USP Labs Compound 20: Effective Results or Supplement Scam?
USP Labs Compound 20
Is USP Labs Compound 20 the real deal or another supplement scam? Are you looking for a leaner, harder physique? Searches online lead you to USP Labs Compound 20. There are reviews for days, alleged side effects, you go to Bodybuilding dot com to research the supplement. Is it worth the money? Is it worth my hard earned money? Is this another well packaged bottle of snake oil dropped on to hungry consumers who are searching for the solution to a lean hard physique without having to resort to anabolic steroids or in this case something that mimics the effects of pseudo steroids like Clenbuterol.
The supplement industry markets heavy to the seeker of the quick fix hidden behind a "science" that usually amounts to something slightly more ethical then a dope dealer cutting his product down so low the effects of the drug are barely noticed and you feel somewhat ripped off but still chase the high.
So, if you're reading this, the decision to try this product is weighing on your mind. Let's look at what's in it, what USP Labs claims it will do, dosing and any potential real side effects you should consider before taking Compound 20.
Directions for Use:
Take 2 capsules with breakfast and 2 capsules 6-8 hours later with meal or snack. For best results, take one of the doses 30-60 minutes prior to workout.
When you go to the product page for Compound 20, they will tell you that the benefits of Compound 20 are lean bulk and cutting. Who doesn't want to be yolked AND ripped? Also, if you just put on a bunch of muscle, how do you shed the fat and access water without losing the hard earned muscle in the process? Compound 20 is supposed to help you in a cutting phase/cycle to protect, spare and maintain the pump while getting ripped and shredded.
From their site:
"Lean Bulk – This is the most obvious as this user is already tailoring his diet, training & supplementation to "gain lean mass & get ripped".
Cutting – Anyone who begins cutting would give just about anything to keep their muscle while shredding up. Imagine being pumped all day on a low carbohydrate diet!"
Now, let's take a look at their propriety blend of 3 ingredients totaling 1520 mg in 2 capsules. What are they? What are they supposed to do and if taken separately how much do you need to take to see a result?
Symplocos Racemosa Extract
Symplocos Racemosa Extract (Bark) (Standardized for Triterpenoids)
Step one in figuring out what this is? Google! I Google this exactly:
"Symplocos Racemosa Extract (Bark)" The product is an extract and bark. So we can assume that Symplocos Racemosa is a tree or plant with bark. So let's remove "Extract" and "bark" from the search and see what we find. My results differ a bit from the video to the right.
According to Himalaya Health Care, another name for this plant is Lodh Tree. AND it has been traditionally used as a uterine tonic, treating gynecological conditions (excessive menstrual flow) and digestive disorders.
OK, so how will that help me get lean and hard? What else did I find? Well, the bark extract then gets standardized for Triterpenoids. So, we can Google that instead and see what that is.
Per our good friends at Wikipedia, a Triterpenoid is a derivative of Triterpene molecules. Don't worry, I didn't pay attention in Chemistry class either!
Triterpenoids may have useful anti-cancer properties and inflammation modulation. OK, so it may help with inflammation and cancer prevention, but how does this help with lean and hard?
Well, then there are the saponins. Triterpenoid Saponins. Searching that, you find a list of common medicinally active triterpenoid saponins from adaptogenic plants. On that list are some familiar supplements. Ginseng, Astragalus, and Ashwagandha. But the one that really caught my eye was 20-hydroxyecdysone otherwise known as ecdysterone or ecdy. This was a popular supplement back in the early 2000s.
Here's the 20 part of Compound 20. Interestingly enough, a study in 2006 showed that 200 mg a day of 20-hydroxyecdysone for 8 weeks did just about jack squat on body composition or training adaptations.
So, is Symplocos Racemosa Extract just a creative way to repackage a supplement that looked good on paper and in the lab with mice but didn't translate well for people?
Clenbuterol From Wikipedia
Clenbuterol is a β2 agonist with some structural and pharmacological similarities to epinephrine and salbutamol, but its effects are more potent and longer-lasting as a stimulant and thermogenic drug. It causes an increase inaerobic capacity, central nervous system stimulation, and an increase in blood pressure and oxygen transportation. It increases the rate at which body fat is metabolized while increasing the body's BMR. It is commonly used for smooth muscle-relaxant properties. This means it is a bronchodilatorand tocolytic.
Fake or Real?
N-Coumaroyldopamine and N-Caffeoyldopamine
More long names that look really scientific! Also, hard to figure out but leaves plenty of room for the armchair nutritionist to fill in their own interpretation.
These two compounds seem to go together as a team when you search Google, they seem to be put together a lot.
Here's a few things I found.
