Primal Calm was designed to be used safely by anyone who feels that stress is interfering with his or her productiveness, effectiveness or enjoyment of life. Used either by itself or in conjunction with any vitamin formula as a “booster”, Primal Calm can have a noticeable effect in as little as 30 minutes to 2 hours after taking it and can last throughout the day. However, many of Primal Calm’s anti-stress effects and major benefits will come from regular and consistent usage over a longer period of time. If you are always feeling “stressed out”, take Primal Calm daily along with your vitamins. Primal Calm is non-drowsy, non-stimulant and has no side effects.
What it is:
This is the stress superstar. Phosphatidyl serine (PS, for those of us without the biology degree) is a naturally occurring phospholipid. Basically, PS is a compound of two fatty acids and a sugary skeleton (but a good kind called glycerol). It exists in the body in almost all cell membranes, but is particularly prevalent and critical in three primary places, which are all directly related to and impacted by stress: the brain, the muscles, and the immune system. We don't get much PS from our diets and our bodies don't manufacture much, so it is an important nutrient to supplement.
The stress effect:
PS is probably the most important nutrient you can take for fighting stress. Nevertheless, not many "stress-fighting" supplements contain appreciable amounts of PS, because it is such an expensive nutrient. PS not only enriches your brain's ability to fight stress, but it helps your muscles rebuild and nourish themselves, and PS supports your immune system in fighting infection. Significantly, PS has been shown to "blunt" cortisol and ACTH, two of the stress-related hormones that our bodies produce. More importantly, PS does not interfere with abnormally low levels of cortisol - only the unhealthy higher levels generated under stress. And it gets better: PS has also been shown in numerous studies to increase memory, concentration and cognition.
What is Recovox?
Recovox is an all-natural herbal/phytonutrient formula designed to improve workout performance by speeding recovery. It is designed to help balance or mitigate the elevated amounts of cortisol your body secretes in response to training and other forms of high stress. Recovox also provides key "adaptogenic" herbs to help improve energy production through better oxygen utilization. Finally, it provides nutrients that have been shown to reduce anxiety and to support better mental focus. Unlike most macronutrient powders, drinks, bars and gels, Recovox exerts its action by providing "micronutrients" that work within the cell.
Why do I need to speed up my recovery?
When we train, we put stresses on our body that prompt our body to want to rebuild itself and become a little stronger (or faster). However, this positive adaptation to training only works if we allow our body enough rest and provide it enough raw materials to grow back incrementally stronger. Without the rest or proper nutrition, training becomes just a series of accumulated stresses that can lead to a decrease in performance and greater likelihood or illness or injury. Training only works because we allow ourselves to recover. In fact, recovery is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of the training equation. By speeding up the recovery process, we are able to train harder much sooner, so when recovery is maximized, the net effect is a noticeable improvement in performance.
What is Cortisol and why is it bad?
Cortisol is the most abundant of the gluccocorticoid hormones secreted by the adrenal glands - and the most catabolic (destructive). At normal baseline levels it has several maintenance functions in the human body. However, its most profound effect is as a "fight or flight" hormone. Cortisol is secreted in substantially greater amounts in response to stress, particularly "life or death" situations. In any high stress situation, the more familiar "adrenalin" buys us the first 20 or thirty seconds of fast action, but it is cortisol that gives us an edge for the next several hours. As a survival mechanism, first appearing millions of years ago, you couldn't imagine a more elegant adaptation.
Imagine being chased down by a lion on the plains of Africa. How you handle the next ten or fifteen minutes could determine whether or not you live another ten or fifteen years. After the initial adrenalin rush, the HPA axis at the base of the brain secrets ACTH which causes a flood of cortisol from the adrenals. This cortisol basically stops all growth processes so that any and all available resources can be diverted to the immediate survival effort. It shuts down your immune function (why try to identify something that might kill you in a year when you may not survive the next ten minutes). It stops the uptake of calcium by your bones and it causes the dismantling of your muscles so that branch chain amino acids from those muscles can be sent to the liver and converted to glucose for the brain and other muscles. Once the danger has passed and the stress is gone, your body can spend the next few days or weeks sorting out the metabolic consequences and repairing the damage. That may be acceptable if you are facing an occasional life or death situation - it's not acceptable if you respond to all forms of stress this way and if you intend to improve athletic performance!
So how does exercise (or "training") fit into all this?
