Supplement Review: iFORCE Nutrition’s Hemavol
At Best Price Nutrition, we’ve known for years that arginine, well, doesn’t really work. Well, it doesn’t do what it is touted to do on every single supplement label: vasodilate, increase nitric oxide levels, impart a better “pump”.
The wool has been pulled over the collective eyes of the supplement industry for quite some time; this is the unfortunate result of an industry that spends billions a year on marketing to uneducated consumers. While informing said consumers instead of pitching them more bullshit is central to our business identity, it often feels like slogging uphill and it would be nice if we had a supplement company on our side (i.e., the righteous side of course) for once. Enter iFORCE Nutrition’s Hemavol.
There is no arginine in this product. Here’s what there is in this product:
- Agamatine Sulfate 1000mg
- Citrulline Malate 5000mg
- Glycerol Monostearate 2000mg
- Norvaline 250mg
Agmatine and Citrulline are the shining stars here, with Norvaline getting an honorable mention. Agmatine inhibits endothelial nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that breaks down nitric oxide in your blood. Instead of the crapshoot that is ingesting arginine and hoping that it eventually turns itself into nitric oxide, and then hoping that your body doesn’t break down that nitric oxide, you just directly boost the levels of nitric oxide in your blood. If blocking an enzyme sounds like sketchy voodoo science to you, bear in mind this is exactly how most prescription drugs work.
Citrulline malate is an ingredient that has been used for years in Europe as a fatigue-fighter, among other things. This is not a new ingredient by any means, and I won’t bill it as such; you can find citrulline entering sports performance write-ups in the United States as early as 1998. This is the quick and dirty: citrulline significantly increases aerobic performance at a dosage of 6g per day – some studies go as high as 18g per day. It will also indirectly boost anaerobic performance by boosting the re-absorption of bicarbonates that protect against metabolic acidosis and by raising the anaerobic threshold. Yes, the supplement only has 5g of citrulline, but the dosage is already 10 capsules. If you really want the 6g, take 12 capsules or add in a few scoops of Scivation’s Xtend (2 scoops has 1g of citrulline).
Norvaline is gaining traction because it too inhibits an enzyme: arginase, the enzyme that degrades arginine. What I didn’t mention above is that both agmatine and citrulline are both derived from arginine, and may actually be superior in bolstering plasma levels of arginine than, well, arginine itself; this has to do with agmatine and citrulline dodging liver metabolism whereas arginine cannot.
You’re blowing the door off the limiting factors of endothelial nitric oxide levels as opposed to previously only gently knocking (with arginine). Enjoy.
Alpha-GPC is a great addition to this product that is just now peeking its head over the vast horizon that is sports performance supplements, but despite its late entrance, it is a very welcome addition. Not only does it sensitize the body’s growth hormone receptors, thereby making growth hormone more effective, but it also has a powerful effect on the central nervous system by acting as a parasympathomimetic acetylcholine precursor, and rapidly delivers choline across the blood brain barrier. Canadian strength coach Christian Thibaudeau lauds Alpha-GPC as his favorite supplement, “… it is the only supplement I’ve ever tried that made me significantly stronger the first time I ever took it.” Don’t overlook this ingredient: it is not cheap, and certainly not a “cutting-corners” filler ingredient.
Quite simply, if you’re looking for a nitric oxide supplement that actually works, this is as close to defying the laws of physiology I’ve seen a supplement company come up with, and I’m thoroughly impressed.