PeakO2® — The Better Beta-Alanine

Compound Solutions - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

For over a decade, athletes seeking to improve their endurance, stamina, and time to exhaustion have turned to beta-alanine. Backed by numerous studies, beta-alanine is about as much of a "proven commodity" as you'll find in the world of sports nutrition supplements, save creatine or caffeine. But, no matter how effective a particular ingredient may be, most athletes fail to realize the true performance-enhancing effects of beta-alanine for several reasons, which we'll get to in a bit.

Today we delve deep into an ingredient that goes toe-to-toe with beta-alanine on effects and delivers a whole range of other benefits beyond beta-alanine.

That ingredient is PeakO2®, or as some call it..."the better beta-alanine!"

What is PeakO2®?

PeakO2® is a patented blend of adaptogenic mushrooms headlined by cordyceps militaris, but contains five other beneficial mushrooms with long histories of use. PeakO2® also contains potent antioxidants which are present in mushrooms such as King Trumpet.

PeakO2® has been clinically-shown to improve peak-power, endurance, and VO2 Max in humans. So, it's ideal in pre-workouts, amino products and performance vegan products. But to really understand how and for whom PeakO2® does what is does, it helps to understand the factors that limit your performance during training and competition.

At its core, muscle failure ultimately boils down to one of four things, or a combination thereof:

-Depletion of ATP

-Depletion of muscle glycogen

-Accumulation of excess hydrogen (H+) ions

-Excessive free radical damage


PeakO2® primarily works by increasing your oxygen uptake and improves your muscles' use of that oxygen. As a result, your muscles are able to regenerate ATP more rapidly, delaying fatigue and preserving muscle glycogen levels. Additionally, the mushrooms contained in PeakO2® also provide a versatile spectrum of antioxidant compounds that counteract the free radical oxidative stress induced by high-intensity training and competitive sports. Combatting multiple reasons for muscles failure makes PeakO2® an exceptional ergogenic aid for both performance and whole body health benefits!

Human performance trials conducted with PeakO2® have noted:

-Improved time to fatigue

-Improved oxygen utilization

-Increased endurance

-Greater peak power

-Decreased lactate

-Increased work capacity

-Lower heart beats per minute (essentially, the heart is doing more work with less effort)

-Increased VO2 max

-Greater ventilatory threshold

-Improved time to exhaustion (TTE)

Basically, no matter what type of physical activity you do (crossfit, bodybuilding, powerlifting, endurance training, etc.) PeakO2® can apply to you. Because ATP generation is ultimately affected by oxygen, your muscles ability to perform continuously revolves around their oxygen supply. Any ingredient that increases oxygen uptake is a MUST HAVE for performance.

Now, flipping things over to the beta-alanine side, let's take a look at how it improves performance.


Beta-Alanine Up Close

Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring beta amino acid that serves as the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of carnosine, a powerful intracellular buffer that removes hydrogen ions from muscles. During exercise, a host of metabolic waste products accumulates along with these hydrogen ions, and carnosine shuttles them away from your muscles, ultimately allowing you to train for longer bouts of time before succumbing to fatigue.

Research conducted in humans has shown that beta-alanine improves exercise performance (when exercising lasting longer than 60 seconds), attenuates neuromuscular fatigue, and more recently, it's been shown to enhance overall strength.[3,4]

As impressive as that may seem, consider that you must consume between 4-6 grams per day until you reach a total of 179 grams to get those clinical benefits. If you're only taking 1.6-3.2g each day (the amount typically used in a pre-workout), that means it could take you up to 16 weeks to reach saturation and actually receive a benefit from beta-alanine. Most consumers don't take pre-workouts daily, so the typical daily dose of beta-alanine is even less. On top of that, beta-alanine really doesn't start to "kick in" until you're exercising for over 60 seconds, which is considerably longer than most traditional weightlifting sets last or the fast-twitch burst activity of sport occurs. In other words, beta-alanine is often used because of the "tingles" that make you think it's "working." A dose above 1g typically results in a tingling sensation. Some like the tingles, but most find it irritating. 1g PeakO2® delivers performance fast, but without the tingles. [3]

Furthermore, beta-alanine doesn't appear to improve your body's oxygen utilization or ATP production. Beta-alanine's main action appears to only neutralize hydrogen ions.

If you want better, more tangible results faster, and without annoying tingles, PeakO2® is an effective option.


PeakO2® Dosing

Dosing PeakO2® is incredibly easy. It really depends on how quickly you want to get the results.

Clinical trials show that once you reach 28 grams, you receive all the performance and health benefits that PeakO2® has to offer. You can take 1g per day for 28 days, or 4g per day for seven days to fast track your results. The higher you dose it, the faster the results come...all with ZERO tingles!


