Managing Anxiety and Stress During Tough Times!
Posted on May 24 2019
By Robert Schinetsky
Overdue bills, gridlock traffic, low-calorie dieting, mounting work deadlines.
What do these three things have in common?
They all make us stressed.
Stress is a natural part of living. It’s simply the body’s response to a perceived threat, be it physical, psychological, or emotional.
And, stress isn’t always a bad thing. For instance, resistance-training is a beneficial type of stress. And, anyone who’s ever crammed last minute for a final knows that the stress induced by the time-crunch can be a very helpful motivator.
The times when stress becomes troublesome, is when it is chronic.
Chronic stress leads to sustained elevations in cortisol, which brings along a cavalcade of consequences, including impaired recovery and immune function, reduced muscle growth, and increased fat storage and inflammation.
Now, to combat chronic stress, experts often recommend a mixture of diet, exercise, and sleep, but quite frequently, these are the same things causing us to feel stressed?
Should I follow low-carb diets or low fat ones to lose weight?
What’s the best pre workout?
Am I using the right training split?
Is my sleep tracking app working properly?
These are just a few examples of how the things that are supposed to help us eliminate stress from our lives actually induce more stress each and every day.
What’s more is that chronic stress actually impairs our ability to fall asleep and sleep soundly. This leads us to feel less energetic, more irritable, and even more stressed as now we tend to stress about why we can’t sleep well.
This carousel from hell goes round and round and round until you eventually crack!
Now, we all know that stress is incredibly common, and chronic stress is becoming the norm for more and more people.
Recently, in an effort to help individuals combat their daily stressors a new supplement has entered the market space touting all sorts of wonderful benefits, from improved sleep to anti-anxiety to better joint function. That supplement is CBD, and you’ve probably seen ads for it yourself.
From pills to oils to edibles, CBD has exploded in popularity, and it’s readily accessible both in brick and mortar stores as well as online. CBD has grown so popular that recent estimates indicates that sales could reach as high as $22 billion dollars by 2022!
Despite its wide accessibility, CBD is in a bit of a “gray area” regarding legality. While CBD is legal in 33 states (the ones that have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana) as well as 17 others have legalized some form of CBD, it is still not legal in the eyes of the federal government. And it doesn’t seem like that discrepancy will be resolved anytime soon.
Even if CBD is a legal option in your state, there’s also the matter to consider of the quality of your CBD supplement. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 30% of CBD product samples (oils, liquids, and tinctures) actually contained the amount of CBD stated on their labels.
More alarming is the fact that ~21% of the products sampled contained THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid in hemp responsible for inducing the “high”). If you happened to purchase one of these tainted products, you risk impairment, intoxication, or the possibility of failing a drug screening at work.
These findings are backed by other research conducted by the FDA which uncovered many CBD products that didn’t contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain.
Suffice it to say that at best, CBD products may offer some benefit, but the body of research is far from conclusive. At worst, you’re getting ripped off and potentially exposing yourself to tainted products.
Is your health and well being really worth the risk?
If you’re looking to beat stress, why not opt for a dietary supplements that’s rooted in science and contains research-backed doses of natural ingredients proven to work in humans.
Introducing AML Calming Cocktail -- an all-natural blend of compounds methodically combined to promote relaxation and help combat stress and anxiety.
AML Calming Cocktail Ingredients
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory (“downer”) neurotransmitter in humans. It counters the actions of glutamate, the body’s main excitatory neurotransmitter, by slowing down (“inhibiting”) the firing of brain cells, thereby promoting a state of calmness and relaxation.
In other words, GABA is the chemical your brain emits when it’s running in the red and needs to “tap the breaks” to try to calm itself down during periods of stress and anxiety.
So, in this way, GABA and glutamate have a see-saw, or yin-ying, type relationship, with each one balancing out the other.
However, in today’s go-go-go lifestyle, glutamate dominates while GABA is given takes a back seat as we try to do more and more and more. Subsequently, this constant “hustle and grind” we force upon ourselves leads to a hyperactive mind, bringing about undue stress and anxiety, creating an increase in glutamate and a decrease in GABA.[4,5]
Due to the importance GABA plays in helping us keep calm and promote feelings of relaxation, AML Calming Cocktail includes a sizeable 3 gram serving of GABA.
Human studies have found that supplemental GABA can serve as an effective natural relaxant, comparable to that of L-Theanine (another ingredient found in AML Calming Cocktail which will discuss down below). The same study also noted that GABA supplementation could boost immunity under stress conditions.
