Good vs. Evil with Matt
Subject: Gut Health
Your gut health may be in grave danger. Everyday there is an ongoing battle for the grounds of your gut. These turf wars are fought between bacteria and yeast. Some good, some bad. The good bacteria and yeast serve to improve your gut health. They are your allies. We call these good guys the “Belly Buddies.”
Competing with the Belly Buddies are the bad bacteria and yeast. We call these baddies the “Gut Gangbangers.” They are a fierce and resilient group who are capable of wreaking havoc on your gut health when left out of check.
Here is an amateur sketch:
The Gut Health Primer: Why should you care about the condition of your gut?
- We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Well more importantly, “you are what you digest.” You want to make sure that food you eat is being utilized properly otherwise it can result in nutrient deficiencies.
- We are all confident that we are humans right? Prepare to have your mind blown: Bacteria outnumber our human cells on a scale of 10 to 1(source). For each human cell in our body, there are ten bacteria cells. The bacteria are also able to send signals to the brain(source, source). How many thoughts and cravings are really your own?
- Your gut health determines what genes are expressed in your body. The Belly Buddies serve to switch the skinny genes “on” while the Gut Gangbangers – like candida – will turn your fat genes “on.” When the fat genes are turned on, the fat jeans are put on. In this study, they swapped the microbiome of an obese rat with that of a skinny rat. The result? The skinny rats began piling on the pounds, while the fat ones started shedding them. Maybe you are starting to care a little more about your gut health now, eh?
- This study shows that many people with autism also have problems with gut health.
- We are first exposed to gut bacteria through birth. Yep. Your mom’s vagina is responsible for setting the tone of your gut health. In fact, the mother’s vaginal microbe community specifically changes for birth, so the newborn will have it’s first exposure to beneficial bacteria. It is shown that caesarian birthed babies -such as myself – do not get this CRITICAL bacterial exposure. This can cause different issues(source,source,source). I was born c-section and I honestly believe that this was a contributing factor to the crippling social anxiety that I experienced most of my life(source). Also, it is shown that using a formula instead of breast feeding can lead to various health issues. This is due to the baby not receiving substances from the mother’s milk that support healthy bacteria and keep the harmful ones at bay(source).
- It only takes a couple weeks to make a HUGE impact on your gut health. Even though there are more gut bacteria than human cells, small dietary changes can effect the trillions of bacteria cells very, very quickly(source). This is great news.
- The gut is the only organ that has it’s own nervous system. This is why it is often referred to as the “second brain(source).”
It should be clear by now that your gut health is pretty damn important. The microbiome(levels of good and bad bacteria) in your gut is considered so vital to human existance, that they even call it “The Forgotten Organ(source).”
***If you have ever taken antibiotics(which literally translates to anti-life), consume NSAID’s(aspirin, ibuprofen, etc), drink alcohol, consume large amounts of sugar, take birth control or have high levels of estrogen, have high levels of mercury(tuna/seafood/leaky silver fillings/vaccinations), smoke, or don’t eat much fiber – you are at high risk for an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast(source, source, source, source, source, source).***
Also read Heavy Metal Toxicity and find out why it is important to make sure your body isn’t burdened by harmful metals.
Gut Health: The Cast
The “Belly Buddies”: Lactobacillus(L. plantarum, L. reurteri, L. acidophilus), Bifidobacterium, etc are probably names you recognize.
- Produce Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) – The most important being butyrate. Butyrate is an HDAC inhibitor, has anti-cancer properties, and it is the preferred fuel for the intestines(source). As you learned in How to Eat for Life, Fat Loss, and Muscle, dietary butyrate comprises 3-4% of grass-fed butter. In other words, butter can help heal your gut. SCFA are also responsible for signalling LEPTIN, the appetite suppressing hormone(source).
- Regulate gut permeability. This allows nutrients to enter the bloodstream, while preventing microbes and toxins from passing through. Animal studies show a link between increased gut permeability and obesity/insulin resistance(source) – Remember you want insulin SENSITIVITY, not resistance. So it is possible that a fatty appearance is not wholly your fault, but the fault of your gut health and its residents. Excessive gut permeability is also a big factor in autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. “We identified small intestinal exposure to bacteria and gluten as the two more powerful triggers” Triggers that increase the permeability of the gut, allowing the wrong particles to reach the bloodstream(source).
