Performax Labs MassMax: Natural Anabolic & Hunger Booster

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We’re usually pretty excited when Performax Labs releases a new product, as they have some of the most innovative and aggressive formulations on the market. In Performax’s 2021 rebrand, they upgraded the mood-boosting pre-workout formula HyperMax Extreme (3D), one of our all-time favorite fully-dosed high-stim pre-workouts. This is in addition to their nutrient-partitioning formula SlinMax that enables greater carbohydrate consumption, which pairs well with the unique and powerful AlphaMax natural testosterone booster.

Performax Labs MassMax

Performax Labs MassMax – the hunger-boosting natural anabolic supplement

But there’s another supplement in their stack that doesn’t get enough attention – and it should, because it’s wildly underutilized and is perfect for those who are looking to put on as much natural muscle as possible. We’re talking about Performax Labs MassMax, their natural anabolic supplement that increases both appetite and muscle protein synthesis.

MassMax: Boost your appetite, boost your muscle growth

Performax actually released a version of MassMax before — it was known as MassMax XT — but it received a big facelift and some key ingredient updates. We never covered it until now, but looking at this formula, we definitely should have!

So let’s buckle up and take a close look at how the updated Performax MassMax can help you maximize your gains. But first, check the PricePlow-powered prices and sign up for our Performax Labs alerts, they have more innovations coming after this:

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Ingredients

In a single 4-capsule serving of MassMax from Performax Labs, you get the following:

  • Anabolic Ecdysteroid Complex

    • Rhaponticum carthamoides extract – 350 mg

      Performax Labs MassMax

      Performax Labs MassMax Ingredients — note that the suggested dosing described below is split – two capsules in the AM, two capsules in the PM — with your highest-protein meals!

      You may have heard of Rhaponticum carthamoides as a rich source of ecdysteroids, a class of plant-based compounds with a molecular structure that’s similar to testosterone. The Rhaponticum extract is standardized for 20-hydroxyecdysone, also known as ecdysterone, one of the most studied ecdysteroids known to science.

      According to the latest research, ecdysterone has strong anabolic properties but does not affect the androgen system that’s responsible for regulating testosterone production. The lack of androgenic activity is a good thing because it means that you can use ecdysteroids without worrying about the negative feedback mechanisms that make anabolic steroid use so problematic.

      In one study, ecdysterone increased muscle mass by about 7% while decreasing fat mass by about 10% on average.[1] To further demonstrate its effects, studies of animal cell cultures have shown that ecdysterone is capable of increasing the diameter of muscle fibers in rats.[2]

      In addition, the label also calls out the following ecdysteroids:

      20-Hydroxyecdysone

      20-Hydroxyecdysone and Polypodine B look quite like some other popular anabolics![3]

      • Makisterone C
      • 24-dehydromakisterone A
      • Carthamosterone
      • Polypodyne B
      • Ajugasterone C

      These ecdysteroids are known steroid hormones of arthropods[3] (and their side-chains),[4] and many of them have structures quite similar to testosterone.

      Whole spectrum Rhaponticum

      Why not just use isolated ecdysterone? The reason is simple: the research suggests that whole-plant extracts containing a spectrum of ecdysteroid compounds are more effective than any particular ecdysteroid in isolation.[5]

      Whole-plant Rhaponticum extracts have been shown to create significant increases in muscle mass,[1] fat mass[1] and work capacity.[6]

      With other anabolic substances disappearing from the market, we highly expect to see far more ingredients such as Rhaponticum carthamoides and others that include numerous ecdysteroids — Performax Labs was well ahead of this trend, which isn’t a surprise to anyone that follows the brand.

    • Sodium Caprate – 50 mg

      Premium supplement formulas usually include some kind of bioavailability-enhancing compound, which basically increases the effectiveness of every other ingredient by increasing your body’s ability to absorb them. In the case of MassMax, that’s where sodium caprate comes in.

      MassMax Benefits

      A 2013 in vitro study on a human intestinal cell line, performed at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Germany, found that sodium caprate “caused a rapid and reversible decrease of transepithelial resistance.”[7] It’s a technical way of saying that sodium caprate made intestinal cells more permeable, which allows more nutrients to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream where they can be used by your body.

      For the consumer, the inclusion of ingredients like this one means you’re getting significantly more bang for your buck, and won’t end up paying for “expensive pee”. We’ll see two other ways Performax Labs chose to boost ingredient bioavailability below as well.

  • Androgenic Fatty Acid Esters

    • Methyl-P-Mass (Methyl Palmitate-hydroxypropyl-B-cyclodextrin) & Methyl-O-Mass (Methyl Oleate-hydroxypropyl-B-cyclodextrin) – 125 mg each

      Methyl palmitate and methyl oleate are two esters of fatty acids that occur naturally in honeybee drone milk, a substance that has recently been investigated by scientists due to its long history of use in folk medicine for its androgen-like effects.

