Understanding the Strom Sports VascuMAX Pro Supplement Formula.
December 03, 20235 min read
"VascuMAX Pro" is our non-stimulant, pump preworkout.
Designed to improve blood flow by both increasing nitric oxide levels to promote vasodilation, AND slightly thin the blood to again improve blood flow. It is then supported by a number of other ingredients demonstrated to improve strength and endurance outcomes.
The following article will explain the formulation reasoning behind the ingredients, as well as answer some FAQ and establish a base level of understanding for promoting blood flow and aerobic endurance with supplements.
THE VASCUMAX FORMULA
Each tub of VascuMAX Pro includes 30 servings, and is available in three flavours including Strawberry Kiwi, Cherry Cola, and the all-time favourite... Unicorn Pi55.
Each serve includes the following:
Citrulline Malate (2:1) (4000mg)
Cluster Dextrin (3750mg)
Glycerol Monostearate (1500mg)
Betaine HCL (1500mg)
Beetroot Extract (97% Beta Vulgaris) (1000mg)
White Willow Bark (15% Salicin) (150mg)
UNDERSTANDING THE INGREDIENTS
INCREASING BLOOD FLOW
The primary pillar on which VascuMAX is built is an elevated, and then sustained blood flow which is achieved through the multi-faceted actions of increased nitric oxide for greater vasodialation (L-citrulline malate, beetroot extract, l-norvaline, l-glycine), as well as slight blood thinning actions that will build up with continued use. First addressing the vasodilation created from increased nitric oxide production. What nitric oxide does is signal for vein walls to expand, expanding the pipes of our blood circulation system, decreasing blood pressure and allowing for a greater rate of flow with less strain on your cardiovascular system. This supports delivery of nutrients for performance and repair and healthy blood pressure, vital to all organ health, and within sporting and bodybuilding populations of importance as blood pressure related damage of the heart and kidney is common.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas molecule that is naturally produced in your body via two key pathways, the nitric oxide synthase pathway, and the nitrite reductase pathway. VascuMAX optimises both of these pathways with the use of the citrulline malate and norvaline acting on the nitric oxide synthase, and beetroot on the nitrite reductase. Citrulline is a nitric oxide precursor, after injesting it is able to convert to arginine, then on to nitric oxide. The nitrates in beetroot follow a seperate pathway, first reducing to nitrite via bacteria in our saliva, then being further reduced to nitric oxide in our body by the enzyme nitrite reductase. The combined production of nitric oxide reduces limitations from either, such as the excess waste that can occur from the citrulline or the more complicated path of nitrates. This completes the first step, nitric oxide is elevated.
The next priority is to maintain the elevation, and not succumb to increased nitric oxide breakdown reactions that can respond when elevated nitric oxide is occurs. This is where the l-norvaline and l-glycine step in, both of which reduce arginase activity, thus significantly reducing the breakdown of arginine to l-ornithine and urea, instead allowing it to be used for nitric oxide production. This is especially useful to some athletes that may have excessively elevated arginase, making VascuMAX a more reliable tool that everyone can benefit from.
The last ingredient working on blood flow in VascuMAX is the white willow bark extract. White willow bark acts to thin the blood mildly, which in turn allows for less friction in the blood and therefore less pressure is required to achieve the same flow. This is a particularly unique inclusion in VascuMAX not often seen elsewhere, and is of particular value to androgenic PED users due to elevated red blood cell concentrations.
INTRACELLULAR WATER VOLUME
VascuMAX includes a 1.5g dose of Glycerol monostearate, 1.5g of Betaine HCl, and 500mg of Taurine. All three are ingredients shown to support the retention of water within cells to create a state of "hyper-hydration" which is then hypothesised to be responsible for the improvements in aerobic power (such as longer duration sprints) by improving thermo-regulation, delaying onset of muscle fatigue. Simply put, these are great ingredients if you expect to be sweating as they will help you retain a higher water content prior to training.
IMPROVED MUSCLE ADAPTATION
The aforementioned Betaine HCl also plays a second role as a methyl donor, preventing the buildup of homocysteine which have been demonstrated to be prohibitive to protein synthesis required for muscle repair.
MAINTAIN MENTAL STAMINA
VascuMAX includes a 1g dose of N-acetyl-L-Tyrosine to replenish stores of dopamine precursor and therefore support dopamine levels, this helps to maintain mental stamina, focus, and mood throughout the training and after. Because the slower releasing N-acetyl form is used it makes for a steadier curve that is particularly valuable during the post-training recovery period.
IMPROVED RATE OF UPTAKE
VascuMAX utilises a less common technique in preworkouts in order to decrease the amount of time the ingredients sit in your stomach, improving efficiency and duration to uptake. The 3.75g dose of Cluster Dextrin may seem a low dose to some, but the intent is not in fact for the purpose of raising blood glucose. Instead, the cluster dextrin in leveraged for its valuable ability to increase the rate at which your stomach empties, moving the ingredients along to your intestine faster upon where they will be taken up.
F.A.Q. Why isn't L-citrulline dosed higher like many other pump preworkouts? This is a super common query we get in store or through the online DM's. A common goal is to choose the pump preworkout with the most citrulline per serve, one in which the industry has certainly responded to chasing quick consumer appeal and dosing citrulline malate at 8, 10 or even 12 grams per serve. Simply put, this pursuit is misguided and misses the basic balancing drivers of the body to compensate and regulate for sudden shifts in blood pressure. The goal of an optimised blood flow in a preworkout is to both elevate AND SUSTAIN the vasodialatory effects. When nitric oxide is overproduced, it can lead to a responsive increase in arginase and nitric oxide reductase to then reduce production and breakdown existing nitric oxide, bouncing your blood vessels less dilated state. Ultimately the effect of an excessively dosed nitric oxide precursor formula can result in a temporary "massive pump" but will quickly deflate to much less within your training session, making for a poor performance outcome. It's key to remember VascuMAX is utilising both pathways to nitric oxide production, not only that of citrulline's, but also consider the impact of nitrates from the beetroot extract, and arginase inhibition from norvalline (high arginase decreases nitric oxide production). To the point, VascuMAX effectively promotes nitric oxide production in an adequate balance that results in a more-than-awesome pump that will also be there to stay the entire workout. Remember that for any ingredient: More is only more, not always better. For more information, see the video below that was prepared by Will Dyson (@theanabolicscientist) on this question specifically.