PeakO2® vs Beta-Alanine at a Glance


PeakO2® vs Beta-Alanine

When it comes to improving energy production, delaying the onset of fatigue, and enhancing performance, PeakO2® is faster-acting and arguably more effective.

PeakO2® increases oxygen kinetics and work capacity; is also boosts power and stamina while reducing exercise-induced stress. Essentially, PeakO2® is the ultimate combination of power, strength and speed, essential for explosive performance. It's like taking the best facets of creatine, beta-alanine, and betaine and condensing them into one supplement.

There's no denying the performance enhancing qualities of other ergogenic aids, and if you want to stack them together, you're more than welcome to do so. But if you're pressed to choose only one compound to take your athletic performance to the next level, try PeakO2®.



1. Ma, R. R. H., Smith-ryan, A. E., Ma, E. J. R., Eric, T., Ba, M. G. M.,...Mock, M. G. (2016). Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High- Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High- Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation, 0211 (July).

2. Dudgeon, W. D., Thomas, D. D., Dauch, W., Schett, T. P., Webster, M. J., Dudgeon, W.D.,...The, W. (2018). The Effects of High and Low-Dose Cordyceps Militaris-Containing Mushroom Blend Supplementation After Seven and Twenty-Eight Days To cite this article :, 6(1), 1-7.

3. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of B-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012;43(1):25-37. doi:10.1007/s00726-01101200-z.

4. Mate-Munoz, J. L., Lougedo, J. H., Garnacho-Castano, M. V, Veiga-Herreros, P., Lozano-Estevan, M. del C., Garcia-Fernandez, P., Dominguez, R. (2018). Effects of $B$-Alanine supplementation during a 5-week strength training program: a randomized, controlled study. Journal of the international Society of Sports Nutrition, 15(1), 19.

Not All EAAs Are Created Equal

Matt Titlow - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

First, before we can talk about EAAs, it's important to note that BCAAs are contained in the EAAs, and that the two are complementary.

Amino9™ is a Leucine-enhanced, clinically-substantiated* blend of all nine essential amino acids (EAAs), including the three BCAAs — leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Amino9™ is designed to help bodybuilders, competitive athletes, and anyone leading an active lifestyle to recover after strenuous exercise, improve body composition and maintain muscle.

Because EAAs are growing rapidly, two markets are developing quickly as of June 2018:

1) Premium, clinically-substantiated EAA blends like Amino9™.

2) Cheap EAA blends consisting of higher levels of Taurine, Lysine and Threonine.

What you want as a consumer is an EAA blend with Leucine content around 2.5 grams. Amino9™ checks that box.


Essential Amino Acids

In a 2017 study by Jackman, BCAAs showed 22% more Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) stimulation than placebo. However, that result was 50% LESS than a whey protein containing the same quality of BCAAs (Churchward-Venne 2012). In other words, EAAs had a 50% better MPS response than BCAAs following resistance exercise, and "a full complement of EAAs could be necessary to stimulate maximal MPS," according to the study.

It's important to note that when ingesting BCAAs or Leucine alone, the body robs itself of the EAAs to try to maximize MPS (Nair et al., 1992; Tipton et al., 2009; Borgenvik et al., 2012). When ingesting aminos, you need the EAA substrates to maintain the body's EAA inventory!


Bottom Line

EAA availability is the rate-limiting factor for stimulating maximal MPS response to resistance exercise when there is already enough Leucine to "trigger" mTOR.


Mechanism of Action

Taking Leucine itself starts the anabolic engine, but it's the other amino acids that make the car actually move. While the BCAAs take the car down the track a quarter mile, it's the EAAs that take the car miles down the track fast and efficiently. EAAs are high-octane fuel for athletes who truly want the best.


MPS "Flow Chart"

Leucine spikes insulin —> insulin and Leucine stimulate mTOR —> EAA substrates magnify Leucine's anabolic effect —> MPS is optimized


- EAAs have been shown to stimulate as much MPS as whey protein.

- EAAs activate MPS with a lower insulin spike than whey protein.

- EAAs stimulate more muscle protein balance than BCAAs.

- EAAs are like "BCAAs Plus" because EAAs contain BCAAs!

- EAAs can have a lower cost-per-dose than whey protein.

- EAAs require a lower dose than whey protein.



