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GAT Nitraflex Review (Effective Testosterone Booster?)

Posted on August 23, 2019

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GAT Nitraflex is one of the few hard-hitting pre-workouts still on the shelves. And it contains much more than just caffeine, delivering unique ingredients that go above and beyond the average pre-trainer.

 

While most super-charged pre-workouts have been banned, pulled from stores and banished to an ever-expanding quarantine somewhere, Nitraflex remains—ever strong.

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Some say Nitraflex is as addictive as Netflix, and a curious few still ask the question: how good is it ... really?

 

Has clever marketing, awesome flavours and label design pulled the wool over our eyes?

 

The label claims are impressive: increase your natural testosterone level, boost bench press strength and experience hyperemic effects.

 

Wow right? Someone hook me up.

 

Let’s pull this product’s ingredients apart, true to the spirit of a Sporty’s Health blog article. We’ll also take a look at research backing up some of the interesting compounds in this strong pre-workout, like pterostilbene and CFB.

 

Nitraflex Ingredients Breakdown
GAT Nitraflex contains some regular pre-workout ingredients, as well as some rare inclusions, like resveratrol and calcium fructoborate. And this is certainly a good thing.

 

While the total serving size is a mere 10 grams, indicating that a clinical 6 to 8 gram dosage of citrulline malate is not on the cards, it does offer a novel patented form of a mineral called boron. More on this later in the article.

 

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Nitric Oxide Support

Citrulline Malate has gained a lot of attention from sports nutrition companies, weight lifters and athletes due to the plethora of positive research it has behind its belt.

 

Research has thus far indicated that Citrulline can increase bench press and leg press volume, boost muscle blood flow in older individuals, improve maximal oxygen consumption and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness 1,2,3,4.

 

nitraflex-product.jpgEvidence also suggests that citrulline increases blood arginine levels better than arginine supplementation 5. Though this might seem impossible, it does make biological sense given that arginine has a short half-life and citrulline is easily converted to arginine.

 

Most of the clinical trials with Citrulline involve a 6 or 8 gram dosage taken daily over weeks to months in order to experience the full benefit. Though the Nitraflex citrulline quantity per serve is proprietary, it is likely well under 6 grams based on the information provided on their label.

 

But don’t despair. Nitraflex does offer other nitric oxide boosting ingredients, including arginine and two polyphenol antioxidants. These will likely create a synergistic effect with citrulline, perhaps making up for a less than clinical citrulline dosage.

 

If you’ve never heard of Resveratrol, you’re not the only one. And even less have heard of a polyphenol called Pterostilbene. Yet, they’re both found in GAT Nitraflex under the ‘Vasoactive Arginase-Regulating NO Precursor Complex’ heading listed on the nutrition panel.

 

So what on earth does Resveratrol and Pterostilbene do?

 

I’m glad you asked.

 

Firstly, these two ingredients are polyphenols, just like the fat-burner EGCG which is found in Green Tea. And if you haven’t heard of EGCG, then this comparison probably didn’t help at all.

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Polyphenols are natural plant chemicals that have beneficial effects on the body, just like Vitamin C or Zinc.

 

Resveratrol and Pterostilbene are both found in grapes, and therefore red wine, as well as a range of other whole foods. They are both potent antioxidants and are structurally very similar.

 

Both of these polyphenols have been shown to increase nitric oxide levels, by improving natural synthesis in the endothelium of the human blood vessels. However, it seems there is a more appreciable amount of evidence supporting resveratrol for this use 6,7.

 

Beta-Alanine: the Carnosine Enhancer

Beta-alanine is a popular pre-workout ingredient because it delivers a part of the sensory experience of these products—the tingles.

 

Beta-alanine causes an immediately noticeable tingling effect when taken in high enough doses. This coupled with a caffeine rush and some nice flavours creates a sensory experience that people remember. Hence their beta-alanine’s frequent inclusion in pre-workouts.

 

But that’s not the only reason.

 

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The tingling effect is caused by an irritation of the nerve endings in the skin. It is harmless and reversible. However, a small percentage of people can have a very strong response to this amino acid.

 

If you’ve never experimented with beta-alanine, it might be best to start with a low dosage, perhaps a ¼ dose of Nitraflex. Though a severe beta-alanine response is rare, it does happen. This goes for all strong pre-workouts too, with high caffeine levels (and other stimulants).

 

Beta-Alanine is used by the body to synthesize a muscle-specific dipeptide called Carnosine. It is composed of histidine and beta-alanine. However, beta-alanine is considered rate-limiting in this case, because the amount in the body often limits carnosine production.

 

Carnosine has the important job of buffering lactate and delivering an antioxidant effect. In fact, dosages of around 2 to 6 grams of beta-alanine taken daily have been shown to elevate muscle carnosine levels by somewhere in the range of 20-80% 8.

