Will the PAGG stack supplement stop me from sleeping?

Following the buzz surrounding the publication of Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Body book, many people have been keen to enhance their results with the slow carb diet by use of the PAGG stack supplement – the carefully-refined blend of Policosanol, Alpha-lipoic Acid, Green tea flavanols and aged Garlic extract, which Ferriss described as ‘The Four Horsemen’ of fat loss and body recomposition.

However, around the Four Hour Body forums and twittersphere in the early part of 2011, a number of people reported getting into difficulties with PAGG, when it came to disordered sleep.

The culprit was generally thought to be the green tea element, as green tea contains a number of active ingredients. As well as the ECGC (Epigallocatechin) responsible for all the cool fat burning effects, in its natural state green tea also contains significant quantities of caffeine – a natural but powerful stimulant.

Of course before commercial PAGG stack supplements hit the market, early adopters were trying their luck with creating their own blends, trying to achieve the same effect.  But some seem to have missed Ferriss’ specific recommendations to use a decaffeinated supplement rather than attempting to use actual brewed green tea.  The amounts of ECGC he advised as having the minimum effective dose in the stack  - over 300mg several times each day – would require drinking a nauseating number of cups, and a dangerous jolt of caffeine ingestion that is bound to cause unpleasant symptoms.

Even when using a separate commercial green tea supplement product, there is no requirement for the manufacturer to state the caffeine content so it’s very hard for users to know what they are getting. And at the quantities required for an effective PAGG stack it’s very easy to overdo it, especially if you are particularly sensitive to caffeine in any way.

Pareto Nutrition used a quality decaffeinated ECGC in their PAGG stack supplement from the outset, but in response to growing concerns in the blogosphere – including a response by Tim Ferriss himself – they elected to reformulate their stack, to reflect several significant quality improvements.  One of these was the removal of the green tea flavanols entirely from the bedtime dose – concentrating the full daily dose instead across the pre-meal capsules.  

This alteration was largely made in response to pre-purchase customer service concerns – of those taking PAGG, only one person ever returned a product for reasons of insomnia, and indeed more common were complaints from people who ‘didn’t feel anything’ – people who expected PAGG to feel like typical ‘slimming aids’ packed full of stimulants like caffeine and gurana.  However, as fear of insomnia is (in one of those vicious life ironies) a major indicator of actually suffering from it, they made this move to allay concern. 

This also made Pareto Nutrition’s PAGG stack the only commercially available combined product to exactly match Tim Ferriss’ most up-to-date recommendations, for the precise formulation.  A good nights’ sleep is a great side effect to this…

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