Carbs, and the rate at which they’re digested, spurs Insulin release. However, all carbohydrates are not created equal. Vitargo and highly branched chain cyclic dextrins (HBCCD) are the “real McCoy” of the sporting carbohydrate world. One can argue the benefits of either one over the other for days, so I’ve listed them here on parity for your information.
•Vitargo is a patented carbohydrate derived from barley starch that is said to replenish muscle glycogen as much as 70% faster than regular carbohydrates, in addition to preventing muscle protein breakdown, as it leaves the gastrointestinal system 80% faster than regular carbohydrates. It is therefore also said to offer a greater performance boost over regular carbohydrates.
•HBCCDs are also a rapidly assimilated form of carbohydrate, which results in a much faster, and higher insulin response than regular carbohydrates. They have an extremely low osmolarity, which results in rapid gastric emptying. This provides a very quick, yet sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream. HBCCDs are basically better engineered forms of another heavy-weight carb contender, waxy maize. Extremely affirming clinical studies performed on mice have shown that HBCCDs also have a massive effect on delaying time to fatigue during exercise. The best times to use these carbs are pre-, intra- and post-workouts. A basic and good rule of thumb is to use around 1 g/kg of carbs in and around workouts. Therefore, if you’re a 100kg bodybuilder, aim to use around 1OOg of these superior carbs divided up amongst your pre-, intra- and post-workout shakes.
3 ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
This antioxidant is a powerful scavenger of free radicals, which has many benefits within the human body. For bodybuilding purposes we need to know that it increases our insulin sensitivity substantially. As mentioned previously, it’s pointless staging our body to release superfluous amounts of insulin into the bloodstream after ingesting carbohydrates if it’s not being channeled towards our muscles. That’s where ALA can help, but stick to recommended dosages. The truism. “more is not better, better is better” could not be more appropriate here. Taking in excess antioxidants like ALA is no longer beneficial. Countless enzymatic processes, in addition to many others that occur within the cells of the human body require oxidation, especially during training and exercise. Accordingly, ingesting excessive quantities of ALA and other antioxidants will have an adverse effect on our muscle gains as it reduces the effect of beneficial degrees of oxidative stress. According to Dr Layne Norton, a renowned prep and physique coach, a pro natural bodybuilder and powerlifter, who holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, to increase insulin sensitivity in and around workouts, aim to consume no more than 600mg of ALA, with 300mg taken pre-workout and 300mg immediately post-workout. Aim for the R-ALA form as this is superior.
4 VANADYL SULPHATE
This is another insulin mimicker or potentiator. This inorganic form of vanadium, naturally found in shellfish and mushrooms, has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose levels substantially in the bloodstream (by shuttling it into muscle cells). Suggested doses are between 30-50mg per day, but doses of up to 150mg have been reported to be effective. Again, the best times for ingestion are in and around workouts.
5 CHROMIUM PICOLINATE
Chromium is a biologically active trace mineral found in the human body. Picolinic acid is a substance that increases the absorption rate of chromium in the body. Therefore, chromium picolinate Is believed to be the more absorbable form of chromium. Not only does chromium increase Insulin sensitivity, it is directly Involved with enzymatic processes that spur glucose metabolism. Benefits have been reported from doses of 200-1000mcg. Again, timing is critical, so consume in and around workouts.
Potassium is stored within muscle cells, where it works to enhance cell volumisation. Therefore, like glycerine/glycerol, It too can help draw water Into skeletal muscle cells making It easier for carbohydrates and anabolic primers to enter, after the insulin trigger has been Initiated, via osmotic responses.
7 GLYCERINE/ GLYCEROL
Glycerol Is a “plasma expander”. What this means is that it has very strong osmotic properties within cells, which allows and assists the cells to pool and accommodate more fluids, carbohydrates and anabolic nutrients. This means that it may allow our skeletal muscle cells to accommodate more carbohydrates following, or during the enhanced insulin shuttling response triggered by the compounds already mentioned in this article. Not only will this result In bigger, fuller muscles, but this could also help swell and “stretch” the muscle fascia itself, thereby accommodating room for further growth and development down the line. I suggest adding 2-3tbsp of glycerine/glycerol with your intraworkout shake.