Finally, GABA supplementation at 3 grams per day (the same dose included in AML Calming Cocktail) has also been documented to increase the release of growth hormone. As you likely know, growth hormone supports muscle growth while also encouraging fat loss.
Neurotoxicity occurs when an imbalance develops between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as the yin-yang relationship of glutamate and GABA. Deficiency in the amount of activity of GABA can lead to neuronal hyperexcitability. Taurine is a multi-faceted amino acid that may be able to help restore balance between GABA and glutamate?
Taurine is an incredibly abundant amino acid in the body, found in high concentrations in excitable tissues, such as the brain and skeletal muscles. It serves as a weak agonist of the GABA-A receptors as well the glycine and NMDA receptors.
Therefore, supplementing with taurine may help increase GABA activity in the body and promote feelings of calm and relaxation. In case you weren’t aware, glutamate decarboxylase is the enzyme that serves as the rate-limiting step in the production of GABA.
But there’s more.
Taurine has also been documented to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties. [12,13,14]
For all the things that make taurine great for calming down the mind and body and promoting a state of relaxation, also make it not so great for athletic performance, and that’s why you will not find taurine in AML Pre Workout or AML Energy Cocktail.
Ashwagandha is an age-old herb used for centuries in Ayurveda to boost cognition, increase energy levels, and, most importantly for our purposes here, relieve stress.
The way ashwagandha can impart these benefits is due to its actions as an adaptogen.
Adaptogens are botanical agents that, when consumed, improve the body’s stress response, meaning they enhance our ability to perceive, interact, and recover from whatever type of physical, emotional, or psychological stressors we encounter on a daily basis.
This is all the more noteworthy when you realize that chronic stress has been linked to the development of insulin resistance.
Numerous studies have shown that supplementation with ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels (up to 30% In some individuals!).[16,17] In fact, a 60-day study involving individuals suffering from chronic stress found that those using ashwagandha experienced a 69% average reduction in anxiety and insomnia.
Other human studies have found that ashwagandha may help reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy individuals and those with diabetes.[18,19]
Interestingly, some research indicates that ashwagandha may be able to help with stress-related infertility.
AML Calming Cocktail contains 500mg Ashwagandha extract 4:1 to help improve the body’s ability to deal with stress and recover from it.
5-hydroxytryptophan is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan that can cross the blood-brain barrier and be converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood, satiety, and the production of melatonin.
Low serotonin levels are associated with symptoms of anxiety, depression, weight gain, and sleep disorders. [22,23]
It’s also associated with feelings of tiredness and fatigue, as serotonin plays a role in the sleep-wake cycle.
Additionally, 5-HTP and serotonin also help curb cravings and reduce appetite, which support weight loss.[24,25] Serotonin also has been noted to stimulate BAT sympathetic nerve activity and thermogenesis, further enhancing weight loss.[26,27]
Basically, with 5-HTP you get a three-for-one ingredient that helps reduce stress, promotes sleepiness and supports weight loss. What more could you ask for from a supplement?!
Found prevalently in tea, L-Theanine is yet another common supplement used to promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. Similar to taurine, L-theanine has been shown to stimulate GABA receptors in the brain, due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
As you would expect, this leads to increased relaxation, less stress, and a reduction in anxiety all the while promoting greater quality sleep.[28,29,30
AML Calming Cocktail contains the research-backed dose of 200mg L-Theanine in every serving to promote feelings of calm, enhance sleep, and help reduce stress and anxiety.
The final ingredient in AML Calming Cocktail is an ingredient well-known in the realm of natural sleep aids -- melatonin.
As you probably know, melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that governs the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Numerous studies have found that melatonin supplementation is effective for improving sleep quality and decreasing sleep latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep).[32,33] Most recently, a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that daily supplementation for 12 weeks with 10mg of melatonin improved various parameters of sleep as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).This study in women taking 10mg of melatonin with PCOS also found improvements in markers of mental health and insulin sensitivity.
Most likely these benefits can be attributed to the improvements in the quality of sleep the women were getting as research has noted associations between insulin resistance and sleep deprivation as well as symptoms of depression and sleep deprivation.[37,38]
Beyond its sleep benefits, melatonin also plays a key role in energy metabolism and body weight regulation. In fact, research has found that melatonin supplementation can reduce body weight and abdominal fat independent of calorie restriction or increased physical activity. [34,35,36]
Presumably, this weight loss occurs via upregulation of BAT-driven thermogenesis, which increases energy expenditure and, as a result fat loss.
