Feel the Post-Workout Burn -- Less
"Feeling the burn" after a workout is really your body recovering from the stress and strain of exercise. It's a process that might get a boost from a new supplement.
Rising To The Challenge
While it's clear that exercise causes HSP to rise, studies show
the natural activation process can take three hours or more after the stress
begins. Now, however, a new fitness supplement called PrePair claims to give
HSP a gentle nudge, causing levels to rise as soon as 15 minutes after a
workout starts. And it does so using an extract made from the skin of the
prickly pear cactus fruit.
"The extract mobilizes your natural supply of heat shock
proteins almost immediately after the body experiences stress - which in turn
helps the repair process to begin right away," says Marilyn Booker, the
clinical director of Perfect Equation, the company that distributes PrePair in
It is because of that ultra quick HSP response that Booker says
athletes are less likely to feel fatigue, and have a greater ability to workout
harder and longer with less risk of muscle damage or post workout pain.
The key ingredient in PrePair is called Tex-OE, extracted from
the skin of the cactus fruit. According Booker, what makes PrePair different
from other prickly pear cactus sources is the patented process that separates
the extract from the fibrous skin - intrinsic, she says, to obtaining
"Fiber prevents the extract from being absorbed by the body
- so in order to gain the benefits we had to develop a patented process that
separates the extract from the fibrous skin, " Booker tells WebMD.
It also allows the supplement to last in the body up to three
days - but, says Booker, "If your muscles aren't under stress, the heat
shock proteins won't rise."
And the company offers some human, cell culture, and animal
studies to back up their claims. Human studies conducted by the company on
divers, cyclists, and runners found those who took PrePair claimed to have
roughly twice the strength, distance or stamina they did before.
But while results are impressive, it's important to note that
PrePair's studies were small, and not published in any medical journal, which
means they were not subject to review by experts who could verify either the
results, or the conditions under which the testing was carried out.