      Methyl Oleate Methyl Palmitate

      Reference: Androgenic effect of honeybee drone milk in castrated rats: Roles of methyl palmitate and methyl oleate[8]

      Believe it or not, a 2014 study found that honeybee drone milk supplements significantly boosted testosterone levels and muscle mass in castrated rats[8] – suggesting that the supplements can act like testosterone in the mammalian endocrine system.

      The authors of that study have speculated that these two fatty acid esters were the components of honeybee drone milk responsible for the anabolic and androgenic effects. Interestingly, though, tests using isolated methyl palmitate showed that while it did have pronounced anabolic effects, it did not have androgenic effects. To get androgenic effects, methyl palmitate had to be present with methyl oleate, which is why Performax made sure to include both esters in MassMax.

      Boosted in a cyclodextrin

      Further, these two ingredients are prepared in a cyclodextrin process, which encapsulates the fatty acids in a hydrophilic (“water-loving”) sugar, making for easy absorption in the body. This has been shown to work in other types of anabolic therapies, although with different sublingual ingredients.[9]

  • Follistatin & Nitric Oxide Potentiator

    • (-)-Epicatechin (95%) – 250 mg

      Flavanols have been studied intensely for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Among the flavanols, epicatechin stands out as an absolute superstar and has become incredibly popular in the supplement industry for its demonstrated ability to increase muscle gains and improve athletic performance. In the research literature, the following benefits have been associated with epicatechins:

      Epicatechin Myostatin Follistatin

      This study was performed on elderly, but alongside resistance training, epicatechin had the best results on myostatin and follistatin levels![10]

      • Higher strength and better muscle growth[11,12]
      • Better glucose metabolism and tolerance[13]
      • Better physical endurance[14]
      • Lowered levels of fatigue[14]
      • Higher nitric oxide (NO) production[15]

      Key to epicatechin’s ability to do this is that it inhibits myostatin, a proteinaceous compound with documented anti-metabolic properties.[12] This is done by boosting follistatin, which inhibits the signaling of myostatin.

      Newer epicatechin research

      Since our original article on MassMax XT, which also had epicatechin, more research has been published on the ingredient. In 2019, an 8-week study on older adults was published, showing that epicatechin combined with resistance training led to physiological improvements in follistatin and follistatin/myostatin ratio along with strength improvements in leg press and chest press when compared to placebo.[10] Additionally, epicatechin with resistance training outperformed resistance training alone.[10]

      While the above study was with older people, the biological improvements to follistatin and the successful combination of weight training is incredibly promising.

      Finally, animal models have shown that epicatechin improves insulin sensitivity,[16] an effect that will come in handy when MassMax’s appetite booster described below kicks in!

    • Camellia sinensis (leaf) extract (std. for 50% epigallocatechin-3-gallate) – 200 mg

      We’ve described green tea leaf extract as a “metabolic catch-all” because of its incredibly powerful effects on many dimensions of human metabolism. Among other things, green tea extract can increase the body’s rate of thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation,[17] both of which will help you burn stored body fat and increase your metabolic flexibility.

      Just to give a quick run-down of green tea extract’s documented effects on the human body:

      Green Tea Catechins

      Green Tea offers multiple powerful catechins, including EGCG. This one may increase fat oxidation, and thus, enhance fat loss!

      • Increased fat oxidation and reduced body fat percentage[18]
      • Better circulation[18]
      • Improved insulin sensitivity[19,20]
      • Lower blood pressure[21]
      • Better sense of overall well-being[21]

      Green tea can also prevent testosterone from being glucuronidated, which prevents the elimination of testosterone from your body and effectively increases its half-life.[22] Animal studies have suggested that green tea extract might even act as an inhibitor of aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen.[23]

      The MassMax label is sure to call out that this is a 50% standardization for Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate, also known as EGCG. This provides a more full-spectrum green tea extract to pair with (-)-epicatechin above, and we believe that this strategy – similar to that of Rhaponticum carthamoides – provides a more powerful, synergistic combinatorial effect, as shown in other fields of research.[24]

      As an example, green tea consumption has been shown to lead to vasodilation,[25] an effect we believe should be primarily attributed to epicatechin above, but there may be additional constituents in tea also contributing to this effect, so we like the combination of both.

  • GH Secretagogue Receptor Agonist & Ghrelin Release

    • Atractylodes lancea Rhizome Extract – 500 mg

      Now it’s time to boost hunger and growth hormone!