- Produces key vitamins B12, Biotin, and Vitamin K2. B12 is very important vitamin. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell, it is needed for a properly functioning brain and nervous system, and it is needed for the formation of blood(source). Biotin is sold as a supplement for strengthening hair and nails and is usually lacking in alcoholics. It is important in fat and amino acid metabolism. Usually the Belly Buddies can produce enough of this vitamin on it’s own, but if the Gut Gangbangers are dominant, then you might have sub-optimal levels(source). Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and strong bones. It guides your calcium to the bones and keeps it out of your arteries. It shares a special relationship with Vitamin D and both are especially needed for people with chronic kidney disease(source).
- Digest oxalates and phytates. Oxalates are accused of forming kidney stones, which are part calcium and part oxalate. The Belly Buddies can break down these oxalates and prevent that. Spinach is the highest source of oxalates(source). Phytates are classified as antinutrients. This means that they interfere with proper absorbtion of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc(source). Belly Buddies can neutralize phytates also(source).
- Produce 95% of the body’s serotonin! – Serotonin is also known as the Happy Chemical 😀 (source). Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter and is needed for proper sleep and feeling happy.
- Your gut immune system makes up 60% of your Total immune system! If you find yourself getting down with the sickness frequently – and not because of the song – then your gut health may be to blame(source).
- Can improve wound recovery through increasing Oxytocin. L. reuteri can increase levels of neuropeptide Oxytocin(source). Oxytocin is known for being intricately involved in social bonding, wound recovery, and many other important processes(source).
Remember, we learned previously that L. plantarum can increase BDNF(Read How to Eat for Life, Fatloss, and Muscle).
L. reuteri ATCC 6475 is also shown to increase testosterone, testicle size, and other signs of fertility in rats(source).
Wow, all of these benefits just from little ol’ bacteria in your stomach…
The “Gut Gangbangers”: Proteobacteria(Salmonella, E. Coli, H. Pylori), the yeast Candida Albicans, etc.
- Cause you to desire unhealthy food. The Gut Gangbangers love sugar and sweets. They are able to send messages to your brain that make you feel compelled to consume junk food(source). Scary stuff.
- Can increase gut permeability leading to increased toxins and pathogens in the bloodstream(source).
- Compete for food sources with Belly Buddies. If they gain the upperhand, illness quickly follows suit(source).
- Can bind to heavy metals – Candida is capable of binding to mercury, making it that much more difficult -and risky – to eliminate(source).
- Cause inflammation. The body is connected, therefore inflammation in the gut will have downstream effects harming the whole body(source). Some researchers are even convinced there is a link between gut inflammation, liver disease, and cancer. They believe that a combination of 3 factors: “an active immune pathway, harmful bacteria, and a carcinogen” can cause disease(source).
- Cause nutrient deficiencies. If the Gut Gangbangers crowd out the Belly Buddies, then you will obviously be lacking the nutrients that the Belly Buddies provide(Butyrate, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, etc). Not to mention the minerals you will miss out on if you consume phytates and don’t have Belly Buddies to protect you from them.
- Can cause “auto-brewery syndrome.” This is when bacteria and yeast ferment sugary and starchy foods – causing a drunken state from the alcohol byproduct. So if someone appears drunk after consuming a carbohydrate/sugar rich meal, then there is a chance that they are drunk off of the alcohol produced by a yeast overgrowth in their small intestine. In this study, a 3 year old girl displayed drunken behavior on repeated occasions. It turns out she had an “auto-brewery” in her gut that made her drunk after carb-rich meals. Crazy, huh.
- Can promote allergies, asthma, and eczema by producing inflammatory fats in the gut(source).
- Can create harmful levels of the neurotoxin ammonia. Ouch, sorry brain(source).
Gut Health – Help the Belly Buddies Gain Advantage
YOUR MISSION: Eliminate Gut Gangbangers. Starve & Discharge.
