Core Nutritionals ZZZ 240g
Night-Time Recovery and Sleep Support
You know the feeling: the weights feel heavy, the treadmill
feels painfully slow, and every minute you’re looking up at the clock wondering
when the workout is going to be over. Why? It’s not your diet – your food journal
is so detailed it makes engineers blush. It’s not your supplementation – you
are using the entire Core lineup like every smart trainer does. Ah, that’s
right. Last night was a brutal mashup of tossing and turning set to the tune of
your spouse’s snoring and the neighbor’s dog barking.
If recovery is the key to success, then say “hello” to the
locksmith. Core ZZZ is a perfectly-designed product with a single goal in mind:
maximizing your recovery. We have included only the best and most effective
recovery agents, at the proper serving sizes, to take the guesswork out of a
good night’s rest. We have also specifically chosen these ingredients for the
pathways they target, ensuring that every possible physiological pathway for
recovery is covered.
No more tossing nights and no more wasted workouts – put
recovery at the top of your list by putting Core ZZZ at the center of your
Mineral blend (Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxine HCL), Magnesium
(as Magnesium aspartate), and Zinc (as Zinc monomethionine)):
Sleep is important, but sleep is not important for its own
sake. Rather, we sleep because of the collection of physiological processes
that it enables: the repair of tissue, the biosynthesis and release of
hormones, and so on. While each of the individual ingredients in our mineral
blend is important in this regard, the formulation as a whole has previously
been demonstrated to have tangible physiological effects.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 27
NCAA football players consumed a supplement containing Vitamin B-6, Magnesium,
and Zinc, or placebo, for an 8-week period. Measurements for free testosterone,
IGF-1, and muscle strength and power were taken at the conclusion of the study.
The authors found statistically significant increases to all measured indices,
with a particularly high spike in free testosterone as compared to placebo.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA):
GABA, known technically as, γ-Aminobutyric acid, is a potent
depressive and the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human brain. As
GABA plays a critical role in the sedative and depressive functions of the
brain, GABA receptor subtypes – principally GABAA – have been positively
associated with the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.
Given its pivotal status in the regulation of sedation and
sleep, both GABA itself as well as GABA agonists (GABAergics) have been
researched for their capacity to modulate sleep and mood. A 1996 animal model
study established that stimulation of the GABAA receptor-subtype through
exogenous GABA intake led an increase in the length of slow-wave sleep. A
further 2006 study found that increasing plasma levels of GABA through
supplementation was associated with regulation of the posterior hypothalamus
“sleep-wake switch,” a physiological mechanism used to control sleep in
In addition to GABA’s potential role in the regulation of
sleep itself, additional research has uncovered that GABA may potentiate
certain benefits of deep sleep – namely, the increase in plasma growth hormone.
The first study to demonstrate GABA’s growth-hormone potentiating effect was a
1980 study in 19 healthy subjects. This placebo-controlled trial found that a 5
gram serving of GABA significantly increased plasma levels of growth hormone as
compared to controls. A further study in 2008 demonstrated similar results,
with 50% increases in plasma levels of certain growth hormone isoforms in
response to GABA administration in healthy subjects.
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, so-called because the
human body is capable of synthesizing glycine from sources internal to the body
(serine). Like many other amino acids, glycine possesses physiological effects
independent of its function as a ‘building block’ to protein. In glycine’s
case, its physiological effects stem from its role as a neurotransmitter in the
Three methodologically-sound studies have investigated
glycine’s effect on sleep and sleep quality in humans – and each used the same
serving size as that found in Core ZZZ, 3 grams. In studies conducted in 2006
and 2007, ingestion of 3 grams of glycine prior to sleep was found to have both
subjective and objective positive effects on sleep. Subjectively, participants
reported more satisfactory sleep, less daytime sleepiness, and improved
cognitive function. Objectively, PSG measurements revealed less latency to
sleep onset and deep sleep. These results were confirmed in a more recent 2012
study which focused principally on glycine-dependent improvements to daytime
cognitive function in sleep-deprived volunteers.
Overall, these human trials suggest a possible role for
glycine in the regulation of beneficial sleep cycles at a serving size of 3
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, and one of the most
critical in the human body. Tryptophan is critical because it is the biological
precursor to both serotonin (one of the body’s principal neurotransmitters
regulating mood, appetite, and sleep) and niacin (a vitamin and a crucial
Among dietary supplements or ingredients purported to
regulate the sleep-wake cycle, tryptophan is perhaps the most well-studied. The
body of literature pertaining to tryptophan’s sedative effects is vast and
varied, reaching back at least 40 years and featuring hundreds of articles.
Despite the enormity of this body of literature, and therefore potential for
disagreement or conflicting data, scientific consensus exists that tryptophan
exerts positive effects on the regulation of the sleep wake cycle in humans –
evinced by placebo-controlled trials in humans.