      Performax Labs AlphaMax

      Performax Labs AlphaMax has the new look, but the same formula – and that’s a great thing because this natty test booster is a beast!

      Famed in traditional Chinese medicine for its ability to treat a number of common gastrointestinal ailments ranging from low appetite to nausea, Atractylodes lancea has been shown in the research literature to increase intestinal motility[26] and the rate of gastric emptying[26] by upregulating a hormone called ghrelin.[27]

      Since ghrelin is the “hunger hormone” and stimulates appetite, this is a good thing for anyone who’s trying to gain muscle mass – especially ectomorphic “hard gainers” who typically struggle to eat surplus calories.

      Ghrelin also stimulates the release of growth hormone,[28] which is why it’s listed on the MassMax label as a “secretagogue”.

      Ultimately, you’re not going to gain much mass if you don’t eat like it each and every day. Some individuals need a biological kick to force them to eat more – and Atractylodes lancea rhizome extract is just the way to do it.

    • BioPerine (Black Pepper Extract) – 10 mg

      MassMax

      A closer look at the MassMax bottle

      BioPerine functions in this formula the same way that sodium caprate does – it increases the bioavailability of all the other ingredients in the supplement. But whereas sodium caprate does this by increasing intestinal permeability, the piperine in BioPerine works by inhibiting the stomach enzymes that break ingredients down before they can reach the intestine.

      BioPerine also upregulates GLUT4,[29] a transporter that’s expressed in response to exercise and helps move glucose into muscle tissue, which is definitely what you want for maximum gains. BioPerine has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help reduce fatty liver symptoms,[30] partly because it has powerful antioxidant properties.[31]

      Higher-dosed piperine works great in capsule supplements

      BioPerine has a really strong peppery taste, so it’s not typically added to powder formulas at this dose for that reason. This is one advantage of using capsules as your delivery vehicle: you get the upsides of BioPerine without the disagreeably dominant flavor.

Dosage and instructions

Performax Labs MassMax Dosage

Note the split dosage – 2 in the AM, 2 in the PM!

MassMax works best in a split dosage – two in the AM, and two in the PM with high-protein meals. See the image attached to the right.

Conclusion

There are some great ingredients here in MassMax – the fatty acid esters from honeybee drone milk are something we don’t see much at all, and the combination of those with ecdysterone puts this supplement on the cutting edge of the industry trends, even a few years after its initial release. Performax Labs has been ahead of the curve time and time again, so we’re not really surprised.

Atractylodes rhizome extract is a great thing to see – although there are tons of “mass gainer” calorie dense powders and such on the market to help hard gainers eat big, there aren’t many supplements that chemically stimulate your appetite. If you’re simply not hungry often enough, this effect alone makes it worth trying.

For maximum results, consider stacking MassMax with AlphaMax, and when you’re taking high-carb meals, consider them with SlinMax. Finally, the HyperMax + VasoMax pre-workout stack is one that must be tried at some point!

Performax Labs MassMax – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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No spam, no scams.

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.

MassMax Featured Ingredients

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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References

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  16. Cremonini, Eleonora, et al. “(-)-Epicatechin Improves Insulin Sensitivity in High Fat Diet-Fed Mice.” Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, vol. 599, 1 June 2016, pp. 13–21, 10.1016/j.abb.2016.03.006; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5523407/
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  20. Venables, Michelle C, et al. “Green Tea Extract Ingestion, Fat Oxidation, and Glucose Tolerance in Healthy Humans.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 87, no. 3, 1 Mar. 2008, pp. 778–784, 10.1093/ajcn/87.3.778; https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/3/778/4633440
  21. Brown, A. Louise, et al. “Effects of Dietary Supplementation with the Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Insulin Resistance and Associated Metabolic Risk Factors: Randomized Controlled Trial.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 101, no. 6, 19 Aug. 2008, pp. 886–894, 10.1017/s0007114508047727; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819662/
  22. Jenkinson, Carl, et al. “Dietary Green and White Teas Suppress UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase UGT2B17 Mediated Testosterone Glucuronidation.” Steroids, vol. 77, no. 6, May 2012, pp. 691–695, 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.02.023; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22429924/
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  29. ‌Maeda A, Shirao T, Shirasaya D, Yoshioka Y, Yamashita Y, Akagawa M, Ashida H. Piperine Promotes Glucose Uptake through ROS-Dependent Activation of the CAMKK/AMPK Signaling Pathway in Skeletal Muscle. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Jun;62(11):e1800086. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201800086; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29683271/
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  31. Mittal R, Gupta RL. In vitro antioxidant activity of piperine. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Jun;22(5):271-4. doi: 10.1358/mf.2000.22.5.796644; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11031726/

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