AML Chilling Cocktail contains a full 10mg serving of melatonin.
Let’s face it, stress is a part of everyday life. It’s going to happen in some way, shape, or form. While you may not be able to control all the aspects of life that lead to you feeling stressed, you can take steps to improve how you handle stress as well as how quickly you recover from it.
AML Calming Cocktail is a scientifically formulated supplement to help reduce stress and anxiety while promoting feelings of calm and relaxation. Using a synergistic matrix of anti-stress, relaxation-inducing agents, including: melatonin, taurine, L-Theanine, 5-HTP, Ashwagandha and GABA, AML Calming Cocktail is the natural remedy you can turn to when life gets you stressed beyond belief.
CBD supplements may have their day in the sun at some point, but for now, they lack a considerable body of evidence demonstrating their safety or efficacy. And, given the lack of regulation and QA/QC amongst the numerous products in the industry, it cannot be deemed a viable alternative to help combat stress.
AML Calming Cocktail contains ingredients backed by multiple human studies to help reduce stress, lower cortisol, and improve sleep.
Try one serving and chill out!
- Nicoll, R. A., Malenka, R. C., & Kauer, J. A. (1990). Functional comparison of neurotransmitter receptor subtypes in mammalian central nervous system. Physiological Reviews, 70(2), 513–565. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.19220.127.116.113
- Bowery NG, Smart TG. GABA and glycine as neurotransmitters: a brief history. Br J Pharmacol. 2006;147 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S109–S119. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706443
- Gidlöf-Gunnarsson, A., & Öhrström, E. (2007). Noise and well-being in urban residential environments: The potential role of perceived availability to nearby green areas. Landscape and Urban Planning, 83(2), 115–126. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.03.003
- Grahn, P., & Stigsdotter, U. K. (2010). The relation between perceived sensory dimensions of urban green space and stress restoration. Landscape and Urban Planning, 94(3), 264–275. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2009.10.012
- Abdou, A. M., Higashiguchi, S., Horie, K., Kim, M., Hatta, H., & Yokogoshi, H. (2006). Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. BioFactors (Oxford, England), 26(3), 201–208.
- Byun JI, Shin YY, Chung SE, Shin WC. Safety and Efficacy of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid from Fermented Rice Germ in Patients with Insomnia Symptoms: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial. J Clin Neurol. 2018;14(3):291–295. doi:10.3988/jcn.2018.14.3.291
- Powers, M. E., Yarrow, J. F., McCoy, S. C., & Borst, S. E. (2008). Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(1), 104–110. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e318158b518
- Schaffer, Stephen, and Ha W. Kim. "Effects and Mechanisms of Taurine as a Therapeutic Agent." Biomolecules & Therapeutics, vol. 26, no. 3, 2018, pp. 225-241.
- El Idrissi A, L’Amoreaux WJ. Selective resistance of taurine-fed mice to isoniazide-potentiated seizures: in vivo functional test for the activity of glutamic acid decarboxylase. Neuroscience. 2008;156:693–699. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.07.055.
- L’Amoreaux WJ, Marsillo A, El Idrissi A. Pharmacological characterization of GABAA receptors in taurine-fed mice. J Biomed Sci. 2010;17:S14. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-17-S1-S14.
- Sree SL, Sethupathy S. Evaluation of the efficacy of taurine as an antioxidant in the management of patients with chronic periodontitis. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2014;11(2):228–233.
- Marcinkiewicz J, Kontny E. Taurine and inflammatory diseases. Amino Acids. 2014;46(1):7–20. doi:10.1007/s00726-012-1361-4
- Wu GF, Ren S, Tang RY, et al. Antidepressant effect of taurine in chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depressive rats. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):4989. Published 2017 Jul 10. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05051-3
- Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J. Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine. Molecules. 2009;14(7):2373–2393. Published 2009 Jul 3. doi:10.3390/molecules14072373
- Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012;34(3):255–262. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.106022
- Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, et al. Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility [published online ahead of print, 2011 Jun 18]. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:576962. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep138
- Raut AA, Rege NN, Tadvi FM, et al. Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012;3(3):111–114. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.100168
- Agnihotri AP, Sontakke SD, Thawani VR, Saoji A, Goswami VS. Effects of Withania somnifera in patients of schizophrenia: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled pilot trial study. Indian J Pharmacol. 2013;45(4):417–418. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.115012
- Yan YX, Xiao HB, Wang SS, et al. Investigation of the Relationship Between Chronic Stress and Insulin Resistance in a Chinese Population. J Epidemiol. ;26(7):355–360. doi:10.2188/jea.JE20150183
- Weinberg-Wolf, H., Fagan, N. A., Anderson, G. M., Tringides, M., Dal Monte, O., & Chang, S. W. C. (2018). The effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan on attention and central serotonin neurochemistry in the rhesus macaque. Neuropsychopharmacology, 43(7), 1589–1598. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-017-0003-7
- Vashadze, S. V. (2007). [Insomnia, serotonin and depression]. Georgian medical news, (150), 22–24.
