By Steve Born
Product Spotlight #2
Strengthen health and performance with a strong nutrient foundation
Of the nearly two dozen products that currently make up the Hammer Nutrition supplement line, three are designated as not only essential but Daily Essentials: Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and Mito Caps. The reason for this special designation is because we believe:
- These three products provide the widest range of benefits for both athletic performance and overall health.
- The beneficial effects of these supplements are cumulative, meaning the more consistently you take them (ideally daily), the more benefits you receive.
While all of the products in the Hammer Nutrition line are effective, providing specific benefits and fulfilling specific needs, I personally believe that Mito Caps is the most valuable supplement that Hammer Nutrition has ever produced for promoting enhanced athletic performance and overall health (with a VERY close second awarded to Race Caps Supreme). Here's my rationale:
Sometimes it seems as though many scientific discoveries aren't terribly applicable for you or me, at least in terms of impacting us directly. Every once in a while, though, a tidbit of promising scientific research comes through and creates a spark of interest. And then, every once in a blue moon a study's results are so profound in their scope that it literally can, and should, change how athletes - all humans actually - perceive nutritional science and nutritional supplements. In all of the time I've studied supplementation, to this day nothing has gotten me as excited as the remarkable discoveries that resulted from the studies of Dr. Bruce Ames and his associates regarding the issue of mitochondrial aging and regeneration.
The whole amazing story of mitochondrial function is quite complicated and could thus go on for pages, but I'll simplify the matter to a few relevant points:
- Mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles, make Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) from food molecules (sugar, fatty acids, and amino acids) and oxygen.
- While the number of mitochondria in each cell varies from less than one hundred to several thousand, it's safe to say that there are literally several million (if not more) in the human body.
- Energy production also creates free radicals, which damage mitochondrial DNA.
- Mitochondrial function decreases and free radical production increases with age. This "double whammy" contributes to the aging process, an ongoing cycle of decreased mitochondrial functioning, increased free radical production, and damaged mitochondrial DNA.
- The resulting decay in mitochondrial functioning, along with increased production and accumulation of free radicals, has obvious negative effects on athletic performance. The body's ability to make energy decreases while free radicals increase.
- Mitochondrial aging and decreased function result in health decline and disease processes affecting the heart and brain. To quote Dr. Ames, "Oxidative mitochondrial decay is a major contributor to aging."
All of these reasons are why athletes should be particularly interested in maintaining the optimal functionality of the mitochondria. We want to maintain high-quality, consistent energy production, while also protecting against the deterioration of mitochondrial function and its associated negative health consequences. The key question is, "What can we do to make this a reality?" Dr. Ames and the other researchers found that two nutrients - acetyl l-carnitine (ALC) and R-alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA) - significantly and positively influenced mitochondrial function in mice. In fact, when Ames and his researchers fed older rats these two nutrients, the results surprised even them.
Not only did the older rats perform better on memory tests, they had more vigor and the mitochondria in their cells worked better. Dr. Ames is even quoted as saying, "With the two supplements together, these old rats got up and did the Macarena." He went on to say, "The brain looks better, they are full of energy - everything we looked at looks more like a young animal." Another researcher commented, "The animals seem to have much more vigor than animals not on this diet, signaling massive improvement to these animals' health and well-being."
In very basic terms, the take-home message of these studies is that the combination of these two nutrients "tunes up" the mitochondria. Tuning up human metabolism is likely a hugely impactful way to minimize DNA damage, improve health (not to mention athletic performance), and prolong lifespan. Ames' studies found that ALC and R-ALA did this "tune up" by improving mitochondria activity and cellular metabolism.
Dr. Bill Misner emphasizes the importance of this by stating, "So few substrate molecules function biochemically inside mitochondria cells. Endurance athletes should realize how incredibly important it is to affect mitochondria . . . the longer you can stimulate the lifespan or health of the mitochondria, the longer you will live and the better you will perform in endurance events. The athlete who has the most healthy/efficient active mitochondria is the athlete who performs at his/her best."
That's why Mito Caps was produced, and now you understand why I consider it to arguably be the most important product in the Hammer Nutrition line. I am also strongly convinced that it could very well be the most important supplement that you'll ever take.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find another product that contains a variety of nutrients that have so many benefits, both singularly and synergistically. No other product, in my opinion, has so many benefits that apply to both enhanced athletic performance and overall health (though Race Caps Supreme comes darn close in that regard). That's why I consider Mito Caps to be such an important product, one that every person - athlete and nonathlete - should take every day for life. The benefits you receive are cumulative, meaning you won't build up a tolerance to the product but instead enjoy everincreasing benefits.
Long ago I took to heart the words of Dr. Bill Misner, and I hope you do as well: "Mito Caps is a plausible and safe supplemental intervention that may reduce mitochondria substrate depletion imposed by age and endurance exercise stress. I have taken these substrates without any known side effects except less fatigue, better endurance performance, and less required sleep. Very few substrate molecules function biochemically inside mitochondria cells. Endurance athletes should realize how incredibly important it is to effect mitochondria and that everything formulated in this compound influences mitochondria cell biochemistry function synergistically and remarkably. Mito Caps is a product that I recommend to be taken year-round." HN