When it comes to sports and performance enhancement, it’s a vicious circle. Athletes and companies are always on the lookout for the next big thing in the black market to enhance performance, before the anti-doping agencies, ban the substance. Once, the ban is on, they start looking out for the next chemical breakthrough. The target today is a new stimulant drug in the market called AMP(adenosine monophosphate). Though, not a new drug as such, but for sports it is.
The sport of bodybuilding is the experimental lab for all these drugs. Worse, the experimentation has percolated down to gyms, where youngsters, under the guidance (or should I say misguidance) of their local coaches, use these drugs extensively, often leading to disastrous outcomes. I have been exposing many such substances, through my videos, articles, and ebooks.
Before we begin to understand the entire science behind AMP, I would like to say one simple thing: “If you are using AMP or adenosine monophosphate, or intend to use, or some illiterate, stupid trainer or supplement dealer has recommended it to you, just STOP”. AMP comes in the league of a lot of such dangerous substances that have simply no place in sports. Read on to know why ….
Adenosine is a chemical present in all the cells in the body, which facilitates essential functions in human biology and physiology.
According to Prof. Paul May of the University of Bristol in UK, The 1997 Nobel prize for Chemistry has been awarded to 3 biochemists for the study of the important biological molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
All living things, plants, and animals require a continual supply of energy in order to function. The energy is used for all the processes which keep the organism alive. Some of these processes occur continually, such as the metabolism of foods, the synthesis of large, biologically important molecules, e.g. proteins and DNA, and the transport of molecules and ions throughout the organism. Other processes occur only at certain times, such as muscle contraction and other cellular movements. Animals obtain their energy by oxidation of foods, plants do so by trapping the sunlight using chlorophyll. However, before the energy can be used, it is first transformed into a form that the organism can handle easily. This special carrier of energy is the molecule adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
(Mitochondria are the human body’s “furnaces”, responsible for producing the energy necessary for all movement and biological processes. These powerhouses, located within cells, convert carbohydrates (glucose, in their most elemental form) to adenosine triphosphate (ATP).)
Chemically, ATP is an adenine nucleotide bound to three phosphates. An abundance of potential energy is stored within the bond between the second and third phosphate groups; this energy can be harnessed to fuel chemical reactions. When ATP breaks down (hydrolysis), it releases a large amount of energy, which fuels the cellular reactions. ATP is hydrolyzed to ADP in the following reaction:
Even more, energy can be extracted by removing a second phosphate group to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP).
Like most chemical reactions, the hydrolysis of ATP to ADP is reversible. The reverse reaction, which regenerates ATP from ADP and P, requires energy. Whenever a cell needs energy, it breaks the phosphate bond to create adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and a free phosphate molecule. A cell stores excess energy by combining ADP and phosphate to make ATP. Thus, the ATP molecule acts as a chemical ‘battery’, storing energy when it is not needed, but able to release it instantly when the organism requires it.
Prof. May suggests that “the fact that ATP is Nature’s ‘universal energy store’ explains why phosphates are a vital ingredient in the diets of all living things. Modern fertilizers often contain phosphorus compounds that have been extracted from animal bones. These compounds are used by plants to make ATP. We then eat the plants, metabolize their phosphorus, and produce our own ATP. When we die, our phosphorus goes back into the ecosystem to begin the cycle again.”
According to Wikipedia, AMP(adenosine monophosphate) can be produced from ADP:
2 ADP → ATP + AMP
Or AMP may be produced by the hydrolysis of one high energy phosphate bond of ADP:
ADP + H2O → AMP + P
AMP can also be formed by hydrolysis of ATP into AMP and pyrophosphate:
ATP + H2O → AMP + PP
Adenosine Monophosphate or AMP is a substance that is produced continuously in your body, throughout the day, as a part of normal metabolic processes. According to the 2014 study in the journal Sexual Medicine, by a French research team led by O. Stucker, AMP is considered as an intermediary substance formed during the body’s process of creating energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Adenosine monophosphate is basically a nucleotide. A nucleotide is an organic molecule, which is the building block of DNA & RNA in the body. They also have functions related to cell signalling, metabolism, and enzyme reactions.
According to encyclodpedia.com, AMP(adenosine monophosphate) is one of the possible products of the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and is therefore important in the transfer of chemical energy during anabolism. Cyclic AMP, a very close structural relative of AMP containing an additional ester linkage between the phosphate and ribose units, can act as a secondary messenger for several hormones. It also plays a role in the transcription of some genes.
AMP has been used externally as a medicine in the medical community, since the 1950s. Adenosine Monophosphate Injection is a potent vasodilator to increase the flow of blood to cardiac and skeletal muscles.
According to webmd.com, AMP or adenosine monophosphate is taken by mouth to treat shingles, erectile dysfunction, and a blood disorder called porphyria cutanea tarda. AMP is given by injection into the muscle (intramuscularly) for treating venous stasis ulcers, bursitis, pain and swollen tendons (tendonitis), itchiness, multiple sclerosis (MS), nerve pain, shingles (herpes zoster infection), cold sores (herpes labialis), and poor blood circulation.
In adults, infection by the virus herpes zoster can cause a condition known as shingles. The initial shingles attack generally abates in a couple of weeks, but symptoms can go on to become chronic. This condition is called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). People with persistent shingles-related pain may have low concentrations of AMP in their systems, and that boosting these AMP levels through intramuscular injections can promote faster clearance of the shingles virus–and faster relief from pain. AMP can also be administered intravenously by a doctor; in this case, it is mixed with saline and slowly allowed to drip into your system.
