SteelFit (@SteelFitUSA) has been on PricePlow’s radar, especially thanks to the thermogenic fat burner Shredded Steel, which we downright love. Run by a team of industry veterans, SteelFit is a relatively new company with a growing range of products, including everything from the aforementioned Shredded Steel fat burner to whey protein to fat burning gels… and now, a sleep support and recovery supplement. Today, it’s time to slip into Steel Dreams.
Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to making sure your hard work in the gym and the kitchen isn’t going to waste. The brain is restored and muscles are rebuilt while you sleep, so making sure your sleep cycle is in order will do wonders for your body and mind.
Steel Dreams: a three-dimensional sleep strategy
Steel Dreams is a sleep supplement that follows our preferred strategy when it comes to sleep aids. It combines three non-pharmaceutical worlds that have been shown to help sleep:
- Full-spectrum herbal sleep enhancers / inducers (Ashwagandha, Valerian, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Venetron)
- Single-ingredient compounds / amino acids (L-Theanine, 5-HTP, Melatonin)
- Mineral support (magnesium and calcium)
This hits the best of all worlds, providing both targeted and soothing benefits to improve time to sleep, sleep quality, and reduce anxiety and cortisol. Plus, there’s a new ingredient listed above that we’ve never covered!
We’ve got a breakdown of the Steel Dreams ingredient list below (and it’s clearly loaded), but before we dive in, check out PricePlow’s coupon-driven deals, and don’t forget to sign up for our SteelFit alerts since they’ve run a few great contests with us too!
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Steel Dreams Ingredients
SteelFit has combined several well-known and effective ingredients for the purpose of bringing you a better night’s rest. Improving sleep quality helps recovery from your workout sessions, and helps mental and physical performance the next day. In addition to assisting in having a restful and deep sleep, Steel Dreams also aims to relieve stress and take the load off your nervous system, a huge plus given that SteelFit is a diet-based company.
Listen to Mike’s explanation if you don’t want to read:
And now on to the research! The following ingredients come in the three capsule serving size:
KSM-66Ⓡ Ashwagandha (300 mg std. 5% withanolides)
One of the most popular adaptogenic herbs on the scene is Ashwagandha, known for its stress-relieving properties. It primarily functions by controlling cortisol levels. Cortisol is a powerful catabolic hormone, which may suppress testosterone when at high levels (such as in times of stress), and stagnating the gains you’re working so hard to make in the gym.[2,3]
In terms of actual sleep, studies performed on humans worked well for some — but not all — subjects. For those it works for, ashwagandha reduces sleep latency and improves sleep quality, which is what happens in rat studies as well. Based upon those studies, it seems to work as a GABAA agonist.
To top off this great ingredient, Ashwagandha has been seen to boost serum levels of Luteinizing Hormone, while simultaneously decreasing levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone. This may have some effects in boosting semen quality in addition to the rest of the benefits.[4,5]
Ashwagandha has seen growing popularity in the fitness industry due to its plethora of benefits, and it makes a great addition to a sleep aid. Plus, you’re getting the high-quality, trademarked form of it as KSM-66Ⓡ.
The dosage here perfectly pairs with the 300mg seen in Shredded Steel, the fat burner to be taken earlier in the morning. Combining the two gets you to the stronger clinical dose at 600mg.
Another one of the most popular supplements for relaxation is L-Theanine, commonly found in tea leaves (Camellia sinensis), which provides a feeling of calmness for those who supplement with it.[5,6]
Anecdotal reports from users say that this supplement helps them fall asleep faster, but the science behind it says that L-Theanine is non-sedative. Whatever the case may be, the relaxation benefits alone are more than enough of a reason to include this ingredient.
As far as dosages go, even 100mg is enough to start feeling the relaxation benefits, so doubling that dose in Steel Dreams is sure to offer you some serious benefits when it comes to getting ready for a good night’s sleep.
Our take is that L-Theanine isn’t really a “fall sleep supplement” as much as a relaxation aid, but combined with the other ingredients inside that have been shown to help induce sleep faster, it makes for a useful addition.
Valerian Root Powder (150mg)
Valerian is a sleep-improving plant traditionally used in brewed teas, but it’s also sometimes eaten to relax.
Studies have shown it has a minor quantitative effect on helping to actually fall asleep.
Sleep quality – The real benefit of valerian
Two studies done actually showed a significant improvement of sleep quality with valerian use![9,10] Admittedly, one study did not, but most users we talk to get knocked out a bit harder with any supplement containing this herb. The takeaway here is that, at worst, it’s a minor sedative, and at best, it’s seriously helping you get a better night’s rest.
The “standard” dose is generally 450mg about an hour before bed, but lower doses of 150mg-300mg can help with daytime sedation. In Steel Dreams, we’re on the lower end with 150mg, but since it is working in conjunction with so many other herbs and compounds that are also improving sleep, it should be more than sufficient to help us out.
