PWO Vasoconstrictors Worth It?

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    Most pre workout supplements are vasoconstrictors which are counterproductive to building muscle.

    I used pre workout supps for years, often switching every 6-12 months as they'd seem to lose their edge. But I started to wonder if the extra energy was worth it.

    About a year ago I quit and a month or so later I adjusted. Workouts have improved, natural pumps are back (actually better) and my gains have improved.

    Never again will I go back to limiting my muscle building with vasoconstrictors.

    Of course if building muscle is not of interest or priority, and cutting is, by all means, constrict away.


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    you can cut or bulk with a vasodialating pre workout product i.e RPM, enhanced, uncut, ignite 2 (non-DMAA) just to name a few.

    caffiene is great at 10mg per/kg BW or a nitrate enriched pre workout like enhanced.

    Your short changing yourself man...enhanced and Anabeta Elite/alphamine will KNOCK YA SOCKS OFF
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    I have a half used tub of Alphamine at the house - about a year old.

    I'm not familiar with the other supps you mentioned, but your right in that there are in fact some vasolidating supplements that could be used.

    But it seems that most guys are using vasoconstrictors which physically interfere with building muscle.

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    It also appears that many of these supps mix vasolodators with vasoconstrictors which may look good for marketing purposes but is somewhat counterproductive in nature.

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    I think there is a good possibility that you're confused.

    Caffeine for instance is generally thought of as vasoconstricting however, in a workout setting it is not

    - Valdez
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    How exactly does a vasoconstrictor limit hypertophy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdez
    I think there is a good possibility that you're confused.

    Caffeine for instance is generally thought of as vasoconstricting however, in a workout setting it is not

    - Valdez
    I understand caffeine is a constrictor. Although I don't think moderate amounts (cup of coffee in the morning, iced tea for lunch, etc) throughout the day are an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja
    How exactly does a vasoconstrictor limit hypertophy?
    A short explanation would be that in attempting to reach hypertrophy - your in part attempting to increase blood/nutrient flow and pressure to targeted muscle group(s). Constrictors limit the capacity of that process.

    Wiki - Muscle hypertrophy involves an increase in size of skeletal muscle through an increase in the size of its component cells

    Wiki - vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, particularly the large arteries and small arterioles.

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    So What components specifically are constrIctive? The caffeine? And does this mean your basically saying that a caffeine free pre workout would be more beneficial?

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    A short explanation would be that in attempting to reach hypertrophy - your in part attempting to increase blood/nutrient flow and pressure to targeted muscle group(s). Constrictors limit the capacity of that process. Wiki - Muscle hypertrophy involves an increase in size of skeletal muscle through an increase in the size of its component cellsWiki - vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, particularly the large arteries and small arterioles.
    The "pump" aka increased fluid to the target muscle has little to do with the hypertrophic process. You're cherry picking information with your definitions and making a false presumption based off of these definitions (Texas sharpshooter fallacy). There's a phrase called majoring in the minors and these is a nice example of that in that you're focusing on trivial aspects instead of big picture items: nutrition and training. The pump, at most, lasts only 2 hours post-training and is a small amount of time when you look at how long the recovery and hypertrophic process takes.
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    I wasn't sure if he was going to take the bait.....

    And then he did lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herm View Post
    So What components specifically are constrIctive? The caffeine? And does this mean your basically saying that a caffeine free pre workout would be more beneficial?
    I'm saying most stimulants are constrictive. And I'm not telling anyone what do to do, rather I'm interested in and respect different opinions and train of thought. My personal opinion is that HIGH levels (not a diet coke an hour before workout) of caffeine pre workout may be counterproductive.

    But I'm not necessarily targeting caffeine as there is a laundry list of stims that people are using for pre workout.

    I recently had a conversation (part of what prompted this post) with a friend of mine who is a bodybuilder and also part owner of a supplement company. It was evident and well known to him for years that vasoconstrictors and muscle building can be somewhat counter to each other. Understand that neither of us is saying that one makes the other impossible. But, pre workout products with stimulants are their largest sellers and actually carry the business.