Step 1 – Starve:
- Remove food allergies – Food allergies cause gut inflammation and promote Gut Gangbanger growth. Common allergies are from the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant), also nuts, shellfish, etc. Research strongly suggests that food allergies can be prevented by proper levels of Belly Buddies(source).
- Remove sugar and refined flour – Both are quickly digested in the small intestine and will feed the Gut Gangbangers.
- Temporarily remove gluten and dairy – The gluten as well as the casein from dairy can create undigested peptides which act as opoids or morphine in the brain. They are called gluteomorphins and caseomorphins. Normally these are broken down and excreted through the enzyme called DPP-IV, but this doesn’t always happen in a compromised gut(source).
- Refrain from drinking alcohol – Alcohol contributes to gut dysbiosis and promotes a leaky gut(source). Dysbiosis is a microbial imbalance in the gut(when the Gut Gangbangers outnumber the Belly Buddies). Both of these make your gut function poorly. Drinking alcohol while attempting to fix your gut will be counterproductive. Cut it out for now.
Step 2 – Discharge:
- ALLI-C Allicin Garlic Supplement. Garlic is the strongest natural antibiotic known to man. It is able to destroy the Gut Gangbangers while leaving the Belly Buddies unscathed. Taking one pill of ALLI-C is equivalent to eating 36 raw garlic cloves. On top of that, THERE IS NO OFFENSIVE GARLIC SMELL! This is arguably the #1 tool you can use(source, source, source, source, source, source).
- Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii & MOS. Sacch. Boulardii is an interesting beneficial yeast. It reduces pathogenic toxins, it is antimicrobial, reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system, and builds a positive gut flora while not harming any of the Belly Buddies(source). Jarrow also includes MOS in their formula which works synergistically with Sacch. Boulardii. MOS is a prebiotic which encourages longer villi, increases goblet cells which bind to pathogenic microbes, and encourages Belly Buddy growth – all of which are signs of good gut health(source).
- Caprylic Acid. This is a medium chain triglyceride(MCT) found in coconut oil, palm oil, and human milk. “Caprylic acid has potential application for anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-Alzheimer’s disease, anti-Autism, anti-infection, & general circulatory improvement(source).” All-in-all, caprylic acid is another great weapon to use against the Gut Gangbangers(source).
Good job soldier.
You’ve got the Gut Gangbangers on the run!
Time for the next mission.
NEW MISSION: Repopulate your gut with Belly Buddies. The Rebuilding Phase.
- Diet. You should still follow the dietary guidelines listed above in “Step 1 – Starve.” Only once you are confident you have established a healthy Belly Buddy population can you begin to slowly reintroduce exiled foods. It should also be noted that it is very beneficial to have core foods as staples to your diet. This study shows that fish whose diet lacked any consistency had a worse gut microbiome, than fish that ate the same thing more frequently. In other words, eating the same foods will result in a better gut profile. Also refer to How to Eat for Life, Fat Loss, and Muscle for more tips.
- Exercise. Exercise helps in a couple ways. First, it minimizes fat. Fat is where toxins are stored. Less fat= less toxins. Second, this study shows that exercise is capable of increasing one’s gut bacteria diversity.
- Enzymes. Now Foods Super Enzymes is a good source of digestive enzymes. If your gut is damaged, then your body won’t be able to break down all of the food parts and extract all of the nutrients. Enzyme supplements make sure that this happens, and help lessen the burden of digestion for your body.
- Probiotics. Now that the Gut Gangbangers have been dealt with, you have to fill the vacant lot with Belly Buddies. You can do this by eating fermented foods and/or with supplements. Prescript-Assist, AOR Probiotic-3, and Primal Defnese ULTRA are all amazing probiotics that will serve to dutifully protect your gut from future Gut Gangbanger invasions.
- Vitamins/Minerals. Poor gut function results in lower zinc levels. Funny enough, zinc is needed for natural function of digestive enzymes(source). Zinc Picolinate is cheap yet effective for restoring zinc levels. Zinc has tons of other benefits, but only one that pertains to this article. Vitamin D is another one that is critical for proper gut functioning, and like zinc it also has a multitude of benefits for the body(source, source, source, source). If you don’t sun bathe daily, then you likely need more Vitamin D in your life. Country Life Vitamin D3 is my personal favorite.