- Wurtman, R. J., & Wurtman, J. J. (1995). Brain serotonin, carbohydrate-craving, obesity and depression. Obesity Research, 3 Suppl 4, 477S-480S.
- Cangiano, C., Laviano, A., Del Ben, M., Preziosa, I., Angelico, F., Cascino, A., & Rossi-Fanelli, F. (1998). Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 22(7), 648–654.
- Ceci, F., Cangiano, C., Cairella, M., Cascino, A., Del Ben, M., Muscaritoli, M., … Rossi Fanelli, F. (1989). The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects. Journal of Neural Transmission, 76(2), 109–117.
- Madden, C. J., & Morrison, S. F. (2010). Endogenous activation of spinal 5hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors contributes to the thermoregulatory activation of brown adipose tissue. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 298(3), R776–R783. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00614.2009
- Madden CJ, Morrison SF. Brown adipose tissue sympathetic nerve activity is potentiated by activation of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)1A/5-HT7 receptors in the rat spinal cord. 2007;54(3):487–496. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2007.10.019
- Gomez-Ramirez M, Higgins BA, et al. The deployment of intersensory selective attention: a high-density electrical mapping study of the effects of theanine. Clin Neuropharmacol 2007; 30, 25-38.
- Kimura K, Ozeki M, et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol 2007; 74, 39-45.
- Lyon MR, Kapoor MP and Juneja LR. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine(R)) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev 2011; 16, 348-354.
- Shabani, A., Foroozanfard, F., Kavossian, E., Aghadavod, E., Ostadmohammadi, V., Reiter, R. J., Asemi, Z. (2019). Effects of melatonin administration on mental health parameters, metabolic and genetic profiles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 250, 51–56. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.02.066
- Slomski A. Melatonin Improves Sleep in Patients With Circadian Disruption. JAMA. 2018;320(8):749. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10903
- Sletten TL, Magee M et al. Efficacy of melatonin with behavioral sleep-wake scheduling for delayed sleep-wake phase disorder: A double blind, randomized clinical trial (2018). Efficacy of melatonin with behavioral sleep-wake scheduling for delayed sleep-wake phase disorder: A double blind, randomized clinical trial. PLOS Medicine 15(6): e1002587. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002587
- Halpern, B., Mancini, M. C., Bueno, C., Barcelos, I. P., Edna de Melo, M., Lima, M. S., Cipolla-Neto, J. (2019). Melatonin Increases Brown Adipose Tissue Volume and Activity in Melatonin Deficient Patients: a Proof-of-Concept Study. Diabetes, db180956. https://doi.org/10.2337/db18-0956
- Wolden-Hanson T, Mitton DR, et al. Daily melatonin administration to middle-aged male rats suppresses body weight, intra abdominal adiposity, and plasma leptin and insulin independent of food intake and total body fat. Endocrinology 2000; 141, 487-497.
- Tan DX, Manchester LC, et al. Significance and application of melatonin in the regulation of brown adipose tissue metabolism: relation to human obesity.Obes Rev 2011; 12, 167-188.
- Donga, E., van Dijk, M., van Dijk, J. G., Biermasz, N. R., Lammers, G.-J., van Kralingen, K. W., Romijn, J. A. (2010). A single night of partial sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance in multiple metabolic pathways in healthy subjects. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 95(6), 2963–2968. https://doi.org/11210/jc.2009-2430
- Al-Abri MA. Sleep Deprivation and Depression: A bi-directional association. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2015;15(1):e4–e6.
- State laws [Internet] Washington, DC: NORML Foundation; c2018. [cited 2018 Aug 7]. Available from: https://norml.org/laws.
- Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708–1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909