    Another friend with us in the conversation was/is a competitive power lifter who also sees the issue. However, he's used pre workout stimulants for so long that he really doesn't feel like he can complete an intense workout without them. His view is not uncommon. I've talked with others who feel that their increase in energy allows them to do more good in the gym, thus overshadowing any limiting affect the constrictors may pose.

    I disagree, but value his opinion also.

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    preworkouts also has vasodialators in them as well to counteract that effect. and you have to remember, some stms are site dependant on vasoconstriction. yohimbe for example is a vasodialator in the pelvic region so you dont end up with stim dick like 1,3d does

    think, how many preworkotus contain agmatine, cit malate, or nitrates in them nowdays? pretty much all of them. then theres the ones that are still holding onto arginine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    The "pump" aka increased fluid to the target muscle has little to do with the hypertrophic process. You're cherry picking information with your definitions and making a false presumption based off of these definitions (Texas sharpshooter fallacy). There's a phrase called majoring in the minors and these is a nice example of that in that you're focusing on trivial aspects instead of big picture items: nutrition and training. The pump, at most, lasts only 2 hours post-training and is a small amount of time when you look at how long the recovery and hypertrophic process takes.
    I understand what your saying.

    Also, my sole focus was not on the 'pump', rather the muscle building process. Blood and nutrient flow is important during a workout and each and every single day after - through the entire hypertrophic process.

    However, I may be missing something. Please explain to me how a vasoconstrictor improves the muscle building process. Because the point of this thread is to hear/read these views.

    I may not be right, but what I've shared is right for me. I've weight trained since I was 15 (34 now). I cycled through my 20's and 30's. I also spent years on pre workout stimulants. Hell, I grew up on the old Speed Stack style ephedrine drinks. More recently I've tried products like Jacked, C4 Extreme, Aphamine, etc. I only mentioned this to say that I've worked out under a variety of conditions. But various friends over the years have shared there views on vasoconstriction with me which eventually started to make sense. My biggest barrier was overcoming my bias in the matter due to my reliance of pre workout supplements.

    As I mentioned earlier, since I've changed my pre workout regimen, I feel that the muscle building process has improved. My intake before and during workouts now may consist bcaa's, carbs, creatine, protein, ribose, etc.

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    OnionKnight - "preworkouts also has vasodialators in them as well to counteract that effect."

    I agree, and that's part of my point. They use two ingredients to counteract each other. I would rather have one effect or the other depending on my goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post

    I understand what your saying.

    Also, my sole focus was not on the 'pump', rather the muscle building process. Blood and nutrient flow is important during a workout and each and every single day after - through the entire hypertrophic process.

    However, I may be missing something. Please explain to me how a vasoconstrictor improves the muscle building process. Because the point of this thread is to hear/read these views.

    I may not be right, but what I've shared is right for me. I've weight trained since I was 15 (34 now). I cycled through my 20's and 30's. I also spent years on pre workout stimulants. Hell, I grew up on the old Speed Stack style ephedrine drinks. More recently I've tried products like Jacked, C4 Extreme, Aphamine, etc. I only mentioned this to say that I've worked out under a variety of conditions. But various friends over the years have shared there views on vasoconstriction with me which eventually started to make sense. My biggest barrier was overcoming my bias in the matter due to my reliance of pre workout supplements.

    As I mentioned earlier, since I've changed my pre workout regimen, I feel that the muscle building process has improved. My intake before and during workouts now may consist bcaa's, carbs, creatine, protein, ribose, etc.
    You're vastly overestimating how much actual construction occurs from stims. They don't choke off bloodflow by any stretch of the imagination and can actually assist in body composition (depending on the actual compound). Nobody said that they increase hypertrophy; you added that yourself. What I am saying is that stims have proven PED qualities and can increase the intensity of a training session, which will far outweigh any decrease in bloodflow. Again, majoring in the minors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    Most pre workout supplements are vasoconstrictors which are counterproductive to building muscle.

    I used pre workout supps for years, often switching every 6-12 months as they'd seem to lose their edge. But I started to wonder if the extra energy was worth it.

    About a year ago I quit and a month or so later I adjusted. Workouts have improved, natural pumps are back (actually better) and my gains have improved.

    Never again will I go back to limiting my muscle building with vasoconstrictors.

