By Jim Stoppani, PhD Flex Online
Glycerol, which can draw fluid into muscle cells and blood vessels, is catching on in the body- building scene as an effective method for inducing bigger pumps.
Glycerol forms the backbone of triglycerides, which are the primary fats found in the diet. Instead of storing glycerol as bodyfat, the liver converts most of it into glucose that can be used as fuel.
THE STUDY Researchers at McGill University Health Centre (Montreal, Quebec) summarized more than 40 studies on glycerol for athletes.
THE RESULTS The data revealed that up to 80 grams of glycerol per workout session can be consumed to maximize hydration and potential muscle pumps. High doses should also be accompanied by large intakes of water — between 48 and 72 ounces of water can be absorbed by the body when taken with glycerol.
Preliminary studies also suggest that consuming glycerol in a 3:1 ratio with carbohydrates, such as glucose, can maximize glycerol uptake and retention. Taking sodium with glycerol helps transport more glycerol and water across the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. These nutrients can lead to less fluid excretion by optimizing retention in the kidneys.
THE DOSAGE To maximize muscle pumps with glycerol, start out with 10-30 g and slowly work up to about 60-80 g as your body gets accus- tomed to it. Mix the glycerol in 48-72 ounces of water along with some fast-digesting carbs, such as dextrose (glucose) or Vitargo. Try to keep the carbs to about one- third the amount of glycerol you are taking. So if you are taking 30 g of glycerol, add 10 g of carbs, or 20 g of carbs for 60 g of glycerol. Uptake of glycerol into muscles appears to occur over a 60- to 90-minute time period. Therefore, you should begin consuming glycerol approxi- mately 60 minutes before workouts. Drink about half of the mixture one hour before workouts and slowly sip on therestrightuptotheworkout.