Core Nutritionals FURY Black Lightning - 20 Servings
Next Generation Pre-workout
Every iteration of our premiere pre-workout, FURY, redefines the category. FURY set the standard for full-spectrum, full serving pre-workouts. FURY X ushered in new, novel ingredients to the industry. For our latest development, we have created a formula so original, so standard setting, that it requires no modifiers. Meet Core FURY.
Core FURY is a precise mixture of key ingredients that enhance athletic performance and increase mental edge. For athletic performance, creatine monohydrate, l-citrulline, betaine anhydrous, and glycerol are included at, or above, serving sizes suggested by the research. Collectively, these ingredients have been repeatedly demonstrated to increase maximum voluntary contractile force and other measures of power output, increase maximal oxygen uptake capacity, and significantly enhance time measures in standard athletic trials. For cognitive capacity, clarity, and focus, caffeine anhydrous, citicholine, huperzine A, and pregnenolone are also included at, or above, serving sizes suggested by the research. Trials using these ingredients have shown them to increase working memory, reduce cognitive inhibition, and reduce neurological processes typically associated with cognitive decline.
Together, our performance and focus ingredients constitute the pinnacle of pre-workout formulas. Core Nutritionals has once again introduced the standard in the category.
Citrulline is a non-essential, non-protein amino acid that forms during the urea cycle and forms ornithine when combined with carbon dioxide. Citrulline is also a critical source of endogenous (natural) arginine, as it is rapidly and efficiently converted to arginine in the vascular endothelium and other tissues.
Citrulline’s benefits have been shown to be greater than its parent compound. While arginine undergoes direct hepatic (liver) metabolism through the enzyme arginase, citrulline bypasses hepatic metabolism entirely and it is delivered straight to the bloodstream. The result is that gut absorption and plasma (blood) bioavailability studies comparing citrulline and arginine have shown two things. First, that citrulline is less readily destroyed and has greater absorption than arginine. Second, that citrulline supplementation increases arginine levels more effectively than arginine supplementation itself.
This translates to promising results. For example, animal studies show a significant increase in anaerobic performance at a 250mg/kg/day serving of citrulline, while studies in humans implicate citrulline in both aerobic and anaerobic performance increases. As a critical part of the urea cycle, citrulline’s performance benefits are thought to be a result of its role in ammonia clearance. Citrulline is implicated in reducing the oxygen cost of muscle processes, along with increasing the rate of post-exercise ATP and phosphocreatine replenishment. As ATP and phosphocreatine are the body’s ‘exercise fuel,’ this may result in citrulline delaying time to exhaustion in aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
Sometimes called the "grandfather” of dietary supplements, creatine is, along with caffeine, one of the most extensively studied dietary compounds. Certainly, it is the most well-studied ergogenic aid. Generally speaking, the extensive amount of data on creatine demonstrates that it positively contributes to dilation of the vasculature, plasma-nutrient mobilization, post-workout nitrogen retention and protein synthesis, along with dose-dependently increasing contractile force through ATP (adenosine triphosphate) provision (i.e., it helps support increased strength).
If the human body could be considered a bank account, then ATP would be the currency, and every cellular process would be like spending a little money from that account. Without making a deposit, the account runs dry (fatigue). Unfortunately, making a direct deposit to that account in the form of exogenous adenosine triphosphate is impossible, given that ATP itself is incredibly unstable. The use of supplemental creatine, however, is analogous to making a deposit in the body’s energy bank, given that creatine is eventually metabolized to ATP via several steps. In skeletal muscle, creatine is first phosphorylated into its primary derivative, known as phosphocreatine (PCr), by the muscle-specific creatine kinase, creatine kinase-MB (muscle-brain). Following the phosphorylation of creatine, phosphocreatine may then anaerobically donate a phosphate molecule to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to form the ATP required during the initial stages of intense muscular contraction. The result is not only an increase in contractile force, but also an increase in potential type IIx (‘fast-twitch’) muscle recruitment – the type of muscle fibers which are not only traditionally associated with speed, strength, and impressive physiques, but which are also unsurprisingly the most energy-demanding fiber types. Literally speaking, creatine contributes to the building of muscle.