- Fast-acting, free-form EAAs

- Easy to flavor and sweeten

- Easily soluble and dissolves clearly in water

- Stable in Ready-To-Drink beverages

- Low calorie

- Easy on the stomach — no bloating

- No lactose (dairy-free)

- Gluten free; allergen-free

- Vegan option available



- Pre-workout

- Intra-workout

- Post-workout

- RTDs

- Protein powders

- Adult nutrition for muscle health

Amino9™ is gluten-free, dairy-free, fast-acting, disolves clearly in water, stable in RTD beverages, gentle on the stomach, and easily flavored.

*Katsanos 2006

Licensing the BHB & MCT Stacking Patent

Matt Titlow - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The University of South Florida owns a patent that covers the combination of BHB and MCT. If you would like to license the patent and stack BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) and MCT (medium chain trigylcerides) in the same product, the steps are as follows:

1. Contact your Compound Solutions Sales or Support Team member

2. Your Sales or Support Team member will collect the necessary details about your company and the proposed product

3. Sales or Support Team member will submit the appropriate documentation to the University of South Florida for review

4. The University of South Florida has 45 days to respond to the request

At that point, it will either be approved or denied. If approved, there will be a separate sublicense agreement and a 6% royalty on net retail sales. 

TeaCrine & Caffeine—Simply Unbeatable

Robert Schinetsky - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

If you're like most people, your day starts pretty much the same — roll out of bed and straight into the kitchen for a much-needed cup of coffee.

What is it about coffee that's so warm, comforting, and refreshing? Why is it the go-to way to start your day?

Well, some of it has to do with the actual ritual of brewing the coffee and sitting down to sip it while reading the paper or on the way to work. But, the vast majority of people making coffee their way to begin each morning due to the caffeine contained in each cup of coffee.

But can we make caffeine better?

Quite simply, yes, you can!

Caffeine, Glorious Caffeine

Caffeine really needs no introduction, it's the most popular, and widely consumed, drug on the face of the planet found all over the place. It literally is EVERYWHERE—from coffee to energy drinks and even peanut butter and whey protein powder.

Why is this?

 Simply put, caffeine is awesome. It wakes you up, clears brain fog, enhances mood, alertness, and productivity. [1] It's also a valuable performance enhancer for exercise, improving cardiovascular endurance/stamina, and in some studies, reaction time and strength. [2,3]

But, not all is rosy when it comes to the effects of caffeine. There are a few limitations or "problems" with consuming caffeine:

- Sensitivity

- Tolerance Build Up

- Crash

- Disrupted Sleep

- Withdrawal

Given these considerations, how do we get caffeine without the downsides?

The way to make caffeine work better, or "get more" from your caffeine fix, is by combining it with one of its chemical cousins called TeaCrine®.

What is TeaCrine®?

TeaCrine® is a purine alkaloid similar in structure to caffeine found naturally in certain species of coffee, exotic fruits, and kucha tea.

TeaCrine® also mimics the way caffeine functions in the body to a certain extent. Like caffeine, TeaCrine® also inhibits adenosine receptors, [5] which improves energy and alertness.

However, that's about the only similarity between these two energy-boosting molecules.

TeaCrine® also activates dopamine receptors, [5,6] leading to improved mood and motivation to exercise, giving TeaCrine® some additional nootropic benefits you wouldn't get with caffeine alone. On top of that, there are a few other reasons TeaCrine® should be added to your daily supplement regimen, especially if you're sick of caffeine:

Unique Benefits of TeaCrine®

- TeaCrine® is non-habit forming!

Even after 8 weeks of daily supplementation (at 300mg/day), TeaCrine® does not lead to dependency, tolerance build up, or withdrawal as is common with caffeine and other stimulants. [5]

With TeaCrine®, you get the same results (energy, mood, concentration, etc.) every time, without having to continually increase the dose!

- TeaCrine® does not negatively affect the cardiovascular system.

Many people feel uncomfortable using caffeine, frequently citing a "heart racing" or "jittery" sensation. This is due to the fact that caffeine (and other stimulants) can increase heart rate and blood pressure. [9]

TeaCrine®, on the other hand, is able to increase mental energy and reduce fatigue without stimulating the cardiovascular system. In other words, you get the boost in energy and alertness without feeling like your chest is going to explode!

- TeaCrine® is crash- and jitter-free.

Perhaps the best reason to use TeaCrine® is that it does not result in the inevitable energy crash that comes with caffeine. Imagine being free of the afternoon dip in energy levels that often results from coming off a caffeine high.

Suffice to say that TeaCrine® is pretty awesome on its own, but an obvious question is what happens when you combine caffeine + TeaCrine®?


Research presented in the 14th International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference provided convincing evidence that combining TeaCrine® + caffeine:

- Improved exercise capacity and endurance.

Combining TeaCrine® (125mg) + caffeine (150mg) together led to greater exercise capacity than consuming either caffeine alone (275mg) or placebo. [7]

-Sustained focus.