- Resistant Starch. Watch the video below. DO IT. Do it now.
Sources of resistant starch: cooked then cooled potatoes and rice, green bananas, plantains aka macho bananas, chickpeas, etc.
Resistant starch was a game-changer for me.
Once I started using Hi-Maize RS along with eating natural sources of RS I noticed:
- My sleep became deeper and more restorative. I experience extremely VIVID dreams.
- I started feeling good all of the time. Likely due to the increased Serotonin.
- Gas issues seemed to have vanished into thin air.
- I started having PFS(perfectly formed stool).
- I also can now drink dairy without any stomach complaints. Before I fixed my gut, milk would leave my belly burbling all day.
It is very liberating to be able to eat whatever I want, without having to worry about how my stomach will feel afterwards. I am now able to eat anything I want without having stomach issues.
I’m thinking that the improved gut health resulting from RS has also helped me maintain leanness while doing my bulking diet. I have gained 15 lbs so far and I still have my abs. RS is shown to improve insulin sensitivity and is associated with reduced abdominal fat(source).
Unfortunately it isn’t recommended to take resistant starch if your gut health is currently compromised since the Gut Gangbangers can potentially use it as a food source, so it is important to clear them out first. RS should also be taken with a fiber to ensure it travels all the way through the digestive tract.
Another interesting experience with Hi-Maize Resistant Starch: One of my cats, Nike, was frequently sick and the vet said it was because of a gut imbalance. She also loses hair near her tail. We didn’t know if this hair loss was gut-related, anxiety related(obsessive grooming), or both.
So I did a little research and found that gut health is obviously important to animals as well. I started out giving my cats small amounts of the Hi-Maize in their wet food, and slowly upped the amount throughout the week.
After two weeks, Nike’s hair was growing back fast and her fur is now shiny and soft. Before adding the RS to her food, her fur was patchy and rough.
It really is amazing how important gut bacteria is to both humans and animals…
If you followed all of my steps to optimize Gut Health, then you are ready to relish in the great feeling that is:
Congratulations, your gut health is now impeccable.
“But they don’t have no award for that…trophies” – Drake
Ubiome is amazing site that can easily help you keep track of your gut health. Whether you want to test your current bacteria levels or keep track of its changes, this is the place to do it.
If your poop is high quality, you can make up to $250/week by selling it to OpenBiome. Talk about some cool shit.
For people with severe gut issues, you can consider doing a fecal matter transplant. Kind of gross, but if it works – who cares? The success rates are very promising.
Due to all of the research involved, this was my most demanding article to date. I would have much rather not cited any of my sources – TRUST ME, but I don’t want to be one of those “gurus” who make claims all day while never showing any supporting evidence.
The gut is a fascinating facet of health, and I guarantee that making an effort to optimize your gut health will change your life.
If you want my to know my exact protocol you will have to purchase my book: Going 100.
In this book I tell you everything you need to know about quickly eliminating the Gut Gangbangers and establishing a strong, healthy Belly Buddy community.
I write it out step-by-step and make sure that YOU get the “best bang for your buck.”
Teaching you how to effectively heal your gut in the quickest time possible is just one small part of my all-encompassing book that WILL keep you healthy for the rest of your life.
You are my #1 priority. If you aren’t happy, neither am I. My goal is to help and heal everyone.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time.
Breaking News with Matt
Subject: The Best Diet and Best Exercise
What is the Best Diet and Best Exercise?
In a land where we are bombarded with so many options and paths, deciding where to start can be very intimidating. Everyone seems to be an expert and it is their way or the highway!
With so many choices – many of which contradict the others – one can easily get overwhelmed and likely choose to do nothing. You would think having so many options would be a good thing, right? Not quite…
Lucky for you, I’ve already tried the majority of diets and exercise routines that are out there. I’ve discovered which ones are crap and which ones are worthwhile.
And now I am going to tell you the best diet and best exercise you could possibly do.
“PLEASE! Tell me the best diet and best exercise!”
Ok, ok. It’s a simple answer, really.
Prepare to be shocked…
Drum roll please.
The best diet and best exercise are ones that you will consistently follow.
