Why Egg White Protein?

Tom Richardson, Co-founder Top Secret Nutrition
Tom Richardson, Co-founder Top Secret Nutrition

Egg whites tend to get a bad rap because people think they are high in cholesterol. Guess what? It’s the yolk that is high in cholesterol and egg whites are virtually cholesterol free.

I am not going to say that egg white protein is better than whey protein, but I am going to say that it’s different. Here is how you rate proteins and how egg white proteins compare to other types:

B.V. (Biological Value) is the proportion of absorbed protein that is retained in the body for maintenance and/or growth. The highest score of 100 was given for the best protein at the time, egg. However, whey protein came along and proved even better than egg.

P.E.R. (Protein Efficiency Ratio) is the gain in body weight divided by the weight of the protein consumed. Egg white protein tops whey protein by this measure.

N.P.U. (Net Protein Utilization) is the proportion of protein intake that is retained (calculated as BV times Digestibility).  Egg white protein tops whey protein on this measure also.

PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) is based on the amino acid requirements of humans. A protein scoring a 1.0 indicates it meets all the essential amino acid requirements of humans according to the Food Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization. On this one, egg white protein and whey protein tie.

See the following chart for how egg white protein compares to other popular sources of protein:



Some people experience side effects such as bloating and gas when they consume whey protein. These symptoms can occur immediately or over time and sometimes are a result of lactose intolerance. Egg white protein is a great alternative for anybody experiencing side effects from consuming whey protein. For those who don’t have an issue with whey, I suggest alternating in some egg white protein to offer the body a bit of variety. Keeping the body guessing can be a good thing once in awhile.

Top Secret Nutrition’s ACTIVE EGG WHITE PROTEIN is an outrageously delicious, professional grade,100% egg white albumin. Each serving is packed with 25 grams of pure protein to help you recover from your workouts and satisfy hunger. Free from fat, including saturated fat, Top Secret Nutrition’s ACTIVE EGG WHITE PROTEIN has a higher N.P.U. (Net Protein Utilization) than any other protein available.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me directly at tom@topsecretnutrition.com.

Researchers Make a Major Fat Burning Discovery!

Tom Richardson, Co-Founder and President, TSN
Tom Richardson, Co-Founder and President, Top Secret Nutrition

Harvard researchers have made a major fat burning discovery!  They discovered a hormone released by exercise.

When you’re taking a brisk walk on a beautiful day, what are you thinking about? The sun, the breeze, how good it feels to loosen up the stiff parts. The last thing you’re thinking about as you pick up the pace is what’s happening to your body chemistry.

When you exercise, your body chemistry changes in ways that we only now are coming to understand. Over the past 20 years, scientists have identified natural molecules in all of us that influence our appetite and our metabolism—and, hence, our weight. Now, researchers at Harvard Medical School and elsewhere are identifying the molecules that not only affect our weight, but also cause other health benefits of exercise.

Read more about it on Health.Harvard.edu.

As noted in the article, in 2009, studies from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere discovered that humans have not only white fat cells but also brown fat cells.

“Brown fat cells don’t store fat: they burn fat. If your goal is to lose weight, you want to increase the number of your brown fat cells and to decrease your white fat cells,” says Dr. Komaroff.


Our newest product, Fireball L-Carnitine Liquid, does just that!  It increases the number of your brown fat cells by stimulating white fat to become brown, and stimulating brown fat.   Fireball L-Carnitine Liquid  is designed to  boost your metabolism, burn fat, create thermogenesis, and improve exercise performance.  This is a product that you will feel working right away. Research suggests that  the ingredients of Fireball will help:

  • Stimulate the release and burning of fat
  • Increase blood flow to muscles
  • Stimulate brown adipose tissue to create heat
  • Boost metabolism
  • Improve mood, cognitive ability and memory

Contact me at Tom@topsecretnutrition.com if you have any questions or comments about this article.

