Nootropic Gaming Supplement Powered by Citicoline.The cross-section of these two has created an incredible field of gaming supplements, which often go beyond caffeine by adding in focus and eye health ingredients, but usually keep the caffeine less than energy drink or pre workout.
It was only a matter of time for these forces to combine with the monstrous rise of Myprotein supplements in the United States (@MyProteinUS), yielding a new kind of gaming supplement.
This article details the ingredients in Command, but the quick story is in the headline above – 150mg caffeine combined with a solid 500mg citicoline, a potent choline source. It’s synergized with L-theanine and L-tyrosine, and brings some extra blood flow and eye health ingredients.
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The following ingredients are in two scoops of Command, which will leave you with 20 servings per container. For late-night gaming or even lower caffeine intake, you can use one scoop, making the tub last longer:
L-Citrulline – 1000mg
We normally see the amino acid L-Citrulline in pre workout supplements for the “pump” effect it gives when training, thanks to its ability to convert into L-arginine, helping you produce more blood flow-inducing nitric oxide (NO).
The name of the game here is blood flow. No, not the gory kind of blood flow you’re used to in your games, but the kind inside your body that gets nutrients delivered to where they need to go. In your case: your brain.
Citrulline is often used in pre workout supplements to increase blood flow. Athletes love it because when they are weight training, that flow brings blood and nutrients to the muscles they’re training, giving them that “pump” that Arnold used to talk about.
This amino acid works by converting into another amino acid named L-arginine, which then produces nitric oxide (NO).
A bit more NO then induces an effect known as vasodilation, or a slight widening of the veins, and that allows for more nutrients to get delivered where they’re being used up. By nutrients, we also mean “better delivery of the other ingredients”, so everything else should work better with citrulline! It also reduces blood pressure, something most gamers will appreciate when things get intense.
If you’re lost, our path basically goes like this:
L-Citrulline → L-Arginine → Nitric Oxide → Better Blood flow → “Neuronal Modulation”
Athletes go for the blood flow to their biceps, but similar processes occur in the brain – so keep flexing it!
Why the long route?
At this point, you may ask, “why not just take more L-arginine?” and that’s a great question. The reason is that L-Arginine is only absorbed well in low-doses, and megadosing it (say 10g or more) causes serious GI distress, if you know what we mean. But it turns out that supplemental citrulline actually increases your plasma arginine levels better than supplementing arginine itself anyway, so Myprotein is avoiding that mess with citrulline!
The one rub here is that in the world of athletics, citrulline needs to be dosed at 3g or more to have “clinically proven” physical performance benefits. While we’re absolutely confident that this dose of citrulline malate will yield more plasma arginine and NO levels, we do need to disclaim that the clinical athletic benefits are at 3g or more.
L-Taurine – 1000mg
You’ve seen this one on energy drink cans, but the big difference here is that Myprotein tells you exactly how much you get – and it’s a solid dose!
For you gamers who don’t follow this space, no, Taurine isn’t bull’s urine. Instead, it’s an organic acid that has some incredible effects in terms of water transfer amongst cells. It’s called an osmolyte because it regulates your hydration, which is why so many athletes love it. A massive meta-analysis recently completed showed that taurine absolutely works for endurance, it works from the first use, and the 1g here is a clinical dose.
But in terms of gaming, we’re looking for focus, and we have that from taurine as well. A 2019 systematic review concluded that taurine can boost cognitive performance through a few mechanisms, such as:
- Decreasing neuroinflammation and oxidative stress
- Restoring taurine transporters and GABA receptors
- Stimulating synaptic function and mitochondrial biogenesis.
Another study showed that it’s involved in neurotransmission, and deficiency can hamper memory and learning.
Meanwhile, the eye health connection cannot be ignored either – taurine is critical for maintaining proper eye health, since it promotes proper photoreceptor development.
Again, 1g is a solid dose, and we’re always happy to see it in any energy, focus, workout, or endurance supplement. Gamers fit in a cross-section of nearly all of those!
L-Tyrosine – 500mg
Sleep-deprivation? Well, we don’t recommend that, but if you are sleep-deprived, we do recommend this ingredient!
L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that boosts production of two critical neurotransmitters, noradrenaline and dopamine. So not only do you get improved focus and cognition with it, you can boost your mood too! Further, increasing these neurotransmitters may reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety,[10,11] which nearly everyone looking for a nootropic (especially high-intensity gamers) is looking for.