The best diet and best exercise are simply the ones that you will stick with.
What’s the point in trying to improve your health with some crazy new diet fad if you are going to drop that habit and resort to your old ways shortly after?
Seems like a waste of time to me.
“Okay, so there is no best diet and best exercise…but that still doesn’t help me know where to start…”
How do you choose the best diet and best exercise for YOU?
I don’t know about you, but time is very important to me. I want to get the best results from the least amount of time.
Because my time is so important, I rely on using my time conveniently. If a routine is very inconvenient for me, then I won’t do it.
Convenience can conveniently be broken down into a few subcategories:
- Time – Does preparing the food require a lot of time? Am I going to have to purchase a lot of spices, etc so I can cook this food? How often do I have to workout, and for how long? Can I do this at home or do I need a gym membership? All of these questions come to my mind as I can be very impatient. Especially when I’m hungry.
- Social – If I have to eat out somewhere, will they have food that fits my “diet?” If I’m invited to a cookout or dinner can I eat without requesting special accommodations? Eating is such a social event – you will face challenges here constantly. Unfortunately, it’s just something you’ll have to learn to deal with. Don’t let anyone stand in your way.
- Price – Am I going to have to break the bank to stick with this plan? Are there cheaper alternative? What are my options? The price is always something to consider.
For me, convenience is a big factor in deciding upon the best diet and best exercise.
What’s convenient for me, may not be convenient for you. This is something that only you know and that you will have to take into account.
Going 100 is a detailed compilation of my whole life’s worth of research and experience condensed into an easy-to-follow guide. I include what I have found to be the most effective ways to gain marked results with minimal time expended.
I include options for people with either “money to blow” or “money no-go.”
I encourage you to read it, apply it, and work it into your schedule in a way that best conveniences you. The most important thing is to stay dedicated, persistent, and never give up.
Why did I even bother writing this article on the “best diet and best exercise?”
Because most people, myself included, only want the very best. During this search, we often miss out on golden opportunities because we are too busy looking for the “best” one.
If all of the time we wasted searching, was spent APPLYING, we would have already achieved our goals.
The Takeaway: You should always be working towards something – even if you aren’t using the so called “best method.”
Let’s be honest:
The only type of diet you will follow is one that includes foods that you enjoy eating.
The only type of exercises you will do are ones that don’t require you to be in the gym for hours at a time.
Just in case you completely missed it, I am going to tell you the secret again:
Almost every diet and exercise routine is going to work as long as you fully commit to it and stick with it. If your eating habits and exercising habits aren’t sustainable, then what’s the point?
Make conscious eating and exercising a LIFESTYLE, not a trend.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. Start today and push through the pain. Tackle any obstacles that may come your way.
Trust me when I say that once these things become a habit and are integrated into your core being, sticking with them will be a breeze.
You will start feeling “off” if you miss a workout or when you let unhealthy food fork you over.
So quit making excuses and make the decision to better yourself RIGHT NOW!
Make a convenience plan, stick with it, set goals, and crush them.
Oh yeah, and one more time:
The best diet and best exercise are ones you will follow.
Safety Concerns with Matt
Subject: C4 – Blowing up, or Blown up?
Is the popular Cellucor C4 preworkout safe and cost effective?
More and more people are buying into this preworkout supplement, however I don’t think they are aware of the potential risks involved. You certainly wont find all of them written on the product’s label. And finally, is this product over-priced?
What am I talking about?
Let’s see what kind of punch C4 Preworkout is packing.
Here are the ingredients.
Beta Alanine – 1,500 mg(underdosed). Standard Dosage – 2,000 – 5,000 mg.
What is beta alanine? It is the rate-limiting precursor to carnosine. This is a legit supplement. It is shown to increase carnosine stores in the muscles. Carnosine increases endurance through lactic acid buffering, helping you bust out a couple more reps and pack on lean mass.
It is mostly shown to help when doing higher reps, and isn’t too influential in the lower rep range. If too much is taken at once it can cause a harmless, yet uncomfortable tingling sensation known as parasthesia. This can be avoided by taking smaller amounts throughout the day instead of taking it all at once(source).
