By Vince Andrich
For the Previous Section Please refer to
Nutrition and Supplement Strategies that Go BEYOND the ‘Perpetual PUMP’ for True Muscle Growth and Cellular Recovery
Substrates that Trigger OAS
By now it should be obvious that what we’re calling the “super pump” can be achieved by manipulating muscle cell swelling. In particular, key nutrients have been identified that have the ability to maintain cellular fullness by forcing muscle cells to become maximally engorged with protective fluids — fluids that possess discrete anabolic properties as well as increase performance and produce full, tight physiques. It is important to note that cell volume is primarily a protective measure to combat muscle protein breakdown. Therefore, the first type of nutrients we will cover have the ability to pull fluids into the cell, making it more resistant to breakdown, all while providing the necessary osmotic pressure to produce massive pumps.
Amino Acids and Osmotic Signaling
Amino acids are not only important precursors for the synthesis of proteins and other nitrogen-containing compounds, but as you will see, they also participate in the dynamics of increasing cell volume. As we discussed, cell swelling has anabolic effects, which due to enhanced protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, compensates for increases in intracellular osmolarity. In chemistry, the osmole (Osm) is a unit of measurement that defines the number of moles of a chemical compound that contribute to a solution’s osmotic pressure. Mechanisms responsible for cell swelling-induced changes in pathway fluxes include the changes in intracellular ion concentrations and in signal transduction.
Specific amino acids (e.g., leucine) stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein degradation independent of changes in cell volume because they stimulate mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), a protein kinase , which is one of the components of a signal transduction pathway used by insulin. When the cellular energy state is low — for example when following a chronically reduced carbohydrate diet — stimulation of mTOR by amino acids is prevented in part by a reduction in insulin production.
Surprisingly, it has been show that when subjects ingested a specific combination of amino acids, namely leucine, taurine, isoleucine and tyrosine they experienced a dramatic influx of hypo-osmotically induced cell swelling.
In laymen terms, the right combination of amino acids will send out a strong signal to increase cell swelling when muscle cell volume reaches low concentrations. This is likely due to, 1) a protective mechanism that can be triggered under severe conditions (like those generated by many diets and training methods), and 2) the ability for leucine to increase insulin production . These both are great benefits for those who want to train hard and maintain a full and pumped appearance while on reduced carbohydrates. Moreover, under normal feeding conditions, these amino acids will help maximize the fluids inside your cytoplasm for muscles that are super pumped, fuller, rounder and gorging with vascularity.
Maximizing the Reception of Osmotic Signals
There is no doubt that a powerful link between cell volume and muscle protein synthesis exists. It’s also a fact that muscle cell volume acts as an anabolic signal in response to specific nutritional compounds. In the previous section, we learned that when the available cellular energy inside your muscles is low, the amino acids leucine, taurine, isoleucine and tyrosine appear to signal actions quite similar to that of insulin. This should come as no surprise, since insulin is one of the most potent regulators responsible for controlling muscle growth and muscle breakdown.
What’s truly remarkable is that when you stop and think about it, the link between fuller muscles and anabolism is easy to see. That’s why I’m absolutely convinced the next great frontier in drug-free bodybuilding lies in unlocking the secrets to upgrading your body’s natural muscle cell volume machinery. I personally believe that the dynamics of muscle cell hydration and fluid volume are likely the master regulators at the core of the anabolic response. This theory has been proven in a number of studies by a variety of independent researchers. For example, one of the leading experts on cell volume, Dieter Häussinger, displayed evidence that cellular hydration is an important factor in controlling cellular protein turnover, while protein synthesis and degradation are affected inversely by cell shrinking. Moreover, an increase in cellular hydration (swelling) acts as an anabolic agent, whereas, cell reduction is catabolic . In another experiment Professor Siegfried Waldegger found that “cell swelling inhibits proteolysis (protein breakdown), and stimulates protein synthesis, whereas cell shrinkage stimulates proteolysis and inhibits protein synthesis” .
Natural Nutrient Sensors and Hyper Cellular Remodeling
After coming to the realization that cell volume regulates anabolic drive, it stands to reason that by increasing the availability of “nutrient sensors” it may be possible to maximize the effects, and markedly increase the storage of cellular contents or trigger what we’re calling “Hyper Cell Remodeling”.
