T Nation

Spike Opinions?


#1

One of the few supplements I've ever seriously considered buying is Spike.
The idea of supercharging my workout appeals to me. I'm one of those types who finds rest periods boring however hard the set was, but I've had issues with narcotics in the past and I'm worried that Spike might end up being a problem.

I've looked at the ingredients list, and there doesn't seem to be anything particularly obscene in it, but I wanted the perspective of older, wiser people about this.
Ta.


#2

I don't see why I would be a problem man. Just use one per day, and maybe don't use any on weekends to rest the adrenals. Ive been eyeing some Spike myself. Sounds like a fun product :slight_smile:


#3

While it's certainly an effective aid for training sessions -- the effect is very noticeable for sprint sessions, for example -- I've actually taken to using Spike more often for real-life occasions.

Whether its a writing/editing session or an impending project deadline or simply erasing the 'sleep deprivation' feeling after a night of only a few hrs sleep, it really does work like a charm in my experience.


#4

Spike is fantastic.

I would suggest trying the tablets first. You can start with 1-2 pre workout. Try not to take 7 days a week to keep your body responsive.

It's very easy to become too reliant on spike, especially if you're already border line non-responding to caffeine and other stims.

I would try in order of potency ( to me anyhow ) 1 tablet, shotgun, 2 tablets, double shot, shooter

The shotgun is a great all purpose energy supplement, IMO, not too over powering but just enough to help. I love shooters but have found myself sticking to half a can at a time lately versus a whole can.


#5

Spike gets the job done no doubt. I echo the suggestion of going with tablets for preworkout. Only suggestion I would add is start with 1, not 2. I've also used HOT-ROX for workout stim...works great and gets you going.


#6

I recently tried the Spike Tab + CF Brain Candy combo......smooth indeed.

Give it a go!


#7

Posted this on another site.
The Biotest products have never let me down. I loved their Spike capsules when they were first introduced. They were great to take while I was at work for extra energy and great focus also while I had little sleep the night before. Now they have added yohimbine in them which I can not take in any amount. I would love to purchase them in a yohimbine free formula as long as they do not go over board with a lot of caffeine to make up for it. It may not be impossible for them but the demand may be in question.

I may not be alone and hope one day Biotest could put this product up for sale. I loved carrying the capsules in work, this way I would take one on my way home and be sure I was ready to hit the workout as I arrived at the gym.


#8

They did make a Yohimbine free version for awhile, as well as a caffeine free version. I remember stacking a caff-free with 1/2 regular tab, or taking the caff-free with my coffee. It was great.


#9

OP, Spike is my favorite supplement Biotest makes. If you're worried about dependency, I would buy it in shooter form and drink the least amount possible that still gets the job done. This could vary, but usually I can supercharge my day or workouts with a half of can. Additionally, I recommend taking the occasional week off (or more) every now and then to "reset" your tolerance (this really does work).

For those of you ^^^^ there that mentioned insensitivities to yohimbine, what exactly is it about it that renders it intolerable? How are you 100% sure it is, in fact, the yohimbine? I'm really asking this out of pure curiosity as I know there are many people that have issues with it and I've never really looked into what effect it has on them.


#10

Drink a Shooter and want to die. Drink a Shotgun and feel fine.

That's a good way to know it's the yohimbine.

I would imagine most people with issues to yohimbine feel over stimulated and can't actually focus while on it.


#11

I will second corstijeir. I feel the same way.
I do not believe when Spike was first introduced, it had no yohimbine in it.
If they ever make a version as close to the original, I will be all over it.


#12

Comments made by TC when Spike first came out.
I do not recall how much caffeine was used in it.

I can take just one capsule before going to a social event, a card-game, a pick-up basketball game, whatever, and I dominate. I bet if I got on Jeopardy and took Spike, I?d run the board.

I first heard of the main ingredient in Spike from Charles Poliquin. After his heart attack in the mid-nineties (something that Charles? European doctors believe was caused by a congenital magnesium deficiency), he was given, among other things, a chemical called thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide.
After illness or major surgery, patients often suffer from asthenia, which is a collective term for weakness, loss of appetite and inability to concentrate, and thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide is often used in Europe to alleviate this condition.
A recent study seems to have confirmed its benefits in this regard as half of a test group of patients treated with thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide exhibited a complete withdrawal of asthenic symptoms, with another fifth showing substantial improvement.(1)

That?s cool, but I?m not suffering from asthenia, and it?s unlikely that you are, either. Regardless, that same chemical given to Charles, thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide, is now the main ingredient in Spike.
The chemical has been used in Europe for over 20 years for a variety of reasons. European pharmacists will tell you that the substance increases physical resistance to fatigue, improves neuromuscular efficiency, learning and memory, and that it improves metabolic function of the cerebral cortex. Fans of the chemical report all those things, but also normalized sleep patterns and even better, improved visual acuity! Students, too, have long been in love with it because of its ability to enhance concentration and it?s also quite effective in alleviating stress. There?s also evidence to suggest that it has positive effects on long-term memory formation.(2)

While relatively unknown in America, life extension types have long been intrigued by the molecule. John Morgenthaler, author of the book, Smart Drugs, describes thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide this way:
". . . is a new compound that has been described as being like Hydergine [a popular nootropic drug] only better. It has been shown to facilitate wakefulness, improve long-term memory, speed up reaction time, decrease anxiety, and increase overall resistance to stress."(3)

And then there?s the strength and endurance thing. It was, and probably still is a secret weapon for cycling pros. It also has a history as an underground bodybuilding supplement and was used by those who had connections to European pharmaceuticals. Users report instant increases in performance after just one dose.