This Bulk Beta Alanine is a good option(With this bulk powder you could do the max dosage of 5,000mg for 100 days(~3 months) for a total cost of $6/month!). Beta Alanine also has synergy with the next ingredient:
Creatine Nitrate – 1,000mg(way underdosed). Standard Dosage – 5,000 – 10,000mg.
Creatine itself is a well-researched and must-have supplement. Creatine Nitrate, on the other hand, only has one published study. This study shows no benefits of using the nitrate version over any other creatine versions(source).
For the moment, creatine nitrate is not worth the extra money, when you can buy Creatine Monohydrate for next to nothing.
Arginine AKG – 1,000mg(ok). Standard Dosage – 1,500mg – 3,000mg.
L-Arginine itself is poorly absorbed, which is why this AKG version came about. However, I have tried both AAKG and l-arginine, and they did nothing for me except make my wallet lighter. On top of that, there aren’t any studies that really prove that supplementing with Arginine AKG helps with anything(source). Save your money and skip on supplementing with AAKG for now.
So even though these aren’t optimally dosed, they aren’t garbage. What else does C4 have to offer?
Is C4 Preworkout Safe? Let’s take a look into the “Explosive Energy Blend”
The “Explosive Energy Blend” is what is known as a proprietary blend. Proprietary blends allow manufacturers to hide the amount of ingredients in their product. Most manufacturers will claim that this is to “protect their formula,” but more often than not, it is so they can rip you off.
Example: Say you make a proprietary blend of a 3 ingredients which includes: Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Expensive Herb #3.
All you have to write on the label is the total weight of these ingredients. Let’s randomly choose 700 mg for our blend.
Well, it just so happens that Expensive Herb #3 is only active in the amount 500mg. With the proprietary blend, the consumer doesn’t know how much they are taking. So theoretically, there could be 600mg Vitamin C, 50mg Magnesium, and a wimpy 50mg Expensive Herb #3.
Not enough to make Herb #3 active, but enough to rip the consumer off.
Guess what? The price tag of the supplement will be much higher because they can market it as a special formula that contains the hot and popular Expensive Herb #3.
Even though they are ripping you off and giving you a sub-par dose of it, you will never know.
The manufacturer pays $5 for the raw ingredients, and then charges the consumer $50 for a $45 profit.
And the crazy part is…
People will buy it. Lesson to be learned – be weary of proprietary blends.
Now, back to C4’s Explosive Energy Blend. The blend contains 741mg of ingredients. We can see from the list, that they have some of the same ingredients that are listed above the blend. These include “Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Folic Acid, and B-12.”
It is unclear whether they add additional amounts of these vitamins, or if these are the same amounts as stated above the blend.
The Explosive Energy Blend:
Bitter Orange (30% Synephrine) – ? mg. Standard Dosage Depends.
P-synephrine is used to increase fat loss and decrease appetite without increasing heart rate. It actually has a lot of studies backing it’s usage. Here is a Bitter Orange (30% Synephrine) Supplement where you actually know how much of the active ingredient you are ingesting.
Caffeine – 135 mg. Caffeine in a cup of coffee ~70 mg.
The power of caffeine is well-known. Caffeine increases heart rate, alertness, and enhances dopamine transmission in the brain. Isolated caffeine pills are also dirt cheap. I drink coffee for my caffeine boost.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – ? mg. Standard Dosage 300-500 mg.
NALT is a potent precursor to l-dopa. L-dopa is then directly converted into the neurotransmitter dopamine. So now we have both caffeine and Tyrosine acting to increase dopamine levels.
Mucuna Pruriens – ? mg. Standard Dosage Depends on L-Dopa Content.
They say their Mucuna is standardized for L-dopa, so we’ll roll with that. L-dopa is a direct precursor to Dopamine and is commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease. I have taken a l-dopa standardized product before and can attest to its power. Within minutes I found myself feeling very energetic, with a strong desire to workout and flex my muscles. My libido also shot through the roof…and then some. I took this supplement before I knew about its hidden dangers.
L-dopa’s powerful effects on dopamine are both what makes it useful and risky.
It can raise your HGH levels and Testosterone, while giving you immense energy. Seems perfect, right? Well, there is also the chance that l-dopa will cause tardive dyskinesia(source). But luckily, this doesn’t normally occur in healthy people.
