounts of these two powerful neurotransmitters improve concentration, reduce stress, and loweranxiety.[10,11]
This dose is decent, but this cheaper for of tyrosine generally requires 1-2g worth to really show big benefits in terms of heightened focus.
Adenosine 5′-triphophate (ATP)
ATP is a wonderful little molecule naturally produced by the body that gives cells the energy to perform work. What you may not be aware of is that ATP also improves blood flow (through vasodilation) and may reduce pain sensation.
You’d obviously want this in any pre or intra workout product, but research indicates it breaks down too quickly to be useful when supplemented externally. Still, direct supplementation has shown increased presence in the blood in some studies.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants abundantly found in fruits and vegetables. Frequently, people mega dose the stuff to ward off sickness and support general health.
In terms of enhancing workout performance, the research is conflicting. Early research demonstrated that high doses of antioxidants decreased athletic performance.[13,14]
More recent studies, however, paint a different picture. When taken pre workout, Vitamin C may actually enhance overall performance. Furthermore, other research suggests Vitamin C augments nitric oxide production in the body, via preservation of the Nitric Oxide Synthase enzyme (eNOS). Basically, N.O. production is higher which increases vasodilation, blood, flow, and pump.
Vanadium is a dietary mineral that is used to coordinate a number of vital functions, including insulin response and blood pressure. The trouble with supplementation has traditionally been that it’s poorly absorbed from gastrointestinal tract.[17,18]
BGOV is one of the “next-gen” forms of vanadium that’s purported to have greater absorption and bioavailability.
In terms of sports performance, BGOV improves glucose regulation which may help with controlling insulin levels during your workouts.[20,21] However, with regards to muscle growth, vanadium supplements have not been proven effective.[22,23]
Disodium Pyrroloquinoline Quinone
Quinone is an intriguing molecule, previously classified by science as a vitamin but now regarded as an aromatic compound with beneficial effects (similar to the way ergogenic compounds in herbs are classified).
Often seen as PQQ, it’s thought to aid in energy production and have an anti-fatigue effect, but the research on it is extremely preliminary.
Methylcobalamin can be thought of as a “super” version of vitamin B12 that has shown improved protective effects against certain diseases and the effects of aging. It’s usually used to quickly elevate and sustain B12 levels in those who are deficient due to disease, but from an exercise perspective it’s used to ensure B12 levels stay adequate at all times and support the body’s natural energy production.
Gym Juice comes in one of two flavors to quench your intra workout thirst: Juicy Melons and Green Apple, which we’re told is more of a “real apple” flavor. While these aren’t earth-shatteringly new flavors, it is refreshing to see a company not use the tired and mundane fruit punch and blue raspberry that so many other have. Plus, these are what work great with PeptoPro, and flavoring it is critically important when dealing with this ingredient.
Mike’s Gym Juice Review
When we started a technology partnership with Athletic Xtreme, I asked for a tub of Gym Juice. We actually had this article written a while ago, but it fell through the cracks. Now it’s here in all of its glory, plus my review below:
I’ve been curious in this stuff forever – even before becoming closer with AX. I’ve tried the SuperSize pre workout and thoroughly enjoyed it, and also think Ultra Reps is a super cool stim-free pre workout for endurance.
I had the Juicy Melons flavor as you can see up above and to the right. The honest truth is that it’s not the best tasting supplement – it’s obviously harder to flavor than straight BCAAs. And while I have a few other amazing tasting BCAAs in my cabinet, I keep coming back to this tub of Gym Juice! It’s kind of addictive.
I’m on a good workout kick lately, and everytime I take Gym Juice, I find myself saying “that was actually a great workout”. I’m using it for both lifting and swimming. I’m a more “dialed-in” swimmer, and I definitely notice this stuff when in the water.
The workouts just seem… energetic. It might be the ATP, or the PQQ (which I’ve never supplemented), but I’m kinda hooked on this stuff the past month and will be ordering some more once my standard BCAA stash is empty – seriously.