The Importance of BCAA Supplements

Tom Richardson, Co-Founder and President, TSN
Tom Richardson, Co-Founder and President, Top Secret Nutrition

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are an important part of any good supplement routine for athletes of all levels.  They stimulate and support protein synthesis and specifically, BCAA’s help:

  • Decrease recovery time between workouts
  • Increase muscle growth
  • Reduce the amount of muscle lost during dieting 


We have 20 amino acids in the human body which help build protein.  Nine of these compounds are referred to as “essential” amino acids because they must be consumed through food or supplements. Three of these “essential” amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs. Unlike the other amino acids, BCAAs are metabolized in muscle rather than in the liver, which means that they reach muscle tissue faster and therefore play a critical role in muscle development.

The chemical structure of BCAAs is what makes them so unique. As the name indicates, they have branched carbon chains, which are like side chains, that make it easier for the enzymes in your muscle cells to convert BCAAs into energy during exertion. The more BCAAs you have in your muscles, the slower your muscle cells break down muscle fiber. The anabolic stimulus from your training remains the same, but you experience less muscle breakdown, so you can build up more muscle mass.

BCAAs, which make up about 40% of the free essential amino acids in blood plasma, are used as an energy source during exercise and play an important part in glyconeogenesis (a mechanism for reusing the glucose used for energy in muscle).


Leucine and Muscle Protein Synthesis

The first of the three essential BCAAs is Leucine.  The research on how it relates to Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) in humans is debated. Some studies report increased MPS while others show suppressed muscle protein breakdown without increased protein synthesis during leucine infusion. One point on which all of the studies agree is that leucine is anti-catabolic, which means that it slows down the breakdown of protein. The debate is centered on just how anabolic leucine is in humans. Further studies on this topic conducted by the researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston) have discovered that leucine appears to promote anabolic signaling, but not protein anabolism. In other words, leucine stimulates the signal to activate muscle protein synthesis but does not actually make it happen.

Leucine is definitely the MVP of the BCAA team!  It also should be combined with the other BCAAs, Valine and Isoleucine for maximum effect.

Valine and the Brain 

Several research studies have confirmed that taking BCAAs, and in particular Valine, before a workout lowers the amount of tryptophan that gets into the brain, thus lessening 5-HT levels and fatigue. Therefore, taking BCAAs can help to prevent feeling fatigued during workouts.  This should allow you to train harder and longer, encouraging greater muscle growth!  BCAA supplementation can also help to enhance mood and brain function by reducing brain fatigue through this same mechanism.

Isoleucine, Metabolism and Fat Loss

Isoleucine is the third of the three essential BCAAs. A recent animal study conducted in Japan has determined that isoleucine is the BCAA that activates the proteins UCP2 and UCP3, which help boost metabolism. In the study, the mice in the isoleucine group had lower weight gain and almost 50% less white adipose tissue than the mice in the control group. 


Top Secret Nutrition’s BCAA Re-Igniter is a phenomenally delicious and refreshing combination of vegan BCAA’s, Natural Astaxanthin(AstaPure®) and Coconut Water infused electrolytes. We designed the BCAA Igniter to help you:

  • Improve muscle growth, endurance and recovery
  • Boost muscle performance
  • Reduce workout fatigue
  • Increase fat oxidation

The BCAA Re-Igniter Team includes:

  • 2:1:1 Ratio Vegan BCAA’s( InstAminos™ ) a customized blend of three essential amino acids—Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine—proven to stimulate mTOR for protein synthesis required for healthy muscle growth and recovery.
  • AstaPure® Astaxanthin – is member of the carotenoids family, it is a dark red pigment and the main carotenoid found in algae. Natural astaxanthin is known as the most potent antioxidant available on the market today, 800 times stronger than coq10 and 500 times stronger than vitamin E.
  • Electrolyte/Hydration Blend of Coconut water powder, Calcium citrate, Magnesium Citrate, Sodium and Potassium. Proper electrolytes and hydration are required to allow the body to perform at its best.

The three essential amino acids that are BCAAs are important to all active people.  Some other brands make BCAA products using bird feathers.  Not Top Secret Nutrition!  BCAA Re-igniter is 100% Vegan and uses no animals or animal products. The other ingredients on the BCAA Re-Igniter team round it out as a great team.  Never take plain BCAA’s alone again!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.  You can reach me directly by email at tom@topsecretnutrition.com.