Exercise is a form of stress. Unfortunately, the part of the brain that is responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol doesn't know the difference between "good" stress and "bad" stress, so it secretes more of this destructive hormone whenever we do a workout that's longer or more intense than we're used to. The irony is that when we secrete high levels of cortisol we actually impede the growth and repair processes that are necessary for improvement in strength and speed - the very things we are trying to accomplish in training. Cortisol tears muscle tissue down and severely suppresses the immune system, making us most susceptible to injury and nagging illnesses. Chronic high levels of cortisol may also possibly result in increased risk for stress fractures, since calcium uptake by the bones is so reduced. The good news is that if we can reduce the high levels of cortisol we secrete through exercise, we can also reduce much of the damage and setbacks so that we can recover faster and stronger. And the ingredients in Recovox have been shown to do just that.
How does Recovox reduce cortisol?
Recovox contains high levels of the natural phospholipid Phosphatidyl Serine (PS), which has been shown in several studies to help lower the high levels of cortisol that are produced as a direct result of hard exercise. In fact, any micronutrient product sold as a "recovery product" should contain at least 100 mg of PS or it should not be considered a true recovery product (most don't because it is such an expensive ingredient, but it is without a doubt the most effective of all micronutrient supplements affecting cortisol). Recovox also contains L-Theanine, Magnolia, and Beta-Sitosterol all of which have been shown to have a stress-mitigating effect without any known side effects. In fact, L-Theanine and Phosphatidyl Serine are such superior anti-stress nutrients that they are protected by US patents.
What are the other performance enhancing effects of Recovox?
All athletes require huge amounts of oxygen in order to perform at peak levels. In fact, for endurance athletes, the amount of oxygen available to the muscle cells is quite often the factor most dramatically limiting performance. Therefore, Rhodiola Rosea is included in Recovox because of its demonstrated effect at improving oxygen utilization. Furthermore, the L-Theanine in the formula has been shown to promote a higher level of 'alpha" waves in the brain, indicative of a state of "relaxed alertness" and a greater ability to focus on a work effort with minimal anxiety. Elite athletes are known to generate very high alpha wave levels during the best performances. Furthermore, Beta-Sitosterol has been shown to have a post exercise immune-protecting effect. The inclusion of these 5 top nutrients makes Recovox unique and unequalled anywhere in the performance market.
How should I use Recovox during training?
Most exercisers and other "high performance" people take a maintenance or baseline level of 2 capsules a day. This dose supplies 150 mg of pure Phosphatidyl Serine (500 mg of 30% standardized extract), 100 mg of L-Theanine, 100 mg of Rhodiola, 60 mg of Beta-Sitosterol, and 100 mg of Magnolia and should be sufficient to take the "edge" off any higher output of cortisol caused by normal exercise stress. People planning on doing a particularly hard workout should take from two to three times the standard dosage, depending on the intensity and duration of the workout. This dose should be spread out from before the workout - to a few hours within completing the workout (sooner is better). Since stress hormone production peaks during and immediately after the workout, taking Recovox before training ensures that your cortisol "defenses" are in place.
Should I use it when I compete, too?
It depends on the duration of the competition. Many competitive endurance athletes choose NOT to take Recovox the day before and on the day of a long race (three or more hours). During a long endurance race, they actually want the high levels of cortisol to tear down muscle tissue and cannibalize any other growth processes in order to maximize fuel production for the completion of the effort. Although they know it means tearing down the precious muscle they've worked so hard for and compromising the immune system to do it, racing is a supreme effort and it's a sacrifice athlete's are occasionally willing to make. However, after the race is over they would definitely use Recovox to speed up recovery.
In fact, some endurance athletes produce so much cortisol on a day-to-day training basis, that they are unable to produce very much more on the one day they really need it - on race day. By using Recovox during training to support normal adrenal function, you not only spare your valuable muscle tissue on a daily basis and keep your immune system functioning well, but you also ensure that your adrenals are ready to produce as much cortisol as required - if required - when race day arrives. Using a complete high-potency multi-vitamin such as the Damage Control Master Formula helps in this regard as well.
On the other hand, some people, especially those competing in events lasting less than two hours, take extra Recovox before the shorter event because they won't need or don't want to break down or "go catabolic" to finish the event strong. These people also don't want to take a chance on compromising their immune system, since even a short intense event can result in a great deal of cortisol production. You may have noticed that many people come down with a cold or the flu shortly after racing - cortisol may be the reason.
Is Recovox safe to use daily?
Yes. All the ingredients in Recovox are 100% pure and are derived from naturally occurring food-like substances or standardized herbal extracts. Recovox is designed to help your body normalize only the high levels of cortisol. It will not "eliminate" all your cortisol secretion, since some small amount of cortisol is necessary and normal.