Both through the ATP provision just described, as well as effects on nutrient mobilization, protein-sparing, and fluid dynamics, creatine has been consistently demonstrated to increase both lean mass and muscle mass in clinical data. In the short-term, these effects are most likely the result of extra-cellular fluid retention normally associated with exogenous creatine use. In the long term, these effects are likely attributable to creatine’s collective effect on muscle metabolism. The most recent research on creatine suggests it exerts direct effects on muscle metabolism, including altering the expression of genes responsible for ribosomal assembly, attenuating the breakdown of leucine, and most famously, by expanding cell volume. Cutting through the jargon, let us just say that the amount of creatine monohydrate contained in Core FURY simply works: these servings have been shown time and again to significantly increase lean body mass and muscle volume, lower fatigue, and improve performance (measured in several ways).
Betaine (trimethyl glycine) is found naturally in most living organisms. It is well known to protect non-mammalian animal life in conditions of osmotic stress (a rapid change in the amount of solute surrounding a cell), in addition to functioning as an osmolyte in mammalian (including human) tissues. Betaine is formed in cells as an oxidation product of choline and can be obtained in the diet from foods such as spinach and beets.
Though data on betaine is limited, and recent, the available literature suggests that this compound may have effects in a few areas. Studies on betaine using servings as little as 1.25g/day and up to 5g/day for up to 14 days have shown promising results. In one study, a 2.5g/day serving was found to enhance endurance and total repetition volume for the squat, bench press, and jump squat in in healthy-exercised trained adults. A similar study using the same serving found that betaine use increased peak power and maximum peak power, along with force and the maintenance of both force and power in healthy, exercise-trained subjects.
Perhaps more interesting, however, is a study which examined betaine’s effect on the endocrine system. This study revealed that betaine may exert an effect on several endocrine processes given the proper conditions, causing the authors to hypothesize that long(er) term betaine supplementation may increase the hypertrophic response to resistance training.
GlycerSize™ (Glycerol Powder 65%)
Glycerol is a fascinating and highly useful compound that has achieved a somewhat cult status in the fitness community – while both peer-reviewed research and anecdotal reports centered on the endurance functions of glycerol are plentiful, its bodybuilding applications are not as widely lauded. Those who do use glycerol, however, are persistent in their belief that it provides some of the most noticeable, and effective, engorging ("pump”) effects possible.
Glycerol has been well-established as a so-called, "hyperhydrating agent” because of its ability to potently and positively affect plasma (blood) osmolality. As an incredibly powerful osmotic agent, and when combined with large quantities of water, glycerol induces the intracellular retention of fluid (not the extracellular kind, you do not want) that would otherwise be renally excreted. Various research has shown that glycerol’s capacity to positively affect osmolality and expand fluid volume (an increase in total body water) has beneficial effects on performance and physiologic function.
Studies that administered glycerol before both moderate and high endurance fitness tests found that glycerol reduced increases to core temperature, caused athletes to exercise significantly longer before fatigue, reduced urinary elimination of water and increased total body water content, and, in several studies, significantly improved intramuscular water expansion. In less complex terms, this means glycerol has been demonstrated to keep your muscles hydrated, significantly increase the ever-desired, "pump effect” of muscle engorgement, and, maybe most importantly when it comes to a supplement formulation, deliver and keep more nutrients where they are needed (inside the muscle).
Until recently, however, most of these studies noted a significant drawback: the low glycerol concentration of market-available glycerol products forced researchers to test glycerol loads that were significantly higher than average use cases. Core FURY uses GlycerSize™ to overcome precisely this problem.
GlycerSize® is a highly-concentrated (65%) form of glycerol that offers greater water stability, and therefore potency, as compared to standard GMS (glycerol monostearate). Of particular interest to bodybuilders, GlycerSize’s greater potency translates to even greater levels of intramuscular water retention – keyword, intramuscular, and therefore no bloat – over GMS.