Why Age Shouldn’t Stop You Getting Fit

Getting fit is a lifestyle choice. You need to learn to change your current set of lifestyle routines, and then apply yourself to the fitness way of life. It won’t be easy; hard work and dedication is a must. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your background is, it’s never too late to begin your fitness journey.

From researching macros, to taking Top Secret Nutrition’s supplements, you’ll need to learn the best way to achieve your goals. If you don’t dedicate yourself to this, then you’ll struggle. Identifying realistic targets is the best way to motivate yourself. If you don’t set any bars for yourself to reach, you’ll never get there. When you’re older, you may look back and wish you’d started ten or even twenty years ago. Remember though, it’s never too late to start working on your fitness.

Take a look at this guide and find out how a weightlifting senior started their fitness journey.

Fueling For Endurance Events

A great deal of information and advice is available regarding healthy eating and sport nutrition science, and in this article, Nadia Ruiz, an accomplished marathoner and triathlete, shares her recommendations on fueling for endurance events.


One important question to always ask yourself is:  what is your goal? Your goal may be to improve your health, maintain weight, lose weight, build muscle, and/or fuel for a particular sporting event.  Each of these goals has its own mechanisms and tips on how to properly fuel. It is important to first identify your goal first and then choose and experiment with what advice works best for you. I am a passionate advocate of healthy eating, so regardless of your goal, I always recommend choosing fueling strategies around healthy choices first.

Below are some tips on how to fuel with healthy choices for your endurance training or races. Experiment with what works for you. What works for one athlete may not necessarily always work another athlete. Your individual needs may also change as you become a more efficient endurance athlete and/or vary your intensity in training and races.


Normally, you do not need to emphasize or worry too much about consuming a surplus of calories before or during when training for an event which is less than one hour. Truth is, our bodies have a great fat reserve so regardless of intensity or your personal body composition, you have a storage of calories for your body to use.

After any workout whether it is high intensity or not, you always need to consume something with high quality protein.  This can be in food form such as lean chicken, lean grilled fish, salmon, etc., or in the form of a lean protein drink. The type of protein drink or shake you choose will depend upon your goals. If you are looking to simply refuel, a pure protein drink, usually around 200 calories, is a great option. If you are looking to refuel with a meal replacement, then a protein shake with a mixture of carbohydrates is an acceptable option.  Keep in mind that these shakes can vary between 400-500 calories. Many protein shakes out there have an excess of carbohydrates so it is unnecessary for less than an hour of training.


You will need to focus on calorie quality and quantity, depending how long you are training or racing. For any long training session and/or endurance event such as a half marathon, marathon, Ironman, try to consume complex healthy (good) carbs mixed with lean protein and/or healthy (good) fats before, during, AND after.

Following are some examples of what I use for my longer training sessions or races of 2 hours or longer. These are really my go to snacks that are healthy, lean, contain quality nutrients, and won’t upset my stomach. Always make sure to try them out in training sessions before using them before a race:

BEFORE:  200-500 Calories ~ 1 – 2 hrs before starting

* greek yogurt with granola or almonds/walnuts

* whole wheat bread toasted with almond butter and sliced banana

* whole wheat crackers with peanut butter, sliced banana, drizzled with honey

* lean chicken breast with pico de gallo (normally this is for my afternoon or evening training sessions)

* whole wheat bread toasted with avocado and tapatio (adds sodium)

* light smoothie with frozen banana, almond milk, flax powder, chia seeds, and any 2-3 fruits I have in my fridge at the time


* one scoop of Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter in my water bottle 15 minutes before


DURING: 100-300 Calories/hour for training/events 3 hours or longer

* gels (not my favorite at all, I usually can only stomach one gel per road marathon)

* nutty bars

* trail mix

* PB&J

* chips (for salt)

* turkey slices

AFTER:  100-300 Calories within 30 minutes of finishing

* lean chicken

* lean fish

* salmon

* protein drink (with only protein if possible but some carbs are ok)

Please note that consuming lean protein within 30 minutes of finishing your activity is very importatnt because that is when your cells are most active and will absorb protein fastest. Having a packet of pure protein powder handy helps to just get the protein in when you’re done training/racing.

