Stress comes in many forms and is something we encounter on a daily basis, either intentionally (e.g. a tough workout) or unintentionally (last minute meeting forced upon you by your micromanaging boss).
Regardless if it’s a “good” stress or a “bad” stress, our bodies only have so much bandwidth at its disposal to deal with (and recover from) stress. And, you don’t need us to tell you that stress levels have been out of whack for many of us for quite a while.
Now, stress isn’t always bad.
In fact, in the right doses, stress can actually make us perform better, as strange as that may sound. For instance, you have a big paper or presentation due tomorrow. Your adrenaline starts to pump and you enter a flow-like state enabling you to knock out that paper in record time. Or, you feel your heart start to race before attempting a new PR. That added bit of “stress” actually pushes you to new heights of excellence.
However, when you’re chronically stressed, cortisol levels spike and remain elevated, which can wreak havoc on your cardiometabolic health, not to mention your emotional and psychological well-being.
Being stressed all the time ruins sleep, promotes weight gain, and sabotages your efforts in the kitchen, in the gym, at home, and in the office.
1UP RELAX was created to help individuals navigate the trials and tribulations of modern life by supporting the body’s ability to handle stress (in whatever form it may come) and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
Here’s how it works:
Tyrosine is an amino acid that serves as a building block for dopamine -- a neurotransmitter most often associated with feelings of reward. But, that just begins to scratch the surface of the many roles that tyrosine serves in the body.
It also impacts:
- Motor control
Basically, dopamine not only helps give you the desire and motivation to accomplish your goals, but also helps you feel a sense of satisfaction for achieving them. This provides a further boost to encourage you to continue chasing your next set of goals.
However, being stressed can lead to dopamine depletion, negatively impacting feelings of mood and well-being.
Tyrosine supplies the body with one of the key precursors it needs to support dopamine production. Moreover, research shows that tyrosine supplementation can help the body deal with particularly stressful situations.[1,2]
Calm & Relaxation
GABA is the primary calming (“inhibitory”) neurotransmitter, and GABA transaminase is the enzyme that breaks down GABA.
1UP RELAX includes a trio of ingredients in GABA, L-Theanine, and Lemon Balm to support GABA production from multiple angles to help reduce feelings of stress and promote feelings of calm.
This begins with including 100 mg of GABA as well as 100 mg L-Theanine.
Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea well-known for its calming effects. The reason for this is that theanine can increase levels of GABA, and it can also prompt the release of dopamine, which may help to promote feelings of calm and well-being.
RELAX also includes the well-known botanical "Lemon Balm" (Melissa officinalis).
Lemon Balm has been used in traditional medicine for over 2000 years, in large part for its anxiolytic, anti-depressant, anti-insomnia, and neuroprotective effects.
In fact, when studied in humans, lemon balm supplementation has been found to[4,5,6,7,8]:
- Decrease induced stress
- Boost mood
- Improves cognitive performance
- Exert anxiolytic effects
Lemon balm is packed with bioactive compounds, but one of the most prevalent ones is rosmarinic acid, which can act as an inhibitor of GABA transaminase.
By inhibiting the actions of GABA transaminase, lemon balm extract can help promote greater GABA levels, supporting greater feelings of calm and relaxation.
Add it all together and you have a perfect combination of ingredients to promote feelings of calm and help you RELAX.
Adaptogens are held in high regard for their ability to improve the body’s ability to perceive, interact, and (most importantly) recover from stress. They also help to “even things out” by modulating and balancing neurotransmitter levels, which can be beneficial if you’re feeling a bit on edge or anxious.
RELAX includes a pair of prominent adaptogens in KSM-66 ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea.
Both botanicals have been extensively studied and found to not only help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety but decrease fatigue and improve mental and physical performance in the face of stressful situations.
Adaptogens beneficially impact cortisol, but they can also boost serotonin activity. In case you weren’t aware, serotonin is the neurotransmitter most closely associated with mood and feelings of well-being. And, speaking of serotonin…
Added Serotonin Support!
RELAX includes 100 mg of 5-HTP.
5-HTP is derived from the amino acid tryptophan and also serves as the direct precursor to serotonin! Moreover, 5-HTP freely crosses the blood–brain barrier, something serotonin cannot do.
In addition to mood support, there is also some evidence to suggest that 5-HTP supplementation may support weight loss via lowering daily energy intake by reducing carbohydrate and fat intake.
- Young SN. L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2007;32(3):224.
- Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Food Components to Enhance Performance: An Evaluation of Potential Performance-Enhancing Food Components for Operational Rations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1994. 15, Tyrosine and Stress: Human and Animal Studies. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209061/
- Ghazizadeh, J., Sadigh‐Eteghad, S., Marx, W., Fakhari, A., Hamedeyazdan, S., Torbati, M., … Mirghafourvand, M. (2021). The effects of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) on depression and anxiety in clinical trials: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Phytotherapy Research. doi:10.1002/ptr.7252
- Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Tildesley NT, Perry EK, Wesnes KA. Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002;72:953–964. doi: 10.1016/S0091-3057(02)00777-3.
- Kennedy DO, Wake G, Savelev S, Tildesley NT, Perry EK, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of single doses of Melissa officinalis(Lemon balm) with human CNS nicotinic and muscarinic receptor-binding properties. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003;28:1871–1881. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300230.
- Kennedy DO, Little W, Scholey AB. Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) Psychosom Med. 2004;66:607–613. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000132877.72833.71.
- Kennedy DO, Little W, Haskell CF, Scholey AB. Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress. Phytother Res. 2006;20:96–102. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1787.
- Scholey A, Gibbs A, Neale C, et al. Anti-stress effects of lemon balm-containing foods. Nutrients. 2014;6(11):4805-4821. Published 2014 Oct 30. doi:10.3390/nu6114805
- Hinz M, Stein A, Uncini T. 5-HTP efficacy and contraindications [retracted in: Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2021 Mar 03;17:731]. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2012;8:323-328. doi:10.2147/NDT.S33259
- Cangiano C, Laviano A, Del Ben M, Preziosa I, Angelico F, Cascino A, Rossi-Fanelli F. Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Jul;22(7):648-54. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800642. PMID: 9705024.