In a 1985 study in the Journal of American Medical Association, researcher S.H. Sklar & team, gave intramuscular injections of adenosine monophosphate (AMP). three times/week for up to four weeks for acute herpes zoster, to 32 adults. Adenosine monophosphate moderately reduced the pain soon after the start of treatment and promoted faster healing of the skin than placebo treatment. Adenosine monophosphate treatment reduced cleared the virus faster than in placebo-treated subjects. At the end of the initial four-week treatment period, 88% of AMP-treated patients were pain-free, as opposed to only 43% in the placebo group. No recurrence of pain or lesions was experienced from three to 18 months after the end of treatment. Adenosine monophosphate, a natural cellular metabolite, showed no side effects or toxicity during and after the treatment.
Researcher O. Stucker in the study, evaluated the effects of adenosine monophosphate (AMP) alone or its combination with L-Arginine on female rabbits suffering from sexual dysfunction. The results showed that AMP induces a beneficial effect on rabbits suffering from sexual dysfunctions. They also show that L-Arginine and AMP can potentiate each other and that a synergistic effect can be obtained by their combined use.
According to Dr. Mercola, today, adenosine supplements have been developed, which are used to boost adenosine stores in the liver and other organs. Adenosine supplements usually come in two forms: ATP and AMP.
Just like L-Arginine, citrulline malate, etc. AMP also is a potent vasodilator and is being used by humans for various medical reasons, as we have read above.
One of the most common uses of AMP(adenosine monophosphate) in injectable form is in animals, especially athletic animals like horses. There are various websites on the net selling an injection called AMP-5. The websites claim various benefits of this injection:
“AMP-5 is a potent natural vasodilator which produces a marked increase in blood circulation to both skeletal and cardiac muscle. AMP-5 increases blood, nutrient & available energy supply to muscle tissues.
Vasodilation improves the removal of wastes to delay fatigue and cramping. AMP-5 may help prevent heart strain during and after strenuous exercise.
By producing a marked increase in blood supply to muscles and heart, AMP-5 increases the oxygen and essential nutrient supply to these areas during hard work and improves the efficiency of removal of waste products such as lactic acid, to delay the onset of muscle fatigue. Because of its potent vasodilation effect on cardiac muscles, AMP-5 is effective in the treatment and prevention of heart strain and exercise-induced “T Wave” changes in horses.
The average dosage recommended for horses is 2.5ml per 100 kg body weight by intramuscular injection, 24 hours and again 4-6 hours before hard work.”
In Oct 2018, Times of India, published a story of a 21-year-old body-building enthusiast, from Najafgarh, Delhi, a son of a police officer, who started using AMP-5, in injectable form as a pre-workout. He said, that his gym trainer advised him to take 1ml of AMP-5 daily before a workout, to get a more intensive exercise, or what these dumb trainers often label to as the ‘pump’.
Of course, a drug used on horses would work wonderfully on humans to (there is no difference in a human drug or an animal drug, they work the same way in the body). This the same way when stupid people start taking crappy pre-workouts, which are full of powerful stimulants and a high amount of caffeine, and then eventually get hooked on to the high they get from it. Slowly, it becomes like a drug for them, and they are unable to workout without using their pre-workout.
Let’s take an example of a pre-workout. Almost all the pre-workouts have caffeine as the base of their supplement. This is because it is the cheapest drug they can add to the supplement, and maximize their profits. Apart from caffeine, there are other ingredients like L-Arginine, citrulline malate, beta-alanine, creatine, etc.
In a lot of supplements, caffeine is well over 400mg in a single serving. How much is that? Well, that’s like having 4 big cups of strong black filter coffee together or having almost five cans of Red Bull in one shot. Do you think, once you have had that a high amount of hit in your brain, you would be ever able to work out on a normal cup of black coffee as a pre-workout?
Now, imagine something like AMP, which is used on horses given to you. You would, of course, get a phenomenal high, and your workout capacity will shoot up. But, the problem is that you would be hooked on to it.
Now, the problem with all these stimulants is not just addiction, but also adaptation. Your body will start getting used to the drug eventually, and to get the same hit, you will now have to increase your dosage. This is a vicious cycle you get stuck into. You want a high, but now you cannot get it from a normal dose of your pre-workout or AMP, and you keep increasing your dosage until something disastrous happens to you medically and you have to perforce stop it completely.
The same thing happened with the boy. He started getting used to the 1ml dose of AMP-5 injection and started increasing his dose to up to 4ml/day to get better results. Now, as we read above, the recommended dosage of a horse is app. 2.5ml per 100kg of bodyweight. Let’s say the bodyweight of this boy was 75kg. now, imagine taking 4ml/day for that weight, almost double to what is recommended by for a god damn horse.
The side effects became well visible to the parents of the boy, who had to admit him in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where they complained that their son slept through the day and was always depressed and irritable when he didn’t take the AMP-5 injection. The boy was put on anti-depressants and other medication.
AMP has lately become the new go-to pre-workout. It can be used both intramuscular or intravenously, but a lot of bodybuilders take to IV to get insane and instant pumps. Some websites and weight loss clinics are also using AMP as a weight loss and appetite suppressant agent. Though I haven’t found even a single study supporting AMP as a fat loss agent.
The problem with drugs like AMP(adenosine monophosphate) is not that they don’t work. But that they work wonderfully well. Despite being a banned substance in sports, it is being rampantly used. A basic question is, do you really need to inject a stimulant for just a workout session. Did world-class sportsmen, in the history of humanity, ever did so?
And in case you are not able to workout without an artificial stimulant as strong as AMP(adenosine monophosphate), then you really need to check your lifestyle habits.