    Of course if building muscle is not of interest or priority, and cutting is, by all means, constrict away.
    a cup of coffee and some creatine, taurine and ALCAR and im set.
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    Rodja - "vastly overestimating how much actual construction occurs from stims. They don't choke off bloodflow"
    I simply said that while constrictors don't make muscle building impossible, they do run counter.

    I agree that for some people the stim's effects can outweigh the decrease in bloodflow. Especially those who have trouble maintaining intensity in the gym.

    But building muscled doesn't come easy or happen overnight. It's something that many of us obsess over and consume ourselves with. Sometimes, every little thing counts or adds up. We are intensely focused on many things throughout our schedule, diet and workout. Intensity in the gym and bloodflow are both important. Many of us notice if something has slightly impacted our strength, intensity, stamina, bloodflow, fullness, recovery, etc. We then try to identify, focus on and exploit these advantages or disadvantages.

    For me personally, I don't have trouble completing my workouts (at least not now - I did in the past) with intensity. Therefore, I might focus on other things including the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles.

    In my opinion, this is similar to the Clen or T3 debates. Does Clen and T3 help assist in cutting fat? Yes. Can they be counterproductive to building muscle? Yes. Can someone use Clen or T3 and still build muscle? Yes. Both are worthwhile to discuss.


    El Hefe,
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    ^^^ dude u know youre debating protein synthesis with one of the biggest, strongest, and most knowledgable dudes on this forum?

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    I have respect for Rodja and many others here at Anabolic Minds. I also read and pay attention to many of his posts.

    But having a low post count doesn't disqualify me from sharing my thoughts. Nor does it make me a noob.

    It is also not my intention to personally challenge or debate anyone. Rodja did not start this thread and then I joined in to challenge and/or discredit him.

    I started this thread to share my thoughts and experiences and to also get some other points of view - which is happening.

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    Clen and ephedrine are certainly not vasoconstrictors.

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    Ok so bottom line are you saying that stimulants have vasoconstriction properties and that is counter productive to the vasodilation effects of a PWO? Which has an effect on nutrient delivery ? Is that what you're saying? I'm just trying to figure out exactly what you are saying so I can share my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    Rodja - "vastly overestimating how much actual construction occurs from stims. They don't choke off bloodflow"
    I simply said that while constrictors don't make muscle building impossible, they do run counter.

    I agree that for some people the stim's effects can outweigh the decrease in bloodflow. Especially those who have trouble maintaining intensity in the gym.

    But building muscled doesn't come easy or happen overnight. It's something that many of us obsess over and consume ourselves with. Sometimes, every little thing counts or adds up. We are intensely focused on many things throughout our schedule, diet and workout. Intensity in the gym and bloodflow are both important. Many of us notice if something has slightly impacted our strength, intensity, stamina, bloodflow, fullness, recovery, etc. We then try to identify, focus on and exploit these advantages or disadvantages.

    For me personally, I don't have trouble completing my workouts (at least not now - I did in the past) with intensity. Therefore, I might focus on other things including the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles.

    In my opinion, this is similar to the Clen or T3 debates. Does Clen and T3 help assist in cutting fat? Yes. Can they be counterproductive to building muscle? Yes. Can someone use Clen or T3 and still build muscle? Yes. Both are worthwhile to discuss.


    El Hefe,
    Majoring in the Minors
    This is nothing like a clen/T3 debate; you're making a claim and using fallacious reasoning to support it. You kinda contradicted yourself once you brought up the point about how long it actually takes substantial hypertrophy to occur, yet continue to pound this gavel saying that stims/vasoconstrictors stifle hypertrophy. Hell, you contradicted yourself by pointing out that your pumps are back and then said you're not focused on that aspect. If it wasn't a focus, then why point it out? You're swaying in this thread and, again, have nothing to back your claim of vasoconstrictors limiting muscle growth and, no, your Wiki definitions are far from any evidence.