Then within 1 – 2 hours, or whenever you feel hungry, you can have your healthy recovery meal. It is VERY important to reward ourselves with healthy food meal options. Every healthy meal will help cleanse our system and most importantly set it up to be stronger for the next training session. Recovery happens faster depending on the food choices we make.


I hope this helps you fuel for your endurance events!  Please contact me with any questions via any of my social media accounts:  Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.


The Science Behind New Fireball L-Carnitine

Tom Richardson, Co-founder Top Secret Nutrition
Tom Richardson, Co-founder Top Secret Nutrition

Our new Fireball L-Carnitine Liquid is the most exciting product that I’ve ever designed.  In this article, I will share the science behind it and why it works. My professional passion is building safe, effective and efficient supplements and in my opinion, Fireball is off the charts.  Let me explain . . .

How to Lose Body Fat

Fat loss or gain is a function of two things: calories in and calories out.  We can get more scientific and call it calories absorbed and calories expended.  Fireball dramatically effects the calories expended side of the equation via what is called brown fat thermogenesis.

What is Brown Fat Thermogenesis?

Human bodies have two main types of fat which are white fat and brown fat.  White fat stores energy in the form of fat and is the type of fat we want to get rid of.  Brown fat is actually brown in color and is the heat generating type of fat.  Brown fat thermogenesis is when the brown fat burns the white fat to create heat.  We want lots of brown fat. When you are cold, the brown fat is triggered to burn the white fat to warm up your body.  When you shiver from being cold, it’s brown fat that is creating this effect.

How Does Fireball L-Carnitine Liquid Help?

Fireball L-Carnitine stimulates brown fat to do what it does best which is to burn white fat through thermogenesis.  Seriously, it’s almost like magic. When you take Fireball L-Carnitine, depending on how much brown fat you have, you will most likely begin to sweat at least a little bit and maybe a lot.  This is good because it means your body is burning fat.

The key ingredient in Fireball L-Carnitine that causes the fat burning and sweating is a member of the ginger family called grains of paradise, trademarked as Paradoxine.  Here is an analogy using actual fire to explain how it works:

Brown fat is the fire, paradoxine is the lighter fluid, white fat is the fuel, and the l-carnitines are the fat transporters carrying fat from its resting spot into the fire.

In Conclusion . . .

Going back to where I started, fat loss is a function of calories in and calories out.  Eating more food than normal and taking Fireball L-Carnitine Liquid, you most likely will not lose weight.  We recommend reducing calories AND taking Fireball L-Carnitine Liquid to maximize your fat loss efforts.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at Tom@topsecretnutrition.com.

Diet + Workouts + Supps = Transformation!

Trainer Lance Burns
Lance Burns, TSN Athlete and Trainer

Your diet, workouts and supplements are critical to a successful body transformation, but dedication and discipline are also key!

My name is Lance Burns and I am a Certified Personal Trainer with 11 certifications and 18 courses completed.  I also played professional football (Arena football, and teams in Poland, Italy and Germany) and won 5 NPC Mens physique bodybuilding competitions (nationally qualified).  As a Trainer and Transformation coach, I work with athletes from all sports and at all levels.

In this article, I will explain my approach and share the first chapter of what is shaping up to be a great body transformation story. My client, Ray, came to me with the desire to get back in shape. I helped him clean up his diet, improve his workouts and start a supplements regime. Since then he hasn’t looked back!

3 and 6 wk transformation

Here are some progress pics of Ray. The first one is the “before”, the next ones are after 3 weeks and 6 weeks.  Our goal is to get him more muscle definition and to shed extra fat. We are very happy with his progress to date!


Each person is unique and it’s important to develop plans based on the individual’s current fitness level and preferences.  The following routines are just an example and based on working with Ray.

Morning Routine

Wake up!