Taste and Mixability
One thing you’ll notice in the attached pic is that this is foamy! That’s how it goes with PeptoPro. I never really noticed until I shot this pic – usually because it goes down by the time I get to the gym and I shake it up with ice before leaving the house.
So to me, foaming is non-issue, but don’t be surprised if this happens for any of your PeptoPro supplements.
Regarding the taste, I’m also on a higher carb kick. So I simply add some carbs to this product, and the taste then becomes perfect. Yet the product is fine when taken straight.
Overall, I had no experience with a lot of ingredients in here, and I think it’s worth messing around with as long as you’re not expecting a 10/10 on taste.
While there’s admittedly limited research about some compounds in this formula like straight ATP and PQQ, and it would be nice to know exactly what the dose is, in the end it’s all about those aminos. This is where Gym Juice definitely delivers.
The use of instantized BCAAs should make for an easy mix, but be forewarned, other reviewers indicated that there’s a bit extra foam rising up in the shaker. Mike hasn’t really noticed this, but that’s a normal side effect of products using PeptoPro!
This is a good one if you feel like a change-up and haven’t tried PeptoPro yet and don’t want to deal with trying to flavor the raw stuff yourself.
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- Koopman, R, et. al; Ingestion of a protein hydrolysate is accompanied by an accelerated in vivo digestion and absorption rate when compared with its intact protein; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; July 2009
- Clabet, JA, et. al; Gastric emptying, gastric secretion and enterogastrone response after administration of milk proteins or their peptide hydrolysates in humans; European Journal of Nutrition; June 2004
- Apro, W, et. al; Influence of supplementation with branched-chain amino acids in combination with resistance exercise on p70S6 kinase phosphorylation in resting and exercising human skeletal muscle; Acta Physiologica; November 2010
- Norton LE, Layman DK. Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):533S-537S.
- Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R; Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S
- Howatson G, Hoad M, Goodall S, Tallent J, Bell PG, French DN. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 12;9:20.
- Sharp CP, Pearson DR. Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1125-30.
- Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF; Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress . Brain Res Bull. (1994)
- Dollins AB, et al; L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress . Physiol Behav. (1995)
- Rathmacher, J, et. al; Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) supplementation improves low peak muscle torque and torque fatigue during repeated high intensity exercise sets; Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 2012
- Paschilis, V. et al. Low vitamin C values are linked with decreased physical performance and increased oxidative stress: reversal by vitamin C supplementation Eur J Nutr (2014)
- Heller R, et al L-Ascorbic acid potentiates nitric oxide synthesis in endothelial cells . J Biol Chem. (1999)
- Poucheret, Patrick, et al. “Vanadium and diabetes.” Molecular and cellular biochemistry 188.1-2 (1998): 73-80.
- Sakurai, H., A. Tsuji, and J. O. Nriagu. “Vanadium in the Environment, Part 2.”Health Effects 297 (1998).
- Abraham, Sal, and Chris Ferguson. “Method and composition for improved muscle performance.” U.S. Patent No. 8,703,719. 22 Apr. 2014.
- Halberstam, Meyer, et al. “Oral vanadyl sulfate improves insulin sensitivity in NIDDM but not in obese nondiabetic subjects.” Diabetes 45.5 (1996): 659-666.
- Cohen, Neil, et al. “Oral vanadyl sulfate improves hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 95.6 (1995): 2501
- Talbott, Shawn M., and Kerry Hughes. “Vanadium. The Health Professional’s Guide to Dietary Supplements.” (2007): 419-22.
- Fawcett, J. P., et al. “Oral vanadyl sulphate does not affect blood cells, viscosity or biochemistry in humans.” Pharmacology & toxicology 80.4 (1997): 202-206.
- Nakano, M, et. al; Effects of Oral Supplementation with Pyrroloquinoline Quinone on Stress, Fatigue, and Sleep; Functional Foods in Health and Disease; 2012
- Woolf, K, et. al; B-vitamins and exercise: does exercise alter requirements; International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism; October 2006