One such placebo-controlled, double-blind trial involved 10
healthy volunteers ingesting either 1.2 grams or 2.4 grams of tryptophan prior
to sleep. Blood and urine measurements were taken at regular intervals, and
sleep was measured both objectively (latency to sleep) and subjectively using
the Stanford Sleepiness scale. Both serving sizes of tryptophan were highly
correlated with a significant reduction in sleep latency and significant
improvements to subjective sleep quality on the Stanford Sleepiness Scale.
Results such as this have been reproduced in dozens of
clinical trials involving healthy/normal and sleep-disturbed subjects, men and
women, younger and older participants, and featuring serving sizes as low as
500mg and high as 15 grams. These studies nearly universally reflect that
exogenous tryptophan supplementation is positively correlated with an
improvement in sleep quality and an objective reduction in sleep latency – with
the best effects resultant from a 1 gram to 1.5 gram serving size.
Mucuna pruriens Extract (seed) (50% L-dopa):
Mucuna pruriens is a hanging or climbing plant endemic to
India and sub-Saharan Africa. The plant has been used extensively in the Indian
traditional medicinal system known as Ayurveda for a number of purposes,
including virility and gastrointestinal disorders.
In the context of recovery, data is limited but promising.
In a 2012 study, 18 healthy men and women with impaired sleeping were given a
supplement containing Velvet Bean (MP) for 28 days. At the conclusion of the
study, the participants completed the well-regarded and industry-standard
Pittsburgh Quality Sleep Index.
The authors note that supplementation with the Velvet
bean-containing product improved the reported scores in every category of the
PQSI. Many categories saw improvements of over 50%. Moreover, the authors noted
both that Velvet Bean, not the other ingredient in the studied supplement, was
the bioactive compound responsible for these effects, and that Velvet Bean has
been demonstrated to improve GH release during sleep in other independent
Valerian Extract (Valeriana officinalis)(root)(1% valerenic
Valeriana officinalis, more commonly known as Valerian Root,
is a small perennial plant of the Valerianaceae genus and endemic to Southern
Europe and Asia. Valerian root extracts, preparations, and tinctures have been
used in a traditional medicinal capacity since at least the 2nd century for a
wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, what would now be described as
attention deficit hyperactive disorder, gastrointestinal disorders, and stress.
Research on valerian root suggests that it most likely
promotes its sedative and sleep regulatory effects through direct stimulation of
GABA biosynthesis, production, and release. In vitro studies have demonstrated
multiple pathways by which valerian root increases GABA uptake or synthesis,
including increasing the amount of GABA released into the synaptic cleft,
preventing the reuptake of GABA into nerve cells, and inhibiting the action of
an enzyme responsible for the bio-degradation of GABA.
A review of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
trials in humans suggests that valerian root’s GABA-increasing physiological
actions may result in increased sleep quality. In a clinical trial comparing
the sleep-improving effects of 10mg oxazepam to 600mg valerian root extract, 75
insomniacs ingested both compounds for 28 days. Subjects were assessed by a
physician and were measured according to sleep quality and mood. At the
conclusion of the trial, valerian root extract was found to have comparable
effects to oxazepam with a lessened side effect profile.
Ornithine is a non-protein amino acid, meaning that, unlike
most other amino acids, it is not involved in the production of proteins and is
not encoded by DNA. In humans, ornithine is most commonly associated with the
urea cycle, though recent research has revealed a potential role for ornithine
in the regulation of sleep and arousal.
Though data on ornithine is not extensive, recent research
has demonstrated that it may play a role in both objective and subjective
assessments of sleep quality in humans. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled,
randomized trial, 400mg or placebo was administered to 52 healthy adults
experiencing mild fatigue. Ornithine was consumed consecutively for 8 weeks,
with measurements for cortisol being collected – along with both subjective and
objective measures of sleep quality.
At the conclusion of the trial, most participants
experienced both subjective and objective improvements to the quality of their
sleep. The researchers also noted that ornithine supplementation resulted in a
small but statistically significant reduction to plasma concentrations of
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body by the pineal
gland through a biosynthetic process beginning with tryptophan and ending with
the conversion of serotonin to melatonin. Melatonin’s functions are regulated
by a combination of norepinephrine and ultra-violet radiation. Once produced
and released, melatonin helps control the body’s circadian rhythms and a number
of other physiological processes.
As a dietary supplement, melatonin has been studied in a
number of research populations with a wide-range of physiological conditions,
as well as in healthy normal subjects. While studies in temporary behavioral
modalities (jet lag, shift work) have proved inconclusive, clinical trials in
populations with disturbed sleep had more promising results.
A 2004 review found that, while the intensity and specific
effect depended on the population, melatonin generally improved either onset to
sleep time or sleep efficiency. Onset to sleep is the time required before the
participant has entered into unconscious sleep, while sleep efficiency is a
measurement of the total time spent asleep in a given period.
This same review concluded that, while more research is
necessary, melatonin is an intriguing possibility as an over-the-counter sleep
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