 

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Research from clinical trials so far indicates that beta-alanine can improve power output, boost tactical performance and reduce neuromuscular fatigue 9,10.

 

To experience the most benefit from this amino acid, the bout of activity needs to last over 60 seconds 11. This means powerlifters and bodybuilders typically won’t experience the most benefits.

 

The beta-alanine dosage is a little light in Nitraflex, at 1,500mg per serve. Ideally, we want a minimum of 2 grams daily, and as much as 6 grams (in divided doses) to experience full benefits.

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Caffeine and Nootropics

Despite the fact that nootropics are gaining considerable attention of late, they are in fact as old as the hills. Cognitive enhancing herbs have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years!

 

Nootropics are simply any substance that enhances memory, motivation, focus and even creativity. The power of the mind plays a massive role in determining your performance during sports and exercise, helping you make your mark in the gym or on the sports field.

 

GAT Sports have done a great job with their nootropic ingredients, including DMAE, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Theanine and Raulwolfia canescens.

 

Theanine is a non-proteomic amino acid originally found in green tea. It offers relaxing effects, and can actually counteract some the side effects of caffeine—not the energy buzz though.

 

And that’s a good thing when you’ve got 325mg of fast-acting caffeine in every scoop of GAT Nitraflex! Theanine helps to keep you mentally calm, yet without sedation or drowsiness, ensuring that your caffeine rush is absolutely primo.

 

The acetylated form of tyrosine passes through the blood brain barrier with ease, where tyrosine can be used for the formation of dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline, all assisting with mood and motivation.

 

GAT-Nitraflex-green-apple.pngThe acetyl groups contained within the N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine molecule may also support acetylcholine synthesis in the brain, which assists with memory and focus. Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) also enhances acetylcholine synthesis, perhaps more effectively than any known compound.

 

Lastly, we have Raulwolfia canescens, a traditional herb with a wide range of beneficial effects. Again, this ingredient should help to keep us mentally calm amidst all the caffeine, whilst offering antioxidant and heart supportive effects 12.

 

GAT Nitraflex Testosterone

Do natural test boosters work? This is the decades-old question asked by countless bodybuilders and young men looking to put on some muscle quick smart.

 

Let’s be realistic here, natural testosterone boosters probably don’t work in the way you want them to work. And most natural testosterone boosters that are out there on the shelves and lining the webpages of digital stores don’t do much at all.

 

This is the harsh reality when it comes to naturally enhancing your free testosterone levels. It’s hard tracking down ingredients that work, and even then it’s like building a skyscraper from scratch—you won’t notice immediate and dramatic results.

 

But if you do your homework, find ingredients with some scientific support behind them, and use them consistently along with a quality diet, exercise program and lifestyle, you will squeeze these natural test boosters dry for every drop of muscle that they can offer.

 

And this is the smart approach to using natural testosterone enhancers.

 

Boron: The Building Mineral

Boron is a mineral, just like zinc, magnesium and calcium. Minerals are basic elements found on the periodic table of elements chart, yet their effects within the human body are still being unraveled, and will be for many decades to come.

 

There have only been a handful of clinical trials examining the effects of boron on hormonal changes to date. One study looked at boron supplementation in young healthy men, showing that 10mg per day for one week led to increased free testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), with decreased sex hormone binding globulin and estradiol levels 13.

 

Importantly, the increases in testosterone were ‘free’, meaning that they are active hormone, not rendered inactive by sex hormone binding globulin. And it’s always good to see a reduced estradiol level, indicating aromatization isn’t too much of an issue.

 

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However, a research paper published some 14 years earlier did note that 20mg of boron taken by young healthy men daily for 4 weeks led to enhanced testosterone levels as well as increased estradiol 14

 

This increased Estradiol level may have been caused by the higher boron dosage, which could have increased plasma testosterone levels more so than a 10mg dose, causing significant spillover into estradiol by aromatase.

 

But either way, both of these studies demonstrated that boron can increased free testosterone levels—significantly. This is a plus for natural test boosters and GAT Nitraflex.

 

Because of these increases in Estrogen and Dihydrotestsoterone, it may be a good idea if you’re using boron or a boron-based product long term to also supplement with some natural products that inhibit the aromatase and 5 alpha-reductase enzymes. Hint hint: Nettle Root and Pygeum africanum in combination work well.

 

The boron contained in GAT Nitraflex is in the form of patented and proprietary calcium fructopyranese borate (calcium fructoborate). This is a natural boron-sugar complex containing three different boron esters 15. Calcium fructoborate is naturally found in fresh fruits and vegetables in low concentrations.

 

Is Nitraflex for Women?woman-holding-rope.jpg

Women synthesize testosterone in lower concentrations than men. But this doesn’t mean it’s not an important hormone for women. In fact, testosterone assists with sex drive and muscle mass, amongst others roles.