Ergo-log says they come from the cocoa plant, which is where we get chocolate from and are metabolites of the amino acid tyrosine. These metabolites have also been able to mimic the effect of Clenbuterol in a test tube.
Tyrosine as an amino acid helps with metabolism and is a precursor to adrenaline, norepinephrine and dopamine. Tyrosine is good for the moon, metabolism and nervous system.
Not bad so far. Interesting to say the least with a side of potential.
Another site, bestsyndication.com points to a 2006 study where these two compounds were used to help with blood clotting and heart patients.
I kept seeing beta-receptor come up, beta-2-adrenergic receptor and beta-2-agonists. What are those?
Well, in a nutshell, they help with smooth muscle relaxation (think heart, blood vessels and lungs) as well as with increase in skeletal muscle mass and contraction speed. Clen is mostly used for people with breathing problems. The fat loss and muscle sparing are a bonus. Now that's kind of flipped especially as swimsuit season comes around.
BUT! Does that mean that ingesting a proprietary blend of N-Coumaroyldopamine and N-Caffeoyldopamine will actually mimic the effect that Clenbuterol has without leaving you amped up meth head?
Hard to find a straight answer to that in laymen's terms out there...
cAMP also keeps coming up. What's that?
Keeping is simple, cAMP and its associated kinases function in several biochemical processes, including the regulation of glycogen, sugar, and lipid metabolism.
OK, so it's good for fat loss.
So when the beta-2-whatever gets stimulated, cAMP goes into high gear. cAMP in high gear means lean and hard. Got it.
However, what we have yet to establish is, will ingesting a proprietary blend of N-Coumaroyldopamine and N-Caffeoyldopamine actually stimulate the beta-2-whatever and ramp the cAMP up!
When you look at Bodybuilding.com and the reviews. It's got an 8.1 out of 10. Reviews are always to be taken with a grain of salt. How many reviews are employees of USP Labs? How many are employees of a competitive supplement company and how many are real humans? Hard to tell really. There's 117 reviews in there. Also, who are the actual reviewers? There's nothing remotely scientific about the reviews. The one's that look real however, are not favorable at all though.
Should I try Compound 20 for 1 month?
Should I try Compound 20 for 1 month?
Human Guinea Pig - Taking One For The Team
So the next question is, do I use myself as a human Guinea pig? Should I take one for the team? I'm skeptical to put it mildly. In fact, I'm so skeptical that I straight up think this product is pure hype, bunk-o hogwash and a nice tall glass of snake oil.
That being said, USPlabs has a money back guarantee. So... as of 7/21/13, I've emailed the company for their policy on the guarantee and will update this article as we go.
Right now, I'm looking to try this for 1 month to see if there are any real noticeable results. What say you? Should I take one for the team?
UPDATE #1: On 7/23/13 I spoke with USP Labs and they will refund me the cost of one bottle with receipt. I will be heading off to the local nutrition store tonight to pick up a bottle. Tomorrow morning, I will weight myself and take my body fat and a photo. I will make no other alterations to my diet or training. After 30 days on the stuff, we'll compare the results, so stay tuned!
UPDATE #2: On the morning of 7/24/13, I took my measurements. My weight came in at 163.4 lbs at 9.9% body fat and my midsection pinch with the calipers measured an average pinch on 15mm. I went to the spot by the belly button. One of the stubborn fat places for men. My first serving of Compound 20 was at 9 am with my morning protein shake. I will update this periodically as the 30 days progresses.
NOTE: I will be making 0 alterations to my strength and conditioning training or my diet. Currently, I follow The Warrior Diet by Ori Hoffmekler and take a boxing class 2 times a week with 3 days of Kettlebell and Body weight training during the week.
UPDATE #3 and the last word: With in 1 week into Compound 20, I started feeling a tight, bloating in my stomach and while it wasn't painful, it certainly wasn't comfortable, but I decided to keep going to see what happens. I found myself by the second week with greater stomach gas and was belching with much gusto. It had become even more uncomfortable. By August 15th, I stopped taking Compound 20. I took a long hard look in the mirror and seeing no real noticeable change in my Dear Abbies plus combining the increasing stomach discomfort and the utter ambiguity in the ingredients, I decided for myself that the risk simply wasn't worth the reward. Keep in mind, I made no alterations to my diet. The intense stomach gas and belching started quite literally right after I started taking Compound 20.
Would I recommend this to a friend? No. This supplement is nowhere near worth the investment, even if all the basics are covered. If you're looking for lean bulk, train with heavy weight and high tension, practice explosive high-intensity cardio, eat right and recover smart. Supplements are just that, a supplement and this one ain't it!
Comments and discussion are welcome below...