MusclePharm, the company built by athletes for athletes, understand the importance of good rest for muscle growth and rapid recovery. Contrary to popular belief, muscle growth does not happen at the gym. Instead, it happens during rest. Considering that sleep makes up such a signfiicant portion of your day, it is a particularly important period for muscle growth. MusclePharm have therefore developed Bullet Proof to help you get the most out of your sleep.
What is MusclePharm Bullet Proof?
Bullet Proof is what MuscleParm call an “advanced night time recovery system”. Beyond the marketing speak, what this means is that it is a supplement designed to improve sleep, recovery, and anabolism by providing specific nutrients after you have switched off for the night.
MusclePharm Bullet Proof First Impressions
Bullet Proof is a well-rounded sleep enhancing supplement with a few feathers under its cap. The foundation of the product is made up of 17 amino acids, including BCAAs. No doubt these will contribute to recovery and muscle growth, but these ingredients only tell part of the story. Bullet Proof also contains a ZMA complex which may help with increasing testosterone and strength (Brilla & Conte, 2003). In true MusclePharm tradition, they have also managed to squeeze in a couple of well-known performance enhancing ingredients (citrulline and beta-alanine) typically reserved for pre workouts. Neither of these two ingredients work through stimulation of the central nervous system, and therefore would not interfere with sleep. Although these ingredients are great for overall performance and recovery, we still have not covered the real highlights of the product yet.
Of Particular Interest
What Bullet Proof is really about is the sleep component. The key ingredient, phenibut, is reported to improve sleep quality and duration (Shulgina et al, 2009), as well as having a calming effect (Lapin, 2001). Phenibut was effectively used by Soviet Cosmonauts, but has recently found its way into some modern sleep formulae. The inclusion of ginger powder in Bullet Proof can provide further calming effects as it has been found to reduce anxiety (Nievergelt et al, 2010). In addition to this, ginger powder has also been reported to significantly reduce training induced muscle ache (Black et al, 2010). This dual purpose of ginger means it fits perfectly into the Bullet Proof ethos. The final ingredient included is Mucuna pruriens (or velvet bean). This herb contains the dopamine precursor L-DOPA, which has long been known to have mood lifting properties (Patel & Galani, 2012).
The combination of the above ingredients really assists in providing a calming effect, as well as improving the quality and duration of sleep. While using this product, many people tell of increased dreaming. It seems that MusclePharm have done well to formulate an effective sleeping and recovery aid.
Difference from the Competition
Bullet Proof is actually a relatively unique supplement. Although there are other night time supplements on the market, they focus more on the stimulation of growth hormone. However, Bullet Proof places a stronger emphasis directly on recovery. It is a particularly potent sleep formula that may directly help with improved sleep and rest.
MusclePharm Bullet Proof Taste and Mixability
Bullet Proof mixes well into a cordial-like drink. MusclePharm are known for producing some of the best tasting supplements available today. Bullet Proof stays true to MusclePharm’s impressive flavour technology. Although Bullet Proof is by no means unpleasant, it must be said that it does not taste quite as good as MusclePharm Assault. Of the available flavours, Grape Fusion would be the pick of the bunch.
MusclePharm Bullet Proof Negatives
MusclePharm recommends that Bullet Proof should be consumed on a daily basis, with the nightly meal, dissolved in 8 oz (almost 240 mL) water. However, there are probably better ways to use this product. Firstly, Bullet Proof should be saved for around half an hour to an hour before bed. If it was to be consumed with dinner, it would be too far removed from bed time for some people. It may also be of benefit to dissolve Bullet Proof in far less than 8 oz of water. This would reduce the likelihood of needing a bathroom break in the middle of the night. Although this would affect the quality of the taste, it would provide less interrupted sleep. Finally, it is well known that people develop a tolerance to phenibut (Lovisa et al, 2012), a key ingredient of Bullet Proof. It is therefore recommended that the product should be used in short cycles, or used irregularly to maintain its potency. It is not recommended for the dosage to be increased beyond the maximum, due to the possibility of causing withdrawal symptoms (Lovisa et al, 2012).
Who is MusclePharm Bullet Proof for?
MusclePharm Bullet Proof is an excellent night time supplement that can help with rest and recovery. It is suitable for bodybuilders and athletes looking to improve their quality of sleep, especially if they suffer from mild insomnia or restlessness. A serving size of Bullet Proof provides very few calories and is therefore suitable for people at any phase of their training.
Black et al (2010), Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise. The Journal of Pain, 11: 894-903
Brilla & Conte (2003), Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength. JEPOnline, 3:26-36.
Lapin (2001), Phenibut (â-Phenyl-GABA): A Tranquilizer and Nootropic Drug. CNS Drug Reviews, 7: 471-481
Lovisa et al (2012), Psychotic symptoms during phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) withdrawal. Journal of Substance Use, doi:10.3109/14659891.2012.668261
Nievergelt et al (2010), Identification of serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonists in ginger. Bioorg Med Chem, 18: 3345-3351
Patel & Galani (2012), Investigation of noradrenaline and serotonin mediated antidepressant action of Mucuna pruriens (L) D.C seeds using various experimental models. Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, DOI: 10.1007/s13596-012-0089-8
Shulgina et al (2009), The Influence of Agonists of GABAA and GABAB Receptors on the Formation of the Defensive and Inhibitory Conditioned Reflexes. Doklady Biological Sciences, 429: 497–499