Friday, July 6, 2012

Double Your Workout Volume With 3,4-DA - Chlorogenic Acid Metabolite, Dihydroxycinnamic Acid, Makes Rats Run 60% Longer, 30% Faster 90% Further!

Image 1 ( Another reason to supersize your cup of coffee; no not the girl, or ... well ;-)
Those of you who can no longer be without their well-deserved daily dose of SuppVersity news will probably remember the amazing weight loss effects an extract from green coffee beans yielded in a 2012 trial by Vinson et al. (cf. "GCB Another Fatloss Acronym: Green Coffee Bean Extract Helps Pre-Obese Men and Women Shed 16lbs in 22 weeks"; Vinson. 2012) and while I am still not convinced that you would see similar results in non-obese individuals, another recently published study by Novaes et al. does suggest that even those of you who don't think that they have another lbs of body fat to spare, could largely benefit not just from the caffeine, but also from the 0.5-1.0g of chlorogenic acid and the subsequent conversion of the latter into 250-500mg of 3,4-Dihydroxycinnamic acid (3,4-DA) even 400ml of regular coffee do contain (Chung. 2004; Novaes. 2012).

3,4-DA is like legal gear from the brown brew

Compared to placebo and vitamin C (25mg/kg), the hydrolyzed chlorogenic acid molecule, of which the 8-week-old male Wistar rats in the Noves study received either 5mg or 25mg per kg body weight (HED for 80kg human being: 65mg or 324mg) had almost incredibly potent "ergogenic" effects:
Figure 1: Time to fatigue (TTF), speed, workload and total distance covered (secondary axis) during exhaustive treadmill running after oral supplementation with placebo (control), vitamin C or 4,5 DA at doses of 5mg/kg and 25m/kg (based on Novaes. 2012)
As you can see in figure 1 the rodents in the high dose group ran 60% longer, 30% faster, 90% further and performed overall twice as much work (42 vs. 21 kg*m) than the rodents who had received the human equivalent of ~325mg vitamin C before a forced running test on a motor-driven treadmill.

Less ROS = Increased efficacy?!

Interestingly, the lactate levels of the 3,4-DA rodents were significantly lower and the remaining liver glycogen levels were significantly higher than in the placebo and vitamin C group (see figure 2).
Figure 2: Serum triglyceride (group effects non-significant) and lactate levels, hepatic glycogen content and protein arbonyl and malondialdehyde levels after the exercise (based on Novaes. 2012)
As Novaes et al. point out this suggests that the effect is partly mediated by a higher metabolic efficiency. The latter is probably a direct result of the profound reduction in reactive oxygen specimen, which have been associated with impairments of the cellular metabolism and subsequently reduced aerobic energy production (Atalay. 2002) - a hypothesis that would be supported by the reduced levels of protein carbonyl and malondialdehyde in the liver of the 3,4-DA treated rodents.

But don't we need ROS?

Image 2: Don't worry those love handles will go away - rather with the antioxidant + caffeine power of coffee than without it!
These observations are also quite revealing as the offer an alternative explanation for the previously mentioned possibly negative effects of antioxidants on the exercise-induced improvements in glucose metabolism (cf. "Update on Antioxidants & Exercise - Neither Vitamin C Nor E Have ANY Effect on the Response to Intense Exercise"): If high doses of other anti-oxidants have the same beneficial effects on metabolic efficacy, it stands to reason that even weaker antioxidants than 3,4-DA would spare liver (and muscle) glycogen and thus reduce the exercise-induced expression of AMPK of which you may remember from posts like "AMPK II/III: Leucine, HMB and a Glimpse on Other AMPK Modulators" that it is expressed in response to intracellular glucose, or more specifically ATP depletion, and the subsequent increase in glucose (re-uptake).

A huge cup of coffee before your workout will therefore neither hamper the weight loss, nor the health effects of your workout, as long as you do actually make use of its ergogenic effect and train 60% longer, 30% faster, 90% further and perform overall twice as much work... just kiddin', if you train regularly you should be more concerned about keeping the amount of inflammation at bay - some is probably necessary, too much counter-productive, but that would the topic of another SuppVersity post. I for one am now going to get myself a nice cup of coffee...yummy!

Suggested reads on coffee:

  1. Atalay M, Laaksonen DE. Diabetes, oxidative stress and training. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 2002 Jan; 1 - 14.
  2. Chung TW, Moon SK, Chang YC, Ko JH, Lee YC, Cho G, Kim SH, Kim JG, Kim CH. Novel and therapeutic effect of caffeic acid and caffeic acid phenyl ester on hepatocarcinoma cells: complete regression of hepatoma growth and metastasis by dual mechanism. FASEB J. 2004 Nov;18(14):1670-81.
  3. Novaes RD, Gon├žalves RV, Peluzio Mdo C, Natali AJ, Maldonado IR. 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic Acid attenuates the fatigue and improves exercise tolerance in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2012 May 23;76(5):1025-7.
  4. Vinson JA, Burnham BR, Nagendran MV. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:21-7. Epub 2012 Jan 18.