TeaCrine® + caffeine together helped sustain focus and concentration under fatiguing conditions better than caffeine alone. [7]

-Heightens alertness, attention, and information processing.

Stacking caffeine + TeaCrine® led to better performance compared to caffeine alone or placebo on complex choice, reaction time tests. [7]

So, why is caffeine + TeaCrine® so effective?

Caffeine Enhances Effects of TeaCrine®

Emerging research has confirmed what many TeaCrine® users have been saying for a few years now — caffeine + TeaCrine® is a winning combination!

Essentially, combining TeaCrine® with caffeine enhances TeaCrine® absorption and utilization by the body,[7,8] delivering stronger, more powerful results, i.e. tighter focus, more dialed-in concentration, and longer-lasting energy.

This occurs because when you mix caffeine with TeaCrine®, maximum plasma concentrations of TeaCrine® increase to a higher extent than when TeaCrine® is ingested all by itself.[8] In addition, published research has also shown that adding TeaCrine® to caffeine does not negatively affect the way caffeine works in the body. [8]

In other words, adding caffeine to TeaCrine® makes the two work better!

Caffeine + TeaCrine® — A Winning Combo

There's no denying that caffeine and TeaCrine® are awesome in their own right. Alone, each has the power to ignite your mind and power your performance to new levels of excellence, but when combined, the two form a pair that deliver results greater than the sum of their parts making you better mentally and physically for hours on end!

To begin formulating with TeaCrine®, contact us with some details about your project.
To learn more about this incredible energy, mood, motivation, focus ingredient, click here.
To find pure TeaCrine® online, or inside a powerful formula, browse our featured products.



1. Goldstein ER, Ziegenfuss T, Kalman D, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010;7:5. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-5.

2. Grgic J, Trexler ET, Lazinica B, Pedisic Z. Effects of caffeine intake on muscle strength and power: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0216-0.

3. Smit HJ, Rogers PJ. Effects of low doses of caffeine on cognitive performance, mood and thirst in low and higher caffeine consumers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000;152(2):167-173.

4. Magkos F, Kavouras SA. Caffeine use in sports, pharmacokinetics in man, and cellular mechanisms of action. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2005;45(7-8):535-562. doi:10.1080/1040-830491379245.

5. Taylor L, Mumford P, Roberts M, et al. Safety of TeaCrine®, a non-habituationg, naturally-occuring purine alkaloid over eight weeks of continuous use. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2-16;13(1):1-14. doi:10.1186/s12970-016-0113-3.

6. Feduccia AA, Wang Y, Simms JA, Yi HY, Li R, Bjeldanes L, et al. Locomotor activation by theacrine, a purine alkaloid structurally similar to caffeine: involvement of adenosine and dopamine receptors. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2012;102(2):241-248.

7. Access O. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference and Expo. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14(s2):31. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0188-5.

8. He H, Ma D, Crone LB, et al. Assessment of the Drug-Drug Interaction Potential Between Theacrine and Caffeine in Humans. J Caffeine Res. 2017;7(3):95-102. doi:10.1089/jcr.2017.0006.

9. Geethavani G, Rameswarudu M, Reddy R. Effect of Caffeine on Heart Rate and Blood Pressure. Int J Sci Res Publ. 2014;4(2):1-4.

10. Wang Y, Yang X, Li J, Ye C, Song X. Theacrine, a purine alkaloid with anti-inflammatory and analgestic activities. Fitoterapia. 2010;81)6):627-631. doi:

TeaCrine's Energy vs. Caffeine's Energy

Kelsey Olanoff - Monday, April 16, 2018


What makes TeaCrine's energy different from caffeine's?


Well, both modulate adenosine, which is what signals fatigue. 


But, caffeine hits adenosine head-on. Adenosine can no longer fire the fatigue signal.


TeaCrine, on the other hand, "unlocks" adenosine through the side door. It isn't as aggressive as caffeine's signal, so adenosine can still fire - just to a lesser degree.


Because of this, feelings of fatigue are reduced when you take TeaCrine. And even after 60 days of taking it, your body hasn't produced more adenosine. Your body has not habituated.


With caffeine, the feelings of fatigue are blocked for a time, making you feel more awake.  After 4-5 days of caffeine, your body makes more adenosine. Translation: you're becoming dependent on caffeine.



How to Formulate a Pre-Workout

Matt Titlow - Thursday, October 26, 2017

The pre-workout category booms in January. Are you ready for it? Read on for insider tips on how to formulate your next pre-workout and how to differentiate with new ingredients at effective doses for your target audience.

