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6 Essential Supplement Upgrades | T nation

Oral absorption and bioavailability

Many supplements do not work. Not a big surprise, right? Well, these supplements may have been made with honest intentions, but sad-sacks developers often do not consider two major factors: oral absorption and bioavailability.

I'll spare you a long discourse on pharmacokinetics, but you should. At least we know that many things must be just right for a supplement to enter the bloodstream and affect the target tissue.

For example, a dietary supplement may be highly hydrophobic or hydrophilic and both states may determine if this is the case at all to get a shot in your system. How well it can withstand certain digestive enzymes, how well it responds to the pH of the stomach, and how it interacts with other supplements, foods, or medications also affects its chances.

However, there are things a manufacturer can do. Make sure that a product is both absorbable and bioavailable. There are 6 additions and the "upgrades" that turn something that only works in theory into something that works in real life.


1 – Curcumin

This light yellow substance is produced by plants and is known to be a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory. It also increases testosterone levels while displaying anti-aromatase properties. It improves cardiovascular health and seems to prevent prostate cancer. It reduces body fat. Hell, it even seems to be against mosquito-born viral diseases.

Recent research has shown that curcumin even enhances the effects of exercise and helps muscles perform better, generate more energy, and better repair themselves.

Plain curcumin

Many curcumin supplements available on the market contain highly contradictory amounts and strengths of curcumin. Not only that, but also the bioavailability of curcumin is known to be poor. It generally causes only a tiny increase in blood levels. Once it clears the small intestine, it makes the liver water-soluble and bambs! It's as fast as a can of Budweiser. The average user sees (or feels) little with average curcumin products.

Improved curcumin

First, make sure that your curcumin supplement is standardized and contains at least 90% curcuminoids (the active ingredients). like Biotest® curcumin.

Second, it must also contain something to make it more bioavailable, like piperine. The substance works by inhibiting drug metabolism in general. In the case of curcumin, piperine interferes with the liver's efforts to render it water-soluble and increases absorption by about 2,000%.


2 – Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G)

This polyphenol occurs in blueberries, grapes, black beans and almost all fruits or vegetables that have a reddish blue or indigo formation ,

Studies have shown that it has anti-diabetic effects, which means it makes you more sensitive to insulin so that nutrients can be preferentially removed to muscle tissue. We also know that C3G has an anti-obesity effect (by increasing adipokinectin levels) and improves physical performance by activating fatty acid oxidation.

Nutritional supplement users can actually eat more carbohydrates without getting fat and, if they exercise, have the energy provided by these carbohydrates dissipate energy and build muscle. C3G also has phenomenal potential to fight diabetes, improve vision and promote liver health.

Plain C3G

Most C3G products have two major problems. First, the substance is quite expensive, and manufacturers selling to retail stores need to price the product at 4 to 6 times the cost of manufacturing to serve all middlemen. Typically, they usually overdose the product, and the end result is an ineffective supplement that has no noticeable effect. Second, while C3G seems to be quite well absorbed both by the stomach and the intestine, the stuff is really broken down quickly and gets into the bloodstream as a metabolite rather than a whole compound.

While these metabolites may have unique health benefits, they do not necessarily have the same properties as the parent compound (cleanse fat and support muscle growth).

Improved C3G

An effective C3G supplement should be available at least 500 to 600 mg. Cyanadine 3-glucoside per serving. Since it is so expensive in and of itself, it has to be sourced from a company that sells directly to the consumer to avoid all these charges.

Also, it should use an innovative delivery system to protect. improve and stabilize the parent compound. Gelucire does the job well. The compound is derived from mixtures of mono-, di- and triglycerides and is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry to improve the bioavailability of drugs. Indigo-3G® checks all boxes.


3 – Forskolin

This testosterone and thyroid hormone enrichment supplement comes from the herb Coleus forskohlii, and some pretty good studies have shown that it increases the lean body mass, lower body fat and lower blood pressure, while they increase the metabolic rate.

All this happens by increasing the cAMP level (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), an interesting compound, as it acts as a kind of chemical switch that turns everything on and off types of body cells.

For example, increased LAMP cells can cause testicular Leydig cells to produce more testosterone, which in itself can lead to extra lean body mass. Elevated levels of cAMP may also result in increased production of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), releasing free fatty acids that are used by the body as fuel.

Forskolin also regulates the thyroid gland, leading to some researchers

Plain Forskolin

Because, like many supplements, it comes from a plant, standardization is a pretty big problem. Many Forskolin products are just "grass clippings" (the entire plant is dried, crumbled and filled into a capsule).

The herb also has a short half-life of about 4 hours, so you need to take it pretty often for best results. Not ideal. And although its oral absorption is good, its bioavailability is questionable, as many things seem to upset the success they bring to the bloodstream.


Improves Like all the tomatoes you buy taste good, you also want each batch of forskolin to work as described. But plants are unstable. One batch is not like the previous one or the other. So you need to make sure you get a product that is made up entirely of the active ingredient Forskolincarbonat and not the aforementioned "grass clippings".