Take 1 Abigniter Black fat burner capsule

Take 2 L-Carnitine Plus Green Coffee or L-Carnitine Plus Garcinia Cambogia capsules
Workout or cardio only, depending on the day

Eat Meal number 1 – Breakfast along with the following supplements

1 CLA 2500 capsule
1 Garcinia Cambogia 60% HCA capsule
1 Digestive Enzymes with Pre- and Pro-biotics capsule

Diet Guidelines

Each client has specific needs, but in general, I recommend:

  1. Eating 5 or 6 times per day
  2. Avoiding sugar and processed foods as well as alcoholic beverages
  3. Including whole grains, a variety of fresh vegetables and healthy fats
  4. Depending upon the person’s size and goals, I will recommend the total number of calories per day as well as the total grams of protein

Workout Plan

The basic plan for most clients is resistance training workouts in the gym three times per week and some kind of cardio exercise 4 times per week.  At least one cardio session should be on a gym day because a rest day every week is also very important for recovery.  In general, two of the cardio sessions should be longer, steady state workouts and 2 should be shorter, higher intensity interval training (HIIT).  Getting outside when possible is a great way to mix it up and avoid boredom!

Before hitting the gym, I recommend taking a scoop of Pump Igniter Black in 6 oz of water for the extra pump, energy, endurance and focus.

Before any cardio exercise, I recommend a scoop of Cardio Igniter in 6 oz of water for the energy and focus and to assist in fat burning and muscle preservation.

Night time routines

Try to get at least 7 hours sleep every night.  Be sure to have a night time snack or protein shake before going to bed.


Look for me in person around the Miami, FL area.  In addition to my personal training business, I am currently the strength coach at Coral Reef Senior High School and the strength coach for the highly competitive Our Lady of Lourdes High School Cross Country Team.

Feel free to contact me anytime by email at lanceburnsfit@gmail.com.  Also CONNECT with me on FB and IG @lanceburnsfit.

Stay tuned for more transformation stories.  Here are a few more progress pics of other clients:

Stephanie's transformation


Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Gus Vidaurreta, CEO Top Secret Nutrition
Gus Vidaurreta, CEO Top Secret Nutrition

The Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure is an annual event that raises much needed funds for the fight against breast cancer.  It is an impressive organization and Top Secret Nutrition is proud to support our local Miami-Ft. Lauderdale organization and their October 2016 event!  Our small team ran and walked along side people from many other local companies and organizations.  We felt inspired and grateful to be a part of the greater Miami community which came together to support a cause that touches so many of us. Thank you very much to our team, friends and family who generously contributed to our team fundraising.

In this article, I will share my personal experience in the race this year . . .

I ran 3.2 miles to raise money to find the cure for breast cancer. It is a race where the word “survivor” is ever present. So many women have battled this cancer and done so successfully! The pride of those who were there, and the commitment to join forces to end this scourge were overwhelming, inspirational. Those who were not physically there, those who had lost the battle, were there too, in everyone’s heart.

But now let me tell you my personal experience: “I survived a race in the honor of survivors.” Yes, it sounds like a tongue-twister, but you see, for me to run 3.2 miles is sort of a life and death experience. I am 62 years old, and although I go to the gym and play tennis twice per week, I just DO NOT run. I even hesitate to drive 3.2 miles.

So I prepared “for battle” the only way I knew how. I took one and half scoops of Cardio Igniter (half a scoop more than what I take to play tennis), stretched my quads for 15 seconds, my hamstrings for 10 seconds, bent down on my waist (failed to touch my toes), and Voila! I was ready to run.

I recruited my wife Jeanie, who had just returned from running a 30K trail run at four-thousand feet altitude through mud and gravel covered up and down trails, to run with me. She was going to run anyway and she was planning to finish the whole thing in her usual somewhat faster pace. I had other plans.

To my surprise she was only partially inspirational. As we ran she kept looking over at me with this really worried expression, and after the first mile she proposed that we walk for a while to bring down my heart rate. How did she know my heart rate was high? Well, to start with it would be a safe guess and besides, you could see my heart through my shirt trying to jump out of my body.

I answered “NO, I PLAN TO RUN THE WHOLE WAY!” Of course, I did not sound forceful enough to merit all caps, I was out of breath and I am sure I just hissed out my response.

After mile 2 she again proposed that we “walk for a bit.” “NO!” I answered.

I must have looked near death because with 400 yards to go and the finish line in sight she said: “Why don’t we walk for a little so you can finish strong.”  She really meant to say: “why don’t we walk for a little, I don’t think you want to pass out in front of so many people,” but she did not want to sound too alarming.