In the medical community, prescription oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) are commonly used to up-regulate our cells’ ability to utilize nutrients. These compounds work through a variety of mechanisms, most notably by increasing insulin sensitivity and glucose disposal. Fortunately, there are several natural dietary supplements that have been shown to be extremely active at the receptor level and work to enhance the effects of insulin and nutrient disposal. The most effective natural nutrient disposal agents include, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, (R-ALA), 4-hydroxyisoleucine, chromium polynicotinate and Rhodiola rosea.
Highlighting the Target Cells with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid
R-ALA is the biologically active form of alpha-lipoic acid that has recently demonstrated to possess all beneficial properties for acting as a natural substrate in damaged cell metabolism along with optimizing the actions of insulin. Being a natural isomer, R-ALA is most recognized by the mitochondrial enzymes inside the cytoplasm and in both human and animal models, R-ALA appears to directly activate target cells, which could lead to the stimulation of glucose uptake .
Chromium Polynicotinate the Magnetic Mineral
Chromium Polynicotinate has greater biological activity than other forms of chromium, including sources from picolinate. CP helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and can be critical to the synthesis of cholesterol, fats and proteins. Chromium polynicotinate consists of pure niacin-bound chromium, identified by United States Government researchers as the active component of true GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor). GTF is responsible for binding insulin to cell membrane receptor sites .
Amplifying the Insulin Signal with 4-hydroxyisoleucine
Another potent compound is 4-hydroxyisoleucine; an amino acid extracted from fenugreek seeds that interestingly works through activation of the early steps of insulin signaling. This ingredient may stimulate insulin secretion (direct beta-cell stimulation) and help control blood sugar levels. This dual action makes 4-hydroxyisoleucine a potentially very valuable nutrient sensing agent for maximizing the storage of critical muscle cell components.
Rhodiola rosea- – Dual Action Cellular Energy-Boosting Herb
Rhodiola rosea L., also known as “golden root” or “roseroot” has been used in the traditional medicine of Russia, Scandinavia, and other countries for centuries. Since 1960, more than 180 pharmacological, phytochemical, and clinical studies have been published. At the Tomsk State University and Medical Institute in Tomsk, Russia, scientists examined rhodiola’s effects on fighting fatigue and boosting energy. Mice with weights attached to them were forced to swim to exhaustion twice a day for six days. Half of the mice received an oral rhodiola extract, while the control group was given only water. By day six, the rhodiola-supplemented group had ATP levels that were 17% higher, and creatine phosphate levels that were 45% higher, than those of the control group. Rhodiola’s benefits did not end there, however. The level of muscle glycogen was 53% greater in the supplemented group than in the control group, while concentrations of muscle lactic acid and ammonia (two toxic byproducts of muscular effort) were 18% and 60% lower, respectively . Clearly, the rhodiola extract helped maintain levels of key energy compounds needed for physical activity, which are indispensable to protecting muscle cell volume.
Hyper Hydration–Maximizing Total Body Water Volume
So far, I’ve given you a lot of good news about a totally new and reliable strategy for acute and permanent muscle expansion; now, here’s the bad news. You see, without maximizing your total body water availability, none of the strategies above will make much difference. That’s why I am about to tell you about a substance that occurs naturally in the body, and can dramatically increase the concentration of the fluid in the blood and tissues. The magical substance is glycerol, also known as glycerin, glycerine, 1,2,3-propanetriol and trihydroxypropane. Oral glycerol ingested with added fluid, increases total body water volume. This is known as glycerol hyperhydration. Some athletes use glycerol to improve thermoregulation and endurance during exercise or exposure to hot environments .
The concentration of these fluids is held constant by the body, so water consumed with glycerol is not excreted until the extra glycerol is either removed by the kidneys or broken down by the body. In laymen’s terms, taking glycerol in supplemental form quickly improves hydration and the absorption of other supplements that are taken with it. The end result is faster delivery of nutrients when and where you need them the most and the prolonged “pump effect” during your workouts.
STAY TUNED for the Summary in PART IV