Tyrosine is amongst a class of amino acids known as ‘non-essential’ amino acids, so called because the body can produce them endogenously, and it is therefore not essential to consume dietary tyrosine. That said, tyrosine is also what is known as a conditionally-essential amino acid; conditionally-essential because, along with glucose and ammonia, the synthesis of tyrosine additionally requires adequate levels of phenylalanine. Once synthesized, tyrosine is one of the most critical amino acids, given its prominent role as a substrate in the synthesis of the catecholamines dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, in addition to both T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) thyroid hormones.
In studies on stress modulation, tyrosine has been demonstrated to reverse stress-induced norepinephrine depletion and the depressant-behavioral effects normally associated with it. In simpler terms, tyrosine may, in certain conditions, dampen the extent to which norepinephrine is removed from the bloodstream during a stress event. In simpler terms still, tyrosine may help to mitigate the sense of depletion and fatigue felt at the end of a workout.
Tyrosine may also play important metabolic functions, mostly related to its role in synthesizing compounds which stimulate the nervous system. While not traditionally considered a sympathomimetic amine, studies which have coadministered tyrosine and stimulants demonstrate a synergistic effect. These studies suggest that tyrosine may potentiate the effects of both endogenous and supplemental norepinephrine and its mimetics (in the case of exogenous use) with respect to lipolysis, thermogenesis, and energy expenditure. Meaning that tyrosine may play a role in assisting norepinephrine to break up triglycerides and increase body heat transiently.
Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed, and perhaps one of the most reviewed, psychoactive compounds. Its physiological effects in a range of areas have been well-documented, including exercise performance, information processing, alertness and mood enhancement, attention, and awareness, along with its anti-lipogenic and lipolytic abilities.
Most importantly to Core FURY, caffeine has been shown to have significant effects on exercise performance, even with ingestion in servings as small 3 to 9mg/kg/bw/day (the equivalent of 2 cups of standard coffee, for a 170lb male). In endurance training, possible explanations for caffeine’s performance-enhancing effects lie in its metabolic effects on both lean and fat tissue. It is suggested that caffeine’s potent lipolytic (the breakdown of fat tissue into fatty acids) and oxidative (the actual ‘burning’ of fat) action allow the body to utilize these sources during prolonged submaximal exercise. As a consequence, muscle glycogen is spared and available for use later in the training session. Practically speaking, this means caffeine is forcing your body to preferentially use fat tissue as a fuel source, while sparing the glycogen which gives you the full-bodied look!
In short-term exercise, caffeine’s demonstrated role in the inhibition of cyclic AMP- phosphodiesterases (PDE), adenosine receptor antagonism, and adrenoreceptor agonism come into play. These three pathways collectively stimulate lipolytic activity, boost fat metabolism, increase metabolic rate and energy expenditure, and regulate the body’s thermogenic activity. The practical results of activating these pathways are increases to the contractile force of both cardiac and skeletal muscle (harder flexion), an increase in energy expenditure (freeing up more caloric energy to be used in contraction), dilation of vasculature (better blood flow), and improvements to both nitrogen retention and skeletal muscle protein synthesis (key components to muscle building).
In Core FURY, we have included a per-serving amount of caffeine that is neither excessive, nor arbitrary, but that instead reflects the servings used in clinical research.
VasoDrive-AP is a proprietary ingredient derived from fermented casein. The fermentation process produces two lactotripeptides, Valyl-Prolyl-Proline (VPP) and Isoleucyl-Prolyl-Proline(IPP). Based on the available clinical evidence, these tri-peptides work together to reduce angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE).
In a recent meta-analysis researchers found 30 studies – all of which were randomized and some of which were double-blind – wherein Valyl-Prolyl-Proline (VPP) and Isoleucyl-Prolyl-Proline (IPP), either alone or in combination, exerted a statistically significant effect on improving endothelial function. In one of the analyzed studies, 25 men were challenged with casein hydrolysate standardized for tri-peptides in a randomized and placebo-controlled design. At the conclusion of the study, forearm bloodflow, a key measure of endothelial function, was found to be increased by 33%. The researchers in this and other studies demonstrate that the tri-pepdtides that constitute VasoDrive AP exert an inhibitory effect on ACE. ACE, in turn, is a critical component of the renin-angiotensin (RAS) system, which regulates hemodynamics by controlling plasma fluid volume. While the precise mechanism has not been elucidated, researchers believe that the lactotripeptides in VasoDrive AP competitively inhibit ACE, thus decreasing the metabolism of bradykinin and systematically dilating the arteries and veins.