I am proud to say that I ran all the way and never stopped to walk. Jeanie slowed me down and it took me 35 minutes to finish, but I finished. No matter how I struggled, it paled in comparison to what the people I was racing for had gone through. That was my inspiration.

A couple of final notes to finish the story. I had been working on a plan throughout the race. My plan was to turn on the afterburners with 20 yards to go, surprise Jeanie and for once in my life beat her in a race, but the connection between my brain and my legs was lost so she came in 2 yards ahead of me. A 7 year-old girl wearing a pink leotard and a tutu passed me at the end too. In conclusion, upon finishing the race the people handing out water at the finish line did not give me any. They looked at me and decided not to waste good water on a dead body. No, I did not stretch after the race, I did not have enough energy.

I would do it all again!

The Science Behind Pump Igniter Black

Tom Richardson, Co-founder Top Secret Nutrition
Tom Richardson, Co-founder Top Secret Nutrition

Ever wonder about the thought process and actual science behind Pump Igniter?  In this article, I will give you the background story on the formulation of Top Secret Nutrition’s Pump Igniter Black Pre-workout.  We designed Pump Igniter Black with one basic goal in mind:  To accelerate your performance in the gym! To accomplish this goal, we knew it was important to improve aspects of both the MIND and the BODY.

MIND:  Understanding that each individual person is unique, we set out to improve focus, mood, reduce anxiety, and create a dialed in, calm, determined mindset so you can perform at your best. The combination of taurine, agmatine, choline bitartrate and just the right amount of caffeine accomplishes this nicely.

BODY:  Our objective here was to increase energy, and endurance, but also dramatically increase blood flow to your muscles, both intracellular and extracellular. Additionally, we wanted to boost muscle contractile force. There is no better feeling than contracting your pumped up muscles to the point where it literally feels like your skin will tear. We accomplished this by combining, l-citrulline, agmatine, beta-alanine, betaine, taurine, and just the right amount of caffeine.

Pump Igniter Black’s Rock Solid Foundation

L-Citrulline is an amino acid that is a pre-cursor to l-arginine. It also is a byproduct of endothelial nitric oxide production. L-citrulline is converted into l-arginine creating more blood level l-arginine to be used to create nitric oxide. Research suggests that oral supplementation of l-citrulline is not metabolized in the intestine or liver and is thus a good supplement to support increased nitric oxide levels.

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that promotes more muscular energy. A study published in a 2010 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise concluded that supplementation with beta-alanine increases muscle’s carnosine content and, therefore, total muscle buffer capacity, with the potential to improve physical performance during high-intensity exercise and to delay the onset of neuromuscular fatigue

Betaine Anhydrous is a natural nutrient  that promotes  hydration and performance, especially related to physical activity. Betaine is derived from the molasses of sugar beets. Also known as trimethylglycine or TMG, betaine is found in many healthful foods, such as whole grains, spinach and beets. Recently, betaine has been the subject of a range of studies indicating health and performance benefits. These human trials demonstrate a significant improvement in physical performance, especially in strength, power and endurance.

HydroMax™ is the industry’s first stable, highly concentrated form of powdered glycerol. Glycerol when ingested creates an expansion of fluid volume in tissues called hyperhydration. This is what is responsible for the engorged appearance experienced by many taking HydroMax™.

Additionally, research suggests that glycerol:

  • Has been shown to decrease core body temperature and heart rate in exercising individuals.
  • May delay the need for hydration.
  • Enhances performance in environmental heat and humidity.
  • Improves efficiency in exercise, thermoregulation and decreased physiological stress

Agmapure® (agmatine sulfate) is derived from the amino acid L-Arginine. It is a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. It also has a pronounced effect on exercised muscles giving them an engorged-pump look. This pump effect is thought to be the result of two pathways:  1) improved nutrient partitioning leading to more glycogen storage and increased water retention within the muscle, and  2) increases in nitric oxide. AGMAPURE® is produced by a natural biological process and it contains no putrescine related impurity.
L-Taurine is a non-essential, sulfur-containing amino acid that plays a role in several metabolic processes, such as heart contraction and antioxidant activity. It is essential for both cardiovascular function and development and function of skeletal muscle. In an exercise study conducted with eleven men ages 18-20, it was found that supplementation with L-Taurine significantly increases in VO2 max, exercise time to exhaustion, and maximal workload occurred. The results suggest that L-Taurine may protect against exercise-induced DNA damage and enhance the capacity of exercise due to its cellular protective properties.