By extracting and purifying the active ingredient, you increase the duration of action from 4 to 12 hours. Second, you need to improve bioavailability by combining it with the aforementioned gelucire, a compound of mono-, di-, and triglycerides. Carbolin 19® is pure forskolin carbonate and uses the right delivery system.

  Phosphatidic acid

4 – Phosphatidic acid (PA)

This molecule is a phospholipid that regulates mTOR (the mammalian target of rapamycin). Put simply, when you control mTOR, you control the switch that turns on muscle protein synthesis in response to the workout. "One" means muscle. "Off" means no muscle. It is as simple as that. It is naturally present in the diet but only in very small, insignificant quantities.

A study of 16 weight lifters revealed that 750 mg. of PA increased squat 1RM and body mass. Another, also with 750 mg. (Divided into two doses, one before lifting and one after the other) in 28 weight lifters found that the PA group gained 2.4 pounds more muscle than the placebo group. Another study found that lower doses of PA (250 mg and 375 mg) increased muscle mass and cross-sectional area of ​​the rectus femoris in another group of 28 men.

Plain PA

Commissioned To work, PA must penetrate the muscle cell and bind to mTOR. It can also work indirectly by conversion to lysophosphatidic acid and attachment to the muscle membrane, which increases intracellular PA and activates mTOR.

However, different PA sources may have different degrees of saturated or unsaturated fatty acid chains and This affects the functioning of PA. Two saturated fatty acids do not promote mTOR signals, but one saturated and one unsaturated fatty acid.

Improved PA

Chemi Nutra, one of the country's most innovative materials manufacturers, has developed an unsaturated form of PA. This means that it is taken orally and has high bioavailability, resulting in an 8-fold activation of mTOR that lasts about 7 hours. Therefore, you should only use PA supplements that come from Chemi Nutra, such as Micro-PA®.


5 – Resveratrol

The public knows this plant compound as life-prolonging substance in red wine. But athletes know it for its ability to increase testosterone levels, lower estrogen, reduce fat storage or how young muscle cells get longer and thicker.

In addition, blood sugar is generally lowered (fighting diabetes) and cancer is fought. Alzheimer's, cardiovascular diseases and a long list of other diseases.

Plain resveratrol

Most resveratrol preparations contain only powdered resveratrol. Although resveratrol generally has a good absorption of about 70%, its bioavailability is still low as it is rapidly metabolised by the intestine and liver. You can drink all the Resveratrol-rich red wine you want, but all you get is drunk.

Improved resveratrol

Of course, an effective resveratrol product must contain something to help with this low bioavailability, and once again: the polyethylene glycol ester gelucire does the job well. Rez-V ™ is a top choice.

  Casein Protein

6 – Casein Protein

There are many studies comparing the muscle building effects of casein and whey, with casein generally going beyond this. There are several reasons for this, but the main point is: Casein is generally a better muscle, a better power and a better fat burner than whey.

Plain Casein

Unlike the other supplements in this article, this particular bodybuilding brace is often absorbed too quickly. For example, most cheap casein protein powders are partially or wholly made of sodium or calcium caseinate, which the body absorbs quickly like a rabbit. As such, they cause a rapid increase in insulin. They also do not provide sustained levels of amino acids.

They are not a complete waste, but they are somehow anemic when it comes to doing the basic work of protein powders that build muscle.

Upgraded Casein

If you want to use a casein based, commonly used protein powder – one that does what it's supposed to do, ie boost your daily protein intake for the purpose of building muscle – look for protein powder products that contain micellar casein , Micellar casein consists of soap bubble-like molecules (micelles) that form a bolus in the stomach when consumed. That makes them digest very slowly.

It is really difficult to make protein powder from micellar casein – hence their relative rarity and higher price. You have to process it carefully and leave the milk proteins largely undisturbed. As I often write, micellar casein making is almost like catching snowflakes in Maine and sending them to California with a truck driver stopping in front of a bar in the Mojave Desert to knock down a few tequilas. However, since micellar casein is the only protein that has been proven in laboratory studies to actually be anti-catabolic (Boire, 1997), it does not only mean protein synthesis, it also helps reduce muscle during and after intense Prevent training. Metabolic Drive® Protein contains plenty of micellar casein.

Yes, I know …

Yes, yes, the additions described are all Biotest® produces, but I can not apologize. These are products that I know really well because I helped Tim Patterson and the rest of the research team develop. More importantly, I know why Biotest® made them. We made them because they are first and foremost products we wanted to use.

We did not consider "price points", so we did not think about quality or dosage. We did not turn to marketing gurus to find out which products the 18- to 30-year-old Sweet Spot people would give up on buying beer.

We have only studied the science behind different compounds or formulations, in some cases even some of our own studies, and when we got excited, we turned them into supplements that we wanted to use. If someone else was just as enthusiastic about them, he can buy and use them.

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