So what is thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide? In chemical terms, it?s a precursor to the vitamin thiamine where two thiamine molecules are bound together by a disulfide bridge after opening of their respective thiazole rings.(4)

It?s a hydrophobic molecule that easily passes the blood brain barrier. It has a half-life of about 5 hours, and it reaches a peak concentration in the blood in 1-2 hours. The only side effects reported in the literature are the occasional headache or allergic skin reaction, in addition to mild agitation in the elderly.

The funny thing is, no one is sure how it works. It does increase neuronal membrane permeability, so this increased permeability might allow for some ionic changes that may in turn affect interactions between dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmissions in the prefrontal cortex. So, in short, it seems to affect "feel good" chemicals in the brain, thus its positive effects on behavior, cognition and attention.(5)

That explains (maybe) the brain enhancement stuff, but what about the positive effects on strength and endurance? One theory has to do with thiamine itself. The vitamin acts on cholinergic synaptic transmission and there?s some evidence that thiamine-deficient animals can?t increase acetylcholine release under conditions of increased physiological demand.(2) In other words, when it?s time for action, thiamine deficient animals can?t manufacture the chemical needed for the transmission of nerve signals.

The thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide in Spike has been observed to increase choline uptake by hippocampal neurons, thus resulting in an increase in synthesis and release of acetylcholine. That means it gives you more "go" when you need it!
Yet another theory indicates that thiamine di(2-methylpropionate) disulfide selectively binds to the reticular-activating system and the purkinje cells of the cerebellar cortex. It has procholinergic action on the cerebellum, striatum, hippocampus, and hypothalamus, with a stimulatory effect on motor activities and motivation.

Whether those theories explain Spike?s great effects, no one knows. Regardless, Spike is best understood by sampling it.
All of this is why Spike has become one of my favorite Biotest supplements. It?s hugely effective, doesn?t give me that crude jittery buzz that I used to get with ephedrine, and since it?s a derivative of thiamine, it might actually be good for me! Plus, it?s not outlawed by any sports organization--not that there?s even a blood test for the stuff!


#13

I haven't had a Spike in years but I find I get addicted too easily. Caffeine supplements are a slippery slope for me so I just try and stay clean.


#14

Agreed, I've recently learned that the yohimbine was spiking my BP up to hyptertensive levels.

A return to the yohimbine-free formula would be much appreciated.


#15

I never knew the formula changed! I just thought I couldn't tolerate them anymore. They new tabs made my body jittery but my brain felt like it wanted to sleep. Very strange.


#16

Biotest Team,

How about a yohimbine-free formula for us who can't seem to tolerate it in the current Spike capsules.
If anything, how about producing a trial run batch to see how it goes? I turned a lot of my co-workers onto the original Spike, and everyone loved it. Not one complaint. They all raved about the focus that they received when taking it, even on very little sleep.

We all worked in a high pressure environment and every day we had to bring our A-game. Spike capsules were a game changer for us who took them.


#17

That would be nice. The yohimbine-free is far superior. I even think the original nano-dispersion spike was better than the tablet version. I have purchased a lot of yohimbine-containing Biotest supplements (e.g., HOT-ROX, spike tablets) over the years, but now I do NOT respond so well with yohimbine. Spike double-shot and Spike shotgun are decent despite NOT containing what one might think they necessarily contain -- namely, thiamine disulfide.

It is quite clear to me that Biotest's original yohimbine-free Spike cannot be replicated.


#18

I recall driving 2400 miles across the United States with a bottle of the original Spike nano-dispersion gel capsules. For a long-time experienced Spike user (and in my acknowledged subjective personal experience) the very first Spike formula has NEVER been improved upon. Yohimbine does not make Spike better in my estimate -- it limits it. But if sales determine which version of thiamine disulfide-containing Spike is hailed the victor, then apparently the majority of Spike users prefer tablet Spike in its present yohimbine-containing state.


#19

wouldn't mind Biotest coming out with a yohimbine-free Spike either. And x2, Spike really isn't true 'Spike' without thiamine disulfide. Maybe add 5-10 mg of vinpocetine :slight_smile:


#20

I can certainly mention yohimbine-free Spike capsules to Tim.

But as you know, it all comes down to what we perceive the demand to be. Case in point, when we first came out with Metabolic Drive protein, we got all kinds of requests for different flavors, including mango. So we made a boatload of Mango flavored MD, but the only person who ended up ordering it was some guy named Mango Jerry from Akron.

Okay I'm kidding, but you get the point.