How to Formulate a Pre-Workout

Questions for formulating a pre-workout:

1. Who is my target market?
2. Does this market want a stim-pre, non-stim pump pre, or fully-dosed pre?
3. Why do muscles fail? Which of the four verticals listed below do I want to attack?
4. Does my target market want a beta-alanine tingle, no tingle, or effective beta-alanine dosing?
5. What new trends, ingredients* or research exists?

Why do muscles fail? It's best explained by these 4 verticals:

1. Depletion of ATP and/or glycogen
2. Accumulation of hydrogen ions from lactate
3. Muscle contraction failure due to ATP-dependent calcium release/uptake
4. Oxidative stress (excess free radicals) causing muscle damage

Trends to Consider:

1. Full-dosed: it's no secret that 20 serving fully-dosed PWOs are on a tear and selling well
2. Noops: nootropics/cognitive/focus continue to loom large as we consider the mind's role in physical performance
3. Regulatory compliance/research: every year, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and others become more stringent about the ingredients used, how the product is labeled and more...
          a. These large retailers are also reviewing claims, so ensuring the products' dosing is right is much more important than in the past
          b. While GNC and Shoppe are ahead of others regulatorily, look for Amazon to slowly develop the capability to enforce its own regulatory rules
4. Internet: Amazon is responsible for ~80% of all online supplement sales, and online supplement sales growth far exceeding offline growth; thus, an online strategy is more important than ever

*Call us regarding new ingredients and research on TeaCrine, VASO6, PeakO2, Dynamine, goBHB and more.


How To Disrupt the CrossFit (Endurance) Category

Matt Titlow - Thursday, October 26, 2017


There is no “GNC” for CrossFit. If endurance athletes go to, they don’t see themselves. Targeting thousands of CrossFit boxes individually is incredibly expensive, and exhibiting at endurance races across the country is also prohibitively expensive. So, how do you target this large market without a physical retail partner? Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) advertising. 

Before we expand on DTC advertising, it’s valuable to review the past and future. Below are 11 opportunities that CrossFit/endurance market largely missed.

11 Past “Misses”

1. When the world started eating and supplementing with far more protein, endurance largely stuck with carbs.

2. While ingredient innovation has accelerated over the past decade, the endurance market is opting for new branding, new sizes, new flavors, non-GMO, non-allergenic, “green” (recycled), clean-label, natural, vegan, gluten-free.

3. When beta-Alanine became popular, the endurance market skipped it. Hey, I agree with you: I wouldn’t want that tingling sensation either while getting through my WOD.

4. When adaptogens caught fire, the endurance community largely stuck with carbs.

5. When nut butters exploded, the endurance community left those in the grocery store.

6. Knowing the link between high osmolality carbs and GI distress, the endurance community has mostly kept to the same carb sources despite longtime innovations in this category.

7. To avoid GI distress, we know we’re limited to roughly 100 calories at a time using classic carbs. Formulation innovation beyond 100 calories has largely been silent.

8. Knowing of the potentially damaging long-term effects of repeated insulin spikes from carbs, the endurance community has stuck with very similar carb-based formulas for decades.

9. When we all realized that Ancel Keys led us down a tragic low-fat path, we awoke to the value of fat for overall health, as well as athletic performance. But CrossFit and endurance formulas have largely remained the same.

10. When Dr. Jeff Volek debunked the myth that carbs are needed for endurance athletics, formulations stayed the same.

11. When some of the most successful global brands embraced “lifestyle” branding, CrossFit and endurance stuck with a product focus.

When you look at the CrossFit and endurance category, it’s dominated by carbs; namely maltodextrin, fructose and dextrose. The carbs are packaged in products with cool labels, and various formats including gels, dissolving tablets, add-to-water powders and gummies/chews. They add electrolytes, but it’s all basically the same stuff since the ‘80s.

4 Future Opportunities

1. Protein: This giant category is not relenting. Consumers are looking for large containers of basic whey isolate or concentrate with at least 20 grams of protein. Consumers who identify with you and your lifestyle want your protein, even if it’s a little more expensive than a bodybuilding protein. If the market wants vegan, that’s fine. Use our Smooth Protein™ for superior taste and texture. Contact us if you’d like a differentiating factor to add to the protein.