Choline bitartrate is a water-soluble B vitamin that is a precursor to acetylcholine, one of the crucial brain chemicals. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter used throughout the body; it controls muscle contraction and determines your brain speed.  Reductions in plasma choline associated with strenuous exercise may reduce acetylcholine release, and could thereby affect performance and mood. Research suggests that choline levels drop during exercise, and supplementing choline prior to exercise can enhance pre-workout vigor and reduce post-workout fatigue.

In summary, Pump Igniter Black is a true one-of-a-kind pre-workout supplement with properly dosed, clinically studied ingredients in a non-proprietary blend.  The science behind Pump Igniter Black is solid and this pre-workout will SWOLE you up for an incredible workout!

Give it a try and let us know how you like it.  Contact me by email at Tom@topecretnutrition.com if you have any questions or comments.


  1. Citrulline stimulates muscle protein synthesis in the post-absorptive state in healthy people fed a low-protein diet – A pilot study. Clin Nutr. 2014 May 4. pii: S0261-5614(14)00127-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.04.019. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Effect of betaine supplementation on cycling sprint performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:12  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-12
  3. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:55  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-55
  4. Exploring the potential ergogenic effects of glycerol hyperhydration. Sports Med. 2007;37(11):981-1000.
  5. Effects of glycerol-induced hyperhydration prior to exercise in the heat on sweating and core temperature. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990 Aug;22(4):477-83.
  6. Sustained hyperhydration with glycerol ingestion. Life Sci. 1995;57(7):645-53.
  7. Pre-exercise glycerol hydration improves cycling endurance time. Int J Sports Med. 1996 Jan;17(1):27-33.
  8. Receptor-mediated activation of nitric oxide synthesis by arginine in endothelial cells . Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2007)
  9. Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids. 2004 Mar;26(2):203-7. Epub 2003 May 9.

Mount Langley Summit

by Nadia Ruiz, Team Top Secret Endurance Athlete

I am writing this post to share my experience hiking to the Mount Langley summit!  I really enjoyed it and will share a few tips with you and encourage you to do it too!

The most popular and widely recognized mountain in California is Mount Whitney.  It is the tallest mountain in California at 14,457’ elevation. Popularity is high every year; therefore, enthusiasts will need to apply for a permit via a lottery system every spring for one of the allotted spots during the summer/fall climbing season. I’ve climbed Mount Whitney with a running hydration for the first time and wanted to see how fast I could summit alone in 2014 on my first try. I was please to make it to the summit in 4hrs and 15minutes, very respectable for a hiker/backpacker but nothing extraordinary for an ultra runner or trail runner. Climbing above 14,000’ elevation leaves something special in the soul and I excitedly looked forward to the next time I could return.

However, if you are looking to plan something last minute that does not require a lottery system for a permit and/or for an equally challenging and beautiful summit, I dare you to go beyond what is popular. There are 12 great high peaks in California to explore above 14,000’ listed as summitpost. My goal is to explore all of them and beyond. As an endurance athlete competing in over 100 marathons and five Ironman races, my favorite other past time is exploring the wilderness. Listed as 9th highest peak in California at 14,026’ elevation, Mount Langley was my choice for this last minute adventure.

Mount Langley is located next to Mount Whitney and is accessible from the city of Lone Pine, a short 3-hour drive north from Los Angeles. You can opt to book a hotel or hostel in Lone Pine, which sits at 3700’ elevation or you can take the 30 minute drive up Mt. Whitney Portal to Horseshoe Meadow Campgrounds, where the trailhead to the summit begins and sits at 10,000′ elevation under the stars.

As a last minute trip, we opted for some car camping over Labor Day weekend. It was a very crisp night at 37F and I had forgotten my sleeping bag. I slept in all my gear layers. I might have gotten maybe 2-3hrs of interrupted sleep due to discomfort, not ideal when trying to climb to 14K the next day. Overnight, I drank almost a liter of water due to an increased thirst at elevation, which I discovered later would lead to about 3 urine stops within the first two hours. Tip: make sure to space out your hydration throughout the days prior ideally. I had not.


