Onnit Labs T+ formula was held to the gold standard of scientific testing when researchers from Florida State University conducted a double blind, placebo controlled study that utilized college level athletes. The results indicated that four weeks of T+ supplementation could significantly improve powerlifting performance. Athletes who ingested T+ achieved 36% greater improvements in total strength relative to athletes who consumed a calorie-matched placebo. The unique combination of earth grown nutrients present in T+ are now known to have a substantial impact on pushing the limits of human performance. The abstract presented at the National Strength and Conditioning Association conference, July 9-12, 2014, can be found here: NSCA Online.
Building Blocks for Improvement
The T+ study showed significant performance improvements in bench press as well as the total combined weight for squat, bench press and deadlift. T+ includes compounds well known as enhancers of athletic performance. The modified amino acid beta-alanine is a highly researched ergogenic aid, shown to help the body directly enhance muscle endurance and improve performance in cyclists, rowers, alpine skiers and even increase the punching power in boxers [source][source][source][source]. Beta-alanine is the rate-limiting precursor for carnosine synthesis, an important peptide highly concentrated in skeletal muscle. Elevating muscle carnosine with beta-alanine supplementation is hypothesized to enhance the contractility of muscles through increasing buffering capacity[source]
Powerlifters in the study conducted at FSU were subjected to four weeks of heavy resistance training. Three observers monitored every performance test to assure proper technique and FSU weight training staff oversaw each training session. Both T+ and placebo groups were able to improve body composition over the four weeks, indicating extensive changes in muscle as a result of the high volume of resistance training. The inflammatory response to repeated exercise is necessary for muscle growth, but can simultaneously hinder performance and prevent improvement. T+ incorporates a highly potent flavone known as luteolin, one of nature�s most potent and safe non medical condition related anti-inflammatory compounds [source]. In addition to assisting recovery, luteolin acts on smooth muscle to activate nitric oxide (NO) vascular dilation [source]. By enhancing oxygen delivery to active muscle coupled with antioxidant action, luteolin can balance the athletic derived inflammatory response and help the body aid improvements in muscular strength.
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the cornerstone for protein synthesis in muscle tissue [source]. BCAAs can be obtained through diet, however additional supplementation has been proven beneficial to reduce muscle soreness. The BCAA content and L-glutamine likely benefited recovery in the athletes taking T+, however a consensus amongst strength training professionals is that the performance improvements cannot be attributed to the amino acid profile alone. Nevertheless, the amino acids are a key protective aspect of the T+ formula and may have played a role in the strength gains observed in this clinical study.
T+ contains compounds when in isolation, have been shown to improve the endocrine profile in certain populations. Mucuna pruriens has been shown to elevate testosterone by improving the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response and Longjack similarly showed testosterone improvements in older males [source][source]. The demographic of the subjects tested in the T+ study was fundamentally different than existing data on these compounds. Longer supplementation periods in older, less active males have a greater propensity for testosterone improvements by natural compounds. Though T+ significantly improved strength, 4-weeks of T+ did not substantially alter the hormone profile of these young athletes. Testosterone elevation is known to have an anabolic effect on muscle growth and strength, yet manipulation of the endocrine system is accompanied by risks as well. How each of the compounds in T+ contributed to the strength improvements seen in this group of athletes is challenging to differentiate and a subject of further research on this formulation.
Results and Implications
The double blind, placebo controlled human study at Florida State University produced valuable data that showed T+ safely and effectively helps athletes achieve greater strength improvements. Subjects in this closely monitored study attempted to push their bodies to the limit and lift as much weight as possible in a competitive powerlifting setting. When the performance metrics from T+ and placebo were finally compared, T+ clearly helped athletes edge out their competitors and lift additional weight. These results have clear implications for not only the sport of powerlifting, but athletes who utilize strength in any arena.