2. New functional ingredients: No, we don’t supply all of these below. But we want to partner with you to formulate for and disrupt the category. This is a partial list.

a. Carb10™ - low glycemic and low osmolality prebiotic starch

b. Isomaltulose (Palatinose™) - low glycemic sugar

c. Cluster Dextrin™ - low osmolality carb

d. Allulose - zero glycemic sweetener

e. PeakO₂™ - power and endurance ingredient from mushroom adaptogens

f. Sensoril™ and KSM-66™ Ashwagandha - adaptogenic energy and focus

g. Nut butters

h. goMCT™ - healthy fat for clean, ketone fuel

i. goBHB™ - ketone for endurance and cognition

j. MCT and coconut oils from Compound Solutions

k. TeaCrine/caffeine combination - for improved time-to-exhaustion, and to lead the way in “Cognitive Sports Nutrition”

3. Formulate based on why muscles fail:

a. Depletion of ATP and/or glycogen

b. Accumulation of hydrogen ions from lactate

c. Muscle contraction failure due to ATP-dependent calcium release/uptake

d. Oxidative stress (excess free radicals) causing muscle damage

4. Market direct-to-consumer with up-to-date content marketing that we could jointly create.

Give us a call at +1 760-443-8768 to discuss formulation, disruption, and arguably the most bonk-proof formula created to maximize human potential.  

How To Formulate for Crossfit & Other Endurance Sports

Matt Titlow - Thursday, October 19, 2017

This is part II of a two-part series on CrossFit & endurance sport formulation. In Part I we discussed what has been missed and potential opportunities. Now we touch on potential formulations.

CrossFit is unique because it requires both power and endurance. The endurance category (running, cycling, ….) do require quick power at certain points of races, but not as constantly as the CrossFit world. So, how do you formulate for power and endurance? Here are some ideas below.

Want to start formulating? We're available to discuss formulation, disruption, and how to create arguably the most bonk-proof formula to maximize human potential.

Fat as Fuel in Sports Performance

Matt Titlow - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The basis for a high-carbohydrate lifestyle is due more to agri-business pushing their products than it is due to good science. Our health should be based on causation, not imaginary correlations. It’s time for a change.

Sports Performance

It is widely believed that carbohydrate is essential for high levels of performance. This is a myth.

Dr. Tim Noakes is a forefather of carbohydrate loading and a high-level endurance athlete. That was until he developed type 2 diabetes himself. Yes, an expert dietitian and ultra-marathoner became diabetic. To his scientific credit, he didn’t just toss his hands up and say, “I don’t know why, I did everything right.” He identified that his previous practices were wrong and started a revolution, not just for sports performance, but lifestyle around the world.

The Math Behind Fueling for Endurance

The revolution is shifting from a high-carb to a high-fat diet. For endurance athletes, this is invaluable, as humans can only hold about 400-500 grams of carbohydrate (1,600-2,000 Calories). Any idea how much energy is required to run a marathon? About 3,000 Calories. Thus, even if it were possible to tap into all 2,000 Calories stored as muscle glycogen (glycogen is the body’s form of stored carbohydrate), another 1,000 Calories (250g carbohydrate) would still be required. To administer such an amount within a ~2-4 hour window is nigh impossible without cramping, diarrhea, or other GI distress. To cope with this, the body does not rely 100% on carbohydrate, rather about 40-50% of required energy comes from carbohydrate.

That is, unless the athlete is fat-adapted. In this scenario, 90% of required energy comes from fat, and very little fat, if any, need be ingested during exercise, suggesting the source being drawn upon is body fat, which is virtually unlimited. Humans with a high-carbohydrate intake are unable to access their fat stores at this level, no matter their level of fitness or intensity of their exercise.

Using Fat as Fuel in Endurance Sports

Even a lean individual would have about 60,000 Calories stored as body fat, 30-fold the amount of energy compared to carbohydrate. Clearly, this benefits the endurance athlete, especially the ultra-endurance and triathletes who can expend over 10,000 Calories in a single event. In practice, fat-adapted ultra-endurance athletes, such as Zach Bitter, are shattering previously-held records in the sport.

The Case for Using Fat as Fuel in Sport

In other sports, such as mixed-martial-arts, weightlifting, or CrossFit, a low-carb, high-fat diet also appears superior to a low-fat diet. A ketogenic diet has been researched on two occasions in weight lifters and once in CrossFit, and each time it has produced more dramatic decreases in body fat and equal increases in muscle mass and strength compared to a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. This has an immediate and obvious benefit to weight-class restricted sports. When considering the benefits of a low-carb diet for traumatic brain injury, it can be of enormous benefit to contact sport athletes.

