A pump formula is a dietary supplement or soon to be labelled ‘Formulated Sports Food’ which contains active ingredients that are set to provide positive effects in our overall performance. A pump formula is typically a non stimulant (no caffeine) product which its active ingredients focus on performance, muscle hydration and fullness.
How do Pump Formulas Work?
A pump formula is designed to increase the rate of oxygenated blood flow into the predominate muscles in which stimulus stress is applied, also known as ‘Vasodilation’. Vasodilation in anatomical term is the widening of our blood vessels as a result of muscle cells in the vessels relaxing to increase blood rate. Increase blood flow means that all our triglycerides, amino acids and glucose molecules are bought into our muscles.
What are the Most Common Active Ingredients?
L-Citrulline: One of the most commonly used pump ingredients, citrulline increases vasodilation via raising plasma arginine levels. Arginine is extensively metabolized by arginase largely before it can bind with Nitric Oxide Synthase(eNOS). eNOS converts arginine into NO and increases blood flow and elevates cyclic guanosine monophosphate(cGMP).
Betaine: Betaine is the methyl derivative of the amino acid glycine and is found in various beets. It has many uses, including performance enhancing benefits from many different mechanisms: increased creatine production, increased GH production, stimulation of lipolysis(breaking down fat cells). However, it was included in this formula because of its ability to induce intracellular hyper-hydration.
GlycerPump™(min 65% glycerol): GlycerPump™ has become one of my favorite preworkout ingredients. It is a powdered form of glycerol, an osmolyte like betaine only much more powerful. Glycerol can hydrogen bond(attract) with water in very large quantities. Once it bonds with all these water molecules, it can drive them into your cells, blood and tissues, creating a massive cell swelling effect. This excess water can last up to 4hr before your body breaks down glycerol and you expel the excess water. One study showed that ingesting glycerol before exercise increased time to exhaustion by 28%. Glycerol is the perfect preworkout ingredient to get crazy pumps that last during your entire workout.
VasoDrive-AP™: VasoDrive-AP™ is a newer ingredient to hit the market and is a very unique one. It’s a vasodilator, but it works differently from any other pump ingredient out. VasoDrive-AP™ consists of 2 lactotripeptides: Valyl-prolyl-proline and Isoluecyl-prolyl-proline. These 2 molecules act as inhibitors of the enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme(ACE), an enzyme that causes vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure and heart function. There are 30 studies on these lactotripeptides and their effect on vasodilation, blood flow, and decreased blood pressure. One study showed that ACE can dramatically inhibit physical performance, presumably from lack of blood flow which carries oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Data also suggests that VasoDrive-AP™ works better the longer you take it.