    There are a myriad of factors that are going to have greater influence on hypertrophy (e.g. progression, frequency, volume, etc.) and how much increased bloodflow that results from a training session is not one of primary ones. Simply feeling that you've improved the environment doesn't provide anything that can be tested and/or replicated and it also sounds as though you've added substrate to your sessions, which provide a different response that is not an appropriate comparison compared to pre-training supplements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHlympia View Post
    Ok so bottom line are you saying that stimulants have vasoconstriction properties and that is counter productive to the vasodilation effects of a PWO? Which has an effect on nutrient delivery ? Is that what you're saying? I'm just trying to figure out exactly what you are saying so I can share my 2 cents.
    I'm saying some are vasoconstrictors. Those that are, constrict by definition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lronFist View Post
    Clen and ephedrine are certainly not vasoconstrictors.
    Whether clen and ephedrine are vasoconstrictors has been debated. It's been debated because it's been important for bodybuilders over the years to find out which of their supplements are constrictors.

    I won't weigh in on clen and ephedrine. Individuals can study them on their own and make their own determination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blergs View Post
    a cup of coffee and some creatine, taurine and ALCAR and im set.
    Thats a good pre workout program. Note that taurine and carnitine are vasodilators.

    As for the caffeine: Valdez mentioned it being thought of as a constrictor but not in a workout setting.

    Caffeine starts out as a constrictor but soon after dilates the blood vessels.

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    Rodja - We're going back and forth, but I'm not sure we're actually going anywhere.

    "This is nothing like a clen/T3 debate"
    I think it's similar in the sense that no person takes a substance that might be catabolic unless it has positive effects that might outweigh the negatives. Similarly, no person would take a constrictor for the purpose of building muscle if it also did not possess positive effects like energy that might outweigh the constriction.

    "Hell, you contradicted yourself by pointing out that your pumps are back and then said you're not focused on that aspect."
    Pumps are not the goal - building muscle is. However pumps can be part of the process. I mentioned pumps in conjunction with a few other things. - most notably that my gains had improved.

    "If it wasn't a focus, then why point it out?"
    Because many people turn to pre workout stims for energy and pumps. So I thought it was noteworthy to mention that since discontinuing pre workout supplements containing vasoconstrictors, I've regained my energy and natural pumps. I've also notice that my muscles are fuller, strength gains have improved along with measurements. So once again, pumps are only a part of the equation.

    "You're swaying in this thread ....Simply feeling that you've improved the environment doesn't provide anything that can be tested"
    If it appears that I'm swaying, I apologize. I must not be communicating/typing clearly. My thoughts and reasoning on this subject have remained constant. I believe vasoconstrictors (which may be a broad term because there are varying degrees and dosages) can hinder muscle growth because of the physical nature of their action. I also came to this belief through the information of numerous people who I consider credible on the subject. Not because I quit using them and experienced positive results. Now to be clear, discontinuing use and seeing positive results has further solidified my opinion on the subject.

    But I also realize that no two people are the same. I'm not going to come on here and tell everyone to use my cycle, my diet, my pre workout routine, my workout, etc. What works for me has worked for many and will probably work for some more. But it wont work for everyone.

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    My head hurts. OP, I fear you have no idea what you're talking about!
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    Lightbulb


    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    Whether clen and ephedrine are vasoconstrictors has been debated. It's been debated because it's been important for bodybuilders over the years to find out which of their supplements are constrictors.

    I won't weigh in on clen and ephedrine. Individuals can study them on their own and make their own determination.
    b2-agonists are vasodilators
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    Thats a good pre workout program. Note that taurine and carnitine are vasodilators.

    As for the caffeine: Valdez mentioned it being thought of as a constrictor but not in a workout setting.

    Caffeine starts out as a constrictor but soon after dilates the blood vessels.
    Caffeine doesn't "start out" as anything. It vasodilates skeletal muscle, period
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    Vasoconstriction/vasodilation is achieved to accelerate waste removal and deliver oxygen. Bloodflow may be limiting during periods when metabolic demand exceeds supply (high intensity exercise), but it is certainly not limiting at rest when skeletal muscle hypertrophy is occurring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    Vasoconstriction/vasodilation is achieved to accelerate waste removal and deliver oxygen. Bloodflow may be limiting during periods when metabolic demand exceeds supply (high intensity exercise), but it is certainly not limiting at rest when skeletal muscle hypertrophy is occurring.
    So are your saying that vasoconstriction during workouts is good or insignificant?