Fat as Fuel in MMA

A case study on two mixed-martial arts athletes beginning a ketogenic diet shows the same reduction in body fat and maintenance of muscle mass while the athletes experienced a maintenance of strength, increase in power output, improvement in fatigue resistance, and a faster reaction time. The same holds true when researching the diet in Taekwondo athletes and gymnasts. Anecdotally, several team sport athletes have also reported success on a high-fat or ketogenic diet, such as basketball stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard, linemen Geoff Schwartz, Brian Winters, Willie Colon, and Weston Richburg, bodybuilders Toney Freeman, Brandon Curry, and Ben Pakulski, fighters Brandan Schaub and Kyle Kingsbury, and an entire soccer club from Norway, team Strømsgodset, who won the Norwegian Premier League Championships in 2013 and were runner-up the year prior and following since beginning carbohydrate restriction.

Final Statements

Surely if a high-fat diet were unhealthy, it would negatively impact performance, but athletes assuming such a diet seem to be winning more and more victories as the diet takes root. The evidence overwhelmingly confirms that low-carb, high-fat is the road to optimal health and performance – we only need to overcome our pride, admit to our wrongdoing, and stop this crisis before it becomes the undoing of our species. Food products designed to have minimal impact on blood sugars with high fat and/or protein content are growing in popularity, and they will undoubtedly help in correcting our societies’ health.


This is the third article in a three-part series about fat, brought to you by Compound Solutions.
Part 1 – What are Fats? A Scientific Approach to Dispelling Confusion Around Fat
Part 2 – The Truth About Fat
Part 3 – Fat as Fuel in Sports Performance


Click here for a complete list of references supporting this 3-part fat series.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

What Are Fats? A Scientific Approach to Dispelling the Confusion Around Fat

Matt Titlow - Monday, July 10, 2017


You may have heard from someone before, “healthy fats include chocolate and coconut oil." But the same person who told you that also said saturated fats were unhealthy. Those saying "healthy fats" are confused because all fats, apart from the very few exceptions, are healthy. Those with a confusing, mixed message about fat are stuck in the past and trying to reconcile the observed benefits of a high fat intake with an aged rhetoric.


A family of molecules

Fats, also called lipids, is a very general heading for a family of molecules – much more complicated than unsaturated or saturated. Most dietary fats in our food come as triglycerides, and a triglyceride is a glycerol backbone attached to three fatty acids.

These fatty acids can be either saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), or polyunsaturated (PUFA), thus earning the triglyceride its respective title of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, or polyunsaturated fat that we see on food labels.

Structurally speaking, the difference between each of these 3 types is probably not as profound as you’ve imagined.

SFAs are simple. They are a straight line of carbons bonded to hydrogens, and all bonds are “single bonds,” permitting their straight orientation.

MUFAs are the exact same thing except 1, just 1, of the single bonds between two carbon atoms becomes a “double bond,” and this puts a little kink in the line. The MUFA starts off straight until the double bond when it changes direction and continues in that direction until it runs out of carbons and hydrogens.

Similarly, PUFA is like a MUFA, but with 2 or more double bonds, or “bends.”

How fat functions

As with most things, “function follows form,” and this is precisely why so much attention is given to things like saturated or unsaturated fats. So let us take a look at their different shapes in the image below. The SFA is straight, MUFA bends once, while PUFA bends twice (PUFA can bend two or more times). Note that the PUFA basically takes the form of saturated fat, just slightly wider, in this example.

These fatty acids serve many processes, including

hormone production, vitamin absorption, cell composition, second messenger signals, myelination (the destruction of myelin causes multiple sclerosis), regulate inflammation, and regulate cell death, to name a few. 


Now, a theory behind the negativity of saturated fat is linked to “cell fluidity.” Fatty acids make up our cell membranes, and we must transport other molecules in to and out of the cell. Saturated fats are kind of like wooden planks forming the broad side of a wall – not very porous, there are just a few gaps between the boards. If the board bends a bit, it creates a big hole for things to slip through. Bad for houses – good for cells (generally). Moreover, cholesterol (yes that cholesterol) increase cell fluidity when cell fluidity is low but decreases cell fluidity when it is too high, and our fats in the cell membrane are constantly moving around.

However, fatty acids are used for much more than forming cell membranes and regulating what goes into the cell.
So are saturated fats still “bad?” Not exactly. Increasing dietary saturated fat can actually lower circulating saturated fats (a risk factor for heart disease). Collectively, fats actually help to protect our cells, and that includes the cells of the heart. This is why a diet very high in fat in conjunction with a diet very low in carbohydrate will improve cardiometabolic health. The problem with the so-called “high-fat diet” that we’ve been told is so deadly is that it contains just as much or more carbohydrate than it does fat. Why? Because the outdated nutritional community believes carbohydrates are the base of human nutrition. They’re wrong – they don’t know how to let them go. It is our cultural, historical dependence on carbohydrate that keeps them in power (lobbyists for the big grain companies don’t help either). Fats can easily replace carbohydrate in the human diet. 