Mile 1. We started on the Cottonwood Trailhead shortly before 6am with the first sunrays warming the tops of the pines. No permit is required if you are not camping overnight in the wilderness off the trailhead. Only a parking pass is required. We excitedly began with the intention to summit, but always keeping priority first that weather and/or our bodies may not allow for a summit. The first five miles meander through the serene tree lined wilderness and climb slightly over 1000′ collectively, therefore, a very gentle climb. At Mile 4 approximately, you come to a section where the trailhead breaks off to New Army Pass or Cottonwood Lakes. We ran into a couple who recommended Cottonwood Lakes or aka Old Army Pass (it’s a mile less, climbs a little steeper, and much more scenic with lakes).


Mile 6. You climb only another 200′ where it opens up to the beautiful meadows, crystal lakes, and get your first view of the gnarly rocky ridge you will need to ascend. The 360 degree terrain is mesmerizing. After reaching the rocky ridge base around Mile 6 at 11,200′ elevation, you begin the most difficult half of your ascent. The majority of hikers at this point are carrying only a day back to summit as they camped overnight at the lakes to split the ascent over two days. Carrying any load on top of yourself through any climb especially above 10K will be taxing. Tip: drink, eat, drink, pace, and listen to any early signs of altitude sickness.

Mile 8. When you reach the top of the ridge breaking 12,000′ elevation, the views in front of you are mountain range after mountain range, something my soul simply loves to see. Turn around to see what you just climbed in less than two miles will shock you. Welcome to Sequoia National Forest.

nadia-mt-l-photo-4Mile 9. The climbing becomes forgiving again for the next two miles climbing only about 800′, so if you’re an avid climber, this may not phase you. If you’re sensitive to altitude, this will tax you. Mile 9.5 at 12,500′, we stopped for a 30min lunch eating my foot long subway sandwich. Extra jalapeño and mustard on chicken with veggies hit the spot! Tip: bring very high calorie savory foods to help motivate your consumption on the trail. Some tend to lose their appetite when climbing at higher altitude but this does not mean you don’t need the calories. You need the calories. Less than two miles left to the summit, however, it will be the most challenging 1500′ gain of the day. Be prepared for some scrambling, crawling on all fours, and being brought to complete stops (for most). There were a few I saw even laying down and taking naps even though we were so close to the summit.

nadia-mt-l-photo-5Mile 10. Above 13K, that will do it to you. Pushing the effort, I passed hiker after hiker. My goal: get absolutely uncomfortable (safely) to earn that summit. I was nauseous, sleepy, lightheaded, and breathing very heavily. It felt awesome! Inside, I missed this extreme type of discomfort due to altitude or pushing my body at a faster pace such as a 5K or shorter. That feeling of pushing so hard you want to vomit. I was uncomfortable yet so happy to be right where I was.


Summit. I reached the summit and allowed myself to enjoy it for an hour until my body could not take the cold any longer. Some found signal at the summit; I stayed disconnected to just really take in that moment. We were as high as cessnas fly. But we didn’t fly up there; we climbed on foot and our bodies can do that. Survive discomfort. Survive suffering. Survive pain. One thing it does is it teaches us: we are strong enough. We are capable to endure more.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. To go further. To go faster. To go higher. It’s when we’re uncomfortable where we learn. Learn what we really can do.


Mt. Langley 14,026′

9.5 hrs moving time

12hrs total time


Horseshoe Meadow Campground, Cottonwood Trailhead

Sept Temps:

10K – 37F overnight

11K – 46F day

12K – 50F day

Summit – 32F, 20mph winds

10K – 45F evening

Calories consumed:

2 scoops of Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter mixed with water (40)

Mile 0 – fruit salad (400)

Mile 4.5 – chips, string cheese (500)

Mile 9.5 – subway, almonds (700)

Mile 11.2mi – bar, yogurt, nuts (600)

Mile 12.5 – yogurt, nuts (400)

Mile 16 – Bar (100)

Mile 22.4 – soup & crackers (300)

Total (3,040)