Are there any side effects?
No, there is no build-up of Recovox in your system, which is why it can and should be used daily and taken a few hours before training. There is one other benefit that may be labeled a "side effect": Because Phosphatidyl Serine and L-Theanine are also widely regarded as potent "neuro-enhancers" - substances that support healthy brain chemistry - many athletes notice greater focus, calmness and clarity during their workouts and during races as well as in the workplace.
Is Recovox IOC-legal?
Yes. There is nothing in Recovox that can result in a "positive" test for banned substances. Recovox was designed by Mark Sisson, former head of the International Triathlon Union Anti-doping Commission. It was designed to provide the strongest possible safe and legal recovery-enhancing effect.
Can non-athletes benefit from Recovox?
Absolutely. We all secrete "chronically" high levels of cortisol in response to a variety of stresses (remember, the brain doesn't know the difference between the stress of a saber-tooth tiger chasing us, or the stress of a traffic jam). In fact, most of us secrete far more cortisol in a month than our ancestors probably secreted in a lifetime. That's why doctors only reluctantly give cortisone shots in cases of extreme need. Because cortisol is such a potent immune suppressor, some health practioners even believe that, as a population, our chronically high cortisol is responsible for our high rates of cancer and heart disease. Therefore, many non-athletes who are in high-stress occupations or who lead otherwise high-stress lifestyles choose to take Recovox as a means of taking the "edge" off their high cortisol production.
The studies show:
Just 75 mg a day can help an adult male reduce his levels of both ACTH and cortisol. PS is necessary to repairing cellular membranes, which are crucial to proper bodily functions. PS is especially helpful in rebuilding muscles after exertion and injury. In double-blind studies (the most reliable studies), PS has been proven to help with brain function - even alleviating certain forms of age-related dementia and mental impairment. Experts consider PS a "general stress" nutrient, helping muscles bounce back, nerves handle a hectic lifestyle, stress hormones stay in balance and concentration improve.
The side effects:
PS has no side effects. Recommended dosage is 100-500 mg per day for active adults, and up to 1000 mg for athletes during intensive training periods or for recovery from injury. Recovox provides 150 mg of PS in a recommended two-capsule serving (or 300 mg if you double the dosage).
What it is:
l-Theanine is often overshadowed by its more famous cousins, but it packs a powerful punch. An amino acid found in green tea, l-theanine is well-documented for its calming, yet non-sedative, effects. The l-Theanine used in Recovox is a patent-protected version called Suntheanine®. Suntheanine is the only 100 percent l-theanineproduct on the market.
The stress effect:
l-Theanine works in the brain to fight stress by increasing alpha wave activity. There are all kinds of different waves in the brain. Beta waves are the stress-producing waves, delta waves cause you to be sleepy, and alpha waves are the most powerful, responsible for your levels of alertness, concentration and relaxation. Stress literally attacks your ability to remain alert, feel at ease, and tackle difficulties. (Creative people are actually proven to have more alpha waves than other folks.) Stress diminishes these alpha waves, which is why when you're stressed, you have a hard time focusing. This is where l-theanine comes in.
The studies show:
l-Theanine increases alpha waves, helping your brain handle stress. But that's not all. l-Theanine has been proven, in over a dozen studies, to promote more refreshing sleep, to help support normal blood pressure ranges, and to increase concentration and focus. l-Theanine has also been shown to help support immune function.
The side effects:
No side effects have ever been documented. A daily dose of 100-200 mg is usually what's recommended. Recovox contains 100 mg per two-capsule dose (and 200 mg if you double the daily dosage)
What it is:
Magnolia bark has been used since the dawn of the first millennia in China to help balance energy or "chi". Translated into Western scientific language, magnolia bark helps to balance unusually high cortisol levels, as occur when we are under stress.
The stress effect:
Magnolia bark not only soothes our frazzled nerves and eases nervous energy, it comforts digestive troubles and aids stomach processes. Magnolia bark has two compounds, called biphenols. One calms and the other stops excess cortisol production.
The studies show:
Magnolia bark has always been used to relax and calm, but new studies show that magnolia bark actually plays a role in helping to balance cortisol levels. High cortisol levels have been linked to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and low immunity. Cortisol is the physical connection between mental or emotional stress and their impact on physical health. Several studies have also shown that magnolia bark may help reduce harmful neurotransmitters in the brain, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. And a Japanese study shows that magnolia bark is up to a thousand times more potent than vitamin E as an antioxidant.