Sleep deprivation research with L-tyrosine
Even more interesting, research has shown that L-Tyrosine can significantly improve performance in those with sleep deprivation![12,13] Six studies have so far investigated the ingredient’s effects on focus and cognition when under stressful conditions, and they all found positive effects.
One of our favorite quotes is from a systematic review performed on military personnel, which states, “We suggest that tyrosine or caffeine could be used in healthy young adults in a military context to enhance cognitive performance when personnel are sleep-deprived.”
Thankfully, we have both of those ingredients in Myprotein Command, and we’re confident that not everyone reading this gets enough sleep.
Next, for the star of the show:
Citicoline (Cognizin) – 500mg
Outside of caffeine, the ingredient we believe you’ll feel the most is citicoline. Also known as CDP-Choline and scientifically named cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine, this is a bioavailable form of choline with some unique properties.
Choline is an essential nutrient that we expect to see in nearly every nootropic stack (and certainly any esports gaming powders / drinks). It’s a precursor to acetylcholine, and we always call it the “learning neurotransmitter” since it facilitates both muscle contractions and CNS functions like memory, learning, and attention.[15,16] With more choline, you get more acetylcholine, and with more acetylcholine, you can greatly improve cognition and mental focus.
Why citicoline? Enter the dopamine boost
The question is which choline source, and citicoline is the top choice for the form that you can feel.
Citicoline brings some extra nootropic effects outside of the acetylcholine boost. This form can also increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels, and to add to that, boosts dopamine receptor density. This should be synergistic with L-tyrosine. You may know of dopamine as the “feel good” transmitter associated with motivation and pleasure, while norepinephrine regulates memory and focus, amongst several other things .
For the record, Citicoline is roughly 18% choline by weight (the choline is bonded to cytidine), and while that seems lower than other forms, it seems to perform better thanks to its high bioavailability.
L-Theanine – 200mg
The next two ingredients come as a synergistic combination: caffeine and L-theanine. Here we have a large dose of theanine, which often brings a calming effect that takes the “edge” off of stimulants, as it can induce some calmness and relaxation without drowsiness.
Two studies have demonstrated a synergistic effect between caffeine and theanine, showing that supplementing the duo leads to improvements in accuracy, alertness, processing speed, cognitive function, and focus than either compound on their own![18,19]
Another dopamine boost!
Once again, we have an ingredient that can boost brain dopamine levels. Between caffeine, tyrosine, citicoline, and theanine… Myprotein command is going to feel good.
200mg is a large amount, especially paired with 150mg caffeine. In a workout atmosphere, we like seeing caffeine at the larger dose, but for a nootropic / gaming supplement, more theanine definitely makes sense.
Caffeine – 150mg
At this point in the game, caffeine needs no introduction. The real story is the choice of 150mg, which seems perfect for most gamers who don’t want to be jittered out of their minds, but enough to get going.
Caffeine is an effective ingredient (and safe at this dosage) for boosting mental energy, focus, and alertness.[22,23] It works by inhibiting sleep-inducing adenosine and phosphodiesterase. While adenosine slows neural activity, phosphodiesterase breaks down a messenger named cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Several studies have shown that low to moderate doses of caffeine (40 to 300 milligrams) significantly boost cognitive function. We’re smack dab in the middle of that range – it’s enough to avoid jitters, but if you still want to add a small cup of coffee at another point in the day, you probably can do so as well.
For the record, MyproteinUS must like this dose, because it’s what’s in two of their recent pre workout supplements, The Pre Workout and The Pre Workout Thermo.
Marigold (Targetes erecta) (Flower) Extract (5% Lutein) – 50mg
Now come two eye health support ingredients, which we’re thrilled to see in Myprotein’s Command. We’ve seen both Lutein and Zeaxanthin in other gaming supplements, only to be removed because of coloring and sourcing issues. Looks like Myprotein has that under control!
When you’re gaming, one of the most important organs to take care of are your eyes. It’s no surprise that poor eye health can quickly lead to decreased performance. Staring at a screen for long periods of time can place a lot of strain on your eyes, and may even cause some people to get severe headaches.
These negative effects are commonly attributed to due the blue light emitted by the screen. Lutein has the unique ability to filter through the blue light, preventing phototoxic damage to the photoreceptors within the eyes.