Chamomile Powder (150mg)
Coming in next with another very popular herb is chamomile, a potent supplement that has been shown to have a slew of benefits. Some of these include: reducing anxiety, calming nerves, and interestingly enough, helping control nightmares![12,13] This is definitely a unique addition that seems to have a nice range of benefits.
The traditional method for taking in chamomile has been as a tea, and due to its popularity, it has been shown to have success anecdotally. On the scientific front, one study produced results that ten of twelve patients drinking it fell fast asleep, but it is to be noted that the study was not necessarily fully placebo-controlled.
Forget the teas and liquids before bed!
But why is it better to take it in supplement form? Simply put — drinking enough tea to get a proper dose of the chamomile will fill your bladder early in the night, and may force you to wake up to use the bathroom. This interferes with our natural sleep cycle, and could make it difficult to get back into REM sleep. By taking it in capsule form as a supplement, we avoid that issue (assuming you don’t drink too much water with it), and hopefully stay in a deep sleep for the entirety of our time in bed.
A strong study on a 270mg dose
The best study we have to go off of includes 34 subjects, between the ages of 18 and 65, all of which had been diagnosed with insomnia for at least half a year. The subjects took 270mg of chamomile or placebo daily for a period of 28 days. In this double-blind study, subjects receiving the chamomile treatment had improved effects with the numbers of times they woke up during the night, as well as shortened the amount of time it took them to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the documented changes did not reach statistical significance, so the benefits are likely less than we would desire.
This is of course a larger dose than what we have here in Steel Dreams, but there are clearly at least some benefits to be had, and it makes for a great part of a full spectrum sleep aid. Meanwhile, a study done on mice shows that it does act in a somewhat “hypnotic” way, which may promote falling asleep.
Lemon Balm Extract (100mg)
Yet another herbal entry into this packed sleep aid is Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa officinalis. This is yet another multi-faceted ingredient that packs a punch in a number of areas. For instance, it helps alleviate anxiety,[17,18] as well as induces a feeling of calmness.[19,20]
Lemon Balm on its own doesn’t have an excess of solo studies related to its effects on sleep, but it was included in a study that measured its effects on stress reduction. The results were beneficial in that it showed an improvement in the subjects’ ability to fall asleep.
Works incredibly well when combined with valerian
In another relevant study, Lemon Balm was coupled with valerian root, an entry earlier on Steel Dreams’ ingredient list. The results were promising for helping the subjects relax into sleep, but the effects of the two seemed to be synergistic. Since we have both of these ingredients in this sleep aid, we expect to see this combination play a large role in getting us chilled out and ready for a solid night’s rest.
As for dosages, the studied range is for inducing calmness is 300mg-900mg,[23,24] so the amount we are getting here is falling short of what has been studies, a trend here that you’ve likely begun to notice. Since Steel Dreams covers so many bases for us, even smaller doses like this may have a bigger effect than being taken by themselves, but if it works, you may not know what exactly is working best for you!
Perhaps the most unique ingredient present in this product is Rutaecarpine. Rutaecarpine is an herb that increases the body’s rate of metabolism of caffeine. Essentially, any caffeine that may be left in your system after that last cup of coffee at the office, or if you accidentally drank a soda without realizing you have to be up early, will be expelled from your system and excreted through your urine much faster than the usual half-life of six hours for caffeine staying in the bloodstream.
As an added bonus, Chinese medicine also used rutaecarpine as a means of warming the body throughout history. So, for those sleeping in colder areas or those who just can’t seem to ever have enough sheets on their bed, this product may also have you at a more comfortable temperature.
Remember, SteelFit is mostly a diet-based company, so we’re not surprised to see a thermogenic “weight loss” type of ingredient inside. But we’re really interested about the “caffeine flush” effects, which may be the most important part for some of our readers…
5-HTP, known as 5-hydroxytryptophan, is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin that we naturally produce when eating foods that contain tryptophan. It’s most commonly used as a means of inducing a feeling of euphoria. However, some users of this ingredient report getting positive sleep benefits from it as well.
At the time, we unfortunately do not have any standalone studies examining the effects of 5-HTP on sleep. What we do have, however, is a study showing improved sleep time when taken with GABA and Valerian, the latter of which we have but the former we do not. Obviously, we’re aware of the benefits of those two ingredients, so the conclusions drawn about the 5-HTP itself are purely circumstantial.
Reduced sleep terrors at 200mg!
An interesting note is that supplementation with the ingredient actually reduced sleep terrors in children, and had long-term effects, since night terror frequency stayed lower than baseline even when supplementation was stopped!
Lastly, 200mg of 5-HTP was shown to reduce the frequency, as well as the severity, of panic attacks that were induced by doctors[28,29].
This is a fantastic and unique ingredient, but our take is that if you really need more 5-HTP, there’s a good chance it’s masking another problem – not eating enough meat, fish, and eggs with tryptophan inside!
This is why we’re passionate about increased meat-eating for improved mental status. But even as meat-eaters, we don’t usually say no to 5-HTP so long as we’re not on any other serotonergic ingredients or drugs (as always, talk to your doctor before beginning any new diet or supplementation program).