The side effects:
At high dosages, magnolia bark can act as a mild depressant, causing slight drowsiness. However, one would have to consume significant quantities far beyond any recommended or commonly found dosage. At normal dosages, magnolia bark is similar to l-theanine, having no depressant effect whatsoever, and is far safer than many sedative drugs or depressants. 200-500 mg is the recommended range for daily intake. Recovox contains 100 mg per two capsules (200 mg if you double the dosage under high stress).
What it is:
Beta-sitosterol is a (good) cholesterol-like compound found in many foods, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables and seeds. It's best absorbed in consistent, supplementary form, such as with a pill or vitamin. There are hundreds of "sterols" in the food supply, but beta-sitosterol has specific properties that fight the affects of stress.
The stress effect:
Beta-sitosterol has long been known for its properties that help support healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy immune system, but beta-sitosterol also is excellent for helping muscles to recover from stress, such as after a competition or an injury. It's best when taken after physical exertion or injury, or during times of stress.
The studies show:
Doctors commonly recommend echinacea for its immune-boosting properties, but studies show beta-sitosterol is actually more effective at supporting immunity when the patient is suffering from stress. Studies also point to significant benefits of beta sitosterol as an essential nutrient for those suffering from stress as it affects the muscles and immunity.
The side effects:
Beta-sitosterol isn't dangerous, but to get enough in your diet can be a rather high-caloric undertaking (several handfuls of nuts or nut butters, or constant servings of vegetables throughout the day). It's one of the best immune-supporting nutrients you can take when your body is undergoing stress - whether physical, mental or emotional.
What it is:
Also known as the "golden root," the "arctic root," and "Crenulin." Rhodiola is a plant that grows in Siberia. It's been used for thousands of years for a variety of immune and stress purposes. It is known as an "adaptogen" because it helps the body better adapt to stress - in other words, to become more adept at handling future stressors. Rhodiola's main components are rosavin, rosarin, rosin and salidroside. These ingredients help to move fatty acids, enabling greater metabolic ability and can assist in weight loss while dieting. These active ingredients also give the body a burst of energy in general, invigorating the patient both at the cellular repair level and the mental mood level.
The stress effect:
Rhodiola not only fights mental and emotional stress, but can help increase athletic performance, support a healthy immune system, improve concentration and alertness, promote a sense of well-being, and even help with weight loss while dieting or exercising.
The studies show:
Studies point to effective weight loss when rhodiola is consumed, but studies also prove significant benefits for mood, energy levels, concentration, and athletic enhancement. It is able to effectively help alleviate certain states of non-clinical mental depression, and to help the body to process oxygen more efficiently. This manifests as increased energy, vitality, wellbeing, and possible loss of body fat.
The side effects:
Rhodiola has no known side effects. The recommended dose is 100-300 mg per day. Recovox's formula includes 100 mg per two-capsule daily dose (200 mg if you double the normal dosage).
Abstracts & Sources
(Abstract: PS is a phospholipid enriched in the brain, validated through double-blind trials for improving memory, learning, concentration, word recall, and mood in middle- aged and elderly subjects with dementia or age-related cognitive decline. PS has an excellent benefit- to-risk profile. ALC is an energizer and metabolic cofactor which also benefits various cognitive functions in the middle-aged and elderly, but with a slightly less favorable benefit-to-risk profile.
Kidd P.M. (1999).
" A review of nutrients and botanicals in the integrative management of cognitive dysfunction."
Altern Med Rev 4: 144-161.
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(Abstract: Since ancient times, it has been said that drinking green tea brings relaxation. The substance that is responsible for a sense of relaxation, is theanine. Theanine is a unique amino acid found almost solely in tea plants and the main component responsible for the exotic taste of ?green' tea. It was found that L-theanine administered intraperitoneally to rats reached the brain within 30 min without any metabolic change. Theanine also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and decreased blood pressure significantly in hypertensive rats. In general, animals always generate very weak electric pulses on the surface of the brain, called brain waves. Brain waves are classified into four types, namely small alpha, Greek, small beta, Greek, small delta, Greek and straight theta, small theta, Greek-waves, based on mental conditions. Generation of small alpha, Greek-waves is considered to be an index of relaxation. In human volunteers, small alpha, Greek-waves were generated on the occipital and parietal regions of the brain surface within 40 min after the oral administration of theanine (50-200 mg), signifying relaxation without causing drowsiness.
- "L-theanine?a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans"
Lekh Raj Juneja Nutritional Foods Division, Taiyo Kagaku Co., Ltd, 1-3 Takaramachi, Yokkaichi, Mie 510-0844, Japan Laboratory of Nutritional Biochemistry, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan
Available online 17 December 1999.