Lutein is classified as a carotenoid, known for having anti-inflammatory properties and multiple positive effects, most notably on eye health. Since the body cannot synthesize lutein on its own, it’s crucial to obtain enough in the diet. Lutein can be found in several fruits and vegetables, along with eggs, but a large number of people struggle to consume enough of these lutein-rich foods on a daily basis, so supplementing becomes much more critical.
Studies show high lutein consumption, through a combination of food and supplementation, can help prevent chronic eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataract.[24-26] Furthermore, because of lutetin’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can reduce other disease risk and even improve cognitive function!
Marigold (Targetes ereca) (Flower) Extract (5% Zeaxanthin) – 50mg
Zeaxanthin is often paired with lutein, and much of what was written above applies here as well. In one interesting study, researchers gave a buttermilk drink with lutein, zeaxanthin, and DHA from fish oil to older adults with sub-optimal vision for one year. They saw monthly improvements in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual acuity compared to placebo.
We’re thrilled to see some eye support added to Command, and hope it’s here to stay.
AstraGin (Panax Notoginseng (root) & Astragalus membranaceus (root) extract) – 25mg
Astragin is a popular plant blend of Astragalus membranaceous and Panax notoginseng that’s made by ingredient innovators NuLiv Science. Also found in Myprotein’s The Pre Workout series, these combine as a nutrient absorption booster. AstraGin works by upregulating mRNA and key mRNA transporters, which carry amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and glucose throughout the body.
AstraGin’s research shows that it can amplify the absorption of many different ingredients, including the amino acids and vitamins. AstraGin has so far been shown to do the following:
- Increase absorption of the amino acids leucine, arginine, and tryptophan by 58%, 66.7%, and 53%, respectively.
- Enhanced uptake of amino acids in many workout supplements like citrulline and beta-alanine, by 45% and 26%.
- Increased creatine absorption by 33%.
- Boosted vitamin and mineral absorption by 50%.
- Increased glucosamine uptake by 23%.
- Enhanced omega fatty-acid absorption by 37%.
We’ve bolded the ones that apply to Command. There’s much more to AstraGin’s mechanisms, but in short, we’re always impressed by the amount of research NuLiv Science publishes, and how they find unique plant extracts to do extraordinary things.
Rhodiola Rosea (root) Extract (1% Rosavins, 3% Salidroside) – 25mg
Our favorite adaptogenic herb, Rhodiola is known to provide incredible mood-boosting effects. While we’ll take it at any dose, we do want to note that 25mg is quite low, and much of the research on Rhodiola may not apply. However, we’ve long been proponents of high salidroside Rhodiola extracts, and that’s exactly what Myprotein is using with Command.
There’s synergy between rosavin and salidroside content, but new research is showing how salidroside is the more potent and unique force. We’ve seen it attenuate mental fatigue and boost focus in stressed individuals in multiple studies,[31,32] albeit at larger doses. We’ve also seen great deals of research in terms of mood and overall contentment.[33,34]
We could go on forever about this fantastic herb, but you can always learn more in our article titled Rhodiola: The Salidroside-Powered Adaptogen of the Vikings. Ultimately, we’ll take 25mg, but if you’re interested in harnessing its best effects, you may want to try even more sometime.
Added Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to the ingredients above, Myprotein included a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals in Command, including the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
The inclusion of zinc (from zinc citrate) is appreciated, given its immune benefits. While it’s not a 100% daily value coverage, it should help avoid severe deficiency, which could easily drag someone down. This actually stacks quite well with Myprotein Immune Blend, so that you can stay as healthy as possible and never miss an outing.
The synopsis of this ingredient blend is dopamine – you’re going to feel a nice boost here with Command, and it shouldn’t come at the cost of an egregious caffeine intake!
We’re not 100% certain if Myprotein is going all-in on the gaming niche with Command, but it’s not a bad idea given the formula’s eye support and dopaminergic ingredients.
However, if you’re not a gamer, don’t let any gaming-based marketing push you away – this is a feel good nootropic formula regardless of what you do with it! We’re often on the hunt for interesting low-caffeine blends, and if you’re a fan of citicoline like we are, you know that it’s going to hit pretty well. We do wish there was more Rhodiola inside, but understand the dosing given the incredible coupon-based pricing the product launched at.
No matter what your game is, or if your “game” is even a game at all, we’re confident you’re going to get a nice slice of euphoria and energy without the jitters using Myprotein’s Command.