Passion Flower Extract (100mg)
We’re not done with the herbals!
Yet another ingredient with its roots in the industry coming from tea use, Passion Flower has successful studies backing it and its abilities to improve sleep quality. The study calls it an “herbal sedative, anxiolytic, and a popular sleep aid used for the treatment of sleep disturbance.” This was a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study, meaning that the experiment was repeated so that the placebo group then got the passion flower the next time around, and vice versa. Those who received the Passion Flower scored significantly better on six different measures of sleep and sleep quality.
The active compounds in Passion Flower have an affinity for GABAA receptors in the brain, which is a common theme for many sleep-aids, but those in Passion Flower also select GABAB as well, making it more potent for some users. It may be synergistic with Ashwagandha because of the GABAA mechanism, so at this point, we’re expecting big things from Steel Dreams!
In another study done on mice, an aqueous extract of the plant was given to mice, and they were observed to have sedated qualities, such as falling asleep faster and not climbing as many steps in a test as compared to baseline.
As if we didn’t have enough ingredients inside, now we have a new ingredient never before covered on PricePlow haver over 1,000 blog posts!
Venetron is a patented form of the Apocynum venetum plant that has been purified and powdered by Tokiwa Phytochemical. It’s a relatively new ingredient, and is marketed as an alternative to St. John’s Wort. By avoiding the CYP3A pathway, this ingredient is more potent and only needs a dose of 50mg, which is exactly what we are getting here.
Venetron is believed to improve sleep quality by working synergistically with GABA, the main neurotransmitter responsible for calming down the brain for sleep.
New compounds are always under scrutiny, but Venetron has not been shown to have any adverse side effects, and Apocynum venetum has been used for centuries for traditional Chinese medicine.
There isn’t much available research on this ingredient, but what we have so far looks promising in the battle for better sleep. We’d certainly like to see more clinical trials into its effectiveness, but the early research makes this a unique and solid choice for Steel Dreams.
At this point, we can call Steel Dreams a “kitchen sink supplement”, which many love when they’re willing to throw literally everything they can at the problem. Two more mainstays to go!
Perhaps the most tried and true ingredient here, melatonin is a hormone that the body naturally produces during light cycles. Supplementation with it helps to normalize abnormal sleep patterns, and restore the user’s natural sleep cycle. Several studies have shown it to be an effective ingredient for treating insomnia.[34,35,36]
Melatonin has a two-fold approach: it helps induce sleep by initiating the body’s natural sleep cycle, and it improves the quality of sleep.
Information regarding melatonin dosing
Doses for melatonin vary drastically, as studies have shown effectiveness from doses as small as .5mg all the way up to 10mg (we’ve even seen 300mg safely used). Here in Steel Dreams, you are getting a reasonable, yet respectable 1mg dose. In addition, effects are not necessarily dose-dependent, as higher doses do not produce better results than lower doses. It’s really a personal preference situation, which is why it’s good to see a lower one in a full-spectrum product — you can always add more, and there are solo melatonin supplements of all shapes and sizes.
In addition, there is also no tolerance build up, meaning no matter how long you use this product, it will be just as effective.
The same study also showed us that usage of one-year did not produce any unwanted or adverse side effects.
Melatonin is likely your first bet for falling and staying asleep when it comes to supplements, so it is no mistake that it was put in here. This tried and true method of getting better rest, coupled with the rest of the ingredients list will be sure to knock you out.
Magnesium (100mg from Magnesium Aspartate – 24% RDA)
Dietary levels of magnesium in America are far too lower compared to what they should be, and as such, supplemental intake can cause sleep improvements when taken prior to bed.
Two studies done on magnesium were for older users (over the age of 50), and it was shown to improve their sleep quality[41,42] amongst many other things, like reducing anxiety. Due to the widespread deficiency, it makes sense that nearly anybody can get the benefits of improved sleep from it.
On top of that, we have 15% of the RDA’s calcium, something we’ll never complain about, especially when taken alongside magnesium. While the Magnesium comes from magnesium aspartate (the same type used in ZMA formulations), the calcium comes from Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Citrate.
Take three capsules before bed. You may wish to start with one or two capsules to assess strength and timing.
Conclusion: The Kitchen Sink and then some!
Wow! There aren’t many other supplemental angles to hit with this one – Steel Dreams covers literally every base you can imagine!
SteelFit clearly did their research when formulating this behemoth of a sleep-aid product. We see a wide variety of ingredients, from the tried and true, to the new and unique. While not everything is clinically-dosed, we’re not sure that even matters at this point. Just a few of these ingredients are probably enough, but this is taking the entire arsenal to the problem.
If you’re someone who has been struggling to get a good night’s rest, and other products just don’t seem to cut it, Steel Dreams may just be the answer you’re looking for. There’s not a whole lot missing, and that’s why you shouldn’t miss out.
SteelFit Steel Dreams – Deals and Price Drop Alerts
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