Citicoline (Cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine)
Choline is an essential nutrient involved in numerous metabolic pathways, including DNA regulation and repair, protein function, and metabolism. Perhaps most importantly, the critical neurotransmitter acetylcholine is produced directly from free choline via cholinergic neurons. Acetylcholine is then responsible for several functions itself, most crucially as the compound which induces muscular contraction, and as the neuromodulator partially responsible for modulating risk/reward, arousal, and enhancing memory.
Choline’s essential role as a substrate for acetylcholine, and therefore brain development, is well documented in animal models. These studies demonstrate that levels of free maternal choline have a direct and fundamental impact on prenatal brain development, with the enhancements or deficits lasting into adulthood. Choline’s enhancing effect is particularly prominent in the hippocampus. In humans, the hippocampus is primarily involved in the consolidation of memory (taking short, episodic memory and translating it into long-term memory) and the learning of new information. Acetylcholine is a critical component in these processes, as mentioned above, and choline may therefore play a potential role in these processes as well by providing the substrate for acetylcholine synthesis.
Tartaric acid occurs naturally in the food source, while its salt derivatives (tartrate, for example) have been used as acidulants, antioxidant synergists, buffers and sequestrants. As free base choline is rapidly destroyed in metabolism, attaching a salt to enhance absorption is necessary. The bitartrate salt addition preserves choline from being destroyed during metabolism.
CDP-choline, or citicholine, is a cytidine molecule bound to a choline molecule via two phosphate groups (hence the diphosphocholine). The principal difference between standard choline supplementation as, say, choline bitartrate, and citicholine, is that citicholine is a cytidine supplier in addition. The combination of cytidine and choline in a single-source confers not only the direct effects of each ingredient on cognition and memory – but also factors significantly into choline biosynthesis.
Huperzia serrata Extract (leaf and stem) (1% Huperzine A):
Huperzia serrata is a compound found in the plant families of Huperziaceae, Lycopodiaceae, and Selaginella.and is endemic to China. The Lycopodium alkaloid Huperizin-A, found in Core FURY, was first isolated from a folk medicinal preparation in 1984.
Due to the potent anticholinesterase activities of Huperzine A, the compound was been evaluated in numerous in vitro, in vivo, and human trials. These data suggest that Huperzine’s Ache activities are most potent in the cortex, hippocampus, and striatum (at least in rats) – key regions in the brain responsible for forming, coordinating, and recalling memory. These effects are assisted by Huperzine A’s high oral bioavailability. Studies using microdialysis technique in rats, for example, showed that the response to Huperzine A was dose-dependent and substantially lowered the level of ACh in cortex.
Huperzine A has also shown promise in humans. In a study on memory and learning performance, 34 pairs of middle school students complaining of memory inadequacy were given a small dose of Huperzine A. The students were then match paired along a number of vectors and provided tests on working memory. The results of this study exhibited that HupA markedly improved the memory function of adolescent students
Pregnenolone, or pregn-5-en-3ß-ol-20-one, is known as the grandmother hormone due to its precursor role in the endogenous biosynthesis of most steroid hormones. Pregnenolone also has potent intrinsic activity, however, functioning as a neurosteroid. In that capacity, pregnenolone has been investigated as a mechanistically novel agent for treating cognitive and behavioral symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other mood disorders.
Pregnenolone has been demonstrated to enhance learning and memory in animal models at physiologically relevant concentrations. For example, acute administration of pregnenolone or pregnenolone sulfate to rodents results in increased performance along several standardized tests – including maze tests given to rodents to test working memory. Additionally, pregnenolone appears to prevent learning and memory deficits induced by NDMA receptor agonists. These results suggest that pregnenolone’s cognitive functions are at least partially explained by modulating the NMDA receptors – critical receptors involved in numerous neurological processes.
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