C4 has 3 ingredients that all serve to dramatically increase dopamine in the brain.
The other ingredient, Vitamin B6, is used as a cofactor to convert L-Dopa straight into dopamine in the brain.
Vitamin C serves the purpose of converting dopamine into norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is the stress hormone that stimulates heart rate and is the cause of the fight-or-flight syndrome(source).
What’s wrong with increasing dopamine?
It is never a good idea to mess with your brain’s delicate balance of neurotransmitters. Your brain and your body always strive for BALANCE. They call this balance homeostasis(source).
What happens when you take caffeine, tyrosine, mucuna, and these cofactors?
You raise your dopamine levels beyond normal levels. You disrupt the balance. Taking this much dopamine causes levels of your other important neurotransmitter, serotonin, to drop.
One sign of waning serotonin levels is if you find yourself having a harder, and harder time falling asleep.
Not only should you be concerned about your serotonin, but what do you think is going to happen once you stop taking this product that jacks up your dopamine levels? Do you think you will feel normal? Probably not.
The longer you boost dopamine, the longer the “hangover” period will be once you stop.
If you are interested in learning more about neurotransmitters, their importance, and how to balance them naturally – then I highly suggest reading The Edge Effect. This book is perfect for learning all there is to know about the 4 major neurotransmitters in the brain.
How do I prevent my serotonin levels from dropping?
- Don’t take the supplement in the first place.
- Take 5-HTP along with ECGC. 5-htp is a direct serotonin precursor and will make sure your serotonin levels don’t drop. However, you have to take it along with ECGC to ensure that all of the 5-htp gets to your brain. If 5-htp stays in the periphery, it can cause heart valve damage(source).
It sure does seem like a lot of trouble to go through just to take a supplement that you would assume is safe, right? Well that’s the reality…
What makes it worse that we have no idea how much of these substances you are actually ingesting when you take C4.
Without knowing the amounts it is hard to attest to the safety or danger of this product, BUT I can say with certainty that combining both N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine and Mucuna is overkill and will eventually result in depleted serotonin levels.
To Sum It All Up:
Is C4 Preworkout Safe? – Not Quite.
Will C4 Preworkout work? – Yes.
Is C4 Preworkout at least priced fairly? – Not Really.
Q) “How long can I take C4 before my serotonin levels will drop?”
A)There is no way to tell how long it will take for this supplement to start depleting serotonin levels. It is dependent on so many variables, and individual chemistry is always a major factor. There is a chance you could use this supplement everyday for months and be fine, but there is also a chance you could use it for one week and completely screw over your brain’s balance.
Q)”Why do you not think this product is worth it?”
A)This product is currently $22 for a month supply, and that is assuming you take the minimum dosage which is 1 scoop. The label recommends taking 1-2 scoops based on how much you can handle.
Taking 2 scoops, obviously, doubles the cost for a month’s supply to $44/month. Plus, when you take more than one scoop you are increasing your risks of negative side effects. You can purchase the ingredients in C4 for much less than they charge for this formula.
What do I recommend?
My main recommendation is to not bother with this supplement. But, if you do bother with it, then bother sparingly.
Instead, I think that your money would be better spent buying bulk beta alanine and creatine monohydrate. For $30, you can buy a 3 month supply of both of these supplements and use them at their intended doses. You could also throw in a cheap, yet effective caffeine pill for a preworkout energy boost. Personally, I avoid consuming more than 200mg caffeine in one day. So in my case, no more than two coffees.
*Important Notice*If you currently own this product, you need to check and make sure it does not contain 1,3-Dimethylamylamine. This chemical is banned by Federal Law, but there is still a chance that you own a product from an old C4 batch. New batches of C4 DO NOT contain 1,3-Dimethylamylamine. This chemical can make you test positive for amphetamines and was found in other popular preworkouts like 1MR and Jack3d – products which I described as “stimulants stimulating stimulants.”*
That concludes this article. I hope that you exercise caution in whatever you decide.
At least now you know what you are getting yourself into!
Live Long and Stay Strong.
Photo by: Stuart Miles