    Do you see any benefit to using vasodilators (rather than constrictors) before work out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    Caffeine doesn't "start out" as anything. It vasodilates skeletal muscle, period
    According to the National Institutes of Health, caffeine is considered a vasoconstrictor.

    But it also dilates. It almost falls in it's own category.

    I understand that many of the actions of each stimulant are not exactly cut and dry. Some may do both, while others may simply perform one action in a targeted area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    b2-agonists are vasodilators
    I didn't say they were or weren't. I said it's been debated, and it has. Over the past 10 years there has been discussion on both sides within the forum community.

    Google results may have changed today - but in the past, you could find discussions and seemingly credible references calling clen a constrictor and a dilator. Clen isn't the only thing there seemed to be confusion over. Ephedrine is also called a constrictor on numerous reference and medical sites.

    So I'm not here to set the record straight. I'm not an authority on what is or isn't. It seems that nearly every substance has to be studied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post

    So are your saying that vasoconstriction during workouts is good or insignificant?

    Do you see any benefit to using vasodilators (rather than constrictors) before work out?
    There is a significant benefit to vasodilation during workouts. Bottom line = more blood to the muscle.
    And vasoconstriction in terms of caffeine is insignificant for training purposes as it also, correct me if I'm wrong, caffeine mobilizes fatty acids from fat or intramuscular triglycerides by increasing circulating epinephrine levels. Therefore increases fat oxidation which spares muscle glycogen. Helping endurance along with reducing the neuronal activation threshold, making recruitment for muscle fibers easier?
    Therefore the insignificant vasoconstriction from caffeine is far out weighted but it's positive benefits for workouts.

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    agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    Most pre workout supplements are vasoconstrictors which are counterproductive to building muscle.

    I used pre workout supps for years, often switching every 6-12 months as they'd seem to lose their edge. But I started to wonder if the extra energy was worth it.

    About a year ago I quit and a month or so later I adjusted. Workouts have improved, natural pumps are back (actually better) and my gains have improved.

    Never again will I go back to limiting my muscle building with vasoconstrictors.

    Of course if building muscle is not of interest or priority, and cutting is, by all means, constrict away.
    Not only are they counterproductive, they are sometimes dangerous.

    Super setting, hiit, all gets your heart rate up enough on it's own... The last thing you want is construction.

    Stick with Enhanced and Alphamine. No constricting stims. Plus the pump is much better
    PES ALPHAMINE Log
    h ttp://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/213082-pes-alphamine-log.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    So are your saying that vasoconstriction during workouts is good or insignificant?

    Do you see any benefit to using vasodilators (rather than constrictors) before work out?
    Vasoconstrictors of skeletal muscle tissue would be counterproductive preworkout. Thankfully, there are no such products on the supplement market that can achieve this to a significant enough degree to override the autoregulatory metabolic mechanism of skeletal muscle vasodilation​ during exercise. This occurs independent of autonomic nervous system activity
    http://pescience.com/
    http://selectprotein.com/
    The above is my own opinion and does not reflect the opinion of PES

  39. Diamond Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Hefe View Post
    According to the National Institutes of Health, caffeine is considered a vasoconstrictor.

    But it also dilates. It almost falls in it's own category.

    I understand that many of the actions of each stimulant are not exactly cut and dry. Some may do both, while others may simply perform one action in a targeted area.
    It depends on the tissue. We're not talking about cerebral tissue, we're talking about skeletal muscle.
    http://pescience.com/
    http://selectprotein.com/
    The above is my own opinion and does not reflect the opinion of PES

  40. Elite Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.cooper69 View Post
    Vasoconstrictors of skeletal muscle tissue would be counterproductive preworkout. Thankfully, there are no such products on the supplement market that can achieve this to a significant enough degree to override the autoregulatory metabolic mechanism of skeletal muscle vasodilation during exercise. This occurs independent of autonomic nervous system activity
    Very patient Coop
    Olympus Labs DemiGod And Rep ~ http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/253076-spaniards-coliseum-featuring.html~http://anabolicminds.com/forum/supplement-reviews-logs/220023-valdez-goes-back-29.html

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