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(Abstract:Use of the elevated plus-maze experiment and activity and traction tests in mice have revealed that seven daily treatments with 0.2 mg kg(-1) and higher doses of honokiol, a neolignane derivative extracted from Magnolia bark, had an anxiolytic effect without change in motor activity or muscle tone. Diazepam, 1 mg kg(-1), had the same anxiolytic potential as 0.2 mg kg(-1) honokiol but induced muscle relaxation. The aim of this study was to determine whether honokiol had diazepam-like side-effects. Mice treated with 1-10 mg kg(-1) diazepam, but not those treated with 0.1-2 mg kg(-1) honokiol, for 12 days showed withdrawal symptoms characterized by hyperactivity and running-fit when they were challenge-administered intraperitoneal flumazenil (10 mg kg(-1)) 24 h after the last treatment with diazepam. Oral diazepam (0.5-2 mg kg(-1), 10 min before) dose-dependently prolonged hexobarbital (100 mg kg(-1), i.p.)-induced sleeping, disrupted learning and memory, and inhibited (+)-bicuculline (40 mg kg(-1), i.p.)-induced death. Honokiol (0.2-20 mg kg(-1), p.o., 3 h before) had no such effects. The prolongation by diazepam (1 mg kg(-1)) of hexobarbital-induced sleeping was not modified by honokiol (0.2-20 mg kg(-1)). These results suggest that honokiol is less likely than diazepam to induce physical dependence, central depression and amnesia at doses eliciting the anxiolytic effect. It is also considered that honokiol might have no therapeutic effect in the treatment of convulsion.
-J Pharm Pharmacol. 1999 Jan;51(1):97-103.
Honokiol, a putative anxiolytic agent extracted from magnolia bark, has no diazepam-like side-effects in mice.
Kuribara H, Stavinoha WB, Maruyama Y.
Department of Neuropsychopharmacology (Tsumura), Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.
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(Abstract:Laboratory and human studies have shown us that when sterols and sterolins are administered together, they enhance the immune system.(1) Thus, sterols and sterolins may have some benefit in A**S and H*V therapy. They do so by stimulating the activity of the immune system, which helps control the multiplication of the virus.(2) Also, in a trial with individuals running a marathon race, the blood work of those taking the sterol/sterolin combination revealed significant increases in total white blood cell count as well as in several lymphocyte counts and better ratios of cortisol to DHEAs.(3) See below for (3):
(3): A pilot study was undertaken to investigate the effects of the intake of capsules containing the plant sterols and sterolins (BSS:BSSG mixture) on selected immune parameters of volunteers participating in an ultra-marathon in Cape Town, South Africa. Those runners having received active capsules (n=9) showed less neutrophilia, lymphopenia and leukocytosis when compared to their counterparts having received placebo capsules (n=8): the placebo treated individuals showed significant increases in their total white blood cell numbers as well as in their neutrophils (p=0.03 and 0.03 respectively). Furthermore, statistically significant increases within lymphocyte subsets were observed in the runners having received the active capsules: CD3+ cells increased (p=0.02) as did CD4+ cells (p=0.03). In parallel, the BSS:BSSG capsules decreased the plasma level of IL6 in the runners using the active capsules (p=0.08) and significantly decreased the cortisol: DHEAs ratio (p=0.03), suggesting that these volunteers had less of an inflammatory response and were less immune suppressed during the post-marathon recovery period. These findings justify further investigations into the use of the phytosterols to prevent the subtle immunosuppression associated with excessive physical stress.
-Bouic PJ, Clark and A, Lamprecht J
Int J Sports Med
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(Abstract:Rhodiola rosea is a popular plant in traditional medical systems in Eastern Europe and Asian with a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression, enhancing work performance, eliminating fatigue, and preventing high altitude sickness. Rhodiola rosea has been categorised as an adaptogen by Russian researchers due to its observed ability to increase resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stresses. Its claimed benefits include antidepressant, antic****r, cardioprotective, and central nervous system enhancement. Research also indicates great utility in asthenia conditions (decline in work performance, sleep difficulties, poor appetite, irritability, hypertension, headaches, and fatigue) developing subsequent to intense physical or intellectual strain. The adaptogenic, cardiopulmonary protective, and central nervous system activities of Rhodiola rosea have been attributed primarily to its ability to influence levels and activity of monoamines and opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins.
Altern Med Rev 2001; Jun, 6(3): 293-302.
" Rhodiola rosea: A possible plant adaptogen."
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