 

Unfortunately, most of the research into boron and testosterone has been on young men. However, a clinical trial published in 1987 showed that 3mg of boron per day supplemented to menopausal women led to increases in testosterone and estradiol 16.

 

As this clinical trial suggests, boron should deliver similar results for women.

 

Are there Side Effects?

You might be wondering at this point if there are any GAT Nitraflex long-term side effects. After all, it does sound like one of the more hardcore pre-workouts, right?

 

If you are caffeine sensitive or have never tried a caffeinated pre-workout, it would probably be best to sit this one out. There are plenty of pre-workouts out there containing 160mg if caffeine per serve or less, which would serve as a better starting point for experimentation. Or, you can try the ¼ scoop method.

 

If you are prone to low blood pressure and you are also particularly caffeine insensitive, then it’s possible that any nitric oxide booster may lower your blood pressure, causing some temporary dizziness and light-headedness. This is rare, however.

 

Again, the research does suggest that boron can, in some instances, lead to increases in estrogen and dihydrotestosterone, as well as increased free testosterone. So if you’re using GAT Nitraflex long term, it might be best to use some natural aromatase and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, as previously discussed.

 

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How Much Caffeine does GAT Nitraflex Have?

Each 10 gram scoop of GAT Nitraflex contains 325mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to roughly 3 cups of coffee.

 

When to Take GAT Nitraflex

Like all pre-workouts, Nitraflex is best taken 30 minutes before commencing exercise. This is to allow time for the amino acids and other bioactive compounds to take effect, despite the fact that the caffeine energy rush can usually be felt much sooner than this.

 

GAT Nitraflex Flavours

GAT Sports have done an awesome job making this product not only palatable, but absolutely delicious. It mixes well and the flavours aren’t too strong, sickly or overpowering.

 

And with flavours like Blue Raspberry, Pineapple, Pina Colada and more, flavour-fatigue is not going to enter your vocabulary for a long time.

 

Conclusion

GAT Nitraflex delivers a solid caffeine energy rush with some standard pre-workout ingredients as well as some unique ones.

 

Essentially, this is a 2 in 1 product, delivering you all the benefits of a top-tier natural testosterone enhancer and quality pre-workout. This makes Nitraflex it a financial bonus for anyone used to having to dish out for 2 separate products.

 

GAT Sports have done a great job in crafting a product that goes down smooth and offers nootropic, nitric oxide and hormonal support, as well as the energy rush we all expect from any top shelf pre-trainer.

 

References

  1. Gonzales J.U., et al. Does L-citrulline supplementation improve exercise blood flow in older adults? Exp Physiol 2017 Vol 102;12 p.1661-1671
  2. Ashley J et al. Impact of L-citrulline supplementation on oxygen uptake kinetics during walking. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Vol 43;6 p.631-637. 
  3. Perez-Guisado J and Jakeman P. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012 Vol 24;5 p.1215-1222
  4. Glenn J.M. et al. Acute citrulline malate supplementation improves upper- and lower-body submaximal weightlifting exercise performance in resistance-trained females. European Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Vol 56;2 p.775-784
  5. Agarwal U et al. Supplemental citrulline is more efficient than arginine in increasing systemic arginine availability in mice. The Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Vol 147;4 p.596-602
  6. Xia N et al. Resveratrol and endothelial nitric oxide. Molecules 2014 Vol 19;10 p.10102-21
  7. Park SH et al. Pterostilbene, an Active Constituent of Blueberries, Stimulates Nitric Oxide Production via Activation of Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells. Plat Foods for Human Nutrition. 2015 Vol 70;3 p.263-268
  8. Culbertson JY et al. Effects of Beta-Alanine on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance: A Review of the Current Literature. Nutrients. 2010 Vol 2 p. 75-98
  9. Mate-Munoz et al. Effects of B-alanine supplementation during a 5-week strength training program: a randomized, controlled study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2018 Vol 15;19
  10. Trexler E T., et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2015
  11. Hobson RM et al. Effects of B-Alanine Supplementation in Exercise Performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids 2012 Vol 43;1 p.25-37
  12. Kekuda TR, P. Rauvolfia tetraphylla L. (Apocynaceae) - A Comprehensive Review on Its Ethnobotanical Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Activities. International Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences 2019 Vol 9;2 p.664-682
  13. Naqhii MR et al. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation in plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2011 Vol 25;1 p.54-58
  14. Naghii MR and Samman S. The effect of boron supplementation on its urinary exfretion and slected cardiovascular risk factors in healthy male subjects. Biological Trace Element Research 1997 Vol 56;3 p.273-286
  15. Dan Mogosanu G et al. Calcium fructoborate for bone and cardiovascular health. Biological Trace Element Research 2016 Vol 172 p.277-281
  16. Nielsen FH et al. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASED Journal 1987 Vol 1;15 p.394-397