Fats are fuel!

At this point we, as a species, have been tricked into thinking that carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for fueling the body, but we were wrong! For decades, we have searched for the reason for our ailments and rapidly rising rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and the like, not knowing the answer has been right under our noses all along. We’ve pushed carbohydrate-based diets, and they’ve let us down tremendously. The research used to support this agenda has been weak, and the restriction of dietary fat has never outperformed the restriction of dietary carbohydrate in the human clinical research setting. As scientists, we very rarely get to speak in absolutes because there’s always a small chance to the contrary, but in this case, at this time, and to the best of our knowledge we can repeat, dietary fat restriction has never outperformed dietary carbohydrate restriction. In fact, when total dietary saturated fats are replaced with carbohydrate, cardiometabolic risk factors are exacerbated or unchanged, but replacement with medium-chain saturated fats, MUFA, or PUFA will lower these risks.
What are these sub-classifications of fats?

Fats are not unlike carbohydrates in that both have sub-classifications for “digestion speed.” SFAs are metabolized more easily than MUFAs which are metabolized more easily than PUFAs because every double bond requires more steps to break them down. There are also more bonds to break for every pair of carbons present in the fatty acid, so their “length” is also a factor (the above examples have 16 carbons and will go through 9 metabolic cycles. If it had 8 carbons, it would undergo only 5 metabolic cycles, and the unsaturated fats would require additional steps when breaking the double-bond).

Based on the number of carbons, we can classify fatty acids by their size: short-chain, medium-chain, or long-chain. Short-chains are less than 6 carbons, medium-chains are 6-12 carbons, and long-chains are greater than 12 carbons. Shorter chains are easier to metabolize. Thus, our new hierarchy from easiest to most difficult to metabolize goes a little more like this:

4-carbon SFA
6-carbon SFA ----[INSERT EXAMPLES]
8-carbon SFA
all the rest of the SFAs in ascending order
4-carbon MUFAs
6-carbon MUFAs ----[INSERT EXAMPLES]
8-carbon MUFAs
all the rest of the MUFAs in ascending order
4-carbon PUFAs
6-carbon PUFAs ----[INSERT EXAMPLES]
8-carbon PUFAs
all the rest of the PUFAs in ascending order

Odd numbers of carbons do exist and this also requires additional steps… but that is a whole other level of biochemistry.

Here is another thing that doesn’t make sense. We label unsaturated fat as “healthy,” but there’s one in particular which is generally frowned upon, and that is arachidonic acid. Its PUFA arrangement makes a U shape, and that is very unusual. Arachidonic acid is associated with inflammation and other unfavorable symptoms, but for perspective, this is just one very specific fat… at least 2/3 of individual carbohydrates (glucose and fructose for example) are definitely worse!

The unsaturated fats are also the only ones that can be trans fat. This comes from the chemical nomenclature for the type of double-bond the unsaturated fat has – it can either be cis or trans. Most are cis, and that is what is shown in the example above. Cis = Same, both hydrogens around the double bond are on the same side. Trans fat is when those hydrogens are on opposite sides of the double-bond (they would appear diagonal across the double-bond in the diagram). Ipso facto, trans fat (and arachidonic acid) can inadvertently receive the healthy fat classification. It definitely doesn’t make sense! Keep an eye out for “partially-hydrogenated” in your ingredients. If you see that, it contains trans fat – just not enough for the FDA to make them type in a number greater than 0 on their nutrition facts panel. Partially-hydrogenated oils are also much more harmful than natural trans fats, such as those found in meat and dairy.

Short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids

The last unique fat to discuss are short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids. These are always saturated fats, and they are very easily metabolized and readily form ketone bodies. Typically blood ketones are associated with diabetic ketoacidosis, and that can be true, but there is also nutritional ketosis, which is totally non-life-threatening (very much the opposite, in fact). Nutritional ketosis is highly associated with healthier body composition and lower inflammation.

When talking about ketones, we’re mostly concerned with butyrate. Butyrate becomes the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which means there was a hydrogen molecule and an oxygen molecule added to the butyrate. BHB is water-soluble and very useful, as it can cross the blood brain barrier to fuel the brain, stimulate our peripheral tissues to absorb glucose out of the blood (yes, this fat can reduce blood glucose*), and it can quickly (very quickly as far as fats are concerned) be converted into fuel for muscle tissues as well.
*Lower blood glucose is associated with longer, healthier lives.

The final word

Remember – All Fats Are Healthy. Fats like fish oil or coconut oil are the healthiest fats.



Click here for a complete list of references supporting this 3-part fat series.


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